Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Rumors swirl that Nouri's set to declare a state of emergency

In Iraq today, the violence continues.  All Iraq News reports a Mosul roadside bombing injured a solider  and the corpse of 1 city council member was discovered dumped in Mosul (he'd been kidnapped over a month ago)Alsumaria notes a Baghdad home invasion in which 5 members of the same family were stabbed to death.

Also continuing are the many crises that Nouri has created.  How bad is it?  Alsumaria reports Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi states the Baghdad versus Erbil crisis is now so large that there is the threat of military confrontation.  Wael Grace (Al Mada) reports several MPs spoke yesterday -- MPs of various political parties -- noting that Nouri was acting without any input or consultation of the Parliament and its committees.

 All Iraq News reports Moqtada al-Sadr is calling out the remarks Nouri al-Maliki made on Saturday, noting that Nouri's threats were a dangerous error and should not happen again.  Kitabat notes that Moqtada called out the Russian arms deal as well as stating that any weapons Iraq purchased should be for the defense of the country, not to oppress Iraqis.  Alsumaria notes he called on corruption to be investigated.

It's a strong call from Moqtada who has a sizeable political bloc in Parliament and commands the loyalty of a number of Shi'ites.  It also comes on the heels of two developments.

First, there are the whispers.  Dar Addustour reports that it is said Nouri al-Maliki has been getting legal opinions on state-of-emergency and is planning (toying with?) declaring a state of emergency, ordering the arrests of various political rivals and demonstrating to everyone what happens when the US governments installs and backs tyrants.  Second, the air space.  Nouri whines that he can't control the air space when it comes to Iranian flights to Syria and yet Kitabat reports Taner Yildiz, Ministry of Energy for Turkey, was unable to land today at the Erbil airport because the Civil Aviation Authority in Baghdad would not grant permission.  In that climate, created by the whispers and the actions, it's very important to stand up firmly.

How scared is Nouri's State of Law of the Iraqi people?  Alsumaria reports that yet another flunky with State of Law has made idiotic comments.  Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi should be silent, insists State of Law.  He has no right to speak.  Check the Iraqi Constitution and you'll find Allawi, like every other Iraqi, has the right to speak whenever he wants.  More importantly, he should be speaking right now.  He is the popular leader of Iraq.  State of Law came in second to Iraqiya.  If the Constitution had been followed, Allawi or someone else from Iraqiya would be prime minister right now.  But Barack wanted the Bush-installed Nouri to have a second term.

From John Barry's "'The Engame' Is A Well Researched, Highly Critical Look at U.S. Policy in Iraq" (Daily Beast):

Washington has little political and no military influence over these developments [in Iraq]. As Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor charge in their ambitious new history of the Iraq war, The Endgame, Obama's administration sacrificed political influence by failing in 2010 to insist that the results of Iraq’s first proper election be honored: "When the Obama administration acquiesced in the questionable judicial opinion that prevented Ayad Allawi's bloc, after it had won the most seats in 2010, from the first attempt at forming a new government, it undermined the prospects, however slim, for a compromise that might have led to a genuinely inclusive and cross-sectarian government."

 Surveying the events of late, Tim Arango and Duraid Adnan (New York Times) observe that "[. . .] Iraq finds itself in a familiar position: full-blown crisis mode, this time with two standing armies, one loyal to the central government in Baghdad and the other commanded by the Kurdish regional government in the north, staring at each other through gun sights, as officials in Baghdad, including American diplomats and an American general, try to mediate."

And if something doesn't change real quick, that will soon be considered the optimistic take on Iraq because reality gets darker each day -- and does so with so very little attention from the Western press (the Iraqi press is all over this and doing an outstanding job, I'm not slamming them).

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