I come to you today to share my recent findings and give you an update on the progress of the new government and how this relates towards the international rollout of the IQD for Iraq.
Today's news letter, as in all my news letters, is a continuation of the ongoing saga of the IQD RV process. Please refer back to my last news letter of 10/7 (LINK) as this news letter is a continuation of this news.
Today is Monday 10/13 and the news maybe boring but it is as factual as I know it. We are still looking at the same issues as the ongoing saga of politics continues in Iraq. But there is a ray of new hope in the air and I will explain.
Quick ISIS Update
As we all may have heard from the news media Iraq does not want USA or any countries “boots on the ground”. They claim they can handle the ISIS and DAASH situation on their own. I believe eventually they will be forced to request USA troops (coalition) and the USA will send boots on the ground. Currently this lack of the American public support for this effort only continues to exasperate the situation in Iraq. It is making a quick resolution to the ISIS problem a long drawn out one.
Are you listening to the daily news? Can you begin to see now how the media is pumping us and getting us ready to support “boots on the ground” ? It is coming and soon. Day after day we are hearing more about the necessity for more USA ground support and how the air strikes are no longer effective.
Confirmation of the Final Ministers
Still no “fully” formed government announced. I can assure you that there is no conspiracy, intentional stalling or “smoke and mirrors” associated with the lack of ability to get the candidates confirmed before parliament. I have presented the holdups to you in prior news letters and these same sectarian issues from the Nationalist Party continue to plague the scene. Part of this stagnation is due mainly to the Dawa Party resistance with influence still from the Maliki side.
So over the weekend the negotiations continued and on Sunday the candidates for minister of Defense and Interior were once again presented and rejected. But here is the key to this situation. Abadi has warned the parties arguing that they are not acting in the best interest of Iraq as a whole but rather still fighting between themselves. There was a change in the tone of Abadi’s statement on "the need to accelerate in the naming of security ministers to contribute to stop the wave of violence and terrorism and the promotion of the reality of the security in the whole of Iraq," He called on political parties to "resolve the controversy over the security ministries as soon as possible and taking into account the exceptional circumstance that passes by Iraq and the region". The statement comes at the aftermath of the criminal bombings that killed dozens of martyrs and wounded many more in the hand, Kara Tepe yesterday. Also the advancement of DAASH elements just outside the green zone of Baghdad.
Let us not also forget they are using these last ministers positions as leverage to get the 27 reforms they need implemented (not just written on paper). It is all interconnected.
So I ask - will they finally put their sectarian issues aside and do what is best for Iraq as a nation? This is called nationalism instead anarchy as everyone just being out to grab what they can for themselves, as we have seen in the last 8 years under Maliki. This attitude must change. This is the real issue facing Iraq today in many ways. They literally have a goose that is laying golden eggs. If they can only learn how to take care of the goose and nurture it, this country could move in a direction that is wonderful and powerful (financially). This is literally their last chance at this opportunity. I feel the longer they wait to unite the less chances they have of being successful.
The Clean Up of Corruption Continues
As many of you may remember during the Maliki administration there were many political rivals that were unlawfully and unjustly accused of crimes. These were political crimes based on the continued disagreement with the Prime Minister Former Nuri al-Maliki and his policies or convictions to exposed his corruption. Maliki wanted to eliminate or silence anyone who did not agree with him and his agenda.
When the new prime minister Abadi took office and finally established some groundwork as to what issues are more relevant. He then set up many committees to go to work on these reforms. I talked about many of these reforms in my past news letters.
These reforms are nothing more than what the “honest” politicians and citizens have been screaming for all along but could not make any headway with Maliki as prime minister. One of these committees was set up for judicial reform. Coming now out of this reform effort we see many past decisions on Maliki’s political victims being overturned and made right. I talk today about four of these victims and we have been waiting a very long time to hear this good news. They include: Hussein Azri, Sinan Cpie , Sabah al-Saadi and Sinan Al Shabibi.
So last week (on Wednesday) the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council along with the judicial reform committee (pushing them gently) said the council is close to ending the investigations on the files on a number of these political based decisions.
The first case is against the former Central Bank governor Sinan Cpie after making appeal’s on his judgment for seven years and will bring him and his legal to court to defend his case. This accurance happened during Maliki’s for term as prime minister. r Sinan Cpie refusal to credit the Maliki government the amount 16 billion dollars extra was outside the law and so it was stopped. So Maliki’s corruption in attempts to take money illegally from the CBI is nothing new. We see this too in his first administration.
The second case it is to resolve the file against Hussein Azri. He served as the Director of Bank of Iraq for Trade, a nephew of Ahmed Chalabi. He also refused to credit the Iraqi government funds after meeting with al-Maliki in the bank’s headquarters. Then followed by hours of sending the security forces to arrest him but he escaped out of Iraq.
The file on Azri is almost finished and that the Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi does not interfere with the elimination of this case.
The third case, which comes close to the Council of Ministers resolved an issue of MP Sabah al-Saadi who was terminated while resolving your file on MP Haidar al-Mulla was refunding sources and patches where the restrictions against him prosecuted five cases resulted in the booking movable and immovable property and to prevent him from traveling.
The forth case involves also a former Central Bank governor Sinan Al Shabibi. He was accused of illegal sales of Iragi currency. What most articles fail to mention is that just prior to this accusation, Shabbi and Maliki had a drag out fight over a request for CBI funds. This was right about the time Maliki wanted to purchase used Russian military equipment (tanks and artillery) to be used to deal with the Kirkuk region on of the Article 140 disputed oil rich regions of Iraq (after 2 rich new oil wells were discovered). Do you remember this episode? Shabibi was not in the country at the time and so he too escaped prosecution and jail time. Soon Turki, an Iraqi financial auditor of the CBI, was given the position of the new governor of the CBI. Shabibi never got a chance to defend himself, as entering Iraq would certainly have meant jail time without Due Process of the law. So now we see the file on this case too being reviewed. I expect that he will be cleared of any wrong doings. I also expect that he will return to head up the CBI as governor or maybe even Sinan Cpie. This will happen soon.
So we see the new Iraqi prime minister Haidar al-Abadi continuing the process of correcting the mistakes of his predecessor Nuri al-Maliki, most notably the resolutions set on many of those close to him (that apposed him in some way) in the days of his rule. This is all good and moving in the right direction.
Resubmittal of the 2014 Budget
Do you remember in my news letters I addressed concerns about Iraq and how they had to control their spending and how the fighting with ISIS is consuming way too much of their funding, not to mention finding that billions of dollars was found missing. So they had to delay payments to the citizens on the government programs since February 2014. These are payments guaranteed under the constitution.
Just recently we witnessed these payments being made under pressure from rioting and demonstrations. This then became a very delicate situation, since the government (pre-Abadi) already set a stage for civil unrest. Also consider more and more defectors going over to ISIS to fight. Maliki is also once again instigating overtones of incompetence in the citizens as he points out Abadi’s inability to form the new government. Maliki does not shout this too load however, since he knows he is throwing stones but lives in a glass house….lol…
The new Abadi government had to step in and quickly address these issues before they got way out of hand. This had finally come to a peak.
So where is this money all of a sudden coming from?
Could this be connected with an imminent RV?
Last week we heard the GOI plans to resubmit the budget to parliament on Tuesday 10/14. At least this is their target. According to my sources in the CBI, it is learned that the GOI was requested to update the figures to realistic revenues and projected expenditures. I do not want to keep harping about the Maliki past administration and you probably think I am doing some of politicking but I assure you I am not and just trying to demonstate to you how messed up and bad the mess that was left behind has found its way into every aspect of this new administration of Abadi including the budget he inherited. There is no such thing as an entirely new, clean slate handed over to you when you take office. Abadi has to work with the cards dealt to him when he took office.
Some of us can not fully understand why the budget has not been successful up to now. Remember how the process works. The GOI (the council of ministers) working with the finance committee propose a budget as to what they project they will need to run the government. The finance especially helps in the projected revenue side as they work directly with the government of Kurdistan on the major source of revenue, namely from oil. So you see if you wanted to steal billions how you can easily fluff the upcoming projects and using the system write fraudulent contracts. Iraq also no longer has to report to the IMF on approval for this budget for the first time since post war, post sanction days. They are now free to manage their own allocation of funds. So there is one side that still wants to continue this corruption as usual and the other side that needs to clean it up. This is the stalemate.
Parliament has slated Tuesday 10/14 to receive the updated budget from Iraq and Thursday 10/16 for the first reading of the “cleaned up” version of the budget proposal. If there are still discrepancies it will be kicked back to the GOI for revisions once again.
Update on the Currency Reform Project
As you may have heard, and it is true, many of the provinces have gone ahead and began rolling out the lower denoms to the public. How can this be, since the plan is to coincide this event with the international rollout and revaluation?
We also know that Iraq has done an in-country RV since they are loading rates beyond the 1166 onto the Qi cards. This is not the first time they have done this. The most recent deployment of funds was at a rate of $3.58. In the past they loaded $3.71 and other rates according to the government program being paid out.
So how can you conduct commerce and trade on the streets and even get money from an ATM machine using two violently apposed rates- that of $3.58 and 11660 ? The answer is obvious. You simply can’t and so you must at some point have a cutoff period. They also learned many lessons last time they loaded these cards. What they learned was they needed to distribute the lower denominations and coins to coincide with these news rates.
The problem that most people are having with reporting on news of this situation is this. They have been told for a long period of time that the lower denoms would coincide with the “international” rollout and revaluation. This was true, this was the plan. They expected it just to happen in unisons when they say the $3.58 rate, but this is purely their interpretation of the plan and maybe not the plan itself.
Was this Dr Shabibi’s plan. But what happened to his plan? Are they executing the original plan? I do not believe they are. It is a variation of it.
It is my very strong contention that Iraq is now doing one of two things:
1) Iraq is taking their sweet time rolling out this currency revaluation by first doing an in-county RV and next working towards the final international rollout. They are being required to have stability in both the political scene and security prior to this taking this to the next step. Under pressure they had to pay out these government programs and could not hold back any longer. The USA has the final power to pull the switch to complete this rollout process. They are working in partnership to complete the process.
2) Iraq knows it now has ample reserves and resources to back the new value of their currency rate. They have been preparing for this event now for four years. Now that Maliki no longer has as much influence in this matter and since they are out of sanctions they feel they should be making the decision are trying to force the international rollout on their own since they strongly feel they are ready and can handle any consequences and aftermath. On the other hand, the USA does not agree and since they still maintain the power to pull the final switch they will continue to hold up the process until they deem Iraq is ready to enter the international financial community. Should the USA now be making this decision or should it be just a matter of course in doing what Iraq now has been requesting?
So my conclusions are this - Based on all we know about Iraq and urgency to get their currency international, one has to stop and think who is holding up the process. Could it be there is still underlying manipulation and reasons why the USA is holding up this RV. Is there in fact corruption going on here? Could there simply be billions being made on the backend over the last year without completing the final rollout? This is hard to give up. Or - maybe the process is taking place and rollout has in fact begun. I will report more on this later in the week...stay tuned.
Recent Hype Once Again About an Imminent RV
This time I can hardly blame many of the Intel Guru’s for disseminating this information about an imminent RV this past week. I too have heard that Iraq has had high level meetings with the USA and the IMF on this matter and had requested a rollout to the international level to occur and do it now….like over the past couple days. There were target dates established and all parties agreed to this plan of action. It is now Monday 10/13 and so where is the RV?
So today I send you an update. It is once again a continuation of the ongoing saga of many events.
But the good news is I too have heard that Iraq is ready and have been pushing the IMF and the USA to rollout the new rates to the international community. Remember the new PM Abadi comes from the finance ministry and so he is fully aware of the ongoing saga of the currency reform project.
They are doing this on the aftermath of their recent funding of the Qi cards and final rollout of the lower denominations and coins. They have advertised the RV in their news papers and even speeches about the process in the mosques. They are fully ready for their revaluation. They have worked so hard in the midst of past political and financial obstacles to get to this point in time. There is now a new sense of urgency coming across to me from the CBI.
This RV was to have occurred over this past 4 day period. So what has happened? Why yet no international rollout? These are all very good very intelligent questions that we should no be asking. Let’s look as some options as to what may be happening.
Is it because we continue to wait once again for the controversial remaining two ministers to be seated?
Is it to get the 2014 budget cleaned up and finally at least through the first reading?
Does Iraq still feel they need more security in place prior to releasing an RV?
Are there still back room dealings and billions being made off the holdup of this RV? This is hard to give up !
Are their other reasons?
I my past news letters I compare the interconnectivity of these ongoing events to a spiders web and how this is very complicated as one event can effect the entire process.
But then we don’t truly know entirely what is going on behind closed doors. We hear that Iraq is more than ready for an international currency. We hear they have pushed and continue to push the USA in allowing the rollout to complete. Iraq claims they need their full currency back at least to pre-war value plus equity and have full sovereignty (out of Chapter 7 sanctions) so why the hold up? They claim having a currency will self-resolve many of their ongoing issues.
On the other hand we are hearing the USA wants these issues first resolved prior to letting the RV rollout complete. So how has the negotiations and agreements broken down. I have some really good contacts in the CBI and they are now telling me that all agreements were made last week and we should expect the final rollout the RV….like now. All agree to the situation and it should happen any day now. But still we wait.
How many times must we hear this and still no RV? I do not make this statement with any sarcasm in my voice since I empathize with everyone. I too am very frustrated.
I make these statements because the events going on now in Iraq are complicated and everything is closely interconnected and interdependent.
As spectators we want desperately to peg a single event to the RV. We want to have a pin point date and a target. It is human nature to feel this way. But we feel this way too because this is sometimes what all intel is telling us, as it is now.
If there could be any one thing you can do to speed up this RV process it might be to write your congressman and senators and request that you are demanding an explaination as to why the US is not being more proactive in resolving this ISIS situation. This is all it will take to wake up these politicians to the reality of sending more coalition forces into Iraq to work with Iraqi forces in ending this ISIS and DAASH crisis once and for all. As many of you know I do not like violence and do not like war. I always remember the suffering and dispare I witnessed when I was stationed in Iraq during desert storm. But at times there are simply evil elements (just as there are good) and the defenseless often need help to rid themselves of this evil. Not to mention too that this ISIS in not isolated just to the Middle East and should be a concern for all civilized societies.
Then when can we expect the RV?
All I will say is what I have been saying all along in that we wait for a formal (global) announcement to the public that the Iraq government is now FULLY formed and seated.
I want to emphasize once again this final announcement of the IQD going international will not happen until the USA feels the country of Iraq and its government is stable, non-sectarian and is a functional government. This is has been the plan all along. They may have wavered a bit on how the plan was implemented but the overall plan guidelines have not changed. This I know now as fact not rumor.
Peace and Luv To Ya All,