Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Nouri cares about solving some deaths -- just some

Last week mini-thug Ali al-Lami was murdered. In 2010, Ahmed Chalibi's little fellow used the Justice and Accountability Commission to settle old scores. Al Sabaah reports that a raid was conducted in Taji and a suspect (an officer in the intelligence service during the Saddam Hussein era) was arrested. Xinhua adds that Baghdad Operations Command released a statement which included: "Iraqi security forces have arrested a terrorist who carried out the assassination of Ali al-Lami. The terrorist was affiliated with the intelligence service of the former Saddam Hussein's regime."

Hundreds of Iraq Christians, Iraqi Jews and other religious minorities have been killed while Nouri al-Maliki has been prime minister -- as have many journalists. Those deaths? Never solved to this day.

Apparently there just wasnt a 'desire' on the part of Nouri to find those killers (many of whom were in his party and/or working for him). But Ali al-Lami dies and all stops are pulled out to arrest a suspect.

Today the Committee to Protect Journalists released their Impunity Index: "CPJ’s annual Impunity Index, first published in 2008, identifies countries where journalists are murdered regularly and governments fail to solve the crimes. For this latest index, CPJ examined journalist murders that occurred between January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2010, and that remain unsolved. Only the 13 nations with five or more unsolved cases are included on the index. Cases are considered unsolved when no convictions have been obtained." And guess who comes in first? That's right:

The scourge of impunity worsened in Iraq, a country with a rating far worse than anywhere else in the world. None of the 92 journalist murders recorded in Iraq in the past decade has been solved, and, after a brief decline in targeted killings, journalist murders spiked in 2010. Among the four murder victims in 2010 was Sardasht Osman, a contributor to several news outlets who had received numerous threats for coverage that accused Kurdistan Regional Government officials of corruption. The investigation of his murder is emblematic of the deeply entrenched culture of impunity in Iraq. Authorities took no discernible action in the case until they faced intense international pressure. Then, investigators produced a cursory, 430-word report that vaguely accused Osman of having links to an extremist group that led to his killing. The report, which cited no supporting evidence for its claims, was widely denounced for lacking credibility and transparency.

Impunity Index Rating: 2.921 unsolved journalist murders per 1 million inhabitants.
Last year: Ranked 1st with a rating of 2.794.

AFP notes, "Iraq remained worst in the world when it comes to punishing murders of reporters, the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Wednesday. The war-wracked country topped the list, published by the New York-based press watchdog to spotlight countries where media killings often go unpunished, for the fourth year running with an unsolved murder rate more than three times that of Somalia, which was next worst." Iraq has 'topped the charts' every year of the Impunity Index. Wladimir van Wilgenburg (Rudaw) notes:

In a report released on June 1, Iraq is ranked first on the 2011 impunity index of the Committee to Project Journalists (CPJ). CPJ criticizes the Kurdish government for its unsatisfactory handling of the murder case of Kurdish writer Sardasht Osman in 2010.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has come in for fierce criticism by human rights and press organizations such as Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), CPJ and Human Rights Watch in the last few months for the way it dealt with demonstrations and the media.
On May 30, the KRG responded to the allegations and didn’t deny violations by Kurdish security forces and ill-treatment of protestors.

So the message is that when the deaths matter to him, Nouri is interested in finding at the very least a suspect and the deaths of journalists and Iraq's religious minorities really don't matter to Nouri.

The following community sites -- plus NPR, World Can't Wait and -- updated last night and this morning:

We'll close with this from World Can't Wait about a new contest:

We Challenge YOU to design a NEW fresh logo for the tour.

What Does Resisting Military Recruiting Look Like To You?

Who? Calling all artistic youth who want recruiters the hell away from them and their schools and the hell out of their communities. You heard us in your classroom or connected with us on-line, and now you have a chance to create our logo.

What? A logo contest to create a new logo for the We Are Not Your Soldiers Tour. This tour brings Iraq era war veterans into high school classrooms across the country. Come up with the most powerful image that captures this youth driven movement to resist the military recruiters as a key part of ending these wars! The mission if, you choose to accept it, is to design a one-of-kind logo to be used on We Are Not Your Soldiers materials.

How? Think of what resistance to military recruiters looks like to you and create a graphic design that will spark debate and controversy. Be sure
to incorporate our name We Are Not Your Soldiers in a font similar to what is on our T-shirts and send it in to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it along with
your name, city and state, school and best way to reach you.

When? Due to the urgent necessity for such a logo, submissions due June 12.

Why? Because you want to see a resistance movement to the military recruiters and you want to be a part of it! Cause you want to spread the
message---WE ARE NOT YOUR SOLDIERS in a way that reaches tens of thousands of your peers. Cause friends don't let friends join the military. Cause your generation has a mission to stop the wars.

First place winner logo design will become THE logo for the tour used on all our materials. Winner will be acknowledged on our website, e-list, and fan page. Winner will also receive a deluxe organizers kit complete with gear to help get the recruiters off your school and out of your neighborhood.

Second and third place designs will also be featured on our site.

Email submissions to

The e-mail address for this site is

thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends