Sunday, March 30, 2014


Today's biggest news in Iraq?  All Iraq News, citing Independent High Electoral Commission deputy chair Kate' al-Zawbae as the source, reports the Board of Commissioners of the IHEC have withdrawn their resignations.   Last Tuesday brought the news that the entire board of the Independent High Electoral Commission was submitting their resignations.

This was especially surprising since parliamentary elections are supposed to take place April 30th.  Yesterday,  Mohammad Sabah (Al Mada) reported the commissioners say there are three possibilities:

1) Parliament passes some form of immunity that would bar the commissioners from being prosecuted for their decisions regarding who can run for office.

2) The election law itself can be modified.

3) The elections can be cancelled. 

Apparently, there was a fourth option the commissioners didn't consider: Withdraw their resignations.

The second biggest news out of Iraq is probably a contest winner.

All Iraq News notes Sattar Sa'ad, after three months of competing, has won The Voice Arabia singing contest and that it was announced on Saturday's broadcast which also included singer Ricky Martin performing two songs.  (Ricky wasn't competing, he was a musical guest the way American Idol has musical guests or the way The Voice on NBC has musical guests -- this show is a variation of The Voice.)  Kadim Al Saher --  a popular Iraqi singer, songwriter and poet, here for a YouTube channel devoted to his music, acted as Sattar's coach and Sattar now has "a brand new car and a recording contract with Universal Music Group."  Nick Vivarelli (Variety) reports:

Aired by satcaster Middle East Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), The Arab version of “The Voice” wrapped with Saad draped in an Iraqi flag on stage receiving the trophy from his coach, Iraqi pop music sensation Kadim Al Sahir.
Saad’s victory, which sparked celebrations in the streets of Baghdad, earned him a record contract with Universal Music Group.

Gulf News notes, "Following his crowning, he expressed his joy, thanked his supporters and coach who he said believed in his talent from the start."

Click here to stream him performing on Saturday's broadcast.

Turning to violence.  Through yesterday, Iraq Body Count counts 959 violent deaths so far this month.

Today?  At least 36 reported deaths.  National Iraqi News Agency reports security sources say 2 suspects were killed in Hamrin, Anbar Operations Command announced they killed 5 suspects in Nuaimiya, Joint Operations Command stated they killed 9 suspects "east of Falluja," Diyala security source states they killed 1 suspect in Buhriz, an al-Qayyarah roadside bombing left 1 Iraqi soldier dead and two civilians injured, a Jurf al-Sakhar bombing left seven police members injured, a second Jurf al-Sakhar bombing left 3 Iraqi soldiers dead,  1 craftsman was shot dead in Al-Asaiwid Village, "3 young people" were kidnapped and 2 were killed "in al-Qaeam district," 1 person was shot dead in Taji (two more were wounded), a Yusufiya roadside bombing left 1 person dead and six more injured, a Mosul roadside bombing left 2 police members dead and a third injured, an Ein al-Jahash Village battle left 7 police members dead and nine more injured, a Ramadi suicide bridge bomber took his own life and the lives of 2 Iraqi soldiers and 1 police member with nine more people left injured,

Margaret Griffis ( counts 56 dead today.  Her count would mean over 1,000 dead in Iraq for March.  In fact, will probably have around 1500 deaths in their final tally because they have included the killing of suspects.

I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name

 The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4489.

On this week's Law and Disorder Radio,  an hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) topics  addressed include Barack's lying about the NSA spying, professor James Petras joins the hosts to discuss Ukraine and attorney Dima Khalidi joins the hosts to discuss the university crackdowns on student speech.

New content at Third:

Kat's "Kat's Korner: Pretenders' last classic" and "Kat's Korner: When (Cloud) Nothings Matter" went up earlier today.

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