Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Iraq's expanding political crisis

Al Mannarah's Talk interviews Iraqi Vice President Tareqq al-Hashemi and the first question is, if you're innocent why did you flee arrest? al-Hashemi explains he did not run away (he went to the KRG for meetings, after he was in the KRG, the arrest warrant was issued, he's remained in the KRG since). On holding a trial in Baghdad, he states he doesn't trust the Baghdad judiciary. He is asked why the call for transferring the hearing to Erbil switched to Kirkuk and he explains that Baghdad and Kirkuk are part of the same legal system while the KRG is an independent judiciary (apparently meaning, Kirkuk would just require a transfer of locations; whereas Erbil couldn't execute a trial based on charges from Baghdad). But if Baghdad and Kirkuk are under the same umbrella, why not the same concerns about Kirkuk that he has regarding Baghdad? He replies that Kirkuk (and the judiciary in Kirkuk) has its own security operations and is not dependent upon Nouri for security. He states he doesn't trust the government, meaning Nouri al-Maliki, and that Nouri cannot tolerate opposition voices, Nouri can't stomach criticism of his failed administration. He notes the human rights violations that take place in Iraq under Nouri's leadership. He does not call Nouri a dictator when asked, saying that they would have to agree on the definition first.

Nouri kicked off the political crisis last month by demanding that Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq be stripped of his post and that al-Hashemi be charged with terrorism. Both al-Mutlaq and al-Hashemi are members of Iraqiya, Nouri's political rivals and the political slate that came in first place in the March 2010 elections.

Aswat al-Iraq notes that some of al-Hashemi's bodyguards are supposed to testify (on TV) against him. If that happens, Nouri will again be in violation of the Constitution. Though US outlets ignored it, Nouri tried to lie and claim that he never wanted Tareq charged with terrorism and that he (Nouri) was at the mercy of the Iraqi courts. As he made the rounds with that lie, Nouri was confronted with a number of issues including the airing of 'confessions' and how that did not jibe with the Constiutiton's presumption of innocence clause. Nouri played dumb. Is he now going to try to pretend yet again that he had no idea confessions were airing?

People sometimes e-mail wondering why we don't note Socialist Worker (US)? Because it's full of s**t and nothing but an mouthpiece for the Democratic Party. When right wingers can't understand the difference between Democrats and Socialists? Pin the blame on outlets like the Socialist Worker. (Not all Socialist outlets are so pathetic. There are others in the US that we note regularly.) Ashley Smith offers an "analysis" that not only fails as that, but fails factually. For example:

The battle over control of the Iraqi state came to a head in the 2010 parliamentary elections. Because of disagreements among them, the Shia parties didn't put up candidates as part of a united slate, and Iraqiya was able to win the largest block of seats in parliament. Nevertheless, Maliki was able to unite the Shia parties to form a government.

Please, please, crawl back under your rock and beat off to fantasies of Barack colonizing you. I'm so damn sick of these idiots who did not pay attention in real time and think they can show up now and rewrite history.

Iraqiya won because it was a non-sectarian slate. That's what Iraqis wanted at the time (maybe still). This was demonstrated in the 2009 provincial elections which preceded the 2010 elections. Iraqiya did not just win Sunni votes, that wouldn't have been enough to have won the number of votes they did. The Shi'ite parties didn't stay at home.

Ashley Smith quotes Nir Rosen elsewhere. Remember Nir? The trash who said Lara Logan deserved to be sexually assaulted? Yeah. That's what Socialist Worker stands for. And that's why Sharon Smith and all the other sad women need to stop whining to me and to members of this community about how they're misjudged. Socialist Worker never called out Nir Rosen's appalling remarks and still act like they didn't happen. That's because they're trash, they'll always be sexist trash. Women don't matter at Socialist Worker, they're merely 'metaphors' to be used for the 'greater good.' [Late to the party on Nir? See "The Damned Don't Apologize (Ava and C.I.)."]

Reality on 2010 election: The Shia parties did form a slate (National Alliance). Except for Nouri who wanted his own slate (State of Law) and refused to be part of them. He thought he could do better without their baggage. (And, based on 2010 results, he may have been correct. State of Law did come in ahead of National Alliance. But had they been one united slate, they might have came in first.) "Nevertheless, Maliki was able to unite the Shia parties to form a government." When Socialist Worker finally goes out of business, the country will be so much better off. Nouri was not able to unit the Shia parties. It took strong arming from the US and Iran. Why is that WSWS can tell the truth but Socialist Worker can't? Oh, that's right, WSWS doesn't worship Barack Obama and hasn't made the last three years about covering up for him.

Iraq is not doing well and that's due to Barack Obama. Socialist Worker won't tell you that either. They're full of rage for what Bush did. They say Barack lied in his speech. But did Barack do anything wrong? No, never in the eyes of those pathetic, spineless asses. Barack demanded that Nouri remain as prime minister. That violated (a) the will of the Iraqi people, (b) the Constitution and (c) democracy. But Barack was willing to trash all of those things because he wanted the US puppet to remain. Without support from the White House, Nouri would not have survived eight months of digging in his heels and would have had to have surrendered the post and allowed the process outlined in the Constitution to take place.

And Barack's baby boy is now attempting to expand the crisis beyond Iraq's borders via verbal attacks on the Turkish government. Idrees Mohammed (Middle East Online) notes:

The rift rises between Iraq and Turkey as Iraq summons Turkish ambassador to call on his government to consider the “necessity of avoiding anything that might disturb” the ties. The move comes amid the already chilly atmosphere between Ankara and Baghdad due to the former’s attitude to the latter’s Shiite-led government’s action to arrest Iraq’s Vice President. Turkish Prime Minister warned his Iraqi counterpart over the action, warning that his action will hurt the country’s democracy and urging him to reduce the tension. His calls were harshly slammed by Iraqi Prime Minister who expressed surprise of Turkey’s “interference" in his country’s internal affairs, declaring his determination not to “allow that absolutely.”
Iraq passes through a dangerous period as the “big mosaic rock” between Shiite and Sunni ultimately exploded, causing an unprecedented political turmoil and uproar in “new Iraq.” The Kurds found themselves automatically involved in the game which as well attracted several countries including the United States, Turkey and Iran primarily. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Syria are reckoned sides to the turmoil. Unless a compromise is reached, the domestic, regional and even international risks are high.

Joe Parkinson and Sam Dagher (Wall St. Journal) offer this take, "Iraqi officials were particularly angered by public Turkish comments on the case of Tariq al-Hashemi, Iraq's Sunni vice president. Mr. Hashemi took refuge in Kurdish-ruled northern Iraq late last year, after the government accused him of leading death squads against Shiites. But analysts say the rapid deterioration of relations between Ankara and Baghdad also reflects the wider conflicting interests of Sunni Turkey and Shiite Iran in the wake of the U.S. drawdown from Iraq and of the Arab Spring, now lapping at the borders of both Iraq and Turkey, in Syria." Sevil Kucukkosum (Hurriyet Daily News) notes the reactions of some Turkish officials including this:

In a separate reaction, Ömer Çelik, deputy leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), slammed al-Maliki through his Twitter account.
Describing al-Maliki as the leader of an organization rather than a state and his statements as imprudent, Çelik said, “Words targeting Turkey are not compatible with the responsibility of the ‘Iraqi Prime Minister.’ He is fulfilling ‘other responsibilities.’”
Accusing al-Maliki of aiming to run a Shiite-dominated country, Çelik warned that Iraq might be a satellite country in the future under his rule.
"From now on Iraq has a serious al-Maliki problem. Turkey has no problem with Iraq and fully supports Iraq’s unity," Çelik said.

Isaiah's latest goes up after this. Remember Kat's "Kat's Korner: Ani DiFranco's embarrassing odor" and "Kat's Korner: Adam Levine itches for one on the flip side."

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