Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory in Iraq

Ryan Mauro is a fellow with the Clarionproject.org, the founder of WorldThreats.com and a frequent national security analyst for Fox News Channel. He can be contacted at ryanmauro1986@gmail.com.


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If Iran dominates Iraq, the regime (especially Ahmadinejad) will view it as the fulfillment of prophecy and a vindication of its End Times-based worldview, as expressed in its documentary, “The Coming is Upon Us.” Iraq plays a central role in Shiite Islamic prophecy. A senior Hezbollah official in Lebanon was not coy about what will follow a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. A “Shiite crescent” will form, bringing together 100 million people against Israel. Hundreds of thousands of “martyrs” will die and Israel will use nuclear weapons, but the Jewish state will be destroyed. There were two things stopping this, he said: The U.S. presence in Iraq and the potential overthrow of Bashar Assad in Syria. The U.S. withdrawal removes these two barriers.

Secretary of State Clinton warns Iran to not interpret the withdrawal as U.S. weakness. She points out that the U.S. still has bases and allies in the region. However, Turkey is far from a reliable ally now. Egypt, Yemen and Jordan are threatened with Muslim Brotherhood takeovers, which the Iranian regime also views as the fulfillment of prophecy. Qatar has moved into the Islamist camp, and Iran has the capability to massively retaliate against pro-American Arab regimes. Even if the pro-American Arab governments stand by the U.S. now, Iran will essentially have a border with Israel if it dominates Iraq and if a war commences, these states will be politically forced to side with Iran.

Many Iraqis now feel betrayed and fearful. In September 2010, when President Obama declared the end of combat operations, the New York Times learned that many Iraqis were shivering. One said it “makes us believe that America has sold us to Iran.” At the time, an Iraqi poll found that 53% opposed his decision and only one-fourth supported it. Nearly 42% said they felt that President Obama doesn’t care about what happens to their country.

These numbers have probably not changed since. Reporters are finding it easy to locate Iraqis that will express their worry, both Sunni and Shiite. “As an Iraqi citizen, I say to Mr. Obama, you will leave Iraq without accomplishing your mission,” said one. The leader of the largest Shiite tribes, who used to oppose the presence, said his mind has changed. Mithal al-Alusi, a secular Sunni whose sons were killed after he visited Israel, said, “The Iranians and their agents are celebrating.”

It is unlikely, but there is still time for President Obama to reverse course. In his speech, he said, “We will continue discussions on how we might help Iraq train and recruit its forces,” a task that would likely necessitate more U.S. troops on the ground. He invited Prime Minister al-Maliki to the White House in December. It is possible that al-Maliki will find a way to approve immunity at the last moment, or that an agreement will be reached in 2012 that sees the return of a small number of U.S. troops. The big determinant will be whether President Obama has the courage to face down his political base if such a request is made by the Iraqis.

Iraq has made immense progress since the days of Saddam Hussein and since its near-collapse in 2006. The security forces have improved in their ability to protect the country, and nearly 5,000 American soldiers have lost their lives to get Iraq to this point. If Iran steers the direction of Iraq, then it will have gone a long way in creating its Shiite crescent and the U.S. will have paid the cost for it to happen.

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  • Cap'n Krunch

    Waiting for him to get out of office is like running in sand in a nightmare. The damage will be done on so many levels by the time he's out. And the people yet clinging to his cause are either blind, deaf and dumb or ideologues of the worst stripe. He is a MUSLIM. We've been had.

    • Beth

      Cap'n Krunch "running in sand in a nightmare"

      Yes, it is. It's a darkness…and it is heavy.

      Jhn 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

      The light:
      For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

      obama is an enemy to the light (it's very obvious)

      • angel

        finally, you guys are saying it. Now it is time to prepare

    • Mark

      Excellent and well put..very succinct. The damage this moslem has done to the US and the world is substantial. Instead of moving humanity forward, he has placed it in a very deadly predicament and the cause of a freer, safer world has taken many steps backward. We haven't been had, though, he was pretty obvious from the start-a left wing, egotistical Jr. Senator with no practical experience in any avenue of Presidential endeavor-a zero.

  • http://apollospaeks.blogtownhall.com/ ApolloSpeaks

    IT IS ABSOLUTELY CLEAR THAT BARACK OBAMA OWNS POST-"OCCUPATION" IRAQ.

    Click my name to read my piece on the death of Saudi Crown Prince Sultan just hours after Obama announced our withdrawal from Iraq. It's an ominous sign of coming catastrophe for the Middle East..

    • Herman Caintonette

      Obama didn't have much of a choice, thanks to gross mismanagement of the war by BushCo.

  • Jaysonrex

    The Iraq adventure was poorly conceived and disastrously carried out. In the end, it proved to be a total failure – but it did not need to be so. In retrospective, Sadam Hussein was not as bad as the next dictator that will take charge of that republic of horrors.  

    When we believe that there is an Islamist danger threatening the citizens of the U.S., we should use the Air Force to strike at and destroy the enemy – not the Army. We can air drop weapons, amo and supplies to those that oppose our enemies but we should let them do the fighting for a change.   

    The live of one single Christian (or Jew, for that matter) is not worth that of 1,000 Muslims. Therefore we should be really stingy in the future, not like the Israelis who are quite careless with their resources – 1 single Jewish life in exchange for 1024 "Palestinians". A ridiculous and dangerous precedent.      

    • ObamaYoMoma

      I agree. What have we accomplished in Iraq? Well we successfully created a Sharia state that will inevitably be our eternal enemy and all for only $2 trillion and the blood, sweat, and tears of thousands of our troops, not in the defense of America, but instead to prop up a Sharia state and inevitable enemy of the USA and the West.

      • WilliamJamesWard

        This will make Obama so proud of himself and the Islamist World will
        forever praise him for the duplicity and lunatic advocacy that undermines
        any and all that are non-Muslim………………………..William

  • Elliott Alhadeff

    Actually, there are many who believe Israel got the best of that bargain. One educated, western civilized Jew is commonly known to be worth well over several thousand ignorant, barbaric muslim fanatics. Something about a single candle of light in a world of darkness….

  • StephenD

    If we can leave and leave in our wake the mindset of all in the M.E. that:
    "Israel is our friend. Any aggressiveness toward her is toward us and will reap the consequences thereof."
    If this was said in no uncertain terms and was believable, perhaps we could squelch the threat of genocidal tyrants in the area for fear of their own devastation. But just saying this to myself and realizing what we have for an Administration, makes me cringe and I could see our foes laughing at the thought.

  • Steve Chavez

    NEVER LEAVE OUT RUSSIA AND KGB PUTIN in this Iraq analysis. I call it "PUTIN'S REVENGE!"

    The U.S. aided in the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan so now Putin, and our COMMUNIST PARTY USA, and their fronts, aid any country, or terrorist group, that seeks our defeat in the whole Middle East with the destruction of Israel as the icing on the cake!

    The CPUSA, whose "peace/anti-war" groups took credit for ending the Vietnam War for their Soviet comrades, now use the same tactics to, NOW USING OBAMA, a CPUSA DUPE HIMSELF and who surrounded himself with Communists/Marxists and who was a KGB DUPE in his own 80's college days, NOW AID IN REMOVING TROOPS FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY THAT RUSSIA WILL TAKE OVER!

    IRAN IS A PROXY OF KGB PUTIN!

  • Steve Chavez

    "NO WAR ON IRAN" the CPUSA/ANSWER groups shouted. The reason there would be a war is Iran's pursuit of a nuke so why don't the "anti-war" groups shout "NO NUKES IN IRAN" so there is "NO WAR ON IRAN?" Where are the world's anti-nuke protesters? Isn't it easier to STOP a country from acquiring nukes than it is to try to ban them once they have them?

    OUR CPUSA/ANSWER groups ALSO WANT THE DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL and that's why they side with IRAN, Hezbollah, and Hamas! Now that their Jihadist comrades are taking over more countries in their Arab Spring, while staying silent on the genocide in Syria, they see a surrounding of Israel and THEY WILL ATTACK ISRAEL IN MASS FROM ALL DIRECTIONS! IF OBAMA IS STILL IN POWER, HE WILL LET THEM SINCE THAT IS HIS GOAL!

    If you look carefully at the Cairo speech, you will see that he is SECRETLY SIGNALING THEM to use extremism to oust their leaders while warning them about extremism. Look at his face and eyes when he WARNS the audience about extremism. He changes his tone and the look on his face. HE IS TELLING THEM HOW TO OVERTHROW GOVERNMENTS AND EGYPT WAS THE FIRST ARAB SPRING OVERTHROW OF A COUNTRY THAT HAD A PEACE AGREEMENT WITH ISRAEL! He is hoping for MUSLIM EXTREMISTS to takeover and all with the goal of taking on Israel!

  • Charles

    First it was a mistake to go into Iraq in the first place. The human cost will never be paid. The financial cost will take decades to pay off. Bush instead of increasing taxes to pay for the war, he cut taxes. Even McCain said that was crazy. Even todays chicken hawks refuse to pay one extra dime in taxes to pay for troops in Iraq.

    Concerns about Iranian influence in a post Sadaam Iraq were expressed before we went into Iraq. It was a risk George W. Bush was willing to take. The pull out is in keeping with the timeline Bush agreed to with the government. The troops will be home for the holidays. Thank you for your service to country.

    • BLJ

      The agreement was to have a troop presence their until 2020. Nice try though.

      • Herman Caintonette

        And we would have them dying for nothing for nine more years. Their presence was conditioned on local approval, which meant that it was never gonna happen. They call us "Da Jooz" — which is not entirely inaccurate, as we were the hammer for the Zionists.

        America first!

  • sharpsrifle

    I have no doubt that a humiliating withdrawl was precisely what Barry Hussein wanted, and, I also have no doubt that the imposition of shari'a in Libya was on his agenda, as well. The way this grinning sleaze bows to and kisses the butts of muslime potentates and terror sponsors leaves no doubt of where his loyalties lay: Like the good little abd (look it up) he is, he submits to his Arab masters and betters. He does their bidding. He's no Christian…he's a taqqiya-practicing MUSLIME!

  • mrbean

    On Obama's military genius, he is neither a strategist, nor is he schooled in the operational art, nor is he a tactician, nor is he a general, nor is he a soldier, and he is no leader. Other than that, he’s a Commander in Chief – just ask the Iranians.

  • AntiSharia

    Obama seems to have only one foreign policy rule: weaken the US. Why should Iran have to worry about destroying America when the President is already doing it for them?

  • MeMyself

    “If Iran dominates Iraq. . . .”

    What do you mean “if?” Iran has controled the Iraqi government since Maliki took office in 2006. By 2008, Iraq’s trade with Iran, financed by US taxpayers, reached $8 billion. It is expected to reach $10 billion by the end of this year, and the two countries have agreed to set a future goal of $20 billion.

    In addition, Iran has been in control of Iraq’s energy industry. Iraq openly supports Iran’s nuclear development. Iraq has allowed Hezbollah to set up operation in its territory, and has allowed Iran to attack its enemies on Iraqi soil. All this has been reported in the world press. The two countries have had their disagreements, but they have always been resolved by Iraq backing down.

    No one wants to admit 4400 Americans lost their lives fighting for what is basically an enemy state. Pull troops out? Not before we first tell Maliki and his gang to go to hell.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Amen.

  • andyinsdca

    What a painfully ignorant piece; the reason Obama is withdrawing troops is the fact that the military was unable to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) on the treatment of military personnel by the Iraqi “justice” system. We have one in place in every other country we’re in, but by not having one in place, American servicemembers are subject to the whims of Iraqi police & courts. This is actually a very, very intelligent decision for the risk to troops is too high. It’s as simple as that.

  • BLJ

    Another stupid move by our idiot C-in-C. Iraq is the only country in the ME that has free elections thanks to our brave troops. They are an important ally against Iranian expansion and now Comrade O is jumping ship.

    The SOFA situation is just a convienient excuse for Obama to use Iraq as a politcal football. He is pissing on the graves of the soldiers who died there. He is also trying to take credit for the surge when he was against it.

    This "man" is a joke and a total disgrace.

  • alphakilosingh

    I remember someone talking about the possibility of Iranian forces marching through Iraq and Syria to directly lead a coordinated attack against Israel to wipe it off the map, after American withdrawal from Iraq.
    This withdrawal plan, which was given by Bush by the way, seems to be a part of the larger plan given above.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    The premature withdrawal will force the Iraqi leadership into Iran’s arms, bringing the regime closer to its dream of creating a Shiite crescent to destroy Israel.

    No, not quite. That inevitability was always preordained from the very get go, as the so-called democracy in Iraq is not really a democracy at all, but instead a Sharia state, as thanks to Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, a non-violent stealth and deceptive jihadist that managed to penetrate our totally blinded by PC multiculturalism illustrious State Department, Sharia was made the basis of all laws for not only Afghanistan's constitution, but also for Iraq's constitution as well,. Indeed, the last time I checked, the only freedom that Sharia allows is the freedom for Muslims to become more devout slaves of Allah. Hence, if anyone is dumb enough to believe – like the incompetent writer of this moronic garbage – that a Sharia state was ever going to be anything else other than the eternal enemy of the USA and the West, then I have a bridge I need to sell them. Indeed, do Iraq and Afghanistan maintain diplomatic relations with Israel today? Of course not!

    As a matter of fact, most intelligent people have been pointing out to unhinged Wilsonian neo-cons for years that their nation-building missions in both Afghanistan and Iraq were incredibly fantasy based and extremely counterproductive, since we were in essence propping up and rebuilding what inevitably was to become our eternal enemies. Thus, now once the inevitability of what we have been pointing out for years is coming to fruition, instead of accepting the responsibility for the fruits of what they have sown by their stupidity, the Wilsonian neo-cons are instead trying to blame their inevitable failures on Obama. Give me a break.

    Look as a conservative, I dislike Obama as much as the next guy, but these two biggest strategic blunders ever in the history of the USA don't belong to Obama. Instead. they belongs to GWB, a stealth leftist, and the moronic Wilsonian neo-cons. Thus, now they are trying to scramble by deflecting the blame for their inevitable failures onto someone else. Nevertheless, I hope that GWB and every Wilsonian neo-con in his exceedingly incompetent administration involved in the decision making process are somehow held accountable.

    And in a shrewd political maneuver, President Obama took credit for the “success” and left out the inconvenient fact that the timeline he followed was signed under President Bush.

    What success? There never was a possibility of success to begin with, as the nation-building missions in Afghanistan and Iraq were always preordained to fail even before they were ever implemented, since they were both founded on fantasy based political correct myths with respect to Islam and Muslims. Hence, if Obama like a fool wants to take responsibility for success, then let him, as it only demonstrates that like GWB he is also incredibly incompetent as well. Indeed, today both major political parties are virtually identical and equally as incompetent. No wonder the USA is on the fast track to self-destruction.

    The U.S. was defeated politically by al-Sadr, but it didn’t have to be that way.

    You really mean Iran, as al-Sadr has always been Iran's puppet.

    Frederick Kagan, one of the architects of the surge,

    I hope that the delusional Wilsonian neo-con Frederick Kagan is held accountable for the inevitable failures that he is partly responsible for, as the so-called victory of the surge in Iraq was always nothing more than a ludicrous mirage more than it was anything else.

    It is sometimes argued that Iranian domination of Iraq is inevitable, but that isn’t necessarily true. Less than 20 percent of Iraqi Shiites look favorably upon Iranian influence, and in the last elections, the pro-Iranian parties lost in a landslide.

    Again, if the writer of this garbage believes a Sharia state will be a loyal friend and ally to the USA and the West instead of our eternal enemies, then I have a bridge I need to sell this delusional nutcase.

    Iraq has made immense progress since the days of Saddam Hussein​ and since its near-collapse in 2006.

    Just like all Wilsonian neo-cons, this mentally incompetent writer is more than just a little delusional. He's right it has made immense progress but that immense progress is incredibly counterproductive since Iraq will inevitably be our eternal enemy. Indeed, it's a Sharia state for Christ sakes!

  • Dispozadaburka

    Remember September 2009

    "The Muslim Day of Prayer"
    replacing the "National Day of Prayer."?
    initiated and lead by Obama?
    This Rite in Freemasonry determines "THE FUTURE DESTINY OF AMERICA."

    He is the 3rd Antichrist in the
    ",Lost Book of Nostradamus." History Channel
    Watch it, you decide.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    In fact, today President Karsai announced that in the event of a US war against Pakistan that Afghanistan would side with Pakistan. Have you blind Wilsonian neo-cons figured it out yet why we anti-jihadists have been claiming for many years now why both our nation-building missions in Afghanistan and Iraq were extremely fantasy based and counterproductive?

  • Amused

    It's about time someone got us out of what Bush got us into .

  • Amused

    Iraq is not worth one more drop of the blood of our kids . Now you phonies are gonna jump Obama ? For doing what should have been done years and trillions of dollars ago ? Democracy ??? Get us the hell out of there and let'em stand or fall .

  • Amused

    Want to whine about Iranian influence ? Bush shoulda thought of that before getting rid of Saddam .Saddam could have easily been held in check with Air Power , just like Clinton exercised . Our offense should have been focused on Afghanistan and when Bin laden , the Taliban leaders and most of the then Al Queda were in one place -Kabul , during the phony hearings on whether to turn over bin Laden were taking place . That opportunity was missed .
    Don't jump Obama for finally getting us the hell out of there .

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Sadam Hussein could have been bumped off for a few dollars, I know a guy……….
    No we had to spend enough money to bust our bank and allow and idiot into
    the White House to finish us off. Mental illness will be the diagnosis of future
    generations on the conclusion of our efforts in Iraq. Our military did their job
    and we should be proud of our men and women in uniform but our politicians
    are worse than the enemy on the battlefield. Unless and until Americans learn
    to ellect leaders with honest character and no ulterior motives with agendas
    contrary to National needs and wants we will continue to be herd cattle.
    William

  • Hercules

    Think of it. Israel surrounded by hostile, savage neighbors, not a single country within thousands of miles allied with it to defend its people or sovereignty. This is what Obama has accomplished, precisely as he intended to. He wanted to put Israel into the position of having to capitulate – one way or another – and he's succeeded in his diabolical and despicable purpose.

  • Ellman

    I would not want to be part of the Embassy detachment of 160 on Jan 1, 2012. They probably consist of young men who have no clue what kind of danger they will be in after our troops leave. If any of them were related to me I would tell them to abandon their post and leave the country by Dec 31st, even if it constituted desertion. The blood of those who remain will be forever on Obama's hands, but having no conscience or even minimal comprehension of what he is doing, he will sleep well and live well until God's justice is finally delivered to him.

  • Herman Caintonette

    obamayo: "Look as a conservative, I dislike Obama as much as the next guy, but these two biggest strategic blunders ever in the history of the USA don't belong to Obama. Instead. they belongs to GWB, a stealth leftist, and the moronic Wilsonian neo-cons. Thus, now they are trying to scramble by deflecting the blame for their inevitable failures onto someone else. Nevertheless, I hope that GWB and every Wilsonian neo-con in his exceedingly incompetent administration involved in the decision making process are somehow held accountable."

    I couldn't agree more. If Bush played chess in stead of checkers, we wouldn't have a $15 trillion debt.

    Right-wing Republicans live in a parallel universe, where the exhaust from Bush's tail smells like rose petals.

  • Anamah

    Americans are naíve and MSM are major traitors of this country. We know them. Despicable enenies of truth working for the Progressive network to ruin us all. What a giant scam with their fafe Messiah Barry Hussein…!!!