"Bombs (all) Over Bagdad"

Prof. Cole at Informed Comment has today's roundup of news from Iraq.

Aljazeera reports... "Several other large blasts were heard in the capital on Thursday, but police only had details about one - a roadside bomb aimed at a police patrol in al-Jihad, a mostly Sunni western neighbourhood. Three bystanders were hurt."

It has gotten to the point in Baghdad that you just hear these huge blasts in the distance all the time, and even the Arab press can't always say exactly what happened.
This is kind of frightening. The American press is usually only good for "Bomb blast, body count, civil war denial." When even Aljezeera can't keep up with the bombings, were talking about more than a Sunni insurgency in its last throes.
The United Iraqi Alliance (Shiite religious parties) has forced President Jalal Talabani to postpone calling parliament until March 19. Talabani had planned to call the first session on March 12 and to attempt to force the UIA to change its choice of prime minister, Ibrahim Jaafari. Talabani, a Kurd, resented Jaafari's determination to stop Kurdistan from annexing the oil city of Kirkuk, and Jaafari's diplomacy with Turkey to that end. The UIA says that it will not drop Jaafari and has no intention of calling another party congress to reconsider their choice of prime minister.

Al-Sharq al-Awsat says that the delay, which is technically unconstitutional, was demanded by the Sadr Movement (30 seats) and the two branches of the Dawa Party (25 seats). Other factions disagreed, including the Virtue Party (15 seats), the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (30 seats) and some independents within the party (26 seats). But apparently the Sadrists and Da`wa prevailed on the UIA to close ranks behind the delay.
It seems representative government is off to a great start. Of course unconstitutional procedures never really bothered the Bush Administration either... The point is that until all the warring factions in Iraq can come to some sort of governmental understanding, the civil war will continue.

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