Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki, seeking to lend a hand to beleaguered Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has come out with strong words of support for the Syrian dictator, saying that the Syrian street protesters are affiliated with al-Queda, and that they should use “democratic means” to bring about change. Prime Minister al-Maliki did not mention in his statement that Syria has NO democratic institutions, like free elections. The Iraqi Prime Minister’s Party also blamed the Syrian street protests on the Israelis, indicating that the Arab Gulf states were in cahoots with the Israelis to foment insurrection.
Shaker Darraji, a member of Mr. Maliki’s State of Law bloc, said the Syrian protesters were members of Al Qaeda and that the Israelis and the Arab Persian Gulf states were behind the demonstrations.
I pointed out the obvious in 2008. The Iranians have indeed expanded their influence in the Middle East as a result of the American invasion of Iraq, and the Iraqi support for the Assad regime is just another manifestation of that influence. That is our man in Baghdad, taking orders from the Iranians, and issuing support to a key pillar of Iranian influence in the region, the Assad regime. The Iranians, using Assad and Syria as a way station, armed and continue to arm Hezbelloh in Lebanon, creating a tinder box on the Israeli border. The last Lebanese-Israeli border war, a consequence of repeated border provocations by Hezbelloh including the ambushing of an Israeli patrol and the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers, caused untold misery for both Lebanon and Israel. And this is the vision for the new, democratic Iraq? This is why we spent trillions, and sacrificed countless American lives? So that our man in Baghdad can offer support to the greatest agent of instability in the Middle East, the Iranians?
The lack of a realistic assessment of true American interests in the Middle East continues to haunt this country. The Iraqi debacle, a combination of arrogance and overreach, will come into full view in the very near future. Read the New York Times story on the Iraqi Prime Minister supporting the al-Assad regime here.