Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sunnis and Kurds on Sidelines of Iraqi Leader’s Military Plans

By ALISSA J. RUBIN and ROD NORDLAND, NYT
JUNE 16, 2014

BAGHDAD — Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has presented himself as the man who could bring Iraqis together, but with the collapse of his army before a Sunni militant assault, he has taken on only one role — that of commander in chief of Iraq.

He is spending much of his time on the military side of the presidential compound, while some of his close civilian aides have taken to wearing starched military fatigues. He spends the better part of his day running the war.

He meets with military commanders, travels to the front lines, makes speeches at recruiting drives rallying young Shiite men and, not infrequently, falls into fits of anger, according to members of his inner circle.

What he does not do, by all accounts, is spend much time on the political reconciliation with the Sunni Arabs and Kurds that his international allies in Washington and Tehran have insisted is his country’s only possible salvation. Even his top aide in charge of reconciliation said Monday that he thinks it is all but hopeless at this point.

(More here.)

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