It’s very likely that this isn’t going to end well.
Maliki banked on Iran to consolidate the Shiite hold on the country, but it looks like the Sunnis are gaining the upper hand. Is this what the U.S. paid in blood for? either side are sharia loving Islamonazis.
It’s quite possibly Iraq whose days are numbered. What tonight’s work may well do — worst case, and by no means unthinkable — is fracture Iraq’s fragile cohesion entirely: harden the Sunni-Shia divide, with Sunnis giving up on a Maliki-led central government, and a critical mass of Shias clinging to it. Where that could matter most is, first, in the Iraqi armed forces, which still — outside of Kurdish-held territory — loosely obey a nominal, non-sectarian loyalty to the central government. (Or at least are not in open rebellion against it.) It would also likely cause the Iraqi armed forces’ already fading defense of Anbar Province (a Sunni preserve) to simply implode. (That, in turn, could increase the fighting in Anbar rather than settle the question there in ISIS’s favor, as at least some formerly loyal Sunnis tried to mount an alternative resistance to ISIS.)
BREAKING: Iraq down; Maliki in armed standoff in Baghdad
What if they gave a coup and nobody from 24-hour cable news came? We were finding out a couple of hours ago. There’s been hardly any coverage of this developing crisis on the news channels. (I haven’t seen any, but Jazz Shaw at Hot Air has a short clip from CNN. Link below.) Information is up at the websites, but news-channel updates via social media are sparse.
Here’s what we know right now. The new president of Iraq, Fouad Masoum, a Kurd, who was chosen on 24 July, refused on Sunday, 10 August, to name Nouri al-Maliki to a third term as prime minister. For what it’s worth, neither man has the absolute letter of the law behind his position. Maliki got more seats than anyone else in the most recent election, as he has in the last two. But technically, he doesn’t have the plurality needed, or the majority coalition, to have the right to form a government. What President Masoum has done is decline to continue affirming Maliki, as had been done previously, in spite of his not meeting the full criteria for forming a government.
Regional observers seem confident that it’s a standoff with force involved.