Saturday, February 25, 2012

Moqtada calls Nouri is a dictator (and a glory hog)

Pakistan's The News notes that Moqtada al-Sadr issued a statement last night which declared of Nouri al-Maliki, "The dictator of the government is trying to make all the accomplishments as though they were his accomplishments, and if he cannot he will try to hinder these accomplishments and erase them." The paper notes that his bloc is a member of the National Alliance, as is Nouri's, and that this may "indicate a new round of political conflict" for Iraq.

Iraq has been in Political Stalemate II for over a year now. Political Stalemate I is the eight months following the election when Nouri refuses to allow any forward movement because, although his State of Law came in second in the elections, he demands that he remain prime minister. With the White House backing, he knows he can bring things to a standstill and never be called out. He wasn't either. Think of all that time and how there was no effort by the US government to ever pin the blame where it belonged. That's because they were aiding aiding and abetting Nouri in his theft of the prime minister post.

Political Stalemate I ends in November 2010 with the US-brokered Erbil Agreement which allows Nouri to remain prime minister and grants various deals to the political blocs. Nouri seizes his post, immediately refuses even the most basic promises (the Erbil Agreement included that Iraqiya members who'd been targeted prior to the elections would have their names cleared -- couldn't do it, Nouri said). The US press whores for Nouri always with few exceptions. Nouri becomes prime minister at the end of December despite failure to meet the Constitutionally mandated task of naming a Cabinet (not a partial one, a Cabinet means all posts are filled). The US press rushed to insist that the three security ministries would have ministers shortly, probably in six weeks.

That was a year and two months ago. That is the start of Political Stalemate II. Nouri, as critics charged in real time, wanted to keep the security portfolios for himself. That way he controlled them. Nominating someone and seeing them approved by Parliament meant that person was in control (and Nouri could only fire the person with the approval of Parliament).

Over the summer, the Kurds became especially vocal about the Erbil Agreement and how it needed to be followed. Iraqiya soon joined the call. Ammar al-Hakim, leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq which is part of the National Alliance, also joined the call for the Erbil Agreement to be honored. Nouri refused. His apologists in this country (US) began saying the Erbil Agreement was illegal and unconstitutional. It's not unconstitutional. There's nothing that bars the Erbil Agreement within the Constitution. It might be extraconstitutional -- but it shouldn't be my job to educate the Nir Rosen 'Gulf Analysis' Circle Jerk on both the law and grammer. At some point, little boiz, you need to stop expecting to be spoonfed. But here's one last bite you can savor, if you're going to argue in any way that the Erbil Agreement is illegal, then you better grasp that means you're arguing Nouri is not really/legitimately prime minister right now because it's the US-brokered Erbil Agreement that allows Nouri his second term as prime minister. Now burp yourselves and try to wipe your own asses because I'm done with you boiz.

December 16th Iraqiya announced they were walking out on Parliament and Cabinet hearings. The US press didn't give a damn. Didn't even report it. Because they're all whoring for Nouri most likely. Now some try to sneak it into their reports but back then no one bothered. Just like for days Nouri had tanks circling the homes of Iraqiya members and the press knew but waited until December 17th (online, 18th in print) to report on it. And even then, that was just one outlet. Only the Washington Post has ever reported on that.

The New York Times is so far down on Nouri's cock they can tell you how longs it's been since he washed his pubes. Bill Keller says the paper's not trusted because of Iraq. Yeah, but not just because of the lead up, because of all the lies since and the current group is no better than go-go boys John F. Burns and Dexter Filkins when it comes to reporting the truth. That's why February 16, 2011, the Times was bragging about Nouri's restraint and wonderfulness while Liz Sly (Washington Post) and Kelly McEvers (NPR) would be reporting on Nouri's attacks on the protesters, on 16 killed, on journalists kidnapped by Nouri's forces and tortured.

Those are actions that are documented and took place but never made it into the New York Times. And they wonder -- the TV boiz and essay writers -- why no one takes them seriously? Tanks are circling elected politicians homes -- on Nouri's orders -- and for the staff of the New York Times, that wasn't news. This took place right after US troops largely left the country. But it wasn't news for the New York Times. Writers more used to covering puppies and TV didn't see a ruler ordering tanks to patrol the homes of his political rivals as news.

The New York Times could have come back from selling the illegal war. Other papers did and other papers have historically (Iraq was not the first time the press sold a war for an administration). What hurt the paper is that it never got the story right. Even now, it can't get the story right. I'm walking through some of their biggest mistakes right now because they've refused to get the story right.

I don't like writing about the New York Times. Know why? It's not because friends with the paper who know I'm C.I. will call and complain. I could care less about that.

I don't like doing greatest hits. And when Jim told me that the stats for most read entries include 8 pieces specifically about the New York Times, my attitude was, "I'm really done with that paper." I'm not going to be Connie Francis, in a light blue formal with a paper corsage pinned to it and climb the stage and perform "Where The Boys Are" night after night. I can't imagine anything sadder and more lifeless than that.

So if something called 'The New York Times wants to play tabloid today' resulted in a half-million views, I'm not interested in redoing what I've already done.

Which means I'd rather write about anything else. And could, Bill Keller, if your paper would get your correspondents to start telling the truth and tell your editors to let the truth in the paper. If you did that, I wouldn't have to review your paper's many crimes. In other words, if you did your damn job, you might have already moved past the selling of the Iraq War scandal.

But you don't. You don't do your job. But how you love to whine in e-mails, how you love to bully and bitch. How you to love to pretend that it's everyone's fault but your own. If NPR could report on it, so could you. If the Washington Post could report on it, so could you.

At the end of the day, none of your excuses add up. But you sure did spend a lot of time coming up with them. Anything to avoid doing the real job, eh?

The political crisis continues in Iraq -- despite the New York Times attempt this month to declare it over. One aspect of it is Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi who stands accused of terrorism by Nouri and Nouri's puppets on the bench in Baghdad. Another aspect is Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq whom Nouri wants stripped of his post for calling Nouri a dictator. (Nouri has a pattern of suing people who call him a dictator -- the Guardian newspaper, for example -- and wanted to sue an MP last fall; however, he couldn't because the MP has immunity. As does Saleh al-Mutlaq. Stripping him of his post might strip him of immunity -- might -- and if that happens, Nouri could sue al-Mutlaq.)

In an attempt to solve the ongoing political crisis, President Jalal Talabani and Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi have been calling for a national conference since December 21st. All that's taken place so far is prep meetings. Today Aswat al-Iraq reports that MP Ahmed al-Massari, who serves on the prep committee, is declaring that al-Mutlaq's case will be decided by the "the three presidencies" (that's Talabani, Nouri and Osama al-Nujaifi). There's no unified opinion on al-Hashemi's case, the MP states. but he notes "that the two working papers of Iraqiya and National Allaince blocs were unified, containing most of Arbil agreement items." Al Mada is reporting that the issue of al-Mutlaq will be resolved by Parliament.

Wally and Cedric's just went up.

And the other community posts from Thursday night, Friday and today:

Lastly, David Bacon's latest book is Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press) which won the CLR James Award. We'll close with this from Bacon's "IMMIGRANT STEEL WORKERS MARCH AGAINST UNJUST FIRINGS" (Truthout):

BERKELEY, CA (2/18/12) -- Two hundred immigrant workers, their wives, husbands, children, and hundreds of supporters marched through downtown Berkeley February 17, protesting their firing from Pacific Steel Castings. The company is one of the city's biggest employers, and the largest steel foundry west of the Mississippi River. Starting at City Hall, they walked for an hour past stores and homes, as bystanders often applauded. Teachers and students at a Montessori school along the route even came out to the sidewalk to urge them on.
At a rally before the march started, fired worker Jesus Prado told the assembled crowd, "I worked for Pacific Steel for seven years. We've organized this March for Dignity because we want to stop the way they're stepping on us, and treating us like criminals. We came here to work, not to break any laws."
"Many of us are buying homes, or have lived in our homes for years," added another fired worker, Ana Castaño. "We have children in the schools. We pay taxes and contribute to our community. What is happening to us is not just, and hurts our families. All we did was work. That shouldn't be treated like it's a crime."
Berkeley City Councilmember Jesse Arreguin agreed. "We're here today to send a message to the Obama administration that the I-9 raids have to stop," he told the crowd.

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