Saturday, February 07, 2009

Why Maliki "won"

Haifa Zangana, writes in AlQuds alArabi: We didn't really need an election to confirm the temporary ascendancy of Maliki, because it followed directly from American policy.

First, on the collapse of the UIA coalition: They held together as long as the enemy was the national resistance, and the priority was thus to follow the dictates of the occupation authorities to whom they owed their position. The main factor in the collapse of the coalition was the huge size of the gains to be made from turning the country into a mechanism for vast embezzlement, phony contracts and the rest of it, which inevitably led to internal struggle. Naturally there were also latent differences between Dawa and the Supreme Council over jurisdictional and philosophical issues, and relations with the US versus relations with Iran, but the struggle over the spoils was the main factor.

Why did this lead to the rise of Maliki and not the other way around? The answer is that as long as the Americans were preoccupied with various fronts of the armed resistance, including from within the Sadrist trend, they were prepared to overlook internal gains by the Supreme Council. This all changed when Maliki was able to "deliver to them the Sadrist resistance on a silver platter", and at that point Maliki became, on the one hand, the poster boy for "democracy and elections", and on the other hand the personification of the "iron fist" that the neo-cons and the Israelis place such importance on as a vital element in Iraqi stability. All that remained for Maliki's foreign and Iraqi advisers was to figure out how to erase his sectarian image and replace it with a nationalist image. This was done, and the image further polished, via confrontations with the Kurds in disputed areas in the North, and by the famous war of words over the bilateral security agreement with the US. He thus became the perfect model for American style democracy in the context of military, security, economic, and cultural occupation.

She concludes:
These elections, which were essentially another circus act by the occupation and its agents--particularly considering that almost all the parties signed the agreement of slavery with the enemy--was predictable in its outcome beforehand. Because this was the initial reward for the best services to the occupation, and promise of additional rewards in the coming elections for the so-called council of deputies. ... What was done before and during the elections will continue with the sounding of drums and pipes in the period to come, at a cost of millions of budgetary dollars filched from the people of Iraq themselves, something that doesn't fool the Iraqi people, in spite of their thirst for real justice and real peace.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a slightly different take on the election results, especially with regards to the new found alliance between Maliki and Sadr.

2:08 AM  

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