, I noted Sunni Vice President Tariq al Hashemi's threat to withdraw from Maliki's government if constitutional changes are not enacted by May 15. (One week from tomorrow
: He's talking about pulling out of the parliament, too
I don't see any way that such changes could be enacted within a week when even the Constitutional Committee hasn't yet reached agreement on the issues. After the committee, it would then have to go to the parliament for a 60% (?) vote, and in Iraq's fractious system, I just don't see that happening in a week.
So, what is Hashemi's game? This would be a very big and public position for him to back down from and he's given the Iraqi government a nearly impossible hill to climb. Is this all pretense to allow a pullout or does he really expect concessions?
This would be a far bigger deal than Sadr's withdrawal because it would strip away any pretense (and any hope) of a Sunni/Shia reconciliation government.
So, is this posturing by Hashemi or is this real? Is Maliki's government now scheduled for irrelevance or collapse beginning next Wednesday?
Did Hashemi pick this spot because the US is at its political weakest and most likely to force concessions out of the Shia?
Probably most worringly to me was the CNN interview with Iraq's National Security Advisor Mowaffak Al Rubaie who seemed shaken and nearly frantic, trying to steer the interview away from the topic.
Sorry to ponder so long, but this could be
(And, after all the criticism Zalmay Khalilzad took for "favoring the Sunnis," I find myself wondering about the efforts of his replacement, Ryan Crocker, who arrived on post six weeks ago
: One possible avenue of escape might be an agreement to keep Iraq whole rather than partitioning it into three separate entities.
That would give Hashemi a win and it would, in theory, be the quickest change to pass, however, both SCIRI and the Kurds favor leaving this option on the table.