Iraqi Lawmakers Criticize Trump Visit as Blow to Iraqi Sovereignty

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Iraqi political and militia leaders condemned U.S. President Donald Trump’s surprise visit to U.S. troops in Iraq on Wednesday as a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty, and lawmakers said a meeting between Trump and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi was canceled due to a disagreement over venue.

Sabah al Saadi, the leader of the Islah parliamentary bloc, called for an emergency session of parliament “to discuss this blatant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and to stop these aggressive actions by Trump who should know his limits: The U.S. occupation of Iraq is over.”

The Bina bloc, Islah’s rival in parliament and led by Iran-backed militia leader Hadi al-Amiri, also objected to Trump’s trip to Iraq.

“Trump’s visit is a flagrant and clear violation of diplomatic norms and shows his disdain and hostility in his dealings with the Iraqi government,” said a statement from Bina.

Abdul Mahdi’s office said in a statement that U.S. authorities had informed Iraq’s leadership of the president’s visit ahead of time. The statement said the Iraqi prime minister and U.S. president talked by telephone due to a “disagreement over how to conduct the meeting.”

Iraqi lawmakers told Reuters that the pair had disagreed over where their planned meeting should take place: Trump had asked to meet at the Ain al-Asad military base, an offer which Abdul Mahdi declined.

Trump’s visit comes amid a backdrop of escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran, as Washington seeks to counter Iran’s sway in the Middle East. The formation of Iraq’s government has stalled as well amid intensifying discord between the Islah and Bina blocs.

Falih Khazali, a former militia leader turned politician allied with Bina, accused the United States of wanting to increase its presence in Iraq. “The American leadership was defeated in Iraq and wants to return again under any pretext, and this is what we will never allow,” he said.

Bina said Trump’s visit “places many question marks on the nature of the U.S. military presence and its real objectives, and what these objectives could pose to the security of Iraq.”

While there has been no full-scale violence in Iraq since Islamic State suffered a series of defeats last year, some 5,200 U.S. troops train and advise Iraqi forces still waging a campaign against the militant group.

Islah is headed by populist Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Sadr has long opposed the U.S. presence in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003. He led two uprisings against U.S. forces in Iraq and is one of the few Shi’ite leaders to also distance himself from Iran.

Iraq’s Shi’ite militias, also known as the PMF, many of which are supported by Iran, oppose the presence of U.S. troops in the region. The PMF was made formally part of the security forces this year after helping the military defeat Islamic State in Iraq in 2017.

Qais al-Khazali, the leader of the powerful Iran-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia said on Twitter, “Iraqis will respond with a parliamentary decision to oust your (U.S.) military forces. And if they do not leave, we have the experience and the ability to remove them by other means that your forces are familiar with.”

Some Iraqis, however, were less concerned with the U.S. president’s visit.

“We won’t get anything from America,” said Baghdad resident Mohammad Abdullah. “They’ve been in Iraq 16 years, and they haven’t given anything to the country except destruction and devastation.”

(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed and Raya Jalabi; additional reporting by Maher Nazih; editing by Chris Reese)

What do you think?

9 pledges
Upvote Downvote
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
KhyberRifle
Member

The USA was accused of favoring only those countries who were oil trading partners, like Iraq; we invaded because of oil it was said (forget WMDs). Those issues are not applicable these days as America is energy independent. Except for the Middle East remaining a tinder box, and the USA remaining the world’s peacekeeper, the reasons to be there no longer exist. Like those African shitholes, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, et al., let them war with themselves until they’re all gone

KhyberRifle
Member

LOL There’s no Iraq sovereignty absent the USA in her corner. This is the country that allowed Hussein (Saddam, not Barack) to rule it, steal billions ($780mm cash found by American soldiers), supported perverts, Uday and Qusay, in high style, couldn’t reconcile Sunnis and Shiites (but then again neither could 14 centuries of internecine warfare), lit up some 700 oil wells, many of which burned for months, and birthed a Mahdi army to fight the coalition but fought Iraqi Sunnis instead. Idiots.

Screwtape
Member

You’re so welcome Iran, err, Iraq. Let us know how your “sovereignty” goes once we withdraw all troops and financial support.

WellHungChad
Member

The entire Middle East and their Satan worshipping Muzzies should burn in Hell. And they will, when they stand before the real God as He demands to be referred to as GOD, not Allah. How will they explain that they deny Jesus Christ His status as the one and only Son of God? Imagine their surprise when they finally meet Allah in Hell and he reveals himself to be Satan. There are clues in the scriptures (The Holy Bible and the not-Holy Koran) that reveal this. The Muzzies ignore truth!

Andrea Hayes
Member

Make ­­­­­­­­­$­­­­­­­50­0­­­­­­0 every month… Start doing online computer-based work through our Fox86 website and start getting that much needed extra income every month… You’ll get trained by us, no prior experience needed… Find out more about it on following address….. http://www.Buzz-Work.com

Mark Swatzki
Member

As Ollie said to Stan and us Americans should say to W. This is a fine mess you got us into

Gregory A. Peterson
Member

IF Iraq is so sovereign, maybe they no longer need U.S. troops or aid…..see how that works out!

Charles
Member

The Iraqis are complaining. Nothing new there. They say America has given them nothing. Well, we gave them freedom from that dictator, So Damn Insane. A lot of Americans died to give them that. We drove the insurgent terrorists out of Iraq. A lot of Americans died to give them that. We drove ISIS out of Iraq and supplied Iraq with supplies. Americans died and paid for that. But, they’re ungrateful Muslims. SSDD! How long before they’re the same as Iran? Not long.

Donald Trump

‘Very Much the Same’: Watergate Prosecutor Compares Trump’s Recent Behavior to Nixon’s Final Days

Joe Scarborough

Joe Scarborough Blasts Trump for Using Troops as ‘Captive Audience’ to Promote His Policy Agenda