Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nouri makes up his own rules (yet still breaks them)

Under Maliki's direction, the Iraqi high court recently ruled that only Maliki, not members of the Iraqi Parliament, could propose legislation. This is reminiscent of Saddam Hussein's control over the Iraqi Parliament.
Freedom of the press is almost dead in Iraq. Maliki has ordered his security forces to arrest journalists who are frequently subjected to beatings and torture. Newspaper offices are regularly raided and destroyed by Iraqi police.
After eight years of war funded by American blood and dollars, the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein has been replaced with the dictatorship of Maliki, which makes me question why we continue to place American lives on the line to defend the government of Iraq.
Why are scarce American tax dollars spent to financially support this corrupt government? Why are we giving Maliki military equipment to suppress his citizens who want democracy? Why are we paying for prisons in Iraq where innocent Iraqi citizens are detained and tortured because they want democracy?

The above is from Tom Zirpoli's "Iraq fast returning to dictatorship" (Carroll County Times). And that's the reality of Iraq. Though some may see Libya as pushing Iraq off the US news pages, the reality is that the few outlets still covering it were looking for a way to avoid the sorry state the US-occupied country is in. Violence is back up in Iraq and Alsumaria TV notes, "Some Iraqis attribute violence outbreak to rows among political parties while others blame the Parliament which suspended its sessions and delayed the nomination of security ministers. Political analysts in their turn believe Iraq insecurity is due to the delay in security ministers nomination which is getting more and more complicated on account of political parties competition."

Moqtada al-Sadr is back in Iraq for a bit more and the reason is he's supposed to secure a Cabinet post for Ahmed Chalabi per the Iranian government. Chalabi angled for the spot of prime minister in the lead up to the elections by purging various candidates from the lists but it wasn't enough for Iran to back him as prime minister. So the best he can hope for now is a Cabinet post.

Dar Addustour reports that State of Law (Nouri's slate) is resistant. Al Mada reports it was the National Alliance which joined with State of Law to reject Chalabi while Moqtada al-Sadr's supporters are backing Chalabi for Minister of the Interior. Meanwhile Al Rafidayn reports on Chalabi's attempts to grandstand on larger issues in an attempt to look official. Alsumaria TV notes, "The delay is submitting security ministers names is unjustifiable, State of Law Coalition members said while blaming part of the delay as well on political parties. National Alliance MPs complained in the same regard of their party’s delay in agreeing on the Interior Minister candidate while Iraqiya MPs criticized internal rows that delayed security ministers’ nominations, a source told Alsumaria."

When protests took hold in Baghdad, Nouri al-Malik and Moqtada al-Sadr joined forces to put up false fronts that would derail public anger. Among the measures they both pushed was 100 days. Corruption? Lack of adequate public services? Give the government 100 days and just you wait! For what? Al Mada reports part two of the 'plan,' demand 100 more days! The latest announcement is that one hundred days isn't enough so the government's going to take 200. That's over half a year. And it's been a year since elections but Nouri still doesn't have a full Cabinet.

Dar Addustour reports that the Ministry of National Reconciliation plans to hold a press conference with "Awakening" Thamer al-Tamimi to announce that he and his 200 person militia will be laying down their arms.


The outstanding record compiled by the trial advocacy teams of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover(MSLAW) in recent years is directly attributable to the school's innovative teaching methods, the team's coaches believe. Otherwise, how explain the law school's moot court victories over so many formidable law school opponents, including the best of the Ivy League?

Founded in 1988, the law school has rejected the teaching methods of the American Bar Association(ABA) to instead stress courses that prepare graduates to function in the everyday world of law---and that seems to be paying off in advocacy competitions. The primary innovative teaching approach used by the law school is one long used successfully by medical schools nationally but ignored by law school educators. “The medical school model is 'see one, do one, teach one,'” says Coyne, associate dean of MSLAW and director of the trial advocacy program. “Students see a surgery, do a surgery, and teach a surgery. Our students don't just read about the law.”

In 2008, MSLAW swept all four top places in the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Northeast Regional competition at Newark. “I do not know of any other law school that has ever done that,” says Coyne. (In the finals, MSLAW teams faced other MSLAW teams.) This past March, MSLAW won the New England competition of the American Association of Justice, (formerly the American Trial Lawyers Assn.), considered the most prestigious of the competitions. In the last five years in the Thurgood Marshall competition, MSLAW teams have finished nationally in third place three times, second place twice, and first place once. There are more than 200 law schools in the country.

Coyne attributes the success of MSLAW's students to using teaching techniques borrowed from U.S. medical schools, to law professors who spend more time in the classroom with students than in working on their own scholarly research, to early advocacy training that continues throughout the academic year, and also to hard work.

“We start advocacy training the first day students arrive, preparing them for the time they will be advocates in trial procedures in the court room or advocates for their clients in the conference room,” Coyne says. To begin with, he explains, “We devote more time to actually teaching students than at a law school where professors spend a lot of time doing scholarly research that no one else is ever going to read. There's no doubt about it: our professors are in the classroom more and they teach more because we are a student-centered institution.”

In 1995, the Justice Department formally charged the ABA with fixing law professors’ salaries, among other Sherman Anti-Trust Act violations. Justice asserted the ABA acted to further “the self-interest of professors instead of improving education.” In 1996 the ABA entered into a consent judgment agreeing to reform its practices and to stop dictating a number of dubious, costly and illegal regulations to schools. Yet, in 2006, the Justice Department charged the ABA with violating provisions of the decree and called for it to take remedial action as well as to pay Justice $185,000 for its enforcement troubles.

The e-mail address for this site is