Prime Minister Maliki undoubtedly has learned from his colleague, George Bush, that nothing beats creating a plot or conspiracy in order to get rid of adversaries. Up to 25 Iraqi officials are reportedly being held on charges of planning a coup that would restore the Basthist party of Saddam Hussein to power. According to Patrick Cockburn reporting from Baghdad, those detained by a counter-terrorism unit that reports directly to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki includes a general and a host of minor officials. The plotters allegedly had formed a group known as al-Awda, or the Return, to signify restoration of Baath power. Some of the members of the coup belong to the traffic police, undoubtedly a major source of military strength.
Maliki is attempting to consolidate power, particularly after he confronted forces of al-Sadr and forced them to back down. He may fear that many people would, in light of corruption and failure to even restore basic services such as electricity, turn to some military strongman and restore the glory that was Saddam. As American forces prepare to depart, Maliki wants to get rid of any group that might challenge his power.
Who knows, perhaps, five years from now, US forces will be invading Iraq to get rid of the strongman, Maliki.
Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr urged Prime Minister Maliki not to sign any agreement with the Untied States concerning continued presence of American troops in their nation. “I call on the Iraqi government,” said the cleric, “not to sign the accord with the United States and I affirm that I am ready to support the government publicly and politically if it does not sign.” He went on to call upon “men of faith and on the clergy to express legally their opinion against the signature of any agreement between the government and the occupier, eve it is is a friendly accord or one concerning another subject.” Sadr called upon the people of Iraq to come together to stand up against the American occupiers.
It is unclear exactly what al Sadr seeks in the way of dealing with the Americans other than not having anything to do with them. How will this non-negotiation play out in enabling the people of Iraq to assume control over their own destiny.
Perhaps, the major import of the Sadr statement is a growing realization among Iraqis that all major political groups are now united in a desire to have the Americans leave as soon as possible.
Posted in George Bush, Human Rights, Iraq, Islam, Military, Muslims, Peace, Politics, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged al Sadr, Iraq, Maliki, US departure