We'll note this section.
Iraq is in the process of taking over most of the responsibility for paying the Awakening Councils, which formerly was done by the Americans. Control of the councils passed from the American military to the Iraqi Army on Jan. 1.
"I personally was in the finance minister's office about two hours ago and he showed me basically what you would call a deposit slip, depositing the money in the Rafidain Bank," General Perkins said. The amount was $30 million, he said, which is the monthly payroll for Iraq's 94,000 Awakening Council members.
$30 million is the monthly payroll? David Perkins needs to appear before Congress because they were told, in testimony, that $18 million a month was the cost. That's $12 million more per month than anyone bothered to inform, $164 million a year.
"He said he was satisfied that the Iraqi government acted on valid evidence." Prior to that sentence, Nordland summarizes charges Perkins says are against Adil al-Mashhadani. Nordland should have provided an actual quote. The comments Perkins is making are not helpful to the mitigating tensions and may inflame them. I don't doubt Nordland's summary, but it should have been a direct quote because you have a US military spokesperson vouching for -- which really isn't Perkins' job -- criminal charges brought by the Iraqis against an Iraqi citizen. Perkins is a military flack. He is not an attorney nor is he trained in the criminal justice system. His comments should not have been made. Had Nordland quoted him directly, we'd rip Perkins apart right now; however, if there is fallout, Perkins will claim that the summary is incorrect. (Which is why Nordland should have provided a direct quote.)
It's a very strong article and you can comb over it for multiple details. We will note this section:
Criticism of the events in Fadhil continued to pour in from other members of the Awakening movement. "We made their hot places cold, but now the government's making them hot again," said Mustafa Kamel, leader of the council in Dora and Arab Jabour, both areas that saw particularly heavy fighting previously.
Kamel's feelings are a perfectly natural response and shouldn't surprise anyone. In yesterday's snapshot, we touched on this element:
Fadel explains to the Real News Network that "Awakenings" feel betrayed because the US military gave or "Awakenings" thought they were given amnesty but that the US military could only give amnesty for attacks on the US, not attacks on Iraqis. Note that the term "amnesty" was used (this is me, not Leila) by the US military in recruiting "Awakenings." It caused some rumbles on the internet play left side of the world (Arianna Huffington was a huffing back then about it). Clearly, had the "Awakenings" known that the "amnesty" was limited, they wouldn't have gone along. What would be the point? Help pacify/terrorize the country and then when Nouri no longer needs them, he can pick them off? If they had known that the amnesty did not apply across the board, they would not have gone along because the reason they were armed and against the puppet government in the first place was they didn't trust the puppet government (or the puppet).
Iraq was up for grabs and the ones who became the "Awakenings" did not support the Shi'ite controlled and dominated government the US was setting up. There is no way in the world that, for a few dollars a day, they would have thrown their lot in with the central government if they'd known they'd be sidelined (or imprisoned) after they'd been utilized by the central government (and by the Americans) to do what neither US nor Baghdad-controlled forces could do. And Fadel is Leila Fadel of McClatchy. We'll note a new article by her in the next entry.
Borzou Daragahi was among the earliest of US correspondents in Iraq for the current Iraq War. He remains a Middle East correspondent for the Los Angeles Times but was moved out of Iraq at the time Iran seemed to be the war in waiting. In today's paper, he interviews Shi'ite thug Jawad Bolani in "A look inside Iraq's Interior Ministry:"
Say the words "interior ministry" in almost any Middle Eastern country and you're certain to evoke fear and resentment.
In the name of protecting the homeland, internal security forces in just about every Arab country limit civil liberties, intrude on private lives and abuse human rights.
Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad Bolani bills himself as an independent-minded democrat and civil servant who wants to secure his country without resorting to heavy-handed tactics that might undermine what he describes as his nation's democratic progress. He took a break from a recent conference of Arab interior ministers in Beirut to sit down for an interview with The Times.
In Iraq 2½ years ago, you said that death squad infiltration of your ministry was a problem that you were addressing but that you didn't want to disparage the work of most of your officers. How did you fix the problem?
In 2006, the security situation was not good, the ministry was infiltrated. Today we have an institution functioning well and following rules. A lot of reforms have been implemented. We worked on creating an institution that monitors the country but remains under the law.
We also cleansed the institution of bad elements, replacing 58 senior officers.
Was it a matter of increasing intelligence capacity?
A few months ago, we inaugurated a new intelligence center equipped with the best technological equipment. We rely a lot on intelligence information to fight against [the group] Al Qaeda [in Iraq] and other outlawed militias. We have more than 10,000 elements [operatives] in the intelligence agency of the ministry.
These 10,000 elements, what have they accomplished so far?
They submitted 43,000 reports on various issues. Through the information they provided, we were able to arrest more than 800 wanted elements.
With Aimee Allison (co-host of KPFA's The Morning Show with Philip Maldari), David Solnit authored Army Of None -- a valuable and wonderful book on counter-recruiting and strategies for peace. David Solnit notes:
Friend and filmmaker Rick Rowley comes to town with three films just shot on the ground in Iraq-- in typical high energy in-your-face style. Rick is joined by local IVAW organizer Carl "Davey" Davison and cutting-edge movement analyst Antonia Juhasz to do some collective thinking-discussing about how we can take on Obama to make the world a better place. Hope you can join us!
Please Invite your friends:
Bay Area Premiere
from the makers of "Fourth World War" & "This is What Democracy Looks Like"
A Big Noise Film
followed by a Public Discussion:
How Do We End Occupation & Empire Under Obama?
Carl Davison, organizer with Iraq Veterans Against the War, served in the Marines and the Army, and refused deployment to Iraq.
Antonia Juhasz, analyst, activist, author of Tyrany of Oil; The World's Most Powerful Industry--and What We Must Do to Stop It
Rick Rowley, Big Noise film maker recently returned for Iraq.
Friday April 3, 7pm
992 Valencia Street (at 21st), SF
Everyone welcome, $6 donation requested, not required.
Obama's Iraq is an evening of short films never before seen in America. Shot on the other side of the blast shields in Iraq's walled cities, it covers a very different side of the war than is ever seen on American screens. It reports unembedded from war-torn Falluja, from the giant US prison at Umm Qasr, from the Mehdi Army stronghold inside Sadr City -- from the places where mainstream corporate channels can not or will not go. Obama's Iraq asks the questions -- what is occupation under Obama, and how can we end the war in Iraq and the empire behind it? After the film, a public discussion will begin to answer that question. Join us.
Sponsored by Courage to Resist,
Bay Area Iraq Veterans Against the War,
& Unconventional Action in the Bay.
That will appear every morning between now and Friday in one of the morning entries. I'll try to add additional links in the announcement as the week progresses. We'll also note a film this morning, A Jihad for Love:
The following community sites updated last night:
The e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org.
the new york times
real news network
the los angeles times
a jihad for love