Monday, October 08, 2012

A second outlet reports the US military is inspecting planes at Baghdad International

Kitabat reports the Turkish military is stating it bombed northern Iraq last night via war planes (twelve F-16s) in the continued assault on the Kurdish rebel group PKK.  Trend News Agency reports the war planes used "missile and bomb strikes."  Aaron Hess (International Socialist Review) described the PKK in 2008, "The PKK emerged in 1984 as a major force in response to Turkey's oppression of its Kurdish population. Since the late 1970s, Turkey has waged a relentless war of attrition that has killed tens of thousands of Kurds and driven millions from their homes. The Kurds are the world's largest stateless population -- whose main population concentration straddles Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria -- and have been the victims of imperialist wars and manipulation since the colonial period. While Turkey has granted limited rights to the Kurds in recent years in order to accommodate the European Union, which it seeks to join, even these are now at risk."  Last night's bombings were the third night in a row.  Kitabat noted the Friday air raids.  Press TV reports the war planes continued bombing Saturday.  AFP explains, "The latest operation comes after the Turkish government asked parliament last week to renew the mandate for its armed forces to attack Kurdish rebel bases in Iraq for another year, as the clashes sharply escalated between the two sides."

Meanwhile Turkey's not the only neighbor Iraq shares a border with or the only one they have increased tensions with.  Vestnik reports, "Iran's Ambassador to Baghdad Hassan Danaeifar has warned against the consequences of Iraq's inspection of a Syria-bound Iranian cargo plane."  ISNA quotes Danaeifar stating, "What Iraq did about inspection of airplanes bound for Syria is not proportional to the diplomatic ties of the two sides and is contradictory to security agreements and air transportation treaty of the two countries."

Saturday, "Al Mada reports that the US military has entered Baghdad International Airport and taken over the inspection of all Iranian planes en route to Syria."  Kitabat reports that on Sunday the US took the lead in the inspections.  This may account for the Iranian government's sudden desire to comment on the policy.  Two weeks ago, when Iraqis inspected the first Iranian plane bound for Syria, there was no real comment from the Iranian regime.  Suddenly, it's an issue, a very big issue.  Hard to believe the reports of the US now handling the inspections isn't responsible for some of the warning statements from the Iranian government.

In other news, yesterday's executions continue to garner attention.  RTT News reports, "Eleven prisoners were executed in Iraq on Sunday after they were convicted of terrorism charges, despite repeated international pleas to end the inhuman practice of state killings of convicted prisoners whatever their offenses may be."  KUNA notes, "All peremptory challenges have been exhuasted as the Iraqi president has signed their execution verdicts."  UPI reports Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has termed these executions "terrifying" and noted "not a single death row pardon has been issued."  AFP reports that 6 more people were executed today bringing the total to 119.

An amnesty law might clear a number of death row convictions -- without any killing.  But State of Law has repeatedly opposed the amnesty bill despite Nouri al-Maliki giving lip service to it publicly for over five years now.  Today, All Iraq News states that Tuesday will see Parliament voting on the amnesty bill.  Well maybe they will.  The last two times the votes been scheduled, no vote's been taken.

Refusing to pass an amnesty law may be effecting the security situation.  Dar Addustour reports that the government's answer to the increased violence is to tighten security . . . around the Green Zone.  In Afghanistan, all the US government ever managed to do was prop up a puppet government in Kabul.  In Iraq, all the US government ever managed to do was prop up a puppet government in the Green Zone of Baghdad.  So you could argue that, while losing both wars, the US government was a bit more successful in Afghanistan since is secured a whole city and not just a part of one.

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