Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Guess what Nouri's ordered displayed at checkpoints?

In Iraq, it's difficult to keep track of the many crises plaguing the country.  The latest one revolves around the disputed areas.  Having refused to obey the Constitution he took an oath to uphold, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki  has refused to implement Article 140 which addresses how to resolve the disputes (census and referendum).  Having refused to follow the Constitution for six years, Nouri decided this was the year to send his forces (Tigris Operation Command) into the disputed areas.  The Kurds sees this as Nouri's attempt to take over the regions.  The Peshmerga (elite Kurdish forces) and Nouri's forces are now in a standoff.  Observers and Iraqi politicians fear the outbreak of war if tensions are not eased quickly.

Last week, the Baghdad generals and the Peshmerga leaders met and came up with a 14-point agreement that would ease the situation but Nouri rejected the agreement and tensions have only increased.  The Kurdish Globe today carries an Al-Monitor article on the crisis:

The president of the Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, has said that the formation of the Tigris Operations Command (TOC) is illegal, unconstitutional and provocative. In an interview with Azzaman to be published in the paper?s Iraqi, Arab and international editions, Barzani said that the policy of gradual takeover and establishing facts on the ground in disputed areas is rejected. He said that the best options for the Kurds and for all Iraqis is to reach an agreement, to return to the constitution and to solve the differences through dialogue.
Barzani stressed that Baghdad does not belong to one person, one party or one group. He said that the Kurds are willing to assume all results and consequences, but that they cannot accept a new dictatorship. 

Alsumaria reports that a delegation from the Kurdish Regional Government, headed by former Preisdent Barham Salih, has arrived in Baghdad and been met with Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi.  al-Nujaifi has just returned from the KRG.  Alsumaria notes that he met with KRG Presidnet Massoud Barzani yesterday to discuss the continued tensions and what has become an armed standoff between Nouri's forces and the Peshmerga.  All Iraq News notes that al-Nuajifi is hoping to meet with Nouri.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani arrived in Baghdad yesterday.  Al Mada notes that he held meetings to address the crisis including one with Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq leader Ammar al-Hakim.  On the topic of Talabani, a news flash scrawling across the screen of Alsumaria's live feed this morning notes that Nouri's office is denying rumors that Nouri is cutting the salaries for the guards protecting Talabani.

New Europe reports that the European Union's Foreign Affairs Committee is calling for a stronger European Union presence in Iraq.  The Iraq Times adds that British and US officials are working to de-escalate the situation.

 The concerns come as a new wrinkle emerges.  Nouri is a paranoid tyrant and that was known well before the end of his first term in 2010.  But some 'reporters' have repeatedly felt the need to say that Nouri's not that bad because, goodness, Saddam Hussein has statues and pictures of himself posted throughout Iraq and Nouri's done nothing like that.  Take a loook at the photo to this Iraq Times report -- see the standing photo of Nouri?  The article explains that Nouri issued orders Sunday that his image must be displayed at all checkpoints.

In other news Chief Justice Medhat al-Mahmoud is considered a Ba'athist by many Iraqis.  It's not even 'whispered' anymore.  And possibly he's in the bag for Nouri for that reason?  Regardless, Nouri does control the Baghdad judiciary and the Iraq Times reports that al-Mahmoud has issued an order to all the judges under him that they will not execute an arrest warrant for Nouri.  Strange isn't it, Nouri claims that arrest warrants have to be executed.  Remember his claim publicly that he didn't want to execute the one on Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, that he was forced to do so?  But when its an arrest warrant for Nouri, it gets buried.

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