Sunday, September 07, 2014

Barack's now a baby killer in Iraq

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Trudy Rubin offers:

In the end, Obama will have to decide if the Islamic State threat justifies unilateral U.S. action. He did unleash U.S. air strikes in Iraq, after Islamic State fighters seized Iraq’s second largest city and were threatening America’s Iraqi Kurdish allies.
But the Kurds alone can’t push back the Islamic State, and the Iraqi army isn’t up to the job. Nor is a new Shiite-led Iraqi government likely to be inclusive enough to convince Sunni tribesmen to rebel against the Islamic State and risk having their heads cut off.

You can use the link to read it in full.  As noted before, Trudy's never walked away from Iraq so we will note her opinion anytime I'm aware she has a new column on Iraq.  I can (and in the case of the new column, do) disagree with her take in part or in full.  That doesn't matter to me.  It does matter that one of the few columnists who never took their eye of Iraq gets noted.

Of Saturday's violence, Margaret Griffis ( reports, "Airstrikes in northern Iraq have accidentally killed civilians, including seven newborns at a hospital. This would not be the first government strike against civilian targets, accidentally or purposefully."  She notes civilians were killed in aistrikes in Abbai, Tal Ali and Hawija.  Hawija found the Iraq and US military -- and let's be clear, it's both -- bombing a hospital resulting in 18 deaths -- "Eight of the fatalities were newborns housed in a premature baby wing that collapsed due to the strike."  There's so much to say there.

First off, maybe it wouldn't have happened if people had objected loudly -- non-Iraqis had objected loudly -- to the non-stop bombing of Falluja's residential neighborhoods which has left at least 1,000 civilians dead since January and many more injured.  (That "at least 1,000" comes from a United Nations friend who states that while UNAMI is silent on the continued slaughter another UN body is now following the bombing of Falluja closely and may issue a statement in the near future.)  The bombings of Falluja's residential neighborhoods take place every day.  They're not inclued in Griffis' report but, as Iraqi Spring MC notes, Falluja's residential neighborhoods were bombed yesterday.  There's another one not included by Griffis that we'll note in a second.

The hospital was bombed.

This is not a mistake.

This is not an accident.

Anyone who pretends otherwise at this point is a damn liar.

The Hawija hospital has been standing since long before the Gulf War, not just since before the start of the current illegal war (March 2003), since long before the start of the Gulf War under President George HW Bush.

It wasn't an accident.

It wasn't a mistake.

The US government needs to be asked why they are targeting hospitals.

As the 'trainers' of the Iraqi forces, as the suppliers of the weapons and so much more, the US government is responsible for this attack even if no US war planes were used to bomb the hospital.

Right now, victims of Blackwater are on what may be their last chance at getting justice from the legal system over an incident that's seven years ago.

There should not be seven years of silence over the bombing of the hospital and the killing of babies.

Americans have looked the other way long enough.

This attack should prompt massive repulsion and demands that Barack explain how the hospital came to be bombed and what's the difference between the Islamic State and the government of Nouri al-Maliki which is carrying out, with US support, these air bombings.

As most know, if they've paid a damn bit of attention (Patrick Cockburn, of course, never has), Nouri loathes the governor of Kirkuk -- a man who has stood up to Nouri repeatedly.  If you don't know that -- maybe you've mistakenly relied on Sunni hater Patrick Cockburn for your news) -- we'll spoon feed you on Monday (in the Iraq snapshot) but I don't have the time this morning.

How does backing a slaughter in Hawija help the US government achieve its stated goals and aims?  Jen Psaki and Marie Harf should be asked that in this week's State Dept press briefings.  (So should Josh Earnest in the White House press briefing but you're more likely to get a glimmer honesty from Psaki and Harf.)

And then there's Ziyad Khalil.  Iraqi Spring MC reports his death.

His first name is usually translated to mean "more" or "abundance."

There is no more time for Ziyad.  The young man was a college student (University of Tikrit, Islamic Sciences).  He died when the military bombed his family's Tuz Khurmato home.

There's political news but I'll try to carry that over to Third.  If not, we'll grab it here tonight.

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