Saturday, October 20, 2012

21 dead at least 50 injured in today's violence

Aren't we glad Barack 'ended' the Iraq War.  He brought 'peace' to Iraq.  And to Libya too, right? If you can reduce reality to a headline, there are days when you can believe those lies.  Today's not one of them.

The Voice of Russia hails today as "the deadliest day in Iraq since September."  Yang Lina (Xinhua) reports two roadside bombings in Iraq led to 11 deaths fifty people being injured.  Al Jazeera explains, "The blasts struck about 500 metres from a shrine where two revered imams are buried, damaging nearby shops and buildings, according to police, who confirmed the casualty figures.The attacks came as many shoppers were out buying new clothes in anticipation of the Eid al-Adha holiday, which begins in about a week." Kareem Raheem, Suadad al-Salhy, Patrick Markey and Sophie Hares (Reuters) quote an unnamed police officer declaring, "We heard a loud explosion so we ran to see what happened . . . there was big mess near the explosion scene, clothes, toes, food and bodies were everywhere.  Many wounded people were shouting and looking for their relatives."  A store owner tells AP, "When I came out, I saw burning carts and merchant stalls, and children crying and women screaming out of fear. The whole place was full of panic."

 Of course that wasn't the only violence.  Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports, "In separate incidents, gunmen killed two Baghdad police officers and another officer was fatally shot outside his house, the officials said."   And Yang Lina (Xinhua) reports, "In a separate incident, gunmen attacked a lawyer's home on Saturday morning in Albuaath area east of Ramadi, the capital city of Anbar province west of Baghdad, and shot him dead, a different source said." Still going, BBC News reports, "A prison official was shot dead in another district of Baghdad. In yet another attack, a soldier was killed in the northern city of Mosul."  Alsumaria reports that an armed attack in Nineveh Province (approximately 25 miles from Mosul) left 4 security officers dead.

Al-Shorfa reports, "The Iraq Interior Ministry on Saturday (October 20th) announced that a special security plan is in place to protect citizens during Eid al-Adha celebrations next week. "  Well that's good.  A plan for next week.  I guess this week, Iraqi citizens were just left to fend for themselves.  The outlet adds that the seucrity forces did stop attacks on electric towers.  So there were priorities.  The dead and wounded just weren't on that list of priorities.

When they do try to provide safety, the government appears to be insane and stupid.  Not just with the mass arrests which sew distrust in the government but with how they harmm the eco-system.  They are worried about insurgents in Babil Province, All Iraq News reports, so they are draining dry the lakes and lagoons.  Iraq has serious water concerns and they're going to drain lagoons and lakes?  Iraq has problems with packs of wild dogs roaming.  There's claims that, over the summer, a large snake ate a child.  And you're going to drain lakes and lagoons?  Taking away a water source for animals -- including wild dogs -- and sending whatever was living in the lake and lagoon areas into residential areas?

Ibrahim Ibrahim (Al Mada) reports that the Parliament's Integrity Comittee is conducting a new investigation and Committee MP Hussein al-Asadi states that senior government officials are using their positions to obtain state property and to benefit from the use and sale of it.  In other scandals, Nouri fired Sinan al-Shabibi as Governor of the Central Bank (despite Article 103 of the Constitution making clear that he doesn't have that right -- Parliament does).  Since then a warrant's been put out for al-Shabibi who is said to be in Europe.  An unnamed MP tells Al Mada that Nouri fired al-Shabibi because the man refused to loan Nouri $63 billion that Nouri said was for the government's budget.  Al Mada notes that Moqtada al-Sadr is calling out Nouri's attempts to politicize the Central Bank and he also asks where is the reform that Nouri promised in early 2011?

Meanwhile Alsumaria informs that "hundreds of teachers" took to the streets in Basra today to protest the lack of advances in education and their living conditions.  In addition, they demanded the government imporve the public services and address the crumbling infrastructure.   In a possible response to the teachers, Alsumaria reports State of Law MP Mohammed Chichod has stated that basic services can wait and that it is more important that the government focus on the military and weapons.  (State of Law is Nouri's political slate.)  In related news, 21 young children currently live in a Baghdad prison with their incarcrated mothers, Al Mada reports.

The political crisis continues in Iraq.  All Iraq News reports President Jalal Talabani met with Nouri al-Maliki today to discuss that topic.  Alsumaria adds that a satement issued after the meet-up said it was important to respect the Constitution and the signed agreements.  That's a win for Jalal.  The signed agreements refers to the Erbil Agreement (a legal contract Nouri broke creating the current political stalemate) and Nouri doesn't like to acknowledge it.  However, a member of the group that split off from Iraqiya tells All Iraq News that, while he appears to be engaging in talks, Nouri is secretly working behind the scenes to sideline the opposition parties and form a majority government.

The following community sites -- plus Pacifica Evening News, Adam Kokesh, Jody Watley, C-SPAN, the Los Angeles Times, NPR, Susan's On the Edge, the Independent and  --  updated last night and today:

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