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Daily Column
US Papers Thu: GI Killed as Attacks Continue
Kurds Start Pumping Oil, Government Keeps Talking Corruption
By DANIEL W. SMITH 05/28/2009 02:00 AM ET
It’s not a page-one day for Iraq, that’s for sure. Both the headlines have to do with US military deaths, as Wednesday brought the monthly tally of US dead up to 20, the largest since September. Within the articles, a few other points are brushed by.

From Baghdad
The New York Times’ Timothy Williams offers the most news of the day in an Iraq news sum-up, beginning with the explosion in an Abu-Ghraib market that was set off as a US patrol passed. Four Iraqis were also killed, and ten wounded. As stated above, this put the US military dead for May at the highest number in eight months (not counting the three US civilians who were killed in Fallujah on Tuesday).

The ongoing corruption drama in parliament, led by the Commission for Public Integrity is covered too. “Only 34 members of Iraq’s 275-member Parliament had submitted their mandatory financial disclosure forms. Parliament and Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki have announced anticorruption campaigns in recent weeks in an effort to curtail what is commonly believed to be widespread corruption in the Iraqi government. Mr. Maliki, according to the commission’s report, was among the officials who had submitted a disclosure form. The most interesting thing, buried deep below, is that the Kurdistan Regional Government began exporting crude oil for the first time after reaching a settlement on the issue with the government.
Though the Oil Ministry has granted approval for the exports, it has refused to recognize the roughly two dozen oil contracts that Kurdistan has signed with oil companies, meaning that Kurdistan may have to pay oil companies out of the revenue it receives back from the Iraqi government.
Aamer Madhani of USA Today covers the record number of GIs killed this year, in the context of the rising insurgent attacks and lower US presence plans being carried out. How those plans will be implemented in the cities is still not certain, with US sources saying that “flexibility” is needed on the ground. Iraqi politicians are being fairly clear on the fact that June 30 means June 30.

Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Wall Street Journal, no original Iraq coverage.

Comments on the US Papers roundup are welcome at


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