Update: I said yesterday that Maliki sending Iraqi Regular Army up to the Syrian border wasn’t good news. If you take a look at a map that is basically right on top of the Kurds territory – even the Iraqi regulars stayed well south, which I’m sure they aren’t. Maliki is famous for antics that usually involve him getting two (or more) opposing parties fighting amongst themselves so they forget about him.
The two parties he’s using right now are the Iraqi people and the Kurds – he’s stirring up sectarian strife for nothing more than to save his own @xx. I have a sneaking suspicion he knows something was coming down on the Parliament side and he lit this crisis up just to slow things down.
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All the rhetoric and positioning by Jaafari and the NA was just a big ruse to buy more time. Why?? Don’t know and don’t care – if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck…it’s probably a duck. It is likely they were delaying long enough to find some long term political delay to avert their imminent political disaster. They may have found it.
It is not out of the realm of possibility that Maliki didn’t reverse his position on allowing Syria Iraqi’s passage just to give him a reason to send the RA up near the Kurdish territories. That reversal was very odd.
My favorite line in a Barzani article today was “The government in Baghdad….rather than providing the most basic services to citizens and (an) urgency in the development of services ….(is) in the rush to buy weapons to threaten others and assert itself militarily.” Which tells the story exactly.
Another aspect of this drama is that the Kurds have been selling their oil off to Turkey and Iran. This is one of the main issues Maliki has able to fan the flames of hate of the “southern Iraqi’s” towards the Kurds.
The point is – Baghdad hadn’t paid the Kurds their oil share in nearly a year and Maliki kept on and kept on with the political “jacka***ry” until Barzani just shut off the pipeline. Maliki calls it “oil smuggling” – the Kurds don’t agree. They are tired of his dictatorial tendencies and not getting paid. All they asked for was what he has already promised but never produced.
I suspect his latest dramatics stem from him knowing he never intends on putting in place the whole Erbil agreement and having some forewarning about what kind of bad intentions were headed his way (politically). Maliki has some of the best intelligence services in the Middle East – approximately five different groups all watching each other and everyone else. He knows.
All along Maliki has played the US like a we were school kids. It’s a joke how badly we’ve mishandled this whole affair. He has been in Iran’s pocket the whole time. The bottom line is Iran cannot withstand both UN sanctions and a trading partner next door with a wild currency appreciation as is about to happen.
It would be the next “Oklahoma dust bowl” in Iran. On a geopolitical currency scale it would be similar to the Kuwait/Iraq relationship if Iraq came out at 10.00 (which will NEVER HAPPEN).
The currency imbalance would be so great – there would be a very high probability of violence. Same with Iran – they are doing everything possible to stop this – it will put an end to them.
The good news is Maliki saw something coming and it bothered him enough to make him work out this play on the Syrian border (it only took him four days – start to finish). I doubt the main actors are taking the bait – they know what’s up. Barzani is playing it cool and he’s showing a very Nationalist/Centrist front right now. That is great news.
P.S. What happens with Mutlag this coming week will be a good indicator as to the validity of my thinking. If he’s in the COM and working – there may be real reforms on the way. If Maliki throws a wrench in his return on purpose then the only reason he needed Mutlag was to be his emissary to Turkey and make sure this play on the Syrian border didn’t turn into a Middle Eastern war.
I’m headed towards my original assessment that with Maliki there will no forward progress. This article implies there is still a considerable threat to remove him and it may have to go that way before we see much in the way of positive results (I said MAY). The good news is Maliki is up to his old tricks “in spades”. He adds more fuel to the fire daily.
Basically Maliki is saying he’s going to try to band together parts of the original Erbil 5 and move against Barzani (who didn’t see that coming). It’s a good thing we haven’t sent those F-16′s to Iraq yet and we might want to hesitate adding the upgrades to the M1a1′s we sold them (for the moment). He’s headed towards using them on his own people. Had he just implemented his Erbil agreement none of this would be happening….
This is Maliki’s most typical MO – divide and conquer. However, everyone is aware of it and they might not go for it. Barzani is playing it cool. There may be an interrogation soon – but it won’t look like Barzani is at it alone. Truthfully, if one happens and Maliki winds up in front of Parliament – “his goose is cooked”. He knows something is up…