Iraq: Shiites Paralyzed by infighting as ISIL menaces Baghdad

By Juan Cole

The pan-Arab London daily “al-Sharq al-Awsat” [The Middle East] is reporting from a source inside the new Iraqi government that former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, now one of three largely symbolic vice presidents, is attempting to undermine his successor, Haydar al-Abadi.

Al-Abadi has abolished the office or rank of “general commander of the armed forces” This position was created by al-Maliki and is his baby. [Al-Maliki is said to have arranged for the uniformed military to report directly to the PM]. Al-Abadi also opposes the appointment of Badr Corps militia leader Hadi al-Amiri as minister of the Interior (i.e. head of internal security and intelligence.

An internet support group for al-Maliki is running a smear campaign against al-Abadi, accusing him online of “treason.”

Meanwhile, speculation is increasing that Rafi` al-`Isawi, a Sunni from al-Anbar province and a former cabinet member, may be appointed minister of defense. (I called for a Sunni minister of defense a few weeks ago). Having a Sunni as minister of defense will help to make it look less like a Shiite-ISIL clash or like a Christian-Shiite operation against Sunnis.

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Posted in Featured,Iraq,Syria | 6 Responses | Print |

6 Responses

  1. If the Iraqi Shias are this screwed up, even in the face of what’s happened and the threats extant, it just makes things simpler for the US: forget about them and concentrate on our own defense.

    • Baghdad is now Iran’s problem.

      A Sunni force needs to be organized largely independent of the central government. The U.S. government isn’t accepting reality.

  2. … former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, now one of three largely symbolic vice presidents, is attempting to undermine his successor, Haydar al-Abadi.

    Who would ever have thought such an event could occur?

  3. The Iraqis are convinced the US will not let their country cease to exist, and they could not be more wrong. All that effort will be flushed away if we think of another way we can steal their oil.

  4. Wouldn’t it be nice if we just stopped worrying about who runs those places in the Middle East?
    If ISIS gets control, then they will have to defend what they took. Plus ca la change….

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