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Gayle in MD
01-19-2008, 09:12 PM
2008
Discontent Surging In Iraq
HAMZA HENDAWI | January 19, 2008 04:16 PM EST |


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BAGHDAD In the depths of a strangely cold winter in the Middle East, Iraqis complain that the lights are not on, the kerosene heaters are without fuel and the water doesn't flow _ and they blame the government.

And with the war nearing its fifth anniversary, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is feeling the discontent as well from the most powerful political centers in the majority Shiite community.

It's a pincer movement of domestic anger that yet again could threaten al-Maliki's hold on his Green Zone office.

"Where's the kerosene and the water?" asked Amjad Kazim, a 56-year-old Shiite who lives in eastern Baghdad. "We hear a lot of promises but we see nothing."

Little kerosene is available on the state-run market at the subsidized price of $0.52 a gallon. But the fuel can be found on the black market, where it goes for more than $3.79 a gallon.

Overnight temperatures since the first of the year have routinely fallen below freezing when normally they only dip into the upper 30s Fahrenheit.

An average household needs at least 1.32 gallons a day to stay warm, which translates into a monthly expense of $150, or half what an average Iraqi earns.

"I have had no electricity for a week, and I cannot afford to buy it from neighborhood generators," said Hamdiyah Subeih, a 42-year-old homemaker from Baghdad's Shiite Baladiyat district. "I would rather live in Saddam Hussein's hell than the paradise of these new leaders."

Even during the shortages of last summer's heat, most Iraqi's were counting on electricity for air conditioners, fans and refrigeration about half the day. Now it's off for days at a stretch in many areas and on only a few hours daily on average, residents say.

"My children are so happy when the power comes back on they dance," said Marwan Ouni, a 34-year-old college teacher from Tikrit, Saddam's hometown north of Baghdad. "For me, the nonstop power cuts have made my life tedious. It's depressing."

That's the view from below, despite a considerable reduction in violence across the country. The view among those who hold power here is growing equally bilious.

Stinging criticism late last week from Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, leader of parliament's largest Shiite bloc, was a stark break with the past. And a threat by Muqtada al-Sadr, the maverick Shiite cleric who once supported al-Maliki, not to renew an expiring six-month cease-fire he imposed on his feared militia could upend recent security progress.

In admonishing tones, al-Hakim called on the government and parliament not to be "entirely focused on political rivalries at the expense of the everyday problems faced by Iraqis." He also demanded that lawmakers quickly adopt key legislation divvying up the country's oil wealth and setting the rules for provincial elections to be held later this year.

He spoke of administrative and financial corruption, saying Iraqis were now forced to pay bribes to get business done with ministries and government agencies.

"It makes one's heart bleed ... it's a violation of man's freedom and dignity," he told tens of thousands of supporters in Baghdad on Friday.

Al-Hakim's harsh words carry considerable weight because his party, the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council, is al-Maliki's most important backer after al-Sadr pulled ministers loyal to him from the Cabinet last year and took his 30 lawmakers out of the Shiite bloc.

Al-Hakim's focus on the daily hardships of most Iraqis finds a ready audience among those struggling to keep warm through one of the coldest winters in years _ it snowed across Baghdad for the first time in living memory on Jan. 11. And al-Sadr's huge following among more radical Shiites could close the pincer on al-Maliki.

bamadog
01-19-2008, 10:31 PM
Yes, we all know how gleefully you latch onto any bad news out of Iraq. So here is some bad news for you and other "surrender now" Dems. Read it and weep Gayle.

UN, IMF Predict Economic Growth, Political Stability In Iraq []

1/17/2008 3:55:16 AM Assessments by the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations suggest that war-torn Iraq faces a period of economic growth and political progress in the next two years.

The IMF predicts a 7% increase in growth in 2008 and 2009, while oil revenues from booming exports should be up by 200,000 bpd.

"Of course all of this is conditional on oil production expansion and the security situation improving," Mohsin Khan, director of the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia department said.

Anecdotal evidence suggests there was also an "improvement in economic activity" in the second half of 2007, combined with an improvement in security, Khan added.

The IMF official however said Iraq will "continue to need aid, particularly in the security area."

The UN secretary-general's new special representative in Iraq, Staffan de Mistura while praising the work of the government of Nouri al-Maliki, welcomed dialogue between the Sunni and Shia communities. de Mistura said he would present a positive picture of progress in Iraq in a report to the UN Security Council despite earlier reservations.

"At the beginning of 2007... we were genuinely concerned by the lack of progress on national dialogue," he said adding that "today that has substantially changed. It has changed our mind from being worried or from being pessimistic."

The UN report would "compliment" Iraq's government on its work at fostering reconciliation. "Iraq needs to maintain the momentum, 2008 is going to be a crucial year," de Mistura added.

However, analysts have cautioned that despite such rosy predictions, much depends on rapid progress in stabilizing Iraq in the next six to 12 months.

The Iraqi parliament took an important decision last week to open the way for low-ranking members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party to re-enter the military and bureaucracy and to reclaim pensions.

Baath party members were barred from public service by one of the first measures of the US-run Coalition Provisional Administration after the ouster of Saddam Hussein. The law reversing that expulsion, combined with the sharp fall in violence in much of Iraq, has led to greater optimism.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday congratulated Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for the "quite remarkable" progress on national reconciliation and ending the nation's sectarian rifts.

However, the secretary of state warned the Iraqi leader during her meeting not to squander the momentum after many false starts on reconciliation in the past.

Rice also told al-Maliki not to lose a "golden opportunity" during US President George Bush's final year in office to bring Sunni Arabs into the unity government, according to three Iraqi officials privy to the talks.

Sid_Vicious
01-19-2008, 10:46 PM
SNAFU

nAz
01-20-2008, 01:04 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bamadog:</font><hr> Yes, we all know how gleefully you latch onto any bad news out of Iraq. So here is some bad news for you and other "surrender now" Dems. Read it and weep Gayle.

UN, IMF Predict Economic Growth, Political Stability In Iraq []

1/17/2008 3:55:16 AM Assessments by the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations suggest that war-torn Iraq faces a period of economic growth and political progress in the next two years.

The IMF predicts a 7% increase in growth in 2008 and 2009, while oil revenues from booming exports should be up by 200,000 bpd.


<hr /></blockquote>

prediction can go either way, I just hope the damn place can stay stable long enough to get us out of there.


Gayle why do you hate America?

LWW
01-20-2008, 05:35 AM
Thank you Gayle.

It proves that things are actually taking hold in Eye-rack.

When was the last time Iraqis could petition their govt with grievances?

When was the last time they held their govt accountable?

When was the last time they could change govts to one which better suited them and do it without violence?

Again, thank you.

LWW

Gayle in MD
01-20-2008, 06:32 PM
No kidding! Iraq, will be doing fine, next year, IF, they can keep their people from killing each other, and keep al Qaeda from blowing up the oil wells, they're going to have a banner year, maybe 7 or 8 percent growth.

You know what kind of growth we're expectedc tt have. IF, and it's a big huge IF, we're lucky, oh, maybe, 1 1/2 percent.

We're heading for the biggest economic Republican led meltdown in history.

Thank you George Bush, and all those brilliant, FISCAL CONSERVATIVES who voted for your ass,. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/mad.gif

Gayle in MD
01-20-2008, 06:37 PM
Yeah, me too. We're going to wishing for that trillion dollars we've wasted looking for non existent WMD's in the sand, to pull our own selves out of the hole, this year!

Bush can already see, even as stupid as he is, that he's going out with his approval numbers in the tank. Nothing could have been worth digging ourselves into the hole we're in now.

I never thought I'd live to see American financial institutions begging foreign countries to bail them out of debt!

Thank you George Bush, and all the dummies who voted for you. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

pooltchr
01-20-2008, 06:47 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr>
I never thought I'd live to see American financial institutions begging foreing countries to bail them out of debt!

Thans you George Bush, and all the dummies who voted for you. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif <hr /></blockquote>

Those financial institutions got themselves in a jam by making loans to people who they had to suspect might not be able to pay them off. I fail to see how that is GW's fault.
More of your twisted liberal reasoning?

Steve

Gayle in MD
01-20-2008, 07:15 PM
Most financial advisors are calling it predatory lending practices, including Berneki. Bush has operated an administration which has looked the other way throughout every illegal things that has happened in this country, throughout hi administration, including illegal aliens invading this country, and no bid contracts for his cronies while our troops are dying for his mistakes.

If there is anyone twisting the facts, it is you, but then you fail to see a lot of things.

Gayle in Md.

LWW
01-20-2008, 10:23 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> Most financial advisors are calling it predatory lending practices, including Berneki.

Gayle in Md. <hr /></blockquote>
What exactly is predatory lending sweetheart?

I just want to show once and for all you have no real clue of what you speak, you merely parrot the DNC talking points.

LWW