Can Al-Maliki save Iraq?

By John Cookson. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The exact origin of the proverb “cometh the hour, cometh the man” are unknown, but there can be no doubt the man tasked with saving Iraq from disintegration at this dangerous hour is 63-year-old Nouri Al-Maliki.

In these pivotal days in Iraq’s history, what do we know about him and can he crush the jihadists?

He rarely gives interviews but we know Al-Maliki is a man of determination who has successfully walked a treacherous political tight rope in a country still swirling with violence and intrigue after 40 years of conflict.

As leader of the Shi’ite Dawa Party he has been Prime Minister for two terms and – before ISIS’s astonishing advance and the fall of Mosul – was bidding to be nominated for another 4 years.

But his critics – and there are many – accuse him of presiding over one of the most corrupt regimes in the world and his dictatorial style, personal control of security and intelligence services, and especially marginalisation of the Sunnis are seen by many as the primary causes of the present crisis.

In the past several senior US politicians have asked for him to be removed from office including Hillary Clinton and Carl Levin.

His opponents also claim he is a puppet of Iran, although Western diplomats in Baghdad insist he is his own man and regularly stands up to Teheran.

A strong orator, he is tough on enemies and readily signed Saddam’s death warrant in 2006 saying there would be no appeal. He also crushed a rebellion by Muqtada al Sadr’s militia in Basrah.

He is familiar with guerilla warfare having spent 25 years in exile during the Saddam era mostly in Syria directing operations against the Iraqi dictator.

Tags:

15 Responses to Can Al-Maliki save Iraq?

  1. shackiraq June 12, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    The sale of Iraqi Army leadership positions is perhaps one of the main reasons the Army fled. Inept leadership provide by the officers who bought they jobs have no training and are basically empty men whose thin shell will crack and crumble with the first shots of battle.

    Corruption has a very damnable effect on the structure of government and the Iraqi Army fleeing and tearing off their uniforms is only one of the effects. It is rot that destroys the core leaving only a weak shell that will fail every time there is a conflict.

    The Iraqi Army actions are directly reflecting on the inept leadership from the top.

  2. Ali June 13, 2014 at 11:03 am #

    I can say definitely that Mr Al Maliki is the worse leader ruled Iraq from 1920 until now. He is looking very ugly, argent and brainless. Having said that all Iraqis must now stand together to stop the Wahhabi Invasion. Iraqi people have now good and helpful friends in free democratic World such as US, UK and many other countries. Iraqi people must be patient in this dark times and the God will help you.