Sunday, March 16, 2014


At a time when Nouri al-Maliki is committing legally defined War Crimes in Anbar Province (most specifically with the use of collective punishment), the US Embassy in Baghdad proudly announces the US government continues to arm him:

March 16, 2014
The United States continues to accelerate delivery of weapons and ammunition to Iraq consistent with our Strategic Framework Agreement and long-term security partnership. These deliveries are made in response to specific Iraqi requests and pursuant to a holistic counter-terrorism policy that incorporates political, economic, and security measures. On the security side, it is essential that Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) are equipped with modern and effective weaponry given the serious threat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) now poses to Iraq and the region.
The United States is determined to help the ISF respond to this threat and protect the population in coordination with local leaders and tribes. Earlier this month, the United States delivered nearly 100 Hellfire missiles together with hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition and M4 rifles. These deliveries addressed a critical assessment of needs conducted jointly by Iraq and U.S. security experts, and were the latest in a series of deliveries bringing critical supplies to Iraq.
Since mid-January, more than eleven million rounds of ammunition, thousands of machine guns, sniper rifles, M16s and M4 rifles, thousands of flares, grenades and other weapons have been delivered to the ISF. Additional deliveries are scheduled in coming weeks, pursuant to the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program with attendant transparency and accountability measures.

The United States looks forward to working closely with Iraqi leaders and military commanders to determine and address additional critical equipment needs over the coming weeks. We will also continue to encourage all Iraqi leaders to work together to effectively implement the holistic counter-terrorism strategy in Anbar province, as reflected in the Council of Ministers February 18 program – with a focus on mobilizing the population against ISIL and other extremist groups.

As Human Rights Watch's Erin Evers noted in "US Missing the Boat on Halting Iraq Arms Sales:"

The US has long supported the Iraqi government with arms, though the Iraqi government has committed serious, widespread abuses against its own people in the name of counterterrorism. That has proven ineffective in combating terrorism but has stoked resentment. Psaki acknowledged that the US has “providedthe Iraqi military and security forces with more than $15 billion in equipment, services, and training,” and recently delivered to Iraq “Hellfire missiles and hundreds of small arms along with large quantities of small arms and tank ammunition,” but did not address the copious evidence giving cause for concern that Iraq will use these weapons to continue abuses.
The State Department’s own 2012 Human Rights report noted that “Human rights violations committed by [Iraqi Security Forces] personnel were rarely investigated, and perpetrators were seldom punished,” and that the government “did not take widespread action to reform security forces to improve human rights.”
The new Human Rights Watch research about the treatment of women in Iraq’s criminal justice system, for example, shows that security forces frequently subject detained women to torture and ill-treatment, including the threat of sexual abuse. In early January, Anbar residents told us that the army’s mortar fire on residential neighborhoods had killed at least 25 residents in the first few days of fighting in Fallujah.

In November, we documented how Iraqi security forces, including agents from Special Weapons and Tactics [SWAT] in the Counterterrorism Service [CTS]—precisely the security forces who, along with the army, are at the forefront of the fighting in Anbar—abused residents by surrounding and closing off majority Sunni neighborhoods, illegally raiding homes and carrying out mass arrests. Since 2010 we have repeatedly reported that security forces including SWAT, Federal Police, and the army use unlawful force against peaceful protesters; carry out illegal arrests, interrogations, and detentions, and systematically use torture during interrogations.

But the US government overlooks the laws, domestic and international, to continue funding thug Nouri.

The alleged purpose of the assault on Nouri was to confront the violence killing so many Iraqis.

(All pretend not to notice that Baghdad had more violence in 2013 than Ramadi.)

It has failed to do so.

Through Saturday, Iraq Body Count counts 496 violent deaths.

The violence isn't ending.

Today it continues.   National Iraqi News Agency reports a suicide car bomber in Hammam al-Aleedl took his own life and the lives of 2 police members and 1 military officer while leaving six more people injured, a suicide car bomber "south of Mosul" took his own life and the life of 1 Iraqi soldier while leaving three more soldiers injured, a Tuz Khurmatu roadside bombing left nine people injured, a Mosul battle left 2 police members dead, an Abu Ghraib sticky bombing left 1 person dead, Joint Operations Command announced they killed 4 suspects "near Fallujah," a Qudis battle left 2 Iraqi soldiers dead, a Meshahda sticky bombing left 2 Sahwa dead, 1 person was shot dead in Kazimiyah, 1 Iraqi soldier was shot dead in Bob al-Sham, 1 "member of the Intelligence" was shot dead in Abu Ghraib, and 3 corpses were discovered dumped in Diyala River ("gunshots in different parts of their bodies").  All Iraq News adds that 3 corpses were discovered dumped in the Euphrates river, 1 truck driver was shot dead in Basra.

All Iraq News reports:

The United States of America expressed its readiness to mediate between the Federal Government and Kurdistan Regional Government to settle the disputes related to 2014 State Budget.

The media office of the Second Deputy Premier of KRG, MP Arif Tayfur, of the Kurdistani Alliance reported in a statement received by AIN "Tayfur hosted the US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iraq and Iran Affairs, Brett Macrik, and his accompanying delegation at his office where they discussed the recent political situations in Iraq and regional arena.''

How's that going to help?

Am I wrong -- and I well may be -- but is Tuesday not the final reading of this bill to Parliament?

So despite weeks and weeks of objections from many blocs in Parliament -- most famously the Kurds -- the US government says it can get involved just as time runs out?

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.

On this week's Law and Disorder Radio,  an hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) topics  addressed include the illegal spying, the war on Ukraine with Ajamu Baracka,  and professor Mark Taylor discusses the nomination of Dego Adegbile -- but probably won't do so honestly, honest requires noting it was a stupid nomination.

It was a stupid nomination.

I believe Mumia is innocent.  And I take a lot of crap for that belief.  So I'm fully aware that, though I believe he's innocent, a number of people disagree.

This makes Dego Adegbile a controversial nominee.

One that was not going to pass.  Democrats and Republicans are opposed to Adegbile and, in an election year, it's not just individual Democratic senators up for re-election that are nervous, party leaders are nervous.

It was a stupid move and it needs to be called that.

It was going to be an iffy nomination in a non-election year but in a mid-term election?

I don't feels sorry for the Dems that people are saying they may lose control of the Senate.

They've failed use their power while they've been in charge of it.  They've failed to fight for the people.

But even I wouldn't have tossed a controversial nominee like this to them during an election year.

They have no spine, they have no backbone.  This is not a new discovery.

So it was stupid and hurtful for Barack to nominate Adegbile.

Repeating, I believe Mumia Abu Jabal is innocent.

But I don't lie to myself that even 50% of America agrees with my belief on that.  A lot of work and raising awareness has allowed the numbers to increase.

And then this happens.

And the hosts probably don't even get how this hurts Mumia.

Because it does.

It gives a new sense of outrage to those who want to keep Mumia behind bars.

The opponents of releasing Mumia had nothing but old and tired arguments.

And now Barack tosses out fresh meat to anger this crowd.

It doesn't help Mumia one bit.

We're still working on Third.

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