Iraq and Gulf Analysis

Identity Carved: How the Policies of Iran and the Obama Administration Converge in Surprising Ways in Northern Iraq

Posted by Reidar Visser on Thursday, 10 September 2009 10:22

In an op-ed published in August, the Washington Post columnist David Ignatius – whose work is often a bellwether of prevailing moods in Washington – expressed concern over his recent discovery that the government of Iraq was “desperately vulnerable to pressure, especially from neighbouring Iran”. Citing defected Iraqi security officials who believe that Iran secretly orchestrated the recent bombings in Baghdad to put pressure on Nouri al Maliki, Ignatius went on to suggest that Maliki was so firmly in the hands of the Iranians that “the prime minister uses an Iranian jet with an Iranian crew for his official travel”.

There are good reasons to scrutinise the Iranian role in Iraq, but any serious discussion of Tehran’s influence must also acknowledge the ways that American actions have helped open the door for Iran, whether deliberately or not… Full story here.

35 Responses to “Identity Carved: How the Policies of Iran and the Obama Administration Converge in Surprising Ways in Northern Iraq”

  1. Thaqalain said

    All your analysis is focused on Iranian’s influence in Iraq, why should Iran have not an upper hand. Iran gave refuge to millions of Iraqis during oppression perpetrated by CIA dictated Saddam’s rule who was funded, supported by Gulf Kings/Mallaks, Emirs, Sultans.
    You will never have courage to write openly against American’s hidden agenda and how they have infiltrated in regional tribal/ethnic/sectarian politics of Iraq, Afghanistan.

    If Iraqi leaders follow American technique of allying power lords, arm lords, war lords, you and world should not cry.

    If Washington has the right to dictate its remote controlled client regime from White House/State Deaprtment, Why should Tehran not have the right to lead neighboring, historically friend nation of Iraqis.

    All of your lengthy articles failed to expose real criminals, arrogant invaders on surface.

  2. Reidar Visser said

    I don’t write about the US in Afghanistan because I know very little about the Afghanistan situation. As for Iraq, the purpose of the article was to show that both Iran and the US pursue policies that tend to inflate tribal and/or ethno-religious identities at the expense of a national Iraqi one. In the areas that I focus on, south of Baghdad, this has effectively meant standing back and letting the Iranians have a free hand, whereas in other areas, I certainly agree that it seems clear the Americans have to a greater extent manipulated existing social structures, i.e. promoting tribal and warlord-like forces in Anbar and Kurdistan. (The British did the same with selected tribes in the mandate period; I have written quite critically about this in my book on Basra.)

    But again, Anbar and Kurdistan are areas that I do not follow in detail so I wanted instead to highlight this joint-patrols business which has some ramifications relating to state structure and the constitution that are immediately evident: The only areas that are constitutionally recognised as parts of the Kurdistan Region are those beyond the Green Line as per 2003, and it would be far more logical to use that line as a point of departure than simply take at face value the Kurdish maximalist demands which only reflect where they managed to put their militia forces during the period following the invasion in 2003.

  3. Thaqalain said

    Thanks for explanation. Growth of Tribalism, Talebanization in Todays Islam is being done by Brits, French and Americans. They blame Iran as part of Axis of Evil. They themselves are propagators of evil designs for Middle East region and these SUPER NATIONS should be called REAL AXIS OF EVIL who use U.N rubber stamp and client regimes to prolong their occupation of resourceful wealthy nations. American hands are contaminated with the blood of 34 nations.

    The spread of Militias, Mafias, Talebanization, Bulkanization, War Lords, Tribal Lords, Arm Lords, Oil lords and cartels is being happened due to their un-necessary intervention. They want to the democracy spread or flourish in order to remain on the head of client regimes to fulfill their interests.

    You must know Baghdad /Kabol was not having 22 Militias ruling over street corners, they all are outcomes of invasion, occupation and Arrogant Americans have to digest the shots of their own cultivation.

    If American Presidents and State Department officials have to enter /exit Iraq unannounced , Al-Maliki has all rights to use Iranian flagged aeroplane to use it for official visits.

    I am sorry if I am going off-topic but you being a senior anaylyst should present a clear scenario and at the end your analysis should analyze who are real evil perpetrators, marauders,nations of mass genocide.

    Why west is crying over Iranian election/demo, why don’t they cry to establish demo in their client regimes of Saudia, Egypt, Jordan. Why Americans stopped at Saudi border , why they don’t want to topple regime of Saudi/Jordanian Kings, Why should we respect and honor them calling as Royal Kingdom.

    Why Jordan/Kuwait helped to evacuate few injured people while these nations kept silent watching mass genocide of Shi`ietes on their own heartland.

    If Iraq need to be united, the name of Hussein and Ali , can unite Iraqis from Tal Affar to Al-Zubair.

    There are enough respected influential Iraqis have dual relationships in both Kurdish and Arab communities.

    We should not call it nationalism for uniting enemies of Iraq from all ethnic background dictated by American Commmanders and American Embassador.

    Let Americans make whole of Iraq as Green Zone and let sons of soil should get the same security as by American invading army commander-in-chief. If we are not safe, we will not let others be safe in the bases, forts and ex palaces of SAD-DAMN.

    We have a proverb “na jaye mandan na paye mandan” Americans foot are in deep sh$it and they can’t take it out they can’t move ahead. Obama is the last president of USraelie Empire.

  4. Reidar Visser said

    I think the reason I am so much focused on the Iranian role rather than the American one is that it is commonly accepted in the West and indeed in US public opinion that the US presence in Iraq must come to an end. On the other hand, many commentators tend to see an enduring Iranian role in Iraq as perfectly natural, and as an historian I object to that, my argument being that the chaos which ensued after the invasion in 2003 enabled an artificially dominant Iranian role.

    Let me give you a few examples from the area that I know most about, Basra in the south. There was a Persian consul in Basra at least from the 1890s but for most of the time he had no political role whatsoever, because the Shiites of Basra had their own agendas. In fact, many Shiites of Basra played a leading role in the first Iraqi nationalist movements after the First World War. In the period of the monarchy, sectarian tensions only came to the fore in the period 1927–1935 (the Nusuli affair etc.), and in those years the Persian consul briefly did try to meddle in politics. But his attempts were largely unsuccessful. At one point, he managed to persuade a few tribes who were worried about military conscription to take out Persian passports, but when those tribes later on discovered that the Persians also wanted to enlist them for military service they switched back to being Iraqis! Soon afterwards, the influence of the Persian consul diminished again and it would remain limited for most of the twentieth century.

    It is interesting that there seems to be somewhat greater support in the Arab world for Iran’s role in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories than in Iraq. Possibly the reason could be that in those areas Iran is being seen by some as having empowered local movements rather than having hijacked them completely. However I’m not an expert on these areas and don’t know enough about Amal/Hizbollah and PLO/Hamas relationships to offer an opinion as to whether that is really the case. But for sure, in the case of Iraq there seems to be so many issues – Arab/Iraqi nationalism, the Iran-Iraq War legacy, wilayat al-faqih and Najaf-Qum tensions to name a few – that pro-Iranian sympathies among the Iraqi Shiites at large would be unthinkable in the absence of some kind of major external shock and complete chaos in Iraqi politics. Unintended consequences of US Iraq policy since 2003 have certainly propelled pro-Iranian elites to the forefront, but my impression is that there is still a good deal of resistance to this among the Iraqi Shiite population more generally.

  5. Thaqalain said

    Thanks for sharing some histroical events. It proves that Persians are aprt an parcel of Iraqi society since centuries. The name of Baghdad itself has roots of Kurd/Farsi word” Bagh-dad”
    Bagh=Garden
    Dad= Probably Door
    Many Iranian/Kurdish/Afghan names end at Dad. Ahmedinejad one of them. The unity force to keep nations united is Islam , the real ISLAM is in Shi`iete’s hands not Bin La Deeni Islam funded by CIA-DIA and their client Saudi-Jordanian regimes.
    The strongest man on Iraqi Soil is not Iraqi, Ayatollah Sistani is Iranian, Iraq is one of the HOLIEST CHARISMATIC land which is having graves, shrines of not only predominantly Shi`ietes but many other prophets are buried there.

    Washington’s GREEN ZONE BLAST PROOF WALL type of democracy is mostly hated by general muslims. US better go and invade Mexico and purge/filter its own population. The bankrupted Washington want to keep occupying Iraqi oil and Afghan mineral resourceful mountains but they need to lift their deads in cascades 50 years from now until their invading army leave military bases and palatial palaces.

    —Contd

  6. Salah said

    Name

    There have been several rival proposals as to its specific etymology. The most reliable and most widely accepted among these is that the name is a Middle Persian compound of Bag[a] “god” + dād “given”, translating to “God-given” or “God’s gift”, whence Modern Persian Baɣdād. Another leading proposal is that the name comes from Middle Persian Bāgh-dād “The Given Garden”. The name is pre-Islamic and the origins are unclear, but it is related to previous settlements, which did not have any political or commercial power, making it a virtually new foundation in the time of the Abbasids. Mansur called the city “Madinat as-Salam”, or “City of Peace”, as a reference to paradise. This was the official name on coins, weights, and other things.
    http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery?s=baghdad&gwp=13#Name
    As an Iraqi, there is no right whatsoever for Iran or Saudis or other countries to interferes in Iraqi affairs, politically and socially.

    Thaqalain (ثقليين) claims because Iran hosted million Iraqi as refugees then she have the rights to be on the ground and be s main player inside Iraq. This just nonsense completely unacceptable in any standard.

    That means should not hatred relations between two nations but keep talking like this ignorant way, as ثقليين is just people make their excuses the facts there is problem by either American or Iranians.

    The fact Iran position inside Iraq was supportive to US war inside Iraq. Make no mistake by using militia style warfare and assassinations and euthenics cleansing designed like Salvador style but executed by US and other handlers of 22-27 militias that help to gain control on millions of Iraq who have 35 years from tyrant regime also three wars they suffer.

    Iraq history for the last 1000 years invaded tens of time all the invader looks to control the good gifted land with richness but all not for Iraqi it’s for the invaders not because of millions refuges they hosted.

  7. Salah said

    “We can all agree, supporters and opponents of the Iraq war alike, that from a balance-of-power perspective, George W. Bush’s removal of the Baath regime removed a regional counterweight to Iran, while also creating an Iraqi political vacuum that Tehran has exploited very successfully.”
    http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/mesh/2009/09/quiet-dogs-in-iraq/

  8. Thaqalain said

    Salah

    Thanks for sharing your opinion here, I am sorry if you or any reader have minded me due to my sudden burst of comments. One can’t neglect Iranian influence from Iraqi streets, despite US invasion, its Iranian/Turkish trade, industry who kept supplying their services , products despite military sealed borders and instructed Ammar Al Hakim to remove his Ammamah.

    Every 3rd Iraqi has blood relations either in Iran or Bahrain, I have seen Jordanian Immigration Officials have deported tens of thousands of Iraqis looking Iranian stamps on their passports.

    Why only after twin ministry bombings Jordan airlifted few injured in Royal Military aircraft, Why only this time Kuwait offered to take some injured for treatment. Are they sleeping when we are losing 100s to 250s to 1000s of lives of Shi`iete from Tal-Affar to Mosul to Baghdad’s Sadr City and back until Basra.

    Why these client regime shows sympathy to Iraq now. They know , now Iraq is a Texas Colony and they already having contracting for US Military Projects and they are part of solidifying American Steps onto Iraqi ground, They all need to be punished worst then what Saddam suffered at the hands of his own LORD. CIA pushed Baghdad’s dictators to hang him before he will start leaking secrets of who were financing/funding his 35 yrs of barbarian rule.

    Iraqis are braod minded, open hearted people and that’s why the key to IRAQ is in the hands of IRANIAN SUPERMAN THE GREAT GRAND AYATOLLAH ALI AL SISTANI , to whom all ethnic communities follow and get guidance.

    BTW Reidar Visser, what’s your nationality, your in depth analysis is valuable asset to understand interwoven Iraqi Crisis. You need to teach clean politics to American Ambassadors not to interfere in Iranian/Iraqi Affairs. All Iraq is for Iran and all Iran is for Iraq. we are brotherly nation.

    It’s Iran’s bricks and construction material , expertise which is being used in blasts proof walls, barriers and military facilities providing protection to Client Regime and US Forces . There is no Iraq without Iran. Go and shop around any street corner of Iraq and look how deeply Iran is penetrated in Iraqi veins.

    If you do DNA of Iraqi MPs, 3/4th of them you will find with Iranian origin , so send an air mission, bulldoze parliament and install American Commanders to police Iraqi streets.

    Saddam is gone but Americans have now installed their client regime , so its immaterial and useless to say thanks to Americans for changing his regime. A new Saddam will continue ruling over Iraq until Americans leave Iraq to Iraqis.

    It’s not in Obama’s hands to close Bush TERROR WAR and BLAIR HATE WAR, The broken , bankrupted and shattered States of America still need to confront more bloody days coming.

  9. Sina said

    Good article in the National. I wonder what is your take on the bigger picture of Iranian and Iraqi relations?

    My take: It would seem the emerging calculus with Iran vis a vis Iraq would be keep the Shia up, Iraq down, and the United States out. In terms of identity Iran amplifies “Shia-ness” to make it more difficult to form a unified Iraq based on a singular nationalism. It fosters and supports Shia political parties, militias, causes et al. Which in turn allows Iran to take up the rhetoric and to a degree real mantle of “protector of the Iraqi Shia,” increasing its influence with Shia politicians and their constituencies. Thus the more influence Iran gains the less and less influence America has.

    Thank you.

  10. Salah said

    من يكبل يدي المرشد الأعلى؟

  11. NewProposal said

    I am reading with great interest the blog.
    Reidar Visser makes sense.
    The goal is to assure the well-being of all ordinary Iraqis and Iranians.
    The Saddam rule was a tyrannic oppression.
    The Khomeinist junta has been an even worse tyranny.
    The population needs education and an honest leadership to steer these countries to freedom.
    The deep rooted myths, national and religious sorts, must be discarded and replaced by the universal reason.
    Iran and Iraq, the Persian, Tadjik, Kurd, Arab people had many great thinkers.
    What happened to the natural intelligence of the people?
    The corroding influences of the 19th and 20th centuries, colonial expansions of Russia, England, Germany have confused the people. The irresponsible and greedy local leadership has sold down their own people the river, for short term personal gains.

    America is still the best hope of the Iraqis and Iranians.

    The recognition to protect the civilians against the terror of Khomeinism and Wahhabism is the best new idea.

    The local people should also unite to end the rule of Khomeinism and Wahhabism and find the path to the Enlightenment of Kant, Descart, Ibn Rushd… These names and thoughts must be taught before the religious indoctrination.

  12. Reidar Visser said

    Sina, I think that in a perfect world, the normal set of relations between Iran and Iraq would be that of two ordinary neighbouring states, with plenty of economic and cultural links, but no political interference. However, if politics in Iraq remain sectarian, I would predict an informal Iranian overlord role more similar to what Syria exercised in Lebanon for so long. Unfortunately, it seems as if Washington does not quite see the key difference between “multi-sectarian” and “cross-sectarian”, confer the recent comments by Robert Gates: “I think that a strong and democratic Iraq, particularly one with a multi-sectarian government, becomes a barrier to Iranian influence and not a bridge for it”. To my mind that is somewhat naïve; Iran does not have any problem with the idea of multi-sectarian government in Iraq, it only fears genuine cross-national coalitions where Iraq comes first, which is something entirely different.

  13. karachi2baghdad said

    Can you describe the difference between “multi-sectarian” and “cross-sectarian”

    A strong and democratic Iraq, particularly one with a multi-sectarian government=genuine cross-national coalitions

    As your last articles says Ebrahim Al-Jaafari -Ammar Al Hakim Alliance consists of even Anbar Sunnis and some Kurds, too, what else you need to see in a good coalition.

    I think in your /State Department’s eyes the best coalition for Iraq is members /parties who are anti-Iran. Unite all enemies of Iran on one platform and call it as a national colation, fund them by saying US want to recosntruct Iraq and do your hidden agenda work by dictating its client regime.

    If Iraqi President , Premier, Oil Ministers and other technocrats can be American /Brits why not they can be Iranian Citizens same time?

  14. Reidar Visser said

    I would say that a “cross-sectarian” list is one that cooperates on the basis of a common view on political issues and its members just happen to come from different sects and ethnicities. Typically ideology comes first. A “multi-sectarian list” can be one that is deliberately composed, often with mathematical precision, to impress others about its multi-ethnic nature, with the aim of giving a “rainbow effect” to some other underlying agenda (which in itself may even be perfectly sectarian). In these cases it is sometimes more difficult to grasp precisely what sort of ideological issues bring the various members together.

  15. karachi2baghdad said

    So you have doubts about any experiment. In such failure and mistrust on so-called democratic process either an Ayatollah/Cleric will guide the nation or CIA-DIA nominated client regime will flourish if Ayatollah don’t care to involve in the dirty politics and its better we should dump blackwater powered democracy of White House.

  16. Salah said

    Reidar,
    if politics in Iraq remain sectarian

    Reidar, US set this when they installed Bremer with his CPA, then followed by Noah Feldman constitution imposed sectarian agenda..

    Of course this games is the best for the occupier to keep them longer as peace keep there. that what happen all things showed things goes as they predicted.

    Coming here with Robert Gates statement which no one inside Iraq or who well informed about Iraq can buy it.

    Its clear nonsense and hot air. US using Iran as they did with Saddam when they have confused the shaky gulf states to buy weapons, let US troops settlings on their land and pay them big packs, for what? ooh just we are here protecting you? who is you? the regimes.

    If you go and check the weapons tread with gulf countries and US and other western countries (UK Franc…) you find billions that they got from oil raised prices in fact goes to the pockets of these monsters.

    So its quite clear the fear should be kept on so the milking of oil money goes to lairs.

    sadly neither Iranians nor Arabs think far from their noise that the differences and forget the golden Islamic area was due their alliances and united to serve their values and believes which made them the leadrs and produces richness that adda to the civilazation so miuch.

    Btw, its not the Syria exercised in Lebanon, may I ask you need to review this as far as we know that France with UN impose this exercise way back, I read somewhere that Lebanon not allowed under UN power to do census for its own nation? (correct me if I am wrong please.)

  17. Thaqalain said

    Reidar and Salah can you click which one is not applicable (or you don’t agree):
    US major crimes during the last 65 years!

    1.May 1945: Setting the city of Dresden on fire that killed 150000, although the Russian army had already passed it.
    2.August 6, 1945: Dropping a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima that killed 78000.
    3.August 9, 1945: Dropping a second nuclear bomb on Nagasaki killing 73000.
    4March 10.1949: Inciting the civil war in Greece that killed 154000.
    5.March 10, 1949: US ambassador supervised a military takeover in Syria.
    6.March 1952: US attacked North Korea that killed thousands.
    7.March 1952: US supported Batista to take over Cuba.
    8.August 1953: The CIA toppled the elected government of Dr Musadeq and restored the autocratic Shah in Iran that resulted in the death of thousands.
    9.July 1958: The US sixth fleet invaded Lebanon.
    10.April 1961: The CIA supervised the Bay of Pigs landing in Cuba.
    11.February 1963: The CIA supported Saddam Baath party to topple General Qassim and to kill thousands of Iraqi intellectuals.
    12.1963: The Americans attacked Laos with 50000 military personnel and hundreds of war planes and Ships.
    13.1964: The CIA fabricated the Gulf of Tonkin incident to justify the war on Vietnam that killed three million people.
    14.March 1968: The CIA organised the toppling of President Sukarno and the installation of General Suharto that killed close to one million.
    15.1969: The CIA chief agent in Vietnam, James Colby, launched operation Phoenix that used to kill an average of 1800 a day by blowing up markets, clubs cafes and restaurants.
    16.April 1970: The US launched a secret war on Cambodia that killed thousands.
    17.September 1973: The CIA toppled the elected Government of Chile and installed ruthless General Pinochet that killed thousands.
    18.July 1982: The US sixth fleet warships pestered the positions of the Lebanese resistance in support of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
    19.October 1983: The US navy and special-forces invaded Grenada.
    20.May 1986: US attacked Libya killing 46 civilians including Geddafi daughter.
    21.June 1986: The Americans trained and armed the Contras to kill thousands of civilians in Nicaragua.
    22.July 1988: The US warships shot down an Iranian airliner killing 291 persons.
    23.December 1989: The US invaded Panama and kidnapped its president.
    24.January 1991: The US war planes attacked Iraq destroying 8000 homes, 157 bridges, 130 power stations, 100 hospitals and 1000 schools.
    25.1991: The US and UK warplanes destroyed Al-Amria shelter in Baghdad killing 800 civilians.
    26.1998: the US and UK warplanes launched operation desert fox that heavily bombed Baghdad for a periods of two weeks.
    27.August 1998: The Americans launched a cruise missile attack on a pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, Sudan.
    28.November 7, 2001: The invasion and the destruction of ruined Afghanistan (on-Going).
    29.March 20, 2003, the invasion of Iraq that killed and continue to kill thousands (on-going)
    30.August 2009: The Americans encouraged the Pakistani government to kill its own people (on-going).
    31.America is a party to all Israeli crimes against Palestinians since 1948 (on-going).

  18. Thaqalain said

    And then Al-Zaidi is going to be released tomorrow Monday, exactly a week before Muslims Eid Al Fitr on Monday, Sep21st/2009

    And then Al-Zaidi is going to be released tomorrow Monday, exactly a week before Muslims Eid Al Fitr on Monday, Sep21st/2009

    A very happy Eid Mubarak to enemies of Bush, Baghdad at the moment is set to welcome Arab Hero.

    Its to be noted the then Bloody Idiot President of United Shyatanic States who have thrown the World into Wars and Obama until this moment can’t change the past track and policies ofBush era. At the moment his troops are involved in massacre in Pakistan/Afghanistan, killing 1000s of Civlians while Al-Qaeda/Talibans already left their home grounds,its civilians who are caught up in the day to day fight. Moreover Iran is being put under pressure to abandon Nuclear mission.

    I hope Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan too, should create another Zaidi as arabs are proud of their hero.

    http://baghdadtobasra.blogspot.com/2009/09/bushs-shoe-thrower-set-to-leave-prison.html

    Pictures

    ”This is your farewell kiss, you dog. This is for the widows and orphans of Iraq”

    Zai i’s actions during the then US president’s swansong visit to Iraq last December have not stopped reverberating since. On Monday, when the journalist walks out of prison, his 10 raging seconds, which came to define his country’s past six miserable years, are set to take on a new life even more dramatic than the opening act.

    Across Iraq and in every corner of the Arab world, Zaidi is being feted. The words he spat at Mr Bush –

  19. Salah said

    Every one have his bad lists, If you really thinks that you represent the good well of your believe then you should set your self as an examples to others not listing their crimes and mistakes. Look to yourself/ Society the list may bigger and worse..

    Simply till now in our modern history we did not produced a single society that respecting human’s life, caring about a single human life, just because they holds views differ from or against the regimes or political power. Although our Islamic History full of justices and our Islamic believes instructing us to do so.

    Check all Islamic worlds with all richness that can be enough for all of us and more to live in leverage life. see the misery from jobless, poverty , women’s rights violations, human life treatments, all we do we run and demonstrate of the west they band the vile or Burka as this Islam and all about, but there in Islam land people killed, tortured women raped and women treated in badly, sadly we call our self Muslims.

    May pick your attention to very famous statement said by one of Arab writer long time, he said:

    I went to the west I saw Islam and I did see Muslims, I came back to East (ME) I saw Muslims but I did not see Islam!

    Frankly speaking, let be clear here what went in Iraq can not put ALL the blame on US, yes US did crimes and illegal war on a country, but the killing, massacres and ethnic cleansing done by people who call themselves Muslims….so the ingredient for the crimes is their inside the society fuelled by occupiers and other who helped them.

  20. Thaqalain said

    Salah

    The source of all basic evil or grass root problems is US/UK/France/German Tyrants and their nominated client regimes/dictators. What the nations like Iraq, Iran, Pak, Afgan or other nations are facing is b/c these superpowers have invaded countries and we are being deprived of what they see deserve in western societies. We don’t have good infrastructure, our natural resources are robbed and nations are truely raped by the Shaytanic monstrous super powers.
    We too have modern good examples of Islamic World Democracies like in Malaysia. We or our socities can only flourish as modern nation if CIA-DIA stop paying client regimes, stop conspiracies, stop cultivating intelligence agents, stop sending christian crusadic mission mercenaries/NGOs, spies and private security armies.

    Its in the interests of State Department and CIA to let violence continue, infact they(CIA Agents) are planting and exploding car bombs, on one occasion British Agents are being caught inlocal dress and they broke the jail to liberate their criminals agents.

    Americans must know about Najaf Kufa and Imam Ali A.S who said:

    O’ Kufah, as though I see you being drawn like the tanned leather of `Ukazi (Hide) in the market, you are being scraped by calamities and being ridden by severe troubles. I certainly know that if any tyrant intends evil for you Allah will afflict him with worry and fling him with a killer (set someone on him to kill him). Imam Ali Nahjal Al Balaghah-Sermon#47

  21. Reidar Visser said

    Thaqalain, FYI, I deleted the last part of your comment. This is not a place for incitement to political violence and the killing of other people, however much you may disagree with them. In general, off-topic comments are discouraged.

  22. someIntegrity said

    Message from USA – unfortunate that news on the internal tolerance of America have been getting lost in electronic fields.

    People who have no opportunity to visit USA, will know us mostly from the counterfeit journalism available to them.

    It is hard to compete with the uninhibited disinformation of the bad regimes.

    Ordinary people mostly know that life is better in USA than in Iraq or Iran.

    It is sad that many educated Iraqi and Iranian people are driven by anger and make blanket accusations.

    The blog of Reidar Visser is an exception. Therefore it is nosurprise that some commentators will try to douse us with plain anti-American propaganda. The casualty is not America, but the oppressed people of Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

    With little decency, and good statesmanship, these people could have freedom, liberty and economic welfare.

    Let us create a positive atmosphere and let us refrain from angry hatred.

    It would be useful to study the example of Ferenc Deak 1803-1876, how one man single-handedly could stop violence, and forge peace with the stubborn Austrian empire.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferenc_De%C3%A1k

  23. Thaqalain said

    The Positive atmospher doesn’t propagate from Tanks Barells and half ton laser guided bombs which has killed 10s of thousands in US /UK NATO airstrikes.
    We have best decency, and good statesmanship but US don’t want us to establish roots of democracy and industries by supporting dictators, kings, rulers, Malaks, Shahs, Army Generals to keep these nations under its nose.

    Today Iraq, Afghanistan are on the brink of division. American Commanders in Kurdistan/Afghanistan/Pakistan trying their best to defragment, destabilize, destroy Iraq’s and Muslims Unity. American Empire itself is burning in its own ignited fire and sooner or later it need to depend on 3rd nations natural resources despite calling them as 3rd Country Nationals (TCNs), 3rd Class Citizens.

    Here are some remarkable words given in a speech by executed Prime Minister of assassinated Premeier Benazir Bhutto in front of UN:

    We have met here today at a grave moment in the history of my country and I would request the Council kindly to bear with me and to hear the truth, the bitter truth. I know the United Nations; I know the Security Council I have attended their sessions before. The time has come when, as far as Pakistan is concerned, we shall have to speak the truth whether members of the Council like it or not…[click to see full text]

  24. Salah said

    We or our socities can only flourish as modern nation if CIA-DIA stop paying client regimes, stop conspiracies,

    Ok You got it from 1979 till now what you done with your flourishing ideology ? oh don’t tell me CIA…..

    Najaf Kufa and Imam Ali?

    If you are real Muslim follow the Koran man? leave this matters I am from “Hilla” in Iraq I read Arabic and I speaks Arabic I visited Najaf, Karblah… so I knew every thing man go figure yourself reed Koran better for you in your life now and after your death…

  25. Thaqalain said

    Its your type of Iraqis thinking that Iraq is ruled by Mangols, Chengez Khan and present day Hallako Khan regime of neo-Shi`iete Saddam. FYI most of Iraqis stayed away from elections and they don’t want to participate in State Department introduced democracy.

    If Iraq is still in best shape , its all due to charismatic personality of Ay. Sistani , who teach for peace and asks for security and listen he is IRANIAN and we will continue accepting Iraqi refugees if you get tired of tyrannic rule. Most of Iraqi MPs, Premiers have Iranian blood in their veins.
    Its Iranian food, grocery items, dairy farm stuff, bread & eggs which kept you Iraqis alive and I am sure you and your ancestors have been doing trade with Iranians.
    Obama is the last president of falling American Empire and America is not going to leave Iraq/Afghanistan 50 years from now.

  26. Reidar Visser said

    Thaqalain, I wondered if you could comment on the current freshwater crisis in the Basra area. Basrawis are furious with the Iranians for having interfered with some of the tributaries of the Shatt al-Arab, thereby making the water a lot saltier and hence unsuitable for agricultural purposes. Recently one of the preachers close to Sistani commented that Iran ought to stop interfering with the water supply. Neither the people of Basra nor Sistani act at the behest of the Americans, so why is there a crisis with Iran?

  27. Salah said

    Ay. Sistani, take him back to your collections of 33,000 mullahs, you need him more than Iraq and iraqis.
    indeed will to teach you more wisdom and more flourishing democracy..

  28. Salah said

    Iranians for having interfered with some of the tributaries of the Shatt al-Arab

    Thaqalain,

    What about shilling the Iraqi northern Villages by Iranians can you tell us? did they have “Iranian blood in their veins”.

    Just few weeks Iranian shilling the Iraqi villages north? why?

    is it also the answer: CIA!

  29. Thaqalain said

    Salah I am sorry if you are being hurt. BTW indirectly the sources of all present day chaos, disasters, turmoil , conflict, violence is off-course America to be blamed directly or indirectly and it’s State Department policies, its Intelligence agencies, mercenary army and USraelie forces to be blamed. At the moment gates of Kurdistan are open to Jewsh/Israel but not to our own arab brothers. One need Kurdish Passport/Kurdish kafeel to live in their own geography.
    It was Kurdish lords who offered their land to Americans to build the massive bases while Baghdad and Basra stood like rock to oust troops.
    Reid Shatt Al Arab is actually Persian Gulf and even the natural water of Basra might be salty being close to gulf. Basra is being ruled by British and Americans and they know how to play with either. Some of Basrawais are of Indian origin who were being hired by Royal British Companies. Iraq is a tribal society, language/cultures, religion are of secondary importance. All of the tribes are being forced to join American /British Programs Agenda and these tribes can change loyalty anytime looking who is having power by the end of the day.
    There are enough agents and spies on either side of Basra Border especially in Iranian Khosestan, Americans are planning to make it separate or annex with their neo-colonial rule.

    Despite all western Propaganda and US NATO Forces encircling Tehran, they failed to pressurize Tehran’s regime to stop safe Nuclear ambition. Nejad is neither Saddam nor being a dictated rolyal king, as long as America will continue meddling in Middle Eastern Affairs, Nejad /Khamenie or even their green movement have all rights to say NO to AMERICA and a BIGGER MONSTROUS SHAYTANIC American regime no doubt is the real AXIS OF ALL EVIL in ALL AGES.

    REID what’s your origin btw?

  30. Thaqalain said

    I heard Talebani was having Iranian Passport and he declared himslef as a Shia, too. They and Kurdish BeshMergas who are collaborating with Israel, South Africa and America must be punished and purged.

  31. Salah said

    the natural water of Basra might be salty being close to gulf.</b.

    No that not the real cause as such, Iranians for having interfered the water sources along the borders causes the disastrous case there:


    Farmers along the Shatt al-Arab waterway not only suffer daily difficulties related to a lack of electricity and general supplies, but now salt water is flowing into the waterways making the water unusable for agricultural purposes.

    As the level of fresh water flowing into the Shatt al-Arab from the Euphrates and Tigris rivers has declined, salt water from the Persian Gulf has increasingly poured in.

    its clear even for child IQ to figure out source of the problem.

  32. Salah said

    Before asking others, what’s your origin update your site with “bout me”. let people see who you are what credentials that you had, is it norm most people who have confident in themselves who add value to the society and the world of blog, or you hid under fake strange name our new hidden mullah

  33. Alexno said

    Reidar, just mildly to clarify matters, though I am sure you are well aware already, the water problem in the Basra area is more long-distance and more long-term than the Basrans are aware of, though this year has been dry. The main issue is the retention of water in the Tigris and Euphrates by Turkey, and the Syrian and Iraqi dams higher up. The salinity will be due to salt water from the Gulf percolating back up the Shatt, as it is no longer being pushed out by fresh water from the north. As Salah says. I doubt if the Karun ever contributed much water.

    So the Basrans are aiming at the wrong target. However, the fact that they choose the Iranians to blame is in itself an interesting political point. Maliki has been negotiating with the Turks for increased flow, so the truth can’t be completely unknown in Basra.

    That’s pretty much what you said, though more fully developed. I could imagine Basrans having trouble blaming a cause more than 1000 km away, particularly if it is a question of politicians responding to their local support base. So it might not be only proof of anti-Iranian feeling.

  34. Reidar Visser said

    Alex, I’m not arguing with the hydrology of all of this, just paraphrasing the local debate in Basra. Here is a link to a Kuwaiti newspaper explaining how the Basra governor wants to discuss the Karun with the Iranians: http://www.aljarida.com/aljarida/Article.aspx?id=128635

  35. Alexno said

    Reidar, I don’t disagree. My contention is that probably the Basra politicians can’t see beyond the ends of their noses, and are looking for a local solution, in order to please their support base, though the real problem is 1000km away.

    The issue for you, as a political scientist, is why they should have chosen the Iranians to blame.

    Me, I don’t pretend to know anything about Basra politics, and it may be, elaborating this particular detail, that not very much is added to what we know.

    However, this story is a confirmation of how serious a problem the lack of water in southern Iraq is. Next year may be better, but essentially the problem is permanent. No different from what a BBC programme revealed this week, that the river Jordan is now only one meter wide where it empties into the Dead Sea.

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