Sunday, July 24, 2011

And the war drags on . . .

John T. Bennett (The Hill) reports, "Pentagon officials want anew security pact with Iraq worked out as soon as possible, in part so they can extend support contracts to ensure U.S. forces remaining in that country have food and supplied." It's worth noting the Pentagon doesn't consider it an "if" but a "when." In addition, Bennett quotes Gen Ray Odierno on what the "new SOFA" will need. You have to wonder at what point The Nation, et al, plans to run their cover story, right? When Bush occupied the White House, how many covers on Iraq did they run? So surely the failure to keep a campaign promise, the decision to continue the illegal war will result in a cover, right? Oh, but that would mean calling out Barack and they've never shown the slightest inclination to hold Barack accountable have they? So the continuation of the illegal war will just result in more silence from the cowards.

They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)

Last Sunday, the number of US military people killed in the Iraq War since the start of the illegal war was 4475. Tonight? PDF format warning, DoD lists the the number of Americans killed serving in Iraq at 4477.

Reuters notes a Baghdad roadside bombing injured three people, 1 police officer was shot dead in Baghdad, and, dropping back to Friday for the rest, 1 nurse was shot dead in Garma and an assassination attempt was made on "a representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani" who survived without injury but a police officer was left injured. And they note a Saturday Baquba car bombing claimed the lives of 2 police officers and left seven other people injured.

As violence continues, more people begin speaking out about the fact that Iraq's security ministers have no one to run them. Aswat al-Iraq quotes Middle Alliance MP Mohammed Iqbal stating, "Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, bears highest responsibility towards the settlement of his Cabinet's security ministries dossier, due to his post as the Head of the Government, who should accelerate the settlement of the dossier." The security ministries are Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of National Security. Nouri was supposed to have named people to head the three ministries before the end of December. He ignored the Constitution and now, seven months later, in the midst of Political Stalemate II, there are no heads of the security ministries.

Meanwhile Al Mada reports some are in fear of more violence; of violence on the level of 2006 and 2007. Why? Syria's current problems could send Iraqi refugees in that country back to Iraq. The ethnic cleansing stopped largely because so many people were killed and because so many people fled the country. Should Sunni refugees return, would the violence?

Meanwhile the house party set to take place at Jalal Talabani's did not. Dar Addustour reports that the Iraqi president is stating there will be another meet up among the political blocs. Al Mada notes the meeting may take place tomorrow and that the topic of US forces will not be addressed unless there is agreement on the Erbil Agreement. (That's the agreement the blocs worked out in November to end Political Stalemate I -- a nine month period following the March 7, 2010 elections.) On the subject of the US military, Aswat al-Iraq adds, "Middle Coalition MP Mohammed Iqbal stated today that the political blocs are waiting for the security report of Premier Nouri al-Maliki to determine their position on the question of the U.S.
forces extension or withdrawal."

New content at Third:


Isaiah's latest goes up after this. Kat's "Kat's Korner: The Real and The Synthetic" went up this morning. Pru notes the following from Great Britain's Socialist Worker:

Syria's brutal regime launches fresh crackdown

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Government troops launched brutal attacks on several towns and cities across Syria last weekend.

More than 1,000 troops attacked Abu Kamal to the east, backed up by tanks and helicopters. But there have also been significant mutinies in the army. Over 100 soldiers joined the protesters in Abu Kamal over the weekend.

Other defections have taken place across the country as soldiers have been forced to fire on protesters. One defecting soldier said that he was ordered to shoot people watching protests from their balconies.

The brutality of the regime should not to be underestimated, but still the protests continue to grow and spread. Thousands protested in Homs, Hama and elsewhere this week.

The sham talks with those who were prepared to engage with president Assad’s regime have broken down due to deep divisions. The majority of people are vowing to stay on the streets.

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