Sunday, August 23, 2015

Editorial: Iraq the unexamined

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is now in week three of his alleged reforms.

At what point does the press intend to offer serious analysis?

At what point do they intend to do more than repeat his claims?

Claims aren't facts.

The press gets that right?

We have to ask because there's the issue of his fighting corruption by doing away certain ministries.

From last Monday's Iraq snapshot:

Sunday, Haider's actions began to more closely resemble a power grab and to be less and less about reforms as he announced he would be  hacking away at the Cabinet -- with no one pointing out that the Constitution does not give him that power.  Reuters states he's taken the Cabinet from 33 ministers to 22.  Among the posts eliminated?  The Minister of Human Rights and the Minister of State for Women's Affairs.  (CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq also notes thee two posts are being eliminated.)

In his announcement, Haider claims that he has the power under Article 78 of the Constitution.

That's interesting.  Article 78 of the Iraqi Constitution:

Article 78:
First: The President of the Republic shall take up the office of the Prime Minister in the event the post becomes vacant for any reason whatsoever.
Second: The President must designate another nominee to form the cabinet within a period not to exceed fifteen days in accordance with the provisions of article 73 of this Constitution.

Where does that give Haider the power to eliminate ministries?

In his announcement, he notes that he is cancelling the following: the Minister of Human Rights, the Minister of State for Women's Affairs, the Minister for State for Provincial Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs and the Minister of State while merging a number of ministries.

This morning, we noted of the move to eliminated the Women's Affairs ministry, "If Haider's moving to end corruption, if that's why he's doing this, how much corruption is ended by abolishing a ministry that's never had a real budget?"

Kurdish MP Muthanna Amin today also noted the nonsense and the fakery.  Rudaw reports:

“The prime minister has decided to close the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, whose monthly budget is only 150,000 Iraqi dinars (about  $120,” Amin claimed, saying it had little impact on reducing government expenses.
Amin said the ministry comprised of only three rooms in the same building as the council of ministers, without mentioning other costs, such as salaries and security for ministry officials.

 Yet the western press is presenting these moves as a fight against corruption.

How does eliminating the Women's Affairs ministry address corruption?

It doesn't.

So when is the press going to stop giving Haider a pass and start doing their damn job?

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