2 Marines Killed
UIA picks up some smaller parties
Newsweek details how the guerrilla movement has denied Iraq the oil income that the Bush administration had depended on for reconstruction. There have been 20 big attacks on the most important parts of the Baiji refinery complex in the past year.
Al-Hayat reports that [Ar.] the fundamentalist Shiite United Iraqi Alliance, with 128 seats in parliament, has picked up several allies. The Risaliyun or Message Party, a Sadrist group with 2 seats, had already announced that it will vote with the UIA. In addition, the Iraqi Nation Party of Mithal Al-Alusi (1 seat) will vote with the UIA, as will the Christian Mesopotamia Party of Yonadim Kana (1 seat). These allies bring the UIA to 132. It needs 138 for a simple majority, so it just needs 6 more allies to have a stable government.
Inside the UIA, al-Hayat says, the fierce competition for the post of next prime minister has led to a smear campaign against Nadim al-Jabiri of the fundamentalist Shiite Virtue Party, whom some are accusing of having been a Baathist. They alleged that he is disqualified by the debaathifcation laws from holding high political office. The Virtue Party denies the accusation and condemned the “coarse game” some in the UIA are playing.
UIA sources said that rather than reviving the Shiite-Kurdish alliance of the last government, they would seek a government of national unity and would attempt to bring in the Sunni Arabs, so as to avoid giving the Kurds a golden opportunity to increase their demands.
He also said that it would be risky for the UIA to depend on an alliance with the small parties, since that would produce an unstable government always in danger of falling.
Abu Musab al-Zaraqawi, the notorious terrorist leader, is seeking new allies in Iraq.
Some 9 persons were killed in guerrilla violence on Saturday. Some were bodyguards of president Jalal Talabani.