May 1, 2016

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: Iraq Parliament Collapses, Lawmakers Flee Baghdad. “Baghdad teetered on the edge of political chaos Sunday. The city is in a state of emergency, protesters have occupied parts of the once-secure International Zone (IZ), lawmakers have run away and the military is on high alert.”

The White House, as usual, was caught by surprise. And Joe Biden displayed his usual golden touch:

Biden’s meetings Thursday with Abadi and other senior Iraqi officials focused primarily on making sure that the political strife in Baghdad was not interfering with military preparations to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, from the Islamic State.

“We talked about the plans that are in store for Mosul and the coordination that’s going on with all of our friends here,” Biden told reporters after his meeting with the Iraqi prime minister. “And so, I’m very optimistic.”

As he spoke, the vice president was standing next to Salim al-Jubouri, the Iraqi parliament speaker. He pointed to Jubouri and noted that they last talked in Biden’s office in Washington. “This is an old friend,” Biden said.

Less than 36 hours later, the protesters were dancing and stomping on Jubouri’s desk in front of the parliament chamber. Jubouri had fled the building.

Jeez.

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