A Maliki Dictatorship for Iraq?
Maliki appears to be drifting inexorably toward some kind of authoritarianism with his attacks on al-Hashimi, a Sunni vice president, and the parading of the guards “confessions” in front of the TV cameras. He may believe that with the Americans gone there is no one to stop him, but he should remember the long history of Iraqi governmental assassinations in the twenties and be wary of trying to cow his biggest bloc of opponents in Parliament. We would all hate to see democracy such as it is thrown away for the ego of one man, but it certainly wouldn’t be the first time, especially in Iraq. One can hope that Maliki is not getting the tyrant disease of paranoia, believing that all are against him, so he must crack down harshly on the nearest target. After all, he wanted the job he’s got now, and should remember that if he has friends in Iran, al-Hashimi also may have many more friends outside the country.
Was al-Hashimi really plotting against Maliki? What will happen to him if he is actually put behind bars? What effect would that have on the government. The Iraquyia bloc has already walked out of Parliament. Does Maliki really think he can go it alone, or is Maliki trying to give the US a reason to put some troops back in? After all, many of them will remain very near by. Of course, it’s useless to speculate. We really don’t know.
Here’s another question: Does any one know why Camp Victory was turned over to the American Embassy rather than to the Iraqis? Or was it? I saw a report in the NYT to that effect, I think, but I have also seen others saying it was handed over to Iraq. Who is running the tower at the Baghdad International Airport? Why aren’t we getting any of this on our news? My gut says something is being hidden, but it could be that the situation in North Korea has just wiped everything else of any of the pages of newspapers.