Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Jalal's in Germany, his bodyguard is killed in Iraq

Iraq is slammed with violence again today.  We're only noting one death in this entry, that of Colonel Sarawr Hama Rashed.  Xinhua reports that he was shot dead in his Sulaimaniyah home "in front of his wife" and that he was "the chief bodyguard of Iraq's president."

There are a numbers of angles to that murder.  You could talk about how violent it was and go on about how rare it is for the KRG to see such violence.

But the real story here is where he was killed and what his job is.

Jalal Talabani is the President of Iraq.  Or he's supposed to be.  The question continues to be: Can you be the president of a country you're not in?  Last December,  Iraqi President Jalal Talabani suffered a stroke.   The incident took place late on December 17th (see the December 18th snapshot) and resulted in Jalal being admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital.    Thursday, December 20th, he was moved to Germany.  He remains in Germany currently.

For those attempting to keep track, he's now been out of the country for over eleven months.

He's not doing his job.

The Talabani family have not allowed people to visit him -- including Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi.

When the first wave of rumors that Talabani had either died or was permanently  incapacitated, took hold in May, Jalal was posed for a series of photos that appear to indicate his body was present but that was all.


 The photos were compared to the film Weekend At Bernie's in Arabic social media.  (In the 1989 film, Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman play two men who drag the corpse of their boss, Bernie, around and pretend he's alive.)

When Jalal left Iraq last December, the Talabani family was down playing his condition.  They were falling back on the 'knee surgery' nonsense.

We can go into that in depth in the snapshot later today.  But the main point there is that in May of 2012, Jalal stabbed many Iraqi political leaders in the back and outraged many in the KRG by refusing to allow the no-confidence motion to be passed on.  As a result of the outrage directed at him, Jalal retreated to Germany where he remained for months.  He needed to have, his flunkies and family insisted, immediate surgery to take care of a life threatening condition.  This lie was repeated for weeks and weeks.  Jalal had knee surgery.

So there's a pattern of lying about Jalal's health.

And when the stroke took place, they attemtped to act as though he had problem related to his recent knee surgery.

Is Jalal alive?

Is he alive only because on machines?

Is he dead already?

These are serious questions.

He is the President of Iraq and he has been out of the country since his December stroke.

His family insists he's recovering and will be back in Iraq in a matter of weeks.

They've been insisting that since February.

What's the real story?

That question becomes more pertinent than ever as a result of the murder of Sarawr Hama Rashed.

If US President Barack Obama was taken ill and in the hospital for a week, let alone for months, the Secret Service would be all over the hospital and we would expect the highest ranking officers to oversee's Barack's safety.

So how is that Jalal's "chief bodyguard" was killed in Sulaimaniyah today (that's northern Iraq) while the man he's supposed to guard is in a German hospital?

National Iraqi News notes he was supposed "to head on Wednesday morning to Germany to visit President Jalal Talabani."   Yes, people do get days off.  It's doubtful you'd travel from Germany to the KRG for a weekend visit for no reason.  People do have vacations.  And maybe that's the excuse that the Talabani family will now offer.

But Jalal's been in Germany for 11 months.  He's never spoken publicly.  (The arranged photos in May were photos only.  No video.)  His family has clearly misled about his condition having promised repeatedly that he would be back in Iraq shortly.

There are rumors that he's dead. Those rumors have been circling for months.

Now the person responsible for protecting Talabani is dead -- not in Germany but in Sulaimaniyah.

This has now crossed over to disrespect for the Iraqi people.

Whatever his conditions is (unable to speak, in a coma, dead), it's not the Talabani's personal secret.  He is in public office and the Iraqi people have a right to know the real condition of their president who has now been absent from the country for 11 months and counting.

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