Ma­liki’s Coup

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Gazi Has­san

Since Sad­dam Hus­sein was top­pled by the U.S. and its al­lies, Iraq has never known sta­bil­ity. The re­sponse of the cur­rent Iraqi Prime Min­is­ter, Nuri Ma­liki, has been to pro­voke one cri­sis for the sake of over­com­ing an­other one. All he has achieved for Iraq, of course, is greater prob­lems; how­ever, his ac­tions have ce­mented his per­sonal con­trol over ev­ery ma­jor govern­ment po­si­tion. What’s worse, Ma­liki has em­barked on a risky bat­tle against the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, and while the bat­tle is be­ing fought through eco­nomic sanc­tions and salary non-pay­ments, when people get hun­gry and he steps up the pres­sure, the sit­u­a­tion could well get out of con­trol.

Parts of Ma­liki’s State of Law party are on the at­tack with a view to pro­vok­ing Arabs against Kurds. Thus far, de­spite hav­ing been at­tacked with chemical weapons and at­tempted geno­cide, the Kur­dish people have not opted for the Kur­dis­tan Lib­er­a­tion Move­ment’s line of hos­til­ity against the Arabs as peo­ples; rather, it has kept to its own true path, which has been to fight gov­ern­ments and au­thor­i­ties, not na­tions. Some in Ma­liki’s bloc hon­estly be­lieve the Kurds and the KRG want to pro­voke crises and bring about a de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in the sit­u­a­tion, or say Kurds should not re­ceive the same share of the budget given to Bas­rah and other ar­eas; they be­lieve that it is right to im­pose eco­nomic sanc­tions on the people of Kur­dis­tan, who in­clude Kurds, Turk­men, Kil­dans and Assyr­i­ans.

But this is racial provo­ca­tion de­signed to stir up hos­til­ity be­tween Kurds and Arab. Be­cause the mat­ter at hand here is not that Kur­dis­tan is ‘steal­ing’ the budget share of other re­gions by sell­ing its oil by it­self; no, the is­sue here re­lates to Ma­liki’s men­tal­ity, his poli­cies and man­age­ment of the state, not oil and rev­enue mat­ters. For the Kurds, the mat­ter re­lates to some­thing else, too, as Pres­i­dent Ma­soud Barzani said at a repa­tri­a­tion cer­e­mony for the mor­tal re­mains of 93 Barza­nis slaugh­tered dur­ing the An­fal: “This is all about break­ing the pride and dig­nity of Kur­dis­tan. They want Kur­dis­tan to go back­ward, but Kur­dis­tan will never take a step backw.” He added: “We will take such a stance that they have never imag­ined.”

We should take care that dis­agree­ments which can still be solved through di­a­logue are not al­lowed to reach a level at which the chance of a po­lit­i­cal res­o­lu­tion is lost. But it is a very se­ri­ous mat­ter in­deed when Nuri Ma­liki tells the me­dia he will not be re­turn­ing the draft budget to the Iraqi Par­lia­ment, be­cause that par­lia­ment is no longer le­git­i­mate.

This con­sti­tutes a coup against the state au­thor­i­ties. His speech has trig­gered protests and a tough re­ac­tion from other blocs and most par­ties, even those rep­re­sent­ing Shi­ites. This is ac­tu­ally the root of the cur­rent crises: Ma­liki’s poli­cies. And Iraq has now reached rock bot­tom. The only so­lu­tion lies in a re­turn to con­sti­tu­tional democ­racy and mu­tual re­spect via laws and di­a­logue, not by pun­ish­ing a group of people or an eth­nic­ity. Choose the lat­ter path, and Iraq will start to fall apart. What Ma­liki is plan­ning is some­thing deep which doesn’t go far enough to draw him in.

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