The Middle East: America Retreating, Islam Rising?

Two crucial events are taking place simultaneously. First, the political winds in Iraq continue to blow for the US to “Get Out.” Iraq’s President Jalal al-Talabani just went on record declaring that “all Iraqi political leaders are united that the U.S. troops have to leave their country by the year-end deadline.” Pretty definitive, don’t you think? Whether this is hyperbole or real, it clearly shows that the Iraqi leadership is ready to move to a post-U.S. security environment.

Iraq’s President: Americans must go

The second development comes from next door Iran, where Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Khamenei has just outlined a “road map to liberate Palestine.” Khamenei is striking a pose of confidence these days, explaining that there is an “Islamic awakening” taking place in the Persian Gulf region. And then these two developments became one when the speaker of the Iraqi Council of Representatives Usama Abdul Aziz al-Nujayfi met with the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili who proclaimed that there will be increasing cooperation between Iraq and Iran, and that this is “favorable for the Islamic World.”

Saeed Jalili to Iraq: let’s be partners

Obama’s new approach to the region was supposed to result in increasing America’s influence. “Hope and change” has apparently come to the Middle East. Iran’s Mullahs are hopeful they can change the region into their own image.

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