I disagree with those who accuse Nuri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, of sectarianism. Rather, he is guilty of political opportunism. He currently uses the Sunni-Shiite dispute for the sole aim of remaining in power. With regards to his aims concerning his political rivals, Maliki’s intentions are becoming clearer. I also disagree with those who think he is pursuing and isolating Sunni leaders, despite his public war against the Sunni leadership, his true aim is to eliminate the Shiite leadership.
Maliki knows that most Sunnis, whether they are individual voters or party leaders, will not vote for him in the first place. At the same time, he is aware that the Shiites are frustrated with the manner in which he rules the countryAbdulrahman al-Rashed