Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Nouri's War Crimes continue, oil battles continue and Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly passes away

Despite it being a War Crime to target civilian areas (collective punishment), tyrant and thug Nouri al-Maliki continues to do so.  NINA reports his bombing of residential neighborhoods in Falluja today killed 7 civilians and left twenty injured.  In an update, Alsumaria notes the tolls increased:  9 dead and twenty-three injured. War Crimes.  Yesterday, I sat through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and listened to Secretary of State John Kerry prattle on about how the US government is a beacon of hope and leadership.  What a joke.  The US government has installed and propped up Nouri and now they supply him with the weapons to kill the Iraqi people.

Turning to other noted violence, Almanar News reports, "Six car bombs rocked Baghdad on Wednesday, killing at least seven people and wounding 30, security and medical officials said."  National Iraqi News Agency reports Wasit Health Dept states the bombings "in Alhafriya, Azizia and Nuamaniya killed 5 citizens and wounded 32 others," a Mosul roadside bombing left 1 police member dead and two more injured, and 1 person was shot dead and another injured in Abu Ghraib.  Alsumaria notes a Numaniya bombing near a school left five people injured and a photojournalist was killed in Ramadi when a mortar landed on his home.  Fu Peng (Xinhua) observes, "The attacks came at the 11th anniversary of the fall of the Saddam regime when the U.S.-led coalition forces swept the Iraqi capital and toppled the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein."

Joseph A. Kecchichian (Al Jazeera) explores the violence:

According to the United Nations Mission to Iraq, 733 individuals were killed in January, while the toll reached 703 people in February. These figures showed a rising wave of militant attacks, which journalists labelled "a surge of violence that began 10 months ago", when the government launched a systematic crackdown that chiefly targeted the Sunni community, allegedly because most extremists hailed from within it. To therefore, say that Iraqi Sunnis, a minority population, vociferously protested against what many perceived as discriminatory policies, would indeed be an understatement. Simply stated, what was no longer acceptable was Baghdad's arbitrary use of very strict anti-terrorism measures, to in effect, muzzle the Sunni community.
In fact, many are distraught by the news that government officials pay lip service to their plight while continuing to pursue sectarian policies.
Many more are seriously worried that calls made by Shia community leaders to establish armed "popular committees" - that would doubtless be attached to the regular security forces - received official backing, even if such efforts would further enlarge the gulf that exists between various religious groups.

Still on the topic of dying, Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly has passed away.  Alsumaria reports that the Chaldean Church announced the death today and that the Cardinal had been in San Diego seeking medical treatment.  The Vatican released the following statement:

Telegramma di cordoglio del Santo Padre Francesco per la morte del Cardinale Emmanuel III Delly
È deceduto questa mattina a San Diego (USA), Sua Beatitudine il Cardinale Emmanuel III Delly, Patriarca emerito di Babilonia dei Caldei (Iraq).
Pubblichiamo di seguito il telegramma di cordoglio per la morte del Porporato, inviato dal Santo Padre Francesco al Patriarca di Babilonia dei Caldei, S.B. Louis Raphaël I Sako:

Telegramma del Santo Padre
His Beatitude Louis Raphaël I Sako
Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans

I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of His Beatitude Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, Patriarch Emeritus of Babylon of the Chaldeans. I offer you, the clergy, men and women religious and lay faithful of the Patriarchate, both in Iraq and in the diaspora, my condolences and the assurance of my prayers. I recall with deep gratitude the late Patriarch’s dedication to his people and to the promotion of respectful, just and peaceful relations with followers of other religious traditions. I join you and all who mourn the passing of this esteemed Pastor in commending his noble soul to the infinite mercy of God our loving Father, and I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of peace and hope in the Lord.
Franciscus PP.

I offer you, your brother Bishops and the entire Church in Iraq my heartfelt sympathy on the passing of His Beatitude Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly. I pray that the Lord whom he served with fidelity will grant him eternal rest.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State

In Iraq, one of the long running disputes is between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Baghdad-based central government over the issue of oil.  Since Iraq still hasn't been able to pass an oil & gas law (Nouri promised it would happen in 2007), the KRG can do what it wants.  So Nouri's left to stamping his feet.  And every few months, one of the flunkies in his government shows up to make an announcement that the two sides are close to reaching a deal.

The stooge today?  Nigel Wilson (International Business Times) offers, "Iraq's Oil Minister has raised expectations that the long dispute between Baghdad and Arbil could be coming to an end.  Abdul Kareem Luaibi  said that he thinks a deal over Kurdistan's oil exports could be reached within days."  Steve Marshall (Upstream) shows a little more skepticism of the claim and offers:

The ongoing spat has halted independent exports by Kurdistan via a new pipeline to the Turkish port, where more than 1 million barrels of crude already pumped along the route are currently lying in storage tanks.
The federal government has blocked the semi-autonomous region’s export bid, saying that state oil marketing body Somo has the sole right to carry out exports, while Ankara is waiting on Iraq’s blessing before allowing oil shipments to begin.

Reuters points out, "Talks between Baghdad and the Kurdistan government in Arbil have yet to produce a deal, but Luaibi said the Iraqi parliament had set up a high-level delegation several days ago to resolve the problem."  News of the alleged new understanding comes as Alsumaria reports KRG President Massoud Barzani states Iraq is moving towards a confederation and that the KRG is moving from semi-autonomy to independence.

The Iraq War wasn't just about oil -- it was about creating 'new' markets. Pakistan's moving into the new markets.  Global Cement reports, "Lucky Cement has started production at a cement grinding plant in Basra, southern Iraq. The US$40m plant is a joint venture between Pakistan-based Lucky Cement and the Al-Shawy family. It has a production capacity of 3000t/day or 0.8Mt/yr. The plant is intended to supply cement for the southern Iraq market."

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