Friday, March 04, 2011


Kirkuk is oil rich, disputed territory in Iraq. The central government or 'government' in Baghdad claims it has the right to it while the KRG claims it belongs to them. Both lay claims about this period of time where their own was most discriminated against and forced out. The issue was supposed to have been addressed sometime ago. Supposed? The Constitution mandated that it be addressed. The US White House's 2007 benchmarks -- signed off on by the US Congress and Nouri al-Maliki -- demanded that progress be made on the issue or US funds would be cut off. That didn't happen -- it didn't get addressed and US tax payer dollars continued to flow like honey to Nouri. The issue has been postponed repeatedly. More recently, the Constitutionally mandated census -- long pushed back -- was supposed to finally take place in December. That got 'postponed'. It's an issue that's been kicked down the road repeatedly.

Wednesday's snapshot noted, "Al Rafidayn reports Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani held a press conference yesterday where he said the KRG would weigh reforms while noting that he had ordered the pesh merga into Kirkuk. Dar Addustour reports that Kirkuk's curfew was removed yesterday in part due to the influx of additional pesh merga forces."

Today, Al Rafidayn reports that a source close to Nouri al-Maliki is stating that Nouri is demanding the KRG remove the thousands of pesh merga they've deployed to Kirkuk without his permission. Nidhal al-Laithi (Azzaman) reports KRG President "Massoud Barzani, in comments on his decision to send in his militias, said he wanted to protect the Kurds in the city. However, he did not say from whom. The presence of the Kurdish militia has ignited harsh criticism from both Arab and Turkmen communities in Kirkuk who charge that the Kurds are intent to resort to force to annex the city." Wednesday, Wisam al-Bayati (Press TV -- link has text and video) filed a report noting, "Turkmen lawmakers and officials described the presence of these troops as unconstitutional. They say Iraqi security forces have the capability of dealing with the situation by themselves, and that the Kurds have the ambition to take over the city." The report (video) also notes Mohammed al-Juburi, of the Kirkuk Provincial Council, who asserts "that the US presence in Kirkuk is one of the main obstacles to stability. He claims that the US is creating instability by supporting the Kurds against the Arabs and the Turkemen." He is quoted stating, "An active role has been played by the US troops in the city and allowing US troops to commit violations against the Arabs means that they are supporting these violations."

The following community sites updated last night and this morning:

David Bacon's latest book is Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press) which won the CLR James Award. He's a journalist and he's an artist. He has an upcoming exhibit.

Beyond Borders:
Immigration Images and Stories
Photographs by David Bacon and Kathya Landeros

Viewpoint Photographic Art Center
2015 J. Street, Suite 101
Sacramento, CA 95811-3124
Phone: 916-441-2341

Exhibit Dates:
Wed, 03/09/2011 - Sat, 04/02/2011
Artist Reception Date:
Fri, 03/11/2011 - 5:30pm - 9:00pm
2nd Saturday Reception:
Sat, 03/12/2011 - 5:30pm - 9:00pm

An exhibition of documentary photographs by David Bacon and Kathya Landeros about immigration to the United States from Mexico and Central America.

An experienced photographer, journalist, and former labor organizer, Bacon's stunning work of photographs and oral history documents the new reality of migrant experience: the creation of transnational communities. He takes us inside these communities and illuminates the ties that bind them together, the influence of their working conditions on their families and health, and their struggle for better lives.

Landeros, herself from a family of immigrants from Central Mexico, proposes that "If one can accept that the history of migratory policy toward Mexico has been complicated as we negotiate between our demands for labor and our need for cultural sovereignty, then we can acknowledge that the migrant communities that have developed in Mexico are a manifestation of these complexities."

Coachella, CA, 2010, David Bacon

Graton, CA, 2004, David Bacon

For more articles and images, see

See also Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press, 2008)
Recipient: C.L.R. James Award, best book of 2007-2008

See also the photodocumentary on indigenous migration to the US
Communities Without Borders (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006)

See also The Children of NAFTA, Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border (University of California, 2004)

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends