Iraq’s political atmosphere was never devoid of dangerous tensions, but after the downfall of the Baathist regime, it has entered a new phase that is threatening to destroy the foundations of democracy.
Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki is at the centre of these developments, and has been targeted by many. He has clashed with fugitive vice-president Tareq Al Hashemi, deputy prime minister Saleh Al Mutlaq, chairman of Al Iraqiya bloc Eyad Allawi, president of the Kurdish province Masoud Barzani and Sadrist leader Muqtada Al Sadr. Al Maliki is probably having problems with those in his own Al Dawa party.
It is difficult to see Al Maliki emerging unscathed from these conflicts as all these forces are closing in on him in a joint attempt to get him out of office.
Playing on the interests of the US and those of regional powers, which served him well in recent years, will not ensure Al Maliki’s political survival, as finding a substitute is not very difficult.
Alsumaria reports that Iraqiya, the Kurdish Alliance, Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq and others will meet in Erbil to address the political crisis, the Erbil Agreement and whether or not to go forward with a vote of no-confidence. This follows the April 28th Erbil meeting (which did not include ISCI) and the Ma 18th meet-up at Moqtada's Najaf home. Meanwhile, ISCI leader Ammar al-Hakim's beginning to feel the heat from standing so closely to Nouri al-Maliki. Al Rafidayn reported yesterday that al-Hakim was attempting to create some space publicly between himself and Nouri and declaring it was not his role to mediate on Nouri's behalf with Moqtada al-Sadr or anyone else. He made these comments, as Dar Addustour also notes, at a press conference with Moqtada.
AFP notes (and appears to ridicule) comments by KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani (nephew of KRG President Massoud Barzani) that, "Today there are those in the Iraqi political field who want, with all the power, to keep the policy of Arbisation and ethnic cleansing. The daily killing of Kurdish citizens and expelling them from their houses in Jalawla, Sadiyah and Kirkuk is the same policy of the former regime, but with new clothes and colours." I'm not seeing anything to ridicule in those comments but then I'm not an idiot or a liar. Meaning, just because AFP 'forgets' to mention that the Kirkuk issue was supposed to be resolved by the end of 2007 -- per Article 140 of Iraq's Constitution -- doesn't mean the world forgets. Or that the world forgets that Nouri became prime minister in 2006 and he was bound by the Constitution but ignored it. Nor am I stupid enough to forget that the RAND Corporation felt that Kirkuk was an issue that desperately needed to be solved and that failure to do so threatened Iraq's security. If Barzani's comments are actually extreme, I would assume AFP could include the Iraqi Constitution without undercutting their own 'reporting.' The fact that they fail to note Article 140 is rather telling.
They can ridicule the Kurds and glorify Nouri but they fail to tell you about Laith al-Dulaimi. Dar Addustour reports Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is calling for al-Dulaimi's release. His release?
al-Dulaimi is a member of the Baghdad provincial council. He's also the latest Iraqiya member targeted by Nouri. He's been arrested. And, he says, tortured. But I guess when AFP is busy trying to figure out how to be 'pithy' about the Kurds to cover for Nouri, they don't have time to report on that. (Nor do they have time to note that Barzani's remarks weren't just at a 'cermoeny' for 730 Kurdish victims discovered in a mass grave, it was for the burial of those remains.)
How much of a stir has al-Dulaimi's arrest and alleged torture created? Alsumaria reports the Ministry of the Interior -- over the forces that are said to have tortured him -- is insisting it will conduct a full investigation into these claims.
Was he tortured? I'd bet he was. He is now a 'terrorist' because he 'confessed.' al-Dulaimi is rejecting the 'confession' (Nouri's forces have a well established reputation for torture and forced confessions -- just last week, Nouri's forces were torturing 4 Russian bikers) and doing so while still in custody. You don't do that if it's a real confession.
It's amazing that the western press has no interest in that story. Al Rafidayn notes that Talabani is rightly dismissing the 'confession' that was videotaped and is now being played to the press by Nouri's goons. Remember last time when they were showing forced confessions and the world condemned them for it? That was only months ago. And Nouri's little flunky spokesperson then declared -- lying through his teeth -- that the 'confessions' (against Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi) weren't intended to be played for the public and were only for the court. Iraq's been airing so-called 'confessions' for years now. It's become 'reality' TV in Iraq. Will anyone note that Nouri couldn't even go six months without circulating 'confessions' after swearing, just last winter, that he knew it was a violation of the Constitution to air them?
Kat's "Kat's Korner: There's nothing cheap about being ripped off" and Ruth's "Ruth's Report" went up earlier today. Isaiah's latest comic goes up after this. New content at Third Estate:
- Truest statement of the week
- Truest statement of the week II
- A note to our readers
- Editorial: Why is he smiling?
- TV: The whines of summer
- Barbie Roundtable
- Congress and Veterans
- What the hell?
- Comical joker of the week
- Senator Patty Murray on hiring veterans
- Jill Stein's recent wave of victories
- Shut prisons, not schools (Workers World)
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iraq al rafidayn alsumaria dar addustour
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