The main question about Iraq, now as the last US soldier left the country, is whether Iraq will sustain some sort of unity and independent integrity or the country will crumble and disintegrate to its ethnic and religious components.
Just a day after the last US soldier left Iraq, on Sunday 12/18/2011 night, Iraqi Vice-President Tarek al-Hashimi (pic), the senior political Sunni figure in the Iraqi political system, was blocked at Baghdad airport and 7 of his bodyguards, including his brother-in-law, were arrested for terrorist activity.
“Iraqi Vice-President Tarek Al Hashimi was subject, last night, to ‘intentional harassment’ at Baghdad International Airport delaying his flight to Sulaimaniyah for 3 hours,” the statement revealed adding that Hashimi was travelling to Sulaimaniyah upon Iraqi President’s invitation to meet with him and his first Deputy Minister Khudayr Al Khuzai”.
The Next day, on Monday 12/19/2011, the Iraqi authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Tarek al-Hashimi himself, leading to fears of the government’s collapse and an increase in sectarian tensions. The warrant for Tareq al-Hashemi was issued under anti-terrorism laws, interior ministry officials said.
The main Sunni political block has said it is boycotting cabinet in response. The Al-Iraqiya parliamentary block, which represents most of Iraq’s Sunni Arab community, had already withdrawn from parliament, accusing Shiaa Arab Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of monopolising power. VP Tarek al-Hashimi has been an outspoken critic of Mr Maliki (see – IRAQ’S 2010 Deal ).
Iraq is now facing its biggest political crisis, initiated by the Iraqi Shiaa leadership, since the unity government was formed a year ago, after months of drawn-out negotiations.
On Monday, Iraq’s state-run television aired what it said were confessions by alleged terrorists linked to Mr Hashemi. The men said they had been paid by Mr Hashemi’s office to carry out attacks on officials and police officers. One man said he had been given $3,000 (£2,000) by Mr Hashemi himself. The identities of the men could not be confirmed. Al-Iraqiya spokesman said the party did not accept the confessions.
Tarek al-Hashimi, who has been banned from leaving Iraq, is reported to have flown to the semi-autonomous northern enclave of Kurdistan on Sunday, but correspondents say he is unlikely to be arrested immediately.
The warrant was drawn up already on Saturday, but its announcement was delayed as attempts were made to convince the Sunni block not to begin its boycott.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the US was urging all sides to “work to resolve differences peacefully and through dialogue in a manner consistent with the rule of law and the democratic political process” (see also – U.S 2011 Policy ).
It is very common in Iraq that senior politicians have relation and connections with local militias, some of them based on the former Awakening Councils infrastructure, on Baath loyalists or on pro-Iranian Shiaa Militias (see – IRAQ’S conglomerate). Furthermore security, police and army units are divided in accordance to ethnic and religious guidelines and affiliated to local parties and politicians so one can always find “illegal relation” if he desire so (see also – ETHNIC IRAQ ).
In his last visit to Washington, on Monday 12/12/2011, Iraqi PM himself was accompanied by Hadi Farhan al-Amiri (pic), transportation minister in Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s government and the former commander of the pro-Iranian Badr Corp that fought against the Americans in Iraq. The FBI says Hadi al-Amiri played a role in thye 1996 Khobar Towers attack that killed 19 U.S. servicemen.
Critics in USA have accused Mr. al-Maliki, a Shiite, of acting at the behest of the Shiite government in Iran. But President Barak Obama told reporters that he believes the Iraqi prime minister when he says that “his interest is maintaining Iraqi sovereignty and preventing meddling by anybody inside of Iraq”.
USA celebrated its withdrawal from Iraq but it seems Iraq and the region has nothing to celebrate for.
* Related topics ;
12/2011 -THE IRANI-SAUDI SECRET TALKS
12/2011 -30 SHIITES KILLED IN IRAQ’S SECTERIAN BLOODSHED
11/2011 -ATTACKS IN IRAQ ON THE RISE
11/2011 -SYRIA SUSPENDED FROM THE ARAB LEAGUE
09/2011 -THE INGREDIENTS OF THE MIDDLE EAST
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