Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki must go, says Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin, who yesterday called on the nation's parliament to replace him with a "more unifying" leader if Maliki can't quickly forge political peace among rival factions. Maliki's current talks with Iraqi leaders is the "last chance" to turn around the crisis in Iraq, Levin warned.
President Bush supports Maliki, convinced he has fewer ties to Iran than other prominent Shiites who might replace him. Others are concerned the country could slip even further into chaos with another leader. Levin issued his statement after returning from a visit to Iraq and Jordan, a trip several congressmen are making in anticipation of Gen. Petraeus’ report next month on Iraq.