Monday, August 29, 2011

Aftermath of yesterday's bombing and more

Yesterday a Baghdad Sunni mosque was targeted by a suicide bomber resulting in 29 deaths and close to forty reported injured. KUNA notes, "Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament Osama Al-Nujaifi condemned this attack, in a statement, by saying that it disrespected the holiness of the month of Ramadan and the sanctity of mosques where people go to perform their religious rituals. He stressed on the importance of tightening security measures in the upcoming days to protect the people. On his part, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki reiterated, in a statement issued by his office, that these terrorist groups should be perused and stopped [. . .]" Nouri? Ahmed Rushdi (Al Jazeera -- link is text and video) observes that Nouri al-Maliki Cabinet continues to lack ministers to head the security ministries ('acting' ministers, not confirmed by Parliament, are not ministry heads), "So everything concerning security it's now under under the hand of al-Maliki. So al-Maliki is now responsible for what's happening according to Iraqiya." Iraqiya is the political slate, headed by Ayad Allawi, which came in first in the March 10, 2010 Parliamentary elections. Xinhua (link is text and audio) notes that the victims included children. Zaid Sabah and Danielle Ivory (Bloomberg News) add, "The building is the largest Sunni mosque in Baghdad." Sinan Salaheddin (AP) reports that funerals have already begun including one for a five-year-old and his father. Violence continues today. Aswat al-Iraq notes two consecutive Baghdad bombings injured six people (two were police officers) and an armed clash in Baquba resulted in the deaths of 2 police officers and two more being injured.

Political Stalemate I is the period of paralysis that followed the March 10, 2010 elections when a stalemate prevented the naming of a prime minister, the holding of Parliamentary sessions and more. For a little over nine months the first stalemate went on. What ended it was the Erbil Agreement in early November 2010, when the political blocs met and hammered out an understanding, a series of concessions, including that Nouri would remain prime minister while a national security council would be created and headed by Ayad Allawi. Nouri, once named primed minister, quickly went back on the agreement. December 25th, he was moved from prime minister-designate to prime minister. That should not have happened. He had failed to name a full Cabinet. Per the Constitution, someone else should have been named prime minister-designate. December 25th begins Political Stalemate II. This is the period where Iraq has no heads to the security ministries -- Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defense and Ministry of National Security. More recently, Nouri has 'named' 'acting' ministers to two of the ministries. Minsiters are only minister if they are confirmed by Parliament. If they are confirmed, only Parliament can fire them. "Acting" ministers serve at Nouri's discretion and have no real power.

Al Mada reports that the National Alliance is supposedly going to get the post of Minister of Interior (a real position, not 'acting') while it appears Iraqiya's Raad al-Tikriti will become the Minister of Defense. This could change, rumors have abounded throughout the eight month and counting period that is Political Stalemate II.

Meanwhile Dar Addustour continues to cover the threat to Iraqi water supplies as a result of Iran and Turkey's actions. Iran has contributed to the environment disaster in Basra, the newspaper reports. Iran's allowes salty water to flow through rivers pouring into Iraq, thereby contaminating Iraq's water supply and destroying many sections of the marsh land.

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Great Billy Carter's Ghost!" and Kat's "Kat's Korner: It's not easy being assembly lined" went up yesterday. On the latest Law and Disorder Radio -- airs this morning at 10:00 a.m. on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosts Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) explore issues of media and dissent. A.N.S.W.E.R.'s Brian Becker speaks about the disinformation media campaign on the Libyan War and its future implications for the next DC desired 'regime change' while Katie Galloway (who directed the new documentary Better This World, with Kelly Duane de la Vega) discussed the criminalization of dissent focusing on the FBI's overreach of two Texas friends who traveled to Minnesota for the RNC Convention in 2008.

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