Monday, March 19, 2012

The silence on Nouri's securing Raad al-Asadi's release

SFLuxe notes, "One might have thought that after the death of thousands in the war in Iraq once Saddam Hussein executed dictator, things would have gone better in the country in every way. Including cultural events. But the reality is very different." They're writing of the targeting of Iraqi youth for being (or thought to be) Emo and/or gay. The story continues to gain traction at a time when Nouri wishes everyone would be hailing him for the planned Arab Summit. Instead, his refusal to defend the people of Iraq is again the topic. Fredster (The Widdershins) points out, "Our government has the means and methods to *urge* other countries to stop the persecution of LGBT people. Secretary of State Clinton said that last year in a speech at the U.N. We need to follow up our words with actions." By that speech and by Barack's comments, all US aid to Iraq should be immediately cut off. But the State Dept won't even issue a press release condemning the targeting. In addition to cutting off aid, there's the issue of all the money Iraq owes Kuwait. Iraq wants the UN to lift Chapter XII. It makes that plea every fall to the Security Council. The US could block support for such a move until Nouri al-Maliki improves human rights in Iraq. Why won't it do that? Because Nouri's the White House pick. And that's why Iraq's not improving.

Let's move to the Kuwait issue. Al Mada reports Nouri's to appear before Parliament to answer questions about Kuwait, to clarify what happened there. That's due to the fact that he's boasted of addressing a number of issues that, it turns out, were never raised with Kuwait and that includes, most damaging, the ongoing border dispute. The thing the US press has pointedly ignored is that Nouri did get Kuwait to agree to release 9 Iraqis from prison. Al Rafidayn explains that Raad al-Asadi is one of the nine -- he's the one arrested in Kuwait in 1993 for attempting to assassinate George H.W. Bush. You might think would warrant attention from the US press. When Bully Boy Bush was mentioning the alleged attempt in his speech to the UN General Assembly in September 2002, the press was happy to cover it. Whenever Bush mentioned it, the press was happy to cover it. When he didn't, the press was still happy to cover it. Not to mention that June 26, 1993, Bill Clinton ordered a missile attack on downtown Baghdad as a result of the alleged assassination attempt. Andrew Glass (POLITICO) reported on that attack two years ago noting:

In all, 23 Tomahawk missiles were fired from the USS Peterson in the Red Sea and from the cruiser USS Chancellorsville in the Persian Gulf, destroying the building and, according to Iraqi accounts, killing at least eight civilians.
The Sunday morning American missile attack was meant to retaliate for an Iraqi plot to assassinate George H.W. Bush during the former president’s visit to Kuwait, where he was to be honored for his role in leading the coalition that drove Iraqi invaders from that country during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

So was it all just another government lie? If not, it seems rather strange that there's no US press interest in the deal Nouri made.

If and when Nouri appears before the parliament it will most likely not be a full house. Al Sabaah reports on the continued absences of law makers from Parliamentary sessions (approximately a quarter of lawmakers are missing sessions). Nouri will no doubt use the Arab Summit as an excuse to postpone appearing before Parliament anytime soon (and hope that after the summit, everyone will have forgotten). Hossam Acommok (Al Mada) reports that the Secretary General of the Arab League Nabil el-Arabi declared that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan are welcome to attend the summit. This goes contrary to Nouri's insisting previously that the summit would only include Arab leaders. (And it may make it more difficult for Nouri to control topics. He's initiated a public feud, for example, with Recep Tayyip Erdogan whom he's accused of a number of things).

One of the issues Nouri doesn't want raised is his charging Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi with terrorism. al-Hashemi remains in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region as a guest of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and KRG President Massoud Barzani. Alsumaira TV reports that Mahmoud Othman of the Kurdistan Alliance declared today that if al-Hashemi won't appear before a Baghdad court (thus far he won't) then the trial should be moved to Kirkuk and that international observers should take part.

Aref Mohammed (Reuters) reports that approximately one million of Moqtada al-Sadr's followers in and around Basra rallied in the streets today to register their opposition to/survival of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq and "Slogans were mainly directed at the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for failing to improve the lives of Iraq's poor." Don't forget that in a three-person race, Nouri was the third choice of Moqtada al-Sadr followers in 2010 (Moqtada's claim that he'd only support whom his followers did for prime minister led to his own followers voting in April 2010). Basra doesn't forget Nouri's attack on it in 2008.

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Sporty Barack" went up last night.
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 include the Cuban Five, CIW's campaign fast, the assault on Uganda's LGBT community, Michael Smith's book tour for Who Killed Che? (written by Michael Smith and Michael Ratner), attorney Barbara Blaine discussing the Catholic Church's battle with SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) and attorney Darius charney on the successful class action lawsuit against the NY Fire Department.

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