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Jim Hoagland repeats the now oft-quoted view that the Bush administration intends, sooner rather than later, to remove Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki through a coup d’état (shades of Ngo Dinh Diem, the Vietnamese president who was assassinated in a CIA-planned coup in 1963, launching the Vietnam War in earnest). But other concerns for the life of leaders in Iraq are still more immediate, giving rise to a multipoint deathwatch.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has been so ill that he has declined meetings with foreign visitors for more than a month now. Today Laura Rozen reports that he is “at the Mayo clinic for medical treatment.”
Iraqi Vice President Abdul Aziz Hakim has been diagnosed with cancer by the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He has opted to undergo chemotherapy not in Texas, but in Tehran, saying he wished to be closer to his family in Baghdad. The Washington Times reports that he has now arrived in Tehran. No doubt others will see his selection of medical treatment in Tehran over the United States in other terms.
Clearly, this is not a good time to be a high government official in Iraq. You don’t suppose this is all some sort of divine metaphor for the state of the Iraqi body politic, do you?
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Number of Turkish college students detained in the last year for requesting Kurdish-language classes:
Turkey was funding a search for Suleiman the Magnificent’s heart.
A former prison in Philadelphia that has served as a horror-movie set was being prepared as a detention center for protesters arrested at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fired his campaign manager.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”