Saturday, May 29, 2010

Nouri keeps singing 'And I am telling you, I'm not going'

Leading figures from the Iraqiya List -- most prominently Iyad Allawi -- walked out of their latest meeting with Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al Sistani, the highest-ranking Shia Marja in Iraq, making the same old statements. They repeated the same phrase, "Al Sistani is keeping an equal distance from everyone. He doesn't favour one Iraqi political party over the other."
As for Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al Sistani who is present amid all these complications and the overlapping between religion, politics, history and interests, it would be wise on his part if he continues to keep his distance from everyone and avoids any imbalance in that respect.
Rafi al Issawi, who is a prominent figure in the Iraqiya List, warned the Iraqi political parties that claim that they are favoured by al Sistani, as he said, "Al Sistani expressed no explicit support for anyone." Two days earlier, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said the Shia attempt to close ranks had succeeded with little encouragement from the Grand Marjas in Iraq and Iran.

The above is from Mshari Al-Zaydi's "Al Sistani Fears the Distance" (Asharq Alawsat Newspaper) and Parliamentary elections in Iraq concluded March 7th. Second place winner was the State Of Law political slate and Nouri's bound and determined to hold onto the position of prime minister. Khaled Farhan (Reuters) notes, "Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Saturday his party would not compromise on its choice of government leader, resisting pressure from potential coalition partners for him to step aside." Saad Abdul-Kadir (AP) reports the "comments revealed an unwillingness to budge in negotiations." Tang Danlu (Xinhua) reports:

Maliki came second with two seats less than the front-runner of March 7 parliamentary elections, the former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi who took the lead with 91 seats. Both leaders have been in a fierce struggle over who will have the right to form the new government.

Iraqi journalist Sardasht Osman was kidnapped from his college campus and murdered. His corpse was discovered May 6th. Vahal (Mideast Youth) weighs in:

The murder of Sardasht Osman is a crime that must be utterly and unconditionally condemned by anyone who cares for this region. It is sad, however, that this crime was so rapidly and so disgustingly politicized by the members of the opposition group. It saddens me that this cruel crime whose first and foremost target was the stability of this region, was so quickly prejudged by some lunatic figures whose zeal for authority and money allows them to cross all lines of ethics, including outright lying on TV stations.
There are those who believe in the freedom of expression and then are those who abuse that freedom in the name of "independent media," unfortunately many so called "independent" media outlets here in Kurdistan have opted to become part of the latter category. The "independent" newspapers in question are Hawlati and Awena newspapers, both of which refuse to reveal their sources of revenue, both of which mislead their readers by claiming that being independent of the establishment actually means independent journalism. A quick glance at either of these two papers reveals that there is no balanced reporting and that they both lack the most basic journalistic ethics.
Alas the Western press here in Iraq often relies on these papers for their news, for example, AFP has hired the chief editor of Awena to serve as their Kurdistan stringer/correspondent. By doing so, AFP is in violation of EU regulations of balanced reporting.

In some of today's reported violence, Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing claimed the lives of 2 Iraqi soldiers and injured two more and Abdulmelik Marwan was shot dead in Mosul while the highs chool student was riding his motor cycle. Reuters notes 1 man and his son were shot dead in Hamam al-Alil and a Mosul roadside bombing claimed the lives of 2 Iraqi police officer.

We'll note this from Sherwood Ross' "PLIGHT OF BLACK POOR: CONDITIONS CONTINUE TO WORSEN" (OpEd News):

“The conditions now, in my view, are unquestionably worse in the inner cities,” attorney and civil rights stalwart David Ginsburg told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Education is worse. Housing is worse. Unemployment is worse. We now have a drug problem that we didn’t have in 1967 and 1968. There are millions of handguns. The cities have been essentially disregarded by the federal government.”
Ginsburg knew what he was talking about. He served as executive director of President Lyndon Johnson’s National Commission on Civil Disorders, formed after explosive race riots swept the nation in 1967. He believed white America was responsible for that unrest by penning African-Americans into ghettos. “White institutions created it (the ghetto), white institutions maintain it and white society condones it,” he said, according to his obituary in The New York Times.
Ginsburg, who died May 23rd at his home in Alexandria, Va., at age 98, made the statement quoted above in 1992 comparing the situation then with the Sixties, but he might just as well have spoken today comparing our grim realities with the bleak Nineties. That’s because a poverty-struck black underclass continues to be a source of profits for the unscrupulous.
Slumlords charge exorbitant rents. “Convenience” stores charge higher prices. Military recruiters have their pick of jobless youth desperate for work. And the for-profit, private prisons increase their head count (and income) as the judicial system hands off the young drug peddlers caught in the legal web. As the Kaiser Family Foundation reported, African-Americans fill 40 percent of the nation’s prison cells. Yet they make up just 13 percent of the nation’s population.
It’s a fact, the Associated Press reported, that “More than three times as many black people live in prison cells as in college dorms,” according to a Census Bureau finding in 2006. “It’s one of the great social and economic tragedies of our time,” Marc Morial, president and CEO of the Urban League, commented. “It points to the signature failure in our education system and how we’ve been raising our children.”

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