News and Views
Iraq’s ambassador to the U.S. warns that ‘a thousand’ bin Ladens could emerge from ‘global tumor’ of ISIS unless Obama deals with the ‘immediate threat’
- Lukan Faily said Monday that while Obama frets about Iraq’s internal politics, ISIS is gathering strength
- Unless the group is stopped, he said, it will become a global terror threat like ‘a thousand’ Bin Ladens
- ISIS will take ‘no POWs,’ he warned, ‘nothing, none of that. No rules of engagement but destruction’
‘What we have in Iraq now … is an immediate threat,’ the ambassador warned
- CNN’s Christiane Amanpour said she thought the true threat was a Sunni minority that feels ‘disenfranchised’
- ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, is a Sunni militant group that was previously known as ‘Al-Qaeda in Iraq’
The Sunni extremists running roughshod across Iraq could produce ‘a thousand’ global terrorists like Osama bin Laden bent on widespread death and destruction, Iraq’s ambassador to the United States warned on Monday.
Lukman Faily said that if the United States and other nations focus too much on Iraq’s internal politics and ignore the ‘immediate threat’ of a terrorist movement that’s gathering steam, the results will be catastrophic.
‘This is a global tumor in Iraq taking place now and in Syria,’ he said, referring to the Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). ‘We’ve seen it before.’
The White House has scolded Nouri al-Maliki’s government in Baghdad for provoking ISIS by alienating the country’s Sunni minority.
Barack Obama said on Friday that U.S. military intervention would be conditioned on reconciliation efforts from Maliki’s Shia majority.
‘Any action that we may take to provide assistance to Iraqi security forces has to be joined by a serious and sincere effort by Iraq’s leaders to set aside sectarian differences, to promote stability, and account for the legitimate interests of all of Iraq’s communities,’ Obama said in public remarks.
‘So this should be a wake-up call. Iraq’s leaders have to demonstrate a willingness to make hard decisions and compromises on behalf of the Iraqi people in order to bring the country together.’
But Faily suggested during an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that Obama is naively fiddling while Baghdad burns.
‘These are all “nice to have” discussions,’ he said, but ‘what we have in Iraq now, to — is an immediate threat.’
‘But do you not feel this is an immediate threat?’ Amanpour interrupted, ‘that practically half the country feels disenfranchised? The Sunnis?’
‘We’re not saying we’re not happy to [have a] discussion,’ he responded. ‘We want to have that discussion. But we’re saying conditioning that discussion is not wise. Making clear that we all stand together against a threat in global terrorism is the question.’
‘Let me give you an example. What you have in Afghanistan, with one Bin Laden – you will have a thousand of them.’
‘No POWs,’ he warned. ‘Nothing, none of that. No rules of engagement but destruction.’
‘That’s the situation in Iraq.’