Al Jazeera reports a Basra suicide bombing today where the driver was apparently attempting to get closer to a police compound but he detonated the bomb when guards stopped him. Mohammed Tawfeeq and Muhaiman Najm (CNN) add, "The bomber detonated a car loaded with explosives at an emergency police station in the al-Ashar neighborhood in central Basra, said Police Chief Faisal Al-Abadi." Nabil al-Jurani (AP) notes, "The attack occurred during the morning rush hour. Basra is 340 miles (550 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad." Aswat al-Iraq counts 5 dead and twenty-nine wounded.
Dar Addustour reports the Sadrists are stating if the SOFA is extended (allowing US soldiers to remain on Iraqi soil beyond 2012 -- and under DoD, not State Dept), the Sadrists leave the National Alliance. Does the National Alliance's other blocs walk as well? If not, this isn't very different from the Sadrist walking out in Nouri al-Maliki's first term as prime minister. The most important bloc in the National Alliance? The Supreme Islamic Council. Ayas Hossam Acommok (Al Mada) reports that Sadrists are prepared to team with Surpeme Islamic Council to back Adel Abdul Mahdi as the head of government. Hmmm? I wish someone had noticed this possibility happening awhile back . . . Say when he resigned as vice president and the press ran with all that fluff, if only someone could have noted . . . Oh wait, we did here.
We noted the official story made no sense, we noted that the resignation gave him distance from an unpopular government, we noted he had previous desires to be prime minister and we noted the whispers in diplomatic circles that he was angling to be the new prime minister. None of that means he will be. In fact, nothing in the Al Mada story may be more than whispered gossip on the part of some interested party (I'm not doubting the reporter, I'm noting that the source is anonymous). It's a development, however, that should have been factored for and wasn't.
Al Rafidayn notes that the disputes between Nouri al-Maliki and Ayad Allawi are spreading throughout the Parliament. Al Sabaah notes that there are efforts to "contain" the differences between State of Law and Iraqiya. Dar Addustour notes that the differences between the two political slates are increasing but feels that it's not "the end of the day" if differences continue. The paper maintains that all members of State of Law do not vote with Nouri and all members of Iraqiya do not vote with Allawi.
Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Campaign Begins In Earnest" went up last night. Today on Law and Disorder Radio (begins broadcasting at 9:00 am EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week), Michael Ratner, Heidi Boghosian and Michael S. Smith explore condictions in Gaza and humanitarian relief efforts with Felice Gellman and attorney Richard Levy and they discuss the Arab Revolution (minus Iraq) with Jim Petras.
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