Sunday, September 22, 2013


First, entries will most likely go up late tomorrow morning.  You've been warned. 

The New York Times, apparently too broke to cover Iraq anymore, yet again carries an AP article.  If they're not able to provide international coverage, why is the New York Times still publishing?  International coverage was always their calling card.  AP notes a Sunni funeral in Baghdad was attacked by a suicide bomber who took his own life and that of 16 other Iraqis while leaving thirty-five injured.  That wasn't the only violence in Iraq today.

National Iraqi News Agency reports an attack on a Mosul military checkpoint left 2 Iraqi soldiers dead, a Mosul home bombing claimed 1 life and left a woman injured, 2 Mosul bombings left 5 police members dead and twenty police and Iraqi soldiers injured1 person was shot dead in Muqdadiya (another was left injured), and a Diyala Province bombing left one Iraqi soldier injured,

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) issued the following statement:

Baghdad, 22 September 2013 – The Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (DSRSG), Mr. Gyorgy Busztin, condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack that killed and injured dozens of mourners gathered in a funeral tent in Baghdad. كوردی

 “Violence in all forms must be condemned, but I am particularly appalled by the increasing number of vicious attacks against those already bereaved,” DSRSG Busztin said. 


The UN Envoy repeated his urgent call to the Iraqi authorities to do their utmost to halt the infernal cycle of violence. 

“Retaliation can only bring more violence and it is the responsibility of all leaders to take strong action not to let violence escalate further,” Mr. Busztin added in a pressing appeal for restraint.

The State Dept had no statement.  Retaliation?  Saturday saw the bombing of a Shi'ite funeral in Baghdad (Sadr City).  Today, it was a Baghdad Sunni funeral.  It may have had nothing to do with Saturday's bombing; however, it may have been a response (or retaliation) bombing. 

The State Dept had nothing to say.

That's not surprising.

The State Dept has failed again.  And again.

What is shocking is that they were silent all weekend. 

What am I talking about?

UNAMI also issued this statement Saturday:

Erbil, 21 September 2013 - The Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (DSRSG), Mr. Gyorgy Busztin, welcomes the smooth conduct of the Parliamentary Elections in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. كوردى

“I want to congratulate the people of the Kurdistan region for their participation and their contribution to the democratic process,” DSRSG said, adding that he was particularly pleased with the high turnout and the peaceful and non-violent nature of the polling. 


Mr. Busztin commended the professionalism of IHEC in carrying out the elections after visiting a number of polling centres in Erbil and welcomed the work of the High Electoral Security Committee (HESC) in assuring safe conditions for voting. 
“Today’s orderly polling is an encouraging sign for the long overdue upcoming Governorate Council Elections on 21 November,” he concluded.

And the US State Dept?  Again, no statement.

Before everyone at the State Dept went home Friday evening, it was known that the KRG would be voting Saturday.  But no one had time to draft a statement?

The voting was a big deal.  (Jim and I discuss it in "The KRG elections.")  1,129 candidates were running for 111 seats, over a million people voted.  The voting took place without incident. 

If John Kerry has time to pretend he's the Secretary of Defense and the President, he should damn well have time to do his duties as Secretary of State.  But apparently, he's talking war on Syria not in addition to doing his job but, in fact, instead of doing his job.

Relations between the US government and the KRG are at an all time low.  It's not helped by the State Dept not issuing a word of congratulations.

The White House was silent as well -- not even a Tweet.

Again, relations are at an all time low.

In the past, the US government could ignore that.  Like Nouri, they could count on Jalal Talabani to play the doormat and do so gladly.  But Jalal's not been in Iraq since 2012.  KRG President Massoud Barzani is the face of Kurdish leadership today and he's not the doormat Jalal is.  (Which is part of the reason he's become so popular.)

Barzani issued a statement today congratulating the KRG citizens on their participation in Saturday's vote and the peaceful process which he hailed as a victory for the region and for the people.  He called for peace and harmony as well as respect for the official results which the Independent High Electoral Commission is supposed to announce shortly.  Rudaw has the unofficial totals up now.

I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name

 The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4488.

The latest from Third went up earlier tonight:

 On this week's Law and Disorder Radio,  an hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) topics addressed include compassionate prison release and mandatory sentencing and the guests are Laura Whitehorn, Mujahid Farid and Ethan Nadelmann.  I will try to work into a snapshot this week Heidi Boghosian's new book Spying on Democracy: Government Surveillance, Corporate Power and Public RelationsKat's "Kat's Korner: Cher's Closer To Perfection" went up earlier today. The e-mail address for this site is