Monday, August 20, 2012

Why sell Nouri F-16s? So he can share with Iran?

The front page of yesterday's New York Times featured James Risen and Duraid Adnan's "U.S. Says Iraqis Are Helping Iran to Skirt Sanctions" about the White House's knowledge that Iraq is helping Iran "skirt economic sanctions."  The New York Times-owned Boston Globe runs the story but 'forgets' a byline and may leave readers with the impression that they originated the story.  The Toledo Blade runs the story but credits it to the Times.  AFP writes about the Times report and highlights this statement by Nouri al-Maliki's spokesperson, "We also have good relations with Iran that we do not want to break."  Covering the report, Reuters notes, "Barack Obama, the US president, acknowledged the problem last month when he barred a small Iraqi bank, the Elaf Islamic Bank, from any dealings with the American banking system, according to the report."

At Third yesterday, we offered "Editorial: We're giving that guy the F-16?" because it doesn't make a lot of sense to share F-16 technology with a government who's already helping Iran get around legal sanctions. But when does the US government make a great deal of sense? Al Arabia and AFP report that the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Martin "Dempsey acknowleged arch-foe Iran was trying to expand its influence in Iraq but said the Baghdad leadership wanted to build up relations with the American military."  Dempsey's headed to Iraq to smooth things over because apparently money is more important than safety and it's more important to the White House that the F-16 deal goes through possibly because, as Dar Addustour noted last week, Iraq is also seeking arms from the Russian government.

Iraq is currently observing Eid al-Fitr.  All Iraq News reports that Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc is calling on politicians to use the religious holiday to work towards a true reconciliation which will benefit Iraqis and resolve the differences.  While Moqtada's group calls for reconciliation, the outlet notes that Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq's Ammar al-Hakim used the holiday to sepak of martyrs, blood and warn of coming risks.  He then voiced his support for President Jalal Talabani's renewed call for a national conference.  Kitabat notes that this holiday sees thousands of children forced to play in dumps (cities) or in yards and orchards next to dumps (small towns) and that children are at risk being next to the waste disposal.  All Iraq News notes that the largest percent of orphans in the Arab world are in Iraq where over five million exist as a result of the violence.

Holiday or not, the violence continues.  Alsumaria notes a Diyala Province roadside bombing which left three soldiers injured.  The political crisis continues as well and All Iraq News reports that Iraqiya has stated the only person benefitting from the ongoing crisis is Nouri.  Alsumaria adds that Iraqiya continues their call for a government of national partnership (as opposed to what Nouri's offered).  And Iraqiya MP Yassin al-Mutlaq states that the biggest cause of problems in Iraq today is the inabilty to address the political crisisRaman Brosk (AKnews) reports, "The State of Law Coalition (SLC) led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said that it is not responsible for naming the interior and defense ministers, adding that resolving the file needs sincere intentions from all of the political blocs."

Saturday Diyala Province Governor Hashim Hayali and his wife died in what's being called a car accident (Hayali most recently survived an assassination attempt April 21st).  All Iraq News notes that Iraqiya issued a statement noting the "tragic loss." 

On this week's Law and Disorder Radio,  an 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 addressed include Guantanamo, and Philip Weiss who discusses Palestine.  (We don't note George Soros, sorry, or those who receive his largess.)  Apparently the show's segments were taped either before Friday or before Julian Assange's Sunday press conference and they decided to wait to explore the topic.  They'll probably grab it at the top of the show next Monday -- which is NOT Labor Day.  On Labor Day, two Mondays from now, I will post entries late as a I do most holidays.  A snapshot will be dependent upon that day's events.  Other than Monday, we'll be on regular schedule here and Kat's going to be doing a series of album reviews here during the holiday weekend (see her site tonight). And sorry, I've corrected this. When it went up this morning, I thought Labor Day was this coming Monday -- it's two Mondays from now. My apologies.

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