Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Iraq slammed with bombings, over 60 dead

Iraq has been slammed with bombings today.  It's being called the deadliest attack since December 18th (when most US troops left Iraq).  AP offers a timeline of the attacks since thenEmily Buchanan (BBC News -- link is video) notes ten locations in Baghdad alone and that the first bombing struck at five this morning.  In Kirkuk, Buchanan noted, the headquarters of Massoud Barzani's political party was targeted.  (Massoud Barzani is the President of the KRG.  His political party is the Kurdistan Democratic Party.)

Lee Moran (Daily Mail -- link is text, video and photos) reports most of the people targeted in Baghdad were pilgrims while security forces were targeted elsewhere in Iraq.  Kitabat notes that the pilgrims are making the holy journey on the anniversary of the death of Imam Musa al-Kadhim Saturday.   Moran counts 13 bombings across Iraq today.  Alsumaria counts 32 bombings in 8 of Iraq's 18 provinces.  There were also shootings as Mohamad Ali Harissi (AFP) notes, "Gunmen also attacked a house north of Baquba, killing a father and wounding his wife and three children, while a car bomb against a police patrol in the city wounded four people, the [police] colonel said."  Alsumaria notes that Mosul saw a car bombing which claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier and left another and two bystanders injured.  Alsumaria notes the Baghdad bombings included one in the military barracks which injured four soldiers.  In addition, Alsumaria notes 1 Sahwa was killed in an armed attack to the south west of Baquba -- this was a "Daughter of Iraq" (as the female Sahwa are also known).

The Telegraph of London counts 63 dead and notes, "The attacks were the third this week targeting the annual pilgrimage that sees hundreds of thousands of Shiites converge on Baghdad on foot to commemorate the 8th century death of revered Imam Moussa al-Kadhim."  Yes, they were.  And shouldn't someone be noting that, as AP reported early yesterday morning, that Nouri's spokesperson announced he had stepped up security.  He had stepped up security.  Can anyone tell that today?

Haddad Salih (BBC News) observes, "Soon after the attacks, websites of local political parties critical of Shia Prime Minister Nouri Maliki blamed the political crisis in which Iraq has been embroiled for the past few months. But Mr Maliki's State of Law coalition pointed the finger of blame at the recent failure of attempts by the prime minister's rivals to topple him with a vote of no-confidence."  Well Nouri al-Maliki was supposed to appoint a Minister of Defense, Minister of Interiror and Minister of National Security to move from prime minister-designate to prime minister.  He was named prime minister-designate in November 2010.  He was made prime minister in December 2010.  He has still refused to nominate anyone for the posts because this allows him to control them.  So if there's a problem with the violence -- I think most people would agree there was -- that goes to Nouri.  He's the Minister of Defense, he's the Minister of Interior, he's the Minister of Natioanl Security.  Why won't he protect the people?  That should be the cry he faces every day.

The following community sites updated last night and this morning:

Turning to the US where Senator Patty Murray is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee which holds a hearing tomorrow.  Her office issued the following yesterday:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012
CONTACT: Murray Press Office
(202) 224-2834
Murray to Question Defense Secretary on Military-Wide Mental Health Care Shortcomings
As military suicides continue to outpace combat deaths, Murray to urge Pentagon to expand ongoing Army-wide review of behavioral health evaluations and diagnoses to all branches, call for transparency in review process
(Washington, D.C.) – Tomorrow, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, will question Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on the Pentagon's commitment to ensuring accurate mental health diagnoses and treatment for servicemembers as the military continues to face an epidemic of military suicides. Murray's questioning, which comes one week after the Pentagon announced that there had already been 154 active duty military suicides this year, will focus on expanding a comprehensive Army review of mental health evaluations and diagnoses and new Army directives on mental health care to other branches of the military. The Army's recently announced review comes on the heels of a review of mental health diagnoses at Madigan Army Medical Center in Washington state that has already returned PTSD diagnoses to over a hundred servicemembers who had in many cases been accused of faking symptoms.
WHO: U.S. Senator Patty Murray
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
WHAT: Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing
WHEN: TOMORROW – Wednesday, June 13th 2012
10:30 AM EST/7:30 PST - Hearing start time
Questioning from Murray likely to take place after 11:30 EST/8:30 PST
WHERE: Dirksen 192
Matt McAlvanah
Communications Director
U.S. Senator Patty Murray
202-224-2834 - press office
202--224-0228 - direct

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