Iraq in the claws of American hawks
Iraq is preparing a general attack on the position of the "Islamic State". The assault on Mosul is presented by the Western media as a decisive battle against the forces of evil. In fact, both the creation of the IG and the extremely strange war against the new-born caliphate are due to the completely mercantile purposes of the United States and its allies in the Middle East.
Artificially sculpt terrorist groups and bloody regimes, use them for their own purposes, and then, when there is no need, selflessly “restore democracy” - an old and many-time-tested pattern of American foreign policy. Recall the fate of the Panamanian leader 1980-s Manuel Noriega. A longtime CIA informant, he came to power with the help of his curators from Washington. But as soon as he took a number of independent steps, tens of thousands of American warriors were occupying Panama under the loud slogans of overthrowing the dictator.
But these were only the first careful steps. Over time, much more sophisticated schemes were implemented. Islamists practiced by the American special services created Al-Qaida, and the “Syrian freedom fighters,” who received Washington’s financial and military assistance, became the backbone of the Islamic State. At the same time, the United States relied on the comprehensive assistance of Saudi Arabia and Qatar with their long-standing and strong ties with extremist groups.
Today in Washington, although through clenched teeth, they recognize the “blunders” made in Syria and Iraq. The reason for this frankness is not in the suddenly awakened conscience of the American authorities, but in the political struggle that accompanies the election campaign. Criticism from the team of Trump forces the White House to go to ostentatious, but extremely dosed penances. Is it just a matter of miscalculation?
After the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the occupation of Iraq in the country, the army was disbanded and the security organs that successfully resisted the Islamist threat were completely eliminated. New institutions were created from scratch and under the full control of Washington. However, two years before the invasion of Iraq, the hordes of the "Islamic State" began to drastically reduce the programs of assistance to security forces. The recently published journalistic investigation into the Washington Post newspaper stresses that this was done under the direct pressure of the White House. Among others, intelligence headquarters in Mosul and other cities were disbanded. The fatal consequences of these steps were not long in coming. The units of the new Iraqi army, prepared by American instructors, did not show their best. Having superiority in numbers and combat power, they nevertheless fled under the onslaught of extremist troops.
The “time bomb” was also the political structure of Iraq formed by the occupation administration. First, the United States legitimized its separation along religious lines. Secondly, the economy undermined by the war became dependent on foreign, primarily Western, aid. It was not always spent on purpose, bribing officials and gigantic "kickbacks" by all the same American advisers.
The extensive corruption system has remained unshakable up to the present. A few months ago, it became known that Washington allocated a loan in the amount of 2,7 billion dollars. The point is that Iraq can use this money exclusively to buy American weapons and ammunition, and after 8 years, the US should return 3,5 a billion dollars to the United States, including interest.
The enslaving is the program of economic assistance to Iraq from the West. In May, the International Monetary Fund has already issued a 13 billion-dollar loan to cover the budget deficit. And recently it became known about new, no less impressive loans to Baghdad by the IMF, the World Bank, the governments of the United States and European countries. This "help" provides for a number of concessions - and not only in the economic sphere. In exchange for loans, the government of Iraq should raise taxes, tariffs for electricity, cut food aid programs for the poor and pay off debts with Western oil and gas companies as quickly as possible. Another condition is the division of a single state budget into the budget of Iraq itself and the Kurdish autonomy.
The weak link "Shiite arc"
The implementation of these measures will not only not help get out of the crisis, but, on the contrary, will plunge Iraq into even greater chaos and aggravate the disintegration of the state. But, as the analysis of events shows, the West is trying to achieve just that. Washington and its satellites do not need a united and strong Iraq, because in this case the country, first, will regain control of the subsoil, and second, it will conduct an independent foreign policy. The powerful “Shiite arc” Tehran — Baghdad — Damascus — Beirut, even as a project scaring the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, can become a reality.
To prevent this, Iraq is artificially turned into a weak link in the Middle East. In full accordance with the mentioned specifics of American foreign policy, externally specious excuses are used for this. As the commander of the US troops in Syria and Iraq Stephen Townsend said recently, the operation to capture Mosul may begin in late October. Recall that the second largest population of Iraqi city was occupied by IS militants in June 2014, and is one of the main strongholds of the Caliphate proclaimed by Islamists.
The next performance is being played for the world community, in which the United States plays the role of liberators. At the same time, it should be remembered that the creation of the “Islamic State” and its subsequent successes occurred solely due to the activities of Washington and Riyadh, who wanted to drive a wedge in the midst of the emerging “Shiite arc”. The Islamist Blitzkrieg failed. Baghdad and Damascus managed to survive, and the Syrian government army and the Shiite militia of Iraq, with the support of Tehran and Moscow, began to crowd the militants.
All this forced Washington and its allies to change tactics while maintaining strategic goals. The secret support of the IG was replaced by loud curses at him and ... by increasing the military presence in the Middle East. September 29 became aware of sending more 600 American troops to Iraq. Thus, the total number of US military contingent will exceed 5 thousand people, and taking into account NATO allies, it will approach the 9 thousand. The expansion of the military mission has already been announced by Germany and France. Turkey does not exclude its participation in the liberation of Mosul. Its units, including armored vehicles, are stationed at the base of Bashik in the north of Iraq. In early October, the Turkish parliament approved a government request for the extension of the powers of the armed forces for "anti-terrorist operations" in Syria and Iraq.
The Iraqi government, which is under increasing financial and military dependence on Washington, is under tremendous pressure. Not a single military operation against the IS is approved without the consent of the American officers who, under the guise of advisers, established control over the Joint Operational Command of the Iraqi forces. Characteristic was the speech of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi at the UN General Assembly. According to him, Iraqi soldiers are making progress “thanks to US air strikes and international consultants and instructors.” Abadi negotiated with the Vice President of the United States Joe Biden in New York more than in a warm atmosphere. “The leaders agreed to redouble their efforts to further strengthen the strategic partnership,” the White House press service commented on their results. By the way, the request to send 600 American warriors was heard precisely from the mouth of the Iraqi Prime Minister.
Intrigues in the offices, protests on the streets
Serious concessions are being made by Baghdad in domestic politics. Earlier, the government of Iraq refused to recognize the right to independent export of oil to the Kurdish autonomy, rightly seeing in this the prologue of the final secession of the region. As a result of the negotiations, Abadi with the Prime Minister of Iraqi Kurdistan Nechirvan Barzani Baghdad did not just allow Erbil to sell the raw materials mined in the region, but also in fact capitulated on the issue of Kirkuk deposits. This province with the richest oil reserves is not officially part of the autonomy, but was occupied by Kurdish troops after the onset of the IG. Now the Kirkuk oil will be exported by the Kurds, and not through Iran, as planned earlier, but through Turkey. The Iraqi government has been promised half the profits for such a dubious resolution. Is it any wonder after this recognition of the deputy Sirvan Sirini, who said that the talks between Baghdad and Erbil took place "under the direct control of the USA" and in the presence of the American ambassador Stuart Jones?
Important for the future of the country was the first in five years visit of Iraqi Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani to Baghdad. Following the talks with Abadi 29 in September, he made a loud statement that all controversial issues in relations between the central government and autonomy have been resolved. What are these questions? Formally, the main topic of discussion was the operation to free Mosul. However, at a subsequent briefing, Barzani said that the parties had discussed the issue of the future structure of Iraq. “Independence is the natural right of the Kurds,” he proclaimed. Although he immediately made a reservation that this problem would be solved through dialogue with Baghdad.
Thus, the United States leads the business of splitting the country into weak and dependent fragments. For what, it can be seen on the example of Iraqi Kurdistan. Economically and politically, the region is completely dependent on the United States, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which turn it into an anti-Iranian springboard. It is here that the armed separatist groups are based, which this year announced the resumption of hostilities against Tehran. And they are taught and instructed, according to the Iranian intelligence, all the same Western "advisers", allegedly invited to fight the "Islamic state".
The demarche of the Kurdish authorities, which, under the pretext of lack of funds, announced a reduction in the number of diplomatic missions abroad, is extremely indicative. True, this sequestration surprisingly led to the closure of only two offices - in Russia and Iran. All the rest, including representative offices in the USA, Germany, France and even in Poland, continue their work safely.
It is not surprising that in neighboring Iran, the last steps of Haider al-Abadi are causing more and more discontent. Irritation by the government’s policy is growing in Baghdad, and his former comrades in the Islamic Appeal Party stand up in opposition to the Prime Minister. This is manifested in a sharp governmental crisis: despite the security problems facing the country, the ministers of defense and internal affairs were dismissed, and their posts have not yet been replaced.
Among the most likely successors to Abadi are the former head of government Nuri al-Maliki and the famous preacher Muqtada al-Sadr. The latter opposes an increase in the American contingent and has already hinted that foreign military can become "targets" for Iraqis. In September, thousands of demonstrations of Sadr’s supporters resumed in the country. The protesters are demanding the resignation of the government, the eradication of corruption and reform in the interests of the general public. The undoubted advantage of this movement is that it united Shiites, Sunnis and supporters of the secular path of development of Iraq. Sadr also responded to the calls of the Communist Party of Iraq, whose activists are taking part in the protests.
Both al-Maliki and al-Sadr are highly undesirable figures for the United States. Washington will make every effort to maintain control over Iraq, and therefore in the near future there can be heated battles - and not only on the front lines of the war with the "Islamic State".
- Sergey Kozhemyakin
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