Saturday, October 20, 2018

Iraq: Dawa and the PUK are sinking, empty promises continue

I thought the most obvious and dumbest story on Iraq this week had already been written when reports came out that Hayder al-Abadi was saying he would still be involved in the government even though he was not going to be prime minister any longer. 

Really?  Of course, he's going to be involved.  To even be considered for prime minister, Hayder had to run for Parliament in the May elections.  So he is an MP even though he's not going to get a second term as prime minister. 

Yes, he will remain in the government.  Kind of obvious despite several outlets wasting ink on it and treating it as though it was something novel and new. 

But that got topped with reports today, like this one, where Nouri al-Maliki, shocker, will not be in the new Cabinet that  Adil Abdul al-Mahdi is attempting to put together.  How is this news?  Nouri wanted to be prime minister but no one, after having him as prime minister for two terms, wanted him to be prime minister.  Nouri is seen as one of the most corrupt politicians in Iraq.  No one wants him in a Cabinet.  No one wants him anywhere.  In 2006, Dawa was the premier political party in Iraq.  With Nouri as their figure head, their popularity has collapsed -- in part because Nouri wanted complete control of it and, when that wasn't possible, created State of Law (which came in fourth in the May elections).  Despite having destroyed Dawa, Nouri's insisting he's the one who needs to rebuild it.  Omar Sattar (AL-MONITOR) reports:

A number of party members, including the senior leader Abdul Halim Zuhairi, blamed both Maliki and Abadi for bearing responsibility for the party's “weakness.” Most significantly, their joint statement read, “[Maliki] went out on a Fatah coalition and [Abadi] walked along behind the Sairoon. Now we go to our brothers a second time for the sake of rapprochement and harmony, having given up their alliance. But we find only deaf ears, especially from brother Abadi. This has brought us to where we are now, with the adversaries of politics [Fatah and Sairoon] agreeing over the shreds of Dawa.”
Abadi responded with a statement of his own, noting, “I am surprised by the unfortunate statement from the three brothers [Abdul Halim Zuhairi, Sadik al-Rikabi and Tareq Najm] that distorts the facts and raises more than one question as to whether its timing and publication were an organized campaign to divide us and parcel out the remains of Dawa.”
A new split could now take place, all the more likely if the outgoing prime minister enters a reformed parliamentary coalition whose policies and slogans diverge far from the coalition built by Maliki, as he is unlikely to play a subordinate role under Malki’s leadership again.


Still on corruption, mark the calenders.  TREND notes that Friday saw Iraq's new president, Barham Salih, has declared that the elimination of corruption will be the number one priority for the new government.  He's quoted declaring, "The next government will work to address corruption and to hold the corrupted people accountable."  Claims such as that have been made before, such as in 2014 by the then-new prime minister Hayder al-Abadi.  Let's all look it up in four years to see what, if any, progress was made on this one.

Staying on the topic of elections, September 30th, the KRG held elections and now the official results are in.  XINHUA reports:

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has won the most seats in the Sept. 30 parliamentary elections of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq.
Around midnight Saturday, the Kurdish Independent High Electoral and Referendum Commission (IHERC) announced the final results, which showed the KDP, headed by Masoud Barzani, took the lead with 45 seats of the 111-seat regional parliament.

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), led by former Iraqi President Fuad Masoum, came second with 21 seats, the results showed.

What a shocker this must be . . . for Joel Wing and other 'observers.'

It's no shock, you just had to pay attention. 

In the words of Carly Simon, "I'm not prophet and I don't know nature's ways."  But you didn't have to be.  You just had to pay attention.  The Talabani family has run the PUK into the ground.  21 seats?  The KDP won over twice that number.  How embarrassing for the Talabanis -- a dying dynasty trying to find its way back to relevance.

Remember, in the land of dying empire, in DC and across the country today, Women's March on the Pentagon.

  1. THIS WEEKEND - October 20-21, 2018 Women's March on the Pentagon 2018 WOMEN'S MARCH ON THE PENTAGON Confront the Bi-Partisan War Machine In response to the continuing march of military...
  2. 100,000 people march on the Pentagon Demonstrators including radicals, liberals, black nationalists, hippies, professors, womens groups, and war veterans march on the Pentagon. The rally in...
  3. The Women's March Failed Victims of US Wars So Cindy Sheehan Organized A Women's March on The Pentagon
  4. Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Cindy Sheehan and Bonnie Caracciolo, co-organizers of the Womens March on the Pentagon, to discuss the march and the importance of the anti-war movement
  6. Women's March on the Pentagon rally in Canada: Women Unite Against War & Occupation!
  7. MintPress News on a panel devoted to indie journalism tonight at the Womens March on the Pentagon workshops. ✊🏼
  8. Womens March on the Pentagon 2018 Oct 20 @ 12:00 pm – Oct 21 @ 5:00 pm
  9. I liked a video Womens March on the Pentagon: Times & Locations |
  10. Top story: Women's March on the Pentagon , see more
  11. Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox: COUNTDOWN TO WOMEN'S MARCH ON THE PENTAGON: "WE'RE...
  12. “There’s no business like war business.” 😂 I’m at the planning meeting for a protest I’ll be covering tomorrow. The songs they plan to sing at the Women's March on the Pentagon 2018 are pretty funny.
  13. “We want peace, Justice and peace, No more war, No more war.” Activists are spending a day workshopping and prepping for the “Womens March on the Pentagon happening tomorrow. See one of the peaceful protest anthems they’re rehearsing.
  14. Hear from MPN's very own Mnar Muhawesh and Emma Fiala on Sunday at the Women's March on the Pentagon!
  15. Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox: COUNTDOWN TO WOMEN'S MARCH ON THE PENTAGON: "WE'RE...

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