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Playing Al-Qaeda Card to the Last Iraqi

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The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) online on this February 3 reported that the "U.S. military support there relies increasingly on the presence of contractors." It described this strategy as "the strategic deployment of defense contractors in Iraq." Citing State Department and Pentagon figures, the WSJ reported, "As of January 2013, the U.S. had more than 12,500 contractors in Iraq," including some 5,000 contractors supporting the American diplomatic mission in Iraq, the largest in the world.

It is obvious that the U.S. administration is continuing its war on Iraq by the Iraqi ruling proxies who had been left behind when the American combat mission was ended in December 2011. The administration is highlighting the "al-Qaeda threat" as casus belli as cited Brett McGurk's testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on this February 8.

The Machiavellian support from Iran, Syria and Russia might for a while misleadingly portray al-Maliky's government as anti - American, but it could not cover up the fact that it was essentially installed by the U.S. foreign military invasion and is still bound by a "strategic agreement" with the United States.

Political System Unfixable

However the new U.S. "surge" in " operational cooperation with the Iraqi government" will most likely not succeed in fixing "Iraq's shattered political system," which "our forces were unable to fix " even when they were in Iraq in large numbers," according to Christopher A. Preble, writing in Cato Institute online on last January 23.

"Sending David Petraeus and Ambassador (Ryan) Crocker back" to Iraq, as suggested by U.S. Sen. John McCain to CNN's "State of the Union" last January 12 was a disparate wishful thinking.

"Iraq's shattered political system" is the legitimate product of the U.S.--engineered "political process" based on sectarian and ethnic fragmentation of the geopolitical national unity of the country. Highlighting the "al-Qaeda threat" can no more cover up the fact that the "political process" is a failure that cannot be "fixed" militarily.

Writing in Foreign Policy on this February 10, James Jeffrey said that the " United States tried to transform Iraq into a model Western-style democracy," but "the U.S. experience in the Middle East came to resemble its long war in Vietnam."

The sectarian U.S. proxy government in Baghdad, which has developed into an authoritarian regime, remains the bedrock of the U.S. strategic failure. The "al-Qaeda threat" is only the expected sectarian antithesis; it is a byproduct that will disappear with the collapse of the sectarian "political process."

Iraq is now "on the edge of the abyss," director of Middle East Studies at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), professor Gareth Stansfield, wrote on this February 3. This situation is " being laid at the door of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki," who "is now portrayed as a divisive figure," he said.

In their report titled "Iraq in Crisis" and published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on last January 24, Anthony H. Cordesman and Sam Khazai said that the " cause of Iraq's current violence" is "its failed politics and system of governance," adding that the Iraqi "election in 2010 divided the nation rather than create any form of stable democracy." On the background of the current status quo, Iraq 's next round of elections, scheduled for next April 30, is expected to fare worse. Writing in Al-Ahram Weekly last August 14, Salah Nasrawi said that more than 10 years after the U.S. invasion, "the much-trumpeted Iraqi democracy is a mirage." He was vindicated by none other than the Iraqi Speaker of the parliament Osama Al Nujaifi who was quoted by the Gulf News on last January 25 as saying during his latest visit to U.S.: " What we have now is a facade of a democracy -- superficial -- but on the inside it's total chaos."

Popular Uprising, not al-Qaeda

Al-Maliki's government on this February 8 issued a one week ultimatum to what the governor of Anbar described as the "criminals" who "have kidnapped Fallujah" for more than a month, but Ross Caputi, a veteran U.S. Marine who participated in the second U.S. siege of Fallujah in 2004, in an open letter to U.S. Secretary Kerry published by the Global Research last Monday, said that "the current violence in Fallujah has been   misrepresented in the media ."

"The Iraqi government has not been attacking al Qaeda in Fallujah," he said, adding that Al-Maliki's government "is not a regime the U.S. should be sending weapons to." For this purpose Caputi attached a petition with   11,610 signatures . He described what is happening in the western Iraqi city as a "popular uprising."

Embracing the same strategy the Americans used in 2007, Iran and U.S. Iraqi proxies have now joined forces against a "popular uprising" that Fallujah has just become only a symbol. Misleadingly pronouncing al-Qaeda as their target, the pro-Iran sectarian and the pro-U.S. so-called "Awakening" tribal militias have revived their 2007 alliance.

The Washington Post on this February 9 reported that the "Shiite militias" have begun "to remobilize," including The Badr Organization, Kataib Hezbollah and the Mahdi Army; it quoted a commander of one such militia, namely Asaib Ahl al-Haq, as admitting to "targeted" extrajudicial "killings."

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*Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist in Kuwait, Jordan, UAE and Palestine. He is based in Ramallah, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
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