Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Shutting down airlines and other post-election madness

At Lagaidi's funeral on Tuesday, many of his friends blamed Maliki for failing to protect the slain lawmaker, while an official al-Iraqiya statement pinned the killing on al-Qaeda. Lagaidi did not have official bodyguards because they were to be allocated when the new parliament was sworn in.
As if Lagaidi's murder was not enough, masked gunmen with rocket-propelled grenades invaded a jewelry market in Baghdad on Tuesday, killing 15 people before escaping with a large quality of gold. Government authorities, who have trumpeted Maliki's "better security for all Iraqis" campaign, blamed the robbery and murders on al-Qaeda.
When all else fails in Iraq, it seems it is always easy to blame al-Qaeda, but not all people blame the terrorist group for Lagaidi's death. The National Council of Resistance of Iran, the political arm of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq anti-regime terrorist organization, said his murder was orchestrated by Tehran to stop Allawi's Sunni-backed bloc from taking over from Maliki's Shi'ite-dominated government.
"This heinous crime is part of the Iranian regime's efforts and meddling in Iraq aimed at recovering from a disgraceful defeat it had suffered in the Iraqi parliamentary elections last March and forestalling the formation of a nationalist and non-sectarian government in Iraq," said the group.

The above is from Sami Moubayed's "Deadly power vacuum drags on in Iraq" (Asia Times) and he's covering the Monday assassination of newly elected MP Bashar Hamid Agaidi of the Iraqiya slate. Elections took place March 7th. The Iraqiya political slate won the most seats in Parliament (91). Nouri al-Maliki has repeatedly attempted to circumvent his slate's second place showing (State Of Law won 89 seats). Yesterday, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative to Iraq, Ad Melkert, gave a report to the UN Security Council. The UN News Centre quotes him stating to the Council, "At this juncture, Iraq would probably be better served by a broadly inclusive Government as a radical alternative to exclusion and disenfranchisement that many communities have experienced in the past. [. . .] Failure by the next government to address the needs and aspirations of the population will predictably be a source of increasing instability and undermind the gains of the democratic process so far." Meanwhile Press TV reports the government or 'government' out of Baghdad continues to insist that the UN sanctions be lifted. This as Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports, "The Iraqi council of ministers decided to dissolve Iraqi Airways and liquidate its assets after the airline dropped flights to England and Sweden in a row with Kuwait over war reparations." Nayla Razzouk (Bloomberg News) adds, "Kuwait Airways Corp. is seeking $1.2 billion in compensation for 10 planes taken by Iraq, under the rule of Saddam Hussein when his forces invaded Kuwait in August 1990." Left unstated in both reports is that Nouri and his council really shouldn't be doing this because they really aren't in power. It's amazing what Nouri is pushing through in this post-election period and amazing how news outlets seem to work overtime to ignore that its taking place.

And as if Iraq hasn't suffered enough, Dan Healing (Calgary Herald) reports Canada's WesternZagros Resources were drilling a well in noterhn Iraq's Kurdamir and the village had to be evacuated -- everyone it -- and will apparently be homeless for "about 30 days" and everyone's supposed to rejoice that the company's chief executive has announced that "a temporary camp for the people" was built.

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee continues to highlight the economy and finances in a number of videos this month. Click here to be taken to the DPC video page. We'll note Senator Robert Menendez on the Gulf Disaster.

And, due to the topic, we'll note two videos today. Here is New Jersey's other US Senator, Frank Lautenberg, also on the Gulf Disaster.

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