Martin Kolber is the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Iraq. He declared, "Once again, innocent civilians going about their daily business have been targeted, bringing great grief to their families and communities. Nothing can justify these terrorist attacks. All Iraqi leaders have a responsibility to stand up against these atrocious crimes targeting the social fabric of the country."
But maybe the first place to take a stand is in demanding that Iraq have a Minister of Defense, a Minister of Interior and a Minister of National Security.
Back in July, Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) observed, "Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has struggled to forge a lasting power-sharing agreement and has yet to fill key Cabinet positions, including the ministers of defense, interior and national security, while his backers have also shown signs of wobbling support."
That remains true. Since the 2010 elections, those positions have been vacant. Currently, in the US, the Senate Republicans are blocking Chuck Hagel's nomination to become Secretary of Defense and the Democrats in the Senate are livid. They started blocking him last week.
Imagine if they blocked him until 2015?
There is a difference here.
US President Barack Obama has nominated Hagel for the post. In Iraq, Nouri's failed to nominate people for the posts. It's not that Parliament is blocking his nominees.
How does that happen?
The Constitution clearly requires a prime minister-designate to get a full Cabinet approved by the Parliament in order to move from prime minister-designate to prime minister. The designate, in fact, has 30 days to do that. Failure to do so, per the Iraqi Constitution, means someone else gets nominated to be prime minister-designate and then they're given 30 days to fill a Cabinet.
How did Nouri get around that?
Because the Constitution didn't grant him a second term. His State of Law failed to come in first in the March 2010 elections. He didn't win a second term. That's why he brought the government to a stand still for over 8 months. He refused to let the country move forward.
This would be akin to Barack losing last November and then refusing to leave the White House. For eight months.
Nouri got away with that because he had the backing from the leader of the US and the leader of Iran. And it was Barack's backing that led to the US-brokered Erbil Agreement, a contract that went around the Constitution to give Nouri a second term after he failed to secure one via the voting booth.
Since The Erbil Agreement names him prime minister-designate, he was not bound by the Constitution.
Grasp that. Grasp that Barack spat on the voters of Iraq. He ignored the will of the people. He also took a piss on democracy. Iraq is a failed state though the US government likes to insist it's a fledging democracy. Let's say I'm wrong (wouldn't be the first time) and the White House is correct -- Iraq really is a fledging democracy.
Well then what message was sent to the Iraqi people when the 2010 election results were ignored and discarded, when the supreme law of their land (the Constitution) was ignored and sat aside?
These are questions that need to be answered and maybe if Helen Thomas was still in the White House press corps, they would at least be asked.
I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name
The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4488.
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