The Best Defense

Iraq, the unraveling (XXXIII): the Anbar killings

Best Defense is in Summer re-runs. This item originally ran on November 19, 2009. 

Iraq's vice president, a Sunni Arab, says the recent killing of 13 people associated with a local political leader in eastern Anbar province was carried out by Iraqi army troops commanded by Colonel Raheem Kareem Resan. This somewhat undercuts the "those crazy Anbaris and their wacky tribal disputes" line previously issued by the Baghdad government.

Also, someone is bombing the houses of policemen in Fallujah.

It looks to me like relations between Iraqi security forces and the people of al Anbar are deteriorating. If this is the wave of the future, fasten your seatbelts for 2010.

AZHAR SHALLAL/AFP/Getty Images

The Best Defense

Want to understand Maliki? Read this, and you may also understand Biden better

The Washington Post has just put online a blockbuster article on how Maliki rose to power in Iraq. It is one of the best things I have ever read on the role played by the U.S. in Iraq.

The article is partly a mea culpa by Ali Khedery, who was the longest serving American official in Iraq until he resigned in 2010, disgusted with Maliki, and indeed with his own role in helping Maliki become prime minister. But by September of that year, he had decided he was wrong about Maliki. He pleaded with Vice President Biden to dump Maliki. He says Biden declined, saying that there was no alternative to Maliki. Biden added, "I'll bet you my vice presidency Maliki will extend the SOFA." 

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