Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kirkuk bombing and State of Law bombs in an attempt to reject an ICR report

Reuters reports a Kirkuk bombing has claimed 2 lives and left at least thirty-six injured. DPA notes it was a car bombing and that at least 3 are dead with over sixty injured.

Meanwhile Patrick Cockburn (Independent) observes:

The Iraqi government is seeking to silence critics who accuse it of rampant corruption by removing officials who try to prosecute racketeers and intimidating politicians and journalists who support them.
This month alone it has forced the head of its anti-corruption watchdog to resign. And a prominent Iraqi journalist, who had been threatened for leading anti-government protests, was shot dead in his home in Baghdad.
There is growing anger that the ruling elite is stealing or embezzling much of the country's $2bn (£1.3bn) a week in oil revenues, depleting funding for electricity, water, health care, housing, education and even rubbish collection.

Tuesday's snapshot included, "The International Crisis Group has released a new Middle East report which, in the section on Iraq, 'examines the steady erosion of the credibility of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government resulting from the failure to safeaguard institutions against corruption and abuse.' The Iraq section can be found here (that's not PDF, for anyone worried), 'Failing Oversight: Iraq's Unchecked Government.' Corruption is common place in Iraq, the report notes [. . .]" Al Mada attempts to get reactions from Iraqi political blocs. State of Law mumbles a great deal but Abdul Salam al-Maliki keeps calling it a UN report -- it's not a UN report. He also complains about the 'long' recommendations. Six recommendations for the government of Iraq are too many? Has he even read the report? Here's what taxed an al-Maliki:


To the Government of Iraq and to the Council of Representatives:

1. Strengthen the anti-corruption framework to allow for greater and more effective cooperation and coordination between the various state institutions involved in combating corruption, specifically by:

a) allowing all anti-corruption and audit officials to refer criminal matters directly to the courts;

b) guaranteeing the independence of the Inspectors General from government ministers, in particular by providing that ministers and the prime minister play no role in inspectors’ recruitment and dismissal;

c) formalising cooperation between oversight agencies by requiring them, notably the Inspectors General, to adopt standard operating procedures;

d) increasing each oversight institution’s training budget to develop skills necessary to carry out auditing and investigatory missions independently of other institutions; and

e) passing effective witness protection legislation and ensuring public access to government information.

2. Pass political party legislation requiring parties to display financial transparency and publish detailed annual accounts, including all sources of income and expenditures.

3. Reform the Council of Representatives’ bylaws, including by removing administrative matters from the speaker’s prerogatives, facilitating the formulation of legislative bills and accelerating the lawmaking process.

4. Streamline the legislative process by:

a) clarifying and strengthening the working relationship between institutions involved in the preparation of new legislation;

b) clarifying each institution’s role; and

c) establishing clear lines of communication between these institutions.

5. Reform the Council of Representatives’ oversight function to focus on policy implementation through the questioning of senior technocrats and administrative officers rather than politicians.

6. Enact a law that would prevent the head of the Higher Judicial Council from occupying the position of chief justice, and protect the Supreme Court’s independence by forbidding any political interference.

In other he-doesn't-get-it news, Dar Addustour notes Moqtada al-Sadr issued a statement denouncing fedearlism and aimed at the Kurds insistence that Article 140 be followed. Article 140 is Article 140 of the Constitution. It shouldn't require a battle to be followed. But Moqtada and others don't honor or respect the Constitution apparently. Article 140 provides the agreed upon measure for determining what to do with Kirkuk -- oil-rich and disputed -- and a census and referendum were supposed to have taken place no later than the end of 2007. Moqtada al-Sadr and others who disrespect the Constitution are why it has not taken place.

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