Monday, October 26, 2009

Iraq's Horrendous Car Bombings - Whodunnit??

Twin car bombings devastated the heart of Baghdad Sunday.

The first one devastated the Ministry of Justice, while the second one targeted the Baghdad Provincial Administration building. Hundreds were wounded and the death toll so far is at 155, including a number of children.

There are hundreds of funerals going on today.

SO, whodunnit, and why?

President Maliki blamed the remnants of al-Qaeda and disgruntled supporters of the Ba'ath Party and Saddam Hussein, and a number of arrests have been made, but I'd be very surprised if those were the culprits. The ex-Ba'athists have no reason to, since they've mostly been rehabilitated. And if al-Qaeda in Iraq survivors had done this, they would likely be claiming credit for it, just to show they're stil a force to be reckoned with if nothing else.

I think Iran and its Shi'ite proxies are a much better suspect.

As you might remember, Iraq's Shi'ite Alliance, the largest bloc in Parliament of major Iranian-backed Shiite parties that propelled Maliki into power three years ago formed a new political alliance and dumped him as their candidate for re-election for the January 2010 election.

The new bloc is loyal to Moqtada al-Sadr and Iran.

This put Maliki in an interesting position with the January elections coming up.His own Dawa Party is fairly small. So he could either try and cut a deal with minority Sunni parties or even the Kurds to strengthen his position, or try moving more towards a hard line Shiite pro-Iran position in hopes of pulling enough votes to have a coalition.

So far, he's been straddling both positions, and relying on his reputation as a strong leader who's brought security to the country. But ever since US troops pulled out of Iraq's cities,there have been a number of worsening bombing incidents, of which this is just the latest.

If Maliki's reputation as a strong provider of internal security can be wrecked sufficiently, it could be a major factor in turning him out of office come January and the Iran-friendly Shi'ite Alliance getting in. They and the Iranians have everything to gain by blowing up a few buildings.

Think of it as Lebanon redux.

If that happens the US would be faced with an increasingly hostile pro-Iranian regime in Iraq as we withdraw. Our final US withdrawal is scheduled for 2011, but if this scenario plays out it could be even earlier since the Iraqis have a referendum before then to vote on whether to request an earlier US withdrawal.


B.Poster said...

I say withdraw now from Iraq. Don't wait for a referendum and don't wait until 2011. Do it now and do it as soon as transports ships and planes can extract ALL American personnel from Iraq. Do this regardless what the Iraqis or any one else say. Once withdrawn, the American forces should be used to secure our borders.

B.Poster said...

Would there be any way to prove that Iran was behind this? If so, might it be conceivable to drive a wedge between the Iraqis and the Iranians. After we withdraw, it would be far better to have the two countries at each others throats rather than have them unified against us.

If we could prove this, the implications could be staggering. Iran is backed by Russia and China the two most powrerful nations on earth right now. As long as this continues, any action of any type against Iran is a virtual impossibility. Russia and China are generally admired and feared in the Arab world. If there ally is directly involved in an attack on Arabs, then this might serve to drive a wedge between them and the Arab world.

If only we could prove such a thing. Alas, in order to do this would require good intellegence services, especially good hummint and we have neither. Even if we could prove it, we would face the additional hurdle of getting the American and world news media to report on it, as they are all pretty much in the tank for Iran.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Poster,
It really wouldn't matter if anyone could prove Iran was behind this.

Not to the forces in Iraq backing Iran, anyway. Remember, Iran was behind Moqtada al-Sadr and the Mahdi Army and the atrocities they committed,and in the end that made no difference either.

As to your other point, about an immediate withdrawal:

a) Bush decided to make Iraq a sovereign nation, and as such we signed agreements with them to keep our forces there for a set period of time unless the Iraqis decide otherwise. Wack, I know, but that's what Bush set up.

b) If we left now and carnage ensued, Obama would have to take the political fallout for 'cutting and running'...which he won't if we stick it out until the Iraqis say'thank you for your time and money get the hell out so we can bond with our jihad buddies.'

As you know, I predicted this outcome over three years ago.


B.Poster said...


Thanks for the reply to my post. With regards to your first point, I agree that is what Bush set up and Iraq is a soverign nation. This point seems totally lost on the left and on the news media. As such, our forces are not really "occupation" forces, at least not in the classical sense. Again such points seem lost on the left and on the news media.

Frankly, I really don't care what Bush signed or didn't sign. Countries violate their agreements with us with impunity when it serves their interests. Why should we be expected to behave any differently? Since this agreement with Iraq's government never should have been signed any way, I see no problem with us walking away from it.

I don't know what political fall out Obama would take if he ordered the withrawl of all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan right now as soon as our planes and ships can remove them. In fact, just do it. Don't ask the Iraqis or the Afghans. This way Obama is seen acting independently and in America's interests. I see only gains from this approach. I can't really think of a clever one-liner retort to those who would say "cut and run." Here's how I think of it. I think of it as "we are redeploying to defensible positions." Carnage in Iraq is not our concern or our problem.

I know you predicted this outcome over three years ago. That prediction along with many others of yours has proven to be correct. This is one of the many reasons why you are one of the best bloggers on the internet.

Finally, if we could somehow prove Iran's complicity in this, again IF Iran is behind this, we might be able to get the Iraqi people to withdraw their support from Iran. This would require both good intellegence and the willingness and the ability to withstand pressure from China and Russia. Frankly right now America possesses none of those qualities. As such, the best course of action, in fact, the only option at this point is complete withdrawl right now.

If Obama does this and redeploys these forces to the borders, there will be no political fall out. There will only be political gains. While the media may not be happy about border security, the American people will be. The "cut and run" slogan was discredited long ago with the American people. Iraqi death tolls and carnage is not our problem nor is it our concern.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Poster,
Thanks for the kind words.

A few points.

First,perception is everything. The US military are not 'occupying ' Iraq in the legal sense anymore than the IDF is 'occupying' Judea and Samaria. But to both the Iraqis and the Palestinians, they're 'under occupation.' Ditto to the Leftist media.It's a political ploy.

If Bush would of had the sense to support an independent Kurdistan from the jump, make that his showplace Muslim democracy and stick a major US base there as the Kurds begged us to, we would have both a strong, democratic ally and a great base for operations in the region in a friendly country.

Instead, Bush and Condi Rice betrayed them, at the behest of Bush's pals the Saudis,and the UAE and our supposed allies Turkey. Again, that;s something I wrote about quite some time ago.

The 'cut and run' narrative is far from passe' for a lot of Americans, especially if it becomes yet another Iranian

Put yourself in the position of someone who has a loved one dead or wounded there and you'll see what I'm talking about.

In any event, with Iraq, we have obligations we signed with the government and bugging out on such obligations always carries a price.

In Afghanistan,Obama has all his silly campaign rhetoric to deal with. And even pulling everyone out would call for a decisiveness I haven't seen any trace of in him.