Tag Archives: Maliki

Does Prime Minister Maliki Display Authoritarian Tendencies?

An Iraqi court found the British newspaper, Guardian, guilty of defaming Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki by charging he was displaying authoritarian tendencies. The article in question was written by award-winning correspondent, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, whose story quoted three unnamed members of the Iraqi National Intelligence Agency as saying the prime minister was beginning to run Iraqi affairs with an authoritarian hand. Ironically, the author of the article is an Iraqi citizen and the court ignored dozens of such articles written in the international media about the prime minister. The court also ignored advice from three independent experts from the Iraqi Journalists’ Union which regarded the story as valid reporting.

I wonder if we could borrow the Iraqi court for a few months in America. Just think of how many Republican, Tea Party and media commentators would be paying damages to the President for their nonstop insults and defamation of character.

Iran Stands To Gain In Iraq

During the initial stages of America’s invasion of Iraq, Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld was asked about the difference between Shiites and Sunnis only to be met with a baffled look on the face of the man who directed the invasion. Neither Bush, nor Cheney had any grasp about Iraqi politics. Iraq’smajor Shiite political parties have formed a new coalition which pointedly excludes the current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The Iraqi National Alliance will be led by the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, a conservative group which has close ties with Iranian Muslims and includes anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

President Bush never understood that in crushing Iraq he was aiding Iranian Muslims. He never understood the need to foster a strong Muslim secular coalition which could steer between extremes. Ironically, Maliki, who has excluded Sunnis from power might have to depend upon their votes to retain power.

Welcome to the world of Bush and American follies.

Iraq Terrorism And The Future

There has been a continual rise in bombings within Iraq as al-Qaeda seeks to create sectarian tension between Sunni and Shiites. The vast majority of bombings have been in Shiite areas which is no accident. Al-Qaeda has a plan, it is to make Shiites furious at Sunnis and thus reawaken religious conflict. Unfortunately, terrorism is aided by failure on the part of the Maliki government to reach out to Sunnis. Wednesday witnessed a series of bombings that resulted in over eighty deaths.

Where does that place American forces. US troops withdrew from urban areas and now stand on the sidelines as terrorism begins to grow. General Odierno has already offered to use American troops to assist in northern Iraq which has been the scene of growing conflict between the Shiite government and Kurdish leaders. Central to this growing terrorism is the need for the Maliki government to bring Sunnis into leadership positions and offer them a larger share of military positions. Secondly, there is need to recognize that Kurds want greater autonomy and will not allow Iraqis to control their area.

I wonder if Barack Obama still believes America will be out of Iraq by 2011.

Is USA Negotiating With Sunni Iraq Resistance Groups?

The Iraq government is furious because of reports concerning American negotiation with dissident Iraq Sunni groups. The Maliki government regards such talks as a violation of Iraq sovereignty and a display of tolerance for terrorists. The State Department admits there has been discussions with Sunni groups, but argues the Iraq government was informed they were occurring. Americans have previously negotiated with Sunni leaders in discussions that eventually led to creation of the Awakening Councils that played a key role in reducing violence in Iraq. The reality is the Mailiki government still hesitates to enter into power sharing arrangements with Sunni leaders, a refusal that may be playing a role in the current escalation of violence in Iraq.

Iraq Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, said it “was shocking” and “amazing” that US and Turkish officials met “the supporters of the former regime, groups that adopt violence and terrorism as a way to change the situation, and the networks that believe in killing, bombing and targeting innocents.” On the other hand, Turkey has repeatedly attempted to play a mediating role in dealing with Iraq violence. Unfortunately, the violence will not cease until Sunni leaders are given power and recognition in Iraq.

Will US Leave Iraq On Time?

Genereal Raymond Odierno, who heads American forces in Iraq insists that overall violence in the country had dramatically declined from levels that were common a few years ago. But, he admitted there “are still some elements” in Iraq who are committed to violence and disruption of the government. When questioned as to the need for a continued American presence in the country, he responded: “if we believe we ned troops to maintain a presence in some of the cities, we’ll recommend that, but ultimately, it will be a decision of Prime Minister Maliki.” However he does not see any need to alter current programs in operation.

General Odierno may be accurate in one sense by claiming the ultimate decision as to whether American troops remain is up to Prime Minister Maliki, but the real decision rests in the hands of President Obama.

Plots And Secrecy In Iraq

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.

FREE SHOELESS MUNTAZAR AL-ZAIDI!

Shoe stores throughout the world are hanging shoes in their windows as a show of support for the hero of all shoes, Muntazar al-Zaidi. Thousands of men in Iraq have taken off their shoes and are shoeless at work in order to make known their praise for the pride of Iraq, the man who launched two shoes whose thud against the wall instead of into an empty piece of human bone has become the sound of hope to a people who have suffered due to the mad invasion of their land by war criminal, George Bush. Actually, no one wants the president to experience any physical harm, the emotional damage to whatever is left of his sense of human decency is sufficient punishment.

Dargham al-Zaidi, brother of the Iraq right armed pitcher, claims Muntazar was beaten up when dragged away by Iraq police and is in such bad physical condition the government fears his appearance will create a storm of protest. The speaker of the parliament supposedly has resigned over the issue and the Maliki government faces a dilemma. If they produce a physically injured man it might spark enormous demonstrations that could over throw Maliki, if they do nothing, it only sparks more stories about brutality.

Ironically, two Bush ducks have damaged the situation in Iraq as much as he famous ducking of the issue regarding WMD that never existed.

PM Maliki Blasts US Military Commander

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki blasted the American military commander in Iraq for some recent comments in which he said Iran was engaged in a campaign to bribe Iraqi lawmakers to vote against a security agreement that was being negotiated between Iraq and the United States. “The American commander has risked his position when he spoke in this tone and has regrettably complicated relations.” Maliki referred to the US general as “good and kind” but was infuriated an American was interfering in the internal affairs of another nation. General Ray Odierno is undoubtedly reflecting the views of President Bush and the State Department.

Many current Iraqi leaders spent time in Iran when they were in exile due to fear of being killed by Saddam Hussein. They share the Shiite religion and have many other commonalities. Ordierno admitted he had no definitive proof of his charge but insisted “there are many intelligence reports” about Iranian bribes to Iraqi politicians.

There are times when silence is golden. If America has proof of the bribery, the first place to go is the office of the prime minister.

Al-Qaeda Foes Now Foes Of Iraq Government

There has been a great deal of boasting by John McCain and the Bush administration regarding the “success” of the surge, but less attention is being paid to the prospect of a renewed outbreak of violence due to anger on the part of Sunni members of the Awakening Councils who played a key role in the surge. Many Sunni Arabs who fought against al-Qaeda say their future is bleak because of refusal by the Maliki government to offer them positions either in the Iraqi military or police. Abdullah Al-Samarraie told reporters he has submitted dozens of applications without any response to his request to serve the Iraqi government in their fight against extremism.

Instead of rewarding those who fought, the Maliki government is disbanding the Awakening Councils. Sunnis who fought against al-Qaeda are both being disarmed and made jobless. The Iraq government regards them as enemies of the state not allies in the fight against extremism. Can we expect these Sunnis will one day resort to violence against the government which has treated them in violent ways?

Iraq Cleric Al Sadr Urges No Agreement With USA

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.