Thursday, July 1, 2010

Iraq Elections Shiite Wants to Cut Sunni Prime Minister Allawi’s Power

Tags: Iraq Stable? Prime Minister's Power Strong American President's Relatively Weak Election Politics, Newspaper and Media Propaganda Getting into High Gear Even MSNBC Increasingly Pro-Corporate, Anti-Obama Slant

McClatchy June 30, 2010, By Jane Arraf, Christian Science Monitor | Christian Science Monitor

Americans often do not realize that Prime Ministers have enormous powers compared to President Obama in running their respective countries. President’s can advise, but Congress, especially the Senate determines what laws pass. With the artificial 60 votes required before a vote on any bill can be passed because of Republican political and ideological rejection of any bill of consequence. In 2009, the number of filibusters by the Republicans were more than double that in one year for previous two year records.

With the corporate newspapers and media now propagandizing against Obama by slanting their emphasis and the order and time they spend on bashing Obama and the Democrats for events caused by the Bush Republicans, Obama and the Democrats must work even harder to get the truth out. Go to to understand where the support by corporations has now shifted dramatically.

Pick the news you want to watch with a certain amount time devoted to understanding the news. Olbermann and Rachel Maddow are good for those too tired or uninterested to read. Since both may intrude on Prime Time shows, the best time to learn is during the summer, after September, the unlimited funds allowed now by the crooked Roberts Supreme Court by corporations, except a boatload of deceptive campaign ads. Plan to switch channels or take the three minute and 1/2 break. I normally record so I can skip the 20 minutes of ads per hour.

Jim Kawakami, July 01, 2010,

… On Tuesday, Iraq's prime minister held a long-awaited meeting with the man who wants his job. But Maliki's Shiite alliance and Ayad Allawi's secular party seem little closer to forming a coalition government. Both claim the right to be prime minister and head a government - Maliki because his alliance formed after the election now holds a majority of seats and Allawi because his Iraqiya coalition actually won the most seats in the March vote.

The deadlock means the only way a coalition government will be formed is by a carefully crafted agreement between the main Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish factions - a process now expected to last into the fall.

"I think we're still in the preliminary stage," U.S. Ambassador Chris Hill told reporters Tuesday. "I think it's going to be fair to say that any eventual solutions are going to require hard and tough bargaining," said Hill, who might end up finishing his assignment here in September before a new government takes shape.


Maliki is popular in the street but widely resented by many other political leaders, including fellow Shiites. They accuse him of behaving like a dictator in measures that included setting up separate security services during his four years in power and launching military offensives without consultation.

Adeeb, re-elected to parliament as a member of Maliki's Dawa Party and a firm supporter of Maliki, said their Shiite alliance had agreed on a mechanism that would clip the wings of a new prime minister to prevent such unilateral action.

"We reached an agreement with the national alliance ... in order to restrict or bind unilateral movement by the prime minister," he said. "The prime minister will be the representative of this entity and therefore he should restrict himself to the strategies or the political programs of the alliance."

The Iraqi National Alliance (INA) includes the Dawa Party, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, and the Sadr movement - followers of hard-line cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and the biggest single bloc in parliament. The coalition has made clear that it will be guided by the directives of Shiite religious leaders in Najaf.

Allawi is a secular Shiite, but his Iraqiya party includes a large number of Sunnis, which the INA says precludes him from being given a post informally reserved for a Shiite. When the U.S. disbanded the Iraqi Army and banned former Baath Party members from government jobs, Sunnis suffered disproportionately. Disenfranchised and disillusioned, they formed the core of the insurgency and widely boycotted previous elections. The country is still emerging from the depths of civil war three years ago. …

In the streets, Iraqis care less about who will be prime minister or president than whether a new government will deliver health care, electricity, and jobs. Essential services have been a casualty of ministries run along sectarian and ethnic party lines and headed by ministers chosen by patronage rather than competence.

With violent protests this month over electricity cuts, ordinary Iraqis have signaled they've had enough.

"I think there is going to be a lot of political horse-trading," in forming the new government, said Ambassador Hill. "I think the biggest concern is one that a lot of the Iraqi people would have in that the Iraqi health minister should be the one who knows the most about health and the oil minister ought to be the person who knows the most about oil." …

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