Would a partitioned Iraq be a better pawn for Iran? Or would a freed-up, independent Iraqi Kurdistan serve as a buffer to mitigate Iranian influence in the area—and an impediment to an Iranian road to Damascus and on to Latakia and Tartus on the Mediterranean Sea? And an impediment to that road, passing as it would, right by Israel via Hezbollah?
An Iraq weakened by the partition would be easy prey for Iran? No, that’s a wash for the weakened Iraq that’s already in Iranian sway, via all those Shiite “militias” that are funded and armed by Iran’s terror support organ, the Iranian Republican Guards Corps.
Recall two things: one is the Peshmerga and their courage and battlefield skill and tenacity in rescuing Yazidis from a mountain “island” during the initial Daesh barbarians’ rout of the Iraqi “army,” in stopping the barbarians’ rush east into Kurdish Iraq, in helping clear Mosul, and other events and campaigns.
The other thing is that all of this was done without support from Baghdad, done even with active Baghdad obstruction of US arms going to the Kurds so they could better fight the Daesh, who already were armed with American heavy weapons, courtesy of the Iraqi “army” which had abandoned all of that as they abandoned their duty and ran south before the Daesh, like grains of sand on a desert wind.
Now President Donald Trump is professing American neutrality as Baghdad, supported by Iranian forces (those “militia”) and Iranian weapons, moves into territories liberated by the Kurds from the Daesh and seeks to subjugate the Kurds, once again, to Baghdad’s diktat.
We don’t like the fact that they’re clashing. … We’re not taking sides.
And: what is the stability in the region before Iran’s advances with Iraq riven by civil war rather than stabilized by a settled Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan?
Where would an Iraqi Kurdistan, or even a subjugated Kurdish region, be regarding its policy toward the US were we to betray them in the present situation, as we betrayed them after the first Gulf War, implying they should revolt against a surviving Saddam Hussein government only to stand by while he gassed them into submission?
And there’s this bit from a Wall Street Journal editorial:
A central tenet of the Trump foreign policy, a work in progress, has been that the US would rebuild its relationship with America’s allies.
Who are the Kurds, if not an American ally? Who are the Kurds, if not one of the staunchest allies we’ve had?