Amir Taheri opens his column with some thoroughly dishonest claims:
A decade ago, in the euphoric days that followed its liberation, Iraq was supposed to re-emerge as one of the United States’ staunchest regional allies [bold mine-DL]. That didn’t happen, partly thanks to President Obama’s decision to effectively sabotage plans to forge an agreement that would have linked Iraq to the United States in military and security domains.
There was never any realistic chance that Iraq would become one of America’s “staunchest regional allies.” No one but the most deluded war supporters ever believed this was possible. It made no sense that a post-Hussein Iraqi government would want any part of becoming a U.S. client. Having overthrown Hussein, the U.S. all but guaranteed that Iranian influence in the country would increase, and because of the deep unpopularity of the occupation it was inevitable that the U.S. would have to end its military presence sooner or later. Iraq was never going to become a reliable client of the U.S., and if there was any chance that this might happen it was destroyed by eight years of war and occupation.
The expectation that Iraq would become a “pro-American” state was just one of the many flawed assumptions that war supporters held, and they held them because they paid little or no attention to the reality of the country they were proposing to remake. The idea that this was still possible in 2011 is fanciful, and it’s even more so now. There appears to be no interest in the administration in cultivating this sort of relationship with Iraq, and it would be bizarre if there were.