Nouri al-Maliki has no answers so the failed prime minister resorts to mass arrests. NINA notes 75 arrests in Kikruk during the early morning hours. Prior to that announcement, Alsumaria notes Nouri announced today that already there had been 800 mass arrests across Iraq so far this week.
Back in July 2012, Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) observed, "Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has struggled to forge a lasting power-sharing agreement and has yet to fill key Cabinet positions, including the ministers of defense, interior and national security, while his backers have also shown signs of wobbling support." That remains true and that's on Nouri. (It's also on Barack but we don't have time to review that today.) As Ayad Allawi rightly noted in real time, this was a power grab and Nouri had no intention of appointing people to those posts. (Nouri nominates, Parliament approves. Once Parliament approves, the person has the appointment unless they step down -- or die -- or unless Parliament votes to strip them of the appointment. Nouri cannot fire any Minister which is why he has refused to nominate people to head those ministries and instead created 'acting' ministers -- this allows him to control them -- and it is unconstitutional.) All Iraq News notes today:
Mouaed al-Oubaidi, the leader within the National Reformation Trend headed by, Ibrahim al-Jaafary, called the government to expedite nominating the security ministers.
He stated to All Iraq News Agency (AIN) "The ministers of the Interior and Defense Ministries must be nominated, but the ministers must not be acting ones."
NINA notes that Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq's Ammar al-Hakim met with Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq today to address the breakdown in security. National Iraqi News Agency reports:
The head of the Iraqiya coalition, the Secretary-General of the National Accord Movement, Iyad Allawi said "the commander in chief of the armed forces, Nouri al-Maliki shirks from responsibility trying to blame political partners, in managing the security file."
Allawi said in his personal account on / Twitter / that "after all these bombings al-Maliki Manipulates in words, trying to find justifications and shirks himself from responsibility and blame others."
All Iraq News notes the comments here. With violence on the rise and criticism targeted at him, Alsumaria notes Nouri plans to start delivering weekly speeches.
Haven't Iraqis already suffered enough?
In 2006, Nouri was imposed on them by the Bush administration (the Parliament wanted Ibrahim al-Jafaari). In 2010, Iraqis voted in parliamentary elections and the 'front runner' (in the western press) Nouri was supposed to win by a wide margin. But instead, Iraqiya won. But the Barack administration backed Nouri and brokered an extraconstituional contract, The Erbil Agreement, to give Nouri the second term that the Iraqi voters didn't.
Despite the lack of success in his two terms, Nouri wants a third term as prime minister. NINA notes, "The parliamentary Al-Ahrar /Liberal/ bloc within the the Sadrist trend stressed in a statement today that the definition of the mandate of Prime Minister, is not subjected to political bargaining but to the election and constitution conditions. Al-Ahrar bloc also stressed the Sadrist movement would stand in the opposite side and rejects the tenure of Al-Maliki the post of Prime Minister for a third term." Alsumaria adds Sadr bloc MP Jawad Alshahyla has stated that they will not allow Nouri to extend his current term and that new leadership is needed and must be elected leadership. (These elections are scheduled for next year -- they could come sooner if early elections are called; however, there are fears Nouri may call off the elections. We'll try to cover that in today's snapshot.)
Kitabat reports that Nouri is planning a trip to Tehran and DC to shore up support as his leadership skills continue to falter. Al Mada notes this Daily Beast commentary by Bruce Riedel about the latest version of al Qaeda. Mark Thompson (Time magazine) observes, "The U.S. invaded Iraq 3,802 days -- and 4,486 American lives -- ago. As Iraq moves ever closer to civil war -- 1,057 died there last month, the highest toll in five years, with more than 100 perishing in nationwide bombings since last weekend -- the U.S. basically can do little to quell the violence its invasion a decade ago helped make possible." John Defterios (CNN) notes the impact the violence is having on Iraq's oil output:
The latest figures from Iraq's ministry of energy illustrate the direct link between the violence and the country's oil output. In May, monthly production hit nearly 77 million barrels in the two major regions Basra and Kirkuk. That sunk, the ministry said, to fewer than 70 million in June as daily production tumbled to less than three million barrels a day.
According to the U.N., the death toll jumped from 595 killed in April to 963 in May -- and more than 1,000 were killed in July.
This is a quick turn of fortunes after Iraq surpassed neighboring Iran as the second largest oil producer within OPEC last year, hitting a peak of 3.4 million according to Standard Chartered Bank in its latest report on the country.
The following community sites -- plus Dissident Voice, Antiwar.com, Susan's On the Edge, The Diane Rehm Show and Ms. magazine's blog -- updated last night and this morning:
Betty's "Worthless Women's Media Center" and Marcia's "Booker is a disaster" went up as well but are not showing up on the links currently.
The e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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