Truth to Power

Iraq: Lets try martial law!

Iraqis call for five-man junta to end the anarchy

By Marie Colvin

10/15/06 “Sunday Times’ – – IRAQ’S fragile democracy, weakened by mounting chaos and a rapidly rising death toll, is being challenged by calls for the formation of a hardline “government of national salvation”.

The proposal, which is being widely discussed in political and intelligence circles in Baghdad, is to replace the Shi’ite-led government of Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, with a regime capable of imposing order and confronting the sectarian militias leading the country to the brink of civil war. Dr Saleh al-Mutlak, a prominent Sunni politician, travelled to Arab capitals last week seeking support for the replacement of the present government with a group of five strongmen who would impose martial law and either dissolve parliament or halt its participation in day-to-day government.

Other Iraqis dismissed the idea that a unilateral change in the leadership would be desirable or even possible. “The only person who can undertake a coup in Iraq now is General George Casey (the US commander) and I don’t think the Americans are inclined to go in that direction,” said Ahmed Chalabi, head of a rival political party.

Any suspension of the democratic process would be regarded as a severe blow to American and British policy. </i>


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