Saturday, June 21, 2014

Iraq: 2852 violent deaths so far this month

All Iraq News reports that "the initial group of U.S. military advisers to arrive in Iraq on Saturday, a senior defense official said."  Dr. Dahlia S. Wasfi (CounterPunch) points out:

Understanding the horrors that we have continued to bring to Iraqis since 1991 helps us see that what is happening in Iraq is a legitimate rebellion against a brutal dictator (a theocratic one instead of a secular one).  US President Barack Obama is sending more troops to Iraq [15] to defend the sectarian government from the Iraqi people. Instead of sending more forces in, Mr. President, fly as many planes as you need to Baghdad, load up every last American and the bloody US-installed government, and leave.  If you can find it, pick up your dignity [16] on your way out.

Dahlia will be the guest on this week's Cindy Sheehan Soapbox which begins airing tomorrow.

In other news, related to the arrival of the forces, a parade took place. NINA notes, "The Sadrists conducted a military parade in some of Iraqi governorates on Saturday morning 21, June, for the volunteers who responded to the call of the Supreme Religious Authority to fight terrorism and defending homeland."  Matt Bronw (Australia's ABC) reports:

About 20,000 armed men marched through Sadr city in eastern Baghdad, in a parade called for by powerful cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
They carried rocket-propelled grenades and rifles, while trucks were mounted with long-range rockets, including the new three-metre Moqtada 1 missile, named after Mr Sadr.
[. . .]
He said the group is planning to defend shrines in Iraq, whether they are Shiite, Sunni or Christian, and to fight any American intervention.

Moqtada al-Sadr was one of the most vocal opponents of the US occupation and he has continued to vocally call out the occupation even with the December 2011 drawdown (he's called the US Embassy in Baghdad and its staff, the security contractors and the US military left in Iraq -- he's seen all as part of a continued occupation).

He's not the only Iraqi political leader making the news.  Al Mada notes KRG President Massoud Barzani met yesterday with Iraqi National Congress head Ahmed Chalabi and they discussed security and political issues.   Press TV interviews American journalist Wayne Madison who states the US government is pushing Chalabi to be the new prime minister of Iraq. NINA reports:

A Jordanian newspaper quoted, on Saturday 21, June, Iraqi sources as saying that the former Iraqi prime minister, Iyad Allawi is holding being, in the Jordanian capital Amman, meetings with Iraqi and foreign figures to put them in the form of the repercussions of the situation in Iraq and the formation of a national salvation government and parliament leads to civil peace.

Through Friday, Iraq Body Count counts 2852 violent deaths in the month so far. Awhile back, the press narrative went 'worst violence since 2008.'  It's now worst violence since 2007 and the only higher death toll IBC has for 2007 is January 2007 when they recorded 3014 deaths.  The month of June is not yet over.  It could top January.  Right now there's a difference of 162 deaths and there are ten days left to record violence for (remember, IBC's count is through Friday, not through today).


The Tribune of India notes, "Sunni militants have seized an Iraqi crossing on the border with Syria after a daylong battle in which they killed some 30 Iraqi troops, security officials said today."  Michael Martinez, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Chelsea J. Carter (CNN) report, "Since clashes erupted Friday in the border town of Al-Qaim, at least 11 Iraqi soldiers have been killed and 21 more have been wounded. Also, at least 20 militants were killed after Iraqi forces shelled areas from where the extremists launched attacks, two security officials in Ramadi, Iraq, told CNN."  AP calls it "the latest blow against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who is fighting for his political life even as forces beyond his control are pushing the country toward a sectarian showdown."  Mitchell Prothero (McClatchy Newspapers) notes, "About 300 Iraqi soldiers – which include about 70 members of the elite SWAT unit of the Iraqi Interior Ministry – were still in control of at least part of the huge oil refinery in Baiji after five days of fighting that has left the storage tanks of the facility on fire and fighters from the Islamic State and their Sunni Muslim tribal allies in control of at least part of the facility."  And National Iraqi News Agency reports 1 al-Mosul security planner, Anase al-Hamdani, was shot dead in Tilkaif, Baghdad Operations Command state they killed 10 suspects,  security forces say they burned 4 vehicles and killed 15 suspects in Falluja (did they kill people by burning them alive -- which has happened and which CNN has never felt the need to express horror over), security forces killed 5 suspects "on the road [which] links Babylon to Baghdad, 15 rebels were killed in combat in Diyala Province, and, dropping back to yesterday, 45 corpses were discovered dumped in Samarra.

Wally's "THIS JUST IN! ANOTHER FAILED REPORT CARD!" isn't showing yet but the  following community sites -- plus Chocolate City, Jake Tapper, Tavis Smiley, Latino USA, Ms. magazine's blog, the ACLU, McClatchy Newspapers and  -- updated:

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