Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Checking Out al Maliki

The problem with puppet governments is that they come with strings. In Iraq, Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki keeps trying to show he’s not our man but keeps tripping over his ties to fellow Shiites and losing Sunnis who don’t trust him. Now he’s losing us, too.

President Bush is expressing “frustration,” and Ambassador Ryan Crocker is echoing him: "We do expect results, as do the Iraqi people, and our support is not a blank check." So is the No. 2 commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen Raymond Odierno, using same “blank check” expression.

The American people meanwhile are picking up a monthly tab of $9 billion dollars and 100 lost lives while the President keeps saying “if the government doesn't respond to the demands of the people, they will replace the government. That's up to the Iraqis to make that decision.”

But which Iraqis and when? As we keep coaching from the sidelines and talking about checks, blank or otherwise, how do we persuade the world we’re not pulling the strings? And if they replace al Maliki, most likely with an even more openly Shiite partisan, what happens then?

When Crocker and Gen. Petraeus give us their progress report next month, Congress will want an update on al Maliki’s checking account to go with it.

1 comment:

Liza said...

Al Maliki has got to go as far as Bush/Cheney is concerned. His job is to get that oil law passed to open up Iraq's oil to privatization. His government is falling apart, he can't deliver the oil law, so what good is he to Bush?