2006 July 02 Sunday
Sunni Female Legislator Kidnapped In Iraq

I have nothing new to report about Iraq. Just the standard kidnappings, bombings, and assassination attempts motivated by power struggles between ethnic and religious factions. Somebody tell Paul Wolfowitz that the Iraqis are not bleeding hearted liberal Jeffersonian democrats. A Sunni Arab woman and member of the Iraqi legislator was kidnapped along with her bodyguards.

Gunmen kidnapped a Sunni Arab lawmaker and seven of her bodyguards in a mostly Shi'ite Baghdad neighborhood on Saturday, a Sunni leader and police said.

Taiseer Najah al-Mashhadani, a member of the Accordance Front, the largest parliamentary bloc of the Sunni minority, was abducted in northeastern Shaab district after gunmen in two cars cut off her convoy, police said.

An eighth bodyguard managed to escape, they added.

Some reports say that she was kidnapped at a Shia militia checkpoint.

In response to the kidnapping a bunch of Sunni legislators are boycotting Parliament..

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The largest Sunni Arab bloc in parliament said Sunday it was suspending its participation in the legislature until a kidnapped colleague was released, dealing a blow to efforts to involve the disaffected minority in the political process.

Was she kidnapped (and perhaps killed) more because she is female or more because she is Sunni? The reaction of other female legislators suggests the former possibility:

At least 11 female parliament members from different blocs also held a news conference to denounce the kidnapping and demand the government take action.

I have no new insights to offer on the latest events. My old insights are holding up pretty well though. If you haven't already read some of the reasons why secular democracy with low corruption and rising freedom isn't in the cards for Iraq see my post John Tierney On Cousin Marriage As Reform Obstacle In Iraq and click back from there to additional readings.

The biggest Sunni Arab legislative bloc is boycotting Parliament until al-Mashhadani is released.

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The largest Sunni Arab bloc in parliament said Sunday it was suspending its participation in the legislature until a kidnapped colleague was released, dealing a blow to efforts to involve the disaffected minority in the political process.

Well, suppose her body turns up dead. What will they use as their demand for what will bring them back to Parliament?

The Sunnis are a minority in the Parliament. So the withdrawal of this Sunni party, the Iraqi Accordance Front, probably does not reduce their ability to influence legislation.

The Front holds 44 seats in the 275-member assembly and is part of the national unity government.

After the Saturday July 1 kidnapping of a female Sunni legislator on Sunday July 2 an attempt was made to kidnap a female Sunni legislator and reports conflict on whether the attack succeeded. This is suggestive that female legislators are being singled out for attacks.

One lawmaker told parliament that Leqa Al Yaseen’s cars had been attacked in the violent southern outskirts of Baghdad, between the city’s Dora suburb and the town of Mahmudiya. She said eight of Yaseen’s bodyguards had been abducted and did not make clear whether Yaseen herself was missing or a casualty.

Sources in the Baghdad police and at the Interior Ministry identified Leqa as a doctor and member of the Shia Islamist Alliance bloc who is a senior official in the Health Ministry, controlled by the movement of Shia cleric Moqtada Al Sadr.

There are also conflicting reports of possible kidnappings of 3 deputy ministers from Iraq's Industry Ministry.

A "secular" Shia male legislator missed getting killed by a bomb which went off near his convoy in Baghdad.

BAGHDAD - Iyad Jamalideen, a secular Shi'ite lawmaker, survived an assassination attempt when a roadside bomb went off near his convoy in southern Baghdad, police said. He was unhurt, but two of his guards and four civilians were wounded.

A few things of interest here: Does each legislator move around in convoys? Who funds the convoys? Can a legislator live in a regular home? Or do they have to cluster in specially defended neighborhoods? Also, a "secular" Shia is rare. The religious parties swept the elections. Are secular legislators also targeted more than religious party legislators?

The kidnappings and attempted assassinations of legislators happens against a backdrop of high civilian casualties.A bomb in a Shiite market in Sadr City killed at least 66 people while 100 died in total on Saturday July 1, 2006.

BAGHDAD, Iraq — A suicide car bombing at a crowded open-air market killed 66 people and wounded 114 others Saturday in the deadliest single attack since the Iraqi government was formed six weeks ago. Other violence brought the day's death toll to more than 100 people.

A Sunni block leaves Parliament in reaction to a Shia militia kidnapping of a female Sunni legislator. A Shia legislator almost bites the dust from a bomb. Lots of Shias get killed and Shia militiamen want to kill Sunnis even more. The tragedy continues to play out along the course it has been on for a few years running.

I do not see how this ends well.

Anyone want to hazard any predictions for how the events in Iraq will play out in the next few years? Will the political stalemate on Iraq in the United States keep lots of US troops there? Will the inter-ethnic violence escalate or taper off? Will the internal migrations (ethnic cleansing") accelerate until the Shias and Sunnis are very separated from each other?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2006 July 02 11:36 AM  Mideast Iraq Ethnic Conflict


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