3 GIs Killed
Guerrillas set off bombs to kill 3 GIs in Hilla on Thursday.
At least 15 Iraqis were also killed (-al-Sharq al-Awsat).
Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani cancelled Friday prayers for Shiites in Zubayr this week to show solidarity with Sunnis mourning the assassination of one of their clerical leaders in the southern city. Most southern Iraqi urban areas are heavily Shiite, but Zubayr is distinctive for its majority Sunni Arab population.
Al-Hayat [Life] reports in Arabic that Iraqi officials admitted Thursday that 150,000 “armed elements” are members of the private security forces, operating outside government uspervision.
A decision was made that Iraqi army and security forces will not invade mosques unless they are accompanied by US forces.
Shiite infighting over who will head up the oil ministry has delayed the announcement of a new government. Interior and other key posts still have also not been settled. The Arabic press is saying that the government will not be announced until the middle of next week.
Al-Sharq al-Awsat reports that Salih Mutlak of the National Dialogue Council, with 11 seats in parliament, has decided not to participate in the national unity government because is is “sectarian.”
Bayan Jabr Sulagh, the minister of the interior, maintains that much of the death squad activity attributed to his ministry has actually been carried out by private militias or security forces of other ministries. He is therefore proposing a unified command for all the security forces in the capital. If he is right about the death squads being sited elsewhere, this step would be positive. If he is wrong, then he is putting all the security forces under the command of the . . . death squads.
Former diplomat Ann Wright says that a lot of people in the US Government think Bush’s Iraq War is frankly crazy, but are afraid to speak out.
Being stateless is very much like being a slave. In both cases you are denied the ordinary legal standing of a free citizen, and are subject to forms of social death. The plight of Iraq’s Palestinian refugees, who do not have citizenship, highlghts this problem. Syria has taken them in.