Friday, December 19, 2008

Coup calendar

(This is from a report that predates the announcement by Bolani that all of the arrested persons have been released because none of the allegations were proved. The question remains why this all happened in the first place, and what this says about the American occupation/withdrawal issue).

The Kuwaiti paper Awan, in today's story by its Baghdad reporter, has some comments on the Interior Ministry/alleged coup affair that I think are enlightening.

First, the reporter remarks that "In the recent period there have been a growing number of stories about the possibility of a military coup against the Maliki government, but the signing of the withdrawal agreement with the United States led to a diminution of expectations concerning the veracity of this idea."

In other words, coup-talk was strongest when it seemed uncertain the Americans would be placated with the signing of an agreement; and once that crisis passed, the coup-possibilities were considered much diminished. The clear implication being that the Americans were using this as a bargaining chip or a boogie-man in negotiations with Maliki: sign something or be booted out in a coup. The recent events would be to some degree blow-back from that.

The journalist then quotes a member of parliament for the Iraqi Accord Front, the big Sunni GreenZone coalition, who mentions another aspect of this relationship.
A leader of the Accord Front in parliament, Omar al-Karbuli, said the possibility of executing a coup against the Maliki government at the present time are remote, and that is because of the presence of the American forces. Commenting on the story about the foiling of a coup-attempt, he explained that the Maliki government and the political process as a whole enjoy American protection until the year 2011, "and I cannot imagine the execution of a coup for that reason. However, perhaps a military coup carried out after the withdrawal of the Americans could be successful."
That, it seems, is the position American policy (namely support for the sectarian parties in the current ruling coalition) has put the Iraqi government in: Joint venture with us, forever, or face the prospect of a coup from a group of people with whom we also have good relations.

(More links at RoadstoIraq)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting dichotomy, if you don't accept us as your benefactor we will stage a coup against you.Or if you kick us out because of our threat, then we will ally with your enemies which will stage a coup against you. Sweet smell of sovereignty.

1:53 PM  
Blogger badger said...

Right. I think that's been the underlying thing here, (and it almost looks as if someone slipped a couple drops of truth-serum into Marc Lynch's coffee this morning, where he says: "Did Maliki overplay his hand?" The "hand", namely, that the Americans dealt him when they agreed to cooperate in opertions against "... remnants of the former regime").

2:16 PM  

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