Media Blog

John Kerry in Iraq to Stop ‘Iran’s Route to the Sea’

Remember when Mitt Romney was skewered by the Left for saying in the debates that Syria is important because it’s “Iran’s route to the sea?”

Well, John Kerry made a surprise visit to Iraq over the weekend and the purpose of his trip sounded a lot like what Mitt warned about:

Secretary of State John Kerry’s surprise stop in Baghdad Sunday made him the highest-ranking Obama administration official to mark the 10th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq where it took place.

But Secretary Kerry’s visit had little to do with marking a milestone and much to do with invoking what dwindling influence America still has in postwar Iraq on two important issues for Washington: Iraq’s acquiescence at least to Iran’s use of Iraqi airspace to ferry arms to forces fighting for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and worrisome signs of a resurgence of sectarian divides and political power-grabbing in Iraq.

The United States wants Iraq to rigorously inspect Iranian cargo flights destined for Syria for arms shipments. And on the domestic political front, the US wants Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government to reconsider a decision to suspend provincial elections set for next month in two provinces with important Sunni populations. More broadly, it wants Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to do a better job of upholding democratic principles and promoting an inclusive political system.

This is old news, however. We’ve known since before the election that Iraq was letting Iran supply Syria by air (bullet point No. 7). 

It would be nice, however, if the media would report Kerry’s trip for what it is: an acknowledgement that the Obama administration has failed to stop Iran from propping up Assad with the complicity of our supposed allies in Iraq.

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