A city council member in Mada’in (Salman Pak) abruptly opened fire on Americans who had been in a meeting with him. He killed 2 US troops and wounded 4 other Americans. He had been in India recently because Sunni-Shiite tensions made it too difficult for him in Mada’in. He had only been back one week as councilman. Although there is speculation that he was unstable, my own suspicion is that the continued US military occupation was just too hard for him to take. India has an anti-colonial atmosphere, after all. Here is some of what McClatchy reporters overhead the people of Mada’in say in the aftermath:
‘ Anti-U.S. sentiment remains widespread, with many locals viewing the American presence as an intrusion. As news of Ajil’s killings spread, some residents hailed him as a hero. Several uttered his name and added, “God rest his soul,” and a taxi driver at the scene pointed to the bloodstains and said, “the pigs deserved this.” ‘
Guerrillas in Udaim, about an hour north of Baquba, guerrillas bombarded an Awakening Council unit with mortar fire, killing 10 and wounding 24 of them.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, in Amara, pledged to send his army in to restore order in Diyala Province next. Since Diyala is 60% Sunni Arab, and al-Maliki’s troops are disproportionately drawn from Shiite militias, it is not so clear that they will have an easy time of it.
Al-Zaman reports in Arabic that yet another party has withdrawn from the United Iraqi Alliance. The Islamic Mission (Da’wa) Party – Iraqi Organization of Abdul Karim Anizi has announced the suspension of its participation in the UIA.
I heard US Secretary of State Condi Rice on Sunday on Fareed Zakaria’s show call the al-Maliki government a ‘national unity’ government. Not so much. Not only has he not managed to bring the Sunnis back in, he is losing the Shiites.
An interesting idea: It is getting to the point where al-Maliki’s enemies in parliament could organize a vote of no confidence and make the government fall. If it was no longer the biggest party, some other coalition could hope to nominate the prime minister.
McClatchy reports political violence on Monday:
A roadside bomb targeted a National Police patrol in Waziriyah, near the cotton wool plant intersection at 11.30 a.m. Monday, injuring three policemen.
A roadside bomb targeted a US military convoy in Qahira, near the water reservoir at noon. No casualties were reported.
A roadside bomb targeted a US military convoy in Salahuddin Square, Kathimiyah neighbourhood at around noon. No casualties were reported.
A roadside bomb targeted a US military convoy in Adil neighbourhood at around 1 p.m. No casualties were reported.
Two unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad today; 1 in Hurriyah and one in al-Amin.
Mortar rounds fell on a Sahwa headquarters in al-Atheim district, 50 km to the north of Baquba at 8.30 p.m. Sunday, killing 10 members, injuring 24 others.
Gunmen opened fire on a checkpoint manned by Iraqi Police in New Mosul, south Mosul killing one policeman and one civilian female, severely injuring two civilians.’
The USG Open Source Center translates part of a statement form Ayatollah Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah of Lebanon condemning the Status of Forces Agreement being negotiated between the US and Iraq. Fadlallah at least used to be the spiritual guide of the Islamic Mission Party (Da’wa) that Nuri al-Maliki belongs to:
“Source: Lebanese National News Agency website, Beirut, in Arabic 0737 gmt 22 Jun 08
we call on the Arab and Islamic states not to comply with the security and military demands that the US Administration aims to accomplish through its keenness to influence Arab armies, impose its tutelage, and interfere in their [military] doctrine and special security features, because we know that the United States that has failed through its direct armies is attempting to accomplish its goals by using the Arab and Islamic forces. This not only constitutes betrayal, but also leads to the destruction of all security, and toppling the positions that everyone depends on to protect what can be protected, after the Americans used their chaos to tamper with the reality of our countries, peoples, sects, and denominations from within.
We reject the US tutelage, just as we reject other tutelages. We do not find any legitimacy to any authority that attempts to bestow legitimacy to this or that tutelage.”