Poor pathetic Nouri al-Maliki, or, as he's being called on Arabic social media, "the West's bitch." The Prime Minister of Iraq has had . . . well a bad few days, but, really, a bad few years -- in fact, both terms as prime minister.
Here's a parody site in English:
Poor Nouri. The joke of the world's stage.
He brought a corrupt multi-national bank into Baghdad this week -- despite the fact that it's had to pay heavy fines in every country it's operated in, scandals in the US, scandals in India, scandals in Hong Kong . . .
It was embarrassing, one Iraqi commentator called it "colonial rape" -- but that's all Nouri had to offer, that's all he could on the world stage to try to command headlines and look powerful . . .
But as we noted in Wednesday's snapshot, "the KRG upstages Nouri:"
National Iraqi News Agency reports that Nijervan Barzani met with Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the two discussed "the issue of oil exporting from Kurdistan region to Turkey." All Iraq News quotes "Turkish sources" stating, "Erdogan signed many conventions with Barzani in oil and gas sectors and after the three hour meeting he announced his intention to visit Baghdad and Erbil to assure the desire of Turkey in promoting relations with all Iraqi components." The pipeline could assist with the oil exports that are already taking place between the KRG and Turkey. Seyfettin Gursel (Al-Monitor) reports:
Oil production in the region controlled by the KRG is 300,000 barrels per day. About two-thirds of this amount is exported to Turkey in tanker trucks. This is a tedious and expensive method. Nevertheless, the KRG revenues — which were at $150 million seven years ago — have risen to $12 billion, and per capita income has climbed to $5,000 from $300. It is possible to boost the daily production to 1 million barrels with the operating wells. With proven and estimated oil reserves, this production will increase multifold in coming years. According to Celebi, yet-untapped natural gas reserves are estimated at 40 billion cubic meters. The KRG has already signed deals with international oil companies for production and to build the pipelines that would cross Turkey.
Even limited oil-production revenues have raised Turkey’s exports to Iraq to above $10 billion, which comes after Germany in Turkey’s primary export markets. It is, however, likely to occupy the top slot soon. According to Celebi, 90% of exports to Iraq go to Northern Iraq, with the rest going to the south of the country. Imagine how these numbers are going to multiply when the pipelines are completed and oil and natural gas starts to flow.
Of today's meet-up, Asharq al-Awsat notes, "Speaking to CNNTurk television on Wednesday, Barzani confirmed that Iraq's Kurds are hoping to start pumping oil to Turkey before the end of the year via the Baghdad-controlled pipeline." AFP reports that Barzani declared before the meeting that the oil could be flowing, via the pipeline, to Turkey "before Christmas" (December 25th).
Guess which cranky boy forgot Santa Claus was making a list of who was naughty and who was nice?
Nouri al-Maliki. AFP quotes Nouri's mouth piece Ali al-Mussawi conveying Nouri's fury, "The Iraqi government informed the Turkish ambassador in Baghdad of its strong opposition to signing the pipeline deal with KRG." And if that's got Nouri stomping his feet, whatever will he do in December? That's when, Rudaw reports, a major commerce event takes place in the KRG:
More than 100 international energy companies and 800 political and diplomatic figures are expected to attend the Kurdistan-Iraq Oil & Gas Conference 2013 in Erbil next month, notably coinciding with historic oil exports by the Kurds.
The four-day conference opens Sunday, just as the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq begins to export oil directly to Turkey through its newly-extended pipeline.
Maybe he'll have time to adjust? But today, Nouri thought it was his day. He'd dominate the news cycle by announcing a one-time tool of the British empire was invading Iraq. Instead, all anyone cares about right now is what Barzani and Erdogan agreed to.
It's Saturday and Nouri's still not recovered from being humiliated on the national stage. He's such a joke, just picture all the neighboring countries pointing and laughing at the ridiculous and impotent Nouri al-Maliki.
Just earlier this month, he was meeting in Baghdad with Ahmet Davutoglu, Foreign Minister of Turkey, and trying to make nice, trying to show he had maturity and leadership.
He couldn't even pull that charade off for a full month.
How very telling.
All Iraq News reports cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr declared today that Iran refuses to back Nouri for a third term.
Could you blame them?
He's an international embarrassment.
Also, as we've noting since 2010, the rumor the French government was hearing was that Moqtada was promised that year that if he'd support Nouri for a second term, Iran would back Moqtada the next go round.
Violence continues in Iraq today.
National Iraqi News Agency reports Sheikh Hussein Lwayis of Alliheb tribe was shot dead in Qayyarah in an attack which left one of his sons injured, 1 police officer was shot dead in western Mosul, 1 civilian was shot dead in Mosul, a Ramadi roadside bombing left two police officers injured, 1 police officer was shot dead in Ramadi, a Baghdad sticky bombing claimed the life of 1 Ministry of Agriculture employee, 2 Mada'in bombings claimed 1 life and left two people injured, a Balad sticky bombing killed 1 security officers and 2 of his brothers, a Tuz Khurmato bombing targeting a funeral claimed 2 lives and left four more people injured, former Lt Col Thamir al-Dulaimi was shot dead in Jbalah, a Baghdad car bombing claimed 1 life and left ten injured, armed clashes in Baghdad between Ahl al-Haq and the Mahdi militia left 3 bystanders injured, a Tikrit attack left a woman wounded and her husband dead, an al-Dayyum sticky bombing claimed the life of 1 police officer and left another injured, a roadside bombing ('southwest of Tikrit") left 1 Sahwa dead and four more injured, and a Baghdad bombing claimed the lives of 2 Iraqi soldiers and left two more injured.
Finally, David Bacon's latest book is Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press) which won the CLR James Award. We'll close with this from Bacon's "The Bitter Reality For Farm Workers" (New American Media):
Emiliano Lopez picks acorn squash in a field just outside of Fresno, in the San Joaquin Valley.
It's not right to work so hard, and not earn enough to support my family, but what can we do? We can't get a better paying job. We can't do anything else, that's why we work in the fields. But the owners are earning enough aren't they?
Some foremen treat us well, but others yell at workers and tell us to work faster. Some let us take our 15-minute breaks and others don't. Workers suffer a lot while we're working. If we don't work hard, then we're out of a job and can't pay the rent. If we don't work fast, we're fired for that too. It's the job we have. We feel bad when we're yelled at. We feel humiliated -- it's not right to be treated in that way. I sometimes feel like saying something because there is no need to yell at workers. But if I were to say something I would be out of a job.
My friends have seen workers faint because of the heat and lack of water. Sometimes the pesticides on the vine are transferred to the workers too. We suffer the consequences of working around these chemicals, but we don't know whom we can talk to about it.
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