Monday, June 20, 2011

French embassy staff targeted, the big meet-up

Violence continues in Iraq. Among those targeted? French Embassy staffers. So via AFP's Prashant Rao's Twitter feed, let's give a little recent background on the France's diplomatic mission in Iraq:

Prashant Rao
Prashant Rao

This morning AFP reports, "Seven Iraqis were wounded as an improvised bomb struck a French embassy car in southern Baghdad on Monday, interior ministry and hospital sources said." Reuters adds, "A Reuters witness said one of the cars in the convoy was badly damaged along with two civilian cars." Fattah Mahmood Fattah (CNN) reports other violence today included two Baghdad roadside bombings which injured two people, a Baghdad car bombing which claimed 1 life and left four people injured, a second Baghdad roadside bombing which injured three people and 1 police officer shot dead in Baghdad.

Today was supposed to be the big meet up at Jalal's house. (Who's house? Jalal's house. Just a Krush Groove reference for any who got it.) The Iraqi president was scheduled to host all the political players as they attempted to come to some sort of agreement. Like The Erbil Agreement which appeared to iron many things out until Nouri al-Maliki reneged on the agreement. But yesterday came news that Ayad Allawi was begging off the meeting citing "health problems" (well, yes, just looking at Nouri could make anyone ill). Today Al Rafidayn notes that Allawi is in London. Fakhri Karim (Al Mada) reports that the meet up has to deal with several serious issues including:

* Providing the foundation to end monopoly control of the government by Nouri or "whatever person would occupy the post" of prime minister
* Work towards national partnership
* Confirm the words of the Constitution (and reject Nouri's interpretation of it) with regards to the executive branch
* End one party power.
* Review the security appointments which are in violation of the Constitution (Nouri cannot be Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Minister of the Interior and Minister of Defense as he's made himself for over six months now).

Aswat al-Iraq reports, "The Chairman of the Independent Elections Commission in Iraq, Faraj al-Haidary, said on Monday that Iraqi President Jalal Talabani had not criticized his Commission, but called for its activity to become independent and not bias towards any party." Meanwhile the US government works behind the scenes. Al Mada reports that the US Embassy and US Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey have been highly involved in discussions with various parties including State Of Law (Nouri) and Iraqiya (Allawi).

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Welcome Back" 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 explores FBI spying on US activists with attorney and former FBI agent Mike German. Michael also has some very important commentary on Puerto Rico (and the press coverage of Barack's visit last week) and news on the 'suicides' at Guantanamo. I believe co-hosts Heidi Boghosian and Michael S. Smith are off this week.

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