Will the unity government of Nouri Al-Maliki last?

Kurdishaspect.com - By Baqi Barzani

Divergent predictions suggest that the coalition led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki might edge his rivals in the parliamentary elections.

Washington does not seem very rapturous with the likelihood of his re-election.

The US administration is more seeking a centrist, more pro-Sunni, less sectarian, less religious, and less ideological figure. Rhetorics between Al-Maliki and American administration do not seem to be going very smooth, either. Ties have deteriorated to an extent that some senior US officials like Hillary Clinton, Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called for him to be removed from power. In response to which, Al-Maliki had said democratic senators were acting as if Iraq was "their property" and that they should "come to their senses" and "respect democracy.

Various assumptions have been weighed in past and present,including: 1) Toppling Al Maliki in parliament and substituting him with vice-president 2)  Pressuring Al Maliki to resign
3) An assassination attempt against Al Maliki
4) Staging a military coup 5) Rising former interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawai to power. 6). Re-installing a more Saddam-like regimes in Baghdad using former Baathists
7) Alternatives other than democracy.
What exasperates Washington the most is Al-Maliki�s behavior and his penchant toward Iran and Syria. Both countries constitute "Axis of Evil" and have been accused of buttressing terrorists against coalition forces. Al-Maliki's party aligned with the Iranian Revolution during the Iran-Iraq War and the group still receives financial backing from Tehran despite ideological differences with the Islamic Republic. Most of its members still have strong ties with the Iranian government dating back to 70's and 80's.

During his 24 years in exile (1979-2003), Al-Maliki developed strong ties with numerous Shiite groups some of which are outlawed by the US state department. His Islamic Dawa Party's ideology is Islamic Shiia and conservatism. It opposes the rise of secularism in Iraq and is a counterweight to the rising influence of the Sunni.

Albeit, his government has proved to maintain some level of stability in Iraq, it lacks a solid, transparent strategy to cobble together the hostile Sunni and Shiite groups. "The national united government succeeded in putting down the sectarian war that was threatening the unity and the sovereignty of Iraq", he quoted. There is no guarantee that sectarian peace will persist in Iraq. Sadderists, Baathists and terrorists have the capacity to trigger a sectarian war again in any split second.

The premier has not been able to deliver his pledges to the Kurdish Regional Government on the issues of Kirkuk, the distribution of oil revenue, the designation of final boundaries of the KRG, and the status of the Peshmerga fighters, causing suspicion among Kurds to form up a renewed alliance with him.

Will the unity government of Nouri Al-Maliki last?  Will he succeed in coalescing a world of clashing paramilitaries, warlords, sectarian fighters, death squads, criminal enterprises, and several ten thousand Army men and police that are only loosely under the control of the central government?  Will there be a revolutionary coup or an assassination attempt against him? Will Iraq continue to maintain its sovereignty and territorial integrity? Will the anarchy ultimately lead to the disintegration of country? For any of these mentioned scenarios, a strong leadership will be a requisite to crystallize. Where, when and how will this occur remains to be seen yet.

After 7 tireless years of hard works, the future of Iraq still remains in vague. Iraq is a nation maintaining itself by means of coercion. Al-Maliki, Alwai and alikes are powerless in salvaging the rule of law, permanent stability and the national unity government. Premiership and presidency have more profession characteristics than true authority. The even greater worry is if Al-Maliki is removed from office, who will be able to control this out of control nation?


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March 19, 2010
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