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Iraqi Expat

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Al Jaafari Named as Prime Minister

Iraqi Shia leader Ibrahim Al Jaafari has been named Iraq's Prime Minister.

He was appointed shortly after Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani was sworn in as Iraq's President.

This was widely expected so there is no point in getting worked up about it; but it is still good news and we are finally getting the government we've vote for and we've been waiting for.

For the last 50 years, this is Iraq's first elected government, first Kurdish President, first non-Arab President of an Arab majority country, first elected Shia Prime Minister, first President to become Vice President, and certainly it is the first government that will be criticized by and accountable to the people (the voters) and their representatives (the MPs).

I know some people have criticized the National Assembly sessions as being choatic; but I loved it, members are criticizing the government, asking questions, debating, etc. What is not to love? It's called democracy and they are learning it, like we are. I don't want to see any council were everybody agrees on what the leader says, what's the point of such useless council of parrots?

I am not worried - and you shouldn't be - that Al Jaafari might turn Iraq into Iran, since he only has executive powers but no legislative powers; also his cabinet will have many seculars, Kurds and other minorities. I personally believe that Al Jaafari is a rational, moderate and tolerant Shia, even though he represents Al Da'awa Party which is a religious party. He is a well respected soft-spoken diplomat who might lack the charisma and the strength required for this period! But I might be proved wrong on this one.

I wish him and his cabinet the best of luck.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes...good luck. Our best wishes.

April 08, 2005 4:16 am  
Blogger Mister Ghost said...

I would have felt better if the appointments were reversed and
Talabani was named Prime Minister.
Of course, it was a big step upwards for the Kurds than what they had under Saddam, but the President's position seems larger ceremonial.

April 08, 2005 1:21 pm  
Blogger Ahmad said...

Mister Ghost,

True, but don't underestimate Talabani! Even though his position is largely ceremonial, he will influence things and not just sit around and enjoy the view!

April 08, 2005 2:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two years of conflict have led to a mixed situation.

The insurgency has had little success in the Kurdish north, only a few big bloody bombings. It has not done well in the Shia south. Reporting is very poor, but my impression is that the main problems are apolitical crime and the simmering, but currently fairly quiet, Sadr/Mahdi movement. There have also been quite a number of big suicide bombings, apparently intended to provoke the Shi'ites, more than any other purpose. The Kurdish north and the Shia south contain at least 60% of Iraq's population.

On the other hand, at least until the election, the insurgency had unsteadily grown in the central part of Iraq, including Baghdad and Mosul. Even the Marine assault on Fallujah led, in the short term, only to the displacement of insurgents to Mosul and some Baghdad neighborhoods. The result in Mosul was reported as nearly catastrophic; some confirmation appeared in the low election turnout in Ninevah province.

Michael in Framingham
(Framingham is a town in Massachusetts, USA. It was originally named Framlingham, after the town about 40 miles north of London, England.)

April 08, 2005 10:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The situation in central Iraq before the election therefore (unfortunately) represented the failure of the largest force that the US armed forces had been able to deploy there.

Is that a fair description? If so, both sides have been frustrated, but the situation appears to me worse for the insurgency than for Iraqi democrats. They were in a political and strategic dead end.

Their first major task would be to establish full control over central Iraq. That would be hard enough.

They could then try to re-establish a Baathist Iraq by conquering the north and the south. I think that would be a hopeless mission. If Saddam could not re-conquer the Kurdish north, how could the insurgents? The Shia south would have a population advantage of 2 or 3 to 1. In addition, the insurgents would lack popular support to provide cover, so the US and coalition armed forces alone would have an easy time defeating the lightly armed insurgents.

Michael in Framingham

April 08, 2005 10:38 pm  

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