Saturday, January 18, 2014

I Hate The War

The White House continues attempting to court and empower Iraq's chief thug and prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.   Jason Ditz ( notes, "The Obama Administration has been pushing heavily for Congress to sign off on any and all arms shipments to Iraq because of al-Qaeda, but there is increasing concern that the Maliki government’s heavy-handed use of military against civilian protesters is creating a lot of additional problems, and that arms shipments like these will come to late for the current fight with al-Qaeda and will end up used in future crackdowns."  And crackdowns is all he's used his weapons for.  Does anyone not notice that he attacks Iraqis?

But the White House indulges him.  Today, they issued the following statement:

The White House
Office of the Vice President

Readout of Vice President Biden's Call with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki

This afternoon, Vice President Biden spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The Vice President discussed with Prime Minister Maliki the United States’ support for Iraq’s fight against the Islamist State of Iraq and the Levant. The two leaders agreed on the importance of the Iraqi government’s continued outreach to local and tribal leaders in Anbar province. The Vice President emphasized the importance of seeking a mutually acceptable path forward with Erbil regarding oil exports from Iraq.

There's no concern expressed, please note, to the residents of Anbar that have been killed, wounded or displaced in Nouri's latest assault.  The White House pretends those people don't exist.

They're helped by a press that does the same.

Is it worshiping of Officialdom or just the phallic nature of the guns that lead the international press to follow the military, tongues and tails wagging and twitching?

The international press is back in Iraq.

But they can't see to find the Iraqi people.

They continue to cover violence from the perspective of the person holding the gun and as thought it were a sport event.

The people are left to suffer with no media attention.

Think of the Syrian refugees in Iraq and all the attention they've received.

But the Iraqi people?  They're stripped right out of the coverage of their own country.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Baghdad this week.  He called for dialogue.  Haifa Zangana (MWC News) observes:

Ban Ki-moon was immediately rebuffed by al-Maliki, who said: "Talk about dialogue in Al-Anbar is rejected because we do not hold dialogue with al-Qaeda". He seemed to be saying there is no one in the province worth talking to. In doing so, al-Maliki resorted to his usual rhetoric accusing Anbar's population of being 'terrorists', despite the fact that protesters, along with five other provinces, have been peacefully demonstrating since December 2012. His statements were obviously intended to legitimize a sectarian-inspired brutal military campaign against the protestors.
The question is: Will the siege, bombardment and military onslaught on Fallujah and Ramadi in Anbar province, put an end to the terrorist acts and frequent car explosions taking place in markets, cafes and mosques and in various Iraqi cities? Will the highly publicized US-Iraqi franchised "war on terror" in Anbar put an end to the endemic suffering of Iraqis?
Hardly so. Explosions continue unabated in many cities, even with the launch of Maliki's military assault on Fallujah and Anbar. And despite the countless official statements of arresting and killing scores of "al-Qaida emirs" (leaders), as well as members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). In Arabic, the ISIS has an acronym that reads as Daaish, which sounds comical, and in Baghdadi dialect is close to "Dagash" that translates to "phony".
What Maliki chooses to ignore and what Ban Ki-moon has singled out is precisely what the protest movement has been demanding all along: looking at the root causes of the problems. In Iraq's case, they are sectarianism, corruption, lack of basic services, violations of human rights, increasing unemployment and organized gangs and militias flourishing under a kleptocratic government.

This is who the US-installed in Iraq in 2006 (under Bully Boy Bush) and who they insisted must remain prime minister despite the results of the 2010 elections (under Barack Obama).

The international press seems highly reluctant to do little more than fawn over Nouri.

As the residents of Anbar are terrorized with the weapons the US government has already supplied Nouri with, the White House calls for more to be supplied and the international press refuses to examine the effects of the weapons on the Iraqi population.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

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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