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Hasbara Project

President Obama and Valuable Caution With Iraq

BBSNews 2014-09-17 — News reports say that Faleh Al-Fayad, the Iraqi National Security Advisor has briefed the Bashar al Assad administration in Syria about efforts to contain Islamic State. Fayad was appointed to the position in 2011 by then Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.

iran_ahmad_vahidi_lft-iraq_Faleh_Al-Fayad_rhtAccording to Wikileaks, the intelligence gathering operation Stratfor had an email buzz about the appointment on June 7th, 2011. The first Stratfor operative posted a straight news story about the appointment. Then a second asked “any idea on his views towards US-SOFA renegotiation or Iran?” A third chimed in writing “He has to be a Shia who is close to Iran.”

According to Army Recognition, a “defense / weapons” industry marketing company in 2012:

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said Iran attaches much importance to its ties with Iraq, and stressed the necessity for further cooperation between the two neighboring countries in defense fields. Vahidi, heading a high-ranking delegation, arrived in Baghdad this morning in a bid to meet with Iraqi officials [including Faleh Al-Fayad ed.] and explore avenues for the further expansion of defense cooperation between the two sides…

In 2013, there was an announced human rights investigation against Fayad for alleged massacres of Iranian dissidents between 2011 and 2013:

Spain has declared that Mr. Faleh al-Fayad, the National Security Advisor to Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri-al-Maliki, is under investigation “for the alleged commission of offences against the international community.” The victims were Iranian dissidents. They were residents of Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty, and members of the Iranian opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

The report goes on to say that:

The Spanish Court decided to initiate its investigation of Fayad based on an outstanding complaint against him as a person responsible for grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention (GCIV) and First Additional Protocol. The complaint concerns Fayad’s position as Chairman of the “Ashraf Committee” attached to the office of Prime Minister al-Maliki, In particular, the court ruling, which was obtained by the website Iran News Update, cites Fayad’s “alleged involvement in the massacres of 8 April 2011 and 1 September 2013 of ‘protected persons’ under IV Geneva Convention residing in the city of Ashraf (Iraq),….in conjunction with the reported offences of 35 murders and 337 cases of willful injury on 8 April 2011 and 52 murders and 7 abductions on 1 September 2013, along with torture and bodily harm to Ashraf residents.”

And this with today’s news where the Washington Post reports that Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is poised to encourage President Obama to deploy U.S. Special Forces in Iraq against Islamic State.

Perhaps the caution that President Obama has exhibited is not misplaced.