Thursday, April 25, 2013

April's already seen over 400 dead from violence in Iraq

We were just discussing this nonsense in yesterday's snapshot, from Sinan Salaheddin's 'report' for AP:

Gunmen have taken over a Sunni town north of Baghdad after a firefight with security forces, exacerbating Iraq's recent turmoil, the country's Defense Ministry said on Thursday.
The seizure of the town of Suleiman Beg follows [. . .]

Really, "gunmen."  That's slanted language intended to misconstrue what's actually taking place.  Residents -- with guns -- are in control of their city.  Nouri's forces were repelled.  You can call them rebels if you want -- that is the appropriate term -- but when you say "gunmen" you are using charged language and taking sides by doing so.

I don't think that's Salaheddin's intent.  AP prides itself on using neutral language.  But this charged language has been used for ten years during the Iraq War.  It's time for everyone to get honest.  Related,  Al Mada reports the Iraqi National Union of Journalists is calling for objectivity in reporting

National Iraqi News Agency quotes the Mayor of Tuz Khurmatu says "militants" took over and that "military forces were forced to withdraw."

And after Tuesday's slaughter in Hawija, you better believe other Sunni towns and cities are not going to waive Nouri's forces in.  Mediators like the UN and the US have repeatedly tsked-tsked Nouri's targeting of Sunnis, his arrests of them and his torture of them.  And the Sunni population is just supposed to roll over.  (The same is true of the Kurds and every other group in Iraq.)

No, they're not going to.  Tuesday, they saw Nouri slaughter people taking part in a sit-in.  They saw those protesters mowed down by gunfire from helicopters and mowed down as tanks rolled over them.

The 'world leaders' have repeatedly covered for Nouri and asked everyone else in Iraq to be patient.  Patience now gets you killed.  The 'world leaders' have not condemned the actions and that only adds more fire to fuel.  If the actions were condemned, by Barack Obama or anyone else, the people targeted could feel the world was watching, that they had a defender somewhere.

Instead, the world's message has been: You are on your own.

And that's fine.  The Iraqi people are a strong people.  But after you make it clear, globally, that Nouri will get away with this again, don't you dare be surprised that the patience has been exhausted.

If even one world leader -- Ban Ki-moon, for example -- had stepped forward decrying what took place, the situation in Iraq right now would be a lot calmer.

NINA quotes Iraqiya MP Falah al-Naqib stating, "Since Iraq is still under Chapter VII that means the UN should play a bigger role, especially after what happened in Hawija."  All Iraq News reports Kurdish MP Latif Mustafa held a press conference today and declared, "The recent events in Hawija approved that the Premier, Nouri al-Maliki, represents a danger on Iraq."  He outlined Hawija events, "What happened in Hawija exceed the red limits of the government where Maliki announced the emergency condition and this a constitutional breach and the second breach is deploying the army inside the cities without the approval of the parliament.  The third breach is using the army for attacking the citizens since the demonstrations represent an internal issue and the police can deal with them."  Don't hold your breath waiting for AFP or Jane Arraf to ever note those basics.  Things like the law, they don't interest AFP and Arraf and make it harder to spin for Nouri.   MP Mustafa summed up, "Maliki became a danger on Iraq and we should investigate him at the parliament."

AFP counts 125 people dead in two days -- lets' hope Prashant makes time to put it into the database so maybe AFP can get their count right for the month and not be about 200 off like last month -- and 268 injured.

RT speaks with Westchester University Professor Lawrence Davidson who pins the violence on the the illegal war ["Since 2003, thousands, tens of thousands people have died as a part of this sectarian violence. We (US) opened Pandora’s box and we could not close it even when we were there."] and  he notes, "Maliki government's reputation has already hit bottom.  What we got is a government that is determined to maintain its position and crush opposition, particularly Sunni politicians."

On violence, through yesterday, Iraq Body Count counts 444 people dead from violence so far this month.  NINA notes that overnight in Mosul, armed clashes left 2 police officers and 1 military officer dead (and six more police injured) and ten people were killed in Mosul,  while today a Falluja home invasion left 2 Sahwa leaders dead, a Falluja drive-by left three of Nouri's federal forces injured, an Abid-Weis (north of Hilla) roadside bombing claimed the lives of 2 police and left two more injured, a sniper injured a police officer in Falluja and

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