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NEWS
January 1, 2012 | By Bushra Juhi, Associated Press
BAGHDAD - Iraq's prime minister hailed the end of the U.S. military presence in Iraq as a new dawn for his country and urged Iraqis to preserve the unity of a nation still under attack by insurgents and beset by sectarian divisions. At a televised celebration in Baghdad on Saturday, Nouri al-Maliki declared Dec. 31 a national holiday marking "a new dawn" in which Iraq would focus on rebuilding a nation shattered by nearly nine years of war. "Your country has become free," he said.
NEWS
May 31, 2012 | By Qassim Abdul-zahra, Associated Press
BAGHDAD - A broad alliance seeking to unseat Iraq's prime minister failed Wednesday to persuade the country's president to make a first move by calling a parliamentary no-confidence vote against the government, a lawmaker said. Iraq's Shiite-dominated ruling coalition is increasingly shaky. One coalition member, the heavily Sunni Iraqiya movement, has long complained about being shut out of decision-making. Recently, two other groups Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had courted successfully - Kurds and the hard-line Shiite followers of prominent cleric Muqtada al-Sadr - have also threatened to defect.
NEWS
January 14, 2012 | By Adam Schreck, Associated Press
BAGHDAD - Iraq's Sunni deputy premier called Friday for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to step down and warned that the country's political crisis risks sparking a wider sectarian conflict in the region. Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq stood by an earlier charge that Iraq is becoming a new dictatorship under Maliki, a Shiite. He said Iraqis could eventually rise up violently if Maliki remains in his post, and pushed for a parliamentary vote of no confidence in the prime minister if he stays.
NEWS
December 27, 2011 | By Michael S. Schmidt and Jack Healy, New York Times News Service
BAGHDAD - A powerful political group led by the anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called Monday for Parliament to be dissolved and early elections to be held, the first open challenge to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki from within his Shiite coalition in an escalating political crisis. Leaders of Sadr's faction said that scrapping the current government was the only way to steer Iraq out of the crisis, which has put Maliki, a Shiite, at odds with leaders representing the country's Sunni minority and has quickly exploded since the withdrawal of U.S. troops about a week ago. The move by the Sadr bloc is not enough to immediately bring down the Maliki government, and new elections could take months to organize.
NEWS
June 18, 2014
Politics being what they are in this country, it was predictable that Democrats and Republicans would point fingers at each other when Sunni insurgents began taking over territory in Shiite-controlled Iraq. It was George Bush's fault for starting the 10-year war that left nearly 4,500 Americans dead and raised new fears about the future stability of the Middle East. It was President Obama's fault for not insisting that a larger U.S. military force be left in Iraq after the war to discourage insurgents.
NEWS
December 3, 2006
Nouri, you're doing a heckuva job. President Bush, talking about Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki last week, didn't actually use that echo of his misguided Hurricane Katrina praise for former FEMA Director Michael Brown. What Bush did say, though, came awfully close - and showed the same disturbing disconnect from reality. Bush said of Maliki after they met in Jordan: "He's the right guy for Iraq. " Surreal. Only a few weeks earlier, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley had offered one of the most honest assessments to come out of this administration about the spiraling violence in Iraq.
NEWS
June 7, 2006 | By Trudy Rubin
The air-conditioning has been broken for three months in the cavernous convention center where Iraq's national assembly meets, so the members were sweating profusely in the 115-degree heat. Male delegates in Shiite turbans or the flowing robes of sheikhs or shirts and slacks, along with women in enveloping black chadors and colorful Kurdish dress - and a few females with uncovered hair - gathered in clusters Sunday as they waited for the session to begin. This was supposed to be the meeting that finally confirmed the key members of an Iraqi government, five months after elections in December.
NEWS
February 28, 2013 | By Adam Schreck and Qassim Abdul-zahra, Associated Press
BAGHDAD - Iraq's prime minister warned Wednesday that a victory for rebels in the Syrian civil war would create a new extremist haven and destabilize the wider Middle East, sparking sectarian wars in his own country and in Lebanon. Nouri al-Maliki stopped short of voicing outright support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's embattled regime. But his comments in an interview with the Associated Press marked one of his strongest warnings yet about the turmoil that the collapse of the Syrian government could create.
NEWS
April 22, 2006 | By Nancy A. Youssef and Leila Fadel INQUIRER FOREIGN STAFF
A Shiite alliance yesterday ended an impasse in forming a government by agreeing on a new candidate for prime minister, a Shiite Muslim known for his harsh criticism of rival Sunni Arabs. Iraqi leaders were expected to present the name of the candidate, Jawad al-Maliki, and those of a president, two vice presidents, and a speaker of the parliament for a vote in parliament today. Iraq's new leaders, most of them inexperienced, must choose ministers, resolve disputes over the constitution, and find a way to stamp out violence.
NEWS
June 28, 2012 | By Kay Johnson, Associated Press
BAGHDAD - Iraq's prime minister threatened Wednesday to call early elections that could tighten his grip on power if the nation's political factions fail to break an impasse that has all but paralyzed the government. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's gambit is the latest in a months-long political crisis in Iraq that has Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds alike calling for his resignation. The impasse also has fueled fears of a possible flare-up in violence by insurgents seeking to take advantage of the chaos.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
May 18, 2015 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
On May 23, 2003, I attended the Baghdad news conference at which the U.S. viceroy, Paul Bremer, announced he was dissolving the Iraqi army. I thought of that day when I read of Wednesday's confrontation between 19-year-old student Ivy Dietrich and Jeb Bush, who had been blaming President Obama for the rise of the jihadis. She told the former Florida governor, "Your brother created ISIS. " Dietrich's claim was a bit too blunt but still right on the money. It should serve as a warning to 2016 presidential contenders: Using the Iraq war as a political club against the opposition can boomerang.
NEWS
May 16, 2015 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
Anyone who wants to understand how ISIS can be rolled back needs to heed the message of two Sunni Arabs who visited Washington this week. I'm not referring to the Saudi crown prince and his deputy, who came to seek assurances from President Obama that he's not cozying up to Tehran. (When it comes to ousting ISIS, the Saudis are as much a part of the problem as they are part of the solution.) Rather, I'm referring to two prominent Iraqi politicians who came to warn that ISIS can't be defeated unless Washington helps Iraqi Sunnis who want to drive the jihadis out. One of the visitors was Rafe al-Issawi, an urbane, English-speaking physician who was once Iraq's respected finance minister.
NEWS
October 17, 2014 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
Leon Panetta has taken a lot of heat for publicly dumping on Barack Obama's foreign policy while the president is still in the White House. Where's his loyalty? the critics ask, as Panetta makes the publicity rounds for his new memoir, Worthy Fights , which says tough things about Obama's past policies on Syria and Iraq. Shouldn't Panetta, who served as CIA director and defense secretary during Obama's first term, have zipped his lip until his former boss left office? Absolutely not. Panetta - a child of Italian immigrants who believes deeply in America's promise - is trying to nudge Obama to adopt a more engaged style of governing; he rightly believes this is the only way Obama can break through the paralysis in Washington and exert more forceful foreign policy leadership in the future.
NEWS
July 11, 2014 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
Having ignored Iraq since 2009, the Obama team is now desperately trying to devise a way to prevent its total collapse - and to roll back the jihadi state newly established on a third of Iraqi territory. The only slim hope of doing either requires the ouster of the leader whom the United States has backed for nearly a decade, Iraq's paranoid prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki. Maliki's sectarian Shiite politics have driven Iraq's Sunnis - a fifth of the country's population - into the arms of the Islamic State movement (known as ISIS)
NEWS
June 20, 2014 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
For more than a year, Mideast analysts have warned about an al-Qaeda offshoot that was creating a virtual state in eastern Syria and western Iraq, where it trained European and American recruits. The Obama team failed to focus on this virulent threat to U.S. interests, either in Syria or Iraq. Now those jihadis - known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) - have jolted the region by pouring out of Syria, seizing Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul, and heading toward Baghdad "This is al-Qaeda 6.0," says Ryan Crocker, the former U.S. ambassador to Baghdad and Kabul, "and they will be stronger than they ever were in Afghanistan.
NEWS
June 18, 2014
Politics being what they are in this country, it was predictable that Democrats and Republicans would point fingers at each other when Sunni insurgents began taking over territory in Shiite-controlled Iraq. It was George Bush's fault for starting the 10-year war that left nearly 4,500 Americans dead and raised new fears about the future stability of the Middle East. It was President Obama's fault for not insisting that a larger U.S. military force be left in Iraq after the war to discourage insurgents.
NEWS
November 4, 2013 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
The last time Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki visited the White House - in late 2011 - he and President Obama touted Iraq's political and security progress. On Friday, Maliki arrived again, this time in search of help to fight a stunning resurgence of al-Qaeda violence that has claimed 7,000 Iraqi deaths in 2013 - nearly 1,000 in October. It will be a hard sell. Most Americans, including Obama, are eager to put the Iraq war out of mind. And as a bipartisan group of senators noted in a letter to Obama last week, Maliki's "mismanagement" of Iraq's sectarian politics has helped create the climate that permitted al-Qaeda to reemerge.
NEWS
May 21, 2013 | By Sinan Salaheddin, Associated Press
BAGHDAD - Iraq's wave of bloodshed sharply escalated Monday with more than a dozen car bombings across the country, part of attacks that killed at least 95 people and brought echoes of past sectarian carnage and fears of a dangerous spillover from Syria's civil war next door. The latest spiral of violence - which has claimed more than 240 lives in the last week - carries the hallmarks of the two sides that brought nearly nonstop chaos to Iraq for years: Sunni insurgents, including al-Qaeda's branch in Iraq, and Shiite militias defending their newfound power after Saddam Hussein's fall.
NEWS
April 28, 2013 | By Sameer N. Yacoub, Associated Press
BAGHDAD - Iraqi soldiers backed by tanks retook control of a Sunni town north of Baghdad on Friday after gunmen withdrew without a fight, although violence erupted at three Sunni mosques and clerics called for the formation of a tribal army to protect Sunni cities. The Sunni gunmen had seized Suleiman Beg on Thursday after a firefight with security forces, one in a string of incidents that have killed more than 170 people in a spate of violence and clashes in Sunni Muslim towns in western and northern Iraq during the last four days.
NEWS
April 27, 2013 | By Adam Schreck and Sinan Salaheddin, Associated Press
BAGHDAD - Clashes spread to a key northern city and gunmen took over a town elsewhere in Iraq on Thursday, raising the death toll from three days of violence to more than 150 people as a wave of Sunni unrest intensified. The turmoil is aggravating an already-sour political situation between the Shiite-led government and Sunnis, who accuse Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government of neglect and trying to disenfranchise their Muslim sect. Maliki appeared on national television appealing for calm amid fears that the country is facing a return to full-scale sectarian fighting more than a year after U.S. troops withdrew.
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