Of course the stitching was already coming loose on the Iraqi government long before the US military pullout, but many who were led to believe the US was leaving a “stable” nation are surprised now to find that the Maliki regime’s strategy of fear and mass arrests isn’t holding, and the government looks on the verge of unraveling outright.
In the few weeks since the US pullout, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has attempted to arrest his Vice President, ousted his Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, arrested over a thousand top political rivals on charges of “terrorism” and seen both the Sunni Arab and Kurdish blocs withdraw from his government.
It seems a virtual certainty that a parliamentary vote of no confidence is going to happen sooner or later (and indeed boycotts by Iraqiya MPs are probably the only reason this hasn’t happened yet), but this threatens to seriously test Iraq’s democratic bonafides, with many analysts seeing a very real possibility that Maliki will simply refuse to step down and use his control over the military to maintain his rule indefinitely.
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