The Iraqi Prime Minister’s Plea to Americans – NYTimes.com

An Op-Ed from Iraq’s Prime Minister that reads like a conversational position paper:

The United States is our security partner of choice, so we have been working with the U.S. government and American defense firms to procure the equipment we need. We see this as helping to solidify a relationship that we want to remain the cornerstone of our security strategy. Iraqis are grateful for the great sacrifices Americans have made on behalf of our country. But Iraq today is no longer a protectorate; it is a partner in what President Obama has described as “a normal relationship based on mutual interests and mutual respect.”

These mutual interests include combating terrorism and resolving the conflict in Syria. The war in Syria has become a magnet that attracts sectarian extremists and terrorists from various parts of the world and gathers them in our neighborhood, with many slipping across our all-too-porous borders. We do not want Syria or Iraq to become bases for Al Qaeda operations, and neither does the United States.

via The Iraqi Prime Minister’s Plea to Americans – NYTimes.com.

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7 thoughts on “The Iraqi Prime Minister’s Plea to Americans – NYTimes.com

  1. This article raises an interesting question regarding the extent to which the United States is responsible for Iraqi security. There’s no question that the situation in Syria warrants attention, however, I do not believe that the possible effect that it would have on Iraq should be the United States’ concern. There comes a point where Iraq must be able to defend itself and protect its own borders and people. If this requires American arms and munitions to do so, then an agreement on that issue can certainly be reached. Yet, concerns about elements of Al Qaeda entering Iraq should be the concern of the Iraqi government. The United States has a hard enough time securing its own borders as it is. It is unfeasible that the United States insert itself into an untold number of global crises based merely on the fact that Al Qaeda may take advantage of them for its own purposes. At some point states need to hand these issues on their own.

  2. I agree; the Prime Minister makes some true statements about U.S. interests in the middle east, but he takes them just a baby step to far. Of course the U.S. wants to see resolution in the Syria conflict, of course the U.S. wants terrorism to stop, but it’s not up to the U.S. to dive in and solve everyone else’s problems. The United States can offer valuable consultants, or perhaps make a stronger presence in the United Nations on this issue, but we cannot turn Iraq into an eternal security leech that sucks out American resources every time it enters a conflict. What Iraq really needs is dynamic, popular elected officials whom Iraqis respect and revere to unify the people and create a strong (but democratic) central government.

  3. ianhesterly says:

    The Prime Minister, while obviously looking out for his own interests, should be paid attention to. We pulled out of Iraq prematurely and left them on their own before they could handle it. The fact that Al Qaeda in Iraq has as much power as they do is a very big deal. These aren’t the Somali pirates or some other ragtag regional mob, this is Al Qaeda. We are at war with them, and they are certainly at war with us. The more power we allow them to have in other countries (and this includes making sure they don’t come out on top of the civil war in Syria), the more we put our own country in danger.

  4. How quickly do Americans forget the war that the US waged on Iraq not too long ago to throw off their regime and leave the country in an unstable situation. Now we’re saying that Iraq is simply not our problem and that it needs to learn how to take care of itself. I agree that countries need to be independent and that the responsibility to protect citizens of the world should be a shared duty with other big powers as well as with regional blocks. Still, it’s hard for me to ignore the old American arrogance, and the double standard it seems to implement in its foreign policy.
    Let us not forget that the Iraqi Prime Minister, who eloquently and respectfully addressed the serious issue of the increase of terrorism in the region, and asserted its support of positive intervention in Syria, is asking for ammunition, not boots on the ground. We wouldn’t be sending US soldiers to protect their borders, but weapons and provisions for Iraqi soldiers to defend themselves. I think this plea should be taken seriously by the US government.

  5. mckaycorbett says:

    I think it’s interesting the way the Iraqi Prime Minister has tried to reach the american people through the NYT. It reminds me of Vladimir Putin and his op-ed. The reason I think it is interesting is because he knows the way our government works. He knows that as public support changes, policy will change. I myself have not made my own opinion on this subject and so I am torn. I do believe that something needs to be done to help the Iraqis in their battle against terrorists in their lands but at the same time I don’t know if what we have done is the right thing. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t but the question now is what should be done at the present moment. I believe something should be done. Just what that is is my question.

  6. cassidyhansen says:

    While I do agree that Iraq is no longer a protectorate of the United States, I think that the use of the word partner is too strong because it implies that Obama and the Iraqi Prime Minister are on agreeing terms when it comes to what is best for Iraq. Also, partners usually indicates that working together is mutually beneficial to each side. In the case of fighting Al Qaeda, I feel that the US would possibly waste resources on Iraq because the Iraqis are not going to be able to get rid of the extremist force–which is what would ultimately benefit the US–and several weapons that the US would give to Iraq would probably end up in Al Qaeda’s hands anyways.

  7. dbudeiri says:

    Personally, I believe that it’s almost always the case that if the US stopped exploiting foreign peoples on their soils, there wouldn’t be any terrorist organizations with the aim to destroy the US. As for this specific issue, I can say that Iraqi officials are taking that decision and the US side only due to the middle east’s current situation and Iraq’s future well being.

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