Representative Ike Skelton (D-Mo.)

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


Mother Jones: How will the power shift in Iraq work, politically speaking?

Rep. Ike Skelton: The government has to assume its duties. I’m very disappointed in the government. It is disappointing that it hasn’t done hardly anything toward reconciliation, such as passing legislation. The parliament is a mess and the whole government is waiting to turn to worms.

MJ: Is there enough stability for the Maliki government to be replaced through an organized, constitutional process?

IS: Well, they had successful elections, but I suppose they will have future successful elections. They were secure, and I can’t see any reason to think you cannot have future elections equally so.

MJ: Do you think the Maliki government has much of a future?

IS: Not unless they get their act together.

MJ: Along the lines of passing legislation, what do you think are some key moves the Iraqi government needs to make to prepare for an American withdrawal?

IS: Well, of course, make sure their military assumes their security. Get their police force operating much better than it is today. Make sure parliament works and represents the people. It is a tough job. Reconciliation is difficult at best, but they are going to have to do it or the whole thing just collapses. Even if you had a huge success on the battlefield, it will be for naught unless the political arm gets its act together. Frankly, I’m very, very concerned about this.

MJ: Let me ask you about some of the things we leave behind in Iraq. What do we do with all of the prisoners who are in U.S. detention centers? What do we do with the military bases we’ve been using?

IS: The military bases are one thing. You can hope the Iraqi military will be in such good shape that they can assume security of their own country. We of course could leave some trainers and advisers there and of course some personnel to guard our embassy, our troops.

MJ: What about the detainees in U.S.-run detention centers?

IS: I don’t have a clue.

MJ: Okay, who makes that decision? Is it the military, the administration, I guess?

IS: Yes.

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate