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Washington and the Iraqi crisis: a terrifyingly empty embassy, and the Al-Kazemi government celebrates foreign successes and the country is collapsing

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Washington and the Iraqi crisis: a terrifyingly empty embassy, and the Al-Kazemi government celebrates foreign successes and the country is collapsing

Reports & Analytics   Washington   breaking   Al-Kazemi government   Sadrist movement protests
2022-08-18 04:57

Shafaq News/
The British "Middle East Eye" website painted a scene of the absence of the United States and its embassy in Baghdad, from the current political developments in Iraq, its position on the conflict between the two Shiite blocs, and its vision to the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, noting that the main American intervention is an attempt Mediation in the Kurdistan Region to agree on a presidential candidate.

At the outset, the report translated by Shafak News Agency drew attention to: Two days after the demonstrators stormed the Iraqi parliament in July, a statement was issued by the "Ashab al-Kahf" group addressing what it considers the real source of the political collapse in Iraq, where the group said that the US embassy, the British embassy and other NATO countries are causing unrest among the Shiites Threatened to target "all their embassies and bases".

The report indicated that while the Iranian-backed militia accuses the United States of being involved in the chaos in Iraq, analysts and former US officials say that the current crisis indicates a diminishing US power and interest in this country.

The report quoted the former US ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman, who is now president of the Gulf States Institute in Washington, as saying that "the United States has little to do with what is happening in Iraq, and has few methods to influence it, either positively or negatively."

'absent involvement'

The report confirmed; Washington has become less present in Iraq today, compared to what it was decades ago, adding that while 2,500 US soldiers remained in Iraq, the Pentagon's combat mission against ISIS late last year shifted to the role of "advising and helping" to support the Iraqi army, noting that This modest presence extended beyond the military field.

Meanwhile, Iraq has received only two high-level visits from the US government in the months since the parliamentary elections, while the sprawling US embassy with limited staff from 2019 when Washington ordered all "non-emergency" employees to leave Iraq under threats. a wish.

The report quoted the former director of Iraq in the Ministry of Defense Jonathan Lord, who is the current director of the Middle East Security Program at the "CNAS" research institute, as saying that "the US involvement in the Iraqi political process has been almost completely absent."

The report went on to say that some consider that the past ten months since the elections were a missed opportunity for the United States, which welcomed the elections with caution and supported the introduction of changes to a law facilitating the entry of independent and reformist candidates into parliament.

According to Ambassador Silliman, "the outcome of the elections was very satisfactory to Washington, as the United States saw the elections as a relatively good indication that Iraq is moving towards more stable institutional policies and the creation of more moderate governments."

Sadr and Washington

However, the British report considered that "there is little love between the United States and Sadr."

He added that some in Washington viewed him as a potential option to confront Iran, despite concerns about his "thirst for power and his goals for religious rule along the lines of Iran's theocracy."

The report quoted Heib Hegel, Iraq analyst at the International Crisis Group, as saying that "the United States views Al-Sadr as a fickle nationalist with a huge base.

He is also seen as someone who can be directed in a direction beneficial to the United States, which Washington tried to do, and will continue to do so." in doing."

The report pointed out that the United States has limited scope for dialogue with al-Sadr, as the Sadrists in the government deal with Western officials, but they refuse to talk directly to the United States, and that contacts between the two parties are a task left to mediators.

The Kurds and Washington

The report stated; Analysts and former US officials say that

"Washington's main political efforts in Iraq after the October elections revolve around an attempt to mediate talks between the KDP and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, in order to agree on a consensus candidate for the presidency."  

The report also quoted the director of the Iraq Initiative at Chatham House, Renad Mansour, as saying that "the declared position of the United States after the elections is that it is neutral, but the preferred path for some was the tripartite alliance between the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the Sunnis and the Sadrists to slowly remove the groups allied with Iran.".  

The report also quoted Laheeb Hagel as saying, "The reason we haven't seen a lot of talk about the United States in the political process in Iraq, is simply because it doesn't have a big role, and it didn't want to."

And after the report referred to the ISIS war, the faltering economy, the spread of poverty and corruption, the high costs of food and other living and the phenomenon of drought, and Washington’s previous preoccupation with withdrawing from Afghanistan and then the Ukrainian war, he said that

this terrible situation means that a series of weak governments in Iraq were looking for signs of their success abroad. Referring to Baghdad's efforts to organize mediation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and work on integration with Jordan and Egypt, President Joe Biden described Baghdad as a "platform for diplomacy."  He added that

the Iraqi government's focus on diplomatic campaigns abroad made it seem more inattentive and not sufficiently responsive to the needs of ordinary Iraqi citizens, such as those besieging parliament.

"Can we celebrate a government in which the main successes come when they go to conferences abroad, while the country is collapsing?" Mansour from "Chatham House" was quoted as asking.  
The report concluded by saying that

"in the meantime, the political crisis in Iraq continues, while the US embassy in Baghdad is still terrifyingly empty."

Translation: Shafak News Agency

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