Thursday, September 06, 2012

Nouri's Iraq, not even singers are safe from his thugs

Violence continues in Iraq. Trend News Agency notes DPA is reporting an al-Sharqat car bombing has claimed the life of Colonel Ismail al-Jaburi.  Alsumaria adds that the bomb was an IED and that it also left his driver injured.  In addition, the Jerusalem Post notes Turkish warplanes and helicopters began another attack on a region of northern Iraq said to be home to the PKK.  Jason Ditz ( reported yesterday, "The sites targeted were in the mountains, and so far officials have not provided any clue as to how many casualties the air strikes caused. In the past major offensives by Turkish forces the defense ministry has issued a final toll only, and not daily updates."

Staying with violence, last week Nouri's Baghdad-based government executed at least 26 people bringing the 2012 total to at least 96 so far.   Ipek Yezdani (Turkish Weekly) reports Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi has written a formal request  to President Jalal Talabani in which he calls for Jalal "to stop the arbitrary and ever-increasing rate of executions in Iraq."  He notes that Jalal can stop the executions at any point in his role as president.  Alsumaria adds that Minister of Justice Hassan al-Shammari declared today that the use of the death penalty should be blowed down.  Dar Addustour notes a Tikrit prison saw riots this week over the transfer of prisoners to Baghdad -- including some who have been sentenced to death.

Dropping back to yesterday's snapshot for more violence:

In other violence,  Alsumaria reports that armed forces in police uniforms attacked various social clubs in Baghdad yesterday, beating various people and firing guns in the air.  They swarmed clubs and refused to allow anyone to leave but did make time to beat people with the butss of their rifles and pistols, they then destroyed the clubs.  AFP adds, "Special forces units carried out near-simultaneous raids at around 8:00 pm (1700 GMT) on Tuesday 'at dozens of nightclubs in Karrada and Arasat, and beat up customers with the butts of their guns and batons,' said an interior ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity. 'Artists who were performing at the clubs were also beaten,' the official said."  The assaults were ordered by an official who reports only to Nouri al-Maliki. In related news the Great Iraqi Revolution posted video Friday of other attacks on Iraqi civilians by security forces and noted, "Very important :: a leaked video show Iraqi commandos during a raid to Baaj village and the arrest of all the young men in the village .they threatened the ppl of the village they will make them another Fallujah and they do not mind arresting all village's men and leave only women . they kept detainees in a school, and beating them, u can see they burned a car of one of the citizens"
Alsumaria notes that Iraqiya, led by Ayad Allawi, has called out the assault on the social clubs and states that it is violation of the Constitution as well as basic human rights.  Iraqiya spokesperson Maysoun al-Damalouji called on the security forces to respect the rights of the citizens.  Tamim al-Jubouri (Al Mada) adds that the forces working for Nouri attacked many clubs including Club Orient which was established in 1944 and that the patrons including Chrisitans who were surprised Tuesday night when Nouri's forces entered and began breaking furniture, beat patrons and employees and stole booze, cell phones and clothing.  So they're not only bullies, they're also theives.  Kitabat notes that the people were attacked with batons and gun butts including a number of musicians who were performing live in the club including singer Hussein Basri.  Alsumaria adds that the Baghdad Provincial Council states that they were not informed of the assaults on social clubs.

Nouri's forces, Nouri's Iraq.  In addition, All Iraq News reports over 300 barber shops across Iraq have been closed by the Ministry of Health.   Al Mada has an important column on the assassinated journalist Hadi al-Mahdi and Eli Lake (Daily Beast) interviews Sheikh Ahmad Abu-Risha about the Sahwa ("Awakenings," Sons Of Iraq) and reports:

Abu-Risha also said he was not too concerned about the Iraqi government’s recent announcement that it would open Iraq’s border with Syria, a move that will allow more Syrian refugees into Iraq. “It has not influenced Anbar that much,” he said. “We are Muslims, they are Muslims. We are Arabs, they are Arabs and we are happy to help them.”

Rather, he is most concerned that his relationship with the U.S. military has appeared to halt. He said he was assured by U.S. military leaders that he would receive regular visits from senior figures and diplomats to discuss the relationship that began in Anbar back in 2006 and 2007. “There is no contact right now,” he said. “They don’t visit at all. Ever since the United States withdrew, we haven’t gotten anyone to visit.”

Jeffrey, who left his post as ambassador at the end of May, said the meetings have not yet happened because without the U.S. military in Iraq it’s difficult for U.S. officials to travel to Anbar. “We have every intention of maintaining contact with the awakening and other people,” Jeffrey said. “We had several meetings after the military completed its withdrawal with tribal sheikhs from the greater Baghdad area, but it’s been hard to get people out to Anbar because of the security situation.” A White House spokesman declined to comment for the story.

Lastly, Jill Stein is the Green Party candidate for US president.  Her campaign offers "Jorge Rojas on the American dream, Latino voters:"

Just yesterday, ten undocumented No Papers No Fear Riders risked everything by participating in civil disobedience at the Democratic National Convention in order to expose the injustice of police/ICE collaboration. After their arrest,  Jill and Cheri urged people across the country to tell ICE that these people deserve relief, not deportation.  Today we share the story of Jorge Rojas, a Chilean-American student and Green Party supporter, as our first feature in a new series highlighting voices from our community. His story couldn’t be more timely.
My name is Jorge Rojas. I am currently earning my Ph.D. in economics at the University of Washington, but originally I am from Chile. I came to the United States imagining it was the land of possibility, but the reality I found was quite different. The American Dream is often unobtainable, and for many, has mutated into a nightmare. This is particularly true for misinformed Latinos seeking a land of endless opportunity and who instead find discrimination. This discrimination is often concealed by the corporate media and ignored by the political machine.

The current American two-party system only remembers these communities during election times - the rest of the year they rant about deporting ‘illegal’ workers. Yet, many of these ‘illegal’ workers pay more taxes than America’s wealthy. These workers contribute their skills, labor, taxes, and above all their cultures to American society.

The Green Party, and its 2012 presidential candidate, Jill Stein, has a history of standing for neglected and disadvantaged Americans, not just during election time, but whenever a helping hand is needed. Unlike other corporate-sponsored parties, Jill Stein bravely stands for social justice and prosperity for all.

The current two-party system refuses to enact change, yet change has never been more necessary. It is time to take action and build a better, fairer America. The philosopher John Dewey once said, “The ultimate aim of production is not production of goods but the production of free human beings associated with one another on terms of equality.” Jill Stein’s campaign represents this necessary freedom and equality.

This year, with a potential of 21 million Latino voters, both Mitt Romney and President Obama are focusing large amounts of energy attracting their attention and approval - especially so during their national conventions which feature record numbers of Latino speakers and events. Yet, Republicans are known for their staunch deportation and anti-immigration policies; and, President Obama’s time in office has been marked by a record number of deportations (about 1.1 million people) and continuing joblessness for 10.3% of the Latin-American population.

The Green Party, on the other hand, has always stood for every community. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running mate, Cheri Honkala, have historically stood with and for diverse populations regardless of immediate political agendas. (In fact, Jill and Cheri were deeply involved before either of them even were involved in elections). We’re grateful for Jorge’s support and if elected, Latino interests will always be on the agenda!

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