Thursday, December 06, 2012

Nouri mistakes a club for an olive branch

Kitabat reports chief thug and prime minister of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki has declared he would like a fresh start with Turkey and that the current tensions between the Turkish government and himself is not satisfying.  Of course, in the midst of talking about the need for olive branches, Nouri uncorked the crazy and let spew about Tareq al-Hashemi.  The crazy overwhelmed all of Nouri's other (insincere) remarks.  Hurriyet Daily News notes Nouri was ranting and raving that Turkey hosting Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi would be like his meeting with PKK leaders in Baghdad.  All the talk about wanting improved relations were immediately forgotten.

Even had he not uncorked the crazy, it would have been a hard sell since Tuesday he refused to allow a Turkish plane to land in northern Iraq.   The plane was carrying Turkey's Minister of Energy Taner Yildiz who was headed to Erbil for an energy conference.  As Barcin Ynanc (Hurriyet Daily News) explained, the plane had filed a flight plan and gotten permission to land but then, shortly before take off, Nouri implemented a new rule.

And this followed over a year of threats and bluster, personal verbal attacks on the Turksih government, personal verbal attacks on the Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The only new devlopment in Nouri's crazy rage is that he's explaining that Sunnis are not recognized by his government.  Did we catch that?

Turkey hosting al-Hashemi is like Nouri meeting with the PKK in Baghdad.  That's what Nouri said.  Aaron Hess (International Socialist Review) described the PKK in 2008, "The PKK emerged in 1984 as a major force in response to Turkey's oppression of its Kurdish population. Since the late 1970s, Turkey has waged a relentless war of attrition that has killed tens of thousands of Kurds and driven millions from their homes. The Kurds are the world's largest stateless population -- whose main population concentration straddles Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria -- and have been the victims of imperialist wars and manipulation since the colonial period. While Turkey has granted limited rights to the Kurds in recent years in order to accommodate the European Union, which it seeks to join, even these are now at risk."

How is that like Tareq al-Hashemi?

Apparently because Nouri sees himself at war with Iraq's Sunni community.

Vice President al-Hashemi was suddenly accused of terrorism by Nouri after the bulk of US troops left Iraq last December.  Nouri told so many lies is probably more than a little confusing.  When the immediate backlash against the arrest rolled in, Nouri insisted that he had no choice but to issue the warrant when, in fact, he was the one making the charges.  As criticism piled on and stayed steady week after week, Nouri lied and said the US military was aware that al-Hashemi was a terrorist and then the US military denied that.

al-Hashemi's been hosted by Qatar and Turkey as well as the KRG where he was a guest of President Massoud Barzani's for weeks.  Why was that?

Because, in the region, the terrorism charges and the 'trial' that followed was seen as political retaliation and persecution.

Nouri's not liked in the region -- as was demonstrated March 30th when Baghdad hosted the Arab League Summit and no leaders from major regional countries showed up.

The government of Turkey, by their actions, was actually trying to play friend to all of Iraq.  But Nouri had to zoom in on the actions he didn't like -- because, in his mind, everyone must support him and only him 100%.

Nouri's done serious damage to the relations between Baghdad and the government of Turkey.  The good news is Turkey doesn't appear to confuse Nouri with the Iraqi people and, when he leaves office, there's a real chance at improved relations.

In the meantime, it's the Iraqi people who suffer.  Kitabat reminds that Iraq was the 8th worst out of 174 countries on Transparency International's corruption list.  The Iraq Times notes that Baghdad's been declared the worst city in the world for standard of living and see this as an 'accomplishment' Nouri's Dawa party can take full credit for.

The following community sites -- plus Cindy Sheehan, The Diane Rehm Show, Jane Fonda,, Susan's On The Edge, Chocolate City and C-Span -- updated last night and this morning:

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