Thursday, June 05, 2014

Now Nouri's fighting to hold on to Samarra

There are rumors that the Baghdad-based Iraqi government has lost control of Samarra, a Sunni town with an estimated population of around 350,000 people.  Fighting is taking place, regardless of who's in control.  National Iraqi News Agency quotes a police source stating 54 people have been either killed or wounded in the ongoing battles so far.  Mahmud Saleh (AFP) states fighters control parts of Samarra and that they were "travelling in dozens of vehicles, some mounted with anti-aircraft guns, attacked a major checkpoint on the southeast side of Samarra, killing the security forces guarding it and burning their vehicles, witnesses said."  Xinhua adds, "The gunmen raised their black flag belonging to the ISIL on several government buildings and the main Sunni mosque in the city, which located just 1,500 meters away from the Shiite shrine of Imam Ali al-Hadi in central the city. The shrine contains the tombs of Ali al-Hadi, who died in 868 A.D. and his son Hassan al- Askari who died in 874 A.D."

NINA notes Ministry of the Interior spokesperson Saad Maan declared that no "police stations or security sites in Samarra had fallen in the hands of the gunmen."  Nouri has used similar events as an excuse to attack the civilians in Falluja, an attack that began at the start of the year and has now entered its six month.

Is this his 'model' for how to address events in Samarra?  If so, he's failing yet again as a leader.

His War Crimes in Falluja have only outraged many Iraqis.  Aswat al Iraq reported earlier this week:

Deputy Premier, Chairman of Arabia Alliance Saleh al-Mutlaq stressed that "there will be no dialogues with any political bloc without Anbar and Fallujah questions will have the priority". In a statement, he added "We cannot bear the events taking place in these two cities and the killings of women, children and innocent people inside the university campus".

On people killed inside the university campus, yesterday's snapshot included this:

The Iraqi people are being terrorized by Nouri.  And it goes beyond Falluja.  BRussells Tribunal notes Sama Laith Mouayad was shot dead.  The college student was sitting in the exam hall of Ramadi's Al-Anbar University when she was shot dead by a military sniper.
Kent State.  The May 4, 1970 assault is still remembered each year.  And yet Nouri's forces kill a college student, shoot her dead as she's sitting in the exam hall, and that's okay?
In what world?

BRussells Tribunal published this photo of where Sama was sitting when she was shot dead by Nouri's military:


Will any reporter at today's State Dept press briefing have the guts to inquire when it became appropriate to shoot unarmed college students who are seated to take exams?

Or will they prove that the bigger your news outlet, the greater your silence?

In other violence, National Iraqi News Agency reports an Ein al-Jahash Village killed 2 police members, and a Latifiya home invasion left 4 family members dead.  All Iraq News adds an eastern Baghdad car bombing killed 1 person and injured ten more, a Beiji car bombing left 1 police officer and 3 police members dead (two more were injured) and 1 person was shot dead and another left injured in an attack in Khumaisa Village.

At Time magazine, Michael Scherer has a blog post on Brian Schweitzer, former governor of Montana, who is considering seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination for 2016.  Here's an excerpt.

On Hillary Clinton
You can’t be the candidate that shakes down more money on Wall Street than anybody since, I don’t know, Woodrow Wilson, and be the populist. You can’t be the one to say we’re going to focus on rebuilding America if you voted to go to the Iraq war. There were 30 some Democrats who voted against that.

We're not campaign central.  We will, however, as we've done with previous elections, note it when those running have something to say regarding Iraq.

Stephanie Condon (CBS News) has a report (text and video) on the current proposals for change at the VA.

In the snapshot today, I will most likely be calling out a low ranking government official.  When you express that the American people are too stupid to weigh in on a topic, you need to find other employment.  When you say they have no right to comment, you're not fit to have a government job in a democracy.  Hopefully, action will have been taken before the snapshot, in which case I may not even mention it.  But it is unacceptable for any federal employee to Tweet that Americans are ignorant and shouldn't be voicing opinions.  That's not how a democracy works and the man's inability to grasp that demands that he be fired.  There's no accountability in Washington.  He may get his Twitter removed and have talk of 'education courses' being mandated.  At any rate, he's not fit to serve in the government.  And he owes the American people an apology.  He shouldn't have been Tweeting about the topic he was Tweeting about to begin with, it wasn't his government role.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, Susan's On the Edge, Jake Tapper, Pacifica Evening News,, Ms. magazine's blog and the ACLU -- updated:

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