AP has swallowed Nouri's cock so deep, they can tell us what his pubes smell like and they can tells us "Hours after the offensive was announced, Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki vowed to continue fighting 'terrorism,' but left the door open for a political solution." The leave out what NINA reports:
Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki described the demands of the protesters in the Anbar province as " trick fooled some of the politicians."
Maliki said in a speech during a ceremony of distributing land to the poor and squatters in Nasiriyah: "This trick has been revealed and this play has been ended."
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told him last week he needed to listen to the protesters. Maybe if US Vice President Joe Biden and the State Dept's Brett McGurk would also tell Nouri that, he'd stop attacking the peaceful protesters? Of course, that would mean they wanted to help Iraqis and when has the US government ever wanted to really help the Iraqi people? (Don't worry, we'll pick up on that point in Monday's snapshot.)
AFP is rather honest about Nouri's ranting (especially compared to AP) but we'll instead note their summary of the last weeks:
A large section of Ramadi and all of Fallujah, both former insurgent bastions west of Baghdad, fell from government control late last month.
It was the first time anti-government fighters have exercised such open control in major cities since the height of the insurgency that followed the US-led invasion of 2003.
Fighting originally erupted in the Ramadi area on December 30, when security forces cleared a year-old Sunni Arab protest camp.
It spread to Fallujah, and militants moved in and seized the city and parts of Ramadi after security forces withdrew.
Back in December, Nouri kicked off his latest assaults by illegally arresting MP Ahmed al-Alwani (and killing six people in that dawn raid, including al-Alwani's brother). Today All Iraq News notes Ahmed al-Alwani has finally been charged. He's charged with terrorism. He was arrested a month ago. (December 28th, to be exact.) He finally got charged. Iraqi 'justice.' As Ayad Allawi -- among others -- has noted publicly, Nouri controls the Baghdad courts, there is no longer an independent judiciary -- largely because the US government looked the other way and humored the tyrant Nouri for 8 years. And counting.
December 28th, he launched that attack. December 27th, he went on TV to say he would burn the protest tents in Anbar down. December 30th, his forces attacked the protest sqaures.
Kirk H. Sowell (Foreign Policy) tries to examine what's going on in Iraq and he notes:
He wished Christians a Merry Christmas, extended to "all Muslims, who believe in Jesus the Messiah, messenger of humanity and peace." Holiday greetings out of the way, the prime minister moved on to what he really wanted to address. He spoke of ongoing counter-terrorist operations, and the need for tribal support. Maliki then talked about "what is referred to as the ‘sit-in protest,' which has become a base for the leaders of al Qaeda," repeating the phrase twice. This was a reference to the protest site near Ramadi, the symbolic center of the mainstream Sunni protest movement countrywide.
Maliki went on, saying "this we know because they have openly appeared on the podium, declaring we are al Qaeda, and we cut off heads. They have openly raised the banner of al Qaeda at the podium, and soon we will air the confessions" of terrorists admitting they are based at the site. "Our intelligence from aerial and human sources inside the site, confirm the presence of both Iraqi and foreign al Qaeda leaders. The provincial government has also confirmed that there are 36 al Qaeda leaders based there. So now there is a popular demand that the site be shut down."
With national elections set for April, Maliki's Christmas speech, a show trial-like airing of "confessions" by detainees on state television, and a wide-ranging media campaign in the days that followed were part of an effort to tie Ramadi protests to al Qaeda. The case was largely wrong, and to an extent made in bad faith. This and the December 30, 2013 bulldozing of the Ramadi encampment were among several actions that led to the total breakdown in security in Anbar province at year's end and exacerbated the security crisis there.
He gets that much fairly correct but then he goes all wobbly and reveals how little he knows about Iraq. (Has he really never heard of the White House benchmarks Nouri signed off on?) We may examine that in a snapshot this week.
An unnamed Anbar Province official tells National Iraq News Agency that the military storming Falluja has become more possible. The Washington Post's Loveday Morris told Hari Sreenivasan this evening (The NewsHour, PBS -- link is text, video and audio) that Nouri's ruled out the military striking Falluja. That appears to have changed. Ramadi was also discussed.
LOVEDAY MORRIS: Well, from talking to people on the ground there today, what we’re hearing this morning was that Ramadi, which is the provincial capitol, was put under a curfew. This morning people were told not to leave their homes. The city was on lock-down and then a large assault was launched to retake pockets of the city that are still under control of rebel groups and fighters affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, which is the local Al Qaeda affiliate. Most Ramadi already was under control of pro-government tribesmen, but there were some pockets that were out of their control. So this was a large offensive backed by helicopters trying to regain parts of the city.
Let's look at some of today's violence. National Iraqi News Agency reports 2 Tikrit bombings left 2 police members dead and three more injured, a Tuz Khurmato bombing left 7 people dead and twenty more injured, Baghdad Operations Command announced they shot dead 2 suspects, an armed attack in Baquba left 5 Sahwa dead, an armed attack in Tikrit left 4 of Nouri's federal police dead and five more injured, 1 Mhuktar was shot dead in Mosul and his son was left injured, a Mosul roadside bombing left two Iraqi soldiers injured, and a Kirkuk car bombing left 1 person dead and five more injured. All Iraq News adds 1 "dealer of construction materials" was shot dead in Mosul, and a Tikrit bombing left 2 Sahwa dead and five more injured.
Iraq Body Count counts 31 killed today and 729 violent deaths since the start of the month. Prashant Rao Tweets AFP's count.
The Head of the Iraqiya national coalition, Iyad Allawi warned from the failure of the government to running the security file .
Allawi said in his personal account in the social networking / Facebook / : "targeting civilians proves how cowards the terrorists are and also proves the failure of the government to running the security file ."
Nouri's clearly failed with the security file. Not just because violence has increased so much but as he nears the end of his second four-year-term, he never nominated anyone to head the Ministry of Defense, or the Ministry of the Interior or the Ministry of National Security. All three security departments have no real leader (this was a power grab which let Nouri take control of the three ministries). And the world's seen what happens when Nouri refuses to find people to head the security ministries. Nouri's incapable of carrying out his basic duties of prime minister yet he foolishly thought he could take on heading all three of the security ministries.
How very sad.
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] 4489.
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