On Sunday, the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki presented to parliament its bill revising the expulsion of ex-Baathists from government jobs and public life. The Shiite deputies in parliament essentially booed it, with the thirty Sadrist deputies pounding the table and making it impossible for parliament to conduct business. Parliament adjourned among shouting and scuffling. Shiite suffered under the Baath Party and are uncomfortable at what they see as an attempt to rehabilitate Baathists.
Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Islamic Supreme Council in Iraq (ISCI), has denied that Iran has behaved disruptively in Iraq. Al-Hakim lived much of his adult life in exile in Tehran and is still close to the ayatollahs.
Guerrillas set off a big bomb in downtown Baghdad on Sunday.
The bombing near the Health Ministry in Baghdad on Sunday, and the earlier bombing on Friday of a pet market demonstrate how artificial the relative reduction in violence in Iraq has been. One newspaper account revealed that the pet market had begun doing business again only because the US military forbade automobiles to drive in that area. Now, I’m all in favor of such measures as part of an over-all policy, and had suggested them myself at IC in the past. If car bombs daily kill a lot of people at a market, then obviously it is best you don’t let people drive into that market. So I’m not complaining. I am just pointing out that if you get relative calm that way, you can’t be sure it isn’t just an inevitably temporary policy that is producing it. And sure enough, last Monday the US military had started letting people drive in the area of the pet market, and . . . kaboom! Car bomb? Yes. Car bomb.
This problem is why everyone admits that we need a political solution. Security precautions are temporary. Political solutions can be long-lived.
Reuters reports civil war violence for Iraq on Sunday:
BAGHDAD – A car bomb killed nine people and wounded 30 near the Health Ministry in Bab al-Muadham street in central Baghdad, police said.
BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb wounded two civilians in the Waziriya district of northern Baghdad, police said. A second roadside bomb exploded when Iraqi security forces arrived on the scene, killing one soldier and wounding six others, police said. . .
BAGHDAD – Five corpses were found in various parts of Baghdad, police said.
MOSUL – A roadside bomb targeting a U.S. patrol wounded six people in the city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. . .
MOSUL – Gunmen killed a guard at the headquarters of the Sunni Islamic Party in eastern Mosul . .
FALLUJA – Police detained four gunmen after an attack that wounded a policeman in Falluja, 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad, police said. . .
KIRKUK – One Iraqi soldier was killed and four were wounded when Iraqi forces opened fire on an explosives-laden truck speeding towards a checkpoint in the city of Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. Three soldiers were still missing after the truck exploded, police added.