As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, July 05, 2007

We now return you to your regularly scheduled war

More bodies are showing up on the streets of Baghdad than did before the surge.

During the month of June, 453 unidentified corpses, some bound, blindfolded, and bearing signs of torture, were found in Baghdad, according to morgue data provided by a Health Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.

In January, 321 corpses were discovered in the capital, a total that fell steadily until April but then rose sharply over the last two months, the statistics show.

Overall violence is said to be down, although that's a difficult number to trust, considering that the US military doesn't take car bombings into account when determining Iraqi casualties, and indeed doesn't count Iraqi deaths in any meaningful way. The Health Ministry number is a bit more reliable, but any time you see an estimate that's "according to the US military" it's very hard to accept it, given their metrics.

Meanwhile, there are conflicting reports about the Iraqi oil law, thought to be a top benchmark for reconciliation, by multinational corporations who want 70% of the oil revenues, anyway. The cabinet endorsed a draft, but they claimed it was a unanimous vote, when only 24 of the 37 cabinet ministers were present. Members of the largest Sunni bloc are boycotting the cabinet, so this law would mean nothing in terms of reconciliation. Plus, the Kurds, who have not been happy about this oil law since February, remain unhappy:

The top Kurdish energy official says no deal has been reached on an Iraq oil law, despite news reports the Parliament is to take up the bill.

"We are not aware of anything being passed by the Cabinet," said Kurdistan Regional Government Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami, speaking to United Press International via mobile phone [...]

A draft of the law approved by negotiators and the council of ministers in February and finalized in March, "is the only approved text," said Hawrami, the KRG's lead negotiator.

"Even the text of the March draft is not complete," he said. A revenue sharing law was approved and sent to the council of ministers earlier this month, though there may still be some complaints from Sunni politicians. It must still be passed on to Parliament.

What this really shows is that there's no functioning government, and no communication between the factions. And so this notion that all the Iraqi sects are going to get together and find the pony is a pipe dream.

UPDATE: The Sunnis in Parliament want no part of this law either.

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