Thursday, June 07, 2012

All in for the no-confidence vote?

The political crisis continues in Iraq and Dar Addustour reports State of Law is still stating the the US will save Nouri al-Maliki.  State of Law is Nouri's political slate.  It came in second in the parliamentary elections of March 2010.  Iraqiya came in first.  Nouri wanted a second term as prime miniser and, with backing from DC and Tehran, he was able to to throw an eight month tantrum (Political Stalemate I) until the other blocs agreed to give him the second term in a US-brokered contract (the Erbil Agreement) but in exchange for other things.  Nouri used the Erbil AGreement to get his second term and then refused to honor the contract.  This created the ongoing politicalc risis.

Dar Addustour reports that State of Law says that they have Barack Obama's backing and that the White House will stop the proposed no-confidence vote (in the Iraqi Parliament) against Nouri.  Supposedly, the White House is preparing a message that will convince enough -- if not all -- members of Parliament that Nouri should stay in his position.

If the White House does do that, it's not surprising.  But possibly they could answer at what point they intend to allow democracy to take place?  It wasn't when the Iraqi people voted.  They made clear Nouri was not their first choice.  But the White House didn't give a damn about who the Iraqis wanted as their leader.  Iraqis risked a great deal to vote.  And voting wasn't just going to their precent.  Voting, in Baghdad, meant traveling to a second or a third or a fourth polling place.  And this while checkpoints and bans are in place.  It was very difficult for them to vote.  But they voted.  And the US refused to honor that vote.  The US insisted that Nouri must remain prime minister.

As more than one Iraqi has asked the press, why did we even vote?

The only thing that changed was their Speaker of Parliament.  They had the same president, they had the same vice presidents, they had the same prime minister.

Having already spat on the democratic process and the Constitution (per the Iraqi Constitution, Ayad Allawi should have had first crack at forming a government), the US now wants to stop a process that the Constitution allows and outlines?

The no-confidence vote wasn't invented out of sack cloth.  It is written in the Constitution.

And it has brought Moqtada l-Sadr (Shi'ite and usually billed in the press as "radical cleric"), KRG President Massoud Barazni (Kurd), Ayad Allawi (Shi'ite), Tareq al-Hashemi (Sunni) and many others together.  176 signatures for a no-confidence vote?

And the US is going to step in and halt this?

That's appalling.  The bribery that's been going on is frightening and I've heard rumors that one disgruntled US employee may make that public if sequestration kicks in in the US (automatic cuts to the federal budget).  And they should.  They should go public with how many US taxpayer dollars are being used to bribe right now.

The Iraqi politicians are following the Constitution and the White House can't stand it.  How very telling about what the administration really thinks about democracy.

But then, the nomination of Brett McGurk to be the new US Ambassador to Iraq also makes that clear.  Yesterday the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on his nomination.  Ammer Madhani (USA Today via Stars and Stripes) reminds, "The Washington office of the Iraqi National Accord, the most prominent opposition block in Iraq's parliament, wrote Congress shortly after McGurk's nomination in March to oppose him and say he was too close to Shiite politicians."  That's Iraqiya.  It's smart to go with someone opposed by the group that got the most votes in the 2010 elections?

Patrick Markey and Suadad al-Salhy (Reuters) observe:

Ask Iraq’s Sunni, Kurdish and even some Shiite leaders these days what they think of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, and the rhetoric is likely to be shrill: Many call him a dictator, autocrat or even a new “Saddam” who needs to be voted from office.
For the second time since American troops left last December, Maliki is wading through a crisis with the Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs in his government at each others throats in a feud that risks spilling from politics into sectarian violence.

Al Mada reports that the Sadr bloc says they are still supporting the no-confidence vote and standing with Iraqiya and the Kurdistan Alliance.  They call for reforms and say -- noting Nouri's history -- that they don't rule out last minute surprises popping up. I'm having computer issues on this end, sorry for the long delay.  We'll cover Othman and no-confidence vote in the snapshot and just get this up before I have to reboot again.

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