Yesterday, the White House issued the following statement:
The White House
For Immediate Release
April 01, 2016
Readout of Vice President Biden’s Call with Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi of Iraq
The Vice President spoke today with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi to discuss the latest political and security developments in Iraq. The Vice President welcomed the Prime Minister's political reform efforts and reaffirmed continued U.S. support for steps, in concert with Iraqi political leaders, to strengthen transparency, national unity, and accountability. The Vice President also underscored the critical importance of sustaining momentum in the fight against ISIL and reviewed ongoing U.S. efforts to support Iraqi Security Forces. The Vice President commended the Prime Minister for engaging constructively with the IMF to address fiscal challenges and unlock access to international financial assistance.
On political developments?
We tried to make a point repeatedly this week. Some caught it, some didn't.
You either oppose the notion that a new Cabinet can just be created or you pretend that Iraq didn't hold elections in 2014.
Haider's just going to form a new Cabinet.
That only happens after an election.
Iraq did have elections in 2014.
From the May 19, 2014 snapshot:
Reuters reports, "Preliminary results on Monday showed Maliki won at least 94 seats, far more than his two main Shi'ite rivals, the movement of Muqtada Sadr, which picked up 28 seats, and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), which won 29 seats." Press TV reports, "Results released by Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission on Monday showed that the premier’s State of Law alliance garnered 92 out of 328 parliamentary seats. Maliki’s bloc won 30 seats in the capital Baghdad alone and won the first spot in 10 out of 18 provinces overall, while his main rivals are said to have gained between 19 and 29 seats in total." Sinan Salaheddin and Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) reports 92 as well and point out, "He will still need to approach other parties to piece together a broader majority coalition to get the first crack at forming a government as violence rages and instability grows." Duraid Adnan and Tim Arango (New York Times) point out that these are "initial results -- still subject to challenges from various political parties" while stating Nouri won 93 seats.
But if elections took place, how can a Haider al-Abadi in 2016 propose a new Cabinet?
Not per the Constitution of Iraq.
One member of the Cabinet can be ousted this way:
A. The Council of Representatives may withdraw confidence from one of the Ministers by an absolute majority and he is considered resigned from the date of the decision of confidence withdrawal. The issue of no confidence in the Minister may be tabled only on that Minister's wish or on a signed request of fifty members after an inquiry discussion directed at him. The Council of Representatives shall not issue its decision regarding the request except after at least seven days of its submission.
The entire Cabinet can be ousted this way:
D. In case of a vote of withdrawal of confidence in the Cabinet as a whole, the Prime Minister and the Ministers continue in their positions to run everyday business for a period not to exceed thirty days until a new cabinet is formed in accordance with the provisions of article 73 of this constitution.
But since when does the US government, the White House, really support rule of law in Iraq?
The only way a new Cabinet can be proposed is following elections.
Otherwise, the Cabinet has to be shut down by Parliament via a vote withdrawing confidence.
Where is the faith in rule of law?
The US State Dept loves to give lip service to the rule of law in Iraq when it benefits their goals, otherwise they stay silent.
The United Nations and the White House could've called for new elections in Iraq if they wanted a new Cabinet.
But,per the Constitution, short of that the only way a new Cabinet comes about is via a vote of no-confidence in the Parliament.
The rule of law is followed or it's not.
AL MADA notes that the proposed Cabinet was greeted earlier this week by a statement from KRG president Massoud Barzani who declared Haider's proposal had no importance and that it was long ago cleared there was no true partnership in the current government.
What's really amazing is how little objections to Haider's proposed Cabinet is covered by the international press.
There was an election in Iraq today. Ammar al-Hakim was re-elected as the leader of the (Shi'ite) political body the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. And ISCI issued a statement that any political reforms (the Cabinet) should not weaken the law or increase political differences.
ALL IRAQ NEWS notes Ammar issued a statement as well when he noted reform did not equal proposing a new Cabinet.
Ammar held a press conference today where he expressed surprise by Haider al-Abadi's proposal to reform the Cabinet. This as NATIONAL IRAQI NEWS AGENCY reports that there is strong division in Parliament over Haider's proposed Cabinet with some likening Haider's proposals to the start of a "dictatorship."
Meanwhile AL MADA notes that the Kurds continue to demand 20% of the positions on any new Cabinet while Haider's nominees are facing criticism from Sunni political blocs.
But it's the Shi'ite criticism that's emerging and the most vocal. IRAQ TIMES notes State of Law MP Kazem al-Sayadi has declared that, no way, no how, will any former member of the Ba'ath Party sit in the Cabinet.
In addition, ALSUMARIA reports that the Coalition of National Forces are also voicing objection to Haider's proposal with MP Khaled Mafraji declaring that what Haider has done is both incorrect and illegal.
As if Haider's proposal didn't have enough problems to face, it's already minus one.
NATIONAL IRAQI NEWS AGENCY reports Nazar Muahmmad Salim al-Numan withdrew his name from consideration on Friday. Haider had nominated him on Thursday to be the Minister of Oil. He stated he was withdrawing his name due to a "lack of political consensus."
IRAQ TIMES notes additional criticism of Haider's proposal -- MP Ghaida Kmbh has come out against Haider's proposal to eliminate some ministries and combine others.
This was supposed to be an easy move.
But someone in the US government forgot that there are no easy moves in Iraq.
ALSUMARIA reports that 1 woman was shot dead in house outside Baghdad, a bomb to the south of Baghdad killed 7 Iraqi soldiers,
Friday, the US Defense Dept announced/boasted:
Strikes in Iraq
-- Rocket artillery and fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 12 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Habbaniyah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Hit, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb, two ISIL bomb factories, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL anti-air artillery staging area and nine ISIL tunnel entrances and denying ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Kirkuk, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL assembly areas.
-- Near Mosul, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL assembly areas and five ISIL vehicles.
-- Near Qayyarah, two strikes destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle and an ISIL mortar firing position and suppressed two separate ISIL mortar firing positions.
-- Near Ramadi, a strike destroyed two ISIL vehicle-borne bombs.
-- Near Sinjar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL assembly area.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike destroyed three ISIL tunnel systems and three ISIL assembly areas.
Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.
Saturday, the US Defense Dept announced/boasted:
Strikes in Iraq
Rocket artillery and fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 20 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
-- Near Qaim, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Habbaniyah, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL weapons cache.
-- Near Haditha, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Hit, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL vehicle bomb, two ISIL fuel tankers, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL-used bridge, an ISIL barge and eight ISIL boats and denying ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Kirkuk, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL command and control node, four ISIL assembly areas and an ISIL supply cache.
-- Near Qayyarah, seven strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and an ISIL weapons cache and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL assembly areas, an ISIL command and control node, two ISIL vehicles and an ISIL unmanned aerial vehicle.
-- Near Ramadi, a strike destroyed an ISIL anti-air artillery piece.
-- Near Sinjar, two strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL vehicle and suppressing an ISIL mortar firing position.-- Near Sultan Abdallah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed six ISIL rocket rails and an ISIL supply cache.
Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.
On the subject of the Defense Dept, Nancy A. Youssef (THE DAILY BEAST) reported earlier this week:
In the war against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, the U.S. military is notably short on soldiers, but apparently not on generals.
There are at least 12 U.S. generals in Iraq, a stunningly high number for a war that, if you believe the White House talking points, doesn’t involve American troops in combat. And that number is, if anything, a conservative estimate, not taking into account the flag officers running the U.S. air war, the admirals helping wage the war from the sea, or their superiors back at the Pentagon.
At U.S. headquarters inside Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, even majors and colonels frequently find themselves saluting superiors at a pace that outranks the Pentagon and certainly any normal military installation. With about 5,000 troops deployed to Iraq and Syria ISIS war, that means there’s a general for every 416 troops, give or take. To compare, there are some captains in the U.S. Army in charge of that many people.
Earlier this week, the top US commander in Iraq Tweeted the following:
And what of every singled US general?
As for the US,War Hawk and Pig At The Trough Hillary Clinton continues her battle with Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. The battle is noted in a series of Tweets below.
#ApologizeForWhat: pitching Iraq as a "business opportunity" @davidsirota http://www.ibtimes.com/campaign-2016-hillary-clinton-pitched-iraq-business-opportunity-us-corporations-2121999 …
Hillary has never shown any regret or remorse for her vote to send our soldiers to die or be mutilated in Iraq.
The Iraq War Cost Over $2 Trillion Dollars 4,000+ US Troops & 100,000+ Iraqi Civilians Died Hillary Didn't Think That Was Too Expensive