November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers.

Sorry the blog is slow. It's hard to write in Iraq. I have some good material, though, and I should have something for you to read soon enough. Most likely I will publish a few short pieces first, but I started working on a long dispatch today that I think you'll enjoy. It will be more intense than anything I've published here in a while.

Stay tuned.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at November 27, 2008 4:30 AM


Thank you and happy Thanksgiving to you too and to everybody else.

Stay safe.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at November 27, 2008 7:36 AM

And a Happy Thanksgiving to you and those with you in Iraq. Looking forward to new posts. Take care Michael!

Posted by: TimB52 Author Profile Page at November 27, 2008 1:08 PM

Be careful. Your writing is worth waiting for.

Posted by: Mike K Author Profile Page at November 30, 2008 10:53 AM

Hey Michael, any local reaction to this?

Here’s a story you don’t see very often. Iraq’s highest court told the Iraqi Parliament last Monday that it had no right to strip one of its members of immunity so he could be prosecuted for an alleged crime: visiting Israel for a seminar on counterterrorism. The Iraqi justices said the Sunni lawmaker, Mithal al-Alusi, had committed no crime and told the Parliament to back off.

That’s not all. The Iraqi newspaper Al-Umma al-Iraqiyya carried an open letter signed by 400 Iraqi intellectuals, both Kurdish and Arab, defending Alusi. That takes a lot of courage and a lot of press freedom. I can’t imagine any other Arab country today where independent judges would tell the government it could not prosecute a parliamentarian for visiting Israel — and intellectuals would openly defend him in the press.

In the case of Iraq, though, the federal high court, in a unanimous decision, vacated the Parliament’s rescinding of Alusi’s immunity, with the decision delivered personally by Chief Justice Medhat al-Mahmoud. The decision explained that although a 1950s-era law made traveling to Israel a crime punishable by death, Iraq’s new Constitution establishes freedom to travel. Therefore the Parliament’s move was “illegal and unconstitutional because the current Constitution does not prevent citizens from traveling to any country in the world,” Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar, spokesman for the court, told The Associated Press. The judgment even made the Parliament speaker responsible for the expenses of the court and the defense counsel!

Is this a big story locally? Any kind of general feeling you've seen?

Posted by: TallDave Author Profile Page at December 1, 2008 6:52 AM

Hope your Thanksgiving was happy, Michael.
We're about to celebrate St. Nicholaus day (Mikulas in Slovakia), when the good saint gave food to the poor.

Is there any ability of changing the order of the blog post archives to be oldest first, so each month starts on the first at top?

I know in a living blog, youngest first & top is best, but I don't think that's true with the archives.

Thanks for all your work.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad Author Profile Page at December 4, 2008 8:32 AM
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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