Saturday, December 20, 2008

Maliki: This was a tempest in a teapot. All aboard my freedom train

Prime Minister Maliki made a speech Saturday at a ceremony honoring the Iraqi soccer team, and it includes good examples of the nationalist rhetoric that will no doubt be part of his election- and referendum-campaigning. He promised the government would protect the athletes and all Iraqi youth from terrorism, that all Iraqis are equal, and so on.

Then, having become airborne, here is where he sails into the issue of the Interior Ministry affair:
"The feelings of strong nationalism have returned, and it is owing to these feelings that there have been successes in security. Following [a period in which] everyone had to operate in secret, today they operate in complete freedom".

He added: "The political process is strong, and we are in need of the efforts of the people in order that they may have strong support. Certainly we need to reform the national and legal institutions, so that they may be equal to the aspirations of the people. We must fight weakness and nonchalance, and we must do away with the obstacles that have been left by the prior regime".

And he said: "Those who talk of coups in this country are delusional, because there is no coup in this country and there is no one who even contemplates such a thing". He added: "I praise with great praise those in the armed forces and the police and those who lead in the security victory. They are all guided by the principles of reason, and not by the narrow ideas. What the media are spreading are the imaginings of an ignorant minority that are already dead and gone.

What you hear about the goings-on in certain of the national and security institutions--these are the result of differences and practices that are not in keeping with their tasks or with the law. These are subject to an investigation in accordance with the juridical principles that are part of our administration and our institutions. So there is no concern about coups as long as this freedom persists, and as long as people are free to express their opinions at the ballot box...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everybody seems to have abandoned the coup allegations by now, but what exactly happened is still beyond murky. See this, AP today:
Conflicting reports over Iraqi officials' release
National Security Minister Sherwan al-Waili told The Associated Press that 19 men were still being held. The arrest order had originally included 23 officials, but four were not detained.

But Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani insisted for a second day that the men, which included some from his ministry, had been released. The director of al-Bolani's office, Ahmed Jaleel, reiterated Saturday that news of the release "is right."

And security officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were close to the investigation, said none of the men had been released.

Meanwhile this TVNZ report quotes the IM spokesman:
Interior Ministry spokesman, Major-General Abdul Karim Khalaf, said the men had returned to their homes after being freed.

"They are qualified, patriotic officers and they will return to their jobs with their heads held high. The Interior Ministry will honour the released officers in order to compensate for damages to their dignity in recent days," he said.

Khalaf did not say whether the Defence Ministry officers were also released or whether they would be charged.

11:48 AM  
Blogger badger said...

I don't know, but maybe if you think in terms of pinkos and fellow-travelers in McCarthyite America, it might help. Bolani is accused of harboring pinkos, in a case where partisan politics is piggybacking on the the underlying anxiety about insurrection (recently at a boil in connection with the security-agreement negotiations)...

2:25 PM  
Blogger Shlomo said...

I love investigating these oh-so slightly different English metaphors: 'tempest in a teapot' becomes 'storm in a teacup' in the UK. Teehee, I wonder where the difference originates...any ideas?

Great stuff here. I'm trying to translate Arabic articles myself but it takes me so long that I can't be bothered to comment on them. Still, time and patience and all that!

Best wishes!

6:15 PM  

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