November 27, 2006

Time For Panic?

The shit is definitely hitting the fan in Iraq.

Iraq's unpopular Shi'ite PM just got stoned by his own people:
The motorcade of Iraq's prime minister was pelted with stones by fellow Shi'ites in a Baghdad slum when he paid respects to some of the 200 who died there last week in the deadliest attack since the US invasion.
Mehdi Army leader Moqtada al-Sadr, who controls the slum in question, has warned al-Maliki (who is "working on a cabinet reshuffle") not to meet Bush at a summit in Jordan on Wednesday. Al-Sadr's follows previously took control of Iraq's state-run TV station:
"Al-Maliki's administration acknowledged it was powerless to interrupt the pro-Sadr program on the official Iraqiya channel, during which Sadr City residents shouted, 'There is no government! There is no state!' Several speakers described neighborhoods and well-known Sunni politicians as 'terrorists' and threatened them with reprisal."
The coming summit could be a final opportunity to avert civil wars across the Middle East:
King Abdullah of Jordan, who will host a summit in Amman, said "something dramatic" must come out of it because Iraq was "beginning to spiral out of control". He urged an inclusive approach across the Middle East to avert that and two other possible civil wars - in Lebanon and involving Palestinians.
There's an awful lot of movement in the hive: top Iraqi government officials (including Kurdish President Jalal Talabani, Sunni Vice-President Tariq al-Hashimi and US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad) held an emergency meeting at the home of Shia leader Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani begins a delayed visit to Iran today. Harith al-Dhari, head of the Muslim Scholars Association also recently went to Saudi Arabia. Then there's the Iranians:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he was ready to help - if [the USA] left now: "The Iranian nation is ready to help you get out of that swamp on one condition ... You should pledge to correct your attitude," he said on television.

"Go back, and take your forces to behind your borders."

Iraq's neighbours will send foreign ministers to a meeting at the Arab League in Cairo on December 5, Egypt said.
Under the circumstances, it's worth asking: did Dick Cheney's undisclosed secret location move to Baghdad for a while last week? or not? On Friday, Cheney was in Saudi Arabia visiting King Abdullah. Laura Rozen has a pic from SA TV, which appears to show top Bush advisor David Addington also on the tarmac:

Meanwhile, the FBI was given a please explain for the post-9/11 evactuation of Saudis. Interesting timing.

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