What Went Wrong in Iraq: The Khedery Version

It was not really until after the elections that Maliki systematically tried to employ dirty tricks to change the result, as seen first and foremost in the attempt to disqualify seat winners after the result had been announced.

A second major theme where Khedery is tendentious concerns the ruling of the Iraqi supreme court from May 2010 that deemed post-election bloc coalescence (with a view to forming the next government following elections) a legitimate exercise under the Iraqi constitution. Many Americans have tried to portray this ruling as some kind of Maliki coup, but closer inspection of the relevant constitutional background materials suggests that the ruling was quite objective in addressing the limited constitutional ambiguity that existed.

Many rulings of the Iraqi supreme court can be seen as politicized (perhaps more clearly so from 2011 and onwards), but the ‘largest bloc” definition ruling just isn’t one of them. Nonetheless, Khedery goes on to generalize from this ruling to a greater theme of “safeguarding the Iraqi constitution” from what is seen as constant encroachments by Maliki.

Suffice to say in this context that, back in 2010, the only part of the government formation deal that was truly in conflict with the Iraqi constitution was the American-sponsored idea of a strategic policy council, created to accommodate another of Khederys’s friends – Ayyad Allawi.

The overly crude characterizations of the workings of the Iraqi judiciary continue in Khedery’s description of Maliki’s second term. Here, there is arguably more to pick on, but instead of focusing on some of the bluntest examples of judicial overreach that exist (such as the ruling on the independent commissions in January 2011) Khedery writes, “he [Maliki] did not abide by a law imposing term limits, again calling upon kangaroo courts to issue a favorable ruling.”

In fact the veto of the term limits law was perfectly predictable with reference to past rulings of the Iraqi supreme court, which have consistently stressed the constitutional articles that say full legislative projects must go to parliament from the cabinet and/or president before they can be voted upon.

3 Responses to What Went Wrong in Iraq: The Khedery Version

  1. Whistle blower 7th July 2014 at 15:16 #

    Why not publishing the Khedery article from New York Times instead of commenting the article? Once the article from the New York Times is published then everybody can comment on what he is saying.

    Otherwise, the risk for media manipulation is too obvious

  2. Editor 7th July 2014 at 15:35 #

    @Whistle blower: a link to the article refered to in the Washington Post (not NY Times) has been added.

    We have not have rights to re-publish it.

    – Editor.

  3. Kamil Mahdi 11th July 2014 at 15:43 #

    I sent this letter to the Washington Post but it was not published:

    Dear Letters’ Editor,

    Ali Khedery, “Why we stuck with Maliki — and lost Iraq”, July 3rd, does not as he claims inform us why the US stuck with Maliki, only who said what. He presents a picture only of conjecture and short-term political considerations. If this were the case, there would not have been an invasion in the first place.

    The writer had served the US occupation project for ten years and admits to having brokered the Exxon-KRG oil deal which undermines the integrity of Iraq. Yet, what he finds wrong with US policy was its support for Maliki in 2010, not the occupation. There is no mention of any of the major US decisions undermining the state and paralysing it, and none of Negroponte and the Salvador Option, of the training of torture and murder teams, of the brute force of the US military and mercenaries, and no mention of a flawed constitution and policies driving a wedge between Iraqis.

    It is a picture of US innocence, and of Iraqi violence, mistrust and proclivity to dictatorship, symbolised by Maliki; a picture that satisfies an innate imperial urge to blame the native. Khedery even says Maliki destroyed the Iraqi state, implying that the US had built and sustained it. We are invited to believe that Bush invaded Iraq for freedom and democracy, and that the Biden plan was a mere passing thought, not a reality unfolding before us on a sea of blood with oil interests well protected.

    Iraqis now find their country a playground for external powers, and themselves sandwiched between a corrupt, sectarian and repressive government, and an opposition that is in collusion with a barbarian gang. But Iraqis are also aware that their current suffering is a legacy of the US invasion and occupation, and US intervention is no more welcome now than it was before.

    Dr Kamil Mahdi