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June 25, 2014

Iraq Prime Minister: Screw You US, I'll Take My Chances With Iran

Obama has made a big show of demanding the Shia dominated Iraqi government make some political overtures and concessions to Sunnis (and I guess the Kurds but they are off doing their own thing) as a condition for increased US help.

Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has rejected that idea.

President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have both urged Iraqi leaders to broaden the ruling coalition to rise above sectarian and ethnic divisions.

Kerry visited Iraq this week to meet with Iraqi leaders to urge a political realignment.

Such calls represented a "coup against the constitution and an attempt to end the democratic experience," al-Maliki warned in a weekly televised address, the BBC reports.

Al-Maliki, who is Shia, called on "all political forces to reconcile" in the face of a "fierce terrorist onslaught."

Al-Maliki's bloc won 92 of the 328-seats in parliamentary elections in April, but did not claim the overall majority and has been unable to form a coalition government.

Given the sectarian nature of the problems facing Iraq, the idea that Al-Maliki was going to give into Sunnis while Sunni insurgent groups are taking territory across Iraq and the Iraqi Army essentially becomes one large Shia militia was always far fetched.

Meanwhile Iran continues to send men and material to Iraq to fight the Sunni insurgents.

Iran is directing surveillance drones over Iraq from an airfield in Baghdad and is secretly supplying Iraq with tons of military equipment, supplies and other assistance, American officials said. Tehran has also deployed an intelligence unit there to intercept communications, the officials said.

Al-Maliki has made a simple and probably correct calculation...his future lays with Iran. In so openly rebuffing Kerry and Obama he has basically cut his ties to the US and thrown his lot in with Iran.

It's the smart thing from his perspective. Iran by virtue of nothing else if not geography is a player in Iraq for the long term. Americans on the other hand change leaders and policies too often and as a people we lose interest in wars in far away places.

This is bascialy another bit of confirmation of what we all already knew, Iraq as we know it as a single nation state is through.

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posted by DrewM. at 11:54 AM

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