Monday, March 31, 2014

White House wants more arms for Nouri

Al Arabiya News notes:

Flying the flag for Iraq, Sattar Saad won the Arab version of reality TV singing competition “The Voice” on Saturday after beating three other contestants in the finale of the MBC show.
The show, which featured 100 participants from across the Arab world, had its contestants receiving training and supervision from some of the region’s big music stars.

This was a big deal and it's telling that, outside of Variety, no one in western media is treating it as such.  But every damn soccer match Iraq's in is cause for reporters to Tweet and write endless articles.

I guess we should all be glad Prashant Rao gave it a Tweet?  As opposed to the series of 13 or more Tweets he offers for a soccer game?

On music, reminder, Kat's "Kat's Korner: Pretenders' last classic" and "Kat's Korner: When (Cloud) Nothings Matter" went up Sunday.

Yesterday,  All Iraq News, citing Independent High Electoral Commission deputy chair Kate' al-Zawbae as the source, reported the Board of Commissioners of the IHEC have withdrawn their resignations.   Which might have been seen as progress. However, a pot hole emerges on the street to progress.  All Iraq News reports today, "The employees of the Independent High Electoral Commission in Siniya district of nothern Tikrit have resigned due to the threats of the armed groups."

Violence continues.  National Iraqi News Agency reports an Adhamiya sticky bombing left one police member injured, a Mosul car bombing claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier while leaving five more injured, 1 person was shot dead in eastern Baghdad, 1 person was shot dead in Basra, a Zammar roadside bombing left 1 Iraqi soldier and 1 civilian dead with ten more people injured, federal police announced they killed 1 person in the Waziriyah area of Baghdad1 corpse was discovered dumped in southern Baghdad, and the corpse of 1 gas station guard was discovered dumped in Husseiniya.

Nouri's assault on Anbar Province hasn't brought peace.  It has killed a number of civilians.  Yet there's news that the White House will be supplying Nouri with more arms.  Allen McDuffee (Wired) reports the latest and we'll note this from the article:

“I believe our national strategy towards Iraq might soon need to be reassessed,” said Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution. “Business as usual with arms sales to a government that is in some ways stoking an internal conflict may need to be rethought.”
“I’m not sure any arms sales make sense, or at least not any new ones, until we see Maliki stop harassing people like [former Iraqi deputy prime minister Rafi] al-Issawi,” said O’Hanlon.
In 2011, as finance minister, al-Issawi warned of the risks of providing arms to a sectarian army.
“It is very risky to arm a sectarian army,” el-Issawi told the New York Times. “It is very risky with all the sacrifices we’ve made, with all the budget to be spent, with all the support of America — at the end of the day, the result will be a formal militia army.”

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