Monday, April 21, 2014

Jalal's coming back to Iraq any day now (Filed under: Jokes we've heard before)

Iraq's President Jalal Talabani is setting a record for holding an office the longest while doing nothing.

That's not to say Jalal is a 'do nothing' type personality.  It is to note that, though he holds the position, Iraq's been without a president for roughly 16 months.

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.

He's back in the news with the usual sick joke.  He's better!  He'll be returning to Iraq shortly!

That nonsense actually was reported as early as December 2012.  It continues to be reported every few weeks.

Tarek Ammar (Alsumaria) reports on it today, noting that Kirkuk Governor Najmiddin Karim notes that he is in contact with Jalal's medical team and Jalal is recovering and will be home soon.  Soon.  At any rate, Karim is a doctor and briefly treated Jalal in December 2012.  Today, he vouches for Jalal's improved health and speedy return.

Speedy return after 16 months out of the country.

Per the Constitution, he should have been replaced long ago.

For 16 months, he's been incapable of doing his job.

He has another job as well, figurehead of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan -- PUK.  That's a political party.  If it were last August, we'd be saying it's one of the two main political parties in the Kurdistan Region.  September 30th, that all changed.  PUK lost big in the elections.  The KDP and Goran are now the two major parties.  (Goran is a post-invasion creation.)

We're not covering the slow process of forming a government in the KRG.  Some are.

I don't see the point.  It's happening slowly.

Big surprise.  The PUK still has power and the Talabani family continues to hold on to power.

It's slipping away.

Last week were the rumors of mass defections from the PUK.

They were true, the rumors.  Ghassan Hamid and Mohammed Shafiq (Alsumaria) report that the Governor of Kirkuk (he's been very busy today) acknowledged there have been defections but lower-level ones, no one in leadership, the governor states, has withdrawn. And, he offers, Jalal remains the leader of the party.

Left unstated is that Jalal's 'leadership' is why the PUK tanked in the elections.

The government will be formed in the KRG and Goran and the KDP will continue to peel off members of the PUK.  The refusal to name a leader of the PUK -- one actually in Iraq and one who can speak and move and travel -- will continue to harm the party (no matter how many trips the First Lady makes to Tehran to garner support).

Through Sunday, Iraq Body Count counts 645 violent deaths.  Margaret Griffis ( counts 79 dead and 112 injured on Sunday.  As we noted at Third in "Editorial: Are you comfortable with War Crimes?" yesterday:

NINA reports, "A civilian was killed and four others injured on Sunday 20, April due to indiscriminate shelling on the neighborhoods of the city of Fallujah." 

 Nouri's assault on Falluja -- his War Crimes as he utilizes collective punishment -- continues today.  Alsumaria notes his bombing of Falluja's residential areas today has left 1 civilian dead and five more injured.

Nouri's War Crimes are only part of the portrait of violence today.  National Iraqi News Agency reports 1 taxi driver was shot dead in Hamrin, a Latifya shooting left 1 person dead and another injured, a roadside bombing in a "village north of Baquba" left two people injured, a Shirqat battle left 1 soldier and 5 rebels dead, a suicide bomber "at the northern entrance of Wasit province" took his own life and the lives of 21 other people ("police and civilians"), security sources say they killed 7 suspects in Jorfis-Sakhar, 1 Iraqi soldier was shot dead in Mosul and another was left injured, security sources say they shot dead 6 suspects in Ramadi, security sources say they shot dead 20 suspects in all of Anbar Province today, a Mahalbiya car bombing killed 1 Iraqi soldier and left two more injured, Baghdad Operations Command state they killed 9 suspects, 1 person was shot dead in Basra, and a suicide car bomber took his own life and the lives of 2 Iraqi soldiers at an Almadain military checkpoint (five more people were injured).  All Iraq News adds a Dijail bombing left two farmers injured, and 1 corpse was discover in Beiji, dumped in the Tigris River, "shot in head."  Alsumaria reports that one security officer who works for the Kurdistan Democratic Party (the party of KRG President Massoud Barzani) was injured when assailants shot up his moving car, a Qadisiyah roadside bombing left two police members injured, and a Sadr City bombing left 4 dead and eleven injured.

And we'll note the following sites have updated:

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