Barzani Forbids Iraqi Flag;
Baker in Baghdad
The Pentagon says that violence was up substantially this quarter over last in Iraq. There was a decline violence and deaths in August, but July was so hellish that it frankly does not mean much. At August’s rates nationwide, surely 10,000 would be dying a year, which is not good news.
Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani has ordered that the Iraqi national flag not be flown in Iraqi Kurdistan. Only the flag of Iraqi Kurdistan will be flown at government offices, schools, etc.
I think this step is another move toward de facto independence for Kurdistan.
Bush’s Iraq war not only hasn’t made us safer, it is impelling even Moroccan women to join terrorist cells and fight the occupation.
Look at a map, where Iraq is and where Morocco.
Jim Baker is in Baghdad meeting with Sunni leaders and trying to save W.’s bacon. Al-Zaman says that he is exploring ways of ending the marginalization of some groups (i.e. Sunnis) in the new Iraq.
A key difficulty is this. Sunni marginalization would be lessened if provincial elections were held and more representative provincial governments were brought to power, including in Baghdad. (Provincial elections should have been held by now). On the other hand, the Sadr movement has become so popular in the Shiite south that there is a prospect that it would sweep to power in provinces such as Muthanna, Maysan, Dhi Qar, Wasit, Babil and Qadisiyah. The current provincial administrations in the south are mainly Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and relatively cooperative with the US. So the US can reduce Sunni marginalization by holding provincial elections soon; but thereby risks that the Mahdi Army will end up controlling most of the South. (SCIRI wouldn’t lose everything– Najaf and Karbala are safe for it).
Civil war violence lessened on Friday, though bodies continued to be pulled from rubble after the attack late Thursday on Shiite East Baghdad.