Monday, August 01, 2011

Tensions between Iraq and Iran

Since the start of the Iraq War, a class of refugees have been trapped, the Palestinians in Iraq. Their plight receives very little attention but it continues. Saed Bannoura (International Middle East Media Center) reports:

The Palestinian ambassador in Iraq, Daleel Al Qassous, stated that the situation of the Palestinian refugees in Iraq is the worst compared to any other place on earth, adding that the number of Palestinians in Iraq dropped from 35.000 before the US-led war to 22.000, and continued to decline to 7.000.
Al Qassous stated that the refugees in Iraq are being attacked for being Sunni Muslims, and for allegedly supporting the former Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein.
He said that Iraqi leaders from different sects have being trying to ease the suffering of the refugees, and that he personally met with Sunni and Shiite leaders in the country in an attempt to find a solution to the crisis, and the ongoing assaults against Palestinian refugees in Iraq
Al Qassous also met with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, spiritual reference and grand mufti for Shia Muslims all over the world.
“There are only 7.000 refugees in Iraq now, they are living in At-Tweija, Al Za’faraniyya, Al Doura and the city of Al Hurriyya”, the ambassador stated, “They are living in extreme poverty due to high living costs and the lack of work, the UN provides some services to them but their situation is very miserable”.
Dozens of attacks were carried out against the Palestinian refugees since the war on Iraq in 2003 leading to the death, injury and abduction of hundreds of refugees.

As I type this, it is 120 degrees in Baghdad. AFP reports that, due to the heat, a public holiday has been called in Baghdad and that the heat is expected to stay high tomorrow and Wednesday. Aswat al-Iraq notes that along with the rising heat, today is also the first day of Ramadan. And the heat isn't the only thing climbing in Iraq. Salam Faraj (AFP) reports July has the second highest death toll of the year in Iraq with 259 reported dead by the ministries -- not by the press, not by any independent body. Heaven forbid we ever try to track reported deaths, right?

And heaven forbid reality intrude on any of the War Hawks whining, "The US must stay in Iraq due to Iran's influence!" Iran and Iraq do not get along historically. The two countries get a long very well today but that's only due to having a common enemy (US). Left to their own devices, the two countries are usually in conflict. Were the US to leave, Iraq and Iran would have to square off over many issues including the large amount of salt running into Iraqi waters from Iran. In what may be a case of overstepping and is certainly a way to create new tensions, the Iranian government is preparing to make a request. The Tehran Times observes, "Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast says the Iranian government is pursuing the case of obtaining reparations from Iraq." The eight-year war is not a healed wound in Iraq. Iraq's very young population has been taught about it in school and more of them learned of it than can remember it. It's a stupid over-reach on the part of Iran and it is exactly that over-reach that will continue to create obstacles between the two countries if the US were smart enough to withdraw. Backing the point of over-reach up, Aswat al-Iraq reports, "The Legislature of al-Iraqiya Coalition, led by Iyad Allawi, Zala Neftchy, has stated on Monday that Iran's demand of compensations from Iraq due to their 1980-88 War 'shall step up tension between both countries,' adding that 'Iraq was supposed to demand such compensations from Iran, because the latter had started the war operations at that time'." Another conflict is the fact that Iran's military is shelling -- and possibly entering -- northern Iraq. Mohammed A. Salih (Rudaw) explains:

As fighting intensifies between a Kurdish militia and the Iranian military along the Iraq-Iranian border, questions are being raised over whether the violence could affect Iran’s imports into Kurdistan.
Iraq and the Kurdistan region remain heavily dependent on imports such as food and construction materials. Iran is second only to Turkey in exporting goods to Iraqi Kurdistan.
The Iranian-Kurdistan trade relationship is so crucial that even at the height of the recent border shelling, an Iranian trade delegation was meeting with members of Kurdistan’s Import and Export Union in Sulaimani to discuss boosting trade deals.
Yet concerns are growing that skirmishes between the Kurdish rebel group Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) and the Iranian military could hurt business and economic interests in Iraqi Kurdistan.

On that conflict, the Tehran Times notes, "According to Iraqi newspaper Al-Sabah, in the last session of the Iraqi parliament, the security and defense committee compiled a report on the military operations carried out by the Islamic Revolution Guards corps against PJAK and reacted against Iran’s operations, the Fars news agency reported on Sunday. The committee advised Iran to settle the conflict through diplomacy and respect the territorial integrity of Iraq."

Jason Ditz ( notes
that Nouri al-Maliki's Saturday press conference not only found Nouri saying that Iraq needed the US military to remain as trainers but that he stated "trainers" didn't require a Parliamentary vote.

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Presidential Stature" went up yesterday as did Kat's "Kat's Korner: Talent breaks free, EMI suffers." Law and Disorder Radio begins airing this morning on WBAI at 9:00 am and all around the country throughout the week. Attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) host the program and the developments at the top of the show are worth listening to and then some. A long interview then follows with bitter Marxist Richard Wolff whose bitterness poisons his insights. I know Paul Krugman and will often critize him for being too acoomdating to Democrats in power (currently Barack) but I would never say that he has a "very mistaken way of thinking" and would tend to doubt an 'economist' who claimed Krugman didn't understand Kensian economics. I aslo don't think a left economist is tarring the Tea Party as "loony" by explaining that Wall Street is against them. (Wall Street's against them! Oh, a victory!) Wolff was worthless on Democracy Now last week except when Juan Gonzalez pinned him down (as Ava and I pointed out) and he's just as awful here. The hosts do the best they can with a fossil who is out of touch and has nothing of value to contribute today. If you wonder why Doug Henwood was run off WBAI and a spot was found for Wolff, the reason is that Wolff whores for Barack and Doug refuses to. The topics being addressed on Law & Disorder -- or what the hosts are attempting to address -- were covered Saturday by Doug and Brad DeLong on Behind The News (click here for KPFA archived broadcast).

And, again, Law & Disorder is a great radio show, one of the finest on radio, but it's not worth it to me to have 400 or more e-mails asking me, "Why did you recommend ____? Did you listen?" I recommend you listen for the moments of insight the hosts manage to get out of Wolff and that you spend the rest of the time laughing at Wolff.

As May ended, political prisoner Lynne Stewart began raising awareness for Pat Clark. We didn't note it earlier because I wasn't aware of it until Misty e-mailed yesterday. Here it is.


May 30th, 2011


FROM PAT: Salient Facts re- Pat Clarke inmate at FMC Carswell:

To supplement my previous request for clemency (filed 2010) – These are what I consider to be the most important reasons why I am deserving of clemency:

  1. I have been in federal prison for 19 years–half of my life, and today I am a completely changed and mature woman. I have worked hard to accomplish this and I believe, with the help of God, I will continue to grow in the outside world and become a contributing and thoughtful human being.
  2. I am the victim of an incurable racially tied disease—Sickle Cell Anemia. I am subject to painful attacks and have worked through them and am determined to continue to do so. This disease will continue and worsen for the rest of my life.
  3. My problems started before the age of 10 when I was repeatedly sexually assaulted by my stepfather. My mother chose not to believe me and I found myself caught like rat in a trap with nowhere and no one to turn to. My only refuge became my two brothers who offered to let me stay with them so they could protect me. After a few years, as I grew up, I became a worker in their drug business. I made some trips as a Mule and on one occasion,also got rid of evidence. I was denoted a “Minor Participant” in my pre sentence report, which I believe is accurate. I never was part of the “business”. I did not plan or share profits, hire and fire or was never part of any “enforcement” . During the time I was working with them, I was aged 15 to 19. I had never been arrested before, nonetheless I received the draconian sentences of 5 life sentences in Prison.
  4. After my arrest, I co-operated fully with the Government but never received any credit for it. I was plagued by poor to outrageous lawyering throughout my case. At age 19 and with no family or friends to turn to I relied absolutely on my attorney. __________________ Jones. He was facing disbarment but never informed me of the potential conflict of interest inherent in his position. He actually was disbarred shortly after my trial. In any event, after I co-operated and the US Attorney had offered me a ten year sentence, Mr. Jones, the lawyer, informed the Government that I had changed my mind and no longer wished to enter into such an agreement. He told me that the Government would no longer accept my cooperation. He also mentioned, in an unguarded moment, that he would make more money as a Criminal Justice Act appointed lawyer by doing the trial than taking a plea. The Court also never told me that being under investigation, my lawyer might not be acting in my behalf but rather on his own. He has disappeared.
  5. My first lawyer sold me out and then abandoned me. He did little at trial and to the best of my recollection did not even argue the important issue of the forseeability of the trooper’s murder. At Sentencing he never challenged the inaccuracies of the probation report. He never prepared a postrial motion that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence. His own interests were most important to him. On appeal, a church member sympathetic to my age and what had happened arranged for a Ms Schein to represent me on appeal. I was so happy because I thought that finally someone would do me justice. She wrote to me, discussed the case encouraged me and then failed to file a brief on my behalf! The 5 Circuit ordered the Federal Defender to represent me. In a written opinion the Court missed an important part of my defense to the forseeablity issue and by the time I realized this, I was time barred from filing a writ.
  6. The case the Government tried against me included a massive drug conspiracy, accessory after the fact, criminal behavior on an Interstate, and participating in the murder of a Florida State Trooper. In the wide breadth of this conspiracy, a man I never knew or ever heard of, who was working for my brothers was stopped on Interstate 10, in Florida, by Trooper ###. Upon investigation it was revealed that he had no license and the car was rented. The company who rented it directed the Trooper to sieze the car. He arrested the man and took the car in. As he inventoried it, he opened the door to a microwave oven which contained an explosive and he was killed. I was acquitted of this charge by the Jury who tried the case but still convicted of being part of the crime committed on the interstated. I have been advised that this was an inconsistent verdict but that issue was never raised and I was sentenced as if I had been found guilty. For all of the charges against me except where I confessed to acting as a mule on a drug shipment from the Bahamas, were proven by vicarious liability. The jury was charged with the disfavored Pinkerton theory that extends criminal liablity to the breaking point .Even so the Jury could not convict me of a murder based on the “forseeablility” of a bomb in the the microwave oven, as part of a cocaine conspiracy. I was sentenced on this charge nonetheless and it was one of the life sentences I received.
  7. My brother, Hentley Morgan did testify at a trial and did 8 years in prison and resides in Jamaica. My other brother, Michael Morgan, who was designated a Kingpin by the Government, did not testify and received a sentence of life imprisonment.
  8. In the many years I have been in prison, I always tried to remain positive and believe that this injustice would one day be corrected. I have rehabilitated myself with education (GED, and community college as well as numerous courses) I have consistently worked in the prison and later in Unicor. I have not had any problems with my institutional behavior.

I have a plan if I am released to either rejoin my mother in CAlifornia or return to Florida. I have job possibilites and offers in both places. All that I need is a chance. I have the courage to do this.


U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
and send a copy to
RONALD L. ROGERS, US Pardon Attorney:
Office of the Pardon Attorney
1425 New York Avenue, N.W.
Suite 11000
Washington, D.C. 20530

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