Thursday, July 31, 2008

Obama and Maliki Playing Politics While the Fate of Iraq Hangs on the Edge of a Knife

This is last week's news, and Mike's America posted a couple of the best articles on the topic of whether or not Senator Obama and Prime Minister Maliki are on the same page regarding troop withdrawal. Here's another excellent perspective, posted by Omar at Iraq the Model:
Obama is lucky in that his host, Prime Minister Maliki, is also going through an election season. He’s even luckier that Maliki has been convinced by the close circle around him that Obama is going to win the American presidential race.

The state-owned Al-Sabah quoted a senior official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject, as saying: “The change in the prime minister’s position has to do with his own perception of the political developments in the United States…Maliki thinks that Obama is most likely to win in the presidential election and that he will withdraw his country’s troops from Iraq as he pledged in his campaign.” The official
added that Maliki sees that “he’s got to take preemptive steps before Obama gets to the White House.”

This is why both men have appeared to be in perfect harmony recently; one lending generous support to the other. But this is not solid harmony because both men are acting like this due to mere speculations and/or flawed advice from their aides during critical moments in election seasons. Maliki, for example, knows very well that had Obama’s vision for Iraq been adopted two years ago, he wouldn’t be enjoying the position and power he does today, and the progress in Iraq wouldn’t have been achieved.

The call for disengagement in the way Obama proposes (and Maliki cautiously endorses) is based on a vision that goes no further than the upcoming elections in both countries and thus an indicator of dangerous selfishness. The two men are gambling with victory against true enemies of their nations in the hope of achieving victory against personal electoral foes. The obvious confusion in Maliki’s recent statements forced government spokesmen and top officials to appear several times to correct or retract what he said. This indicates that much of what Maliki is saying these days is for personal/partisan electoral purposes and does not represent the strategy of the state of Iraq.
Do read the pieces linked at Flopping Aces, for more analysis.

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