Monday, August 06, 2012

Moqtada Tells All

All Iraq News reported yesterday that a member of Parliament's Oil and Energy Committee has publicly accused the Minister of Electricity Abdul Karim Aftan.  MP Uday Awad has delcared that the electricity crisis is due to corruption and that this has worsened during Aften's tenure.  The allegation would be news in any region but it's especially serious in a country where the high today in the capital is expected to be 43 degrees Celcius (109.4 degrees Farenheit) and the temperature is projected to climb each day this week.   In the blistering heat, provinces have suffered from a lack of consistent and reliable electricity and Baghdad's suffered in recent weeks from a scarcity of water.  Alsumaria reports today that the Minister of Water Resources, Muhannad al-Saadi, has declared that Iran is exploiting the water and Iraq is suffering as a result with water reduced significantly as a result.  It's effecting Khanaqin directly and, since it effects the Diyala River, it's effecting in some way all of Iraq (Diyala is considered the breadbasket of Iraq due to all of the farming in the region). This has been an ongoing problem/dispute between Iran and Iraq with Iran having several damns that block the flow.  In the summer of 2006, Iran blocked the flow completely.

Al Mada notes Iraq has both the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers and that the water supply has allowed the region to be known in the past for its palm trees and date production.  The article goes on to note water disputes between Iraq and Turkey and between Turkey and Syria.  Along with scarcity of water, another issue facing Iraq, the article points out, is increased salt in the water which is harming fish and surrounding vegitation. 

Meanwhile Alsumaria reports a Babel roadside bombing today has resulted in the death of 1 Iraqi soldier with anothr ten left injured.  Though pretty much ignored by the US press, last week a counter-terrorism center in Baghdad was attacked -- bombs and shooting -- as unknown assailants (thought to be the Islmaic State of Iraq) attempted to kill offiicals and release prisoners.  Al Rafidayn reports that Nouri issued a statement on Saturday condemning the assault.

Wael Grace (Al Mada) reports that the airports and border crossings are becoming the latest turf wars among Iraq's various political factions.  The political stalemate continues in Iraq.  All Iraq News notes that someone has released a fuzzy (audio and video) taped meeting from last year between Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi and Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi following Allawi's meeting with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.  Iraqiya is calling for an investigation into where the tape originated and who released it. 

The tape may end up being of little interest next to what could be Moqtada Tells AllAl Mada's covering what they dub a memoir of Moqtada al-Sadr which is a diary of the last months including his thoughts on Nouri al-Maliki (said to believe he's a dictator) and his disappointments with the National Alliance and its refusal to stand up for Iraqis against Nouri's power grab. He is said to name Ammar al-Hakim and Ibrahim al-Jaafari as two who met with him repeatedly prior to the end of April meeting in Erbil about the no-confidence vote.  Prior to that meeting, the two (al-Hakim and al-Jaafari) were on board with a no-confidence vote.  Moqtada is said to write that he knows his efforts to launch a no-confidence vote have cost him some popularity but that it was the right thing to do for Iraq. If it's for real, the memoir could cause a lot of hiccups in any attempts to smooth over the ongoing stalemate.

And they are telling the truth.  Reading the article, I thought there was a chance this was an Al Mada humor piece and that I was missing the joke.  But it's no joke.  I just checked Moqtada's website and that's where the memoir is posted.

For those paying attention to Iraq, Moqtada's memoir is the big story of the day and only substantial violence can overwhelm it in terms of improtance.

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Dirty Debbie"  went up last night.   On this week's Law and Disorder Radio,  an hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) topics addressed include the work the National Lawyers Guild will be doing at the upcoming RNC and DNC conventions where demonstrations are expected to take place and the hosts note some recent passings including journalist (Time magazine, the New York Times, etc.), author (The Great Fear in Latin America) and professor (City University of New York) John Gerassi who early on interviwed Che Guevara -- as well as noting Gerassi's passing, they play an interview they had recently done with him.
The e-mail address for this site is