Iraq and Gulf Analysis

An Iraq Blog by a Victim of the Human Rights Crimes of the Norwegian Government

One Year On, Still No Iraqi Spring in Sight

Posted by Reidar Visser on Tuesday, 7 February 2012 16:28

With the approaching one-year anniversary of the first tentative Arab Spring demonstrations around Iraq (25 February), Iraqi politicians appear unhurried and unworried.

Maybe lackadaisical is a better term? Iraqi leaders certainly seem to be “lacking in life, spirit or zest” these days. Yesterday saw yet another preparatory conference designed to reach agreement on the forthcoming and much anticipated “national conference” which will address problems inside the current cabinet that the cabinet members themselves cannot solve. It turned to be yet another pre-preparatory conference: Essentially nothing was agreed. To add insult to injury, the delegates nonetheless had the audacity to produce a “concluding statement” that reaffirmed opposition to terrorism, agreement on the constitution as the key to solve Iraq’s political problems, consensus that all components of Iraqi society need to be represented in the political process, and respect for the neutrality of the judiciary. Mashallah.

There was reportedly a fifth point, but early media reports failed to identify it. The bigger point is this: These are just generalities that every Iraqi politician will say s/he supports all the time. Upon closer inspection, the definition of terrorism, the interpretation of the constitution, the operalisation of inclusiveness in the political process and the meaning of a neutral judiciary are all disputed.

This is nothing new. The same problem pertains to the elusive Arbil agreement whose implementation is the supposed topic of the planned conference: If the agreement exists at all, it is extremely ambiguous and so dependent upon subsequent action by the Iraqi parliament, constitutional changes and approval of them in referendums that it means next to nothing. This is why the national conference, if it ever comes into existence, is likely to be a redo of the “strategic policy council” that occupied many highbrow commenters in 2010 – i.e. either it never happens, or, if it actually happens, it will have no power and real meaning.

The remarkable thing is the patience of the Iraqi electorate in the midst of this procrastination. On 25 February we will have the one-year anniversary for the limited Arab Spring tendencies that were seen in Iraq in 2011. It is plausible to attribute the shrinking of the oversized Iraqi cabinet in summer 2011 to heightened popular pressure, but other than that there was no revolutionary impact on Iraqi politics. The cabinet is still much too big and incoherent.

As for the ongoing quest for a national conference, there is everything to suggest that it will never become the  frank discussion of the Arbil agreement that some have been demanding. In particular, it has become clear that the document presented by the Shiite alliance to the leadership conference yesterday deliberately included a much broader scope of issues than that hoped for by Iraqiyya. Not least, there was specific emphasis on the relationship between Baghdad and Kurdistan, with the portfolios of oil and peshmerga financing highlighted. This seems like a clear strategy by Maliki for bringing an end to tendencies of rapprochement between dissatisfied Kurds and the secular Iraqiyya by inviting the Kurds to come over to his own side.

It is natural that the Iraqiyya leadership should be in for some criticism these days, since their 6-week boycott produced few results and mainly served to underline internal fault lines. The boycott ended today with the return of the Iraqiyya ministers to cabinet. Nonetheless, it should be stressed that Maliki has not done that much to exploit the situation either. Had he been truly versatile, he would have rushed to adopt defecting Iraqiyya members to his own bloc and made sure to get the budget passed in parliament with Iraqiyya on the sidelines. This didn’t happen, and Maliki still needs the budget to pass. Parliament has adjourned until 14 February.

Some commenters will probably say it is wonderful that Iraqi politicians are talking instead of killing: Half full not half empty. But with some of the world’s biggest oil resources, Iraqi citizens deserve better than this. Maybe over coming weeks, as the 25 February anniversary moves closer, there will be greater debate among Iraqis about the relative merits of passing the annual budget versus the multitude of other issues their politicians want to discuss at their great conference.

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36 Responses to “One Year On, Still No Iraqi Spring in Sight”

  1. “Still no Iraqi spring in sight”
    Hardly surprising. The Arab Spring is where the Arabs lost their fear of dictatorship. Fear is the mother of sectarianism and there are foreign and domestic powers who favor sectarianism.
    When Iraqis lose their fear there will be no sectarianism.

  2. Reidar Visser said

    Right now it seems to me that there are some personal antagonisms – incidentally Shiite-Shiite ones – that impede processes towards a more positive situation. I am thinking of Allawi-Maliki of course.

  3. bb said

    Every first person account that I have read written by Iraqis or westerners working in Iraq after 2003 describes the lengthy, agonising process of decision making by Iraqis when compared to how it is experienced in the west. Reading the many accounts written by westerners living, working and travelling with tribes in Mesopotamia and neighbouring countries in the 19th and early 20th centuries tells the same story. This is clearly cultural emanating from centuries-long held tribal practise as far as I can see.

    Also, Reidar, with the advent of global cable television and the internet one can watch the deliberations of congress and sees the same. Decisions on major issues are never resolved until the very eve of the dealine, often just before congress has to break for holidays.

    Criticism ought to be saved for the outcome of the process, rather than its length, imo. Where Iraqis should have great cause for annoyance is the startling ratio of absenteeism from their elected reps. It might be a good idea for the govt to introduce a system of daily allowances for attendance, only paid after a clock-on/clock-off process.

  4. Santana said

    There are unconfirmed reports that Jeffrey is being replaced…..some say one of the possible replacements is Ford (the Amb to Syria that just closed shop).

    Too bad….Maliki will miss him.

  5. observer said

    rv maliki vs allawi is not she3a/she3a rather it is islamic vs secular.
    peace

  6. Salah said

    a more positive situation

    If I can asked respectfully, Reidar who is more positive?

  7. Mohammed said

    Hi Reidar:

    Why would Maliki focus on the kurds at this juncture? What can they deliver to him that he doesn’t have already?

    It seems that the biggest thorn in his sides these days is the push for federalization by some of the sunni provinces. Certainly the Kurds are in no position to help him there. If Maliki gives the Kurds what they want, it may succeed in isolating Iraqiya, but to what end? A Maliki-kurdish alliance that favors the kurds over the sunni arabs is going to lead to massive instability along the borders with Mosul and other majority sunni provinces. Maliki is in no position to contain any fallout from that given how little influence he has in the north, and he will have yet another crisis of his own making on his hands.

    What precludes Maliki from making a grand alliance with Nujaifi? As speaker of the parliament, he is arguably the most powerful sunni in the country and has the most leverage in the north where Maliki would need it in order to negotiate with the Kurds regarding disputed territories, Kirkuk, etc. By increasing the influence and power of Nujaifi would it also not sideline the influence of sunnis that have been more antagonistic towards Maliki (Hashemi and Mutlaq), and make Nujaifi the defacto power behind Iraqiya and thereby undercut Allawi as well?

    I look forward to your response.

    regards,
    M

  8. Reidar Visser said

    Mohammed, I have asked myself the same question many times & agree with your logic. But the empirical evidence suggests Maliki tends to turn to the Kurds when he feels under pressure. And he does need to obtain parliamentary passage of the annual budget.

    If Nujayfi wants to be a partner of Maliki he must offer Maliki something that can liberate him from the Kurds and the Sadrists, whose demands are sometimes bothersome to him. Say, support a pro-Maliki candidate for the interior ministry against the wishes of the other Shiites. That is, of course, the exact opposite of what Allawi has been doing for the past two years.

  9. The Nujaify brothers don’t have the clout or the Sunni sympathy they had before. Maliki could use them but they will serve their own interest.

  10. Reidar Visser said

    They have more clout than Sadun al-Dulaymi though!

  11. Sadun Dulaimi is the creation of Maliki. The Nujaify brothers work for themselves, it’s not an easy choice for Maliki to send Dulaimi away.

  12. observer said

    BB
    FYI – MP have to sign in daily. No show no pay. Heads of Kutlas are not covered by such regulation.

    reminder. There is no full democracy for your theory to apply. It is all half done and half assed and by the seat of the pants. No forethought or afterthought for that matter.

    Posted the goals of Iraqia for you on the other thread. I hope you enjoyed reading them,

    Santana
    What assurance do you have that Ford will nto be more of the same? THe fact that he is anti Iranian is hardly any indicator as far as I can tell.
    Peace

  13. Reidar Visser said

    Observer, the no-show thing is not spelt out in the bylaws, is it? As far as I can recall there is an unspecified general warning for those who repeatedly fail to show out without a plausible explanation.

  14. observer said

    RV
    I know that Iraqia MP’s have to file reports to the parliament when they plan to have meetings outside Baghdad while Parliament is in session.
    peace

  15. Santana said

    Observer-

    I have no assurances that Ford will be any better or worse…he may not even get it…he is on the short list only. I don’t even think DOS would choose anyone that is “Anti-Iran” because that would mean “anti-maliki”….and the U.S admin does not wanna upset Maliki durng a U.S election year.

  16. Reidar Visser said

    For what it’s worth, I have very favourable impressions of Ford. As far as Iraq is concerned, he is simply one of the most realistic US high officials I have ever met. Of course, some people change when they enter the US embassy in Baghdad, but I think Ford may prove distinctive from Bremer-Zal-Crocker-Hill-Jeffrey.

  17. Samir Abdallah said

    Maisoon Damaloooji of Iraqia said that their agenda of the planned conference includes the political and legal aspects of Mutlag and Hashemi.

    Still Iraqia tries to solve personal issues of their leadership rather than solve the chronic problems of the political system in Iraq. This is consistent with Iraqiya approach to de-Baathification, when it was considered solved when Mutlag et. al were not banned from political activity.

    Iraqyia should focus on solving existing challenges threatening the whole political system in Iraq. Building a consistent and stable democracy should be priority #1 for any true secular political party at this stage of early evolution. And the upcoming conference should be a good opportunity to make positive step(s).

    With this approach, some common grounds with SOL can be found, then real progress can be made. With a personal agenda, surely the conference will be a zero-sum game.

  18. Reidar Visser said

    Wholeheartedly agreed, Samir. I really lost a lot of faith in Iraqiyya when they narrowly focused on lifting de-Baathificaton of Mutlak, Ani and Awwadi in December 2010 as prerequisite for supporting the second Maliki government.

  19. Santana said

    Samir- Why shouldn’t Iraqiya ask for those two items to be in the agenda AMONG other things?? I mean Maliki starts all this crap and expects it to just go away ! so what if Mutlaq called him a dictator ! this is what democracy is supposed to be all about….and I agree wholeheartedly that Maliki is a dictator…and the Hashimi thing is complete B.S from A-Z and violates 19, 55b, 23….etc of the constitution and a political move against the Sunnis.If SOL had two top guys removed do you think they would just “move on” ???

  20. Reidar Visser said

    Santana, I agree that the Hashemi case today is different from the Mutlak, Ani & Awwadi cases in 2010 in that the potential ramifications for his individual safety are a lot worse than what was facing those three back then. I suspect however this is an issue where the Kurds may not be prepared to give their full backing to Iraqiyya.

    As regards the Mutlak case, it really shouldn’t be a matter to discuss since the legal framework is reasonably clear: Maliki can sack him if he so desires, but he still needs the active approval of parliament. To try to ignore parliament altogether would be a constitutional violation.

  21. Samir Abdallah said

    Santana,

    If Iraqiya wants to discuss the influence of the executive branch on the Judiciary, I fully agree with that. Full separation of powers is to be a fact of life rather than a far fetched theory in a democratic system. I am afraid that once Hashemi case is solved in a political settlement, Iraqiyah will forget about executive interference with the judiciary.

    For Mutlag case, I don’t see how a government can be functional when the PM deputy accuses PM of dictatorship. Although I believe there is some truth in that. If Mutlag believes that the PM is a dictator, with cases where the PM has exceeded his constitutional/legal powers or he bypasses the cabinet, that can be discussed within the cabinet. If that doesn’t solve or at least improves the practice, then he has the option to resign. Once he submits his resignation, he can call Malitki a dictator or whatever he thinks of him.

    Reidar,

    I fully agree with your para about Mutlag. He is still a deputy until the parliament approves Maliki’s request. However, in the cabinet meeting immediately after Maliki fired him, Mutlag was prevented from entering that meeting. He never attended any cabinet meeting since then. On the other hand, the parliament did not include Mutlag case in the agenda of any meeting after that. All are waiting for a political settlement.

  22. bb said

    Observer: “It is all half done and half assed and by the seat of the pants. No forethought or afterthought for that matter”

    Heh, heh, the same thing has been said for the last 4 years about our Labor goverment here in Australia – my party! — and worse than that, it is true!

    Frustrating though it might be, it can’t be expected that a fully packaged perfect incorrupt, human rights worshipping, perfect democracy to the highest of western standards (if that description is not an oxymoron!) would descend on Iraq overnight. Only the self righteous Americans expected that.

    btw – re the slack COR – in Australian terms Iraq is very overgoverned with a ratio of 1 COR rep to 100,000. Here it is 1/150,000. But this can be explained by the huge number of candidates and parties wanting to contest. The novelty value. Was the same in Tunisia, I noticed. In time, no doubt the ratio will be reduced.

    Yes, enjoyed and was reassured by the Iraqiyya platform. Thank you.

  23. observer said

    bb, and all,
    For what its worth, I think the entire constitution has to be revised within 6 months of its adoption back in end of 05. I do not recall the item which was added to assure that Musil/Tikrit and Anbar did not reject the constitution. Of course, like the many conditions in the constitution, it was put on the shelf and is yet to be addressed. At what point in time will the Iraqis have the guts to face this inevitable task? I think we need a couple of more terms (i.e. 8 to 12 years) before everybody gives up on this constitution and start discussing the principals of a new social contract. I hope that Iraqis will not adopt a Williat Al Faqeeh as a replacement but given where the middle east is heading to, maybe it is inevitable that we have to pass another 50 or 60 years period where Islamic parties get to set the rules.

    My preference is to have a basic bill of rights that can not be abrogated under whatever circumstances (even in the cases of “national emergency”) and then let the rest be set up in law, as opposed to the way it is enshrined now in an ill advised and contraction filled long document. But we are a long way from that. Ont eh over governance – I agree wholeheartedly with your diagnosis and it should be resolved once power is devolved from the center to where it belongs, village, city, and governorate levels.

    We are in a difficult place in history, and our lot is sitting on the world source of energy which does not give us much of a space to evolve on our own. We are under outside influence, whether we like it or not and soon as we understand that and start dealing from that prospective, the sooner we can get on the right track.

    Yesterday marked the 49th anniversary of the coup that ended Qassim’s era. The strange thing I am finding in the coverage of the event is the way people still view Qassim as the best leader Iraq ever had. Few bothered to remembrer that it was his coup on July 14th 1958 that ended an incipient democratic system and he (by shear chance) ended up receiving credit for all the projects that were planned and began construction in the royal era. People are so naive that they believe that he alone somehow constructed 2 huge dams, and miles of highways, and schools, etc., when in fact they were all projects envisioned and designed and began during the middle 50’s. It is just another example of how history is written in this part of the world.

    In my book, Qassim and his band of officers are the ones responsible for destroying Iraq and bringing into being the control of the army over civilians. Had my father’s generation been patient, we could have had a strong, united, Iraq that is probably a member of Nato and and leader in industry, science, agriculture. Alas, the only thing we excel at at this point in time is corruption.
    Peace

  24. a van ammelrooy said

    It would be worthwile to ask and investigate how the Iraqi Spring was defeated. First of all because of vehicle bans and curfews imposed by governors, and secondly by people who wanted to place themselves at the head of the movement, (sorry, I can’t mention the names). This seems the reason why less and less people joined, at least in Baghdad

  25. Burke said

    Observer you are right on this – the benefits of a good education, health and infrastructure system was due to the royal era. I say that bearing in mind I am a republican and do not believe in monarchy. Qassim, Ba’athists, Saddam all get credit for something they hand no hand in.

  26. Salah said

    “It would be worthwile to ask and investigate how the Iraqi Spring was defeated. First of all because of vehicle bans and curfews imposed by governors,”

    You forgot to add to your list the targeting assassinations for those who behind the Iraqi Spring the like Alhadi al-Mahdi

    http://www.shatnews.com/index.php?show=news&action=article&id=1255

  27. Salah said

    In my book؟

    Observer, could you tell us about your book tittle please?

  28. Salah said

    “It is all half done and half assed and by the seat of the pants. No forethought or afterthought for that matter”

    YES you are right and the other half will be done by PM Mailki let us listen:

    رئيس الوزراء : خلال 100 يوم القادمة ستنتهي أزمة الكهرباء نهائيا و على المواطنين التعاون و التفهم / مقطع فيديو

    http://www.shatnews.com/index.php?show=news&action=article&id=1506

  29. Santana said

    Well it seems Maliki the Supreme leader and Dictator of Iraq has determined that Federal Regions are not allowed at this time – then to add insult to injury he says it is not what the people want…….So Mohamed and Anonymous and all the other Maliki lovers on here….I wanna ask you…does the Constitution mean anything at all ????

    المالكي: لن نسمح بإقامة الفيدراليات حالياً لأنها ستمزق البلد

    11-02-2012 | (صوت العراق) – أضف تعليق \\\
    كربلاء(الاخبارية)

    جدد رئيس الوزراء نوري المالكي رفض الحكومة الاتحادية إقامة الفيدراليات في الوقت الحالي لأنها ستتسبب بتمزيق العراق.
    وقال خلال احتفالية حزب الدعوة الإسلامية بمناسبة الذكرى (55) لتأسيسه إقيمت في قضاء طويريج مسقط رأس المالكي وحضرها مراسل (الوكالة الاخبارية للانباء) اليوم السبت: لن نسمح بإقامة الفيدراليات في الوقت الحالي لأنها ستتسبب في تمزيق العراق وأن استعجال الفيدرالية في هذه الظروف مفسدة لها، وإدخال الناس والبلد في مشاكل نحن في غنى عنها.
    وأشار الى: أن جميع المحافظات المطالبة بالفيدراليات لديها مشاكل حدودية مثل نينوى وصلاح الدين والأنبار والمثنى.
    وأضاف: أن الواقع الحالي لا يساعد على إقامة الفيدراليات وقد تكون الفيدرالية بوابة للاقتتال الداخلي، وبالتالي تعطيل حتى ما هو موجود من الخدمات، مشيراً الى أن العراقيين لا يريدون أثارة مشاكل جديدة فقد تعبوا من نقص الخدمات والحروب وهناك من يعرقل العملية السياسية.

    Read more: http://www.sotaliraq.com/mobile-news.php?id=43050#ixzz1m4tEh58v

  30. Reidar Visser said

    Yeah, I have attached some comments on that in the Twitter updates (right scroll bar). And more to follow, for sure…

  31. Salah said

    Yab, New voice looks been appeared in US, anew researcher….. Talking about Iraq after 9 years… I don’t know where all those researchers in 2003 why they are so blunt they did not spoke about their “stupide” marshal that send to Iraq for setting disaster management plane for Iraq Sheikh Bremer who lost control of 9 billions of dollars from his hand.

    Late read what she said finally about Iraqis not those poppets they got them to “thieve” in New Iraq:

    This is not what Iraqis wanted, not what they voted for. The political culture of Iraq was trending toward trust beyond sectarian lines, political leaders seeing electoral benefit in reaching across religious communities and emphasizing the achievements of governing.

    Congress Needs to Demand a Plan
    Kori Schake is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. She has worked in the Pentagon, the National Security Council and the State Department, and is the author of a forthcoming book about the State Department, “State of Disrepair.”

  32. Mohammed said

    Santana:

    If you want to call me a “Maliki Lover,” that is your prerogative. I don’t think this should be a forum for emotivist arguments about commentators. I have been critical of Maliki and islamists and Iran when the relevant issues have arisen. Observer has noted that I throw rocks at Iraqiya, but frankly there are no SOL guys on this forum for me to stone! I recall only 1 post from Sami Al-Askari a while back, and we haven’t heard a thing from him since. If I am critical of you guys (Iraqiya supporters), I try to offer constructive criticisms and suggestions regarding Iraqiya tactics related to the issues that adversely impact my relatives in Baghdad (be they sunnis or shia).

    Frankly, Maliki has outmaneuvered Iraqiya at every turn and I whole-heartedly agree with Reidar’s assessment that the recent Iraqiya boycott was a miserable failure. Thus, I conclude you guys need to change your tactics if you plan on doing some good for the country. That being said, I certainly have no loyalty to Maliki, Dawa, or State of Law. On certain issues, I may agree with certain positions that they hold, and on other issues, I agree with Iraqiya.

    Now with respect to the current issue regarding federalism, I completely agree with Reidar and Santana that Maliki cannot deny regions their constitutional rights. However, I also agree with Allawi (or at least the position he voiced a couple of months ago), that now is not the right time for Federalism).

    My view is that Federalism at this stage will lead to a bloody civil war. Maliki and SOL do share a large portion of the blame for creating an environment where this federalism threat is being resorted to. The central government should have devolved many powers to the local level, and they haven’t. When Maliki says “he won’t allow” governorates to form into regions, I think that is all a big bluff and “tough talk” coming from him. Militarily, Maliki is in no position to impose his will on restive Sunni areas since he has no real base of support there. Frankly, if all the people of Anbar or Mosul tomorrow wanted to break off from Iraq and form an independent country, there is nothing he could practically do to prevent it except cut off funds and resources from the central government. Anbar could retaliate with resources they control like the Euphrates river flow that Baghdad and the south sorely need. It would become a lose-lose situation for all involved. My guess is that this is all brinksmanship from local leaders to strengthen their negotiating position with the central government.

    Federalism will lead to disintegration and an Iraqi “Shiastan” that is under the thumbs of Iran (irrespective of whether mullahs or a new secular Iranian government comes into power). Such an Iraqi “shiastan” will be capable of producing 6-8 million bpd within a decade. Add that to Iran’s oil (4.5 milllion bpd) and natural gas output, and you should understand that America, Europe, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia simply cannot allow Iran to have that much control over the world’s lifeblood (probably a greater threat than any nuclear bomb is). So I conclude that disintegration of Iraq will not be allowed to happen by the powers that be.

    The sudden thirst for federalism is a symptom of an underlying disorder, and instead of masking the symptom, he needs to treat the disease process itself. If I was Maliki, I would strike deals with local leaders in the Sunni provinces and throw a few billion dollars there way in the form of oil/gas projects and electricity projects. For example, as I previously suggested, I don’t understand for the life of me why he doesn’t throw a few favors down the road to the Nujayfi brothers, some tribal leaders in Anbar and Ninawa, and form a leaner but more representative coalition that he can work with (and thereby undercut some of his political opponents in Iraqiya).

    Perhaps Maliki doesn’t do this because he fears empowering others. I would argue that he has no choice but to devolve power and make deals with the locals, and sooner or later, he will realize that. Retreating to getting support from the Kurds will get him no where. The Kurds are in no position to deliver to him what he sorely lacks. His main weakness is that he lacks political support from the above provinces (Anbar, Ninawa, Diyala, etc), and without that support, the central government cannot blossom (nor can it deal with the Kurdistan issues from a position of strength). So, yes, I find Maliki’s alternative strategy of chest-pounding to be futile as well as unconstitutional.

    regards,
    M

  33. Mohammed said

    All:

    By the way, just for kicks, I ran a few simple math calculations in light of how international Big Oil (French Total and Exxon) is now ignoring the Iraqi central government oil ministry.

    The Kurds are giving 5-6 dollars/barrel of profit to international oil companies to entice them to the north.

    The central government is offering closer to 1-2 dollars, and companies like French Total just recently announced the south isn’t worth it for that price.

    Imagine that instead of giving big Oll 1 dollar, that they give 3-4 dollars (so that means a loss to the Iraqi government of 2 dollars of profit per barrel compared to Iraq’s current offers), but by attracting immediate investment, Iraq increases its daily production by 1 million barrels per day by a year earlier (so that translates into an additional 365 million barrels of output per year compared to 0)

    365*(use 80 dollars profit for govt per barrel)*1 million barrels = 29.2 billion dollars of additional revenue by selling that oil a year sooner! Of course, I am not even counting how much 29 billion USD would be worth in 20 years if it was invested at 4% annual returns.

    vs

    365days*(giving up additional 2 dollars per barrel to oil company)*1 million barrels * 20 years = 14.6 billion dollars over a twenty year period in money lost to big oil when giving them better profits per barrel….

    So bottom line, getting an addition 1 million bpd out a year earlier, would (in 1 year!) more than make up for the amount of money Iraq would lose to the higher profit cut that big oil would take over a 20 year period (by a factor of 2X)!

    It boggles my mind as to understanding the oil ministry thought process!

    regards,
    M

  34. Salah said

    To A Van Ammelrooy

    Watch up looks Iraq spring get some force watch closely how Maliki will deal with it, most important US Europe and Iran Mullah

    Btw, electricity delivery to the houses in Baghdad today is two hours/day……

    And let see the big achievement Ja’afri in one of his speech telling Iraqis and the world in Iraq, see who they changed the things on the ground, but first let read what they done:

    شباب الاحتجاجات الى ساحة التحرير مجددا متطلعين لزخم دعم شعبي

    http://www.kitabat.com/index.php?mod=page&num=2555&lng=ar

  35. bb said

    Observer: belated thanks for that post. Our govt here (the one I referred to before) has been collapsing in serial lies and scandal and I have been glued to my armchair in front of the television. Even more absorbing than reading Reidar’s blog/tweets of serial lies and scandal.

    It was interesting you brought up the Feisal era. He always seemed to me to be a wise and farsighted man in my reading of those times. And yet he has disappeared into history. Should be in the Iraqi history curriculum if it is not already. Who “owns” the education portfolio over there?

  36. Observer said

    bb,
    the ministry is busy re-writing the curriculum by giving Da3wa the credit for everything :) Myself- I did not learn about the truth of Iraq’s history (be it ancient or modern) until i went to the west so I see no reason why this will change anytiem soon. Education in Iraq is by route and not by critical thinking….
    Peace

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