II have been trying to explain why the American middle class is in revolt against the Washington political establishment for a long laundry list of costly mistakes based on poor judgment by our government leaders. We the people want more besides footing the $1.7 trillion dollar bill for the Iraqi debacle which started in 2003 under President George Bush’s administration. Then President Barack Obama further exacerbated this disaster by choosing to prop up the very flawed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki despite strong protestations from those in the know.
One of the major complaints by the American majority is that while we have been paying a high price in exchange for disastrous outcomes because of President Bush’s 2003 Iraq war, and President Obama’s propping up of Iraq’s leader Maliki beyond 2010, is the heart breaking suffering we are witnessing in Iraq and Syria. There can be no greater example as we watch in real time, the Syrian refugee crisis. How can we Not be upset about how our U.S. government has let America and the world down by its officials’ lack of sound common sense judgement with reasonable and competent due diligence?
Anyway, the following is the continuation of the story about how President Obama’s support for the Prime Minister Maliki beyond the 2010 Iraqi elections, led to the existence of ISIS which has mired us in Iraq and Syria for years to come, with all of its associated financial and human costs. And NO, our country has definitely NOT been kept safer by both the President Bush republican and the President Obama democrat administrations.
Here are some more excerpts from the 7/3/14 Washington Post Opinion piece by Ali Khedery, “Why we stuck with Maliki — and lost Iraq:”
Finding a leader
“Born in Tuwairij, a village outside the Iraqi holy city of Karbala, Abu Isra is the proud grandson of a tribal leader who helped end British colonial rule in the 1920s. Raised in a devout Shiite family, he grew to resent Sunni minority rule in Iraq, especially the secular but repressive Baath Party. Maliki joined the theocratic Dawa party as a young man, believing in its call to create a Shiite state in Iraq by any means necessary. After clashes between the secular Sunni, Shiite and Christian Baathists and Shiite Islamist groups, including Dawa, Saddam Hussein’s government banned the rival movements and made membership a capital offense.”
‘Accused of being extensions of Iranian clerics and intelligence officers, thousands of Dawa party members were arrested, tortured and executed. Many of the mutilated bodies were never returned to their families. Among those killed were some of Maliki’s close relatives, forever shaping the psychology of the future premier.”
“Over a span of three decades, Maliki moved between Iran and Syria, where he organized covert operations against Hussein’s regime, eventually becoming chief of Iraq’s Dawa branch in Damascus. The party found a patron in Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s Islamic Republic of Iran. During the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, when Iraq used Western-supplied chemical weapons, Tehran retaliated by using Shiite Islamist proxies such as Dawa to punish Hussein’s supporters. With Iran’s assistance, Dawa operatives bombed the Iraqi Embassy in Beirut in 1981 in one of radical Islam’s first suicide attacks. They also bombed the American and French embassies in Kuwait and schemed to kill the emir. Dozens of assassination plots against senior members of Hussein’s government, including the dictator himself, failed miserably, resulting in mass arrests and executions.”
“During the tumultuous months following America’s invasion of Iraq in 2003, Maliki returned to his home country. He took a job advising future prime minister Ibrahim al-Jafari and later, as a member of parliament, chaired the committee supporting the De-Baathification Commission, an organization privately celebrated by Shiite Islamists as a means of retribution and publicly decried by Sunnis as a tool of repression.”
“Never having run anything beyond a violent, secretive Shiite Islamist political party, Maliki found his first years leading Iraq enormously challenging. He struggled with violence that killed thousands of Iraqis each month and displaced millions, a collapsing oil industry, and divided and corrupt political partners — as well as delegations from an increasingly impatient U.S. Congress. Maliki was the official ruler of Iraq, but with the surge of U.S. forces in 2007 and the arrival in Baghdad of Gen. David Petraeus, there was little doubt about who was actually keeping the Iraqi state from collapse.”
“Crocker and Petraeus met with the prime minister several hours a day, virtually every day, for nearly two years. Unlike his rivals, Maliki traveled little outside the country and routinely worked 16-hour days. We coordinated political, economic and military policies, seeking to overcome legislative obstacles and promote economic growth while pursuing al-Qaeda, Baathist spoilers and Shiite Islamist militias. As Crocker’s special assistant, my role was to help prepare him for and accompany him to meetings with Iraqi leaders, and I often served as his proxy when the Iraqis squabbled among themselves. The United States was compelled to mediate among the Iraqis because we felt that the country would become stable only with united and cohesive Iraqi leadership, backed by the use of force against violent extremists.”
“One of the biggest breakthroughs of this era was the Awakening movement, in which, thanks to long negotiations, Sunni Arab tribal and Baathist insurgents turned their guns away from U.S. troops and pointed them toward al-Qaeda, thereby reintegrating into the Iraqi political process. Initially hostile to the idea of arming and funding Sunni fighters, Maliki eventually relented after intense lobbying from Crocker and Petraeus, but only on the condition that Washington foot the bill. He later agreed to hire and fund some of the tribal fighters, but many of his promises to them went unmet — leaving them unemployed, bitter and again susceptible to radicalization.”
‘Settling into power by 2008, and with the northern half of the nation becoming pacified, Maliki was growing into his job. He had weekly video conferences with President George W. Bush. During these intimate gatherings, in which a small group of us sat quietly off screen, Maliki often complained of not having enough constitutional powers and of a hostile parliament, while Bush urged patience.”
“Over time, Maliki helped forge compromises with his political rivals and signed multibillion-dollar contracts with multinational companies to help modernize Iraq. Few of us had hope in Iraq’s future during the depths of the civil war, but a year after the surge began, the country seemed to be back on track.”