While a report from the U.S. military declares that Iran is responsible for a particularly vicious type of roadside bomb (explosively formed penetrators) that are used to carry out attacks against U.S.-led troops, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki is in Iran for his second state visit in less than a year. The purpose for his visit: Talks on how to improve Iraq’s security.
Al Maliki is, in fact, reaching out to the nation that is most responsible for the continuing turmoil within Iraq. Iran is seen as the central player in arming Shiite militia, providing training and/or funding for the terrorists that flood into Iraq from neighboring countries, and certainly with providing the kind of roadside bombs that are responsible for the deaths of both Iraqis and Americans alike.
Al Maliki is also in Iran to promote “economic ties and other ties that contribute to combating terrorism and its challenges.” According to the Iraqi prime minister, Iran and Iraq have “a joint understanding that they are keen to solve the problems and sufferings of the Iraqi people. And they are both convinced that their cooperation may lead to helping Iraq restore stability.” Is this not akin to turning the hen house over to the fox and hoping that the end result will be idyllic peace between the two?
The two countries have enjoyed economic ties in recent years, and in fact, trade between the two former foes reached a level of over a billion dollars in recent years. Baghdad is seeking even greater economic ties with its most powerful neighbor in the region. According to Al Maliki, he will also “discuss and sign a number of cooperation memorandums” with his Iranian counterparts. Iran is, in fact, a desired vacation destination for Iraqis looking to escape their own war-torn country. And tourism agreements between the two countries allow Iranian pilgrims to visit Karbala and Najaf. This provides an open border for terrorists who secrete themselves amongst the pilgrims.
To encourage cooperation and dialogue between the two countries, Iran has an embassy in Baghdad, and has consulates in major Iraqi cities. The embassy and consulates of this member of the axis of evil are nothing more than war rooms to fund and plan the battles against U.S. troops. While in Iraq on a state invitation from President Barzani earlier this year, I was stunned to learn that Iranians are buying up property in Iraq and are pouring a fortune into building fundamentalist mosques.
Iran is known as a terrorist harboring and supporting state – the very entity about which President Bush spoke following 9/11: “If you harbor terrorists, you are terrorists. If you train or arm a terrorist, you are a terrorist. If you feed a terrorist or fund a terrorist, you’re a terrorist, and you will be held accountable by the United States and our friends.”
Now, with the U.S. State Department and Iranian officials playing coy little games with each other regarding “security in Iraq,” America finds herself squarely in her own crosshairs. America has violated its own policy against terrorism by negotiating with a terrorist state that harbors, arms, feeds and funds terrorists, not only in Iraq, but in countries around the world.
According to the No. 2 U.S. military commander in Iraq, Gen. Raymond Odierno, Shiite militias such as the massive Mahdi Army are still very active in Iraq. The general says that as much as 73 percent of the attacks against American troops are instigated by Shiite militiamen. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and its proxy, Hezbollah, are training the terrorists/militia and placing the bomb-making ingredients in their hands. Gen. Odierno is also convinced that many of the 107mm rockets and launchers, and the 122mm mortars are compliments of Iran.
So, Al Maliki is in Iran. What will he accomplish? Will he send the signal that he welcomes Iran’s continued interference in Iraq? Will he slyly indicate to the Iranians that he would like their help in thwarting the plan to rid his country of the terrorists and insurgents that arrive daily from Iran and from Syria? Exactly what is it that Nouri al Maliki hopes to accomplish with these overtures to the mad mullahs of Tehran and their anointed leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?
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