Tuesday, March 20, 2012

More violence, more crackdowns

Citing no real people, Al Sabaah reports that Iraqi feels pride in the Arab Summit today. That would be the summit that still hasn't taken place and that probably is not the first thing Iraqis are thinking of today. In news that might actually apply today, Al Sabaah notes that the Council of Ministers released the first batch of land packages and financial grants to Iraqi victims of terrorism. Over 40 are dead and over 200 injured in attacks today and RTE observes, "This was Iraq's deadliest day in nearly a month, and the breadth of coordinated bombs in more than a dozen cities showed an apparent determination by insurgents to prove that the government cannot keep the country safe ahead of the summit." Al Rafidayn notes that, after today's wave of attacks, the government decided to stop work this Sunday and declare a holiday beginning March 25th (the Summit is scheduled to run the 27th through the 29th) and that the move comes as Iraqis are already complaining about "security measures" for the summit which are already causing big traffic news.

Prior to today's decision to impose a week long holiday, barricades were already going up throughout Baghdad, it had already been announced that Baghdad International Airport would be closed and Baghdad was already set to be closed to non-official vehicular traffic.

Al Sabaah reports that Nouri announced yesterday that all the measures necessary to make the summit a success -- including safety precautions -- were in place. Oh, that Nouri, what a glorious fool.

Though today's dead includes many -- including children, police and a pregnant woman (in Falluja) -- it does not include Qassim Fahdawi. Al Rafidayn reports that the Anbar Province governor survived an assassination attempt in Ramadi (car bombing).

Yesterday a huge number of Moqtada al-Sadr followers turned out in Baghdad to protest. Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports, "Some of the protesters carried coffins marked 'electricity,' 'water' and 'education' through the streets of the southern oil city of Basra. Others carried cables and water containers to express their frustration with the lack of basic utilities." Al Mada adds that the slogan for the protest was "Day of the Oppressed" and that they called for an end to corruption, unemployment and dictatorship -- yes, dictatorship. No, that can't be good for Nouri al-Maliki whom al-Sadr's Basra residents loathe for many reasons including his 2008 attack on them.

Sunday peace activist Deborah Spilko concluded her "Americans must live with the consequences of Iraq War" (Erie Times-News) with this:

Our countless, endless wars take place in other people's lands, and they are fought by someone else's kids.
We have smashed Iraq. We attacked and destroyed a country that did nothing to us, and now we are told we should hold our heads high. Although the men and women sent to do a job there did us proud, the decent response would be to feel deep remorse and distress over all that has been committed in our name in that long-suffering land.
And by allowing ourselves to really feel that, maybe we would never ever allow this horror to happen again.

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.