Iraq's Deepening Political Crisis – Days After the U.S. Withdrawal

The last U.S. convoy crossed the Iraqi/Kuwait border at sunrise on Sunday.   Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shi’a Muslim, didn’t waste any time, issuing an arrest warrant for Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, a Sunni, accusing him of terrorism. Earlier Maliki called for a no-confidence motion against another Sunni politician, Deputy Prime Minister Salem al-Mutlag.

Tariq al-Hashemi is accused of terrorism, based on confessions of three bodyguards who claimed they had planted bombs targeting Iraqi government and security officials.   While Hashemi could not be reached for comment, Mutlag in an interview with “Voice of America” called Maliki a dictator and urged the United States to revisit its Iraq policy.

Hashemi and Mutlag are leaders of Iraq’s Sunni Iraqiya political block, part of a coalition with the Iraqi government .  The Iraqiya block walked out of Parliament on Saturday, accusing Malaki of seizing power.

As the last U.S. troops left Iraq, ending the war in Iraq, Sunni citizen were celebrating the end of the  occupation in Fallujah, burning U.S. flags.  President Obama during his speech at Fort Bragg, NC,  marking the end of the Iraq war, said that the end of the Iraq war means the future of Iraq is in the hands of the Iraqi people.

Senior military commanders wanted 20-40,000 troops to remain in Iraq to ensure stability in the country.   The United States would or could not negotiate a treaty that

would have exempted U.S. troops from being tried by Iraqi law.  Critics maintain that a little effort by the Administration could have produced such a treaty.

Commanding General Lloyd Austin and his staff, including the colors, arrived back from Iraq this morning.  President Obama and Vice President Biden were in attendance.  The President handed out presidential coins to the returning troops.

The United States paid a high price for the war with close to 4500 soldiers killed in Iraq, while 32,000 were wounded in action.  Close to $1 Trillion were spend on the war.

The region is volatile, especially with the Iran’s intend to produce a nuclear weapon.  Iraq also borders on Syria and Turkey.  U.S. military commanders contend that enough U.S. troops are in the region to respond to a crisis.

About the Author

Karl Gotthardt - Politisite Managing Editor Maj. Gotthardt is a Retired Military Officer with 35 years service in the Canadian Armed Forces. He spent most of his time in the Military in Infantry Battalions. Karl took part in training for Afghanistan as an Operator Analyst with the Canadian Maneouvre Training Centre. Karl is a qualified military parachutist and military free fall parachutist. He earned his U.S. Master Jump Wings in Fort Benning, Georgia. Karl enjoys working with horses for the last 24 year. He owns six. He has experience in breeding, training and of course riding.Karl was born in Germany and is fluent in both English and German and he speaks enough French to "get in trouble". Karl has written or writes at NowPublic, All Voices, Tek Journalism and many others.

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