They could have read thatÂ the chief beneficiary of our misguided Wilsonian adventure in Iraq is Iran at Jihad Watch since at least 2006:
June 27, 2006: “Of course, Ahmadinejad may be jumping the gun a bit as far as that is concerned, but he is certainly doing all he can to bring into being a Shi’ite client state in Iraq.”
September 13, 2006: “Here we see looming in Iraq the Shi’ite client state of Iran that the U.S. has unwittingly helped put into place with its short-sighted democracy project.”
October 31, 2006: “Is al-Maliki on the road to creating the Shi’ite client state that the Iranians have been trying to foster in Iraq for quite some time now?”
February 11, 2007: “Iran continues its efforts to create a Shi’ite client state in Iraq.”
June 10, 2008: “Or are U.S. troops the main obstacle to Iraq’s becoming a full-fledged client state of Iran?”
November 12, 2008: “Very soon now the President of the United States and the President of Iran will sit down, without preconditions, and hash this out, and clear everything up before Iraq turns fully into the Shi’ite client state that the Iranians covet.”
July 1, 2009: “Their goal of creating a Shi’ite client state is closer than ever to being realized.”
July 30, 2009: “Was this what we have been fighting for in Iraq all these years? An Iranian Shi’ite client state in Baghdad?”
“Ten years after Iraq war began, Iran reaps the gains,” by Ned Parker for the Los Angeles Times, March 28 (thanks to all who sent this in):
BAGHDAD “” Ten years after the U.S.-led invasion to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the geopolitical winner of the war appears to be their common enemy: Iran.
American military forces are long gone, and Iraqi officials say Washington’s political influence in Baghdad is now virtually nonexistent. Hussein is dead. But Iran has become an indispensable broker among Baghdad’s new Shiite elite, and its influence continues to grow.
The signs are evident in the prominence of pro-Iran militias on the streets, at public celebrations and in the faces of some of those now in the halls of power, men such as Abu Mehdi Mohandis, an Iraqi with a long history of anti-American activity and deep ties to Iran.
During the occupation, U.S. officials accused Mohandis of arranging a supply of Iranian-made bombs to be used against U.S. troops. But now Iraqi officials say Mohandis speaks for Iran here, and Prime Minister Nouri Maliki recently entrusted him with a sensitive domestic political mission.
Iran’s role reinforces its strategic position at a time when the world looks increasingly hostile to Tehran, the capital. It faces tough international sanctions for its disputed nuclear program and fears losing longtime ally Syria to an insurgency backed by regional Sunni Muslim rivals.
Western diplomats and Iraqi politicians say they are concerned that the Islamic Republic will be tempted to use proxies in Iraq to strike at its enemies, as it has done with Lebanon-based Hezbollah.
American officials say they remain vital players in Iraq and have worked to defuse tension between Maliki and his foes.
During a visit to Baghdad on Sunday, however, Secretary of State John F. Kerry was unable to persuade Maliki to stop Iranian flights crossing Iraqi airspace to Syria. The U.S. charges that Iranian weapons shipments are key to propping up Syrian President Bashar Assad; Maliki says there is no proof that Tehran is sending anything besides humanitarian aid. Kerry’s visit was the first by a U.S. Cabinet official in more than a year.
Overall, Iraqi officials and analysts say, Washington has pursued a policy of near-total disengagement, with policy decisions largely relegated to the embassy in Baghdad. Some tribal leaders complain that the Americans have not contacted them since U.S. troops left in late 2011.
Iraq’s political atmosphere has deteriorated. Maliki has ordered the arrest of his former finance minister, a Sunni. Disputes in the north between the central government and leaders of the semiautonomous Kurdish region are unresolved.
“The Americans have no role. Nobody listens to them. They lost their power in this country,” said Deputy Prime Minister Saleh Mutlaq, a Sunni, commenting on the disappearance of the Americans as a broker for most of Iraq’s disputes….