Iranian, Iraqi Military Chiefs Cozy Up As US Prepares Withdrawal – OpEd
By Jim Kouri
Despite the Obama Administration’s “rose-colored glasses” assessment of Iraq’s future as a democratic haven in a sea of radical Islamist despots, political thugs and monarchs, Iraq appears open to befriending its neighbor Iran as was demonstrated yesterday.
As was predicted by several former military, intelligence and law enforcement commanders, the Iraqi military and their Iranian counterparts are already meeting in anticipation of the December withdrawal of all U.S. forces in an effort to thwart Iraq’s internal enemies.
General Babaker Zebari Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Joint Forces, during his visit to Iran, has called for the military cooperation between Tehran and Baghdad, Iran’s government-controlled news service reported on Monday.
Meanwhile, during a Veterans Day presentation at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D. C., President Barack Obama mentioned the U.S. military’s accomplishments in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. However, he stopped short of discussing the problems the U.S. faces with a renegade Iran and the fact that once U.S. troops leave Iraq at the end of 2011, that nation is ripe for Iranian interference.
A former U.S. police advisor now living in Israel wonders if the Iraq War will be remembered as a success or the beginning of another radical Islamic nation.
“We sacrificed a lot of blood and treasure liberating that country. To have it fall into the hands of [Iranian] madmen would be a crime against all those who lost their lives and limbs fighting for Iraqi freedom and U.S. national security. It seems Americans are fickle when it comes to war and the bad guys know that,” said the former U.S. police supervisor.
Gen. Zebari, following his arrival in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Sunday while heading a delegation of senior Iraqi military officials, met with the leader of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Ground Forces, Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour.
The Iraqi general told his Iranian counterpart that Iraq continues to endure security threats from elements such as al-Qaeda in Iraq, radical clergy al-Sadr’s followers, etc., and Baghdad needs the help of a powerful country such as Iran, especially in the area of national security.
“[This] visit aims to develop bilateral relations, since Iran and Iraq are two friendly neighboring countries, which should have very close relations … The Islamic Republic of Iran is a capable country in many areas,” General Zebari was quoted as saying by the IRNS.
IRGC’s General Pakpour welcomed the idea and promised that Iranian government and military forces will make every effort to help the Iraqis build a secure and safe country. Pakpour said that the withdrawal of foreign forces provides an opportunity for the Iraqis to begin running their own affairs, according to the report.
But U.S. intelligence analysts believe Iran’s ultimate goal is the takeover of the fledgling democracy, and replacing Iraq’s duly elected government and its constitution with an Islamist regime and Sharia law.