Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Moqtada supporters plan a demonstration

Jane's Defence has a reputation of offering high value information.  It really doesn't.  And  they prove that by covering Iraq.  Yesterday, they finally got around to noting Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's call to avoid war between the KRG and Baghdad over Tigris Operation Command.  (We noted that in real time.  They're not very clear on why the Grand Ayatollah would weigh in and they apparently know nothing about the historical position of the Shi'ites that they would not go to war on the Kurds.)  As you read, you may be struck by the ignorance where one thing after another is kind of right but never actually right.  And then we get to the AP lie that we called out repeatedly last week.  Yes, Jane's repeats the lie.  And suddenly it all makes sense.  This alleged 'intelligence' company doesn't have anyone who speaks and reads Arabic.  Their analysis of a county where Arabic is the main language -- print and spoken -- is hampered by their inability to hire people who can do the sameTheir coverage of Iraq -- their analysis -- is not based upon Iraqi reports but upon English language ones from non-Iraqi outlets. 

The tensions continue between Baghdad and Erbil over Nouri and his Tigris Operation Command forces.  Rudaw speaks with KRG Chief of Staff Fuad Hussein.  Excerpt:

Rudaw: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, is taking stronger positions against Kurds day after day, but the Kurds insist on negotiations. What is the reason behind this soft policy of the Kurds?

Fuad Hussein: Kurdish soft policy is not a result of weakness, but rather from the belief that problems can be solved through negotiations. However, Kurds also have prepared for a war, in case it happens.

Rudaw: Is Maliki willing to solve the problems through negotiations?

Fuad Hussein: We have had many negotiations with Maliki, and signed many agreements. But the problem is that he does not abide by the agreements. What is clear is that Maliki is preparing for war. When he prepares for war, the Kurds have the right to prepare for self-defense.

Now is the time a smart politician would be attempting to shore up support.  Nouri al-Maliki's never been mistaken for smart.  In yesterday's snapshot we noted how Nouri used a supposed speech on human rights to launch into an attack on Moqtada al-Sadr -- cleric and movement leader.  Moqtada has his response today.  Al Mada reports that the Sadr bloc states Moqtada could care less what Nouri says about him because Moqtada's concerns are with the suffering of the Iraqi people.  All Iraq News reports Baghdad is scheduled to see a heavy demonstration today as Moqtada's supporters take to the streets to protest Nouri's verbal attack on Moqtada.

Right now the panic you hear at the wire services goes something like this, "Holy s**t!  We distracted for Nouri yesterday by ignoring his attack on Moqtada and now as many as a million Sadr supporters may turn out in Baghdad to protest.  How the hell are we going to cover this without explaining what we refused to cover yesterday?"

All Iraq News notes that MP Awad al-Awadi (with the Sadr bloc) has delcared that they have seen no improvement in Nouri's government since the talk of a withdrawal of confidence vote in the Parliament.  Again, smart politicians attempt to shore up support when they're struggling.  By contrast, Nouri seeks to piss everyone off. 

Al Mada observes that, come April, Nouri will have been prime minister for seven years and that during this time, Iraq has seen no imporvement in the average Iraqi's life and that the policies implemented favor elites and indicate the emergence of yet another strong-man leader, one who seeks to control everything.  Nouri has ignored the Constitution, the article explains, and has openly, since 2009, stated his intent to change the rules as he attacked diversity and pluralism as well as the role Parliament is supposed to play in law making and oversight. The article notes his attacks on Iraqi protesters, his demanding recounts in 2010 when he was unhappy with the results, the concerns about how he will behave after the people vote in the provincial elections (scheduled for this April), his secret prisons and much more.  It's a thorough look at the rule of Nouri al-Maliki and it's not pretty. 

Violence continues in Iraq.  Alsumaria reports that an armed attack in Baquba today claimed the life of 1 Sahwa and Abbas Abdul Hadi Tai was shot dead (repeatedly) in his Diyala Province home, he is the brother of the Deputy Officer of the Islamic Party.  On the subject of violence, the US State Dept issued the following this morning:

Press Statement
Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 11, 2012
The Department of State has amended the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 designations of al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI) to include the following new aliases: al-Nusrah Front, Jabhat al-Nusrah, Jabhet al-Nusra, The Victory Front, and Al-Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant. The Department of State previously designated AQI as an FTO under the Immigration and Nationality Act and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under E.O. 13224 on October 15, 2004. The consequences of adding al-Nusrah Front as a new alias for AQI include a prohibition against knowingly providing, or attempting or conspiring to provide, material support or resources to, or engaging in transactions with, al-Nusrah Front, and the freezing of all property and interests in property of the organization that are in the United States, or come within the United States or the control of U.S. persons.
Since November 2011, al-Nusrah Front has claimed nearly 600 attacks – ranging from more than 40 suicide attacks to small arms and improvised explosive device operations – in major city centers including Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr. During these attacks numerous innocent Syrians have been killed. Through these attacks, al-Nusrah has sought to portray itself as part of the legitimate Syrian opposition while it is, in fact, an attempt by AQI to hijack the struggles of the Syrian people for its own malign purposes. AQI emir Abu Du’a is in control of both AQI and al-Nusrah. Abu Du’a was designated by the State Department under E.O. 13224 on October 3, 2011, and by the United Nations under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 on October 5, 2011. Abu Du’a also issues strategic guidance to al-Nusrah’s emir, Abu Muhammad al-Jawlani, and tasked him to begin operations in Syria.
The United States takes this action in the context of our overall support for the Syrian people. We have provided approximately $50 million in non-lethal assistance to the unarmed civilian opposition and nearly $200 million in humanitarian assistance to those affected by the violence in Syria. The violent, sectarian vision of al-Nusrah is at odds with the aspirations of the Syrian people, including the overwhelming majority of the Syrian opposition, who seek a free, democratic, and inclusive Syria and have made clear their desire for a government that respects and advances national unity, dignity, human rights, and equal protection under the law – regardless of faith, ethnicity, or gender. Extremism and terrorist ideology have no place in a post-Asad Syria, and all responsible Syrians should speak out against al-Qa’ida and other extremist elements. By opting for the use of force against its own people, the Asad regime has created the circumstances that attract the violent extremists of al Qa’ida, who seek to exploit civil strife for their own purposes. The sooner the political transition to a post-Asad Syria begins, the better it will be for the Syrian people and the region.

PRN: 2012/1952

Yesterday's snapshot covered reports that 3,000 US troops entered Iraq from Kuwait yesterday and it covered violence against Iraqi women.  Two articles have been suggested on both topics.  We won't be linking to either.  One, linked to be a women's news outlet, I was aware of.  It's from "Radio Free Europe."  If I link to them in any form, it's because I don't know better.  They have a multitude of names.  They are not allowed to broadcast in the US.  Why?  Because the US government is not supposed to use propaganda against its own citizens.  "Radio Free Europe" is Voice of America in another incarnation.  The US government picks up the tab for Radio Free Europe.  The other article is by a new group -- or a group with a new name.  It's the John Birch Society.  I feel we had enough reports on the 3,000 troops without linking to the John Birch Society.  We will note that ABC Radio is the first US outlet to report the rumors of the 3,000 troops going into Iraq.

Lastly, Senator Patty Murray is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and her office issued the following today on homelessness:
Monday, December 10, 2012
Contact: Murray Press Office
(202) 224-2834
HOMELESS VETERANS: Chairman Murray Statement on Decline in Homeless Veterans Population
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD), made the following statement after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, released the 2012 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR). The report showed a 7.2 percent decline in veterans homelessness since 2011 and a 17.2 decline since 2009. However, the report also details a 1.4 percent increase among persons in families.
"Those who heroically served America in the military should not find themselves struggling to find a bed to sleep in or a meal to eat," said Chairman Murray. "With new servicemembers returning home every day and the economy on the road to recovery, it is critically important to continue supporting programs like HUD-VASH and the SSVF. I am grateful for the progress we have seen, because these programs have been working. However, I am deeply concerned about the data indicating an increase in homeless families. I firmly believe the success of our nation's families and the future of our economy are rooted in the investments we make in basic necessities like education and housing. And I remain committed to providing Ameirca's families and veterans with the sense of security and dignity they all deserve."

Megan Roh
Deputy Press Secretary | New Media Director
Office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.

iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq