Sunday, July 13, 2014


Today, Margaret Griffis ( notes, "At least 105 people died today and 39 more were injured."

A political solution is needed, US President Barack Obama has insisted.

Yesterday, UNAMI issued the following:

Baghdad, 12 July 2014 – “I call on all parliamentarians to attend the forthcoming session of the Council of Representatives on Sunday, 13 July.  Failing to move forward on electing a new Speaker, a new President, and a new Government risks plunging the country into chaos.  It will only serve the interests of those who seek to divide the people of Iraq and destroy their chances for peace and prosperity”, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Mr. Nickolay Mladenov said today.

“Iraq needs a team that can bring people together.  Now is not the time for mutual accusations, now is the time for moving forward and compromising in the interest of the Iraqi people.  A functioning parliament will allow the country to work together against terrorism, revitalize the political process through which the concerns of all communities can be addressed, alleviate the humanitarian suffering of over one million people, and ensure that human rights and democratic achievements are protected”, he added.

“If serious solutions to the current problems are not found, then all political leaders will have to share their responsibility for failing to act with the necessary sense of duty at a time of crisis”, Mr. Mladenov further stated.  “As political blocs seek agreement on the key personalities, the first step is the election of a new Speaker during tomorrow’s scheduled parliament session”, he underscored. 

Today, Parliament briefly held a session.

Nothing was accomplished.

Nouri al-Maliki derailed the session (see Third's "Editorial: The Political Solution Nouri al-Maliki Can Offer") and he did so on purpose.

In the past, if he's just been stubborn long enough, his political opponents have given in to him.

He's convinced having another tantrum will again benefit him.

It's surprising that this well known pattern of behavior is not commented on by the various outlets covering Iraq.

Abigail Hauslohner (Washington Post) interviews the most recent Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi:

Q. The government is currently fighting Sunni militants in the north. But I’ve heard some Sunnis refer to what is happening as a “revolution.” How do you describe what’s happening?

Yes, it is a revolution. But at the same time, the terrorists are taking advantage of it.
It’s a revolution that started a year and a half ago, as peaceful demonstrations. [The government] didn’t deal with it according to the constitution. Instead, they faced it with force. So it turned into a military movement.

But it wasn’t as broad as we see now. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) [which now calls itself the Islamic State] took advantage of the gap between the government and the people, and they invaded and occupied Iraqi cities.
ISIS controls important military areas, but the wider geographical area is in the hands of tribes and armed groups who are rebelling against the government, and who before that were fighting the Americans.

We need to differentiate between these groups and the terrorists. We need to face ISIS militarily. But these other groups should be dealt with politically.

And that may be the most intelligent conversation on the issue of Iraq and resistance that any US outlet has offered.

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.

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