From The National Review.
Secretary of state John Kerry seemed surprised that Iraqi prime minister Nouri Maliki did not heed his reasonable request to deny the Iranians the use of Iraqi airspace to facilitate resupply of the Assad regime. While, of course, this slapdown is ingratitude pure and simple (Mr. Maliki right now would be either dead or in exile on a Baathist hit list, if not for the sacrifices of American troops), surely Kerry must concede that Maliki’s indifference is due (a) to the failure of the administration to negotiate a small constabulary air and land force that would have overseen the nascent constitutional government, and kept Iraqi borders and airspace protected, and (b) to the constant disparagement of post-Saddam Iraq over the last five years by Obama, Kerry, and others (who previously had run political campaigns on the premise that the reconstruction of Iraq had not been worth the American effort) — almost as if it were not entirely authentic and, as George Bush’s creation, most certainly not to be embraced fully.
Had Obama far earlier just reached out to Iraq as a friend in the way he did to hostiles, for example, to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, or the Iranian government in 2009–10, or to the Islamist rebels in Syria, we might have had better relations and a cooperative Iraqi government.
That’s the way the SCOAMF rolls with foreign policy.
And they wonder why Maliki told Kerry to fuck off.
The reigns are now in Nouri al-Maliki’s hands. He may as well write off any real support from the U.S. until Obama is out of office.
Iraq is just one country in a muslim extremist cesspool. It’s surrounded by Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Iran. The Taliban, Al Qaeda, and other terrorist cells traipse right into Iraq from those countries with no resistance. The other obstacle to complete stabilization is that there are 150+ tribes in Iraq. Not all of them will get along.
Al-Maliki’s leadership qualities are very questionable. The ministry has to be filled with people who really give a shit about the security and future of Iraq. In not doing so, that creates as much of a threat to stability as the terrorists. For the most part, Iraq has become pretty stable in spite of the sporadic attacks. The Iraqi police, military, and security forces have been equipped and trained. It’s now up to them to pick up the slack and take control.
In the absence of American leadership, they have no choice.