Monday :: Aug 7, 2006

Al-Maliki Criticizes Latest US Security Campaign

by Steve

There are those who feel that the only way forward in Iraq is for a central government to take hold and gain the confidence of the people, rather than allow the country to move towards a decentralized, regional government structure. Forget it. Bush has screwed Iraq up so bad that the chances of a central government taking hold without that government breaking ranks with us and tossing us out are nil, and wishing the contrary won’t make it so.

You can bet that despite being Dick Cheney’s poodle so far, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is by now sensing that he must separate himself as much as possible from the White House to have any chance of getting the militias to come into a unity government. This was on display today, when al-Maliki criticized the Americans tonight on national television for an attack they carried out earlier in the day:

Iraq's prime minister sharply criticized a U.S.-Iraqi attack Monday on a Shiite militia stronghold in Baghdad, breaking with his American partners on security tactics as the United States launches a major operation to secure the capital.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's criticism followed a pre-dawn air and ground attack on an area of Sadr City, stronghold of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia. Police said three people, including a woman and a child, were killed in the raid, which the U.S. command said was aimed at "individuals involved in punishment and torture cell activities."
Al-Maliki, a Shiite, said he was "very angered and pained" by the operation, warning that it could undermine his efforts toward national reconciliation.
"Reconciliation cannot go hand in hand with operations that violate the rights of citizens this way," al-Maliki said in a statement on government television. "This operation used weapons that are unreasonable to detain someone — like using planes."
He apologized to the Iraqi people for the operation and said "this won't happen again."
After the Sadr City attack, President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, met with the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., to discuss security operations in Baghdad. Talabani said he told Casey "it is in no one's interest to have a confrontation" with al-Sadr's movement.
But the public position taken by al-Maliki and Talabani signaled serious differences between Iraqi politicians and both U.S. and Iraqi military officials on how to restore order and deal with armed groups, many of which have links to political parties.

Any government that is viewed as Dick Cheney’s poodle is doomed to fail in Iraq, so either al-Maliki will be forced to confront us or see the country slide further into the existing civil war towards a partitioning.

Steve :: 4:14 PM :: Comments (11) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!