Yesterday they really threw it in our face. While Secretary of Defense Gates was in country Iraqi forces stormed a camp sheltering Iranian members of an opposition group who had been instrumental in supplying us with intelligence.
It was alleged to be a brutal attack with American forces present. If true, due to Iraqi dictates they had no authority to intervene.
Do I trust the Iraqi government? Not on your sweet life.
What really alarms me is what Trudy Rubin of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes about the vision Maliki presented while on his recent U.S. visit. The Iraq Education Initiative. On the surface it sounds wonderful. After all education on any level is an American hot button.
What is proposed is the goal of introducing qualified Iraqi students to the ways of the western world and in turn bring what they learn back to their homeland. Maybe.
The plan is to send 10,000 students over the next five years to the US and other English speaking countries on Iraqi scholarships. American institutions will streamline admissions to accommodate these "students" and an English Language Institute in Baghdad will bolster their language skills.
This bothers me on a number of levels. One, our Universities are so strapped they can not even accommodate our own students and two, we haven't seen fit to help those English speaking Iraqis that served as translators for us by giving them entrance into this country.
I hate to dampen enthusiasm for such a program but when the prime minister says,
"We want and seek a strong and solid relationship which is open with the Americans and there are no internal politics of Iraq that prohibit us from having such a relationship with a great country like the United States,"I balk.
When the Iraqis talk about "a great country like the United States" I'm immediately suspicious. I don't believe for one minute they like us at all.
And what a way to get their people into this country, with polished language skills to boot!
Since I'm really not an alarmist , and if you believe that..., I'll take all this at face value and consider how wonderful it is they want to learn all about us. Maybe they'll even learn how to quit hating each other just like we have.