Monday, October 24, 2011

Iraqi police

Violence continues in Iraq. Aswat al-Iraq reports, "Five traffic policemen and six civilians have been injured in attacks against two traffic police patrols, the 4th of its kind over the past few hours, a Baghdad security source reported on Monday. [. . .] He said a clash took place between traffic policemen and unknown armed men close to Sarrafiya bridge in central Baghdad, killing 2 civilians and 2 traffic policemen, along with injuring 6 others, including 4 traffic policemen and 2 civilians." And they add, "A number of persons have been killed or injured in a Katyusha rocket attack targeting the headquarters of the Baghdad Police Academy on Monday, a security source reported."

That's in Baghdad today. Yesterday, Dar Addustour reports, Nouri al-Maliki orhcestrated a campaign of arrests in Kut, Salah al-Din, Kirkuk and Diyala against those he insists are threats because they are "senior" Ba'ahtists and former officials in the Ba'athist Party. In Saddam Hussein's time, most Iraqis were Ba'athists. Many of the exiles, like Nouri, were as well before their exile period. Aswat al-Iraq counts 45 people arrested. If you've forgotten, and Nouri clearly has, the purge against Ba'athists -- implemented by Paul Bremer in 2003 -- is supposed to be over and, in 2007, Nouri signed off on benchmarks which included reconciliation. Reconciliation never happened. The arrests indicate it's not going to any time soon.

Still on the topic of Iraqi police, BBC News picks the coverage on the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction report set for release later today: "The report said only some 12% of the money spent in 2011 would be spent directly helping Iraq's police. It also pointed out that the programme had yet to gain the support of the Iraqi government." Aram Roston (Daily Beast) speaks with SIGIR Stuart Bowen, "In an interview with The Daily Beast, Bowen said it was important to investigate the project in spite of early resistance from the State Department because of the immense size and cost of the enterprise. 'This is the single largest program affecting security that the State Department will manage in the coming year,' he said. Bowen said his review found that senior Iraqi government officials 'may not want or need this program'."

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Lovable?" 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 Tim Weldon and with attorney Magaret Ratner Kunstler. Michael Ratner and Margaret Ratner Kunstler are the authors of the new book Hell No, Your Right To Dissent and, as with last week, her segment is about knowing your rights and how to legally protect yourself while engaging in activism. We'll close with an excerpt from Cindy Sheehan's important new column "United Rogue States of America" (Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox):

Wow, I thought Bush was bad and that we had sunk about as low as we could go during those insane years, but Obama is excavating new territory.
Just since the Occupy movement began, the Obama regime has (among other things): 1) assassinated several US citizens in Yemen, (without due process) including a 16 year old having dinner with his buddies; 2) Sent “advisors” to Vietnam (oops, I meant Uganda; 3) aided and abetted the assassination of a leader of a sovereign state.
Not a bad month for a Rogue President still in his first term, eh?

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