The Obama Foreign Policy Failure – Continues
According to US media analysis, “Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is asking for more US help on his Washington visit this week, two years after Iraq soundly rejected a continuing US military presence. Cities such as Fallujah and Tel Afar, painfully wrested back from Al Qaeda by US forces during the war, are now in Al Qaida affiliates’ hands, leaving Iraqi army soldiers largely confined to their barracks.”
|al Qaeda flag|
The mainstream US media have tended to treat al-Maliki’s visit to the US and his request for help as a bilateral set of issues. But there is another dimension to his appeal that relates to Iran and Syria.
The people al-Maliki calls al Qaeda terrorists are one with some of the strongest Syrian opposition fighting groups. Al-Maliki’s request for military support pits US policy in Iraq directly against US policy in Syria and would benefit consolidation of Iranian interests. Neveretheless, security conditions in Iraq genuinely are deteriorating.
US policy in Iraq seeks to stabilize a Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad that has strong ties to Iran and is actively supporting the government in Syria. US policy in Syria seeks to overthrow a secular government in Damascus that is dominated by members of the Alawite sect – an offshoot of Shiism – and which also has strong ties to Iran, to al Maliki’s government and to Lebanese Hizballah.
The dilemma for US strategists is that more support for al Maliki means weakening the Syrian opposition. Ultimately, the US would be supporting the consolidation of Iranian influence. That means the US would be supporting its enemy and its allies at the same time. Help for al-Maliki is help for Bashar al-Asad.