Is Obama embracing regime change in Iraq?

posted at 5:21 pm on June 19, 2014 by Noah Rothman

“If you live long enough, you’ll see that every victory turns into a defeat,” goes the quote attributed to the French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir. It’s a quote that could grace the presidential seal.

On Thursday, as ISIS fighters continue to maraud across Iraq and target strategically vital facilities in that country including airports and oil refineries, President Barack Obama announced that he is prepared to send up to 300 American military advisors to Iraq to train and equip local forces.

But Obama’s goal is not a war in Iraq, said Bloomberg reporter Jean Cummings. In fact, the White House’s primary objective is to remove Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki from office as the administration believes his treatment of the country’s Sunni minority helped facilitate this insurgency.

“The president instinctively doesn’t want to send in troops,” Cummings said. He doesn’t want to get back into a war. He does want to change the government in Iraq, and this presents that opportunity for some diplomacy.”

So, regime change? Not if al-Maliki has anything to say about it.

“A spokesman for the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has said he will not stand down as a condition of US air strikes against Sunni militants who have made a lightning advance across the country,” The Guardian reported on Thursday.

And why wouldn’t the Iraqi government think the president will abandon his desire for a change in government in Baghdad? Obama has specifically ruled out the pursuit of regime change in unfriendly capitals like Damascus and Tehran. The White House even ruled out regime change as a goal of the mission in Libya. While al-Maliki is not the most competent actor in Baghdad, he is at least a nominal ally of the United States (though he could also accurately be described as an Iranian proxy).

But the president does have a habit of treating American allies like adversaries, doesn’t he?


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Maliki getting the Booty????????????????

So, its not the ISIS Goon’s,..but Maliki’s Sunni connection (s) causing all the KAOS,……………….WTF???

Iraq violence
Iraq
47m
Report: US signals Iraq’s Maliki should go as insurgents continue to make progress, officials tell @WSJbreakingnews
Read more on t.co
=================

U.S. Signals Iraq’s Maliki Should Go
The White House Is Convinced the Shiite Leader Is Unable to Reconcile With the Nation’s Sunni Minority and Stabilize a Volatile Political Landscape.

By
Jay Solomon and
Carol E. Lee
connect
Updated June 18, 2014 8:38 p.m. ET

VIDEO:
******

“We believe that Maliki’s sectarianism and exclusion of Sunnis has led to the insurgency we are seeing,” said a senior Arab official. “He unfortunately managed to unite ISIS with the former Baathists and Saddam supporters.”

President Barack Obama and his national security aides are in deliberations over the creation of a new strategy for stabilizing Iraq, with a clear road map expected in the coming days.

Mr. Obama has discussed the possibility of using air power and drone strikes to weaken ISIS, say U.S. officials. But he has been particularly focused on developing a political process to heal the widening rift between Iraq’s Shiite and Sunni communities that officials see as feeding the support for ISIS’s insurgency in western Iraq.

Mr. Obama met Wednesday with the top Republican and Democratic members of the House and Senate to update them on administration plans.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), the chamber’s minority leader, issued a statement afterward, criticizing Mr. Obama’s past policies on Iraq and saying it was important to apply the experience to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in two years.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), the House Democratic leader, said Mr. Obama didn’t need any further legislative authority to pursue options in Iraq. But officials said Mr. Obama told the congressional leaders he would continue to consult with them.

Earlier Wednesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, cautioned senators at a hearing against expecting quick U.S. military strikes, because of the difficulty of developing targets. “It’s not as easy as looking at an iPhone video of a convoy and then immediately striking it,” said Gen. Dempsey.

To support the administration approach, Secretary of State John Kerry and his aides have consulted with Iraq’s neighbors—particularly Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran—to find a formula to create a more inclusive government in Baghdad.

The State Department’s point man on Iraq, Deputy Assistant Secretary Brett McGurk, has concurrently been meeting with Iraqi politicians and religious leaders in Baghdad to promote this political process, say U.S. officials.

The State Department wouldn’t say if the Obama administration was specifically discussing the issue of removing Mr. Maliki during these talks. But Arab diplomats and policy advisors who have talked with the White House in recent days said it was clear the administration was “casting about for somebody better” than Mr. Maliki.

Mr. Kerry was even more pointed in his criticism of Mr. Maliki on Monday, arguing his removal could help stabilize Iraq’s sectarian divide.

“If there is a clear successor, if the results of the election are respected, if people come together with the cohesiveness necessary to build a legitimate government that puts the reforms in place that people want, that might wind up being very salutatory,” he told Yahoo News.

Mr. Maliki’s State of Law Party won a plurality of seats, 94 out of 350, in Iraq’s parliamentary elections. The country is waiting for Iraq’s Supreme Court to ratify the results, after which the parliamentary speaker will call on the leadership of Mr. Maliki’s party to form a new government.

Mr. Maliki is still viewed as in a strong position to retain his post. In fact, many Shiite leaders have rallied behind the Iraqi prime minister in the wake of the ISIS gaining control of the cities of Mosul, Tal Afar and Tikrit in recent days and launching an offensive on Baghdad.

Still, the formation of governments in Iraq has seen significant horse-trading—and the involvement of American, Iranian and Arab diplomats—since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The Shiite politician Ayad Allawi’s political party won the most seats in 2010. But he failed to form a government after some Shiite and Kurdish parties backed Mr. Maliki.

Current and former U.S. officials said Iran will be crucial a player in efforts to form a new government in Baghdad and potentially remove Mr. Maliki, and will push for any new government to be friendly to its interests.

Tehran and Washington are Iraq’s most important diplomatic, economic and military partners. And both the U.S. and Iran have pledged in recent days to support the Iraqi government in its fight against the ISIS.

Former U.S. officials said both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations communicated regularly with Iranian diplomats in Baghdad during the political deliberation in 2006 and 2010 that previously elected Mr. Maliki. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns discussed Iraq’s political reform process with Iranian officials on Monday in Vienna, according to the State Department.

“Iran can play a positive role,” said Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq from 2005 to 2007. “Sometimes, on a tactical level, there can be an opportunity for cooperation. It’s happened in the past.”

The sequencing of the U.S.’s deliberations with Iraq and Iran will be crucial in determining whether progress can be made in driving ISIS out of the territories it’s already claimed, according current and former U.S. officials.

Mr. Obama has signaled that he’s going to hold back on launching any major military operations inside Iraq until he get assurances from the Iraqi government that it will take meaningful steps to reach out to its Sunni community.

But there are concerns within the administration that ISIS could continue to make military gains as Mr. Maliki and other Iraqi politicians jostle for power in Baghdad.

“The question is if the U.S. needs to do something [militarily] while waiting for a political settlement,” said Mr. Khalilzad.

—Michael R. Crittenden, Jeffrey Sparshott, Ellen Knickmeyer and Dion Nissenbaum contributed to this article.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/u-s-signals-1403137521

canopfor on June 18, 2014 at 9:50 PM

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 5:23 PM

But Obama’s goal is not a war in Iraq, said Bloomberg reporter Jean Cummings. In fact, the White House’s primary objective is to remove Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki from office as the administration believes his treatment of the country’s Sunni minority helped facilitate this insurgency.
==============

That worked out well in Egypt eh!!

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Its almost we like we have a president whose mentor said we deserved 9/11.

rob verdi on June 19, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Even Obama has probably heard of Diem, but Maliki has probably heard of Oswald.

VorDaj on June 19, 2014 at 5:27 PM

After the idiocy Obama perpetrated in Libya I’m really leery of Obama’s motives regarding the Muslim countries. Maybe the right thing to do is to let the two sides fight out their own civil war, and if it becomes a wider war between Iran and other parties, so be it, and possibly that could lead to the elimination of Iran’s nuke program. Maybe…

anotherJoe on June 19, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Jeebus…this is every leftist trope from the Dubya era coming back around to bite them in their fat asses.

I’ll go first: “Who are we to demand the ouster of a foreign leader??? That nation’s people should decide!!!”

Bishop on June 19, 2014 at 5:30 PM

In fact, the White House’s primary objective is to remove Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki from office

No. The White House’s primary objectives are to avoid making any decisions and avoid being accountable for any decisions.

In other words, the White House is led by Pontius Pilate. He’ll wash his hands of the deaths of others, refusing any responsibility, when he is in fact responsible and capable of making decisions which can fundamentally alter the outcome of events.

xNavigator on June 19, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Maliki is probably on the phone with the Iranians now wanting a “Status of Forces” agreement with them. Obama drives Russia and China closer together and now will drive Iraq and Iran closer together. Smart Power!

VorDaj on June 19, 2014 at 5:32 PM

But Obama’s goal is not a war in Iraq, said Bloomberg reporter Jean Cummings. In fact, the White House’s primary objective is to remove Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki from office as the administration believes his treatment of the country’s Sunni minority helped facilitate this insurgency.

“The president instinctively doesn’t want to send in troops,” Cummings said. He doesn’t want to get back into a war. He does want to change the government in Iraq, and this presents that opportunity for some diplomacy.


Jean Cummings
is able to speak in an official capacity for the Obama administration???

Interesting to see Hot Air’s latest addition is so deeply embedded in the MSM narrative group think that he doesn’t see the bigger story of the MSM’s complete subservience to Obama.

PolAgnostic on June 19, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Do any of these sad sunni supporters mourning and weeping over their treatment by the Shia ever think about the Shia, a majority in the country, being persecuted, imprisoned, and killed by the Sunni Baathist
Minority for over 30 years. Asking fair treatment now for the Sunnis is like expecting the Maquis to welcome les collaborateurs with arms open.

xkaydet65 on June 19, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Madam Nhu, sister in law to President Diem, clearly blamed Kennedy for her husband’s assassination. She wrote to Mrs. Kennedy:”I do not know you, but you must understand now what a wife feels when told that her husband has been brutally done to death. What has come to you is only one effect of the frightful injustice of which my husband was an innocent victim”.

VorDaj on June 19, 2014 at 5:38 PM

It has come to this.

Our Fearless Leader now has the same goal as ISIS.

Who’da thunk it?

RedPepper on June 19, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Slightly O/T:

David Burge @iowahawkblog
Follow
Harry Reid discusses the issues of the day http://youtu.be/tG-AwQAvbRo

tanked59 on June 19, 2014 at 5:39 PM

We only have one true ally in that region. The rest are enemies and frenemies.

myiq2xu on June 19, 2014 at 5:40 PM

What’s this? Regime change? But but but BUUUUSSSSSHHHH!

tanked59 on June 19, 2014 at 5:42 PM

https://twitter.com/NATOSource

@AtlanticCouncil’s @faysalitani on why he thinks the answer to #Iraq lies in #Syria http://bit.ly/1nkT8XO #ISIS #ISIL #Mosul #Baghdad

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Barry’s motive is for another ISIS win, same as in Labia, same as he wants for Syria.

That, and, like all Lefties, he’d do anything and everything to keep the US from winning one.

Or two.

formwiz on June 19, 2014 at 5:44 PM

So wait…who the EF are the bad guys?

Dino V on June 19, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Its almost we like we have a president whose mentor said we deserved 9/11.

rob verdi on June 19, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Yeah and it’s almost like we have a president who counts Muslim Brotherhood folks among his advisors.

Shay on June 19, 2014 at 5:45 PM

So wait…who the EF are the bad guys?

Dino V on June 19, 2014 at 5:44 PM

The Muslims. Period. End of Story.

oscarwilde on June 19, 2014 at 5:49 PM

“We believe that Maliki’s sectarianism and exclusion of Sunnis has led to the insurgency we are seeing,” said a senior Arab official. “He unfortunately managed to unite ISIS with the former Baathists and Saddam supporters.”

President Barack Obama and his national security aides are in deliberations over the creation of a new strategy for stabilizing Iraq, with a clear road map expected in the coming days.

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 5:23 PM

I think I have seen this movie already…and I know how it ends.

“We believe that Mubarak’s exclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood has led to the insurgency we are seeing,” said a senior Arab official. “He unfortunately managed to unite the Muslim Brotherhood with the Salafist and Al-Nour Party supporters.”

President Barack Obama and his national security aides are in deliberations over the creation of a new strategy for stabilizing Egypt, with a clear road map expected in the coming days.

sharrukin on June 19, 2014 at 5:50 PM

As I wrote elsewhere:
“A young Democrat Senator who becomes president on a platform of optimism, sending military advisers to a country halfway around the world that’s in the midst of a civil war with a side threatening to impose a repressive ideology despite America being war weary after two long, costly wars? Nope, nothing bad can come out of that.”

And now plotting to get rid of the country’s leader? It keeps getting better and better.

rbj on June 19, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Still trying for a Muslim Brotherhood hegemony in the region. Well, the POSOTUS is predictable in his foreign policy, if not entirely successful.

ROCnPhilly on June 19, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Barry is considering a regime change, so are we!

Sven on June 19, 2014 at 5:59 PM

In fact, the White House’s primary objective is to remove Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki from office as the administration believes his treatment of the country’s Sunni minority helped facilitate this insurgency.

I’m sure Hussein_+Killery weaponizing and funding muzzies
( via Benghazi+ Turkey ) and feeding them MREs , has nothing to do with this
” insurgency “.

burrata on June 19, 2014 at 6:00 PM

The US wants Maliki out because after he let China get the oil contracts he then treacherously stabbed America in the back when Maliki’s Iranian-backed Shia-led Iraqi regime signed the agreement in 2011 with Iran and Syria to build a $10 billion pipeline plan from Iran across Iraq to Syria, with Russia agreeing to pay the construction cost of the pipeline.

The US has been desperately trying to stop the Iranian, Iraq, Syria pipeline.

After the US failed to Stop Maliki and Assad from signing the Iranian pipeline agreement, Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, vowed military action and said “whatever regime comes after” Assad, it will be “completely” in Saudi Arabia’s hands and will “not sign any agreement allowing any Gulf country to transport its gas across Syria to Europe and compete with Russian gas exports”.

It was immediately after Maliki and Assad signed the Iranian pipeline deal that the Arab spring began with the help of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the US funding Al Qaeda in Syria to oust Assad, like was done in Libya and has been on going with US funded Al Qaeda attacks and assassinations in Iran.

This is the second Iranian pipeline, funded by Russia, that the US has failed to stop.

The US tried to stop the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline with the American veto when The US, through Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had floated the threat of sanctions should Pakistan go through with the proposal, (they did it anyway). The US has also been making use of back channels to put funding for the project into peril. A Chinese bank withdrew its promise of money for the pipeline after quiet US intervention. But Russia picked up the tab and soon the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline will go on line therefore expanding Russia’s regional influence and control pipelines supplying energy to US NATO allies.

So now the US is in a position where it must sacrifice US blood and treasure to help Iran, Russia, and China by supporting the Iranian-backed Shia-led Iraqi regime and thus protecting Iran’s ally, Iran’s Iraqi Syrian pipeline, and China’s oil contracts or else the US will look weak.

JustTheFacts on June 19, 2014 at 6:01 PM

How long before Maliki is Diemed in favor of a more-overtly pro-Iranian regime?

Steve Eggleston on June 19, 2014 at 6:01 PM

So wait…who the EF are the bad guys?

Dino V on June 19, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Americans, specially if they are White and Christian.
And Jews too .

burrata on June 19, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Sooo…”Regime Change” *is* a legitimate reason for war?

…Hmmm…not as I recall from the entire left from 2003-present day.

Lemme see…Bush: “Regime Change” = Leftist Rage

Obama: “Regime Change” = Noble.

Oh. ok. sure.

a5minmajor on June 19, 2014 at 6:04 PM

JustTheFacts on June 19, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Quit cutting and pasting that same crap to every thread you can.

slickwillie2001 on June 19, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Well Barack has always liked to compare himself to Jack Kennedy………………..

GarandFan on June 19, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Meanwhile, in a bit of news that should be embarrassing for everybody, ISIS has seized the largest remaining stash of the Hussein-era Iraqi chemical weapons. From The Telegraph:

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commander of Britain’s chemical weapons regiment, said that al-Muthanna has large stores of weaponized and bulk mustard gas and sarin, most of which has been put beyond ready use in concrete stores.

Steve Eggleston on June 19, 2014 at 6:21 PM

what we should do is get them all pissed off at each other and then point the to suadi arabia.

dmacleo on June 19, 2014 at 6:22 PM

https://twitter.com/AP

The Associated Press @AP · 26s

In just over a week, insurgents have expanded their hold in northern Iraq. Here’s a guide to the fast-moving events: http://apne.ws/UiZ2Ap

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 6:27 PM

The Associated Press @AP · 7s

A look at ISIL advancement in Iraq, reactions from U.S. vets on the insurgency and a timeline of events: http://apne.ws/1nnA7DZ

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Meanwhile, in a bit of news that should be embarrassing for everybody, ISIS has seized the largest remaining stash of the Hussein-era Iraqi chemical weapons. From The Telegraph:

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commander of Britain’s chemical weapons regiment, said that al-Muthanna has large stores of weaponized and bulk mustard gas and sarin, most of which has been put beyond ready use in concrete stores.

Steve Eggleston on June 19, 2014 at 6:21 PM

The UN inspectors stated that Iraqi Sarin and tabun have a shelf life of approximately five years, VX lasts a bit longer (but not much longer), and finally they said botulinum toxin and liquid anthrax last about three years and therefore the weapons found would need to have been made recently with an active chemical program having scientists running military facilities that are capable of manufacturing them within the last five years otherwise they are harmless substances and no threat.

The Telegraph article says:

US officials revealed that the group had occupied the sprawling site which has two bunkers encased in a concrete seal. Much of the sarin is believed to be redundant.

“We remain concerned about the seizure of any military site by the [Isis],” Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said. “We do not believe that the complex contains CW materials of military value and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to safely move the materials.”

One US official told the Wall Street Journal yesterday that Isis fighters could be contaminated by the chemicals at the site.

The only people who would likely be harmed by these chemical materials would be the people who tried to use or move them,” the military officer said.

JustTheFacts on June 19, 2014 at 6:57 PM

JustTheFacts on June 19, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Would those be the same US officials who said there were no stockpiles in 2004-2007?

Steve Eggleston on June 19, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Would those be the same US officials who said there were no stockpiles in 2004-2007?

Steve Eggleston on June 19, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Let’s hope that they are better than these guys:

75 CDC Workers Exposed to Live Anthrax In Laboratory Glitch

Before working with the anthrax, workers in the Level 3 biocontainment lab were supposed to “inactivate” anthrax samples to render it harmless.

They didn’t.

Resist We Much on June 19, 2014 at 7:45 PM

http://www.breakingnews.com/

Iraq violence
8m
Report: US Secretary of State Kerry expected to travel to Iraq ‘soon,’ congressional sources say – @AFP
Read more on yahoo.com

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 7:50 PM

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 7:52 PM

Let’s hope that they are better than these guys:

75 CDC Workers Exposed to Live Anthrax In Laboratory Glitch

Before working with the anthrax, workers in the Level 3 biocontainment lab were supposed to “inactivate” anthrax samples to render it harmless.

They didn’t.

Resist We Much on June 19, 2014 at 7:45 PM

RWM: UnStinkingBelievable:)

United States
4h
Center for Disease Control: 75 government scientists possibly exposed to live anthrax – @Reuters
Read more on trust.org

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 7:54 PM

Would those be the same US officials who said there were no stockpiles in 2004-2007?

Steve Eggleston on June 19, 2014 at 7:00 PM

You think that this is the missing stock pile of recently made, (in year 2000), chemical weapons?

This well known facility was destroyed and inspected in the early 90′s and at that time what remained in it’s abandoned ruins was considered not a threat. Now over twenty years later its still not a threat.

This is not the missing stock pile of recently manufactured, (in year 2000), chemical weapons being maintained to use against America initiating the planed Iraqi invasion of the US ordered by Saddam.

Not only is the stock pile of recently manufactured, (in year 2000), chemical weapons still missing but more importantly so are any records of an active chemical program, (in year 2000), still missing. And any scientists that supposedly worked on such weapons are still missing. And the specially designed military facilities that are capable of manufacturing chemical weapon to be used against America are still missing.

JustTheFacts on June 19, 2014 at 8:42 PM

Let’s hope that they are better than these guys:

75 CDC Workers Exposed to Live Anthrax In Laboratory Glitch

Before working with the anthrax, workers in the Level 3 biocontainment lab were supposed to “inactivate” anthrax samples to render it harmless.

They didn’t.

Resist We Much on June 19, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Maybe if the CDC weren’t so busied up treating gun owning as a disease that requires their attention, they would be able to follow their own procedures in handling a real disease.

slickwillie2001 on June 19, 2014 at 8:56 PM

Does he support regime change?

Yes, he fully supports ISIS taking over!

easyt65 on June 20, 2014 at 6:59 AM