Wednesday, February 06, 2013

For the fourth day in a row, another suicide bombing

For the fourth day in a row, Iraq sees a suicide bombing. Bi Mingxin (Xinhua) reports a suicide car bombing at an Abu Ghraib military base resulting in the deaths of 5 soldiers with another nine injured.  Alsumaria notes that the attack took place at noon local time.   All Iraq News reports an attack on Mosul checkpoint left 2 police officers dead.  Alsumaria adds that the corpse of a 22-year-old female was found in Kirkuk -- signs of torture and gunshot wounds -- and that a Baghdad assasination attempt (by sticky bombing) on the Minister of the Enivornment's Sargon Lazar Salioh left his driver injured.  And Alsumaria is reporting that a Salahuddin Province bombing (outside of Tikrit) claimed the life of 1 military officer and left two soldiers injured (all three were part of the Tigris Operation Command).

Through yesterday, Iraq Body Count counts 76 people killed this month by violence in Iraq.  76 in the first five days of the month alone.

Meanwhile Nouri's trollop -- no, not Reider Visser -- Muqdad al-Sharifi proves just how much control Nouri has over the once "Independent" High Electoral Commission.  AFP reports:

Security concerns sparked by anti-government rallies in mostly-Sunni areas of Iraq in recent weeks could hamper provincial polls due in April, a top election official said on Wednesday.

Muqdad al-Sharifi, the chief electoral officer of Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), also told reporters that 131 candidates had been barred from the April 20 vote due to their ties to the Baath Party of now-executed dictator Saddam Hussein.

Nouri managed that well, putting his trollop in charge of the commission.  131 have been barred from the elections?  Another shameful moment.  As are al-Sharifi's remarks. The problem is the "anti-government rallies"?

The only people who have died at the rallies were 7 Iraqis who were demonstrating.  (False attempts to tie the deaths of 2 Iraqi soldiers to the protests failed some time ago.)  But 76 people died through yesterday from violence.  And Nouri's trollip wants to blame the protesters?

The protesters are exercising their democratic rights guaranteed to them by their country's Constitution.  One would assume someone in charge of elections would applaud that.

Again, Nouri installed his trollop.  That's no surprise, he's longed to control the commission.  When there was a real chief of that commission and he was independent, remember what happened?  Nouri arrested him.

If violence comes to Iraq from the demonstrations, it will not be because of the protesters protesting, it will be because the protesters are being targeted.  Ali Abel Sadah (Al-Monitor) reports on Sunni Sheikh Abdul Malik al-Saadi:

Amid increasing sectarian tensions, Saadi decided to take part in the peaceful sit-in organized by the people of the majority Sunni Anbar province. He took the opportunity in his first speech in front of a massive crowd of protesters, however, to allay their concerns.
Saadi said in his speech at the end of December 2012 that the success of the peaceful sit-in primarily depended upon protecting coexistence among the different sects in Iraq. At the beginning of this year, he issued a fatwa forbidding Sunni Arabs from calling for the establishment of federal regions in Iraq.
On the following day, the protesters changed their slogans and talked about “good relations” between Sunnis and Shiites. Some of them even refrained from raising the old Iraqi flag associated with Saddam’s regime.
After the Fallujah incident, during which protesters were shot by soldiers of an Iraqi army patrol, Sheikh Saadi’s patience ran out and he threatened Maliki that he would turn the peaceful sit-in into an armed operation.
Saadi was enraged by the murder of the protesters and described Maliki as an oppressive leader. He also called on the army to abandon its posts and join the protests.

If you can't control the voting commission, you don't need to control the voting machines to fix the elections.

In other disturbing news, Kitabat reports that the Ministry of Justice announced yesterday that since December 21, 2010, 200 prisoners have died in Iraqi prisons.  Consider that another reason for the attempted prison breaks.

Alsumaria notes that Camp Dumez in Dohuk -- Syrian refugee camp -- is flooding from the rains.  John Tirman (Boston Globe) notes that there is concern for Syrian refugees that was never present for Iraqis:

There were no charities for the million orphaned children of Iraq. Even the death toll was hotly disputed or largely ignored, as if acknowledging the scale of mortality or probing its causes and consequences would itself be a moral failing.
During 2012, according to my research, the major news media documented and discussed the calamity for ordinary Syrians and rebels alike at a rate that was at least four times more frequent compared with coverage of civilian casualties in the Iraq war in 2006, the most violent year. A similar level of focus was the case for the brief war in Gaza last autumn, and the longer, bloodier assault in early 2009. During Lebanon’s summer war of 2006, when Israeli bombers answered Hezbollah’s rockets with 34 days of pounding Shi’ite neighborhoods in Beirut (among other targets), the news coverage was extensive, largely focusing on the damage to civilians. That month of mayhem produced more than 1,000 fatalities in Lebanon — which in that same bloody summer in Iraq would have equaled the death toll for perhaps two or three days. Yet the amount of coverage of these two wars, and the nature of discussion, was profoundly different.
Why this imbalance in attention?

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