Monday, March 12, 2012

The never-ending targeting in Iraq

Iraqi Christians have suffered wave of attacks since the start of the Iraq War, the most brazen being the October 31, 2010 attack on Baghdad's Our Lady of Salvation Church. These waves of attacks led many to become refugees which is why they make up a surprisingly large percent of Iraq's external refugees. Within Iraq, they have relocated to northern Iraq for safety. Jack Healy (New York Times) reported yesterday that lack of jobs and safety concerns are resulting in they're leaving northern Iraq and heading towards "Turkey, Jordan, Europe and the United States." Those who remain will face additional problems. Ahmed Mohammed (Al Mada) reports on the literacy law being discussed by Parliament and by educators which would foster education through a series of measures -- one of which would be withholding family rations cards if a family does not send their children to school. When waves of attack start on, for example, Iraqi Christians, the first thing many parents do is keep their children home. They are the ones who would most likely be punished by the measure.

Iraq was once the cradle of civilization. It was an advanced country. Then the US wars and the sanctions wore it down. After the 2003 invasion, a new trend emerged -- Iraq's educated class began fleeing the country. This was dubbed "the brain drain." It didn't have to happen. But the US government didn't rate an educated class as important, they were too busy getting in bed with thugs and exiles and exiled thugs. Thugs scare, thugs intimidate and that was the role the US government wanted them to play, to throw off and scare the Iraqi people so that there would be little resistance to the plans the US decided to impose.

An educated class could organize, could put forward leaders, could put forward opposition. So the US was more than happy to set the thugs loose throughout Iraq to ensure that didn't happen. And thugs fear knowledge so they especially loved targeting the doctors and the professors and the engineers, etc.

The thugs have terrorized throughout the war and occupation. And other than the thugs, few have experienced safety.

The educated, Iraqi women, Iraqi Christians, other religious and ethnic minorities and Iraq's LGBT community and now the Emos. At some point, a real leader would be calling this nonsense out. A real leader -- and goodness knows Iraq needs one -- would point out to the Iraqi people that this is terrorism and it has to stop, that a small band of thugs have to stop attacking Iraqi citizens and that this theocratic b.s. that everyone will look and act and think alike is not going to cut in modern Iraq.

Until a leader can say those words, Iraq doesn't have a leader. Thugs have a leader, Iraqis have none.

That's Sky News with a video report.

Simon Newton: Even for a country used to terrible violence, these killings have been shocking. The rise of Emo culture among some young Iraqis hasn't been welcome in all quarters. Despite the infiltration of Western influence, many in the country remain deeply conservative. Sarah is an Emo but too frightened to show her face on camera. She interacts with other followers around the world using Facebook.

Sarah: There are special events where we support the Emo group. We meet regularly to decide which ones to attend.

["Famous Last Words" by My Chemical Romance plays.]

Simon Newton: Like most youth cultures, Emo has its own music, fashion and lifestyle -- much of it revolving around themes of emotional pain and andorgeny -- a blurring of the sexes. Sarah says she only meets fellow Emos with her parents approval and admits her family are divided by her lifestyle.

Sarah: Sometimes we have heated discussions at home. I usually stay silent and usually don't go to gatherings.

Simon Newton: Nine Emo youngsters were bludgeoned to death and seven shot recently in Sadr City. The Interior Ministry says it's monitoring the movement claiming rumors of homosexuality and mass suicide means it's a danger to wider society

[Official babbling, I'm not interested.]

Simon Newton: Being gay remains taboo in Iraq. Human rights groups say 750 men and women have been murdered for their sexual orientation. But with clerics linking the Emo lifestyle to homosexuality, the fear is that figure will only rise. Simon Newton, Sky News.

NME adds, "Reports also indicate that militias in the Iraqi capital Baghdad's conservative Shia neighbourhood of Sadr City have distributed leaflets with the names of 20 young people that they say should be punished for being 'emo'."

There's been no statement from the United Nations so far. There's been no statement from the US State Dept or the White House. Nothing but silence.

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 included a squatters museum, AIPAC, Michael Smith's book tour for Who Killed Che? (written by Michael Smith and Michael Ratner), attorney Wolfgang Kaleck on the Columbian Trade Unionist murder and Cyrus McGoldrick on police surveillance of American Muslims.

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