Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nouri says he may call for elections

Alsumaria TV reports, "Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki threatened on Tuesday to ask for the dissolution of the government in case it fails to accomplish the country’s projects beyond the 100 day deadline. The deadline involves Iraq's Parliament also, Maliki said." If that happens, Nouri says, he may call for early elections. Yeah, that's what Iraq needs, another round of elections. Those 2010 elections were resolved so quickly. Not noted in the report, it's already been floated by Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nufaifi that if the 100 days passes without marked improvement, it may be necessary to register a vote of no confidence. That would topple Nouri's government. It is fear of that which has prompted Nouri to begin speaking of the need for a "majority government." Al Rafidayn reports Nouri was again speaking of that yesterday saying it would allow 99% consensus -- that would be 99% consensus on plans that currently his own hand-picked Cabinet can't or won't agree to. The puppet wants some puppets of his own to play with.

Al Mada reports on Nouri's press conference in Baghdad yesterday where he declared that Iraq could not defend its external borders or the country from an invasion if one should take place. Moqtada al-Sadr's spokesperson Salah al-Obeidi is quoted insisting that if US forces remain on the ground in Iraq past December 31, 2011, the Mehdi milita/mob will be in the streets of Iraq again. Al Rafidayn also reports on the press conference noting something others are skipping, Nouri says that afer he returns from his trip to Korea, he will invite members of Parliament to share their own views. The wording could be seen as Norui refusing to see the Palriament as a body that makes the decision -- that's a position in keeping with his previous stance. Meanwhile Dar Addustour notes that MP Haidar al-Mula and 75 others are calling for Nouri to appear before the Parliament and take questions in his role as commander-in-chief of the military.

Al Sabaah reports
that the Cabinet has put an end to employees of "the three presidencies" (Iraq's president and two vice presidents) grabbing up residential land plots. Dar Addustour calls it a "private ownership scheme" It sounds very good but before you buy it hook-line-and-sinker, note that the source is Nouri's spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh.

Tim Arango (New York Times) has an interesting article:

When he returned to his native Kurdistan in February to join the flickering of a protest movement, Dr. Pishtewan Abdellah, a hematologist who lives in Australia but also carries an Iraqi passport, suspected that the demonstrators might face harsh treatment from the Kurdish authorities. At several protests during the last two months security forces have opened fire, and an estimated 10 people have been killed and dozens wounded, according to human rights activists.
What Dr. Abdellah did not anticipate, though, was a barrage of one of this country’s more peculiar menaces: death threats by text message.

We'll note this in the snapshot today and I'll make the assumption the story requires (but Arango's unable to make in his role as a reporter).

We'll close with this from Andy Worthington's "WikiLeaks Reveals Secret Files on All Guantánamo Prisoners" (World Can't Wait):

Well, the cat is now out of the bag, and Guantánamo will, hopefully, be closer to closure — and the lies that powerful Americans tell about it will, hopefully, be closer to silence — as a result. For the last few weeks, I’ve been working as a media partner with WikiLeaks, along with the Washington Post, McClatchy Newspapers, El Pais, the Daily Telegraph, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, Aftonbladet, La Repubblica and L’Espresso, navigating thousands of previously unseen documents about Guantánamo that were made available to the whistleblowing website last year, allegedly by Pfc Bradley Manning, who has been imprisoned for nearly a year by the US government, awaiting a trial.

With the release date of the project brought forward unexpectedly, the files — profiles of nearly all of the 779 prisoners who have been held at Guantánamo, compiled by the Joint Task Force responsible for running the prison — have begun to be made available on WikiLeaks’ website, accompanied by an article that I wrote introducing them, and offering a first attempt to indicate their importance — both in what they hide and what they reveal — along with a guide to how to read them.

Needless to say, there will be much more analysis in the days and weeks to come, but for now I hope you enjoy my explanation, cross-posted below, which is borne of five years of research and writing about Guantánamo, filtered through a careful analysis of JTF-GTMO’s compromised and compromising cache of documents, which, as I explain, constitutes “the anatomy of a colossal crime perpetrated by the US government on 779 prisoners who, for the most part, are not and never have been the terrorists the government would like us to believe they are.”

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