NEW YORK, Jan 02 (APP):A former top U.S. official and Democrats have blamed President Donald Trump’s policies for the violent protests that targeted the American Embassy in Iraq.
Wendy Sherman, former under secretary for political affairs at the State Department during the Obama administration, wrote in USA Today that Trump’s failed attempts to deal with Iran and his withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Tehran resulted in a “combustible moment.”
“It is President Donald Trump’s failed policy toward Iran that had brought us to this combustible moment,” she wrote.
“Even as the United States was confronting Iran over its nuclear programme and malign behavior elsewhere, we maintained an uneasy coexistence in Iraq, where Tehran holds considerable sway,” Sherman continued, adding that the coexistence “was destroyed when Trump withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal.”
Sherman went on to fault Trump for “diminishing” the State Department and other agencies she said the Obama administration relied on for diplomacy in such regions.
“Three years into his presidency, Donald Trump owns the events and outcomes in Iraq and Iran, as he does in North Korea, Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Middle East, Russia, China and Hong Kong. Having diminished our State Department, intelligence agencies and military, the very institutions that could have helped him construct an effective national security and foreign policy, he is now on his own,” she wrote.
Protesters at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad reportedly withdrew and claimed victory on Wednesday after camping outside the compound the previous night.
The protesters are now calling for the nation’s parliament to push for U.S. troops to leave Iraq, according to The Washington Post.
On Tuesday, demonstrators stormed the embassy, setting fires and trashing furniture, in response to U.S. airstrikes in Iraq that targeted the Iranian-backed militia group Kataib Hezbollah. Those airstrikes, which killed 25 people over the weekend, followed the death of a U.S. contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base.
“The attack on our embassy in Baghdad is horrifying but predictable,” Senato Chris Murphy, a Democrat, tweeted. “Trump has rendered America impotent in the Middle East. No one fears us, no one listens to us. America has been reduced to huddling in safe rooms, hoping the bad guys will go away. What a disgrace.”
While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, also a Democrat, tweeted that “Escalation and violence must end,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said, “We need to be clear-eyed about reducing tensions and the path forward.”
Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, also tweeted that “Trump’s malpractice in the region is making us less safe. Time for Congress to stop this foolish rush to war.”