Monday, June 30, 2014

Some consider Tuesday to be monumental for Iraq

Iraq was discussed this morning on Bloomberg Surveillance (link is video):

Bloomberg News: How will this war end?

Gideon Rose: Well, you know, Iraq is actually a Transformer.  It turns into a train wreck.

Bloomberg News: Right.

Gideon Rose: This war is going to end with the United States having extricated itself and the local parties continuing to fight a bloody, sectarian war that's probably going to get worse before it gets better. 

Bloomberg News:  I mean this has effectively been going on -- the Shi'ite versus Sunni -- since 632 AD.  Why should we think this thing could be resolved any time in the near future.

Gideon Rose: Well it's not so much that it's been going on for a thousand years that the local bounds of power with lots of outside actors and different groups outside of Iraq right now.  There's no national government strong enough to impose order and get the allegiance of the entire society.  So it's not going to change anytime soon.  The interesting question is how much does the United States have to care that Iraq is in chaos? And that's something that people are actually coming to grips with right now.  And the hawks are saying we have to go back in to make sure we keep a lid on this.  And others are saying let's run the risk.

"Bloomberg News"?  I didn't watch the clip.  A friend (at Bloomberg) called and asked for a link.  I asked them to play a section and told them I'd link.  I don't have time to stream and find out who the anchors were -- the above is one anchor but there's another host in the segment later on (after the excerpt).  Gideon Rose is the editor of Foreign Affairs.  I would prefer to credit the host quoted above but I'd already finished this entry when the call came in.

Turning to news out of Iraq . . .

Kitabat observes Nouri al-Maliki's fate is to be determined tomorrow when Parliament holds their first session.  Thug Nouri is completing his second term as prime minister and wants a third term.  His second term has been characterized with bullying, targeting, arresting political rivals, killing their relatives, attacking protesters, killing protesters, refusing to honor promises -- including signed legal contracts, and much more.  So some might say it is Iraq's fate that could be determined tomorrow.

Iraq Times reports on rumors that State of Law has decided to abandon pushing Nouri for a third term and that they've come up with a new nominee for prime minister (supposedly Tareq Najm). National Iraqi News Agency, citing Ahrar bloc MP Hakim al-Zamili, noted the Iraqi National Alliance is supposed to select their nominee for prime minister at a bloc meeting tonight.  Iraq Times maintains the fight for the post of prime minister will be mainly between Adel Abdul-Mahdi and Tareq Najm with Ahmed Chalabi and Faleh al-Fayad dark horses in the race.  NINA quotes Kurdish MP Mahmud Othman declaring "the decision of changing the government and its approach and its faces begins from the National Alliance."  Tareq Najm would be a new name for the international community.  Adel Abdul-Mahdi is not a new face.  Following the December 2005 parliamentary elections, he was named one of Iraq's two vice presidents -- he was the Shi'ite Vice President, Tareq al-Hashemi was the Sunni.  Both served their term until 2010.  In 2010, both were named to a second term.  al-Hashemi left the country when Nouri began targeting him.  Adel Abdul-Mahdi left the government nearly six months before al-Hashemi left the country.  At the start of 2011, a worried Nouri lied to get protesters off the streets of Iraq.  He insisted, if given 100 days, he'd end corruption in Iraq.  At the end of 100 days, he failed to keep his promise (as always).  Adel Abdul-Mahdi resigned over the government's inability to address corruption.  He remains a powerful Iraqi politician (one with a world profile -- and Big Oil loves him).  He is a member of Ammar al-Hakim's Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq -- one the major Shi'ite political parties.

Alsumaria interviews US Senator Dianne Feinstein who states that Nouri al-Maliki has to increase the political participation of all the blocs and be more inclusive of Sunnis and Kurds.

While selecting a prime minister is important, should the system work on Tuesday, the Parliament will also be selecting a Speaker of Parliament and a President of Iraq. As the Kurds feel the post of President belongs to them, the Sunnis feel the same with regards to Speaker of Parliament and it's on the Sunni side where all the discussions are taking place. Alsumaria quotes Kurdish MP Najeebeh Najib insisting that the President and Speaker have been determined and that it's only the post of prime minister which remains up for grabs.  However, other press reports indicate there remains a great deal of jockeying for the position of Speaker of Parliament.   All Iraq News notes the Wataniyah bloc is nominating Salem al-Jobouri for the Speaker's post while Motahidoin is nomination Osama al-Nujaifi -- al-Nujaifi served as Speaker in the last term which kicked off in November 2010.   NINA notes the push for Salim al-Bobouri for the post (and states a source declaring it is a done deal).  Alsumaria reports al-Nujaifi has met with Saleh al-Mutlaq to discuss various political issues ahead of the session to be held Tuesday.

Nouri's political coalition is State of Law.  Alsumaria reports State of Law MP Abdul Salam al-Maliki has declared that SoL will not support Osama al-Nujaifi receiving a second term as Speaker.

Let's move over to violence.  National Iraqi News Agency notes Nouri's aerial bombing of Mosul left "at least 40 people" injured and in need of medical treatment, 1 person was shot dead in Shurta Rabaa, the aerial bombing of Baquba lefft 8 people "believed to be of Daash" -- but no one knows -- dead, and 1 corpse was discovered bumped "in the Bayaa area southwest of Baghdad."  All Iraq News notes a mortar attack on a village "of northeastern Baquba" left 1 person dead and two more injured.

Iraq Times and Kitabat both  note a story we'll touch on that in today's snapshot.  IANS notes India is pulling 600 of their citizens from Iraq this week.  We'll touch on that in the snapshot as well.

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Barack Explores A Subculture" went up last night.  On this week's Law and Disorder Radio,  an hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) topics addressed include Julian Assange, the no fly list, the Supreme Court decision on cell phones, the demolishing of Palestinian homes in Israel (guest is Dr. Jeff Halper) and more.

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