Anyone Can Be an Interventionist if They Think it Helps Them Hold on to Power

back to iraq?In an interview with the Washington
earlier this week, Iraq’s ambassador to the U.S. had
about President Obama’s lack of engagement on Iraq,
especially compared to George W. Bush, who the ambassador says took
“ownership” of the issue. (Shouldn’t be surprising; it was his
war).  The Times

“The administration has to have a better understanding
of any adverse impact of any delay in provision of support to
Iraq,” Ambassador Lukman Faily told The Washington Times in an
interview Wednesday. “It cannot afford a whole town or province of
Iraq falling to al Qaeda and becoming a safe haven. It’s against
the U.S. strategic interest. It’s against the U.S. national
security to do that.”

It may be against Nouri al-Maliki and his party’s interest if
more Iraqi territory falls to Al Qaeda, it may even be against
Syrian national security interests, given the role of Al
Qaeda-linked fighters in the rebellion there. But in regards to
U.S. national security, it’s far more more plausible that U.S.
military intervention in Iraq would work against U.S. interests,
not for them. The last American intervention in Iraq, after all,

helped bring Al Qaeda
into the country in the first place.

The Times hits on how al-Maliki’s government helped
foment the problem it’s
now facing

Human rights groups have accused the
al-Maliki government of strategically and politically
alienating Iraq’s Sunnis. Some leading foreign policy analysts
in Washington have gone so far as to suggest that
the government’s posture has prompted residents in
Sunni-dominated areas to tolerate the presence of al
Qaeda-linked groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and
the Levant, which seized control of Fallujah last week.

“The resurgence of al Qaeda and other extremist
movements, and the growing depth of its sectarian and ethnic
divisions, is the fault of its political leaders, not outside
states or a lack of Iraqi nationalism and inherent forces within
Iraqi society,” stated a report released Monday by Anthony
Cordesman and Sam Khazai, who are analysts with the Center for
Strategic and International Studies.

Recall that the “defeat” of Al Qaeda in Iraq toward the end of
the American war was
in part, even by the military leaders behind the U.S.
surge , on the “Anbar Awakening,” when Sunni Muslims in Iraq began
to resist Al Qaeda’s influence in an organized fashion. Al-Maliki’s
work on antagonizing Sunnis in Iraq began immediately after the
withdrawal of U.S. troops; his government issued an arrest warrant
against Iraq’s Sunni vice president just a day later, eventually

him to death in abstentia. Were U.S. troops to
re-enter Iraq, their mission would not be in support of expelling
Al Qaeda from the country, but in helping a developing strongman
consolidate his power.

from Hit & Run

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