Iraqi parliament passes three “crucial” laws in “significant achievement”

posted at 4:45 pm on February 13, 2008 by Allahpundit

So sayeth a famously pollyannaish neocon news source:

The three laws are the 2008 budget, a law outlining the scope of provincial powers — a crucial aspect of Iraq’s self-definition as a federal state — and an amnesty that will cover thousands of the detainees held in Iraqi jails. They were put to a vote as a single package and passed Wednesday afternoon…

Passage of the measures represent a significant achievement for the Iraqi Parliament, which on many days could not muster a quorum. The approach of voting on the three laws together broke the logjam because it allowed every group to boast that they had a win. Leaders of the blocs — Shiite, Sunni and Kurd — realized that while no one of the laws could pass on its own, together, they offered something for each political constituency. So factions would swallow the measures they liked less in order to get the one they wanted.

Read to the end for the caveats. The provincial powers law is part of the Shiites’ push for decentralization, to give groups like SCIRI dominion over the oil areas in the south. The amnesty for prisoners, most of whom are Sunni, is good news for sectarian reconciliation but there’s a subplot there too involving the Sunni bloc in parliament and the Anbar Awakening movement, which enjoys much more grassroots support. The short section about the “important wrinkle” in Sunni politics in Ardolino’s new piece will catch you up quickly on that. In brief, the parliamentarians are trying to build popular legitimacy by forging an alliance with influential members of the Awakening — to the dismay of other members of the Awakening who don’t want their own influence diminished. CSM:

[Sheikh Ali] Hatem was among the leaders of the executive body of the Anbar Salvation Council, which predates today’s version of the movement, but that body was dissolved by Abdul-Sattar before his death.

Now, he claims, Iraqi Vice President Hashemi is attempting to undermine the movement by joining forces with Sheikh Ahmed. The vice president’s real goal, he says, is to bolster his standing among Sunni Arabs and gaining a hand in lucrative Anbar contracts…

Omar Abdul-Sattar, a senior IIP [i.e. Sunni parliamentarian] leader and member of the National Assembly from Anbar Province, laughs off the charges that his party is corrupt. “There are people that are trying to find an alternative to the Islamic Party but they will never succeed.”

In fact, the position of Hashemi’s Sunni bloc, of which the IIP has the largest share, has been greatly bolstered by its new allies among the Sahwa in its negotiations with the government.

“We have a common goal,” says Mr. Abdul-Sattar.

Hatem’s been talking smack for awhile, accusing since-assassinated Awakening leader Abu Risha last June of corruption and threatening the Shiite government with open war in September. Someone tried to kill him two days ago in Baghdad, an attack he blamed on Al Qaeda but which somehow involved penetration of “heavy security.” Hopefully he’s just making noise to ensure he’s part of any deal involving reconstruction funds for Anbar; if not, the prisoner amnesty at least takes away part of his grassroots leverage.

Update: Encouraging. It’s only a primary phenomenon now but more news like this can’t hurt.


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Someone notify Nancy “This was a failure! This was a Failure!” Pelosi.

BohicaTwentyTwo on February 13, 2008 at 4:50 PM

Pelosi: (fingers in her ears) “LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALA!

ThePrez on February 13, 2008 at 4:56 PM

That’s three more than Pelosi…. if you don’t count renaming post offices.

rw on February 13, 2008 at 5:00 PM

If we don’t hurry up and get our silly elections out of the way it’ll be too late to retreat in defunded humiliation and despair.

a capella on February 13, 2008 at 5:01 PM

I see one problem with defeating Paul in the GOP primary, which may well happen. He would then be open, and financed, to launch a 3rd party run for President. of course then the media could expose him with his newsletters and limit his appeal I’d hope???

jp on February 13, 2008 at 5:03 PM

How very satisfying that Paul’s stance on the war may ge him booted from office.

The other Republican incumbent in serious trouble is Ron Paul. Through his entire tenure in Congress, he has served as a Republican in name, and an Independent in practice. His commitment to libertarian principles has led him to oppose a host of Republican initiatives on the grounds that they fall short of his revolutionary goals. Yet he has regularly earned renomination, usually with only token opposition. The difference this year is his vocal opposition to the Iraq war.

William Amos on February 13, 2008 at 5:03 PM

I see one problem with defeating Paul in the GOP primary, which may well happen. He would then be open, and financed, to launch a 3rd party run for President. of course then the media could expose him with his newsletters and limit his appeal I’d hope???

jp on February 13, 2008 at 5:03 PM

Oddly I see a Paul campaign as hurting Obama more than McCain.

William Amos on February 13, 2008 at 5:04 PM

its still a failure, you have to pull back, they’re all going to start killing each other in civil war, its all Bush’s faullllttt!!!

Wonder how they live like that in la-la-la land

Defector01 on February 13, 2008 at 5:07 PM

In brief, the parliamentarians are trying to build popular legitimacy by forging an alliance with influential members of the Awakening — to the dismay of other members of the Awakening who don’t want their own influence diminished.

Welcome to the wonderful world of freedom.

rockhauler on February 13, 2008 at 5:10 PM

That’s three more than Pelosi…. if you don’t count renaming post offices.

rw on February 13, 2008 at 5:00 PM

Hey, she changed the lunch menu, too.

amerpundit on February 13, 2008 at 5:13 PM

But … but … but … the uh … mmm … wait a minute … ahhh … the trains aren’t running on time!

Total Failure Mr Bush. Bring the troops home.

fogw on February 13, 2008 at 5:16 PM

What Iraq really needs is lots of lobbyists and earmarks. May as well skip the intermediate steps and get right to the cash, although there seems to already be lots of that floating around, and they seem to have the corruption thing pretty well learned. I’d say they’re about good to go.

a capella on February 13, 2008 at 5:22 PM

Oddly I see a Paul campaign as hurting Obama more than McCain.

William Amos on February 13, 2008 at 5:04 PM

Agreed. I can’t possibly believe all those conspiracy nuts vote for the GOP if, indeed, they vote at all. Any campaign by Paul would force Obama to distance himself from the hard left, thereby costing him votes.

No, there’s no harm in getting rid of the Paultard in the primary. His nutroots can go support Paul’s left hand man Kucinich instead.

Pax americana on February 13, 2008 at 5:24 PM

“I believe … that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything”

-Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), August 19, 2007

amerpundit on February 13, 2008 at 5:24 PM

Why are you all talkin’ about Paul? He might not even win his primary race in Texas that’s coming up soon. Paul is done, people. Move on.

lorien1973 on February 13, 2008 at 5:27 PM

This is why, among other reasons, those who think we should let Obama or Clinton win to teach those Republicans – especially that traitor (sarc.) McCain – a lesson are just wrong.

I respect your views (except for the “McCain is a traitor” nonsense); but you’re not thinking this through.

Unfortunately, the lesson that al-Qaeda and the Islamists learn will be a different one than the one you want to send them.

And four years from now we can’t simply just send our troops back to Iraq to undo Obama’s/Clinton’s errors.

That’s if we have much of an army left.

SteveMG on February 13, 2008 at 5:28 PM

some of Paul’s support weren’t nutters, some. They are misguided and ignorant conservatives, some are evangelical christians as well and paul has the “pro-life” label while McCain is viewed as a liberal. I do think Paul would hurt HIllary, but not sure with Obama over war issue.

now my conspiracy theory: Anyone think that at some point last year the Elite “establishment” in the Media and Govt. decided to start downplaying the War issue they have politiczied so much. Simply because they have a good shot at winning and would then have to actually govern? I’m reminded of the Bush call to Hillary and Obama about it back during the Fall that was reported then they both admitted in the following debate that troops would remain in Iraq by the end of their presidency.

Or maybe its the facts on the ground coming in, but somehow at this point, to me it seems they could still spin it negatively and get away with it. People have an immediate negative GOP reaction when they hear the word “Iraq”

jp on February 13, 2008 at 5:32 PM

I see one problem with defeating Paul in the GOP primary, which may well happen.
jp on February 13, 2008 at 5:03 PM

May happen? Yeah, and the Sun may well rise tomorrow.

Paul might run 3rd party, but recent indications are that he won’t- he’ll hang on till the convention so he can get one more opportunity to ramble a bit; he’s also openly hoping for a brokered convention even though he’d lose there too. I’ve no doubt that a number of Paultards will write him in anyways, but they’ll still be a non-factor.

It looks like he’s more concerned about winning re-election in Texas; unless he’s even more insane than he lets on, he has to know that he’s never going to be President, and certainly not in 2008.

Hollowpoint on February 13, 2008 at 5:34 PM

People have an immediate negative GOP reaction when they hear the word “Iraq”

Absolutely. This is why McCain is the only nominee that the Republicans could offer who could mitigate some of this negativity.

He has credibility on the war issue. He was a critic of the lack of troops and the overall policy when we things were a mess. And the public views him, rightly or not, as a authority on national security and defense.

Romney or Huckabee would have to run away from the Iraq war. McCain has the crediblity of raising the issue, of pointing out the dangers if we just leave and allow the Islamists to use Iraq as a base.

Lots of problems with McCain on other issues, to be sure. But on Iraq, he’s the only credible candidate who can raise the issue against the Democrats.

SteveMG on February 13, 2008 at 5:37 PM

Waiting for Oblahma, Non-stop Pelosi, Hildabeast and Dingy Harry to say “With good news like this we can surrender even faster”.

David in ATL on February 13, 2008 at 5:37 PM

Go democratic Islam! Vote for Allah first and last and please the kaffirs in between.

BL@KBIRD on February 13, 2008 at 5:39 PM

The sad but predictable reality in the Iraq government still looks to be that officials are primarily motivated by personal greed and power, not out of improving their country.

And I mean a lot worse than in the US. Unfortunately, that seems to be the norm in Arab countries. Expect a lot of rags to riches stories amongst Iraqi parlimentarians.

Still, progress is progress; there’s nothing we can do about a culture that accepts corruption as the norm.

Hollowpoint on February 13, 2008 at 5:40 PM

if the News in Iraq is still good come October. McCain could run an ad comparing his refusal to do the easy thing when given option to leave as POW, and he stayed as to not aide the enemy. To his Political courage today, when Iraq was unpopular to fight for the “Surge” and see it through…..those type of ads would appeal to people and make Obama look like a boy.

jp on February 13, 2008 at 5:43 PM

“We have a common goal,” says Mr. Abdul-Sattar.

If only we had politicians who could grasp that concept here.

Les in NC on February 13, 2008 at 5:51 PM

Whatever it takes to make this Sharia Law-based Islamic State stable enough to get the hell out of and then only bomb from the air in the future when they go malignant again.

Same with Afghanistan.

And any other zone of Mohammedan fruitcakes.

Smack a smilely face over the folly and buil\d up our military for the next round.

profitsbeard on February 13, 2008 at 6:08 PM

One item not mentioned.
The budget deal includes transfering two Peshmerga Divisions to the Iraqi Army.
25,000 extra troops in the IA…

DJ Elliott on February 13, 2008 at 6:19 PM

The budget deal includes transfering two Peshmerga Divisions to the Iraqi Army.
25,000 extra troops in the IA…

That’s interesting. They’ve only operated, IIRC, in Northern Iraq.

Will they be under Iraqi command? I.e., Shi’a generals?

Interesting development.

SteveMG on February 13, 2008 at 6:25 PM

Someone notify Nancy “This was a failure! This was a Failure!” Pelosi.

BohicaTwentyTwo on February 13, 2008 at 4:50 PM

It was a failure…a failure by the press to let this leak out. OF course, I promise you that won’t mention again. Just once to cover their ass.

Pelosi: (fingers in her ears) “LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALA!

ThePrez on February 13, 2008 at 4:56 PM

Hilarious!

mksmithwriter on February 13, 2008 at 6:58 PM

Supporters of the American troop increase in 2007 touted it as a way to stabilize the country, bringing Iraqi politicians the political space they needed to pass legislation that could pave the way for reconciliation between the sects. For months it appeared that little was moving on the political front, but now it seems that the decline in violence did contribute to a change in the atmosphere.

To any and all liberals,

“TOLD YOU SO!”

Yakko77 on February 13, 2008 at 7:11 PM

I took a dump that had more character than Harry “the body” Reid and Nancy “stretch” Pelosi.

Semper Fi, General Petraeus!

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on February 13, 2008 at 7:50 PM

This war is lost! – H. Reid

CliffHanger on February 13, 2008 at 9:00 PM

This is incredibly huge considering the Iraqi legislature is like having 50 completely different demacrat factions. For all of them to agree on something this huge is truely amazing. Great job.

oakpack on February 13, 2008 at 11:26 PM

The next time the Dems say there’s been military progress but no political progress…will someone please correct them?!?

pecan pie on February 14, 2008 at 10:08 AM