June 19, 2014

Maliki Should Step Down, But Blaming Him For Rise of I$I$ Is Wrong

"The US has not confirmed that it is demanding Maliki's resignation, but it is giving every indication it favours some form of government of national unity in Iraq." - Matthew Weaver, "Iraq crisis: US 'urging Maliki to resign' – live updates" The Guardian, June 19, 2014.

"Iraq's fragile democracy, weakened by mounting chaos and a rapidly rising death toll, is being challenged by calls for the formation of a hardline “government of national salvation”.

The proposal, which is being widely discussed in political and intelligence circles in Baghdad, is to replace the Shi’ite-led government of Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, with a regime capable of imposing order and confronting the sectarian militias leading the country to the brink of civil war." - Marie Colvin, "Iraqis call for five-man junta to end the anarchy" Sunday Times, October 15, 2006.
"More important than reducing all Sunni battles to a single war that lasted hours and attributing it all to the ISIL, much of what has been written about Iraq sheds far too little light on the historical context which upon close inspection shows that recent events where both predictable and inevitable.

This is not to downplay, legitimize or condemn the ISIL or the role it has played, as this crisis takes an international dimension. What this essay hopes to highlight is that current events are a culmination of a prolonged tragedy of errors; a bitter history of mishaps, of missed opportunities, of shady deals, of meaningless wars, and foreign meddling. A tragedy of such magnitude is likely to recruit many more players and one that is likely to linger, even if half victories are celebrated by one camp or the other. Big guns often win, but they also tend to change hands." - Ahmed Meiloud, "Why the Sunnis are Revolting" June 18, 2014.
Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki must step down if Iraq is to solve its deep-rooted sectarian and ethnic divisions. He had more than enough time to solve the problems of Iraq during his tenure in office. He had every opportunity to address the oil issue with the Kurdistan Regional Government, and bring Sunnis into the government to make them a willing stakeholder in the preservation of the Iraqi state. But Maliki has done none of these things. He is not a visionary leader. He pursued a vindictive course and has not acted as an effective, just, fair, and responsible ruler.

But to put sole blame on Maliki for ISIS's rapid advance across Iraq's northwest is plain wrong. The US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, France, England, and Qatar share the greater responsibility for I$I$'s rise to power because their policies against Assad in Syria have directly strengthened them along with other Jihadist terrorist groups.

Washington's policy of arming and training these terrorist groups in order to bring down Assad created chaos along the Syrian-Iraqi border. The Turkish government sheltered I$I$ on their territory, and the Saudis and Qataris funded them. There was nothing that Maliki could do to stop them. What is he going to do? Declare war on Saudi Arabia and Qatar for their support for I$I$?

Maliki should own up to his mistakes and step down to help generate confidence among Iraqi's Sunni community in the direction and leadership of the country.

Title: Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki: violence will spread across borders - video. Source: The Guardian. Date Published: June 18.