Iraq Political Quagmire following Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Appointment

November 21, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

Iraqi Parliament reportedly commenced its fractured session on November 11, 2010 with Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki appointed for the second term against the electoral mandate.

The Parliamentary ominous beginning resulting in a walkout by the secular leader Ayad Allawi and other political party members disappointed with the Maliki government default on a range of issues is indicative of the so-called agreement notably imposed upon the Iraqi people represented by the elected officials rather than allowing the democratic course to choose a leadership capable of governing a diverse state exhausted from wars and sectarian violence.

The Iraqi election held in March 2010 yielded a narrow victory for the secular Shia leader Ayad Allawi political party unified with the Sunni, Kurdish, Assyrian and other minorities in the country.

However, the reports confirmed that the incumbent Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki was nominated as the head of the state with the blessings from the United States administration and not from Iran as predicted.

According to the news reports –

“Mr. Allawi’s walkout occurred even as Obama administration officials praised the deal in a conference call with reporters. Two American officials later played down the walkout, saying that Mr. Allawi’s bloc remained committed to the agreement, despite what one of the officials called a “hiccup.”

For better or worse, the agreement reflected the still-potent American influence here, despite assertions by some that the United States was losing sway to Iran.

When the leaders met on Wednesday night to broker the agreement — however tenuous it seemed — it was the American ambassador, James F. Jeffrey, who was in the room, not the one from Iran, according to Antony J. Blinken, the national security adviser to Mr. Biden.”

Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki Shia centric party alliance with anti-American cleric Muqtadā al-Ṣadr currently a resident in Iran was not approved in the Iraqi political circle most importantly on the streets of Baghdad and across Iraq –

Due to Prime Minister Maliki led Shia government’s poor track record against the minorities especially the Sunni population contributing to insurgency that has claimed thousands of innocent Iraqi lives until now.

Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki is the leader of the Islamic Dawa Party – stated as a Shia political party sworn to build an Islamic State in Iraq and combat secularism.

Although the party is known to have strong ties with the Iranian theocratic leadership – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and believed to receive financial assistance to date, it could not win in March 2010 democratic electoral process.

The Iranian ally and anti-American cleric Muqtadā al-Ṣadr co-operation with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki did not strengthen the political representation in Iraqi Parliament with qualified concerns about the Iraqi leadership ability to maintain law and order, achieve legislative victories or promoting solidarity in national interest.

It was evident during the Parliamentary vote for Kurdish President Jalal Talabani to serve the second term.

In a 325 member Iraqi Parliament, the legislative impasse apparently ended with a simple majority of 195 votes for it failed to secure the two thirds majority – attributed to the discord between Prime Minister Maliki and other political factions.

As for the democratically elected non-sectarian Shia leader Ayad Allawi with strong Sunni and other demographic votes – the leader is eliminated and not even considered for any worthy position by the Maliki administration thereby explicitly rejecting the electorate will.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki characterized as ‘dour and divisive’ leader lacking voter confidence and political support across the nation is appointed for the second term reflecting the U.S. foreign policy contradictory to the democratic reality in a war torn nation.

Power politics is the contemporary trend displayed through interventional tactics even if it proved detrimental to the vast majority struggling to emerge from the ravaged war and incessant suicide bombings.

The Iraqi situation is best summarized as the fragile democracy assigned to the republic opposed political leadership with a doomed forecast facilitating the never ending occupation to curb the inevitable sectarian tensions not to mention the regional threat from the incumbent’s formidable partnership with Iranian cleric rule.

But the euphoria on the status quo is an irony.

Antony J. Blinken, the national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden.

“The result — an inclusive government, all blocs in and a redistribution of power — was exactly what the Iranians didn’t want,” Mr. Blinken said in a telephone interview.”

People in Iraq have a responsibility to unanimously decline the foreign power intrusion in national politics and exercise the democratic right to be governed by the unifying and not polarizing leadership.

Iraqi population could change the present political dilemma by enforcing the electoral victory declaring the secular coalition to power.

The Iraqi electorates’ verdict in March 2010 was loud and clear denying Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki opportunity to derail progress, prolong U.S. occupation and revive Iranian instigated militancy – essentially resisting the counterproductive domestic and international policies implemented under Maliki leadership with foreign coercion.

Iraq is a sovereign nation and at liberty to determine the political future with fair representation that guarantees peace, economic prosperity and social equality for all.

Any political party refusal to accommodate the national requirements and address issues effectively benefiting the entire nation is a serious challenge to a democracy.

Considering the bloodshed and over a million Iraqi civilian lives lost since invasion, every Iraqi citizen is obliged to protect their individual freedom by working together as one national force regardless of the religious denomination and identity.

Iraq has tremendous potential to deal with crisis provided the central leadership is unanimously recognized and accepted as the trustworthy governing authority.

The minority skepticism and fear from the political bias could lead to perpetual sectarian conflicts depriving the majority a peaceful existence.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki might be the head of the state but the legitimacy is arguably at stake based on the political fragmentation and public disapproval in the government formation.

Poignantly, the anti-American cleric Muqtadā al-Ṣadr response following the U.S.
involvement in the political decision and effort to encourage Maliki leadership in severing affiliation with Sadr movement could lead to the merger collapse.

The similarities between Iraq and Afghanistan with the foreign troops presence, training the police and the armed personnel for security, entrusting power to unpopular leadership, political uncertainties…cannot be ignored.

Hence the Iraqi non-sectarian coalition is the only reliable power to govern the state traumatized by the sectarian warfare, carnage and destruction in the absence of secular leadership.

Peace and political stability to the people of Iraq.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant


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