Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Iraq: Nechirvan Barzani talks oil and the budget

All Iraq News notes KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani was set to brief the KRG Parliament today on the financial crisis in the Kurdistan Region.  Despite generating tremendous oil revenues and despite it being the fifth month of 2014, the KRG has received no federal funds from Baghdad for the year -- has still received no funds.  Nouri's attempted to use these funds to blackmail the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government.   World Bulletin notes that Barzani told the Parliament that, "We are open to dialog and negotiations with Baghdad but we want 17 percent from the Iraqi budget.  Baghdad acted unconstitutionally by cutting our share of the governmental budget.  Oil sales are transparent and appropriate according to the constitution."  He also declared the KRG's intent "to export half a million barrels of oil every day to the global markets by the end of the year."  All Iraq News adds:

"The decision to cut the salaries and entitlements of staff of the region was issued by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as well as delay sending the territorial budget before we export crude oil to Turkey," noting that there is no guarantee of sent the region's budget again and the salaries of the staff of the region amounting to 850 billion dinars a month did not reach them, and Baghdad has sent 10% of the budget of the region not 17%," he concluded. 

Nouri's failures as prime minister are at every turn.

It's May 2014 and bad enough that he's withholding funds, he failed to pass a budget.

For 2015?


For 2014.

It's May 2104 and Nouri's unable to get a budget passed, a 2014 budget passed.

He lacks the diplomatic and communication skills necessary for a leader.

Someone who can't get a yearly budget done in time is someone who is a complete failure as a leader.

He went through his entire second term never nominating people to head the security ministries.  He did that as a power grab, so he could keep control.  But although he wants control of the security ministries, as violence has spiraled and increased, he doesn't want the blame.

Want it or not, he's got it.  No Minister of Defense, no Minister of National Security, no Minister of Interior (over the police).  He's a failure.

Back in July 2012, 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 remained true in 2013 and in 2014.  Nouri's failures cost lives.

Eight years in office and all that can be said is that his lethargic first term looks glowing when compared to the disaster that is his second term.

And yet he thinks he deserves a third term . . .

On the topic of the KRG, yesterday we noted:

A protest took place in Dohuk Province today.  Alsumaria reports that dozens of people turned out to protest in front of Dohuk Court against the murder of a 15-year-old girl by her husband who has not been arrested and remains at large.  Silam Hassan, the mother of the murdered girl, states she has been under tremendous pressure from various tribal figures to stay silent and not protest the murder of her daughter Dunia.  Dohuk is in the Kurdistan Region and last year saw 5316 women and girls die from murder or suicide.

Today, the KRG issued the following statement:

Erbil, Kurdistan ( – The KRG abhors the practice of so-called honour killing, and is committed to combating violence against women in all its forms. The current case of Dunya will be managed by the judicial system, which is mandated to handle such matters. Without prejudice to this case, which is currently under investigation, the KRG restates unequivocally its policy to protect the women of Kurdistan from violence and to prosecute perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law, without regard for supposed motivating pretext.
  Today Prime Minister Barzani stated, “As a matter of principle we are against all forms of violence against women in the Kurdistan Region. We in the Kurdistan Region, and I myself as Prime Minister for the caretaker government, assure you that we strongly condemn this incident.” He added, “In fact, this act is far from any tradition - any cultural or religious tradition – and therefore I want to emphasize that the KRG will conscientiously follow-up this and other cases of violence. The KRG is serious about putting a stop to violence against women in the Kurdistan Region. Every effort will be taken to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to court.” 

Staying with the topic of  violence, AFP notes over 4,000 people have died from violence in Iraq so far this year.  National Iraqi News Agency reports Badr Organization official Abdul Salam Ali was left injured when he was shot in front of his Kirkuk home, 1 Iraqi soldier was shot dead in Hawija, 12 people were kidnapped from a Kia bus "on the road between Baiji and Haditha," a Husseiniya sticky bombing killed 1 police member, security forces killed 11 suspects in Qayyarah, a Qayyarah roadside bombing killed 1 student and left three more injured, a Latifiya roadside bombing left five people injured, and 2 corpses were dumped in Baghdad.  All Iraq News adds that a Shurqat bombing ("attached to reaping machine") left one farmer injured, and 1 person was shot dead in southern Basra.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, NPR, FPIF, Black Agenda Report, Marc Lynch,, Pacifica Evening News, Jake Tapper,, Ms. magazine's blog and Dissident Voice -- updated last night and this morning:


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