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Taco John
08-07-2007, 09:15 AM
Five more ministers quit Iraq's Cabinet

By Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post | August 7, 2007

BAGHDAD -- Iraq's political crisis deepened yesterday as five more ministers withdrew from Cabinet meetings, delivering a major blow to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's fractured unity government and efforts to reconcile Iraq's warring parties.

Hours earlier, a truck bomb in a Shi'ite village near the northern city of Tal Afar killed 31 people and wounded scores more, striking an area that was once hailed by President Bush and US military commanders as an oasis of stability, following US operations against insurgents there. Six children were among the dead, police said.

The US military also announced the deaths of six American soldiers, including four killed in an explosion yesterday in volatile Diyala Province, where US forces are engaged in a major offensive against Sunni insurgents. The blast wounded 12 other US soldiers, the military said in a statement. One other soldier was killed by a sophisticated roadside bomb in west Baghdad yesterday, and another was killed during combat in eastern Baghdad on Sunday, the military said.

Meanwhile, US and Iranian diplomats met in Baghdad to launch a new security committee in an attempt to bring stability to Iraq. The committee is a product of face-to-face talks the two sides have had in recent months, following nearly 30 years of diplomatic freeze.

"It is an established channel of communication and we will see in the future as to whether or not it is a useful channel of communication," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters in Washington.

The latest boycott by the five ministers, a mix of Sunnis and Shi'ites loyal to Iraq's former prime minister Ayad Allawi, followed last week's decision by the top Sunni political bloc to pull its six ministers from the Cabinet. Yesterday's action left the government, at least for the time being, without any politicians from Sunni factions in the Shi'ite-dominated Cabinet.

Legislators loyal to Allawi said the ministers would continue to run their ministries but not attend any Cabinet meetings. They cited as reasons for their action a lack of progress on issues such as the status of Iraqi detainees, the repatriation of displaced Iraqis, and the return of former members of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party to government jobs.

"This act is not an escalation but it is an objection to what the government is doing," Alia Nusaiyef Jasim, a legislator in Allawi's secular Shi'ite al-Iraqiyah bloc, told the Al-Jazeera television network. "The Iraqiyah bloc participated in the government on the basis of sharing in the decision-making, but the bloc is marginalized in the government."

In Qabak, 15 miles north of Tal Afar, police officials said the suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden truck carrying ice blocks into the village center and detonated it near a crowd that included women and children.

The small village, which has no police station or military barracks, was targeted because of its vulnerability, said Brigadier General Najim Abdullah, Tal Afar's mayor.

"The perpetrator of this act was aiming at raising the sectarian tension among the citizens, since Tal Afar is known for its sectarian and ethnic diversity," said Abdullah.

"There isn't a single house in the village which does not have someone killed or wounded in the bombing, because it took place in the center of the village," said Salih Al-Qaddo, director of Tal Afar's main hospital.

Hours later, another suicide truck bomb targeted an Iraqi army patrol in the northern city of Mosul, wounding 12 soldiers, said Major Khursheed Ahmad.

South of Baghdad, a roadside bomb exploded in a bus station, killing eight people and wounding 10, police said.

In Baqouba, about 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, Iraqi security forces found 60 unidentified bodies in a mass grave. Most were shot, handcuffed, and showed signs of torture, said police. In Baghdad, police found 10 corpses yesterday.

http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2007/08/07/five_more_ministers_quit_iraqs_cabinet/

Ugly Duck
08-07-2007, 09:21 AM
In Baqouba, about 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, Iraqi security forces found 60 unidentified bodies in a mass grave. Most were shot, handcuffed, and showed signs of torture, said police. In Baghdad, police found 10 corpses yesterday.

Iraqi-style "reconciliation" at work:

http://www.phonono.com/newpix/Mob.gif

Nightwish
08-07-2007, 09:30 AM
Does anyone still doubt the likelihood of this thing escalating into a full-blown civil war?

Taco John
08-07-2007, 09:34 AM
I'd be curious about Baby Lee's opinion of this because of the fact that at one point, he insisted that those of us who were doubtful that the Iraqi society was ready for Democracy were displaying racism.

BucEyedPea
08-07-2007, 09:41 AM
It's already been a civil war.
I read that it's actually the Shiite militias that are the main problem.
Funny, how those who've been tortured, torture too.

StcChief
08-07-2007, 10:54 AM
I guess they don't want to represent those that elected them.

Minority can't run the show anymore so they don't wanna play.

Dallas Chief
08-07-2007, 03:54 PM
I am just guessing here, but is the Parliment the same thing as the Cabinet in Iraq? Wouldn't the Parliment be representatives elected by the people whereas the cabinet is made up of political appointees? Just trying to understand what is going on versus your thread title.

Taco John
08-07-2007, 04:11 PM
I am just guessing here, but is the Parliment the same thing as the Cabinet in Iraq? Wouldn't the Parliment be representatives elected by the people whereas the cabinet is made up of political appointees? Just trying to understand what is going on versus your thread title.


That's a good question... Their government doesn't make much sense to me.

Here's an article from the AP that explains it better:


Iraqi leader rejects Cabinet resignation


BAGHDAD (AP) Iraq's prime minister on Sunday rejected the resignation of Cabinet ministers from the country's largest Sunni Arab bloc, and asked the six ministers to rejoin his government.
Ministers from the Iraqi Accordance Front, which also holds 44 of parliament's 275 seats, quit Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government on Wednesday. The move left only two Sunnis in the 40-member body, casting doubt on the government's "national unity" status and undermining the prime minister's efforts to unite rival factions and pass laws the U.S. considers benchmarks that could lead to sectarian reconciliation.

The Accordance Front said its decision to pull out of government was sealed by what it called al-Maliki's failure to respond to a set of demands: the release of security detainees not charged with specific crimes, the disbanding of militias and the participation of all groups represented in the government in dealing with security issues.

After meeting Sunday with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Vice President Adil Abdul-Mahdi, the prime minister signaled he was not ready to give in completely to the Front's demands.

"We are not talking about meeting all of their demands. We have to deal with them according to our political program," al-Maliki said at a news conference at his office in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone.

"The government is going through big challenges," al-Maliki said. "We are in need of the spirit of cooperation and integration to succeed in this political process, which unfortunately faces big internal and foreign challenges."

Talabani told reporters Sunday that he discussed with al-Maliki the "demands raised by the Accordance Front and the means to meet them."

"We hope they change their stance," Talabani said.

Talabani and Abdul-Mahdi said a five-member summit, involving Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi and Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, would be held next week to address the Accordance Front resignations.

But Adnan al-Dulaimi, head of the Accordance Front, said Sunday that the ministers were committed to resigning their jobs.

"We are still insisting and determined to abandon al-Maliki's government because of its failure. If all our demands are met, then we will have another say at that time," al-Dulaimi told The Associated Press.

"We will not abandon any of our demands, as we will not abandon any of our detainees," he said.

Washington has been pushing al-Maliki's government to pass key laws among them, measures to share national oil revenues and incorporate some ousted Baathists into mainstream politics. But the Sunni ministers' resignation from the Cabinet not the parliament foreshadowed even greater difficulty in building consensus when lawmakers return after a month-long summer recess.

The Accordance Front's withdrawal from the 14-month-old government is the second such action by a faction of al-Maliki's coalition.

Five Cabinet ministers loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr quit the government in April to protest al-Maliki's refusal to announce a timetable for the pullout of U.S. forces from Iraq.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2007-08-05-iraqcabinet_N.htm?csp=15

Adept Havelock
08-07-2007, 04:36 PM
Another reason to GTFO.

Dallas Chief
08-07-2007, 08:52 PM
I'd be a little more shocked if it were elected representatives that were boycotting. This sounds like the crap we are used to hearing out of the Middle East. This group is mad at that group, the Turkturds don't like the Kurdturds and so on and so on and so on

patteeu
08-07-2007, 09:34 PM
I'd be curious about Baby Lee's opinion of this because of the fact that at one point, he insisted that those of us who were doubtful that the Iraqi society was ready for Democracy were displaying racism.

Do you condemn every country whose governing coalition falls apart as being unready for democracy? How many times has the Italian government collapsed?

I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. It's dissension within the governing coalition aimed at forcing a more inclusive policy. That's what we want isn't it (a more inclusive policy)?

This is democracy at work. They haven't even quit the governing coalition, much less picked up guns and quit the democratic process.

patteeu
08-07-2007, 09:43 PM
Does anyone still doubt the likelihood of this thing escalating into a full-blown civil war?

I do. As long as we don't abandon the Iraqi democrats they're going to make it. The naysayers have doubted this thing at every step along the path and they've been continually wrong. They doubted the invasion which they said was "bogged down" and headed for steep casualties when it reached the urban battlefield of Baghdad; then they doubted that elections could take place; then they doubted that a constitution could be ratified; then they doubted that Anbar could be saved; and most recently they doubted that the surge-counteroffensive could work. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong. They're working on a nearly spotless record.

Nightwish
08-07-2007, 10:00 PM
I do.There's the shocker of the day!
As long as we don't abandon the Iraqi democrats they're going to make it.If you say so.
The naysayers have doubted this thing at every step along the path and they've been continually wrong.In your fantasy world, perhaps. Here in the real one, they've been right more than wrong.
They doubted the invasion which they said was "bogged down" and headed for steep casualties when it reached the urban battlefield of Baghdad;There have been large casualties, on both sides. The fact that you wish to marginalize them and count the numbers as largely meaningless by comparing them to Vietnam et al. doesn't change that. Certainly there were a small handful of people way out on the fringe who said there would be tens of thousands of American dead and Iraqi dead (they may not be far off on the Iraqi count), but most of the naysayers weren't calling out those kinds of numbers. If you chose to listen to only that small handful to make your case, that's on you.
then they doubted that elections could take place;Incorrect. They didn't doubt that elections could take place. They doubted that truly democratic and free elections would take place, and they weren't wrong to doubt that. The fear proved to be justified.
then they doubted that a constitution could be ratified;Most of the naysaying wrt to the constitution wasn't that it couldn't or wouldn't be ratified, it was that once it was set down and ratified, that it wouldn't be honored, that it wouldn't be worth the paper it was written on. To this point, that fear hasn't been proven fully justified, but neither has it been proven otherwise. The jury is still very much out on that one. So far it appears to be worth more as a toiletry than as legislation.
then they doubted that Anbar could be saved;Anbar isn't saved. It's still as much in play as it ever was. Momentary lulls, cyclical violence. More of the same.
and most recently they doubted that the surge-counteroffensive could work.Generally speaking, it hasn't. Sure, it has curbed violence in some cities and neighborhoods for the time being, but that's more because the insurgents have simply sidestepped it and gone elsewhere in Iraq to raise hell. The surge curbs it in one area, and opens it up in others.
They're working on a nearly spotless record.Their record isn't spotless, but they haven't been wrong anywhere near to the degree that you have managed to convince yourself that they have. For that matter, they haven't been wrong as much as you've been wrong.

Taco John
08-07-2007, 10:02 PM
Do you condemn every country whose governing coalition falls apart as being unready for democracy? How many times has the Italian government collapsed?

I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. It's dissension within the governing coalition aimed at forcing a more inclusive policy. That's what we want isn't it (a more inclusive policy)?

This is democracy at work. They haven't even quit the governing coalition, much less picked up guns and quit the democratic process.



I don't care what the Italian government does/did. My kid isn't footing the bill for their democracy.

patteeu
08-07-2007, 10:09 PM
I don't care what the Italian government does/did. My kid isn't footing the bill for their democracy.

You're changing the subject now.

Did you want to talk about whether Iraqis are ready for democracy or about how much the war is costing you?

Taco John
08-07-2007, 10:13 PM
Both, actually. They're not mutually exclusive things. You'll find that out soon enough.

Nightwish
08-07-2007, 10:15 PM
You're changing the subject now.

Did you want to talk about whether Iraqis are ready for democracy or about how much the war is costing you?
Were the Italians steeped in a theocratic mindset within a national identity that is centered on religious law, unchanged for millenia? If not, then it's apples and oranges. The political power of the church in Italy had been eroding under numerous challenges for quite a long time before WWII came along, unlike Iraq and much of the Middle East, where the fundamentalist mindset has not only endured very little in the way of significant challenges, but is inextricable from the politics of the region.

patteeu
08-07-2007, 10:24 PM
Both, actually. They're not mutually exclusive things. You'll find that out soon enough.

When will that be? Maybe two weeks?