Iran Achieving its Goals in Iraq? Recent News/Wiki Documents Support that View

    The recent takeover reported this month, of a formerly US run Iraqi prison, by Moqtada al Sadr supporters, who have just been brought into the Maliki government, combined with the reading of a dispatch from Ambassador Hill from December, 2009, leads one to surmise that Iran is moving to consolidate its influence in Iraq, including the widespread use of death squads:

    In recent months, Maliki's government has freed hundreds of controversial members of the Shiite Muslim cleric's Mahdi Army and handed security positions to veteran commanders of the militia, which was blamed for some of the most disturbing violence in the country's civil war and insurgency against U.S. forces.

    The Mahdi Army has also in effect seized control of cellblocks at one of Iraq's largest detention facilities, Taji prison. Within months of the U.S. hand-over of the prison in March, Mahdi Army detainees were giving orders to guards who were either loyal to or intimidated by them, Iraqi and U.S. officials say.

    It marks a remarkable return to prominence for Sadr, an Iranian-backed Shiite cleric who stunned his followers in September when he delivered pivotal parliamentary votes to Maliki that helped him stay in power.

    LA Times Nov. 25, 2010

    The UK Guardian has a redacted document from the former US Ambassador to Iraq stating that Sadr death squads had, as of December, 2009, continued to target former members of the Iraqi military and government, including former Iraqi Air Force pilots of whom 180 had been assassinated on orders from Tehran.

    With the recent appointment of Sadr Army militia leaders into key Iraqi government 'security' posts and the mass release of Sadr militia members from prison, it appears Ambassador Hill's concerns about Iran and its agents gaining lethal influence over Iraq are well founded.

    Hill, in his December, 2009 dispatch seemed hopeful Maliki would not give Moqtada al Sadr and his gangs, militias and death squads power in his government. Maliki has now done so, bringing the Sadr organization into his government. Moqtada al Sadr has resided in Iran for the last few years for safety reasons, and many US sevice members died fighting his militias, including Casey Sheehan, Cindy's son, who died fighting s Sadr militia in Najaf.  Living in Iran as he does now, Sadr can more closely develop his and Iran's future plans for domination of Iraq.

    Another State Department cable from Hill at the Guardian, before the March, 2010 election, stated that Iran's worst fear was a takeover of Iraq by elements of the former Baath regime. George W. Bush's appointed transition leader, Paul Bremer, banned Baathists from participation in government within 24 hours of his arrival in Baghdad in late spring, 2003, a step that must have been cheered in Tehran.

    It is also noted by the Guardian,  that Gulf states, like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain embraced the idea of a US war on Iran to destroy or set back its nuclear program, while other State Department documents report the same nations and region are major sources of funding for al Qaeda groups the US is fighting in Afghanistan.

    Moqtada al Sadr supporters in Iraq, below.


    Iran has been working to consolidate its influence in Iraq and Lebanon, and its been welcomed with open arms because of the missteps of Israel and the United States. The one hope for that region lies in Iranian dissenters, not further intervention.

    Isn't this part of what Bu$h always promoted as winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people and Cheney stating we would be greeted as liberators?

    It would be interesting to hear what those dispatches say regarding the internal strife in country compared with the rhetoric of the Bu$h years. Unfortunately, there will be one side using them to promote Bu$h and GOPer political values and aims all while the exact opposite side will make Stephan King novels seem tame.

    The US public is too polarized to see thru the fog of war and deception so they will not trust any source that challenges their firm belief systems of what they think is right and wrong. They will only seek out info that confirms their beliefs and disregard anything counter. To do otherwise would mean they would demand Congress to conduct an investigation and hang the perpetrators from gallows along the Mall.

    Ain't gonna happen.

    Moqtada al Sadr and "Every" country involved directly or indirectly in this quagmire has been using the U.S. as a bully-boy and\or a bankroller.  I wonder if the kids we've had killed and maimed know how many dollars Wall Street sacrificed to assure our demise!

    Over 7 years after Bush started this unnecessary war, with death squads and militias taking orders from Iran roaming Iraq, and killing at will with approval from the guy Bush put in charge, Maliki, it appears there is no doubt the multi-trillion dollar bloodbath that the recent Republican administration lied the country into in Iraq, has been a huge win for Iran and a huge fiasco for the United States.

    The US removal of Saddam, the fracturing of Iraq along religious lines, and the handing over of the country to a clique of Iranian backed Shites has destabilized the region and vastly complicated our policy at a critical time as Iran develops nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them.

    Ironically, the Wikileaks dump seems to making the "axis of evil" come true:

    Iran Fortifies Its Arsenal With the Aid of North Korea

    And while there was not much love lost between Sunni and Shia before across the region before, it's hard not to think that wikileaks revelations of the distrust and even hatred many Arab leaders seem to have for the Persians is going to make a lot of Shia more defensive and aid figures like Sadr and Ahmadinejad in "us vs. them" populism.

    You already have this scenario:

    March 18, 2010

    ...NPR correspondent Deborah Amos is the author of a new book on the topic, “Eclipse of the Sunnis: Power, Exile and Upheaval in the Middle East.”

     “Baghdad has become a predominantly Shiite town,” says Amos, “and if you look at who now are in the power positions now it is men from the Shiite communities.” She adds that the Sunnis, who were the lawyers, the architects and teachers, felt left out.

    The author says many of them left because they were threatened during the worst of the violent years in Iraq. Many of the Sunnis now live across the borders in Amman, Jordan  and Damascus, Syria

    The author says many of them left because they were threatened during the worst of the violent years in Iraq. Many of the Sunnis now live across the borders in Amman, Jordan  and Damascus, Syria....

    Wondering what's in there regarding the Kurds and Turkey....

    It's like I used to say on Rosenberg threads at TPMCafe: it's not always all about Israel. There's other countries and other age old conflicts there. And then you've got nutsy North Korea always interested in playing with anyone who might have them.

    Our Allies are shunning us and the "Axis" --  plus others with money in the game are using us.  Our expectations for instant gratification are self-defeating.  Other countries are prepared to wait decades for results that we demand in a year!

    Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of Abu Dhabi believes Iran has its "mother of all emirates" in Southern Iraq:

    Here's another cable on topic:

    US embassy cables: US tries to counter Iranian influence in Iraq
    Friday, 24 April 2009, 16:18

    That cable, from April 2009, reinforces the cables from Dec. 2009, it says the GOI (gov't of Iraq) is 'resisting' Iranian influence, and that US forces have said they will target Iranian agents UNTIL JAN. 1ST 2010 WHEN US FORCES CANNOT DO SO without approval and participation of Iraqi security, which is now, as of November (LA Times link above) controlled by Moqtada al Sadr commanders.

    The LA Times report that the Mahdi Army, in taking over GOI security positions in the government, was releasing Mahdi prisoners en masse in recent weeks indicates Iran is gaining not only influence, but more death squad fighters to remove any opposition to them in Iraq.

    Iran has many divisions amongst its clerics and political organization. Some align with Muqtada's gang, others align themselves with Badr. Others don't like either. If one accepts that Iraq and Iran are especially intertwined in their politics, then the divisions are an important part of what really can be called "Iran's influence".

    I see that the "Mahdi Army" has made a come back. Some parties in Iran must be glad. Others, less so. After reading a lot material on the subject, it is hard for me to say who is manipulating who.

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