It's been 10 years since Saddam Hussein's fall, and Nouri al-Maliki is using the occasion to set the record straight on US-Iraqi relations. In an op-ed in today's Washington Post, the Iraqi prime minister assures Americans that Iraq is a "sovereign partner" for the US, and "will remain grateful for ... the losses sustained by military and civilian personnel." But he also points out that "these losses pale by comparison, of course, to those sustained by the Iraqi people" and that "partners do not always agree."
Maliki then lays out two potentially thorny Iraqi positions: It wants a stable, cooperative relationship with Iran, and doesn't support arming Syria's rebels. "We have been mystified by what appears to be the widespread belief in the United States" that ousting Bashar al-Assad is all-important, he writes, warning that, as in the Afghan-Soviet conflict, US intervention could lead to "a Syria controlled in whole or part by al-Qaeda." Still, he believes the US-Iraq relationship can remain strong. "The United States has not 'lost' Iraq," but instead found a partner for "the promotion of peace and democracy." Click for the full column.