‘Key Ally In The War On Terror’ Breaks With U.S., Condemns Israel For Gaza Strikes

After disastrously invading and occupying Iraq, one of the justifications President Bush frequently offered for sustaining the enormous U.S. costs in lives and resources was that we were developing a “key ally” in the Middle East:

Together we’ll help Iraq become a strong democracy that protects the rights of its people and is a key ally in the war on terror. [9/22/05]

Our mission in Iraq is clear. … We’re helping Iraqis build a free nation that is an ally in the war on terror. We’re advancing freedom in the broader Middle East. [6/28/05]

Freedom will prevail in Iraq; freedom will prevail in the Middle East; and as the hope of freedom spreads to nations that have not known it, these countries will become allies in the cause of peace. [3/20/06]


The Wonk Room’s Matt Duss notes that — in a central test of the U.S. alliance with Iraq — our “key ally” is instead more eager to disassociate itself completely from the United States:

Just as they did during Israel’s 2006 war against Hezbollah, Iraq’s leaders are now showing where their true sympathies lie. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Da’wa Party “issued a statement condemning the attacks and calling on Islamic countries to cut relations with Israel and end all ’secret and public talks’ with it.”

Khalid Hussain of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) told Gulf News “We have obligations towards Palestine and all Iraqi people are in solidarity with the people in Palestine, and we will support the people in Gaza.” […]

“Iraqi resistance groups have to retaliate against the Israeli aggression on Gaza by escalating their operations against the US military in Iraq since the US position is in favour of this aggression, firstly, and secondly because the United States and Israel are both enemies of the Arabs,” Omar Al Kubaisi, an activist of the Sunni Muslim Clerics Association.

Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Sistani has also condemned the Gaza strikes. Duss concludes, “Looking on the bright side, if one can call it that, as with opposition to the U.S. occupation, Gaza is an issue on which Iraqis have achieved rare political consensus.”