Wednesday, January 02, 2013

2012 sees increase in violent deaths in Iraq

Monday was the end of the month of December and Iraq Body Count reports 272 people were killed from violence in Iraq for the month. (Reuters has a video report on Monday's violence here.)  Monday was also the end of the year and Iraq Body Count tabulates 4,557 deaths from violence in Iraq for 2012.


In a report entitled "Iraqi  deaths from violence in 2012," Iraq Body Count explains:

2012 marks the first year since 2009 where the death toll for the year has increased (up from 4,136 in 2011), but 2012 itself has been marked by contrasts. While it seems December will be the least violent month in the last two years, June was the most violent in three years, so the improvements in the second half of the year are from that higher level of violence. It is premature to predict whether the record low levels of violence in the last quarter of the year will be sustained. Overall, 2012 has been more consistent with an entrenched conflict than with any transformation in the security situation for Iraqis in the first year since the formal withdrawal of US troops.
In sum the latest evidence suggests that the country remains in a state of low-level war little changed since early 2009, with a “background” level of everyday armed violence punctuated by occasional larger-scale attacks designed to kill many people at once.

Iraq Body Count also notes that March 2013 will mark ten years since the start of the Iraq War and that they "will provide an overview of the known death toll covering the invasion and the first full decade of its aftermath."

Violence continued yesterday.  Margaret Griffis ( counts 17 killed yesterday (sixteen injured). And violence continues today.  Alsumaria reports a Falluja car bombing has left seven people (three police officers) injured, a Tikrit roadside bombing injured one person,  a Kirkuk bombing claimed 1 life and a Babil car bombing that has left a number of people injured.

In other security news, Alsumaria reports that a delegation from Iraq's Ministry of Defense is in the Kurdistan Regional Government today.  It will meet in Erbil with the KRG's Ministry of  Peshmerga to discuss an agreement to resolve the issue stand-off in the disputed territories.  After years of refusing to implement the Constitution's Article 140 (which details how to resolve disputed areas), Nouri al-Maliki sent the Tirgris Operation Command into the disputed territories and it was seen as a move by him to claim the lands for Baghdad.  The Kurds responded by sending in the Peshmerga and you had a military stand-off.   Nouri earlier nixed a deal that Iraqi generals had reached with the Peshmerga.  The current proposal is the one Iraqi President Jalal Talabani had brokered before he took ill and was taken to Germany.  All Iraq News notes that a joint-statement from the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Peshmerga is expected later today.

If an agreement is reached, that doesn't necessarily mean anything. As Abdulghani Ali Yahya (Asharq-e) has pointed, out, "Furthermore, the al-Maliki government has failed to implement the numerous agreements it had signed previously with various parties to solve the crises that have devastated Iraq for years, such as the Erbil agreement for example, which allocated the Ministry of Defense to the Iraqiya coalition and reserved the National Council for Strategic Policies for the coalition's chairman, Dr. Iyad Allawi."

 Professor Francis A. Boyle is an expert in International Law and this is from his "Unlimited Imperialism and the Threat of World War III.  U.S. Militarism at the Start of the 21st Century" (Global Research):

During the 1950s I grew up in a family who rooted for the success of African Americans in their just struggle for civil rights and full legal equality. Then in 1962 it was the terror of my own personal imminent nuclear annihilation during the Cuban Missile Crisis that first sparked my interest in studying international relations and U.S. foreign policy as a young boy of 12: “I can do a better job than this!”
With the escalation of the Vietnam War in 1964 and the military draft staring me right in the face, I undertook a detailed examination of it. Eventually I concluded that unlike World War II when my Father had fought and defeated the Japanese Imperial Army as a young Marine in the Pacific, this new war was illegal, immoral, unethical, and the United States was bound to lose it. America was just picking up where France had left off at Dien Bien Phu. So I resolved to do what little I could to oppose the Vietnam War.
In 1965 President Lyndon Johnson gratuitously invaded the Dominican Republic, which prompted me to commence a detailed examination of U.S. military interventions into Latin America from the Spanish-American War of 1898 up to President Franklin Roosevelt’s so-called “good neighbor” policy. At the end of this study, I concluded that the Vietnam War was not episodic, but rather systemic: Aggression, warfare, bloodshed, and violence were just the way the United States Financial Power Elite had historically conducted their business around the world and in America. Hence, as I saw it as a young man of 17, there would be more Vietnams in the future and perhaps someday I could do something about it as well as about promoting civil rights for African Americans. These twins concerns of my youth would gradually ripen into a career devoted to international law and human rights.
So I commenced my formal study of International Relations with the late, great Hans Morgenthau in the first week of January 1970 as a 19 year old college sophomore at the University of Chicago by taking his basic introductory course on that subject. At the time, Morgenthau was leading the academic forces of opposition to the detested Vietnam War, which is precisely why I chose to study with him. During ten years of higher education at the University of Chicago and Harvard, I refused to study with openly pro-Vietnam-War professors as a matter of principle and also on the quite pragmatic ground that they had nothing to teach me.
Historically, this latest eruption of American militarism at the start of the 21st Century is akin to that of America opening the 20th Century by means of the U.S.-instigated Spanish-American War in 1898. Then the Republican administration of President William McKinley stole their colonial empire from Spain in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines; inflicted a near genocidal war against the Filipino people; while at the same time illegally annexing the Kingdom of Hawaii and subjecting the Native Hawaiian people (who call themselves the Kanaka Maoli) to near genocidal conditions. Additionally, McKinley’s military and colonial expansion into the Pacific was also designed to secure America’s economic exploitation of China pursuant to the euphemistic rubric of the “open door” policy. But over the next four decades America’s aggressive presence, policies, and practices in the “Pacific” would ineluctably pave the way for Japan’s attack at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 194l, and thus America’s precipitation into the ongoing Second World War. Today a century later the serial imperial aggressions launched and menaced by the Republican Bush Jr. administration and now the Democratic Obama administration are threatening to set off World War III.

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