Eid Bombing in Baghdad; Iraq Government takes over ‘Sons of Iraq.’

“… on Tuesday, a U.S. soldier died after his unit came under small arms fire in northern Baghdad, the U.S. military said.” He was the 25th US fatality in September.

A bombing near a restaurant in the Karrada district of Baghdad marred Eid al-Fitr, the festival of the end of the month-long Ramadan fast on Tuesday. The explosion killed at least 4 persons and wounded 9. It was the second bombing in the upper-class Shiite neighborhood of Karrada in three days. The district is a major shopping district and is also home to the headquarters of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq and the familiy domicile of Iraqi VP Adil Abdul Mahdi. Local residents told al-Hayat that they are resigned to such violence because they know they are a shopping district. They also blamed the violence on in-fighting among Iraqi political parties.

Laurence Toenjes complains that the debate did not bring out the full extent of John McCain’s responsibility for the Iraq War in 2002.

Toenjes’ point is illustrated by McCain’s own interview from fall 2001:

McClatchy reports that Wednesday marks the date when the Iraqi government of PM Nuri al-Maliki takes over responsibility for 50,000 Sunni Arab fighters, in what are called ‘Awakening Councils’, whom the US has been paying $300 a month. The Shiite government is suspicious of these fighters, many of whom had earlier been guerrillas in cells attacking US troops and Iraqi police. Al-Maliki has been reluctant to accept them into the the formal army or police. The Awakening Council members are suspicious that al-Maliki plans to disarm and demobilize them, and to arrest and try many of them for their earlier guerrilla operations. They US says it has made al-Maliki promise not to bring charges against them for their activities before they joined the Awakening Councils.

McClatchy reports that Iraq’s continued high unemployment rate– over 50%– threatens to engulf the country in a renewed wave of violence. (Typical estimates for unemployment during the Great Depression in the US run about 25%, so Iraq is twice as bad.)

The law that enables provincial elections stripped out a previous provision setting quotas for minorities like Christians on provincial councils. The hard line Shiite group, the Sadrists, who follow Muqtada al-Sadr, condemned the new law.

hundreds of Christians protested on Sunday over the abolition of minority quotas.

McClatchy reports political violence in Iraq on Tuesday.

‘Baghdad

Four civilians were killed and nine others were wounded by a parked car bomb nearby the national theater in Karrada neighborhood in downtown Baghdad around 3:00 p.m.

Police found two unidentified bodies in Baghdad. The first body was found in Talbiyah neighborhood and the second body was found in Amil neighborhood

Diyala

On Tuesday morning; roadside bomb detonated in Sadiyah area east of Baquba targeting the convoy of Jamal al Sayd Khalili, the member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party. Khalil was injured and taken to Jalawla hospital.

Nineveh

Around 7:30 p.m. gunmen attacked al Baladiyat police station in downtown Mosul city injuring two policemen.’

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