By Ernie Audino - - Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Well, we’ve done it. We’ve given Kirkuk to the Iranians.
Kirkuk. The Heart of Kurdistan. It’s the Jerusalem of the Kurds, our only trusted and loyal allies in Iraq. It’s also the last piece of terrain needed by Tehran to complete its overland, unimpeded access to the shores of the Mediterranean and to its Hezbollah allies in Lebanon. And it’s precisely where President Trump’s new hard line on Iran, barely 72 hours old, was put to the test and failed.
Actually, it didn’t fail. Our State Department failed it. Rather than act to dissuade or disrupt this past weekend’s bold and open advance on Kirkuk by a significant collection of Iranian-controlled combat power, we demurely averted our eyes and said we weren’t taking sides. But we didn’t even do that. We stayed out and let the Iranians in. By remaining passive our State Department wittingly accepted the foreseeable end state — the immediate annexation of half of Iraq’s Kurdish Region by proxy forces loyal to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard’s Corps (IRGC), an organization President Trump three days earlier designated a terror organization.
Let that sink in.
Brigadier General Ernest C. Audino,