Sunday, May 10, 2009

And the war drags on . . .

Throughout history, those who collaborate with the occupiers of their country tend to end up hung out to dry, or dead. The occupation of Iraq is no different; collaboration and the poison fruits that come of it are on full display for the history books once again. Only now, the rapidity with which this is happening is staggering.
On May 5, the Iraqi military killed Basim Mohammed and detained his brother. Mohammed was a member of the Sahwa, the 100,000-strong Sunni militia composed mostly of former resistance fighters that the US created in order to use them to battle al-Qaeda in Iraq, as well as paying them off to draw down the number of attacks against occupation forces.
The Sahwa, who were supposed to be given government jobs either in security or in civil services, have been betrayed. Instead of being given the promised jobs, they have been consistently targeted by the Iraqi military, and at times the US military, which has left them vulnerable as well to attacks from al-Qaeda. As a result, they are walking off their security jobs for lack of pay, and have largely ceased their military operations against al-Qaeda. The predictable result is what we have been witnessing over the last months -- a slow but steady increase in the number of attacks against Iraqi and US forces and a dramatic rise in the spectacular car bomb attacks in largely Shia areas that kill scores at a time.
The obvious solution would be for the Obama administration to pressure its client government in Baghdad to fulfill promises to incorporate the Sahwa into its ranks, as well as applying pressure to Prime Minister Maliki to lay off targeting the Sahwa and its leadership.
Instead, Sahwa members like Mohammed are being killed and their family members detained, and the attacks continue. On May 3, Iraqi forces arrested Nadhim al-Jubouri, a Sahwa leader in the volatile Salahadin province. In March, Iraqi forces detained Adil al-Mashadani, head of another Sahwa group in the Fadhil neighborhood of central Baghdad -- which ignited clashes between US, Iraqi and Sahwa forces that left three men dead and set the stage for more bloodletting.

The above is from Dahr Jamail's "Laying the Groundwork for Violence" (Dissident Voice) and tonight the BBC reports Abed al-Kairiya ("senior member" of Sahwa, "Awakening," "Sons Of Iraq") was killed in a roadside bombing outside of Baghdad Saturday. In other news, today US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and US House Rep Rush Holt visited Iraq. Pelosi's office notes that they met with Nouri al-Maliki and with Ayad al-Smarai who is the new Speaker of Parliament and was his first meeting with any elected American officials since he became the Speaker. The issues discussed on the trip were:

rooting out wide-spread corruption that is impeding reconstruction and the delivery of services to the Iraqi people;
providing security to all Iraqi citizens;
resolving the border conflict between the Kurds and Iraqis; and
building a strong Iraqi intelligence capability.

On the issue of corruption, Natalia Antelava (BBC) reports Sabah Mohammed al-Sudani, brother of Trade Minister Abd Falah al-Sudani (CIA spelling, also spelled Abed al-Falah al-Sudani and Abdel Falah al-Sudani), was arrested Saturday after he and his brother "vanished in late April as they were about to be arrested." Trade Minister al-Sudani was born in Iraq but lived elsewhere.

Abed Falah al-Sudani

His official bio includes:

-Ph.D in Biochemistry, Swansea University , Wales, UK,1981
- Researcher at the Biochemistry Department, Swansea University,Wales,UK
- Member of the British Royal Society of Biological Sciences
- Defending strategic analyzer and political editor, Al-A'alam weekly magazine London,UK
- Founding member of the Islamic House in London,UK
- President and member of the Muslims Youth Association, London ,UK,1986
- Former President of Orient Center for Studies ,London,UK
- Member of Iraq National Assembly,2005
- Minister of Education of the Republic of Iraq,(2005-2006)
- Member of Iraqi Parliament,2006

A government made of exiles. A government of exiles installed by the US (photo below with Carlos Gutierrez, then US Secrectary of Commerce, in July of 2006).

Abed Falah al-Sudani and Carlos Gutierrez

Pelosi and anyone else can make as many visits as they want and it doesn't mean a damn thing. It never will. You can't turn a country over to the exiles. You can't do that and expect it to have any legitimacy with the people of the country. After WWII, the US was among those deciding who would have power in western Germany and who wouldn't. Collaborators with the Nazi regime? Largely kept up (initially). But they didn't go running in search of exiles and they easily could have. Who was targeted? Those were the people (initially) put in charge. So, for example, presses were turned over to Communists and other targeted groups.

There was never a reason to go to war with Iraq. And you hear so many people talk about "we bungled the occupation" as they try to promote illegal wars of choice in the future. I don't believe in doing that but I do think it bears pointing out that the Iraqi government has never had any legitimacy with the Iraqi people because it is not the Iraqi people. al-Maliki is only one of the many exiles. You don't respect people who leave your country to save their own hides and only return after a foreign power topples your government. You don't see those people as being part of your country because they high tailed it out decades ago. While you lived (and suffered), they were off in other countries. The idea that they would then be installed as your leaders is offensive. These installed leaders are Iraqi by birth only and they have no history within the country. And the decision to install these exiles goes to the same arrogance, lack of respect and disregard for history that started the illegal war.

They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)

Last Sunday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4278 and tonight? 4287. Saturday the US military announced: "A U.S. Soldier was killed in a non-combat related vehicle accident May 9. The accident is under investigation. The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense." And they announced: "JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq -- A 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Soldier died here as a result of non-combat related causes May 8.
The Soldier’s name is being withheld pending next of kin notification and release by the Department of Defense." In other violence . . .


Sahar Issa and Hussein Kadhimm (McClatchy Newspapers) report a Baghdad roadside bombing which wounded three. Saturday Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reported a Mosul roadside bombing which injured one person.


Sahar Issa and Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) report Brig Gen Hakeem Jassim was shot dead in Basra last night. Saturday Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reported 1 police officer shot dead in Mosul and three civilians wounded.

New content at Third:

Truest statement of the week
Truest statement of the week II
A note to our readers
Editorial: Justice for Abeer?
TV: Smart drama and the real fringe
One Sings The Other Doesn't
Magazine throws bash
The Progressive Celebrates 100 Years of Racism
Passing a historical problem off as something 'new...
The woman who should sit on the Court
Diane Rehm censors Abeer
Community reactions to the verdict
She sounds like an idiot

Isaiah, where's Isaiah? He's saying that the series he did for El Spirito at the last minute left him without any ideas. I believe he's being kind. It was a long, long session at Third this morning. I just want to get this post done and up, eat something quickly and go to bed. So I will say thank you to Isaiah and note he plans to do a comic at some point during the week. And we have to finish Jim's note to the readers still (for Third). I didn't open the Times today, I'll look at it tomorrow.

Brett Barrouquere (AP) has an interesting look into the limited minds of Steven D. Green's defense team. Pru notes "Iraq occupation leaves a trail of lies and misery" (Great Britain's Socialist Worker):

The end of the British occupation of southern Iraq was accompanied with the usual pomp and circumstance.
Plaques to brave troops were unveiled while the politicians who took us into this war declared it a “noble deed”.
It was anything but. The troops were sent into Iraq on the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction capable of hitting Britain in 45 minutes.
They were kept there on a lie – that they were holding back the tide of extremism and building democracy.
And now they are being withdrawn on another lie – that it is a “job well done” and the country is in a better state now it was before.
Worst of all is the claim that, despite the illegal occupation, the Iraqis appreciate the professionalism of the British army.
The harsh truth is that George Bush and Tony Blair’s war was not worth the life of a single soldier or any of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who perished. Instead of bringing peace the war has left a trail of destruction, misery and uncertainty.
The British occupation was mired in scandal. Stories of torture, summary executions, the shooting of civilians and mass roundups are still emerging.
Far from the “withdrawal” marking the end of the occupation, Britain has simply handed its bases over to the US army.
Iraq is still not independent, democratic or secure. The invasion has created a region that will continue to be the centre of instability and war for years to come.
© Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.
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