Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has agreed to step aside and support his designated successor Haider al-Abadi.
Joe Biden called the new Iraqi prime minister designate Haider al-Abadi to congratulate him. Really? It feels more as if condolences would be in order. Who the hell would want to be prime minister of Iraq? Really, people, there are easier ways to fill your Swiss bank account.
Meanwhile Maliki is pulling a Dream Girls-style “and I’m telling you that I’m not going…”
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has “gone out of his mind, and lives on a different planet — he doesn’t appreciate the mess he has created.”
A senior Iraqi official
Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki announced today that he won’t be stopped from seeking a third term. So efforts to form a government will now go on forever….
Maliki’s short-sighted, non-inclusive rule — pro-Shiite and anti-Sunni — created the conditions for ISIS to grab much of northern and western Iraq. His refusal to go makes it easier for ISIS to stay.
It’s easy to say we backed the wrong guy all these years, but really, people, they’re all the wrong guy.
So John Kerry met Maliki in Baghdad. Kerry pushed for Maliki to give more power to the Sunnis. Maliki pressed for Obama to do airstrikes.
Meanwhile ISIS marches on.
From my reading on Iraq, it seems that the President isn’t thinking about air strikes, but has decided to do them, and is waiting for up-to-date intelligence and a better sense of the lay of the land.
It also seems pretty clear that those air strikes won’t just be in Iraq, but will be in Syria too.
We seem to be proceeding on two tracks — a military track using air power and a political track to get Maliki ousted.
ISIS has now taken Tal Afar, a city northwest of Baghdad, near the Syrian border. Its defense had been led by one of Maliki’s top generals…
“We will not be sending U. S. troops back into combat in Iraq. But I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support Iraqi security forces and I’ll be reviewing those options in the days ahead.”
[As ISIS heads for Baghdad, exactly how many days does he think he has?]
“But understand that ultimately it’s up to the Iraqis, as a sovereign nation, to solve their problems.”
[Well, it’s pretty damn obvious the Iraqis can’t do that.]
“But this is a regional problem, and it is going to be a long-term problem. And what we’re going to have to do is combine selective actions by our military to make sure that we’re going after terrorists who can harm our personnel overseas or eventually hit the homeland.”
[I’m just going to run out the clock here, so I don’t have to get involved trying to save that SOB Maliki, and then we’ll go after the terrorists with drones, like in Yemen and Pakistan. More drones! More cowbell!]
Way back in 2006, Joe Biden said we should carve up Iraq into three parts — Sunni, Shiite, and Kurd.
That’s what’s happening on the ground right now. If Maliki can hold Baghdad and the Shia provinces in the south (a huge if), how is he going to dislodge ISIS from the Sunni areas, how is he going to dislodge the Kurds from Kirkuk, which they’ve long claimed as their “capital,” and now completely control.
The Biden plan is being implemented de facto, if not de iure.
On his 90th birthday, let’s remember that George H. W. Bush kicked Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, but refused to kick him out of Baghdad. Bush knew Saddam was a monster, but he was a bulwark against Iran who ran a secular regime with a strong, educated middle class. Bush 41 knew that we were better off keeping Saddam, so long as that meant keeping him from expanding his borders and from gassing the Kurds.
What’s happening right this minute is the fault of Bush 43 for going in, not of Obama for getting out.
As the Washington Post describes Iraq as “on the brink of disintegration,” the Prez says “all options are on the table.” Based on our refusal to help Iraq the last few months, despite their ever-more-urgent pleas for airstrikes, it seems we’re going with the “let the whole thing go to Hell” option.
The Islamic extremists carving their “caliphate” out of Syria and Iraq, ISIS, are so radical and so violent that they were kicked out of Al Qaeda! Think about that…
Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki refused to reach out to his Sunni population, running a purely Shiite show, so now his Sunnis won’t fight for him, and the American weapons and armored vehicles they abandon as they flee are going to the jihadists. Your tax dollars at work… You can train and equip soldiers, as we very expensively did in Iraq, but if they have no loyalty to their government and won’t fight for it, what are you gonna do?
We have been unable to bring Afghanistan out of the seventh century. Now Iraq seems about to join them.
Bin Laden is dead — his vision, not so much.