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.Al-Maliki's frustration with the American cut and run crowd is understandable, but it is no excuse for giving them aid and comfort. It won't be long before we hear al-Maliki's statement used as justification for giving him the opportunity to conduct his own experiment, God willing. Apparently, he has never heard the expression "Be careful what you wish for."
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.
... Thursday's White House assessment of progress on the benchmarks fueled calls among congressional critics of the Iraqi policy for a change in strategy, including a withdrawal of American forces.
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."
Sunday, July 15, 2007
New Democrat talking point
Iraq PM: Country Can Manage Without U.S. What's left unsaid is that Iraq would have to invite Iran to assist in supplying those weapons and training.