Nouri al-Maliki is the prime minister of Iraq.
Today, on the 10th anniversary of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the debate about whether it was worth it to topple the regime and the direction of the U.S.-Iraqi relationship is influenced by a pessimistic view that the United States has lost Iraq. Not true. Despite all the problems of the past decade, the overwhelming majority of Iraqis agree that we’re better off today than under Hussein’s brutal dictatorship.
Iraqis will remain grateful for the U.S. role and for the losses sustained by military and civilian personnel that contributed in ending Hussein’s rule. These losses pale by comparison, of course, to those sustained by the Iraqi people. Our government emerges from this experience determined to ensure that these sacrifices contribute to a future of freedom and prosperity for our country.
Our relationship with the United States did not end when U.S. troops departed. In December 2011, I stood with President Obama while he spoke of “a normal relationship” between the United States and “a sovereign, self-reliant and democratic Iraq.”