Monday, August 11, 2014

Iraq Updates ( August 11 , 2014 ) - As Iraq spirals in political chaos as Maliki refuses to stand down and appears to have enacted a coup in Baghdad , while ISIS and other Sunni Rebels appear to have taken advantage of the political chaos to attack Baghdad , while the overall status of Iraq as one nation and not three potential partitioned states seems to hang by a thread - the US still intends to ramp up its new Iraq war ?

Afternoon news items....

Iraq's Maliki Refuses To Go: Says Only He Has The "Right To Represent State", Accuses US Of Intervening

Tyler Durden's picture

And it was going so well until Joe Biden called. Moments ago the PM who refuses to hand in his resignation spoke to the nation in a TV address. In short: he isn't going anywhere.
From Bloomberg:
And the punchline:
And from Al Arabiya:
: Iraqi PM Maliki accuses U.S. of helping with the violation of Iraq's constitution

Is Anyone In Control? The Iraq "Post Coup" Confusion Deepens

Tyler Durden's picture

While the US is alternating between bombing the north of Iraq, and occasionally paradropping MREs and jugs of water to keep up the "noble" facade of intervention, it is very much unclear if Iraq currently has a government and in fact, who is in charge. As reported yesterday, current PM al-Maliki, seemingly unhappy with relinquishing power when a new Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi was chosen, decided to conduct what many described as a military coup and encircled the residence of the president. Since then things have gotten quite confusing.
As Reuters summarizes, "Iraq's president named a new prime minister to replace Nuri al-Maliki on Monday, urging him to form a broad government that can stem communal bloodshed, but it was unclear whether Maliki would bow to U.S. and Iranian pressure to step aside.  A Shi'ite Muslim blamed by erstwhile allies in Washington and Tehran as well as Baghdad for driving the alienated Sunni minority into revolt, Maliki deployed loyal militias and special forces in the capital on Monday after making a defiant speech accusing the head of state of abusing the constitution.
There was no immediate reaction from Maliki to the naming of Haider al-Abadi as prime minister. However, Maliki's son-in-law, a close political ally, told Reuters that he would seek to overturn the nomination in the courts.
President Fouad Masoum asked Abadi, a leader of Maliki's Islamic Dawa Party, to lead an administration that can win the support of a parliament elected in April. In remarks broadcast on television, Masoum, an ethnic Kurd, urged him to "form a broader-based government" over the next month.
Abadi, who spent decades in exile in Britain during the rule of Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein, promptly assumed he was in control and urged national unity against the "barbaric" Islamic State. However, the Maliki faithful have little desire to go gentle into that good night: "We will not stay silent," Maliki's son-in-law Hussein al-Maliki said. "The nomination is illegal and a breach of the constitution. We will go to the federal court to object."
And just to complete the confusion, this is where the US got involved:
After Washington endorsed Masoum's attempts to break three months of post-election political deadlock that have hamstrung Baghdad's response to the Islamic State, Secretary of State John Kerry called on Maliki not to resort to force or "stir the waters" when Iraqis were seeking a change of leader.

In pointed remarks, he said: "The government formation process is critical in terms of sustaining stability and calm in Iraq and our hope is that Mr. Maliki will not stir those waters.

"There will be little international support of any kind whatsoever for anything that deviates from the legitimate constitution process that is in place and being worked on now."

As police and elite armed units, many equipped and trained by the United States, locked down the capital's streets, Kerry added: "There should be no use of force, no introduction of troops or militias in this moment of democracy for Iraq."


Before Abadi's nomination, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman reaffirmed support for a "a prime minister who can represent the aspirations of the Iraqi people by building a national consensus and governing in an inclusive manner".

"We reject any effort to achieve outcomes through coercion or manipulation of the constitutional or judicial process," she said in a statement, adding that the United States "fully supports" Masoum as guarantor of Iraq's constitution.
This culminated when none other than VP Biden called in: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden congratulated Haider al-Abadi on Monday for being Iraq's designated new prime minister and pledged U.S. support for an inclusive Iraqi government, the White House said. "The prime minister-designate expressed his intent to move expeditiously to form a broad-based, inclusive government capable of countering the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and building a better future for Iraqis from all communities," the White House said in a statement about the telephone call. "The vice president relayed President Obama's congratulations and restated his commitment to fully support a new and inclusive Iraqi government, particularly in its fight against ISIL," it said.
Of course, if left on its own, the situation would likely have promptly subsided with Maliki quietly exiting stage left. However, now that the US has made its intentions quite clear, and considering the US tracked record in recent years of picking the "winning candidate", suddenly all bets are off.
Then again, it may no longer matter just who, if anyone, is in charge: on Monday, police said the fighters had seized the town of Jalawla, 115 km (70 miles) northeast of Baghdad, after driving out the forces of the autonomous Kurdish regional government.
Because should ISIS take over Baghdad, watch as that that aggressively suppressed "Iraq geopolitical risk" crude premium soars through the roof.
Finally, it is not as if ISIS has no leverage: recall that the nuclear option before the jihadists is still on the table. Should all else fail, it can just blow up the Mosul dam it took over in the past week, flood the Tigris plain and countless Iraqi cities, culminating with Baghdad ending up under 16 feet of water, something which would make life for Joe Biden's son, Hunter, who may then also be named on the board of some leading Iraqi energy company in addition to Ukraine's Burisma, quite unbearable.

Tweets .....

IS told Mosul Dam workers they'd get paid if stayed on job Want power to continue to areas under their control

Pentagon official: US conducted 15 airstrikes in Iraq using F18s, F16s, and Predators, also have 60 surveillance aircraft involved

Mayville: Task to protect US facilities & citizens, protect US aircraft & target laying siege to Erbil. No plans to expand.

 Retweeted by 
Iraq Maliki imposed house arrest on all officials inside the Green Zone in Baghdad including minister & the kurdish president Fuad Masum

 Retweeted by 
Maliki refuses to recognise al-Abadi as PM nominee because he's the head of Rule of Law coalition he's pushing it.

BREAKING: president asks Haider al-Abadi to form new government: spokesman

Al-Maliki nominates Tareq Najm to form the new government in Baghdad

 Retweeted by 
Senior Shia Islamist politico from deep inside the Green Zone: Maliki will appear on TV again at 3PM following Abbadi nomination - "trouble

: National Iraqi alliance chooses Haydar Abbadi as a candidate for Iraq's Prime Ministerial post.

US officials have left the embassy in Baghdad

Iraqi rebels are about to enter Samarra

Al-Maliki asks his army to "defend the constitution"!

Al-Maliki's slaves in Baghdad are shouting "Allah - Al-Maliki"

Al-Maliki's loyal forces have closed Abu Nawwas, al-Jamhouriyya and al-Sa`doun roads in Baghdad city

A judge in the Federal Court says "We haven't asked al-Maliki's coalition to form a government". Confusion?

We got a copy of the Federal Court's statement that asks al-Maliki's coalition to form a new government in

+20 embassies in Baghdad have closed. Many diplomats have left the capital

Iraqi rebels destroy 3 cargo planes and 7 vehicles in Baghdad International Airport. +20 Maliki troops were killed

An explosion kills military officers in al-Rashidiyya in Baghdad

Iraqi rebels destroy an armored vehicle in south Baghdad

Tanks on the streets of Baghdad. There will be no post-US peaceful transition of power. The "democracy" they brought didn't outlast them.

 Retweeted by Liz Sly
Kerry's reference to 'the Shia' as choosing candidate for PM is 1 of the reasons Iraq is in such a mess- Iraqis should form govt, not a sect

Kerry: no support for Baghdad if Maliki violates the constitution. Obama: we will arm the Kurds. The breakup of Iraq continues.

militants defeat in town of Jalawla northeast of

 Retweeted by Joel Wing
. Reports that the Pesh lost Jalawla' after several hours intense fighting, w/ heavy casualties on both sides 1/2

via : Senior US officials: Obama administration has begun directly arming Kurds in

100s of pro- demonstrators were escorted into Firdous Square on top of about a dozen military trucks. They chanted "we r w/u Maliki!"

Iraqis and Syrians can cross the Iraqi-Syrian border without passports. ISIS doesn't recognize the artificial borders

 Retweeted by 
Sources tell me National Alliance first asked Tariq Najm but he refused & said Maliki would have to step down first (that's not happening

Anti War........

As Obama Broadens Iraq Goals, Escalation Seems Inevitable

Congressional Hawks Push to Dramatically Increase Air War

by Jason Ditz, August 10, 2014
President Obama’s goals in Iraq continue to grow every time he gives a speech, and the shifting sands are giving hawks more ammo in their constant push to escalate the new US war as much and as quickly as possible.
Obama’s goals have gone from protecting Irbil to protecting Irbil and Baghdad, and now to prevent the creation of an Islamic caliphate in Iraqi territory, as well as keeping all “strategic” sites in the nation from ISIS control. That’s a big shift, in only about 72 hours since he announced the war.
Retired Gen. Carter Ham today insisted that the latest US goals are going to be “very difficult” to pull off with only the 108 warplanes involved in the air campaign, and will likely require troops on the ground.
President Obama has insisted that ground troops aren’t being considered, but the credibility of that claim is very much in doubt, given the 2,000 US Marines already stationed just offshore, and the Air Force analysts saying 15,000 ground troops will be needed just the support the current air war, which the administration insists will be a “long campaign.”
Congressional hawks were on board with the new war, of course, but are alreadychomping at the bit for dramatic escalations, insisting that the current goals are likewise insufficient and that an enormous war against ISIS should be undertaken.
Sen. John McCain (R – AZ) and others were also pushing to expand the war immediately into neighboring Syria to attack ISIS targets there. Given the US support for rebel factions in Syria, attacking the largest such rebel faction, ISIS, inside Syria would be a major mixed message, but one McCain and many others in Congress seem comfortable with so long as escalation is the result.
The administration laid the groundwork for this precipitous escalation months ago, when it started sending military assets into the region in anticipation of “evacuating the embassy.” Now, despite all protestation to the contrary, fear of mission creep seems very well founded, and the mission is not just creeping into a bigger one, it is exploding at an alarming rate.