Wednesday, November 7, 2012. Chaos
and violence continue, among those attacked today include a dean of a medical
school, a plurality of Americans back
torture-Guantanamo-illegal-wars-kill-lists-and-so-much-more, Julian Assange
calls out the War Mongerer in Chief, Nouri tries to bully the Kurds over the
Peshmerga, ExxonMobil serves Nouri notice, 20,000 Iraqis are said to be on the
verge of deportation, and more.
Last night the plurality of US citizens voting on the presidential race
re-elected Barack Obama president of the United States by a thin margin. As Isaiah noted this morning in his
comic, the second term is where Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan
found out what happens when the love's gone -- Bill almost impeached for lying
about a blow job, Reagan with the ghost of impeachment hovering over Iran-Contra
and Richard Nixon with Watergate which really helped to draw attention away from
the slush fund and so many other crimes. Even Supreme Court selected Bully Boy
Bush, when he won a term by the votes and not by the Supreme Court,
Already Barack's buddy and former OMB Director Peter The Swinger Orszag, as
Alexa noted this afternoon at Corrente,
has taken to Bloomberg Television to proclaim that it's time to cut Social
Security. Thank yourselves, Americans, you voted for the bastard -- and, yes,
that term is linguistically correct when applied to Barack. The thing with
Bush's first term, he wasn't elected. His crimes were appalling, his disregard
for the Constitution, his Executive Signing Statements, Guantanamo, his illegal
war, all of it was disgusting and, yes, criminal. And those of us who are
citizens of the United States could insist, "The Supreme Court awarded him the
presidency, he didn't win it." But then came November 2004 and enough Americans
went to the polls to say that they were okay with this, tha it was fine and
dandy to torture and worse. At that point, when US voters embraced it, it
became a lot more difficult to say, "Hey, that's him, it's not us."
The people embraced Bully Boy Bush -- a plurality -- in the 2004 election
and a plurality embraced Barack Obama yesterday. Granted the American people
were uninformed by a media that increasingly is exposed as not incompetent but
as deliberately deceitful.
Take CBS News (where I have -- or maybe had before this went up -- friends). Monday Ruth notedErik Wemple's Washington Post
piece about CBS News hiding footage voters should have known about.
September 12th, Steve Kroft interviewed Barack for 60 Minutes. He pressed
Barack on the Bengahzi attack that killed Americans Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods,
Sean Smith and Chris Stevens. Barack -- who would go to the UN and talk about
YouTube videos -- would have to admit to Kroft "it was an attack on Americans."
As Wemple notes, CBS releasing the video after the second debate would have been
good for its web 'hits' and it would have raised the issue of accountability.
It would have forced the media to do their job. Instead, they sat on it and
waited until the day before voting to quietly release it online.
That's not how you run a news outlet. That's not how you inform citizens.
But Scott Pelley was hired to put you asleep, not to inform you. And in that
monotone, as he goes on and on about nothing oh-so-gently, he ensures that
Americans remain uninformed. He does his part, I should say. Despite the fact
that CBS prime time brings in huge numbers and CBS daytime holds its own,
CBS Evening News just can't deliver an audience. So Pelley's impact
is, like the man himself, rather small.
Like Pelley, Diane Sawyer (ABC's World News), NBC's Brian Williams and
CNN's multitude of hosts refused to inform their audience that, September 26th,
the New York Times' Tim Arango reported:
and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the
return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions. At the
request of the Iraqi government, according to General Caslen, a unit of Army
Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on
counterterrorism and help with intelligence.
As Ava and I noted, that report was
followed by not one, but three so-called 'presidential debates' ("Days later, October 3rd, Barack 'debated' Mitt Romney. Again October 16th. Again October 22nd. Not once did the moderators
ever raise the issue.") Every one of them played dumb while Barack talked about
how he supposedly got the US out of Iraq. Not one of the high paid
'journalists' who moderated the debates ever raised the issue. Candy Crowley
never said, "Actually, Mr. Obama, you are in negotiations with Iraq to send more
US troops back into Iraq."
That would have been too much for a suck-up hilariously named "Candy."
To get that into the New York Times, Arango had to bury it in
paragraph fifteen. If you're not getting what a struggle it was to get that
reality into print, grasp that when the New York Times 'fact check'ed
Barack in the debates on Iraq, they avoided mentioning what Arango had
reported. The editorial boad disappeared what was a news outlet exclusive -- an
exclusive in their own paper -- and they disowned it.
With little to no amplification, it is true that the American people had
little hope of hearing of these important news items. However, they knew
Bradley Manning was imprisoned. They may not have known that election day was also his 898th day being locked away -- still without a
trial -- but they knew he was locked away.
Monday April 5,
2010, WikiLeaks released US
military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were
killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and
Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7,
2010, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley
Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Leila Fadel
(Washington Post) reported in August 2010 that Manning had
been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The
first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring
classified information to his personal computer between November and May and
adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second
comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of
classified information." In March, 2011, David S. Cloud
(Los Angeles Times) reported
that the military has added 22 additional counts to the charges including one
that could be seen as "aiding the enemy" which could result in the death penalty
if convicted. The Article 32 hearing took place in December. At the start of
this year, there was an Article 32 hearing and, February 3rd, it was announced
that the government would be moving forward with a court-martial. Bradley has
yet to enter a plea and has neither affirmed that he is the leaker nor denied
it. The court-martial was supposed to begin before the election but it was
postponed until after the election so that Barack wouldn't have to run on a
record of his actual actions.
At Fort Meade, Maryland, during a motion hearing in Pfc. Bradley
Manning’s court martial, his defense attorney David Coombs told the court
Manning had submitted a plea notice indicating he would accept general
responsibility for providing all charged information to WikiLeaks. The notice
was the beginning of a process that could greatly simplify the upcoming trial
proceedings in February.
Manning did not plead guilty to the charged offenses in the plea
notice. However, significantly, he did indicate with this notice that he is
willing to admit to the fact that the act of providing information to WikiLeaks
did occur or that the government has evidence that would prove he did commit the
act and so he is willing to plea to it.
People who supposedly give a damn about Bradley -- about the torture he's
been put through -- didn't give enough of a damn to take a stand against Barack
Obama. Whores like Daniel Ellsberg even went out trolling for votes for
Barack. No whore like an old whore. And it needs to be made clear to Daniel
that he's no longer needed as a face for the issue. You can't urge people to
vote for the man who has imprisoned Bradley, the man who has pronounced him
guilty, and still be an advocate for Bradley.
In a conversation about alleged WikiLeaks leaker US President
Barack Obama commented on Pfc. Bradley Manning saying, “He broke the
The words from Obama’s mouth come as Manning is held in prison
awaiting further charges and a military trial. Manning has entered no official
plea and no court proceedings have begun. Yet, the US president dubbed him
guilty of breaking the law.
Many argue no truly fair or impartial trial is even possible at
this point. Some hold there would never be a fair trial since the media had
already convicted manning in the court of public opinion. Now that the
Military’s commander-in-chief has spoke on the matter is even more unlikely the
military trial will be fair and impartial.
Military officers on a potential jury now know that their commander
and chief believes Manning to be guilty. To find otherwise would amount to
undermining his view.
Again, Daniel Ellsberg has whored his reputation and needs to find another
hobby to occupy his final days, he has blown his credibility.
There are several unambiguous signs that the US is on track to
prosecute Assange for his work as a journalist. A grand jury in Alexandria,
Virginia, empanelled to investigate violations of the Espionage Act – a
statute that by its very nature targets speech – has subpoenaed Twitter feeds
regarding Assange and WikiLeaks. An FBI agent, testifying at whistleblower
Bradley Manning's trial, said that "founders, owners and managers" of WikiLeaks
are being investigated. And then there is Assange's 42,135-page FBI file – a
compilation of curious heft if the government is "not interested" in
investigating its subject.
In this context, Assange's fears of extradition to and persecution
in the US, and therefore his plea for asylum, are eminently
What's more, Assange is rightly concerned about how he will be
treated if he is extradited to the US. One need only consider how the US treated
Bradley Manning, the
army private who allegedly leaked the cables to WikiLeaks to see why. Manning
spent close to a year in pre-trial solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, and
then eight months under conditions designed to pressure him into providing
evidence to incriminate Assange. During this time, Manning was stripped of his
clothing and made to stand nude for inspection. Thousands of people, including
scores of legal scholars and the United Nations special rapporteur on torture,
have condemned Manning's treatment as inhumane, and state that it may constitute
torture. There is no reason for Assange to expect he will be treated any
Most disturbingly, the US government is more concerned with
investigating a journalist and publisher than the high-level government
officials whose alleged war crimes and misdeeds Assange and his cohorts brought
Those are fears Assange has of the government commanded and directed by
Barack Obama. The media's certainly done their part to hide Bradley away but
the American people should have known about him.
Even so, a plurality said "yes" last night.
And that's the problem. Today people whine about the US being a national
security state. Some foolish ones cite Dwight Eisenhower warning against the
"military industrial complex." Yes, he did warn against it. When? January 17,
1961. As he was leaving the White House and John F. Kennedy was coming in. In
other words, he stayed silent when it would have mattered. In the last gasps of
his presidency, he suddenly wants to alert the American people that there's a
problem -- one he not only refused to fix but also helped create. So some
foolish types today don't get that it's not getting taken down. Not now, not
ever. It's been accepted. By presidents of both parties, yes, but also by the
American people. It's outrageous, it shouldn't continue.
But that's what voting can do: validate government positions.
Last night, American voters said, "Yes to Guantanamo! Yes to indefinite
detentions! Yes to illegal war -- Libya specifically! Yes to ignoring acts of
Congress -- also known as laws -- such as the War Powers Act! Yes to having a
kill list of American citizens!"
They said yes to that and so much more.
We were just noting Michael Ratner. He hosts Law and Disorder
Radio-- a weekly hour long
program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout
the week, with attorneys Heidi Boghosian,
and Michael S. Smith. In February, they
discussed the NDAA with guest Chris Hedges who was suing the White House.
Michael Smith: The National Defense Authorization Act was signed by
President Obama on December 31st of last year and takes effect this coming
March. The act authorizes the military to begin domestic policing. The
military can detain indefinitely without trial any US citizen deemed to be a
terrorist or an accessory to terrorism. Vague language in the bill such as
"substantially supported" or "directly supported" or "associated forces" is
used. We're joined today by returning guest Chris Hedges in his capacity as a
plantiff in a lawsuit that he's just filed against President Barack Obama with
respect to the National Defense Authorization Act and its language about
rounding up even American citizens and salting them away forever.
Heidi Boghosian: Chris, welcome to Law and Disorder.
Chris Hedges: Thank you.
Heidi Boghosian: Can you talk about the significance of codifying
the NDAA into law essentially several over-reaching practices that the
executive has been implementing for awhile now?
Chris Hedges: That's correct but it's been implementing those
practices through a radical interpretation of the 2001 law, The Authorization to
Use Military Force Act. You remember old John Yoo was Bush's legal advisor. It
was under the auspices of this act that Jose Padilla who is a US citizen was
held for three and a half years in a military brig. Remember, he was supposedly
one of the other hijackers that never made it to a plane. Stripped of due
process. And it's under that old act that the executive branch, Barack Obama,
permits himself to serve as judge, jury and executioner and order the
assassination of a US citizen, the Yemeni cleric Anwar
Michael Smith: Two weeks later his 16-year-old son.
Chris Hedges: Yes, exactly. So what this does is it essentially
codfies this kind of behavior into law. It overturns over 200 years of legal
precedent so that the military is allowed to engage in domestic policing and
there are a couple of very disturbing aspects in the creation of this
legislation. One of them is that [US Senator] Dianne Feinstein had proposed
that US citiens be exempt from this piece of legislation and both the Obama
White House and the Democratic Party rejected that. Now Obama issued a signing
statement saying that this will not be used against American citizens but the
fact is legally it can be used against American citizens. There was an
opportunity for them to protect American citizens and to protect due process and
they chose not to do that.
Michael Smith: Well he also announced that he was going to close
Chris Hedges: Right, so it's very disingenous.
Heidi Boghosian: And signing statements really carry no legal
Chris Hedges. Right. And if they wanted to protect basic civil
liberties, they certainly had a chance to do so and it was there decision not to
do that. I mean, the other thing that's disturbing is that it expands this
endless war on terror. So the 2001 act is targeted towards groups that are
affiliated or part of al Qaeda. Now it's groups that didn't even exist in
2001. There are all sorts of nebulous terms like "associated forces,"
"substantially supported." When you look at the criteria by which Americans can
be investigated by our security and surveillance state, it's amorphus and
frightening: People who have lost fingers on the hand, people who hoard more
than seven days worth of food in their house, people who have water-proof
ammunition. I mean, I always say I come from rural parts of Maine. That's
probably most of my family.
Chris Hedges: It's a very short step to adding the obstructionist
tactics of the Occupy movement.
Michael Smith: Well that's what we've wanted to ask you because
we've thought all along with the beginning of this war on terrorism that
ultimately these laws stripping us of our Constitutional rights would be used
against the social protest movements at home and the latest development is
absolutely chilling and we wanted to ask you about that.
Chris Hedges: We don't know what the motives are. We do know that
all the intelligence agencies as well as the Pentagon opposed this legislation.
Robert Muller, the head of the FBI, actually went before Congress and said that
if it was passed it would make the FBI's work in terms of investigating
terrorism harder because it would make it harder to get people to cooperate once
you hand the military that power. So I think it's interesting, to say the very
least, that the various agencies that are being pulled into domestic policing --
especially the Pentagon -- didn't push for the bill. I don't know what the
motives are but I know what the consequences are and that is that it hands to
the corporate state weapons, the capacity to use the armed forces internally in
ways that we have not seen for over two centuries. That is the consequence of
the bill. What are the motives? You know I haven't gone down and reported it
Heidi Boghosian: Chris, you know I'm thinking of the Supreme Court Case Humanitarian Law
Project and the notion "providing material support."
[Center for Constitutional Rights analysis here -- text and video.] And in that
case it was also very vague and things that seemed benign could be construed as
providing support but it strikes me that under this piece of legislation also
the notion of associating with others that the government may deem terrorists
becomes possibly vague.
Chris Hedges: Well it is vague. And that's what's so frightening.
And the lawsuit was proposed by Civil Rights attorneys Carl Mayer and Bruce
Afran who approached me and said that I needed a credible plantiff. Now because
I had been the Middle East bureau chief for the New York Times and
because I was in the Middle East for seven years I spent considerable time with
both individuals and organizations that are considered by the US State Dept to
be either terrorists or terrorist groups. That would include Hamas, Islamic
Jihad in Gaza, the Kurdistan Workers Party -- or the PKK as it's known in
southeastern Turkey, northern Iraq. All of these organizations -- I mean, I
used to go to Tunis and have dinner with Yasser Arafat [President of the
Palestinian National Authority from 1996 until his death in 2004] and Abu Jihad
[the PLO's Khalil al-Wair] when they were branded as international terrorists.
And there are no exemptions in this piece of legislation for journalists. And
the attorneys felt that I was a credible plantiff because of that. We have
already seen under the 2001 law, a persecution of not only Muslim Americans in
this country but Muslim American organizations -- in particular charity
organizations and mostly charity organizations that support the Palestinians.
And under this legislation, it is certainly conceivable that not only -- many of
these organizations have been shut down, their bank accounts have been frozen,
their organizers have been persecuted -- but under this legislation they're
essentially able to be branded as terrorists, stripped of due process, thrown
into a military brig and held, in the language of the legislation, until the end
of hostilities -- whenever that is.
Last night was a "yes" to that. The problem with these yes votes? There
is the law by word and law by custom and practice. Bully Boy Bush floated outrageous ideas
that Barack Obama took further. Neither man has been prosecuted. By refusing
to prosecute, these actions are now custom. Can someone object? Yes, you can
object to anything. You can also file a lawsuit over anything. But in 2017 or
2018 when we suddenly decide we care once again about, for example, habeas
corpus, a court's going to take into account the fact that two administrations
-- two consecutive administrations have trashed it. (They'll also be taking
into account that they don't wan to open the door for a lawsuit against a former
president or presidents or, in Bully Boy Bush's case, occupant of the White
House.) So lots of luck carrying after everything's over.
It'll be a bit like whining today about what Eisenhower oversaw the
creation of in the fifties.
We can -- and should -- blame the media for a great deal. But the blame
goes beyond the media.
Staying with the Turks, both AP and Reuters report that Turkey's conducting a
two-day ground operation -- yesterday and today -- in which Turkish forces have
entered northern Iraq. AFP observes, "The rare cross-border
strike hit targets some five kilometres (three miles) inside the border and came
as part of an air-backed operation that has been going on for two days,
according to NTV." The Turkish war planes bombing northern Iraq have been going
on for years now. Xinhua notes of the latest, "Two Iraqi
Kurds were killed and three wounded on Wednesday during an air strike on an
Iraqi border area, as Turkish warplanes continue attacks against suspected
Kurdish guerrilla targets inside Iraq, official Kurdish website reported." 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." This has been going on forever. Inclusion could have addressed that
long ago, many, many deaths ago. The same is true with regards to Iraq.
Nouri's actions are setting up a struggle which will last years unless he learns
to practice inclusion and stop targeting rivals and Sunnis.
The violence has never ended in Iraq. Many have fled due to the
violence. The Christian population, for example, has been greatly reduced.
Now, despite the fact that violence is actually worse this year than in 2010,
comes the news of a country that intends to force Iraqis out of their borders.
Al Rafidayn states that diplomatic
sources say Sweden is preparing to deport 20,000 Iraqi refugees over the next
In other news, Al Rafidayn reports that ExxonMobil has notified the Baghdad-based
government in writing of their intent to sell their stake in the West Qurna oil
field. Their desire to sell has been public knowledge for some time. The news
value is that they have now put their intent in writing. Dropping back to the
Early this morning, Laura Rozen (The Back Channel) reported,
"Oil giant Exxon Mobil is expected to soon announce that it is pulling out of
non-Kurdish Iraq, an energy expert source told Al-Monitor Wednesday on condition
of anonymity. The decision would not apply to Exxon's contracts in Kurdish
Iraq, which has been a source of on-going tension with Baghdad authorities for
the company, the source said." Ahmed Rasheed and Patricky Markey (Reuters) state
the corporation didn't inform "Iraq of its interest in quitting the country's
West Qurna oilfield project" according to unnamed sources. Sometimes unnamed
sources lie. This may be one of those times. This is very embarrassing for
Nouri and his government and feigning surprise may be their effort to play it
off. 'How could we have stopped it? We didn't even know it was coming!' That
would explain why the 'big surprise' that isn't is being played like it is. Derek Brower (Petroleum Economist) has been covering
this story for over 48 hours (including a source that stated ExxonMobil had
informed the Iraqi government) and he notes that ExxonMobil will be focusing all
their "efforts on upstream projects in Kurdistan instead." In addition to the
claim in Rasheed and Markey's piece about Iraq having had no meeting on this,
Brower notes that a meeting took place today at the Ministry of Oil. It would
appear Nouri's spinning like crazy in an effort to save his faltering image.
(Nouri can certainly spend billions -- as he proved last week on his mad
shopping spree for weapons, he just doesn't seem able to maintain releations
with those who help Iraq generate large revenues.)
This Reuters story notes that unnamed US officials
stated Iraq was informed and it adds the Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister for
Energy, Hussain al-Shahristani, "told Reuters in an e-mail that Baghdad was
sticking to its line that all contract signed with the Kurdistan Regional
Government (KRG) without the approval of Baghdad were illegal." ExxonMobil has
long had problems with their deal with Baghdad. In March, Emily Knapp (Wall St Cheat Sheet)
explained, "Foreign oil companies involved in Iraq's oil expansion generally
prefer to be compensated for capital expenditure and service fees in oil because
cash payments are more complicated to arrange. Now the parties have reached an
agreement in which they will be paid in crude. Exxon and Shell spent $910
million on West Qurna-1 last year, and were repaid $470 million in cash." Hassan Hafidh (Wall St. Journal) adds
today, "Exxon's 2010 deal with the Iraqi central government to improve
production in the West Qurna-1 field was never expected to be lucrative under
the best circumstances, the person said. The government had agreed to pay Exxon
Mobil and its partners $1.90 for each additional barrel of oil they pumped after
refurbishing the already producing field. The fees would barely be enough to
cover the companies' costs."
Today Ahmed Rasheed (Reuters) explains, "Iraq's
cabinet also said on Wednesday it was expelling Turkey's state-owned TPAO from
its exploration block 9 oilfield but denied that the measure was prompted by any
proposed move by the Turkish company into Kurdistan. The withdrawal of Exxon
from a key project in Iraq's south, and doubts about who can replace the U.S.
giant also raise questions about the country's plans to increase crude
production to 5-6 million barrels per day from 3.4 million bpd by 2015." Lance Murray (Dallas Business Journal)
notes that the minority party (currently) in the deal ExxonMobil is walking
out on is Royal Dutch Shell. Dan Ritter (Wall St. Cheat Sheet)
observes, "Iraqi officials previously asked President Barack Obama to
intervene, but there has been no government involvement so far. It’s unclear
what the President could do, if he decided to step in. At the end of the day,
Iraq may just be hurting itself by forcing oil companies to choose, and right
now Kurdistan looks pretty attractive."
In news on the continued political stalemate, Al Mada reports that the head of the
National Alliance Ibrahim al-Jaafari is stating that there is conflict within
Nouri's Cabinet and some ministers are not attending meetings or listening to
other views and he notes that he is against dissolving Parliament and holding
early elections. In other Cabinet news, Dar Addustour adds that the Minister of
Trade Khairallah Babiker, is stating he will withdraw from the Cabinet if the
federal budget does not make good on the Peshmerga budget. The Peshmerga are
Kurdish security forces. The 2013 federal budget attempts to do away with
payments for them. This is similar to Nouri's attempts to do away with the
Sahwa ("Sons of Iraq," "Awakenings"). He's already illegally amassed control
over all security forces (military and police) outside of the KRG. Bassem Francis and Mohammad al-Tamimi
(Al-Hayat via Al-Monitor) report:
A senior official at the Ministry of Peshmerga in Iraq’s
Kurdistan region has called the demand of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
to place the Peshmerga forces under the jurisdiction of the federal government
an “illusion.” He vowed to make an official response in the next week to the
accusations by Maliki.
Meanwhile, a Kurdish lawmaker accused the prime minister of
obstructing the ongoing negotiations between Baghdad and Erbil.
In an interview with Al Sumaria TV on Monday evening [Nov. 5],
Maliki declared his willingness to release funding for the Peshmerga forces if
they place themselves under the jurisdiction of the federal authorities, since
the constitution prohibits the financing of the Peshmerga, which fall under the
jurisdiction of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
is how Nouri tears apart the country and works to destroy any national
identity. Nouri al-Maliki is the puppet Bully Boy Bush installed in 2006 when
the Iraqi choice for prime minister did not meet with US approval. It's who
Barack made his own puppet in 2010 when Barack decided Nouri would remain as
prime minister -- in spite of the votes of the Iraqi people, in spite of the
Iraqi Constitution, in spite of a concept known as "democracy." Once again,
John Barry's "'The Engame' Is A Well Researched, Highly Critical
Look at U.S. Policy in Iraq" (Daily
Beast): Washington has little political and no military influence over
these developments [in Iraq]. As Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor charge in
their ambitious new history of the Iraq war, The Endgame, Obama's administration
sacrificed political influence by failing in 2010 to insist that the results of
Iraq’s first proper election be honored: "When the Obama administration
acquiesced in the questionable judicial opinion that prevented Ayad Allawi's
bloc, after it had won the most seats in 2010, from the first attempt at forming
a new government, it undermined the prospects, however slim, for a compromise
that might have led to a genuinely inclusive and cross-sectarian