Thursday, April 11, 2013

That Baghdad National Museum and other lies

Sometimes you can get lost in the maze of lies the media's provided about Iraq.  Sometimes.  Not today.  Let's drop back to March 18, 2009:

They just tell what ever lie they want to. That became obvious last night on ABC's World News Tonight. See this is what happens when you make someone an anchor who should have been fired long ago for falling asleep on air. Charlie Gibson was jizzing over "Dramatic changes, no where more dramatic than in Baghdad" in his frenzied rush to set up Terry McCarthy for another "I was in Baghdad [with three bodyguards] I'm not now. I will proclaim it safe now that I am out of Baghdad and no one should wonder why ABC and I have refused to do live reports from Iraq."

Terry opened last night's 'report' with, "Snapshots of a city reborn. Speed. Light. Style. This is Baghdad today. Where car bombs give way to car races. Where a once looted museum has been restored and reopened. Where --"

Stop the tape. Damn liars everyone of them. But let's zoom in on Terry McCarthy's last lie. Baghdad's museum -- the "looted museum" -- has been restored and reopened? In what world?

These liars think they can get away with anything. Baghdad's museum is not restored and it is not reopened. It's not even open. It is in the (long) process of (hopefully) being restored. It has not been restored. Nor is it open. In a 'report' on what Iraqis do now -- they shop! they race! they go to the musuem! -- it needs to be noted that the Iraqi National Museum WAS NEVER open to the public this year. It was open for one day, invitation only -- press and dignitaries. Those late to the party can see "The for-show, one-day opening" (Feb. 24th).

Yes, we're back to that darn national museum in Baghdad.  So many 'openings' for a museum that never opened.  Diaa Hadid (AP) reports today, 'Ten years after Iraq's national museum was looted and smashed by frenzied thieves during the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein, it's still far from ready for a public re-opening."

The museum has grabbed so many headlines over the years (starting in 2003 with Bremer) for it's 'opening' but it's still not opened.  It's like the electricity which is always on the verge of being reliable and fully operating . . . yet somehow never gets there.  This week Omar al-Shaher (Al-Monitor) reported on the promise by Minister of Electricity Karim al-Jumaili that, by November 1st, the electricity problems would be over in Iraq and 24 hours of power would be available to all:

However, the US Energy Information Administration, a body providing statistics and economic analysis, mentioned in a detailed report about the electricity situation in Iraq that “for most of the postwar period from 2003-2012, Iraq has struggled to meet its power needs.”
The recent report noted that “daily outages lasting 16 hours per day have not been uncommon, even though $45 billion was spent on this sector.” The report ruled out the possibility of providing 24-hour electricity as promised by the prime minister and the minister of electricity.

All Iraq News adds that MP Hassan Wahab, who sits on the Oil and Energy Committee, states that promies being made to the Iraqi people about the electricity are "exaggerated" and "fake." Wahab is with Ammar al-Hakim's Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.  More importantly, as late as 2010, he was the adviser to the Ministry of Electricity.  As late as then, he was explaining how, if certain measures were taken, Iraq could fix the electrical problems in three years.  Those measures were never taken.  The museum, the electricity, there's never in progress in Nouri's Iraq.  And yet he wants a third term as prime minister.  With so very little to show for it.

Alsumaria reports that Nouri met today in Baghdad with a Kurdish delegation to discuss the various crises and that Nouri was in agreement with a great deal.  It would appear the threat of Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi returing to Iraq (to Erbil) has suddenly conveyed to Nouri the need to get along.  MP Hassan Wahab has protested in statements in Parliament in the last weeks over the refusal of Nouri to allow Anbar Province and Nineveh Province to participate in the provincial elections scheduled for April 20th.  As it stands currently, only 12 of Iraq's 18 provinces are set to to participate.

Martin Kobler is United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Envoy to Iraq.  All Iraq News reports that Kobler arrived in Nineveh Province today.  Alsumaria reports that he met with election officials, some candidates for provincial office and the protesters who have been protesting Nouri's government for over 100 days now.  Alsumaria interviewed various people in Nineveh and found sadness and anger over Nouri's announcement that they cannot hold elections.  NINA quotes Coordinating Committee of Liberal Square head Ghanem Abid stating,  "Kobler met with the Governor of Nineveh, Atheel al-Nujaifi and some of the candidates for the local elections and representatives of the protesters to resolve the main outstanding problems in the province of Nineveh and calm the political situation in the province."

Wael Grace (Al Mada) reports that protesters in Anbar Province dismiss the talk of ending the Justice and Accountability Law (and commission) as "talk, just talk."  You may remember the western press has been infatuated with that.  So infatuated, they've failed to note that Moqtada al-Sadr has come out firmly against it.  Today All Iraq News reports that MP Hussein al-Mansouri, with Sadr's bloc, denounced the proposal and accuses Nouri's State of Law of being in bed with Ba'athists.   Al Mada notes Hezbollah of Iraq's Secretary-General Watheq al-Battat  is also strongly opposed to the proposal.  Alsumaria notes that activists and intellectuals in Baghdad are protesting the proposal.  It's interesting how the western outlets 'report.'  They took a proposal and treated it as though it were a law passed by Parliament.  As non-stop objections have built inside Iraq over the last few days, they've ignored reporting on that.  I guess it would take the bloom off the rose they call Nouri al-Maliki?

Alsumaria reports that the Electoral Commission notes 651,000 security forces will be voting in the provincial elections.  Dropping back to Tuesday's snapshot:

Still on the political, from the April 2nd snapshot, "Alsumaria reports that Salah al-Obeidi, spokesperson for the Sadr bloc, declared today that pressure is  being put upon police and military recruits to get them to vote for Nouri's State of Law slate."  Al Rafidayn reports today that Ammar al-Hakim, leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, has also called out the efforts to pressure police and army to vote for a specific list of candidate (Al Rafidayn notes that al-Hakim avoided naming the list in question).  

651,000 votes would be a lot to control, wouldn't they?  Alsumaria notes that Iraqiya adviser Hani Ashour declared that campaigns for provincial elections are spending close to one billion dollars which is shameful because the money could built ten hospitals across the country to address the needs of all the country's cancer patients.

And on violence, All Iraq News reports 1 police officer was shot dead in Mosul, and Sabah al-Kraiem (cousin of Iraqiya MP Shalaan al-Kraiym) was shot dead last night in front of his home.

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