Meanwhile, someone wishes Americans to think there is some debate as to the geopolitical outcome of our Iraq endeavor. Vacuum Is Feared as U.S. Quits Iraq, but Iran’s Deep Influence May Not Fill It .
To all of the people who believe that - by our efforts since 2003 - the U.S. has empowered a regime in Iraq that is in bed with Iran, we are served a corrective by the governor of Najaf:
"Before 2003, 90 percent of Najaf people liked Iranians,” said the governor, Adnan al-Zurufi, who has lived in Chicago and Michigan and holds American citizenship. “Now, 90 percent hate them."A slight qualification is proffered:
But winning over the clerics will not be easy. Certainly, some officials, including Mr. Zurufi — who was appointed governor of Najaf in 2004 by L. Paul Bremer III, then the top American administrator in Iraq, and later elected to the post in 2009 — are pro-American, but the clerical establishment, which is less receptive to American influence, wields more power over the people.
Not only did the Americans refuse a request by Mr. Zurufi and other officials to open a consulate in Najaf, the State Department’s Provincial Reconstruction Team in Najaf actually shut down earlier than scheduled this summer after local clerical pressure, particularly from officials loyal to Mr. Sadr, who spends most of his time in Iran
The above NYT piece will have served its purpose if it supplies a useful talking point in support of the "we won in Iraq" crowd - that the Iraqis hate Iran. Fair enough.
But wait, maybe everything is not peachy after all. Iraq, siding with Iran, sends essential aid to Syria’s Assad.
More than six months after the start of the Syrian uprising, Iraq is offering key moral and financial support to the country’s embattled president, undermining a central U.S. policy objective and raising fresh concerns that Iraq is drifting further into the orbit of an American arch rival — Iran.The timing for a pressure op against Iran couldn't be better.
If Iran was gonna play kinetic amateur hour in Washington D.C., why would they have gone to the trouble of releasing our "hikers"? A "power struggle" in Tehran? (Not to mention that there are softer places closer to the Middle East for them to pull this kind of shit.)
And do they no longer have their proxies? Or their tradecraft?
Nope, bullshittery is bullshittery any way you cut it.
Can't wait for the first mention of "chatter."