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PM Maliki Refuses To Be Replaced As Power Struggle Erupts In Iraq 

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Old 08-11-2014, 07:27 PM
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PM Maliki Refuses To Be Replaced As Power Struggle Erupts In Iraq

What a fucking mess!



BAGHDAD, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Iraq's president named a new prime minister to end Nuri al-Maliki's eight year rule on Monday, but the veteran leader refused to go after deploying militias and special forces on the streets, creating a dangerous political showdown in Baghdad.

Washington, which helped install Maliki following its 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, congratulated Haidar al-Abadi, a former Maliki lieutenant who was named by President Fouad Masoum to replace him.

But Maliki's Dawa Party declared his replacement illegal, and Maliki's son-in-law said he would overturn it in court. Washington delivered a stern warning to Maliki not to "stir the waters" by using force to cling to power.

A Shi'ite Muslim Islamist, Maliki is blamed by his erstwhile allies in Washington and Tehran for driving the alienated Sunni minority into a revolt that threatens to destroy the country. Leaders of Iraq's Sunni and Kurdish communities have demanded he go, and many fellow Shi'ites have turned against him.

Maliki himself said nothing about the decision to replace him, standing in grim-faced silence on Monday next to a member of his Dawa Party, who read out a statement on national television declaring Abadi's nomination illegal.

Abadi "represents only himself", the Dawa member, Khalaf Abdul-Samad said.

Maliki's son-in-law Hussein al-Maliki told Reuters his camp would fight the "illegal" decision: "We will not stay silent."

"The nomination is illegal and a breach of the constitution. We will go to the federal court to object."

Washington made its support for the new leader clear. The White House said Vice President Joe Biden relayed President Barack Obama's congratulations to Abadi in a phone call.

"The prime minister-designate expressed his intent to form a broad-based, inclusive government capable of countering the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant," the White House said in a statement, using a previous name for the Sunni militant group that now calls itself the Islamic State.

The new political crisis comes just days after Washington launched its first military action in Iraq since pulling its troops out in 2011. U.S. warplanes have bombed Sunni insurgents from the Islamic State, who have marched through northern and western Iraq since June.

Washington says it is taking limited action to protect a Kurdish autonomous region and prevent what Obama called a potential "genocide" of religious minorities targeted by the militants.

The fighters made new gains against Kurdish forces despite three days of U.S. air strikes, while Baghdad, long braced for the Sunni fighters to attack, was now tensing for possible clashes between Maliki and rivals within the Shi'ite majority.

President Masoum asked Abadi to form a government that could win the support of all groups in a parliament elected in April. In remarks broadcast on television, Masoum, a Kurd, urged Abadi to "form a broader-based government" over the next month.

Abadi urged national unity against the "barbaric" Islamic State, which has driven tens of thousands from their homes as it swept aside Baghdad's troops to consolidate a "caliphate" in Iraq and Syria.

"We all have to cooperate to stand against this terrorist campaign launched on Iraq and to stop all terrorist groups," he said in broadcast remarks after meeting Masoum.

As police and elite armed units, many equipped and trained by the United States, locked down the capital's streets, Secretary of State John Kerry aimed a stark warning at Maliki against fighting to hold on to power.

"There should be no use of force, no introduction of troops or militias in this moment of democracy for Iraq," Kerry said. "The government formation process is critical in terms of sustaining stability and calm in Iraq and our hope is that Mr. Maliki will not stir those waters.

"There will be little international support of any kind whatsoever for anything that deviates from the legitimate constitution process that is in place and being worked on now."

POWER SHARING

Under Iraq's post-Saddam governing system, designed to avert conflict by giving all groups a stake, the speaker of parliament is a Sunni and the largely ceremonial president a Kurd. Most authority is wielded by the prime minister, a Shi'ite.

Maliki's opponents accuse him of abusing the system by keeping key security posts in his own hands instead of sharing them with other groups, alienating Sunnis in particular by ordering the arrest of their political leaders. Islamic State fighters were able to exploit that resentment to win support from other Sunni armed groups.

Maliki's Shi'ite State of Law bloc emerged as the biggest group in parliament in the April election, but does not have enough seats to rule without support from Sunnis, Kurds and other Shi'ite blocs, nearly all of which demand he go.

He has nevertheless stayed on in a caretaker capacity while arguing that the constitution requires his bloc to be given the first opportunity to form a government. He has used courts before to keep power: in the previous election in 2010, when State of Law was second, a court let him form a cabinet.

A U.S. official insisted Washington had not been involved in the selection of Abadi, but said "everybody is pretty relieved that they have chosen somebody and that it was not Maliki".

Maliki also appears to have alienated his supporters in Iran, the regional Shi'ite power, which has sent military advisers to help organize the battle against the Islamic State. Iraq's most influential Shi'ite cleric, Ali Sistani, all but ordered Maliki to leave power on Friday, declaring that politicians who cling to power were making a "grave mistake".

Obama says a more inclusive government in Baghdad is a pre-condition for more aggressive U.S. military support against the Islamic State. He has rejected calls in some quarters for a return of U.S. ground troops, apart from several hundred military advisers sent in June.

The Islamic State which sees Shi'ites as heretics who deserve to be killed, has ruthlessly moved through one town after another, using tanks and heavy weapons it seized from soldiers who have fled in their thousands.

On Monday, police said the fighters had seized the town of Jalawla, 115 km (70 miles) northeast of Baghdad, after driving out the forces of the autonomous Kurdish regional government.

Washington and its European allies are considering requests for more direct military aid from the Kurds, who have themselves differed with Maliki over the division of oil resources and took advantage of the Islamists' advance to expand their territory.

On Sunday, a government minister said Islamic State militants had killed hundreds of people from the small, Kurdish-speaking Yazidi religious sect, burying some alive and taking women as slaves. No confirmation was available of the killings.

Thousands of Yazidis have taken refuge in the past week on the arid heights of Mount Sinjar, close to the Syrian border. The Islamic State considers the Yazidis, who follow an ancient faith derived from Zoroastrianism, to be "devil worshippers".
The bloodshed could increase pressure on Western powers to do more to help those who have fled the Islamic State's offensive. They have already dropped supplies and U.S. aircraft have been bombing the militants since Friday.

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Old 08-11-2014, 07:39 PM
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Re: PM Maliki Refuses To Be Replaced As Power Struggle Erupts In Iraq

Sorry such a long post but this shit is just fucking nuts. Looks like the shit has just hit the fan in Iraq.

Troops swell in Baghdad amid ISIS threat, humanitarian nightmare

(CNN) -- A crisis so dire that families are fleeing to Syria. A militant threat so strong that U.S. forces are striking from the sky. And political strife so tense that it could derail hopes for government stability.

As Iraq's political and humanitarian crises escalate at the same time, foreign countries are getting more deeply involved. Here's where things stand:

Tension in Baghdad
Photos: Iraq under siege Photos: Iraq under siege
Is Iraq's government falling apart?

Iraqi forces and tanks surged into some Baghdad neighborhoods Sunday as a wave of troops swarmed Baghdad's Green Zone -- the secure area where many government buildings, the military headquarters and the U.S. Embassy are located, two Iraqi police officials said.

Exactly what led to the surge remains unclear. But some believe the beefed up military presence is part of a power struggle between second-term Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and newly elected President Fuad Masum.

"You've got Nuri al-Maliki refusing to step down. Now he's mobilized not just security troops loyal to him, but now he's mobilized army units to put tanks in the streets,"said retired Lt. Col. Rick Francona, a CNN military analyst.

"Some of the bridges have been closed. It looks like he's trying to lock down the city in some sort of confrontation with the President, so this does not portend well."

Choosing a prime minister is a key next step for Iraq's leaders. Critics of al-Maliki have called for him to pull his name out of the running, but he's repeatedly refused.

Al-Maliki has accused Masum of violating the country's constitution by extending the deadline for Iraq's biggest political coalitions to nominate a candidate for prime minister.

But there could be another reason for more troops in the capital. Retired U.S. Marine Gen. James Williams said the stepped up security could be a response to advances by militants from ISIS, the Sunni Muslim extremist group that has now declared itself the Islamic State.

"It could be a show of force. If you're talking about protecting government buildings, there may be a sense that ISIS forces may be closer than everybody thinks at this point," Williams said.

"That could be a great sign for concern. But it may also be a concern that there's a coup afoot."

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Old 08-11-2014, 09:01 PM
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Re: PM Maliki Refuses To Be Replaced As Power Struggle Erupts In Iraq

It's a religious war, Muslims against everybody else.

Religious zealots of any persuasion are very dangerous, they think God is on their side and will kill anyone that stands in their way.

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Old 08-12-2014, 12:22 AM
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Re: PM Maliki Refuses To Be Replaced As Power Struggle Erupts In Iraq

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zambini View Post
It's a religious war, Muslims against everybody else.

Religious zealots of any persuasion are very dangerous, they think God is on their side and will kill anyone that stands in their way.
This ones even muslim vs muslim.


This is the beginning of the big war in Iraq, the one that Saddam was holding the cork in.
GW, I hope you're watching....... This one is on you.

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