August 1, 2011, - 4:42 pm

We’re Selling Iran, er “Iraq,” WHAT?!

By Debbie Schlussel

It’s not exactly a newsflash that the government of Iraq is very tight with the government of Iran, and that Iran-backed Shi’ite Nouri Al-Maliki remains Iraqi Prime Minister.  Whether or not Iraq merges with Iran, it is a satellite state of Iran, so it makes no difference.  Given that, why the heck are we selling Iraq 36 F16 fighters?  That means we are basically selling the jets to Iran. And against which country do you think Iraq would use these fighter jets?  Not Iran, not Syria, not any country but for maybe, um . . . wait for it . . . ISRAEL!  They say they need the jets to halt Iraqi border “transgressions.” Riiight We know what they are for. It’s absurd to sell these jets to Iraq/Iran, but hey, this is the “NEW” Iraq President Bush–not Obama–created.  We might as well be selling the jets to Hezbollah, which most of Shi’ite Iraq supports.


Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Saturday his government would buy 36 F-16 fighters from the United States, doubling the number it had initially planned to purchase to strengthen its weak air defenses.

The announcement of the deal came as Iraq and the U.S. government discuss whether to keep some U.S. troops or military trainers in the OPEC country after the planned withdrawal of the last American soldiers at the end of the year.

“A delegation from the Iraqi Air Force along with advisers will travel to revive the contract to include a larger number than the contract had agreed before… We will make it 36 instead of 18,” Maliki told reporters.

“We have to provide Iraq with airplanes to safeguard its sovereignty,” he said. . . . Iraq this year delayed the initial purchase of the F-16s from Lockheed Martin after putting $900 million of allocated funds into its national food program to ease pressure from Iraqis protesting against poor basic services. . . .

Some of Iraq’s neighbors and Kurds in the semi-autonomous north have in the past raised concerns about Baghdad purchasing sophisticated weapons systems such as F-16 jets.

Gee, I wonder why. If the Kurds are afraid, we should all be afraid. It’s just boneheaded to give these planes and this technology to these cretins.

41 Responses

What’s interesting is what is the main jet fighter of the Israeli AF—the F16i (along with F15s).

This gives the Arabs air-parity with the Isreali Air Force which could spell doom for the Israelis if there was a war and all of the Arab nations attack Israel’s F16s with THEIR F16s that we sold them !!

This sale should not be allowed–at least until Israel receives their new JSFs.

jimmyPx on August 1, 2011 at 5:00 pm

1) I’ll bet Obama used this as hook to get Israel to negotiate away the ’67 borders.
2) I hope it’s the older version
3) Mossad is going to find ways to get the planes crippled or downgraded to erase parity over IAF.
4) Who’s paying for it?

Broomer on August 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Your knee jerks before you can think things through.

Iraqi F16s will be vulnerable to Israeli (world’s best) avionics and sensors. Knowing the weakness of the F16, and how to exploit said weaknesses ensures the superiority if Israeli air power.

Bob Loblaw on August 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Do you really think the Iraqis are going to purchase jet fighters without advanced avionics? The Iraqis could turn to the Chinese for a JF-17 or to the Russians for a MIG-31. Also, as Debbie noted, it is not just the Israelis who are concerned. Debbie mentioned the Kurds, but you could easily bring up Bahrain or Saudi Arabia. Iraq has no legitimate need for advanced fighter jets, since they would be of little against insurgents. The Israelis and Kurds have more than legitimate concerns about this Iraqi purchase. Finally, Iran would be in a position to obtain direct access to an advanced fighter, due to its relationship with Iraq, in order to reverse engineer it.

    Worry01 on August 1, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Thankfully the mulsims will be hard-pressed finding competent aviators.

They are however quite adept at slitting a commercial pilot’s throat and steering a 707 loaded with passengers towards an unarmed target such as a skyscraper.

DS_ROCKS! on August 1, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I’m sure the US military will be training Iraqi pilots, too.

    The USA gave Egypt the license to build M1 Abrams tank (Guess who they’d me most likely to use those against?), and Clinton allowed missile tech to go to China.

    We’ve gone from the “Arsenal of Freedom” to “Arsenal Of Our Own Worst Enemies”

    American Idiocy on August 1, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    And that is relevant, how?

    Besides, those weren’t Iraqi’s. They were Jemenites. Iraqi’s never flew any plane into any building. Blindly lumping ’em all together once again, you ignorant fool. 🙂

    Motives on August 2, 2011 at 3:07 am

1. Money, or what we currently call paper.
2. Few, if any, moral values at all left in this country.
3. Corruption — Let us sell these ah…s some of the same planes that were part of liberating? these 13th century slavers.
4. Last but not least – support Israel’s enemies, but with a supposedly cover of nation building — at the same time doing a little corporate support.

RA2216 on August 1, 2011 at 7:33 pm

“…no doubt (the Universe) is unfolding as it should…”
Am often amazed at the evil idiocy of politicians and “leaders”, but I remain faithful to my belief that Israel will prevail, G’d’s chosen ones and those who love Israel and believe in redemption will be part of G’d’s Victory over the enemies of the world. Thank you Ms. Schlussel for your tireless work.

John Dallair on August 1, 2011 at 7:33 pm

More of this administration’s “muslim Outreach Program”???

pats on August 1, 2011 at 7:57 pm

And they got the money for these jets from…….

T.Y. on August 1, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Yes, it sucks, BUT Iran could just as easily obtain a/c from a long list of suitors:
China – J-10
UK/Germany/Italy/Spain – Eurofighter Typhoon
Sweden – JAS 39 Gripen
France – Rafale
Russia – Mig 35, Su-30/35
Sad fact of weapons sales is, “if they don’t buy them from _______, they’ll just buy them from someone else.” And most if not all the other nations who would make such a sale would jump at the chance as it would also give them more political influence in the region…and give them hard to get experience in service and maintainance of their air fleet with the service contracts that will be part and parcel of the deal.
So yes, it sucks, but…
Real issue should be, why is Iraq even buying offensive weapons??? Or is this just an Obama sop to defense contractors who are already facing budget cuts here? I suspect the latter…

murder_city on August 1, 2011 at 9:16 pm

LET THE IRAQIS buy F-16s so they can pretend to have a viable air force. Let Iraq have their ‘clay pigeons’ because that’s all they’ll be against IAF. I sure the Israeli pilots will be more than happy to shoot them down in battle.

The Iraqi Air Force has never been, nor will ever be, a threat—to the ISRAELI AIR FORCE. People need to stop being silly here.

The Israeli Air force is a highly trained unit with a wealth of combat success and peacetime related experience…over a span of six decades.

The Israelis have 10X the amount of F-16s Iraq will have, and they have about 100 far superior F-15s as well. The IAF has combat helicopters and helped pioneer UAVs technology.

But there’s still more.

As Bob shared,

‘Iraqi F-16s will be vulnerable to Israeli (world’s best) avionics and sensors. Knowing the weakness of the F-16, and how to exploit said weaknesses ensures the superiority of Israeli air power.”

On paper the sale looks bad.

In reality the F-16 is a fourth string player—that will be utterly useless in the hands of an incompetent pilot who has been trained by an inexperienced (and historically ineffectual) Iraqi air force.

The Canadien on August 1, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    “In reality the F-16 is a fourth string player—that will be utterly useless in the hands of an incompetent pilot who has been trained by an inexperienced (and historically ineffectual) Iraqi air force.”

    Let’s not forget that if muslims are flying the F-16s, the pilots will only want to learn how to take off.

    pats on August 1, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Yes, but the Israelis follow the Geneva convention.

Cecilie on August 1, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Since when has it ever bothered them to kill women and children? 😛

    Motives on August 2, 2011 at 3:09 am

      Since when has killing women and children bothered the SS?

      Motives, you are a disgusting piece of shite, like your brother Clint on TAS.

      If the Kurds are worried, so whould we be, as they are our allies. But Obama likes to hurt the US.

      Occam's Tool on August 2, 2011 at 10:27 pm

The whole Middle East is in turmoil right now (the Arab ‘Spring). Iran is trying to create as much turmoil as possible right now throughout the Middle East, and increase its influence. It seems like the last thing the US would want to do under these circumstances is to increase Iraq’s (Iran’s) military power with any weapons at all.

Little Al on August 1, 2011 at 10:22 pm

All of Debbie’s supporters rave about her intelligence, and how she understands the Middle East better than anyone.

Then she posts something like this. Either she’s fear-mongering when she knows better or she has no idea what she’s talking about.

Giving Iraq 36 F-16s to use against Israel – which this isn’t about, but we must listen to Debbie – is like giving the Canadian Army some Brown Bess muskets and telling them to invade the United States.

Dave H. on August 1, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Ah, no Dave H. YOU don’t understand the issue. And even if you did, your Liberal ways would get in the way of you seeing it clearly. That’s all.

    Skunky on August 2, 2011 at 10:13 am

Sovereignty my ass. This is a ‘county’ that can’t even get its police force together….they need these aircraft like I need a sex change.
Hey, what ever happened to those bunkerbusters the Israelis were supposed to get over a year ago?

Not Ovenready on August 1, 2011 at 10:53 pm

There seem to be a lot of comments today minimizing the impact of the US sale to Iraq — strangely enough, they seem to be from new contributors.

Do you think any of them could be Islamic supporters of Iran/Iraq, or could any of them be from US Government agencies that have an interest in this transaction?

Wouldn’t be the first time—

Little Al on August 1, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Having seen the “quality”, “professionalism” and “competence” of muslim pilots those planes will be trucks within a few months. Remember that new giant airbus the muslim crew crashed and all they did was start it up. I would put the Israeli pilots up against any other countries (including ours) pilots any day.

ender on August 1, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Hopefully, Iraq will be forced to use them not against the Kurds, but against the Saudis and Kuwaitis. That will be fun – Baghdad claiming that those 2 countries are trying to destabilize Iraq b’cos it’s Shia, and the US having to pick one side over another. It will be fun to see heads explode in the State Department.

As Comrade Vladimir Ilyich used to say, the capitalist will sell the rope used to hang them

Infidel Pride on August 1, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Let’s put this in context. The US will also be selling the Saudis some $60 billion in arms over ten years. And continues to provide some $1.5 billion in military aid annually to Egypt, including not just the Abrams tank (which they assemble locally under license) but F-16s. The same question raised re Iraq could be asked of Egypt: Against who will these arms be used – Sudan? Libya? Egypt hasn’t lifted a finger in the current conflict with Libya?

As to the “giving to Iraq means giving to Iran”, some of us recall that in 1991, in the run-up to Desert Storm, the Iraqi air force flew some of their fighters to Iran for “safe-keeping”. Iran never gave them back.

Raymond in DC on August 2, 2011 at 12:06 am

We should stop selling weapons to anyone but our most trusted allies. Examples might be Israel, England, the British commonwealth nations, France, and Germany. But most of those countries make their own weapons and only need a few things.
Some countries that have bought or been given US aircraft might be in for a big surprise if they try to use them against the US or allies such as Israel. I’m sure our bright boys that program computers have put a little something in those planes that would allow the right people (us) to punch in a code, and then all those planes just drop out of the sky like birdshit. A sort of kill switch. And if they haven’t, they just oughtta!

RT on August 2, 2011 at 2:43 am

F-16 aircraft are constantly updated, especially in terms of their avionics. It is still an aircraft in active production, and is not simply a leftover being sold off by General Dynamics. The F-16 is also projected to remain in active service with the USAF until at least 2025.

For reference:

One must also bear in mind that the United States is rapidly losing its ability to upgrade its weapons systems due to budget constraints. This will eventually lead to less and less research and development and the curtailment American fighter purchases. In turn, this will reduce Israeli options in the area of maintaining a qualitative edge over its opponents. And to remind Raymond of something, the Iranians kept those fighters. Also, al-Maliki has a very cordial relationship with Iran, unlike Saddam Hussein had when he was around. Dictatorial regimes are not interchangeable, and almost always have different supporters and goals.

Worry01 on August 2, 2011 at 2:58 am

Dear Debbie:

This is just more evidence that we have the best government petro-dollars can buy.

As I’m sure you know, OPEC violates U.S. anti-trust laws. In my view, it’s long past due for the class-warfare-waging O’Bama Administration demand that Iraq leave OPEC as a condition of further U.S. support. We cannot end tyranny in the Arab world if we don’t insist that their governments stop plundering the world economy by violating U.S. anti-trust laws.

Our “free-market” Tea Party is un-willing to pursue this policy. Our class-warfare-waging President is un-willing to pursue this policy. The reason is simple: We have the best government petro-dollars can buy.

There is NO Santa Claus on August 2, 2011 at 7:52 am

I wonder if the purchase of these attack aircraft isn’t a form of arabic mental masturbation. Years ago, the US sold advanced aircraft to Iran (under the Shah) and several other countries had all kinds of Russian attack aircraft that the “Dear Leaders” of those countries showed off to their populations to impress the masses….then the planes rotted in their hangers and runways for lack of parts, maintenance and pilots. Qadaffi comes to mind on that one. Iran had a similar problem. They also “pranged” a bunch of those planes with inept flying. Of course, someday the arabs, or more accurately, the muz, might get their act together to be more dangerous to others than themselves, but I doubt it will be real soon. Remember, the Iran vs. Saddam war was 8 years long…..with no net result other than 8 million dead bodies. That’s pretty pitiful considering it took the US forces about 3 days to drive to Baghdad….

Tonto on August 2, 2011 at 8:16 am

With the close ties the Iranians have with the Russians and if these F-16s have upgraded weapons systems, how do we know that one or two of these will just be handed over to the Russians for analysis? Will theses have any type of hidden tracking devices (or kill switches) which will allow us (the US)to know where these are at all times? We’ve done this before but are we doing it this time with this current administration at the helm?

pats on August 2, 2011 at 8:26 am

It’s not the machine, it’s the pilot. My money is on the Israelis in any duel with any Arab air force. Arab pilots tend to be chosen for their family connections not their abilities. Plus, maintenance on these machines is complicated and should Iraq use them for something we don’t like, all we have to do is cut off the supply of spare parts. See Iran and their F-14 fleet for example. The Iranians may be able to reverse engineer the avionics but they could have bought that stuff from the Chinese anyway.

Fleiter on August 2, 2011 at 9:12 am

All these comments from Government hacks defending the sale.

Their main argument(sic)seems to be that the Muslims, for whatever reason strikes their fancy,are not a match for the Israelis, and that the Iraqui F-16s are not a match for those of the Israelis.

Apart from whether these contentions are valid or not, the Government hacks neglect the crucial point. Without doubt, the dozens of F16s will put Iraq/Iran in a stronger position than they would have been absent the sale. This is true regardless of the level of competence of the Muslim pilots or planes. Why in the world would anyone other than an anti-semite support this change in the relationship of forces, when it is known that these Muslims are terrorists, and want to see Israel extinguished?

I can’t blame Fleiter for counterposing pilots and machines; this person is aware of the decades of dumbing down, and figured a dumb argument like this is worth trying. Obviously there is a complex relationship between machine and pilot and both are important, but leave it to a Government hack to oversimplify to the point of absurdity.

Little Al on August 2, 2011 at 11:20 am

The F-16 IS a superb aircraft. In the hands of Israel.

The F-16 model has 67 kills worldwide. The Israeli Air Force has provided 47 of those kills—or 70 percent. The F-16 in its latest config is more than a match for MOST aircraft any other air force can throw into the sky.

The ISRAELIs have also rejigged their latest delivery 16s and improved them significantly.

Better secret avionics—no kill switches—greater payloads, reinforced and improved airframes with extended flight range. The Israeli F-16s have their own Israeli designed (Elbit) advanced flight and mission management systems and their own weaponry installed.

Here’s the breakdown:

The F-18 is no match for the F-16.

The F-16 is no match for the F-15.

The F-15 is no match for the F-35.

The F-35 is no match for the F-22.

Only the USAF has the F-22.

Soon, most of the Allies will have F-35s. Canada is buying 65.

Israel will get 100, including 20 FREE from Obama for that 90-day settlement freeze that almost happened last November! Obama revoked the freebie, but Israel will still buy 100. Here’s what one analyst said about the Israel’s eventual number of F-35s,

“The additional F-35s would give the Israeli Air Force a formidable strike capability unmatched in the region, and indeed the world, that could deliver massive blows against an adversary, such as Iran.”

Iraq is therefore…no contest.

FYI – Red Flag 2008 (F-16 vs French Rafale)

6 F-16s shot down by the French, and 2 Rafales shot down by American F-16s.

Unfortunately, NO ONE except the French have bought Rafales.

The Canadien on August 2, 2011 at 1:05 pm

This is a blatant example of how hap hazzardous our foreign policy is formulated. Mr George W. Bush started all this mess. He handed our foreign policy formulation to the Al-Saud of Arabia. He invaded Iraq to please our “Allies” the Saudis. He plunged the country into a trillion Dollars war plagued with fraud and corruption, and he is asking us “Do you miss me??” No at least I for one do not miss him at all. Now we are selling F-16s to Saudi Arabia too and to Iraq and we probably will sell to Iran as an ex-ally, otherwise we won’t be as stupid as we want to be. We are looking for a stupidity record in the Guiness book of records.

G. R. SCHAROUBIM on August 2, 2011 at 1:15 pm

For “the Canadien”(sic) to have this specialized type of knowledge (assuming for the moment it is correct)means this person either is associated with Iraqi or other Arab defense, the US Defense Department or from Lockheed, who manufactures this plane.

The information about the relative merits of these aircraft is subject to dispute, to say the least. If the Rafale is the best, why have numerous governments considered it over several decades without buying it?

The Canadien (sic) does not bother to say that Israel will not receive these jets for 5 years; (i.e. the end of Obama’s probable length of office). Lots can happen in five years. This iffy sale is obviously a sop for Netanyahu for agreeing to go back to the 1967 lines, and as soon as he agrees, the sale is made to Israel’s enemy. But the US Government and Lockheed, who are obviously sponsoring this slew of emails supporting the sale, could care less.

Little Al on August 2, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Some of you guys can’t see the forest through the trees.

It doesn’t matter whether Israel has better pilots. It doesn’t matter whether Israel has better equipment. Selling additional weaponry to a country at war with Israel changes the order of battle.

A change in the order of battle that increases Arab resources increases the defense burden on the IDF. This increase in defense burden costs Israel MONEY. It doesn’t matter whether Israel can “take ’em with one hand tied behind their back”. They still have to plan, train, write contingencies, purchase equipment, fuel, etc.

The sale costs Israel MONEY without one shot ever being fired.

There is NO Santa Claus on August 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm

When persons trained in a foreign state use planes as weapons of mass destruction, on your soil, nation-building of that entity should not be on the table. Iran controls Iraq and Pakistan will restore Taliban the second that the US pulls out of Afghanistan.

When the proxy system was operative during the Cold War, attacks had to be done with kid’s gloves. Now, the only thing stopping total commitment against the mohammadanazis is corrupt values. I would suggest limited war advocates value American lives above all others.

Jack Mutt on August 2, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Let’s put this in context. The US will also be selling the Saudis some $60 billion in arms over ten years. And continues to provide some $1.5 billion in military aid annually to Egypt, including not just the Abrams tank (which they assemble locally under license) but F-16s. The same question raised re Iraq could be asked of Egypt: Against who will these arms be used – Sudan? Libya? Egypt hasn’t lifted a finger in the current conflict with Libya?

As to the “giving to Iraq means giving to Iran”, some of us recall that in 1991, in the run-up to Desert Storm, the Iraqi air force flew some of their fighters to Iran for “safe-keeping”. Iran never gave them back.

Raymond in DC on August 2, 2011 at 12:06 am


For your last paragraph, there is a difference b/w then & now. When Iraq flew their fighters into Iran, the latter impounded them b’cos Saddam, despite making peace w/ Iran, was still running the show and could turn on Iran anytime. But now, the Maliki government is everything short of a client state of Iran, so if Iraq ever requests those, chances are that they’re likely to get it. Although probably they think that Iran is more likely to need it.

As for Egypt, the US military support to them started in the 80s, when Libya and Syria were sworn enemies of Egypt (even though Syria has no borders w/ Egypt). As a part of the Cold War calculus, the US supplied Egypt not due to Sudan, but to make sure that Libya, who @ the time was interfaring everywhere they could, were kept ‘honest’. Problem is that after the Cold War, the State Department didn’t bother to update the policies, which is why there are still troops in Germany, Iceland, and all sorts of strange places. Instead, Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia and Armenia are the frontiers on the west, while India, Russia and China are frontiers on the east. Granted, most of these countries are as clueless as the US when it comes to recognizing Muslims as the enemy.

Just as no updates were done for the Cold War, no updates are being done for the regime in Iraq – it’s assumed that b’cos it came to power under US supervision, it’s an ally, end of story.

Infidel Pride on August 3, 2011 at 12:14 am

and when one or more of their pilots go islamic,I wonder who will be selected as the fall guy for this sale

tommy on August 3, 2011 at 3:46 am

THE IDFAF isn’t going to lose 10 seconds of sleep over Iraq getting F-16s.

Sorry Santa…this sale DOES NOT cost Israel any money. Israel has a long range plan of air defence that this ‘development’ will dovetail into…

High tech fighter jets are finicky and need to be pampered. Daily. You think Iraq has the military and the discipline for this?

Here’s how Iraq has historically treated fighter-jets when it needed to hide them! More than anything else, this clearly demonstrates their comprehension of the delicate nature of these airplanes and future aircraft that will come their way.

Into the sand with no wrap, no tape, incomplete engine coverings—an air tech’s worst nightmare. These aircraft are basically garbage, now.

WARNING!!! Graphic stupidity displayed! No pilot should see this

The Canadien on August 3, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    The Canadien:

    That’s not true and you know it. Iraq didn’t bury their fighter jets until it was evident that Saddam Hussein would be overthrown by the U.S. Armed Forces.

    The successful bombing of the Osirak nuclear reactor by Israel in the early 1980’s did not result in Iraq burying their air force in the sand. No threat from Israel compelled Iraq to bury it’s fleet of warplanes in the sand. That much is certain.

    Iraq’s new F16’s will get all the pampering they could possibly want from American contractors bought with Iraqi petrodollars. But you knew that, didn’t you.

    There is NO Santa Claus on August 3, 2011 at 9:37 pm

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