White House Blasts Senate for Blocking Iraq Arms Sales

Senators Feared Maliki Would Use Arms Against Sunnis

The White House is trying to present the recent loss of the city of Fallujah to al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) as proof that the Senate was “short-sighted” in blocking attempts to sell more weapons to the Maliki government in Iraq.

The senators blocked the sale of attack helicopters over concerns that Maliki would use the helicopters to attack domestic rivals, including Sunni Arabs and the northern Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Administration officials are now saying they are trying to “deny the Iraqi government the weapons it needs to effectively take the fight to al-Qaeda,” while glossing over the heavy-handed military crackdowns in Anbar that precipitated the AQI takeover.

Though the administration is hoping to bludgeon Congress into giving in on the sales, if anything the Fallujah situation underscores that the senators were right all along, and giving the reckless Iraqi PM more weapons not only isn’t going to solve the nation’s ills, but will set the stage for more problems in the years to come.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.