Iraqi president Jalal Talabani has called Iran "Iraq's Real Friend."Okay, fine, the usual "we didn't screw up" line on the Iraq invasion. But here's the magic:
Whenever any Iraqi politician — Chalabi, Talabani, Maliki, Barzani, Muqtada al-Sadr or anyone else — hugs Iran, there's a tendency in Washington to say "Aha! They were pro-Iranian all along." This is dead wrong. They're all politicians and can waffle with the best of them.
The real issue is that these politicians are barometers of power. Iraqi politicians are survivors, and they will align themselves with and accommodate power while fleeing weakness. No one will sacrifice himself to be pro-American if America is weak.
The question U.S. officials should ask themselves is: After expending so much blood and treasure, is it really noble to abandon influence, or should we recalibrate policy to surge influence? The hostility of the Obama administration to power and influence is sadly a tragedy upon which historians will comment.Read that last paragraph and try to tell me this gentleman's work is done.