Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Nouri blames others for his actions

Alsumaria reports that residents of Kirkuk took to the streets yesterday to show their solidarity with protesters in Anbar Province, Nineveh Province and Salahuddin Province and to echo the demands of the need for an amnesty law and for the Justice and Accountability Commission and law to be abolished along with Article IV.

Support for the protesters is only growing.  As Jamal Salim (Al Mada) has reported, Sheikh Abdul-Malik al-Saadi, prominent cleric in Al-Anbar Province, took part in the Sunday demonstrations and decried the path the country was currently on saying it was the path of "Hussein" (apparently Saddam Hussein).  Alsumaria reports that yesterday, in Najaf, cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr voiced support for the protesters at a press conference and noted that Nouri is responsible for what is taking place.  He called on Nouri to respond to the calls of the protesters.  He also warned that the Iraqi spring is coming.  He may be remembering (if so, he's the only leader so far that does) that Iraqi youth had called weeks ago for protests to start up in January.  Yasir Ghazi and Christine Hauser (New York Times) refer to him as "a populist Shiite leader" (noted because the western press usually just calls him "radical cleric" or "anti-American cleric") and notes:

Several times during the gathering, Mr. Sadr directed his remarks at Mr. Maliki, who has taken recent steps that suggested he was asserting greater control over many aspects of the government and that prompted fears he was cracking down on his political opponents.  Mr. Sadr's remarks could indicate that he is trying to test the political waters or possible support from the street before Iraq's provincial elections, which are scheduled for the spring.

Provincial elections are supposed to take place this April.  Jason Ditz ( observes, "Sadr’s support is key because he is not only a political rival of Maliki, but also a very influential Shi’ite cleric, and his support will make a crackdown against the protesters more difficult."

Kitabat notes that Nouri has issued a (long) statement today.  In it, he pushes responsibility off on others -- for example, he blames the Parliament for there not being an amnesty law.  That's a cute trick and he may get away with that.  Or outlets may point out -- as we did repeatedly this fall when the amnesty law came close to passing several times -- that the blocking of that legislation was State of Law -- Nouri's State of Law.  MPs from the political slate he leads are the ones who kept the bill from becoming law repeatedly.  Hopefully, some outlets will call Nouri on his lies.

Alsumaria notes that Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi and Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq are calling for a response to the legitimate demands of the protesters.  Both men are members of Iraqiya and Sunni but the main reason al-Mutlaq is side-by-side with Osama is because Sunday's incident demonstrated to him how far from other Sunnis he seemed.  In past years, he'd rush to Tareq al-Hashemi.  But the Vice President now resides in Turkey because Nouri and Nouri's kangaroo court declared Tareq a 'terrorist.'  And interesting point is being made in Iraqi social media today.  A lot of the anger at Nouri is fueled by what's happened to women and girls in Iraq prisons and detention centers (torture and rape).  And it's being pointed out that Nouri and his thugs might have felt like they could get away with it more this year because they ran Tareq out of the country.  For those who've forgotten, the treatment and conditions in Iraqi prisons was something Tareq repeatedly highlighted, often taking the press into a particularly bad prison so that conditions could be exposed.  With Tareq out of the country, no one's been able to.  Parliament has objected all year long to the fact that Nouri has suspended their visitation rightts.

Colin Freeman has an angry piece at the Telegraph of London.  Unless it's the League of Righteous, Colin Freeman doesn't really write about Iraq that much for the Telegraph anymore.  He might need to speak with others at the paper who cover Iraq because his article leaves the strong impression that he's unaware of the protests that took place in Iraq last January, that morphed into the Friday protests in February, as well as the efforts by Nouri to sick his forces on the protesters and on reporters.  Again, it's an angry piece and maybe the anger isn't fueling the writing so much as blinding the writer.  I don't know.  But I do know the Telegraph covered last year's protests.  I'd also just toss out that using the term "redneck" to refer to residents of an Iraqi province shows something other than objectivity or, for that matter, grace.

I can't stop laughing at Victor Davis Hanson's piece for The National Review.  He's a right-winger, the publication is right-wing, so I'm not going to be in agreement with most if any points (I keep stealing sneaks at paragraphs and then returning to writing this -- I'm about half-way through the article).  I'm not laughing at his writing or what he's written -- again, being left makes it unlikely that I would agree with it.  I'm laughing at all the foolish writers at, for example, The Nation magazine who never saw this coming.  We've only pointed it out repeatedly for four years now. (And that's here but I'm also thinking of repeated conversations I've had with two people at The Nation.)  Supposedly, Max Boot (also a right-winger) has written something similar to Victor Davis Hanson's article but I haven't seen that yet. 

At any rate, with deaths from violence increasing in 2012, with Nouri showing his thug nature more each day, it may be time for the White House to actually make an effort to look involved with regards to Iraq?  Or maybe they can just earn more articles like the one Victor Davis Hanson has written and they can just sit back while Bully Boy Bush continues to see his favorables increase in polls?  We'll probably make this a big part of the snapshot today.

Cedric and Wally posted this morning:

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