Saturday, March 15, 2014

March 16, 2014 Iraq still doesn't have a 2014 budget (or a president)

Sunday, the Parliament's supposed to meet to discuss the 2014 budget.  Or someone will meet.  NINA reports:

Kurdish representatives expressed their refuse to attend tomorrow's meeting of the Council of representatives unless amending the federal budget law particularly the paragraphs relating to Kurdistan province.
MP Azad Srishmi for Kurdistan Alliance said in a press statement today : "The budget law Listed on the agenda of the House of Representatives for tomorrow session , without the consent of Aref Tayfur the Speaker deputy ," pointing out that "the Kurds refuse to pass the budget bill, unless the amendment of paragraphs relating to the province of Kurdistan.

Nouri's been attempting to use the 2014 budget as a means to blackmail the Kurdistan Regional Government over the oil. His current offer is the KRG can receive 7% of the national budget if they export 400,000 barrels of oil a day.   Yerevan Saeed (Rudaw) reports:

The centerpiece of negotiations between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Baghdad over an oil dispute has evolved: It has gone from Kurdish oil contracts being deemed illegal and unconstitutional by Baghdad, to who should have authority over oil sales from the Kurdish fields, the State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) or the Kurdistan Oil Marketing Organization (KOMO)? 
 In the beginning, the debates were centered on who should pay the dues of the international oil companies (IOCs) operating in Kurdistan. KRG’s argument was that Erbil would produce oil and contribute to the national budget, and in return Baghdad had to be responsible for paying the dues of the IOCs. 
 This, Baghdad initially rejected and later agreed to, according to Kurdish officials and evidenced by several million dollars Baghdad paid in the beginning when the KRG exported some 100,000 oil barrels through the Iraqi-Turkish pipeline controlled by the federal government. 

The Kurds aren't the only group objecting.  Amar Tariq and Mohammad Shafiq (Alsumaria) report the United Colation's MP Wihda Jumaili has stated her coalition will not be attending, they will boycott.   They're boycotting, she explains, because of the random bombing in Anbar Province and the displacement of the people of Anbar.

Nouri's assault on Anbar continues.  Alsumaria reports the latest numbers from Falluja General Hosipital are that Nouri's shelling of the city has left at least 131 people dead and 752 more injured and that the victims have mainly been children, women and the elderly.  Mu Xuequan (Xinhua) reports 1 "civilian killed and seven others injured" in Falluja as a result of the military bombing residential neighborhoods.

In other violence?

National Iraqi News Agency reports a western Baghdad car bombing left 1 person dead and thirteen more injured, a southwest Baghdad car bombing left 2 people dead and six more injured,  1 woman and her son were shot dead in Abu Karma, a Tikrit suicide car bomber took his own life and the lives of 4 other people with fifteen more left injured, a Sadr City car bombing left 1 person dead and six more injured, a south Baghdad car bombing left 3 people dead and ten more injured, an al-Qaherah car bombing left 1 person dead and four more injured, Joint Operations Command announced they killed 4 suspects in Falluja,  1 person was shot dead in Muqdadiyah, 1 person was shot dead in Imam Weis,  Baghdad Operations Command said they killed 2 suspects, 1 police officer was left injured in an al-Mafraq shooting, and another was left injured in a Jalawla shooting.

Lastly, December 2012,  Iraqi President Jalal Talabani suffered a stroke.   The incident took place late on December 17, 2012 following Jalal's argument with Iraq's prime minister and chief thug Nouri al-Maliki (see the December 18, 2012 snapshot).  Jalal was admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital.    Thursday, December 20, 2012, he was moved to Germany.  He remains in Germany currently.

No one outside the family (and his medical team) has been able to speak to him.  Efforts by Iraqi elected officials and even officials in Jalal's own political party have been rebuffed.

Alsumaria reports that his doctors said today his condition is improving.   Yeah, they keep saying that.  For over 14 months now.

And yet he still hasn't returned to Iraq.

The following community sites -- plus Dissident Voice,, Jake Tapper, Jodi Watley, the ACLU and Pacifica Evening News -- updated:

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