The President of Iraq is Jalal Talabani. Or was?
December 2012, Iraqi
Talabani suffered a stroke. The incident took place late on December
17, 2012 following Jalal's argument with Iraq's prime minister and chief thug Nouri al-Maliki (see the December 18, 2012 snapshot). Jalal was admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital. Thursday, December 20, 2012,
he was moved to Germany. He remains in Germany currently.
No one outside the family (and his medical team) has been able to speak to him. Efforts by Iraqi elected officials and even officials in Jalal's own political party have been rebuffed.
Twice, photo ops were staged by the Talabani family.
The first time was in May. Jalal was posed for a series of photos that appear to indicate his body was present but that was all.
The second set, months later, also showed Jalal posed with his right side to the camera.
The first set of photos led to comparisons to the film Weekend At Bernies (where two men use Bernie's corpse to pretend Bernie's still alive). From the minute he went to Germany, a year and a month ago, rumors have swirled that Jalal was dead.
All Iraq News notes reports that Jalal has died.
They also note Najam al-Din Omar Karim, Governor of Kirkuk, is denying the reports.
The rumors -- true or false -- are the result of the Talabani family.
For over a year now, the Talabani family has repeatedly claimed Jalal has recovered and would be returning to Iraq shortly. They have clearly lied.
What is Jalal's condition?
No one knows outside of his family and his medical team.
That's not good enough.
He is still the president (he should have been replaced long ago, per the Constitution) and therefore his health is an issue for all Iraqis. The Talabani family has repeatedly denied the people the truth about his health.
Is he really dead this time?
Or maybe this is an effort to deny Iraq's First Lady Hero Ibrahim Ahmed's efforts to keep her family in charge of the PUK political party. That's what's been bubbling in the last two weeks, efforts to replace the Talabani family as the head of the party and Hero fighting those efforts.
So a political enemy of the Talabani family may have started the latest rumor.
But if the family had ever been honest with the people -- let's remember Hero was claiming as early as December 19, 2012 that Jalal was improved and would be back in Iraq in a matter of weeks -- the rumors would have no vacuum to fill.
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