Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Iraq snapshot

Tuesday, September 1, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, some rush to cover crimes, some ignore War Crimes, Francis A. Boyle speaks out, and much more.

As September starts, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq announces at least 1325 violent deaths for the month of August in Iraq:

Baghdad, 1 September 2015 – According to casualty figures released today by UNAMI, a total of 1,325 Iraqis were killed and another 1,811 were injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in August 2015*.

The number of civilians killed was 585 (including 20 civilian police and casualty figures in Anbar), and the number of civilians injured was 1,103 (including 44 civilian police and casualty figures in Anbar).
A further 740 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (including Peshmerga, SWAT and militias fighting alongside the Iraqi Army / Not including casualties from Anbar Operations) were killed and 708 were injured.
“With the steadily increasing number of casualties, internally displaced persons, and the alarming rate of Iraqis fleeing war, persecution and poverty to seek refuge abroad, the successful implementation of the government reform plan will be paramount to restore order, legality and social justice in the country and renew confidence in the fair participation of all in the society”, SRSG Kubis said, acknowledging the immense sacrifices Iraqi civilians and security forces continue to make in the ongoing war against terrorism.
Baghdad was the worst affected Governorate with 1,069 civilian casualties (318 killed, 751 injured). Diyala suffered 108 killed and 162 injured; Ninewa 69 killed and 3 injured; Salah al-Din 23 killed and 13 injured and Kirkuk 17 killed and 15 injured.
According to information obtained by UNAMI from the Health Directorate in Anbar, the Governorate suffered a total of 187 civilian casualties (39 killed and 148 injured).
*CAVEATS: In general, UNAMI has been hindered in effectively verifying casualties in conflict areas. Figures for casualties from Anbar Governorate are provided by the Health Directorate and are noted below. Casualty figures obtained from the Anbar Health Directorate might not fully reflect the real number of casualties in those areas due to the increased volatility of the situation on the ground and the disruption of services. In some cases, UNAMI could only partially verify certain incidents. UNAMI has also received, without being able to verify, reports of large numbers of casualties along with unknown numbers of persons who have died from secondary effects of violence after having fled their homes due to exposure to the elements, lack of water, food, medicines and health care. For these reasons, the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum.

This is an undercount.  It's always been an undercount.

In the past, we've noted Anitwar.com.

Not interested anymore.

Not because Justin Raimondo is the equivalent of wet-pantied, squealing little girl at a Beatles concert when it comes to Barack Obama.  (They call themselves Antiwar and 'libertarian' but any time Barack pulls a fake ass 'peace' move, Raimondo's hands go straight down his pants as he begins moaning.)

This is because they're liars and I don't like liars.

Back in 2014, we raised the issue of Margaret Griffis tossing "militants" onto any deaths because some official did.  We'd hoped that would change this year.

Not only did it not change but when it turned out that so-called 'militants' were actually innocent civilians, Antiwar.com didn't go back and change the propaganda and lies they'd offered.

This is no different than be outraged that the New York Times spread propaganda to sell and continue the illegal war in Iraq.

This is no different than expressing dismay that its then-reporter Judith Miller took dictation from government sources instead of doing actual reporting.

When civilians are killed by governments and governments try to wall paper over those deaths by pretending the dead were 'militants' or 'terrorists,'

Those who help them reach that goal -- intentionally or due to their own blatant stupidity -- are no better than the government liars.

I've tried to be nice about it, but I'm sick of it now.

One of the worst War Crimes of the illegal war was the murder and gang-rape of Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi who was gang-raped while her parents and younger sister were murdered.  This was done by US soldiers who were sure they could get away with it because the violence would be blamed on, yes, 'militants' and 'terrorists' and, yes, they almost got away with it.

We covered what happened here.  We covered the Article 32 hearing, the plea deals, the civilian prosecution of Steven D. Green, Abeer's family reacting to the verdict on Green and so much more.

By contrast, I think Antiwar.com offered three pieces on this War Crime.

They really weren't interested which goes to the hatred of women which you'll find at Antiwar.com -- one of those sites infamous for multitudes of men writing and blogging and the occasional token woman.

They weren't interested in Abeer.

And they're not interested in Iraqis.

They really do reek of the isolationist slur or stereotype that so many War Hawks try to pin on them -- and they have no one to blame for that but themselves.

As I've repeatedly noted over the years, I'm part of a peace movement, not an anti-war movement.  That crowd has trouble grasping what to hold on to but they can tell you in three seconds everything they're against.

Those were ideological differences.

I bit my tongue.

When Antiwar.com knows that civilians were killed and that they reported those deaths as deaths of 'militants'?  When they know that and they don't correct it or follow up on it?

Not only does Justin Raimondo have no high horse to ride but we have no use for them.

Mistakes are one thing -- we all make them -- intentionally lying is another.

Their embrace of Nouri al-Maliki?

We largely looked the other way.

But that's typical of the immaturity they've demonstrated repeatedly over the years while pretending to be the leading light of 'anti war' thinking.

You'll notice that even now, especially now?, with Nouri a public disgrace, they don't address their ridiculous support of Nouri -- a position that seems as laughable as the pro-Stalin Americans of yesteryear.

But thing is, it was always laughable.

We called Nouri out in real time and we called him out repeatedly.

The abuses he's now infamous for?

We called them out while they were taking place.

Antiwar.com wall papered over those in order to keep their pro-Nouri stance.

We have no more use for Antiwar.com and the reason is that they don't respect Iraqis enough to stop repeating unverifiable claims that the dead are 'militants' or 'terrorists.'

It's not a minor point.

If they truly were antiwar, they would grasp that not only is it not a minor point but that what they are doing perpetuates war because it provides cover for the deaths of civilians.

"Watch Donald Trump Completely Contradict Himself . . ."

Oh, it's time to gas bag and pretend you reported, is it?

Yes, a US presidential election is only 15 or so months away which means it's time for Mother Jones to start pretending they're covering real issues.

And first stop:  Iraq.

The little twerps spend forever trying to figure out how to shame the GOP and call it 'reporting' before arriving at useless crap like that Donald Trump nonsense we'll note but not link to.

If they're truly worried about someone contradicting themselves on Iraq, they'd be noting Hillary Clinton as well.  They don't.

Now in 2008, they slaughtered her -- especially David Corn.

That's when they were pimping Barack.

Since he can't run and Hillary's the desired candidate of big money, Mother Jones is pimping her now.

They call it 'reporting' but they're really just thugs sent out to destroy for their corporate masters.

Let's stay with the topic of stupidity for a bit more.

Reuters identifies a writer as follows:

Mohamad Bazzi is a journalism professor at New York University and former Middle East bureau chief at Newsday. A former fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, he is writing a book on the proxy wars between Saudi Arabia and Iran. He tweets @BazziNYU         

They included everything but buffoon which, for the record, Mohamad Bazzi is.

In a ridiculous piece of adult porn focusing on Haider al-Abadi (Prime Minister of Iraq), Mohamad raves:

Since Abadi took office last September, Sunni political leaders have made several demands: amnesty for tens of thousands of Sunnis imprisoned — in many cases without judicial review — by Maliki’s regime in the name of fighting terrorism; greater power in the new government; an end to aerial bombardment of Sunni towns; and a more significant role in the Iraqi security forces, which Maliki cleansed of many senior Sunni officers.
Abadi has responded to some of these demands, releasing prisoners and ordering an end to the Iraqi air force bombings of Sunni areas. 

Haider ordered an end to the Iraqi air force bombings of Sunni areas?

Mohamad Bazzi is a moron.

First off, for the bulk of the time, it's not been the Iraqi air force.  It's been the Iraqi military launching mortar attacks.  They didn't have the planes to devote to bombings until recently.

These bombings began in January 2014 under then-prime minister (and forever thug) Nouri al-Maliki.

They continued under Haider.

These bombings target residential areas in Falluja.

This is a designated and defined War Crime (collective punishment) where civilians are punished, harmed or threatened because their may be rebels, fighters, militants, enemy combats in the area.

The presence of those does not allow you to harm civilians -- international law and US law is quite clear on that.

Mohamad is referring to September 13, 2014 when Haider declared that these illegal bombings were over.

For reality, we'll drop back to what we wrote here on September 14, 2014, the day after Haider's big announcement:

Third's "Editorial: The bombing of civilians continues in Iraq" notes Iraq's new prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, ordered an end to the military bombing civilian targets on Saturday -- or that al-Abadi said he gave that order -- yet Falluja General Hospital was bombed today.
Iraqi Spring MC notes the bombings of residential neighborhoods in Falluja also continued today with 6 civilians left dead  and 22 more injured.

Apparently, facts aren't a requirement at NYU. Mohamed should excel there.

One of Haider's 'reforms' is ending the position of vice president.  Iraq has had three.

The three Haider's 'reform' kicks out are thug Nouri, former Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi and Iraqiya leader Ayda Allawi.  (Allawi and Nouri are Shia, Osama is Sunni.)

Hamza Mustafa (Asharq Al-Awsat) reports that Osama is stating the move is unconstitutional and that he can support any reform that is constitutional but not ones that are unconstitutional.  He maintains that he is still a Vice President.  Hamza Mustafa maintains Ayad Allawi has accepted the posts being cancelled but that Nouri al-Maliki has not:

Meanwhile, Abbas Al-Mussawi, the official spokesman for Nuri Al-Maliki, told Asharq Al-Awsat the former PM also regarded the cancellation of the vice president posts as unconstitutional and believed only President Masoum could remove the incumbents or cancel the posts.
“We support the reforms announced by Abadi and which he passed on to parliament, and Mr. Maliki supports them. But Iraq is a democratic country with a constitution and an elected parliament, and so the issue here is that even what is related to Abadi must be decided by parliament. In addition to this, parliament did approve the [reforms] but added a caveat that they should not clash with Iraq’s constitution,” he said.
He added that like Nujaifi, Maliki was still “practicing his post as vice president until now, since there is nothing in this that contradicts the constitution.”
Maliki is also facing the possibility of standing trial over his culpability in the fall of Iraq’s second city Mosul to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) last year. A parliamentary report issued last month, now referred to the judiciary, accuses Maliki and top military commanders of failing to take adequate measures to stop ISIS’s capture of the city despite having ample evidence of their approach.
Reports suggesting the outgoing vice presidents’ return to parliament center on Maliki seeking to gain immunity from trial by standing as an MP. Mussawi said: “Why should he [Maliki] return to parliament when he is still, until now, a vice president?”

Nouri will not be resigning from Parliament most likely.  As we've noted before, he's counting on the immunity he's granted as a sitting member of Parliament -- the same immunity he ignored when he attempted to persecute Tareq al-Hashemi and other Sunni politicians.

Staying with politics, cretin John Podesta apparently got tired of standing at the urinals and emerged in the sunlight this month to hurl insults at others for the Iraq War -- a war he's suddenly against.

In the August 20th snapshot, we noted how Podesta worked overtime to stop Democrats in Congress from bringing impeachment charges against Bully Boy Bush and allowed the Iraq War to start.  We were relying on the public statements of international law and human rights expert Francis A. Boyle.  Boyle issued another statement on the matter last week:

On 13 March 2003, that is just before the outbreak of the war against
Iraq, Congressman John Conyers, the ranking member of the House
Judiciary Committee, convened an emergency meeting of 40 to 50 of his
top advisors, most of whom were lawyers, to put in emergency bills of
impeachment against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and at that time Ashcroft,
to head off the impending war.
He invited me and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark in to debate the
issue in favor of impeachment. The debate lasted two hours. We had my
draft resolution on the table and Ramsey also had his draft resolution;
we don’t disagree at all in how we see the issues. And to make a long
story short the lawyers there did not disagree with me and Ramsey that
Bush merited impeachment for what he had done and was threatening to do
so far.
The main objection was political expedience and in particular John
Podesta was there. He had been Clinton’s White House chief of staff. He
stated he was appearing on behalf of the Democratic National Committee
and that as far as the DNC was concerned it was going to hurt their
ability to get whoever their candidate was going to be in 2004 elected
President if we put in these bills of impeachment. I found that argument
completely disingenuous when the Democrats had no idea who their

candidate was going to be in 2004 as of March 2003. We had no idea.

Podesta is now serving on Hillary Clinton's campaign for the Democratic Party's 2016 presidential nomination.