Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Funding the no-progress-never-progress Haider al-Abadi government

Let's start with a misreport.

Alsumaria reports US Embassy spokesperson Jeffrey Lurie has declared opposition to the proposed bill in the House being touted by a group of Republicans.

Alsumaria reports this as US government says they do support the bill.

Yes and no.

The Congress is also part of the US government.

It's that part that passes the law.

Lurie is the spokesperson for the US Embassy.  He falls under the umbrella of the State Dept.

At best, the State Dept has declared its objection if Lurie is commenting -- at best.  Embassy spokespeople have been overruled before by State.

From yesterday's snapshot:

From the Parliament to the US Congress, Julian Pecquet (Al Monitor) reports:

The House Armed Services Committee on April 27 released an annual Defense bill that authorizes $715 million in aid to Iraqi forces fighting the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS). The bill, which is scheduled to be debated and voted on in the committee on April 29, carves out at least 25% of that aid for the peshmerga, the Sunni tribal militias and a yet-to-be-established Iraqi Sunni National Guard.
The bill “would require that the Kurdish peshmerga, the Sunni tribal security forces with a national security mission, and the Iraqi Sunni National Guard be deemed a country,” according to a bill summary. Doing so “would allow these security forces to directly receive assistance from the United States.” 
The Obama administration has expressed some degree of support for giving Iraqi minorities more autonomy, with Secretary of State John Kerry and the president himself applauding the idea of a National Guard. A senior administration official, however, told Al-Monitor that the Defense bill proposal goes too far.


Alsumaria reports MP Hanan al-Fatlawi has declared the bill (which see wrongly appears to believe is already a law) is a violation of Iraq's sovereignty and she demands the Parliament pass some action barring the bill.  al-Fatlawi is a member of Nouri al-Maliki's State Of Law political slate.
And if al-Fatlawi's angry about Baghdad being bypassed (aid and weapons currently go to Baghdad which then either distributes a tiny amount to the Kurds and the Sunnis or none at all), wait until she learns what else is in the bill.
NRT explains that the bill, if it became law, would demand that "before Baghdad receives the money, it has to ensure that it's meeting certain conditions, including giving minorities greater inclusion in the central government."

That unnamed "senior administration official" could be seen as reflecting the view of the White House (although, if so, he or she should have gone on record with their name) but Lurie cannot speak for the White House.  If he could, he'd be Josh Ernest, White House spokesperson.

Will the White House object?


More over the clause of "meeting certain conditions."

The White House (and the State Dept) refuses to put conditions in place.

It's just hand whatever thug they put in charge of Iraq more money and more weapons.

And when they can't get their way from Congress, attempt to bully and strong arm.

That's what they did to Senator Robert Menendez when he objected to arming Nouri because Nouri was ordering his forces to attack the Iraqi people.

Menendez is currently involved in what may be a scandal of his own making, maybe trumped up charges by the administration in an attempt to silence him, maybe some variation or combination of much more.

But many in Congress (both sides of the aisle) see what's taking place as punishment for Menendez' past refusal to immediately fall in line behind the White House.

And they're already bothered by the refusal to use the diplomatic toolbox -- i.e. 'we will give you these weapons but in exchange you must show us proof of reconciliation by doing . . .' -- time and again.

Haider left the US with $200 million for rebuilding in Iraq and he got that without making any concessions on his part.

The US taxpayer has spent over $2 billion on the war on the Islamic State since August and they've done that with Haider making no progress on a political solution.

Republicans control both houses of Congress.  If they get any Democrats to support the bill proposed, it could pass with a veto proof margin.  Could.  Not saying it will.

But the point is that the US Embassy in Baghdad has a spokesperson.  He is not qualified to speak on behalf of Congress.  Congress is an equal branch of government and it will decide on what bills it will pass or not.

Iraqi Spring MC notes Falluja General states 3 civilians died and three more were injured as a result of Tuesday's shelling of Falluja's residential neighborhoods.

That awful ISIS!

No, these bombings are carried out by the Iraqi military.

They started in January 2014 under Nouri.

They're a daily event.

They're also a War Crime.

Legally defined as such by US and international law.

And Haider al-Abadi was praised for announcing September 13th that he had ended them.

But then September 14th came and the bombings continued.

As they have every day since.

This is a case of the Sunni civilian population being targeted by the Iraqi government out of Baghdad.  They are being killed and wounded by their own government.

Per the Leahy Amendment, Haider can't receive weapons or money while this takes place -- not from the US government.

But everyone's wanted to look the other way.

The clause the House Republicans put into the bill will be the most frightening aspect for the White House.

We'll talk about divisions of the funds in the snapshot tonight -- though the State Dept may weigh in on that in today's briefing since its goes to the heart of their diplomatic failures.

The following community sites -- plus Z On TV,  The Diane Rehm Show, Pacifica Radio, Susan's On the Edge and The NewsHour --  updated:


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