President Donald Trump gives thumbs up as he boards Air Force One as he departs Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Trump is en route to Indiana. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
In the immediate aftermath of the US drone strike on terrorist thug Qasem Suleimani that converted him from “a flamboyant former construction worker and bodybuilder with snowy white hair, a dapper beard, and arching salt-and-pepper eyebrows” into a sizzling puddle of protoplasm on a Baghdad highway, the Iraqi parliament met in what seems to have been a meaningless session…
Here, Photo analysis of #Iraq parliament session on Sunday: 167 MPs needed for quorum; 130 were present. All but one of the 59 Kurdish MPs boycotted the session. Only 15 of the 70 Sunni MPs showed up, 6 of Maliki’s 26, 5 of Abadi’s 25 & 4 of Allawis’s 15. https://t.co/KZ5Ck1aZUj
— Bilal Wahab (@BilalWahab) January 7, 2020
…that was 100 percent symbolic…
That was an empty vote that failed to make quorum, “The nonbinding resolution—passed Sunday with the backing of Shiite politicians” – point being Iran influence over Iraq’s parliament sidelined Kurdish and Sunni voices. This is a weak pro-Iran talking point.
— Nöm Namé (@Anonymo71019906) January 7, 2020
…that told a prime minister who had resigned to eject US forces from Iraq.
Looks no different than one of the Democratic debates on CNN. https://t.co/F5flopNhk4
— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) January 5, 2020
Make no mistake about it. This resolution had no meaning whatsoever beyond producing talking points for Iran and for the incredible number of Iranian apologists and stooges — to the extent they are different circles on a Venn Diagram — in American politics. As President Trump said at the time: we would leave when we damned well pleased.
On Iraq, Trump said the U.S. wouldn’t leave Iraq without being paid for its military investments there over the years — then said if the troops do have to withdraw, he would hit Baghdad with economic penalties.
“We will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame,” he said. “If there’s any hostility, that they do anything we think is inappropriate, we are going to put sanctions on Iraq, very big sanctions on Iraq.”
He added: “We’re not leaving until they pay us back for it.”
Earlier today, the outgoing Iraqi prime minister sent the State Department a note demanding that US begin planning for a withdrawal:
The request from Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi pointed to his determination to push ahead with demands for U.S. troops to leave Iraq, stoked by the American drone strike on Jan. 3 that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. In a phone call Thursday night, he told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that recent U.S. strikes in Iraq were an unacceptable breach of Iraqi sovereignty and a violation of their security agreements, his office said.
He asked Pompeo to “send delegates to Iraq to prepare a mechanism” to carry out the Iraqi Parliament’s resolution on withdrawing foreign troops, according to the statement.
“The prime minister said American forces had entered Iraq and drones are flying in its airspace without permission from Iraqi authorities, and this was a violation of the bilateral agreements,” the statement added.
Now the State Department has officially notified the Iraqi government that we do not plan on taking the parliamentary resolution all that seriously:
— Matt Lee (@APDiploWriter) January 10, 2020
This sends a clear message to the Iranians and their lackeys in Baghdad that they are impotent and we are not to be trifled with. They killed an American contractor and we mauled the Iranian-influenced militia who did the killing. They tried to storm our embassy and not only were unable to do so, but looked ridiculous as we flew reinforcements in. They brought in the leading terrorist a**hole in a nation teeming with that species to oversee the next move, and we killed him. They rocketed two Iraqi bases that housed a small number of American forces and not only did they not do damage, they were so afraid of injuring Americans that they ensured we received advance notice of the strike. They did, however, manage to have several dozen of their people trampled to death at Suleimani’s funeral (trampling people to death in crowds may be some sort of Islamic ritual because it frequently happens during the Hajj) and shoot down a Ukrainian airliner.
All in all, these past two weeks have been an unmitigated disaster for the mullahs. Their top field commander was killed inside of what the Iranians see as essentially a province of that nation. Their attempts at retaliation were laughable. And they managed to shoot down a civilian airliner at the airport in Tehran. They look powerless. They look amateurish. And it will not have gone unnoticed among their allies.