April 24, 2007

Ayad Allawi


One project John has been working on working during our break involves caricaturing Iraqi politicians. Here is the first of four that we will be posting.

From AP: Construction on Baghdad barrier halted.

Iraq's prime minister said Sunday that he has ordered a halt to the U.S. military construction of a barrier separating a Sunni enclave from surrounding Shiite areas in Baghdad after fierce criticism over the project at home.

The challenge to the U.S. initiative came as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki began a regional tour to shore up support from mostly Sunni Arab nations for his Shiite-dominated government as sectarian violence persists despite a nearly 10-week-old security crackdown.

The U.S. military announced last week that it was building a three-mile-long and 12-foot-tall concrete wall in Azamiyah, a Sunni stronghold in northern Baghdad whose residents have often been the victims of retaliatory mortar attacks by Shiite militants following bombings usually blamed on Sunni insurgents.

U.S. and Iraqi officials defended plans for the barrier as an effort to protect the neighborhood, but residents and Sunni leaders complained it was a form of discrimination that would isolate the community. A large protest was scheduled for Monday in the area.

In his first public comments on the issue, al-Maliki said Sunday that he had ordered the construction to stop. ...

It was not immediately clear if the announcement by al-Maliki in Cairo was part of an effort to win Arab Sunni support. Al-Maliki is said to fear rising support among U.S.-allied Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan for a rumored Iraqi national salvation government led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, a favorite of Washington.

To see more Newsmaker Caricatures by John Cox, click here.

Posted by Forkum at April 24, 2007 03:00 PM