The US chapter of the Red Cross has been plagued with scandals. For those thinking, "Well at least we can trust the International Committee of the Red Cross," think again.
After years of fighting in #Iraq, the battle is over. But life still remains a daily struggle for the 11 million people still in need of assistance in the country.
I'm sorry, ICRC -- who appears to have dropped the "Red Crescent" -- when did foreign troops leave Iraq? Oh, right, not yet.
And when did the violence stop?
Oh, right. Not yet.
AFP reports today that the Islamic State has kidnapped 30 people and that they have killed 7 farmers or shepherds. IRAQI NEWS adds, "Three truck drivers were killed two days ago in a military attack launched by Islamic State on a road between Baghdad and Kirkuk."
On the topic of kidnappings, Margaret Griffish (ANTIWAR.COM) notes that kidnappings by ISIS have increased "in recent weeks" and that Mosul alone has seen at least 46.
Last night, the Senate voted 85-10 to give the US military $716 billion -- its biggest defense budget outside the height of the Iraq War, in 2019 dollars https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/06/19/u-s-military-budget-inches-closer-to-1-trillion-mark-as-concerns-over-federal-deficit-grow/?utm_term=.a04b66c738d5 …
Meanwhile former prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki plots. ALSUMARIA reports that Nouri is said to be scrambling frantically to put together a proposal that would have other blocs joining his State of Law -- the intent being for him to again become prime minister. ALL IRAQ NEWS notes that the current prime minister, Hayder al-Abadi, met with Iraq's president Fuad Masum and the two were in agreement that any obstacles to the formation of a new government should be overcome.
May 12th, Iraq held elections. First place went to Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc, second place to the militia. Since then some have whined for a 'do over.'
Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr announced an alliance with the head of the militias Hadi al-Ameri meaning the two biggest vote getters now have a coalition. This would explain Nouri's desperate scramble to thwart them since their alliance has slowed/stopped the cry for a do over. It's now been a month and 8 days since the elections and still Iraq remains without a new leader. ASHAR AL-AWSAT notes:
As the countdown starts to the end of Iraq's parliament term on June 30, fears that the country might enter into a state of constitutional vacuum arise, leading to chaos and opening the door to various possibilities.
In the meantime, various political parties rush towards the formation of the "largest bloc,” to stay in power for the next four years.
Iraq’s President’s Advisor Amir Kanani suggested that "violation of the constitution will take place instead of a constitutional vacuum as rumored.”
He told Asharq Al-Awsat that the constitution refers to the existence of the authorities and the organization of its functions and powers.
“The absence of one of the authorities is a violation of this constitution, “including the disruption of the work of parliament or the termination of its work ahead of schedule, contrary to the constitutional mechanisms.”
It's an interesting article but one that ignores Iraq's post 2003 history. For example, in 2010, elections were held in March but it wasn't until November that a prime minister-designate was named and December that a government was formed. That political stalemate resulted from the refusal of Nouri al-Maliki to step down. It was only ended when the US negotiated The Erbil Agreement which allowed the loser (Nouri) to have four more years as prime minister.
Michael Young (CARNEGIE MIDDLE EAST CENTER) notes the views of several commentators on Moqtada al-Sadr and we'll include this one:
In the US, many will use the moment to ponder immigrants attempting to enter the US via its southern borders. That's a very limited view of refugees.
Exactly. The US-led Iraq War created the largest refugee crisis in the Middle East since 1948. That crisis only grows. Some time and thought today should be given to Iraqi refugees.
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