Iraq and Gulf Analysis

Down to the Wire: Maliki Adviser Reportedly De-Baathified

Posted by Reidar Visser on Thursday, 4 March 2010 14:25

The big news out of Iraq today is a report that sources in the accountability and justice board say they have written to the Iraqi elections commission (IHEC) to have the name of candidate number 10 for the State of Law list in Najaf, Abbud Wahid al-Eisawi, struck from the ballot paper. Eisawi is a tribal adviser to Nuri al-Maliki.

Regardless of whether this will actually come to pass or not, the case has two dimensions. Firstly it proves that the forces behind the de-Baathification process wanted this issue to define the Iraqi political climate throughout the period leading up to the elections. With exclusions – or possibilities of exclusions – still being discussed at this late stage, one senses a kind of politics that is characteristic of neighbouring Iran, rather than one that is reminiscent of democracy in the liberal tradition.

Secondly, this development underlines the extent to which the Iraqi National Alliance was always in the lead in the de-Baathification process, and that Maliki was following after. Of course, eventually some Maliki adherents in the governorates went even further than INA in inventing new procedures for excluding political enemies.

The question now is whether Maliki will use this affair to make a last-minute, much-overdue public verdict on the whole flawed de-Baathification process. Reinstating some former officers in the army isn’t enough; it is the collapse of the rule of law that needs to be addressed. Conversely, the stance of Iraqiyya, which has been critical of de-Baathification all the way (and one of its major victims) will also be interesting. Rumours continue to swirl as to its possible post-election alliance with INA, which would be a veritable sell-out and a sorry end to the whole de-Baathification affair – an INA creation where Iraqiyya has always been at the receiving end.

The Iraqi elections still feature intra-Shiite competition. But they are a competition in de-Baathification rarther than a contest in national leadership.

26 Responses to “Down to the Wire: Maliki Adviser Reportedly De-Baathified”

  1. Salah said

    a competition in de-Baathification rarther than a contest in national leadership.

    Any one following Iraqi politic games should reach the conclusions there were have been nothing at related to “national leadership” or nationalism? In fact the major parties are following their handlers from outside as they midwife them 20 years ago.

    As per Maliki, as soon as the election coming closer is trying to make himself l looking more nationalist than other either by posing reconciliation and distancing himself from his handler behind the Curtin.

    The fact is watch their behaviours after the election effortlessly will tell very clearly.

    The other matter is a corruptions chain of a complete ranking officials that Maliki himself covering up all the matter even those who caught they managed in the last mint flee with billions through Iran. May be the clear example on of relative to high rank Iraqi governmental official caught in UAE airport with billions of US dollars in cash with him!! It’s just smellier to Iranian saga of 8.2billions that Turkey intersected by track drivers loaded with tones of gold and US dollars cash.

    In the end I doubt these guys working for their nation and the de-Beatifications matter the use it to hang their faults after same guys they give up from their old stupid religious scenario as more and more Iraqi have leaving and ignoring these new pro-Iranian Mullah style in Iraq.

    Its might worth reading below for the records:

    What surprised Petraeus and Crocker was not the Iranian’s role. They knew that already. It was the blunt confidence with which Suleimani stated it. As the head of the infamous Quds Force, he commands all the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) operations outside Iran’s borders—whether covert, overt, or outright terrorist. In the fractious politicking almost certain to follow Iraq’s parliamentary elections on Sunday, this 53-year-old Iranian general could pull the strings that make or break the new government in Baghdad.

  2. haider said

    salah,

    where are you getting these stories from, please share your sources with us, maybe you also know who killed JFK.

    regards

  3. Salah said

    حيــدر

    ظــل بنومــك ورجليــك بالشمـــس, بالطبع الا انت واحد من هذولة محبوب ايران .

    بالله عليك روح وعيش في جمهورية ايران اللاسلامية .

  4. Reidar Visser said

    Salah, just to weigh in, I agree with Haider that it would be helpful to other readers if you backed up your position on Maliki/Iran in a more solid fashion. The quote you present relates to INA rather than to SOL. If you look at some of Haider’s other comments (previous post) I doubt that you can label him a “beloved of Iran”.

  5. Salah said

    they behave like the tyrant when he give some money or gifting some thing use to call its as مكرمة
    as if he give from his pocket not from national wealth which should goes to Iraqi people all, nowadays these new guys the playing same game

    شهد اليوم الأخير للحملة الانتخابية في العراق تكثيفاً شديداً للدعاية من جانب المرشحين والكتل الانتخابية وإطلاق المزيد من الوعود الانتخابية. ففي بلدة الحلة، تعهد أحد المرشحين بدفع نصف راتبه للأرامل في حال فوزره في الانتخابات. ووقع المرشح على تعهده أمام شهود حتى لايتنصل منه بعد الانتخابات.

    أما في مدينة البصرة في الجنوب والتي يتنافس فيها المرشحون على وسائل جذب الناخبين، فقد وعد المرشح عطية المرياني البصريين باقتطاع دولار من كل برميل نفط تنتجه مدينتهم وتوزيعه على فقراء البصرة .
    http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2010/03/05/102267.html

  6. Salah said

    Reidar,

    Maliki?iran matter its not matter need aproveal or eveidances as same as other Da’awa parties and figurs.

    Firstly Malki was flee to Iran trained and supported so long by Iranians, then he went to Syria for some arraignment off course with Iranians plan as for other Da’awa party members.

    Secondly, the obvouse example of how Maliki so CLOSE to Irainains his last visite met with Khamionie stripping off his tie and shoes, I wounder if Khaminie did and doing these things with any NON-Iraian vistores!

    Anyway I had to go back so long to give the links for these which off course حيــدر Already dismissed there are Iranians influences inside Iraq, and his way of provoking of JFK saga.

    I don’t know if this fact be neglected that Iran with here supporters control the government

  7. Reidar Visser said

    But as I never tire of pointing out: He did put the tie back on in Jan 2009…

    https://gulfanalysis.wordpress.com/2009/01/04/ahmadinejad-praises-maliki-for-the-sofa/

    More seriously speaking, he did try to reach out in Salih al-Mutlak in March 2009. In my interpretation, that’s when the counter-move by Iran/INA materialised.

  8. Salah said

    Reidar,

    So do you believe that Iran have nothing to do with Iraq chaos, internal affairs and politicise from 2003 till now?

    Let not forgot in a speech intended to rally the nation as it marked the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Ahmadinejad dictating who should is in power in Iraq which purely Iraq internal affairs which clearly an insulating and undiplomaticall in the world politics.

  9. Salah said

    But as I never tire of pointing out: He did put the tie back on in Jan 2009…

    Hummm….. words taken by him and his handler after the first one blow-up all over inside Iraq

  10. Reidar Visser said

    Salah, of course not, I have written extensively about Iranian influence in Iraq before, e.g. http://www.tcf.org/publications/internationalaffairs/Visser.pdf
    I’m just saying that the relationship between SOL and Iran seems more complicated than that between INA and Iran and for that reason we should try to focus on the empirical and avoid undue innuendo.

  11. Salah said

    that reason we should try to focus on the empirical and avoid undue innuendo.

    Agreed but if some who call themselves Iraqis, went and calling to pay 100 billions of Iraq money to Iran as compensation of 8 years of war without taking account UN resolutions in that matter, or a minister play oilfield sharing saga, who imports gas and oil from Iran while he re pumping back down Iraqi oil back to the ground and more of these behaviours what we can say more…

  12. Zahra said

    Dear Reider,

    “Conversely, the stance of Iraqiyya, which has been critical of de-Baathification all the way (and one of its major victims) will also be interesting. Rumours continue to swirl as to its possible post-election alliance with INA, which would be a veritable sell-out and a sorry end to the whole de-Baathification affair – an INA creation where Iraqiyya has always been at the receiving end.”

    In your blogs I have found a refreshing depth that is rare in many blogs on Iraq. What I have found surprising though is an anomalous lack of depth in analysing Iraqiyya. You seem to completely take at face value their claim to be the only nationalist, iranian-influence free bloc in Iraq, working solely for the interests of the Iraqi people. However, many of their actions seem to go against this suggestion. Firstly, despite gaining some seats in Parliament, Allawi preferred to live outside Iraq, working with different groups and governments to overturn the elected iraqi government. How could that possibly be in the interests of Iraq, to be destabilised in such a fashion? and how could such a young and fragile democracy survive its elected prime minister being replaced by outside forces?

    I think the rumours of Iraqiyya joining with INA, if true, highlights this point more than anything else. they are supposed to be at the extreme opposite ends of the spectrum. Iraqiyya claim to despise everything that teh INA stands for, so how could a partnership work between them? unless the partnership was about gaining power rather than serving Iraq’s interests.

    I hope to see your usual level of analysis when dealing with the Iraqiyya, their words AND ACTIONS.

  13. Reidar, guys, there is so much happening in the present. Reidar I don’t mean to step on your toes but could we please forget about the past these couple of days?
    Salah quoted “What surprised Petraeus and Crocker… was the blunt confidence with which Suleimani stated (the Iranian role)” If the quote is true then it is worrying; a long time ago I heard a sentence which rang very true: War happens when all of the warring parties think they can win (sorry Haider I can’t get you a link or guess who killed JFK..) What I am trying to say is that the postures of the US and Iran over Iraq is alarming because both believe they are winning and we have the perfect flashpoint of the Iraqi elections in the making.
    Today I voted in Montreal, the voting went smoothly as it should, I think the potential trouble spot is the vote distribution in southern Iraq.

  14. haider said

    dear reider,

    I salute your insight into Maliki’s position with iran, what salah doesnt know that daawa was more or less kicked out of iran in the early eighties because the iranians wanted daawa to swear allegiance to wilayet al fagih. Daawa refused and the iranians created SCIRI. So it is clear who are the iranian agents in iraq at the moment. And no salah i am not asleep, but i am not going to be brainwashed again into hating iran, i am against foreign intervention in iraq, but i am not going to be stupid enough to talk about iran, rather than the 100,000 US troops in iraq right now.

    regards

  15. Zahra said

    Has anyone else noticed how Iraqiyya seems to be setting the scene for claiming the elections a sham if they don’t win? Starting from inflated predictions about their popularity in Iraq to continuous raging on about fraud and breaches in the electoral process on Sharqiya, Baghdadia, Arab and world media.

    There is an estimated 500,000 observers and monitors, both foreign and Iraqi. I am sure there will be many breaches, but the way that the scene is being set, Iraqiyya are distancing themselves from the fraud and claiming that others are committing it. When the results come out, they will claim that whoever the winner is committed it, and they of course are the eternal victims in Iraq.

    Their stance, while being packaged as concern for the legitimacy of the process in Iraq, appears to mask a complete lack of concern for the consequences for democracy in Iraq if they try to play this card if they lose.

    Ironically, the only list that was breaching the no-campaigning rule outside the voting centre in Wembley, London, was 333 – at the same time that Ayad Allawi was on TV complaining about breaches by ‘others’. Moreover, Sharqiya was calling the chaos over which documents are permissible in London as election fraud!

    There is more worryingly such a fine line between a warning and a threat when it comes to predicting violence and civil war in Iraq. Allawi not happy about debaathification, he warns about a civil war. Allawi not happy about a few alleged breaches, he warns about a violent eruption… Shouldn’t a responsible Iraqi leader be calling on his supporters to keep their protest peaceful at all times, and put human life above alleged imperfections in the political process?

  16. Reidar Visser said

    Zahra, I agree that there are certainly issues to be debated when it comes to Iraqiyya too. I have previously expressed criticism of their flirtation with Hakim and INA more generally, which just won’t seem to go away. I wrote about this last september, at https://gulfanalysis.wordpress.com/2009/09/21/why-an-allawi-hakim-alliance-would-mean-retrogression-in-iraq/
    My concerns relate to the ideological contradiction i.e. why would they make an alliance with the party that created so many of the fundamental problems in Iraqi politics by insisting on keeping the Shiite federalism option open, and which more recently has been responsible for de-Baathifying some of the most profiled nationalists? And I agree that at times their lofty nationalist rhetoric has been compromised by their absence from Iraq and the parliamentary scene in particular.

    In their defence, though, I would say that they have demonstrated an ability to bring an alliance together and keep the secularist-nationalist vision alive at times when winds in Iraqi politics were blowing in other directions. Also with respect to your criticism regarding elections complaints, we must remember that 8 out of the 9 IHEC commisssioners are beholden to the Shiite Islamist parties, the Kurds and Tawafuq. I think that goes some way towards explaining why Iraqiyya keeps focusing on procedural issues. And to be honest, with the deterioration of the political climate in Iraq over the past months and the increasingly savage attacks on political opponents in the name of “constitutionalism”, it seems necessary to keep a critical perspective on the basics of the political process itself.

  17. “why would they make an alliance with the party that created so many of the fundamental problems in Iraqi politics”

    Reidar, I think Allawi is doing politics on multi-level the Iranian way, which is more likely to succeed. It is also important to counter leverage Iranian-Kurdish alliances. I find Zahra’s estimation of 500,000 observers incredible and I admire rather than criticize Allawi’s latest politics.

  18. Zahra said

    just to clarify, I was using the IHEC’s estimate, rather than my own.

    I personally don’t admire a campaign that promises to uproot the fundamental problems in Iraq by day, and works with the people creating those problems by night. I find it completely lacking in integrity. Either you say everyone has something to contribute to the process so lets all work together, or you set yourself aside as someone with a genuine vision for change. You can’t drag INA’s name in the mud and then plan to use them to get the PM role.

    Reider, I have a separate question for you. I couldn’t make out from your analysis whether you are opposed to debaathification in principle, or just the way it has been politicised and abused. If it’s the latter, then I completely and wholeheartedly agree with you.

    However, if you oppose debaathification in principle, then I find that very worrying. I think Baathist propaganda has been extremely successful in linking all of iraq’s woes to debaathification, as if the removal of senior baathists is the key to all of iraq’s problems, and their return will mark the key solution. I think anyone who believes that line of argument did not witness the level of oppression that was practiced by baathists against the Iraqi people. I’m not talking about people who were forced to join the party, but those whose amibition and criminality drove them to kill and maim hundreds of thousands of innocent iraqis so they can rise up the ranks of the party. I think debaathification is central to Iraq’s democracy surviving and flourishing because Baathists corrupt the institutions that they infiltrate – military coups and assasinations are their traditional method of gaining power – who are they supposed to be trusted to run a democracy? You expressed woe once at the removal of professors – again I agree that the process MUST be a fair and transparent one, but the removal of a professor in principle is not shocking to someone who knows how iraqi universities were hotbeds of state terrorism, and many professors only gained their academic title through reporting politically active students and resulting in their arrest and murder.

    Which brings me to my last point, the biggest problem with the Accountability board’s in my opinion is that it made martyrs out of people like Saleh Al-Mutlak and Zafir Al-Ani, who have both recently praised the Baath party and its leadership (Al-Ani even praised the quelling of the uprising and the Anfal campaign). Those people should have been banned in a completely open and transparent matter because they should not be trusted to hold public office in Iraq, given their allegiance to the Baath party and their refusal to even distance themselves from its crimes.

  19. Reidar Visser said

    Zahra, to clarify my views on this, not knowing the full details of his background, I am not for or against Mutlak, I just insist on his right to due process. And I think it is pretty clear that the process of excluding him has not been transparent, and that the legal framework that has been referred to has severe contradictions in it, not least concerning the partial, selective and ad hoc way in which article 7 of the constitution has been evoked in a situation where no law implementing that article has been adopted by the Iraqi parliament.

    The AJ legislation of Jan 2008 may or may not be the right way of handling de-Baathification. Personally I would recommend a process that focused on individual crimes rather than mass exclusions based on blanket assumptions of guilt derived from what kind of job a person had pre-2003. Anyway, that decision is for Iraqis to make, all I am suggesting is that exclusions of candidates should be on the basis of a judicial process referring to a consistent and complete legal framework instead of the politicised and unpredictable developments we have seen lately.

  20. Zahra said

    Dear Reider,

    Thank you for the clarification – I agree with you, the process needs to be clarified and made more transparent.

    I am just sad that Lami and Chalabi have used this to their advantage, while giving the pro-Baath camp a lot of material for their propaganda. Only a fair and transparent procedure will ensure that criminals are kept out of public office, while not making martyrs out of them.

  21. Salah said

    but i am not going to be stupid enough to talk about iran, rather than the 100,000 US troops in Iraq right now.

    Well….well one very basic and “Stupid” questions who came and put in power initially from first day worked with Americans against the wishes of most Iraqis Haider?

    SCIRI, Jaffary, Mliki and all proxy-iraians Mullahs, or you have different list of names.

    While I talking about Iran, my concerns like most Iraqi as Iran did and doing more damage to Iraq and its socity than others but not more than US and Israel what they have done and doing. These are facts any Iraqi will talk about.

    Btw, Hider we love to see where you setting right now and commenting please? inside Iraq or not?

  22. Zahra said

    Actually Salah, the two people who came with the US were Ahmed Al-Chalabi and Ayad Allawi – there was a struggle between the pentagon and the state department about which of them should become PM, and Allawi won the fight. The others contributed to ensure that the process is democratic and representative – refusing to have just one hand-picked man in power.

    We have to be vigilant about Iranian interference, but I would also like the same vigilance when it comes to Saudi, syrian, jordanian and turkish interference too. Iran is not the only state that is using iraq as a pawn in its power struggle against the US and Saudi Arabia.

  23. bb said

    500,000 observers sounds a lot, but the IMIE report on the Dec 05 election records there were nearly 400,000 observers and 2500 media accreditations so this figure is probably correct.

    Along with the 6000plus candidates it shows the extraordinary level of interest in the Iraqi democratic process.

  24. haider said

    habibi

    i am in najaf, come visit me anytime,

  25. Zahra said

    How is Iraqiyya able to say, only minutes after the ballot boxes were closed, that they have won in various cities, by up to 60% of the votes??!!?? THE VOTES HAVE NOT BEEN COUNTED YET – the votes were a SECRET.

    This seems to confirm my suspicion – that they first inflate their alleged victory and then they will say that the elections were rigged against them if their predictions don’t prove true!

  26. Salah said

    Zahra
    who came with the US were Ahmed Al-Chalabi and Ayad Allawi

    Zahra,

    CIA have rushed Chalabi with billions and he got all Da’awa and others under his Tean,so they financed by CIA, it’s need kid barin no prove needed and understand what’s went with all these guyes, We must be clear if US have see Malki Ja’afri a threat to them and against their occupation they will took them long time not putting in power , I don’t know what credentials they had promoting them to PM PM, this is the way suite US and also those Iranian-Proxy, same as Khominie when every Friday slogon Death to US and Israeli for 25 years but he did not mind to get support from US and Israeil.

    Any way I agree with you that any interferance should be a concerns to all iraqes but what we see uis the iraqi officail talking about all interfrences but not Irains, also Iran interference is far from presenting avidness here annd links to approve for those who on long sleep like Hidier.

    Anyway I think I went far in this is the last comment from in this matter as it’s very clear not because I would like to but its on the ground in Najaf where hidier enjoying trading with Iran currency and the spoken language is Persian.

    Finally let be clear I had nothing against Irain’s people, I am not HATING Iranians or Iran, I hate the mullah who have dreven Iran and their polices in Iraq

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