7 US Soldiers Killed; Al-Maliki Doubts Security Agreement

A helicopter crash in southern Iraq killed 7 US troops on Wednesday. The crash may or may not be the result of hostile action by elements of the Mahdi Army.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki signaled on Wednesday that the security agreement being negotiated by Iraq with the Bush administration is in trouble. Apparently the big sticking point is that the US continues to demand that US soldiers in Iraq retain their immunity from prosecution for crimes in the Iraqi courts.

A US soldier is in custody on possible murder charges in an incident that left two other military personnel dead.

The Iraqi parliament seems unable to pass enabling legislation to allow provincial elections to be held. Some 128 parliamentarians (out of 275) are die hard opposed to the alternative, which is to hold the provincial elections under the old law, which makes people vote blind for party lists rather than for individuals.

Tariq Ali asks if the US war with Pakistan has begun.

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