Thursday, January 10, 2013

Iraq slammed with violence -- in the streets, homes and in Parliament

Iraq is slammed by a wave of violence -- and we're not just talking about the latest fistfight in Parliament.  All Iraq News reports that the President of the University of Diyala, Abbas al-Dulaimi, survived an assassination attempt when his motorcade was targeted with bombings resulting in the deaths of 2 bodyguards with three more left injured.  They also note a roadside bombing in central Baghdad left one employee of Parliament injured.  Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports  a Baquba home invasion left 1 Iraqi military officer dead while the homes of two Sahwa members were bombed killing both men.  AFP notes a Baghdad car bombing which claimed 3 lives and left eleven people injured.  Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) reports the death toll from the Baghdad car bombing has risen to 5 and the number injured is fifteen.

Again, the phrase is "use your words."  You'd think Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law would advise all of its members on conduct and how their actions can reflect poorly not only on themselves but also on the political slate State of Law all the way up to the prime minister (Nouri).  But over and over, year after year, State of Law MPs keep throwing punches in Parliament.   Already this week, there's been one fight.  Today, State of Law takes to the Parliament to defend their title: Nouri's Neandrathals.  All Iraq News explains Parliament was supposed to be questioning Jassim Mohammed Jaafar (Minister of Youth and Sports) when State of Law MP Abbas al-Bayati decided to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee by starting a fight with Bahaa al-Arajil of Moqtada al-Sard's parliamentary bloc.  Because of the fight, Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi had to call a one hour recess.  They never did get to question the Minister of Youth because, like so many of of Nouri's people, he failed to show up despite being summoned before the Parliament.

Why question the Minister to begin with?  Charges of corruption and the fact that a sports center in Basra has access to and receives three times the amount of electrical power the rest of the entir province receives.    Jassim Mohammed Jaafar is a Turkman and he's also with Nouri's State of Law. He owes Nouri because he ran, in 2010, for a seat in Parliament but didn't win.  State of Law named him to the Parliament using one of the two compensation seats they received.  Kitabat notes that Parliament is considering bringing corruption charges against him.

Al Mada reports the Kurdistan Alliance is in preparation for questioning Nouri before the Parliament but they expect him to attempt to use the federal court in an attempt to get out of appearing before Parliament.  In case that doesn't work, State of Law is gathering signatures in an attempt to remove Osama al-Nujaifi as Speaker of Parliament.  They have 130 currently.  All Iraq News notes MP High Nassif  has issued a statement declaring that Nouri is in violation of the Constitution and she disputes his claim to a mandate noting that a mandate would come from the people and the prime minister is elected by the Parliament.  The article also notes that the bill on the three presidencies was read yesterday in Parliament.  The bill seeks to limit all three to two terms.  Currently, the Constitution limits the President of Iraq to two terms.  The three presidencies are the Presidency, Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament.  The proposed amnesty law was supposed to have been read today as well.  Alsumaria notes the reading has now been kicked back until Monday.  All Iraq News reminds that an amnesty law is one of the demands by those engaged in the ongoing protests.

Dar Addustour writes about Nouri's speech yesterday attacking the protesters.  He said that Iraq's too young for protests.  He called on the police to arrest protesters, declared they were being paid by foreigners and floated that they should have to pay $100 to protest.  You'll note the silence from the White House on the protests.  If the State Dept mentions them today, no doubt, it will just be to provide Victoria Nuland with another chance to smear them.  Kitabat reports Nouri sent at least two military brigades to Anbar Province yesterday to target the protesters. 

While Nouri pushes violence (isn't that always his answer), All Iraq News notes that Iraqiya is holding a meeting today to discuss the protesters demands and the refusal of the government to recognize these demands.  Iraqiya is headed by Ayad Allawi.  Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi is also with the Iraqiya political slate.  They came in first in the March 2010 elections and would have gotten the post of prime minister were it not for the White House's refusal to let anyone but Nouri be prime minister. 

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