BAGHDAD - Iraq's most senior Sunni politician issued a desperate appeal Sunday for Arab nations to help stop what he called an "unprecedented genocide campaign" by Shiite militias armed, trained and controlled by Iran. The U.S. military reported five American soldiers were killed, apparently lured into an al-Qaida trap.
Adnan al-Dulaimi said "Persians" and "Safawis," Sunni terms for Iranian Shiites, were on the brink of total control in Baghdad and soon would threaten Sunni Arab regimes which predominate in the Mideast.
First note that the AP writer couldn't even knock out the lead paragraph without throwing in some US deaths.
I'm not sure if this is a good thing, but haven't the anti-war types been hollering for more involvement by Iraq's neighbors. Well some of them are Sunni. like the Saudis and some are Shia like the Iranians. As Al Dulaimi notes the Iranians have already taken to the field and are currently killing Americans and Iraqis, heavy on killing Sunnis although they have been a bit equal opportunity. Why shouldn't a Sunni politician call for help from his neighbors and co-religionists. And just to get the conversation flowing, why shouldn't we threaten to bring in Saudi peacekeepers if al Maliki doesn't slow down the Iranian guerrilla war?
Maliki announced Sunday that a meeting of Iraq's leaders would begin this week, possibly on Monday, in an attempt to resolve the growing political crisis. His primary goal will be to reconcile with nearly half of his cabinet members, who have stopped attending meetings in three separate protests against his leadership.
The whole point of diplomacy and talks is not always, or even usually, to come to a peaceable solution that benefits all. That would be great, but in reality it becomes a game of playing competing interests against each other and attempting to take advantage. We have done far too little of this and Maliki has become seen as such a tool of Teheran. He must do great things to change that perception or he should move on. His government has accomplished virtually nothing and too few Sunnis trust him. If he can deliver an oil deal or some serious reconciliation measures he may be useful, but it seems unlikely.
So let's use the threat of a region-wide Sunni support for their beleaguered brothers to force the Shia to back away from Teheran and get back to making a civil Iraq. We don't have to mean it, that's the whole point, but we can certainly use it as leverage. That is what we ought to be doing with Syria as well. Our lack of a response to acts of war by Teheran hurts our credibility among Sunni Iraqis as they know who the big dog will be if we slink off. We need to point out to the Iranians that if they are going to continue to war on us and the Iraqis, we may feel the need for some help from local peacekeepers.