Inspiring Confidence: Maliki Want Petraeus Out

Maliki Asks For Petraeus' Removal:

Relations between the top United States general in Iraq and Nouri al-Maliki, the country's prime minister, are so bad that the Iraqi leader made a direct appeal for his removal to President George W Bush. Although the call was rejected, aides to both men admit that Mr Maliki and Gen David Petraeus engage in frequent stand-up shouting matches, differing particularly over the US general's moves to arm Sunni tribesmen to fight al-Qa'eda. One Iraqi source said Mr Maliki used a video conference with Mr Bush to call for the general's signature strategy to be scrapped. "He told Bush that if Petraeus continues, he would arm Shia militias," said the official. "Bush told Maliki to calm down." At another meeting with Gen Petraeus, Mr Maliki said: "I can't deal with you any more. I will ask for someone else to replace you."

Of course, in order to avoid escalating the ongoing sectarian conflict, Gen. Petraeus is right to try and coopt the Sunni. But Maliki DOES NOT WANT THAT. It is why he truned down all of the request from the largest Sunni contigent in the Iraqi Parliament. The feud with the Saudis, who are supporting the Sunni insurgents, and the feud with Maliki, who is an ally of Iran, demonstrates there is no winning for the United States in Iraq. There is no magical strategy. There is no plan that will work. Will Senators ask General Petraeus about THAT come September?

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    Avoiding the sectarian conflict... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by jr on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 07:44:21 PM EST
    ...or prolonging it?

    I'm sadly unconvinced that arming the Sunni militias will accomplish anything further than making the inevitable sectarian war to come bloodier and longer than if it was just a one-sided takeover by the Shiite militias.  I'd love to be convinced that arming both sides will prevent conflict, but I just don't see the evidence for it.

    Me neither (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 07:57:41 PM EST
    I suppose I should have seen this one (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 11:54:15 AM EST
    coming, but I didn't ;)  Oh Boy, lots of talk last night from soldiers who really want to give Petraeus his September chance.  It touches me because these people in uniform don't want to be in Iraq, they just don't want to be responsible for what is going to happen to Iraq now and they PRAY that Petraeus can somehow fix that.  I don't need to fight these people, I know where their hearts are and what it is they pray for.  Since they all probably have screaming hangovers this morning I won't phone them until this afternoon with the news that Maliki is trying to show Petraeus the door ;)  I wish that I could make their prayers come true and Iraq become this happy liberated M.E. country but that isn't the reality is it?  Petraeus and Maliki seem to be sporting different copies of the Counterinsurgency Field Manual as well.  Our friend leaving is going to be doing liason work with the Brits and Italians and likely behind the wire most of the time.  I'm tired of losing people so I hope nobody holds it against me when I say that I am relieved he will be spending his time where he is going.  And I hope most of his liason work involves how best to GET US ALL THE HELL OUT OF HERE.

    It strikes me that Petraeus (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 12:02:11 PM EST
    is a little but like Obama. They have a confidence that they can undo reality.

    For Obama it is about changing partisan politics.

    For Petraeus it is about Iraq.


    Obama and Patreaus?!?!?! (1.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Electa on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 12:41:50 PM EST
    Your disdain for Senator Obama is so very obvious.  What are you?  The trash Obama arm of the Clinton campaign?  There are plenty of Americans who are sick and tired of partisan politics and wish that Obama was a bit more seasoned.  Maybe I'll sprinkle some VegeSal on him to enhance his electability.

    My disdain for (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 12:45:11 PM EST
    Obama's political style is well documented.

    Since well before he announced his run for President.

    Do you have anything of substance to say regarding my critique of him? Of course not. Instead the typical ad hominem is rendered.

    For the record, I support Chris Dodd.

    And let me tell you plainly, thoughtful Obama supporters, like Geekesque, are wlecome here. But substanceless ad hominem attacks that do not address the argument made are not welcome here.

    Take those to Daily Kos or MYDD. We do not want them here.


    Other contributions are (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 12:46:53 PM EST
    of course, welcome here.

    Number 1, BTD (none / 0) (#13)
    by Electa on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 01:06:31 PM EST
    I glean very little from you.  TChris and Jeralyn are much better commentators.  You're NASTY and if you're any indication of the mind-set that's supporting Chris Dodd, I'll stay far from him and I like the man.  Now spew some more of your vicious venom, if that's what makes you get off.  Or of course you can always exercise your power as blog police and delete me.  And, comparing Obama to Petreaus is no argument.

    Considering Obama's supporters on (none / 0) (#15)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 02:02:48 PM EST
    Mydd and elsewhere, I find this comical.

    Obama's supporters remind me of Dennis Kucinich supporters in the run up before the 2004 election. Kucinich was "pure" , Dean was a DLC'er  johnny come lately. Kucinich was THE anti-war candidate, Dean not pure enough. This line of attack was not persuasive then and its not persausive in the service of Obama now.

    Divorcing partisanship from politics is like removing god from  religion. Partisanship is part and parcel of the complete package.You want to govern in a democracy, you need a faction, to get a faction you need partisans.


    The ideas of supporting people based on (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 02:12:04 PM EST
    their supporters is juvenile.

    While I have disdain for the qualtiy of supporters Obama garners online, my beef is with his political style.

    To date, I get very little in the way of a substantive response to my critique from Obama supporters so it is a one sided discussion for me.

    But since this site does not allow personal attacks, I have one option here, which is to prohibit the kind of attack electa, in the style of many Obama supporters, unleashed on me.

    I simply can not tolerate it because I can not respond in kind.

    It does smack of censorship I suppose, but those are the rules of the site.


    No argument from me (none / 0) (#21)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 02:38:17 PM EST
    If Obama is the nominee I will vote for him. Even if his suporters drive me nuts (and for the record, so do many of the Edwards supporters).  End of debate.

    You have a combative (Swords Crossed) style. You don't have a lot of patience. You shouldn't expect self styled anti partisanshp types to be able to respond quickly and lucidly to your points, they are too much in shock.  

    In a way you don't need to respond to their attacks. As a 3rd party, I read both what you post and their response. Usually it reflects worse on them.

    Your style is your style. Its direct and to the point and as I said, without patience. You either picked it up or had it honed to a sharp edge in law school. You clearly have an audience, don't change it.  


    I could not if I wanted to (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 02:49:12 PM EST
    But I do censor personal attacks against me.

    Because I can not give it back.


    The solution then is simple (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 02:05:45 PM EST
    No need to comment in my posts.

    As for my arguments about Obama (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 02:07:52 PM EST
    You have clearly avoided my posts on the subject if you think that one line is the sum total of my critique.

    People who read me know better.


    I agree and will probably need to (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 12:08:22 PM EST
    stand before a firing squad now.  Only who gets to fire first?  The rabid Obama supporters or the rabid Petraeus supporters, or maybe they'll see each other first and fire at each other ;).

    Heh (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 12:20:11 PM EST
    And Granny Doc at Orange asks the (none / 0) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 12:01:03 PM EST
    million dollar question.

    If Maliki is "our guy" and a "freely elected leader in Iraq", why are his wishes not being given top priority?  And, why is an occupying general being allowed to set the terms of a "solution" over the protests of the Prime Minister?

    Simple answer (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 12:03:35 PM EST
    Maliki does not want the solution we want.

    He wants an Teheran-aligned theocratic state.

    We want a unified Iraq as a bulwark against Iran.

    This has ALWAYS been the problem.


    BTW (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 12:03:59 PM EST
    This is the Saudis' point in all this.

    Missing Military Tracy's Point (none / 0) (#23)
    by john horse on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 02:50:02 PM EST
    I think you are missing Military Tracy's point.  Does Iraq belong to the Iraqis or to the Americans?  I agree with you that al Maliki may not be pursuing the best policy in Iraq, but is he not "the freely elected leader of Iraq"?  To me sovereignty and democracy means that a country has a right to make decisions for itself even if we may not like those decisions.

    In reality I think we have the worst of all possible worlds in Iraq.  The longer we stay in Iraq the weaker we have become.  We are still the occupying power that is able to impose its decisions on the "freely elected" government of Iraq but paradoxically we no longer control that government.  Al Maliki government may not be able to prevent the US from arming Sunni insurgents but they can prevent Bush and Petraeus from achieving their goals in Iraq.  The fact that al Maliki and Petraeus are not getting along is a bad sign indeed.


    No (none / 0) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 02:57:52 PM EST
    I got her point quite well. I answered the question. I did not endorse the answer.

    I am certsain my answer is correct as to why BushCo is doing what it is doing.

    That it is wrong I am also certain of.


    Ummm ... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Sailor on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 08:12:00 PM EST
    ... If iraq is a sovereign country, as bush has claimed, shouldn't their rep be allowed to choose <strike>his overlord</strike> occupier?

    And since iraq is a sovereign country, as bush has claimed, shouldn't we listen to the leader of the country ... or at least 70% of the country?[/snark]


    who leaked and why (none / 0) (#8)
    by RedHead on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 12:39:32 PM EST
    this is the Torygraph, formerly tied to conrad black and richard perle.

    Maliki is portrayed unfavorably (Iranian agent/arming irregulars/screaming), while bush is portrayed as standing against with wind; firm, yet a mollifier (yeah, that's our bush).  The saudis get poked, too.

    it's also interestng the writer didn't include time frame on when relations turned sour.

    I think a disaster is portrayed (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 12:40:40 PM EST

    HISTORY (none / 0) (#14)
    by numike on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 01:38:24 PM EST
     "Beyond the Euphrates began for us the land of mirage and danger, the sands where one helplessly sank, and the roads which ended in nothing.  The slightest reversal would have resulted in a jolt to our prestige giving rise to all kinds of catastrophe; the problem was not only to conquer but to conquer again and again, perpetually; our forces would be drained off in the attempt."

    Emperor Hadrian AD 117-138

    Absurd (none / 0) (#17)
    by jarober on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 02:07:14 PM EST
    "The feud with the Saudis, who are supporting the Sunni insurgents, and the feud with Maliki, who is an ally of Iran, demonstrates there is no winning for the United States in Iraq. There is no magical strategy."

    By that token, any three+ sided conflict is hopeless.  Look, there are multiple gangs in LA - is it time to give up and pull the police out?  After all, there's no hope that we'll eradicate the gangs.  

    Stupid indeed (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 02:08:47 PM EST
    Iraq is like LA.

    No further comment necessary in response.


    The United States Military is (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 29, 2007 at 07:02:37 AM EST
    now "the police" and the religious and ethnic collision in Iraq is about gang bangers?  How did we go from aggressive invader to Good Cop?  It is absolutely shocking to me how selective in memory and rationality some people insist on being where this topic concerned.