Jonathan Landay carefully traces John McCain’s transformation from pragmatist to Neoconservative warmonger, which took place while Bush was still just a Texas politician. He rather amusingly quotes Max Boot claiming that McCain is not a warmonger. I mean, in 2003 Boot acknowledged that the US killed thousands of Filipino civilians in the early 20th century in order to colonize the Philippines, and urged that if necessary the Bush administration kill just as many Iraqis. I asked at the time if people could be tried for thought-war-crimes. So asking Boot if someone is a warmonger is rich.
McClatchy argues that while most political endorsements are not very influential, Powell’s endorsement of Obama is likely to have a significant impact.
Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, led by Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, has published a detailed critique of the draft security agreement proposed by the government of Nuri al-Maliki with the United States. One unnamed ISCI parliamentarian called the agreement “dead on arrival.” If al-Maliki cannot get the support for it of ISCI, his chief partner in parliament, then the agreement cannot be passed. Two many other political movements, including most Sunnis and Sadrists, oppose it for it to succeed in the absence of ISCI support. ISCI wants to renegotiate key points, but it is unlikely that the the Bush administration has the patience to do so.
Iran opposes the draft agreement, and ISCI is very close to the ayatollahs in Tehran.
The agreement likely cannot pass parliament. If it does pass, it is unlikely to pass by January 1, when the old UN mandate for the Multi-National Forces in Iraq runs out. Without such a mandate or a bilateral agreement, US troops in Iraq could be tried for war crimes even for ordinary military operations. If Iraq did go back to the UN for an extension of its mandate, it turns out that Russia would support an extension. Some observers, including Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, had wondered whether the US reaction to the Georgia police action had so soured Russia on Washington that Moscow would play spoiler on the UNSC with regard to Iraq. Not so, apparently.
Scott Peterson on the US mediation between Kurds and Arabs at Khanaqin, where there have been disputes between the Kurds and the al-Maliki government.
The Sunni insurgency is still active in al-Anbar province.
The LAT thinks falling oil prices may force Iraqis to make fruitful compromises, as between Arabs and Kurds over Kirkuk.
McClatchy reports political violence in Iraq on Monday:
- A roadside bomb detonated in Fudhailiyah neighborhood (east Baghdad). One person was killed and seven others were wounded. – A roadside bomb detonated in Al-Rubayee street in Zayuna neighborhood. Two people were injured.
- A roadside bomb detonated on Palestine Street (east Baghdad) targeting a police patrol. Four people were injured including one policeman.
- One dead body was found today in Al-Ghadeer in the New Baghdad neighborhood in eastern Baghdad.
- Police found one dead body in Buhriz (south Baquba).
- Police arrested three Sahwa members in Mustafa neighborhood in Baquba, according to arrest warrants
- Police killed a civilian by mistake when they raided Muqdadiyah town (north east of Baquba) at noon.
- Police killed three gunmen in Mandli town (east of Baquba) in clashes took place at the town.
- Iraqi army killed two Qaeda members, one was a leader, in Al-Khulis village in Buhriz(south of Baquba).
- A roadside bomb targeted a civilian contractor in Khanaqeen which was planted near his house. The contractor was killed at once.
- Gunmen assassinated a member of the Kurdistan Democratic party (KDP) in Sahin Al-Sham in Mosul.
- A sniper killed a policeman in Borsa neighborhood in Mosul when he stopped near one of the check points in the area.
- A roadside bomb targeted a civilian car in Dhibat neighborhood in Mosul city. Six people were injured from one family. . .’