Sunday, August 16, 2015


BBC News reports, "An Iraqi parliamentary panel has called for former PM Nouri Maliki to face trial over the fall of the northern city of Mosul to Islamic State."  All Iraq News notes Nouri was "the leader of the armed forces" when the Islamic State seized control of Mosul.  Ammar Karim (AFP) explains that naming Nouri "was a source of controversy on the committee, with his Dawa party pushing for it to be left out."


Was it controversial?

Everyone seems to be missing a basic (and logical) point.

Before we get to that, Loveday Morris and Mustafa Salim (Washington Post) add:

The text of the report is yet to be made public, but the names of those held responsible for the loss of Mosul include Atheel al-Nujaifi, the governor of Nineveh province, former acting defense minister Sadoun al-Dulaimi and former army chief Gen. Babakir Zebari, according to two members of the investigation committee.

The full report will be read in the next session of parliament on Monday “to inform the Iraqi people of the truth,” Jabouri said. “The judiciary will punish those who are involved.”

Among those named in the report?

Sadun al-Dulaimi and Adnan al-Assadi.

These matter because?

To hear some tell it, they were the Minister of Defense and the Minister of the Interior.

But they weren't, were they?

BBC misses the connection but does get it right that they were both "acting."


Because Nouri instituted a power grab.

He refused to nominate anyone for the posts.

If he had nominated anyone -- even those two men -- and Parliament had approved them, they would have been in charge of the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Interior.

By refusing to nominate heads for those two ministries, Nouri maintained control over them.

There is no way that an "acting Minister of Defense" or an "acting Minister of Interior" could be held accountable without also charging Nouri.

And grasp the point that the media still won't -- for four years, Iraq was without a Minister of Defense and a Minister of Interior.

That's Nouri's fault.

Haider al-Abadi's fault?

Refusal to follow the Constitution.

He's hacking away at the Cabinet -- with no one pointing out that the Constitution does not give him that power.  Reuters states he's taken the Cabinet from 33 ministers to 22.  Among the posts eliminated?  The Minister of Human Rights and the Minister of State for Women's Affairs.  (CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq also notes thee two posts are being eliminated.)

In his announcement, Haider claims that he has the power under Article 78 of the Constitution.

That's interesting.  Article 78 of the Iraqi Constitution:

Article 78: 
First: The President of the Republic shall take up the office of the Prime Minister in the event the post becomes vacant for any reason whatsoever. 
Second: The President must designate another nominee to form the cabinet within a period not to exceed fifteen days in accordance with the provisions of article 73 of this Constitution.

Where does that give Haider the power to eliminate ministries?

In his announcement, he notes that he is cancelling the following: the Minister of Human Rights, the Minister of State for Women's Affairs, the Minister for State for Provincial Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs and the Minister of State while merging a number of ministries.

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] 4497.

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