Saturday, March 12, 2005

Arabic News: Adnan Ali, one of the aides for Ibrahim al-Jaffari, the candidate for the next Iraqi prime minister, from the United Iraqi Coalition supported by the Shiite clergy Ayatullah Ali al-Seistani, announced reaching a common understanding agreement with the Kurds that will be signed tomorrow, Sunday. The Shiite and Kurdish lists on Friday announced that they eliminated the obstacle of the city of Karkouk which used to impede the formation of the new interim government and the convening of the national assembly ( parliament). The presidency of the Turkman council in Iraq, in Karkouk city, announced rejection to any bilateral agreement that the Turkmans are not a side to. [...] On the other hand, the leading figure in the Shiite list, Ali al-Dabbagh, said that the Kurds agreed to support the nomination of al-Jaafari to preside over the Cabinet, for the Shiite consent that the Kurdish Jalal al-Talibani will be the president of the Republic and another Kurdish figure to assume one of the political posts. [...]

A local [Warren, Mich., USA] man may have failed to get a seat in Iraq's new National Assembly, but he says the fact the election happened is a victory in itself. Hikmat Hakeem, of Warren, ran in Iraq's elections, but his party didn't perform well enough for him to be part of the 275-member assembly. Still, the 6-year-old former law professor could be chosen for Iraq's constitutional committee, which will help write the country's laws under the assembly's supervision, the Detroit Free Press reported Saturday. (AP via San Jose Mercury News)

Ghali Hassan: Iraq Elections And The Liberal Elites: A Response To Noam Chomsky. In a recent opinion piece, Naom Chomsky writes, "In Iraq, the January elections were successful and praiseworthy. However, the main success is being reported only marginally: The United States was compelled to allow them to take place. That is a real triumph, not of the bomb-throwers, but of non-violent resistance by the people, secular as well as Islamist, for whom Grand Ayatollah Al Sistani is a symbol" (Khaleej Times Online, 4 March 2005). Mr. Chomsky is either completely out of touch with reality in Iraq, or simply ignorant of the legitimate rights of the Iraqi people to self-determination. Firstly, the elections were a farce. The majority of the 14 million eligible Iraqis to vote have boycotted the elections. Since the invasion and Occupation of Iraq, Iraqis have protested and requested immediate free and fair elections, however, the Bush administration 'stifled, delayed, manipulated and otherwise thwarted the democratic aspiration of the Iraqi people'. The US administration turned down the idea of elections, claiming that technical problems would permit elections in two years at the earliest. Prominent Iraqi politicians and patriots, and UN officials who are familiar with the conditions there immediately refuted this argument. (See note [1] for detail). According to Joachim Guilliard of German Campaign against the Embargo on Iraq, "Another important element of the US strategy was that the elections took place under the 'Transitional Administrative Law (TAL)'" drawn up by pro-Israel US jurists, such as the 32-year old pro-Israel Noah Feldman of New York University. [...] (