19 December, 2011

Well, *that* didn't take long...

One day after the US forces officially leave Iraq,

Nuri al-Maliki plunged Iraq into political turmoi by ordering the arrest of Tareq al-Hashemi, his respected Sunni vice president, on terrorism charges.
Further escalating tensions, he also asked parliament to hold a no-confidence vote to allow him to dismiss Saleh al-Mutlak, the Sunni deputy prime minister, who angered Mr Maliki by describing him as a "dictator" during a television interview last week.
Mr Hashemi was briefly detained after being escorted of a plane at Baghdad's airport, where he was attempting to catch a flight to the Kurdish city of Irbil, prompting speculation that he was attempting to flee.
Although Mr Hashemi was released, three of his bodyguards were arrested for "suspected terrorist activity". Following frantic negotiations brokered by the United States and Kurdish political leaders, Mr Maliki was said to have agreed not to implement the arrest warrant for now. 
But last night, judges barred Mr Hashemi from travelling overseas shortly before the arrest warrant was formally issued. Tanks were also deployed outside his home, as well as outside the houses of Mr Mutlak and a third senior Sunni politician.

It's not unexpected, but you'd hope he'd at least have the courtesy to not immediately embarass President Obama.  I suppose nobody wants to late to the Civil War.

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