Gunmen abduct 50 transport workers in Baghdad. Debka: 'Gunmen in police uniforms abduct 50 transport company workers in Baghdad Monday. They were seized in a coordinated operation along a Baghdad street that is home to several firms offering transport to Syria and Jordan. The hostages are nationals of different countries. No word on the fate of the four Russian diplomats kidnapped Saturday. Sunday, the Iraqi death toll soared past 45 with further terrorist outrages as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki failed again to fill the defense and security posts in his government. Sunday saw an escalation in sectarian killings. ...' Full post at the link. (Debka)
ITM: Cabinet incomplete. Iraq the Model:
It's been two weeks since the parliament in Iraq inaugurated new PM Maliki's cabinet and the three vacant seats in this cabinet are yet to be filled with ministers for defense, interior and national security.
Three attempts to find competent and nonsectarian men for theses three important posts have failed so far bringing up questions on this cabinet's ability to provide what Iraqis need most urgently ; security.
People who follow the news frequently enough here in Baghdad know that a big security operation is coming and hearing several tough statements from Iraq's PM Maliki makes one anticipate this operation to be coming sooner rather than later and that it's going to deal with both wings of violence in Baghdad; the al-Qaeda terrorism (and allied local Sunni insurgency) and the out-of-control armed Shia militias. (ITM)
Iraqi women under al-Qaeda threat. The Muslim Woman: 'Life is now a living hell for the women community in Iraq with the latest announcement made by the Al Qaeda head of Iraq. A new set of rules has been laid down, which the Iraqi women have to conform too or else they will face the wrath of the black men from hell. The announcement reads: Women cannot drive; women cannot go out after midday; women and men are not allowed to go out and walk together, they must walk separately.' (TMW)
Kat, Wretchard on Iran news blackout. The Middle Ground: 'You probably don't know about it and haven't seen it because the media is ignoring it or understating it (just read an article calling it "disturbances at universities"), but there have been significant Freedom Protests in Iran. Maybe the problem is, with few western reporters and the information control the government uses, it's hard to get the story? Unless you are on the internet and know who to read and where to look. ... Of course, the Iranians [in the regime] are blaming the US and other outside "forces" for promoting these protests. I don't think any Americans are insulted by this accusation, but, in Iran, this is meant to stir up the xenophobic, Islamists against the protesters.' The Belmont Club: 'Rutgers University Professor Judith Apter Klinghoffer claims that major newspapers are systematically playing down unrest in Iran. She says, "Do me a favor try to find MSM information about the ongoing unrest in Iran. ... At the time of this writing, most the links returned were from The Pakistan Daily Times, British Ahwazi Friendship Society, Gulf News, Caucaz.com -- though there was one from the Christian Science Monitor and another from the Chicago Tribune. But all that proves is that there isn't any unrest in Iran, right? Otherwise the BBC, the Washington Post and the NYT would be all over it.' Can you say Walter Duranty? (TMG, Belmont Club)
Briefly noted. The Intelligence Summit reports that the Swedish government is investigating a suspicious crash of the government's website; and the Counterterrorism Blog warns of possible security budget cuts by Congress.
Commentary. A knowledgeable Iranian source in North America tells me the United States should expect another terror attack on its soil soon, and that this one will be executed by a "homegrown" terror cell. The fascists in Tehran have threatened to deploy their terror weapons against the West and its allies, and it appears they are making good on their threat. Probably our side is encouraging the Iranian people to rebel; I'd certainly like to think that that's the case. I can't prove that every item in today's post is directly connected with Iran or the US, but that conflict certainly looms behind many of them. Whose side do you think the MSM are on? More important, whose side are you on?