Tuesday, March 17, 2009


(See also this piece by LB at RoadstoIraq. What I have tried to do here is merely spell out what could well be an Iranian view and/or Daawa-party view of what the American administration is currently up to in Iraq.)

AlBayyana AlJadida, an Iraqi paper that supports the Daawa Party and Prime Minister Maliki, printed on its front page the other day a summary of what it describes as a plan
being prepared by the American administration with the cooperation of countries in the region neighboring Iraq including Saudi Arabia, aiming at the destruction and ending of the ideological Shiite government in Iraq.
The plan is described as having "several dimensions and scenarios":
First of all setting off a security crisis by means of a sudden increase in suicide operations, to bring down the Maliki government by portraying it as weak an ineffective in the face of the security challenges, and [by emphasizing the role of] Maliki as commander in chief of the armed forces and the person primarily responsible for the security portfolio, instigating the people against the government as a failure.

Secondly, working on spreading rumors against the Minister of Finance, Eng. Baqr Jabar Al-Zubaidi, laying on him responsibility for the budgetary errors, when in fact the person responsible for that is the Oil Minister, for his failure to increase production and delays in exports...

The third dimension [of this plan] is to emphasize by means of a media campaign that Maliki has in his cabinet ministers whom he cannot fire in spite of their involvement in corruption and the struggle for appointments, and also to work with separatist Kurdish elements to do the following:
And there is a list of five objectives, starting with securing the election of Iyad Al-Samarraie as president or speaker of Parliament in preparation for a non-confidence motion against Maliki; then setting off a major crisis with the Kurds via inflammatory statements by Barzani; and opening up a split between Maliki and Talabani on the question of the position of the Supreme Council, "in spite of the fact that [the Supreme Council] is considered a staunch ally of Maliki"; and then there is this:
(4) Reliance of certain parties including the Kurdish parties, the Islamic Party of Iraq and others, on the use of pressure to draw the Supreme Council into the arena of conflict against Maliki, where Maliki is intent on Constitutional changes to take away certain interests from the region, [even though] everyone knows that that clause of the Constitution was written in extremely delicate and complicated circumstances, and that its revision is absolutely necessary for the outlining of [any] promising new political process.

(5) Suggesting to the Americans and others that [the party of] Prime Minister Maliki and the Supreme Council are both ideological parties, and their agendas are linked to Iran--in spite of the clear nationalist direction of Prime Minister Maliki...and his clear national program since the "knights assault" [military campaign in Basra].
Such is the plan that this Daawa newspaper says the American administration is planning to implement with the cooperation of the Saudis and others: Security crisis (ramping up violence); political crisis (the no-confidence parliamentary route); and erosion of American support (by undermining Maliki's hard-won nationalst image).

It is worth noting that the Iranian Fars News Agency re-publishes this whole piece verbatim (with attribution to AlBayyana Al-Jadida), (suggesting that this might represent some version of an Iranian view of what Americans are planning).

In any case, there is a very clear practical recommendation at the end of this (both in the original and in the Fars News Agency publications), and it goes like this:
Reliable information confirms that the implementation of what is being planned by the Americans and regional countries will have detrimental effects on the internal situation in Iraq, unless the Supreme Council and Maliki and Talabani unite and send a message to everyone that this alliance is still in place, and that small blocs will not be able to have an effect on the political equation in Iraq.


Anonymous parvati_roma said...

Sheeshh! seldom seen anything quite that contorted - long-curved-multipronged-knives n' poisoned cuttlefish-ink dept - reminds me of some of dear ol' SISMI/SIFAR's more devious piloted-pseudoleak extravanganzas back here in Italy. Whole production looks way too complex n' non-binary to reflect an anglo-inspired concoction even on face-value, so at a guess I'd say Roads to Iraq's take is fairly accurate.

9:15 AM  
Anonymous parvati_roma said...

P.S. with that kind of document, no real need for the Americans and/or Iranians and/or Saudis to be actually plotting anything more devious/dramatic than usual at the time, or even for any one of them to believe any of the others - singly or jointly - are actually-plotting anything-more-devious/dramatic than usual at the time- maybe they are maybe they aren't but that doc. looks to me as though it's essentially internal-politics inspired, with the most likely object - as indicated by the final paragraph you highlighted - of fanning fears/nervousness/agitation in the hope of preventing the post-electoral political downsizing of al-Hakim/SCIRI-by-whatsoever-name and the more SCIRIform reaches of Dawa and erecting obstacles against Iraqi-nationalist-type alliances with... *ahem*.... less Fars-News-blessed "small groups"? With Talabani's recent position-statements in Turkey somehow factoring into its inspiration on the Kurdish side?

10:06 AM  
Blogger badger said...

Thanks for the Talabani link. It does look as if he is trying to help calm the situation and help avoid what the author of this AlBayyana alJadida piece is worrying about, or says he is worrying about.

The AlBayyana alJadida piece calls on Talabani and Hakim to stick with Maliki and not let the alliance be blown apart, and the author says: Here's how they're going to try to do that (security deterioration, parliamentary non-confidence, badmouthing us as corrupt and coddlers of separatists, etc).

What the author doesn't say is what the actual threat is supposed to be, after the hypothetical toppling of Maliki. This is where I think the story ties in with American pressure for what Maliki's people would see as some kind of excessive post-Maliki "re-Baathification". I think that's the fear that they're playing upon.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Alex said...

The AlBayyana alJadida article doesn't seem to me to have much to do with Iran, rather it is a piece warning about the possibility of American threats to Maliki.

Evidently, after all the US provocations of recent years, further US subversion is a real danger. But I think that the author might be exaggerating a bit. For two reasons:

1) Although the bombing of the Askariyya in Samarra in 2006 worked very well, subsequent provocations have been less successful. For example, the second Samarra bombing in 2007, and the campaign of bombing in Baghdad in November 2008, just before the signature of the SOFA/Withdrawal Agreement, had little effect. I have the feeling that the US has figured out that provocation doesn't work so well in Iraq any more.

2) With the Obama regime, and the economic problems in the West, I have the impression that the US determination to control Iraq has subsided.

The positive aspect about the article is the publicity for the idea that it is the US that is provoking sectarian conflict in Iraq. If Iraqis think that, then they are further on the road to rebuilding their country.

It is true that Maliki's life continues to be in danger. If the US wanted to get rid of him, it would be easier simply to assassinate him, deniably, of course. But would the successor be better? That's the question. It is not obvious.

I think Ambassador Crocker, who was responsible for the negotiation of the SOFA/Withdrawal Agreement, has convinced Obama of the reality of the situation in Iraq. That was the reason for the otherwise surprising declaration of intention in favour of the SOFA/Withdrawal Agreement in front of the Marines; and the saying noto the militarist ambitions of the generals.

3:13 PM  

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