While our sons and daughters are shedding their blood to protect Iraqis, their new government is playing footsies with Iran.
by Jim Kouri, CPP
Here's a news story that deserves wide coverage in the United States: The new Iraqi government assured the Iranians on Friday that it believes Iran has a right to develop a nuclear program and will not allow Iraqi territory to be used to "threaten" Iran.
In essence, the Iraqi government is taking Iran's side against the US and European Union.
Despite Iran being a launching point for foreign fighters who kill American, British and coalition soldiers, as well as Iraqi soldiers and police officers, Iraq promised the Iranians that its territory would not be used by the US should the need arise to attack.
Speaking during a visit by the Iranian foreign minister to Iraq to congratulate the new Iraqi government formed a week ago, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Iraq's new government ''is a friendly government to Iran.'' These words should be viewed as Iraq's backstabbing ingratitude after Americans suffered loss of precious live and treasure to liberate that nation from the brutal dictator Saddam Hussein.
''Iraq definitely will not be a place to threaten Iran from,'' Zebari said at a news conference in Baghdad, with the Iranian foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, standing at his side.
Mottaki was the second foreign dignitary to call on Iraq's week-old government after Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair, who visited Monday. Mottaki's trip came as a reminder that although the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government remains beholden to the U.S.-led coalition for its existence, it also enjoys warm relations with its neighbor, Shiite Iran, and does not wish to become embroiled in the rising tensions between the US and Iran.
Mottaki's visit took him to the heavily protected Green Zone, which is guarded by the US military. Most Iraqi ministries are based there, along with the US Embassy, which is housed in Saddam Hussein's former Republican Palace.
Iraq's leaders don't appear to take offense to the fact that Iran harbors terrorists who cross the border into Iraq and kill liberators and Iraqis alike with improvised explosive devices and other weapons. They view their relationship with Iran through the prism of Islam.
Speaking less than a mile from the embassy at the Convention Center, where Iraq's new government was sworn in last week in the presence of US officials, Mottaki warned that Iran would retaliate against any Arab country that cooperated with the US in any attack against Iran.
''In the event that America did do this, from any place, there would be a strong hit from Iran at that place exactly,'' he said, a further warning to the United States not to use the 133,000 troops currently based in Iraq to wage war on Iran.
He said he thought it doubtful the United States would attack Iran because America ''was the one that was defeated'' the last time it went to war. But, he added, ''because sometimes wise people are not the ones in charge of making decisions in America ... we are prepared for any eventuality.'' And he said this in a US protected IRAQ.
The comments underscored Iran's confidence in its relationship with the new Iraqi government, which includes representatives from all the major factions in Iraq but which is dominated by a coalition of Shiite religious parties that have close ties to Iran.
So where's the gratitude? Don't hold your breath. The United States should begin to withdraw its troops from Iraq as quickly as possible. We need those National Guard troops currently deployed in Iraq back home and on our own borders to stem the tide of millions of illegal aliens entering the US. The Bush Administration worries about Iraq's sovereignty, but cares little about the continual compromise of US sovereignty.
If the Iraqi government desires close ties with a country that openly admits it wishes to annihilate the Jewish people in Israel, while harboring and supporting terrorists who would cause harm to innocent American civilians, let them do it without our brave sons and daughters protecting them.
Iraq and Iran fought a brutal and devastating war in the 1980s, but relations have warmed significantly over the past year, since the United Iraqi Alliance took control of Iraq's government. The Alliance has a number of religious parties whose leaders sought exile in Iran because of their fear of retaliation by Saddam Hussein because of their opposition to him and the Ba'ath Party.
President Bush has refused to rule out the use of military force against Iran should negotiations fail to quell concerns that Iran's nuclear enrichment program is being used to develop a nuclear bomb. However, by allowing US troops to remain in Iraq while its government plays footsies with Iran is a travesty. There is nothing less honorable than being played for a sucker on the world stage.
Withdrawal now would not be dishonorable. We liberated them and helped set up a constitutional structure. It's time for the Iraqi people to run their own affairs and build their own nation. Many of our National Guard troops are in Iraq. Bring them home to safeguard our own borders.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.