Tuesday, July 01, 2008

What's up with Maliki's latest tribal-council proposal

On Sunday June 29, Maliki hosted a meeting of notables from the Jubbur tribe, where he spoke glowingly of the role of tribes and clans in Iraqi society and history, adding that he proposed to set up a national council of tribes, which would work hand in hand with the government in such important tasks as applying the law and so on. It was not a widely-noticed meeting or statement.

This morning (Tuesday July 1), Baghdad reporter Zaid Al-Zubadi explains in Al-Akhbar where this fits in the ebb and flow of the Maliki administration. There was a time, he says, when the Americans and Maliki felt that the Shiite South-Center was under control, but faced with local elections and the difficulty in getting agreement on a long-term security agreement, that view changed, and one result was the military campaigns in Karbala, Basra, Amara, Sadr City and so on.

The victor in some sense was Maliki, but in terms of popular support, he and his Daawa party emerged empty-handed, apparently leaving (on the tacit assumption of no Sadrist resurgence) the Supreme Council top dog in the South-Center. Hence this new plan to salvage something of popular, and American, support. Zubaidi puts it like this:
Observers think that Maliki emerged from these fights (in Basra and elsewhere) empty-handed, while the biggest beneficiary on the sectarian front was the Supreme Council...while at the same time the idea of renouncing sectarianism was taking hold of the Iraqi street. These observers think the latest call by Maliki for the creation of tribal support councils could be the last card he has available to preserve any remaining popular and American support: In other words, having prevailed in the sectarian activities, he now wants to hitch himself to the tribal gangs in order to preserve his influence.
Zubaidi thinks this last-resort explanation is what accounts for the penchant of Daawa leaders Maliki, and Jaafari before him, to flatter the tribes, and the thinking would be that the Supreme Council, by contrast, is satisfied with the evolution of events, leaving it with "a monopoly in the 'Shiite field', following the blows delivered to its fundamental rival, the Sadrist trend."

That's Maliki's plan, Zubaidi or at least these observers think. But there could be one or two flies in the ointment, as he explains:
However, this tribal policy of Maliki is still surrounded by the murky question of the American attitude to it, after all the problems that the Awakenings have caused, having shown their bloody side, and the situation having gone so far that there is criticism about "not being permitted to kill suspects", the killing of prisoners on their release by the occupation forces, struggles for influence, and the start of inter-tribal fights in place of sectarian fighting.
(Thanks to Roadsto Iraq for pointing to this article, and she reflects on why some of these phrases sound so familiar to her).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

§1. On sunday, there was a "tribal" meeting of Al-Maliki with the tribal chiefs and notables of al-Jubur clans


Maliki's office statement quoted the al-Jubur chieftains as expressing "support for the government's efforts to realize security, stability and welfare all over Iraq and to apply the law and maintain the state's power and national reconciliation".

It seems that such ideas disappointed somebody, since

§2. On thusday there was a car bomb explosion targeting the house of tribal chieftain Abdel Razaq al-Wakaa in al-Kayara district, 60 km south of Mosul.

Al-Wakaa, the tribal chieftain of Jouburi tribe, a mixed Sunni-Shiite Arab tribe extending over most Iraqi provinces, and his wife were wounded in the blast


United Nations (Finland)

6:48 AM  
Anonymous muebles en burgos said...

So, I don't actually believe this will have effect.

11:37 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home