Ten years after the U.S.-led invasion to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the geopolitical winner of the war appears to be their common enemy: Iran.
American military forces are long gone, and Iraqi officials say Washington's political influence in Baghdad is now virtually nonexistent. Hussein is dead. But Iran has become an indispensable broker among Baghdad's new Shiite elite, and its influence continues to grow.
The signs are evident in the prominence of pro-Iran militias on the streets, at public celebrations and in the faces of some of those now in the halls of power, men such as Abu Mehdi Mohandis, an Iraqi with a long history of anti-American activity and deep ties to Iran.
During the occupation, U.S. officials accused Mohandis of arranging a supply of Iranian-made bombs to be used against U.S. troops. But now Iraqi officials say Mohandis speaks for Iran here, and Prime Minister Nouri Maliki recently entrusted him with a sensitive domestic political mission.
Iran's role reinforces its strategic position at a time when the world looks increasingly hostile to Tehran, the capital. It faces tough international sanctions for its disputed nuclear program and fears losing longtime ally Syria to an insurgency backed by regional Sunni Muslim rivals.
Western diplomats and Iraqi politicians say they are concerned that the Islamic Republic will be tempted to use proxies in Iraq to strike at its enemies, as it has done with Lebanon-based Hezbollah.
American officials say they remain vital players in Iraq and have worked to defuse tension between Maliki and his foes.
During a visit to Baghdad on Sunday, however, Secretary of State John F. Kerry was unable to persuade Maliki to stop Iranian flights crossing Iraqi airspace to Syria. The U.S. charges that Iranian weapons shipments are key to propping up Syrian President Bashar Assad; Maliki says there is no proof that Tehran is sending anything besides humanitarian aid. Kerry's visit was the first by a U.S. Cabinet official in more than a year.
Overall, Iraqi officials and analysts say, Washington has pursued a policy of near-total disengagement, with policy decisions largely relegated to the embassy in Baghdad. Some tribal leaders complain that the Americans have not contacted them since U.S. troops left in late 2011.
No matter how much they hate each other (shias vs sunnis), they'll always unite against any western or eastern force. Ofcourse we knew the issues and I agree that we spent way too much on the effort. I wonder how much oil trading/brokering on the international market is done using Iraqi oil by US companies. China might have agreed to vote in favor of the attack only if they will get a piece of the pie down the road IMO. They don't give a rat's a$$ about anyone in iraq or syria or other countries for that matter.
Originally posted by maes2
reply to post by hp1229
do you know Jalal Talibani. the president of Iraq. he was one of kurd groups who helped Iran against Saddam a lot. and of course they have relations with USA as well.
Saddam would go someday. but USA could control the process. anyhow Ideology, culture, and political views of Iran and Iraq are not separable. so USA had no choice but to share it with Iran. yes it is a paradox but somethings are not changeable !
anyhow USA has troops in Iraq and it has a share in it's oil for investing.
Saddam was stupid. far more stupid than Gadafi. once he would attack Iran, other time he would attack Israel or even arab countries !!!
if Saddam was a barrier for Iran, it was a threat for US allies as well.
but the point is that direct military intervention is really expensive. it seems that USA has done it excessively.
the influence per military presence is really low.
and China, it is eating all the markets of the world, not just Iraq !!!