Sunday, March 21, 2010

And the war drags on . . .

March 7th, Iraqis completed their voting in Parliamentary elections. Today is March 21st and the votes are still being counted. Rania El Gamal and Khalid al-Ansary (Reuters) report that 95% of the votes have been counted and that the results of the 100% count (unofficial count) would not be publicly revealed until Friday; however, Ayad Allawi's political party is at the top of the seesaw currently. One minute the unofficial count has Allawi in the lead and then, as more votes are counted, the lead switches to Nouri al-Maliki's political party. Then it switches again. At this rate, if the official count is anything like the current count, either political party could become the ruling party depending upon which one is able to enter a power-sharing coalition soonest. Martin Chulov (Guardian) reports, "Iraq's prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has invoked the spectre of renewed violence if there is no recount of all ballots cast in the general election as its chaotic aftermath appears to increasingly threaten his grip on power." When in doubt, Nouri always screams violence is coming. Of course, when it actually comes, he's forever caught by surprise. Margaret Coker (Wall St. Journal) reports, "Iraq's electoral commission on Sunday brushed aside increased pressure from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other politicians demanding a recount in the close parliamentary race that could unseat the incumbent leader and other officials who have dominated Iraq's transition to democracy." If you're thinking of Nouri and how he loves to scream violence to get his way, you may be aware of step two: He stages protests. Hannah Allam and Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy's Miami Herald) report that already Nouri's supporters have taken to the streets in Najaf to 'protest.' The two reporters add:

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 4383 -- though ICCC only listed 4382. Tonight? Four deaths were reported last week and ICCC notes the number is now 4386.


Reuters reports a Baghdad roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 police officer (two more were injured), a Mosul grenade attack injured two Iraqis and a Mosul roadside bombing injured two Iraqi soldiers.


Reuters notes one "government official" and his driver were shot and wounded by unknown assailants, a Falluja home invasion claimed the lives of a husband and wife, 1 Iraqi soldier was shot dead in Mosul and 1 elderly man was shot dead in Mosul.

New content at Third:

Isaiah's latest goes up after this. Pru notes Richard Seymour's "Green Zone: an arrogant movie that justifies American wars" (Great Britian's Socialist Worker):

Hollywood has a revisionist narrative for every war – like the myth that the US single-handedly won the Second World War.

Paul Greengrass’s Green Zone is another boring, self-obsessed story of lost American innocence.

It critiques neoconservative foreign policy from a liberal imperialist comfort zone.

Here neocon trickery took the US to war while the occupation failed due to bad planning, ideological zealotry, and an over-emphasis on democracy.

Unit leader Roy Miller (Matt Damon) asks why the weapons of mass destruction sites his unit investigates are empty.

The Pentagon and the neocons obstruct him – yet the CIA “good guys” are his allies.

The torture of prisoners is attributed to the neocons – yet the CIA has run the US torture complex throughout the “war on terror”.

Miller is assisted by a “native” informer whose motives are unclear.

He complains about the lack of basic amenities for Iraqis, but never seems to hold it against the Americans.

His role is to voice the democratic aspirations of Iraqis – and to give the impression that the US is their natural ally.

Yet the film believes that Iraqis weren’t ready for democracy.

Miller’s CIA boss thinks that the Ba’athist army is necessary to stop Sunnis, Shia and Kurds tearing each other apart.

However, Iraq was not profoundly riven by sectarianism before the invasion in 2003.

Another of Miller’s allies is reporter Lawrie Dayne. In the run-up to war, Dayne disseminated lies about Iraq’s WMD, fed to her by Bush administration officials.

Her story bears obvious similarities to that of Judith Miller, whose reports of Iraq’s “weapons” were used to justify war.

Miller went to jail to protect Dick Cheney’s chief-of-staff Lewis Libby, and now works at the neocon Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

Unlike Miller, Dayne welcomes the truth and has no ideological axe to grind.

By reinventing Miller as a well-meaning dupe, the film vindicates a rotten profession that continues to lie about Iraq.

Miller finds that the neocons fabricated WMD sites and angrily demands to know what will happen next time “we need people to trust us”.

The film is most angry about the damage to America’s reputation. It is an effort to restore that reputation, at whatever cost to the truth.

© Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.

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mohammed al dulaimy
the los angeles times
ned parker
caesar ahmed
the socialist worker