Michael Rubin writes:
Iraqi president Jalal Talabani has called Iran “Iraq’s Real Friend.”
Whenever any Iraqi politician — Chalabi, Talabani, Maliki, Barzani, Muqtada al-Sadr or anyone else — hugs Iran, there’s a tendency in Washington to say “Aha! They were pro-Iranian all along.” This is dead wrong. They’re all politicians and can waffle with the best of them.
The real issue is that these politicians are barometers of power. Iraqi politicians are survivors, and they will align themselves with and accommodate power while fleeing weakness. No one will sacrifice himself to be pro-American if America is weak.
Some day historians will look back and wonder whatever possessed us to work so hard to minimize our influence in Iraq, and the Middle East in general.