Monday, October 31, 2011

Iraq can't protect air space until 2020

"The crackdown on ex-Ba'athists started earlier this month," Kelly McEvers observed today on Morning Edition (NPR). And the crackdown sees a response in Salahuddin's provincial council voting to become semi-autonomous last week and in Falluja's protest Friday calling for Anbar Province to become semi-autonomous. Currently only the 3 provinces which compose the Kurdistan Regional Government are semi-autonomous. But as Kelly McEvers pointed out, "other Sunni parts of Iraq are also threatening to seek autonomy." The other 15 are under the control of Baghdad (with Kirkuk in that 15; however, Kirkuk's fate, as outlined in the Constitution, is supposed to be decided by a referendum which should follow a census). Aswat al-Iraq reports, "A conference on federalism was convened today in Basra, aiming to press the central government to expedite the formalities to declare the province a region. Kareem al-Jabiri, an organizer, said that the people of Basra wanted the federal option in the province, whose people suffer of negligence despite its enormous resources."

An Iraqi woman explained to NPR how the crackdown works, "They searched our houses, tossed our furniture. Some of the men on the arrest list are more than 70 years old. You think they're planning to overthrow the country?"

Dar Addustour notes that Parliament's Committee of the Regions is exploring amendments to the the Constitution's Article 119. Faraj al-Haidari, of the Independent High Electoral Committee, continues to insist that there's a governing law that requires provinces to seek permission from the Cabinet. There is no such law in the Constitution. But this may be an indication that when Nouri attempted his seizure of the IHEC last January, he had managed to managed to muzzle them. Al Mada reports Nouri told Salahuddin officials yesterday that their move towards semi-autonomy was destroying national unity. (Saturday he was screaming they were Ba'athists so his latest whine could be seen as an improvement.) In related news, Dar Addustour reports Iraqi Prsident Jalal Talabani that the borders of some governorates need to be changed/fixed. He most likely is referring to Dahuk, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah which are part of the KRG.

Dar Addustour notes that Gen Babakir Zebari, Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Army, has declared, in the latest SIGIR report, that Iraq will be unable to protect its own air space or national borders until 2020. Fang Yang (Xinhua) quotes the report, "General Zebari suggested that the MOD (Ministry of Defense) will be unable to execute the full spectrum of external-defense missions until sometime between 2020 and 2024, citing GOI ( Government of Iraq) funding shortfalls as the main reason for the delay." Reuters quotes Zebari stating, "While we have no enemies, we also have no real friends."

Dar Addustour reports that DC is in negotiations to boost US troops in Kuwait to use it as a staging platform as well beef up its presence in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE. Al Mada notes Kuwait has been discussed for months but now has "urgency" as the year ends and might end without the US securing 'trainers' in Iraq. The paper notes that this is among the alternative solutions being sought.

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Projection Message" went up last night. On this week's Law and Disorder Radio -- a weekly hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) -- topics explored include Occupy Wall Street with activist Justin Norman of Occupy Des Moines and Guantanamo with CCR attorney Pardiss Kebraiei. Not today but next Monday ETAN takes part in a protest in NYC:


Contact: John M. Miller, 917-690-4391
Jesse Lemisch, 212 222-6649
Stephanie Rugoff, 646-807-3259
Tom Keough, 718-768-6171

Protest to Reject Honoring Henry Kissinger by New-York Historical Society

On Monday, November 7, protesters will gather outside the Waldorf Astoria Hotel to express their outrage at the honoring or former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger by the New-York Historical Society (N-YHS). Demonstrators will gather from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at 301 Park Ave. (between 49 & 50 St.) in Manhattan to condemn the honoring of the accused war criminal by the society at a $1000 a ticket gala.

"It is incredible how this war criminal keeps avoiding accountability for his crimes," said Stephanie Rugoff of <>War Criminals Watch, a sponsor of the upcoming protest. "Instead of feting him with honors, Kissinger should prosecuted for his crimes."

“Kissinger’s policies were from the 1% for the 1%, and the 99% suffered the consequences,” said John M. Miller, National Coordinator of the <>East Timor and Indonesia Action<> Network (ETAN). “The survivors of those policies can not forget and neither should we.”

Historians criticized the politicization of the society: "With this honor, the society throws away 200 years of distinction, sacrificing its standing, subverting and junking a major historical institution by politicizing it. While N-YHS has a right to its politics, there's no doubt that in bestowing this honor on Kissinger those politics are vile. The trustees of this once-great Society should resign. We need a new New York Historical Society," wrote Jesse Lemisch, Professor of History Emeritus, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York and Staughton Lynd, Independent Historian <>said in a statement.

“We will be at the gala to remind people about Henry Kissinger's sordid and criminal history concerning East Timor, Vietnam, Cambodia, Chile, South Africa, Cyprus, Bangladesh, Angola, West Papua, and elsewhere. Kissinger is responsible for millions of deaths, millions maimed, and millions made homeless,” said Tom Keough from Brooklyn for Peace, Anti Militarism Committee.

Among the organizers of the upcoming demonstration are ETAN, War Resisters League NYC, War Criminals Watch, Code Pink, Campaign for Peace and Democracy, World Can't Wait, Brooklyn For Peace and Veterans for Peace–NYC Chapter 34.


Kissinger is to receive the 2011 History Makers Award from the NYHS. Below is a sampling of some of the history he has made and the consequences.

Between 1969 and 1977, Kissinger as National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State designed and implemented policies which lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths, the overthrow of democratically-elected governments, and the invasion and occupation of sovereign countries. Among his action were:

* On behalf of Richard Nixon's candidacy for president, Kissinger is alleged to have secretly scuttled the Paris peace agreement reached by the Johnson Administration to end the war in Vietnam. The war continued for 7 more years. during which 32,000 US military personnel and hundreds of thousand of Indochinese died;

* As Nixon's National Security Advisor, Kissinger suggested and oversaw the illegal bombing of Laos and Cambodia from 1969 and the 1970 military invasion of Cambodia, followed by the overthrow of its government.;

* Approval and direction of the overthrow of the democratically-elected government of Salvador Allende in 1973, and unqualified support for brutal military dictatorships in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Uruguay, and elsewhere in Latin America;

* In 1971, Kissinger tilted toward the government of Pakistan as its troops massacred hundreds of thousands in rebellious East Pakistan;

* Kissinger refused to intervene to halt the plot by the ruling fascist Greek generals to overthrow of the democratically elected leader of Cyprus. Turkey invaded in response and the island nation remains divided to this day.

* Kissinger supported and illegally-armed Indonesian dictator Suharto's invasion and occupation of East Timor which resulted in the massacre of up to 184,000.

* Kissinger provided unwavering diplomatic and intelligence support to the apartheid regime in South Africa, including the provision of military support to the apartheid government’s military intervention in Angola.



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John M. Miller, National Coordinator
East Timor & Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
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