Car Bomb Targeting Shiites Kills 7, Wounds 9
The war in Iraq is the most important problem facing the US in the eyes of the American public, according to a recent poll. Iraq is more important than the economy, terrorism or social security. You’d think the US media and the Democratic Party could take a hint and foreground Iraq. But they are letting it fade . . .
At least 18 persons were wounded by a car bombing in the northern oil city of Kirkuk early on Tuesday.
Shiite pilgrims were targeted by a suicide bomber on Monday. Reuters reports: “Police in Iskandariya, south of Baghdad, said the car bomber struck on a road leading toward Kerbala, a sacred Shi’ite city where this week hundreds of thousands of pilgrims will mark Arbain, an annual mourning ceremony.” The bomb killed 7 and wounded 9.
Another suicide bomber on a bicycle blew up a police car and killed two policemen, also on the road from Baghdad to Karbala.
In southwest Baghad, guerrillas killed a police colonel. In Najaf, US troops at a checkpoint accidentally shot down a high police officer.
Some 8 corpses of police officers were found dead in southern Tikrit, according to al-Jazeerah.
The violence on Monday had a dangerous undertone of sectarian strife.
Ghazi al-Yawir withdrew his name from consideration as speaker of the Iraqi parliament, setting off a scramble to find a Sunni Arab alternative.
Negotiations drag on about who gets what cabinet post, but no new government is in sight as the parliament plans a second largely ceremonial meeting on Tuesday.
The parliament’s main task is to draft a new Iraqi constitution by an August 15 deadline, wich it very obviously will not meet.
Robert Worth reports that Shaikh Hareth al-Dhari of the Association of Muslim Scholars continues to reject Sunni Arab participation in the government as long as the US does not set a precise timetable for withdrawal from the country.
The Telegraph raises similar issues, but seems to me to answer them more pessimistically: “If Mr Pachachi is right, the development could signal a turning point in Iraq’s insurgency, which is dominated by Sunni Arabs. But Sunni scholars were quick to deny a change of heart. “The elections have changed nothing,” said Omar Ghalib, a member of the scholars. “It was an American rather than an Iraqi process.” He reiterated a demand for a two-year timetable for the withdrawal of American troops as a condition for not calling for a fresh boycott ahead of the December polls. ‘