The New York Times reports: As Iraq’s deadlocked Parliament was again unable to reach a deal to name a new speaker on Sunday, Sunni militants carried out a raid near Baghdad, a symbolically significant attack signaling their intent to move closer, even if only by a few miles, toward the Iraqi capital.
Although the pretext for the delay was a severe sandstorm that prevented northern Iraq’s Kurdish lawmakers from flying to Baghdad, the real reason appeared to be that last-minute deals between the largest Shiite bloc and the Sunnis were falling apart.
“We were ready, we came with our candidates, but the others haven’t presented their candidates,” said Usama al-Nujaifi, the Sunni lawmaker, who served as speaker in the last Parliament but has agreed not to run this time.
“The country is completely collapsing and we need to unify the nation — the delay means more killing, more displaced and more emigration,” Mr. Nujaifi said. [Continue reading…]