Monday, October 10, 2011

Political Stalemate II continues as does the violence

This morning Suadad al-Salhy has a report for Reuters billed as an "exlusive" and it's apparently so exclusive that other Reuters reporters filing this morning missed it. al-Salhy reports Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri "Maliki told Reuters U.S. troops could be attached to the existing U.S. embassy training mission, or join a broader NATO training group, rather than seek a bilateral deal requiring U.S. immunity that would fail to pass Iraq's parliament." That Nouri said it is the news factor. We've covered those options yesterday and last week. These are options both the White House and the State Dept have been weighing seriously since Wednesday. And those are only two of the options. But from reality, we move to flat out crazy. As so often is the case, you have to go to Press TV to find 100% nutty insane. Press TV interviews former Iraqi MP Entifad Qanbar who offers 'analysis.' He offers nutty, insane and embarrassment and should be publicly mocked. Entifad has never met Barack Obama but he knows, knows what's in Barack's heart of hearts. And he knows this based on remarks made before Barack was US President. Press TV has many strong moments but, more and more, it's becoming infamous for the nutty crap they try to pass off as "news." When you don't even know your facts, you're not an analyst. Press TV would do well to remember that when booking guests.

And maybe cowards aren't the ones to book in the first place? The 'analyst' now lives outside of Iraq and, before the war, he operated out of where? The DC based Iraqi National Congress. Yes, he was one of the cowards who wanted others to go to war for him. Too chicken s**t to go to war himself, he joined with other cowards (including Nouri and Ahmed Chalabi) in lobbying other governments to go to war with Iraq.

A coward before the war started and a coward today. In between, he was briefly an MP in the Iraqi Parliament. It's surprising that Iran would be promoting him to begin with -- he is one of the ones who advocated for the theft of Iraqi oil by big business. Then again, maybe it's not surprising that Iranian TV would embrace him.

Dar Addustour reports that Nouri is going to name Abdulkarim Aftan as Minister of Electricity, following yesterday's vote in Parliament. Raad Shallal al-Ani was the Minister of Electricity until questions arose about what the Iraqi press dubbed "phantom contracts" which appeared to enrich individuals while robbing Iraq. That may seem unrelated to security. It is related. In August, al-Ani's formal resignation was accepted. In October, a new minister is named.

For some, that was too long, the delay. But if Nouri had only taken two months to name a Minister of National Security, a Minister of Interior and a Minister of Defense, many would be applauding him. Instead, those posts remain empty. Per the Constitution, Nouri was supposed to nominate individuals for those posts and Parliament was to vote on the nominees. And this was to take place before he could move from prime minister-designate (a post to last no more than 30 days during which the prime minister nominee proves he or she is up to the job by creating a full Cabinet) onto prime minister. Per the Constitution, when Nouri was unable to do that after 30 days (the end of Decembe 2010), a new prime minister-designate should have been named.

When Nouri got wavied through Political Stalemate II began. The Erbil Agreement -- hammered out by the US and Iraqi political blocs -- allowed Nouri to become prime minister-designate after over 8 months of Political Stalemate I. It also promised things to other political blocs. Nouri became prime minister-designate and then prime minister and trashed the Erbil Agreement, refusing to follow it because he got what he wanted. At the end of December 2010, Nouri, 'informed observers' in the US press assured us, would name ministers for those three security positions in no time. It's over nine months later and he hasn't named them.

While the US press insisted it would be just a little bit before these ministers were named, in the foreign press, Iraqis could be heard voicing the opinion that this was, in fact, a power grab on Nouri's part and that he had no intention of naming people to head these three ministries. They may have indeed been right about it being a power grab. (Nouri would argue that he named two ministers, he named "acting ministers" -- they have not been approved by Parliament. Without being approved by Parliament, the 'acting ministers' are nothing but Nouri's rubber stamp, they can be removed at any time by Nouri and Parliament can't protect them. Anyone in such a position is not independent nor do they have any real power.)

Again, the Minister of Electricity is replaced within two months. Nouri was supposed to have named the ministers of the security councils back in December, at the end of December. He didn't. Nearly ten months later, the spots remain empty.

And Al Mada reports that the defense of Iraq's borders is weak. Today the ministries of Communications, Defense, Interior and National Security are supposed to brainstorm today on ways to increase defense. One problem said to be facing Iraq is that security forces for the Interior are allegedly engaged in smuggling weapons across the border -- this according to senior Interior agent Adnan al-Asadi. If security's a real concern, Nouri should have named the heads of the three security ministries over nine months ago. And if Interior has a problem, it might stem in part from the fact that it has no head. In related news, Alaa Ahmed (Al Mada) reports that there have been assassination attempts on six intelligence officers in Baghdad.

In other news, Trend News Agency reports, "Turkish authorities within the framework of cooperation with the U.S. and Iraq on fight against terrorism, has begun evacuation of Kurdish Separatists Camps of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the newspaper Vatan reported. According to the plan, 8 camps with 11,000 residents will be evacuated. Ninety percent of all residents are Turkish citizens. The evacuation will be carried out in cooperation with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the Kurdish regional administration in Iraq. The evacuation should be completed until the end of this year."

Bonnie notes that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Education President" went up yesterday. . 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 and is hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights), topics explored include terrorism with Saul Landau and a report from Occupy Wall St. by Heidi and producer Geoff Brady.

The e-mail address for this site is