Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NATO forces to be on the ground in Iraq?

Today Al Sabaah reports that the Iraqi Parliament's Security and Defense Committee has declared it is close to making an agreement which will put NATO forces on the ground in Iraq, according to a statement read by the Security and Defense Committee Chair Hassan Sinead. Sinead states it will be a one-year agreement and that it can be renewed. Meanwhile Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) notes that violence is on the rise in Iraq with over 100 recorded deaths this month in Baghdad alone.

Al Rafidayn reports that yesterday's attack on a Taji prison is thought by sources in the Ministry of the Interior to have been carried out by a new al Qaeda splinter group (Eagles Paradise). The sources state the the group operates out of northern Baghdad.

However, Iraqi papers are more focused this morning on yesterday's Parliament attack. Al Sabaah notes that Osama Nujaifi's office has stated that bombing was an attempted assassination (Nujaifi is the Speaker of Parliament) and that he was the target. They also maintain it was a suicide bomber and not mortars. The article notes a National Alliance insists it was a mortar while a police source states it was a suicide bomber. Sources tell Dar Addustour it was a suicide bomber in a car (black GMC) and that al-Nujaifi was the target. In addition, Dar Addustour reminds that following the April 16, 2007 attack on Parliament, security measures were beefed up. Dar Addustour's report indicates that had the man not raised suspicion by his actions, he would have gotten closer to the Parliament. Alsumaria TV picks up that thread as well, quoting al-Nujaifi's spokesperson Aidan Helmi stating, "The suicide bomber tried to join Parliament Speaker's convoy but Green Zone’s guards suspected him and stopped his car. The driver changed his direction and slammed into a high sidewalk before the explosion." Aswat al-Iraq adds, "Northern Iraq's Kurdistan Alliance has expressed surprise towards a booby-trapped car being snuck into west Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, calling for an investigation to uncover 'those responsible' among the security bodies inside the Green Zone, according to a statement made by the Alliance and received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency on Tuesday."

As pointed out in yesterday's snapshot, the Parliament attack was going to be taken more seriously by the government than other recent attacks. That's been the pattern over and over in Iraq. When the safe Green Zone is threatened, suddenly it's a major issue. 25 people killed in Basra last Thursday, by contrast, doesn't really appear to touch the rulers in the Green Zone. In other news, Al Mada notes Iraq is experiencing a dramatic rise in food prices

A report on Morning Edition (NPR) today by Rachel Martin indicates to just what degree we on the left have failed. (Martin gladly embraces drones.) If only 1% of the never-ending election coverage by The Nation, The Progressive, etc. had been instead spent on drones -- only 1% -- maybe such a 'report' would require balance and not be an advetorial for the US military? In other NPR items, the New York Times' Tim Arango yacks with Terry Gross on Fresh Air. Terry will pimp the lie that
ALL US troops are not coming HOME at the end of the year from Iraq, listen to see if Tim Arango has the good sense to tell the truth. (Fresh Air noted at the request of an NPR friend.)

David Bacon's latest book is Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press) which won the CLR James Award. He continues to be one of the country's last national labor reporters. His latest report is a photo essay entitled "Occupy San Francisco March for Immigrant Rights" (Immigration Prof Blog):

Participants in Occupy San Francisco live in tents in an encampment in Justin Herman Plaza. The camp protests the exploitation of 99% of the population by the wealthiest 1%, as well as police repression and removal of occupy encampments around the country, including the original New York City demonstration, Occupy Wall Street. Camp residents, together with supporters in immigrant rights organizations and unions, marched up Market Street. Marchers carried signs and banners declaring that immigrants are part of the 99%. Prior to the march, they hold a General Assembly to discuss possible actions if the city moves to evict the encampment from Justin Herman Plaza. During the meeting, people wave their fingers in the air to express agreement with the speaker. Other camp residents look through the books in the Occupy Library, or sit reading by their tents.

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