Muqtada Warns Talabani on “interference”
United Iraqi Alliance politicians continued Saturday to insist that the party would continue to back Ibrahim Jaafari as the new prime minister, despite attempts by Kurds (especially President Jalal Talabani) and Sunnis to push him aside. Jaafari has angered Kurds by his attempts to involve Turkey in Iraqi affairs to offset Kurdish power, and by his opposition to ceding the oil-rich Kirkuk province to the Kurdistan Regional Confederacy.
A member of the Sadr Movement told al-Hayat [Ar.] that Muqtada al-Sadr called up Jalal Talabani three days ago and warned him not to try to interfere with the United Iraqi alliance’s prerogative of naming cabinet ministers to powerful ministries.
A leader of the Sunni religious party, the Iraqi Islamic Party, said Saturday that he opposed Jaafari’s candidacy because of his poor administration
Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the Shiite spiritual leader, is also calling for the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance to keep its solidarity, according to MP Jawad al-Maliki of the Da`wa Party.
Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, one of our great senators, is now calling for a withdrawal of ground troops from Iraq on the grounds that it is in a civil war and we should extricate our troops from the quagmire.
The LA Times says that the ongoing violence in Iraq is changing Sunni and Shiite attitudes toward the US. At first the Sunnis wanted the US out immediately, now many insist it stay and restore stability. Shiites initially welcomed US forces, but now increasingly want them out of their areas.
On the other hand, thousands of Indonesians demonstrated Saturday demanding that the US withdraw from Iraq.
Iraq the Model: University teachers in Iraq who speak out are being assassinated. At least in the US we only face character assassination from our radical Salafi neocons.
Iraq the Model: Two Iraqi women hoping to tour the US have been refused visas. The US had killed their husbands and children. Jonathan Schwartz points to the Kafka-esque irony that the grounds for denying them entry was that they did not have enough close family back in Iraq to guarantee that they would want to return there.