Biden’s ‘diplomacy’ ignores looming Iranian threat
Anyone visiting Iraq and wandering the streets cannot fail to notice the disappointment, anger and desperation in people’s voices. If asked about the US, pro-Iranian citizens describe it as the “great evil,” while others blame Washington for presenting their country to the Iranian regime on a silver platter.
As 2022 approaches, we can see how the policies of the Washington administration have inflicted woes on the region, starting with Yemen and continuing through Iran and other regional countries that are facing security and political instability.
In February, US President Joe Biden, along with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, revealed the “America’s Place in the World” plan and outlined the administration’s foreign policy goals for the next four years.
“Investing in our diplomacy is not something we do just because it is the right thing to do for the world. We do it in order to live in peace, security and prosperity. We do it because it is in our own naked self-interest. When we strengthen our alliances, we amplify our power, as well as our ability to disrupt threats before they can reach our shores,” Biden said in his first foreign policy remarks since taking office.
Iraq, it seemed, had little part in this equation, despite the presence of US troops there.
When asked about the Middle East, a former senior national security official and close Biden adviser stressed that the region was not one of Biden’s Top 3 priorities. “It is Asia-Pacific, then Europe and then the Western Hemisphere. And that reflects a bipartisan consensus that the issues demanding our attention have changed as great power competition (with China and Russia) is resurgent,” Politico magazine quoted the unnamed source as saying.
Biden’s omission of Iraq shows that Washington views the country from an Iranian angle, giving priority to reviving the nuclear deal instead of limiting Tehran’s influence in Iraq and other neighboring countries and preventing the horrific crimes and human rights violations carried out by Iranian-backed militias against innocent Iraqi citizens.
Pro-Iran militia leaders have been threatening to attack any US soldier who remains on Iraqi soil in 2022.
The US leader decided to return to the lax policy pursued by his fellow Democrat, former President Barack Obama, that allowed the radical regime to target US bases and troops on Iraqi soil, along with countless civilians, without accountability or oversight.
More recently, while Washington is still trying to convince Tehran to return to the nuclear deal, it has quietly decided to waive sanctions on the regime in order to allow the hard-line country to sell electricity to Iraq, according to the Washington Free Beacon website.
“The timing of the waiver notification — which was signed Nov. 19 but not transmitted to Congress until Nov. 29, the day nuclear negotiations resumed — has prompted accusations the Biden administration is offering concessions to Tehran to generate goodwill as talks aimed at securing a revamped version of the 2015 nuclear deal restart following a months-long standoff,” Adam Kredo wrote, adding that a State Department spokesman confirmed at a background briefing that the decision was meant to help ensure Iraq can generate energy.
During his July meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, who only recently survived an assassination attempt involving two Iranian-made drones, Biden formally announced the conclusion of the US combat mission in Iraq by the end of 2021.
“I think things are going well. Our role in Iraq will be to be available to continue to train, to assist, to help and to deal with Daesh — as it arrives. But we’re not going to be, by the end of the year, in a combat mission,” the US leader said, disregarding the real Iranian threat.
Nonetheless, what the US president does not know, or what the administration is trying to hide, is that pro-Iran militia leaders have been threatening to attack any US soldier who remains on Iraqi soil after the deadline, despite the change of job description.
Not if, but when, this happens, Americans and Iraqis will remember the brave decision by former President Donald Trump to authorize the killing of Qassem Soleimani, the-then head of Iran’s Quds Force, who had American and Iraqi blood on his hands and was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of US citizens and thousands of Iraqis, Iranians, Yemenis and Lebanese.
In 2022, the people of Iraq will be forced to face brutal Iranian aggression on their own, while wishing Trump was still in office. The Biden administration needs a wake-up call to comprehend that these oppressors and terrorists do not understand diplomacy.
- Dalia Al-Aqidi is a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy. Twitter: @Daliaalaqidi