US Embassy Adviser: Iraq's Maliki Increasingly Dictatorial

Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 04:03 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is "increasingly dictatorial" and the United States made a mistake by supporting his second term, Ali Khedery, who served as a senior advisor at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, told Newsmax TV Wednesday.

"What we have seen, unfortunately, under Prime Minster Maliki over the last four years is a regime and a government that is increasingly dictatorial, that is increasingly sectarian, and most troubling perhaps, it is increasingly aligned with Iran," Khedery told Ed Berliner on "MidPoint."

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"All of those things pose a grave risk for American national security interests because of Prime Minister Maliki's continued repression of this [Sunni] population, very much like Saddam did," he explained.

"That continued repression has caused a Sunni Arab backlash, has allowed the Sunni to invite back into the country al-Qaida and [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria]," he added.
Khedery wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post on July 3, in which he explained how he once supported Maliki and "lobbied skeptical regional royals to support Maliki's government" in 2009. 

However, by 2010, he was singing a different tune when it came to Maliki's re-election, and he urged "the vice president of the United States and the White House senior staff to withdraw their support for Maliki."

According to the head of Dragoman Partners, he "had come to realize that if he remained in office, he would create a divisive, despotic and sectarian government that would rip the country apart and devastate American interests."

Khedery told Newsmax that now "leaders in Washington seem to be unable to admit the fact that they made a huge mistake in backing him for a second term in 2010."

"They are refusing to acknowledge the fact that Maliki and senior members of his cabinet are on a daily basis, even an hourly basis continuing, coordinating with Iranian generals and Iranian intelligence operatives to commit various military campaigns across Iraq," he added.

And now the White House is trying to convince Congress to send "F-16's, Apache attack helicopters, and Hellfire missiles" to aid in Maliki's fight against the insurgency lead by ISIS.

Khedery told Steve Malzberg on Newsmax TV that the U.S. "cannot allow" these weapons and missiles to land "in the hands of a government that is aligned with Iran and with [Syrian president] Bashar Hafez al-Assad."

The senior adviser at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad says that Maliki is only concerned with what is best for him and that "he will not do what is best for Iraq."

Khedery contends that Maliki "is a second Bashar Assad of Syria or a second Moammar al-Gadhafi of Libya."

He would rather "risk the collapse of the entire country and the death of millions of people rather than give up power," he added.

"He knows if he gives up power that he will be assassinated by his political rivals almost immediately," Khedery claims. "That is what some senior advisors to Prime Minister Maliki have told me in recent days from Baghdad."

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