Monday, September 17, 2012

Attack on the Green Zone

A bombing in Baghdad is getting attention this morning.  KUNA explains, "The blast is considered of some significance for it targeted the heavily-guarded location [Green Zone], where senior officials reside.  The zone also includes a number of government, diplomatic and security offices and departments."  Xinhua reports that 7 people are dead and twenty-four injured from the "suicide car bomb attack near an entrance of Baghdad Green Zone."  AP reports the "bomber slammed a car packed with explosives into one of the [Green Zone] gates."  AFP adds, "The attacker drove up to the entrance situated at the July 14 bridge, which is manned by Iraqi soldiers and lies across the Tigris River from the Green Zone, before detonating an explosives-rigged vehicle, an interior ministry official said."  Kareem Raheem (Reuters) quotes an unnamed police officer stating, "Cars were lining up waiting to be searched at the checkpoint that leads to the Green Zone and suddenly a speeding car exploded nearby.  Some people died inside cars and I saw two soldiers lying on the ground.  We immediately closed the area." Adrian Blomfield (Telegraph of London) observes, "The bombing was reminiscent of the violence that regularly targeted the Green Zone when it served as the American administrative headquarters in the years following the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003." In addition, Alsumaria reports a mortar attack on a Mosul police station has left one police officer and two civilians injured and RTT News adds, "Deadly clashes between Turkish security forces and activists of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) have left 42 people dead during the weekend, Turkish media reported citing officials. "

The political crisis continues Raman Brosk (AKnews) reports, "The Kurdish Blocs Coalition (KBC) is hoping that President of Iraq Jalal Talabani will put an end to months of disputes between Baghdad and Erbil upon his return from Germany where he is receiving treatmeant after his health deteriorated."  He fled to Germany after he betrayed the other blocs working on the no-confidence vote.  From his 'sick bed' in Germany (he had knee surgery), he threatened to resign as president.  But a lot of people are pinning their hopes on him.  Dar Addustour notes that ahead of Talabani's return, KRG President Massoud Barzani has departed for a tour of Europe where he'll meet with various leaders.

Alsumaria notes the incoming  8 Independent High Electoral Commission members include: Mohsen Jabbari Mohsen, Wael Mohamed Abd Ali, Moqdad Hassan Saleh, Safaa Ibrahim Jassim al-Hassan, Aboert Bunnell al-Alalah, Khan Kamal Ali.  All Iraq News adds that Kolshan al-Kamal was nominated but the vote on al-Kamal has been postponed due to objections from the Christian MPs.  The Commission is supposed to have 9 members and, at present, the hope is that the ninth member will be voted on shortly.    Mohammad Sabah (Al Mada) also reports on Parliament, specifically the body's Integrity Commission which has called for all Iraqi ministers and deputy ministers, deputies and advisers who hold dual nationality to drop the non-Iraqi nationality.   Why is this a concern?

In a government of refugees, you have many people with other nationalities.  And when people leave with government money -- as 7 officials in Nouri's last government did -- it can be very difficult to have them extradicted from another country if they hold citizenship in that country.

Yesterday, the US State Dept issued the following statement:

Today, the seventh convoy of approximately 680 Camp Ashraf residents arrived safely at Camp Hurriya. This convoy represents the last major relocation of residents from former Camp Ashraf to Camp Hurriya and marks a significant milestone in efforts to achieve a sustainable humanitarian solution to this issue. Over the coming weeks, the small group temporarily remaining at former Camp Ashraf will address residual issues and then also move to Camp Hurriya.

The United States appreciates the efforts of the Government of Iraq to accommodate both security and humanitarian concerns throughout this process, including the peaceful and orderly closure of former Camp Ashraf and relocation of its residents to Camp Hurriya. We count on Iraq's continued adherence to the December 25, 2011 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United Nations that provides a path for the safe relocation of former Ashraf residents out of Iraq.
We welcome the cooperation by the former Ashraf residents in this relocation and look forward to their continued participation in the process set forth in the MOU. Additionally, we are grateful for the work of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, whose personnel have achieved much under challenging circumstances.

The United States will continue to support those efforts and, working with the United Nations and our partners in the international community, turn our attention to supporting the permanent relocation of the residents from Iraq.

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "No, I can't!" went up last night. 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 Jose Padilla, Ward Churchill, Armenia protesting a murderer's extradition, the US government refusing to extradite the former president of Bolivia, CCR attorney Shane Kadidal on DoD drugging Guantanamo prisoners and attorney David Remes on the death of Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif who died in Guantamo last week after being held that for ten years -- since the age of 22.
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law and disorder radio
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michael ratner