Saturday, December 21, 2013

9100 violent deaths in Iraq in 2013 so far

National Iraqi News Agency reports a Latifiya mortar attack left 2 people dead and seven more injured,  2 Kirkuk homes were blown up leaving 5 people dead and six more injured, Raweh City Council member Fairs Faird al-Rawi was assassinated while leaving his home, 1 man was shot dead in Baquba, an attack on a Falluja checkpoint left 1 police officer dead, an attack on another Falluja checkpoint left 1 police officer dead,  a third attack on a Falluja checkpoint left 2 police officers dead, a Shirqat roadside bombing claimed the life of Brigadier General Ahmad al-Batawi and 3 other police officers while leaving three more people injured, a Rutba suicide bomber took his own life and the lives of 6 military members, Brigadier Mohammed al-Kiwi was shot dead in Horan Valley,  and an armed conflict in Anbar left 1 person dead and four injured.

Through Friday, Iraq Body Count notes 693 violent deaths in Iraq so far this month and 9100 so far this year.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has failed with security the same way he's failed with jobs, public services and everything else.  Nouri is just a failure.  Maybe he'll be replaced next year?

Parliamentary elections are supposed to take place April 30th.  Jamie Tarabay (Al Jazeera) observes:

De-Baathification, adopted in 2003 to weed out Saddam Hussein-era officials from positions of power, is still law. It has been employed by the Maliki government to isolate, arrest or oust political threats and opponents.
The security forces remain under the thumb of Shia politicians, including those from Maliki’s Dawa party, but also members of the Badr brigade — the former military wing of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, which ran against Maliki's Dawa Party in the last parliamentary election, in 2010. Despite repeated appeals by the U.S. to bring more Sunnis into the ranks, the Interior Ministry, which controls the country's security forces, remains a Shia bastion. Sunnis guarding the few remaining Sunni enclaves in Baghdad in makeshift units called the Sons of Iraq continue to be shut out of joining.
Maliki wants the U.S. to provide Iraq with Apache attack helicopters and drones and recently purchased Korean fighter jets. His critics claim he intends to use them against their communities.

At Niqash, Suha Audeh notes a number of women including activist Hanaa Edwar:

Interestingly enough another of Iraq’s most high profile advocates for local women’s rights has also had military training. Edwar was recently awarded the Arab Woman of the Year prize for her work with the organisation she founded, Al Amal. But Edwar also spent time fighting in the mountains of what is now Iraqi Kurdistan, in the past.

Edwar was born in Basra, in southern Iraq in 1946 and as a law student in Baghdad, she was known for her political activism. She left Iraq in the 1970s to represent Iraq at the Women's International Democratic Federation. Upon returning to the Middle East though, Edwar was unable to go back to Baghdad because of the political situation so she went to Damascus in Syria instead. 

“I received military training from the Palestinian resistance in 1981 and then I spent three years in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan,” Edwar says. “I actually went to the mountains on a political mission but when the headquarters of the organisation I was with were attacked, I left for Moscow to study Marxist philosophy.”

Edwar’s passion for civil struggle has now taken precedence over armed struggle. The Al Amal organization is one of the country’s most outspoken advocates for women’s rights. They were among the groups that pushed for a 25 percent quota for women in Iraqi politics. 

“Today we have six offices in the Iraq and we have had many women come through our organization,” Edwar notes. “But we still have many challenges to overcome. My aim is for some sort of peace amid all of this violence.”

One of Al Amal’s next goals is to help battered women more. “Together with the Ministry for Women’s Affairs we submitted draft legislation to Parliament suggesting that special shelters for battered women be opened as well as the formation of a special court to trial cases of domestic violence,” Edwar continued. “Sadly some of the country’s female MPs were the first to reject this draft law.”

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