Monday, October 28, 2013

The truth may interfere with Nouri's White House visit

Nouri al-Maliki, chief thug in and prime minister of Iraq, is scheduled to meet with US President Barack Obama on November 1st.  Nouri's a thug, he's a despot, he's had his forces kill peaceful protesters and he's paying, arming and outfitting Shi'ite militias to kill Sunnis in Iraq.

That's the background, the ugly reality, that too many in America just don't want to deal with.  They're aided by a lazy and compliant media that runs interference for the White House (which really doesn't want Iraq on the radar).  Life just got a little harder for the White House and Nouri.  The New York Times just published online (in print tomorrow) Ramzy Mardini and Emma Sky's "Maliki's Democratic Farce:"

 The political crisis Mr. Maliki triggered has endured, undermining years of American efforts to integrate Sunni Arabs into the Iraqi political process. Tensions have worsened as the civil war in neighboring Syria has turned into a sectarian, regional proxy war. The instability has breathed new life into Iraq’s Sunni insurgency, rejuvenating the coffers and confidence of militants, and eroding the cooperation of tribal leaders, which was crucial during the American “surge” of 2007.
Violence in Iraq has risen to levels not seen since 2008, now approaching 1,000 fatalities a month; Al Qaeda in Iraq has gained strength; the threat of a Shiite militia comeback has increased; and fear of a return to cycles of sectarian retribution is high.
In the midst of this storm, Mr. Maliki is scheduled to return to the White House this week, seeking security assistance from the United States. Combating terrorism is a mutual interest. But as Mr. Maliki prepares to seek a third term in 2014, Mr. Obama should insist that he adhere to democratic norms as a condition of American aid.        

The White House likes to pretend that Nouri -- like the Iraq War -- is Bully Boy Bush's issues.  Hell no. It is true that Nouri was the puppet the Bush administration installed in 2006.  (The Iraqi Parliament wanted Ibrahim al-Jafaari.)

But then came a little thing called the 2010 parliament elections.

Iraqiya, headed by Ayad Allawi, won those elections.

It was close!

This isn't horseshoes.

In this country, before the 2000 election Florida ballots were finally counted and released by the press (September 2001), we were told that so much didn't matter.  Not the country's popular vote, not the squeak by vote in Florida (which was a false count), etc.  It only mattered who won.

Setting aside issue of the Supreme Court wrongly shutting down the count, they were legally right.

In the US, the popular vote doesn't count.  It's meaningless.  The system is set up for the electoral college to determine who is president.  (There is nothing in the Constitution which gives the Supreme Court the right to decide an election -- what they did in 2000 was wrong and illegal.  The Congress is to decide matters involving the presidential election, not the Supreme Court.)

Many of us weren't happy.  But we were told the law was the law.  And, setting aside what the Supreme Court did, that is true.

But the US government and US media can't impart and stress that message in 2000 and then, in 2010 (and since then), insist that Iraqiya just edging out Nouri's State of Law makes Iraqiya's victory less then legitimate.

A win's a win.

In 1960, the fact that JFK got a plurality didn't mean he wasn't president, nor did the fact that 225,000 voters voting in that election chose not to vote for the presidential race, nor did the fact that 502,773 people elected to vote for someone other than JFK or his rival Richard Nixon, nor did it matter that Tricky Dick Nixon's 34,108,474 votes were so close to JFK's 34,221,531.

A win's a win.

Iraqiya won.  The White House refused to honor democracy or respect the process or Iraqi voters.

From John Barry's "'The Engame' Is A Well Researched, Highly Critical Look at U.S. Policy in Iraq" (Daily Beast):

Washington has little political and no military influence over these developments [in Iraq]. As Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor charge in their ambitious new history of the Iraq war, The Endgame, Obama's administration sacrificed political influence by failing in 2010 to insist that the results of Iraq's first proper election be honored: "When the Obama administration acquiesced in the questionable judicial opinion that prevented Ayad Allawi's bloc, after it had won the most seats in 2010, from the first attempt at forming a new government, it undermined the prospects, however slim, for a compromise that might have led to a genuinely inclusive and cross-sectarian government."

The White House did much more than acquiesce.

And as Barack prepares to meet with the despot the Iraqi people rejected but that Barack kept in office, America needs to be paying attention.

The US government overturned the votes of the Iraqi people in 2010.

It is why the violence increased.

So this visit matters for that reason alone.

In addition, killer Nouri wants a third term (and drones).  That's what this meet-up is about.

Nouri was never the choice of Iraqi voters.  He was imposed upon them twice by the US government.

Is it going to happen a third time?

Iraq Body Count counts 978 violent deaths so far this month through yesterday making this October the most violent in Iraq since 2007.   That's what Nouri's actions have produced.  Violence continues today.   National Iraqi News Agency reports 1 Sahwa was shot dead in Mada'in, 1 farmer was shot dead in an attack in Hamra village,  a Falluja sniper injured one police officer, a Tikrit roadside bombing left 1 person dead and another injured, an Abu Ghraib roadside bombing left 2 people dead and five more injured, and a Falluja sticky bombing killed 1 employee of the Ministry of Oil.

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michael r. gordon