Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Iraq squeezed between US and Iran

By Pepe Escobar

More than seven years after the United States invasion vowed to bring "democracy" to Iraq, the neo-conservative who inspired the project may at least relish the guilty pleasure of watching sectarianism win this month's elections - and seeing former prime minister and Central Intelligence Agency asset Iyad Allawi and current Iran-aligned Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki losing out.

....Seven years ago, the annihilation of Saddam's already crippled military machine may have terminated one of those perennial "existential threats" to Israel. As for looting Iraq's fabulous oil reserves, that will be a more complex proposition as Chinese and Russian oil majors are now back in the game (see Iraq oil auction hits the jackpot Asia Times Online, December 16, 2009). Withdrawal or no withdrawal, Washington must remain in Iraq in some muscular way to try to profit from the energy bonanza. Thus the necessity of a huge mega-protected fortress (budget for 2010: US$675 million) disguised as the American Embassy, crammed with more than 10,000 intelligence operatives.

So the stage is set for major fireworks to erupt. Washington's game is to do everything to back Allawi. Tehran's game is to support Maliki, the Sadrists and ISCI inside the INA, and the Kurds against Allawi. In one more piercing irony permeating the whole Iraqi tragedy, if "Saddam lite" Allawi ends up getting nothing, one can bet a basket of explosives that the Sunnis will go literally ballistic.

Sectarianism, not "democracy",rules.


  1. Pepe, what Arab country is less sectarian than Iraq. I would argue that Iraq is probably the least sectarian Arab country; and challenge you to prove otherwise.

    Even the Palestinians, for all their many strenghts and remarkable qualities, are sectarian.

    If not, how could they have backed the evil Shiite and Kurdish killler Saddam? How could so many Hamas leaders have praised Zarkawi when he died in 2006.

    Palestine's saving grace is that they don't much care about Iraq or Iraqis one way or the other, know little about Iraq; and are not emotionally vested in the conflict. Palestinians are also pragmatic to their credit.

    Suspect Palestinians will flip to pro Maliki or pro Allawi the moment the Iraqi Government start assisting Palestinians.

    If Iraq is able to increase oil exports to 10 million barrels a day in 5 years as projected, I think the Palestinians can expect substantial help. Iraq exported 2 million barrels a day in 2002 under the evil wanna be lucifer worshipper Saddam.

  2. The reality the Arabs seem to forever ignore is that Iraq is squeezed between Iran and our Sunni Arab brothers. Lebanon may be the most friendly to Iraq, and that's just cuz they have a large Shia population who are sympathetic to Iraqi Shia getting blown up in markets.  Otherwise Iraq is surrounded by nations that aren't really interested in democracy in Iraq.  Sectarianism is reality in the mid east and has been for centuries.  Pepe should read "Shia Revival" by Vali Nasr to learn the history of sectarianism among our Muslim "brothers and sisters". 

    <span>'The Umayyad caliphs, and more so their successors, the Abbasids (750-1258), who ruled from Baghdad, imprisoned and killed Shia imams and encouraged Sunni ulama to define Sunni orthodoxy and contain the people of Shiism. By the tenth century Sunni jurists of the Hanbali school, known for their intolerance of Shiism, held sway over Baghdad, and fear of Shia revolts supported their penchant for purifying Islam. The last decades of that century witnessed anti-Shia violence in Baghdad and its environs – mosques and Ashouras were attacked, and Shias were even killed or burned alive.'</span>

  3. <span>Pepe, what Arab country is less sectarian than Iraq.</span>
    An easy one. Syria.

  4. <span><span>Pepe, what Arab country is less sectarian than Iraq.</span> 

  5. <span><span><span>Pepe, what Arab country is less sectarian than Iraq.</span>  

  6. <span>Even the Palestinians, for all their many strenghts and remarkable qualities, are sectarian.  </span>

  7. <span>Palestine's saving grace is that they don't much care about Iraq or Iraqis one way or the other, know little about Iraq;</span>
    Speculations based on no information or knowledge. Pure horseshit.

  8. TGIA, Assad, the Syrian Army, and many ordinary Syrians, tried to destroy the Iraqi Army. If not for sectarian reasons then why?

  9. "<span>Some Arabs comdemned attacks against Iraqi civilians but supported attacks against the MNF-I, Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police."</span>

    And some of them were and still are fans of the Angry Arab.  One of them is Zarathustra, a current contributor to the Palestinian Pundit.  

    It's no use trying to convince an Arab that Arabs are or have been quite sectarian.  The Arabs apparently believe that Iran and the US are the major protagonists in the sectarian war in Iraq.  No mention of the thousands of "mujahideen" from Morocco to Egypt to Jordan to KSA, Yemen, and beyond.  They travelled hundreds, sometimes thousands, of miles to defend their Sunni Arab brothers by mass murdering Shia.  I remember all the Angry Arab fans who insisted (some still do) that the bombings of markets was the work of Americans.  The Arabs are in denial.

  10. Are France and Germany not allies? Is there not a black man in the White House? Who said that the people of the East are incapable of overcoming old differences?

  11. Inshallah we will overcome our differences. Inshallah there will be true peace in all the middle east.