Sunday, June 29, 2014

Editorial: Playing footsie with a tyrant

Earlier this month, US President Barack Obama announced 'preconditions' for tyrant Nouri al-Maliki receiving US forces in Iraq.  A political solution, Barack insisted, was needed.  For any US assistance to take place, Barack said, drawing a line in the sand with his big toe, Nouri would have to demonstrate he was able to embrace pluralism in Iraq and stop attacking every non-Shi'ite group.

A big gust of wind must have come along because the line in the sand quickly disappeared.

Nouri got what he wanted, US troops as 'advisors' -- to help advise him how to kill more Iraqis?

And he got that without making any serious moves towards political reconciliation.

There was one awkward press conference that Sunnis participated in.

That was it.

Nouri continues to maintain that he will not put forward a unity government -- he says it's unconstitutional.  And he continues to refuse calls to step down and not seek a third term.

But Barack still gave him what he wanted.

Well maybe this is part of negotiations.  Maybe the US is getting ready for some tough talk?

Last week, US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Iraq.

 Alsumaria featured this photo of John Kerry making nice with tyrant Nouri.

Does that look like tough talk is taking place?


What is looks like is the infamous and shameful photo from the Reagan presidency of Donald Rumsfeld grinning and making nice with Saddam Hussein.

The White House issued the following last week:

Letter from the President -- War Powers Resolution Letter regarding Iraq

June 26, 2014
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
As I reported on June 16, 2014, U.S. Armed Forces personnel have deployed to Iraq to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
I have since ordered further measures in response to the situation in Iraq. Specifically, as I announced publicly on June 19, I have ordered increased intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance that is focused on the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). I also ordered up to approximately 300 additional U.S. Armed Forces personnel in Iraq to assess how we can best train, advise, and support Iraqi security forces and to establish joint operations centers with Iraqi security forces to share intelligence and coordinate planning to confront the threat posed by ISIL. Some of these personnel were already in Iraq as part of the U.S. Embassy's Office of Security Cooperation, and others began deploying into Iraq on June 24. These forces will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that they are no longer needed.
This action is being undertaken in coordination with the Government of Iraq and has been directed consistent with my responsibility to protect U.S. citizens both at home and abroad, and in furtherance of U.S. national security and foreign policy interests, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.
I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of the Congress in these actions.


Actually, most experts are saying that backing Nouri is endangering American lives.  That taking sides in this civil war could lead to attacks on and in the US.

Actually, the only Americans in danger in Iraq were Embassy staff who could have been quickly evacuated -- out of the country or to the northern Kurdistan Regional Government.

By sending in (more) US troops while failing to evacuate diplomatic personnel, Barack's only increased the number of Americans potentially in danger.

And then there's that other 'minor' issue.

Nouri's committing War Crimes -- legally defined and internationally recognized War Crimes.

For six months, he's been bombing civilians and civilian sites in Falluja, in spite of Geneva and every other law.  Yesterday,  Arwa Damon, Chelsea J. Carter and Laura Smith-Spark (CNN) reported:

Iraq's air force carried out a series of airstrikes on Mosul, according to a senior Iraqi military official.
The airstrikes targeted four locations inside Iraq's second-largest city, including ISIS headquarters, said Mazen al-Safaar, a traffic director in Mosul.
But a doctor says the airstrikes also hit Mosul's administration building and the Old City's shopping district.
At least seven civilians were killed and two were wounded in the airstrikes, according to Dr. Salaheldin al-Naimi, the director of the health administration.

Now he's going after civilians in Mosul.

And this is who the US is playing footsie with?

Maybe Barack has some plan that will emerge in the next week and Nouri will be sent packing.

That would be great.

But right now, a tyrant and War Criminal rules Iraq and the same US government that twice-installed him now wants to make nice with him.

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