Saturday, August 11, 2012

A deadly attack and Nouri strokes tensions further

Violence continued in Iraq today.  AFP reports that 6 swimmers were shot dead in and quotes the police chief of Tuz Khurmatu stating, "This is a terrorist act, not a criminal act.  Two gunmen attacked them while they were swimming."  Alsumaria reports that there were four shooters on two motrocycles.  Bryar Mohammed and Qader Ismael (AKnews) report that the four men began questioning all present to find out which teenagers and children were Shi'ite and from Amrlin village.  Those that were were then handcuffed and shot in front of everyone.  AP says 7 were shot dead but otherwise reports similar details.

Meanwhile next week's big stories out of Iraq may involve the Kurds and Turkey.  Sweet Nouri, the US-installed thug, spent Saturday spreading the love.  Alsumaria reports on their sit-down interview with Nouri al-Maliki who used the interview to blast the Kurds and Turkey and declare that the KRG is not an independent state and he ("we") will not allow it to be.   He accused Turkey of harming relationships between Baghdad and the KRG and creating instability. Dar Addustour notes Nouri calling Turkey's actions aggrevations.   Kitabat reports on the interview and notes that Nouri declared if Turkey wants to have a relationship with Iraq it must go through Baghdad.  

The KRG is a semi-autonomous region which earned its liberation in the early 90s.  Baghdad, of course, was 'liberated' by the US invasion and that's when Nouri returned and, three years later, installed as prime minister by the US government (re-installed in 2010).   The KRG is three provinces in nothern Iraq.  They share a border with Turkey. 

To underline Nouri's accusation, he sent out one of his spokespeople.  Al Rafidayn reports that  Nouri's spokesperson Ali al-Moussawi went to the press declaring that the KRG is part of Iraq and no different from Basra and that Turkey is doing harm.  al-Moussawi doesn't mention that there have been efforts in Basra to explore splitting off and becoming semi-autonomous.

The political crisis continues and that's just one aspect.  Ayad al-Tamimi (Almada) reports Iraqiya spokesperson Maysoon al-Damaloui states that Iraqiya has not seen the supposed list of reforms the National Alliance Reform Commission has come up with but they have read the same media reports other iraqis have and they've also held meetings with members of the National Alliance andthat they do not have great optimism over the list as a supposed solution.  Al Mada also notes that Iraqiya is calling for Nouri to release the imprisoned who have not been found guilty and to do so in the spirit of the holy month of Ramadan.  This follows Imam Mahmoud al-Issawi's call during Friday prayers for the government to release the detainees being held who have not been found guilty.

Provincial elections are supposed to take place in March 2013, months from now.  And yet the Parliament hasn't been able to pass an elections law.  As a result of this and other problems, a 35-day extension was recently passed for the current (but supposed to be expired) Electoral Commission.  The Chair of the Commssion has stated that this is not enough and a patchwork that accomplished very little.  In addition, the UN has been calling on Iraq to pass an elections law.  Among the hold ups?  Representation issues.  Kitabat reports that the Iraqi Turkman Front announced today that they would not allow the formation of a new Electoral Commission unless Turkmen were represented.  The Turkman most likely would depend upon the support of Iraqiya (they have worked together repeatedly in the last four years) to attempt to stop a proposed law.  (Another Turkmen group is the Turkmen Democratic Movement.  They tend to work in coalition with the Kurds in the Iraqi Parliament.  They've issued no statement at present but while they are rivals to the Iraqi Turkman Front, this is one issue that both Turkmen groups might work together on.)

This is an important column by Ali Hussein (Al Mada) about attacks on the press, Nouri's continued attacks on the press.  Nouri's stomped his feet and gotten his way.  This is the thug that Bush backed and that Barack backed.  Bush installed him, Barack kept him (in 2010, Nouri's slate did not come in first and he would not be prime minister now without the White House which ignored the Constitution to create the Erbil Agreement that gave Nouri a second term).

The following community sites -- plus Cindy Sheehan, ACLU, Pacifica Evening News, Jody Watley and Susan's On The Edge -- updated yesterday and today:

US Senator Patty Murray is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.  Her office notes:

Friday, August 10th, 2012 (202) 224-2834

TUESDAY: JBLM: Murray in Lakewood to Highlight Importance of Military and Community Partnerships
Senator Murray will attend a meeting of the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership
(Washington, D.C.) – On Tuesday, August 14th, 2012, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and a senior member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, will attend a meeting of the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership (SSMCP) in Lakewood to discuss the importance of military communities working together with the common purpose of improving the availability of critical resources to local servicemembers and veterans. SSMCP has gained Joint Base Lewis-McChord leadership’s respect in finding constructive paths forward to solving community problems that involve their soldiers, airmen, employees and families. Senator Murray will discuss her work to support the military community, including her work on veterans employment, ending veteran homelessness, and servicemember and veterans’ behavioral health care.
WHO: U.S. Senator Patty Murray
Andrew Neiditz, City Manager, City of Lakewood
Anthony Chen, Director, Pierce County Health Department
BG Bret Daugherty, The Adjunct General, Camp Murray (State)
COL Edward Peterson, Deputy Chief of Staff, JBLM Garrison
Dawn Masko, City Administrator, City of DuPont
Debbie LeBeau, Superintendent, Clover Park School District
Don Krupp, Manager, Thurston County
Gary Brackett, Manager, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce
Kevin Dayton, Regional Administrator, WSDOT
Kevin Phelps, Deputy County Executive, Pierce County
Lon Wyrick, Director, Thurston Regional Planning Council
Rick Allen, Executive Director, United Way of Pierce County
Scott Spence, City Manager, City of Lacey
T.C. Broadnax, City Manager, City of Tacoma
Tom Knight, Chief of Staff, JBLM Garrison
Cathy Wolfe, Commissioner, Thurston County
Doug Richardson, Mayor - City of Lakewood
Pat McCarthy, Executive, Pierce County
Robert Thoms, SSMCP Coordinator
WHAT: Senator Murray will attend a meeting of the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership
WHEN: Tuesday, August 14th, 2012
10:15 AM PT
WHERE: Lakewood City Hall
3rd Floor Conference Room
6000 Main Street SW
Lakewood, WA 98499
Kathryn Robertson
Specialty Media Coordinator
Office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray
448 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510

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