Saturday, January 14, 2012

The never-ending Political Crisis in Iraq

Al Mada reports that Moqtada al-Sadr has stated some politicians are grand-standing on violence and the dead, that they "see the blood coming and fight one another for chairs," that they attempt to "increase their own popularity" by standing on the dead and the blood, using the violence to make themselves look tougher. Though Moqtada doesn't name who is referring to, it is true that in both the 2009 provincial elections and the 2010 ones, Nouri's group did tend to run on similar themes. Al Mada also reports that President Jalal Talabani has declared that Iraq is not governed just by consensus but also by national partnership and is calling on the religious sector to help harmony and tolerance return. Abdul-Jabbar Jubouri (Kitabat) notes that a national conference is planned to resolve the political crisis that Nouri al-Maliki created and that the conference may include new political participants the League of Righteous. (A week ago, Nouri's spokesperson declared that they wouldn't pay the terrorist group to turn over their arms, but they hoped they would.) Goran is a small fraction of the Kurdistan Alliance and Dar Addustour reports they are coming up with a list of their own demands for a national conference.

This week Talabani, Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi and Nouri met and tomorrow they are supposed to meet with heads of the major political bloc and iron out the steps for a national conference. As Sheikh (Dar Addustour) notes that various parties are demanding certain conditions for the meet up. Last week, KRG President Massoud Barzani declared he would not attend the national conference if it was held in Baghdad. Al Mada reports that Iraqiya head Ayad Allawi has declared the same. Allawi is quoted rejecting the idea of Baghdad as a location saying he will not attend any meeting that is surrounded by tanks and he wonders with Nouri being commander in chief of the military how are the blocs supposed to discuss unresolved issues when Nouri's surrounded them with tanks and soldiers under his command. Iraqiya's Rafie al-Issawi (also the Minister of Finance) is stating that US Ambassador James Jeffrey conveyed to him the need for a national conference.

Rumors continue to swirl that al-Issawi is Nouri's next intended target. He kicked things off with mass arrests (the bulk of the nearly 800 arrested are said to have been released or about to be -- proving yet again that it was targeting a certain segment of Iraq's population). Then, after returning to the country from DC (where he visited with Barack Obama), Nouri ordered Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi's home surrounded with tanks and then, days later, issued an arrest warrant on al-Hashemi. Upon return from DC, he also demanded that Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq be stripped of his post. al-Issawi, al-Hashemi and al-Mutlaq are all members of the political slate Iraqiya which came in first in the March 2010 elections. Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law came in second. Al Mada reports that State of Law's Samira al-Moussawi is stating that al-Mutlaq will not be allowed to continue in his post, that State of Law will not allow it.

Not content at lashing out at politicians in his own country, Nouri appears determined to expand the political crisis into the entire region. Al Mada notes that Nouri is stating the remarks of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will cause a catastrophe. Hyperbole's always been a part of Nouri's make up. Kitabat also notes Nouri's attack on Erdogan and how he accuses Erdogan's call for Iraq to resolve the political crisis as Turkey interfering in Iraq's domestic affairs. You've heard of a pep squad? Well Nouri has a thug squad. And Al Mada reports that State of Law, on Saturday, joined Nouri in attacking Edrogan and the country of Turkey.

Though US news outlets continue to remain silent on the 4 Americans arrested in Baghdad, Iraqi press is all over the story. Kitabat reports the four -- two men, two women -- were carrying guns with silencers when they were arrested. Al Mada reports that sources who can't go on the record with their names are stating that the four have been released.

Kat's "2 new music pieces" went up a little while ago. After this goes up, Kat's music piece will go up. She's expanding on a section of her year-in-review. That goes up after this. Her second piece is a review of an album. The album's due out Tuesday so Kat'll be giving you an advanced look at it. That should go up Sunday morning. If not, it'll go up Monday. That's a real treat and both should have you laughing. (I couldn't stop laughing when Kat was writing them.)

I was in London this past week and very busy. We had to ignore a number of things. To make up, I'm including two highlights in this snapshot. First off, this is from Sherwood Ross' "CIA SPY CONVICTION GIVES IRAN CHANCE TO BOOST RELATIONS" (Veterans Today):

Iran has a creative opportunity to slow the cycle of deteriorating
relations with the U.S. by reconsidering the death sentence of a
former Marine it just convicted as a CIA spy.
Amir Hekmati, 28, received special training and served at U.S.
military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan before entering Iran for his
alleged intelligence mission, Al-Jazeera wire service reports.
The former military translator was born in Arizona to a family of
Iranian origin and graduated from high school in Michigan, where his
father, Ali, is a community college professor in Flint.
According to Al-Jazeera, a branch of the Tehran Revolutionary Court
convicted Hekmati of "working with a hostile country, belonging to the
CIA" (and) "trying to accuse Iran of involvement in terrorism." The
court found him to be "a fighter against God," and one who "spreads

And this is from Tim King's "29 Lives, Deaths and Standing Ovations that Threaten World Peace" (Salem-News):

(SALEM) - In a violent world where a genocide can claim as many as six million human lives in a single 'program', it seems unimaginable that the deaths of 29 people could, in modern times, hugely impact the future of all human beings.

That's right, the world's safety and World War Three itself, hinges on the reaction to the deaths of 29 innocent people. Is your child's future worth the honor of 29 people?

One day in 1994, an Israeli doctor entered a Muslim place of worship and opened fire with an assault rifle. He had several magazines but eventually ran out of ammo and the survivors killed him.

Heinous and utterly cold blooded and cruel, this 'doctor' is a martyr today among Israeli settlers, who live in colonies built specifically on stolen Palestinian land.

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