Sunday, June 22, 2014

Iraq: Update--Iran's Ayatollah Urges US to Cancel Plan to Dispatch 300 Military Advisers to Iraq

According to Reuters, despite Washington's being duped yet again into thinking that the new, kinder and gentler and more moderate Iran would strangely embrace them re: the Sunni insurgents marching toward Baghdad.

In a statement earlier today (June 22), the statement by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was the clearest statement of Iran's opposition to a US plan to dispatch up to 300 military advisers in response to pleas from al-Maliki's Shia-dominated government. 

COMMENT: It is my fervent hope that President Obama seriously consults with US generals and admirals rather than White House "yes-people," for putting together a strategic battle plan on the back of an envelope that is simply not going to be sufficient for this "deliverable."

My greatest fear is that the President has grossly overestimated his skills to "smooze" anyone, which potentially could create further US casualties for the 300 military advisers that are scheduled to be dispatched to Iraq. 

Using the kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria as a useful message-point AKA "hash-tag," sending foreign advisers to Abuja contributed absolutely nothing to finding the girls.

Now, Washington wants to send another 300 US military advisers to Iraq? What good will it actually do...other than the President being able to say that he did something...and providing Sunni insurgents new casualties?

In reading the tea leaves, my sense is that by sending 300 military advisers to Iraq as intelligence specialists, strategists, threat analysts, etc. may simply become Sunni victims, depending, of course, upon where they are deployed inside Iraq.

The Iranian and the US governments had seemed open to collaboration against al-Qaeda offshoot, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is engaged in fierce fighting both against the US-backed Shia-led government of Iraq and the Iranian-backed president of Syria, whom Washington wants to see overthrown.

Which raises yet another consideration: If the US had fully assessed the extent of tribal discourse between the the Sunnis and the Shia in 2003, being on the cusp of a Middle East regional war might not now be on the President's "plate."

If the President's strategy is to force the Sunnis and Shia to share authority and responsibility, that could be a serious objective.

Yet, if al-Maliki won't have it, the President should wish the PM "Godspeed" and send his advisers home to their families.

Having spent well over a decade fighting religious wars while the US economy remains stagnant, will simply rob US families of further blood and human treasure.
 
Tehran and Washington both have been shocked by the lightning quick offensive, spearheaded by ISIL, that has seen large swathes of northern and western Iraq easily fall to the hardline group and other Sunni fighters since June 10, including the north's biggest city, Mosul.

ISIL, which began as the Islamic State of Iraq and was later disowned by al-Qaeda in February 2014 after pursuing its own goals in Syria and clashing with the Nusra Front, has pushed south down the Tigris Valley since capturing Mosul with barely a fight two weeks ago, seizing towns and taking large amounts of weaponry and tons of cash from the fleeing Iraqi Army.