Thursday, April 21, 2011

2500 tons of spoiled milk and other corruption

Al Rafidayn reports that, on Sunday, the Nasser, an Iraqi ship, was anchored in a Bahrain port when the Bahraini military raided the ship, "attacking the crew" and holding them for hours. They maintain there was no justification for the attack. Ahlul Bayt News Agency adds, quoting a member of the Iraqi Parliament, "that a military force armed by the middle of the night last Sunday attacked the ship, which is carrying a crew Iraqis, taken at gunpoint to one of the parties in the dock and detained there for several hours and beaten severely humiliated." Alsumaria TV notes, "Iraq Ministry of Transportation said on Wednesday that Bahraini Security Forces attacked and knocked the crew of an Iraqi mercantile ship at Bahrain port and stressed that the attack was unjustified." Iraq's sea faring problems are usually with Iran. At this point, there are not a great deal of details and all the claims are coming from the Iraqi side. In addition, there's been no explanation for why a Sunday attack was not announced until Wednesday. This is the age of the internet, not the pony express. Nouri and some others in the government have a made a point to show solidarity with those protesting the government of Bahrain. Whether or not that factors into the assault or alleged assault remains open to speculation.

As do Nouri's dealings. Dar Addustour reports that Parliament's Integrity Commission cites Nouri al-Maliki in corrupt dealings such as obtaining commercial contracts -- urging them on a ministry -- which were a waste of money -- such as 2500 tons of milk which was rotten. That milk, by the way, came out of Iran. Alsumaria TV adds, "Iraq’s parliamentary integrity committee announced early this month that it will refer to the Integrity Commission three corruption files concerning explosives detection devices, the construction of Sheala and Sadr cities and the Canadian planes issue. The files include more than 9000 documents that confirm the implication of ministers, deputy minsters, general directress and officers in corruption." Prior to the revelations, Nouri already had a difficult relationship with Parliament as he has attempted to take over committees that report them and has attempted to strip them of their right to write legislation (Nouri wants his Cabinet to write the legislation and hand it to Parliament only for a yes-or-no vote -- he wouldn't even allow amendments by the Parliament if he gets his way). Still on Iran, Hisham Rikabi (Al Mada) reports that the Iraqi agencies are so far unable to prevent the water drainage from Iran. The high saline factor of the water has made this a concern to Iraq. Muhammad Aadi, Minster of Water Resources, states that they are in contact with Iranian counterparts and that there is talk of diverting water while agricultural engineer Adnan Saeb notes that the salty water is threatening Iraq's land and waters and that it will be difficult to reduce the saline in the coming years. Saeb states this is a problem that usually takes years to fix.

And though Nouri's been signing his success story since 2006, there's never been any evidence of success. He's now been prime minister for five of the eight years of the Iraq War. New Sabah reports that the Ministry of Human Rights has announced they have 6,000 documented cases of child kidnapping since 2003. All but three of those years took place under Nouri's 'leadership.' Monday saw two suicide bombings at the entrance of the Green Zone. Gus Taylor (Trend Lines) notes those and other recent violence:

The bombings --- likely carried out by Sunni groups linked to al-Qaida -- could allow Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to strengthen his hold on power, says J. Edward Conway, a World Politics Review contributor and former U.S. Defense Department analyst covering Iraq.
"With the ongoing attacks, he's basically allowed to play the security card," Conway told Trend Lines this morning.
"Some are worried that al-Maliki is acting more and more like an authoritarian leader," he added. "He's yet to appoint anyone to head the Ministries of Defense and Interior, so he's presently acting as the de facto head of both, along with the Iraqi Special Forces."

Salem-News offers a new video and report on Vittorio Arrigoni. And we'll close with this from Debra Sweet's "True Concern for Humanity vs. Flying Robot Death Machines" at World Can't Wait:

The events we're sending this week are in New York state. But they could be happening where you are. Write and let's make plans for protests, film showings, and discussions where you are!

Stop the Drone Attacks Action & Walk for Peace Ithaca to Syracuse NY 4/17-4/22

Beginning April 17, activists are walking from Ithaca NY to Syracuse, which is home to Hancock Airfield and the 174th New York State Air National Guard. Hancock, formerly an F-16 fighter jet base, is now the national maintenance center for the Reaper drone. The MQ-9 reaper drones are used in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and elsewhere, according to Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

Friday, April 22
· 3:00pm - 4:00pm vigil at the front gate of Hancock National Guard base 6001 East Malloy Road, Mattydale, NY Google Map

Nick Mottern writes in Drones Fly Through Congress to Enter US Skies that "Within weeks and possibly days, President Obama is likely to sign into law a bill that will bring unmanned aerial vehicles - drones - into US general airspace, crisscrossing the country in company with passenger planes and other human-carrying aircraft."

The e-mail address for this site is