Sunday, April 22, 2012


In Iraq where tensions can't really afford to get further enflamed, just that is happening. Tim Arango (New York Times) reports onthe continued displacement of the Kurds in disputed areas. Arango tells you that government officials are worried -- US government officials. Maybe they should have worried a lot damn sooner?

For example, as 2007 drew to a close and Nouri al-Maliki was refusing to follow the Constitution's Article 140, maybe they should have been concerned then? Article 140 mandates a census and referendum on the disputed territories. That's supposed to have taken place by the end of 2007. Nouri didn't do it. Even now he is in violation of the Constitution. But the White House didn't care under Bully Boy Bush and they don't care under Barack.

The Brookings Institute has sounded one alarm after another. They've been especially loud on the topic in 2009 and 2010. But the current administration dismissed the institute's assertion that this issue, these unresolved territories claimed by both the Kurds and the Baghdad-based central government. They appointed Chris Hill who didn't have a clue as evidenced by his statements on this issue in his confirmation hearing. And who objected? We did. Who else bothered? So it's not just the administration, it's also the press.

Now the Kurds are watching as others claim their houses using deeds supplied under Sadam Hussein who rant he Kurds out of these areas. Their own documents of ownership were then destroyed under Hussein. And now the ones who took their homes claim them once again. The KRG's representative in Baghdad, Mohammed Ihsan states, "We have the most corrupted judicial system in the world." And Arango obsereves, "A 2009 report on internal displacement in Iraq by the Brookings Institution and the University of Bern called the process one of 'incomprehension' and 'frustration'." Ihsan adds, "It's getting worse. The Americans left without finishing the job. We are worried that history is going to repeat itself."

 Meanwhile Nouri is in Iran on a visit with the country's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iran Independent News Agency notes, "Iraq no longer needs any help from the United States, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Sunday as he offered to strengthen ties between the two neighbouring countries, which were once at war." Pakistan's The Nation adds:

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday at the start of a two-day visit to boost relations between their Muslim states. “If Tehran and Baghdad are strong, the region will have no place for the United States and the Zionist regime,” Ahmadinejad said, quoted by state news agency IRNA, in reference to Tehran’s arch-foe Israel. He said there was “no limit to the strengthening of political, economic and cultural ties” between them. 
Such moves would serve to “boost stability and security in the region,” chimed in Maliki, who also held talks with parliament speaker Ali Larijani.Maliki was also to see Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili. 

Even now the US taxpayer foots the bill for billions in Iraq. And for what? So that Nouri can go to Iran and stand shoulder-to-shoulder as insults against the US are made? Wow. There was a time when such actions would have resulted in all US aid being cut off to a country that did that. That's why a lot of people see Barack as weak and ineffectual on the international stage. There might be a reason for tolerating that behavior, there might not be. But sticking your heads in the sand and screaming, "Fox News lies! Fox News lies!" isn't going to persuade anyone.

I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name

Last Sunday, the number of US military people killed in the Iraq War since the start of the illegal war was 4488. Tonight? PDF format warning, DoD lists the the number of Americans killed serving in Iraq at 4488.

New content at Third:

The e-mail address for this site is