Enorrste:   …none of us can confidently say what is happening, since the media stories conflict with themselves in many cases. However, we may have an inkling of knowing where this is heading. Maliki has promised to attend, stated he would step aside if a candidate who could defeat terrorism is named, and has promised Kerry that a new government would be formed on or before July 1 (he clearly can’t keep this promise). At the same time his National Alliance has clearly indicated that it will not accept Maliki for a third term, and that it wants to nominate Mahdi for the position of Prime Minister. Najafi has stated that he would accept this nomination. The National Alliance was also confident that their “new” nominee would be widely accepted.
The Kurds are adamantly against Maliki but are desirous of participating in making a new government. I suspect that they will want the Presidency again, as they have had it for 8 years. Therefore, I conclude, surprisingly enough, that Maliki may actually be replaced and that a new government will be created with Mahdi as the Prime Minister and Barzani as President. I realize that this runs totally counter to what I have learned about Maliki. Therefore, I hold this caveat: Maliki may stand firm, even against what is apparently a strong attempt to remove him from within his own National Alliance. If he steps down, we could see some significant changes in Iraq, to our benefit. On the other hand, if he balks, which the media reports indicate is still a possibility, then there could be a stalemate created that could last for months.