Konspirasjonsteorier har alltid hatt gode kår i Midtøsten. De er ikke blitt dårligere under den syriske borgerkrigen. Spørsmålet har alltid vært? Hvem står egentlig bak det som skjer? Hvordan kunne IS bli så mektig? Usannsynlige hendelser krever usannsynlige svar. Irakere i alminnelighet tror at USA støtter IS. Dette er så utbredte oppfatninger at den irakiske regjering må ta hensyn til dem.

Sist uke erklært forsvarsminister Ashton Carter at det ville bli sendt et eget ekspedisjonskorps til Irak som skulle jakte på IS. Men nå skyter statsminister Abadi nyheten ned og sier Irak ikke ønsker et utenlandsk nærvær. Det er meget pinlig for USA.

In one example of how little leverage the United States now has, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi pushed back swiftly against an announcement Tuesday by Defense Secretary ­Ashton B. Carter that an expeditionary force of U.S. troops will be dispatched to Iraq to conduct raids, free hostages and capture Islamic State leaders.

Iraq’s semiautonomous region of Kurdistan, where support for the United States remains strong, has said it would welcome more troops. But Abadi indicated they would not be needed.

“There is no need for foreign ground combat troops,” he said in a statement. “Any such support and special operations anywhere in Iraq can only be deployed subject to the approval of the Iraqi Government and in coordination with the Iraqi forces and with full respect to Iraqi sovereignty.”

Det shia-irakiske lederskapet er delt i to. Den iransk-vennlige delen bruker konspirasjonsteoriene om USA-IS til å undergrave statsminister Abadi og hans fløy som forsøker å holde seg inne med USA.

The allegations of U.S. collusion with the Islamic State are aired regularly in parliament by Shiite politicians and promoted in postings on social media. They are persistent enough to suggest a deliberate campaign on the part of Iran’s allies in Iraq to erode American influence, U.S. officials say.

In one typical recent video that appeared on the Facebook page of a Shiite militia, a lawmaker with the country’s biggest militia group, the Badr Organization, waves apparently new U.S military MREs (meals ready to eat) — one of them chicken and dumplings — allegedly found at a recently captured Islamic State base in Baiji, offering proof, he said, of U.S. support.

“The Iranians and the Iranian-backed Shiite militias are really pushing this line of propaganda, that the United States is supporting ISIL,” Warren said. “It’s part of the Iranian propaganda machine.”

Steve Warren er talsmann for amerikanske militære i Bagdad.

Man konstruerer fakta ut fra bevis som er grepet ut av løse lufta.

Ordinary people also have seen the videos, heard the stories and reached the same conclusion — one that might seem absurd to Americans but is widely believed among Iraqis — that the United States is supporting the Islamic State for a variety of pernicious reasons that have to do with asserting U.S. control over Iraq, the wider Middle East and, perhaps, its oil.

“It is not in doubt,” said Mustafa Saadi, who says his friend saw U.S. helicopters delivering bottled water to Islamic State positions. He is a commander in one of the Shiite militias that last month helped push the militants out of the oil refinery near Baiji in northern Iraq alongside the Iraqi army.

The Islamic State is “almost finished,” he said. “They are weak. If only America would stop supporting them, we could defeat them in days.”

U.S. military officials say the charges are too far-fetched to merit a response. “It’s beyond ridiculous,” said Col. Steve Warren, the military’s Baghdad-based spokesman. “There’s clearly no one in the West who buys it, but unfortunately, this is something that a segment of the Iraqi population believes.”

Hvis man blir møtt av slike anklager fra det som på papiret er allierte, hva skal man da med fiender? Og hvordan skal man kunne vinne over dem? Hvordan skal USA kunne samarbeide med en regjeringshær gjennomsyret av slike holdninger?

“What influence can we have if they think we are supporting the terrorists?” asked Kirk Sowell, an analyst based in neighboring Jordan who publishes the newsletter Inside Iraqi Politics.