Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bombings, shootings, it's Nouri's Iraq

Another day, another day of violence in Iraq.  National Iraqi News Agency reports a Samarra roadside bombing left three federal police wounded, a Balad roadside bombing claimed 1 life and left a second person injured, an armed exchange in Ramadi left two people dead, 1 person was shot dead "in the Baladiat area east of the capital Baghdad," a Mousl attack left 1 police officer shot dead and three more injured, a Baaj roadside bombing claimed 1 life and left three more people injured, 1 police officer (working as a bodyguard for a judge) was shot dead in Shura, a Ysifiyah ("south of Baghdad") suicide bomber took his own life and the lives of 6 pilgrims with thirty-five more injured, a Latifiya roadside bombing left 4 pilgrims dead and twenty more injured. and a Dora suicide bomber took his own life and the lives of 17 people with thirty-five more injured.

Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) notes the Dora suicide bombers' death toll has risen to 18 and that a Bahgdad home invasion late last night left two parents and their two children dead (the father had been a Sawha).

On the topic of violence, someone call The Huffington Post!

And deliver the bad news: Truth and reality can be told.

Not at The Huffington Post, of course, but at Majalla where Curtis Ohlers surveys the conflict in Iraq and notes:

Iraq’s political decline and sectarianism resurfaced most visibly after the 2010 Iraqi elections. The results rendered a narrow defeat of Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki’s State of Law Coalition (SLC) by the Iraqiya coalition. Iraqiya was a Shi’a and Sunni coalition headed by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and joined by then Deputy Prime Minister Rafie Al-Issawi’s National Future Gathering. The Iraqiya victory required Maliki to establish a government with Sadrist elements under the Iraqi National Alliance to remain in power. Given Maliki’s decision to use military force against Sadrist militias in 2008, there was resistance to such a coalition.
The political conflict led to a nine-month negotiation in which the Maliki government maintained power, until the signing of the Erbil agreement. The Erbil agreement left Maliki as the prime minister, but established limitations of the prime minister’s power, incorporated power-sharing arrangements including the allocation of top security posts, and called for the creation of the National Council on Strategic Policies (NCSP) to be headed by Allawi.
Neither the power-sharing agreement nor the NCSP ever came to fruition under the Maliki government. Additionally, there are accusations that Maliki not only failed to reduce the powers of the prime minister, rather further centralizing it under his government. Examples include current attempts to control independent government bodies, such as the Independent Higher Electoral Commission, the Integrity Commission, and the central bank, by placing them under the Maliki-led Council of Ministers. He is also accused of appointing high-level army and police commanders without the required constitutional approvals.

If Huffington Post were to grow weary of the nonsense Howard Fineman and others have noted this week, they might try looking up David Bacon whose recent book  Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press)  won the CLR James Award.  Today at Truth Out, Bacon reports:

Iraqi oil workers are the backbone of the industry that produces most of their country's wealth. And since the US invasion and fall of Saddam Hussein, they've also organized its strongest and most vocal union. They've shut their industry down in the past, successfully challenging Halliburton during the US occupation and forcing it to leave Iraq. To try to stop Iraq's government from signing unfavorable contracts virtually handing over the oil to foreign transnational corporations, they shut off the oil spigots again after the US withdrew.
Now it looks as though another shutdown is looming. On December 10, more than 3,000 angry oil workers surrounded the headquarters of the Southern Oil Company (SOC) in Basra. The SOC is a huge, state-owned enterprise that acts as an intermediary between the Iraqi Oil Ministry and the foreign transnationals who operate the concessions to drill wells and pump the oil out into waiting ships. The SOC's multistory building towers over Basra, an ancient city that lies at the heart of huge fields of Rumaila, Qurna and others.

Are you looking for something to stream?

With the weeks of repeats upon us in the US, you might not find much new to stream.  (TV Land does have a few things.)  But a CBS friend asked that we note CBS is offering The Crazy Ones and The Millers for streaming right now, every episode that has aired so far this season.  The Crazy Ones stars Robin Williams, Sarah Michelle Gellar, James Wolk, Hamish Linklater and Amanda Setton   The sitcom revolves around the ad agency father and daughter Robin and Sarah run.  There are 11 episodes (including ones guest starring Kelly Clarkson, Josh Groban and Ashley Tisdale) CBS is offering for free streaming and new episodes return January 2nd.  The Millers is a sitcom (which also returns with new episodes on Thursday, January 2nd) which stars Will Arnett, Margo Martindale, Beau Bridges, Jayma Mays, Eve Moon and Nelson Franklin.  This sitcom revolves around the Miller family -- Arnett's character gets a divorce and father Beau Bridges decides that sounds like a good idea.  CBS is offering 11 episodes right now to stream.  I'm noting this because a friend asked for it but also because CBS has been the worst about streaming.  They've been stingy and stupid.  Ava and I have repeatedly called them out on this over the last years (at Third in our TV articles) "but you don't write that we're streaming" most of their shows today.  No, we haven't.  We've had other things to cover.  But, yes, CBS is moving away from the stupid 'stream clips of your show so you can see 30 seconds of an episode we won't let you watch!' And right now, for a limited time, they're streaming the full seasons so far of The Crazy Ones and The Millers at CBS' website.  Again, limited time.  And the success or failure of this trial may impact other CBS streaming decisions, FYI.

The following community sites -- plus Susan's On the Edge, Dissident Voice, Pacifica Evening News and  -- updated last night and this morning:

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