Iraq First Lady Narrowly Escapes death; Baghdad Equivocates on Role of Iran

A roadside bomb almost killed Iraq’s first lady on Sunday in Baghdad, striking her car and wounding three of her bodyguards.

Bush is asking for another $70 bn. for next year, most of it for the Iraq War. Will the next president have the courage to put the war in the regular budget and not disguise the costs as a “supplemental”? (Even a lot of smart people get fooled by this, talking about how the budget deficit shrank, even as they neglected to include the war expenses.)

CSM reports on the way the Iraqi government is in between the US and Iran and says it lacks hard proof of Iranian interference. It is forming a commission to look into the matter. Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said at his first Sunday news conference that there is no hard evidence that the Iranian government is sending in arms to destabilize Iraq.

The headline writer of the Washington Post took the low road. Dabbagh met a second time on Sunday with reporters to clarify the issue of Iranian arms in Iraq. He said that there were certainly Iranian weapons in Iraq, but the question was where they came from. The Post headline tries to make it look as though Dabbagh was accusing the Iranian government; he was simply leaving open the possibility. Check into who wrote the headline. It will be revealing.

After all, Iran has a well developed criminal black market in arms (Ronald Reagan once got involved in it). So the presence of Iran-made weapons proves nothing about Iranian government intentions. The ayatollahs in Tehran have been openly siding with the al-Maliki government against the Mahdi Army militia.

Tom Engelhardt on the Iraq War as endless war.

Yahoo and Microsoft are forbidding Iranians to sign up for email services as Iranians. They have erased that country from their list of possible nationalities.

John Mearsheimer corrects the NYT review of Benny Morris’s 1948. The review repeats a lot of old discredited chestnuts about the 1948 war. The Arab governments did not call on the Palestinians to leave, guys. There is no transcript of any such transmission in any archive. Nor would it make sense to deprive their armies of sympathetic locals who could offer food and information. Etc., etc. But Zionist propaganda, like other nationalist propaganda, has immense staying power in the face of contrary evidence.

McClatchy reports political violence on Sunday in Iraq:

‘ Baghdad

– Around 8 p.m. two roadside bombs targeted the Iraqi traffic police headquarters in Yarmouk neighborhood, killing one traffic policeman and injuring four others.

– Around 10 p.m. Mrs. Hiro Talabani, Iraq’s first lady, survived a roadside bomb explosion that targeted her convoy near the Iraqi national theater in central Baghdad, injuring 4 bodyguards.

– Around 2:45 p.m. a magnetic bomb attached to a car exploded near the Green Zone injuring one civilian.

– Imam Ali Hospital in Sadr city received 5 dead bodies, including three children, and 17 injured, including children within the last 24 hours.

– Three mortar shells hit the Green Zone.

– Gunmen killed Dr. Ayaad Jafar, the assistant of head of Baghdad University, and injured two of his sons in Al Adel neighborhood.

– Two mortar shells slammed near Al Hurriyah square in Karrada injuring two civilians.

– A rocket hit a residential area in Karrada and didn’t explode.

– A roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi army vehicle in central Baghdad injuring two soldiers.

– A roadside bomb targeted civilians in Zayuna injured two children and one man.

– Iraqi police found three dead bodies throughout Baghdad, one in Zayuna, one in Mansour, one in Shurta Rabia.

Diyala

– A member of Al Sahwa (Awakening), a U.S. sponsored militia, was killed and another member was injured while trying to defuse a roadside bomb near one of Al Sahwa headquarters near Al Wajihiya area, 12 miles east of Baquba.

Salahuddin

– Gunmen bombed a policeman’s house near Balad city, killing two women.

Nineveh

– Gunmen killed Sarwa Abdul Wahab, a journalist, a lawyer and a member of the Mosul branch of the Independent Electoral Commission in Iraq. She was leaving her house with her mother in Al Bakr neighborhood in Mosul.

– Gunmen killed two civilians in two different incidents in Mosul.

– A roadside bomb targeted a civilian car in Mosul killing one civilian.

Basra

– Iraqi police said an Iranian coast guard boat killed an Iraqi fisherman near Al Fau. A local fishermen association said three fishermen were killed in the attack. ‘

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