Saturday, July 28, 2007

al-Maliki and Petraeus throwdown

Relations between the top United States general in Iraq and Nouri al-Maliki, the country's prime minister, are so bad that the Iraqi leader made a direct appeal for his removal to President George W Bush.
Although the call was rejected, aides to both men admit that Mr Maliki and Gen David Petraeus engage in frequent stand-up shouting matches, differing particularly over the US general's moves to arm Sunni tribesmen to fight al-Qa'eda.
One Iraqi source said Mr Maliki used a video conference with Mr Bush to call for the general's signature strategy to be scrapped. "He told Bush that if Petraeus continues, he would arm Shia militias," said the official. "Bush told Maliki to calm down."

The above, noted by Polly, is from Damien McElroy's "Iraqi leader tells Bush: Get Gen Petraeus out" (Telegraph of London). Petraeus and the Puppet at odds. The article states that al-Maliki has asked Bully Boy to replace Petraues. al-Maliki can't deliver the oil law (the theft of Iraqi oil) he swore he could. It's been over a year and he's accomplished nothing. He's accomplished nothing for Iraqis but the administration doesn't give a damn about that. They do care that he has not accomplished their aims.

A number of visitors this morning express outrage that the article in the New York Times yesterday was not linked to or mentioned in the snapshot. Helene Cooper was one of the writers of that piece. It was an unsourced piece. It was something I hadn't heard before (I'd heard of what McElroy's reporting). Cooper covers the US State Department which, at the Times, means they whisper, it's printed as truth. (That's true of any State Department in any US administration.)

It's part of preparing the US public for al-Maliki's ouster. The details (unsourced) may or may not be true. But it's to prepare Americans for the fact that al-Maliki's departure is a good thing.

al-Maliki's departure, like the departure of US forces from Iraq, should have happened a long time ago. (In fact, he should have never been installed.) It's to soften up outrage, to mitigate it, when the push comes. Americans should be outraged. al-Maliki was installed over a year ago. He missed the Constitutional deadlines to put together a cabinet. At which point, he gave himself an extension (which the Iraqi Constitution did not allow) and he still missed that. That should have been the first indication to the world that al-Maliki was going to be a failure.

The fact that this US selected puppet was allowed to remain in power while accomplishing nothing is a failure of the US administration.

His failures are not an indictment of Iraqis. He never represented them. Whether or not he passed on warnings to Moqtada al-Sadr (as the Times' whispers claimed) doesn't change the fact that he did not represent Iraqis. When the US began installing walls around Baghdad, they made it clear to the entire world that al-Maliki was nothing but a puppet.

al-Maliki held a press conference to announce that he did not favor the construction and it would cease immediately. It didn't cease. American forces and Iraqis continued the walls. The Iraqi military, which al-Maliki is supposed to be in charge of, took pot shots at the puppet in the press, explaining how they didn't listen to him.

al-Maliki has no power, puppets never do, and he has no support from the people. He doesn't represent them. When he's replaced, the spin will be, in the US, "How could he do that to us?"

The reality is that the US administration created him and propped him up.

Any sense of betrayal or time wasted belongs with the White House, not with the puppet.

That said, he's not just someone willing to stab Iraqis in the back, he's also really stupid. Demanding that Patreaus be replaced is not a demand he can make. It is far more embarrassing to Bully Boy to replace the top general than it is to replace al-Maliki.

There will be a second entry this morning, but we'll go ahead and note Margaret Kimberly's latest right now. From her "Freedom Rider: Banks, Baseball and Corporate Welfare" (Freedom Rider, Black Agenda Report):

There used to be an old adage, "What's good for General Motors is good for America." That once mighty corporation is now on life support, but the ideology behind the saying remains. What is good for corporate interests is supposed to be good for everyone else.
American cities and states vie with one another to see who can give the biggest subsidies to big box stores, sports teams, or investment banks. While the poor and working class who ask for help are stigmatized as parasites, the high and mighty get the red carpet treatment when they stick their hands in the public treasury.
The New York Yankees and the New York Mets are both in the process of building new stadiums, subsidized by the taxpayers, and with the seal of approval from politicians. Housing, small businesses and public park land will be reduced or eliminated to line the pockets of already wealthy corporations.
The Yankees stole parks from the people of New York City with the connivance of current and former politicians now turned lobbyists. The local community board and City Council member voted against the Yankees land grab but the opposition was out spent and out muscled. Community wishes were seen only as nuisances that had to be eliminated.

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