Was There Just a Military Coup in Iraq?


The Iraqi Parliament on Sunday named a new president, Fouad Masoum, who refused to name Prime Minister Nouri Kamal al-Maliki to a third term.

Maliki responded by saying that the election of Masoum was unconstitutional.

That caused Maliki’s own party, the State of Law Party, to withdraw its support from him.

Now there are reports that Baghdad is rapidly descending into hell.

Maliki’s military forces have apparently surrounded the presidential palace, and Maliki has issued an order for the arrest of Massoum.

There are independent reports of heavily armed special forces roaming the streets of the capital, seizing government buildings, closing the airport and surrounding the Green Zone, where U.S. personnel are housed.

Some news reports have cited information from the scene that Maliki’s forces are using tanks to seal off the city.

If the early reports are true, then ISIS, the jihadist caliphate army that has already seized most of Iraq, must be licking its lips at the prospect of the Iraqi government destroying itself.

Chaos in Baghdad would allow ISIS to swoop in and claim a rich power base from which to support their newborn caliphate. So far, ISIS has avoided closing in on Baghdad because the city still had considerable defenses, and because there is a contingent of U.S. troops in the region.

The number of American troops is only in the hundreds and would likely be overwhelmed if ISIS committed its full power to a battle, but ISIS would not win without suffering tremendous losses, and even the fanatics in charge realize it.

But if the Baghdad forces are first decimated by a civil war or divided government loyalties, then the city becomes much more tempting.

President Obama’s promise of airstrikes if U.S. personnel are threatened is not much of a deterrent because of the weakness of the man making the threat. Between his multiple red lines, his botched call to go to war in Syria and countless other foreign policy blunders, Obama is seen as little more than a cardboard cutout when it comes to military matters.

Yet it is Obama who is most responsible for making this day possible. By refusing to help the thousands of victims of ISIS unless Maliki resigned as Iraqi prime minister, Obama no doubt forced the parliament’s hand, which in turn led Maliki to fight to keep his power.

Obama pulled our troops out of Iraq in 2011 to shore up support from his socialist, anti-war backers prior to the 2012 election. In exchange for those votes, he has completely dishonored the efforts our troops made under President Bush, and he has taken back from the Iraqis the hard-won opportunity we gave them to join the world’s democracies.

Our president seems to prefer a world in which the Muslim Brotherhood and its many child groups are in charge of the Middle East and plotting to take over Western civilization. It should be no surprise that he would think that way, seeing how he grew up in Indonesia as a Muslim who still feels, as he once put it, that the Muslim call to prayer is “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”

If Maliki is attempting a military coup, then the residents of Baghdad will, in all likelihood, soon be heeding that call to prayer under the watchful and bloody gaze of the ISIS caliphate, courtesy of the milquetoast Obama.

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