Sunday, April 29, 2012


Reuters reports that the deputy head of the Iraqi Parliament's Security and Defense Committee, Iskander Witwit, has declared that 24 of the F-16 fighter jets will arrive at the start of 2014.  That's 24 out of thirty-six.  This isn't a surprise.  And, for some, it's a cause for alarm.  At the start of the month,  Wladimir van Wilgenburg (Rudaw) reported:

After increased tensions between the Iraqi and the Kurdish governments, Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani told Alhurra TV last Thursday that Baghdad is considering the use of F-16 fighter planes against the Kurds.
In the interview, Barzani says the issue with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is not personal, but it is about his dictatorial policies. "I still consider him a brother and a friend," he said. According to Barzani, division commanders in the Iraqi army are supposed to be approved by parliament, but this hasn't happened.
Barzani told Alhurra that he has confronted the Iraqi PM many times and been told by Maliki that he will act, but he hasn't, and suggested there is talk of a "military solution" to confront the Kurds in Baghdad. Barzani said that in an official meeting with Iraqi military commanders, it was stated that they should wait for F-16s to arrive to help push back the Kurds.

Though KRG President Massoud Barzani has called out the planned delivery and stated that it puts many in danger if Nouri is over those F-16s, the State Dept has dismissed any concerns over the weapons transfer.  From the April 23rd snapshot when White House Spokesperson Victoria Nuland was asked about the weapons deal:

QUESTION: About the --  just a follow-up about an oil agreement made by Exxon-Mobil and KRG. Since it's an American company, the Exxon-Mobil, this agreement is excluding Baghdad Government's role in the use of oil in KRG region. Do you have any comment? How do you see this agreement? Is it threatening to unity of Iraq, or how do you see Exxon-Mobil and KRG oil agreement?
MS. NULAND: We've talked about this issue many times. Our position on it has not changed, that we think the lack of a comprehensive oil agreement is holding Iraq back, that we've called on all sides to continue to work through what is necessary to come up with a national oil policy. And we also regularly counsel our companies, including Exxon, about the fact that there isn't such an agreement. So I think we'll have a little bit more to say on the issues of Iraq and energy later today. We're going to have -- we have the U.S.-Iraqi energy dialogue going on, and we'll have some folks briefing later this afternoon on those things.

Meanwhile Jason Ditz ( reported today that "Iraqi MP Sami al-Askari, a State of Law member and top aide to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, has termed the Kurdistan Regional Government’s weaponry a 'threat' to Maliki’s continued rule."   Margaret Griffis covers it here.  Let's do something that the press and children don't like to do, let's apply logic.

Which is more possible, the person who controls 15 provinces attacking three provinces in an all out war or the person who controls 3 provinces attacking someone who controls 15?

For those not wanting a suicide mission, it's the one with 15 provinces.  That would be Nouri.  In addition, context, the KRG isn't just about the KRG.  There are Kurds around the world who watch closely to see what happens in the KRG.  And KRG leaders know that.  Meaning they know that their starting a war that they would likely lose would result in mass condemnation from Kurds everywhere who would note that the closest thing to a Kurdish homeland -- a desire millions of Kurds have -- was destroyed to start an unwinnable war.

So, no, it's not logical that the Kurds would attack Baghdad.  Might they use the weapons to defend themselves/  Damn right they would.  And if, in defending themselves, a war broke out, Kurds around the world would be more tolerant of a loss realizing that Iraqi Kurds were standing up for a dream held by many Kurds.

The Kurds would be stupid to let go of their tanks and other weapons.  They needed them against Saddamn, they still need them against Nouri.

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.

IANS reports 3 people died in violence today in Iraq with nine more injured.

New content at Third:

Isaiah's latest goes up after this.  Pru notes Great Britian's Socialist Worker's "Shrinking food shores up firms' profits:"

Multinationals are ripping us off by shrinking products while keeping prices the same.
The process is known as “shrink-ray”.
The Which? consumer group found that a 405g jar of Branston pickle has shrunk to 360g for the same price.
A pack of Birds Eye Chicken was cut from 360g to 340g, while a tub of Dairylea spread shrank from 200g to 160g—a cut of 20 percent.
Kraft, which owns Dairylea, announced a 22 percent leap in its quarterly profits in November last year.

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