3 US troops Killed;
Muqtada al-Sadr’s Bloc backs alternative to Jaafari
The Pentagon announced Monday that 3 US soldiers had been killed.
Sunni Arab leaders in Iraq affirmed again on Monday their opposition to Ibrahim Jaafari as candidate for prime minister from the Shiite fundamentalist United Iraqi Alliance. The Kurds said much the same thing Sunday.
Al-Hayat reports that [Ar.] after four months of gridlock, the followers of Muqtada al-Sadr in the new parliament signalled their willingness to give up on the candidacy of Jaafari to be prime minister if a consensus emerged to do that in the United Iraqi Alliance. Al-Hayat interprets this new flexibility among the Sadrists, who have 32 seats in the new parliament, as signal that the door is now wide open to a change. The London daily notes that the Sadr Movement has rejected Adil Abdul Mahdi of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq as a candidate.
Sadrist MP Karim al-Bakhati said that his bloc would support the candidacy of the number two man in the Dawa Party, a component of the UIA, Jawad al-Maliki. Other candidates acceptable to the Sadr bloc include Ali al-Adib of Da`wa and national security council adviser Muwaffaq al-Rubaie. Also mentioned has been Abdul Karim al-`Anizi, leader of the Islamic Dawa Party – Iraq Organization.
Aljazeera is reporting that the Virtue (Fadhila) Party, which is strong in Basra, is willing to put forward a candidate for prime minister if Jaafari’s candidacy falters.
Shiites afraid of civil war are fleeing south.
The courageous and clear-sighted correspondent Patrick Cockburn tells it like it is in Iraq. Things are so bad that he has begun to question the survival of the country whole.
Saudi Arabia, like Egypt, is afraid of civil war in Iraq, and wants US troops to stay.
Insufficient medical supplies plague physicians in war-torn Anbar province.
Iraq elected a beauty queen “Miss Iraq” recently, but she has resigned because of death threats. She is from a Christian Armenian background, but the whole idea of beauty pageants is anathema to conservative Iraqis. They see a “Miss Iraq” as a brand of shame rather than something to be proud of.