In October, five months after Iraqi elections, new Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi presented his cabinet of ministers. However, key posts were vacant because parties backing him remained divided over whose candidates should take over the eight remaining ministries. These include powerful portfolios, such as the defence and interior.
Debates intensified as parliament was to vote November 6 on the vacant ministerial posts. However, parliament skirted the issue, instead discussing the budget and the death of thousands of fish in the Euphrates River among other things. Abdul-Mahdi said the consultation with parliament to fill the remaining posts continued and vowed that nominations would be completed soon.
“What this reveals first and foremost,” said Renad Mansour, research fellow at Chatham House, “is the fragmentation of parliament.” Parliament has been unable to fulfil its duties amid a failure to agree on the largest bloc in parliament, Mansour added.
As we noted repeatedly in the last weeks, the only thing a person has to do to move from prime minister to prime-minister designate is to come up with a Cabinet (full) in 30 days. The failure to stand by this Constitutional provision goes a long way towards explaining how each prime minister fails over and over.
The provision in the Constitution exists for a reason. If the prime minister-designate can form a Cabinet in 30 days, it indicate he or she will be able to govern. If he or she can't form one, it indicates that they are not up for the task and someone else should be named prime-minister designate and given a chance.
Gridlock before you are even prime minister indicates you're not going to accomplish much of anything. And these are major posts that al-Mahdi has left unfilled -- including Minister of Defense and Minister of Interior. The last time these posts were left unfilled? In Nouri al-Maliki's second term. And what happened then? ISIS took hold in Iraq. ISIS not only took hold by conducting terrorism on a daily basis, they also seized territory. They controlled Mosul, for example, for three years.
It's the same thing over and over with the Iraq War, no lessons are ever learned.
Take "Get out!" The Iraqi people -- and their representatives in Parliament -- have been making that cry for years now. But still US troops remain. MIDDLE EAST MONITOR reports:
Iraqi MP Ahmad Al-Assadi, senior leader of the Iraqi Construction Alliance, revealed on Friday parliamentarian moves to pressure the Iraqi government to evict US forces from the country.
Al-Assadi said that the previous Iraqi parliament had started the calls, but now the new parliament was calling for a clear timetable for the US withdrawal from Iraq, Arabi21 reported. He added that US forces had entered the country at the request of the Iraqi government for training purposes and assistance in fighting [ISIS].
Yet Al-Assadi stressed that: “After the big victory against these gangs, the Iraqi government has the right to evaluate the need for American forces to remain on Iraqi soil”. He also said that the calls for US forces to leave would be doubled during the next parliamentary term, noting that the parliament was likely to accept the existence of advisors and trainers based only on the need specified by the authorities.
But if US forces leave, the US government can't continue to occupy and control Iraq. Last week was full of reports about how the US was letting Iraq do this or that with Iran. Letting.
Iraq is not an official colony of the United States so it shouldn't require permission to do anything from the US. But the US was "letting" them do something.
Another story getting attention?
Photos of Iraqi border guards killing an endangered Syrian brown bear while it was sleeping have gone viral on social media, prompting widespread outrage. FFS! Deservedly so! Sam
Meanwhile, in Basra, the protests continue.
The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley -- updated: