[size=36]Report: White House postponed meeting with Abdul-Mahdi three times .. The reason?[/size]
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The US administration remains silent about the demanded protests in Iraq against a regime it helped establish after it invaded the country and toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, deploying tens of thousands of troops and keeping up with the transition.
This major absence at a major turning point in Iraq illustrates how US interests and influence have faded since the invasion.
A senior Iraqi official, who asked not to be named, according to Al Jazeera, citing Agence France-Presse, "The gap between Iraq and America was not at all as great as it reached now, and is still growing."
After the invasion, the United States dissolved and rebuilt the Iraqi state, bringing to power a new class of political elites with whom it established close personal ties.
It began building a new army and deployed more than 170,000 troops in Iraq at the height of its military presence before the withdrawal in 2011.
Since then, US forces have played a decisive role in defeating ISIS, and US officials have consulted closely with their counterparts about the referendum on the secession of the Kurdistan region of Iraq in 2017, the parliamentary elections in 2018, and the formation of the government thereafter.
Demonstrators in Baghdad and the south are now demanding reform of the US-established regime, but Washington has remained relatively silent.
"In the past, Washington's positions have been more public in playing a role in Iraqi politics," the senior Iraqi official said.
"In 2003, the United States supported the structure of the current Iraqi government, which produced this political class," he said.
Decline of influence
"The end result is that the American project of nation-building in Iraq has failed," said Kirk Sowell, an analyst at Iraq Inside.
Since the protests erupted on October 1, more than 330 people have been martyred, authorities have imposed restrictions on the Internet, and activists have been threatened and kidnapped.
Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi and "denounced the fall of so many martyrs," but the next day four other demonstrators were martyred.
The United States seems to be most concerned about the role played by General Qasim Soleimani, commander of the Qods Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, in concluding agreements between political forces in Baghdad to find a solution to the crisis.
"American influence is not zero, but it is negligible during the current crisis," said Sowell.
This is partly because, according to Robert Ford of the Middle East Institute, Iraq has filled its institutions at a time when the number of US troops has dropped dramatically.
Ford worked as a diplomat at the sprawling US embassy in Iraq between 2004-2006 and 2008-2010, but the embassy is now almost empty after the US withdrawal last May, following heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington over the nuclear issue. United State".
Unlike former officials, the new Iraqi officials do not have any old ties with the Trump administration.
"I don't think President Trump can pick up the phone and talk to Abdul Mahdi based on old relationships or direct meetings," Ford said.
Kiss of Death
In fact, Iraqi and US officials say relations between the White House and the Prime Minister's Office are "the coldest" since 2003.
The White House has also postponed a bilateral meeting at least three times because it was "angry" at Abdul Mahdi, who refuses to distance himself further. About Iran.
Nevertheless, a State Department official believes that "of all the political class that has had deep ties with Iran for decades, Abdul Mahdi" may be the best we can hope for. "
Ramzi Mardini of the US Institute of Peace says Previously, Iraqi political players wanted others to know that they had direct contact with America, but today this relationship is like a kiss of death. ”
This logic also applies to anti-government demonstrators that Iranian-backed parties sought to portray as“
Western officials in Baghdad said they were wary of referring to open support for demonstrators because of the allegations, but that could change if the demonstrations continue to be met with violence.
Mardini said the legacy the United States will leave to the new generation is that "it will see it raise points of dialogue, but it will not take any action."
"This makes it difficult for US policymakers to regain the confidence of the future political class," he concluded.