December 10, 2008

THERE IS NO IRAQ:

Maliki's tenure on ice as rift with Kurds widens: The Iraqi premier is increasingly at risk as cracks in his Shiite-Kurdish coalition grow in the waning days of the Bush administration, his other main ally. (Jane Arraf, 12/11/08, The Christian Science Monitor)

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's coalition of support is fraying. The Kurds, his chief Iraqi ally, are increasingly at odds with the Shiite premier over issues of power, oil, the military, and Kirkuk. Mr. Maliki's other main sponsor – the Bush administration – will also soon disappear. [...]

"Kurds have made a judgment that he cannot be trusted and that's the worst part of this – it's not about the technicalities of oil law and this and that – this issue of trust was shattered," says the Kurdish official who, like all of the people interviewed for this story, would speak only on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

"A lot of the issues that are involved … are characteristic of nation building and characteristic of competition for power and resources in nascent systems and that's what we are witnessing," says a senior US official. "I think relations obviously have deteriorated. What tangible impact that has on Maliki's ability to govern [is] hard to say but clearly this is problematic for him and for [the Kurds]."

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Posted by Orrin Judd at December 10, 2008 9:56 PM
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