Sunday, July 27, 2014


Loveday Morris (Washington Post) reports on rumors/signs that Nouri al-Maliki will not see a third term as prime minister and that his time on top is dwindling.  Earlier this month, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani made statements which indicated Nouri al-Maliki should step down.  Friday's sermon made that even more clear.  Morris reports:

On Saturday, Sheik Abdul Halim al-Zuhairi, a senior figure in Dawa, was dispatched to Najaf to deliver a message to Ayatollah Sistani that the coalition was willing to replace Mr. Maliki if necessary, said Jumaa al-Atwani, a politician with Mr. Maliki’s coalition. Mr. Zuhairi passed the letter to Sistani’s son, he said.

MP, of Ahrar bloc, Bahaa al-Araji called on the Iraqi National Alliance, as the biggest bloc, to resolve the issue of nominating its candidate for Premier post before August 8. 
He said in a press statement received by All Iraq News Agency "The matter of choosing PM must move away from partisan and personal affiliations and the most importantly is to maintain the unity of INA to form a strong government can save Iraq from this crisis."

Having brought Iraq to the precipice, you'd think even Nouri would feel compelled to step down.  Knowing Nouri that seems unlikely.  

For example,  Tim Arango (New York Times) reports, "Just before midnight on Friday, Shiite militiamen in eight black S.U.V.’s rolled up to the Baghdad home of an important Sunni politician and abducted him and four of his bodyguards, a brazen move that threatened to further convulse a country already in the grip of a political crisis."

It was the fall of last year when Tim Arango broke the story that Nouri was arming, garbing and backing Shi'ite militias (death squads):

In supporting Asaib al-Haq, Mr. Maliki has apparently made the risky calculation that by backing some Shiite militias, even in secret, he can maintain control over the country’s restive Shiite population and, ultimately, retain power after the next national elections, which are scheduled for next year. Militiamen and residents of Shiite areas say members of Asaib al-Haq are given government badges and weapons and allowed freedom of movement by the security forces.

So a Shi'ite militia in Baghdad kidnapes a Sunni politician and his bodyguards in Baghdad?  Nouri's the one who made it possible. 

His actions have bred violence in Iraq.  Margaret Griffis ( counts 374 people dead with another seventy-eight injured.

You'd think anyone facing so many failures would hang their head in shame, not seek a third term in office.

You'd think.


I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name

 The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4489.

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