Shoe-Thrower had been Traumatized by US Aerial Bombings

Iraqi journalist Muntazir al-Zaidi, who threw the shoes at Bush in Baghdad, shouted “Killer of Iraqis, killer of children.” while security guards piled on him.

McClatchy reports that he had covered the US bombing of Sadr City last spring, in support of PM Nuri al-Maliki’s incursion into this stronghold of the Sadr Movement and its Mahdi Army, and is said to have been emotionally affected by the sight of that destruction.


Courtesy of Newsweek

The frequent US bombing of civilian Iraqi cities that are already under US military occupation has been one of the most under-reported stories of the Iraq War.

Baghdadiya Television, for which al-Zaidi works, on Monday demanded his release from custody.

Even as Bush spoke of the situation in Iraq in glowing terms, guerrillas set off three bombs in the capital on Sunday, wounding 17 persons.

In the northern, largely Sunni Arab city of Mosul, guerrillas badly wounded the dean of the college of medicine in a gun attack on Sunday. On Monday morning, guerrillas invaded the home of Yazidis in the north and killed 7 family members. The Salafi Jihadi Sunnis deeply dislike the Yazidis, who follow a pre-Islamic, Iranian folk religion.

As usual, Bush had to sneak in and out of Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, giving the lie to his assertions about its good security situation.

British forces will have to leave Iraq by July 31 under a ‘mini-agreement’ crafted by the Iraqi cabinet. It lacks the detail of the Status of Forces Agreement negotiated between Baghdad and Washington, and the Times of London calls it ‘humiliating.’ In the absence of this ‘mini-agreement,’ British troops might have had to depart in January for lack of legal cover for their operations in Basra.

The dramatic fall in the price per barrel of petroleum in recent months is threatening Iraq’s budget and could lead to layoffs of government workers and cutbacks in food aid to the poor.

This interview with Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, the 1st Armored Division commander, who has been in Samarra, is refreshing for its candor even as the general rightly stresses the improvements in the security situation.

There are still 400 attacks a month in Iraq; unemployment ranges from 40% to 80%; the infrastructure of the country is completely dilapidated, with the Beiji refinery an ecological disaster; and the Shiite government shows no interest in the welfare and progress of the Sunni Arab north– “It would be like having a central government in Bonn that didn’t care anything about what was going on in Wiesbaden or Frankfurt . . .”

Mosul, long ‘off the political map’ of the Shiite government in Baghdad, is hoping that provincial elections will bring a stronger, more representative government. Meanwhile, the city is violent and dangerous.

McClatchy reports political violence in Iraq on Sunday:

‘ Baghdad

- A roadside bomb detonated in Nidhal street near a restaurant in Karrada neighborhood ( downtown Baghdad)around noon. Three people were wounded.

- A roadside bomb detonated in Beirut intersection in Palestine street (east Baghdad) around 7 p.m. Seven people were wounded.

- A roadside bomb detonated in Mansour neighborhood (west Baghdad) near the Mr. Milky market around 7:30 p.m. Seven people were wounded.

Mosul

- Gunmen opened fire on the dean of the college of medicine Muzahim Al-Khayatt in Shifaa neighborhood (west Mosul). Muzahim had two bullets one in the abdomen and the other was in his leg. His situation is stable and he is in hospital for recovery.’