Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Iraq today: Continued violence, cholera, etc.

Through Monday, Iraq Body Count counts 51 people killed in violence in Iraq since the start of the month.  Today All Iraq News reports that an official with the Ministry of Interior was targeted in a Baghdad assassination attempt but survived while his driver died in the attack and a Tal Afar roadside bombing has claimed two lives.

As international outcry continues over the executions in Iraq (23 since Thursday, 119 for the year thus far), All Iraq News reports that 40 death row prisoners have been transferred from Nineveh Province to Baghdad.  The transfers usually mean the government's preparing to carry out execution by hanging. 

The executions, some fear, are targeting Sunnis.  Iraq was supposed to have had an amnesty law in place over five years ago.  It still doesn't.  Such a law might mean some of the prisoners -- even those on death row -- could be released.

Today was supposed to be a big day for Parliament.  Many bills were to be addressed.  Alsumaria reports that it was announced Parliament will take a one month recess beginning November 14th. Well they addressed that.  Yesterday, we noted, "An amnesty law might clear a number of death row convictions -- without any killing.  But State of Law has repeatedly opposed the amnesty bill despite Nouri al-Maliki giving lip service to it publicly for over five years now.  Today, All Iraq News states that Tuesday will see Parliament voting on the amnesty bill.  Well maybe they will.  The last two times the votes been scheduled, no vote's been taken."  All Iraq News reported early this morning that State of Law's Saleh al-Asadi was stating the amnesty bill would likely be withdrawn and not voted on.  In an update, they note that the plan is to now vote on it on Thursday. Referring to the recent attack on the Tikrit prison which led to multiple escapes, MP Khalid al-Alwani is quoted by All Iraq News stating that Iraq needs to resolve all the outstanding issues of prisoners accused of terrorism and that the judiciary should be independent and work to resolve the cases before them.

Al Mada does note that Parliament's Security and Defense Commission is budgeting for explosive detectors and bomb sniffing dogs.  Some might argue that's a little late.  Even after the US military publicly denounced the 'magic' wands Iraq was purchasing from a British company, Iraq continued to purchase them.  You would hold the wand as you stood behind a car, running in place (to activate the wand) and then it would detect a bomb.

The wands were junk.  The company's being sued in England.  Instead of joining the lawsuit, the Iraqi government has stood by the wands -- largely so Nouri wouldn't 'lose face' by admitting what a crackpot idea and waste of money they were.

Alsumaria reports that the cholera outbreaks continue in Iraq with two cases in Kirkuk.  How do we eliminate cholera?  Potable water.  It's a basic issue and one that still hasn't been addressed.  But the electricity still hasn't been addressed either.  Despite all the oil money, there's never money for the Iraqi people and their basic needs apparently.

Al Rafidayn reports that 35 nurses arrived in Baghdad today from India with another 50 due Friday. With massive unemployment in Iraq, you can see that as a governmental failure as well.  The 'brain drain' (where many of Iraq's educated and trained citizens left if they could afford to) is well known and long ago established.  So the need for nurses didn't happen overnight.  There was a shortage for years.  In fact, it pre-dates Nouri becoming prime minister in 2006.  But he has been prime minister for six years now and, no, it does not take six years to train and educate a registered nurse.  In other words, the government should have been addressing the need some time ago.  They should have been training Iraqis for these roles, offering scholarships, etc.  Massive unemployment in Iraq and workers are imported in from other countries.

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.

iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq