The way things are going, the Cult of St. Barack's going to be offering animal sacrifices shortly. In yet another blow to the White House spin, Al Mada is reporting that the US is planning to keep 5,000 troops in Kirkuk province. Alleged discussions on this proposal are said to have taken place last week in Parliament's building (but not with all blocs in Parliament).
Turning to the latest crackdown in Iraq, some estimates have 350 Iraqis arrested since Saturday for allegedly being "Ba'athists" (a once dominant political party in Iraq). Dar Addustour cites a security source who states the number is 400. Al Mada reports that the Interior Ministry is stating that they had credible evidence that these people were plotting a coup. Did they have that? Who vetted it? Because they don't have a head of the ministry. Nouri's never done his job. Nouri al-Maliki, to move from prime minister-designate to prime minister in December 2010 was supposed to, per the Constitution, form a Cabinet -- that means nominating ministers and having Parliament vote them in. But what does the country's Constitution matter when you have the US government running interference for you?
So Nouri was made prime minister despite not meeting the Constitutional requirements. (So the US government sent the message to the Iraqi people that votes and the Constitution both didn't matter. Good job!) And press flunkies assured us that Nouri would name ministers for Interior, National Security and Defense in a matter of weeks. Over ten months later, they've never been named. ("Acting" ministers are not real ministers. They have no protection, they serve at Nouri's whim and Parliament did not confirm them.) So when the Interior claims they had credible evidence, that's Nouri claiming they did. Nouri known to scream "Ba'athist" at the drop of a hat to discount his political rivals.
Violence and other news has distracted from Political Stalemate II. To end Political Stalemate I (the eight months plus of inaction and gridlock that followed the March 7, 2010 elections), the political blocs met up, in Erbil (in November 2010), (along with the US) and hammered out a deal. That deal is known as the Erbil Agreement. It promised to resolve the disputed Kirkuk (who will control it, Baghdad or the KRG) and to do as the Constitution outlines, it promised that a new, independent security council would be created and Ayad Allawi (whose political slate Iraqiya came in first in the elections) would head it and that Nouri would remain prime minister despite his political slate (State of Law) coming in second. There were other deals made in the agreement as well. All parties agreed and the press hailed it as a breakthrough moment.
Nouri used the Erbil Agreement to remain prime minister and then trashed it. The Kurds (minus the CIA-backed Goran) have objected to Nouri's attempt to rewrite the oil law and his failure to follow the Erbil Agreement. They are calling for it to be re-instated. (Also making that call about the Erbil Agreement: the National Alliance and Iraqiya.) After many meetings internally, the Kurds hammered out what they wanted to stress in a face to face. Al Rafidayn reports that face to face took place yesterday between Nouri and KRG President Barham Salih and Salih also met with Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi and stressed that the problem is not a Kurdsih one, it has to do with the political system and the way decisions are being made. In addition, Iraqiya's Saleh al-Mutlaq lodged a complaint over Nouri's arresting of college professors on the claim that they are Ba'athists. Al Mada refers to the complaint airing as an angry altercation, a quarrel of words. Nouri reportedly stormed off in anger. Back to the meeting between Nouri and the KRG president, Dar Addustour reports Salih and Nouri came to an agreement on the fact that the problems needed to be resolved.
Violence continues in Iraq today. AFP reports 9 people have been killed today in "bomb and gun attacks" across the country. In addition, the Turkish military's assault continues on northern Iraq. Peter Kenyon reports on it today for NPR's Morning Edition.
And on the topic of Iraqi Christians, Joni B. Hannigan (Florida Baptist) reports:
Despite a growing wave of persecution, one of the first independent evangelical, Bible-believing churches in Iraq has risen from the ruins of an embattled Baghdad—and it is thriving.
In a city still besieged by blackouts and curfews well after the 2003 U.S.-led toppling of Iraq’s longtime dictator, the congregation has increased 10-fold from 30 to 300.
*Sammy Thompson, a 42-year-old Iraqi Armenian, who started the church by secretly leading Bible studies in homes—something he was jailed for during the Saddam Hussein era—is no longer on the wrong side of the law, but instead faces threats from his own neighbors.
And in the previous entry, Elaine's "He violated the Constitution again," Stan's "Media Matters is trying to get another person fired" and Trina's "Warren and OWS" were not listed because Blogger/Blogspot isn't reading them.
"Don't choose the wrong side in this war." That's a note to myself. Ava and I will be addressing it Sunday. If you're among the many e-mailing on this garbage, you know what it's in reference to and we'll take on the lisping fool and the outlet that thought becoming a parody of a Simpsons parody was the way to go. It's Wednesday morning. By the time Saturday night/Sunday morning rolls around, Ava and I'll have forgotten or have something we'd rather cover instead. By noting it here, it's a sure thing we'll cover it Sunday.
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joni b. hannigan