Monday, May 14, 2012

Violence, executions, political crisis

Yesterday there was violence in Iraq.  Not at all surprising.  What is surprising is that if you open today's New York Times, you'll find Jack Healy's report on it.  And that's a good thing.  The headline isn't: "Period of Relative Calm in Iraq Is Brought to End by Fatal Bomb Blasts."  We're told, in the article (Healy's not responsible for the headline), that six people died from bombings.  But . . .


As Iraq Body Count notes 12 people died from bombings, 1 corpse was discovered and 1 police officer was shot to death.  (Also note 75 dead for the month so far.)   Healy had a deadline that closed before all the deaths were known, that's fine.  But what's not fine -- and this is with the headline writer and not with Healy, criticism of the headline writer -- is that Sunday didn't see violence return.

I state repeatedly here that violence has not stopped and it hasn't.  But 6 deaths on Sunday wasn't even the most deaths in the last 7 days.  Thursday there were 12 deaths (check IBC) and 7 of those were corpses and maybe the headline writer at the New York Times doesn't count corpses?  Well Wednesday saw 6 deaths -- five from shootings and bombing in al-Hadith and 1 from a Baghdad bombing.  Monday saw 9 dead -- three from Basra bombings, 1 from a Balad bombing, 2 from Baghdad bombings and three from Baquba bombings and shootings.

So how does the New York Times get off presenting the FALSE 'reality' that yesterday's deaths were the first big numbers in some time in Iraq?  That's irresponsible.

The press has stopped covering violence in Iraq so I do appreciate Healy's article and I have a few quibbles here and there with it (I'm a tough grader) but I do appreciate it and I even applaud it.  It's a real shame that a headline degrades what Healy did accomplish by presenting a false picture of what's taking place in Iraq.

Today's violence?  Alsumaria notes a Kirkuk roadside bombing has left four people injured -- at least two of which were police officers, a Baquba roadside bombing targeted a teacher's home and left a 12-year-old girl injured,  and late last night there was a Baghdad home invasion which left a police officer and two members of his family injured.  In other violence news, Al Rafidayn reports that Iraq's Human Rights Minister Mohammed  Shiya al-Sudani has declared that over 300,000 Iraqis were killed by "insurgents" since 2003 and that the international community must understand that when Iraq is handing out death sentences today.  He refers to it as a process of transition.  Of course, similar excuses have been given before.  Clare O'Dea (Swiss Info) reported in 2009 of then Iraqi Minster of Human Rights Wijdan M. Salim, "Salim said the death penalty might be abolished at some point but not at present.  'The violence in Iraq is so high, the number of terrorist victims is so large.  It's not for me to stop it or not.  I think it will not stop until another time."  Meanwhile Alsumaria reports Nouri is still having to defend his policy to allow every home a firearm (either a pistol or rifle).

Yesterday Al Rafidayn reported that the prime minister stated he was willing to dialogue about the issue of Saleh al-Mutlaq -- Deputy Prime Minister whom Nouri's State of Law is still trying to have stripped of his post in Parliament -- but that there would be no discussions or meetings on the issue of Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi. Al Mada notes that al-Hashemi declared yesterday that he was optimistic about the possibility of returning to Baghdad and that he feels negotiations will result in the charges against him being dropped. Alsumaria reports that Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc is declaring that they have candidates to replace Nouri and are ready to go forward with a no-confidence vote if Nouri doesn't meet the demands.  The demands include a multi-point agreement by Moqtada which the press still hasn't reported on in any real depth.  The demands also include the implementation of the Erbil Agreement.

The March 2010 elections were followed by eight months of political stalemate after Iraqiya (led by Ayad Allawi) came in first, besting State of Law (led by Nouri).  Nouri didn't want to give up the post of prime minister and with both Tehran and the White House backing him, he knew he could dig his heels in.  The US-brokered the Erbil Agreement in November 2010.  Allowing Nouri to have the second term the White House wanted meant that Nouri would conceed on various other points.  Nouri used the agreement to become prime minister and then went back on his word and refused to honor the agreement.

This is the cause of the current political crisis in Iraq and it's been ongoing for over a year and a half.  Moqtada al-Sadr has given Nouri a 15 day deadline to take action on the demands agreed to at the April 28th meet-up in Erbil attended by, among others, Moqtada, Allawi, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, KRG President Massoud Barzani and Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi.  Al Mada reports State of Law states that they don't understand the deadline and that Nouri didn't attend because the meeting was with the Kurds and the Kurds follow their bloc and the KRG Prime Minister and not Nouri.  State of Law does love the insults.  But, reality, Nouri wasn't invited to the April 28th meeting.

Oh, well, at least Nouri has the love of a good man -- check out this photo of Nouri and the Islamic Supereme Council of Iraq's Ammar al-Hakim locked in an embarace.

When not exhibiting PDAs, Nouri and State of Law thunder, Al Rafidayn reports, that Speaker of Parliament al-Nujaifi must declare where he stands on the disputed areas of Iraq.  Presumably, since Osama al-Nujaifi took an oath to the Constitution, he stands on the idea that a referendum and census should be held.  That is what Article 140 of the Constitution requires.

Maybe it's confusing to Nouri?  That would explain why it never took place in Nouri's first term even though the Constitution said it was supposed to take place by the end of 2007.

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Barack's Shrinking Stature" 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 exploredinclude the federal government spying on the Occupy movement -- a topic they discuss with attorney Mara Verheyden-Hilliard,  the Chino Hill murders with J Patrick O'Connor, the late Karen Detamore and a lawsuit against Yelp.

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