Violence in Iraq? It’s the politics, stupid!
July 30th, 2012
05:03 PM ET

Violence in Iraq? It’s the politics, stupid!

By Joost Hiltermann, Special to CNN

Joost Hiltermann is deputy program director for the Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group. The views expressed are the writer's own.

With all eyes trained on Syria’s unfolding civil war, the only headline-grabbing news to emerge from the former battleground, Iraq, concerned a fresh wave of violence. Last week, well over a hundred Iraqis were killed and several hundred injured in a series of attacks throughout the country that were claimed by Iraq’s al Qaeda franchise, the Islamic State of Iraq. Its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had warned of what was to come the day before, announcing a “Breaking the Walls” campaign. On Thursday, Islamic State militants battled with security forces for the first time in years, succeeding even in bringing down a helicopter. It looks as if, having been driven out of most of the areas they controlled and dealt a body blow during the U.S. surge in 2007-08,  al Qaeda is rebounding and launching its own military surge now that U.S. troops have gone.

Car bombs explode in central Baghdad

It’s easy to be distracted by an uptick in violence in Iraq and ignore the larger political crisis in which al Qaeda, however diminished in its capabilities, can operate with apparent impunity. Despite last week’s events, violence has been at a steady level since 2008 – too high for sure to those caught up in the spasms that occur, but sufficiently low to nonetheless convey a general sense of stability – a vast improvement over the days of sectarian fighting some years ago. Spectacular attacks have punctuated a pattern of declining violent incidents, causing mass casualties even as overall casualty levels have gone down. Shia militias, which mainly targeted the U.S. presence, put their guns back under their beds after the military component of that presence came to an end late last year.

Violent actors such as al Qaeda are likely to be around for some time, but without a political crisis, they could be contained. Iraqi security forces are still in the early stages of their development (after the Bush administration disposed of the former regime’s army wholesale), and still exhibit clear vulnerabilities, especially in intelligence gathering and coordination that could prevent violent attacks, as well as in their explosives-detection capacity at checkpoints. (Security officers employ a piece of equipment that Western experts and journalists have referred to as a “divining rod” or “magic wand” for its inability to detect anything.) Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will be Iraq, nor its security forces. Yet by and large, these forces have been able to prevent a serious resurgence of violence.

What matters in Iraq today isn’t so much its sporadic violence, however spectacular in nature, as the total absence of basic consensus over how the country should be run, as deepening discord could trigger a new round of civil war.

Iraq's deadliest day of 2012

The latest crisis began when judicial authorities issued an arrest warrant against Vice President Tareq al-Hashimi last December. He and other Sunni leaders had fallen out with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, accusing him of amassing power and cutting them out. Things deteriorated sharply from then on, and by April, Maliki’s erstwhile governing partners were openly calling for his removal via a parliamentary no-confidence vote. Many meetings later, these same leaders have signally failed in their objective, with Maliki firmly in place and his opponents lacking a strategy to call him to account, much less get rid of him by democratic means. They haven’t given up, though, and so the standoff continues, with no prospect of its being resolved any time soon.

Maliki may have won this round – he survived – but all Iraqis lost, as political stalemate is further hampering governance. General elections should take place only two years from now, but with Baghdad all wound up in a knot, campaigning effectively has started, sucking up all the air. Parliament, in which Maliki’s enemies are well represented, does very little; its legislative record is disappointing, and it now faces the daunting task of swiftly passing pivotal laws, including for provincial and parliamentary elections, as well as the regulation of political parties, if the next elections are to have any chance of occurring on time and succeeding.

To stick with the Rome metaphor, it’s as if instead of rebuilding Iraq, politicians are fiddling as the embers of conflict are being relit. They are expert tacticians, masters at the art of political survival, but bereft of a vision for the country, unable to lay out a strategy that could parlay today’s relative calm into economic progress and a fair share in Iraq’s immense oil wealth for everyone.

In this unhappy state of affairs, the Syrian crisis threatens to exacerbate political tensions in Iraq and give them a renewed sectarian cast. As the minority-based Assad regime goes down, Syria’s Sunnis are certain to rise, re-empowering Iraq’s Sunnis, who have felt marginalized since 2003. Shiite perceptions of a looming Sunni alliance of Gulf states, Turkey, and a new Syria arrayed against the remaining Shia-run bastion of Iran and Iraq – with the intent of bringing down Maliki to deal a further blow to Iran’s influence in the region – are increasing sectarian polarization in Iraq. This is the perfect breeding ground for groups such as al Qaeda, which may find it easier to recruit in Sunni quarters, finding deep frustration and grievance, but also new Syria-inspired hope that the tide is again turning in their favor.

If Iraqis are to avoid another civil war, once again led by al Qaeda but this time catalyzed by events in Syria, they should put their own house in order posthaste. Only by restoring basic consensus about how to run the country and by putting in place a workable power-sharing arrangement as they intended two years ago will they be able to contain and eventually stamp out violent actors and begin moving toward more effective governance.

Post by:
Topics: Iraq • Terrorism

soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. USMC Forever

    Not all the money nor firepower in the world will get the Shiites and the Sunnis to like each other. Let's just forget about the pseudo-democracy set up in Baghdad by the C.I.A. and give the Iraqi people a referendum as to whether or not to split Iraq into three different states which at this time seems to be the best option for Iraq. Unfortunately, the special interest groups who control Washington these days will not go for it and therein lies the problem!

    July 30, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Reply
    • Ted Gibbons

      It's a much larger pain in the neck for the US to control oil fields in three countries instead of one so I'm sure we'll try to make sure Iraq sticks together.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:05 am | Reply
      • nina

        If there was peace, the whole lot of you would have to get a real job.

        July 31, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Keyll

      First, Amercia doesn't control any of the oil fields in Iraq, that's rumor and propaganda and doesn't make for a very convincing argument when you have nothing to back it up.

      Second, do you really think the Iraqis would be cool with dividing the country into thirds? Then who gets the oil fields and major cities and who gets the empty desert wasteland? Oh, looks like you just created another sectarian war. Good thing you're not in politics.

      July 31, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Reply
      • 66th Strategic Command & Operations Unit.

        Exactly.

        August 1, 2012 at 6:26 am |
      • Andrew

        Actually, many of the Kurds in the north would love their own independent state.
        Im just gonna throw it out there that I am assuming that 90% of the comments here are people who never have been to Iraq. Most of you have never even met a Kurd, Iraqi, or Turkman. So if you dont know what your speaking about (ie. MOST OF YOU) than please just make the rest of us happy and stfu.

        August 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • BUBBS

      Do you ever shut the eff up? Lay off the history channel and get a life already.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Reply
      • nina

        Being negative and badmouthing the US is his job.
        They collect money at the mosque every Friday for him to continue his good work.

        August 1, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
      • Joseph McCarthy

        Please BUBBS, do lay off the Tea Party lingo. It has no place here as I keep saying. Leave that to the ignorant Tea Partiers!

        August 1, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  2. Jeff

    Didn't mention the Kurds completely ignoring Baghdad and making their own giant oil deals with the Turks all of a sudden.

    July 30, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  3. Ferhat Balkan

    It's obvious by now that the Iraqi puppet government doesn't have control over Iraq. The Kurds to the north control everything including oil. Bush's cowboy diplomacy created a country that is in a state of chaos. More Iraqis have died in Iraq during the conflict than Saddam could have ever achieved in his lifetime (if he stayed in power). All this, for a democracy that doesn't really exist there.

    July 30, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Reply
    • Quigley

      Like USMC Forever already stated above, the Bush administration created a pseudo-democracy in Iraq similar to that of South Vietnam during the 60's and 70's until the Viet-Cong put an end to in in1975. That's what the Washington bureaucrats are currently trying to do in Afghanistan, too. The only true way to stop this current violence in Iraq is to divide it into three different states. Otherwise, this bloodshed will only continue!

      July 30, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Reply
      • sonny

        it is totally different between VN war and iraq & afghanistan war. it was actually the war between the US, western european countries and the soviets + eastern europen countries. the result was: the free world lost vietnam, laos, kampuchia BUT the communism lost "the soviet and eastern europen countries". i would not discuss more into that war.
        the war in iraq & afghanistan is the holy war between fanatic shiite & sunni muslims and the kurds somewhere in that. well, the US has won the war as muslims have killed one another more than anyone else. it seems the war will never end until they all die; what do you think?

        July 31, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
      • Quigley

        Actually sonny, the Vietnam war had very little to do with the Russians. It was more of a war to gain control of Vietnamese resources for the West at low prices, such as rubber for instance. However, it did create a market for Russian military hardware as the Vietnamese fough to achieve national unity the same way the Germans and the Italians did in Europe100 years earlier.

        August 1, 2012 at 12:05 am |
      • Chris

        Actually Quigley, from a strategic point of view, the Vietnam War was all about the Russians. The overarching grand strategy of the US and its allies from the late 1940's until the fall of the USSR was containment, everything else – including those relatively insignificant resources to be gained from South Vietnam – were means and ways to achieve the ends of containing the Soviet Union. The US won that decades-long struggle against its geopolitical rival, and the Vietnam War was just a lost skirmish in that struggle that was ultimately almost meaningless from a grand strategic standpoint.

        August 1, 2012 at 9:23 am |
      • nina

        USMCForever and Quigley are the same guy.
        He does not even bother changing email addresses.
        Maybe he has a personality disorder and his head will explode one day.

        August 1, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
      • Jaybird

        Can you prove it, nina? Of course not!!! Next, you'll probably be accusing me of beign some kind of liberal too!

        August 2, 2012 at 10:01 am |
      • Nina

        so Jaybird is another one of your monikers others than USMCForever and Quigley.
        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...

        August 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  4. Lee

    Al Qaida is the secret force of CIA . They helped the USA to stay In Iran now they will again help the USA to come back in Iran .

    July 31, 2012 at 3:22 am | Reply
    • doughuts

      You need to add a few more layers of tin-foil to your hat. The CIA's beams are getting in.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:01 am | Reply
      • Paul

        It is well known that the USA, through the CIA has funded and armed Al Qaeda numerous times throughout history. The CIA even put out releases saying that the three best people to run Libya after the fall were "former" Al Qaeda that had spent time in US custody. The USA is currently funding and giving arms to them in Syria.

        Hillary Clinton Admits the U.S. Government Funded Al-Qaeda Fighting In Syrian.

        August 1, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
      • Nina

        "It is well known" is not proof.

        August 3, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  5. j. von hettlingen

    "Violence in Iraq! It's politics!" The author failed to see the historical context of this violence. Saddam Hussein became president in 1979. In 1980, Iraq invaded Iran. The war with Iran, which lasted until 1988, cost the two countries around 500,000 lives. Most of them were Shia. In a country with 24 or 25 million inhabitants, over 60% of them are Shia and approx. 35% Sunni Muslims, hatred towards the Sunni Saddam was deep, who emerged from the war, but didn't learn his lesson. He waged more wars and committed more atrocities, not only against the Shia, also the Kurds.

    July 31, 2012 at 5:13 am | Reply
    • Wastrel

      You are correct about the "historical context" but the problem began with who was to succeed Mohammed, and the Shiites and Sunnis have been fighting over that ever since.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Reply
      • nina

        Muslim killing Muslim. hehehehe "The Religion of Peace".

        August 1, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  6. Mike Anders

    The violence between Sunni and Shia in the Middle East reminds one of the conflict between Catholics and Protestants during most of 16th Century Europe. The difference is the Sunni's and Shia's have automatic weapons, and perhaps soon, atomic ones. Reflecting on the tragic waste of the Thirty Years War (40% of the German population of the time killed) ending with the Treaty of Westphalia; what do you think we have to look forward to in the Middle East? There needs to be a resolution, a Post-Islamic Reformation of some kind, before anything like peace can happen in that sad region of the World, and that does not look like something that is either likely or soon.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:51 am | Reply
    • nina

      Mike, we all know your name is not Mike but Mohammed or Khalid or Abdul.
      Whatever war was fought between Christianity has been over for a very long time because each side learned to respect each other.
      The muslims have learned nothing and 1000 years from now they will still be killing each other.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  7. The Devil's Duo

    Muslims, Iraquis, AlQuaeda all they know is violence. Fixing the problem civilly is not within their realm of understanding.
    Kill or be killed, that is the muslim mindset.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
    • muslim

      you should learn more about islam. dont judge islam by actions of muslims. dont be so shallow.

      July 31, 2012 at 11:02 am | Reply
      • nina

        Oh trust me, I know lots and lots and lots about Islam.
        Probably more than you do!

        July 31, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
      • Paul

        Well who would you judge islam by, Catholics??

        July 31, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
      • muslim traitor

        There is nothing comparable to islam.

        August 1, 2012 at 9:19 am |
      • Trevor

        Are people that are carrying out this violence against their own people really even "Muslim"? People can "label" themselves anything they want, but would Allah really "approve" of what they are doing?

        August 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
      • nina

        Trevor, allah would be so proud of your lies. How could anybody other than muslims live there?

        August 1, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
      • Trevor

        OK, "Nina" how exactly am I "lying"? Muslims claim Islam is a "peaceful" religion and I'm questioning "Muslim" and his/her claim that a Muslim's actions cannot "define" Islam...if a Muslim's actions are contrary to what Islam teaches, then that person isn't a true Muslim like "Muslim" claims. Oh BTW, "Nina" I am a "Christian" and 15 years active duty USAF...you can take your HUGE foot out of your mouth now...

        August 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
      • Nina

        Moorhamed's words are all about killing, lying, stealing.
        Whether muslims are killing muslims or infidels, how is that not reflected by all muslims today?

        August 3, 2012 at 9:40 am |
      • Trevor

        Nina- I never said a thing alluding to "defending" Islam, I disagree with it, nor do I believe it is "truth". Now read this SLOWLY...it QUESTIONED "Muslim's" claim that stated essentially that a Muslim's actions cannot define Islam. In other words, I really doubted his/her claim was TRUE, in-fact, its completely illogical. You cannot claim to be a true representation and/or follower of a set of beliefs (ie: a religion) if your unrepentant actions (these so-called "Muslims" kill each other without a second thought) are clearly at odds with what you claim is the definitive "truth" about your beliefs (in this case the claim that Islam is "peaceful"). Your either lying about what you claim to "be" or your claim about what your belief system "is", is a LIE. Does this now "register" with you, or do you want to continue to call me a "liar"?

        August 3, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
      • Nina

        Trevor, all muslims are a true representation of their religion. Mohammed told them to go kill and lie and that is exactly what muslims are doing today. They do not question the validity of the command to kill, they are only too happy to oblige. It does not matter who they kill, Infidels or other Muslims. Islam is the creation of a mortal man who happens to have said all the right things at the right time to a bunch of heartless ignoramuses who are now following the religion to the fullest.

        August 3, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
      • Trevor

        Nina- Just like I presented, a person is either lying about who they are because their actions (i.e.: unrepentant killing) contradict their stated beliefs (i.e.: its "peaceful") or their beliefs system is, in-fact violent and not peaceful and clearly contrary to what they claim. For Islam, it certainly calls for violence against people that believe contrary to Mohammed's teachings, and I therefore lean towards believing that the claim by certain people that Islam is a "religion of peace" is a LIE. So the people that are out there killing without repentance are are not "lying" that they are Muslim, its the folks out there that are claiming Islam is a religion of "peace" that are lying.

        Finally, trust me, I "get it"...it was just very irritating that from what I could gather that you were so quick to "assume" that I was Muslim and a liar, coupled with the fact that I later challenged you on this claim and you proceeded not to apologize/"own up" to your mistake and instead deflect from your insulting remark and assumption about me and put the focus back on a group of people and a belief system that you seem to clearly have contempt for (BTW, contempt will eat you alive...). I wouldn't be "calling you out" on this, if it weren't for the fact that you're so quick to point out everyone else's faults without "owning up" to your own. We all need to "examine" ourselves and sometimes look at the plank in our own eye before we sit in judgement on the speck in our neighbors...just trying to help you out in love towards another, take it for what its worth.

        August 4, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
      • Nina

        Trevor – I did not mean to include you amongst the lying muslims. Our very busy group is making time for these blogs in order to show them that there are many of us who know what they are doing. We are all very upset at the ability these muslims have been given to continually denigrate anything deemed unislamic. If these muslims were in their own country, they would have disappeared, they would have been hung or stoned or...If you are telling the truth, then I apologize.

        August 5, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  8. Islame

    It's NOT the politics.....It's ISLAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 31, 2012 at 10:02 am | Reply
    • DDM

      Ya got that right!

      July 31, 2012 at 10:34 am | Reply
      • Andrew

        you both are dumb. For the record. If you read the news enough to comment, than dont be a freaking dummy! Your bigotry is what allows chikfila and all this other bigoted bullcrap to happen. Both of you would be better of dead considering you blame Islam without being able to spell, and you also probably have never MET a muslim. Most like, you just wondered onto this story after reading some racist fox news bullcrap and saw somthing about Iraq and thought to yourself "OMG@! ROFL WAFFLE ISLAM IS THE DEVIL!" help us all out, jump off a bridge kids. $$

        August 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
      • Nina

        It sounds to me like you are threatening DDM with death.
        You must be muslim.

        August 3, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  9. DS Teach

    This reporter is a tool. No mention of Iran in the entire article and Iran, not "Bush's CIA" are to blame for this violence. Maliki is so far in Tehran's pocket it has driven the Sunni's (whose Sheik's were arrested in the hundreds just before the US forces left) into the arms of AQI. The Sunni and Kurd leadership know that Maliki remains in power as a puppet of Iran and central Iraq will spiral back into violence thanks to BO's fantastic leadership in pulling the string on what was a compromise govt by pulling out security training forces.

    July 31, 2012 at 10:23 am | Reply
  10. georgex

    Thanks to Republican president GW Bush Saddam Hussein is gone and Iraq is going to have democracy and human rights. Oops, seems like a little bad decision by the decider in chief. Republicans need to be careful who they nominate for president and vice-president. That one costs the U.S. a fortune and many lives. Mr. Romney seems to talk too freely of using the power of our country which is scary.

    July 31, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
    • Yakobi

      And you think the Iraqi people were better under the evil dictator Saddam Hussein–a madman who invaded his neighbors, gassed his people, and built a nuclear reactor in the 80s with the intention of obtaining nuclear weapons.

      I'm sure you also subscribed to the tired, ineffective notion of "give sanctions a chance".

      July 31, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
      • Andrey

        So do you feel safer yourself now with al Qaeda being given breeding grounds in Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and will all the oil and state resource abundant to finance its future operations against the West? Good for you!

        July 31, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
      • nina

        All muslims are the same – same same.

        August 1, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Yakobi

      Are you so naive to think muslim terrorism started with the invasion of Iraq? I got news for ya–they can call themselves whatever they want, muslim terrorism has been a global problem for the last 50 years!

      One thing the doom-and-gloom anti-American defeatists ignore is this was the first time we took the fight to them! Instead you'd have us put our heads in the sand, allow them safe havens, and cave in to their demands. YOU would allow the terrorists to win. Fortunately, the majority of people don't feel as you do.

      July 31, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Reply
    • georgex

      And over 100,000 Iraqi lives lost due to this Bush invasion and occupation. That should weigh on Bush's conscience if he even thinks about it, and on the people who put his nomination on the ballot.
      Al Qaeda were not welcomed and didn't exist in Iraq under Saddam. Iraq was the enemy of Iran until this invasion.
      There is nothing anti-American about criticizing stupid things that is done in our name. Worst is the misjudgement that results in the loss of our military young men and women.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Reply
      • Yakobi

        The cost of freedom is seldom free. Anyone who thinks the Iraq people were better off under a brutal dictator than with free elections is deluded. Iraq is no longer a threat to its neighbors, thanks to GWB and the international community that had the guts to get rid of him and his regime.

        As far as the military being in harms way, that's their job! It's not up to YOU to decide where and when they fight. If it were, we'd all be speaking German or Russian!

        July 31, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
      • georgex

        If you don't realize that more than 100,000 Iraqi deaths and the distruction of their country is way too much a price than I have to conclude that you have no regard for Iraqis. Only, via some ideology or loyalty to a small nearby country could ignore those costs.

        July 31, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
      • Trevor

        Who killed these 100,000 Iraqis? The U.S. military? These deaths are 100% the responsiblity of the U.S.?

        August 1, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • tc

      Prior to saying anything I want to say I am an independent and was in Iraq for 4 years fighting.

      These events were predicted by the military leaders and told to the current President who saw an opportunity for reelection and went against his advisors by pulling troops out earlier than needed. Everyone pointing fingers at one sid eor the other needs to go to Iraq and see first hand the chaos over there. Everyone failed in this endeavor. Bush's policies fail by not setting up a timeline and an actual plan to stabilize the country. Obama failed by pulling troops out to early to try and get more votes and surrcombing to pressures by the citizenry and not finishing what we started. And shame on the media for their epic failure of reporting in Iraq. Show only the violence and the dealth toll. Don't show or speak of the money spent helping the country by building schools and providing electricity. War is brutal and violent, but the media only drilling in the death toll numbers and scenes of destruction on helps their ratings which is all they care about.

      You can all speculate on to the reasonings for going to Iraq: to finish what his dad started, for oil, whatever. The public needs to see that whoever is the strongest will be the world police. Agree or disagree with that point we have the most advanced technology and the strongest military we are the de facto world police. Whether its our fight or not, some order needs to be placed in this world. For those that suggest using NATO and UN troops look at the numbers, its still the majority being US troops.

      Question is when we will have to go back in to clean it up again or will Obama and the rest of the politicians let it fall and become a terrorist training ground adding another country to the list of those that despise us for abandoning them (Iran, Venezula).

      August 1, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Reply
  11. Dusty Cole

    Great piece. Thorough, detailed presentation of Iraqi, and near/middle east dynamics, esp the sectarian future looming w/ regard to Syria's tragic situation.

    July 31, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  12. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    All these innocent civilians being murdered because GWB and the GOP lied to the world community about bogus WMD's and destablized that country, paving the way for tribal unrest and civil war. Let's face it, GWB has murdered over a million Iraqi civilians and he is as evil than Adolph Hitler and he should be tried for war crimes.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Reply
    • Yakobi

      Oh, now it's "a million". OK.
      Saddam Hussein murdered a BILLION Iraqis. That pales in comparison the number of Iraqis who died defending that evil regime.

      The fact is, Iraqis are better off without Hussein, as are all of Iraq's neighbors and the rest of the world. If in your deluded mindset you can't grasp that truism, go drink Kool-Aid with Cindy Sheehan.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Reply
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

        Where is the proof that Saddam Hussein killed a billion Iraqis when the country only has 23 million? Make that 22 now that GWB and the GOP killed a million! And how is Iraq and the region safer when the entire region has been destabilized? How many car bombings and market place bombings were there when Saddam Hussein was in power? I can help you with that...ZERO. Why don't you go drink some TEA? Or better yet, some Kool-Aid? Idiot!

        July 31, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
      • Yakobi

        There were a 1.022 billion Iraqis before Hussein took over by murdering his rivals. Now there are only 22 million. The proof I have is the same as you–nothing.

        Saddam Hussein will never invade another country. Saddam Hussein will never build another nuclear plant. Saddam Hussein will never again use chemical weapons on his neighbors or his own people.

        By your illogical definition, China and Russia have become destabilized because they have endured terrorist attacks.
        Does your backside get jealous from all the cr@p spewing from your mouth?

        July 31, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
      • muslim traitor

        Muslim countries do not do census because they do not bother. Allah told them not to worry about birthdays so how could anyone know how many Muslims there are?

        August 1, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • georgex

      If one doesn't realize that more than 100,000 Iraqi deaths and the distruction of their country is way too much a price than I have to conclude that you have no regard for Iraqis. Only, via some ideology or loyalty to a small nearby country could ignore those costs.

      July 31, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Reply
      • Total2199

        Oh! This lady is doing OK now, teaching diplomacy to students at Stanford University with clear conscience….What a joke after making this nation to spend $3T on the st u pi d war.

        July 31, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Kpn crnch..

      We the people elected George. Mistakes have been made, Iraq will decide it's own future, as it should.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:41 am | Reply
  13. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    In 2003 Condaleeza-anus-Rice said Iraq will serve as a democratic model for the rest of the Middle east. Well, how is that f-ing democracy working out for you now you f-ing stinking worthless black bit*ch?

    July 31, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Reply
    • georgex

      C. Rice has had her name mentioned for Mr. Romney's vice-president. Hard to believe but true.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Reply
      • Yakobi

        She's a helluva lot more qualified than Hillary!
        I'd love to see it, just in the hopes it gives the two of you apoplexy.

        July 31, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  14. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @Yakobi

    When she was national security advisor, the twin towers in NY came crashing down and when she was secretary of state, our image abroad was the worst in US history. Rice being in the White House with Romney won't bother me a bit as long as the terrorist attack your stinking red states.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  15. Ty

    Thanks Obama. Everybody saw this coming but you when you pulled out the troops. Now the Iraqis can add abandonment to the list of reasons they hate the U.S.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  16. jim

    Yakobi.....You are a little mixed up. I agree that Saddam needed to go, but other than that what did the US accomplish. We lost our influence and gave Iran the front door. There are a lot more extremist in that area then ever before. I can go on and on...

    You do know the pilots from 911 were not from Iraq. Pull your head out of FOX news!

    July 31, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  17. south4evr

    The U.S. will be glad to send Michael Bloomberg, Fareed Zakaria, Diane Feinstein, Charles Schumer, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Sarah Brady to run around in Iraq demanding gun control laws to stop the killing by confiscating all privately owned firearms in the country. That will make everything peaceful, tolerant and loving in Iraq!! It will become the Islamiic garden of joy and brotherhood. This is Americas's gift to the Islamic world....!!! Once again we will win the hearts and minds of our enemies!!

    July 31, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Reply
  18. Kenny

    Why doesn't the United States finish its mess it started in Iraq, rather than trying to be a so called hero in Syrian now – which of course they are arming the rebels which of course are al – qaeda! Wow the media does a great job covering these things!!.
    Another thing I don't understand from the media is how come when Syrian army defends itself from rebels all of a sudden they are the bad guys???? So the rebels hiding and shooting out of innocent peoples houses are good guys huh??

    July 31, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Reply
    • Quigley

      As usual Kenny, the right-wing news media tries to make the stooges for the West look good while villifying men like Bashar al-Assad who are not! The fact that these so-called "liberators" are killing civilians too won't be mentioned by the right-wing media as it works for the right-wing thugs in Washington trying to brainwash the public!

      July 31, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Reply
      • Trevor

        The "right wing media" now thats funny.... Fox v CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS and CBS, again which way does the vast majority of media outlets "lean"?

        August 1, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  19. Gene

    Tongue in cheek, but:
    Looks like the example set by both Democrats & Republicans are being emulated in Iraq????
    We wanted Democracy like we have it...Now we have it.
    Maybe they learned this from us? Except war, that has gone on forever over there, is part of the mode of operation.
    Or, maybe we learned it from them?

    August 1, 2012 at 6:44 am | Reply
  20. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    What republicans don't seem to realize is that alot more than 100,000 Iraqis were killed as a result of their illegitimate invasion and occupation of Iraq. That was approximately the amount of Iraqi casualties in the first few months of the war and by the end of 2004, thousands more Iraqi civilians died when our military mistakenly attacked civilian localities over fear that insurgents might be hiding out in those areas. I recalled two incidents where pregnant women who were amongst truck loads of their families and relatives fleeing the city to escape the violence were ambushed by our troops and brutally murdered at various check points in Baghdad because of fear that insurgents were in those vehicles. And sadly, these atrocities continued way up until the surge which eventually locked down the city. Then there was the situation where tribal warfare took over the country, leading to more unrest and death of civilians. And every month of each year up untill our withdrawal in 2010, tribal warefare continued to ravish that country and it continues today. And let's face it, GWB and the GOP are responsible for the tribal warfare and the deaths that continue to ensue because they invaded and destabilized a country in time of peace to ignite a war. Then if you were to do the math of Iraqi civilians who have died in market place bombings and from the invasion itself, GWB and the GOP have murdered a million Iraqis. let's face it, GWB and the GOP are on the same page with Adolph Hitler and should be tried for war crimes.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:10 am | Reply
    • muslim traitor

      How could anyone know how many were killed? If Muslims did not lie much and so often we might believe a bit more of what you say.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:33 am | Reply
    • Trevor

      What you "hear" second hand...THOUSANDS of U.S. military servicemen and women that would step to your face and call you a LIAR...make that +1...active duty 15 years, presently typing on the other side world from you...from the "safety" of you own home, spewing CRAP...

      August 1, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  21. erickson

    they can say what ever they can say. when they die they will see the pwoer of alah and go to hell while us being in heaven

    August 1, 2012 at 8:23 am | Reply
  22. Spencer

    It might seem very basic but a lot of the violence is to lack of access to women. A Iraqi man can marry 4 women so three of those women can not get married to other men. So the average Iraqi man has no woman who is single to marry. If they were married and had kids they would be less violent. As they saying goes make love not war. Or to reverse this If no make love then make war instead.

    August 1, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
  23. Sal

    There was no Qaeda in Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Only after g. bush's decision to invade Iraq made it possible for the terror group to establish itself in the country! Yes, it was bush's fault! 

    August 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Reply
  24. Voiceinthedesert/Troubledgoodangel

    This is the result of blind visionaries having been put in charge of Iraq for years. I mean not just al-Maliki, but Amb. Crocker, and Gen Petraeus and the U.S. Governments in all these years! They never succeeded in forcing Iraq to shape up or to split. They did not give strict deadlines to accomplish this! As a result, they created more problems than solved! From the outset, I had advocated splitting Iraq in three! This was an essential geopolitical must! The U.S. listened to Turkey, and got a "turkey advice"! Why? Because that's the advice the Turks always give! They always say, "no Kurdistan"! They are wrong, and they mislead the world!

    August 1, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  25. rbt111

    Once again it all comes down to religion. People killing each other over their religious beliefs.

    A world without religion could be so much more of a peaceful place.

    August 1, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  26. ytuque

    It's the politics stupid should be replaced with it's the religion stupid. The Sunnis and Shias have been at it since the year 680 AD. 1,332 years of bloodshed can't be blamed on the anything other than religion since often the warring groups are of the same ethnicity. culture and sometimes political views.

    August 1, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  27. XiaoJack

    So it was not violence but the corrupt of politics ? actually it happens in other country too ~ May be other countries' government know to to cover it nicely without expose even a little to the public ~ I felt the pitiful of Iraq citizens, perhaps getting a Kechara Protection Chakras may protecting them from tragedy ~

    August 2, 2012 at 3:51 am | Reply
  28. Andrey Gorbatskiy

    Whoa! The spam here is from hand. How can you retain up with many of these comments?

    August 19, 2012 at 7:20 am | Reply

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