Insight: Maliki Consolidates Power, Fails To Reconcile Iraqis
Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s political skills have kept him at the pinnacle of power since 2006, but the Shi’ite Muslim leader has yet to heal the wounds of a country traumatized by tyranny, occupation and communal strife. His critics say he has exacerbated that legacy by gaining undue control over the army, police and security services, and using them freely against Sunni Muslim and other political foes, while allowing grave abuses in prisons and detention centers. al-Maliki himself describes the fighting in Iraq as “guerilla” warfare: With al-Qaeda rampant once again, violence in Iraq has hit a five-year high, minority Sunnis are embittered, and Kurds are restive. Despite plentiful oil income, jobs and basic services remain scarce–a decade after U.S.-led forces toppled Saddam Hussein.
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