Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Hate The War

Rainbow World Fund
RWF Responds To Killing Of LGBT People In Iraq
Since 2004, hundreds of gay men have been killed in Iraq. Although this deadly campaign has been investigated and recognized by the Human Rights Report of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) in 2007, little has been done to stop the killings.
Over the past few months the violence and killing have escalated. LGBT people in Iraq are targeted by clerics, such as those associated with Moktada al-Sadr, who are reviving religious pressure against gays leading to killings and by militias seeking rally their bases. Currently, the majority of killing and torturing is being perpetrated by militias. Between February and March it is estimated that 28 to 60 men have been killed and many more have been terrorized and tortured.
1. Help provide safe passage, shelter, medical and psychiatric care to Iraqi LGBT people in danger. Donate Now: specify “IRAQ” when ask where you would like your money to go.
2. Contact your Congressperson and Senators and ask them what they are doing to stop the violence. Send them an email or call them directly (contact their local headquarters or DC office). Bringing the issue to their attention gets action!
3. Come out and show your support - search the net to find a rally near you.
In San Francisco:

On May 17, International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, RWF along with Gays Without Borders, a group of activist focused on the welfare of LGBT everywhere, held a rally to bring attention to this tragedy and raise funds to help LGBT Iraqis. Click here to see video highlights of the rally.
Click here to learn more about the situation and how RWF is helping.

Rainbow World Fund has a fundraiser in San Francisco tomorrow night (nine p.m. to one a.m., Cafe Flora, 2298 Market St.). While the Rainbow World Fund continues working hard on the issue, the US Ambassador to Iraq Chris Hill? Not so much. Chris Hill has never spoken publicly of the targeting of Iraq's LGBT community. He's done nothing.

But he's back in the United States and felt the need to comment on the Status Of Forces Agreement. "Forces." State Dept. What's not fitting there? Oh, yeah, this should be an issue for the Defense Dept not the State Dept. Human rights?

That's actually an issue for the State Dept and it's one that Hill and the State Dept have made the choice to avoid. The State Dept lied last week and got away with it because, hey, it's just the BBC, who doesn't lie to the BBC? And who doesn't lie to the BBC and get away with it?

The State Dept did. And Hill showed up in the US -- because, let's face it, he does nothing in Iraq -- and wanted to make jokes about North Korea before he got down to . . . yet again avoiding the issue of the attacks on the LGBT community.

Here's some of Chris Hill's yammering today:

Obviously, this is an important month because we’re getting to the -- one of the major milestones of the security agreement that is the out-of-the-city milestone where our combat forces will be out of the remaining urban areas in Iraq. It’s an important moment because some -- because as we go forward with the security agreement, we will also be moving ahead on something called the Strategic Framework Agreement, and this is an agreement which will really govern our relationship for, we hope, decades to come, that will involve our educational exchanges, economic relations, various political exchanges, things that we work on internationally.
So we want to make this Strategic Framework Agreement really the essence of the relationship, and to get to that we need to get through the remaining elements of the security agreement, and certainly the one dealing with -- the provision dealing with our combat forces out of the urban areas is obviously a key element of it.

Wants to talk all big but doesn't even know how many US service members are in Iraq and pleads that the question go to the Defense Dept. Let's laugh at Chris Hill.

QUESTION: Can you – I don’t know whether you’ve been to Kirkuk or not. This – any resolution or any advancement of the problem of solving Kirkuk, and also the oil revenue sharing?
AMBASSADOR HILL: Yeah. I think there has been some – there’s a lot of discussion within Iraq on oil revenue sharing, and – not so much revenue sharing, but overall exploitation of oil. I know the government in Baghdad has had renewed and, I think, positive discussions with the Kurdish regional authority on this matter. I think you saw some fruits of this just a few weeks ago when oil from Kurdish areas was exported out through the main pipeline and where the revenue sharing went according to the UN formula of 17 percent.
I know that the Iraqi Government is working very hard to see what can be done to boost oil production, and they are in touch directly with international oil companies on this. There has been a lot of discussion about where the so-called hydrocarbons law is. And if you ask various political leaders in Iraq, you get different answers as to the potential for getting this law through the parliament. Right now, I must say the discussion in the parliament is very much geared to getting an election law through so that parliamentary elections can take place as scheduled on January 16th.

First, Hill, the parliamentary elections were scheduled for December. January was the push-back date after Nouri and company announced they couldn't meet the scheduled date. Second, Hill wants to claim that things are trucking along with oil-rich Kirkuk?

This is Mohammed Abbas (Reuters) reporting tonight:

Iraq's Oil Ministry is in "disarray" as oil officials revolt against its plan to hold the country's first major auction of oil field contracts since the fall of Saddam Hussein, a Kurdish official said on Thursday.
Ashti Hawrami, natural resource minister for Iraq's oil-producing Kurdish region, said firms taking part in the auction this month will find it difficult or impossible to actually work in Iraq because of the dispute. [ID:nLE419256]
The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and the Shi'ite Arab-led Baghdad government have long feuded over how best to exploit Iraq's vast oil reserves, the world's third largest.

Yeah. Hill's an idiot. He's never grasped the issue and that was apparent in his embarrassing hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. But the most embarrassing thing remains that the is Gay and Lesbian Pride Month and Chris Hill refuses to speak out against the assaults on Iraq's LGBT community.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4311. Tonight? 4314.

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