Friday, July 06, 2012

Signs that the Reform Commission may not be for real?

In Iraq, the political crisis continues.  Karwan Yusuf (AK News) reports that rumors of Saleh al-Mutlaq replacing Ayad Allawi as the leader of Iraqya have been called "baseless" in a statement Iraqiya sent out which notes that the false rumors are meant to weaken Iraqiya.  The rumors never should have had traction.  Allawi is Shi'ite.  al-Mutlaq is Sunni.  Iraqiya is a mixed slate but with the crisis in Iraq having a Shi'ite as a leader gave them a credibility with other blocs that al-Mutlaq wouldn't have.  In addition, al-Mutlaq was not allowed to run in 2010 because Nouri's Justice and Accountability Commission was calling him a Ba'athist.  (His name was only cleared at the end of 2010.) Saleh al-Mutlaq as a leader could easily be dimissed as he unfairly was in 2010.  As we've noted many times before, Nouri's State of Law excells at rumors.  Little else.

Nouri is currently pushing a Reform Commission.  Is it for real?  Well Nouri is still facing a potential no-confidence vote in Parliament.  In the past, when Nouri was pushed into a corner and made 'concessions' what happened?  Nothing.

Like an angry toddler, he dug in with his tantrum and exhausted the patience of all around him.

That's been true with regards to his demands to have a second term as prime minister (causing the eight month Political Stalemate I), that's been true of his refusal to stick to the Erbil Agreement, that's been true of his attempt to diffuse the protests last year with his "give me 100 days and I will address corruption," . . .  On and on, it's his pattern.  Lie, make a false promise for some point in the future to diffuse the current anger and never keep your promise.

All Iraqi News reports that the National Alliance is saying that the Reform Commission doesn't need Nouri's word or permission for changes because this is a Constitutional issue.  Have these people never met Nouri al-Maliki?

Meanwhile Alsumaria reports that Abbas al-Bayati, part of Nouri's State of Law, insists there will be three phases of the Reform Commission.  Yeah, it's looking like this is going to be another draw-it-out-and-hope-that-the-Iraqi-people-forget-why-they-were-upset.

Or as a friend in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs said to me on the phone this morning, "Where's [Iraqi President Jalal] Talbani?  If this were really the solution it's being sold as, don't you think Talabani would be back in Iraq crowing about how this was a victory and attempting to take credit?"

A very good point.

Instead, he remains in Germany and his PUK has had to distance themselves from him.  And now from Adel Murad as well.  All Iraqi News reports the PUK has issued a statement noting member Adel Murad speaks for himself and not the party.  Murad came out in support of Nouri and early elections.  This upset the PUK and KRG President Massoud Barzani's KDP political party. 

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