Al Mada reports today that the National Alliance is in disagreement with Article 140. Article 140 takes its name from being the 140th article in Iraq's Constitution passed in 2005. And it's law, not proposal, not bill, not a notion. Law. The Constitution was passed in 2005. The US installed Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister in the spring of 2006. Article 140 was supposed to have been implemented by the end of 2007 per the Constitution. Nouri refused to do so.
Kirkuk is disputed. It is oil-rich and the Kurdistan Regional Government says they have a right to it and the Baghdad-based central government says they have a right to it. That's what "disputed" means (we're going slow in case Chris Hill's joining us this morning -- at his 2009 confirmation hearing he showed indifference to and ignorance of the issue). Article 140 calls for a census and a referendum. And Article 140 has been repeatedly ignored.
In March 2010, Iraq held parliamentary elections. Nouri's State of Law came in second to Iraqiya which meant no second term for Nouri unless Iraaqiya imploded in the 30 day process of naming a Cabinet. (When named prime minister-designate, you have 30 days to name a Cabinet. If you don't succeed within 30 days, another prime minister-designate is supposed to be named.) Nouri threw his fit and had the White House backing him. This brought the government to a standstill for over 8 months (Political Stalemate I). During this time, Nouri made spectacular promises in an attempt to sway people to his side. He even (finally) scheduled a census for Kirkuk.
The US brokered a contract with the various political blocs. It gave Nouri a second term in exchange for various concessions. Among those was implementing Article 140. This contract is called the Erbil Agreement. The day after it was signed, Parliament held their first real session in over 8 months and Nouri was named prime minister-designate. Nouri then trashed the Erbil Agreement and called off the the Kirkuk census that had been scheduled for the beginning of December.
Resolving the issue of the disputed territories is seen as very important and instead addressing it, it has been ignored and ignored and ignored. That doesn't resolve anything and only breeds further tensions.
So now the National Alliance -- of which Ammar al-Hakim is a part -- wants to act as if Article 140 of the Constitution is optional? And al-Hakim wants to pretend that things are better in Iraq?
This as Nawzad Mahmoud (Rudaw) reports, "Several Kurdish lawmakers in Baghdad believe that the situation is not yet ripe for negotiations between the Kurdistan Region and central government." Speaking to various Kurdish MPs a portrait of a distracted Nouri quickly emerges:
Last week, the Non-Aligned Summit was held in Tehran where leaders discussed solutions to the current situation in Syria. During the summit, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki proposed an initiative to end Syria’s violence.
"Maliki should have proposed an initiative to end Iraq’s political turmoil instead," Abdullah said.
He added, "It's surprising that Maliki is busy finding a solution for Syria while his own country is in crisis."
In more political turmoil, All Iraq News reports that Ismail al-Jubouri has been arrested. He is a member of the Diayala Provincial Council and is also a member of Iraqiya. He's been arrested on charges of terrorism. It would appear to be political especially when an uproar over the arrest forced the security forces to release al-Jubouri shortly after he was arrested. He has stated he was arrested for political reasons including that he has announced he is running for governor of the province. (August 18th, Governor Hashim Hayali died.) Along with needing a new governor, Diyala's also facing another problem. All Iraq News reports people are setting fires to the many orchards in the province and farmers are demading the authorities do something.
Meanwhile Dar Addustour reports on the US CIA that remains in Iraq and states they roam freely, they utilize Arabic dress and try to speak Arabic with an Iraqi dialect. The are approximately 10,000 of them roaming Iraq currently. They are said to work with a network of Iraqi spies.
The US State Dept's Elizabeth Jones met with Nouri al-Maliki on Monday. She even held a press conference after. Not that you'd know it from the US press. Dar Addustour does report on the press conference and notes that Jones said other US officials would be visiting in the coming days. (That may include CIA Director David Petraeus who was once the top US commander in Iraq. Petraeus is currently in Turkey.) Though no one in the US press ever raises the issue of the Chapter VII hold placed on Iraq by the United Nations, the Iraqi press did ask her about that and she stated that the US continues to speak with Iraq, Kuwait and the UN.
Alsumaria notes a Kirkuk roadside bombing has left a Peshmerga captain and two members injured today. In adddition, Dar Addustour reports a Basra cafe frequented by Emo teens and young people was bombed.
We're back to the regular schedule after the long Labor Day weekend. Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Needed Extension" went up Sunday as did Kat's "Kat's Korner: Susanna Hoffs and Joss Stone, who can figure it out?" and Kat's "Kat's Korner: Animal Collective goes instinctual" and "Kat's Korner: All Hail The Queen of F**ked Up" went up Monday. And, special treat, a new comic by Isaiah goes up after this.
Jill Stein is the Green Party's presidential candidate. Her campaign notes that Google TV appears to be violating the law with regards to her campaign ads:
Last week, the Jill Stein for President campaign placed over a hundred thousand dollars worth of airtime on cable TV nationally and in select markets across the country. The ads are scheduled to air tomorrow, Tuesday through this Thursday, to raise important progressive issues key to our nation's future that will not be discussed during the corporate-sponsored Democratic National Convention. This morning, Google --which served as a broker for placement of our national satellite and cable television ad placements-- informed Jill Stein for President that they were censoring the campaign's ads due to "inappropriate language." (The ads in question can be viewed here).
What Google does not seem to understand is that federal law prohibits broadcasters from censoring ads submitted by candidates for public office.
Because all primary advertising has to air before the close of the Democratic convention on Thursday, this is an extremely urgent matter. We urge all of our supporters --and any American who does not think corporations should have the right to censor political free speech-- to contact Google at once:
In the event that this censorship matter may not be resolved in time, we have quickly produced three other ads, "What Green Means," that we can get on the air immediately, with your support. You can see the ads here. And if you donate now, you can vote on which one of them we should use.Please donate as much as you can as soon as you so we can get our ads on the air during the Democratic National Convention and before the primary season has ended!
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