Sunday, August 19, 2012


 Violence continued in Iraq today.  KUNA reports, "Head of the Sunni fatwa authority in Iraq Sheikh Madhi al-Sumaidaie has sustained critical injuries due to a car-bomb blast that targeted his motorcade in west of the Iraqi capital, an police source said on Sunday." AP notes four body guards were killed in the attack and three more were left injured and they explain, "Al-Sumaidaie has sided with the government against Sunni extremists. Earlier this year, he called for a unified religious authority to bridge the gap between Iraq’s Sunnis and Shiites. " Al -Arabiya elaborates, "Sumaidi, who extermist Sunni groups viewed as aligned with the government, had called for all Iraqis to disarm after the formal withdrawal of U.S. troops last year, saying that those who carried weapons were aginast Iraq and its interests."

 Kareem Raheem (Reuters) adds, "The attack came as Al Qaeda's local wing, Islamic State of Iraq, has warned of a new campaign and security analysts say fighters in Iraq are benefitting from funds and morale from Islamists slipping into Syria to join the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad next door."  Political analyst Ibrahim al-Sumaidaie, also the Shaeikh's cousin, tells AFP, "Gunmen driving a car tried to cut off Sheikh al-Sumaidaie's convoy, and when the convoy came to a halt, another car driving fast crashed into his car and blew up." 

 AKnews notes a statement from Nouri al-Maliki saying that this was an effort to "silence any moderate national voice."   Apparently that's the most AKnews can do: Parrot Nouri.

Strange because as Kitabat points out, the Ministry of the Interior had ordered that Sheikh al-Sumaidaie's convoy was always to be protected with at least two police cars.  Where were those cars today, Kitabat -- and only Kitabat -- asks?  The orders were put in place after the January Baghdad assassiantion of Sheikh Mullah Nazim al-Juburi.  Since those orders were put in place, al-Sumaidaie has been the target of many public threats, the paper explains, including several just last week. 

By the definition political scientist Judith N. Shkalr created in The Faces of Injustice, the act is an injustice if the security was ordered but not supplied.  It's a real shame that no other outlets will rush to pursue that angle. 

Alsumaria notes a woman was shot dead outside of her Nineveh Province home.  Nouri issued no statement regarding her murder.  Alsumaria also notes that the corpses of 6 children were discovered in the Tigris River today.

Through Saturday, Iraq Body Count counts 323 people killed in violent attacks.

The editorial board of the Saudi Gazette notes the silence in the US election cycle on the issue of Iraq and Afghanistan. 

President Obama claimed that US forces were leaving behind “a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq.” But the eruption of widespread violence in Baghdad within hours of the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq after nine years showed how incalculable was the damage done by Bush’s war to Iraq’s social fabric.
All this would have been overlooked if reconstruction in Iraq has succeeded and living conditions of the ordinary people have improved even slightly. No, it failed dismally. The US couldn’t even restore the country’s electric system or give a majority of its people potable water. The situation is no different in Afghanistan where the central government’s writ does not run beyond the capital Kabul. That a vanquished enemy, Taliban, can disturb the equanimity of US and NATO forces even after a decade tells its own story.

They note that the conditions in both countries result in the US silence.

I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name

 The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4488.

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Isaiah hopes to have a comic on Tuesday morning.  (Third's edition went way too long).
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