In a December 4 article
, New York Times writers Julian Barnes and Eric Schmitt asserted that new intelligence that Iran is “stockpiling” missiles in Iraq is a sign that the Trump administration’s Iran policy has failed. In fact, the opposite is the case but The New York Times doesn’t want the American people to know this.
It is not news that Iran has taken advantage of the disarray in Iraq and its significant presence in this country to move missiles there — probably short-range missiles. Iran also did this in Syria which led Israel to attack several Syrian sites where Iranian missiles were being stored.
Reports of new intelligence on Iranian missiles in Iraq is good news because it indicates the U.S. and Israel have been tracking them and could conduct airstrikes to destroy these weapons.
This story is really an effort by The New York Times to distract the American public from the reality that President Trump’s “Maximum Pressure” Iran policy, which includes his withdrawal from President Obama’s deeply flawed Iran nuclear deal, has been very successful. It not only led to a major economic downturn in Iran that has caused nation-wide protests, it also has caused anti-Iran protests in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.
Anti-Iran protests in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon have been driven by Iran’s inability to pay its proxies and agents and pay off local officials. But the unrest also is in response to corruption in these countries driven by Iranian influence. Iran doesn’t have the funds to defend its influence in these countries because President Trump’s Maximum Pressure has ravaged the Iranian economy.
The way the Times’ article briefly deals with the unrest in Iraq is dishonest and relies on a nonsensical comment by a Democratic congresswoman and former CIA analyst. The article says “Both Iran and Iraq have been gripped in recent weeks by sometimes violent public protests. In Iraq, some are protesting against Iranian influence” but does not mention President Trump’s Maximum Pressure policy or its effect on the Iranian and Iraqi economies.
It goes on to assert that the Iraqi protests are promoting Iran’s influence in Iraq by quoting Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-Michigan) who said Iraqis "do not want to be led around on a leash by the Iranians . . . But, unfortunately, due to the chaos and confusion in the Iraqi central government, Iran is paradoxically the best poised to take advantage of the grass-roots unrest.”
No, Rep. Slotkin. Iran caused the unrest in Iraq. The protests are undermining Iranian influence in Iraq, not giving it opportunities to advance its interests. The Iraqi people know this. It’s incredible you don’t know this since you are a former CIA analyst.
Another day, another fake news story and Democratic spinning against one of President Trump’s successful policies.
Fred Fleitz, president of the Center for Security Policy, served in 2018 as deputy assistant to the president and to the chief of staff of the National Security Council. He previously held national-security jobs with the CIA, the DIA, the Department of State, and the House Intelligence Committee. Twitter: @fredfleitz. Read more reports from Fred Fleitz — Click Here Now.
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