News / Middle East

Iraqi PM Says Politics Behind Latest WikiLeaks Release

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (file photo)
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (file photo)

There was a mixed reaction from Iraqi political leaders over the release of classified U.S. documents Friday on the Wikileaks website concerning U.S. behavior in Iraq.

Some Iraqi leaders reacted with anger and others with a shrug of the shoulders to the release of classified U.S. documents concerning the Iraq war.

Rival Sunni and Shi'ite political parties appeared to take opposing stances over the issue, using it as a new battleground in an ongoing political struggle.

In a statement read on Iraqi government TV, Shi'ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called the release of classified U.S. documents by Wikileaks "politically motivated," adding that they "raised a number of questions."

Several members of Mr. Maliki's State of Law coalition blasted the release, calling it a "recipe for fresh sectarian strife." Kemal al Saidi, from the prime minister's State of Law coalition, argued the Wikileaks documents target the prime minister "personally," and are meant to hinder formation of a new government:

He questions why these documents came out now, amid efforts to form the new government. He claims that this is part of a campaign against Mr. Maliki, against the government and against the political system. He adds that he doesn't believe the leaks will stir up violence because the Iraqi people know they are linked to the formation of the government and to Mr. Maliki personally.

Saidi also defended Mr. Maliki against allegations in the released documents that he was responsible for "torture and killing squads." "I don't know any government in the world," he insisted, "that doesn't protect itself against criminals, and we are proud of fighting criminals."

Iraqi Minister of Human Rights Wijdan Salim, who has investigated many charges of human rights abuse since she took the job in 2006, called the documents released "nothing surprising."

Mostly Sunni Iraqi opposition satellite channels blasted both the United States and Mr. Maliki's government for what many called "flagrant human rights abuses."

Commentators on Iran's Arabic-language al Alam TV blasted the document-release, claiming that it was a "massive U.S. plot." Several Wikileaks documents accuse Tehran of smuggling weapons and explosives into Iraq to cause strife.

"It is not possible," claimed one pro-Iranian commentator, "that the powerful U.S. government would allow such sensitive documents to be published." The U.S. government itself, he went on to allege, is responsible for releasing the documents.

One young Iraqi man claims that the U.S. is the big winner from the release of these documents.

He claims that the Americans are the only ones to profit from this matter. He says that Iraqis already know that people in the government were involved with militias or with foreign governments be they Iran or whomever. He says he believes that 80 to 85% of the information released is true, but that this was not the right time to release them because they will cause regional complications which will "soon be felt."

Allies of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, who is locked in a seven month old struggle with Prime Minister Maliki over which of the two will form the next government, played down the new Wikileaks documents.

Osama Njeify, of Mr. Allawi's Iraqiya bloc, called the documents "part of the truth that the Iraqi people are all too aware of…..and have lived through."

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid