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Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category

Iran-Saudi tangle over Iraq’s transition

Posted by seumasach on August 14, 2014

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

14th August, 2014

The statement by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday endorsing the nomination of Haider al-Abadi as Iraq’s next prime minister puts the seal on Tehran’s backing for the political transition in Baghdad. It virtually seals the fate of incumbent PM Nouri al-Maliki, whose ship has run aground after a decade-long voyage.

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Maliki defies Sistani as his party abandons him

Posted by seumasach on August 13, 2014

“The West, especially the US is are responsible for the success of the ISIS. The West supported the rebels in Syria against the Assad regime. Extremist groups took over most of the rebel movement, out of which ISIS emerged.”

That’s indisputable, but the West appears to have changed sides and is now opposing them. Their bombing of ISIS positions has not been condemned by Iran. Indeed, according to M.K.Bhadrakumar, Iran is broadly supportive as long as there is no US troop deployment on the ground.

FOAB

11th August

Nouri al-Maliki, outgoing Prime Minister, will claim that his party betrayed him. His party will claim that they are working for the national interest, and obeying Ayatullah Ali al-Sistani. 65 out of 92 MPs of the Maliki-led State of Law Coalition (SoL) left the SoL and backed Haider al-Abadi as PM.

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Saudis brace for ISIL blowback

Posted by seumasach on July 4, 2014

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

4th June, 2014

The deployment of additional 30000 Saudi forces on the border with Iraq underscores that in Riyadh’s perception, a protracted conflict has erupted across the border and it wants to insulate itself from fall-outs. It’s inconceivable that Saudis want to take advantage of the growing anarchy in Iraq to grab some territory across the border. Nor is it the Saudi style to render help to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] directly across the border; the Jordanian route has served the purpose so far.

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Militants’ advance to Baghdad ‘stalled’

Posted by seumasach on June 27, 2014

Manila Times

26th June, 2014

UNITED NATIONS: The once-relentless advance of a fearsome Sunni-based insurgent group that took over major cities in Iraq on its way to the capital has “stalled,” according a United Nations envoy who briefed journalists on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).

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Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki: Russian jets will turn tide

Posted by seumasach on June 27, 2014

BBC

26th June, 2014

Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has told the BBC that he hopes jets from Russia and Belarus will turn the tide against rebels in the coming days.

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Neo-cons, hawks fail to gain Iraq traction

Posted by seumasach on June 23, 2014

Jim Lobe

Asia Times

23rd June, 2014

WASHINGTON – Despite their ubiquity on television talk shows and newspaper op-ed pages, neo-conservatives and other hawks who propelled the US into war in Iraq 11 years ago are falling short in their efforts to persuade the public and Congress that Washington needs to return. Indeed, in contrast to the uncritical position taken by virtually all of the country’s media in the run-up to the 2003 invasion, a number of mainstream outlets are openly questioning the advice now being dispensed by the hawks about what to do about the dramatic advances by radical Sunni Islamists across northern and central Iraq over the last 10 days.

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Moscow to play negotiator, Riyadh holds the keys

Posted by seumasach on June 22, 2014

These perspectives are consistent with Obama’s statement to the  effect that ” the key to both Syria and Iraq is going to be a combination of what happens inside the country… and us laying down a more effective counterterrorism platform that gets all the countries in the region pulling in the same direction.” They are also consistent with the Blair/Annan call for co-operation with Russia, China, Iran and Saudi to resolve the crisis.”

Al-Arabiya

22nd June, 2014

A flurry of diplomatic activity is occurring between Riyadh and Moscow over not only Iraq but Syria. Russia is seeking to play the role of negotiator on all questions and Saudi Arabia holds the keys. If successful, Russia stands to gain substantially at the expense of the United States. The Kingdom engagement policy with the Russians may indeed produce peace dividends and further alter the geopolitical landscape.

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Putin offers Iraq’s Maliki ‘complete support’

Posted by seumasach on June 21, 2014

Daily Star

20th June, 2014

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday offered Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki Moscow’s total backing for the fight against jihadist fighters who have swept across the Middle East country.

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Britain rules out military intervention in Iraq crisis

Posted by seumasach on June 17, 2014

Not only are London  wisely refraining from reinvading or bombing Iraq but the furore over Blair’s comments has revealed the total lack of appetite for such an intervention across the British and US political spectrum. The real significance of the Western response is the impetus towards rapprochement with Iran.

New Europe

17th June, 2014

LONDON, June 16 (Xinhua) — British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Monday ruled out the possibility of British military intervention in the on-going Iraq crisis, but pledged to offer counter-terrorism expertise and humanitarian aid to the country instead.

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US cagey on Iraq events, Iran upfront

Posted by seumasach on June 15, 2014

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

14th June, 2014

From a long-term perspective, there can be no two opinions that the US President Barack Obama has taken the right decision not to dispatch American combat troops to counter the al-Qaeda affiliate Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] which surged in the northern regions of Iraq earlier this week. In a nutshell, Obama’s statement late Friday can be summarized as follows in his own words:

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New Cold War or War onTerror?

Posted by seumasach on June 15, 2014

 

Cailean Bochanan

15th June, 2014

The betrayal of the Iraq army leadership facilitating last week’s capture of Mosul by the so-called ISIL may become a watershed in US foreign policy in providing a significant diversion from the Ukrainian fiasco and turning attention from quasi-cold war tensions towards the new Obama doctrine already outlined in his West Point speech, anticipated by Blair’s 23rd April speech and ratified by an intervention by Kofi Annan last week on BBC Newsnight.
What is this new doctrine? It is called, with great originality, the War on Terror. Thus, we return to 2001 and the post-9/11 doctrine but in a geo-political environment which has become completely transformed. In 2003 , on the eve of the Iraq War, the USA was still regarded as the undisputed global superpower, even though a resurgent Russia and China were already disputing that status. Today it has suffered a series of military reverses and the catastrophic state of its economy and society can longer be hidden. After the dismissal of Rumsfeld in 2006 in a palace coup the stage was set for Obama to turn around US foreign policy in the aftermath of the failed Iraq and Afghan wars. He is generally regarded as having failed in this respect and that judgement has seemed to have been confirmed by the dramatic events of the last week. We appear to be condemned to relive the historical cycle of US military intervention.
But, as I say, the context is completely different. The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan post-9/11 were the beginning of a global war for hegemony. This war failed and no such perspectives are in sight for a severely weakened USA. Rather than being the opening shot in an attempted roll-back of Russian and Chinese power War on Terror II could lead to a re-engagement of these two emerging superpowers by Washington. Tony Blair’s above-mentioned speech already prefigures this development:

“In this speech I will set out how we should do this, including the recognition that on this issue, whatever our other differences, we should be prepared to reach out and cooperate with the East, and in particular, Russia and China.”
This was followed up by Kofi Anna’s call for a de facto alliance with Russia , China and Iran:
“Mr Annan – the UN’s former envoy to Syria – said he did not believe that there was the “stomach” for “boots on the ground”, but that a group made up of permanent members of the UN Security Council, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey and possibly Egypt could agree a common approach.”
Already, the ISIL surge has raised a prospect that was previously unthinkable: joint US-Iranian military co-operation.
I have, for some time, been talking up a strategic alliance between Washington and Moscow as the great paradigm shift in global geo-politics. It was, admittedly, difficult to see how such a shift could come about. Indeed, the failure of Obama’s reset was just another amongst a litany of seeming failures. But if that remains a strategic goal of Obama, and I believe that it must, then War on TerrorII would be the key to its realization.

The roller-coaster unleashed by the Arab spring continues. The events in Iraq last week serve as a cover for the surreal Ukraine fiasco, which in turn obscured defeat in the Syrian war which in turn diverted the world’s attention from the chaos engendered in Libya by NATO intervention. Since the hand of the NATO and Western intelligence assets is clearly present in all these scenarios you might think Obama’s strategy is merely to cover failure with even more failure. But their may be a different logic at play,a convoluted logic of end of empire. If so, the cycle may be broken in Iraq and by the time the ISIL has been checked we may see the clear outlines of a new international order.

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