Wednesday, December 26, 2012

With Talabani out of the country, Nouri strokes The Crazy

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani remains in Germany seeking medical treatment.  Al Rafidayn reports that yesterday the president's office decried some false reports in the media.  Yesterday?  Last week, false reports (which we did not note here) included that Jalal had passed away.  Nothing like that's happened this week.  Most reports are saying Talabani had a stroke last week and Talabani's office and family have not acknowledged that it was a stroke so they may mean that.  (Or they may be referring to what one conservative American pundit has been spreading around -- we've also not repeated that here.)  Or maybe they're referring to what Adil Murad, Chair of the Central Council of the Kurdish National Union Party, said?  Press TV reports that he's stating Jalal will need two months to recover (from what Murad labels a stroke).

Muslim News carries an al-Akhbar article on the speculation of succession should Jalal not be able to continue in his role as president:

The speculation was limited to three names: Barham Salih, a leader in the PUK; Kosrat Rasul Ali, Talabani’s deputy in the PUK; and Hero Ibrahim Ahmad, Talabani’s wife and leader in the PUK.
Iraqi Kurdish sources close to Ahmad, such as the leader of the Kurdistan Progressive Party and Ahmad’s brother, claimed that Talabani and his wife’s family had agreed to nominate her to succeed him as president in the event that Talabani passes away. Yet other Kurdish sources said that the successors will ultimately boil down to either Barham Salih and Rasul Ali.
The independent newspaper The Voice of Kurdistan reported on 21 December 2012 that contacts were made with Nawshirwan Mustafa, general coordinator of the Movement for Change (MFC), and long-standing leaders in Talabani’s party, to head off the nomination of Barham Salih since the President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region Massoud Barzani’s would reject Salih’s candidacy.

Kitabat notes that KRG President Massoud Barzani declared yesterday that should Jalal have to step down, the Kurds are not giving up their claim on the post of President of Iraq.

With Jalal out of the country, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has let the crazy run free, piling crisis upon crisis.  His latest created drama threatening to rip the country apart is the targeting of Minister of Finance Rafie al-Issawi.  Nouri ordered 150 employees of Rafie's 'apprehended' last week.  10 were charged with 'terrorism,' 50 have been released, 100 are still being 'questioned' (tortured).  Protests have repeatedly broken out over Nouri's actions.  Alumaria reports that in Ramadi today, tens of thousands demonstrated.  It's being called "Dignity Day" and "Wednesday Dignity."  Alsumaria also notes that security forces were out in full force but states it was to protect those demonstrating.  There is a good picture of the crowd here but an even better one here.  This is seen as another attack by Nouri on Iraqiya (which came in first in the 2010 parliamentary elections while Nouri's State of Law came in second) and as an attack on Sunnis -- Rafaie al-Issawi is both Sunni and a member of Iraqiya.  Alsumaria notes the demands included calling for the release of al-Issawi's staff and correct the course Nouri is currently on.

That crisis is only one of the many problems Nouri is currently facing.  October 9th, Nouri was strutting across the world stage as he inked a $4.2 billion weapons deal with Russia. The deal is now iffy if not off (an Iraqi delegation went to Russia  at the start of the month to see if the deal could be salvaged) and it went down in charges of corruption. Among those said to be implicated in the corruption is Nouri's own son. All Iraq News reports that State of Law is attempting to remove Nouri's name from the list of those Parliament is investigating for the corruption in that deal.  In addition, Al Mada reports that Nouri is refusing to answer questions from the Parliament relating to that arms deal.

Al Rafidayn adds that Nouri's State of Law is also attempting to cancelt he membership of MP Ahmed al-Alwani because he took part in a protest against Nouri's targeting of the Minister of Finance (al-Alwani took part in Sunday's protest in Falluja.)  (al-Alwani is with Iraqiya.)  Dar Addustour reports that Nouri's also declared that he is limiting the political speech of MPs and they will no longer be protected for their remarks.  He is demanding the prosecution of members of parliament, Mohammad Sabah (Al Mada) explains.

For those who can remember Nouri's first term, there were repeated attempts by the litigous Nouri to sue members of Parliament.  They can't be sued.  The Constitution protects them.  Nouri was hoping to sue one in particular after the session expired in 2010; however, that MP was part of the new Parliament.  Nouri has sued the Guardian newspaper and many others.  Those he can't bully with guns, he tries to bully with law suits.  He really is an international disgarace.

Through Monday, Iraq Body Count counts 221 people killed in Iraq so far in the month of December from violence.  Today? Alsumaria notes that an armed attack in Tikrit left 1 farmer dead (assailants had machine guns) and a Kirkuk police car was bombed (while no one was inside it)

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