Iraq and Gulf Analysis

Welcome to Malikistan

Posted by Reidar Visser on Saturday, 29 October 2011 17:39

During a television interview today, amid accusations of exaggerated de-Baathification and Sunni federalist initiatives, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has added some interesting perspective on his own vision of Iraq.

With respect to the recent wave of arrests, Maliki tried to make the point that the majority of the arrests took place south of Baghdad rather than in the north, implying in other words that most of those arrested were Shiites and not Sunnis. That should be fine as long as those arrested are actually charged with specific crimes rather than punished for their links to the Baath in the past.

Regarding de-Baathification of teachers in Salahaddin, Maliki suggested that those dismissed were former intelligence officials (in which case the sackings would be legal). He nonetheless announced the formation of an investigatory committee, which is a strange ad hoc move. There already is a special appeals institution for de-Baathification, although it has been inoperative for a long time due to the failure of parliament to agree on some of the replacement judges.

The money paragraph in the interview is the following one, on federalism for Salahaddin:

وأشار المالكي إلى أن “ما حصل في صلاح الدين طلب وليس إعلان عن إقليم”، لافتا إلى أن “هذا الطلب سيقدم الى مجلس الوزراء الذي سيرفضه كونه قائم على خلفية طائفية وحماية البعثيين وخلفيات أخرى غير واضحة”.

First, Maliki clarifies that what has transpired in Salahaddin is not really a declaration of a federal region, since this is not legally possible. This is correct, and thankfully the electoral commission has also contributed on a clarification on the subject, underlining that the governorate can only make the first step towards the creation of a federal region and not simply declare it. But what follows is complete nonsense. Maliki says the government will reject the request for a referendum because it “is based on a sectarian grounds, intended to offer protection of Baathists, and on other unclear grounds”!

This comment by Maliki is tantamount to pissing on the constitution. As long as they stay faithful to the procedures laid down in the law for forming regions, Iraqis can create federal regions for whatever reasons they want. No one has the right to enquire about the motives as long as the modalities are done correctly. If Maliki wants to change that – and there are good reasons for restricting federalism options so as to avoid a constant string of useless federalism attempts – he must work to change the constitution.

It is a sorry sign of the state of play in Iraq that both opponents and proponents of the Salahaddin federal region are now making up their own laws.

15 Responses to “Welcome to Malikistan”

  1. Kermanshahi said

    The people of Kerkuk have been waiting for such referendum for 8 years now. What, you think al-Maliki suddenly cares about the constitution when it comes to Salahadin?

  2. Reidar Visser said

    Kermanshahi, I must remind you that an actual request for a referendum to form a region, whether from one third of the gvernorate council members in Kirkuk or one tenth of the electorate there, has yet to be submitted to the government.

    Referendums under article 140 are of course a different and more contentious subject.

  3. Salah said

    “is based on a sectarian grounds…”

    I wonder what Maliki will call Basra call also, or Myssan or Nasyriah all of the should will tagged as ““is based on a sectarian grounds”
    Is he with the reality, why then he came to power? Is not ““is based on a sectarian grounds”? not for his merits?

    Reidar Visser, please don’t delete this, this one of Maliki speeches to “Fake Sheikhs” meeting south listen what he said…

    احد يكدر ياخذه للسلطه حتى ننطيه بعد

    Welcome to Malikistan

    To those who don’t know Arabic (Iraqi accent) Malki Publically said

    “Can anyone get it from me, we will never give it back”

  4. Observer said

    Glad to see (or may be sad) that you are finally yielding to the logic of increasingly heavy evidence of Maliki’s intent on monopolizing of power to the benefit of Da3wa and at the expense of Iraq’s long term interests. A bit too late. I had a meeting tonight with a high ranking Kurdish officials and let me tell you that the Kurds are very alarmed and see a potential for the repeat of the debacle of 1975. Alla Yustor.

  5. Joker said

    Salah, I know your English isn’t great so I’ll excuse your translation. He didn’t say I, he said We. And it is a commonly held view. Which is that the Shia of iraq, who (along with the Kurds) have historically been the oppressed and excluded from government and power, now have their voice and will never give it up or let it be taken away.

  6. robinson said

    Note the Anbaris taking the constitutional high road: (though perhaps I should wait to see what the “appropriate response” before making that claim)

    وقال عضو مجلس المحافظة فارس طه الفارس في حديث لـ”السومرية نيوز”، إن “مجلس المحافظة اتخذ خلال جلسة اليوم، عدة قرارات اهمها إمهال الحكومة العراقية ثلاثة أيام لإعادة المعتقلين إلى المحافظة والتحقيق معهم من قبل قضاء الأنبار بحسب ما نص عليه الدستور”، معتبرا حملات الاعتقالات “جريمة قانونية يحاسب عليها الدستور”.

    وأضاف الفارس أنه “في حال عدم استجابة الحكومة إلى ذلك، فسيتم عقد جلسة طارئة لأعضاء المجلس ووزراءه في الحكومة ونوابه في البرلمان وشيوخ العشائر والقبائل ومدراء الدوائر والمؤسسات الحكومية للوصول إلى اتفاق حول الرد المناسب”، داعيا إلى “أن يكون الدستور هو الفيصل بين المحافظة والحكومة الاتحادية”.

  7. Reidar,

    Forgive me for putting this up top but the Baathist arrest post is a few days ago and this is related anyway. I’ve been trying to figure out what the legal basis for arresting these “Baathists” was – as you noted, Article 7 isn’t self executing and the 2008 Accountability and Justice Law doesn’t empower these arrests either.

    The answer is provided by Interior Ministry Undersecretary Adnan al-Asadi who admitted most arrests were without arrest warrants and not under debaathification but counterterrorism law. That quote is at the bottom of this article: al-Hayat. As you know, Asadi is very much Maliki’s man, so we can take this as authoritative.

    And this is the text of the law: Counterterrorism Law No. 13 of 2005. They appear to be operating under article four. Of course it doesn’t allow the government to just arrest people at will, but this is the legal basis they are going under.

    Kirk Sowell

  8. Salah said


    now have their voice and will never give it up or let it be taken away.
    Leaders elected to lead the nation & should work for them not for himself or for his group.

    Yes “You” got the voice, time to show 25 million Iraqis waiting for “Your” hard work?
    Eight & Half years passed backed and supported by Supper power, the public service bad, Water Swag Bad, corruptions sky rocketing the country with billions of dollars we never heard of this numbers spent and till now Iraq is as a big slump>

    Tel us what these 25 millions do with “Your” voice?

  9. A.Mushir said

    This was bound, and certainly expected to happen with the withdrawal of US forces. Announcement of the reinitiation of the debaathification process was announced just after Obama confirmed that all US forces would be leaving by year’s end.

    Without the Americans to get in the way, the Iranian backed Shiites can now use the cloak of debaathification to paralyze the Sunnis. What the Sunnis are doing with these calls for regions is a reaction to the threats, they are trying to fight back to retain the little influence they have left.

    In the end the only lesson to be learnt from this is that the Kurds have been right from the beginning, that other Iraqis should accept the only way to secure the rights of all peoples and keep the country stable is to create different regions and decentralise power.

  10. Salah said

    Kirk Sowell
    not under debaathification but counterterrorism law.

    There is defiantly a straggle under which name they done the job, in fact in Anbar reports that special forces done the arrests, they came to the city and took 55 of the arrests back to Baghdad. No one know this force.

    If Maliki made his arrests and stick to debaathification name then this will raise a lot of questions about those folks within Maliki circle who were Ba’athists before now changed their hearts and mind and now with Maliki cabinet.

    Looks choosing counterterrorism law more convent name to claim fits the arresting folks.

  11. Reidar Visser said

    Today, there is more nonsense on the Salahaddin federalism bid from Maliki ally Abbas al-Bayati. He finds it ill-timed and “separatist” in nature:

    اكد النائب عن ائتلاف دولة القانون عباس البياتي أن الدوافع التي تقف وراء اعلان صلاح الدين اقليما هي دوافع تقاطعية مع الحكومة الاتحادية وليست تنسيقية . مشيراً الى إن ” اعلان الاقليم جاء بناءً على رغبة في التقاطع والانفصال الى جانب عدة قضايا وأمور تؤدي الى نوع من التضارب بين السلطة الاتحادية وسلطة هذا الاقليم”.

    وقال البياتي لوكالة كل العراق [أين] اليوم الاثنين ” إننا لا نتعامل مع اقليم صلاح الدين من باب الخطورة ، ولكن نجد بأنه لا توجد هناك مقومات لنجاح مثل هكذا اقليم “.

    واضاف أن” توقيت اعلان اقليم صلاح الدين كان غير دقيقاً لأنه القى بظلاله على جميع المشاكل بصورة سلبية في البلاد”.

    Again, as long as the Salahaddin leaders launch their scheme according to existing laws it is not Bayati’s or anyone else’s business to second guess about their motives.

  12. Reidar, another Iraqi source citing you on the federalism and Baathism issue. You’d think they could figure this out themselves.
    Ur Agency

  13. Salah said

    And more here from Dhi-Qar

    رئيس مجلس ذي قار يهدد بإقامة إقليم إذا لم يعدل قانون مجالس المحافظات ، وأعضاء المجلس ينتقدون ما أقدمت عليه صلاح الدين

  14. Salah said

    Looks another trouble within Salahaddin, Town Al – Dijail threaten to withdraw from Salahddin as part of the city, will ask to added to Baghdad if Salahaddin move forward with their call.

    What a Bazar in this bit of news, was done during meeting of sheikh and high ranking people in this small town.

    It’s picking my attentions that in this meeting claims there were 200 Shiekh…….to those they don’t know Al – Dijail it’s a small country town:

    Al – Faris Qatha Center ( Al – Dijail ) with Area 1286 (Sq. Km.)

    Reporting in a small country area 200 Sheikh unbelievably nonsenses.

    So in future reading sheikh you need to think ten times to believe what reported about the new Iraq Sheikhs and their “massive” numbers.

    الدجيل يهدد بالانفصال عن صلاح الدين في حال اعلان الاقليم

    صلاح الدين / هدد قائممقام وشيوخ قضاء الدجيل ووجهائه،الثلاثاء، بالانفصال عن محافظة صلاح الدين في حال اصر مجلس المحافظة على تشكيل واعلان الاقليم.
    وقال رئيس الهيئة الادارية لقضاء الدجيل محمد محمود المجيد، في مؤتمر صحفي حضره مراسل وكالة انباء المستقبل اليوم الثلاثاء ،انه:” في حال استمر مجلس محافظة صلاح الدين في خطوات اعلان الاقليم فان قضاء الدجيل سينفصل عن المحافظة “.
    واضاف ان ” القضاء سيفك ارتباطه نهائيا بمجلس المحافظة وسيتوجه لمفاتحة محافظة بغداد للانضمام اليها كونها المحافظة الاقرب للقضاء “.
    وحضر المؤتمر الذي نضمته الهيئة الادارية للقضاء بالتعاون مع شيوخ القضاء ووجهائه اكثر من 200 شيخ عشيرة ومثقفي القضاء “.
    يذكر ان مجلس محافظة صلاح الدين صوت باغلبية الثلثين لاعلان المحافظة اقليما اداريا واقتصاديا في 27-10 الماضي .(انتهى)
    جاسم الخزرجي

  15. Here is a very interesting rebuff to Malikistan from its own marje3iya.

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