Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Those losing leaders

Hayder al-Khoei (Al Jazeera) becomes the latest to offer it appears Nouri al-Maliki will not get a third term:

To make matters worse for Maliki, even his own Islamic Dawa Party issued a statement that same day echoing Sistani's demand that politicians must not cling on to power. When I asked a senior Dawa official if this statement meant that there was now a formal split within the Dawa Party, he responded by saying Dawa's leadership was united and in agreement with Sistani that the nominee of the Shia bloc in parliament had to be someone other than Maliki.
This latest development is very significant. It is no longer just the Sunni, Kurdish and rival Shia political parties - as well as Ayatollah Sistani - who believe that a third term for Maliki is untenable. Now, even the party that Maliki heads believes it is time for him to go.

National Iraqi News Agency adds, "The leading member of Ahrar parialmentary bloc within the National Allianc former MP Moshriq Naji " confirmed the veracity of the document which signed and submitted by the National Alliance’s leaders to Speaker Salim al-Jubouri that providing The National Alliance is the biggest parliamentary bloc, not the State of Law."

Nouri's not the only leader facing struggles these days.

For instance, it's not getting easier for the White House.  Over the weekend, they were protested for what some see as their silence and inaction over the targeting of Christians in Iraq.  Catholic News Agency reports:

The U.S. bishops have urged the U.S. government to assist Iraqi Christian victims of persecution, while France has offered asylum to Iraqi Christians who have fled Mosul.
“The Islamic State has taken control of large swaths of territory in northern Iraq, leaving a trail of destruction, burning and looting ancient churches and mosques, homes and businesses,” Bishop Richard E. Pates, the U.S. bishops’ chairman of International Justice and Peace, said July 25.
“Thousands have fled with little more than the clothes on their backs, often being robbed of their few personal possessions as they ran,” he said in a letter to U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

The administration's doing very little and it's starting to be noticed.

For example, as Secretary of State, John Kerry is over the US mission in Iraq.  On Monday, he gave a lengthy speech about religious persecution.  Here's his part on Iraq:

And we have all seen the savagery and incredible brutality of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – the wholesale slaughter of Shia Muslims, the forced conversions of Christians in Mosul, the rape, executions, and use of women and children as human shields. All of these acts of barbarism underscore the stakes. Just the other week, ISIL declared that any remaining Christians in Mosul must convert, pay a tax, or be executed on the spot.

That's Iraq.  In full.

A speech of over 2800 words and that's all he offered on Iraq.

77 words.

He offered twice as many words on Salem, MA -- 159 words.

He offered twice as many words on the witch hunt in Salem from all those years and decades ago than he did on what's taking place in Iraq right now.

They've got an image problem that's only going to get worse.

And the problem comes as some feel the US government is the most distant from Israel (the government or the people or both) than it's ever been.

How do you do that?

How do you ignore the slaughter of Christians while also ticking off Jews and supporters of Israel (government and the people -- supporters of both because, as usual, certain elements on my sad behave like rabid dogs leaving people to feel Israel -- in total -- is being attacked)?

How do you ignore that?

As you get closer to the mid-terms, how do you risk losing the support of so many because you are inept at politics?

The e-mail address for this site is

al jazeera
hayder al-khoei
michael s. smith
heidi boghosian
michael ratner