Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bombings in Baquba and Diwaniyah today

The violence never ends. Alsumaria reports that 72 people were arrested by Iraqi forces yesterday, 1 guard was killed outside Baquba, a Baquba home bombing killed a husband and wife and their three children and 1 person was shot dead in Kirkuk. In another report they identify the man as Mayor Younis Youssef Ibrahim. And they note that early this morning the home of the chair of the Diwaniyah security committee was targeted with dynamite. Though the house was damaged, no one was harmed. Meanwhile Al Rafidayn reports two bombings in Baquba this morning have left fifteen people injured.

In Iraq, the political crisis continues. Al Mada reports that Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi states that Prime Minister and thug Nouri al-Maliki took advantage of the White House's indifference to violate the Constitution and grab powers to intimidate and suppress political rivals. Iraqiya came in frist in the March 2010 elections, Nouri's State of Law came in second. Allawi criticizes the corruption in the current government -- a non-controversial position in Iraq. Last year, Iraqis took to the streets protesting the government corruption. To distract protesters, Nouri claimed he needed 100 days to address it and then the problem would be solved. At the end of 100 days (all Nouri does is stall), the corruption was not addressed and Nouri offered more excuses and more brutality. Mahmoud Othman leads the Kurdish Alliance in Parliament and he states that KRG President Massoud Barzani's call for a national conference is in keeping with the needs of Iraq and what Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has been calling for. Since December 21st, Talabani and Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi have been calling for a national conference to address the political crisis.

Alsumaria notes
that Ammar al-Hakim, leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, states that many mistakes have been made in Iraq since 3002 and that this is "natural" due to the fact that many now participating in the process were kept out of it under Saddam Hussein but that the political crisis must be addressed. Al Rafidayn notes that al-Hakim stated it will take courage to recognize mistkaes that have been made. The article also reminds that since April 6th, there has been speculation that the National Alliance and the Kurds have made a political agreement that would replace Nouri al-Maliki with Ahmed Chalibi -- an agreement everyone has public denied exists.

It's not a repeat, it just feels like one: Al Mada notes that KRGS is sending a delegation to Baghdad to discuss the crisis. Yes, they did that in the fall of last year. No, it didn't resolve anything then. Yes, as with that time, the people involved are stating that they believe the delegation's dialogue can resolve the crisis.

Al Rafidayn notes that KRG President Massoud Barzani has repeated his concern that Iraq is currently headed towards a dictatorship and that, if the political crisis cannot be addressed, the only option would be for the Kurdish region to go with full autonomy (three provinces currently make up the KRG and it is a self-autonomous region). Barzani, who has been visiting several countries including the US, states that when he turns there will have to be real efforts at partnership ("sincere") and democracy or else the Kurds will have to decide for themselves what their future holds.

State of Law runs to Alsumaria
to attack Barzani for his comments. Whether it's Nouri or some low-level flunky isn't known but someone representing for State of Law tells Alsumaria that Barzani's remarks are "in violation of the Constitution."

You know what I love about that assertion? Beside the hypocrisy? I love these people who want to claim something's in violation of the Iraqi Constitution -- a written document -- but can never cite an Article of the Constitution that supports their claim. Barazni is not in violation of the Constitution for his remarks but it's the typical over-the-top, uninformed, uneducated accusation that State of Law is so fond of as they work so very hard to demonstrate to the world just how stupid and uneducated you are. It's as though they took out a full page ad in Oil & Gas Journal insisting, "Come do business with us! We're morons! It'll be like stealing candy from a baby!"

And then there is the hypocrisy. The head of State of Law is Nouri al-Maliki. He has been the Prime Minister of Iraq since spring 2006. For him or anyone his organization to accuse someone of violating the Constitution is laughable. Per the Constitution, Nouri had until the end of 2007 to hold a referendum and census on Kirkuk. He refused to do so. He has continued to refuse to do so. Nouri is in violation of the Constitution. And -- pay attention, State of Law -- that's Article 140 of the Constitution. Look it up. If Iraq had a functioning Parliament, they'd toss Nouri out of office right now for being in violation of the Constitution.

In the US, Courage to Resist notes these actions (and encourages people to plan events in areas that don't yet have them) in support of Bradley Manning:

Events in the Washington DC area and internationally in support of accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower

Nobel Peace Prize nominee Bradley Manning’s next appearance in court will take place April 24-26 at Ft. Meade, MD. At the previous hearing on March 15th, Bradley’s lawyer filed a motion to dismiss all charges based on the government’s failure to present evidence as requested. Additionally, a broad coalition of media groups filed a complaint because documents from the court proceedings have been mostly shielded from the public’s view.

We are calling for conscientious citizens everywhere to organize in support of Bradley Manning during his next hearing. Drop all charges against Bradley Manning–punish the war criminals, not the whistle-blowers! Join us in the Washington DC area if you can. Otherwise, host or attend a solidarity event in your community. Ideas for local events include: town square vigils, community forums, concerts, and house party fund-raisers.

(Read more about the failures of the military to provide due process in this case here.)

Please register your event here. Also check out our online resources.

Planned events:

Tuesday, April 24 – 11am – 2pm -Occupy the Department of Justice (Washington DC)
Join the “Free Bradley Manning” contingent at Occupy the Justice Department The DoJ is a leading collaborating agency involved in the prosecution of accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower US Army PFC Bradley Manning. 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC – at the Department of Justice
* “Free Bradley Manning and all political prisoners”
* “End solitary confinement and stop torture”

RSVP here.

Wednesday, April 25 – 8am – Stand with Bradley inside and outside the courtroom (Fort Meade MD)
Join the all-day vigil for Bradley Manning at the Fort Mead Main Gate, 8am-5pm (Maryland 175& Reece Rd, Fort Meade, MD 21113). We’ll be holding signs and banners throughout the day. Supporters are also encouraged to attend the courtroom proceedings for all or part of the day. We are currently investigating chartering a bus that would leave from Washington D.C.

RSVP here.

Supporters are encouraged to attend Bradley Manning’s court martial motion hearing at Fort Meade on Tuesday, April 24. This hearing is scheduled for April 24-26, beginning at 9am daily. To attend, go to the Fort Meade Visitor Control Center at the Fort Meade Main Gate (Maryland 175 & Reece Rd, Fort Meade, MD 21113). We suggest arriving when the visitor center opens at 7:30am (if you arrive late, you should still be able to get into the courtroom later in the morning).

Supporters are also encouraged to attend the courtroom proceedings for all or part of the day on Thursday, April 26.

For more information about organizing an event in your community April 24-26, please contact for ideas and resources.

The e-mail address for this site is