The killing of Quds Force commander Qassim Suleimani by a US drone has lit a fire not only with the Iranians, but with their allies in the United States; the Democrats and their mouthpieces in the media. I’ve had a lot of fun this weekend arguing this issue on social media, with the left clearly painting this as Trump’s attempt to plunge us into World War III. For me, when it comes to terrorists, I like the idea that if you hit us, we hit you back. But I guess that might not be a very progressive view of dealing with state sponsored terror. The progressive view is to send pallets of cash to terrorist regimes, because nothing says “that’ll teach you” like paying off terrorists.But part of the natural backlash of such a move was this:
The Iraqi parliament passed a resolution Sunday calling for the government to expel foreign troops from the country in the wake of an U.S. airstrike that killed a top Iranian general, raising questions about the future of the allied mission that has successfully fought the “Islamic State,” or ISIS, in recent years.
The resolution asks Iraq’s government to cancel the request for assistance from the U.S.-led coalition operating in the country against the “Islamic State,” which once controlled large swathes of Iraq and Syria before allied intervention.
“The government commits to revoke its request for assistance from the international coalition fighting Islamic State due to the end of military operations in Iraq and the achievement of victory,” the resolution read.
“The Iraqi government must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason.”
Given a majority Shia population, this is not much of surprise. There are a lot of Iranian sympathizers inside Iraq and they hold considerable political power. This is one of those unintended consequences that has the establishment and the neo-con Never Trumpers screaming at the top of their lungs, “stupid Trump is getting us kicked out of Iraq! Arrgghh Acck!”
Or is it unintended?
I don’t claim to know Trump’s mind on this, but killing a terrorist who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans while at the same time being forced to leave Iraq sounds like a win/win for Team Trump. They want out of the Middle East and have been engaging in a struggle with the permanent government that wants to maintain and expand our military presence there. Now it’s possible they will be given no choice in the matter. We have to respect the wishes of a sovereign state right?
Assuming that’s what Iraq wishes. It’s unclear whether this is a show put on by the Iraq government for domestic consumption or if they’re really serious. Maybe they think this gives them a position to bargain for more money, more aid, or more something else. If so, they might be surprised that Trump might well simply bow to Iraq’s public wishes and withdraw American troops, and the protection they provide, fulfilling another campaign promise as a consequence.