Sunday, March 29, 2015

Truest statement of the week

It really ought to surprise no one in the U.S. government that what amounts to an Iranian occupation of the Levant and Mesopotamia would lead to an increase in jihadist bloodletting. Dempsey has less of an excuse than most. A four-star general, he formerly commanded the First Armored Division in Baghdad, which in 2004 was the unit redirected, as it was about to go home, to fight the Shiite militias who had taken over Karbala and other southern cities, so he would have seen the precursor to the PMUs in action. Yet somehow managed to brief legislators that the Islamic Republic’s role in Iraq might yet prove “positive” — provided, that is, it didn’t lead to an uptick in  sectariansim.  This is like arguing that death wouldn't be so bad if it didn’t result in being dead. It did not take much, however, for the scales to fall from Dempsey’s eyes. He took a helicopter tour of Baghdad last week and noticed the “plethora of flags, only one of which happens to be the Iraqi flag,” The rest, he told reporters to evident dismay, belonged to Shiite militias. (He might have also added that posters of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are now omnipresent in the Iraqi capital where ones of Saddam Hussein used to be.)

-- Michael Weiss and Michael Pregent, "The U.S. Is Providing Air Cover for Ethnic Cleansing in Iraq: Iran's Shi'ite militias aren't a whole lot better than the Islamic State" (Foreign Policy).

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