Sunday, August 24, 2014

Truest statement of the week

Next door in Iraq, an emboldened Nouri al-Maliki waged his own sectarian campaign to consolidate power, betraying promises to his political partners to share it around. Within days of being welcomed at the White House and praised by Barack Obama for his leadership, Maliki returned to Baghdad to mastermind the arrest of his principal Sunni rival, vice-president Tariq al-Hashimi.
Supported by Iran and armed with US-made Humvees, M-16s, and M1A1 tanks, Maliki's forces closed in on Hashimi, only to see him flee to Kurdistan. Dozens of his guards were imprisoned on terrorism charges. At least one of them died under interrogation.
Another Christmas purge followed a year later, when a second prominent Sunni rival, the finance minister Rafea al-Essawi, found his home surrounded by Maliki's US-made tanks. He fled to the sanctuary of his tribe in Iraq's Anbar province, and was eliminated from Iraqi politics.

-- Ali Khedery, "How Isis came to be," (Guardian).

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