Shout-out to sponsors, thanks mods, and Poppy, who is downtown taking care of some business.
News of the day: Wow, wow, wow. The last 48 hrs is just crammed with news. The blog is full and was posted at 5:00 AM and all the news everybody is just finding out was posted on the blog that early.
Ton of good stuff - be sure you check out the chat comments. Really I should be more direct. I guess I'll put more of my own commentary... I don't view all that stuff about Maliki being up in Russia as being all that bad. He has apparently seen something in the water that caused him to head to Russia and attempt to develop an alliance with Russia and dangle that oil carrot there to see if they would bite [oil carrot? yuck]. Maybe to buy weapons from them? I think he saw something in the water he didn't like and he's doing rhetoric that he's gonna form a majority govt and go to Russia and get some weapons. Nothing to be alarmed at. What caused him to do that? He has seen something in the political waters that caused him to do that. Something had him spooked enough, and I believe it was a coalition organized against him. I think if he intends to not play ball with the partnership govt then everyone else getting on the same page looks very damaging to him. Will that happen? It's still a little early to tell. His going to Russia on Monday and throwing those threats around is not bad at all. It won't even slow things down much at all.
Going back to yesterday's blog... The biggest negative thing was that Maliki was talking about not forming a majority govt and headed to Russia and I think in the long run that won't be bad at all.
A couple of great pieces in yesterday's blog - a BBC podcast about Iraq/Kurdistan oil relations, which is a fabulous listen. It kinda gives you a central govt spin on things. It gives a peek into what we are up against. The Kurds are on board. I think this will work out in the end.
Also a very long interview with Allawi, which kinda gives a feel for where they are headed. I think if Maliki doesn't play ball, they have in place what they need to take him out. One roadblock is the Federal courts law, which they are working on right now, and also they will probably do a dry run in Parliament with interrogating this Minister of Education as a test case. That's the holdup with Maliki.
It's possible based on today's news... Remember I said yesterday the only three components left are Maliki, Allawi, and Barzani. Talabani has met with everyone else. There's an article out today that they are going to implement Erbil rigorously. They want to get this done as quickly as possible, but I'm almost possible they will want part of the Erbil agreement to be retracted. Everyone was looking for Allawi, but the guy he really needed to meet with was Maliki first. He needs Maliki to sign off first. First thing out in the news this morning is that Maliki and Talabani have already met today. Biggest news of the month.
There was an article that came out early today from the CBI chairman that the CBI had managed to control the exchange rate at $1.19. There is a lot of hype about this article, but at this point I think this is a translation issue (comma vs.period) which would make it 1190. We don't need to get stirred up by the hype. I could be wrong but we don't need to get stirred up about that, but we'll keep an eye on it.
Dr. Qusay al-Suhail chaired a very successful meeting with the oil ministers to discuss the HCL law, and this is an interesting character to be heading up that debate, because this is the guy who might be the darkhorse candidate to replace Maliki. He is a Sadrist. Also note that Talabani had a meeting with him yesterday about the national meeting, and make note that Talabani and Malike had a meeting today, and the timing is interesting. And it is interesting that al-Suhail gets as much airplay with Talabani - the fact that he also chairs the HCL meeting. The Kurdistan Alliance is saying that the SLC is just making hollow threats. They can't form a majority govt.
Al- Iraqiya is calling for Talabani to speed up efforts to hold this national meeting, but the critical meeting was Maliki and Talabani to see what Maliki is willing to give up, before he could offer anything to Allawi and Barzani in their meetings. We will see "soon" if everybody is going to do what they said they would do to have the national meeting. Looks pretty good to me. They are under some serious pressure to get this done, given the impending possible administration change in Washington. I'll talk about this one more time. At some point, I made an assessment that is being affirmed by both Liberals and Conservatives that our foreign policy is a shambles, and Iraq knows it. It is all about votes. So lets make it about votes. Get out there and vote. They know that a different administration will have a different foreign policy and will not let Maliki run wild like he has. They are going to put a leash on him.
Those are my thoughts. The big news is the meeting with Maliki and Talabani. Lets keep our eyes on the very near future and not get caught up in the hype. All these meetings are great news.
I appreciate everyone tuning in. We will bring more updates when we have them. Poppy says get your bags packed - it's coming soon. If this plays out like it looks like it will play out, we are coming to a fork in the road very very soon. Have a great rest of the day!
Last edited by TNvolunteer; 10-04-2012 at 10:09 PM.