Senate rejects Withdrawal
Bombings in Basra, Baghdad, Diyala
25 Executed at Mosul
53% of Americans want a timetable for a phased withdrawal of troops from Iraq. How unrepresentative the Senate is is demonstrated by the lack of majority there for any sort of withdrawal from Iraq.
The Senate rejected the withdrawal plans put forward by the Democrats. The two parties have now drawn a clear distinction on Iraq between themselves on the basis of which voters will decide in November. The Democratic plan, of gradual withdrawal, will be even more popular in November than it is now. There is no sign of progress in Iraq. The killings go on daily. And the Iraqi parliametary committees have not been able to choose chairmen because they are wrangling over sectarian candidates.
More on the private contractors in Iraq and their use of coerced labor.
Iraqi oil minister Husain Shahristani complained on Thursday about Iranian complicity in petroleum smuggling in the water south of Basra.
The Lebanese Hizbullah denied on Thursday that it had any links to the Iraqi insurgency. The American charges in this regard puzzle me. Hizbullah is not helping the fiercely Sunni Arab guerrillas in the center-north and west. In the Shiite south, there are many Iraqi groups that would like to attack coalition forces, and they don’t need Lebanese encouragement. If the US has captured Lebanese Hizbullah in Iraq, it should reveal their names and the circumstances of their arrest.
Israeli firms are under investigation for illegal exports to northern Iraq.
Some 25 persons have been executed Mafia-style in Mosul during the past week. Mosul, which lies in the north, is Iraq’s third-largest city.
AP also reports,
‘ In other parts of the country Thursday, police reported 13 other deaths tied to insurgent or death squad attacks, including six bodies that floated to the surface of the Tigris River in Kut, a city 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad. ‘
A police raid freed some of the dozens of Shiite workers abducted on Tuesday, but between 15 and 25 are still unaccounted for. It is still unclear exactly who was kidnapped. Some sources say that they were employees of the ministry of industry, others that they were factory workers.
Reuters reports ongoing Iraq violence:
In Basra, guerrillas fired mortar rounds at official buildings, but they fell short and wounded 9 Iraqi civilians near a gasoline station.
Guerrillas set off a roadside bomb near the car of the governor of Diyala provinve, injuring him, a bodyguard, and his driver.
A motorcycle bomb in central Baghdad killed 2 and wounded 25.
A roadside bomb south of Baghdad killed a US GI.
14 bodies of employees of an electricity plant were discovered in the Baghdad morgue. They had been captured by guerrillas and killed a week and a half ago.
Guerrillas in the Shiite holy city of Najaf south of Baghdad assassinated a police officer.
Guerrillas in Dhuluiyya killed an Iraqi soldier in his home.
Guerrillas in Hawija assassinated a carpenter on Wednesday.
In the northern oil city of Kirkuk, Iraqi soldiers clashed with guerrillas, leaving one guerrilla dead and two wounded.
From BBC World Monitoring, summaries of the Iraqi Press for June 22:
Al-Mashriq carries on the front page a 650-word report citing Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani calling for providing security and services. . .
Al-Muwatin carries on page 2 a 1,100-word report citing Deputy US Ambassador David Satterfield criticizing Syria for allowing former regime leaders residing in Syria to support terrorism and the infiltration of terrorists into Iraq.
Ishraqat al-Sadr publishes on page 1 a 400-word report citing Muqtada al-Sadr calling for the withdrawal of multinational forces from Iraq, urging the Iraqi political parties to hold the national reconciliation conference, and criticizing the multinational forces for raiding Karbala Governorate.
Al-Bayyinah carries on page 1 a 100-word saying that the Central Criminal Court has issued the death sentence against Muhammad Army leader Mu’ayyad Yasin Aziz and an officer in the Iraqi Army called Umar Khalid Ubayd Jaddah al-Janabi for leaking information to terrorists . . .
Al-Muwatin runs on page 3 a 200-word report citing a security source in Basra confirming that security forces have defused two roadside bombs near the strategic oil pipeline in Basra.
Tariq al-Sha’b publishes on the front page a 700-word report citing a spokesman for Iraqi Army in Basra confirming that so far Iraqi Army’s 10th Division has not received any instructions regarding the security plan in Basra. . .
Al-Mada runs on page 3 a 450-word report that 1250 families have fled from Al-Ramadi to Hit due to deteriorating public service conditions. . .
Al-Da’wah carries on page 7 a 500-word article by Muntazar al-Mu’min severely criticizing Ba’thists for still defending their party and attacking anyone who criticizes it. . .
Ishraqat al-Sadr publishes on page 1 a 500-word editorial by Chief Editor Fattah al-Shaykh saying that Al-Sadr trend is infiltrated by some opportunists who are demolishing it . . .
Al-Bayyinah publishes on page 2 a 500-word article by Hasan Karim accusing Tariq al-Hashimi of supporting terrorism.
Al-Istiqamah carries on page 3 a 900-word commentary by the newspaper’s political editor holding the Association of Muslim Scholars’ unrealistic conditions responsible for the postponement of the projected National Conciliation Conference, which was scheduled for 22 June . . .