Thursday, February 14, 2013

State of Law the eternal joke, State Dept not so great either

Iraq is never going to get better under the current government.  An Alsumaria report makes that very clear.  Nouri's State of Law was the press favorite in 2010 leading up to the March elections -- so much so that NPR called the elections for Nouri -- before the votes were even counted.  Of course, when the votes were counted, the winner was Ayad Allawi's Iraqiya.   Barack Obama has no respect for democracy or Iraqis right to self-rule so he backed Nouri while Nouri dug his feet in for 8 months refusing to allow another prime minister to be declared.  Barack then had the US negotiate with the political blocs -- telling them that Nouri might hold for another eight months -- and declare the only way to end the political stalemate and allow a government to be formed was for the political blocs to ignore the voters and ignore the Constitution and give Nouri a second term via a contract -- the Erbil Agreement -- and, as a consolation prize, Nouri would toss in a few of the things they wanted.  Of course, Nouri used the contract to grab his second term and then went on to trash it, refusing to live up to his promises.  With that background, you'd think State of Law would be a little be grateful or maybe not just such piss-poor sports all the damn time.

Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi is a member of Iraqiya.  As with previous Speakers of Iraq's Parliament since 2006, he does travel to other countries.  Alsumaria reports that State of Law MP Kamal Saadi is saying al-Nuajafi's visit to Qatar is degrading -- and he's speaking on behalf of State of Law's coalition in Parliament.  Can they grow the hell up?

They can't pass a law.  They can't do a damn for the Iraqi people.  But State of Law thinks this is how you govern, bitchy little insults about the Speaker of your Parliament?

It doesn't make State of Law look mature, it doesn't make them look like leaders.  They're losers who were turned into winners by Barack Obama and weren't even smart to then become grateful winners, they're sore winners whose petty actions and statements suggest a level of immaturity previously unseen on the world stage.  Their attacks do not harm Osama al-Nujafi, it just makes State of Law looks like a group of bad sports who can't stop bitching and that inability to stop whining about every event and action is why they can't govern.

Iraqis continue to protest.  Ned Parker (Los Angeles Times) is back in Iraq and offers this take on the protests:

Something has broken. Much of Iraq's minority Sunni Muslim population appears to have run out of patience with Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, a religious Shiite Muslim who has ruled since 2006. In recent weeks, Sunnis by the thousands have carried out a campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience, closing off the main roads to Fallouja and Ramadi in the west and mounting demonstrations in Samarra, Baghdad and Mosul.
The rallies are a testament to problems left unresolved when the U.S. military campaign ended here, and to the new tension that has spread throughout the Middle East. Angry citizens of other countries have overthrown entrenched rulers through street protests or armed revolt. In neighboring Syria, Sunnis have risen up as well, forming the backbone of the insurgency against President Bashar Assad.
Though the protests have taken Iraq by surprise, they were triggered by two events no different from many in recent years that have left Sunnis feeling like second-class citizens: news reports about the rape of a woman in prison and the arrest of a local politician's bodyguards. But the original causes no longer matter; they have mushroomed into a larger outrage.

The protests have seen violence.  If you're a liar like US State Dept spokesperson Victoria Nuland, you act as though it's been from the protesters.  The only people who've died in the last week at a protest were protesters and they were killed by Nouri al-Maliki's forces.

Liars like Victoria Nuland enable thugs like Nouri al-Maliki.  Human Rights Watch is calling for a real investigation into the attack on the protesters in Falluja

Iraqi authorities should complete promised investigations into the army killings of nine protesters in Fallujah on January 25, 2013, and make the results public. The authorities need to ensure that there will be independent investigations into the deaths, in addition to the promised inquiries by a parliamentary committee and the Defense Ministry, and that if there is evidence of unlawful killing, those responsible are prosecuted.' In the January 25 incident, protesters threw stones at army troops, who responded with live fire.
“Iraqi authorities seem to think that announcing an investigation is all that’s required when security forces kill protesters,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The government needs to show it will not tolerate abuses by making public the results of the investigation and ensuring that those responsible are investigated and prosecuted for any unlawful use of lethal force.”
Demonstrations have been a regular occurrence in Anbar province, west of Baghdad, and in other parts of Iraq since December 20, 2012, when Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered the arrest of 10 of Finance Minster Rafi al-Essawi’s bodyguards. Demonstrators responded with largely peaceful gatherings, protesting what they said was the government’s unfair treatment of Sunnis and calling for reforms to address incarceration of Sunnis with little or no evidence.
The January 25 violence erupted during a sit-in in Fallujah, one of many sites of regular demonstrations in Anbar province. Based on media and witness accounts, demonstrators and army troops clashed when protesters threw stones at soldiers as they made their way to the sit-in. The army’s response culminated in soldiers firing live rounds, killing seven people, according to these accounts. Another two people who were wounded in the shootings died later from their injuries.
Iraqi media reports said that unknown assailants had killed two Iraqi soldiers earlier in the day at the al-Nemiya checkpoint. Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani confirmed the protesters’ deaths but said that security forces had killed two of the people earlier in the day as they attacked the checkpoint, and that demonstrators later brought them to the sit-in site to be counted among those killed by the army shootings.
Witness statements and media footage indicate that demonstrators threw stones at soldiers and burned an empty army vehicle. Some witnesses said the soldiers could have avoided being harmed without resorting to lethal force. Human Rights Watch spoke with three protesters and a soldier. They offered differing accounts of the clashes, although all agreed that the army fired, hitting members of a crowd of several hundred protesters after the protesters began throwing rocks in the direction of an army checkpoint near the highway.
The protesters said that they outnumbered the soldiers, but threw rocks at the soldiers from a great distance. Witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch said that although the protesters threw rocks, they were not armed and were not threatening the lives of Iraqi soldiers.
The soldier said that, angered by reports of the earlier attack at an army checkpoint, soldiers fired into the air, unintentionally killing demonstrators, and that soldiers withdrew when demonstrators began throwing rocks. Human Rights Watch could not independently confirm the precise sequence of events or number of casualties.
Human Rights Watch also spoke with an employee at Fallujah’s main hospital, who said that the hospital treated 45 people shot at the demonstrations that day.

The John Kerry-led State Dept needs to show Victoria Nuland to the door.  She never should have been made a spokesperson -- she was Dick Cheney's Deputy National Security Advisor in the lead up to the Iraq War.

How do even the most craven rank and file Democrats tolerate that?

Dick's little helper in the illegal war gets to be the face of the State Dept?

Her lying and her lack of respect for human life -- though she loves the thugs that lead regimes -- mean she needs to go.  She and others have acted a great deal like Gwen Ifill in one of Gwen's most shameful moments which we'll relive in the snapshot later today.  It's the moment Gwen showed her true nature and wanted to laugh -- too bad her chuckles were at dead people.

As the US government continues to embrace thug Nouri, let's note a new development.  But in order for it to really register, we need to drop back a bit.  This is from a June 27, 2012 post by AZ Attorney entitled "Rebuilding Iraqi Justice From the Ashes" (AZ Attorney):

Through planning or happy coincidence, the State Bar of Arizona Convention last week concluded with a focus on the big concepts that drive law and make attorneys and judges worthy of the label “professional.”
If any profession is to tease out and examine the necessary concepts that underlie it, a fine way to do that is to observe the profession under stress. For that reason alone, the remarks of the Iraqi Chief Justice were a superlative end to Convention.
I wrote before about the visit to Arizona of Chief Justice Medhat Al-Mahmoud. If anything, his insights surpassed attendees’ expectations.
He was introduced by ASU Law School Dean Doug Sylvester, who reminded us that Iraq and its environs are not merely the cradle of civilization; they are the cradle of our legal system.
And then the Chief Justice, his Farsi translated by a dedicated assistant, explained what it was like to have that cradle overturned—and smashed to bits.
When the coalition powers dissolved the Iraqi security agencies, he said, those powers aimed to loosen the grip the agencies had on the people. To an extent, they succeeded. But the rule of law was eliminated, as well.
One of the most concrete examples of that elimination was the destruction of the Ministry of Justice by fire.
“But,” said the Chief Justice, “the judges wanted to go back to the court, sit at their desks and perform their duties.”
“The judiciary realized its role in bringing back the rule of law to Iraq, especially in the capital.”
This realization occurred, of course, when the nation was at war and risk was everywhere. Given that, a courageous focus on the rule of law defies belief.

That was a post about Iraq's Chief Justice Medhat al-Mahmoud.  This is from the US Justice Dept, April 5, 2011:

BAGHDAD – The Governments of Iraq and the United States of America held their first meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) for Law Enforcement and Judicial Cooperation under the auspices of the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement.
The JCC meeting, held over the weekend, was co-chaired by the Honorable Medhat al-Mahmoud, the Chief Justice and President of the Iraqi Higher Judicial Council (HJC), and U.S Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole.
The meeting builds on efforts to enable an enduring strategic partnership to increase capacity in Judicial Security, Detentions, and the Police Development Program.  
Chief Justice Medhat underscored Iraq's commitment to the Strategic Framework Agreement and hailed the close cooperation between the Department of Justice and the HJC in the field of the rule of law, protection of judges, and court security.  He also praised the Embassy’s efforts to introduce modern technology to some Iraqi courts and its positive effects on expediting the judicial process.

And that's the Justice Dept with kind professional words for Chief Justice Medhat.  Alsumaria reports 'independent' MP Sabah al-Saadi has accused Medhate al-Mahmoud of "crimes against humanity."   Ayad al-Tamimi (Al Mada) reports that the laughable Justice and Accountability Commission is up to its old tricks.  It's removed the judge from office.  He's a 'Ba'athist,' a criminal.  Again, the government wonders why they're seen as such a joke.

As for Sabah al-Saadi -- does "independent" stand for "insane"?

We took him seriously at one point here.  But like the little boy who cried wolf one time too many . . .

For those not familiar with al-Saadi, some of his past charges and claims include Nouri wanting to prosecute him for telling the truth -- September 2011 (that probably was true, an arrest warrant was issued but not executed), Nouri tried to assassinate him  -- September 2011 (if so, why didn't he ever try again?), he stated he had files proving corruption in Nouri's office and he would release them in a mater of days -- December 2012 (never did release them), he said Nouri was trying to bribe him with billions to keep him from releasing the documents -- December 2012 (well did he? is that why no documents were released) . . .

So al-Saadi's questionable.

Then there's the Justice and Accountability Commision which has always been used a tool by powerful Shi'ites (Nouri and Ahmed Chalabi primarily) to do away with political rivals.

So you've got questionable making a charge and you've got conniving going after the judge?  It's hard not to side with the judge on this one -- even though he may be guilty of the charges.  (Note to al-Saadi, that's why you don't make statements you can't back up -- over and over -- in public.)

Iraq Body Count counts 155 dead from violence through Wednesday.  The violence continues today, All Iraq News notes a Mosul home invasion that left 2 brothers dead -- one a soldier, the other a police officer.  The soldier was part of the security detail for Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi.  In addition, the outlet notes a Mosul bombing has left 2 police officers dead and a third injured.  Alsumaria notes another Mosul bombing which left one civilian injured (his legs were amputated).

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