Iraqi prime minister says U.S. troops can go 'anytime they want'With even U.S. puppets talking this way, how can the continued U.S. presence in the miserable rubble of Iraq be seen as anything but a colonial occupation?
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki shrugged off U.S. doubts of his government's military and political progress Saturday, saying Iraqi forces are capable and American troops can leave "anytime they want."
One of his top aides, meanwhile, accused the United States of embarrassing the Iraqi government by violating human rights and treating his country like an "experiment in a U.S. lab."
Al-Maliki said his government needs "time and effort" to enact the political reforms that Washington seeks -- "particularly since the political process is facing security, economic and services pressures, as well as regional and international interference."
But he said that if necessary, Iraqi police and soldiers could fill the void left by the departure of coalition forces.
"We say in full confidence that we are able, God willing, to take the responsibility completely in running the security file if the international forces withdraw at anytime they want," he said.
One of al-Maliki's close advisers, Shiite lawmaker Hassan al-Suneid, bristled over the American pressure, telling The Associated Press that "the situation looks as if it is an experiment in an American laboratory [judging] whether we succeed or fail."
He sharply criticized the U.S. military, saying it was committing human rights violations and embarrassing the Iraqi government through such tactics as building a wall around Baghdad's Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah and launching repeated raids on suspected Shiite militiamen in the capital's slum of Sadr City.
He also criticized U.S. overtures to Sunni groups in Anbar and Diyala provinces, encouraging former insurgents to join the fight against al Qaeda in Iraq. "These are gangs of killers," he said.
In addition, he said that al-Maliki has problems with the top U.S. commander, Gen. David Petraeus, who he said works along a "purely American vision."
On second thought, that's a purely idle question. There's no reasonable way to see what we've done for the last fifteen-plus years as anything except imperialism. The great American public will continue to view this adventure in the same way it's viewed all the others: a too-generous bequest of duh-mocracy on our recalcitrant, ungrateful, and primitive "little brown brothers."