photo: u.s. dod
A couple of statements by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, point to the futility of prolonging the United States engagement in his country, and why George W. should have taken a deep breath and stepped back from the precipice (like his father did) before sending troops into that tribal mess.
Maliki, says political infighting is preventing the country from appointing a new security minister. A particularly sore spot right now, what with U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates arriving shortly after the deaths of 127 people in a series of bomb attacks on Baghdad. An al Qaeda affiliated group is claiming responsibility for the bombings. Maliki is quoted by the AFP as saying, “The intelligence services cannot appoint any chief because there is no political consensus on it. Every party wants to be in charge of this service.”
Another comment from Maliki, about Osama bin Laden, speaks volumes with regard to the mindset of some Iraqis. “Now if I detain Osama bin Laden, some people will ask, ‘Why did you arrest him? He is a mujaheed (religious fighter)’,” Maliki reportedly said of disputes between political groups that he said were causing violence.”
Saddam may be gone but tribal differences remain. These guys can’t even agree on a security minister. Seems like that would be kind of ….ah…..basic?
Iraq has been without an national intelligence chief for several months. Maliki, fired his security chief in Baghdad on Wednesday, following the bombings.
4,685 coalition forces and more than 100,000 Iraqis have died in the war. More than 31,000 coalition forces have been wounded in action. The Iraqi Government has reported that 5 million kids, nearly half the country’s children, are now orphans.