By John Cookson. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
The session on Tuesday to choose a new leadership to rescue Iraq from meltdown on was arguably one of the most important Iraqi MPs had ever attended.
Roads within a 2 kilometres of Baghdad’s Green Zone had been sealed. Journalists attending the key parliamentary session said they walked 40 minutes in searing heat through 10 security checkpoints to get in. The ring of steel around the National Assembly building had never been tighter.
Right on time the whole show began to play out on state television. It started harmoniously enough with an orchestra playing an uplifting version of the Iraqi National Anthem – the kind of music associated with national pride and a sense of unity.
Lots of hand shakes and smiles all round; you could almost believe that at last Iraqi politicians were getting their act together to begin the process of selecting a powerful new government to beat Sunni jihadist revolution.
But when the music died, the bickering began.
Arab MPs accused the Kurds of selling their oil to Israel. One shouted: “Crush the heads of the Kurds!”
Other allegations flew around the assembly hall. The Sunnis were furious about mention of the jihadis movement Islamic State.
Fingers were jabbed in faces. Some politicians raged at each other nose to nose.