Monday, July 09, 2012

Nouri's State of Law slow on reform, quick on attacks

Al Rafidyan reports that Moqtada al-Sadr has criticized the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate for their June 29th festivities which included bringing in performers who, his opinion, promote debauchery and immorality.  More than likely his remarks are directed at Madeline Matar who a Lebanese recording artist (click here for Alsumaria's article on her in Arabic and note the photo).  She is said to have arrived at the Baghdad concert in a presidential motorcade.  You can click here for her Facebook page.  Moqtada's remarks were supposed to have come as an online response to a question.  If it was posted at his site -- as Al Rafidayn reports -- it may have been taken down.  I'm going through all the statements from July 9th through July 2nd and I'm not seeing it.  Now the event was in June so maybe it's further back?  If so, maybe the whole point is to take a non-issue (is anyone surprised that Moqtada would be opposed to a singer -- male or female -- who bleaches their hair -- among other things) and try to blow it up into one. That would allow everyone to ignore Friday's speech by Moqtada as well as statements he issued on the 8th and the 9th and I'm seeing some stuff about Nouri in there. 

Yesterday the trial in absentia of Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi was supposed to begin.  Ahlul Bayta News Agency reports it is now postponed until July 24th.  Why?  Remember when the judges refused to allow al-Hashemi's lawyers to call as character witnesses President Jalal Talabani and former Vice President Adel Abdel al-Mahdi?  al-Hashemi's lead attorney Muayad al-Izzi states, "The request was rejected so we decided to present the request to the federal appeals court.  The court demanded that the whole case be brought to them to review it, and to review our request." Tomorrow, Dar Addustour reports, the Parliament is set to resume session and will be looking at a number of bills including one on telecommunications.

Raman Brosk (AKnews) reports that the Reform Committee's members sent an invitation out Saturday inviting all blocs to participate in political reforms.  Brosk forgets that all blocs already participated in that and did so for several weeks in the fall of 2010 -- facilitated by the US -- leading to the Erbil Agreement.  As most will remember, Nouri used that contract to get a second term as prime minister and then discarded it, refusing to honor the concessions that led the others to grant him a second term.  In the article, AKnews continues to misreport the Sadr bloc.

As Al Mada reports today, Zia al-Asadi, Secretary General of the Sadr bloc, has stated the position of the bloc yet again: They are not opposed to Nouri -- or anyone -- being questioned by Parliament.  This is in the Constitution, it is a Constitutional mechanism, they do not oppose it being used by any bloc.

As Nouri and company continue to flounder and flail, Alsumaria reports that KRG President Massoud Barzani announced today the formation of the National Security Council of Kurdistan which will work to protect the people in the Kurdistan Regional Government and their  property.  Barzani hailed it as a major step in serving the people of Kurdistan.  Space permitting, we'll note the KRG in today's snapshot.  There's news out of the KRG in regards to a recent Congressional hearing we covered here.   The National Security Council of Kurdistan had just been announced when, Alsumaria reports, Nouri's State of Law began attacking it.  MP Mohammed Chihod insists that the creation of the body is an abuse of the Constitution and that the KRG is attempting to play a dual role.  I'm sure the residents of Iraq would love it if Nouri could play any role in nominating people to head the security ministries.  He was supposed to have done that in 2010.  It's 2012.  Is he just stupid or incompetent?  Possibly both but what he's been attempting is a power grab.

At Moqtada's website, MP Bahaa al-Araji calls out the paper the Reform Commission is currently floating and states that they have already made proposals -- the Sadr bloc, Iraqiya and the Kurds jointly -- in Erbil and Najaf.  Al Mada reports that the KRG's Parliament stated yesterday that the ExxonMobil deal remains part of the conflict between Erbil and Baghdad and that this is the main part of their move to withdraw confidence in Nouri -- his refusal to follow the law.

All Iraqi News notes Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi states that the election date for provincial elections early next year must be respected and that the Independent High Electoral Commission needs to have the new appointments and that women and other minorities need to be represented in the body.  He discussed these issues today with the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy in Iraq Martin Kobler.

In violence, Alsumaria reports a Diyala Province sticky bombing injured one person while a roadside bombing in Diyala Province claimed 1 life and left another person injured.  All Iraqi News reports two bodies were pulled out of the Eurphrates in Dhi Qar province while police in Nasiriyah prevented an elderly man from taking his own life.

Despite attacks, Al Mada is up online with new content.  Kitabat is back up as well this morning.  Most of the content up right now is archived content but this article is about the online attacks and efforts to bring the site down and notes (correctly) that the point of the attacks is to prevent ideas and news from being heard.  The attacks on Al Mada and Kitabat are about censorship.

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