This blog post was published on November 14 2010. §
Iraq’s politics made easy: Who is Turkey’s man in the new government?
Some update first:
Despite the confusion about the De-Baathfication Law reported by Aljazeera, It seems Maliki managed to attract Mutlaq his side, but he allied himself with Maliki, as reported by Kuwaiti media today (image above)
A deal between Maliki and Salih Al-Mutlaq, to withdraw Mutlaq’s name from the De-Baathification Law allowing him to receive important government office, in exchange that Mutlaq to leave Al-Iraqiya List (Izzat Al-Shahbandar, Maliki’s adviser is the one who orchestrated the new relation between Maliki and Mutlaq).
Personally, I don’t think Mutlaq can leave Al-Iraqiya officially, but we will see more cooperation between him and Maliki in the future.
Who is Turkey’s man in the new government?
There is some kind of contradiction between the Turkish official statement and the Turkish media reaction on the formation of the Iraqi government.
Here is the most celebrated Turkish writer Cengiz Candar:
Oglu’s miscalculations in Iraq, as he should tried to nominate a Sunni Arab Iraqi president, not a Sunni Kurd, and should work in order to prevent Maliki’s return as prime minister.
What Candar missed in his analysis is that Oglu worked for three months examining all the Sunni leaders, ’till he found Osama Al-Nujaifi, who is a pan-Arab nationalist, anti-Kurds, with historical ties between his family and Mosul City.
Turkey (with a little help from Syria) imposed “Osama Nujaifi,” on the Kurds, activating his role as the third power in the Iraqi state (head of the parliament), who represents Turkey’s interests in Iraq. Al-Nujaifi’s first words in the Parliament opening session:
I am the head of the Parliament, I do not represent the Iraqiya List.
The New Yourk times “On His First Day, Iraq’s Parliament Speaker Was Tested by Own Alliance” should add that Al-Nujaifi (or Najafi as the newspaper calls him) walked out when the Parliament chose Talabani as President.
Barzani accepted Turkey’s man in Iraq (Nujaifi), because he was looking for a strong ally to protect him against his rival Jalal Talabani who is supported by Iran. At the same time, Barzani nominated (and insisted on) Talabani as the president of the state (for various reasons) to satisfy Iran. With this Barzani made both countries happy.
For Syria, the geographical position of Mosul made Damascus a vulnerable target to any (future) U.S., Israeli attack. Syria was quick to close this gap through Al-Nujaifi.