3 bombings in the largely Shiite neighborhood of Kasrah in mostly Sunni Adhamiya on Monday, killing 31 and wounding 71. There are lots of reasons for such an attack, but it is in part aimed at scaring Shiites living in Adhamiya into leaving; i.e. it was aimed in part at further ethnic cleansing of the capital. Most mixed neighborhoods in Baghdad have increasingly become monochrome in the past couple of years.
Patrick Cockburn reports on Iraqi suspicions that its intelligence apparatus, headed by General Mohammed Abdullah Shahwani, has been bought and paid for by the CIA. Among the accusers is Ahmad Chalabi, who is being sued by the intelligence service for libel because of his charges of CIA funding.
The proposed security agreement between Iraq and the US may be easier to get passed through parliament in Iraq now that Barack Obama is president-elect. The Iraqi cabinet interprets the accord as requiring all US troops to be out by 2011, and is relieved that this date is a whole year later than Obama’s own withdrawal plan would require.
On the other hand, government spokesman Ali Dabbagh demanded further changes on Monday, even though the US side has said it will refuse to reopen negotiations.
The Shiite Iraqi government is now paying about 50,000 Sons of Iraq or members of Sunni Arab Awakening Councils. US commanders on the ground are dismissing concerns that these councils might go rogue.
Iraq and Afghanistan vets join the homeless.
China and Iraq have concluded a $3 bn. deal for China to develop Iraq’s Ahdab fields.
Didn’t Cheney go into Iraq to make sure we weren’t bested?
McClatchy reports political violence in Iraq on Monday:
– Around 8 a.m. a suicide bomber detonated near a crowded restaurant and two roadside bombs also exploded in a crowded shopping area in Adhamiyah neighborhood (north Baghdad). At least 28 people were killed and 68 were wounded police said. Eyewitnesses said that it was a car bomb and two roadside bombs.
– Around 2 p.m. a magnetic bomb attached to a vehicle in the Wahda district of Karrada neighborhood (east Baghdad) detonated. The blast wounded three people.
– Police found 1 dead body in the southern Baghdad neighborhood of Saidiyah neighborhood.
– A female suicide bomber targeted an American-backed Sunni paramilitary checkpoint in downtown Baquba around noon. Five people were killed, including a leader of the paramilitary known as the Sahwa, Awakening or Sons of Iraq. At least 15 others were wounded, including three women.
– Four roadside bombs detonated in Maamoun neighborhood in Mosul city targeting police houses. Four people were wounded, including two women.
– Gunmen opened fire on a policeman injuring him in the New Mosul neighborhood.’