After two days of defiance and the deployment of special security units around the Iraqi capital that raised the specter of a coup, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki on Tuesday appeared to back away from his implied threat of using military force to secure his power by saying the army should stay out of politics.
Mr. Maliki’s office released a statement on his website that said: “Prime Minister Maliki urges commanders, officers and individuals to stay away from the political crisis and to commit to their military and security duties and tasks to protect the country, and not to intervene in this crisis. Leave this issue to the people, politicians and justice.”
Shortly after the statement was released, Mr. Maliki appeared on state television, sitting around a table with his military commanders, where he delivered the same message.
Maliki can still make a nuisance of himself in other ways, in the courts for example, but if he’s ruled out hanging on to power by force then that’s definitely good news.