Iraq: Maliki's takeover of power threatens a new civil war

International Institute for Strategic Studies - London

Ended when the U.S. military presence in Iraq in December 2011, claimed that Washington and Baghdad that Iraq is a stable, democratic and viable. However, this seems doubtful as the Nuri al-Maliki, the prime minister since 2006, has continued in his quest to dominate the state and to use his power to break the opposition to his rule. And remove him to the regular senior politicians from power highlights the failure of the 2010 elections to get to a representative government, and leave Iraq vulnerable to a state of weakness in front of high sectarian tension and new civil war.

On December 15, 2011, was attended by U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ceremony at Baghdad International Airport to celebrate the departure of U.S. forces after more than eight years of the United States-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein. The Status of Forces Agreement stipulates that occurred in 2008 that all U.S. troops leave Iraq by the end of 2011. This means that since the beginning of 2012, Iraq is exercising its national sovereignty of the new full.

Said Anthony Blakn national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, in March: "Iraq today is less violent and more democratic, more prosperous than it was ... at any time in its modern history." And superficial overview of the history of contemporary Iraqi will support that optimism. Since 2003, Iraq held three successful national elections, with the transfer of power from Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, Ibrahim al-Jaafari to the year 2005, and from him to al-Maliki in 2006. As part of Maliki's second period in 2010, after elections in March which did not produce a decisive result. The negotiations produced a peaceful multilateral agreement in Irbil in November 2010, and a deal to participate in the complex power and which divided the portfolios among the many parties that have done well in elections, and restricted the authority of al-Maliki.

However, only N appeared rapidly confirm the evidence from more pessimistic analyzes.On the evening to celebrate the departure of Panetta, took the armor and Iraqi soldiers led by Ahmad Ibn al-Maliki houses Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, and Finance Minister Rafie al-Issawi, and Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq. All three leading members of the Iraqi List, which won two seats won by more than a list of state law, headed by Nouri al-Maliki in the elections. And forced the troops of the three figures on the temporary house arrest. And after the guards arrested three al-Hashemi, although allowing the vice president to leave Baghdad to Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish region.After four days in custody, the three guards appeared on national television and admitted that Hashemi had been paid to them to implement a series of assassinations and bomb attacks. Eliminating the time and issued a warrant against al-Hashemi, and also cited confessions three other policemen from the city of Fallujah. All of which claim that the Vice President and al-Issawi and members of the senior leaders in their party running the death squads called "Hamas Iraq" in the city since 2005.

However, it has quickly turned doubts about the validity of confessions and political motives have emerged significantly. Included involvement in the torture of the guards, while the information was provided from the prison to the British newspaper The Guardian, and explained how it was to extract confessions, describing methods of torture they have suffered. On 15 March, and increased the credibility of the accusations of torture when he died, one of the guards at the prison and his name is Prince Srabat Alaptawi Zidane. Government officials claimed that he died after suffering from kidney failure, but his body images showed clear evidence of the brutal treatment they have suffered.

The rule of one man

Many have warned Iraqi political leaders and all participants in the Convention on Arbil, since then, looking at him with dictatorial ambitions clear to the owners. The farther the Deputy Prime Minister and banned from attending meetings of the ministry after he said that Maliki was "worse than Saddam Hussein." And books by former Prime Minister Allawi and President of the Iraqi list in the Washington Times that Iraq is sliding again rule with a new one-man Grab the grave, which will lead inevitably to dictatorship full.Massoud Barzani told the Kurdish region's president when he was on a visit to Washington, his hosts: "Iraq faces a real problem ... It is a future direction of the rule of one man."

The concern comes from the ambitions of al-Maliki dictatorship, focusing on how they were undermining the agreement Arbil. The agreement means the development of specific restrictions by allowing the appointment of the Iraqi defense and interior ministers. However, after the rejection of candidates submitted repeatedly by al-Maliki in June 2011, has appointed a consultant and is closely related to Faleh Al-Fayad, effective as a minister for national security. In the month of August, pick up the Culture Minister Saadoun Dulaimi, acting as secretary of defense, and kept to himself as Minister of the Interior by proxy. It is through the appointment of weak politicians or people directly associated with himself acting as ministers, al-Maliki has retained control of the army, police and intelligence services. Has successfully foiled al-Maliki agreement Erbil and parliamentary ratification of the constitutional requirement on the portfolios. Whereas the Convention on the Arbil have no legal or constitutional authority, the only penalty faced by al-Maliki because of the prejudice is a vote of no confidence in parliament.Commented parliamentary large when asked about this option: "If we move towards a vote of no confidence do you think that Maliki Sovh allows access to the MPs to parliament and if Asttaao ​​do that, do you think the fact that he Salokhz any guidance?