Saturday, November 03, 2012

The violence Nouri breeds

Alsumaria reports that 3 Iraqi soldiers were killed in Taji, an alcohol shop was blown up in Abu Ghraib, a Sharqat home was blown up injuring two people, an Alekiarp bombing claimed the life of 1 police officer and mass arrests continued across Iraq with the largest being 35 in Anbar.  All Iraq News reports that 1 Iraqi soldier was shot dead in Mosul.  Alsumaria also notes that the PKK announced they had killed 3 Turkish soldiers on the Iraqi border with Turkey.  Reporting on violence the same day, AFP only finds 3 dead.  Are you getting the 'how' of why AFP's count is always such an undercount at the end of each month?  It's two days short here, three days short there and, by the end of the month, they're a hundred off.  To their credit, they do their own count.  To their misfortune, no one appears to have learned to count very high so they go 'un, deux, trois' and then apparently start over instead of going on to quatre . . .  They undercount the Baghdad shooting by one, turning it into two soldiers dead.  This despite the fact that even English-language oultest -- Sameer N. Yacoub of AP, for example -- report 3 shot dead.

AFP also ignores the mass arrests.   The mass arrests have been going on for how long?  How many hundreds and thousands will be arrested this year.  At what point do people stop considering Nouri to be the 'voice of Iraq' when so many are against him?

That's the really rotten tell about Nouri's second term.

Iraqis are not struggling against him out of fear of the unknown.  He's been prime minister since 2006.  His current term expires at the start of 2014 but watch him try to extend that if he's not elected to a third term.  (He wasn't elected to a second term.  In 2010, the White House insisted he get a second term.)  They know who he is.  And his actions do not speak of inclusion.  His actions do not speak of a better Iraq.  30,000 'terrorists' (rough number from UN friend) arrested last year should seem like an alarming number if it happened in the US.  But it happened in Iraq where the population is thought to be somewhere between 26 and 31 million.  (There's been no census in years.)

The continued opposition -- which is 'terrorists' as well as actual terrorists --  to Nouri is a protest against him.

Instead of his grasping that, he's going to destroy Iraq even more.

3 Turkish soldiers were killed, the PKK asserts.  For decades now, the PKK and the Turkish government have been at war.  The death toll is in the thousands.  And the PKK took up arms for one reason only: Kurds in Turkey were not full citizens.  They weren't allowed to speakt heir own language, they didn't have the same rights that others living in Turkey did.

If that could have been fixed in real time, a lot of people would still be alive, a lot of people would not be physically wounded, a lot of families would still have their loved ones.

Since Nouri's already made clear that his February 2011 'promise' not to go for a third term wasn't a promise, it's very likely Nouri intends to steal another term as prime minister.

He was never wanted.  He was the choice of Bully Boy Bush in 2006.  In 2010, he was the choice of Barack.  And the Iraqi people have had no say.

It's not a surprise that the violence has increased in the last years.  And will it only continue to increase.  People like Nouri are idiots, criminally insane.  They want power and they then rush to destroy their enemies.

That's not how you maintain power. That's how you build a strong opposition.

And that's also how you make it very hard to hire police and military even in bad economic times (Iraq has even worse unemployment today than they did in 2003 and the ration card system has been greatly reducted at the same time).  Along with making it difficult to hire, it makes it difficult to keep loyalty within the ranks.  When the country's goal is not some larger issue, some national identity, it becomes very hard to keep loyalty within the ranks -- as demonstrated historically around the world with military coups -- attempted and completed.

Nouri's an idiot.  And Barack is as well.  (Bush?  Most of us always knew and accepted already that he was an idiot.)

What was the point in giving Nouri four more years?  It did not speak to democracy -- voters had backed Iraqiya so the Constitution dictated someone from that slate, most likely leader Ayad Allawi, be named prime minister-designate.  But the White House used a legal contract, the Erbil Agreement, to overturn the will of the Iraqi people.

This was an important event but one that we still aren't supposed to talk about.  When a writer did (Michael R. Gordon with Bernard Trainor), he pretty much found his new book shut out of public discourse in the United States. John Barry's "'The Engame' Is A Well Researched, Highly Critical Look at U.S. Policy in Iraq" (Daily Beast) zoomed in on the key finding:

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 government."

Nouri is the problem.  Today a September Tikrit prison break is back in the news so let's drop
And now this non-choice who has twice been forced off on Iraq by the United States says he's forming a majority-government -- a government built around himself and his own second place State of Law.

Today, a September Tirkit prison break is back in the news.  So let's drop back to the September 27th snapshot:

The latest day's violence includes a prison attack BBC News reports assailants using bombs and guns attacked a Tikrit prison.  AFP quotes a police Lieutenant Colonel stating, "A suicide bomber targeted the gate of the prison with a car bomb and gunment then assaulted the prison, after which they killed guards" and a police Colonel stating, "The prisoners killed one policeman and wounded (prison director) Brigadier General Laith al-Sagmani, the gunmen took control of the prison, and clashes are continuing."  Kitabat states two car bombs were used to blow up the entrance to the prison and gain access and they also state 12 guards have been killed. Reports note the riot is continuing.  Alsumaria reports four guards have died, 1 police officer and the injured include two soldiers and the prison director al-Sagmani.  There's confusion as to whether a number of prisoners were able to escape in the early stages after the bombing and during gunfire.  Reuters goes with "dozens" escaping which is probably smarter than the hard number some are repeating. Mu Xuequan (Xinhua) reports 5 police officers killed and another two injured -- the numbers are going to vary until tomorrow, this is ongoing -- and state over 200 prisoners escaped with 33 of them already having been recaptured.  If you skip the English language media, what's not confusing is why it happened and why it was able to happen.   Alsumaria reports that there are approximately 900 inmates in the prison and that many have death sentences.  Alsumaria does even more than that.  It notes the recent prison violence throughout the country and ties it into the death sentences.  These aren't just happening at random, this is about the many people being sentenced to death -- a fact the English language press either doesn't know or doesn't think people need to know.
When prisoners escape, as some have, without being caught, it makes a lot of sense when you grasp that they are seen as persecuted.  They're not the deadly evil suddenly let loose and roaming through a town that's going to cause people to pick up the phones and call the authorities.  These are people that many Iraqis feel didn't get a fair trial or received an unduly harsh sentence.  The refusal for this part of the story to be reported goes a long way towards explaining the confusion over what's been taking place in Iraq for months with these increased attacks on prisons.
Already the English-language press is obsessed with the Islamic State of Iraq -- a violent group that may be responsible.  And they may be. July 22nd, the Islamic State of Iraq released an audio recording announcing a new campaign of violence entitled Breaking The Walls which would include prison breaks and killing "judges and investigators and their guards."  (They also threatened to attack America on US soil.)  They've had great success since then in launching deadly attacks.  And one of the reasons for their success is Nouri al-Maliki.  The Islamic State of Iraq is using violence which appalls many Iraqis but for reasons that a number of Iraqis can identify with. 
Nouri created this.  Nouri's the reason it thrives.  Again, the English-speaking press has ignored it but there have been mass arrests all month.  Alsumaria reports 17 arrested today for 'terrorism' just south of Baghdad, another 17 arrested in Nineveh Province and another 44 in Kirkuk -- while in Diyala Province, the federal forces are said to be out of control but they insist that they have not seized control of residential areas and that they are not putting up barriers as part of their security measures or 'security measures.'  Mass arrests create a climate in which the Islamic State of Iraq's actions can garner sympathy.  You may be lucky and it didn't happen to anyone in your family but, down the street, it happened to one of your neighbors and the thing about mass arrests is that they (rightly) create distrust in the government.  And they create sympathy for responses like the Islamic State of Iraq.   You see and overhear plotting and planning, in a stable society you might call the police.  In Nouri's Iraq, you instead understand the motives and you may not take part in violence yourself but your attitude is you're not going to stop it.

You can't institute a crackdown, round up thousands and then be surprised when people don't buy-into your 'vision' of Iraq.

Kitabat reports that Brigadier General Laith al-Salmani, the director of the Tikrit prison, has been arrested over the prison break in which over 100 prisoners escaped.  al-Salmani was arrested as he returned from an ERbil hospital where he'd been treated for the gun shot wound he received in the prison assault.

Dar Addustour notes that 36 employees of the Central Bank remain held in prison with no word on when they will be released.  Are you getting how Nouri's only real success is in turning people against him? 

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