Monday, September 05, 2011

And the war drags on . . .

Al Rafidayn reports on the political intrigue in Iraq currently. A healthy portion of the National Alliance is the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council headed by Amar al-Hakim and they are calling for pressure on Nouri's government to force it to provide basic services. And there may be an effort to form a majority government -- an effort which would sidestep Nouri and his political slate (State Of Law). Iraqiya's MP Talal Zaobaie states that Iraqiya, parts of the National Alliance, the Kurdistan Alliance and Sadr's bloc can come together to form a majority government which would shut out Nouri. As the article notes, Nouri began floating a threat that they would shut others (sometimes defined as Iraqiya) out of the goverment by tossing aside what currently existed and forming a majority government. Zaobaie insists if such a move was taken, everyone would be welcome provided they weren't part of the effort which harmed advancing the ministries (naming heads to the ministries) or part of the effort interfering with ending corruption. The article notes that the Sadr bloc has already stated that the government's response to the upcoming protests will determine whether or not they (the Sadr bloc) will withdraw confidence from the government. Supposedly this potential alliance would have at least 180 members (therefore 180 votes) and they would be able to push through a measure to withdraw confidence in Nouri's government and then establish a new majority government which, the assertion is, would avoid sectarian strife.

Going public with this move may indicate stupidity on the part of the bloc -- the surprise element is now gone. Or it could indicate that they're floating a warning for Nouri. Or it could be mean something else.

Al Mada also picks up the story and mainly adds input from the Sadr bloc via Jawad al-Jubouri who states that the bloc will suport Nouri or anyone who pushes for a government that serves its citizens. The newspaper also notes that State of Law MP Ammar al-Shibli is declaring that this plan demonstrates that State of Law must move towards forming a majority government. Dar Addustour's coverage emphasizes that such a plan would shut out certain "leaders of their lists" (more than just Nouri) and that this appears to be an effort to punish these leaders for the failures of government.

In what may or may not be a response to the above, Nouri is planning to release some information. Al Rafidayn reports that he is allegedly about to release files on corruption among the political blocs and that, allegedly, this is planned to embarrass Iraqiya.

They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)

Last Sunday, the number of US military people killed in the Iraq War since the start of the illegal war was 4477. Tonight? PDF format warning, DoD lists the the number of Americans killed serving in Iraq at 4477.

Reuters notes an assassination attempt on the Electricity Ministry's Ibrahim Zaidan and another employee (the efforts failed), 1 Iraqi soldier was shot dead in Mosul, the corpses of 2 of the escaped prisoners were found in Mosul ("leaving eight of the original 35 escapees still missing") and a Mosul home invasion in which a border guard was killed and his brother was injured.

The Washington Post has an interesting article by Annie Gowan. Aswat al-Iraq quotes from a statement by Humam Hammoudi, "head of the Iraqi Parliamentary Foreign Relations Commission," which says of the issue of a US withdrawal: "we are waiting the PrimeMinister to present a new agreement following the U.S. forces withdrawal for the training cadres."

At Third Estate Sunday Review, new content finally went up:

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