Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Iraq: Streets of blood and water

Moqtada al-Sadr, cleric and movement leader in Iraq, has declared no third term as prime minister for Nouri al-Maliki.  All Iraq News reports that in response to a question about Nouri getting "a third term despite the problems that face Iraqis because of Maliki"?  Moqtada responded he "would not approve" of granting Nouri a third term.

In anticipation of expected parliamentary elections (said to take place April 30th), campaign season is kicking off in Iraq.  In 2011, Bobby Ghosh (Time magazine) dubbed  Moqtada -- who made Time's list of top 100 influential people in the world -- "the ayatullah in training" (Peter James Field offers a nice ink and pen sketch of Moqtada with Ghosh's copy).  As the Iraq War continues, Moqtada changes and grows -- at least for public consumption.   In July, Ali Abel Sadah (Al-Monitor) quoted Moqtada making a statement about how the next prime minister of Iraq would "stand against the occupier" and this was in response to remarks by US Ambassador to Iraq Stephen Beecroft.

Iraq may or may not hold elections in April -- with the Iraqi political system, nothing is ever a given.  And there are serious concerns being raised by the political blocs and, yes, by some on the Independent High Electoral Commission, about Iraq's move to electronic voting and the security of that vote.  In addition, Wael Grace reports that there's a complaint filed today with the federal court challenging the law stating it is illegal since it was not sent from the presidency but from the Parliament.  Moqtada's bloc has weighed in insisting that the law is legal.  State of Law weighs in via MP Hassan al-Yasiri declaring that the law is in violation.  This is also why State of Law is stating that a verdict agreeing the law is illegal will mean the current government is extended until 2016.  No, I don't understand how that would be the outcome either but this is the court Nouri controls so the law gets tossed out by them all the time.

We'll use the increase in campaigning as a reason to reflect on Moqtada in today's snapshot.

All Iraq News notes Moqtada visited a Najaf polling center today to update his electoral record and that "The Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) called upon all citizens to update their electoral records to ensure their rights in voting for their candidaes during the upcoming parliamentary elections in 2014."  All Iraq News also notes that Ammar al-Hakim, head of the Islamic Supreme Council in Iraq met with representatives of the European Union today at Ammar's Baghdad office.   Ammar's into campaign mode as well.

Whither Saleh al-Mutlaq?

Whipped puppy Saleh is at the feet of his master Nouri al-Maliki.  He's sold out Iraqiya, leading many Sunnis to turn on him (as was seen last December and in the months after when signs with a big X over his face began appearing at the ongoing protests).  He also needs to keep a low profile to avoid the Justice and Accountability Commission.  Remember, Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister wasn't allowed to run in the 2010 elections.  The Commission said no, said he was Ba'athist.

So Saleh rolls over on his back at the feet of Nouri, whimpering for Nouri to scrach his belly or toss him a bone.

As for thug Nouri?  Remember the flooding we've been noting in Baghdad the last two days?

It continues.  Check out the photo in this report by Alsumaria -- a report which notes the current sewage system -- in the capital of the country -- dates back to the 1960s.  It's over five decades old and further destroyed by war but Nouri's done nothing to update it.  Alsumaria also reports the flooding is also taking place in Anbar Province and roads are being cut off.

How bad is the problem -- this problem that's worsened with 7 years of Nouri's neglect?

All Iraq News reports Nouri's announced "a meeting with Governors to discuss the raid-related floods."

Poor Nouri. Elections might take place April 30th and right now, only months before, Iraq's are yet again seeing the proof of his neglect and his ineptitude.

Instead of focusing on the needs of the Iraqi people, Nouri spends each day on his petty wars against rivals.  For example, Alsumaria reports that Nouri dismissed Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi's advisers today.  Whether he has that power or not, the fact that they've been paid up until now goes to the point we've long made: Tareq is not a 'former' Vice President.  Only Parliament can remove him and they have repeatedly rejected Nouri's call for Tareq to be removed from office.

While Nouri dismissed Tareq's staff today, he lost one of his own.  Alsumaria reports a Baghdad sticky bombing claimed the life of a captain who worked for Nouri.   National Iraqi News Agency reports Nouri's federal forces killed 4 suspects by "setting their vehicles on fire," the storming of his Sheikh Hamad Village home left police officer Abdul Rahman Jawhar dead,  the military shot dead 1 suspect to the north of Tikrit, a Shureh bombing left 3 police officers dead, a Ruttbah sticky bombing killed 1 person, a Heet sticky bombing claimed the lives of 2 Iraqi soldiers and left a third injured, 1 traffic police officer was shot dead in Baghdad and a Baghdad roadside bombing left eight people injured.  All Iraq News adds that Wathiq Mamdoh ("former director of electricity projects") and Nagham Jacob (former council member in Nineveh, an Iraqi Christian) were attacked in Mosul and Mamdoh was shot dead.

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Apology" and "Babs Visits DC" went up over the weekend.

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