Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for IPS News, discusses his article “How Maliki and Iran Outsmarted the US on Troop Withdrawal;” the Iran-brokered deal that protected Moqtada al-Sadr’s militia, granted Prime Minister Maliki much-needed political support, and united Iraq’s power structure against US occupation; how the US screwed up plans for an Iraqi client state (you support the minority faction with a tenuous hold on power, not the majority that doesn’t need propping up); why an occupying mercenary army in Iraq is unworkable, so long as legal immunity is off the table; and how the religious divide in the Middle East will keep Shia Iran and Iraq closely aligned against Sunni Saudi Arabia.

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