Iraqi PM Maliki backs Assad crackdown
We're stuck with this pro-Iranian fool so I guess we can either pack up and go home, leaving he and his Shia government to the tender mercies of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, or we can jawbone behind the scenes, pointing out to this Iranian toady that he is on the opposite side of 99% of the rest of the world.
As leaders in the Arab world and other countries condemn President Bashar al-Assad's violent crackdown on demonstrators in Syria, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq has struck a far friendlier tone, urging the protesters not to "sabotage" the state and hosting an official Syrian delegation.
Mr. Maliki's support for Mr. Assad has illustrated how much Iraq's position in the Middle East has shifted toward an axis led by Iran. And it has also aggravated the fault line between Iraq's Shiite majority, whose leaders have accepted Mr. Assad's account that Al Qaeda is behind the uprising, and the Sunni minority, whose leaders have condemned the Syrian crackdown.
"The unrest in Syria has exacerbated the old sectarian divides in Iraq because the Shiite leaders have grown close to Assad and the Sunnis identify with the people," said Joost Hiltermann, the International Crisis Group's deputy program director for the Middle East.
He added: "Maliki is very reliant on Iran for his power and Iran is backing Syria all the way. The Iranians and the Syrians were all critical to bringing him to power a year ago and keeping him in power so he finds himself in a difficult position."
Assad's Alawite minority in Syria - an offshoot of Shiaism - engineered border infiltration into Iraq that killed thousands - perhaps tens of thousands of Iraqis. Assad and the Iranians also engineered a near coup d'etat when Maliki's Shia coalition narrowly lost the elections last year, but ended up in pretty much the same place power-wise as they were before the election.
To be propping up a government with American troops that backs the thugs in Syria who murder thousands of their own citizens should bring a level of shame to the administration. However, since they are incapable of feeling such, perhaps the least they can do is make some kind of statement disassociating ourselves from the Iraqi position.
More likely, as with other foreign policy failures of this administration, they will keep their mouths shut and hope nobody notices the blunder.