A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

What's Wrong With This Picture? 1) ISIS Has a SCUD Now; 2) New Iraqi Parliament Collapses into Chaos

Nero "Fiddles" While Rome Burns
The new Iraqi Parliament was supposed to meet today to choose a new Speaker; instead the session fell apart in rancor, and after a break, Sunni and Kurdish deputies failed to return, denying a quorum. Such legislative paralysis is not unheard of, as those of us here in Washington know quite well, but we don't currently have an enemy armed force almost within artillery range of our capital city.

An enemy force that just paraded captured armor and an apparent SCUD missile in their "capital" at Raqqa in Syria:

Certainly the Parliamentary paralysis is likely to further undermine Prime Minister Maliki's chances for a new term, despite his bloc having the largest number of seats.

But surely the search for an alternative Shi‘ite candidate doesn't need to resurrect Ahmad Chalabi, an idea mentioned recently in The New York Times: "For Iraq, Potential Leader With a Tarnished Past."
As Iraq’s political parties held round-the-clock meetings the past three days to try to agree on the shape of a new government in time to convene Parliament on Tuesday and begin choosing new leaders, Mr. Chalabi’s name was one of two being prominently mentioned to replace the incumbent prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.
Mr. Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress has only one seat in the Parliament, his own, and it is a measure of his skills as a political operator that he is even under consideration.


David Mack said...

Ahmed is persistent. And he is smart. Seems unlikely that those virtues can overcome his past record. On the other hand, Maliki's apparent inability to pull together the 165 seats needed to organize a new government coupled with the failure of Maliki's opponents to agree on an alternative slate of candidates for Speaker, Presidency and PM, means that Maliki might continue for some time as caretaker PM. So far, even the religious Shi'a parties are divided on a governing formula.

Anonymous said...

Ahmad is a criminal - plain and simple.

Even more egregious than the blond lady in Ukraine who is a favorite of some of the chattering classes in your capital.