Monday, March 21, 2011

20,000 US troops stay after Dec. 31, 2011?

Al Mada reports today that Nouri al-Maliki and other Iraqi officials are discussing with US officials the possibility of the US military keeping around 20,000 US troops in Iraq after December 31, 2011. The report notes that the officials, military figures and analysts in both countries fear that "withdrawal could threaten the fragile stability in Iraq" and US Maj Gen Edward Cardon is quoted citing the long (continued) delay of Nouri forming a government and saying that there was no prime minister for so long and everything slowed down as a result. The report also references AP and I'm guessing it's this report by Lara Jakes. Meanwhile, Dar Addustour reports that 200 Iraqis demonstrated Saturday in Mosul demanding that US troops leave the country.

Al Mada notes press reports that Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani has stated he will step down if political reforms do not take place in the KRG. Barzani easily won re-election in 2009. If the reports are true, Barzani may be attempting to reposition himself as an 'agent of change' which would be difficult to do if he were to remain president. 'Those reports weren't true!' That's what Dar Addoustor reports the office of Parliament's Speaker Osama al-Najafi is saying regarding the report that Parliament has suspended sessions until March 27th. Of course, the denial only comes after the massive protests on Saturday by Iraqis outraged that Parliament was taking a break when they were supposed to be addressing the problems Iraqi face. Though the office has denied it, there are no sessions of Parliament currently scheduled for the week and, though the article doesn't mention it, al-Najafi's not even in Iraq. He's in Kuwait. If his office was worried about angry Iraqis, it probably wasn't a good idea to try lying to them. Alsumaria TV notes today that the decision to "suspended its sessions and delayed the ratification of laws was not well received by Iraqis who believe these stands are made to divert the people and shy away from demonstrators’ demands. "

Meanwhile Iraq's prodigal son Moqtada al-Sadr, Al Mada reports, was confronted about the assaults on journalists by Iraqi forces including by some of his people and Moqtada declared it's not within him to attack journalists and urged reporters to get the words correct when reporting -- apparently that's why they're being beaten. So Moqtada doesn't think they're getting the words right or he is in talks with other figures who do not think the press is getting the words right? Interestingly and tellingly, he didn't condemn the attacks on journalists. But he wouldn't, now would he?

Bonnie notes Isaiah did "a slew of comics" over the weekend Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "She Hulk Wants", "Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Ego Tripper's Workout", Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Grim Peace Resister" and The World Today Just Nuts "The Hot Topics Dumpster".

On the issue of the nuclear risks and dangers in Japan, international law professor Francis A. Boyle declares "that the Nuclear Power Industry in Japan currently constitutes a Crime Against Humanity as defined by Article 7 of the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court, to which Japan is a contracting party."

Article 7

Crimes against humanity

1. For the purpose of this Statute, "crime against humanity" means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:….

(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.

2. For the purpose of paragraph 1:

(a) "Attack directed against any civilian population" means a course of conduct involving the multiple commission of acts referred to in paragraph 1 against any civilian population, pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or organizational policy to commit such attack; ….

The e-mail address for this site is