Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Monday, December 11, 2006

New Alliance=New Government

Well-placed source: "SCIRI (Hakim), Da’awa Party (Ja’afari), KDP (Barzani), PUK (Talabani) and Islamic Party (Hashemi) are forming a new political alliance under American auspices. The Sadrists, Adnan Duleimi, Allawi and Saleh al-Mutlaq are out of the picture. Maliki will remain Prime Minister. Cabinet reshuffle will involve half the government’s portfolios. Changes will occur by early January.

This new cabinet will be able to burn through $61 billion (Iraqi revenues) for FY 2007.

They have enough parliamentary seats to pull it off. Anyone putting up a fight will be crushed. They will start by going after the Sadrists who have been excommunicated by Muqtada. Then they’ll execute Saddam and go after the Ba’athists. More de-Ba’athification: For every militia man thrown out of the security services, a Ba’athist will be expelled too.

That’s the plan. Stay tuned. "

This is essentially what is being discussed these days by the big boys. I like this plan.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I also like the jist of the plan if it should be put into action. However, as I have mentioned before, I am skeptical of the implications of Hashimi and co. participating.

In any case, I ran across this AP article which seems to suggest otherwise. The article suggests that Hakim may team up with Hashimi and the Kurdish blocs to try and oust Maliki. It also quotes a source close to Maliki who acknowledges such a move is occuring. I'm just wondering what you make of this. Here's the link: http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/12/11/iraq.politics.ap/

Also, I read your thoughtful analysis in the 'Go Smart...' comments section regarding the participation of the Sunni parties.

While it makes sense, in theory, that the Sunni Arab parties would cooperate with the Americans/Shia in ridding themselves of the terrorists in their areas, I question whether such an alliance would hold in the long term.

I personally think many Sunni Arabs would rather put up with these al Qaeda affiliated terrorists rather than succumb to the inevitable Shia/Kurdish domination. It may be that even if there are conflicts within the Sunni Arab community (jihadists vs. secularists), those conflicts may play out, but they may also end up taking backstage to a percieved bigger threat (eg Shias).

I do hope that the mainstream Sunni Arab leadership does end up turning against the terrorists within their community, however I'm afraid that such a scenario seems unlikely in this crucial time period, although as you pointed out, it may be possible in the long term.


2:24 PM, December 11, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh yeah de baathification. now theres a process with a history of great success.

I heard another great idea the other day: getting the hell out of Iraq

thumbs down on the new US backed Alliance. Iraqis should follow hezbollahs lead

4:08 PM, December 11, 2006

Blogger Nibras Kazimi نبراس الكاظمي said...

Hi yessir,

Tariq al-Hashemi is the only credible Sunni Arab partner that the Shias and Kurds can work with. The Islamic Party was a member of the Governing Council (Muhsin Abdel-Hamid) and spawned the likes of Hachim al-Hassani. Al-Hashemi represents the more hardline element of the party. I think we've reached the critical point whereby most Sunnis (leadership and lay persons) will make amends with reality: they can't resurrect the past and power must be shared. They need to move beyond Saddam/Ba'ath and the jihadists in order to have a future. I think most of them have come to realize that.

I saw the AP story several hours after I posted my 'hot tip.' I'd like to get credit for the scoop...even if the AP says I got it wrong on Maliki ;)

But I think my information is more accurate. Maliki will remain PM. I had forgotten about Fadhila; I think they will also be out of the picture.



PS: here's the AP story in full:

Iraqi VP criticizes nation's security

Mon Dec 11, 7:00 PM ET

Iraq's Sunni vice president said he plans to tell President Bush of his "dismay" over the Shiite-led government's handling of security during their meeting Tuesday in the White House.

Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi accused the government of not doing enough to deal with militia attacks and said he was especially concerned about Baghdad, where Sunni-Shiite violence has flared in several neighborhoods in recent days.

"Slow and inadequate action is a problem that we have been facing with this government since it was formed," al-Hashemi said Monday in an interview with Baghdad TV, the mouthpiece of his Iraqi Islamic Party.

Al-Hashemi, one of two vice presidents, has been a sharp critic of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government. He has recently been joined by senior Kurdish and Shiite politicians, some from within the ruling coalition, in what is by far the most intense anti-government campaign since al-Maliki took office in May.

With 30 lawmakers and five cabinet ministers loyal to anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr boycotting the government and parliament for nearly two weeks, Parliament Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani added to al-Maliki's troubles on Monday.

A Sunni Arab and a sharp government critic, al-Mashhadani suspended his membership in a top-level state policy council. He walked out from a council meeting Monday after a heated argument with President Jalal Talabani over the Iraq Study Group report, according to the speaker's spokesman, Mohannad Abdul-Jabar. The specifics of their disagreement was not disclosed.

"This government cannot continue in office if its failure to deal with problems continue," prominent Kurdish legislator Mahmoud Othman said in an interview. "The prime minister keeps saying that his hands are tied. If this is the case, then he should resign."

White House spokesman Tony Snow said Monday that no plans were afoot to replace al-Maliki, whose time in office has been defined by a surge in sectarian violence and lack of progress in improving services, curbing soaring unemployment and crime.

"There is no move afoot to dump him," said Snow. "And, furthermore, last week's meetings with Mr. al-Hakim were designed to bolster the Maliki government by putting together a group of moderates — the meeting was designed to do that."

Bush met with senior Shiite politician Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim in Washington on Dec. 4, four days after the president held talks with al-Maliki in Amman, Jordan. Al-Hashemi was originally scheduled to go to the White House next month but he unexpectedly left for Washington on Sunday.

The boycott by the Sadrists is a protest against the al-Maliki-Bush meeting. The Sadrists have said they would return only after the announcement of a timetable for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq. Deepening al-Maliki's predicament, al-Sadr himself made a scathing attack against the government Sunday.

Al-Hashemi and al-Hakim have been linked to behind-the-scenes efforts by al-Maliki's main coalition partners to form a new parliamentary bloc that would replace the alliance now supporting the government, according to Omar Abdul-Sattar of the Iraqi Islamic Party and Hameed Maalah of al-Hakim's Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, known as SCIRI.

Iraq's constitution stipulates that the largest bloc in parliament receives a mandate from the president to form a government. The lawmakers have said the proposed bloc would be made up of SCIRI, Iraq's two major Kurdish parties, al-Hashemi's Islamic party and independents.

It would have enough support in the 275-seat parliament to topple the government, they said. Abdul-Sattar said the new bloc could be formed by early next year.

They said the door would be open for al-Maliki's Dawa party and Fadhila, another Shiite party, to join the proposed bloc — but not supporters of al-Sadr, whose lawmakers helped the prime minister secure his job last spring. Radical Sunnis, they added, would also be kept out.

Bush expressed his confidence in al-Maliki after their Jordan meeting, but said four days later that he was not happy with the pace of efforts to stop Iraq's violence.

A confidential White House memo leaked last month questioned al-Maliki's ability to deal with Iraq's violence, and the Iraq Study Group report, prepared by a bipartisan commission, recommended that Washington should reduce military and political support to his government if it fails to make progress in curbing the violence.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

7:45 PM, December 11, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tariq al-Hashemi is the only credible Sunni Arab partner?

The pickins are very very slim amoung the Shia for what one would call credible partners. Almost all Iraqi politicians are warlords are snakes ready to kill thousands of their followers to score a few political points.

8:45 PM, December 11, 2006

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