The first step to understanding politics in Iraq is getting away from over-simple MSM or partisan politically-driven analysis. For example, "Secular Saddam would never work with jihadys." That's an obvious crock if one merely looks at the last couple years of Saddam's regime. And I'm not discussing secret meetings or Prague, but Saddam's changing public persona.
If you don't read it all, read this:
One and actually the most important is that we have an American ambassador who recognizes Iran's role in supporting both ends of violence in Iraq; that's the Shia militias, namely the notorious Mehdi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr and the extreme terror groups like al-Qaeda's Ansar al-Sunna.
Knowing that ambassador Khalil Zad will be the one leading the talks with Iran makes me feel that the talks are in good hands that are aware of the scope of the conflict.
Many people find it difficult to agree with this theory that Iran has ties with al-Qaeda and its branches and affiliates in Iraq and that's because they think the ideology difference between Wahabism and Shiasm would make any cooperation between Iran and al-Qaeda a fairy tale or a ridiculous American excuse to justify a possible offensive on Iran.
But what really frustrates me is that we have people here who are supposed to be politicians aware of the behind the scenes game who refuse to accept this theory (which I consider a fact).
A few days ago a saw a prominent politician from the UIA talking on al-Hurra and when the point of Zad's accusations to Iran was raised his response was (not literal translation) "No sane person can think that Iran is supporting the terrorists who murder Shia Iraqis…".
It is this kind of blind conviction that make me lose faith in most of the political elites in Iraq; they have entrenched themselves behind their sects to the point that they cannot accept questioning the policies and intentions of their presumed friends forgetting that it's politics 101 to not put absolute trust in anyone.
Read that last paragraph several times and never forget it.
Playing the double game is a very old trick.