Today’s vote in the Iraqi parliament related to the bilateral relationship between the United States and Iraq is likely to be reported in the Western media as a case of “Shiites” giving certain concessions to “Sunnis” in exchange for their support for a deal on the withdrawal of US forces. That is not an accurate account of what has been going on in the Iraqi parliament over the past few days… Full story here.
Archive for November, 2008
Posted by Reidar Visser on Thursday, 27 November 2008 19:06
Posted by Reidar Visser on Thursday, 20 November 2008 15:46
One of the most acute issues in the post-surge debate in Iraq concerns the integration of the Awakening Councils/Sons of Iraq into the Iraqi Army. There is growing fear that the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will approach this issue much in the way it has dealt with other important questions relating to national reconciliation… Full story here (PDF, article on pp. 22-23.)
Posted by Reidar Visser on Wednesday, 19 November 2008 15:12
The scheme for the transformation of Basra to a federal region has passed its first hurdle after the Iraqi elections commission scrutinised the first submission of petitions demanding a referendum and certified them as representing more than the 2% of the electorate required to launch the process towards a referendum. The Basra federalists now face the far more challenging task of mustering the 10% needed to actually call a popular vote about Basra’s future. Simultaneously, there are signs that other pro-federal forces in and around Basra are still considering a bid that would compete with the project for a single-governorate federal entity based on Basra… Full story here.
Posted in Basra and southern regionalism | Comments Off on Signs of Competition in the Struggle about Basra and Federalism?
Posted by Reidar Visser on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 21:21
The Basra parliamentarian and former member of Wifaq Wail Abd al-Latif has announced that a petition requesting a referendum for the creation of the federal region of Basra (Iqlim al-Basra) as a standalone entity has been submitted to the Iraqi electoral commission, featuring 34,800 signatures. The petitioners believe that this number is sufficient to meet the requirement that at least 2% of the governorate voters should sign the initial petition (this would correspond to a total Basra voting population of 1,740,000). Full story here.
Posted in Basra and southern regionalism | Comments Off on An Initiative to Create the Federal Region of Basra Is Launched
Posted by Reidar Visser on Friday, 7 November 2008 15:00
With Barack Obama’s victory in the American presidential elections there are expectations of changes in US policy in Iraq, involving a substantial reduction of force levels. In the so-called Obama–Biden plan for Iraq, this is expressed as follows… Full story here.
Posted in US policy in Iraq: Leverage issues | Comments Off on The Obama Administration, Iraq, and the Question of Leverage
Posted by Reidar Visser on Monday, 3 November 2008 18:08
Today the Iraqi parliament finally passed a long-awaited modification of the provincial elections law of 24 September which adds special representation for certain specified ethno-religious minorities in certain areas. The process towards agreement on these changes has been a tortuous one, involving basic disagreements on issues such as state structure and federalism, identity questions, and gerrymandering of key electoral constituencies… Full story here.