I hope these men do their jobs half as well as the young American and British troops who lost their lives in Iraq did theirs.
From USA Today
IRAQ'S NEW LEADERS
PRESIDENT JALAL TALABANI: A leader of Iraq's Kurdish minority, he is serving second term as president. Talabani, born in 1933, founded Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in 1975, one of two main Kurdish parties that fought Saddam Hussein and has jointly ruled Kurds' autonomous zone in north since 1990s. He had open disputes with outgoing prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.
PRIME MINISTER-DESIGNATE JAWAD AL-MALIKI: Veteran leader of Shiite Dawa Party, he spent more than 20 years in exile, mostly in Syria. Since returning, was one of top negotiators for Shiite Muslim bloc in drafting new constitution and was deputy head of committee for purging former Baath Party members from military and government. Born July 1, 1950, in village outside Karbala.
PARLIAMENT SPEAKER MAHMOUD AL-MASHHADANI: Sunni Arab activist with Islamic fundamentalist groups that opposed Saddam's rule in 1980s and 1990s. Born in 1948 in Shiite district of Baghdad, al-Mashhadani trained as doctor was arrested twice by Saddam's regime, in 1980s and 2000. Was elected to parliament as part of main Sunni bloc, Iraqi Accordance Front.
VICE PRESIDENT ADIL ABDUL-MAHDI: A leading member of Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, biggest Shiite party, he is serving second term as vice president. Born in 1942, he is French-educated son of respected Shiite cleric who was Cabinet minister during Iraq's monarchy.
VICE PRESIDENT TARIQ AL-HASHIMI: Head of Iraqi Islamic party, now under umbrella of Iraqi Accordance Front, first major alliance among Sunni Arabs. Loosely associated with Egypt's fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood. Born in Baghdad in 1942, strongly opposes autonomous regions in Iraq, supports removing Shiite militiamen from security forces, backs ending Baathist purge.
DEPUTY PARLIAMENT SPEAKER KHALID AL-ATTIYAH: Cleric who is independent lawmaker within Shiite alliance. Born in 1949 outside southern city of Diwaniyah, studied Islamic jurisprudence in holy city of Najaf. Fled Iraq in 1979 after being arrested several times, working in academic and religious institutions. Headed Islamic Studies department at Oxford University 2000-04.
DEPUTY PARLIAMENT SPEAKER AREF TAYFOUR: Leading member of Kurdistan Democratic Party, he spent short periods in exile in Iran and Austria. Returned to northern Kurdistan region when it gained de facto autonomy after 1991 Gulf War and served in KDP's Political Bureau. Born in 1945 in northern city of Sulaimaniyah.
-- The Associated Press
Now let's hope those casualty numbers start coming down again.
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