Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Iraq's new Kurdish government takes over

Iraq's former deputy prime minister, Dr. Barham Salih and his 20-Minister Cabinet sworn in today before the parliament of the self-ruled northern Kurdish region as the region's sixth government since 1992.

What is interesting is that Salih reappointed the region's Minister of Natural Resources , Dr. Ashti Hawrami, despite the controversy that surrounds his career due to his vague oil deals.

The latest controversy is around an illegal transaction of shares in which he worked as a middleman, or may be as a businessman, between Norway's DNO and Turkey's Genel Enerji.

The other interesting thing is that assigning the Justice portfolio to judge Raouf Abdul-Rahman, a previous chief judge in Baghdad who sentenced Saddam Hussein to death in November 2006 for his role in the killing of Shiite Muslims in the town of Dujail after an assassination attempt in 1982. Saddam was hanged the following December.

For more on Salih's biography click here:

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

For how long Iraq will continue like this?

Despite the grief and sorrow that have engulfed Baghdad since last Sunday when two suicide car bombers killed 155 people and injured hundreds others, some upbeat news were brought amid that atmosphere.But of course will not help removing that grief.

The Associated Press reported today that Iraq's oil exports climbed almost 6 percent in the third quarter of the year, gaining $12.18 billion in revenues versus $9.57 billion in the prior quarter.Daily oil exports averaged 1.998 million barrels per day compared to an average of 1.885 barrels per day in the preceding quarter.

How much of these money will be spent to renovate the buildings, roads and other infrastructure which were destroyed in Sunday's attacks? how much of these revenues will be allocated to buy more or new "technologically advanced" equipment to detect bombs or stop the suicide bombers?

And for how long Iraq will continue like this: spends what it earns to fix things damaged by the war or buys weapons or loses what it earns due corruption?

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Another dagger in Baghdad's heart

At least 736 families are grieved now.Some 155 of them lost their beloved ones while the rest have their beloved ones wounded in today's explosions in the heart of Baghdad.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Do I need to tell you who you are?

Iraq's 2003 war aimed at grabbing the country's oil not for Mass Destruction Weapons. And China has become the envy of the rest of the world specially the U.S. as the energy-thirsty nation has so far secured two oil deals with Iraq and it keeps its eyes open on other lucrative deals in this country.

That was summarized by the U.S. oil tycoon T. Boon Pickens comments which were made Wednesday before the Congress in which he claimed a share in Iraq's oil in return to the lost lives of the American troops and the money the American taxpayer spent in Iraq.

"They're opening them (oil fields) up to other companies all over the world ... We're entitled to it," Reuters quoted Pickens as saying of Iraq's oil. "Heck, we even lost 5,000 of our people, 65,000 injured and a trillion, five hundred billion dollars."

"We leave there with the Chinese getting the oil," Pickens said.

Mr. Pickens, the Chinese are smarter than you, they have morals and they value their and other peoples' lives.They are not killers, gang leaders and thugs. They respect other countries' people and never humiliate them or destroy their houses, schools, mosques or violate their honor.

Do I need to tell you who you are?

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Ashti Hawrami to be brought before parliament

The regional parliament of Iraq's self-ruled Kurdistan Regional Government will summoned its Natural Resources Minister, Ashti Hawrami, on Monday to investigate the vague and outlawed shares' transaction with the Norway's DNO ASA oil company, a local daily reported Saturday.

During the investigating session, Hawrami is supposed to clarify the deals he had with the DNO when secretly bought 43 million of its shares and then sold them, also secretly, to Turkey's Genel Enejri, according to Hawlati’s interview with Kurdish lawmaker Sherwan Haidary.

Hawrami will face tough questions from at least quarter of the 111-seat parliament members who won remarkable number of seats after July's regional elections.They were tapping into widespread frustration over alleged corruption and intimidation by the longtime ruling establishment.

The expected investigation will definitely embarrass the region's designated Prime Minister, Barham Salih, who, according to some Kurdish politicians, wants to reinstate Hawrami in this position.