A coordinated series of bombings shattered the peace in Baghdad, shortly after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ratcheted up tensions between his government and Sunni politicians. Despite international calls for prudence, Maliki is now targeting another senior Sunni politician for harassment. At least 81 Iraqis were killed and 184 more wounded in today’s carnage.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki now accuses Finance Minister Rafi al-Issawi of supporting political assassinations in Falluja. He is the third major Sunni politician to be targeted by Maliki this week, after Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi and Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq. Issawi was also among Hashemi’s group that was briefly delayed by security forces at Baghdad airport before Hashemi fled to Iraqi Kurdistan.
Yesterday, the premier warned other dissenting politicians that he would reveal dossiers implicating them in terrorist acts, and he appears to be fulfilling that promise. Those files would likely come from the Integrity Commission, the agency charged with rooting out corruption. The commission, however, was basically taken over by Maliki earlier this year. The ousted head of the commission alleged that Maliki was using the commission to fabricate false dossiers against political rivals.