America Switches Sides in Iraq War

While President Bush was threatening Iran on Monday, he blamed the Iraqi Shiites and Iran for the insurgency. According to the AFP, Bush said that:

“Tehran has been responsible for at least some of the increasing lethality of anti-coalition attacks by providing Shia militia with the capability to build improvised explosive devices in Iraq.”

I know what you’re thinking: President Bush is so stupid that giant mistakes like this should just be taken with a grain of salt. Even if he’s lashing out at Iran for intervening in the affairs of the Iraqi Shia, surely he’s not blaming the “improvised explosive devices” that are killing American soldiers and Marines in Iraq on the Shia. … Wrong. That’s exactly what he was doing.

“Asked about the linkage to Shiite forces, two US officials who declined to be named pointed to previously reported ties between the government of Iran and radical Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr.”

The first problem is that the next day General Pace said he had no evidence whatsoever to back up the president’s false assertions and Secretary Rumsfeld just dissembled. The second is that the last time al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army was in violent conflict with the US was back in August of 2004 and the roadside bomb was not their tactic, those have been the tool of the home-grown Sunni insurgency which is led by the ex-Ba’athists and the recently under fire foreign fighter jihadist types.

Though al-Sadr has openly threatened war if America were to bomb Iran, he had been known as the leader of the least Iran-loyal faction among the Iraqi Shia, denouncing the federalism in the new constitution, and insisting on Iraqi nationalism regardless of religion and ethnicity. Recently, his political fortunes have been said to be on the rise, and though that may be in conflict with some genius’s plan to spread the war, a leader of the Iraqi insurgency he is not.

Is it possible that Iran is supplying bomb material to the Sunnis, seeing advantage in keeping America bogged down in its fight against the insurgency and forced to allow for expanded Iranian influence in Iraq? Sure, as far as I know, but I’ve seen no evidence of that, and it wasn’t the accusation in this case.

So why is Bush trying to pin this three year old war on Iran? – besides the fact that the liar Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress was working for them of course, but Bush was shopping for their bill of goods, so that doesn’t count. It was Bush who sent the US Army into Iraq with the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq on their heels and pushed this democracy crap, resulting in the election to power of the SCIRI-Da’wa-Iran dominated United Iraqi Alliance in January of 2004 and December 2005.

Remember the Salvador option? That was the US bringing the sickest killers of the SCIRI’s Badr Brigades into the “interior ministry” of the new Iraqi government, and setting them loose on the Sunni. They have been US allies. Now our government is doing what it does to all its loyal servants, it’s betraying them.

Justin Raimondo nailed it last week in his article “Biddle’s Pivot.” After quoting the article “The Grand Delusion” by Stephen Biddle (Any relation to the Chairman of the second Bank of the United States?) in Foreign Affairs, the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations, advising a rethinking of the direction of America’s Iraq policy, Raimondo says:

“What this means, in effect, is that it is time to start tilting toward the Sunnis. If the Shi’ites continue to defy U.S. efforts to shape the political landscape of postwar Iraq, then we must play the Sunni card, employing force if necessary”

Now here comes Time magazine explaining the details,

“The ongoing dialogue between the U.S. and the Sunni insurgency is based on a shared wariness about the influence of Iran and its supporters in Iraq. U.S. officials are now saying bluntly that it’s time to bring back the Baath Party, excluding only those that are guilty of specific crimes. That reflects a growing acceptance among U.S. officials that the military and bureaucratic know-how in the Sunni community is badly needed, even to help run the security forces that the U.S. is standing up.”

The real change took place last April when Da’wa leader and Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari and Kurdish Democratic Party leader and Iraqi President, Jalal Talabani offered their militias, the Badr Brigades and the peshmergas in the service of the US Army to annihilate the Sunni insurgency. The American response was a nervous “thanks but no thanks.” At that point, America became the protectors of the very Sunni insurgency our army had been, and has continued, fighting. While Badr/Iraqi Army death squads have flourished, the full scale invasion of the Sunni triangle hasn’t been allowed to happen – so far.

Were full scale war to break out between factions, the administration, based on the flimsy lies they’ve already started to toss out there, could blame it all on the Shi’ites and Iran, turn on a dime and start the war again – the war to reinstall the Sunni minority and the Ba’ath Party.

Who benefits from an Iraq civil war? The Kurds got theirs, and look as though they’ll be able to keep it. Same for the Shia in the South. These two regions hold the oil wealth, and the federalism described in the constitution guarantees they won’t have to share it with the Sunnis. The Iraqi Sunni don’t want civil war either. They would be crushed by the Badr/Kurd Army (if they can hold their alliance together).

That only leave two forces left to benefit: The foreign religious jihadists types whose holy war is threatened by cross-religious/cross-ethnic lines Iraqi nationalism, and the United States of America which needs an excuse to bomb Iran since nobody believes their stupid lies about Iranian nuclear weapons anymore.

It always seemed to me that the empowering of Iran was accidental, as the US completely underestimated the power of Ayatollah Sistani to demand direct elections, and that Bush/Cheney would never let them get away with it. It is just another reason to bomb Iran, though I wondered how our government thought they could get away with bombing Iran while the US army is surrounded by Iran-loyal Shi’ite militias who have tolerated the US presence so far and been the major recipients of American training and weapons.

Getting our attention deficit brains ready for the switch seems to be part of the plan. Soon will come the purge of the Iraqi Army.

Oh, and you’ll like this from Time too:

“One senior Baathist talking about the Americans said to me, recently, ‘In the 1980s we were allies, how did we end up on opposite sides?’ The Baathists are secular nationalists, they never allied with al-Qaeda or hardline Islamists when they were in power, and they’ve always been the sworn enemy of the soon-to-be-nuclear-armed regime in Iran. They share two of America’s main enemies, al-Qaeda and Iran. The Baathists and al-Qaeda elements who have worked together in the insurgency have always been uncomfortable bedfellows. And they’ve left little doubt in each other’s minds that once the Americans leave, they’ll have to fight each other.”

We ended up on opposite sides because the President’s father had the head of the new bipartisan Iraq Study Committee, his secretary of state, James Baker III, “emphasize” instructions to America’s ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, in July of 1990, that she should tell Saddam Hussein that the US government didn’t care one way or another if Iraq invaded Kuwait. (I once met the son of a Kuwaiti muky-muck, who said he didn’t appreciate it very much.) The US then invaded and imposed 12 years of blockade and no-fly zone bombing. Is depleted uranium bad for the memory centers of the brain or what?

As myself, everyone at and on this side of reason has said all along, contrary to the claims of the administration, Saddam Hussein was a natural enemy of the jihadist radical types that are our enemy.

And of course the foreign terrorist presence in Iraq was only tolerated by the local Sunnis as a temporary measure against the US, I debunked the President’s pathetic scare tactic of a Osama bin Laden dominated Iraq on the radio last November, and on the blog in December.

Anyway, the point is that it seems to this armchair analyst that the administration does indeed plan to bomb Iran, and that this recent spout of lies and changing sides by our “servants” is just part of the setup.

Author: Scott Horton

Scott Horton is editorial director of, director of the Libertarian Institute, host of Antiwar Radio on Pacifica, 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles, California and podcasts the Scott Horton Show from He’s the author of the 2017 book, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan and editor of The Great Ron Paul: The Scott Horton Show Interviews 2004–2019. He’s conducted more than 5,000 interviews since 2003. Scott lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, investigative reporter Larisa Alexandrovna Horton. He is a fan of, but no relation to the lawyer from Harper’s. Scott’s Twitter, YouTube, Patreon.