A frantic e-mail from a drive-by reader insists that I have missed the biggest Iraq story of 2014, the Ebola! The Ebola!
While we never noted that nonsense that popped up at some outlets about 3 days ago, we didn't miss it. I just don't trust the outlets promoting it or the claims being offered. Alsumaria, an Iraqi outlet, addresses the Ebola today and the frantic e-mailer might want to calm down.
Alsumaria notes Iraq's Ministry of Health denounced the rumors yesterday and declared there are no known cases of Ebola in Iraq.
I'm not one to blindly believe a ministry (of any country, including the US).
However, the story was part of a wave of smears on the Islamic State (again, there's no need to create lies about the Islamic State, they're actions are outrageous enough and when you lie and your lie explodes it means readers start to doubt the true things about the Islamic State that you actually are reporting), it was weak and weakly sourced, if Ebola was there then WHO would know about it and no one I talked to at WHO believed the 'reports' and, finally, if Iraq has Ebola and the Ministry of Health is lying, that won't take long to prove. Ebola would quickly spread and the Ministry of Health would not only look like a liar but the Parliament would quickly vote the Minister in charge out of office and a new Minister would be named. This would not take place over a period of months but move very quickly.
So it's not in the interest of the Ministry of Health to lie about this. Were this, for example, a claim by the Ministry that no one was suffering from the lack of potable water, I'd be skeptical in part because I know how easy that would be to cover up -- including any deaths from it.
But Ebola is a different issue and the Ministry could not cover it up and it would be a huge story by the end of next week because there would be other outbreaks.
I don't believe we missed that 'report.'
We do miss things all the time.
That isn't one of them.
Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) reports an attack in Basra last night left 3 Sunni clerics dead. Just above, we were noting how some officials lie? The Ministry of Interior is a place lies fly out of all the time. It's been that way for eight years now. So their attempt to pin the attack on the Islamic State?
We're not as gullible as the Associated Press.
As AFP notes that "the Iraqi Islamic Party, one of the main Sunni political parties, said the attack was carried out by 'criminal militias,' an apparent reference to Shiite fighters Baghdad has turned to for support in its battle against IS." And, of course, these Shi'ite militias forces would have been part of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's tour of Basra on December 31st and clearly could have stayed the next day to take part in the assassinations. The Iraqi military that the US wants to train first needs to be purged of all criminal militia elements -- including those who, of course, kidnapped and killed US troops -- for those who missed it, Barack Obama released some of those in 2009 as a deal to get the League of Righteous to release the 1 living British hostage and the corpses of the other British hostages -- but remember, Barack insists that he doesn't make deals with terrorists. (The League of Righteous has been very clear that a deal was made -- very clear to the Iraqi press.)
Alsumaria notes that Speaker of Parliament Salim al-Jubouri has called today for a serious investigation, for accountability and for prosecution over these assassinations (two more clerics were left injured in the attack). And, no surprise, he's not satisfied with leaving the investigation to the Ministry of the Interior and wants Parliament to form an investigative committee as well.
Alsumaria also notes an Abu Ghraib roadside bombing has left 1 person dead and four more injured, a Hussein roadside bombing has left seven people injured, and a Mahmudiya sticky bombing left two people injured.
We're not interested in the crap ass Iraq Body Count which, as we exposed sometime ago, does the bidding of the US State Dept. For all its failures, we'll go with UNAMI's count when it is released. But Iraq Body Count altered their count on the orders of the US State Dept. When they did that, we called it out here and dropped them as a reliable source.
After we exposed them, they suffered but, in the new year, there's an effort to promote them again.
Sorry, you don't come back from altering your published numbers on the orders of the US government.
2014 year-in-review pieces: Isaiah's "2014 Self-Exposure," Kat's "Kat's Korner: 2014 In Music," Ruth's "Ruth's Radio Report 2014," Martha and Shirley's "2014 in Books (Martha & Shirley)" Ann and Stan's "2014 in Film (Ann and Stan)" which first went up at their own sites as Ann's "2014 in Films (Ann and Stan)" and Stan's "2014 in film (Ann and Stan)," Third's "2014 Notable Events" and my "2014: The Year of Self-Exposure."
Dennis e-mailed to ask about the timing? They were supposed to start going up at 11:30 pm my time (PST). I had told Martha and Shirley I'd do the images for their piece. I had not written my piece yet but the plan was to give an hour to 90 minutes for each piece to be at the top so it could have the spotlight. (That happened with everything except Isaiah's comic. Which is why after my piece went up 10 minutes later, I changed the time on Isaiah's comic to make it the top piece.) At 11:30, I started puking and that continued until four my time. I then took an hour nap and then started (after working out and showering) on posting the various pieces and writing my own. Mine is no where what it was intended to be but it is what it is. My apologies to anyone who was waiting for the pieces to go up, they should have gone up by midnight at the latest.
Cedric and Wally posted this morning, the other community sites posted on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning: