Sunday, September 26, 2010

And the war drags on . . .

BBC News reports the Iranian government sent their Revolutionary Guard into Iraq's borders where they killed at least 30 Kurds whom the Revolutionary Guard decided were 'militants.' Nasser Karimi (AP) reports that the raid took place on Saturday but Iran announced it today. And, yes, a functioning government would be aware if another country's military crossed the borders onto their soil. Meanwhile Burhan Nawprdani (Rudaw) reports, "The Iranian government has been building a wall and setting up several military outposts on its border with Iraqi Kurdistan, an attempt that could lessen trafficking between the Iranian Kurds and Iraqi Kurds. Rudaw has found out that one of the outposts will be located in the Iraqi territory. Iran's pretext for building these military outposts and the wall is the prevention of smuggling of goods and drug trafficking. According to an anonymous source from Kurdistan’s Border Police, the Iranian government has already built six military outposts in the Haji Omaran area." Lara Jakes (AP) reports on the Iranian bases here.

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, the number of US military people killed in the Iraq War since the start of the illegal war was 4424. Tonight? PDF format warning, DoD listed the the number of Americans killed serving in Iraq at 4425. Since that was the count on Thursday (last updated on Friday) it does not include Saturday's news that Marc Whisenart was killed in Kuwait while on his second tour of duty in the Iraq War but it may or may not include Pfc Gebrah P. Noonan whom Middletown Press reports died Thursday in Falluja and that Governor Jodi Rell has ordered that state flags be lowered on Noonan's behalf. Whisenart may or may not be covered in the following USF announcement made Friday but Noonan most likely isn't, "CAMP LIBERTY – Two United States Forces - Iraq service members died of injuries sustained in a non-combat-related incident today. One other service member was injured and evacuated to a military medical facility for treatment."

In other violence . . .


Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports the Green Zone was attacked with mortars this morning. Reuters notes a Baquba car bombing injured three people (alternate figures are 1 dead, five injured), a Garma car bombing claimed the lives of 3 police officers and left two more injured, a Baghdad roadside bombing injured three people, a second Baghdad roadside bombing injured six people and a third Baghdad roadside bombing injured three people.


Reuters notes 1 person was shot dead in Mosul, 1 Iraqi military officer shot dead in Baghad, 1 police captain shot dead in Baghdad, a Mosul home invasion in which 2 brothers were shot dead, the Integrity Commission's Laith Muhanad was shot dead in Baghdad and "a Ministry of Culture employee" was wounded in a Baghdad shooting.

As the violence continues, so do Nouri's little mind games with the Sunnis. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reports that Anbar is about to get even more tense and possibly more unstable as police officrs there ("hundreds") are about to kicked out because they were Sahwa -- known at the time they were hired, in fact, the reason they were hired. The blame is being laid at the Ministry of Interior whose minister, remember, is appointed by Nouri. Not noted by Fadel is that the Sunni-stronghold could be the location for strong protests should an announcement be made that State Of Law's Nouri will remain in place as prime minister despite his slate coming in second and despite the fact that he is both controversial and unpopular.

March 7th, Iraq concluded Parliamentary elections. The Guardian's editorial board noted last month, "These elections were hailed prematurely by Mr Obama as a success, but everything that has happened since has surely doused that optimism in a cold shower of reality." 163 seats are needed to form the executive government (prime minister and council of ministers). When no single slate wins 163 seats (or possibly higher -- 163 is the number today but the Parliament added seats this election and, in four more years, they may add more which could increase the number of seats needed to form the executive government), power-sharing coalitions must be formed with other slates, parties and/or individual candidates. (Eight Parliament seats were awarded, for example, to minority candidates who represent various religious minorities in Iraq.) Ayad Allawi is the head of Iraqiya which won 91 seats in the Parliament making it the biggest seat holder. Second place went to State Of Law which Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister, heads. They won 89 seats. Nouri made a big show of lodging complaints and issuing allegations to distract and delay the certification of the initial results while he formed a power-sharing coalition with third place winner Iraqi National Alliance -- this coalition still does not give them 163 seats. They are claiming they have the right to form the government. In 2005, Iraq took four months and seven days to pick a prime minister. It's six months and nineteen days with no government formed.

Timothy Williams and Yasi Ghazi (New York Times) observe:

The voters have since watched winter turn to spring, and now summer become fall -- and the people they elected still have no leader. They are waiting for their parties to come to an agreement so they can start work. And while the summer months were marked by a surge in violence and by riots over the lack of electricity, drinking water and other basic services, in Baghdad, members of Parliament have lived out a workers' fantasy: a vacation of more than 200 days (and counting), with full pay and benefits, each free to do his heart's desire.

New content at Third:

Isaiah's latest goes up after this. Pru notes "School students to relaunch School Students Against the War" (Great Britain's Socialist Worker):

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An important meeting of school students will take place this weekend.

School and FE students from across Britain will gather for the relaunch of School Students Against the War.

School students played a huge role in the anti‑war movement in 2003 and continue to do so.

Young people walked out of lessons and out of school in protest at the war in Iraq. There were teach-ins and occupations.

The meeting is on Sunday 26 September, Marchmont Community Centre, 62 Marchmont St, London WC1N 1AB. Nearest tube:Russell Square

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