This morning I am already beginning to see white on top of bergen near my home. The color from the trees is all but gone. The popular tourist destinations for summer are now converting to winter businesses. Yes - we are about to see a huge change in the coming weeks.
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 letters of 10/20 and 10/23 as this news letter is a continuation of this news.
Today is Monday 10/27 and Iraqi progress is moving forward very rapidly. Their efforts now seem to be focused mainly on three fronts. One is fighting ISIS, another is getting the necessary laws implemented that can create more stability thus support the security side. Lastly the other is a flood of news businesses and contractors now knocking at Iraq’s door. They are writing new contracts like crazy. What is happening?
These are contracts with international companies for reconstruction projects, new housing, tourism, transportation, goods and services. Where is all this money going to come from? What is the expectation? Seems just weeks ago Iraq has to borrow money to keep running the government and even payout on their social programs. Do I smell a currency revaluation in the air? Do they know something we don’t?
Now as an onlooker, let us concentrate our efforts on waiting and watching for certain laws to be implemented and announced to the public in the coming weeks of not days.
Forget about all this hidden, cloak and dagger stuff, secret backroom deals, as some have said these laws are done, done done… Really? Well you know my take on these attitudes and I will not reference it again but only to say some of this people are nuts, nuts nuts and have no idea what is really happening and someone is pumping them to hand out this misinformation. Either that or they are just blindsided.
If they are done then why have they not let the public know? Why would they hide it? It is not all about the RV you know!
Tell me please? Could it be because they are not yet done as to why we hav not yet seen the RV?
So now let me tell you about yet another one of the Iraq MPs who came forward just recently to tell us what laws are in fact the most important and critical ones at this junction in time. Why would he do this if they were “all done”. Seriously tell me cause I really want to know.
A member of the House of Representatives Mohammed al-Shammari said the construction of the political process and the future of the country and overcome the differences depends on the approval of three important laws.
Al-Shammari said the Euphrates News Agency that "the completion of the government is a step in the right direction, and expressed his hope that the House of Representatives will now initiate other important laws."
He added that "the political process need to articulated laws, including:
1) the law of parties,
2) the Federal Court, (could he mean the “accountability and justice law”? )
3) the law of oil and gas (could he mean the HCL and Article 140 dispute?)
all on which depends the fate of Iraq.
These three main laws would solve the problems of the relationship between the political blocs and between the federal government and the provincial government."
He claims that there is a strong need to set priorities of the Council of Representatives, stating that the construction of the political process and the future of the country and overcome the differences depends on these laws.
Could these three laws also show the areas of concentration not yet completed to given us that needed political stability (meaning the political side finally is catching up with the economic side).
Can you get the tone of what al-Shammari is trying to tell us. He has pointed out the three main laws he sees, as an MP that need to be addressed and done now. He is saying, as I have been saying all along, by implemented these laws it can bring much needed stability to Iraq. Does this seem like De Ja Vu to you?
Why must we keep hearing about these three laws over and over again yet it seems that parliament does nothing. Of course this is only partly true since they have been waiting to get the government fully seated first. We just get impatient because we want our RV and want it now.
We are now beginning to see signs that this effort is being undertaken to address these three important laws. This now should be our focus as onlookers of this process. These are the three laws we most want implemented to set the stage for the upcoming stability of Iraq for the revaluation. These are now also in Iraqi’s scope and main focus.
Do these three laws sound familiar?. Yes they do! They are right our of Erbil Agreement of 2010 as I have been attempting to tell you in my last 10 news letters.
These are the laws necessary to go forward with this country. Are there many others too that need to be implemented? Yes – but you have to remember we don’t necessarily get focus or attention in articles to all the laws they are voting on and passing. The Iraqi news tends to carry only the critical and most important laws, the most controversial laws. So many of the other, less critical laws (i.e. dealing with the news media) may already be implemented and in fact I know that many are already done. Overall the progress in getting these laws is much farther than we know from reading articles and from what Iraq is freely telling us. But now a conspiracy, or intentional its just that way.
But now we do know their top three priorities so let’s watch and focus on them in the coming weeks.
The oil and gas law
So a couple days ago, on Saturday 10/25, out pops news of the progress on the oil and gas law. This is yet more evidence of it not being completed, as some have said. The good news today is they are working quickly to settle this once and for all. These are their words not mine.
Baghdad-Iraq-Presse -25 October / October revealed the Commission on oil and energy parliamentary, on Saturday, for the negotiations conducted by the leaders of political blocs represented in the House of Representatives to end the controversy regarding the oil and gas law and approval.
The committee member said MP Hussein by l / Iraq Press / that “negotiations were under way, these days, between the heads of the blocks to get to the final version of the draft law of oil and gas and an end to the dispute of oil between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government constant since the year two thousand and seven.”
Added by, that “the Commission on oil and energy in addition to the political parties concerned as well as the joint committees between Baghdad and Erbil are trying as soon as possible the completion of the unification of three drafts in agreement with the Commission to pass the law commentator since two thousand and seven.” But he also said that “in the event of failure to reach a common draft of drafts that have been formulated in two thousand and seven draft developed by the previous government or the previous draft of the oil and energy will search the possibility of drafting a new oil and gas law satisfies all parties.”
Promised by oil and gas law, “the main gate to resolve the dispute between the federal government and the provincial government and the establishment of the Council of federal oil would end the disputes between the parties” Ended
The Accountability and Justice Law
The de-Ba`thification process in Iraq has fallen profoundly short as a transitional justice mechanism over the past decade. Poorly conceived, badly implemented, and controlled by hard-liners, the process has been so highly politicized that it has eroded the rule of law and intensified the sectarian tensions that are at the heart of the violence haunting Iraq. This is at the heart of what is wrong with the Iraq justice system today and what must be corrected.
So to reform the justice system, the Accountability and Justice Law was written. You can’t simply just keep throwing people into prisons because they were members of the Ba’ath party under Saddam Hussein forever. Many of these people are good people and highly skilled at running governments and the politics. They are needed back into society. That would be like if we still hunted down prior Germany citizens almost 70 years after the war ended just because they were members of the Nazi party, knowing they had little to do with any real terrorism or violence in Germany. It is time to let go too now in Iraq 11 years after the invasion.
In February 2008 the Accountability and Justice Law was approved by Iraq's three-member Presidency Council. The reforms were exerted by some Sunni political blocs and the United States Government. The law was never supported by the Maliki government and was never passed and implemented.
So in the 2010 elections this law was added to the long list of needed laws that had to be passed within 30 days as part of fully implementing the “Erbil Agreement”. Maliki had to deliver to be confirmed as the new prime minister at that time. We know he never completed Erbil and this too has been a source of contention in the years following his second administration.
This topic is now hot ! Businesses also need a fair deal when settling disputes and legal actions when dealing with Iraq and in the past refuse to come into Iraq due to this effect. Now we see this all changing.
Now we see this law once again pop up in the 2014 list of the 27 reforms and again on the past Saturday’s news of the top 3 hit list for critical reforms.
Why would we not be watching for this law as a sign of stability? It is so much needed for Iraq to push the RV button. I do not believe they will RV until this justice system is remedied.
The Law of the Parties
I have not heard much about this law or know if it is already written or how close it is to implementation. In one of my previous news letter I described what I have been hearing they intend to do in this effort and why it is important going forward for Iraq. It is also now on their critical list of top 3 laws to get done.
We have not yet heard much probably because it still needs work and is still on the drawing board in the rough. I fully expect to hear about this real soon as they should give us an update on the progress of it in the news.
This is also something we all should be looking for in the coming weeks if not days. Hearing news about this will be yet another excellent sign for us on the nearest of the RV we have been waiting for.
2014 Budget Update
Okay here we go again with the continued saga of the budget. Oh wait a second ! Is it now supposed to be already done, done, done as some are saying? Is it really? Then why this flurry of recent articles if there was no more concern about a budget and there was plenty of money to go around? We see this is much more complicated than most think. Especially read the last statement below.
The Financial Times reports that a looming fiscal crisis is threatening to limit Iraq’s ability to finance its war against the Islamic State insurgents.
This is despite the country having large oil revenues, billions of dollars in reserves and surplus funds left from unexecuted projects.
In recent years, expenditures have “skyrocketed“, with the public payroll, and food and energy subsidies, taking up 70 percent of the public budget. In addition, as much as $500 million is needed every month just to feed the 1.75 million internal refugees who have been displaced in the war.
Baghdad also owes billions of dollars to the Kurdistan Region. The situation is not helped by the fact that parliament has yet to agree a budget for this year, at a time when oil prices have dipped below $90 a barrel.
Ashraf Abdelaal, the economic affairs officer for the UN mission to Iraq, told the FT:
“The IMF and the World Bank will not give Iraq one dollar until the budget has been approved … Credibility in the Iraqi system does not exist any more.”
Declared a member of the parliamentary finance committee, Jamal Panthers, Iraq suffered a severe economic crisis.
The Panthers told all of Iraq, that "the parliamentary Finance Committee took the reins of the budget and working closely with the GOI," he said, adding that it will integrate realistic expenses and revenues in for the years 2014 and 2015, the fact that Iraq is going through significant challenges and exposed to the severe economic crisis and need international loans, "noting that "Iraqi delegations outside the country is negotiating to borrow money." (this is the real reason for Abadi’s recent road trip)
He pointed out that "the adoption of the budget will be delayed somewhat, because the draft is still with the government," calling on the government to "speed up the sent to the Parliament."
And disagreements about Baghdad and the region, said that "there is a delegation from the region to visit Baghdad soon to discuss the outstanding issues and finally resolved."
Referred to the House of Representatives the previous edition and the current was not able to approve the general budget for 2014, which restored the parliament a draft law to the government to be re-drafted and as required by the reality transmitted in the country, especially after the halt oil exports of Kirkuk, and increase military spending to arm the army.
It is now confirmed by a member of the House of Representatives Kazem that the Council of Ministers will complete on Tuesday a draft federal budget for 2014 to the House of Representatives for review.
The adoption of the federal budget for 2014 will be soon, after the arrival of the draft to parliament on Tuesday 10/28.
The latest hold up was "about the differences between Baghdad and Erbil agreements have taken place to resolve all the outstanding and controversial issues.
Oh – wait a second…didn’t I tell you a couple news letters ago that they had to adjust the budget to coincide with funding some of these 27 reforms ? and that some of these reforms were still controversial and had to be still worked out. This could cause delays downstream in other laws or events since……”is all interconnected”.
So today I send you an update of the latest news I am hearing. It was interesting to hear of these three laws as their main target now. The first two, that of HCL and the Judicial reforms did not surprise me however the Law of the Parties did. I thought this was something they would just get around to doing prior to the next elections. I was dead wrong.
This shows me just how serious the USA is on having Erbil (those 27 reforms) all completed prior to the USA letting any RV go. yes – the carrot is still dangling in front of Iraq and they know they need to move quickly.
I also believe the USA and UN are fast tracking them and pushing them to get these laws implemented. My sources are telling me they are targeting now the end of October but personally if we don’t see some critical items this wee, then I am afraid to tell you that we could be looking at instead a mid November window for completion. What are these items we need to look for? I have listed them in this news letter they are the HCL, Articles 140 dispute removed, the Judicial Reforms laws, the Law of the Parties and lastly the infamous 2014 Budget. We are being told the revisions are done now for the budget law and they are expected to review it in parliament tomorrow. The other laws we know they are working on, but some are also dependent on having the money to fund them so they need the budget.
I am hoping by now that you are realizing that there is not some mythical entity holding back this RV or that there is a conspiracy with the UST. You only believed this because you are constantly hearing this news from a selected number of intel providers that it is going to RV any and every day. In fact just this past weekend was supposed to be a big event weekend with lots of parties scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. Parties for what? Seems Iraq is always having parties and scheduled celebrations for the RV….lol…..yet the RV never seems to happen.
So once again it’s Monday, the ISX is international and running and still no RV. Do you see what I mean now? Can we all please just stop listening to this nonsense and get on with the facts and reality of what is really going on in Iraq.
I do appreciate all the concern and emails on these topics. I have tried to cover as much as I could in this news letter today and I sincerely hope I have helped you to understand.
To all dinarians- the RV holdup is not about just the budget, the HCl, the seating the parliament or council of ministers or any one singular event or law. It’s about putting an entirely new “functional” government together as a whole. It’s all coming soon and Iraq is working at warp speed to get it all done. We just have to wait and be patient and stop listening to those that want to stress us out by given us false hope that everyday its going to RV. Instead take it upon yourself and sit and read the news articles from Iraq. They tell the story better than any “guru” could tell.
Then when can we expect the RV?
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, secure, 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.
Note: I am no longer saying fully formed government as criteria since I believe this requirement has now been completed. It is the very first “fully” seated government for Iraq since the invasion of 2003. Congratulations to the Abadi government !
Peace and Luv To Ya All,