Saturday, July 19, 2014

Iraq snapshot

Friday, July 18, 2014.  Chaos and violence continue, Americans weigh in on possible continued involvement in Iraq, Nouri's forces have mastered their leader's habit of the empty boast, Iraq's minorities continue to suffer, and much more.

Pew Research notes the findings of their latest polls:

As violence and chaos spreads in Iraq, the public is wary of U.S. involvement in the country. A 55% majority says the United States does not have a responsibility to do something about the violence in Iraq; 39% do see a responsibility to act.
Overall public awareness of the situation in Iraq is high: 45% say they have heard a lot about the violence in Iraq and takeover of large parts of the country by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Covering the poll, Aaron Blake (Washington Post) offers, "The poll reinforces that Americans have very little appetite for any significant involvement in Iraq, with just 39 percent saying the United States has a responsibility to do 'something' about the violence there."

Iraqi thug and prime minister Nouri al-Maliki repeatedly refused to provide Iraqi Christians in Baghdad with the security needed.  This was most obvious in the October 31, 2010 attack on Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad.  Many Iraqi Christians fled the country.  Many of those who stayed moved to northern Iraq which was considered to be more tolerant of and welcoming to Christians.

BBC News reports Christians are now fleeing the northern city of Mosul because the Islamic State has declared that Christians have one of two choices -- "convert to Islam or pa[y] a 'protection tax'."  There is the third choice: Do neither and be slaughtered.  They have until Saturday afternoon to leave, convert or face "the sword."

In response to the threats, Nickolay Mladenov Tweeted the following:

Mladenov is United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Representative in Iraq.

Hamdi Alkhshali and Shelby Lin Erdman (CNN) explain the warnings/threats were put into writing which was then "distributed in recent days to the leaders of the dwindling Christian minority in Iraq's second largest city." Reuters adds, "A resident of Mosul said the statement, issued in the name of the Islamic State in Iraq's northern province of Nineveh, had been distributed on Thursday and read out in mosques."  Al Jazeera notes that before the last few weeks,  "Mosul's Christian community was estimated at 3,000. Many are believed to have already fled the city as part of an exodus of up to one-third of the population. Churches and Christian-owned shops in the city were reported smashed by those who fled."  Press TV offers, "The United Nations said in a new report on Friday that at least 5,576 civilians have been killed and 11,665 others wounded in Iraq since January."

And the US State Dept issued the following statement:

Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Washington, DC
July 18, 2014
The United States condemns in the strongest terms the systematic persecution of ethnic and religious minorities by the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). We are outraged by ISIL’s recent announcement that Christians in Mosul must either convert, pay a tax, leave, or face execution in the coming days. We have also seen photos of reportedly Christian houses in Mosul marked with pejorative terms for Christians, as well as reports that Shia and Shabak houses have been similarly marked. ISIL also continues to target Sunni clerics and tribal sheikhs who disagree with its dark vision for Iraq.
These abominable actions only further demonstrate ISIL’s mission to divide and destroy Iraq and contradict Islam’s spirit of tolerance and peaceful co-existence. It should be clear that ISIL is not only a threat to the stability of Iraq, but a threat to the entire region. This growing threat exemplifies the need for Iraqis from all communities to work together to confront this common enemy and to take all possible steps to isolate these militant groups from the broader population.
We encourage government officials in Baghdad and Erbil to take every possible effort to assist Iraq’s vulnerable populations and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions in a manner consistent with the rule of law. The United States stands with all the Iraqi people against the threat from ISIL.

John Kerry is the head of the US State Dept.   Their equivalent in Iraq?  Hoshyar Zebari heads the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  He has been the Minister of Foreign Affairs since July 13, 2003.  July 11th, Nouri began making noises and, as usual, a stupid and craven western press dropped to all fours for Nouri and began treating Nouri's edicts as laws and facts.  From that day's snapshot:

There are reports that Nouri's replaced Zebari.
No, he really hasn't and can't.  Were he to nominate someone -- questionable with Iraq's caretaker state currently -- that person couldn't be confirmed because that requires the Parliament.
Now he did something similar in a previous time when a government hadn't yet formed.  When he did that before, he took someone already confirmed by Parliament to the Cabinet and just taxed that person with additional duties and an additional office.
Deputy Prime Minister Hussain Shahristani has never been confirmed to head a Ministry so it's a stretch to call him "acting" or "interim" anything.  You can call him "illegal" or "unconstitutional."  But that's about it.

Rudaw speaks with Zebari today and the first issue they raise in the interview?

On whether he is still foreign minister of Iraq:

I am still the foreign minister of Iraq.  He (Hussein Shahristani) has been appointed as acting (foreign minister). Based on the Iraqi constitution, removing ministers requires parliamentary approval. The prime minister or the council of ministers have no such authority.

So maybe in the future, the foreign press (including many Americans) could either tell the truth or just sit their tired asses down?  The foreign press has lied about Iraq more than enough at this point in time?
For those who failed to grasp why their is a boycott in the Cabinet, we'll note this:

Whether the Kurds are boycotting Baghdad:

The decision of the (Kurdish) leadership is to take part in the political process. We have not boycotted the political process. Otherwise, the Kurdish members of parliament would not attend the parliament. Our withdrawal from the cabinet meetings resulted from Prime Minister Maliki's accusations against the Kurdistan Region of harboring IS (Islamic State) and al-Qaeda, and that Erbil has become a haven for terrorists. I personally told Maliki, ‘it’s a shame for you and us that we sit together and still make such accusations against us. For this reason we will not take part (in the government), so that the whole world knows about this.’ It is unacceptable to accuse your partner of terrorism and conspiracies. But we all (Kurdish) ministers united in our stance. We have not boycotted the government; we have only suspended our presence there. In the next step, we might leave the government and submit a mass resignation. Now, there are lots of pressures by the US and others. We have told everyone that we are Peshmergas in Baghdad, and with one phone call from our leadership we pack up and return to Kurdistan.

Nouri's verbal attack on the Kurds took place Wednesday, July 9th and we noted it in that day's Iraq snapshot and how outrageous it was.  We returned to the topic July 10th when Gwen Ifill and The NewsHour (PBS) picked up the story to blame the Kurds for walking out of the Cabinet -- the 'news' program failed to cover Nouri declaring the Kurds terrorist.

Grasp please that Nouri's accusations did just that.  It was not just an offensive statement to make, it was one that could kick in certain legal aspects.

Nouri's remarks were inflammatory and never should have been made.

Thanks to Gwen, we saw how a whorish western press repeatedly acts.

Nouri smears the Kurds as terrorists in his televised weekly address and The NewsHour ignores it.  The next day they're 'interested' and treat the Kurdish response (the walkout) as the starting point and fail to note how offensive and outrageous Nouri's remarks were.

This is what they have done over and over and why there is blood on the hands of the US press.

They have whored for power, they have been stenographers jotting down Nouri's every word and presenting it as fact.

Willy is my child, he is my father
I would be his lady all my life
He says he'd love to live with me
But for an ancient injury
That has not healed
He said I feel once again
Like I gave my heart too soon 

-- "Willy," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her Ladies of the Canyon.

As always, Joni can nail down the human condition better than anyone.  But while we might have those feelings about a lover, it's really sad to grasp how the US press has had them about a tyrant and how easily those lyrics can be reworked:

Nouri is my child, he is my father
I would be his lady all my life . . . 

Over and over the western press -- especially the American press -- has distorted and disguised reality in Iraq to benefit Nouri.  When he went on his killing spree targeting Iraqi youth who were or were thought to be gay, the big press in the US ignored it.

Who made that story in the US?

The music press did.

And once they grabbed -- and thank goodness they did -- it forced other US news outlets who had ignored it for weeks and weeks to suddenly (and briefly) report on it.

If Barack Obama, US President, sent one of his Secretaries into schools to advocate to children and teenagers that gay people be killed?  It would be huge news.  If Barack then denied sending people in to do that?  It would also be news.  If, during Barack's denials, a copy of the information sheet -- on official government letterhead -- was printed by the press, it would be huge news.

Nouri is very lucky to have western groupies posing as reporters -- hey, Jane Arraf, we especially mean you -- who have repeatedly ignored real news stories because they would paint Nouri in a bad light.

Nouri is equally lucky that -- whether he's attacking the Kurds or Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi -- that the press never starts the story where it begins -- with Nouri's actions -- but drops in midstream so they can present Nouri as the injured and wronged party.

How did Iraq get to the point it is currently?

One reason is that the western press has coddled a tyrant and covered for him.

And it's not just the professional press.  Scott Horton has spent most of 2009 to the present on his Antiwar Radio show endorsing Nouri.  Joel Wing will never own his actions but the reality is he's been thrilled to attack and call out KRG President Massoud Barzani while writing fan fic about Nouri.

Apparently, it's okay with those and other Americans if Nouri tries to incite hate crimes against Iraqi gays and lesbians (and those wrongly thought to be gay or lesbian).

Apparently, a country's leader ordering his staff to go into the school system and repeat lies about gays and lesbians (they were called Satanists and vampires -- and this was on the official Iraqi government document that the Ministry of Interior handed out in the schools) isn't enough to rile up a Scott Horton or a Joel Wing.

They just don't care.  They'll keep covering for their personal tyrant.

Last week, we saw it yet again as Nouri smeared the Kurds as terrorists.

And the western press wasn't interested but the next day when the Kurds walk out of the Cabinet, suddenly it's 'oh those bad Kurds!'

Nouri's actions have brought Iraq to the brink.

A whorish western press that has refused to hold Nouri accountable has allowed this to happen.

And they need to take responsibility for their actions.

In the summer of 2006, the whoring was obvious.

Nouri had already proven to be inept and a man of words and vanity and, yes, paranoia.

But the press was whoring for him.  Even though he was attacking the press.  His big solution for Iraq at that time was stealing an idea that others came up with and were already implementing (local control of protection) and silencing the press.

But when 'reporting' on this plan, one western outlet after another ignored Nouri's attempt to criminalize reporting.  Only the BBC had the guts and integrity to include Nouri's assault on the press.

Over and over, Nouri's actions have been filtered by the press to remove his most extreme statements and actions so that US readers and audio and video news consumers will never grasp how out of control Nouri is, how criminal he is.

Unlike Nouri's temple whores, we've never played that game here.

Which has made the US government's exhaustion with Nouri so interesting in the last weeks.  Even the White House is realizing that Nouri likely has to go -- no third term as prime minister for Nouri -- if Iraq is going to move forward.

This realization leaves the US press in a pickle because they've got to find a way to call out Nouri to be on the same 'team' as the White House but they've spent so long covering for him.  (The editorial board of the New York Times has spent the last years calling Nouri out.  They have been an exception among editorial boards and US columnists.  On columnists, the only one with a real record of calling Nouri out has been the Philadelphia Inquirer's Trudy Rubin.)

The western press needs to be held accountable.

That includes those who hate Sunnis and think it's alright to act on their own prejudices.  Amy Goodman does a two part segment on Iraq this week and never calls out Nouri?  Never even notes the attack on the Kurds, Zebari or anything.  But she does have time to let Patrick Cockburn foam at the mouth with his Saudi Arabia conspiracy talk.  Patrick's Sunni hatred is widely known and documented in the Arab world.  Amy Goodman wants to talk what's wrong in Iraq but, cheap whore that she is, that talk never gets to Nouri.  Two segments on how awful Sunnis -- in Iraq and in neighboring countries -- are but no accountability for Nouri?

The problem is not just that Nouri is a despot and tyrant in the grand tradition of Augusto Pinochet,  it's that the western press has refused to be honest about who and what he is.

Some in the US media lied because they're lazy and they're stupid.  The inept are always with us.  Others though?   Some in the US lied about Nouri because they always lie to reflect the position of whomever occupies the White House.  Others lied because they thought Nouri was their guy (a number of fringe radicals in the US fall under that category -- don't worry they know who they are).  Others lied because in their S&M masturbation fantasies they need someone who dominates the US government and they've wrongly portrayed puppet Nouri as someone who stood up to the US government.  Others lied because they're part of The Mighty Wurlitzer.

If you're late to the party on The Mighty Wurlitzer, you can refer to Carl Bernstein's 1977 expose "The CIA And The Media:"

In 1953, Joseph Alsop, then one of America’s leading syndicated columnists, went to the Philippines to cover an election. He did not go because he was asked to do so by his syndicate. He did not go because he was asked to do so by the newspapers that printed his column. He went at the request of the CIA.
Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services—from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go‑betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without‑portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring‑do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full‑time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.

The CIA's connections to Nouri run deep and their argument for him, in 2006, included their assessment that Nouri was deeply paranoid (he is, we first noted it here the same year) and his paranoia would make him easy to control.

Again, he is this decade's Augusto Pinochet.

In other tales of the press treating the outrageous as normal . . .

December 2012,  Iraqi President Jalal Talabani suffered a stroke.   The incident took place late on December 17, 2012 following Jalal's argument with Iraq's prime minister and chief thug Nouri al-Maliki (see the December 18, 2012 snapshot).  Jalal was admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital.    Thursday, December 20, 2012, he was moved to Germany.  He remains in Germany currently.

The latest spin is that he will return to Iraq on Saturday.  If he does, it will be one year and seven months later.  If he does, it will not be for the good of Iraq and Iraqis but because the Talabani family wants to maintain their hold on the PUK political party.   Rudaw reports:

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) has officially submitted its candidate for Iraq’s presidency, as politicians desperately struggle to put together a government in the middle of a Sunni rebellion and militant control of a third of Iraq.
Sources told Rudaw that the PUK has chosen Fuad Massoum, who is from Halabja, as a compromise candidate. But that was not immediately confirmed. Massoum is a long-time associate of Jalal Talabani, the PUK leader and Iraqi president who has been in Germany since a stroke in December 2012.

Jalal's been fine hiding out in Germany.

And the western press has been fine with treating this as normal.

Despite the fact that January 2013 should have seen Jalal return to Iraq or be stripped of his post.

The presidency can not be vacant.  The Constitution makes it clear that if a president is to ill to carry out the duties of the office, the person is replaced.

His wife and the rest of his family publicly lied, repeatedly claiming Jalal would return in a few weeks.  They began pimping that lie in January of 2013 in order to ward off cries for Talabani to be replaced.

As Iraq has faced one crises after another, it's done so without the help or aid of Jalal Talabani.  He should have been stripped of his post.

If he does return Saturday, he returns under a cloud.  He has brought shame to the nation and allowed his only desires to trump what was good for Iraq.

Iraq needed a president and Jalal deprived the country of that for 19 months.

Turning to the topic of violence, Mitchell Prothero (McClatchy Newspapers) reports:

Islamic State gunmen overran a former U.S. military base early Friday and killed or captured hundreds of Iraqi government troops who’d been trying to retake Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, the worst military reversal Iraqi troops have suffered since the Islamist forces captured nearly half the country last month.
The defeat brought to an end a three-week campaign by the government in Baghdad to recapture Tikrit, which fell to the Islamic State on June 11. Military spokesmen earlier this week had confidently announced a final push to recapture the city.

Read more here:

In addition, National Iraqi News Agency notes today's violence also includes a Kirkuk roadside bombing which left two people injured, a battle in al-Dhuluiya left 8 rebels dead, a Sinjar battle left 6 rebels dead, an Albu Gleb attack left 6 rebels dead, Jurf al-Sakhar battles left 23 rebels dead, and Nouri's continued bombing of civilian targets in Falluja left al-Furqan mosque cleric Sheikh Mohammed Kadhim injured and his home and the homes of others damaged.

We'll close with this from BRussells Tribunal:

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The EU has moral and legal obligations towards Iraq after several of its member states ignored the warnings of the anti-war voices not to attack the country in 2003.

On the occasion of the meeting on Iraq in the European Parliament on July 16th 2014

Open letter to Members of the European Parliament

On the occasion of the meeting on Iraq in the European Parliament on July 16th 2014

The EU has moral and legal obligations towards Iraq after several of its member states ignored the warnings of the anti-war voices not to attack the country in 2003.

The failure to protect the ordinary citizens of Iraq, the deliberate harm inflicted on certain communities as well as the gross human rights violations being committed by the Iraqi government’s forces on a daily basis with total impunity have been met with silence. According to Human Rights Watch 255 Sunni prisoners were murdered mainly by militia supporting prison guards in the last four weeks. All detainees must be protected immediately!

The reality of the situation is bleak: Prime Minister Maliki has built an authoritarian state where ruthless paramilitary groups such as Assaib Ahel Al Haq have more military weight than the regular army. These sectarian militias are given a free hand to terrorise communities, to commit kidnapping, to torture and to carry out extra judicial killings with impunity. The militias have been carrying out sectarian cleansing in Baghdad against the Sunnis, as reported by the media and NGOs. It is Maliki´s policies of discrimination, repression and exclusion that also bears responsibility for the increase of acts of terrorism by sectarian groups like ISIS. Neither Maliki nor his allies are really fighting terrorism but rather are using them as a pretext for their policies. These attempts are doomed to failure and have only alienated and terrorised even more communities.. Only the Iraqi people, united in defence of their nation, can defeat terrorism.
There are tens of other armed groups and militias - some of them linked to the Prime Minister's Office - that are involved in indiscriminate killings and are responsible for creating a sectarian bloodbath in Iraq. The national, non-sectarian forces leading the uprising against Maliki have strongly condemned, as we do, all terrorist actions.

The use of air strikes allegedly in order to fight terrorism is also a failed strategy. This policy has led to the indiscriminate killing of thousands of innocent civilians and the destruction of their homes .The US occupation tried it and the subsequent Green Zone governments of Iraq also tried it. Even as all observers agree that the solution in Iraq is not a military one, the US, Iran and others rush to aid Maliki with weapons and personnel. This strategy acts as a hatching machine for hatred and resentment as a result of the wholesale criminalisation of communities. We urge you therefore to speak up against the bombing of Iraqi villages, towns and cities.

One of the main reasons for the peaceful protests that began in Fallujah, Anbar, Tikrit, Mosul and other places in December 2012 was the news that women, arrested arbitrarily in lieu of their men folk, were being tortured and raped in detention. The peaceful protesters had well documented, clear demands starting with the release of all female detainees, the cancelling of article 4 of the Terrorism Law which is often used as a pretext for arbitrary arrests/torture and rape (see HRW report No One is Safe), the repeal the de-baathification decree introduced by Paul Bremer, and an end to all sectarian/ethnic discrimination and the rejection of partition of the country. The government met the peaceful protests with bombs and even massacres,) including the assassination of unarmed and injured protesters.

We call for :

1) the immediate ban on the flow of arms to Maliki's government.

2) a halt all airstrikes and military operations in Iraqi towns and cities.

3) the creation of safe corridors to deliver aid and humanitarian supplies to the civilians in areas of conflict.

4) an end to all measures of collective punishments such as the cutting off of water/electricity/withholding food stuffs and payment of salaries.

5) the protection of prisoners, the release all detainees not charged or tried and the end to all forms of arbitrary arrests, maltreatment and torture.

6) the undertaking of immediate measures to protect civilians (especially the displaced) and the safeguarding of their human rights.

7) the establishment of a new, non-sectarian government that rejects the imposed political process and constitution imposed by the occupation. Only such a government can guarantee Iraq´s borders and security.

8) the encouragement and active support from the EU, respecting the UN Security Council resolution to defend the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq, for immediate negotiations to establish such a government.

Through these measures the EU can assume its moral and legal responsibility to the people of Iraq.

International Anti-Occupation Network and the BRussells Tribunal - July 14, 2014

(1)“The jihadi surge is the tragic, violent outcome of steadily deteriorating political dynamics. Instead of a rash military intervention and unconditional support for the Iraqi government, pressure is needed to reverse sectarian polarisation and a disastrous record of governance.” International Crisis Group
(2)”.. the Obama administration has announced several waves of troop movement into the region and into Iraq specifically. As of last week, the announced number heading for Iraq now totals 770” How Nearly 800 U.S. Troops Spent Their Fourth Of July In Iraq
(3)”Two battalions of the Quds Forces, which is the overseas branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, moved to Iraq on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported. There they worked jointly with Iraqi troops to retake control of 85 percent of Tikrit, security forces from both countries told the Journal. “ RT: US airstrikes to support Iranian Revolutionary Guard's offensive in Iraq? Foreign combat aircraft pour into Iraq
(4) Toby Dodge Iraq from war to New Authoritarianism “Years of ethnic cleansing have changed the sectarian balance of Baghdad strongly in favour of Shia” FT:City on edge as Baghdad residents await Isis attack #collectivepunishment article in English #Maliki army burn orchards and kill sheep
(5) Torture session in Mousel Iraq: Government Blocking Residents Fleeing Fighting collective punishment: Iraqi government decided NOT to pay Salaries in ‘hot areas’ not under its control
50 sunni detainees in Baquba/at least 7 in Mousel/46 in Tel Afar (Amnesty report) have been killed by the Maliki forces before withdrawing.
(6)Though it received little global attention, unrest in Fallujah, a primarily Sunni city, began in late 2012 with protests against the hardline policies of Nouri al-Maliki, the Shiite prime minister. Like many residents, Wardi sees the military campaign, which began in January, as retribution. “This started under the banner of fighting terrorists but changed to attacking the city,” she said. “It’s punishment for the people.” “They describe government artillery fire raining down on the city, targeting even the hospital, as Human Rights Watch documented in May. Army helicopters have also used barrel bombs — crude and inexact explosives that level surrounding homes along with intended targets when they fall from the sky. “They’re completely indiscriminate — if not actively targeting Sunni civilians,” Erin Evers, the Human Rights Watch researcher in Iraq, said of the government’s military campaign in Fallujah and elsewhere in Anbar, such as the city of Ramadi, which has seen a similar cycle of protests and violence.” Shades Of Syria: Fears Maliki Will Follow The Assad Model In Iraq. Call on UN Security Council, U.S. and EU to prevent the bombardment of civilians in Iraq Struan Stevenson President, European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA)
(7) “Maliki never appointed a permanent, parliament-confirmed interior minister, nor a defense minister, nor an intelligence chief. Instead, he took the positions for himself.” “In short, Maliki’s one-man, one-Dawa-party Iraq looks a lot like [Saddam]Hussein’s one-man, one-Baath Party Iraq. But at least Hussein helped contain a strategic American enemy: Iran. And Washington didn’t spend $1 trillion propping him up. There is not much “democracy” left if one man and one party with close links to Iran control the judiciary, police, army, intelligence services, oil revenue, treasury and the central bank. Under these circumstances, renewed ethno-sectarian civil war in Iraq was not a possibility. It was a certainty” - Why we stuck with Maliki — and lost Iraq
(8)The United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials state that security forces in policing situations shall “apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms. Iraq: Investigate Violence at Protest Camp Fighting Erupts in Anbar Province After Security Forces, Protesters Clash.
Frustrated with living in fear and in constant violation of their rights, the people of Iraq took to the streets to demand that their basic human rights be respected. Their action took the form of peaceful demonstrations, which began on 25 December 2012 in Al-Anbar province. Since then, the demonstrations have grown in geography, expanding to cities throughout the country, and in number with hundreds of thousands of participants. The protests first called for the release of female detainees who are subjected to inhumane treatment, but now encompass a range of demands including the immediate release of fellow protestors; the abolition of anti-terrorist laws; the cessation of house raids without legal warrant and the end of financial, administrative and legal corruption. GICJ requests that an independent international investigation mission be dispatched to Iraq
“The main reason for the fall of the city of Mosul – the second largest city in Iraq – is that the Maliki government did not respond to the demands of the citizen protestors who demonstrated in Mosul, Anbar, Salahuddin, Diyala and Hawija over a year ago and so the citizens did not support the Iraqi army.The policy of the Iraqi government headed by Nouri al-Maliki has been totally sectarian in the way it has operated in the Iraqi provinces. The government has almost totally excluded representatives of the Sunni population from the sovereign ministries, or left them with no real authority. Even the new Iraqi army was formed on this basis. The Iraqi army unfortunately does not support a doctrine of loyalty to the homeland (or an Iraq that is inclusive of all people); instead it is loyal to the Madhhab or Shia doctrine. It deals with citizens according to their religious sect. The armed forces have attacked people in the cities of Mosul, Anbar, Salahuddin, Diyala and Hawija. They have carried out arrests, torture and extortion. There have also been many cases of rape by members of the army, both outside and inside prisons.”