Sixty hours after Trump gave a tough speech announcing that he will not recertify the Iran nuclear deal while condemning and warning about Iranian terrorism and destabilizing behavior, Iran, with its Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Shiite proxies which includes the Iraqi government, attacked the U.S. allied Kurds, in the Kurdish-majority city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq. President Trump has done nothing in response and has stated U.S. neutrality.
In the Middle East, which houses many evil regimes and organizations, tough threats must be followed by tough actions with devastating military power, especially when tested by evil. Otherwise, any future threats will be ignored and dismissed. As we all remember, the U.S. under President Obama was considered a weak paper tiger after he publicly stated that the Syrians would face military action if they used chemical weapons against their own people and then failed to act when such weapons were used.
On Friday, President Trump, announced in his speech the new U.S. strategy and intent, "to confront the Iranian regime's hostile actions.” On Monday, Iran and its proxies tested the Trump administration’s resolve by attacking their ally which has been part of the U.S. Coalition against Islamic State and Trump failed to respond.
Moreover, even though Trump stated that the U.S. is imposing tough sanctions on Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard calling them “the Iranian Supreme Leader's corrupt personal terror force and militia,” he did not designate them as a terrorist organization as it was rumored he intended to do. Now it seems he has allowed them to lead the attack on Kirkuk too.
In the Middle East there are many non-democratic governments which are allied with the U.S. that are always in fear of losing their power through civil war or by hostile neighbors. Therefore, a loyal ally and a super power who will come to their assistance in a time of need with words and military actions is very important. This is why the moderate Sunni governments turned against and disrespected Obama immediately after he called for the resignation of longtime ally, Hosni Mubarak, when he was challenged by the Muslim Brotherhood. This is why these American allies are visiting and paying homage to Putin after Russia’s 2015 intervention in Syria which has saved Bashar Assad's regime which was on the verge of total collapse to the Syrian rebels.
In his speech Friday, the president stated that “we will work with our allies to counter the regime's destabilizing activity and support for terrorist proxies in the region.” The Kurds in both Syria and Iraq, with their tough military arm, the Peshmerga, have been part of the U.S. military collation for the last few years and were the main military power which helped to defeat Islamic State.
The Hebrew news site, NRG, quoted an unnamed Kurdish military official who expressed deep regret that the U.S. has not come to the aid of the Kurds as they faced an onslaught led by the Iranian-backed Iraqi government troops and Shia militias fighters. On Monday, the combined force led by Islamic Revolutionary Guard rapidly took control of Kirkuk prompting thousands of civilians to flee the city.
But much worse, President Trump announced as Kirkuk fell, that America was “not taking sides” in the conflict between Iraqi government forces and the Iraqi Kurds. Is Trump aware that the Iraqi government forces who were trained by the Americans are Shiite forces loyal to Iran and in reality, an Iranian puppet? Is Trump aware that the Iranian regime has provided cash, weapons, training, and military orders to the Shia militias that are now near Kirkuk? Is he aware of Iran’s central role in the assault?
On Friday, the president warned that it is folly to downplay Iran’s regional ambitions saying: “as we have seen in North Korea, the longer we ignore a threat, the more dangerous that threat becomes.” Trump and his national security council must be aware that capturing Kirkuk was a key element of Iran’s regional plans to take control of the Shia Crescent from Iran through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon.
Trump must wake up soon and stop U.S. cooperation with IRRG to defeat Islamic State in Syria and the U.S. funding to the Iraqi government which is now nothing more than an Iranian patsy working to undermine American interests in Iraq. Otherwise, the next U.S. war in the Middle East will be to dismantle the Shiite Islamic Caliphate.
Shoula Romano-Horing is an attorney, law professor, opinion columnist, radio talk show host, and a national public speaker. Born and raised in Israel, she has lived in the United States since 1980. Since 1993, she has written Op-Ed columns in many American and Israeli news outlets about Israel and the Middle East and the strategic threats to Israel and the U.S. For ten years, Shoula was the host of a weekly radio talk show called “Oh Jerusalem,” where she discussed, with guests from all over the world, issues concerning Israel and the Middle East. Her blog is www.shoularomanohoring.com. To read more of her reports — Click Here Now.
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