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05 Jan 2012 14:20


World: Bloody day in Iraq as sectarian tensions deepen

  • 72 killed in Iraq by bombings in various Shia provinces source
  • » Danger and strife: Provincial government sources suggest grimly conventional tactics being used — a suicide bomber detonated himself amidst a group traveling to Karbala, and in Sadr City a man parked a motorbike near a group of day laborers seeking work, which exploded minutes after he left. The upheaval is both lethal and political; an arrest warrant is out for Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi (a Sunni) on terrorism charges, which he denies. In response, the Sunni bloc of parliament has accused Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of power monopoly and abuse, and threatens to boycott the assembly.

12 Dec 2011 14:36


U.S.: Obama holds press event with Nouri al-Maliki to mark end of Iraq war

  • A war is ending. A new day is upon us. And let us never forget those who gave us this chance: the untold number of Iraqis who’ve given their lives; more than 1 million Americans, military and civilian, who have served in Iraq; nearly 4,500 fallen Americans who gave their last full measure of devotion; tens of thousands of wounded warriors and so many inspiring military families. They are the reason that we can stand here today. And we owe it to every single one of them, we have a moral obligation to all of them to build a future worthy of their sacrifice.
  • President Obama • In remarks to the press pool, joined by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Obama has pledged that U.S. forces will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of the year, saying in October that “our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays.” The U.S. presence in Iraq is not, however, going away completely — while some 8,000 active duty military personnel are returning home, along with nearly 5,000 private military contractors, the U.S. embassy in Iraq still boasts a personnel staff of 15,000, making it the largest U.S. embassy in the world. Obama has said he intends to cut that number substantially, but that given Iraq’s situation immediately following the war, the embassy’s security staff will by necessity remain higher than most. source

03 Dec 2011 18:14


World: Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki: We’re ready for U.S. troop pullout

  • Nothing has changed with the withdrawal of the American forces from Iraq on the security level because basically it has been in our hands.
  • Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki • Emphasizing that the country can handle the forthcoming departure of U.S. troops, as an eight-year war dies down. Al-Maliki says he has “no concerns whatsoever” about the ability of his troops to maintain security in the region, and says the sectarian violence that broke out immediately in the wake of the downfall of the Saddam Hussein government is a thing of the past. “I assure the world that the Iraqi forces and the general situation in the country hasn’t changed and will not change,” he emphasizes. source

25 Feb 2011 11:32


World: Iraq’s “Day of Rage”: Economic strife leads to massive protests

  • Now it’s Iraq’s turn to be angry. Today’s “Day of Rage” in the nation perhaps most changed by American intervention comes with great sacrifice for many of the protesters. Already, 13 have been killed during the protests, which many people took part in despite an official curfew. In Baghdad alone, many protesters had to walk for miles to get to the city’s Tahrir Square, after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki imposed a curfew so stringent that it forced bikes off the road. Yeah. Bikes. Let alone cars. Bikes. The protests have had some effect – a handful of local governments have stepped down in the wake of protester demands. Many of the protesters are upset about bad living conditions, including few jobs, low wages, no electricity, lacking water quality, and underwhelming medical benefits. All things that, honestly, we can get behind. (Photo by Karim Kadim/AP) source

10 Nov 2010 20:30


World: Finally? Maybe: Iraq appears to finally agree on its leadership

  • It’s been kinda like a soap opera with politics. Over the entire Spring and Summer and part of the Fall, Iraqi leaders have been in a huge debate over who the Prime Minister was going to be. And it appears that we’ve finally gotten to a point where Nouri al-Maliki will get his second term as Prime Minister. And second-place guy Ayad Allawi will get a little bit of power sharing but not much. Here’s how long it took to finally get everyone to get on the same page:
  • 248 number of days Iraq’s already-fragile leadership was in flux
  • eight number of months it took for Iraq to agree on its leadership
  • seven number of hours today’s meeting to decide Iraq’s leader lasted source
  • » Hurt feelings: In the time that Iraq’s leadership has remained contested, there were many points of contention. First off, Nouri al-Maliki’s party did not win the popular vote (Ayad Allawi’s party won two more seats in parliament), and both the prime minister and president are chosen by a parliamentary vote. Secondly, there were fraud allegations throughout the entire process. Thirdly, nearly 500 parliamentary candidates (mostly Sunnis) were banned from running for ties to the Ba’ath Party. Finally, it’s Iraq and there are terror attacks all over the place. Hopefully deciding on a leader will help encourage peace in the war-torn region. If we don’t get that, let’s hope the fight over Alaska’s Senate seat lasts nearly as long. (*Fingers crossed*)

07 Apr 2009 10:27


U.S., World: Uh, hey Iraq, it’s Obama; betcha didn’t expect to see me.

  • Out of nowhere Obama wasn’t scheduled to come to Iraq, but he went anyway, for a few reasons – to talk shop with Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki and Gen. Ray Odierno, as well as to hand out a few medals of valor to U.S. troops. It’s his first trip to the country since he was elected; he went while campaigning.
  • A busy trip Obama’s managed to do a lot in his international trip – between the G20 summit, the European tour, and avoiding an assassination attempt by some dude in Turkey, he’s done a good job of playing diplomat. Good job man, and make sure you have a beer after you’re done. source