This came as a surprise: Iraq’s new Prime Minister does not want American troops in Iraq. They’re not welcome. And, he says, not needed.
It’s tempting, since Prime Minister al-Abadi figures he can whip ISIS on his own, to just say, Yes, sir. We’re out of here. But, on the other hand, we landed in this mess because ISIS whipped the entire Iraqi army hands down (and took Mosul and some dam and half the country).
From there, Iraqi politics gets even more confusing. Or, maybe, cleverer.
Where the U.S. should attack ISIS, al-Abadi suggested, is Syria.
Now that’s not as straightforward as it sounds: Because it turns out our allies the Iraqis are also allied with our enemy the Syrians, and not just allied – our Iraqi friends have been meeting with our enemy Bashar Assad in Damascus to figure out how to work together to whip ISIS which is attacking both of them.
And that’s not all: It turns out our ally Iraq is also allied with our enemy Iran — which is helping al-Abadi by sending ‘Shiite militias’ to whip Sunni ISIS.
In fact the other day in Paris, where we were busily at work building a coalition to whip ISIS, al-Abadi held a press conference and said he found it puzzling we hadn’t invited Iran to join us then added, That puts me as prime minister of Iraq in a very difficult position.
It’s a heck of a muddle. Our friends are allied with our enemies, one set of our enemies is attacking another set of our enemies, and we’re not welcomed in Iraq where we don’t want to be anyway.
As they used to say in World War II: It’s pure FUBAR.