Sunday, August 19, 2012

Editorial: We're giving that guy the F-16?

The notion of giving Nouri al-Maliki F-16s was always problematic.  The prime minister and thug with F-16s was always frightening.


This year, KRG President Massoud Barzani has frequently called out  the decision and asked the US to rethink it.

So far, that hasn't happened.  Nor has the administration been willing to use the F-16s as a bargaining chip to make Nouri honor the Erbil Agreement, a contract the US government negotiated but that Nouri tossed aside after he used it to get his second term as prime minister.

In fact, nothing could deter Barack from supporting Nouri.  It's not just that the Obama White House backed Nouri for a second term in 2010 after the voting results had Nouri's slate come in second.


From the start, members of Congress -- Democrats and Republicans -- have questioned the wisdom involved in giving Iran's neighbor F-16s.  Especially when Iran's neighbor Iraq was ruled by Nouri who has so many close ties to the government in Tehran.

On the front page of this morning's New York Times, James Risen and Duraid Adnan's "U.S. Says Iraqis Are Helping Iran to Skirt Sanctions" ran.  Opening paragraph:

When President Obama announced last month that he was barring a Baghdad bank from any dealings with the American banking system, it was a rare acknowledgment of a delicate problem facing the administration in a country that American troops just left: for months, Iraq has been helping Iran skirt economic sanctions imposed on Tehran because of its nuclear program.

We're told that Barack's "not eager for a public showdown with Nouri."  Oh, too bad, precious.  That's part of the job of being president.

And part of the job includes protecting America.  The US Air Force notes, "Since Sept. 11, 2001, the F-16 has been a major component of the combat forces committed to the Global War on Terrorism flying thousands of sorties in support of operations Noble Eagle (Homeland Defense), Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Iraqi Freedom "

Why would you share that technology with Iran?

And with the latest news about Nouri helping Iran skirt international sanctions, how can you honestly believe Iraq won't be sharing F-16 technology with Iran?

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