Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Quick Reaction

I don't know how the U.S. papers are going to report this tomorrow morning, but what is clear is that as far as the Iraqi government (...after the late-night meeting here that brought together all the branches of the state) is concerned, the law must take its course. And as far as VP Biden is concerned, all he wanted to do in Baghdad was to express support for the Iraqi government during what the Iraqis are saying was a routine trip that was scheduled three weeks ago (i.e. before the crises).

So, all the needless nail-biting has come to this: the Appeals Committee will decide who get to run and who doesn't from the list of 511 'de-Baathified' candidates. Which is exactly what the legal mechanism was meant to do in the first place.

I think the U.S. government did the right thing here by dialing down their involvement from Biden's initial outbursts to a position that, to me, seems reasonable: to allow the Iraqis to sort this out through the legal mechanisms in place.

My hunch is that the INA scored a big win with this gambit at Maliki's expense, and I'd be very surprised if Saleh al-Mutlag is indeed barred from running.


Blogger Iraqi Mojo said...

Nibras, has Saleh al Mutlaq been accused of any crimes? What happened to the investigation of Dhafir al Ani? Was he not complicit in terrorism?

8:32 PM, January 24, 2010

Blogger Jason said...

I'm confused. Hard to understand how vetting huge numbers of candidates is consistent with democracy, or that it does not pose a huge danger to stability, even if it follows some internal "legal mechanism." Isn't this the same thing they do next door in Iran? At least I am relieved somewhat that you do not seem too concerned about it. I could use some reassurance about now.

6:56 AM, January 28, 2010

Blogger Jason said...

Hope your right. Sounds to me like the whole damn thing is falling apart and the U.S. should reassert control. Nine parties to be excluded? We didn't go to war to create another Iran! This is what we went there to change.

3:43 PM, January 28, 2010

Anonymous ECH said...

Pro-Iranian agents like Al-Lami know the best way to undermine democracy in Iraq is to foster hatred and play on people's fear and sectarianism which is exactly what this action did. It only helped the sectarian Sunni and Shia parties.

Zarqawi also understood as early as 2003 as shown in his letter to Bin Laden that Iraq's greatest weakness was their own hatred and fears about one another.

The Iranians are playing the same game as al-Qaeda just more subtly. It's called polarize, divide and conquer.

6:56 PM, January 28, 2010

Blogger Nate Rosenblatt said...


Former SAIS student who enjoyed your insights when you would visit. Any chance you could set up an RSS feed page for this blog?

Many thanks,


9:55 AM, February 01, 2010

Anonymous amagi said...


Do you see more concrete evidence of your hunch at this point? Media coverage is as bleak as ever and the election is only a little over a month away. I trust your analysis, but nevertheless I can't seem to stop biting my nails.

2:46 PM, February 02, 2010

Blogger Jason said...


Problem solved. Go Iraq!

12:11 PM, February 03, 2010

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