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Maliki Says Iraq Can Manage Without US

From those lovers of genocide at the Associated Press:

The scene of an early morning car bomb explosion in west Baghdad July 14, 2007.

Iraq PM: Country can manage without U.S.

By BUSHRA JUHI, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD – Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday that the Iraqi army and police are capable of keeping security in the country when American troops leave “any time they want,” though he acknowledged the forces need further weapons and training.

The embattled prime minister sought to show confidence at a time when congressional pressure is growing for a withdrawal and the Bush administration reported little progress had been made on the most vital of a series of political benchmarks it wants al-Maliki to carry out.

Al-Maliki said difficulty in enacting the measures was “natural” given Iraq’s turmoil.

But one of his top aides, Hassan al-Suneid, rankled at the assessment, saying the U.S. was treating Iraq like “an experiment in an American laboratory.” He sharply criticised the U.S. military, saying it was committing human rights violations, embarassing the Iraqi government with its tactics and cooperating with “gangs of killers” in its campaign against al-Qaida in Iraq.

Al-Suneid’s comments were a rare show of frustration toward the Americans from within al-Maliki’s inner circle as the prime minister struggles to overcome deep divisions between Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish members of his coalition and enact the American-drawn list of benchmarks…

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari warned earlier this week of civil war and the government’s collapse if the Americans leave. But al-Maliki told reporters Saturday, “We say in full confidence that we are able, God willing, to take the responsibility completely in running the security file if the international forces withdraw at any time they want.”

But he added that Iraqi forces are “still in need of more weapons and rehabilitation” to be ready in the case of a withdrawal…

Al-Suneid, a Shiite lawmaker close to al-Maliki, bristled at the pressure. He called Thursday’s report “objective,” but added, “this bothers us a lot that the situation looks as if it is an experiment in an American laboratory (judging) whether we succeed or fail.”

He also told The Associated Press that al-Maliki has problems with the top U.S. commander Gen. David Petraeus, who works along a “purely American vision.”

He criticized U.S. overtures to Sunni groups in Anbar and Diyala, encouraging former insurgents to join the fight against al-Qaida in Iraq. “These are gangs of killers,” he said.

“There are disagreements that the strategy that Petraeus is following might succeed in confronting al-Qaida in the early period but it will leave Iraq an armed nation, an armed society and militias,” said al-Suneid.

He said that the U.S. authorities have embarrassed al-Maliki’ government through acts such as constructing a wall around Baghdad’s Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah and repeated raids on suspected Shiite militiamen in the capital’s eastern slum of Sadr City. He said the U.S. use of airstrikes to hit suspected insurgent positions also kills civilians.

“This embarrasses the government in front of its people,” he said, calling the civilian deaths a “human rights violation.”

One suspects that Mr. Maliki was merely trying to show confidence in the strength of his government and its military and police.

But of course the Associated Press has to make him sound like he wants the US to leave ASAP.

And this article, like so many from our watchdog media before, clearly seeks to sow dissension between the US and Iraqi leadership.

Funny how the AP never does that to the “freedom fighters.”

It’s almost as if they have an agenda. 

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, July 14th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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