Soccer wins and happy talk!
What's going on?
As a friend just explained to me, it's like when a dignitary visits an area and, before hand, the local government goes through dressing up the depressed areas (which they never address) to make it all shiny and bright and pretty.
Gordon Brown, who supports the illegal war, arrived today. The Prime Minister and the Bully Boy had a pleasant dinner and isn't that what's really important? News be damned, let's get out the roll out! The War Hawks make nice one another and plot the next war. Illustration is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Quotable Bully Mama."
In the real world, Courage to Resist notes that war resister Mark Wilkerson has been released from the military prison. Wilkerson was sentenced to seven months on Feb. 22nd. He was released early. Wilkerson turned himself last August and announced his decision to do so at Camp Casey.
Meanwhile the United Nations has spoken out against Turkey's returning 135 Iraqi refugees to Iraq and the US will be taking 1,700 Iraqi refugees from Turkey (Kurdish refugees). Next month (which starts this week), the puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki will journey to Turkey for a meeting. US Secretary of State and Anger Condi Rice and US Secretary of Defense head off the Middle East tomorrow.
Reuters reports 17 corpses discovered in Baghdad (what, you thought the sports match would stop the violence? -- 20 corpses were discovered Saturday), two dead in Baghdad from "stray bullets," "Five people were killed and 16 wounded in the city of Kut," a Balad mortar attack claimed 6 lives, a Baghdad roadside bombing wounded four, a Kirkuk mortar attack wounded five, a Baghdad mortar attack wounded three, 8 people were shot dead outside Tuz Khurmato,
a police officer was shot dead in Kut. That's some of the reported violence and the previous sentence notes (counting corpses discovered on Sunday) 39 deaths.
Ned Parker's "Interior Ministry mirrors chaos of a fractured Iraq" (Los Angeles Times) offers a detailed look at the puppet government's Minstry of the Interior:
The very language that Americans use to describe government -- ministries, departments, agencies -- belies the reality here of militias that kill under cover of police uniforms and remain above the law. Until recently, one or two Interior Ministry police officers were assassinated each week while arriving or leaving the building, probably by fellow officers, senior police officials say. That killing has been reduced, but Western diplomats still describe the Interior Ministry building as a "federation of oligarchs." Those who work in the building, like the colonel, liken departments to hostile countries. Survival depends on keeping abreast of shifting factional alliances and turf.
On the second floor is Gen. Mahdi Gharrawi, a former national police commander. Last year, U.S. and Iraqi troops found 1,400 prisoners, mostly Sunnis, at a base he controlled in eastern Baghdad. Many showed signs of torture. The interior minister blocked an arrest warrant against the general this year, senior Iraqi officials confirmed.
The third- and fifth-floor administrative departments are the domain of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's Islamic Dawa Party, a Shiite group.
The sixth, home to border enforcement and the major crimes unit, belongs to the Badr Organization militia. Its leader, Deputy Minister Ahmed Khafaji, is lauded by some Western officials as an efficient administrator and suspected by others of running secret prisons.
The seventh floor is intelligence, where the Badr Organization and armed Kurdish groups struggle for control.
The ninth floor is shared by the department's inspector general and general counsel, religious Shiites. Their offices have been at the center of efforts to purge the department's remaining Sunni employees. The counsel's predecessor, a Sunni, was killed a year ago.
"They have some bad things on the ninth," says the colonel, a Sunni who, like other ministry officials, spoke on condition of anonymity to guard against retaliation.
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