Chelsea J. Carter and Holly Yan (CNN) note, "As radical Sunni militants snatch city after city in their march to Baghdad, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Iraq on Monday during the country's tensest time since the U.S. withdrawal of troops. He'll meet with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, the man some say needs to step down."
Since Friday, rebels have seized for cities in Anba Province and Sunday they seized three of the four (Rutba, Ana and Rawa. Nolan Feeney (Time magazine) notes:
The capture of Rutba, a town located approximately 150 km east of the Iraqi-Jordanian border, gives insurgents major control over a key route to Jordan. The control of border posts and towns like Rutba will allow insurgent forces to more easily move weapons and soldiers between countries.
The seizure of Rawah and Anah suggest movement toward the city of Haditha, where a major dam lies — which, if destroyed, could wreak havoc on the country’s electrical systems and cause major flooding. Iraqi authorities speaking to the AP on the condition of anonymity say 2,000 troops have been dispatched to protect the dam.
Nouri's inability to prevent this from happening results in more embarrassments and, yes, even less support from the Iraqi people. Kitabat notes rumors that the US is backing Ayad Allawi to be the next prime minister in Iraq. Starting late Thursday, the rumor was the White House was pushing for Ahmed Chalabi to be the next prime minister.
Regardless of whom is being supported, the violence continues. Alsumaria reports 70 prisoners were killed to east of Hilla with ten more injured (the prisoners were in the process of being transferred), 1 person was shot dead in Haswa, Baghdad Operations Command spokesperson Saad Maan announced that 104 suspects were killed with thirty-one more injured, a Tarmiya home invasion left 6 family members dead, 5 corpses were found dumped in Baghdad, and the Peshmerga shot dead 1 sniper in Jalawla. National Iraqi News Agency reports a Rabia bombing left 1 Peshmerga dead and six more injured, 1 person was shot dead in Baquba, and an Abu Ghraib attack left 1 person dead and one police member injured. Through Sunday, Iraq Body Count counts 2969 violent deaths so far this month.
For those not paying attention, it's going to take 46 more deaths this month and then it becomes the month with the highest death toll since April 2003. [Sentence corrected at "becomes" -- previously read "because the month with the highest death toll ever recorded by Iraq Body Count." "Because" became "becomes" and I was completely wrong -- April and March 2003 would still be higher, as a CNN friend pointed out. My error, my apologies.]
Will that happen? It's very likely with eight days left to count violence for.
Bonnie reminds that, last night, Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "No Worries" went up. 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 Iraq, Julian Assange, and this event tonight:
Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA, with Frances Goldin, founder of a literary agency, Michael Steven Smith, a New York City attorney and author, and Debby Smith, a longtime supporter of the Brecht Forum/New York Marxist School.
Monday, June 23, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
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