April 20, 2006
Ibrahim al-Jaafari Ready to Muck His Hand?
Today, Transitional Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari as much as threw in the towel.
Although he has not resigned, nor has he taken his name out of contention, he agreed to send his nomination back to the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA) for a revote.
The dramatic announcement was made shortly before a planned session of the Iraqi parliament to try to jump-start formation of a new government. The Shiites asked that the session be postponed until Saturday or Sunday, after they resolve the issue of al-Jaafari's nomination, said Shiite official Ridha Jawad Taqi.
Jawad al-Maliki, spokesman for the prime minister's Dawa party, told reporters that "circumstances and updates had occurred" prompting al-Jaafari to refer the nomination back to the alliance "so that it take the appropriate decision."
Al-Maliki said the prime minister was not stepping down but "he is not sticking to this post."
This is a stunning breakthrough. I wonder who was big enough to lean on Jaafari and push him outside the tent?
The nomination of Jaafari is what has held up the formation of a permanent government for four months after the December elections, in which a National Assembly was chosen. Fixing a permanent government is the first giant stride in stabilizing Iraq: with a real, elected government and an Interior Ministry not corrupted and controlled by Jaafari's puppetmaster, Muqtada Sadr, all the forces of order -- military and police -- can be focused on stopping the tit-for-tat violence and killing or driving out the terrorists.
The move represents the first sign that al-Jaafari has abandoned his quest to keep the prime minister's post, only a day after he had repeated his steadfast refusal to step down.
Last time, Jaafari won the nomination within the party by a single vote... and that was before the Sunni, the Kurds, the seculars, and even the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) -- the largest party within the UIA itself -- decided that Jaafari was utterly unacceptable under any circumstances.
With a revote, it's virtually impossible that he will be renominated: I firmly believe the nomination of Ibrahim al-Jaafari to be prime minister of Iraq is dead... and with it, the caliphate ambitions of the barely-literate, untutored, barbaric "cleric," Sadr -- he and his al-Mahdi Militia. The nomination will go to someone else in the Islamic Dawa Party (Jaafari's group):
[Jawad] Al-Maliki and another leading Dawa politician, Ali al-Adeeb, have been touted as possible replacements for al-Jaafari.
It won't be Adel Abdul-Mahdi of the SCIRI, the man Jaafari barely edged out last time; that would be too humiliating to the Dawa Party. Dawa and the SCIRI have more or less come to a tacit agreement that if Jaafari leaves, his replacement will also be from Dawa; this is to prevent the UIA from splitting apart at the seams.
Once it's clear Jaafari is sidelined, that clears the decks for various other appointments:
Resolution of the prime minister issue could smooth the way for filling other posts, including the president, two vice presidents, parliament speaker and the two deputy speakers. The Shiites could block Sunni and Kurdish candidates for those positions in retaliation for the standoff over al-Jaafari.
They could, but they won't; fewer Sunni voted in the last election than their percent of the population... and if the UIA cannot form a government, that task will either devolve to one of the other, non-Shiite parties -- or else there will be another election. If there is another election, the Sunni will probably get more seats at the expense of the Shia... and that's the last thing the UIA wants. They won't do anything to rock the boat after Jaafari leaves.
Let's wait until there is a formal announcement, possibly Saturday or Sunday (Iraq time), before popping the champers. The fat lady hasn't actually sung yet... but it sure sounds like she's warming up the old voicebox.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, April 20, 2006, at the time of 4:44 AM
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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Ibrahim al-Jaafari Ready to Muck His Hand?:
» Ibrahim al-Jaafari Doing the Right Thing? from The Real Ugly American.com
**Breaking News** One of my Iraqi friends is predicting the new Shiite nominee for Prime Minister will be Qasim Dawood. I am not familiar with this man. If anyone is please let us know. ... [Read More]
Tracked on April 20, 2006 11:31 AM
» Jaafari Makes Like LBJ, Hope Springs Anew in Iraq from BeltwayBlitz
Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari made like LBJ yesterday, and pulled out of the race for[Read More]
Tracked on April 21, 2006 7:45 AM
The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist
The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist at April 20, 2006 6:02 PM
The following hissed in response by: Roy Lofquist
What we see here is hardball at its hardest. The ball is the 120mm depleted uranium munition of the M1A1. The Iranians have made their move in Iraq. The impasse over the government is Iranian inspired and directed. In reaction to the Shiite recalcitrance the U.S. has announced its intention to take back Baghdad neighborhood by neighborhood with particular attention focused on the Shiite militias. Message to Mucky: back off or die. Thank our lucky stars for GWB.
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