Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Who will lead Iraq?

Today Alsumaria TV reports, "Central Quality Control revealed that local mineral water bottles in Iraq are more polluted than imported water bottles." Look for Nouri al-Maliki to attempt to spin that as yet another reason why he should continue as prime minister despite four failed years in the post already. Nouri continues his stay in the Kurdistan region as he continues attempting to woo the Kurdistan bloc. Alsumaria TV reports that he'll talk today with Jalal Talabani. Talabani is the current president and would like to remain as such -- the two will no doubt attempt to cut a deal on that; however, Jalal's not very popular in the KRG these days and, deal or no deal, his support may end up a negative and not a blessing.

March 7th, Iraq completed Parliamentary elections. Since then, Nouri has done everything legal and illegal to attempt to remain prime minister despite his political slate's second place win. Who should *form the government*?


Those are the current results of Alsumaria TV's ongoing poll. And of course it's a nonscientific poll but then so was the one Quil Lawrence and others pimped the day after the election -- the one that had Nouri's State Of Law sweeping the elections with a clear majority. No doubt due to time and space limitations, Quil and the others were unable to explain that Nouri's spokespeople provided them with the poll or that State Of Law paid for the poll. You had to go to the European media to find those facts out. Hassan Hafidh (Wall St. Journal) reports that the election results have been certified by Iraq's Supreme Court . . . But it's never that easy. 323 people have been certified as winners. But there were 325 races. The two not certified yet are Iraqiya's Omar al-Karbouly and the Iraqi National Alliance's Furat Muhssein Saeed. Meanwhile Ernesto Londono (Washington Post) reports that Iraqi exiles with ties to the Ba'ath Party, apparently former leaders, have held meetings in Istanbul and Damascus:

The groups could find receptive audiences in Iraq if the next government is widely seen as having insufficient Sunni representation. Many Sunnis accuse the Shiite-led Iraqi government of being sectarian, pointing to factors such as the disproportionate number of Sunni detainees and efforts to weed out Sunnis from government jobs.
Sunnis made a strong showing in the March 7 parliamentary elections, propelling the largely secular Iraqiya bloc to a first-place finish. The bloc did not win enough seats to secure the majority needed to form a government, however, making it likelier that an alliance of two Shiite groups will appoint the new prime minister.

While Iraq continues to struggle with forming a government, in England, the push is for a new leader for the Labour Party, now in the minority. Diane Abbott is one person vying for the job and she argues her candidacy in "Labour leadership hustings: I voted against the Iraq war" (Guardian):

Labour stands at the crossroads. As the New Labour era draws to a close, we are choosing a new leader. And the process will be as important as the person we choose. There is a danger it could descend into a mere Pop Idol style contest; all about personality and presentation. And, if the current "frontrunners" are the only people on the final ballot, we will be presented with contenders who are all so similar politically that our leadership contest really will be just a summer-long version of Britain's Got Talent. But the contest is essentially about choosing what sort of party we want to be, not just about choosing a particular man or woman.

Energising the party and reviving party democracy is essential. Unlike the "frontrunners", I have spent a lifetime working at the grassroots of the party; from a local ward organiser to an elected member of Labour party national executive -- 1994-1997. So empowering members is something I care passionately about.

[. . .]

And few things did more to disillusion ordinary Labour supporters than the Iraq war. It was not just the fact of the war itself. People felt that they were just not listened to. Many think that they were actually lied to. It is still raised on the doorstep, and for the Muslim community and others it remains a wound. I marched against the war, argued against it and voted against it. Labour needs a new leader who will say clearly that the Iraq war was wrong; only in that way we can regroup, rebuild and move on.

As the Iraq War continues to be a big issue for the Labour Party, I would hate to be a gas bag at a left monthly who made a fool out of himself weeks ago -- Amitabh Pal -- by insisting the Iraq War was so yesterday. Then again, the same fool was insisting that in the summer of 2006 on KPFA's The Morning Show and that 'over' issue ended up turning both houses of Congress over to the Democrats. "The Progressive" doesn't translate as "in touch" and, if you doubt that, more proof can be found in Matthew Rothschild's praise for Robert Gates who deserves praise for nothing -- other than being a highly talented liar -- and certainly not for Don't Ask, Don't Tell since he is the biggest roadblock in the process of repeal. Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't give a link. If you click here you will be taken to The Progressive's . . . well "columns" seems too generous but let's go with that. Which currently starts with the May 28th praise by Rothschild of Gates and you can scroll down -- through all FIFTEEN COLUMNS -- and you'll notice that 14 are by men and 1 is by a woman. So apparently "The Progressive" doesn't translate into "gender equality" either.

reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Heck Of A Job" went up Sunday. The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.