Newspaper: Kitabat (Iraq)

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki with Vice President Joe

Biden in Baghdad, Jan. 23. Despite efforts to de-emphasize

the issue of "de-Baathification," most observers see this as

the main reason from the vice president's brief visit.



Azzaman, Iraq

Iraqi Leaders Can't Hide Purpose of Biden's Visit


"Why has such political timidity suddenly descended on Iraqi officials? Is it simply shame over implementing an American decision in regard to a political process that has already cost so much blood?"


By Fatih Abdusalam



Translated By Nicolas Dagher


January 24, 2010


Iraq - Azzaman - Original Article (Arabic)

Vice President Joe Biden and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani try their best to downplay the the issue of de-Baathification at a press conference in Baghdad, Jan. 23. Iraqis are senstitive about the perception of American meddling in their electoral process.


AL-JAZEERA NEWS VIDEO: Inside Iraq's election dilemma, Jan. 23, 00:23:50RealVideo

This is the fourth visit of to Baghdad of Joe Biden, Barack Obama's Vice President, but it was unlike any of his previous ones. It was a tumultuous visit, despite his attempt to paint it as quiet and avoid the irksome issue of the eligibility of some of the candidates running in the upcoming elections. It's easy to understand why U.S. and Iraqi authorities would want to justify Biden's trip with something other that the crisis over de-Baathification - particularly considering that Iraq is a sovereign country with its own government, parliament, prime minister and president, and above all, despite the attempts by surrounding countries to appear disinterested.


[Editor's Note: Sunnis, particularly those connected with the Awakening Councils, are angry over a ballot purge of hundreds of candidates suspected of links to the regime of Saddam Hussein, considering it a sectarian attack on them. The Washington Post reports that, "Iraq's Shiite-led government has banned about 450 candidates with suspected links to Saddam's now-outlawed Baath Party. At stake in the March election is 325 seats and control of Iraq's National Assembly as the country prepares to stand alone when the U.S. military leaves at the end of 2011]."


Why has such political timidity [over Biden's visit] suddenly descended on Iraqi officials? U.S. forces remain in Mesopotamia, fully equipped and prepared, so it's only natural that an American official would enter the country as they always have since the occupation began in 2003: without a question, a whisper or opposition.



Sotal Iraq, Iraq: De-Baathification is No Business of the Americans!

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Azzaman, Iraq: Iraqi Leaders Can't Hide Purpose of Biden's Visit  

Kitabat, Iraq: Chemical Ali and the Unfolding Fraud of Iraq's Elections


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Nor is this the only failure that highlights the shortcomings of those who stand at the forefront of Iraq's political process, and who are charged with solving local political, economic, security or public utility problems. Is it simply shame over implementing an American decision in regard to a political process that has already cost so much blood?


[Editor's Note: According to The New York Times, negotiations on Baathist disqualification have centered on an idea proposed by Mr. Biden. "The idea is that disqualified candidates would appeal the verdict, but still be allowed to take part in the election. If they lost their appeals after the vote, they would then lose their seats. The Author suggests the Iraqi government is reluctant to own up to this U.S. influence].



As the years have passed, things in Iraq have only gotten worse - a fact perceived first by Iraqi residents and then by expatriates. The security situation is no better than it was two or three years ago, except for measures put in place by the government or U.S. officials to determine security successes, as it was with the creation of the “Sahwat” (Awakening Councils).


Nevertheless, cars bombings, assassinations and unidentified corpses in the street are still the main subjects of any reports on security, few of which make it into the media.  



One mustn't forget the sequence of events. American officials have made similar visits during every crisis that has plagued the Iraqi political landscape. I won't say ravaged the Iraqi landscape, because what has ravaged the landscape is the war that was led by the United States itself.



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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US January 30, 8:09pm]





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