3 US Troops Killed
Al-Saghir Blames Sunni Arab Parties, Press for Mosque Bombing
The US military announced the deaths of 3 GIs in Iraq on Friday.
Jalal al-Din al-Saghir is the Shiite politician who may have been targeted by the suicide bombing of the Buratha mosque on Friday that killed over 80 and wounded at least 130. Al-Hayat reports that he has now blamed Sunni Arabs for the bombing. He also accused the al-Basa’ir newspaper of the Association of Muslim Scholars and the al-I`tisam newspaper of Adnan Dulaimi’s Sunni fundamentalists for what he called a campaign of distortion and lies against the Buratha Mosque, insofar as they alleged that it was being used as a secret prison and even mass-grave site for captured Sunnis.
In his Friday prayer sermon, Shaikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbala’i (the lieutenant of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani) called in Karbala for a solution to the political gridlock through compromising on some issues. He warned that Sistani’s willingness to shepherd the United Iraqi Alliance depends on the party maintaining its unity. He said of Sistani’s concern for the party, “This fatherly shadow cannot continue to be cast if separation and division occur.” He urged the UIA to feel its responsibility.
In Najaf, Sadr al-Din al-Qubanji preached at the Imam Ali Mosque, saying that all UIA members should resort to Sistani “and accept the choice of the religious institution” as a means of resolving the current crisis.
Al-Qubanji is a member of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which has failed in a bid to convince Jaafari to allow three candidtates to go before the parliament for a non-confidence vote.
Chaim Kaufman says Iraq is descending into civil war and ethnic cleansing, and that US troops have a responsibility to stop the ethnic cleansing from becoming a massive phenomenon before they depart.
An Iraqi blogger argues that the UIA is looking around for a compromise candidate, since Jaafari won’t step down and Abdul Mahdi is now seen as an American pawn.
The saga of the incredible shrinking presidency continues to unfold, with Bush’s poll numbers sinking again, especially on his handling of Iraq. And, the US public no longer trusts Republicans more on issues of national security. I guess they have concluded that the Republican war in Iraq has endangered our national security. If so, they’d be right.
Austrian-Kurdish journalist Kamal Karim Qadir barely avoided going to jail for 30 years for criticizing Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani. He is determined to continue his work, but says he will tone down his language. I guess so; he was threatened with life imprisonment. A thing like that doesn’t leave you unscathed. We all think we are autonomous human beings here in the US, but most of us could be broken by torture. Qadir wasn’t tortured physically, but the threat of being deprived of liberty for a lifetime is a sort of psychological torture for a writer.
Hundreds of members of the Marxist PKK, a Kurdish party outlawed in Turkey, demonstrated in Iraqi Kurdistan where they have fled.
Former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer argues that the Bush administration could destabilize Pakistan by pushing Gen. Musharraf to act too obviously against the national interest.