The New Battle for Iraq

BY Herschel Smith
14 years, 7 months ago

Amir Taheri recently had a commentary in the New York Post which shouldn’t be passed over.

The next general election is three months away, but Iraq is already in high gear for what promises to be a hard-fought campaign over the future of the newly liberated nation. The outcome could determine the course of politics in the Middle East and the future US role in that turbulent region.

Three camps are emerging.

The first is a bloc of 40 groups led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Known as The State of the Law, the coalition promises a modern democracy transcending ethnic and sectarian divides.

Maliki quit his Islamist party, Dawa (The Call), precisely because of its Shiite sectarian nature. His new coalition includes both Arab Sunni and ethnic Kurdish groups. Yet he hopes to still attract many Shiites — who, after all, are the majority of the population.

The second camp is known as “the party of Iran.” Its hard core consists of the remnants of the Mahdi Army (Jaish Al-Mahdi) of the maverick mullah Muqtada Sadr and splinter groups from Dawa led by former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari. A third Shiite group, the Supreme Islamic Assembly of Iraq — led by Ammar al-Hakim, a junior mullah — provides the remaining leg of the pro-Iranian triangle.

Jaafari is emerging as Iran’s candidate for prime minister — if his bloc, known as the Iraqi National Alliance, wins control of the National Assembly (parliament). Last week, Jaafari visited Iran to be feted by “Supreme Guide” Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“The American era is ending,” Iran’s official news agency quoted Jaafari as saying. “We must prepare for a new era in which Islamic forces set the agenda.”

The third camp is formed by secular Shiite groups, led by ex-Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, plus Arab Sunni parties led by Saleh Mutlak and the remnants of the Ba’ath party.

This camp enjoys support from such Arab states as Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Its principal theme: With the US embarked on a strategic retreat under President Obama, Arab states must do all they can to prevent Iran from dominating Iraq and emerging as the regional “superpower.”

Iraq’s Kurdish community, some 20 percent of the population, is also split. Massoud Barzani’s Kurdish Democratic Party has indicated it might support Maliki’s bloc in a common bid to preserve Iraq’s independence from Iran and Arab states. The new Change (Goran) bloc, which made spectacular gains in the last Kurdish local elections, also opposes Iranian domination.

Yet the other longtime Kurdish party — the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, led by President Jalal Talabani — argues that, with the US unwilling to provide leadership, Kurds must look to Iran as their protector against Arab nationalism. The Kurdish branch of the Hezbollah also supports the Iranian option.

Behind all this are Obama’s hints that he might speed up the withdrawal of US forces before 2011, short-circuiting the Status of Forces Agreement signed by the Bush administration. The American president’s obvious attitude has hurt Iraqi politicians who advocate strategic alliance with Washington.

“Obama is not interested in Iraq,” says analyst Ma’ad Fayyad. “This is because, if Iraq succeeds as the first Arab democracy, it might look as if Bush was right after all.”

Obama’s tepid, not to say hostile, attitude toward Iraq’s new democracy has some Iraqi politicians recasting themselves as anti-Americans …

“If Obama wants to run away, no Iraqi can afford to appear more pro-American than the US president,” says a political advisor to Maliki.

Meanwhile, Iran is throwing in everything to defeat Maliki and seize control of Iraq’s government …

Commentary & Analysis

Taheri’s analysis is cogent and well formulated until it goes off track into considerations of the Status of Forces Agreement.  Confined to a training role, and with no patrols allowed, much less kinetic operations, and also having to inform the Iraqi Security Forces upon troop movement of any sort for any reason whatsoever, the SOFA has left the U.S. forces powerless and ineffectual in their role.  There is no reason for them to be in Iraq.  This is not Obama’s fault.  The blame lies at the feet of both Bush and the Iraqis.

But if the SOFA is in Bush’s court, the lack of interest in Iraq lies with Obama, and the current regional empowering of Iran has continued from the Bush to the Obama administration.  The Obama administration, however, took a giant leap into morally dubious (and also stupid) territory when they released Iranian Quds members expecting to get anything in return.  They have also shamefully abandoned the MEK.

Given the situation as it exists, the war now is both covert and political.  We are losing on the political front, but it doesn’t have to be this way.  Omar at Iraq the Model has information about a significant escalation in the covert war.

Unknown gunmen assassinated 30 Mahdi Army commanders in the Syrian capital Damascus. The killings, made in the past few weeks, were all made “quietly, inside the victims apartments”, said an unnamed source in the Sadr movement. The source added that among those assassinated was Laith al-Ka’bi, who commanded the Mahdi Army in the Palestine Street neighborhood in eastern Baghdad. The report adds that large numbers of Mahdi Army operatives left to Iran out of fear the assassinations wave could expand to target them.

This is a positive move, but given one view of things (from one Army intelligence officer) in the war on the CIA conducted by the Obama administration, it’s doubtful that the CIA was involved.

I would never compare my few years as an Army Intelligence Special Agent to the careers of committed CIA operatives, but I harbor no doubt that if I were one of them, I would be looking for a way out.  My immediate focus would be on protecting myself, my family and the identities of the foreign nationals with whom I worked.  I would be operating as if secrets no longer exist.  Risk taking would cease.  My reports would be gleaned from newspaper articles.

Indeed.  Much less would targeted killings be conducted by the CIA.  As both an intelligence-gathering and covert warfare organization, the CIA is effectively finished until and unless a framework is put into place that protects their agents and until an administration which is intelligence-friendly is elected.  Whomever is responsible for this (Mossad, Ba’athists in Syria?) did both America and Iraq a favor.  Obama would do well to pay Iraq a visit and express the urgent need for Iraq to abandon hopes of ties with Iran.  The war in Iraq has now taken a different turn, and we will adjust and adapt or lose to the Iranians.


  1. On October 17, 2009 at 9:45 am, Warbucks said:

    Since this is the weekend and the Captain usually posts Rest and Relaxation items on weekends, I must assume that his recent hunting trip – down time, has brought him back to us in a new and energized balance and fighting form, evidenced in part by the triangulated political analysis of the new Middle East.

    Unlike the Captain, I’m on R&R nonetheless and prone slightly, perhaps even greatly, to brief flights of fancy with a third cup of morning coffee.

    According to the my very reliable YouTube source, code named “Jessicamystic1” and her Part 1/39 through Part 39/39: A Conversation with Andrew D. Basiago, “Andy” ( soon enough, secretes won’t matter any more. As late in the series of these 39 YouTube audio interviews, about 6 hours — yes I listened to all of them, Andy spills the beans and blows the whistles on everything: Stargate, Jump-Rooms, Teleportation, Ethic Transmissions, Time Travel, Tesla Technologies, Existing Mars colonies.

    It seems that Nickolai Tesla’s technologies, stolen from his room upon his death bed by two competing US government agencies, were developed in the 60’s and weaponized allowing “jump room” teleportation from vibration-room or jump rooms in LA to Arizona, Arizona to Australia (where the room sits atop an subterranean extraterrestrial R&R resort), plus points all over the US. And, another jump room in our ancient Stargate portal on Mars where we have ancient human based colonies for the past eons dating back to our ancient Egyptian based advanced civilization which cataclysmicly disappeared over 9700 earth years ago, and all astrologically verified as we now enter our new age of Aquarius. Secretes won’t matter. Get used to it.

    All of which I too have come to believe.

    I sat in a room with about 200 other people as a young man over at the Sunol Golf Course club house many years ago when Dr. Edward Teller ( in his inimitable and dramatic fashion was contemplating a run for a US Senatorial Seat about the same time he was publicly advocating the Neutron Bomb — you remember that little beauty, kills the people, leaves the buildings, hey but you can make them small too; Teller waxed into one of his hypnotic speech cadences paused and said: “There are secrets within secrets within secrets.” His speech pattern was able to put weak-willed people like me into at least a Delta-wave level deep trance. Teller was a secrete keeper who always functioned as though he knew what the last babushka doll held; Andy on the other hand actually seems to be the last babushka doll and is my heroic whistle blower.

    Teller had an effect on on nearly everyone. Andy’s “Disclosure Movement” mentioned in the tapes above, reveals the inner most babushka doll secrete that Teller would never tell even as he acted as though he of course knew it and possibly even authored it. Right-on Andy! Nobody is going to believe you but hang in there Andy!

    There, that should entertain us for at least this week end while the Captain settles back into his normal rhythm of 5-on-2-off.

  2. On October 17, 2009 at 2:39 pm, TSAlfabet said:

    Warbucks, I have greatly mis-read you.

    You are the ticket to sanity in these insane times. Hilarious.

  3. On October 17, 2009 at 2:41 pm, TSAlfabet said:

    On a more serious note….

    Set your alarm clocks for 2012-2013 folks. It’s going to be a long, cruel Winter hibernation for America.

  4. On October 17, 2009 at 9:53 pm, Warbucks said:

    Once I learned the old Tebetan reincarnation rule, that a soul can reincarnate, if it needs to, the end of 5th day, I sense I needed to start looking for my missing papers … since Nickola died January 8, 1943 and Warbucks was born January 13, 1943.. it started to all make sense…. :-)

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

You are currently reading "The New Battle for Iraq", entry #4039 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Iran,Iraq,Iraq SOFA,Obama Administration and was published October 17th, 2009 by Herschel Smith.

If you're interested in what else the The Captain's Journal has to say, you might try thumbing through the archives and visiting the main index, or; perhaps you would like to learn more about TCJ.

26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (704)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (40)
Air Power (10)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (22)
Ammunition (277)
Animals (288)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (373)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (86)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (29)
Australian Army (7)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (3)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (221)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (18)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (3)
Blogs (24)
Body Armor (23)
Books (3)
Border War (18)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (38)
British Army (35)
Camping (5)
Canada (17)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (16)
Christmas (16)
CIA (30)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (3)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (218)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (210)
Department of Homeland Security (26)
Disaster Preparedness (5)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (15)
Donald Trump (27)
Drone Campaign (4)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (2)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (39)
Featured (189)
Federal Firearms Laws (18)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (1,771)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (15)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (44)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (9)
Georgia (19)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (1,645)
Guns (2,311)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (8)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (5)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (16)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (3)
Horses (2)
Humor (72)
Hunting (34)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (108)
India (10)
Infantry (4)
Information Warfare (4)
Infrastructure (4)
Intelligence (23)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (171)
Iraq (379)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (64)
Islamists (98)
Israel (19)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (3)
Jihadists (81)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (7)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (6)
Lawfare (14)
Leadership (6)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (50)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (280)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
Media (68)
Medical (146)
Memorial Day (6)
Mexican Cartels (41)
Mexico (61)
Michael Yon (6)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (5)
Military Equipment (25)
Militia (9)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (25)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (25)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (95)
NATO (15)
Navy (30)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (3)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (3)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (62)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (221)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (7)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (73)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (4)
Pizzagate (21)
Police (651)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (971)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (493)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (75)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (37)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (670)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (28)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (23)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (54)
Survival (185)
SWAT Raids (57)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (38)
Tactical Gear (14)
Taliban (168)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (21)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (96)
Thanksgiving (13)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (24)
TSA Ineptitude (13)
TTPs (4)
U.S. Border Patrol (6)
U.S. Border Security (19)
U.S. Sovereignty (24)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (10)
Uncategorized (98)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (3)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (412)
War & Warfare (41)
War Movies (4)
War Reporting (21)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (79)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (21)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

May 2024
April 2024
March 2024
February 2024
January 2024
December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2024 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.