Sunday, November 30, 2014


As we were noting yesterday, Speaker of Parliament Saleem al-Jobouri declared Saturday that the budget would be presented to Parliament on Sunday.  It was his fifth time announcing that the budget would be presented.

For the fifth time, the budget was not presented.

Though al-Jobouri had no statement, All Iraq News quotes MP  Jasim Mohammed Jafaar stating Parliament will receive the budget in ten days.

Maybe that will happen.

Maybe it won't.

The 2015 budget is what's being discussed.

The Iraqi government never passed a 2014 budget.

On the issue of government spending, Al Jazeera reports:

Iraq has uncovered the existence of 50,000 "ghost soldiers", Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said, promising a crackdown on corruption. 
"The prime minister revealed the existence of 50,000 fictitious names" in the military, said a statement from Abadi's office on Sunday after a session of parliament.
A parliament statement said the premier scrapped the 50,000 jobs, equivalent to almost four full army divisions.

Abadi's spokesperson Rafid Jaboori said that the investigation started with a thorough headcount during the latest salary payment process.

al-Abadi is planning on turning over 23% of Iraq's budget to the security forces.  It's be really good if he could get an accurate number for the security forces before they move forward with the budget.

In the biggest development of recent weeks, Rudaw reports:

A hard-line Shiite bloc in Iraq blamed the “evil” United States for the country’s current turmoil, rejecting any further military intervention by the Americans.
“We have said it before in public that the US is evil and the enemy of the entire world,” said Hussein al-Awadi, spokesman of the Sadrist Ahrar bloc in parliament.
“We strongly condemn and reject American intervention in Iraq,” he said in an interview with Rudaw, calling the presence of American advisors in Iraq “an indirect and veiled occupation.”

The bad news for the White House is that Moqtada al-Sadr doesn't just form sentiment in Iraq, he's usually tapped into it.

If he's calling it out now, he's not going out on a limb.  He's representing a growing aversion to US involvement in Iraq.

Not surprising.

When Barack tried to pass off bombing as a 'plan' months ago, we noted it had a limited shelf life, that the Iraqi people would turn against it and that you could see this by looking at past efforts of foreigners to bomb Iraq.

You can't destroy the country side with bombs month after month and still expect the Iraqi people to stay silent.

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]  4493.   

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