Desperate to save Baghdad from the Islamic State forces, the Iraqi government ostensibly complied with the U.S. demand to replace the Prime Minister Maliki and create an "inclusive" government.
The reality is far from it.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki – from the radical, Islamist, Iran-based terrorist organization called Dawa, which was responsible for the 1983 Kuwait Embassy bombing – was replaced by … Haider al-Abadi. The proposed new prime minister is – you guessed it – from the radical, Islamist, Iran-based terrorist organization called Dawa, which was responsible for the 1983 Kuwait Embassy bombing!
One former terrorist replaced with another.
What was even more concerning was that instead of checking with Washington on the change as in the past, the government went to Tehran to get permission from the mullahs on their Cabinet changes!
Even more concerning, though, is the replacement of the pro-American Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, famous for rebuking American journalists for calling the Iraqi liberation an "invasion" as in: "How dare you say 'invasion' – we were liberated from a terrible dictator who had killed 1 million of our people and kept us in terror for nearly 40 years," and for telling them that in fact Saddam did have weapons of mass destruction: "Which ones would you like me to describe to you – the ones he flew into Iran, the ones he buried in the desert or the ones he trucked into Syria?"
Being proposed to replace Zebari – the one bright part of the previous government – is Ibrahim al-Jaffari of ... the radical, Islamist, Iran-based terrorist organization called Dawa, which was responsible for the 1983 Kuwait Embassy bombing!
Maliki simply moves from prime minister to vice president. Three of the key leaders are former terrorists reporting to Iran.
Jaffari, I know.
A few years ago we had an interesting conversation regarding the role of Islam in public life:
"Why do you keep insisting on putting 'Islam is the religion of the state' in the Constitution when the people do not want this."
"If we don't put it in, the people will revolt."
I teased him saying, "Mr. Jaffari, I think you have been away from Iraq too long. Saddam, for all his faults, changed things. The people are very secular and do not want to live under religious leaders."
He became upset and was about to hit me when one of his aides, an Iraqi from Iraq, in contrast to Jaffari, who had lived outside of Iraq for 23 years, quieted him down by saying, "Sir, Amir is right. The people are no longer religious like that; in fact, they just want quiet and peace."
This illustrates the fundamental reason the 2011 U.S. pullout was so significant, not so much for the military component, but for the message it brought.
The U.S. military in fact is deployed in more than 150 countries of the world with numbers ranging from as little as 100 to nearly 70,000 in Europe and 80,000 in Asia, with a total of 150,000 deployed overseas.
With the withdrawal, the message was sent "you are on your own" – so Iraq allied with our worst enemy, Iran.
Before the die is cast and the leaders are formally chosen – leaders who are former Iran-based terrorists who answer to Tehran – and before the United States provide any more assistance to the panic-stricken government, the U.S. should insist on a truly inclusive government with no ex-terrorists.
Men like Iyad Allawi, the former prime minister who won the 2010 election even with massive fraud from Iran but was denied the prime minister's position under pressure from Iran – again, to put in their man, Nouri al-Maliki.
The most glaring insult of all?
Not one minister is an Assyrian Christian of the indigenous people of Iraq (Arabs came later from the desert). These Christians are 10 percent of the population, and according to the Iraqi government, a minimum of 10 percent of the ministers must be Assyrian Christians to reflect not only their numbers but a clear and open testimony to an inclusive government.
Three former terrorists working for Iran and not one native, Assyrian Christian.
The sacrifice of 4,888 brave Americans who gave their lives that Iraq would be free, the 32,000 seriously injured and the 2.5 million who served demand it.
This time, the United States has the leverage to demand a truly representative, non-terrorist, not Iran-beholden government that will be an ally and not an enemy.