Friday, July 25, 2008

Hakim's group worries that the Kurds might bolt

AlHayat sums up the crisis this way:

(1) The cornerstone of the UIA-Kurdish governing alliance has been the agreement about mutual solidarity respecting the "federalist" regional ambitions: The Kurdish project in the north, and the nine-governate Shiite super-region in the Center and South.

(2) There was an agreement among party leaders that would have continued and confirmed that agreement in the Kirkuk vote (via "rejection of the bill" meaning rejection of the interim partition of Kirkuk for provincial-voting purposes).

(3) The purpose of the secret vote was to enable rank-and-file defections from that agreement, among members of various of the Shiite parties that have been and are part of the governing coalition.

(4) The Kurdish-party leadership says what happened was a rejection of the whole basis and foundation of national reconciliation (meaning they see national reconciliation as something built on this inter-bloc agreement). Mutual solidarity respecting the two "federalist region" projects is something the Kurdish parties see as essential to the whole Iraqi political process.

(5) Worried about the risk of the Kurdish parties bolting from the governing coalition, one of the two vice presidents, Adel AbdulMahdi (of the Supreme Council), joined with Talabani in vetoing the law (even though Talabani's veto alone would have had the same legal effect), something the reporter describes as being "in the context of trying to reassure the Kurds as to the future of their strategic political alliance with the Shiite [parties]".

The point that is probably least-well understood by consumers of the corporate media and other coverage of Iraq is point #4. AlHayat:
The statement said that Talabani and AbdulMahdi "agreed officially on the veto of the law, because it includes constitutional and procedural violations which ruin the atmosphere of national consensus, and which blow apart the initiatives upon which the political process has been based."...

The UIA held a meeting led by Abdulaziz al-Hakim which...advised the Presidential Council to reconsider [the Kirkuk issue] in a way that is consonant with the constitution and with the national agreements.

This came after statements by Kurdish leaders which implicitly doubted the reliability of their alliance with the UIA on account of the clear direction of some of the Shiite deputies in taking positions abandoning the principles of the Shiite-Kurd alliance signed in 2006, and the "four-party alliance" set in mid-2007.
The reason the point isn't well-understood is that the two-party nature of this agreement is in blatant conflict with the US government/media PR position to the effect it has been supporting the Iraqi political process as a national project, not a Kurdish/SupremeCouncil one.


Blogger Shirin said...

The Kurds also changed the demographic balance in Kirkuk by throwing out non-Kurds, and bringing in Kurds to take their places, not to mention moving Kurds from other areas and setting up tent cities for them on the outskirts of Kirkuk.

And throughout Kurdistan they used intimidation and other means to block non-Kurds, such as Assyrians and Chaldeans, from voting at all. Complaints from the Assyrian community fell on deaf ears.

5:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks yet again for your precious info-work, Badger - and thanks also to other posters on this blog! Not a squeak out of the usual MSM-culprits on all this - so your post has yet again been cross-posted by me as micro-contribution to the diffusion of genuine info on the internet.

4:15 PM  

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