Two things are missing in Iraq. First, you have no heads to the security ministries because Nouri's still refusing to nominate people for those positions. Doing so would mean he couldn't control the ministires. Yes, he was supposed to have nominated people and had them approved by the Parliament before the end of December 2010. Per the Iraqi Constitution, his failure to do so should have meant that another person was named prime minister-designate and that person given 30 days to name a full Cabinet (if the Cabinet is named by Nouri and confirmed by the Parliament, the person becomes prime minister, if the nominees aren't named or don't pass the Parliament then a new person is selected as prime minister-designate). As violence continues to increase, is everyone still willing to pretend it's okay that Nouri hasn't nominated people to head these ministries all this time later?
Back in late December 2010 and January 2011, the US press was making excuses for Nouri and swearing that the security ministries would have heads in a matter of weeks. It's five months shy of two years. Anyone want to take some accountability for that?
When you consider all the damage the US press has done in Iraq maybe it's a good thing that the other missing factor in Iraq currently is US press outside of AP. Everyone else headed for Syria. Well, Tim Arango's still present but the New York Times apparently isn't interested in Iraq coverage. Apparently, nothing's happening in Iraq.
Over 400 deaths last month by the United Nations figures.
But the New York Times feels there's nothing to see in Iraq.
Again, so much damage done.
The following community sites -- plus Susan's On Edge, Antiwar.com, Black Agenda Report and Pacifica Evening News -- updated last night and this morning:
Isaiah will do a comic. If I do a snapshot tomorrow, everyone that usually posts on Wednesday will post. Otherwise, the only person I know who will be posting tomorrow is Mike but I need to check with Marcia also. We'll close with this from Sherwood Ross' "U.S. Favorite al-Maliki Persecuting His Enemies" (OpEd News):
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's "harassment and persecution of anyone deemed a threat to himself or his party has dramatically reduced freedom throughout Iraq," a noted journalist reports.
What's more, al-Maliki is presiding over a system "rife with corruption and brutality, in which political leaders use security forces and militias to repress enemies and intimidate the general population."
So writes former Los Angeles Times foreign correspondent Ned Parker in the March/April issue of "Foreign Affairs" magazine. His is a rather grim assessment of life in "The Iraq We Left Behind" or "Welcome to the World's Next Failed State."
Now Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Parker writes that al-Maliki, America's favorite, "will keep striving for absolute power, using fear, intimidation, and cronyism." And he adds that by turning a blind eye to Maliki's encroaching authoritarianism, "U.S. officials allowed Iraq's political culture to disintegrate."
Whereas some Iraqi officials wonder if the next elections will be free and fair, Parker writes, "several former U.S. military officers wonder if the elections will happen at all."
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