Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s appointment of Jawad Bolani as Iraq’s new Interior Minister has, thus far, been received with little if any protest from politicians who might be expected to be skeptical about Bolani’s political profile.
A report by Ferry Biedermannin in the Financial Times (my favorite newspaper) appears under the headline “Infighting Ensnares New Cabinet Appointees” but the article doesn’t really support that theme.
The new ministers – Jawad Bolani at interior and Abdel Kader Jassim al-Mifarji at defence – were immediately caught up in political infighting as some politicians criticised them for being too close to the main Shia and Sunni blocs.
If “some politicians criticised” the appointment of Bolani, Biedermannin fails to deliver up money quotes that would have illustrated the claim. Biedermannin explains why some politicians might criticize Bolani:
Mr Bolani was one of the preferred choices of the dominant but divided Shia United Iraqi Alliance. The Interior Ministry is seen as particularly sensitive because of accusations that the ranks of its security forces have been infiltrated by Shia militias who have been responsible for some of the sectarian violence against Sunni.
So where are the harsh quotes from key Sunni leaders about how Bolani’s appointment will inflame sectarian tensions and push Iraq closer to civil war? There are none. Here is what Biedermannin offers, instead:
Some politicians doubted that the new ministers will be able to tackle the various sectarian groups decisively. It depended on the “strength of the minister”, in relation to the party that had supported his appointment, said Falah Naqib, who was interior minister in the brief government of Iyad Alawi in 2004. The new ministers will need at least three months before any judgment could be made, he said.
Oh, snap! Ouch! Falah Naqib is bringing the heat!… Not so much.
There is only one more quote in the whole article:
The independent Sunni member of parliament Mithal al-Alusi said he had voted for the new ministers without much enthusiasm “because Iraq needs a government”. He said he was less worried about the ministers themselves than about the likelihood that their ministries would be sectarian bastions.
A quick detour about Alusi. Mithal al-Alusi is an odd duck. Basically, Iraq’s only known pro-Israel Sunni Arab politician and the object of considerable adoration from Thomas Friedman (subscription required). My favorite Alusi article is one published in the Detroit Free Press by Nancy A. Youssef of Knight Ridder under the headline “Iran now enemy No. 1, Sunnis say: Fears fhift from Israel to Shi’ite nation next door“:
Sunni Muslims have begun to ask: Is Israel really Iraq’s enemy or is it neighboring Iran?
Sunnis are often not comfortable talking openly about Israel, especially in a region where most Arabs won’t refer to it by name and blame Israel for the conflict with the Palestinians. But privately, many have said Israel has not done anything lately to harm them, but Iran has…
While campaigning for a seat in the new parliament, Mithal al Alusi called for stronger ties between Israel and Iraq, and he appears to have won. He said some Iraqis are warming to a stronger relationship with Israel, in part because they are frightened of Iran’s influence. “They are afraid of Iran’s extremist political system,” he said.
It is not hard to see why I would find this particularly interesting. It is the “pro-Sunni” mirror image of the regional “balance of power” strategy that Right Zionists developed as the rationale for de-Baathification and the empowerment of Iraq’s Shiite majority. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Is this “Plan B” for Right Zionists in case the Shiite-Israeli alliance falls through?
Anyway, returning to the new Maliki government: So far, at least, those who shorted the market in “national unity” are scrambling to cover losses. Of course, it is only one day–and a day overshadowed by the big news of Zarqawi’s death. But wouldn’t you score this a surprising victory for “national unity” politics?
It sounds like an early stage of something Jews (and not only Zionist ones) are extremely good at doing, which relies upon their relative proponderance in mass media and political party funding : they manipulate the competing parties into out-bidding each other for Jewish support – we see this very obviously in the USA (with Hillary basically pledging to be even more hawkish on Jewish issues than bushco, if such a thing is imaginable), and we see it in a slightly subtler form here in Britain. Doubtless we shall see it in Iraq too. The implicit offer held out by the Jewish interests (again I stress, not only ‘Zionist’ ones) to a pro-israel Iraqi politician would be : support for helpful investment strategies , no general demonisation of Iraq and Iraqis in the Western press, support for the politician himself, and his immediate clients, and consideration in framing paramilitary strategies – this last pledge tends to go by the board fairly quickly, since Mossad are famous for their adventurism and refusal to listen to the requests of politicians and their friends and cronies, but still, the thought is there …
Man, that’s a really good post.
My point in dropping by was that I noticed that you had linked to me over on the right (I don’t know how long it’s been there) and I wanted to let you know I will happily reciprocate.
nice blog hoating going on here, particularly with jew-haters like that fuckwit rowan who apparently believes that all jews loyally follow the directives of the elders.
this comment is fake please see the post below for further information – webmaster @ profcutler.com
To judge by the comment on thread below this one, this is not, alas, the real Juan Cole. Nevertheless, to the substance of his point : I do not regard myself as a ‘jew-hater’, but I admit to considerable irritation with the perpetual strivings of organised Jewish interests – all of which are at loggerheads with one another, and with their own memberships. I think it would be accurate to say that the price of being recognised by other Jews as a Jew oneself, is that one has to become and remain a member of one or another of these perpetually quarrelling and self-aggrandising bodies, which do not ‘represent’ their memberships, but exploit them as captive clients.
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