Monday, April 23, 2012

Nouri gets cozy with Iran, Barzani says it's time for independence

Dar Addustour reports the Speaker of Iraq's Parliament is in London. Nouri al-Maliki, prime minister and thug, is, of course, in Tehran. Al Rafidayn reports that in addition to his meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he was also scheduled to meet the Speaker of the Iranian Parliament Ali Larijani. Al-Manar adds Nouri has met with First Vice-President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi. Dar Addustour notes the public remarks Ahmadinejad made with Nouri by his side about how the region was no place for enemies of freedom like the US and Israel. The Tehran Times has Ahmadinejad calling the US and Israel enemies of the free world. (It's "Zionist regime," but he's referring to Israel.) RTT News observes, "Observers believe Iranian leaders intend to enhance their influence in Iraq after the pullout of U.S. troops by strengthening ties with Prime Minister Maliki who, like a majority of Iranians, is also a Shia Muslim."   Always one to fan the flames, state-controlled Press TV puts forward Dr. Jafar Hadi Hassan to explain how awful Turkey is:

Dr. Hassan: Of course, it is natural to hear this language, this strong language because Erdogan himself is also using a very strong language against the Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. So it is obvious we have such language. Unfortunately, this conflict now is becoming personal.  I must say, from the beginning, Erdogan, he initiated this problem. In 2010 he supported the al-Alawi coalition who was of course the opponent to al-Maliki. But in light of recent developments internally and externally, this conflict has increased.  Internally, Iraq accused the Vice President al-Hashemi of having (terrorist links) and that vice president left Iraq. Now he is in Turkey. Al-Hashemi was a part of the al-Alawi coalition and of course he is a Sunni; and also al-Mutlaq the deputy prime minister, a Sunni, was also saying bad or strong words against al-Maliki and he is not functioning at the moment.

 So Turkey supposedly backing Allawi in 2010 was what "initiated this problem" but Iran backing Nouri -- no alleged about that, it happened and it happened publicly (Nouri was also backed by the White House) -- was just a-okay.  Jafar Hadxi Hassan is a joke.  A stupid and dirty joke.  He's also an ignorant scholar.  The Jewish faith, as he's repeatedly written, is not awaiting Jesus Christ.  That's a fallacy.  They do not recognize Jesus as the son of God. Is it that difficult to grasp?  Since they don't recognize the person described in the gospels as the son of God, it is a mistake to assert that they are awaiting Christ -- "Christ" being a name that does not appear in the Old Testament.  The hack may have managed to fool a diploma mill but that's the sort of 'scholarly' 'mistake' that dooms an academic career forever.  (And should, it's not just a fundemental flaw, it's a fatal flaw the displays complete ignorance in the subject you're supposed to be an expert on.)

Press TV also makes time to interview "political expert" Sa'ad al-Motallebi.  al-Motallebi is not an 'expert' on anything.  If you'll think back to April 2nd, you'll remember that the 'expert' was explaining to the world how Tareq al-Hashemi would be rounded up by INTERPOL -- it not only never happened, it was never going to happen.  INTERPOL's charter ensured that.  Stupid, stupid moron.  In addition, "political expert" al-Motallebi is a member of Nouri's State of Law -- a detail Press TV 'forgets' to inform their viewers of.

Press TV: What type of reaction can be expected out of Baghdad for the situation as we see it continuing to deteriorate especially after Turkey hosted - and some say are still hosting; some say not - but hosted fugitive Vice President al-Hashemi? 

Al-Motallebi: I must concur with our colleagues (other guests) in that there is a regional pact that has been formed. There is a Sunni pact you could call it or a pro-American pact has been formed - the angles of this pact are Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The launch point started with Syria. There is of course on the map on the target of those countries.   But in relations to Iraq, Iraq has its own tools in dealing with this matter. There is a very large economic cooperation between the two countries. Turkish interests will definitely suffer here and we're talking about billions of dollars that Turkey will lose in trade between Iraq and projects.  As everybody knows Iraq has a choice of reaching to other neighbors in the region or even further up in the European Union or the US in gaining this type of economic cooperation.  We have very strong ties with China, with Russia and Japan and other partners in the region. So there is no doubt about it, Turkey will lose definitely on a large scale on economic benefits that its gaining from Iraq; Turkish companies will suffer consequently to the actions of the prime minister of Turkey.  And more than that there will definitely be an Iraqi political consequence to that also, which Iraq is not a weak country anymore, Iraq does have teeth and claws and can hit back within the Arab League or within the regional strategies - the grand strategies, which are applicable in the Middle East. 


Knowing he's a fool and a known liar means we really don't have to take on much of his blah-blah but we will note it's interesting that he sees Iraq as Ann-Margaret in Kitten With A Whip.

 Alsumaria reports that Iraqiya has stated that the visit Nouri's made to Tehran is not in Iraq's national interest and that it leads to intervention in Iraq's internal affairs. Meanwhile, Aswat al-Iraq reports, "Kurdish region president Masoud Barzani returned yesterday night to Arbil province at the end of his external visit to Bulgaria, USA, Hungary and Turkey, sources said here. Barzani discussed with the Turkish president Abdulla Gul the relations between Kurdistan and Turkey, as well as the situation in Iraq and Syria."

The visit was a success for Barzani.   It became an embarrassment for Nouri al-Maliki who first attacked Barzani early last week and cattily insisted that Barzani had Kurds who 'speak ill of him.'  By Friday, Kitten With A Whip Nouri had his dander up and lashed out at Turkey calling it an "enemy state."  As State of Law and its flunkies (including apparently an Asia Times writer -- that or he's the stupidest moron to walk the face of the earth) attack Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and KRG President Massoud Barzani, Barzani shows the spine Jalal Talabani's been missing for nine years.  Alsumaria reports that Barzani has declared he could meet with Nouri to dicuss the political crisis 100 times and it would change nothing.  In addition, he states that the Kurdistan Region is in danger and that he is going to begin talks immediately with Kurdish parties and Iraq President Jalal Talabani on the topic of independence. 

AFP reports that Barzani has also stated that he opposes the US sale of F-16 fighter planes to Nouri and that, "The F-16 must not reach the hand of this man.  We must eitehr prevent him from having these weapons, or if he has them, he should not stay in his position."

The value of the F-16s on the world stage includes the fact that the US and its allies are the ones who know how they work.  Nouri's close relationship with Tehran should be seriously factored in before the sale moves forward.  If Nouri has F-16s, it's a pretty good conclusion that Tehran then has all knowledge of F-16s.  That needs to be addressed immediately, not pushed aside and ignored.

Switching topics:

Consider this: In 2008, Congress mandated 25,000 special immigrant visas (known as SIVs) for Iraqis who helped us over a period of five years; fewer than 4,500 have been issued. According to State Department figures, 719 were granted in fiscal 2011 and 569 during the first six months of fiscal 2012. No breakthrough yet.

That's from Trudy Rubin's "Worldview: U.S. must do more to help Iraqis who helped us" (Philadelphia Inquirer).  Candidate Barack Obama made a lot of promises in 2008. Including, as he wrote in a column for the New York Times,  "We would pursue a diplomatic offensive with every nation in the region on behalf of Iraq’s stability, and commit $2 billion to a new international effort to support Iraq’s refugees."  It's funny, I can remember the refugee situation mattering.  I can remember CNN, for example, caring and asking questions at State Dept briefings about this issue . . . when Bully Boy Bush occupied the White House.  It's funny how Trudy Rubin's been left alone among the national columnists, reporters, outlets to address this issue.

In her column, Trudy notes threats that Iraqis who helped the US are now facing.  One had a syringe with acid left on the doorstep with a written threat.  And still they wait for the promised visas that have never come.

Remember the claims and 'promises' that it was going to be different than Vietnam?  Remembering the posturing of Congress and the White House that the US was going to help those Iraqis who helped the US?

All forgotten now.

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 CISPA, the film Herman's House, attorney and professor Alexandra Natapoff about her new book Snitching: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice and historian Paul Buhle about Wisconsin.  Finally, David Bacon's latest book is Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press) which won the CLR James Award. We'll close with this from Bacon's "How Mississippi's Black/Brown Strategy Beat the South's Anti-Immigrant Wave" (The Nation):

In early April, an anti-immigrant bill like those that swept through legislatures in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina was stopped cold in Mississippi. That wasn't supposed to happen. Tea Party Republicans were confident they'd roll over any opposition. They'd brought Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State who co-authored Arizona's SB 1070, into Jackson, to push for the Mississippi bill. He was seen huddled with the state representative from Brookhaven, Becky Currie, who introduced it. The American Legislative Exchange Council, which designs and introduces similar bills into legislatures across the country, had its agents on the scene.

Their timing seemed unbeatable. Last November Republicans took control of the state House of Representatives for the first time since Reconstruction. Mississippi was one of the last Southern states in which Democrats controlled the legislature, and the turnover was a final triumph for Reagan and Nixon's Southern Strategy. And the Republicans who took power weren't just any Republicans. Haley Barbour, now ironically considered a "moderate Republican," had stepped down as governor. Voters replaced him with an anti-immigrant successor, Phil Bryant, whose venom toward the foreign-born rivals Lou Dobbs.

Yet the seemingly inevitable didn't happen.

Instead, from the opening of the legislative session just after New Years, the state's Legislative Black Caucus fought a dogged rearguard war in the House. Over the last decade the caucus acquired a hard-won expertise on immigration, defeating over two hundred anti-immigrant measures. After New Year's, though, they lost the crucial committee chairmanships that made it possible for them to kill those earlier bills. But they did not lose their voice.

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