October 27, 2005

More Vectors

My blog mate Nadezhda has a succinct update on some of the Iraqi political machinations for those wanting to keep tabs. Of interest, as per the ongoing discussion, are the cross sectarian/ethnic alliances being formed. One of the strangest conglomerations is the potential combination of Chalabi, Sadr and Sunnis from Al-Anbar.

Vectors are good in the abstract in the sense that they bring Iraqis away from strict confessional identification, but this one leaves much to be desired. But hey, freedom is messy. Or something like that.

Also from the article Nadezhda flagged:

Parties likely to participate in December include a secular coalition headed by a Washington favorite, former prime minister Iyad Allawi.

Maybe that's why Chalabi is courting Mookie. If the Bush team is backing Allawi instead, Chalabi will do what he has to do to maintain his share of the pie. Nadezhda has her own theories on Chalabi. Go read.

[UPDATE: Not quite vectory? From the article linked to in Nadezhda's update, we see that in the end, Sadr has stayed with the UIA ticket as have SCIRI and Da'wa. So much for the alliance (unholy?) of Sadr, Chalabi and a Sunni contingent from al-Anbar. In fact, Sadr's militia was clashing with Sunni insurgents as the last minute deals were put together:

But in a flare-up likely to fuel mistrust between Iraq's two main religious sects, at least 21 Shi'ite militia fighters and two policemen were killed when they clashed with Sunni insurgents near Baghdad, an Interior Ministry official said.

Another five policemen and 12 members of the Mehdi Army loyal to nationalist Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr were wounded in the battle, which erupted after they tried to rescue a Mehdi Army member who was being held hostage, the official said.

From the looks of things, Mookie was lured back into the fold with promises of greater clout:

Members of parliament said that among changes agreed in the Shi'ite deal, Moqtada al-Sadr's movement would have a more formal role in the alliance.

"The parties signed the agreement last night, shares are already being distributed according to each party and what it will get," a source in the alliance said.

This leaves Allawi as the sole standard bearer for the cross-sectarian/ethnic vector-ologists:

Former prime minister Iyad Allawi, a secular Shi'ite, has put together a broad list attempting to attract voters from across the sectarian and ethnic divides, Allawi's office has said. It will be formally unveiled on Saturday.

Not quite as vector-rich as was hoped. In other news, three Sunni groups have put together a united ticket, but it remains to be seen how popular they will be amongst Iraq's Sunni population. On that front, I guess this rhetoric is designed to, er, appeal to the base:

"Our political program will focus more on getting the Americans out of Iraq," Hussein al-Falluji, a prominent Sunni who took part in talks on the constitution, told Reuters.

"Our message to the American administration is clear: get out of Iraq or set a timetable for withdrawal or the resistance will keep slaughtering your soldiers until Judgment Day."

That from a separate Reuters article (via Juan Cole). As they say, freedom is messy.]

Posted by at October 27, 2005 05:29 PM | TrackBack (0)
Comments

An interesting question on the whole "vector" issue is what part your security forces are going to play. After all, youre regular army appears to be mostly Shi'ite and Kurd, while the Interior Ministry commandoes are mostly Sunni ex-Ba'athists. The police forces seem to be drawn from various tribes.

It'll be interesting to see how the three act in relation to the Central Government if things get ugly between the various factions.

Posted by: Andrew Reeves at October 27, 2005 06:16 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Yeah. Good point.

Posted by: Eric Martin at October 27, 2005 06:23 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I thought the Interior Ministry guys were the most thuggish Shiites, about whom the Sunnis complained intensely. Am I misremembering?

On vectors


Last I heard, Muqty was back in the UIA, along with Dawa and SCIRI, though the negotiations were tough. More importantly, perhaps, it looks like Sistani WONT be endorsing the UIA slate.


Posted by: liberalhawk at October 27, 2005 06:49 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

last I heard, UIA is also still courting Muqty. Not sure if thats related to the Chalabi story.

Perhaps more importantly AP says Sistani wont back the UIA slate.

Posted by: liberalhawk at October 27, 2005 06:53 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

ISTR that in the NY Times Magazine article I read on the interior ministry guys last summer it said that they were mostly ex-Ba'athists. It mentioned that in specific context of a worry about what would happen once Allawi's government was replaced by whoever got elected in January.

Posted by: Andrew Reeves at October 27, 2005 08:34 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

ISTR that in the NY Times Magazine article I read on the interior ministry guys last summer it said that they were mostly ex-Ba'athists. It mentioned that in specific context of a worry about what would happen once Allawi's government was replaced by whoever got elected in January.

Posted by: Andrew Reeves at October 27, 2005 08:35 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Will the voters actually know who it is they are voting for this time?

Posted by: p.lukasiak at October 28, 2005 03:12 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Latest lineups submitted to election commission


1. Sunni block - IIP and its partners the guys who boycotted in January, but apparently not the AMS

2. UIA - Shiite block - SCIRI, Dawa, Sadr

3. Kurdish block - same as in January

4. Allawi - includes the Sunnis who participated in January - Yawer and Pachachi, plus some Communists

5. Chalabi, leading his own list, seperate from UIA

And Sistani apparently wont be endorsing anyone.

Posted by: liberalhawks at October 28, 2005 07:03 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

BTW i have trouble with the Cole analysis

On the one hand he says that the IIP is a limited portion of Sunnis, since some are secularists, others support AMS. Im not sure how AMS matters if its boycotting (other than to throw seats to the Kurds in Nineveh) Who are the secularist Sunnis going vote for? Allawi? Yet Cole doesnt even attempt to sum the Allawi vote. He dismisses Chalabi without giving a reason - perhaps its not unrelated to Cole hating about everything Chalabi stands for?

I simply am having trouble digesting the notion that the UIA will do just as well in December as they did in January, despite losing Sistanis support, despite losing Chalabi, despite the addition of the Sunni voters, and despite being relatively unsuccessful at governing, and unpopularity documented by MSM reporters. Yeah theyve taken advantage of incumbency in the South - that sounds suspiciously like the argument advanced way back in summer of 2004 that Allawi would use incumbency to steal the January election.

Posted by: liberalhawk at October 28, 2005 08:22 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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