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

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora