Monday, September 03, 2007

Bold-face names, updated

Prime Minister Maliki announced at a press conference yesterday that Judge Radhi al-Radhi, head of the Commission on Public Integrity, had fled Iraq. [But Al-Radhi responded angrily from the US, where he said he is attending an international gathering of anti-corruption officials, and will return to Iraq later this month]. Maliki added he was surprised to learn that the Judge had been able to leave the country, because his name was on a list of those barred from leaving the country. [Al-Radhi said there is no such order]. Maliki said his administration had been about to request Parliament officially withdraw its confidence in the Judge, in preparation for firing him and charging him in court with a "group of charges." The Al-Hayat reporter notes this "group of charges" emanates from Parliament, which set up a commission antagonistic to Al-Radhi's. The reporter refers to a report by the US Embassy (the same one outlined in a recent article in The Nation), criticising the Maliki government for endemic corruption; for blocking of Al-Radhi's investigations into its political allies; and for cutting off its budgetary funds. The report said Al-Radhi has been object of many death-threats. What this Al-Hayat article makes clear is that Maliki himself has been himself on the side of those trying to shut Al-Radhi down, and is now expressing his disappointment that he was able to flee the country. [But Al-Radhi's denial suggests this was more like wishful thinking on Maliki's part]. The Embassy report had urged the US government to give him more support. Al Hayat

Ahmed Chalabi gave a talk in London on Saturday to a group of Iraqi academics, and these are some of the things he said:

(1) In spite of media reports about a draft law revising the De-Baathification Law being presented to Parliament, Chalabi said there is no such draft before Parliament, and he implied there won't be. He defended the existing law, which he said has had the beneficent effect of preventing collective reprisals against the Baathists. And he criticized proposed amendments on the basis that they would permit senior people to be appointed to posts similar to those in which they have already failed once; and on the basis it would exempt from legal sanctions persons who aren't charged within a 60 day period. The gist of this is that Chalabi, who remins head of the De-Baathification Commission, still stands foursquare against any changes in the existing law or procedures.

(2) Chalabi said the US has armed 12,000 tribal people in the areas surrounding Baghdad, and put them under the command of persons who formerly were officers in Saddam's Republican Guards, something that equates to a division in any country's armed forces, and this in spite of the opposition of the government of Iraq. Chalabi said the US is doing this out of concern for "finding a balance", meaning between Shia and Sunni, in other words denying or forgetting the US talking point to the effect this isn't sectarian but rather is directed against AlQaeda. Al Hayat

Ayad Allawi, via another of his many spokespersons, has let the newspaper Azzaman know that he is in detailed talks with the Sadrist current on issues connected with forming a new government, but these talks have been slowed down a little on account of the Karbala problems. The spokesperson confirmed an earlier report of Allawi's talks with the big Kurdish parties in Sulaimaniya, and said Allawi's project of a "national and liberal" government met with a warm welcome from the Kurdish parties. Azzaman


Anonymous Alamet said...

I'd come across al-Radi's refutal on Aswat yesterday, but didn't know the backstory...

Badger, last week there was a highly dubious Times report, Allawi Gets a Ba'athist Endorsement. Has there been a response from the Baath on that?

(p.s. Your pledge on the front page is much appreciated!)

9:43 AM  
Blogger badger said...

Thanks for the heads-up on al-Radi, I updated the post. On that dubious Time magazine report, which cited someone just by his pseudonym without even saying where they dug him up, I don't know whether any Baath people bothered to grace that with a rebuttal. However, there is a an article on the Baath site, that takes the trouble to rebut something that appeared on a site they refer to as al-malaf (unfortunately there are several similarly-named sites, and this doesn't have a date, so I haven't located it), in any event the gist of the exchange is this: Malaf quoted a Baath person who claimed The Izzat Al-Douri wing of the party was splitting from AQ, taking up arms against AQ, and preparing to have discussions with the occupation (i.e., prior to commitments for withdrawal). The Malaf piece says the Izzat wing is doing this to counter the influence of the Yunis al-Ahmed wing, which is the more negotiation-oriented, (or betrayers of the resistance, the loyalists will say). Al-Moharer says this accusation (the charge that the Izzat wing is also in effect caving in) is slander designed to split the resistance. So I guess the point is that both the Allawi machine and AQ are interested in making it appear that the Baath loyalists are caving in. Allawi because it makes him look popular, and AQ to smear those who, since they are "not with them they are against them", so to speak.

10:54 AM  
Blogger badger said...

Actually there is a specific Baath denial of the Time story; it is referenced in an Uruknet item today (Sept 5) and the links from there.

7:56 AM  

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