Domenici Calls for Change of Course
Shiite Wedding bombed
Sadrists Reject Oil Law
Republican Senator Pete Domenici has joined the small but expanding ranks of Republicans in Congress who are demanding a change of course in the Iraq War, having lost faith in the surge.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has called for Iraqi security forces to take primary responsibility for the southern Shiite port city of Basra within 3 months, such that thereafter British troops would play only a supporting role. British forces have withdrawn from three of the four provinces where they were the primary providers of security before this year. Iraqi police and army commanders still call on the British to intervene in particularly large or difficult disturbances, even in the provinces they have evacuated.
The Sadr movement in the Iraqi parliament has rejected the current draft of the petroleum law on anti-American grounds:
‘ Sadr’s supporters said they would not support any law that would allow firms “whose governments are occupying Iraq” — a reference to the United States, Britain and their coalition allies — to sign Iraqi oil deals . . . We reject this unclear law that contains a number of points which prevent us from accepting it,” said Sheikh Salah al-Obaidi, a Sadr office spokesman in the Shiite shrine city of Najaf.
According to Sawt al-Iraq writing in Arabic, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal called Thursday on Iraqi authorities to quickly revise the constitution so as to reduce the salience of sectarian politics. Most Iraqi Sunni Arabs reject the constitution’s provisions for further provincial confederacies or regional governments, fearing that they will lead to a break-up of the country. Since the Sunni Arabs reject even soft partition, and are fighting against the idea of further regional governments, you obviously cannot solve Iraq’s problems with a soft partition of the country. The prospect of it is among the things fueling the sectarian civil war as it is!
Guerrillas car-bombed a Shiite wedding in Baghdad on Thursday evening, killing 17 and wounding 25. Reuters says that 24 bodies were found in the capital yesterday, and that guerrillas used a roadside bomb to kill 3 Iraqi policemen in the southern Shiite city of Hilla.
‘ BAGHDAD – Two U.S. soldiers were killed and two wounded by a roadside bomb in southern Baghdad on Thursday, the military said. . .
ISHAQI – At least six people were killed, including three police commandos, when gunmen ambushed a police convoy in Ishaqi, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. . .
BAGHDAD – Two guards were killed when gunmen attacked a bank in the Saidiya district of southern Baghdad, police said. The branch was not robbed but two other guards were kidnapped. . .
YUSUFIYA – Two Iraqi soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in Yusufiya, 15 km (9 miles) south of Baghdad, police said. Four other soldiers were hurt in the attack.
SAMAWA – At least three people were killed in the southern city of Samawa during clashes between Iraqi police and the Medhi militia of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, police said. Clashes began after police tried to arrest a Sadr official. Two of the dead were police and there were eight people wounded. ‘
McClatchy adds of Diyala Province that “A source in the 5th Iraqi army division said that 4 Iraqi soldiers were killed while they were going to give support to another Iraqi army force fighting insurgents from Al Qaida organization in Al Dainiyah village south Baladrooz town east of Baquba city today afternoon. The same source confirmed that another 3 soldiers were injured in an IED explosion targeted their patrol in Imam Mansour area east Baquba today morning.”
Authorities are having a 10-foot-deep ditch dug around the Shiite holy city of Karbala, in hopes of keeping criminal elments out fo the city.
Thom Hartmann on the Libby conspiracy in the White House and what James Madison would have thought of it.