Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Iraq and its lure to foreigners

Yesterday the United Nations "confirmed that the infrastructure and facilities at a new camp in Iraq for residents of the settlement formerly known as Camp Ashraf meet international standards, as stipulated in last month's agreement on voluntary relocation between the UN and the Iraqi Government." They note that the transportation will be supervised by UN monitors. The residents of Camp Ashraf are Iranian dissidents who were welcomed into the country under Saddam Hussein. After the US invaded Iraq, the dissidents agreed to disarm and, in neogitations with the US government, became protected persons under international law and the Geneva Conventions. AFP notes that the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq declared, "UNHCR is also ready to commence the refugee status determination as soon as residents start arriving to the camp." The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom's Anthony Clarke (UPI) shares his dismay over the proposed relocation and other issues:

In truth, these dissidents, members of the People's Mujahedin of Iran, want to leave Iraq and have asked the U.N. refugee agency to classify them as "asylum seekers" and allow them to apply for safe haven elsewhere. But the Maliki government has refused to give the United Nations permission to interview them.
With pressure mounting from the United Nations and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Iraq backed down and agreed to let the dissidents relocate to a former U.S. Army base, called Camp Liberty, near Baghdad, with their safety guaranteed by the United Nations and United States, until they could be processed for relocation.

In other news, Manila's Sun Star reports, "Crisis alert level 3 has been raised Wednesday in Iraq due to 'higher-than-expected' surge in terrorist and sectarian violence in the Western Asia nation, foreign affairs officials said. Under alert level 3, which covers all regions of Iraq except the northern autonomous region of Kurdistan, Filipinos who wish to leave Iraq are offered voluntary repatriation at government expense." Gulf News adds, "All of Iraq, except Kurdistan, an autonomous region in the north, near Turkey, was assessed under a high alert level of disorder, said Manila's foreign ministry statement." Despite massive unemployment in Iraq, the country continues to bring in foreign workers for jobs that Iraqi could easily be doing. These are not security contract jobs. They're construction jobs and hospitality industry jobs largely. GMA News notes the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Sectrary Albert del Rosario:

While nearly 4,000 Filipinos were secured by the US military, the US troop pullout has significantly reduced the number of Filipinos in Iraq and has also resulted in a diminution of their security, the DFA noted.
"In addition, we further believe that there may be undocumented Filipinos working as household service workers and we are, therefore, fully committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of all our countrymen in Iraq," Del Rosario said.

On the issue of contractors, the Project On Government Oversight's Andre Francisco notes that "as many as 18,000 contractors are staying behind to run and protect the Green Zone, the world's largest embassy complex. The contractors are being overseen by the State Department, which does not have a good history of contract oversight." In further news of foreign pursuit of Iraq, Grant Smith (Bloomberg News) reports, "Iraq's legislation doesn't prevent oil companies from signing deals with the central government and with semi-autonomous authorities in the North, as in the case of Exxon Mobil Corp., said Adnan al-Janabi, chairman of the nation's Oil and Energy Committee." Back in October, ExxonMobil signed a deal with the KRG and you may remember Nouri's outrage and his Deputy Prime Minister for Energy's outrage (that's Hussein al-Shahristani) as they insisted that Iraq would consider sanctions, that the contract was illegal and more. And the Minister of Oil Abdul-Kareem Luaibi was insisting that they had demanded a response (repeatedly) from ExxonMobil which had refused to respond. It's not at all surprising that all the bluster, the deal goes through. A puppet like Nouri is installed for a reason, after all.

Meanwhile the News International reports Baghdad is now set to host the Arab Summit on March 29th. If it doesn't take place, how many millions will be wasted this time? (2011 saw it postponed twice. At much expense to Nouri's government which attempted to slap some paint on Baghdad and make it presentable to foreign leaders.)

The following community sites -- plus Adam Kokesh,, The NewsHour, At War and On The Wilder Side -- updated last night:

In addition, Elaine's "Baby Toes" went up last night but is not showing on the permalinks. Last night was a theme night at community sites and the theme was poetry.

We'll close with this from Tim King's "Dismissing the Good Deed of 'Terrorists'" (Salem-News):

(SALEM) - 'Terrorist' - the word brings a vision to the American mind, one crafted by news reports and comedians and movies and TV shows. It is always an Arab guy with a turban. But the truth in many cases is very different from most believe.
Nelson Mandela of the African National Congress - was considered a terrorist by the U.S. and British governments all the way into the 1990's.
He is the ultimate victim/survivor of those who use the 'terrorist' label as a tool of war.
In this case the designation was assigned to a man who had been imprisoned for two decades, fighting bitter, hardcore racism that was as bold and blatant as any that ever came before it.
Mandela raised his arms and refused to relent to the terror inflicted on the Black population of South Africa. He fought back and the resistance claimed lives, as it should have. The South African apartheid government's treatment of Blacks was based on a system where people were considered 'separate but equal' and it is amazing that such a blatantly racial system, with separate facilities for races lasted until just a few years ago.
The president of the U.S. branded this unrelenting champion for his own people as a terrorist, when Mandela is ten times the man Ronald Reagan was, even in the movie actor's best moments of self-deceiving white bread illusion.
The 'Terrorist Card'
We all know the saying, "Playing the race card". Reagan loved to play the 'terrorist card'. After all, he was a raucous bigot... a race war moron whose IQ must have been very low. His life goals beyond 'fighting Communism' were boosting power and putting on a good show. He was elected because he breathed a fiery hate and his legacy as a warmongering U.S. leader is a shameful part of our past.
As a side note, it is worth realizing that the year Nancy Reagan launched her 'war on drugs', is the same year the clandestine drugs-for-weapons program in Nicaragua was launched by Ronald Reagan to raise money for a war between U.S. ally Iraq, and Iran. The drugs flown into the U.S. flooded our streets and soon came the 'crack epidemic'. So the Reagan family is therefore responsible for both the drug war, and the need for a drug war. I guess that's business in America.
And this man called Mandela, who brought real and true liberty to the indigenous people of South Africa... was the terrorist? It was inevitable that another dog was yapping "terrorist" around this time too, echoing the same comments about the great leader Mandela, this was the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Margaret Thatcher. That windbag's country was squarely behind the whole damned colonial problem in the first place. England is responsible for all of the world's most disastrous politics that are the result of a centuries-long orgy of power, all of it.

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