Saturday, February 25, 2012

Iraqis turn out to protest

Al Mada reports Iraqis turned out in Baghdad's Tahrir Square today demanding reform on the anniversary of the wave of youth protests that began last year on February 25th. (If your new to last year's protests, click here for a CNN iReport with links to various videos.) Banners carried had slogans on them such as "OIL FOR THE PEOPLE, NOT THE THIEVES" and "MALIKI'S GOVERNMENT HAS FAILED." Siham al-Zubaidi explained her view and that of her peers who were protesting: Nouri al-Maliki has had a year since Iraqi youths began making their demands and he has changed nothing, he has met none of the demands on safety, electricity or job creation.

An unidentified male protester states that crowd is smaller now because a number of people have sold their peers and conscience out for government money. He also noted that Nouri's security forces were present not to protect the peaceful demonstrators but to protect the Green Zone. Al Mada notes that Najaf also saw Iraqis protesting today. Dar Addustour adds that the demonstrators called for Nouri's government to resign and that banners denounced the decision of the Parliament to spend at least $50 million on the purchase of 350 armored vehicles for members of Parliament. Dar Addustour offers some idiotic statements by an idiot named Mohammed Chihod whom they wrongly identify with the National Alliance.

Yes, Chihod is with the National Alliance. But he's State of Law. And when he blathers on with lies to defend Nouri, it's the State of Law that needs to be disclosed to readers. So Liar Mohammed says that the protesters are wrong in their call for a resignation, that there can be no resignations because these leaders were elected by the people. Calling for Nouri and his cabinet to resign is perfectly acceptable and not one of them was elected to a Cabinet post or prime minister by the people. The people voted for members of Parliament. (And their will was ignored.) And even though they voted for MPs, they still have the right to call for their resignation. The one who's "wrong" isn't the Iraqi people, it's liars like Mohammed Chihod who apparently are also illiterate since he can't read and comprehend his country's Constitution. He's such a sweetheart for Nouri, you'd almost think the two men were engaged and planning a wedding.

Aswat al-Iraq notes, "Laith M. Redha, member of a youth group told Aswat al-Iraq that another group of demonstrators will hold their activities in Culture Street of Mutanabi. He added that the demonstrators will commemorate this occasion and demand the reforms which were promised by the government a year ago, eradicating corruption, availability of services and electricity."

Meanwhile Al Rafidayn reports Iraq's former Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi visited on Saturday with the Grand Ayatollah Moahmmed Said al-Hakim in Najaf and the two discussed security issues effecting the country and public services. In December, he was visting with internal refugees. He's continued doing diplomatic visits. You'd think a (US) news outlet would begin to notice his twelve or so weeks of diplomatic issues and how this politician who stepped down to protest the inability of Nouri's government to address corruption and provide basic services might be campaigning for a job higher than vice president. But for that to happen, you'd have to have correspondents who paid attention, not ones who wait for stringers to provide them with 'local color' while they spend all their own time in a villa watching Battlestar Galatica DVDs.

That's Iraq War veteran Adam Kokesh speaking
at the February 20th Veterans for Ron Paul action. I'm including a partial transcript below (full transcript in the community newsletter El Espiritu in inboxes tomorrow morning). US House Rep Ron Paul is running for president, he is the anti-war candidate with some comparing his run to that of Eugene McCarthy (though I'm not remembering McCarthy's anti-war stance resulting in his being tarred an "isolationist"). Adam is among many who have endorsed Ron Paul and Ron Paul has received more donations from active duty US troops than any other politician running for the GOP presidential nomination and he's also received more money from active duty troops than has Barack Obama.

Adam Kokesh: Dear President Obama, I am writing to you as just one veteran, just one man. But today you may see that I am joined by many more. We gather before you in support of Ron Paul and not because we think he would merely be a better administrator of government than you, but because we believe your policies to be fundamentally immoral. We are here demanding peacefully, orderly change at the ballot box. We are gathered here today as active duty service members and veterans exercising the right to self-expression that we have all risked our lives to protect -- something you've never done in uniform. The military you command has made attempts to silence us -- not just in the existing codes and regulations intended to suppress dissent in the ranks but also in direct orders that your officers have issued to the troops who would be with us today, who would speak out against the status quo, who would challenge the man, who would speak a desperately needed truth to a desperately delusional power. Do not think for one second that you can silence this voice. Do not dare whisper the command to silence this voice. Do not deny that Ron Paul is the choice of the troops. You are not wanted as, you are not respected as and you are not fit to be the commander in chief of this great [force? -- applause and cheers are too loud for me to make out his next words].

The e-mail address for this site is