Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Political stalemate ends in mere hours (that's the claim)

Suadad al-Salhy (Reuters) notes yesterday was the self-imposed deadline that the Iraqi National Alliance announced last week by which they and State Of Law would have selected a nominee for prime minister and that they missed the deadline. Selected a nominee? From two people. Last week, it was also announced that they were choosing between Nouri al-Maliki (State Of Law) and Iraq's Shiite vice president Adel Abdul Mehdi (National Alliance). Supposedly an announcement will emerge today. DPA adds:

Though candidates in the National Alliance want the prime minister to come from their ranks, some are opposed to al-Maliki being head of government and favour his competitor, Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi. In particular, followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al- Sadr have yet to forget al-Maliki's attacks on their strongholds in March 2008, which killed and injured hundreds of Sadrist supporters.

What happens now? Sam Dagher (Wall St. Journal) states that 14 leaders will vote on one or the other and then there will be a nominee. Has it ever been that easy? Maybe so? Alsumaria TV is reporting that Hassan Al Sunaid (State Of Law) is insisting that the candidate will be named "within the coming hours."

March 7th, Iraq concluded Parliamentary elections. The Guardian's editorial board noted last month, "These elections were hailed prematurely by Mr Obama as a success, but everything that has happened since has surely doused that optimism in a cold shower of reality." 163 seats are needed to form the executive government (prime minister and council of ministers). When no single slate wins 163 seats (or possibly higher -- 163 is the number today but the Parliament added seats this election and, in four more years, they may add more which could increase the number of seats needed to form the executive government), power-sharing coalitions must be formed with other slates, parties and/or individual candidates. (Eight Parliament seats were awarded, for example, to minority candidates who represent various religious minorities in Iraq.) Ayad Allawi is the head of Iraqiya which won 91 seats in the Parliament making it the biggest seat holder. Second place went to State Of Law which Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister, heads. They won 89 seats. Nouri made a big show of lodging complaints and issuing allegations to distract and delay the certification of the initial results while he formed a power-sharing coalition with third place winner Iraqi National Alliance -- this coalition still does not give them 163 seats. They are claiming they have the right to form the government. In 2005, Iraq took four months and seven days to pick a prime minister. It's six months and twenty-one days with no government formed.

While the US wants Nouri al-Maliki to remain prime minister -- so much so that they pretend it's normal he's remained prime minister all this time despite his term expiring -- Jason Ditz (Antiwar.com) points out, "Iraqis seem far from on-board for a second Maliki term, however, and voted in large numbers for blocs that clash openly with Maliki’s. It seems that only foreign force could impose another Maliki government, but the cost to Iraq’s fledgling democracy of such a move could be incalculable."

Another long running issue for Iraq has been the PKK -- a rebel group which is housed in northern Iraq and uses that area as a staging platform for attacks on Turkey. AFP reports that Turkey's "mandate for military strikes" on the PKK expires October 17th but they will be reviewing renewing it. If renewed, it will be the third renewal. AP reports that the top US commander in Iraq, Gen Lloyd Austin, is in Turkey where he will discuss the PKK with military officials.

In other news, Reuters notes a Baghdad sticky bombing which injured one police officer and a Kirkuk home bombing whcih injured three Iraqi soldiers.

If you're not a community member and you're e-mailing to get something highlighted, I work things in as I can. I try to get to many things; however, this is not a site for fan fiction. If that's not clear, What If? was a great Marvel comic book, it is not, however, political insight. Those who can't call out Barack but spend forever justifying his crimes -- it's the Israeli lobby! claims the latest crap to show up in the public inbox -- are wasting their time and my own.

We'll close with this announcement from World Can't Wait:

Wednesday October 20 7:00 pm
Screening: Collateral Murder

Posted by Wikileaks.org in 2010, this film is shot from U.S. Army Apache helicopters in 2007 in Baghdad, as they kill 12 Iraqi civilians, including two journalists. The Army is charging Army Intelligence Specialist Sgt Bradley Manning with the leak.

Ethan McCord, shown in the film rescuing 2 injured children, and Josh Stieber, another dissident veteran of Bravo Company 2-16, the unit responsible for the killings, will discuss the incident, and their opposition to continued American military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

LGBT Center, 208 West 13th St, NYC

Sponsored by World Can't Wait 866 973 4463 worldcantwait.org

The event will be professionally webcast @ worldcantwait.net

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.