Saturday, August 18, 2012

Diyala Governor passes away

Alsumaria reports that Diyala Province Govenor Hashim Hayali  has died in what's being called a traffic accident in Baquba. In an udpate they note that his son Bakr died as did one bodyguard and three other relatives of Haydali.    All that is known presently is that the car appears to have veered off a road suddenly for reasons unknown -- even who else is dead is in dispute.   All Iraq News reports that his wife also died in the accident and notes that he had previously survived an April 21st assassination attempt.  He had been governor for less than a year.  AFP says his wife and two daughters are injured while his son died.  All Iraq News notes he had been governor for five months and was a member of the National Accord Front which is part of the Iraqiya slate.

 All Iraq News reports that a Baghdad home invasion resulted in the death of a police officer, his wife and their two kids and that the assailants got away with 90 million dinars (approximately $77,000 in US dollars).  Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) adds that 2 Mosul home invasions resulted in six deaths. Alsumaria notes that an 18-year-old male has been arrested in Basra. He is a suspect in the kidnapping, rape and murder of a four-year-old girl.

Sunday is the first day of Eid al Fitr in Iraq, as announced by the Sunni Endowment, Moqtada al Sadr, Osama al-Nujaifi and Ammar al-HakimAlsumaria notes that a new security plan is being put in place for Nineveh Province during the days of Eid al Fitr.  Dar Addustour noted earlier this week that government employees were getting 100,000 to 200,000 dinars ahead of the religious holiday.

Turning to corruption and accusations, All Iraq News reports the Ministry of Electricity is stating that the electricity shortages plauging parts of Iraq are the result of the Ministry of Oil because a leak in a pipeline has led to a drop in the amount of oil being pumped and it effected the power plants.  True or false, blaming someone else might allow the Minister of Electricity to keep his job longer than those before him (the position has a high turnover rate -- especially when the already problamtic electricity supply drops even more).  Meanwhile Dar Addustour notes that Parliament's Integrity Committee has announced that the Iraqi embassies are staffed with the children and relatives of 45 officials -- nepostism.   Additionally, Kitabat adds that a source with the Integrity Committee told them State of Law deputies are living in expensive apartments rent-free. Al Mada notes that Parliament's Security and Defense Committee has called out the way security forces treat the media throughout Iraq and stated that the result is a blackout with reporters being prevented frrom doing their job.

Nouri's spent the last few days attacking an Arab Summit which he first described on Tuesday as a "terrorist summit."  Al Mada reports that the Kurdistan Alliance has rebuked Nouri's description and stated it does not help Iraq's relations with its neighbors.  Nouri was reportedly ticked off that no invitation came for him.  The official invitation wnet to Jalal Talabani, president of Iraq.

Alsumaria reports Jalal has again issued a call for a national conference and is stating that the Erbil Agreement needs to be followed.  Jalal remains in Germany.  He departed for Germany over two months ago for a 'life threatening medial procedure' (knee surgery).  All Iraq News notes that Jalal's saying the time is now right for such a conference betcause there's been a "drop" in the intenstity of the political crisis.  Jalal truly is a joke and Al Rafidyan noted Thursday that meetings between the political blocs had already been scheduled for after Eid al Fitr.  Kurdish Alliance MP Mahmoud Othman is probably closer to reality.  He tells Alsumaria he expects the current crisis between Erbil and Baghdad to continue to ahe next parliamentary elections (schedueled for 2014).

At The National Interest, Joost R. Hiltermann weighs in on the conflict between Erbil and Baghdad:

Pipelines connecting the Kurdish region to the Mediterranean are still two years away. The Turkish government has not yet decided what kind of direct hydrocarbons relationship it wants with the KRG. That decision could lead to Iraq’s break-up, a prospect that Ankara has historically feared and actively resisted because of the threat it would pose to Turkey’s own territorial unity. Yet times are changing: the Syria crisis and a possible U.S.-Iran war could redraw the region’s borders. Not knowing how the chips will fall, political actors are starting to move to secure their interests as best they can and maximize any advantage they might gain. The Maliki government and the Kurds are therefore unlikely to kiss and make up. Any new agreement will be a temporary accommodation that would give each what they need most right now—Baghdad: revenues from Kurdish crude before its own production in the south ramps up; Erbil: the ability to pay producing companies before they throw in the towel in utter frustration. The real battle—over the future of Iraq and Kurdistan—is still a couple years away.

Finally,  Camp Ashraf where 1,200 residents remain and have thus far insisted that they will not move to Camp Libert with the other residents who have already moved there.  Gulf Times  quotes Maryam Rajavi (President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran) stating, "As a gesutre of goodwill, the residents of Ashraf will commence the 6th convoy of 400 residents from Camp Ashraf to Camp Liberty on August 23."  Martin Kobler, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Iraq, declared, "I welcome the announcement that the next group of 400 residents are willing to commence the move from Camp Ashraf to Camp Hurriya immediately after the Eid holiday."

The following community sites -- plus, Susan's On Edge, NPR, Cindy Sheehan, Jody Watley, On The Wilder Side, Tavis Smiley and Adam Kokesh  -- updated last night and today:

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