Iraq We Ask They Tell Us Q

Iraq: We ask, they tell Us

Q. How long will a sixth of a million US troops be tied down in the killing fields of Iraq?

A. Maybe until 2010.

Q. Would Shiite leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim really risk completely alienating the Sunni Arabs by passing a law permitting the formation down the road of a Shiite provincial confederacy while the Sunni delegates were boycotting the parliament session?

A. Yes! (When a spouse is planning a divorce, no more reason to make the other spouse happy.)

Sunni Arabs only agreed to run for office and participate in last December’s elections because they were promised an effective voice on this sort of issue, over which they had rejected the new constitution in all three provinces they dominate. This parliamentary maneuver has left the Sunni Arabs looking like fools and has left Iraq looking as though it has a tyranny of the Shiite majority. Expect more Sunni Arab violence as a result.

What I can’t figure out is where Abdul Aziz got the 140 votes from. The Kurds will have supported him, with 58 seats. But then his Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and its independent allies in the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance only had 63 seats when the prime ministerial elections were held. That is 121. They picked up an astonish 19 seats. Did al-Da`wa, the party of the prime minister, defect to al-Hakim on this one? That is the only thing that would make sense of the vote to me. The Sadr Movement, Fadhila, and the Sunnis were opposed.

Al-Zaman says that it only passed by 138 votes, and gave the headline of “A Black Day for Iraq.” Parliamentarians were warning that the new law sets the stage for the partition of Iraq. Some are challenging the validity of a law with constitutional implications being passed by just a single vote.

Q. Does Bush keep saying things about the origins of the Iraq War that just are not true?

A. Yes! SeeRobert Parry on ‘Bush and his dangerous Delusions.’ What he said.

On Thursday morning, militiamen raided the offices of a new television station oriented to Sunni Arabs, killing six.

Reuters reports deadly political violence. Four more US troops were announced killed. Other major incidents (click on link for full report):

‘ BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb exploded at an intersection in the mostly Shi’ite district of Amil, southwestern Baghdad, killing five labourers and wounding six . . .

BAGHDAD – Gunmen killed four members of one family and wounded two others after they broke into their house in Doura district, southern Baghdad, a source at the Interior Ministry said.

BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol exploded near the mortuary of Yarmouk hospital in west-central Baghdad, killing one and wounding six, including three policemen, an Interior Ministry source said. . .

BAGHDAD – A car bomb exploded near the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in northern Baghdad, killing two civilians and wounding seven . . .

KUT – The bodies of five men bound and blindfolded with multiple gunshot wounds, bearing signs of torture, were separately found in central Kut . . .

*NEAR NAJAF – Police detained four al Qaeda suspects near Najaf, southern Iraq, a Najaf governorate spokesman said. One of the detainees, identified as Bassim Quweidir, is suspected of involvement in the February bombing of a Shi’ite shrine in Samarra, which sparked a wage of sectarian bloodshed.’

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