Sunday, February 19, 2012

And the war drags on . . .

Today police recruits in Baghdad were targeted with a suicide car bombing. AP reports at least 15 recruits were killed as were 5 police officers with twenty-eight more injured. Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) adds, "The Baghdad police academy is the only one in the capital and is within the compound of the heavily guarded Interior Ministry, but has a separate entrance." Apparently yesterday's 'big bust' in Baghdad of the "sorcerers" for practicing "voodooism" has not increased the safety in Iraq In addition, Reuters notes 1 "army brigadier" was injured in a Baghdad shooting, a Samarra roadside bombing injured two Sahwa members, one police officer was injured in a Tuz Khurmatu attack and, dropping back to Saturday, 2 Sahwa and 1 police officer were shot dead in Baquba and two police officers were left injured, a Balad home invasion claimed 1 life and left another person injured, a Baquba home invasion resulted in the deaths of "a woman, her son, daughter and daughter-in-law" (the throats of all four were slit open). Reuters also notes Saturday's violence included 2 Iraqi soldiers shot dead in Mosul, a Mosul mortar attack which injured one person, a Falluja sticky bombing which injured three people, a Falluja shooting that left one police officer injured and, dropping back to Friday for the last two, 2 corpses discovered in Kirkuk (both were shot to death) and 1 corpse discovered in Hawija. 'Peaceful' Iraq.

They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)

Last Sunday, the number of US military people killed in the Iraq War since the start of the illegal war was 4487. Tonight? PDF format warning, DoD lists the the number of Americans killed serving in Iraq at 4487.

All the threatening statements made towards ExxonMobil and Total last week? Turns out they weren't for real. The Kurdish Globe translates a statement Mutasam Akram, Deputy Minister of Oil, issued which includes:

According to the Iraqi constitution, the oil and all the natural resources that exist in Iraq are national wealth that belongs to all Iraqi people, living in all of the regions and provinces of Iraq. This wealth should be used to increase the well-being and prosperity of all the people of Iraq. Therefore, such agreements should be a joint effort between everyone in Iraq and no individual group should single-handedly decide on how these resources are used.

In our view, these statements, especially those that threaten renowned international investment companies working in the Kurdistan Region, could lead to companies being reluctant to work in all of Iraq, and they will portray a negative image to investors across all sectors. This contradicts the general policies of economic openness, the promotion of trade and attracting foreign direct investment in order to provide better services to the people of Iraq, who have suffered for decades from closed centralized economic policies that have led to widespread poverty, destitution and deprivation.

In addition, such statements lead to increased disputes between the political parties and to the accumulation of new problems at a time when we need to think and work together in order to solve the problems that already exist--especially as we are building up a new democracy, which is what all the political and national components of Iraq want.

Yes, all those threats didn't play well to international corporations thinking about doing business in Iraq. Meanwhile Hevidear Ahmed (Rudaw) interviews Matasam Akram:

Rudaw: Signing some contracts between the Kurdistan Region and ExxonMobil, an oil giant, has angered Baghdad and the capital has asked the company to cancel its deals. Where does this issue stand at the moment?

Mutasam Akram: Inside Iraq’s Ministry of Oil, no actual step has been taken against ExxonMobil and what we see is only in the media. ExxonMobil is the biggest oil company in the world and, if they wanted to work in some part of the world, they would think it over a hundred times before making a decision. When they sign a contract, they know well what the results will be. If ExxonMobil had known it would lose by signing a contract with the Kurdistan Region, it would not have done it. The same goes for the French Total that is also one of the biggest oil companies now in Kurdistan. Both companies enjoy heavy economic and political weight in the world and they wouldn’t have come to Kurdistan had they known they would lose.

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 Greece, the EU and the US with professor Rick Wolff, suing the White House with guest Chris Hedges, and Elbin Perez and Jake Ratner on the Immokalee Workers.

We're finishing up Third right now. Nothing's up yet.

The e-mail address for this site is

law and disorder radio
michael s. smith
heidi boghosian
michael ratner