Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Nouri gets closer to Russia and gets a dig in at the US

Al Mada notes State of Law has declared that Iraq is not attempting to form an alliance with Iran and Russia..   That Nouri al-Maliki's political slate felt the need to make that statement is more interesting than the statement itself.  Nouri, of course, is in Russia.  All Iraq News reports he's met with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medevdev to discuss trade, economic and military issues.  UPI explains, "Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki reportedly flew to Moscow Monday for talks on defense and trade amid signs Russia is trying to make inroads in on Iraq's multibillion-dollar rearmament program, which has been dominated by the United States.The word is that Baghdad, nearly a year after the U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq, Maliki will sign a $5 billion air-defense contract with Moscow." Hurriyet Daily News observes, "If the deal takes place, Iraq will be among five largest importers of Russian arms, according to Pravda"

 Hurriyet Daily News notes, "Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki set off for Moscow yesterday to sign a $5 billion contract for the sale of weapons including fighter jets, helicopters, anti-aircraft missile systems and armored vehicles to Baghdad, according to a Russian newspaper.Alsumaria notes that Nouri spoke in Russia today of unnamed forces wanting to topple Middle East regimes and used Syria as an example.  That will be interpreted as a hint that he was referring to the United States government.  The snub comes as Iraqi diplomats in DC, Dar Addustour notes, work to garner US support to get Iraq removed from Chapter VII by the United Nations.

While Nouri's out of Iraq, Alsumaria reports that the Ministry of Planning and Development has announced inflation has increased by 6%.  In more bad news for beleaguered Iraqis, All Iraq News reports the Ministry of Electricity has developed a function on their website for customers to leave complaints.  That might be seen as good news were it not for the fact that the reasons for complaining are so bad.  Al Bawaba explains:

When taking a stroll around the neighborhoods of Baghdad, one can sense popular discontent at the deteriorating state of electrical power in Iraq. During the past few summers, the authorities watched demonstrations during which protesters would carry out symbolic funerals for electricity.
The electricity minister issued promises and assurances that he would address the chronic problem.

The central electricity ministry not only failed to address the crisis, its daily power supply rates have decreased since last summer. The streets of Baghdad are increasingly decorated by the overlapping and entangled generator wires in its neighborhoods.

You'd think continued inflation (and unemployment) combined with lack of electricity would lead to serious consequences.  It might in the US.  For example, as long as the electricity works to fuel the TVs, game systems and computers, Americans seem content to live with the high unemployment rate and the inflation.  But even an otherwise lethargic America might take to the streets if they started losing electricity.

Not to worry, Alsumaria reports Nouri's Council of Ministers is hard at work as evidenced by their decision today -- they will kill wild pigs.  They fear they might be spreading disease.  That passes for a functional government in Iraq.

 The following community sites -- plus Cindy Sheehan, Adam Kokesh, Susan's On the Edge, The Diane Rehm Show, Antiwar.com and Pacifica Evening News -- updated last night and this morning:

Today in Washington state, veterans will join two politicians to raise awareness of  inequality in reproductive rights for veterans, inequality that can prevent veterans and their spouses from starting or expanding families.  Senator Patty Murray is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and her office noted yesterday:
Monday, October 8, 2012
CONTACT: Matt McAlvanah (Murray) 202-286-1648
Bryan Thomas (Larsen) 202-420-8882
TOMORROW: Seriously Injured Veterans to Join Murray, Larsen to Discuss Efforts to Provide In Vitro Fertilization Services at the VA
Murray and Larsen currently have bill before Congress that ends the ban on IVF services at the VA; would help veterans with catastrophic wounds to start or grow their families
Currently, veterans and their spouses have to pay thousands out-of-pocket in the private sector to access IVF services
(Seattle) Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 9th, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs' Committee, and Representative Rick Larsen will join with Washington state veterans that have experienced reproductive injuries to discuss their legislation to end the ban on In Vitro Fertilization services at the VA.  The veterans and their spouses on hand will discuss the genefits of having IVF services available at the VA and how, in some instances, they've had to pay significantly high out-of-pocket costs in the private sector to start their own families.
Pentagon data shows that since 2003 more than 1,800 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered pelvic fractures and genitourinary injuries that could affect their abilities to reproduce.  In particular, the reliance on foot patrols in Afghanistan and the use of improvised explosive devices has left servicemembers far more susceptible to these injuries.  Murray and Larsen's legislation would allow these servicemembers to access IVF when they return home to access care at the VA.
WHO:   U.S. Senator Patty Murray
              Representative Rick Larsen
              Injured Washington state veterans
WHAT:  Discussion on Changing In Vitro Fertilization policy at the VA
WHEN: TOMORROW: Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
              2:15 PM PST
WHERE:  Puget Sound Regional Council
                  Executive Boardroom
                  1011 Western Ave, Suite 500
                  Seattle, WA
                  Map it
Matt McAlvanah
Communications Director
U.S. Senator Patty Murray
202-224-2834 - press office
202--224-0228 - direct

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