Monday, January 07, 2013

Iraqi army attacks Mosul protesters

The thugs are out.  Victoria Nuland's praying she leaves the State Dept before the thugs do what they usually do.  Alsumaria reports Baghdad saw a (small) group of people today demonstrating in support of their thug and lover Nouri al-Maliki.  Though there's nothing cheesier than a little kiss-ass, that's not the cause for alarm.  The cause for alarm is these thugs.  When they surfaced in 2011, they attacked the protesters in Baghdad's Tahrir Square.  They are thugs and, once they surface, violence is usually not far behind.  Does Nuland -- who has attacked the peaceful protesters -- plan on attacking the goons?

Real protests took place today.  And the Mosul protesters were injured.   All Iraq News reports the Iraqi military attacked the protesters today.  First they fired shots in the air and second they attacked the protesters with batons.  The army then closed the public square.  Alsumaria counts at least four wounded demonstrators.   This assault was in contrast to the wishes of the Nineveh government (Mosul is in Nineveh Province).  As Alsumaria notes, the provincial government had ordered that the square be open to the protesters.  Alsumaria notes that Nineveh Council has announced they are opening an investigation as a result of the military crackdown on the protesters. 

Sunday, students demonstrated in Anbar Province, Al Mada reports, and planned for the Ramadi sit-in to cotninue today on the 92nd anniversary of the establishment of the Iraqi army.

On the protests, a question came in about my numbers.  Always check my math.  If you're wrong and I'm right, we'll consider it a fluke.  But in terms of how long the protests have been going on, you can check the snapshots.  We are counting from the December 20th arrest of 150 workers (including bodyguards) of Minister of Finance Rafie al-Issawi.  We could go back and count the protests against Nouri over his insults of Moqtada al-Sadr.  But we count from the 20th because it kicked off the daily protests in Iraq.

These protests start December 21st and from that day's snapshot:

After morning prayers, Kitabat reports, protesters gathered in Falluja to protest the arrests and Nouri al-Maliki.  They chanted down with Nouri's brutality and, in a move that won't change their minds, found themselves descended upon by Nouri's forces who violently ended the protest.  Before that, Al Mada reports, they were chanting that terrorism and Nouri are two sides of the same coin.  Kitabat also reports that demonstrations also took place in Tikrit, Samarra, Ramdia and just outside Falluja with persons from various tribes choosing to block the road connecting Anbar Province (Falluja is the capitol of Anbar) with Baghdad.  Across Iraq, there were calls for Nouri to release the bodyguards of Minister of Finance Rafie al-Issawi.  Alsumaria notes demonstrators in Samarra accused Nouri of attempting to start a sectarian war.

I actually don't think I've counted days.  I think we've just said here that the protests began on December 21st.  I may have quoted AP or someone saying X number of days.   But the continuous protests start December 21st and continue through today.  That would be 17 days (there were 31 days in December -- 21st through 31st is ten; add the 7 days of January so far).

Alsumaria notes that along with the arrests of al-Issawi's staff, the protests are fueled by the cry for the release of innocent detainees and prisoners and the treatment of women in prisons and detetion centers plus those who have tortured and raped women have not been punished.   All Iraq News notes Iraqiya MP Shaalan Karim called out the treatment of women in prisons and detention centers yesterday and that he decried the lack of accountability for the crimes and the refusal to punish security forces who have raped.

The Middle East North Africa Financial Network notes:

Al-Maliki's main concern is only to stay in power, but he faces several obstacles, primarily that this is his second and last term as prime minister. Although he has sought to amend the constitution to allow himself a third term, he has not yet succeeded. Al-Maliki may not complete his current term and thus now seeks alternative measures such as the dissolution of Parliament before it votes against him, and holding early elections.
Recent protests may mark the beginning of the first battle. Al-Maliki, who failed to collect enough votes in the elections, was appointed through a coalition and was given votes by the Shiite and Sunni Kurd parties.
However, this coalition's alliance equation has changed. As such, now he is open to an alliance with his opponents, whether it is the Shiite Sadrists or Sunni Arabs that are grouping against him through demonstrations and statements that surfaced in the last few days following the pursuit of another Sunni leader, Finance Minister Rafa Al-Essawi. Al-Maliki removed almost all the Sunni leaders and got involved in a confrontation with the Kurds in northern Iraq for reasons that seem to be linked to Iran's desire to make way for Syria to save the beleaguered Assad regime.
Al-Maliki marginalized Shiite leaders such as Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, who had more right to the premiership, and sensible politicians such as Adel Abdul Mahdi. He is getting closer to Iran, and willing to do anything it demands to stay in power.

Dar Addustour notes that Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi is meeting with the heads of various blocks -- including the Kurds, Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc, Iraqiya, the Yazidis -- to discuss calling Nouri before Parliament for questioning.  Among the topics supposedly being discussed are a vote to withdraw confidence in Nouri.

 Bonnie reminds  that Isaiah's  The World Today Just Nuts' "The Curse of Chuckie" went up Sunday.  Yesterday, Jody Watley offered "Quote of The Day.."  Media Channel's preparing it's re-launch (see last month's entry if this is news to you).  They've noted two things in the public e-mail.  We'll note one today and the other tomorrow.  This is from Danny Schechter's "Will Americans Ever Get To See Al Jazeera?" (Al Jazeera):

Why does our media system attract so many uninformed and unbrave people who are locked into such predictable and parochial attitudes? Do they have an agenda that the public is unaware of?
Take Time Warner. Remember how it initially would not run the then new red white and blue Fox News on its platform in New York City, forcing it to cough up a high "per-subscriber fee" to get on the air? That was a clear commercial dispute with a bit of extortion thrown in, an attempt to protect their news channel, CNN, from being challenged.
Now that Al Jazeera has bought Current TV, a channel shown on Time Warner cable, the Time Warner megacorp became the first system operator out of the box to say it would not carry the new news channel that the Qatar-based network wants to launch in America, in much the same way that BBC set up BBC America to offer its programming to US viewers.
Even as Time Warner carries Russia Today, CCTV out of China and other foreign-owned channels, it is excluding this channel before they even know what it will offer. This could be a ploy to jack up licence fees - a la Fox News - but there is probably more to it.
In reporting on the deal: Fox first focused on how much money - $100 million - it claims that Al Gore, an early investor in Current, will make for his 20 percent stake in the network. Bashing Democrats is always Fox's first priority (it now turns out that Glenn Beck wanted to buy Current, but Gore went with Al Jazeera).
Fox does not report on rumours that its owner Rupert Murdoch and his Saudi partner Prince Walid visited Al Jazeera and reportedly were interested in buying the channel, or that Al Jazeera frequently exposed bogus pro-US military propaganda that Fox carried as news during the Iraq War.

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