Mnt Goat 9/7/2015

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Mnt Goat 9/7/2015

Post  Admin on Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:03 am


Mnt Goat Monday Update - “Weathering The Storm” Part 1 of 2
9/7/2015
0 Comments

(Thank you George for emailing this to Dinar Recaps.)

UU6802 – “Weathering The Storm” by Mnt Goat

Hello Everyone,

It is almost fall and Oktoberfest time is around the corner. The family is excited in anticipation to our annual trip into Munich. Last year we took our trip and we all enjoyed ourselves. This year we are going a bit early to explore the city and museums too.

Our Gasthaus is booked already for the season and I spend most of my time each day ensuring my guests are comfortable and cared for. Over the weekend I had some time to hike my favorite trail to the Alpine pastures with the girls. They played in the fields as I wrote this news letter. It is a long news letter again and I can not help it since there is so much news to read and try to understand.

I am not about a date and a rate and instead I truly want to understand and sympathize with the process Iraq is now going through. I know in the end they will emerge as a stronger people and an economic powerhouse. We are witnessing the process they did not have to go through but circumstances of the last 8 years brought them to this point and so now they are at least cleaning up the mess left behind and truly intend now to move forward (and are moving forward as we watch the progress everyday). It is a sad story to watch but we know they will have a happy ending.

Today I come to you once again to see what sense we can all make out of this RV saga of the Iraqi dinar.
This past week we saw a delegation of US Senators come and talk to Abadi about his reforms. This was part of reassuring the congress and senate the continued military support for the war on terrorism and fighting DAASH and ISIS in Iraq.

Many articles this week from Iraq were talking about the instability of the Iraqi dinar. Instability brought on by money laundering and the near economic collapse of Iraq. Remember Iran would luv to see the collapse of Iraq as they would attempt to move in once again and take control. In the past Maliki was instrumental in using stalled politics to bring about the widely seen corruption and abuse of power.

So now the job lies with the newly elected prime minister Abadi to clean up the mess left behind. To add to the mess of corruption and the war with ISIS, there was a drastic reduction in the price of oil exports. Can you see the trouble Iraq is in? Why would the IMF and the USA approve to bring back the currency of Iraq at this point in time as it would only be disastrous if they tried and failed. But the story surely does not end here. There is light that is already poking through the clouds as the storm is beginning to pass. Let me explain.

I am going to make one of my analogies again when it come to the timing of the full implementation of the currency reform. I hope you can understand this analogy.

But first remember much of the currency reforms needed ARE ALREADY COMPLETED. They just postponed the continuance and the final pieces that yet need to be implemented to complete it. They are already THAT close to completion.

So here is my analogy - The timing of the currency reform is like trying to start your car in sub zero temperatures in the middle of a blizzard. Your car is buried in a snow drift with snow five feet over the top of the car. You’ve managed to dig out a small tunnel to open the door and get inside. You put the key in the ignition and turn it. The car turns but will not start. Your batter is near dead already from the many unsuccessful attempts to turn the car over and start it. So what do you do?

Do you continue to crank the car only draining the battery even more with then no possibility of success? Maybe it might start but even if it does, where do you go? Where can you go? You still have to shovel yourself out fully and the roads are still very heavy with snow.

So kicking off A MAJOR REVALUATION NOW in Iraq many believe will solve all the problems for Iraq. Really?

I do not believe this for one second and nor does the IMF or the USA. I have been telling you over and over again the RV is the end product not the solution to the economic crisis or the other problems facing Iraq.

To continue the analogy – Rolling out the RV now is just like you trying to start the car in a blizzard with an almost dead battery. Where can you go even if you did start it? You would only certainly have to shut the car off again and you would be in the same situation all over again (from money laundering and terrorism). All your efforts would be in vain.

So here is what you could do. You could wait to attempt to start the car (to continue with currency reform) until the blizzard stops and passes. Then you can shovel out the car (Abadi’s reforms). You can also let the roads get cleared as the ploughs drive through. Since you can’t drive anywhere anyhow until the roads are ploughed (get rid of DAASH and ISIS influence) what is the point? Just to add an extra measure of assurance of your later success you change out the battery (launch the sovereign bonds) and later even warm up the engine block with an electric warmer (launching the 50k and 100k notes). So when you go again in the attempt to start the car you are almost certain it will start and you can drive to your destination (a robust Iraqi economy).

Would it be better to wait until all these things are done even if it takes until early 2016? I certainly hope not but let’s all be realistic in that we don’t really know exactly how long it will take. We only know about the meetings being held to analyze the progress and see where they now stand. One such meeting is coming up again in mid September, just seven days away. Let’s see what happens.

Remember it was only last March 2015 that the CBI gave the full green light to begin the project to delete the zeros. We could hardly believe this good news back then. We were all excited as Iraq prepared to do it.

Then there was the sudden crash in oil prices (a sudden blizzard moved in and hit them hard). The project was then “postponed” NOT CANCELLED (like being temporarily stranded in the storm). So they now have to wait for the storm to pass and in the process take the measures necessary and the currency can hold its new value and investors will want to flock into Iraq (to make sure the car will start and you can drive away).

I bring you this kind of analogy since this is exactly what happened to me last winter season. I was stranded and frustrated that I could not travel because on one of our major snow storms. But once I rationalized my situation I settled down and realized it was not that bad and I would soon be on my way, when all the conditions were ready. Some things you just can’t rush because they are not under your control.

Do you get my analogy? I am trying to say why not the reforms now. Sure maybe you can say the many of them are not TECHNICALLY needed in order to continue with the currency revaluaton. but it is not our decision to make and spread these rumors. We must instead follow what Iraq is doing and not what some foolish and “secret” sources are spreading rumors as intel to us. This is disinformation and only disinformation.

These are crazy people who are in their car cranking the engine until their battery is dead. Do they go anywhere? Absolutely not ! They can boast they have the greatest news to tell you on each of their calls but the bottom line is they still sit in their cold, dead car waiting for the storm to pass just like the rest of us.

So for all you skeptics who keep saying this will never happen – I tell you now we must weather the storm and wait for the clouds to break and the sun to appear. It will as it always does. Storms do not last forever.

For all those that are jumping the gun and telling you its all done or will RV any day / anytime – I say shame on you people since you truly do not know the pulse of Iraq nor do you care to know and truly care about the people wanting the truth. Your own agenda seems to be more important than the truth. Why anyone would listen to these people I don’t understand.

Today’s News

Today is Monday September 7th and still no RV or hopes of an RV window until at least mid September.

I told you from mid August to mid September would be a very critical time for getting these reforms accomplished. I told you Abadi would make a final push to get them completed and it would be very sudden and unexpected by most. We are witnessing all of this now. So was Mnt Goat telling you a bunch of lies?

I told you that “if” this reform process is successful, we would be in a great window to possibly see the currency reform project pick up momentum and maybe see a significant increase the value of the Iraqi dinar and the continuation of the “deletion of the 3 zeros” project. I firmly expect Dr Shabib to come back to an “official” capacity to head up the CBI once again before these projects kick off fully. We will soon see if Mnt Goat is correct on this too.

Let’s get going with today’s news. There is so much news again and I will attempt to summarize it for you and put it into perspective.

So recently out pops multiple news articles on the Iraqi dinar and how they must stabilize the exchange rate. At the same time they begin talking about National and International Sovereign Bond drives. Also we have never read so much discussion from local economists on the pros and cons of completing the currency reform and deletion of the zeros projects. So what is going on?

We know Iraq is in a desperate economic crisis, caused by all the corruption and then sudden, drastic drop in oil prices. So Iraq is looking for ways to drive their economy and save it. There are many politicians who are “fat cats” or as the Iraqi news media calls them “mafias of currency”. They are so well rooted in all aspects of the government and so when Abadi announced his pledge for the reforms he knew it was not going to be an easy road. But so far he is standing fast on his pledges. He is slowly and methodically weeding out the corruption.

But these reforms take time and there is so much to do. On the other had they would like to revalue their currency and get it back online now. Right now we know they literally do not have a currency and are using only a post war provisional temporary notes. Using these notes tends to lead to corruption and hyper-inflation. This currency was not meant for long term usage and was supposed to be replaced years ago as the new post war democratic government was supposed to be already set up and functional.

In light of the recent years of Maliki and the extent of ties to Iran and ISIS led terrorism, the USA and the IMF are not about to unleash this new currency until the country is both physically and politically safe. So the criteria has changed from what was expected of Iraq four years ago. The bar has been raised. This is dynamic.

We know there is still an ongoing political battle for the spoils of war, as many politicians still believe Iraq is up for grabs and they believe it’s a FREE FOR ALL. This of course has been the problem all along in this post war government. Will it finally end under the Abadi government? We certainly hope he can push the needed reforms and do it quickly.

I am telling you all this now since I am leading to something. There is an article that recently came out and it is telling us so much. Here is the article. Please read it first and I will discuss it more afterwards.

Article Begins:

ECONOMIST REVEALS A PLAN TO PROTECT THE IRAQI DINAR FROM LANDING

Information / special / ..

Detection economist Basil al-Obeidi, on Wednesday, a plan to protect the Iraqi dinar declines and volatility of exchange rates.

Obeidi said in a special statement to the Agency information that "reducing the central bank sales of the dollar and make it in the field need the truth to the citizens as well as international bonds to be issued by the central bank and the $ ten million dollars will provide Iraq's hard currency and thus will protect the Iraqi dinar from fluctuations in the currency."

He added that "the decline of the dinar is linked to oil price fluctuations. If the price of oil has not seen remarkable stability in the stock market will Tstsamar currency to fall." Finished / 25

Article Ends

Did you read the article? It is a short one. Now you have to consider all these other articles in the equation from the past about the economy and the dinar exchange rate issues. We can’t forget the past. They are building upon what happens next in Iraq.

How will they protect the Iraqi dinar? This article is telling us one of the ways they hope to accomplish this task is through these bonds. This is all leading to somewhere along with the Abadi reforms.

It’s leading to the needed stability and security of the country as a whole – both physically and politically. They are hoping this 6 billion bond drive will stabilize the dinar but they also know they must clean up the money laundering and corruption at the same time or they may be back with the same problems all over again. This stability will lead to the RV. This is the good news they are telling us. They can not RV until they get this stability and they are telling us how they intend to get the stability (the plan). So if you want to be someone who want to know what is “holding up” the RV take a look at the blizzard outside and the deep snow and then tell me if you want to hop in your car and drive somewhere? So it is not that simple just to pop out the RV because we want if as investors.

I know many of you don’t want to hear this but I keep reading an early 2016 timeframe over and over again from Iraq. They do not specifically tell us this is timing for an RV but I keep seeing them postpone target dates until early 2016. Now the launching of the 50k and 100k notes too were told us they would be postponed until early 2016. They also already told us the “project to delete the zeros” is to be postponed until early 2016. Did you read my last news letter on this topic dated 9/2? (LINK)

I am seeing a trend here, as I was trained to see trends in the Army intelligent arena as this was my job. But to see these trends you must know all the news from Iraq (tons of articles) and they remember the past articles and what is going on. So now I am telling you I am not predicting this RV will be held off into 2016 but it sure has the beginning of looking that way to me. Just because you find this hard to believe does not make it impossible. We must pay attention to all the evidence. So let’s just keep looking at the evidence as September and October progresses and we see how this theory pans out. Just remember what I am telling you now come 2016.

Article Begins:

WAR-TORN IRAQ DEALT JUNK 'B-' RATING BY S&P
FINANCIAL TIMES

It only takes analysts with Standard & Poor's a few short words to explain their junk rating on Iraq: it "faces security and institutional risks that are among the highest of all rated sovereigns".

The New York-based rating agency assigned the Republic of Iraq a 'B-' foreign currency rating on Thursday, deep within speculative territory, as the country's ongoing war with Isis and a steep slide in oil prices present significant risk to investors.

Economic activity in Iraq, which also earned a stable outlook from S&P, is expected to rise 0.3 per cent this year before advancing more than 5 per cent over each of the next three years, buoyed by large oil reserves.

The rosy economic forecasts are based on an increase in oil production, which S&P estimates will reach 5 million barrels per day by 2018, compared to roughly 3.1 million barrels per day last year.
Nonetheless, analysts with the rating agency said:

The rating on Iraq is constrained by its war with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria; political institutions that are in an early stage of development; and sectarian divisions between the Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish ethnic groups.

The rating action comes as policymakers in Iraq plan to meet prospective investors for the country's first international debt sale since 2006, as the government attempts to stabilise its finances.

(Remmber that earlier Finch assigned Iraq's first rating at 'B-/Stable')
----- Update S&P Assigns ‘B-/B’ Ratings To Republic of Iraq; Outlook Stable
iBloomBerg
09/04/15

Article Ends

I wanted to present you with an article that debunks with many have said that the 2015 budget was never opened or spent. Really? How in hell do you think Iraq has been paying for all these projects and monthly social and retirement payments to the citizens? But I will say this. We do know that Iraq did want to use an increased RV’d rate for the budget when they opened it and began to spend it. However this simply did not occur and this too added to the problem of the economic crisis. Circumstances just did not allow them to do it.

So now they are telling us they have been already putting together their 2016 budget since early July and plan to have it ready by mid September (just a week away) and then submit it to parliament in October. So what will be in this budget? Will we see the details in it for an RV and will it later tell us that in fact 2016 is the timeframe for any significant increase in the dinar?

What I am telling you is to be PRO-ACTIVE and to know what you are looking for in intel and news from Iraq. This is certainly something to be looking for in the coming weeks. If the 2016 budget gives us signs we will have to wait for this new budget to get the RV then we have to wait and have our answer to our question of a further delay. I do not want to simplify this but it is what it is.

Article Begins

CABINET ANNOUNCES THE START OF "2016 BUDGET"
18:23
03/09/2015

Announced the parliamentary finance committee member Masood Haider, on Thursday, the cabinet will discuss the financial budget for 2016, the current mid-September, as expected sent to the House of Representatives beginning next month.

Haider said, that "there is a committee Astraetjh financial budget in the Ministry of Finance and the representatives from all the parliamentary finance committee and the ministries concerned," noting that "this committee BEGAN TO STUDY THE 2016 BUDGET SINCE THE FIFTH MONTH."

Haider said that "the Council of Ministers will discuss the current budget mid-September," expected "sent to the House of Representatives early next month."

Haider stressed the need to "reduce the fiscal deficit in the budget next year," pointing out that "if we want to reduce the deficit Fjab not to exceed the budget of 75 billion US dollars."

The Ministry of Planning announced, on the seventh of July 2015, their quest for the feminine to plan projects to 30% in the 2016 budget, noting that it has prepared a working paper represents the proposed mechanism to move the subject of payment on credit.

Article Ends

This next article is interesting . I am bringing this to you because it is only one of several that is asking why they can prosecute the small guy on the ladder but neglect to prosecute the guys on the top (the government officials) who where the instigators and who truly allowed this corruption to occur. They should be held responsible since they had control over the situation, insider information and power to stop it from the position they were in.

This article is just an example of the pressure being put on Abadi to go after also ANYONE involved but they are pointing fingers at the high level politicians involved. They want their heads to roll too. So Abadi is responding to these demands and telling the crowds that he agrees and will go after them too.

Will this include the former prime minister Maliki, his goons and crocked parliament members? We watch and wait in anticipation.
Article Begins:

PRIME MINISTER: I WILL NOT BE NEGLIGENT IN THE PROSECUTION OF THE CORRUPT AND THEY OPPOSE THE REFORMS BECAUSE THEY ARE AFFECTED BY THEM

Sept 2 2015

The Prime Minister and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Dr. Haider Al-Abadi stressed the importance of cohesion and cooperation of all of the citizens and the tribes with the security forces to impose security in the capital Baghdad and other areas. During his speech at the first conference of the national reconciliation project in the Baghdad belt areas the PM said that there are external plots designed to stir up conflict between communities and between provinces and within the province as well, which is sought by the planners of these dangerous plots to cause division among ourselves and rivalry, discord, and fragmentation.

Dr. Haider Al-Abadi stated that I will not be negligent in the prosecution of corruption and the corrupt until they are defeated, and I will continue to seek them out, noting that they are trying to downplay the reforms because they are affecting them and they want to put the country in danger.

The Prime Minister accused the corrupt and organized criminal of carrying out acts of kidnapping in the capital Baghdad today, and said that I issued orders to deal with them as
terrorists are dealt with.

He said that there are those who try to incite the security services, but there is respect of demonstrators for the security services and for their part the security services have a soft approach with the demonstrators.

Dr. Haider Al-Abadi said there is a campaign to bring down all the authorities in the country and bring down everything, and we continue to reform, and called for reform of the judiciary and fighting the corrupt, and that the reforms do not target an individual, but I since I was an MP I refused to legitimize corruption.

Prime Minister’s Media Office
Wednesday 2 September 2015

Article Ends

Admin
Admin

Posts : 23879
Join date : 2012-04-30
Location : Arizona

http://iraqidinar.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Mnt Goat 9/7/2015

Post  Admin on Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:04 am

Mnt Goat Monday Update - “Weathering The Storm” Part 2 of 2
9/7/2015
8 Comments

Update: Abadi’s Reforms
I simply luv this article that follows. It is telling us so much about the OPEC and the GCC.

Many still don’t understand the GCC and ask keep asking me what it is. So now I will explain again to you. The GCC is the Gulf Cooperation Council. It is a political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain,Oman and now Iraq.

Arguably the most important article of the GCC charter is Article 4, which states that the alliance was formed to strengthen relations among its member countries and to promote cooperation among the countries’ citizens. The GCC also has a defense planning council that coordinates military cooperation between member countries.

So we are witnessing the economic strength and power of the OPEC and the GCC in the following article. This is such HUGE news as Saudi Arabia and other member are willing to help Iraq through this economic crisis by cutting oil production. They are doing this to raise oil prices, something which we know Iraq needs desperately to stabilize its economy and help in it’s stabilization of the Iraq dinar (thus the RV later).
This is such HUGE news this past week I can not over emphasize it enough. This is yet another tool being used to assure Iraq WILL SURVIVE AND WILL SUCCEED. How can you not succeed in the long term when so many countries are behind you?

So all you doubters that we will never see the RV – as I told you let’s just weather the storm and watch for the sun to appear. The storm never lasts forever and the sun will always appear once again to warm us up.

Article Begins:

ECONOMIC SPECIALIST: OPEC WILL CUT ITS PRODUCTION RATES TO SAVE THE ECONOMY OF IRAQ

http://center-imn.net/1/?p=30537

BAGHDAD / Center Brief for the Iraqi Media Network (IMN) - most likely in the competent state institutions in managing crises Harvard University Ali Jabbar Furaiji OPEC to take a decision to cut the roof of Petroleum Exporting Countries to save Iraq from a major economic collapse.

Said Furaiji's (IMN) said that "to predict oil prices like endeavor futile, since there are many variables that come into play in oil prices decisively and crossing, where called Venezuela an emergency meeting for the second time, not only in its calls for a conference to develop a joint strategy for cooperation with Russia , one of the largest oil producers in the world, in order to stop the decline in crude prices. "

He added that "Algeria also called in earlier to an emergency meeting of OPEC to discuss the decline in oil prices, which did not face the acceptance of a large number of members of the organization, as Iran entered on line calls through the NOC in an emergency meeting, in the words of Minister of Oil Iranian Begin Zanganeh. "
Furaiji said that "Saudi Arabia, the largest oil exporter in the world, and other Gulf states behind the shift in OPEC's strategy, and has been since last year to defend the survival of shares in the market, rather than cut production to support prices."

He pointed out that "it is through the political changes of the last two years in the OPEC no signs or indications and intentions to reduce its share in the global market, despite the recent fall in oil prices began a negative impact on business sentiment, even in Saudi Arabia."
He explained that "several times in the OPEC to cut its production of oil, and this is what has been and still expect the market of the organization."
The OPEC countries currently processing the world, including a little over 30 percent of its needs, while he was in the seventies of the last century, nearly 50 percent.
The reason for that, in part, to producers of oil shale Americans who flooded the market by nearly four million barrels per day when they started from scratch a decade ago.
Evidence suggests that the futures market could be facing a slow improvement of up to $ 70 per barrel by 2019.

Article Ends

Article Begins

GOVERNMENT MUST START HUNTING THE “BIG HEADS” AS PART OF ITS ANTI-CORRUPTION DRIVE

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s top Shiite religious authority said Friday the government must start hunting the “big heads” as part of its anti-corruption drive, calling for “convincing and assuring steps” AS PROOF OF THE GOVERNMENT’S SERIOUSNESS IN IMPLEMENTING ITS HIGHLY TOUTED REFORM PLAN.

Last month, Iraq’s Shiite-led government announced a package of reforms following large rallies in Baghdad and other provinces protesting endemic corruption, sectarian politics and shabby basic services. Graft is widely believed to be rampant in Iraq, and estimates based on findings from an anti-corruption commission and government reports show hundreds of millions of dollars have gone missing in the 12 years since Saddam Hussein’s regime was toppled.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s plan, which included eliminating the country’s three vice presidencies and three deputy prime ministers as well as other posts, was immediately approved by parliament. But changes widely demanded by Iraqis have not yet materialized, such as trials for corrupt officials, economic reforms and infrastructure improvements.

“One of the essential steps for reform is to hunt the big heads among the corrupt and hold them accountable, to retrieve all the stolen money,” Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said in remarks delivered through a representative during the Friday sermon in the revered Shiite city of Karbala.

People “have long suffered from corruption” and they want “this mission to be implemented without procrastination and delay,” said the representative, Sheik Ahmed al-Safi. “Quick action and real, convincing and assuring steps are needed to show that the officials are serious in implementing reforms,” he added.
Sistani’s remarks came hours before weekly Friday rallies in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities. Authorities blocked roads leading to Baghdad’s central Tahrir Square with barbed wire and military vehicles, deploying security forces to keep away protesters.

Increasingly, the street protests that were sparked last month by power cuts have evolved to demand the trial of corrupt politicians and reform of the judiciary, including the removal of Medhat Mahmoud, head of the Supreme Judicial Council, which oversees the court system.

Sistani also urged politicians to fix Iraq’s economy.
The government’s fiscal deficit is expected to reach double digits this year, battered by a slump in oil revenues and higher military spending, not least to try to drive ISIS out of the areas of northern and western Iraq that it controls. “Weak economic planning and failure to establish a comprehensive strategy for providing financial resources to the country other than through oil revenues is a form of corruption,” Sistani said.

Also Friday, a police officer said militants broke into a house of an anti-militant, pro-government Sunni tribal fighter in Baghdad’s southern suburb of Arab Jabour, killing him, his wife and two children. Another officer said three civilians were killed and six wounded when a bomb went off in a commercial area in the town of Madain, just south of Baghdad.

Two medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Article Ends

This next and last article has a title that is misleading. It talks about protests about the lack of electricity but what is most important is what these initial protests have led to. They have led to a much progressed attitude against the corruption in general and not only in this area of providing electricity. Lack of electricity was only the spark that ignited the overall movement.

If you take some time to read it you can truly see and begin to understand what has been going on in Iraq as far as corruption and how the continued corruption is really an ongoing power struggle. In short, this article is one of those gems that tells it all and I could not tell it any better myself.

How will it all end up? We know that the Dowa party is the key. WATCH the Dowa party ! Watch for the announcement of one of three near future events:
1) either that Maliki is dismissed as the head of the party and Abadi takes his place or
2) the dismissal of the Dowa party as a whole or
3) Abadi simply moves his affiliation from the Dowa party.

Don’t believe me this is going to happen? Just watch. One of these three events has to happen (must happen). Abadi can not continue in the same capacity and association with the Dowa party as is today. When one of these three events happens we will begin to see an end this constant corruption and a settling down of Iraq, a loss of Iranian influence . This will all be in our favor as it moves us closer to the RV political stability needed.

So please take a few minutes to read it if you are really curious and desire to understand why Abadi is now going after these crooks and the necessity to clean up this mess (political nightmare) and, why he is always bucking heads in the process and who is causing all the resistance to change.

When this resistance is gone or the powerbase behind it is gone then we will see the progress of Iraq move exponentially, if it is not already moving fast enough…..lol….

Article Begins

Iraq's electricity protests expose its real power issue

Iraq's electricity protests expose its real power issue

Protests over electricity shortages have turned to calls for an end to corruption and sectarian politics.

06 Sep 2015 19:00 GMT | Middle East, Iraq, Protests, Iran

Tahrir Square has become a place where a political power struggle between Iraq's Shia politicians is being played out [AP]

There was no doubt that Tahrir Square in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, was no longer a venue where Iraqis converged to speak with one voice.

I attended a few protests in recent weeks but this time there were noticeable changes. There were different groups on the ground, each with their own message.

There were those who have been taking to the streets for weeks demanding better services, an end to corruption and to sectarian politics.

These same people had clearly lost hope in the man they believed would bring about the changes he promised.

“(Prime Minister Haider) al-Abadi should leave his Dawa party if he wants to implement reforms,” a woman called Um Ahmed told me. Her words were echoed by others who believe the premier is under political pressure.

The Islamic Dawa party is headed by former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, who was in power for eight years.

He is accused by many of institutionalising corruption. And many believe he is among a number of powerful politicians behind the scenes preventing Abadi from taking action against corrupt officials

Stronger than the state

The protests emerged from a grass-roots movement but there was always the fear they may be hijacked by political forces that in many ways are stronger than the state.

On Friday there were people who came out in force to present an alternative to Abadi. They carried banners praising the Shia-led militias who are known here as the Popular Mobilization Forces. One read: "They have the support of the people and they have legitimacy.”

The protest movement started because of electricity shortages in the extreme heat. People could no longer cope. It was a spontaneous movement that brought Sunnis and Shias together.

They put behind the history of sectarian warfare in this country and looked forward for a better future.

They then directed their anger at what they called corrupt politicians, asking to reform a political system, which since 2003 has been based on distributing power among sects and ethnic groups, as well as party loyalties.

But now Tahrir Square has become a place where a political power struggle between Iraq's Shia politicians is being played out.

Abadi, himself a Shia, is facing powerful enemies from within his ruling coalition. He has made it no secret that members of the political elite are fighting back.

“There are people who want to place Iraq in a dark tunnel and bring down the political process. They want to do this to continue to steal the wealth of the country. They have money and they run television and radio stations. But we will pursue reforms,” he said.

Abadi has the backing of the highest Shia religious authority in Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who has considerable influence over the Shia population. Sistani, through his spokesman even warned that politicians who will be hurt by the reforms won't give up their power and privileges easily.
Many expected that attempts to reform the sectarian and ethnic power-sharing system would unite powerful forces against Abadi.

“It seriously divided the Shia house. The government and the army are not strong. The armed groups (Shia militias) are exerting pressure. This is very dangerous. Abadi tried to ask Iran to stop those groups and its political backers from meddling in state affairs but it didn’t work,” Wathiq al Hashemi, a political analyst told me. "Also the Dawa party has two wings. One wing supports Abadi and the other supports Maliki"

Iran 'get out'

While the protesters may have first demanded electricity, organisers tell us that what they also want is to regain Iraq’s independence. Protests have not been confined to Baghdad. The mainly Shia cities across southern Iraq have seen demonstrations as well. And some demonstrators particularly in Basra chanted "Iran get out".

There were a few protesters in Tahrir who were angry at comments made by a former Iranian ambassador to Iraq, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, who said “some embassies whose countries have always supported terrorism in Iraq have played a major role in provoking the popular protests”.

Iran has influential allies in Iraq. And it has given crucial support to Shia militias who are battling ISIL instead of the weak army.

Organisers talk about the support they have from Sistani – a cleric whose authority is not questioned. And they seem confident that the grand ayatollah who never endorsed Iran’s theocratic system of government or what is known as "Wilayat al-Faqih", will continue to back their cause. Some may argue that just like the powerful Iranian backed politicians, the protest organisers may also exploit a protest movement that began with the simple demand of electricity. Either way, there is a new divide in a country with already so many frontlines.

While the protests may have overcome Iraq’s sectarian divisions, it has divided the majority Shia community
Some Shia political and security factions close to Iran have grown stronger than the state and some call them a shadow government waiting in the wings to step in.

There is a new conflict which could wither away, cause more chaos or change the face of Iraq.

http://www.aljazeera.com/blogs/middl...181946816.html

Article Ends

Till next time…. Auf Wiedersehen!

Peace and Luv To Ya All,
Mnt Goat

Admin
Admin

Posts : 23879
Join date : 2012-04-30
Location : Arizona

http://iraqidinar.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum