Saturday, August 25, 2012

11 dead in Iraq today

Violence continues in Iraq.  Through Friday, Iraq Body Count counts 352 deaths from violence in Iraq so far this month.  Today?  Alsumaria reports 2 corpses were discovered in Basra.  Al-Shora notes an attack on the Falluja home of Sahwa leader Sheikh Kadhum al-Alwani in which his wife was injured, another female adult was injured and 3 children were killed.  AP adds that Mosul council member Ibrahim Younis was shot dead outside his home and 1 police officer and a bystander were also shot dead in Mosul.  Xinhua adds 1 police officer was shot dead in Diyala Province, an al-Muradiyah sitcky bombing left a former Sahwa member and his son injured, a Baghdad shooting left an Iraqi military officer dead, a Falluja shooting left 1 person dead and a police officer wounded,  and an al-Kuba roadside bombing left "a farmer and his daughter" injured.  All Iraq News reports soldier Mohammed Abdul Ridha shot himself in Baquba and, at present, mystery surrounds the "why" of the death.  Alsumaria also notes a gas pipeline exploded to the north of Tikrit and that this explosion may have been the result of a bombing.

Turning to Iraq and its neighbors, AFP notes Turkish plames continued to bomb northern Iraq with a bombing radi taking place in today's early morning hours.  AndAl-Arabiya reports that "Iraq has completely sealed its border with Syria in the face of refugees who are fleeing the escalating violence in their home country.  Security forces have blocked the crossing with concrete barriers and closed all the roads leading to the border crossing from the Iraqi side."

Yesterday, the offices of Moqtada al-Sadr were bombed.  Alsumaria notes that Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi condemned the attacks today in a statement.  Iraq has been gripped by a political crisis for over  a year.  Last summer, Iraqiya, the Kurds and Moqtada al-Sadr were calling for Nouri al-Maliki to implement the Erbil Agreement -- a US brokered contract that ended the first political stalemate -- the eight months that followed the Parliamentary elections -- and allowed Nouri to have a second term as prime minister.  Nouri has refused.  In April, various blocs met again in Erbil and decided to pursue a no-confidence vote in Nouri.  Signatures were gathered and then President of Iraq Jalal Talabani tossed it aside.  He quickly fled to Germany, claiming he needed life-saving surgery (he had knee surgery) and he's remained there ever since.  All Iraq News reports that Moqtada sent a delegation to meet with Jalal today in Germany.  This comes as Al Mada reports that Talabani met with German politicians on Thursday and declared that the crisis would be over soon.  This as State of Law MP Salman al-Moussawi is stating that the crisis can't end until Talabani returns to Iraq because the dialogue can't continue in his absence.  State of Law is Nouri's political slate. All Iraq News notes that Nouri is scheduled to meet with Osama al-Nujaifi tomorrow.  The two are expected to address security issues.

 You may remember last weekend State of Law was insisting that this would be the time when Nouri finally nominated people to head the security ministries.  (He was supposed to do that in December of 2010.  They have instead remained without leadership.)  All Iraq News notes that Hussein al-Mansouri, an MP for Moqtada's bloc, states that the lack of people to lead the security ministries creates problems and prevents the Ministy of Defense and the Ministry of the Interior from properly carrying out their duties.   In addition, the outlet reports Iraqiya' MP Jawad al-Bolani is calling for the creation of a nation terrorism and crime council.  If that sounds familiar, it's what's in the Erbil Agreement.  It's what, November 11, 2010, Nouri was expected to create (and agreed to when he signed the Erbil Agreement).  However, he instead announced that he couldn't do it yet, that it would take awhile.  (This prompted the bulk of Iraqiya to walk out of the session of Parliament.)

As the political crisis continues, little gets accomplished. Al Mada reports Parliament plans to try again for an amnesty law shortly and that the elecriticy corruption continues to go unaddressed.  Nothing really gets passed or done.  And that was the way Nouri's first term went as well, if you've forgotten.  This takes place, please note, as people remain behind bars.  I'm not talking about Nouri's prisoners.  I'm referring to 'liberated' Iraq -- supposedly 'liberated'  by the US -- where political prisoners remain in prisons.  Again, I'm not talking about Nouri's time.  I'm talking from before the invasion.  The arrests of 1963 and 1968, for example.  Those waves of arrests of various political prisoners?  Many aren't dead, many remain in prison and when their families try to get justice for these political prisoners, they're turned away.  This is an 'accomplishment'?

There has been no leadership during Nouri's first term or his second term.  Iraqis suffer and the outside world doesn't really seem to care. 

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