Quote From Hasan Turan, Tamim Provincial Council Member On Conversation With Then-Vice President Elect Joe Biden During a January 2009 Trip to Iraq
“Biden surprised us with his message. He said the Obama administration will set off with a $1.2 trillion debt and will need to spend an additional $1 trillion to fix the economy. This means that after 2009, there will be no more money for Iraq. There are four principle issues that need to be addressed, including Kirkuk. He said: “If you fail, we will not defend democracy in Iraq. If you choose dictatorship, it’s your choice. As Americans, we don’t like to be humble, but we are forced to be. We have made mistakes in Iraq.”
A former U.S. diplomat who was also at the meeting clarified that Biden meant there would be no reconstruction money for Iraq, but that the U.S. planned to continue military and civilian advisors.
International Crisis Group, “Iraq and the Kurds: Trouble Alone the Trigger Line,” 7/8/09
Kaplow, Larry, “Maliki’s Fine Line,” Newsweek, 7/21/09
Parker, Sam, “The New Nuri al-Maliki,” Foreign Policy, 7/21/09
Strobel, Warren, “Report: Big cuts needed at huge Baghdad embassy that Bush built,” McClatchy Newspapers, 7/22/09