Nouri al-Maliki and Ayad Allawi have gone through periods in the last months where they didn't speak to one another and periods where they did. They currently don't. And let's look at why.
You and I both want to be prime minister. Your group ends up with more votes than mine in the elections. Per the Constitution, you are supposed to be given first crack at forming a Coalition and then named prime minister-designate and form a Cabinet (which requires nominating people and having Parliament approve them). At which point, you will become prime minister.
But I throw a fit and scream and yell and cry for recounts and still won't allow the process to move forward. I'm a big baby for over nine months and so leaders of all the political blocs -- including your bloc and mine -- go to Erbil for a meeting. There it is decided that I will be prime minister but an independent security commission will be created and you will be the head of it.
Following that meeting, I end up prime minister-designate. I never name a full Cabinet but bully and whine my way into being declared "prime minister" despite having failed to meet the Constitutional requirements. Having become prime minister, I now refuse to create the commisssion I promised to in Erbil.
Would you have any desire to talk to me after that? If you didn't, I don't think any sane person could blame you for avoiding me.
In the above scenario, you're Ayad Allawi and I'm Nouri al-Maliki and that is how events unfolded so it's no surprise that Allawi wants nothing to do with Nouri.
In November, Nouri was supposed to be nominating a full Cabinet. The New York Times and others covered for Nouri and pretended that the failure to do so was no big deal. It was a very big deal. And when you start disregarding a country's constitution, don't be surprised when other parts of it fall out. A constitution is supposed to be a country's supreme law of the land.
Nouri's disrespect for the Constitution demonstrates a disrespect for the law.
Can you catch the mistake in this from the Times: "In December, the two politicians, Ayad Allawi, the leader of the Iraqiya bloc, and the country’s prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, entered into an American-backed power-sharing agreement." The reporters get it correct that the Erbil agreement was "American-backed" but they place that in December. And do so again later in the article, "The power-sharing agreement in December allows . . ." No, November. It was November.
From the November 10, 2010 snapshot:
From the November 11, 2010 snapshot:
Today the KRG website announces:
Baghdad, Iraq (KRP.org) - Iraq's political leaders yesterday agreed to hold the parliamentary session as scheduled on Thursday and to name an individual for the post of Speaker of the the parliament (Council of Representatives). The Speaker post will go to the Al-Iraqiya bloc, which is headed by former prime minister Ayad Allawi.
During the meeting, which was attended by the leaders of all the winning blocs at President Masoud Barzani's Baghdad headquarters, agreement was reached on two other points: to create a council for strategic policy and to address issues regarding national reconciliation.
President Barzani, who sponsored the three days' round of meetings, stated that today's agreement was a big achievement for Iraqis. He expressed optimism that the next government will be formed soon and that it will be inclusive and representative of all of Iraq's communities.
From the November 12, 2010 snapshot:
Council of Representatives bloc with the formation of the Council of Ministers
within fifteen days from the date of the election of the President of the Republic.
during the period specified in clause "Second," the President of the Republic shall charge a new nominee for the post of Prime Minister within fifteen days.
Representatives. He is deemed to have gained its confidence upon the approval,
by an absolute majority of the Council of Representatives, of the individual
Ministers and the ministerial program.
The two reporters tell us that Nouri and Allawi "have been unable to agree on who should run the Interior and Defense Ministries, the government's two most important departments."
Do they not know that Arabs read the New York Times? (Al Mada often runs reports on the paper, for example. Dar Addustour frequently mentions it.) Do they not realize how ridiculous they look to foreign readers with absurd statements like that?
Iraq security ministries are well reported on in the Arab press. They are three ministries and all remain without a Minister in charge of them: the Interior Ministry, the National Security Ministry and the Defense Ministry.
Three, not two.
And what's the nonsense of blaming Allawi?
Per the Constitution, Nouri was not supposed to have been moved from prime minister-designate to prime minister until he had put together a Cabinet that Parliament had voted in favor of (Parliament has to give thumbs up to each minister). If he was unable to do that in thirty days, that was the end of him -- per the Constitution.
Nouri didn't follow the Constitution. Unable to create a full Cabinet, he named himself 'temporary' head of those three ministries. There's nothing in the Constitution that allows that. And he should have been tossed aside for trying.
But these ministries should have heads at the end of last year. That's all on Nouri. Why the New York Times wants to haul Allawi into this is beyond me. Nouri and only Nouri was supposed to name a Cabinet. He failed. He's failed ever since. That's on him and to try to turn it into anyone else's blame is nonsense. Nouri was prime minister at the time of the March 2010 elections and fought like crazy to ensure he remained prime minister despite not being the people's choice.
He wasn't even the choice of Moqtada al-Sadr's followers, for those who've forgotten. In April 2010, Moqtada held a referendum to figure out who he would support. He said he'd go with whomever his followers picked as their number one choice. From the April 7th snapshot:
Tim Arango and Michael Schmidt's story today insists, "But at the first session of Parliament, the agreement unraveled when Mr. Maliki appointed himself as the minister of both interior and defense, claiming that because of the country’s tenuous security environment he needed more time to vet the candidates." The first session of Parliament? They actually had a session in June of 2010. But their first real session with actual business was in November 2010. November 11th. We noted it above. In that first session, Nouri did not appoint himself anything. Why are the incapable of getting the facts right?
Above is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Plan For Day 101." And while we knew Nouri would work overtime to distract, who knew a US paper would work so hard to assist him?
After it happens over and over and after it continually paints Allawi in the wrong, you start to feel it's not an honest mistake but an intentional one and that they are intentionally lying in order to trick readers. If that's not the case then the New York Times really needs to hire fact checkers because this article repeatedly makes clear that editors are not up to the job of fact checking.
It's also cute, as the reporters note the war of words between Allawi and Nouri and their camp, that they FAIL to inform readers of last week's developments. The Erbil Agreement was addressed in a Monday meeting at Jalal Talabani's house (Allawi remained in London and skipped the meeting). At that meeting, according to Jalal, it was agreed that State Of Law and Iraqiya would stop using the press to attack one another. Jalal was so very proud of that. But less than 24 hours after Talabani's announcement . . . Nouri's State Of Lawers were attacking Allawi in the press. (We caught it and pointed it out. )
I have no idea why the New York Times is unable to get their facts straight but, reading the article, it appears that facts really aren't that important to the paper and that the omissions are far more telling than anything making it into the article.
Reuters notes 1 Iraqi soldier was shot dead in Kirkuk, an attack on a Mosul military checkpoint resulted in the deaths of 2 Iraqi soliders, 1 "employee of the Electricity Ministry" was shot dead in Baghdad, a Baghdad roadside bombing injured two people, a Baiji attack resulted in 1 suspect and 3 Iraqi soldiers being killed, and, dropping back to Friday, one police officer was shot dead in Baghdad.
Cindy Sheehan has just posted the transcript to her interview with journalist Robert Fisk (to hear the 2010 interview, click here).
The e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org.
the new york times
michael s. schmidt
the washington post
the christian science monitor
steven lee myers