Friday, December 07, 2012

Violence continues as does the conflict between Baghdad and Erbil

Through yesterday, Iraq Body Count counts 39 people killed from violence in Iraq so far this month (13 alone yesterday).   Violence continues today.  Alsumaria notes a Diwainya armed dispute lead to 2 people dead and a third injured, and a Baghdad home invasion killed 1 Sahwa.  All Iraq News adds a Mosul attack left 1 police officer dead and two more injured, a Musayyib mortar attack left six people injured, a Mosul internet cafe owner was shot dead and 1 person was shot dead outside their Mosul home.

Yesterday, Al-Shorfa reports, Nouri al-Maliki's Baghdad government announced that 7 previously armed groups were joining the political process and they "include the 20th Revolution Brigades, Malek al-Ashtar Brigade, Khalid Bin al-Walid Brigade, Arab Tribes Sons Brigade, Omar Bin al-Khattab Brigade, Children of Iraq Brigade and Saqr Quraish Brigade."  This as Al-Bayyna reports a member of the Parliament's National Reconciliation Committee issued a statement declaring that reconciliation does not mean bringing in former Ba'athists.  He asserts that de-Ba'athifcation is the law of the land.  De-Ba'athification is the policy Paul Bremer oversaw in Iraq that forced Iraqis out of jobs.  That was the military, that was the government.  The reason?  Belonging to the Ba'ath political party.  That's a part that Saddam Hussein would eventually head in Iraq.  It's also a player throughout the Middle East and part of a pan-Arab movement.  De-Ba'athifcation is seen as a huge mistake.  And Nouri agreed to what we call de-de-Ba'athifcation.  He agreed to that in 2007.  But he never implemented it and, judging by the remarks today, there is no governmental interest in healing that division.

The standoff continues between Baghdad and Erbil over Nouri's decision to send forces (Tigris Operation Command) into disputed areas in northern Iraq.  Al Mada reports Islamic Superme Council of Iraq leader Ammar al-Hakim is calling for calm.   As the report continues, you'll note something in all the Iraq reporting today on this topic, consider it the Iraqi press saying "Suck it, AP," that Nouri al-Maliki has spoken with Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi about what al-Nujaifi spoke to KRG President Massoud Barzani on Tuesday about; however, Nouri's not spoken to Barzani.  Translation, there is no deal.  We noted it yesterday, the AP got it wrong.  Sadly, some US outlets have picked up on AP's garbage and have presented as fact.

You can't end a crisis without the two leaders involved speaking, I know that's difficult for the very stupid to understand but most of us on this planet can grasp what AP refuses to. Rudaw reports:

As many Iraqis worry about a possible war between Iraqi troops and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in the disputed northern territories, the country’s senior Shia clerics have issued religious prohibitions against such a conflict. 
The latest reaction came on Wednesday from the Najaf Hawza, the prominent Shia religious institution, which issued a fatwa saying that, "Fighting the Kurds is haram (religiously prohibited)."
"Those Iraqi soldiers who die in battle against the Kurds are not considered martyrs," the Hawza said in a statement. Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ignited tensions by sending in his controversial Dijla forces into the northern disputed territories that are also claimed by the Kurds. 
The autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government dispatched thousands of its own Peshmerga forces into the territories, setting off a tense stand-off that has endured for weeks.

All Iraq News reports that this morning Sheikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai, in a prayer sermon, declared that the conflict should be resolved by the Constitution.  Juma Abdulla (Al-Bayyna) adds that Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has warned that Nouri al-Maliki is playing with fire by his actions. 
Last night, Al Mada filed a lengthy report on the press conference that AP distorted.  Distorted?  AP lied.  They have had more than enough time to correct their error.  They lied. Al Mada notes -- as other Iraqi outlets did yesterday -- that Nouri's remarks were that there were two proposals currently -- not that the situation had been resolved (as AP falsely reported) and that he declared this at the joint-conference he held with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (AP also 'forgot' that fact). (For Ban Ki-moon's remarks at the news conference see yesterday's snapshot.)  All Iraq News adds that the Secretary-General spoke with KRG President Massoud Barazni over the phone yesterday.  Al Mada reports that Ban Ki-moon also met with Osama al-Nujaif and Parliament.

All Iraq News reports al-Nujaafi and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani discussed ways to resolve the crisis late yesterday evening.  Osama al-Nujaifi issued a statement afterwards thanking Talabani for his continued efforts at resolving the crisis.   And the outlet notes that MP Susan Saad (with the al-Fadhila Party) issued a call today for direct dialogue to end the crisis, noting that it does not serve Iraqi interests for the crisis to continue.  In her statement, she uses "we" and makes clear she is speaking on behalf of the al-Fahila Party.

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