Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The crisis and the disinterested US reaction

Vestnik Kavkaza reports, "The US has made a big mistake by withdrawing from Iraq, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, 1news.az reports. Erdogan met his Norwegian counterpart Jens Stoltenberg and reminded him that he had warned US president and vice-president about repercussions from such step. The Turkish premier noted that the situation in Iraq remains tense and inter-religious conflicts may arise at any moments. Turkey is a neighboring state and cannot remain indifferent to the situation. He added that Iran is planned to be involved in the process." KUNA also notes Erdogan making public statements of concern about what's taking place in Iraq and they offer this context, "Erdogan made these remarks amidst political conflict between the Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki’s rule of law coalition and the Iraqiya List after a judicial committee issued an arrest warrant for vice-president Tareq Al-hashimi on terrorism charges."

Meanwhile the US government has nothing to say. As we noted Sunday, that's how you end up the loser. More and more statements are being made about the state of Iraq. By other countries. And the US response? At the State Dept for two weeks they more or less parroted the same response guessing (correctly) that doing so would mean reporters would lose interest. And by the end of last week, journalists had given up -- a stance that continued yesterday.

So as the crisis continues in Iraq and as people -- in the US and around the world -- see various government officials weighing in, don't be surprised when the attitude is: "The US destroyed Iraq and now they just don't care."

They're begging for that to be the image.

And heaven forbid the crisis grow worse and really bloody. At which point the reaction will be, "Why didn't the US government even give a damn?"

(They never gave a damn because, beginning in 2006, they made the decision that Nouri was the US future and mattered more than Iraqis. This lack of concern for Iraqis was a thread in the Bush administration and one picked up and continued by the Barack administration.)

Adam Schreck (AP) notes, "Administration officials acknowledge that Iraq is mired in its worst government crisis since Hussein's ouster, with no obvious answers because of longstanding sectarian and regional rivalries, and newer schisms caused by political maneuvering. The task is Iraq's now, they insist, with the United States only advising and providing aid." On the first sentence, it's a shame they refuse to indicate that publicly on the record. On the second sentence, it's a shame they're such liars. How many billions is the US pumping into Iraq this year? And how many weapons are being sought by Iraq right now? And how desperate is Iraq to get out of Chapter VII at the UN? Those are only some of the influence levers the US has.

But apparently, like the previous administration, the White House can only see 'influence' in terms of boots on the ground and bullets. BTHP. (Note to self for the snapshot later today.)

Along with attempting to have Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi arrested, Nouri is also attempting to have Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq arrested. Though Parliament has refused to take up Nouri's demand (Nouri cannot strip anyone of their Cabinet post, he needs the approval of Parliament), Dar Addustour notes Nouri is already attempting to find a replacement and is eyeing Jamal Karbouli. Al Mada adds that Nouri began discussions with Karbouli about this post on Sunday. Hayder al-Khoei had an article Sunday at the Guardian which Al Mada summarizes here. al-Khoei is reminding that the conflict is (thus far) between political rivals and not sects. Ayad Allawi, for example, heads Iraqiya and he is of the same sect as Nouri al-Maliki. We'll note the second to the last paragraph from the Guardian article:

Interestingly, and perhaps even more telling, Ayatollah Sistani blamed politicians for the recent crisis without taking sides. In 2005 Sistani stood by the Shia political parties and helped them get into power. Today Sistani refuses to meet politicians, regardless of sect, because he believes they have failed to provide services. Again, there is a Najaf-Baghdad complex at play that has received little attention.

The following community sites -- plus The Diane Rehm Show, Antiwar.com and the White House -- updated last night and this morning (and we're noting the White House because I wasn't aware the official government feed -- paid for by US tax payers -- could be used to promote campaign events or re-election efforts):

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.