Thursday, April 28, 2011

Nouri continues planning power-grab

New Sabaah reports on Nouri's plan to turn failure into a take over. As noted yesterday, Nouri is claiming the right to call for new elections at the end of the 100 days to fix corruption. New Sabaah notes today that Nouri's talk of a majority government does not include Ayad Allawi, head of Iraqiya. Iraqiya, of course, won the most seats in Parliament in the March 2010 elections. Nouri is eager to cut out his opponents and that's why he's threatening the new elections. He hopes this could also get rid of the Speaker of Parliament (Osama al-Nujaifi). New elections called by Nouri do not include the possibility of his stepping down but, hey, the March 2010 elections didn't either, now did they? The Parliament can call a vote of no confidence at any time. They can remove Nouri and they may need to review the process for how that's done before the 100 days expire.

Meanwhile Aswat al-Iraq reports, "A leader in north Iraq's Kurdistan Alliance has demanded that a portion of the U.S. forces remain in the areas of dispute of eastern Iraq's Diala Province, due to what he described as non-readiness of the Iraqi forces to take over the security dossier in the province." They add, "The UN Secretary-General’s Representative in Iraq, Ad Melkert, has said during a visit to north Iraq’s city of Kirkuk on Wednesday that the United Nations does'nt intend to send “peace-keeping forces” to the conflict areas in the country, after the withdrawal of the U.S. troops by the end of the current year." David Ali (Al Mada) also notes the UN announcement and that Ban Ki-moon's special envoy to Iraq, Ad Melkert, insists there is a move towards holding elections in Kirkuk. Those elections, per the Constitution's Article 140, were supposed to have taken place by 2007. It's four years later and the UN pins their hopes on a 'move' towards elections? How very, very sad. New Sabaah explains that Melkert met Governor Najm al-Din Karim, Deputy Governor Rakan Saeed al-Joubouri and the provincial council's chair Hassan Turan.

Chin Zhi (Xinhua) reports that yesterday in Kirkuk, Sa'ad Abid Mutlak al-Jubouri, "son of Iraqi former deputy prime minister," was kidnapped. AFP reports "a senior Iraqi general" was shot dead in Baghdad today. Reuters adds a Hawija car bombing claimed the lives of 4 police officers, a Baghdad sticky bombing claimed 1 life, a Baghdad roadside bombing left four people injured, and, dropping back to yesterday for the last two, a Baghdad roadside bombing claimed 1 life and left three people injured and a second Baghdad roadside bombing injured four people. The Hawija car bombing is in Kirkuk and Aswat al-Iraq notes twelve people were wounded in the blast.

Suha Sheikhly (Al Mada) reports a group of widows met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani on Monday and he declared that women have not achieved full access in Iraq and that elements of the Constitution on their rights have not been fully implemented.

We'll close with this from Justin Raimondo's "The Partisan Temptation" (

I have my doubts, and not just due to my view of human nature: for, given that we’ve elected a pro-peace candidate to the highest office in the land, what would our champion have to do in order to implement his or her program? In the course of this struggle, quite naturally he or she would encounter the paradox of power: that any attempt to steer the ship of state in a radically different direction necessarily requires that the Captain is absolutely in charge. “Oh, we’re only doing this in order to achieve this-or-that immediate objective,” the President and his supporters will invariably assert over the objections of their disappointed followers. “Don’t worry, eventually we’ll return to our original path and program. We have to do this in order to win in the long run. You have to be practical!”

Speaking of disappointed followers: this precise pattern has been replicated to a tee by the Obama administration, which has split its most fervent supporters by escalating the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, bombing Libya, and going beyond even its predecessors in asserting and defending (in court) the imperial prerogatives of the presidency. Anyone surprised by this has to be comatose: after all, the leitmotif of the Obama campaign, then and now, has been a self-proclaimed and prideful pragmatism, i.e. opposition to principled politics as such. Especially when it comes to the question of war and peace, this gives the Obama-ites maximum flexibility in the policy realm, and an advantage in making the political argument that Democrats – because of their identity as the Mommy Party – have to “overcome” their recent history of opposition to Republican wars before the electorate trusts them enough to hand them the keys to the White House.

And now that they have those keys, however temporarily, the Democrats in power have acted just like their Republican predecessors: indeed, in some horrific alternate universe, where third term President George W. Bush is in charge of US foreign policy, it is hard to imagine what Dubya is doing differently.

Having risen from the junior ranks of the Senate to the dizzying heights of the Imperial Presidency in large part due to Americans’ war-weariness, Barack Obama has taken them into fresh conflicts, with the promise – or, rather, threat – of more to come. How did this happen – and how is the administration getting away with it?

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