14 percent of Iraqis are now displaced from their homes. That would be the equivalent of 42 million Americans forced from their places of residence. I mean, it is a Stephen King-style futuristic apocalypse for Iraq. Only it has just happened, during the past 4 1/2 years. And the American government is responsible for kicking it off. Every time I hear in the US media about how “well” Iraq is going now, I want to spit.
Those Iranians that the US military kidnapped from the compound of our ally Abdul Aziz al-Hakim and from the consulate in Irbil? Turns out that they weren’t espionage agents after all, or Qods Force operatives, or anything. The US military is releasing them. The charges against them formed one of the bases for the Kyl-Lieberman resolution in the senate and also for the recent designation by Bush of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps as a ‘terrorist’ organization (even though it is a state organ!) So will those two measures now be repealed?
Reuters reports civil war violence in Iraq for Wednesday. Major incidents:
‘ KIRKUK – At least 12 people were wounded in a suicide car bomb attack on the Kurdistan Democratic Party headquarters in Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. . .
NEAR KIRKUK – Three people were wounded in a mortar attack on a village near Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. . .
MOSUL – A parked car bomb wounded two Iraqi soldiers in al Ba’aj village near the Syrian border, the local mayor said.
SUWAYRA – A roadside bomb killed two children and wounded four others, including a woman, in Suwayra, 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad . . . Gunmen killed an Iraqi soldier in an attack on his house in Suwayra . . .’
McClatchy reports further political violence in Iraq on Wednesday. Major incidents:
– At dawn, mortars hit the Red Crescent headquarter at Mansour neighborhood burning 2 vehicles belong to the organization.
– At noon, mortars hit the green zone (IZ) in Baghdad having smoke coming from the area with no casualties reported.
– Today afternoon, four roadside bombs targeted four convoys of the USA army in Doura ( once near Simoud factory and the second near Doura check point ) ,the third in Toubchi and the fourth was in Meshtal . No casualties reported in all incidents.
– Today afternoon, a sniper killed the son of Mizher Al-Sheikhli (a member of the political bureau of the Islamic party in Doura neighborhood .
– Police found 6 unidentified bodies . . . in Baghdad . . .
– Army found a mass graves at Hashimiyat (10 km west of Baquba) having 17 unidentified dead bodies in it.
– Around 10.45 a.m., a roadside bomb targeted the commander in chief of Basra police and the commander of Basra operation center’s convoy on the road that leads to Zubair and near the Technology institution ( 10 km west Basra ) injuring 4 of their guards ( one of them was seriously injured ).’
I think someone is trying to kill the police chief of Basra.
For more on why US foreign service officers should not be Shanghaied by Bush into service in Baghdad, see Patricia Kushlis at Whirledview, commenting on an article by Ambassador David Passage (pdf).
Remember, everyone should please blog the need for Congress to close down the behemoth of a US embassy in Baghdad, and write and call your representatives in the US Congress urging them to cut off funds for it.
The USG Open Source Center summarizes Iraqi television news on political developments. These include the petty and vindictive way PM Nuri al-Maliki refused to accept the resignations of Sunni Arab cabinet ministers, but rather dismissed them for absenteeism, ensuring that they would be deprived of pensions and other perquisites of office. For a Shiite to treat important Sunni politicians this way sends very bad signals and is not a step toward political reconciliation, to say the least.
‘”Al-Sharqiyah, Al-Iraqiyah Report on Latest Developments in Iraq
Iraq — OSC Report
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Dubai Al-Sharqiyah Television in Arabic, independent, private news and entertainment channel focusing on Iraq, run by Sa’d al-Bazzaz, publisher of the Arabic-language daily Al-Zaman, carries between 1600 GMT and 2000 GMT on 7 November the following reports on latest developments in Iraq:
— “Iraq Prime Minister once again said that the nomination of a number of ministers to fill the posts that became vacant in the Iraqi Government almost a year ago, will end soon. During a meeting with the European Union’s ambassadors to Iraq, who asked about the confusing situation the government is now in as a result of the absence of 25 ministers, Al-Maliki said that he is in the last stage of nominating new ministers and that he will do whatever necessary to ensure that people are provided with all their needs and requirements, as he put it.”
The report adds: “According to a government statement, Al-Maliki said during his meeting with the European Union’s ambassadors accredited to Iraq that the progress achieved in Iraq came as a result of the reconciliation process, which moved in the right direction toward strengthening relations among all components of the Iraqi people, as the statement put it. It is worth mentioning that parliamentary blocs and international organizations accused Al-Maliki’s policy, as well as the role of his advisers, of ending the reconciliation process in Iraq.”
— “Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki issued an order dismissing Iraqi Al-Tawafuq Front [the Sunni Arab Iraqi Accord Front] ministers for being absent from duty. According to a source close to Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, Al-Maliki rejected the letters of resignation the ministers submitted several months ago. According to a paragraph on absence from duty, the dismissal of the ministers will deprive them of the rights and benefits mentioned in Paragraph 1 of Order 9/2005 on pension, protection, and housing.” . . .
— “Nechirvan Barzani, head of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government, gave the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq a firm warning, asserting that any failure to abide by the ceasefire with turkey will do great harm to it (the PKK). During a news conference held at the headquarters of the Council of Ministers in Arbil, Barzani said that the PKK will be greatly harmed if it continues to adopt the current approach without announcing an unconditional ceasefire. Meanwhile, security sources said that a Turkish soldier was killed late last night when PKK insurgents opened fire on a Turkish police center in the province of Tunceli.”
Baghdad Al-Iraqiyah Television in Arabic, government-sponsored television station, run by the Iraqi Media Network, carries within its 1700 GMT newscast the following reports:
— “Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamil al-Maliki received Reuben Jeffery, US undersecretary of state for economic, energy, and agricultural affai rs, in his office today. During the meeting, Al-Maliki said that the Iraqi Government has plans next year to push forward economic development and reconstruction in the country after achieving good results on the security level.”
“The prime minister also received the European Union’s ambassadors to Iraq in his office today. He discussed the latest political and security developments in the country and the progress achieved in reconciliation efforts.”
— “Ahmad Chalabi, head of the Security and Services Committee, visited the Al-Taji, Al-Falhat, and Sab al-Bur areas, to get a first-hand look at the living conditions of citizens and the level of services provided for these areas. He also inquired about the security situation and met with a number of chieftains and dignitaries. He discussed with them the return of displaced families and means of providing protection to them through cooperation between citizens and security services.”
Chalabi says: “I came to inspect the security situation, which, thanks be to God, is calm, and the services situation as well. There is a very important problem; namely, the problem of displaced people in Baghdad. One of the keys to solving this problem is the Sab al-Bur area, whose population was one hundred thousands, but it is now less than 20 thousands.” He adds: “We want to reassure the residents in these areas that the state and the US forces in this area are capable of maintaining security.”‘