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Daily Column
Iraq TV: More Bombings, More Corruption
Wednesday Night News
05/27/2009 9:54 PM ET
By Daniel W. Smith and Yousif al-Timimi

Before getting to the many political updates, there were some security incidents that made it on the news. Al-Baghdadiya led the coverage of a car bomb in Karrada, saying that 10 were killed and 20 wounded. Baghdad security spokesmen denied the “media reports”, saying that the blast in Karada was an IED, not a car bomb, and that, lo and behold, there were no casualties. In a car bomb in Abu-Ghraib, five were reported killed, one of them an American soldier. 17 were injured, according to Al-Hurra Iraq. The Iraqi Army arrested a Sahwa leader in al-Aswad, north of Baquba. The American base in Basra Airport was hit by katyusha rockets.

Prime Minister al-Maliki is doing a bit of moonlighting, as he was reported on Al-Hurra Iraq to be appointed temporary Trade Minister, after accepting al-Sudani’s resignation a day before. He also called for the cancellation of rations for those who have high positions in the government. Parliament leadership agreed on questioning the electricity minister, after it was requested by several MPs. Assim Jihad, the oil ministry's spokesman said “The questioning (of Shahristani) has nothing to do with corruption, it's only about the oil production levels," but Jaber Khalifa Jaber, a member of parliament’s Oil-Gas Committee said “The questioning of the oil minister will pertain to both corruption and mismanagement charges."

Al-Maliki directed Baghdad Operations Command to coordinate with the integrity commission to arrest those who are involved in corruption charges. Al-Iraqiya reported that commission also declared a campaign to arrest 997 officials, 53 of them general directors and or above. Also, on the same channel, al-Maliki said, “We will not remain silent toward corruption from now on,” perhaps causing viewers to wonder why it was okay to stay silent before. MP Abbas al-Bayati said, “Al-Maliki is going to replace ten ministers in his government.”

The US military denied media reports that swine flu has been being brought into Iraq by US soldiers. A member of parliament’s Health Committee said, “We are concerned about the swine flu coming to Iraq by foreign carriers through the airport being made worse by corruption and bribes when those foreigners come into Iraq."

Several people were up in arms that the displacement and immigration ministry gave citizenship to thousands of people in Iran who it claims are Iraqis. On Al-Sharqiya, “sources within the ministry exposed that the committee which is responsible for that matter was approached by Iranian intelligence,” to facilitate the move. There was an interview with someone from an unnamed independent NGO who said, “That the political parties are trying to import Iranians who will vote for them in the upcoming election by giving them the citizenship.”

It was reported that the central government finally sent the Kurdistan election budget on up north. The election commission curiously announced on Al-Iraqiya that 400 out of 2 million citizens registered to vote.

Comments on the Iraqi TV roundup are welcome at

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