The PJ Tatler

Thanks to US Dithering, Iraq Buys Used Fighter Jets From Russia

The United States fought for a decade to establish a democratic government in Iraq. But it has only taken a couple of years to see that government go sectarian, see much of its territory taken over by Islamists, and see it establish alliances with our enemies in Syria and Iran.

And Russia, according to Bloomberg News by way of Stars and Stripes.

Iraq has bought used fighter jets from Russia and Belarus to battle Islamist militants after long delays by the U.S. to deliver F-16 planes left troops without air support, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says.

Maliki, in an interview with BBC Arabic, blamed the U.S.’s “long, very slow way” for delaying the delivery of 36 aircraft. “We shouldn’t have just bought U.S. jets, we should have bought British, French and Russian jets to provide air support. If we had air support, none of this would have happened,” he said, according to excerpts e-mailed by the BBC.

Nature abhors a vacuum. Obama left one when he cut and ran from Iraq. Putin is happy to step in and make a little money. If Baghdad’s government survives, Putin will surely parlay today’s assistance into influence over a whole lot of things in Iraq. Russia Today, the Kremlin-backed Western news agency that employs Larry King these days, sure is crowing about helping Iraq.

But at least Obama can give a good speech.