Al Qaeda in Iraq and Maliki in Washington
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When American troops were withdrawn from Iraq, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said his elected government could maintain order. Now, the country's being shattered by the worst violence in five years. As Maliki seeks aid today at the White House, we hear about a growing al Qaeda faction, the war next door in Syria and Maliki's own failures as a political leader. Also, this morning's shooting at Los Angeles International Airport, and street artist Banksy ends his residency in New York City.
Banner image: President Barack Obama listens to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki during their meeting in the Oval Office, October 20, 2009 Official White House photo by Pete Souza
Shooting at LA Airport Leaves One TSA Agent Dead ()
There was a shooting this morning at the LA International Airport, one of America's busiest. Chief of Airport Police Patrick Gannon said that an individual came into Terminal Three, pulled an assault rifle out of a bag and began to open fire. There are conflicting reports about the gunman's condition. One TSA agent reportedly was killed and several were injured. Los Angeles Times reporter Joel Rubin was at the airport shortly after the shooting.
Al Qaeda in Iraq and Maliki in Washington ()
When the US completed its troop withdrawal nearly two years ago, President Obama said Iraq could stand on its own. But today, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is back at the White House asking for heavy military equipment and intelligence aid against a growing and especially violent al Qaeda faction called The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. It's averaged 68 car-bombings a month and many thousands have been killed this year at open markets in Baghdad and elsewhere around the country. But Maliki's regime is part of the problem. Politically, he's favored Shiites and outraged Sunnis, while bureaucratic incompetence cripples the economy. Did the US withdraw troops too soon? Has the Obama Administration's "pivot" to Asia compromised US influence in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East?
- Ben Van Heuvelen: Iraq Oil Report, @berendvh
- Harith Hasan: Al-Monitor, @harith_hasan
- Michael Knights: Washington Institute for Near East Policy, @Mikeknightsiraq
- Mark Lander: New York Times, @MarkLandler
Today's Talking Point
Banksy Finishes Painting the Town in New York ()
Every day during the month of October, the British street artist Banksy put up a new work somewhere in New York City. During his "residency," which was covered by the media as politics, art and daily news, he delighted some and offended others. Hrag Vartanian, co-founder and editor of the art blog Hyperallergic.com, joined the "Banksy Hunters" who sought out a new work every day.
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