Thug Nouri al-Maliki claims to be a leader -- one worthy of a third term -- but all he does is kill Iraqis. For seven months, he has bombed residential areas of Falluja -- killing and wounding civilians. Now he's expanding his attacks to other areas.
As we've noted for some time, want to bring foreign Sunnis into Iraq to fight? Keep targeting Iraq's Sunni population with violence.
Kurdish Peshmerga forces have been instructed to “respond appropriately” to any attack on Tuz Khurmatu, an official warned, after Iraqi jets bombed the town center on Sunday, killing four people and wounding 10.
Shalal Abdul, an official from the mostly Turkmen-populated town south of Kirkuk, told Rudaw that the decision to respond to Iraqi attacks on Tuz Khurmatu was taken at an urgent meeting of the Peshmerga forces on Monday.
The Peshmerga strengthened their positions in Tuz Khurtamu and moved into other “disputed territories” outside the official borders of their autonomous northern enclave, after the withdrawal of Iraq’s armed forces from the region last month.
Today's Zaman notes, "Cabbar Yaver, secretary-general of KRG forces (peshmerge), was quoted in Turkish media reports as saying that the Iraqi war planes had targeted civilian areas in the town."
Among the victims of Nouri in the bombings of Tuz Khumatu? A 12-year-old girl. This is what Nouri does. Who will protect the Sunnis? The Kurds have the power base and military to lodge a serious objection and be heard. (That said, I don't think Nouri's done attacking Tuz Khurmatu.) Sunni leaders in Anbar and Baghdad objected repeatedly to Nouri's bombings of Falluja (and continue to object) but it hasn't stopped Nouri.
Today's crises in Iraq didn't have to happen. In a Foreign Policy column The Week has reprinted, Zaid Al-Ali reminds 2010 offered a great deal of promise:
Iraqis were demanding more from their politicians than mere survival. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki established a new political alliance, the State of Law alliance, which campaigned on a platform of re-establishing strong state institutions, reducing corruption, and providing adequate services to the people. The Iraqiya alliance, another large and newly formed coalition, backed a similar platform. The tantalizing prospects of establishing a new political environment and creating a stable state seemed within reach.
It never happened. Rather than consolidating these gains, several factors began working against Iraq's national cohesion as early as 2010. Maliki's government used "de-Baathification" laws, introduced to keep members of Saddam Hussein's regime out of government, to target his opponents — but not his many allies, who also had been senior members of the Baath Party. The 2010 government formation process turned out to be yet another opportunity for politicians of all stripes to grant themselves senior positions which they could use to plunder the state. When tens of thousands of Iraqis took to the streets in February 2011 to protest corruption, they were branded terrorists and were attacked and beaten by security forces and hired thugs. Dozens were killed and thousands arrested and tortured until the protests fizzled. Meanwhile, though terrorist groups were not operating as openly as before, hundreds of civilians continued to be killed every month, particularly in Baghdad, denying Iraqis in many parts of the country even a brief period of normalcy.
At that time, Maliki began referring to himself publicly as Iraq's preeminent military leader. When the 2010 electoral results did not conform to his expectations, he demanded a recount in his "capacity as commander in chief." When he forced senior anti-corruption officials from their positions, he once again inappropriately invoked his military credentials. He called officers on their mobile phones to demand specific actions or that individuals be arrested, circumventing the chain of command. After the new government was formed in November 2010, he refused to appoint ministers of the interior and of defense, preferring to occupy both positions himself. He appointed senior military commanders directly, instead of seeking parliamentary approval as required by the constitution.
There was also much talk about the prime minister's special forces, including the Baghdad Operations Command. Groups of young men were arrested in waves, often in the middle of the night, and would be whisked to secret jails, often never to be seen again. Former Army officers, members of the Awakening, activists who complained too much about corruption, devout Iraqis who prayed a little too often at their local mosques — all were targeted. Many were never charged with crimes or brought before a judge. Under the pretext of trying to stop the regular explosions that blighted Baghdad, these individuals were subjected to severe abuse.
Nouri caused the current crises.
Turning to some of the other violence in Iraq today, National Iraqi News Agency reports a Burhiz bombing left three Iraqi soldiers injured, 1 corpse was discovered dumped "north of Baghdad," a Kukjeli battle left three Peshmerga injured, and 1 police member was shot dead in Ghazaliya, In addition, Liz Dodd and Ellen Teague (Tablet) report:
Two nuns are among five Assyrians believed to have been kidnapped while visiting a girls’ orphanage in northern Iraq in an area now controlled by the Islamic State.
Sisters Miskintah and Utoor Joseph, part of the Chaldean Daughters of Mary Order that ran an all-girl orphanage in Mosul, had returned to inspect it after the area fell to the Isis terrorist group two weeks ago. They have not been heard from since.
The sisters, along with three other Assyrians they were travelling with, Hala Salim, Sarah Khoshaba and Aram Sabah, are believed to have been kidnapped by Isis.
The following community sites -- plus Susan's On the Edge, Jody Watley, Pacifica Evening News and Black Agenda Report -- updated:
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