Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Aifan al-Issawi killed: Iraqiaya member, tribal leader, Sahwa

Alsumaria notes an attack on a Mosul polling station which left 1 security guard dead and another injured, the corpse of a 17-year-old girl was found tossed in the streets in Mosul, and a Mosul car bombing injured one member of the Dawa Party (Nouri al-Maliki's political party).  Alsumaria also reports that Iraqiya MP Aifan al-Issawi was killed by a suicide bomber in Falluja.

A year ago, Aifan al-Issawi was describing the situation in Iraq to Sam Dagher (Wall St. Journal, January 16, 2012) as, "We are preoccupied with how we can finish each other off."  Today he is dead.  Along with being an MP for Iraqiya, al-Issawi was also a tribal chief and one of the founding members of the Sahwa.  The Sahwa are Iraqis (largely Sunni -- but not just Sunni according to then-Gen David Petraeus' testimony to Congress in April 2008) who were paid to stop attacking the US military and their equipment.  April 8, 2008, Senator Barbara Boxer noted they were being paid $182 million a year by US tax payersAll Iraq News notes the attack took place today on 40th Street in central Falluja.  All Iraq News also notes 2 bodyguards were killed in the attack, 2 bystanders were killed and five more bystanders were injured.

All Iraq News reports that the head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq Ammar Hakim is calling for dialogue to address the continued crisis.  Alsumaria adds that Anbar Provincial Council is selecting a delegation to send to speak with cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr about ways to resolve the current crisis or crises.  Al Mada notes that there is a call for a national conference.  You may remember that Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi have been calling for one since December 21st -- December 21st of 2011.  Yes, the crisis has been going on that long.

On the topic of Jalal Talabani (currently in Germany following his December stroke), Hurriyet Daily News reports:

Iraq has been left much like a fatherless orphan because it has been deprived of a president capable of listening to problems and conducting mediation, one of the country’s top Shiite leaders said yesterday.
“If the problem of the presidency is not resolved, the dictatorship will spread to the presidency from the prime ministry, and this would make the situation worse and more problematic. Iraq is like a son without a father because it does not have its president who deals with problems and mediates,” influential Shiite figure Muqtada al-Sadr said in reference to the absence of President Jalal Talabani, who suffered a stroke last month and was flown to Germany for treatment.
His ailing health has raised concerns about his political future while also tipping off a new crisis in Iraq. The crisis has been worsened by weeks of demonstrations against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s rule in mostly-Sunni areas, with protesters alleging that the premier has misused anti-terror laws to wrongfully detain members of their community.

If Iraq is currently an orphan, it's got a psychotic nanny in Nouri al-Maliki.  The prime minister;s constant cries of 'wolf! wolf!' (or more often, 'Ba'athist! Ba'athist!') have left him a joke as Abdulrahman al-Rashed (Al Arabiya) points out:

"The government [of Iraq] has obtained high-level intelligence information about plans to carry out terrorist attacks against protestors."
You have to be ignorant about geopolitics to believe the story of this alleged intelligence, made public by an anonymous government source to justify the closure of the border crossing with Jordan and the subsequent damage inflicted upon the residents of al-Anbar.
Had the Maliki government enjoyed any credibility, we would have never doubted its reasons for closing the vital crossing to Jordan, for terrorism is a painful reality that still threatens Iraq. But Maliki’s government has decided to punish the people of al-Anbar, the province raging with anger against him and leading the popular opposition movement in Iraq.

This morning Cindy Sheehan posted "Who Is Rich Blee?" (I'm including that because we normally include her in the first post if she's posted by the time it goes up, she just missed it this morning).  And we'll close with this from Workers World:

Mass actions protest Iraqi regime, ‘second face of occupation’

By on January 14, 2013 » Add the first comment.

Following are excerpts from a Jan. 12 release from the International Anti-Occupation Network on recent developments in Iraq against the regime that was put in power by the nine-year-long U.S. invasion and occupation. The full release is at brussellstribunal.org.
Massive protests have taken place every day in Ramadi since Dec. 25, when more than 200,000 people demonstrated. These protests have expanded further to cities all over the country, in which hundreds of thousands have participated. …
A key element of the current protests has been the slogan for national unity and an end to sectarianism, as well as the denunciation of the [Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri] al-Maliki regime’s inability to meet these popular demands. Change is inevitable!
The protests are supported nationwide. Several Iraqi cities have sent delegations to join the demonstrators in Ramadi. Shiite religious leaders have encouraged the faithful to support the protests and there is a strong presence of Kurdish delegations in Mosul, Tikrit and Anbar. Symbols of political parties are avoided as much as possible to reinforce the spirit of national unity. …
The withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq did not signify an end to occupation. The U.S. footprint is still heavy. Accordingly, the Iraqi anti-occupation movements are opposed to what they call “the second face of the occupation.” This implies continued resistance against all structures imposed by the U.S. …
Despite the violent repression of the security forces and the militias of the sectarian political parties, the Iraqi people have now gone beyond the frontier of fear. There is no turning back.
The International Occupation Network warns the international community, including the United Nations and the European Union, that there are serious indications that the regime is planning on attacking Anbar [Province]. …The risk of major bloodshed is imminent, a situation for which al-Maliki and the U.S. occupiers have been warned that they will bear full responsibility if the demonstrators are harmed.
In this situation it is … of vital importance that all peace-loving forces support what is taking place on the streets of Iraq.
The protesters are justly demanding:
1. The immediate release of detained protesters and dissident prisoners.
2 . A stop to the death penalty.
3. The approval of an amnesty law for innocent detainees.
4. The abolition of anti-terrorism laws (especially Clause 4 used to target them).
5. The repeal of unfair rulings against dissidents.
6. Fair opportunities for work based on professionalism.
7.The end of the use of all military command based on geographic areas.
8. The provision of essential services to all areas in Iraq neglected by the state.
9. The holding of all … governmental officials, army or security units who have committed crimes against dissidents accountable, especially those who have violated the honor of women in prisons.
10. A U.N.-sponsored population count.
11. An end to marginalization, a stop to agitating divisions between ethnic and religious groups, and a stop to the house raids without legal warrant based on the information of secret informers.
12. A stop to financial, administrative and legal corruption.
13. The combating of sectarianism in all its forms by returning religious buildings and all religious properties to their rightful owners, and the abolishment of law No. 19 of 2005.
The International Occupation Network (IAON) welcomes the spread of these non-sectarian protests and supports the efforts of the Iraqi people to regain their full independence and national sovereignty. Ten years of foreign occupation is enough! Ten years of massive human rights violations is enough! Ten years of corruption and depriving the whole population of basic services is enough!
— The International Anti-Occupation Network / IAON
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