By Walid Shoebat
I wonder at times, will the media ever admit that when it comes to the Middle East, will they ever acknowledge that their headlines many times has already been etched in the Bible? “We’re letting Iran and ISIS carve up Iraq” is a New York Times piece written by Amir Taheri, a capable writer I once spoke to by phone during a shared interview while the Turkish elections was happening in which he was hopeful predicting that Erdogan’s opposition in Turkey would win, in which I said “in your wildest dreams”.
Erdogan won and not the opposition.
But the reason I was correct had nothing to do with my study of the news and had more to do with my study of the Bible, which it was easy to deduce that Islamists will control Turkey and that Iran will gulp up Iraq. Now Taheri, who is an Iranian hopeful, hopes to see Iran come out of Islamism, he correctly deduced that Iran is carving up Iraq: “The bad news” Taheri says is that “Iran is the biggest winner in the Tikrit fight — and IS is gaining elsewhere. The two are dancing toward a de facto partition of Iraq between them.” I would adjust Taheri’s remarks that Iran will gulp up the whole of Iraq while Turkey will gulp up the whole of ISIS, to later carve up Syria, Egypt, Libya, Sudan and Somalia (read Daniel 11) into the fold of the Ottomans. Years ago we gave this biblically prophetic analysis and stated that Iraq will be devoured by Iran:
When Iraq faded from the collective consciousness and few were paying attention to it we wrote: “Iraq will weaken as a result of America’s exit to simply be devoured by Iran.” (Article by Walid Shoebat written in 2012 for Jewish Voice Ministries)
To Taheri and to all the decent secularist writers I ask: why not simply believe in the Bible?
I can almost guarantee that at the moment such writers read my remark here, that the first impression in their hearts will be, that if one believes in the Bible, expressing such belief publicly would render the person “passé”.
If so, how is it that the “passé” are more capable in predicting what lays on the horizon? Is in not better to serve The King of Kings, now, than to read the headlines later when He comes again to conquer and establish His rule? And if “I’d rather be a hammer than a nail”, I would also rather be a sheep than a goat. The Bible is an anvil, and who ever defies what is written in it will always be crushed.
The good news: The Iraqi army, backed by Kurdish and Shiite militias, has captured parts of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown, from the Islamic State after weeks of bitter fighting.
It may take several more weeks of bitter house-to-house fighting before IS retreats toward its heartland of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqah in Syria, but the army of the self-styled caliph has already experienced its biggest battlefield defeats.
The bad news: Iran is the biggest winner in the Tikrit fight — and IS is gaining elsewhere.
The two are dancing toward a de facto partition of Iraq between them.
While IS was retreating on the Tikrit front north of Baghdad, its forces were making major gains east of the Iraqi capital with the aim of capturing Ramadi, Iraq’s fourth-largest Arab Sunni city.
In fact, IS (aka ISIS, or Daesh in Arabic) still controls the largest chunk of territory that any terrorist group ever has. It also continues to attract large numbers of volunteer jihadists, from Western Europe and even from China, the Philippines and Japan.
In propaganda terms, IS has also scored new gains by securing pledges of loyalty from other jihadi movements in Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Algeria and Mali. The latest came from Boko Haram in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the general perception in Baghdad and elsewhere is that the real winners of the (as yet incomplete) victory in Tikrit were Shiite militias backed and even led by military advisers from the Quds Corps of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has tried to claim the victory for his forces, but Iran’s propaganda machine is in full gear awarding credit to the military genius of Gen. Qassem Suleimani, the celebrity Quds Corps commander.
Some Iranian officials even claim a new Persian empire is taking shape across most of the Middle East.
“Today, Baghdad is the capital of our culture and identity, and Iraq is geopolitically inseparable from Iran” says Ayatollah Ali Yunessi, special adviser to President Hassan Rouhani. “Having fought together, we must become one.”
Such talk is a propaganda boost to IS, which bases part of its claim to legitimacy on its “resistance against Iranian plots to conquer Arab lands and force Sunnis to convert to Shiism.”
Meanwhile, Iran seems to be applying the recipe it’s used in Lebanon and Yemen to beleaguered Iraq. They key ingredient: creating a parallel army that, in time, can outgrow the national army of the “host” nation.
This is just what Iran achieved with the branch of Hezbollah (Party of God) it set up in Lebanon and its sister organization, Ansar-Allah (Helpers of God), which last month seized power in the Yemeni capital Sanaa.
Iran is using the same recipe in Syria, creating the parallel army Haras al-Qowmi (Ethnic Guard) with the help of the Lebanese Hezbollah.
The Iraqi version, Hashad al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization), is modeled on Iran’s Baseej Mustazafeen (Mobilization of the Downtrodden). At its core are four Shiite militias theoretically disbanded under ex-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki: the Badr (Full Moon), Jaish al-Mahdi (The Mahdi Army), the Iraqi Hezbollah and Jund al-Shuhada (Army of Martyrs).
The Iranian regime knows it lacks the military power and the political support needed to seize direct control in any Arab state, least of all Iraq. This is why it plans to create a state-within-a-state situation — where the formal government in Baghdad, like the formal governments in Beirut or Damascus, will be an empty shell, with real power exercised by heavily armed and well-funded groups linked to Tehran.
These Iranian-controlled groups would command chunks of territory while letting Sunni jihadists set up shop in their own neck of the woods.
In other words, Iran is not aiming to defeat IS, let alone destroy it. All Tehran wants is to create a safe corridor through Iraqi territory to Syria and thence to Lebanon.
And IS seems to be preparing for just such an outcome by diverting resources to its eastern and southeastern fronts — with the ultimate aim of threatening Jordan and, later, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
The deadly dance of IS and the Quds Corps is facilitated by President Obama’s inability or unwillingness to define his war aims, let alone develop a credible strategy for preventing IS and Iran from dividing the Levant between them.
Debating Obama’s demand for a war authorization to deal with the situation in Iraq, Congress must start by asking the president to clearly define what he intends to do and how he intends on doing it.
If the answer is to continue with Obama’s current policy and posture, don’t expect anything good to come out of it — for either the United States or Iraq.
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