Violence slams Iraq again today. There was actually a time when I didn't write that. The influx of US troops and US money (buying the Sahwa) had allowed the violence to drop. Then came the US government, the White House, awarding Nouri al-Maliki a second term via The Erbil Agreement and the violence climbed and the press and the world ignored so the violence climbed some more to now it stands at basically where it was in 2007.
It didn't happen by chance or by accident.
The Iraqi people were told they had been 'given' a democracy and that voting mattered. So they voted in 2010 and Nouri came in second to Iraqiya. They were supposed to be free of Nouri. But the White House overrode their votes and imposed Nouri on them.
Four years later?
Nouri gets the same number of votes. He's not more popular. He's not even popular at all.
And in the four years, please note, he failed to nominate people to head the security ministries.
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." Those positions would have been filled by the end of 2010 had Barack Obama not circumvented the Iraqi Constitution. With The Erbil Agreement acting as the ruling document and not the Iraqi Constitution, Nouri did not see himself bound by the Constitution.
Ayad Allawi called it what it was: A power grab.
The western press disagreed and scoffed 'reporting' that the positions would be filled in a few weeks.
It's 2014 and Nouri's second term is coming to an end.
Who was right?
The western press?
Or Ayad Allawi?
Can you imagine the flack Barack Obama would get if, as US president, he had left the Secretary of Defense post vacant for an entire term?
People would not disagree that he was incompetent. No, the only argument would be over the degree of incompetency.
Yet, Nouri returned record violence to Iraq and still he sees himself worthy of a third term.
Illustration is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Not Quite There."
Nouri spent the last four years making promises he refused to keep.
To get protests off the street during the period known as the Arab Spring, he promised to end corruption in 100 days. 100 days came and went and there was no end to the corruption.
Protests start back up in 2012 and Nouri (a) makes promises he doesn't keep, (b) attacks the protesters as 'terrorists,' (c) had them followed by police forces, (d) unleashes security forces on peaceful protests and (e) refuses to meet any of their demands except for a token release of a few prisoners.
Nouri has fueled the violence.
He is incompetent.
And that's before we get to how he's pitted one Shi'ite group against another to ensure that they don't threaten his standing.
Reuters notes Tuz Khurmato witnessed "a bomb attack on the Kurdish PUK party offices." Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) notes it was "a double bombing" and 29 people are dead.
The PUK is the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan which is headed by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. The PUK's standing in the Kurdistan Region is iffy. For years, the PUK and KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) were the two dominant political parties. Then, last fall, provincial elections resulted in a major upset -- Gorran beat out the PUK.
In the April 30th elections, the PUK managed to do better. This was in part due to a video of Jalal Talabani released at the time of the election.
December 2012, Jalal 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.
The video had impact because, although photos of Jalal from his right side had been published, there had been no video of him since he was taken to Germany.
In other violence, National Iraqi News Agency reports a Kanaan suicide car bomber took his own life and 2 other lives (a soldier and a civilian) leaving five more people injured, 2 Abe Sida bombings left four Iraqi soldiers injured, Joint Operations Command announced they killed 37 suspects in Mosul, a Ramadi battle left 3 police members dead and three more injured, five people were kidnapped in Tikrit and a headless corpse was discovered dumped in Zafaraniyah.
Kat's "Kat's Korner: Chrissie Hynde rocks out" went up Sunday as did Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Changing Stories."
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sameer n. yacoub