WASHINGTON – “This is such an unbelievable betrayal of all those troops who were attacked, maimed and killed by these same Iran-backed Shi’ite terror militias in the 2000s.”
That was the reaction of Iran expert Clare Lopez to the news that U.S. forces in Iraq are now supporting Iranian militias.
The headline of a Bloomberg article Monday blared: “Iran’s Forces and U.S. Share a Base in Iraq.”
But buried within the story was an item that Lopez found significantly more alarming.
According to the report, U.S. troops are not just cohabitating with Iran’s Shiite militia units, “But the U.S. is flying close air support missions for those forces.”
“Fighting on the same side of anything that includes this jihadist Iranian regime ought to be unthinkable,” Lopez told WND.
“I guess not for this White House,” added the woman who manages the counter-jihad and Shariah programs at the Center for Security Policy, run by former Assistant Secretary of Defense Frank Gaffney.
“I’ve been to Bethesda to visit soldiers maimed for life, missing arms & legs, thanks to EFPs (explosively formed projectiles) and IEDs (improvised explosive devices) in Iraq that came from Iranian factories & were set by these Iranian terror proxies,” Lopez told WND.
“And now we’re co-locating (based at the same facility) with them, helping them fight ISIS, which is every bit as bad as the mullahs, but the only credible Sunni force fighting against them,” she added incredulously.
Lopez recently appeared on a Capitol Hill panel on Iran and was introduced by former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and Pentagon spokeswoman KT McFarland as “a career CIA operations officer. You know that movie, ‘Zero Dark Thirty’? The woman who was the hero? Think Clare Lopez.”
Her insights are backed by an impressive array of credentials. In addition to spending two decades in the field as a CIA operations officer, Lopez was an instructor for military intelligence and special forces students; has been a consultant, intelligence analyst and researcher within the defense sector; and has published two books on Iran.
“We’ve really got no business getting in the middle of what is in fact an intra-Islamic sectarian struggle between Shiite jihadis who hate us and Sunni jihadis who hate us,” Lopez told WND.
But the American-Iranian cooperation in Iraq fits in perfectly with what Lopez told WND more than a year ago, that America has switched sides in the war on terror under President Obama.
And that Obama seeks to ally with Iran.
Lopez had told WND the Obama administration “consistently has engaged with this Iranian regime, pleaded with it to engage, and continue to engage, in obviously fruitless negotiations over their nuclear weapons program. The administration extended deadlines repeatedly, refused to hold Iran to account meaningfully for its terror support, including involvement in Sept. 11, lethal support to Iraqi militias in the 2000s and continuing harboring al-Qaida operations cell on its soil.”
In another interview with WND, Lopez explained what she thought was Obama’s real goal: Far from seeking the defeat of jihadism in the Mideast or globally, Obama preferred to let Sunni and Shiite jihadists each have their own spheres of influence in the Muslim world.
“The administration’s plan, I believe, is to remove American power and influence, including military forces, from Islamic lands,” Lopez asserted.
When WND remarked that was just what Osama bin Laden had demanded, Lopez pointed out that is the aim of all jihadis, “Because that is what Islam demands, that foreign forces be kicked out of Islamic lands.”
Does Obama think if we leave the Mideast the jihadis will then leave us alone?
“I don’t know,” she said. “I can just see the pattern that is enabling the rise of Islam, empowering the Muslim Brotherhood domestically and abroad, alienating and distancing ourselves from our friends and allies and debilitating the American military.”
Lopez doesn’t just think Obama wants to withdraw entirely from the Mideast.
She believes he wants to turn most of it over to Iran.
“I am convinced that this administration intends Iran to become the nuclear power hegemon of the entire Persian Gulf region – and that includes especially the oil-rich areas. This includes the east coast of Saudi Arabia as well as southern Iraq and Iran itself.”
And, she believes the Obama administration is, in fact, following a plan to let Iran become the dominant power in the Middle East, with the intention of turning the state that sponsors more terrorism than any other, into a security partner of the U.S.
“We pull all our forces out, which has been done, and we let them take over,” Lopez explained. “I think that’s already underway.”
“Its not in the United States’ best interests, but it is one way of getting us out of Muslim lands, which is what this administration wants done. They are trying to be even-handed between the Shiites and the Sunni, especially with the Muslim Brotherhood clamoring in their ear,” she said.
“So, what happens? Arab Spring. North Africa goes to the Sunnis: al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood. They should be happy with that: They get Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. The Persian Gulf region goes to Iran.”
And Iran is permitted to be a nuclear power.
“I think it already is a nuclear power,” Lopez asserted.
“I think they have functioning warheads. They obviously have functioning missiles, including ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles). The Pentagon has published openly its estimate by next year, 2015, Iranian ICBMs will be capable of reaching the continental U.S. from Iran. This is open, unclassified, open-source publication.”
“So, the plan of this administration is to pull out of the Middle East, allow it to revert to Islamic control, as in the caliphates of old, or imamates, in the case of the Shiites. And to allow Islam to resurge, which is exactly what’s happening.”
WND asked, Obama’s plan is to take us back 1,300 years?
“Well, not us, but to let the Middle East do that,” she clarified.
Lopez noted a distinct peculiarity to keep in mind when negotiating with Iran: “Islamic law obligates Muslims to lie to non-Muslims. Why on earth would anyone expect Iran, a jihad and Shariah state, to negotiate with Westerners in good faith?”
Lopez does see “a tremendous naivete about what jihad and Shariah really mean” on the part of the Obama administration.
She detects “an apparent trust that if the U.S. adopts a more accommodating attitude, well, then so will the Iranians. I’m not sure how Ivy League graduates could be so ignorant of world history. I cannot imagine they’d want to inflict the legacy of Islamic jihad on anyone if they knew what it has meant historically.”
Lopez cited the reasons Obama has decided to remove U.S. power and influence from the Middle East and North Africa:
- He has a worldview that sees America as influence for ill in the world; therefore, he must diminish that influence wherever and however possible.
- He has a worldview that sees Islam as suppressed and oppressed by Western (colonial) powers and the U.S. as the inheritor of that oppressive role.
- He has a desire to “rectify” what is viewed as “injustice” suffered by Islam at the hands of the West and has decided that best way to do that is for the U.S. to withdraw and allow and empower Islam to rise back up again to what is seen as its “rightful” place in the world.
The former CIA operative said, “as Israel fought enemies on all sides to remain free, secure and Jewish, America began to move away from Israel and toward its Muslim enemies. And, as Iran moved inexorably toward a deliverable nuclear weapons capability, America helped.”
Lopez reiterated many of those themes, and added some fresh insights, during her Capitol Hill appearance Friday on a panel of national security experts discussing the dangers of negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran.
“I don’t lose sleep because Britain has nukes or France has nukes,” Lopez told the audience.
She noted Iran is a signatory of the Cairo Declaration which was essentially a withdrawal from the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a pledge of allegiance to Islamic law, which allows amputations, beheadings and crucifixions.
Lopez said 500 Iranians have been executed just this year.
“Women are second-class citizens. They are literally unequal to men. They (morality police) roam the streets looking for people who are not wearing the right clothing.”
A mainstay of the Iranian regime’s ideology, she said, was “Jew hatred.”
“Jew hatred is intrinsic to the Quran but the genocidal threats have been nonstop. There is no way that Israel can look at this regime and listen to its daily threats of genocide, its dehumanization of Jewish people, calling them bacteria and cockroaches and other insects” and not feel its survival is at stake.
Lopez recalled how just in March, the commander of the Iranian forces said, during the middle of negotiations between Iranian diplomats and the U.S., that the “annihilation of Israel is non-negotiable.”
“That (Israel) is our number one ally and partner in the Middle East, standing between the barbarism of (Islamist) regimes and Western Civilization.”
“Why are we talking to these people?”
Follow Garth Kant @DCgarth