“Iraq will be a free nation, and a strong ally in the war on terror.”

by Andrew C. McCarthy

That’s what President Bush said in a 2006 speech marking the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  Embarrassingly, it occurred close in time to demonstrations in Baghdad in support of Hezbollah’s war against Israel and Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki’s denunciation of Israel over same.

Now, as Israel continues operations to defend itself from Hamas’s terrorist onslaught, comes this from the AP:

Iraq’s government also condemned Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza, which began Saturday.

In a statement, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said Iraq is demanding that Israel immediately halt attacks on Gaza and called on the international community “to take the necessary steps to stop this attack.”

Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, said condemnation didn’t go far enough.

“Expressing condemnation and denunciation for what is going on against our brothers in Gaza and expressing solidarity with them by words only doesn’t mean anything in the face of the big tragedy they are facing,” he said in a statement released by office in Najaf.

“Now more than at any other time, both Arab and Islamic nations are required to take a practical stance for the sake of stopping this repeated aggression and to break the unfair besieging of these brave people,” the statement said, without giving details of the proposed stance.

As I mentioned a few weeks back, the Iraqis don’t like us very much:  nearly half of them tell pollsters that attacks on U.S. forces are justified.  And they obviously despise our actual allies in the war on terror, preferring our enemies who are pledged to the destruction of Israel. 

The administration touts the Iraqis’ democratic progress ad nauseum, but what most of us care about is the part about how they’re supposedly going to be with us on radical Islam.  Yes, they’ve allowed us to quell al Qaeda’s operations in their country — which it was in their interest to do for various reasons.  But in what sense is a country where it’s smart politics to be anti-American, where the major parties are Islamist, and where Hezbollah and Hamas are looked upon kindly likely to become “a strong ally in the war on terror”?

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