Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Amnesty finds a voice, War Hawk Power gets rebuked and Nouri plots a comeback

As we noted yesterday morning,  Amnesty International released a report on refugees and decried the silence on the topic while they themselves were . . . silent about Iraq.

In an attempt to play catch up, they released the following today:

One year after the take-over of Mosul by the group calling itself Islamic State (IS), Iraq is experiencing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.

Sectarian violence has spiraled to a level not seen since 2006-2007, the worst period of civil strife in the country’s recent history. IS’s territorial gains have been accompanied by widespread war crimes, including mass killings, abductions, rape and destruction. Hundreds of thousands of people, mainly religious and ethnic minorities, have been forced from their homes. Some 2.8 million people have been displaced by the conflict. Many are living in dire conditions, as the Iraqi central government and Kurdish authorities, as well as the international community, have struggled to provide for even the most basic needs of the growing number.  Many of the displaced have also been denied access to safe areas by both the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) acting out of security concerns but also on sectarian and discriminatory grounds.
At the same time, Shi’a militias acting with impunity and outside any legal framework, but with the backing of Iraqi government and government forces have been carrying out reprisal attacks against Sunni communities, including mass killings, abductions and destruction of Sunni villages.

Sign our petition to call on the Iraqi central government, the Kurdistan Regional government and the international community to protect civilians and put an end to human right abuses

Call on the Iraqi government  and the Kurdistan Regional government to:
  • Ensure that all allegations of abductions, hostage-taking, enforced disappearance, unlawful killings, including extrajudicial executions and other summary killings, torture and other ill-treatment by members of pro-government militias and members of the security services or armed forces are investigated promptly, thoroughly, transparently and independently;
Call on the Iraqi central government, the Kurdistan Regional Government and the International community to:
  • Make concerted efforts to ensure that adequate protection and humanitarian assistance including shelter, food, water, sanitation and essential medical assistance is provided to those displaced by the conflict, and that they are allowed a safe passage to safe shelter.
  • When transferring or receiving weapons, adopt a preventive approach and strict safeguards in order to mitigate and remove the substantial risk of the arms being used directly by the intended recipients, or through diversion, to commit or facilitate serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law

Meanwhile a Tweet of value -- meaning it builds on the past to illuminate the present:

  • Samantha Power is a War Hawk.  For reasons they need to explain, people like Jeremy Scahill, John Nichols and Davy D portrayed her as a woman of peace in 2008 and spent time spinning for her.  Amy Goodman oohed and aahed over the prospect of the War Hawk becoming Secretary of State (hasn't happened yet) and used that 'hook' as a fund raising tool over the WBAI airwaves.

    They don't do that today.

    Today, the four pretend like they never went around spinning and lying for Samantha.  (Davy D can always claim he never did since he was spinning for Samantha "Powers" -- leave it to Davy D to get the name wrong of the person he's defending/spinning for.)

    But Power was a hawk supporting the Iraq War and today she's held one post after another in Barack's administration.

    She's used her positions to call for war.

    So a Tweet connecting her past with her present is an effective one.

    She also fought for Nouri al-Maliki to get a second term after he lost the 2010 elections. She fought for a democratic election to be overturned.  (She wasn't the only one, Joe Biden supported that as well.  Ultimately, Barack did as well.)

    That second term destroyed Iraq.

    And that's a fact Barack admitted publicly (while not copping to his role in giving Nouri that second term) last summer.

    As we noted when Nouri stepped down under pressure, he's not done until he's in his grave.

    Thug Nouri continues breathing.

    So he remains a threat.

    A point Guy Taylor (Washington Examiner) makes clear in his article about how US officials believe Nouri is currently thwarting any efforts new prime minister Haider al-Abadi might make towards reaching a political solution in Iraq:

    The Obama administration continues to publicly back Mr. al-Abadi. But in private, several high-level U.S. officials from the intelligence community and the administration echoed Mr. Mufriji’s assertions and voiced frustration that Mr. al-Maliki is trying to play the spoiler.
    Those officials, who spoke anonymously with The Times, said a big part of the problem is that Mr. al-Maliki — not Mr. al-Abadi — holds the most sway over Shiite militias leading the fight against the Islamic State, despite a desire by many Sunni tribes in the nation to take up arms against the extremists. Iraq’s national army, all sides agree, has not performed well in direct engagements with Islamic State fighters.


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