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    US Seeks to Bolster Waning Influence in Iraq by Backing Kurdish Regime - expert

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    The US interference in Iraq's politics aims at salvaging the Kurdish regime – and with it whatever influence Washington might still have in the region, US political analyst James Petras believes.

    WASHINGTON, August 12 (RIA Novosti) - The US interference in Iraq's politics aims at salvaging the Kurdish regime – and with it whatever influence Washington might still have in the region, US political analyst James Petras believes.

    "The purpose of [US President Barack] Obama's interfering in Iraqi politics has to do, first and foremost, with saving the Kurdish regime, which is essentially under US influence," Petras, a professor of sociology at Binghamton University, told RIA Novosti on Monday.

    He added that the Kurds have suffered major defeats, the US backed Iraqi army has been dismal, and Washington's attempt to capitalize on its invasion and occupation of Iraq has ended in a failure.

    "Washington is caught between its support for the Islamic Right in Syria, and now it's spilled over into Iraq and it is upsetting its base with the Kurds," he said.

    "I think it is Washington's reengagement in this because its politics have failed, its military support for satellite governments has failed also, it is left with two options: either accepting defeat or trying to reenter the war in order to salvage some remnant of influence in that region," the pundit explained.

    Petras warned about dire consequences of the US operation in Iraq that will have an extremely damaging effect on the US.

    "This operation will be a tremendous boost for ISIS [Islamic State militant group], because the US presence will give the Sunnis the justification for joining in the holy war against US imperialism, whereas before it was a local conflict," he explained. “Now, with the US presence, jihadists from around the world are beginning to flock to join ISIS. So, I think the first consequence will be to generalize the war."

    The analyst also thinks that Washington will not be able to gain any military security for the Kurdish regime by airstrikes alone.

    "So, this operation is the first step towards expanding US military presence on the ground, which is a very controversial point in our domestic policies, domestic opposition," Petras emphasized.

    "This bombing is going to be ineffectual in turning the tide in the conflict, and, two, it will stipulate a greater jihadist process in Iraq and thirdly it would lead to an escalation of US involvement in Iraq and reentry of US as a final resort."

    The analyst stressed that the only positive outcome was the US withdrawal and recognition that the policy of invading and occupying Iraq was a failure, and the attempt to realign its policies.

    The multiplication of wars, like the power grab in Kiev, the war in Syria, the reentry in Iraq, the falling apart of the US position in Afghanistan where even a general was killed in the highest security zone are all indications that the ambitions of the United States to establish itself as a global empire are crumbling," Petras underlined.

    "The United States has to rethink the configuration of the world…It has to change from being a military power, to a market-oriented approach in order to improve domestic economy," he concluded.

    The US has begun supplying weapons to the Kurdish Peshmergas territory and launching airstrikes in an effort to quell the Sunni insurgency. Islamic State fighters have made considerable gains in northern Iraq in recent months, forcing tens of thousands of people from religious minorities to flee their homes.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Tags:
    Iraq, Kurds, Barack Obama, Washington
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