Saturday, March 03, 2012

Fate spoils Jalal's big moment

The Arab Summit is scheduled to take place near the end of the month, March 29th, in Baghdad. It may take place, it may not. It's been postponed twice already. Al Sabaah notes that it will be the first Arab Summit since last year's Arab Spring (last year's Arab Summit was twice scheduled in Baghdad and twice cancelled). Dar Addustour reports intensive coordinating meetings are to take place on various details about the summit. There are rumors that nine Arab state heads will not be attending due to the disagreement with Iraq over the issue of Syria (which might mean they were willing to attend -- if the rumor's true -- but are using their appearance as leverage to get Iraq to take their position). Supposedly, it is confirmed that leaders from Algeria, Mauritania, Tunisia, Libya, Dijibouti and Palestine will attend. The summit would be run by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani who would act as chair while Nouri al-Maliki would be present as the head of the Iraqi delegation (on equal footing with all the other heads of delegations). Jasim Alsabawi (Rudaw) reports -- if the summit takes place -- that Talabani "will be the first Kurd to head the Arab summit in the history of Iraq."

It might be a glorious moment for Talabani. But fate decided otherwise.

dragon tonsils

That's Jeremiah Small, the American who was teaching in the KRG and who was shot dead Thursday by a relative of Jalal Talabani. Surprisingly, Talabani has made no public statement on the matter. No one's accusing him of being involved; however, he is the president of Iraq and it was a relative of his that killed Small. Considering his position as well as his connection to the assailant, it is surprising he hasn't felt the need to make a statement.

David Lester and Dan Catchpole (Yakima Herald-Republic) report on Jeremiah Small's life:

Small was the first of seven siblings in a devout Christian family. Born in Indianapolis, Ind., he spent most of his childhood in Dallas before moving to Hatcher Pass, Alaska. His family later moved to the Olympic Peninsula.
While attending Central Washington University, Small lived with Pete Waller and his wife in Selah for more than three years and also worked for Waller's business, Dedicated Lawn Care and Landscaping, during the summer and fall.
Waller described Small as an outgoing person with tremendous religious beliefs.
"Jeremiah added a lot of spiritual vigor to our household. He was a prolific reader," Waller recalled Thursday.

In other news, Al Sabaah reports that the Parliament is supposed to enact a law barring the purchase of the armored cars for themselves. Al Mada reports the Parliament is supposed to revisit the issue on Tuesday.

Violence continued today. Xinhua reports a Falluja roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 police officer and left two people injured and a Kirkuk roadside bombing claimed 1 life.

And the political crisis continues in Iraq. The crisis was started by Nouri al-Maliki who used the Erbil Agreement to hold onto the post of prime minister and then quickly trashed it. Al Rafidayn reports that KRG President Massoud Barzani met with US Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey met in Erbil today to discuss the political crisis and other developments. Since December 21st, President Jalal Talabani and Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi have been calling for a national conference. Hossam Acommok (Al Mada) reports that there is now a push to cancel the national conference and hold a meeting between the three presidencies (Nouri, Jalal and Osama) to determine what needs to be done.

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