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*** Current News ***
INA member warns from attempt of conducting armed coup
Baghdad (AIN) –Member of the Iraqi National Alliance warned from the attempt of conducting an armed coup in Iraq.
He stated to All Iraq News Agency (AIN) “It is not ruled out to witness a coup as we see the escalation of the political crisis especially if we consider the history of Iraq that used to topple regimes by force.”
“Iraq is still under the 7th chapter of UN’s Charter and the decisions of the UN Security Council is still legitimate in approving the multi-national forces to come back to Iraq to conduct the change,” he added.
“The international community keeps Iraq under the 7th Chapter to be able to come to Iraq any time they wish,” he concluded.
Amazingly curious that the NA, SLC, etc, etc – have been “calling” and “calling” to have Iraq prematurely removed from CH7 sanctions – but when it suits them, they are only too happy to invoke it’s protections. For instance, if the opposition decides to attempt a coup…they are saying the UN will just step back in and take over.
Meeting between the delegations of Peshmerga Ministry, Federal Ministry of Defense starts.
Arbil / NINA /–Started this afternoon in the city of Arbil capital of Kurdistan province negotiations between Kurdish delegation of Peshmerga Ministry and the Federal Ministry of Defense.
The Federal Government delegation arrived to Arbil earlier in the day.
This is an interesting set of Meetings – this is more about borders and influence than the “powersharing” among top gov’t officials. Once this gets hammered out – things should move more freely. Let’s hope it is soon.
Nijaifi calls to hold exceptional session for parliament next Sunday to discuss current crisis
A statement by the media office of the Parliament cited “Nijaifi called to hold an exceptional session on next Sunday morning to discuss the current crisis.”
“Nijaifi called MPs to attend the session to practice their role in settling the crisis to avoid its consequences,” the statement concluded.
I don’t know that I would put a lot of weight on this news. However, I suspect a deal is already done or is very near done and they are putting this type of “post-deal pressure” on because everyone knows what the odds of Maliki actually doing a deal he has signed off on.
US Support for Dictatorship in Iraq Sowing Future Chaos
John Glaser, December 31, 2012
The state structures built in Iraq by the US military occupation are now the depraved tools of repression. First among these tools is the US-trained and equipped Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF). By the time Washington was preparing to draw down forces in Iraq, writes Robert Tollast in The National Interest, “elements of ISOF were already being used as a private army by Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.”
And now, with Maliki having secured essentially dictatorial power in Iraq since the US withdrawal, not only is the continuing US support and training for Maliki’s private army of sectarian thugs an essential tool in terrorizing innocent Iraqis, but it is bolstering al-Qaeda-linked groups and stoking sectarian tensions that could lead to civil war.
“Blame here can only go to Maliki,” writes Tollast, who “controls ISOF through the Counterterrorism Bureau, which has proved a useful tool for crushing dissent” and has been “implicated in the intimidation, arrest and even murder of Sunni politicians and opposition figures.”
The Obama administration has kept largely quiet about Maliki’s behavior, aside from about $2 billion in annual aid and tens of billions in military assistance. While this keeps the halls of power in Washington and the oil corporations happy, even the best case scenarios are damning, for Iraqi citizens as well as the geopolitics of the region.
“Maliki is heading towards an incredibly destructive dictatorship, and it looks to me as though the Obama administration is waving him across the finishing line,” Toby Dodge, an Iraq expert at the London School of Economics said earlier this year. “Meanwhile, the most likely outcomes, which are either dictatorship or civil war, would be catastrophic because Iraq sits between Iran and Syria.”
According to Tollast, the strength of al-Qaeda in Iraq has doubled over the past year. Instead of carrying counter-terrorism – “essentially the art of increasing political legitimacy, isolating terrorists from their support base and then eliminating them” – Maliki has been using his security forces in a way that undermines their political legitimacy and reinforces their support base. And as far as civil war goes: angered Kurds and Sunnis say their disenfranchisement has never been greater. This increases the chances more Iraqis will join the latent insurgency still underway there.
Lately, America really seems to have a knack for indirectly strengthening the terrorist groups they claim to fight against. And in their effort to continue propping up dictatorships throughout the Middle East, Washington is sowing deep resentment among the local populations, which ultimately feeds instability. And in the age of Arab uprisings against US-backed totalitarianism, Washington is plain old stupid to keep it up.
There have been a number of articles out lately that seem to support this point of view…as well as some “back channel sources” and possibly even a developing plan. While I have been pointing out these foreign policy shortcomings – it is possible there is a short term financial angle in the works – at the sacrifice of these long term US gains.
Here are some interesting Headlines…
Askari: Anbar demonstrations not serious
Typcial lame SLC response – minimize the rights and opinions of others.
Kurdish MP: Current demonstrations go beyond Issawi’s case
This situation is about to get serious – they put it off as long as possible – but we’re here now…
*** Unspin Zone *** Jan 2nd
BGG - This is an unbelievably good source of real Iraqi info. This is directly relative to the current state of Iraqi politics. Worth every second of the 24 mintues….(p.s. it sounds like a Dinar Updates highlight reel from the last 6 months)
Shias and Sunnis: Brothers or Blood Enemies?
In late 2011, after Iraqi police arrested more than 600 former Baathist officials in Tikrit, deputy intelligence minister Hussein Kamal Ali said: “The government has been watching these people for a long time. Ultimately, we learned that they were holding secret meetings and had ill intentions.”
He added that they had intended to stage a coup through a rebellion, with mass protests across the country immediately after the withdrawal of US troops.
That incident went largely unnoticed, but two years on I believe it deserves a second reading.
It was never proven if the Baathists had in fact planned — or had the means to – stage a coup. Perhaps it was only part of the paranoia that had gripped Iraq’s Shia leaders as the Americans were preparing to leave the country.
But such a coup might — and in my opinion should — take place sooner or later. That is because it is unlikely that the Sunnis will ever be able to hold power and rule Iraq again. A coup that could create an independent Sunni region will mean the partition of Iraq, which is the best solution for everyone.
The Sunnis of Iraq are fooling themselves if they think they can live happily and as equal citizens under a Shia government. The poverty, police persecution, torture and government neglect they are facing today is exactly the same as the Shias suffered under the Sunnis for decades.
I covered the Iraq war and the sectarian violence for six extensive years and there is no city, town or village to which I did not travel during that time. In the end, what I always knew and managed to prove was that there is no love lost between the Sunnis and Shias. The two sects are blood enemies: they are, and will always be, suspicious of each other.
Of course in public they say: “We are all brothers. There is no such thing as Shias and Sunnis. We have lived together for hundreds of years.” But those are just fancy words. The reality on the street — the Sunni car bombs in Shia markets, summary execution of Sunni civilians by Shia militias and piles of dead bodies I saw everyday in Baghdad — spoke the real truth.
It is true that before the US invasion Shias and Sunnis lived side-by-side and did business with each other in the markets. But it was Saddam Hussein’s iron fist that had kept a lid on their historical enmity. It was the fear of the dictator that kept them quiet, not a genuine and sincere tolerance.
Sunni and Shia clerics speak of brotherhood and coexistence on television. But it is a different story when they talk in the privacy of their homes. In the Sunni neighborhoods they would tell me, “The Shias are not human beings. They don’t deserve to live.” And in Shia neighborhoods they would say, “The Sunnis are all terrorists, Wahhabis, Baathists and torturers. They are getting a dose of their own medicine.”
I have had optimists point to a few cases of Shia-Sunni intermarriage and tell me: “But it is just a war between politicians. The ordinary people have no problem with each other.” To these optimists I would say that I have heard some of the deepest Shia-Sunni hatred from the ordinary people on the street. The torching of homes, the abductions and beheadings, were conducted by ordinary people against their own neighbors, not by aliens from another planet.
So these people should stop pretending that all is well and that they can live together in the same country again. They should scrap this meaningless pride in “the glorious and brave Iraq.” Iraq has only been glorious and brave for one side at the expense of the other.
The Shias waited for centuries to come to power in Iraq and they will probably remain there for centuries. So it is time the Sunnis took matters into their own hands and chose a different path.
I know they like to be on top and rule everyone else, but they have to be realistic and act rationally. Their best bet is to separate from Iraq and create their autonomous region or independent state and name it whatever they wish.
They should stage mass demonstrations, block the highways that connect Iraq to Syria and Jordan and cut all ties with Baghdad. Sunni soldiers and officers in the Iraqi army should desert with their guns and form their own armies in their respective provinces. Perhaps the former Baathists who were arrested two years ago were in fact cooking up something. If that is true, they should try again.
But unfortunately most of the Sunnis — their tribal leaders and their military people — just love when someone gives them guns and puts them in charge of an army unit. Saddam kept them quiet by giving them guns. The Americans turned them against al-Qaeda by giving them arms. And now, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is doing the same.
But the Sunnis must quit this old habit and act where their true interest lies. Baghdad needs these Sunni officers today, but might just as well arrest and throw them in jail tomorrow.
It is true that the Sunni provinces have no natural resources and no oil. But they have land, as well as great agricultural and tourism potential. They will have more than 20 Arab states by their side. Would they rather give up their dignity for a life in Iraq that will never be theirs again, and a regime that will always treat their most simple men all the way up to their vice president as terrorists?