U.S. Support May Not Save Maliki

The ship of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government is sailing in rough seas and could sink any time.

The prime minister is under attack from several quarters including his Kurdish allies and some of his Shiite supporters.

Iraqi politicians and members of parliament are reported to be working silently on ways to topple Maliki, despite the firm support he gets from U.S. President George Bush.

The Kurds, the government’s main allies, may not dump Maliki in light of the recent concessions he made to them regarding their share from the country’s oil revenues and the future of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk which the Kurds would like to add to their semi-independent enclave.

But the Sunnis have already withdrawn from his government and there strong indications of other blocs to follow suit. 12 ministers have already opted out of Maliki’s government.

And as Maliki’s opponents gather momentum, his government’s criticism escalates and conditions worsen, the Kurds will eventually distance themselves from his policies, analysts say.

Maliki has stalled on reforming his government and amending the constitution to address concerns by Iraqi Sunnis and other groups.

He only recently reversed decisions with regard to debaathification under which former members of the Baath party and personnel working in former ‘sensitive’ institutions like the army and intelligence were banned from working in the government.

President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, is reported to be disappointed with Maliki’s performance, warning him not to misinterpret U.S. public support of his government.

Insiders say Bush’s repeated praise and support have emboldened Maliki to the extent that he reneged on promises he made to influential opposing his leadership.

The political crisis in the country comes amid rising tension and mounting insecurity and strong indications that the so-called U.S. ‘surge’ of troops in Baghdad has failed to achieve any of its stated goals.

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