Monday, January 09, 2006

The Sunni ignore Zarqawi and support Talabani's run for office.

Two developments took most of the interest in Iraq’s political scene today. The first is the latest audio tape of Zaqrqawi in which he urged the Iraqi Sunni parties especially the Islamic Party to abandon the political process and go back to the “right path”.

The Islamic Party didn’t need much time to voice their rejection for Zarqawi’s message and his ideology that recognizes only violence as a way to reach goals.
The 2nd man in the Islamic Party Ayad al-Samarra’i stressed that the Party has no intention to abandon the political process.
Salih al-Mutlaq is another Sunni politician who apparently feels that Zarqawi was addressing him as well. Al-Mutlaq has also condemned violence again today and stressed that “ending violence is the key to stability in Iraq”.

What matters most about such immediate firm reactions to Zarqawi’s call is that they show that the gap between foreign terrorists like Zarqawi and Sunni Arabs in Iraq is growing wider by the day and perhaps the Sunni politicians’ decision to join Allawi and let him lead their alliance will contribute to pushing them to a more reasonable, moderate attitude rather than the relatively extreme attitude they adopted for a long time.

The second important development in Iraq today was the Kurdish decision to nominate Jalal Talabani for presidency after a period of hesitation.
Actually what is more interesting in this topic is the reactions of the Shia and Sunni parties to Talbani’s nomination. While the Kurds persistently want more powers for the new president “be it Talabani or someone else” according to Kurdish politician AbdulKhaliq Zangana, Shia and Sunni had their own ideas;
The UIA said again that extending the authorities of the president is unlikely; Adnan al-Bayati from the UIA explained their rejection of the idea of extended authorities for the president by saying that changes such as this one cannot be made by a political decision…”they require amending the constitution” al-Bayati said.

The largest Sunni bloc, the Accord Front is obviously pleased with nominating Talabani and is supportive of giving the president more powers, as Adnan al-Dulaimi expressed today. The Sunni and Kurds seem to be getting along better lately and yesterday’s meeting between the Accord Front and the Kurdish alliance has apparently succeeded in approximating their points of view.

Meetings between major political powers continue in Baghdad; but not much is being revealed about the discussions that take place or the outcome of those meeting. What we are hearing is a repetition of older statements in most cases while a lot more is being kept behind closed doors. However, it is believed that politicians here plan to resume their meetings soon after the Eid holiday ends and with the participation of the Iraqi list represented by Allawi.

On the other hand, the election commission again delayed announcing the results of their investigations concerning fraud charges. The results that were planned for public announcement tomorrow will remain unknown until next Saturday.
In the same regard, the international investigation team has been actively in work and they had several meetings with the major political bodies; it was reported today that the team had a couple of 2-hour long meetings with Maram and the UIA one at a time to hear what each party has to say.

Almost no day passes in Iraq without security incidents that cause bloodshed. Today there was an attack on the compound of the interior ministry in Baghdad, a place with tight security and several defense lines and that’s what makes such attacks disturbing and rise our worries; when two terrorists wearing explosive belts can pass through six checkpoints and reach the information office of the interior ministry to detonate there then there’s a huge defect. And I actually think that a great deal of this defect lies in the fact that loyalty to a certain party or trend-and not competence-is still the first parameter relied upon in choosing people to occupy certain positions.

I realize that competence alone isn’t enough but in the same way, being loyal isn’t enough either. I know that it is a difficult balance but I’m sure if people in higher offices tried some objectivity, they’ll always be able to find people that are loyal (to the country) and competent at the same time.

I’m done for now…
Happy Eid everyone!

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