10 Killed in Iraq
Ed Wong does his usual good job of reporting on developments in Iraq. The guerrilla war continued apace, with ten Iraqis killed in separate incidents. Guerrillas in Anbar Province killed a US Marine on Monday, as well.
Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani is expressing impatience with the inability of the elected parliament to form a government. He appears to be pressuring the religious Shiite parties to make the compromises with the Kurdish Alliance that are necessary to form a government.
Khaled Oweis of Reuters points to one reason Sistani is so eager to have a government– only once one is formed can parliament proceed to the task of implementing Islamic law in at least some spheres of life.
The move to Islamic law has been particularly hard on middle class Iraqi women, as Reuters points out.
The International Crisis Group has issued a report on Iran’s interests and activities in Iraq. They conclude:
‘ Iran . . . is intent on preserving Iraq’s territorial integrity, avoiding all-out instability, encouraging a Shiite-dominated, friendly government, and, importantly, keeping the U.S. preoccupied and at bay. This has entailed a complex three-pronged strategy: encouraging electoral democracy (as a means of producing Shiite rule); promoting a degree of chaos but of a manageable kind (in order to generate protracted but controllable disorder); and investing in a wide array of diverse, often competing Iraqi actors (to minimise risks in any conceivable outcome). ‘
Ash-Sharq al-Awsat reports that the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, one of two majot victors in the Jan. 30 elections, is demanding that its paramilitary, the Badr Corps, be allowed to play a bigger role in the Shiite south.