Thursday, November 28, 2013

The dingo dog with fleas

As long expected, ExxonMobil unloaded a dingo dog with fleas today.  Global Times reports, "American energy company Exxon Mobil sold part of its controversial stake Thursday in a massive Iraqi oilfield to PetroChina and Indonesia's Pertamina amid a long-running row with Iraq's central government.  The sale of the stake in the West Qurna-1 field in south Iraq, one of the country's largest, marks a key step toward resolving the dispute with the central government over Exxon's contracts with the autonomous Kurdish region."  When ExxonMobil signed a deal with the KRG, Nouri and his flunkies stamped their feet in public, then Nouri said that the US government had said they'd stop the deal, then spokesperson for the US State Dept Victoria Nuland had to note the obvious:  the US government cannot force an oil company to do anything.  Iraq has a history of state-owned oil companies.  That's not the western model -- or the model the US government has repeatedly attempted to impose on Iraq since invading in 2003. Nouri didn't grasp that reality.

Once he did, he began insisting that ExxonMobil couldn't have the KRG deal and the West Qurna deal.

Nouri's an idiot.  The West Qurna field is seen as a dingo dog with flease.

It was part of an embarrassing auction that Nouri's flunkies held and then re-held when the first one did so poorly.

Multi-national oil corporations aren't thrilled with the deals themselves that Baghdad's offering nor are they impressed with the so-so quality of the fields being offered.

By contrast, they feel the KRG provides better deals and has richer fields.

Again, the deal was a dog.

Which is a good time to work in George Michael's "Shoot The Dog" (first appears on George's Patience album).

The illegal war has brought nothing but misery to Iraq.  And yet US outlets don't feel compelled to cover what's taking place.  They certainly don't feel remorse over selling the illegal war.   Ali Mamouri (Al-Monitor) reports:

Iraqi Justice Minister Hassan al-Shammari announced Oct. 23 that he had prepared a Sharia-based personal-status law and submitted it to the cabinet for approval and referral to the Council of Representatives for passage. Should the law be approved, Iraqi municipalities would be required to apply penalties that violate human rights, such as mutilation and stoning, among others.
[. . .]
Civil society movements have launched an extensive campaign in Iraq against the draft law for widely violating human rights, especially those of women and children. Mustafa Kazimi, an Iraqi human rights and democratic activist, wrote on his Facebook page, “This arbitrary and unjust law’s clear violations against the disadvantaged in situations such as granting legal license for parents to marry off girls who are under nine years old and boys who are under 15 years old is an offense against children and an exploitation of childhood. This draft law also considers that a husband provides nafaqah [housing, food and clothing] in return for the sexual pleasure provided to him by his wife. This is an obvious insult to women and a waste of dignity.”
Attempts to impose Sharia in Iraq will likely lead to deeper sectarian divisions in the society, as religious views differ from one sect to another. Accordingly, there have been calls in some Sunni quarters to separate themselves from the Shiites and establish a Sunni state in their areas, in part because, they allege, the Shiites are moving toward the declaration of a Shiite state.

In the week where a teacher slapped a young girl for not wearing a veil at a public school, Abbas Sarhan (Niqash) reports some good news for Iraqi women:

Only a few years ago a woman driving on the streets of Karbala was an unusual sight, one that some considered indecent and odd. But this has changed a lot, with more women driving and more locals considering it acceptable. And despite the city’s conservative ways, local authorities are now sending their female staff to driver education courses.

Local woman Ruqaya is proud that she was one of the first females, if not the first, to drive a car in the conservative Iraqi city of Karbala. She’s a school teacher and she was taking taxis to work every day. “This was costing almost one quarter of my salary,” she explained to NIQASH. “So I decided to buy a car. It was an old Daewoo and I bought it for US$3,000. In 2009, I sold it and bought a sportier model, a Kia.”

That was in 2005. “It was strange to see a woman driving a car here,” she continues. “People often looked surprised or outraged when they saw it. And there were men who would make fun of female drivers and who made jokes about them.”

Once when her car broke down, Ruqaya had to leave it next to a petrol station and she was jeered at by those who saw her predicament as she left the car.

Karbala didn’t have any actual laws forbidding women from driving and, unlike in some Gulf States, there has never been a fatwa, or religious edict, issued that forbids women from driving. But in Karbala, which is a seat of religious learning and also the home to some of the most important sites in Shiite Islam, it was expected that citizens would abide by the “rules of decency” and avoid any “forbidden acts”. For many, this meant that women should not be behind the wheel of a car.

However this has changed. “On the whole I think the people of Karbala are civilized in the way they deal with women drivers,” Ruqaya tells NIQASH. “And today there are dozens of women driving in the city. Some of them even drive to other provinces.”

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Don't Forget The Turkey" went up this morning.

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