• Kurdish Act of Secession?

    January 9, 2012

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Iraq

    On January 8, Iraq’s (Maliki-controlled) Interior Ministry in Baghdad demanded the Kurdistan Interior Ministry in Arbil hand over Vice-President Tariq al-Hashimi. TV networks quoted the Iraqi Interior Ministry as having demanded the Interior Ministry of northern Iraq’s Kurdistan Region to “cooperate with it in handing over al-Hashimi and 14 of his bodyguards and employees, according to arrest warrants, issued against them by the Iraqi Judiciary and Investigation Judges, according to the Iraqi Law’s Article 4 – Terrorism.”

    Later that same day, according to one Kurdish news source, Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Interior said he will not hand Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi over to Baghdad because he is a “guest”.

    This is the equivalent of a practical act of secession, a regional government denying the order of the central government.

    Meanwhile, the Al-Iraqiya bloc confirmed it will continue to boycott parliament.

    Defense Secretary Panetta said helplessly on CBS’ Face The Nation, “We’re confident that we have an Iraqi government and an Iraqi security force that is capable of dealing with the security threats that are there now. The level of violence has been down. It’s been down for a long time. And even though we’ve had these periodic acts of violence, that’s something we’ve experienced there for a long time. But the bottom line is that the Iraqis can provide good security and that our people can be secure in what they’re doing.” Thanks Leon, that adds a lot to the discussion.

    The rest of the country, the some 30 million people not involved in these political machinations, suffers from the destroyed infrastructure, the failed efforts of the nine year US campaign to rebuild the water, sewer and electrical grids. An article on al-Jazeerza chronicles the mess left behind. As just one example, according to a March 2011 report by the UN’s Inter-Agency Information and Analysis Unit, one in five Iraqi households use an unsafe source of drinking water, and another 16 per cent report daily supply problems.

    The situation is even worse in rural areas, where only 43 per cent have access to safe drinking water, and water available for agriculture is usually scarce and of very poor quality.

    The rest of Iraq continues to see a steady background hum of violence:

    Car bombs at Baghdad mosque and market against Shiites kill 11, hurt 44.

    13 casualties in 2 Karbala explosions
    1/8/2012 6:26 PM

    3 persons injured in 2 Kirkuk explosions
    1/8/2012 1:08 PM

    Shiite pilgrim killed in Baghdad
    1/7/2012 6:54 PM

    Driver’s body found in Wassit province
    1/7/2012 6:38 PM

    Bat-ha suicide bomber is an Arab – police sources
    1/7/2012 6:32 PM

    11 prisoners escape from Duhuk prison
    1/7/2012 4:24 PM

    Merchant kidnapped, al-Sahwa element injured in Kirkuk
    1/7/2012 10:03 AM

    Fuel tanker seized with its gunman-driver in Kut
    1/6/2012 5:36 PM

    5 mortar shells fall in various Baghdad areas
    1/6/2012 3:26 PM

    10 casualties in 2 explosions in Baghdad
    1/6/2012 2:13 PM

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