Obama to Maliki: 'Set aside sectarian differences'
President Obama’s reaction to foreign affairs is often maddening, but his statement Friday on the crisis in Iraq rose to new levels of folly. He began by correctly identifying ISIL as “a terrorist organization…that poses a danger to Iraq and its people.” But then he continued, “Now, this threat is not brand-new. Over the last year, we've been steadily ramping up our security assistance to the Iraqi government.” Is this true? I thought we were getting out as fast as possible.
Regardless, Obama indicates that the problem has no urgency. Instead, the remainder of his statement scolds the Maliki government for its failure to be inclusive, for not setting “aside sectarian differences” and promoting the interests of Iraq’s “communities.”
So any action that we may take to provide assistance to Iraqi security forces has to be joined by a serious and sincere effort by Iraq's leaders to set aside sectarian differences, to promote stability and account for the legitimate interests of all of Iraq's communities, and to continue to build the capacity of an effective security force. We can't do it for them. And in the absence of this type of political effort, short-term military action -- including any assistance we might provide -- won't succeed.
So this should be a wake-up call. Iraq's leaders have to demonstrate a willingness to make hard decisions and compromises on behalf of the Iraqi people in order to bring the country together. In that effort, they will have the support of the United States and our friends and our allies.
…there's never going to be stability in Iraq or the broader region unless there are political outcomes that allow people to resolve their differences peacefully, without resorting to war or relying on the United States military.
Iraq is dissolving, and the democratic government installed by the United States – which admittedly is flawed – could fall in the next few days to an army so barbaric it was disowned by al-Qaeda. Obama’s response is an extreme example of moral relativism. He wouldn’t want to take sides, you see, because that would be judgmental. Barbaric terrorists who behead and crucify people at random to instill terror are a “community,” a strand in the multicultural tapestry of Iraq.
It’s as if a psychotic kid is running at his brother brandishing an ice pick, and the clueless dad says, “I could intervene, but it takes two to fight. You need to learn how resolve your differences peacefully.”