Monday, January 24, 2011

Again?

Does Maliki think he is Saddam's heir or something?

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has won a court ruling placing independent bodies like the central bank and the electoral agency under the cabinet, a centralization of power that critics are calling a "coup."

Maliki's government made the request to the supreme court in December before he was reappointed later that month to a second term, and the court ruling in his favor came through last Tuesday, generating little controversy at first.

The independent agencies affected are supposed to be monitored by parliament according to the constitution, hastily drawn up in the chaotic aftermath of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Maliki argued that where the language describing parliament's monitoring powers over the agencies was ambiguous, the bodies should be attached to the cabinet. The court agreed.

The main agencies affected are the Central Bank of Iraq, the Independent Higher Electoral Commission, anti-corruption watchdog the Integrity Commission and the High Commission for Human Rights.

"The court views that the term 'monitoring by' is not clear enough to place these under parliament's authority, therefore they should be attached to the cabinet," the ruling said.

The decision alarmed critics who view with suspicion glimpses of authoritarian leanings in some of Maliki's actions.
More

Of course, the "independent" supreme court itself is a joke.

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice to see you!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous stole PeteSs hamster!

Freddie Starr said...

Anonymous ate my hamster!

Bruno said...

Maliki's current actions are hardly surprising, if lamentable. He's exhibited these tendencies before. I wouldn't be surprised if we see a return to a more authoritarian sort of rule. Yeah, this invasion has been really worth it.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

  
I think you can count me among the folks who view this decision with more than a hint of alarm and dismay.

Marcus said...

How to grab power, and hold on to it:

First you need a to have something close to a monopoly on violence. And Maliki seems to have the IA in a firm grip already. Then you have to control the money, so the Central bank is a logical next step. Then you need to stifle any truly embarrasing opposition so the Integrity Commission and the Human Rights commision can come in handy. And a dictator these days will need a veneer of respectability so the voice of the Electoral Commission is good to control.

Quite a strategic collection...

Petes said...

... don't forget the big moustache, Marcus. You need a big moustache.

Bruno said...

That would be funny, Pete, if it weren't so tragic. I rather hope that Iraqis haven't gone through all this only to be back at square one.

RhusLancia said...

"and the court ruling in his favor came through last Tuesday, generating little controversy at first."

But then the chaos-mongers saw an opportunity to pick up on it and run.

Chaos-mongers, 2006*: "Maliki is a weak and ineffective useless ruler, and a puppet of Iran|US. Iraq needs a strong leader for perilous times"

2011*: "Maliki's bringing these agencies into his cabinet is exactly just like Saddam's coup and purge of 1979 and invasions of Iran and Kuwait. Except it was better then because healthcare was free"


* paraphrased! not exact quotes.

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RhusLancia said...

Marxus, Maliki hardly has a monopoly on violence in Iraq.

This will be reaffimred in commentary following the next suicide bombing. Look for something like: "today's blast in the marketplace is possibly a response to Maliki's consolidation of agencies in his cabinet..."

Don Cox said...

"I rather hope that Iraqis haven't gone through all this only to be back at square one."

It is more likely to be the usual two steps forward, three steps back. Maliki is not another Saddam, but he may be another Mubarak.

Look at the history of France since the Revolution to see how long and hard is the road to freedom and democracy.

And anyone who lives in a Western democracy such as Britain will tell you that there plenty of room for improvement there too.

Don Cox said...

I meant three steps forward, two back. Not quite so bad. ;-)

Petes said...

Rhus: "Except it was better then because healthcare was free"

... I suppose, if you can call the administering of sarin gas "healthcare".

Oh and don't forget gender equality under Saddam. Equal sarin for all.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

I read this the other night, but didn't have time to comment, Zeyad. Also, I wanted to think about the implications of the whole thing.

My first reaction was a primary concern with the Integrity Commission and the High Commission for Human Rights. I feel these entities really need to be above politics of any sort, be they government influenced or otherwise. Although, to be fair, I have to say that even our judicial branch is not totally immune from being manipulated by politicians.

As to Maliki's being a clone of Saddam, I think that would be a mischaracterization at this point. The obvious difference is the open opposition to these actions being aired. Saddam would have just shot those opposed. So far Maliki has not.

Healthy debate by Iraqis about all of this is needed. One hopes that nothing is completely set in stone.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
      "The obvious difference is the open opposition to
      these actions being aired. Saddam would have
      just shot those opposed.
"

Another difference:  Saddam would have seized control of the agencies he wanted to control, using the argument that best appealed to him.  (In this case the ‘ambiguity’ of the oversight functions delegated to the Parliament.)  Then he'd have had the Supreme Court validate his executive action as within his ‘legal’ power.  In the present case, the Maliki government relied upon the Supreme Court to make the ruling to effect the change.  As a consequence, Maliki has implicitly recognized that the power to make that decision resides with the Court, rather than with the Cabinet.  The Court can perhaps straighten up later and reverse this decision.  It happens sometimes.
  The government will then discover that people expect it to abide by decisions of the Court that go against the government as well as those which go in its favor.  So, while this is cause for current concern, there may be a bright side down the road.  Our own first Chief Justice, John Marshall, established our Supreme Court's power to rule on executive decisions, by early on issuing some questionable rulings affirming powers claimed by the executive branch.

Bruno said...

I see Rhusty is on a typical flight of fancy based on his copious imagination.

I see that Lee is spouting tangled apologetics worthy of a German legislator circa 1933.

Nothing new, then.

Petes said...

I see that Bruno has been watching his favourite Rammstein video again.

Bruno said...

How the warmongers created this disaster:

"Tony Blair had a worrying "gleam in his eye" as military action against Iraq became more likely, while the cabinet was kept in the dark until it was too late to object, the Chilcot inquiry heard today. Two former cabinet secretaries – the country's most senior civil servants – mounted a devastating critique of the way Blair handled the run-up to war. The cabinet were trapped in a position where they had to agree to attack Iraq or bring down the prime minister, the inquiry heard."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jan/25/iraq-war-inquiry-blair-gleam

Bruno said...

Meanwhile, in Iraq:

"Two bombs tore into crowds of pilgrims in the holy Iraqi Shi'ite city of Kerbala Monday, killing at least 12 and wounding dozens as hundreds of thousands of people streamed in for a religious rite, officials said."

http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFTRE70N0N720110124

Bruno said...

"A prolonged dry winter and the fall in water levels from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers are expected to lead to severe drought this year, a senior government official said. Aouni Abdullah, head of National Center for the Administration of Water Resources, said the rate of rainfall in the past few months was low and “we expect aggravation of water scarcity in the summer.” He said there was “little positive impact” of the rainfall this winter."

http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2011-01-24\kurd.htm

(Sorry guys, but we seem to have gotten your missing rain. Maybe we could do a swap of a week's heavy rain for a week's sunshine?)

RhusLancia said...

Cool video, Petes. But I don't think they were really in space 'cause they woulda 'sploded without helmets.

Bruno, if Saddam was around to drain the marshes there would be no drought. Gosh darn Meddling 'Merkins!

Of course, the bombing wouldn't have happened either - "Shi'ite religious events were banned in Iraq under Saddam."

Bruno said...

I see that Rhusty is back to blaming Saddam for any and every evil ever to happen to Iraq. That will happen when you are piped Faux News 24/7.

Rhus, I suppose that the current devastation in Iraq is all "Saddam's fault", too?

Bruno said...

The laughable "reconstruction":

"A top U.S. oversight office has recommended that the United States halt further funding for a $26 million education academy for senior Iraqi security officials after discovering that the Iraqi government had never agreed to operate or maintain the facility. The United States has spent more than $13 million on the project. "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/25/AR2011012506690.html

Wow, y'all are organised, or what?

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

   
I believe this court decision marks the 47th consecutive collapse of the Iraqi experiment with representative government that Bruno has marked for us.  Bruno has observed their collapse into chaos or authoritarianism, or both; a multitude of times; it's gotta be up into the high 40s now. 

RhusLancia said...

Interesting observation, Lee. Also interesting is that Bruno has been a big fan of authoritarianism all along, at least it seems that way given his warm fuzzies for the pre-'03 gov't of Iraq. So it's all good with you now, Bruno, or what?

Bruno said...

[rhus] "Bruno has been a big fan of authoritarianism all along"

Huh?

[rhus] "at least it seems that way given his warm fuzzies for the pre-'03 gov't"

"Hey Rhus! Eat this dog turd"
"No way man. What, are you retarded?"
"Rhus, eat this dog turd or I'll shoot you"
*rhus eats dog turd*

... proof that Rhus likes dog turds.

How's that for logic analogous to the example that you just inflicted on us?

As for the ape, I don't have time to decipher his nonsense right now.

Bruno said...

On second thoughts, I'd better expand on my reasoning, since Rhusty won't be able to follow.

Here goes: my opposition of this invasion does not indicate support of the "pre '03 government", but rather a realisation that the alternative would be far worse. And, I was right.

RhusLancia said...

"Hey Rhus! Eat this dog turd"
"No way man. What, are you retarded?"
"Rhus, eat this dog turd like me! It's delicious num num num"
*rhus walks away shaking head*

^ fixed it for ya. Now it makes sense.

So you are saying the gov't now is worse than the gov't pre-'03? That is a turd I cannot eat.

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Petes said...

"Cool video, Petes. But I don't think they were really in space 'cause they woulda 'sploded without helmets."

That was for Bruno. Ya see, evil Merkins never really got to the moon, so no helmets required. Also, nasty helmets tend to crumple tin foil hats.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Lee] Our own first Chief Justice, John Marshall, established our Supreme Court's power to rule on executive decisions, by early on issuing some questionable rulings affirming powers claimed by the executive branch.

To expect any newly created government to be perfect right away is wishful thinking. Especially one such as Iraq's which follows an oppressive dictatorship. As you point out, the United States itself has made mis-steps in its efforts to "form a more perfect union". Iraq will have its own issues to resolve in its quest for its own "perfect union".

If Iraqis truly desire a change from Saddam they will need to examine how others who have succeeded in their revolutions did so. And, conversely, why those who have failed, did so.*

*hint: I would look to Iran to see why they failed.

Bruno said...

[rhus] "So you are saying"

No. Go back to sleep.

Bruno said...

In some of most damning evidence heard by the inquiry to date, the respected former mandarins rejected claims made by Mr Blair to the committee last week in which he insisted that cabinet ministers were kept informed of the progress to war. Lord Turnbull said that the cabinet was not asked for their approval until the eve of the invasion in March 2003, by which time they were “imprisoned” and had little choice but to consent – or bring the prime minister down. His predecessor, Lord Wilson, who retired in September 2002, disclosed that at no point during his time as the country’s top civil service was the cabinet aware that a decision had been taken to invade Iraq.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/tony-blair/8281731/Tony-Blair-went-to-war-without-cabinet-consent-senior-mandarins-say.html?sms_ss=email&at_xt=4d405187c3c971b1%2C0

RhusLancia said...

OK... so it is an improvement...

Thanks. How hard was that?

Bruno said...

Why does the US keep supporting Maliki while he goes dictator?

Simple:

"Despite full knowledge of the corruption and tyranny of the regime, the U.S. embassy concluded in July 2009: “Notwithstanding the frustrations of doing business here, we cannot write off Tunisia. We have too much at stake. We have an interest in preventing al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other extremist groups from establishing a foothold here. We have an interest in keeping the Tunisian military professional and neutral.”

The notion that, if the U.S. hadn’t given the Tunisian government hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid over the past two and a half decades, while helping train its military and security forces, a shadowy fringe group calling itself “al-Qaeda in the Maghreb” might have established a “toehold” in the country was daft. Yet this became an all-weather, universal excuse for bad policy."

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175346/tomgram%3A_juan_cole%2C_american_policy_on_the_brink/

Bruno said...

[rhus] "OK... so it is an improvement..."

Deliberate obtuseness can get you a long way these days, I see.

I also see that Rhus seems to think the invasion and the millions of Iraqis driven from their homes and the million or so killed are preferable to allowing an old dictator to flee the country alive.

Gee, I dunno if Iraqis would see it like that.

RhusLancia said...

You're the master.

I'm actually on record as preferring the old dictator left the country alive. In retrospect I think his orphans might've reacted in much the same way though, and set about wrecking the country anyway. But I distinctly remember hoping he would've left, and even saying so.

Bruno said...

Clue:

|
|
|
|
|
|
V


Deliberate obtuseness can get you a long way these days, I see.

Bruno said...

In a telegram sent on June 28, 2004 as he prepared to leave Baghdad, he highlighted Iraqis' opposition to the occupation.

"What might have been an uneasy acquiescence was too often turned into anger and resentment by military tactics which were heavy-handed and disdainful of the Iraqis," [Sir David Richmond] wrote. The growing unpopularity of the occupation and coalition, the problems over security and the failure to sort out the electricity supply are the most visible signs that we have fallen short of what we had hoped to achieve "The Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal epitomised the problem but it went much wider."

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Iraq-Inquiry-Sir-David-Richmond-Telegram-Warned-US-Policies-Made-Situation-Worse-Post-Invasion/Article/201101415912644?lpos=UK_News_First_Home_Article_Teaser_Region_0&lid=ARTICLE_15912644_Iraq_Inquiry%3A_Sir_David_Richmond_Telegram_Warned_US_Policies_Made_Situation_Worse_Post_Invasion

Ecclesiastes said...

I read the Iraqi constitution, well, I read most of it, and it was a NIGHTMARE!

No, it bears little resemblance to the US constitution.

The effectiveness of the executive branch is crippled with defined cabinet authorities and cross-checks of power, but the executive branch must function for Iraq to have a government. The environment was ripe for this kind of extra-constitutional power grab, in fact it demanded it.

Y'all would do well to eliminate the High Commission for Human Rights altogether. The Integrity Commission is properly a function of the Parliament, as is the Central Bank. The Independent Higher Electoral Commission - what is that even for? If it manages the elections, it should probably be in the Executive. If it's oversight it just duplicates what the Integrity Commission does without adding any confidence in the electoral process.

John said...

Time for a limerick:

There once was a Swede named Marcus
Who smelled worse than a rotting carcass
Ya his teeth were rotten
An' his brain was sotten
This candy assed Swede from Höganäs

Petes said...

A little Swedish memento for Canuck John ...

escalante blogger said...

Someday, she will realize that.

A Swede said...

A canuck and a terrible bore.
Rhyming for him was a chore.
So I picked up my gun.
Pulled the trigger for fun.
Put an end to that piece of shit whore.

Bruno said...

Yeeeaaah!

The limericks are back!

Petes said...

Bruno decided to peek
at a language Canadians speak.
   He said: Why, by jingo,
   in that bloody French lingo
My continent's known as "A Freak"

Um Ayad said...

Great to see Iraqis still have a good sense of humour and even after everything that has happened to them!

I love this video. Sorry if you can't understand Arabic. But I am sure Iraqis will enjoy it.

كاميرا خفيه عراقيه

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgLDQ-0Wnv4

John said...

There once was a Paddy named Shameous
Who's world view to many was heinous
Though' his hair was bright red
His cock was quite dead
No more offspring, praise the saints for his gayness

Petes said...

Canadian John's got some nerve,
since he's clearly the resident perv.
   His foul language fixation
   surely stems from privation
-- perhaps his upbringing lacked "lurv"

John said...

Throughout the United States, cities continue to face economic ruin. Some have resorted to desperate measures.

Prichard, Alabama has stopped paying its pensioners. A retired fire marshal was found dead in his home recently, his water and electricity cut off. Eddie Ragland, a Prichard policeman for 25 years, was entitled to a pension of $1,902 a month. Now he gets nothing. Recent medical bills have left him looking for handouts to survive.

As a way of correcting the situation, the mayor of Prichard recently awarded himself a salary increase of 50%. Can anyone say third world??

Camden, New Jersey has the second highest crime rate in the USA (according to the FBI). As a means of cutting their ever increasing debt, they've decided to lay off over half of their police force (go figure?). As a result, the city has been forced to increasingly rely on a vigilante force called the 'guardian angels' to assume responsibility for intimidating minorities and randomly beating people up. Can anyone say Sierra Leone?

On a positive note at least they don't have to worry about the 'Bride' and 'Lyingette' taking down homeless people on their streets, dragging them into dark alleyways and draining their blood. Unless, of course, they've become nomadic due to the dwindling population of strays back in their home lairs??

The city of Vallejo, in California, is bankrupt.

Hamtramck, Mich., has repeatedly tried to enter bankruptcy but has to date been unsuccessful. Apparently they can't afford the fees required to file the bankruptcy documents

Detroit is considering an economic stimulus plan that would deprive a fifth of its city of basic municipal services, like trash collection and police protection.

The state of Illinois, floundering in debt and staring at a huge pension liability, has just raised its income tax 66 per cent.

Maryland has been forced to raise its retirement age to temporarily stall the inevitable onslaught of pension demand.

The city of Philadelphia and the state of New Jersey have pension issues that look to rival Prichard's.

"I think it's kind of funny, I think it's kind of sad that the dreams I've had of America's economy dying are the best I've ever had (anonymous/2011)."

One estimate places the unfunded liabilities of city pension plans at $574 billion!!! Can anyone say Ireland's banks??

Now supposing that candy asshole Obama were to have an unexpected moment of cogency and bring the American warriors home. Wouldn't that help to improve American lives and reduce costs?

Not for the multi-nationals of course....Not for these disgusting greed merchants who profit off human misery or....the stock investors and profit takers such as Mucous, but the 'soon to be homeless' retirees in Prichard, Alabama....

Wouldn't it be better for them??

Um Ayad said...

White House wobbles on Egyptian tightrope

Washington needs a friendly regime in Cairo more than it needs a democratic government

Caught off guard by the escalating unrest in Egypt, the Obama administration is desperate to avoid any public appearance of taking sides. But Washington's close, longstanding political and military ties to President Hosni Mubarak's regime, plus annual financial support worth about $1.5bn, undermine its claims to neutrality.

While the US favours Egyptian political reform in theory, in practice it props up an authoritarian system for pragmatic reasons of national self-interest. It behaved in much the same way towards Saddam Hussein's regime in the 1980s, when Iraq was at war with Iran. A similar tacit bargain governs relations with Saudi Arabia. That's why, for many Egyptians, the US is part of the problem.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/jan/28/obama-clinton-wobble-egypt-mubarak

Um Ayad said...

White House wobbles on Egyptian tightrope

Washington needs a friendly regime in Cairo more than it needs a democratic government

Caught off guard by the escalating unrest in Egypt, the Obama administration is desperate to avoid any public appearance of taking sides. But Washington's close, longstanding political and military ties to President Hosni Mubarak's regime, plus annual financial support worth about $1.5bn, undermine its claims to neutrality.

While the US favours Egyptian political reform in theory, in practice it props up an authoritarian system for pragmatic reasons of national self-interest. It behaved in much the same way towards Saddam Hussein's regime in the 1980s, when Iraq was at war with Iran. A similar tacit bargain governs relations with Saudi Arabia. That's why, for many Egyptians, the US is part of the problem.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/jan/28/obama-clinton-wobble-egypt-mubarak

Um Ayad said...

Thousands protest in Jordan

Protesters gather across the country.

Thousands of people in Jordan have taken to the streets in protests, demanding the country's prime minister step down, and the government curb rising prices, inflation and unemployment.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/01/2011128125157509196.html

Don Cox said...

"demanding the country's prime minister step down, and the government curb rising prices, inflation and unemployment."

Do they think governments can do that with a stroke of the pen?

Anonymous said...

Don Cocks, that imbecilic old timer:

"Do they think governments can do that with a stroke of the pen?".

Does this general criminal and cretin Don Cocuses think that bloody dictatorships cannot do it "with a stroke of the pen"?

At least their propaganda (read that from Ben Ali, Mubarak, auld Saddam, the Saudi & Gulf tyrants, and all American-supported bloody dictators in the Middle East) maintained that they were precisely able to do it "with a stroke of the pen".

Suck it with your cox, oh ludicrous Don Cox.

Petes said...

^

Hi Oytalian.

Petes said...

Cool! Just found the Worldwide Accent Project on youtube.

Here's two Oirish ones from Clare (western Republic of Ireland) and Derry (Northern Ireland).

Petes said...

Wow. That Clare guy really does say "Oirland".

Petes said...

And the guy from Derry characteristically pronounces it "Darreh". Oh and notice he "doesn't care if you call it Darreh or Londondarreh". If you drive up there, all the Londonderry signs are defaced and have the "London" bit blacked out. In Nurn Ahrland, even the place names are the source of deep-rooted disagreements.

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Bruno said...

America *heart* Mubarak:

"Speaking today in a series of television interviews, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated that the Obama Administration does not seek and would not support the ouster of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak. Rather, she insisted that the US wanted Mubarak to listen to those opposition figures who have “legitimate grievances” and move towards a “managed change” and an “orderly transition” toward a somewhat more democratic society."

http://news.antiwar.com/2011/01/30/clinton-us-wont-support-mubaraks-ouster/

Gee, one wonders why the murkins could not have done this, oh, decades ago, when Mubarak took power? The shallow motivations are quite transparent.

On the streets of Cairo and around the world, everyone’s waiting to see if the Egyptian Army is going to crack down on the demonstrators demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Whatever Egypt’s military does next, chances are they’ll do it with American weapons.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/01/your-weapons-are-on-cairos-streets-america/

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

  
      "Whatever Egypt’s military does next, chances
      are they’ll do it with American weapons.
"

Probably not.  Those tanks on the street in Cairo and other cities, some of those are the old Soviet "T" series; the rest were ‘co-manufactured’ in a direct deal between the Egyptian government and General Dynamics; built in Egypt I do believe.  Wiki say:

      "National policy since the 1970s has included the
      creation of a domestic arms industry (including
      the Arab Organization for Industrialization)
      capable of indigenous maintenance and upgrades
      to existing equipment, with the ultimate aim of
      Egyptian production of major ground systems.
"

They do use replicas of the M-16 and M-4 assault rifles for ‘elite’ units, along with replica AKs for the common grunts, but I think they produce those locally too.  Most of their actual purchases of military equipment are made in Europe.

Unfortunately, those tear-gas cannisters the police were using; those are of American manufacture, and they say ‘made in the U.S.A.’ on them, clearly marked right on the canisters.  Not the sort of thing that's likely to endear us to the crowds getting gassed.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Bruno] Whatever Egypt’s military does next, chances are they’ll do it with American weapons.

[Lee] Not the sort of thing that's likely to endear us to the crowds getting gassed.

Whatever Egypt chose to purchase from the United States, be it weapons or tear gas, it was the government of Egypt's choice.

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