Monday, April 28, 2014

Like Nouri's face, things turn ugly in Iraq

Chief thug and prime minister of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki continues his War Crimes of collective punishment in Anbar Province.  Today, NINA reports, his bombing of residential neighborhoods left 1 civilian dead and three more injured.

National Iraqi News Agency reports an al-Sisi roadside bombing left 2 police members dead and five more injured.

That's all the violence?

No.  But the rest can be seen as linked to the parliamentary campaign.

Iraqis vote in the parliamentary elections on Wednesday. For Iraqi refugees outside the country, many voted yesterday. Today, in Iraq, the security forces are voting.   What's at stake? Osama al-Khafaji and Ghassan Hamid (Alsumaria) have noted that there are over 9000 candidates competing for 328 seats.  Nouri al-Maliki wants a third term.  Apparently using his second term to tear apart the country and increase violence wasn't enough for him.

He certainly got to see more violence today.

NINA reports a Khanaqin suicide bomber took his own life and the lives of 18 other people "near the headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in Khanaqin northeast of Baquba," 1 "gunmen attacked a polling center in Kirkuk" (he was arrested), 2 military personnel were killed and four police members injured when a Habbaniyah bombing went off as they "were heading to a polling station," Iraqi soldier Mohammad Qasim was killed at a Hawija voting center by a suicide bomber, 3 suicide bombers were killed by the Iraqi military at a Ramadi polling station, a Tuz Khurmatu suicide bombing targeting a polling station left 3 police members dead and seven more injured, a suicide bomber at a Mansour polling station left 6 police members dead and nineteen more injured, a roadside bombing "near a polling station in eastern Mosul" left five Iraqi soldiers injured, a suicide bomber attacking a central Mosul polling station today left 1 officer and 1 soldier injured, a suicide bomber attacked a Bab Laksh polling station leaving six police members injured, a suicide bomber attacking an al-Hairi school with a polling station killed 7 police members and left twenty-one more injured,  a suicide bomber detonated near a Jawsaq polling station injured four security forces attempting to vote, and a Wasti school in south Kirkuk with a polling station was attacked by a suicide bomber leaving six police dead and nine more injured.

Baghdad Operations Command announced Nouri's forces were in charge of the polling stations as of Saturday.

They do not appear to be 'in charge' at present.

All Iraq News notes Iraq's President Jalal Talabani voted today.

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.

And Germany's where he cast his vote today.  Absentee voting for the absentee president.

AFP notes a Khanaqin suicide bomber killed 30 people and left fifty injured and that they were present "to celebrate the release of a video purportedly showing the ailing Talabani, a Kurdish leader, voting in Germany."

Sarah Kneezle (Al Jazeera) notes the views of "Douglas Ollivant, the former Director for Iraq on the National Security Council under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, and Nussaibah Younis, a research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s International Security Program" and we'll include Younis take:

Younis, who is affiliated with the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, disagreed with Ollivant’s assessment, claiming that the political outlook was more positive during the last election, in 2010.
“You had possibly the most stable period that Iraq has ever experienced since the invasion back in 2010,” she said. “And you had two big coalitions that both had sizeable representation of both Sunnis and Shias — and they we reusing nationalist slogans and were encouraging Iraqis to think of themselves as Iraqi first and of whatever sect second.”

Ayad Allawi Tweeted the following today:

Parliamentary elections were last held in 2010.

Allawi surprised many in the western press by leading Iraqiya to victory.  This year Iraqiya has splintered into smaller groupings.

This has wrongly been stated as proof that they couldn't pull it together, that they're weakened, blah blah bulls**t blah.

Nouri's State of Law is also broken into smaller pieces this election.


It's intentional.  Everyone's attempting that under the belief -- real or just perceived -- that this will allow them more power and more representation in the immediate post-vote aftermath.

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Little Princess" went up last night.

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