Monday, January 21, 2013

Protests, bombings, another day in Nouri's Iraq

For six long years, Nouri has been prime minister of Iraq and every day is pretty much another day of violence.  Hard not to see the two as connected.

Violence continues in Iraq.  All Iraq News reports 1 officer with the Ministry of Electricity was shot dead in Baghdad.  Alsumaria notes a Falluja roadside bombing has left two police officers injured and a Mosul roadside bombing left one soldier injured All Iraq News also notes a Baghdad roadside bombing which left three people injured. And Alsumaria is just noting an assassination attempt on a Patriotic Union of Kurdistan convoy.

In addition, Orhan Coskun, Daren Butler, Nick Tattersall and Keiron Henderson (Reuters) report, "An explosion rocked the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline carrying crude oil from Iraq to Turkey on Saturday night but oil flows were continuing and exports were not affected, Turkish energy officials said on Monday." Business New Europe offers, "The increasingly common attacks on the pipeline are testament to the troublesome neighbourhood in which it runs. On both the northern and southern side of the border between northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey it is vulnerable to separatist Kurdish forces, whilst it is also exposed to attack by insurgents fighting the Iraqi state."  Also on oil, Press TV notes that "substantial crude oil reserves" were discovered in Maysan Province.

Protests also continue in Iraq.  Al Bawaba notes Talal  Ali Abbas, the 26-year-old who set himself on fire at the Mosul protest Sunday, and they point out, "The protesters feel that they are being marginalised by the Maliki government, and are asking for people to be released who have been arrested under counter terrorism laws."  Kitabat reports that today the protests continue in Mosul and that shops have closed in soldiarity and there will be a sit-in to protest the continued ignoring of the demands of protesters.  And they note that State of Law refuses to meet the demands of the protesters.  Late last night, we noted:

As the protests continue, you have people like KRG President Massoud Barzani talking of the need for a solution.  Al Mada reports on how he feels the protesters must be listened to and legitimate concerns addressed.  Aswat al-Iraq adds, "Ex-Kurdish premier Barham Saleh expressed his concern on the continuation of the crises in Iraq, pointing "if these are not confronted, the country will end into party or national catastrophe, which will affect not only Iraq but the region as a whole."  And Nouri's response?  Alsumaria reports it's to fly off the handle.
AFP summarizes it this way,  "The two issued rival statements in the latest in a series of disputes that have hardened opposition against al-Maliki and pitted him against several of his erstwhile government partners, including Iraq’s main Kurdish political faction, who accuse him of authoritarianism and sectarianism."  Of course, AFP also maintains, "Iraq’s protests began on December 23 in [. . .]"

That is completely false.  Not partially, completely.  From the snapshot for Friday, December 31st:

In Iraq, it's seasonal tidings.  Yes, that time of the year when Nouri uncorks The Crazy.  How bad is it?  So bad that rumors attach War Criminal Henry Kissinger's name to the current crisis.   Or, with a take from a different angle,  conservative Max Boot (Commentary) proclaims, "Ho hum, another holiday season, another power grab by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki."  AFP says the new crisis "threatens to reignite a long-running feud between the secular, Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc" and Nouri and his State of Law political slate.  What the heck are we talking about?  Look at this Reuters photo (individual photographer is not credited by the news agency or we'd note him or her by name) of the thousands who turned out to protest in Falluja today demanding Nouri al-Maliki resign as prime minister.
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.

So either the protests started December 21st (as we've documented) or they started, as AFP maintains, the 23rd and I'm some sort of prophet or psychic.

(In the words of Carly, "I'm no prophet and I don't know nature's ways.")

Hey, look, here's what AFP reported on December 21st, "About 500 people protested against the arrests and Maliki on Friday in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, and several hundred also took to the streets of Samarra and Tikrit, north of the capital."  So what they don't know today, they did know then.

In other news out of Iraq,  Dar Addustour reports a Saturday earthquake in Dhi Qar Province (4.2 on the Richter Magnitude Scale) has forced residents of Nasiriyha and Rifai to leave their homes.  Alsumaria notes that the region last saw an earthquake April 28th (and that was a 3.9 on the Richter Magnitude Scale).  In other disaster news, Alsumaria notes that Diyala Province has registered four people with the flu in what they're billing as pandemic influenze.  Tuesday the province formed a committee to address the epidemic. and Tuesday also found one woman in Babylon confirmed as having died from H1N1 flu (avian flu).

I will look and see if there's need for a snapshot or even another entry from me.  I had planned to do two.  But we've got Isaiah's comic right after this.  Later we will have Ruth with a radio report and Kat with an album review.

The e-mail address for this site is


iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq