55 Dead in Civil War
Member of Parliament wounded in Attack
al-Zaman/ DPA: An aide of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani called [Ar.] Sunday for the Iraqi tribesmen to convene a wide conference in order to find aways of stopping the shedding of blood in Iraq.
US firms bidding on contracts to provide foodstuffs to Iraq might have expected to have an edge. But in fact, Vietnam has won a contract to supply rice to Iraq.
Guerrillas placed a bomb on a bus full of laborers near Baquba, killing 11 and wounding 16 on Monday morning. Aljazeera is saying that the workers were constructing something for the Mojahedin-e Khalq anti-Iranian terrorist group based in northeastern Iraq.
On Sunday, 17 persons were killed in various incidents of the ongoing civil war.
In addition a battle between the Iraqi army and guerrillas or tribesmen at Dulu’iyah north of the capital left 20 Iraqi soldiers and 18 guerrillas dead. (I’d say the guerrillas won that one by two corpses). In total, I count that as 55 dead in political violence.
Guerrillas assassinated the head of the a Sunni tribe at Karabila for cooperating with the Americans against them.
The ministers of defense and interior have still not been appointed.
The parliament decided its members all need armored cars. The press seems to be taking an attitude of ridicule toward this measure, but I see it as a good sign. The parliament should spend $50 million on enabling its members to come to work without fear of being shot dead by guerrillas.
Or maybe they missed this Reuters item today:
‘BAGHDAD – A Shi’ite woman member of parliament, Gufran al- Saidi, was wounded in a shooting incident near Baghdad’s Green Zone, police sources said. They had no further details. Saidi is a supporter of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. ”
Apparently the reporters have forgotten that parliamentarians and candidates for parliament really have been killed by the guerrillas. The sum mentioned is peanuts compared to what private security guards of the sort Westerners in Iraq use would cost. (Maybe only Western lives are important?) And if the parliamentarians wouldn’t even act to save their own lives, how could you hope they would ever accomplish anything at all (wouldn’t that, at least, presumably be important to them?) So much money has been wasted in Iraq, both American and Iraqi, since the fall of the Baath. The defense minister appointed by Iyad Allawi (who was in turn more or less appointed by the Americans) is thought to have embezzled very big bucks, for which there is nothing to show. Armored cars that really exist and help the Iraqi government function? That would be a bargain.
Shiite and Kurdish politicians are trying to reduce the power of the Sunni Arab speaker of the House. The Sunni Arabs only have a vice president, a vice premier, four cabinet seats, and the speaker of the house among high government posts. They are outraged that one of the few nodes of power they have left should now be removed.
Baghdad is broken, with little electricity, water or garbage collection. This according to the SF Chronicle.