Monday, July 07, 2008

Iraq, love it or leave it

I've seen no follow-up whatsoever to the recent tough-sounding statements by vice-president Adel AbdulMahdi (previous post), not even on his own site Nor have I seen any news about follow-up to the arrests in question (of the president of the Amara provincial council and other senior people), or any indication of renewed Sadrist complaints either. So I have no information or views at all on that score. Much as I hate to say so.

The UAE president's friendly remarks on the occasion of announcing the debt-relief decision are another mystery. If this is a turnabout in Gulf-state policy with respect to the Maliki administration, it isn't at all clear what the trigger was. Meanwhile it might be worth noting this part of the report in the UAE paper AlKhleej:
[The UAE president and Maliki] reviewed the situation in Iraq, and the efforts that the Iraqi authorities are making for the restoration of security and stability in every area of the country, in the context of the sovereignty of the state, and their standing up to every effort to infringe on the unity of Iraq in its land or its people, and they also reviewed various regional matters.
This is only a thought: (1) "Unity of Iraq" would be an attractive theme to the Gulf states if it meant abandonment of the Supreme Council's Shiite super-region project for the South and Center of Iraq. (2) The stress here isn't on rooting out "gangs and outlaws", but on protecting the "unity of Iraq", which makes sense if you take the Bush-type world-view and assume that those who oppose the government oppose the unity of Iraq, suggesting perhaps the idea of abandoning externally-supported Sunni groups as a quid pro quo for Maliki going after the Sadr trend...

President of the Iraqi parliament Mashhadani (thank you for the correction) made some remarks quoted in AlHayat this morning suggestive of a punchier attitude in closing of the ranks in the Green Zone. His remarks included this:
He said the parliamentary blocs are called upon to work collectively to build a unitary national government that will take on its shoulders the correction of prior errors. And he called on those politicians who do not believe in the political process and who will not adapt to it, to leave the country.
But that's just the way it sounds to me.


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