Saturday, September 19, 2015

Iraq snapshot

Saturday, September 19, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, Turkey continues dropping bombs on Iraq, cholera continues to claim lives in Iraq, Haider al-Abadi has some popularity issues, Human Rights Watch notes the Shi'ite militias crimes, and much more.

Turkish War Planes dropped bombs on northern Iraq today killing at least 55 people -- though, strangely, it's only Sky News that can put the term terrorists in quotes while Reuters and others present claims of who was killed as fact.

These bombings terrorize villagers and destroy farms -- often killing Iraqis in the process.

But by all means, pretend that the lies of the Turkish government are facts.

By all means, pretend that people aren't living where the bombs are dropped and being terrorized.

It was last week when AFP pretended that fat ass Ibrahim al-Jaafari spoke for anyone.

Fat Coward Ibrahim was stripped of being prime minister by the Bully Boy Bush White House.  Since then, he's just been a laughable coward in Iraq.

He's the Foreign Minister -- a thankless job.

And he told AFP that he just wished the Turkish government would coordinate the attacks with the Baghdad-based government.

Haider al-Abadi, Prime Minister of Iraq, had already decried the bombings and the fact that they are an attack on Iraqi sovereignty.

But AFP ran with the remarks of Coward Ibrahim.

He's a coward and his remarks confirmed him as a coward.

Iraqis are opposed to the bombings and, as previous bombings by Turkey over the years have demonstrated, they tend to turn on Iraqi politicians who provide cover for the bombings while they tend to support those who speak out against the bombings.

Even thug Nouri was, when prime minister, able to boost his popularity by condemning Turkey sending War Planes to bomb northern Iraq.

Haider al-Abadi has yet to withdraw his objection to these bombings.

It would be politically stupid for him to do so.

And yet, last weekend, AFP presented the claims by fat coward Ibrahim al-Jaafari as the voice of Iraq.

The 68 year-old coward has often presented himself as the voice of Iraq -- even during the 23 years he lived in Iran after fleeing Iraq.

Yes, fat ass and coward Ibrahim is one of the many, many US-appointed leaders who only returned to Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

Now the coward, who Bully Boy Bush denied a second term as prime minister, is a lowly Foreign Minister -- and, of course, a coward.

As a major player in the Dawa political party, the fat coward did have the ability to improve the lives of the Iraqi people.  But that was never his concern.

Reuters notes today, "Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered daily water tests and other measures on Saturday to contain an outbreak of cholera that has killed at least six people in Baghdad's western outskirts."

Yes, the annual cholera outbreak.

As we noted September 13th:

When Nouri was prime minister, this time of the year was infamous for something.
Even when the western press began ignoring it, this time of year meant cholera outbreaks.
And the Ministry of Health has announced there are 12 cases of cholera currently.
Why the cholera outbreaks?
Because of the lack of potable water.
Instead of fixing the public infrastructure, the Iraqi government has taken the attitude that the people can have unsafe water and it's up to them to boil the water before consuming it.

Annual cholera outbreak.

And Ibrahim's never used his position to demand the public infrastructure be fixed/improved.

He's a fat ass who stuffed his pockets with money but he failed to ever work for the Iraqi people.

AFP quotes Ministry of Health spokesperson Rifaq al-Araji insisting, "Some people are drinking directly from the (Euphrates) river and the wells. The river water is polluted because the level is too low."

That seems like a secondary reason, doesn't it?

The people are drinking from the river and wells.

Maybe if they had potable water . . .

A country whose yearly budget is in the hundred billion range and has around 30 million citizens should be able to provide potable water.

AFP chooses to overlook that and instead of doing reporting just serves up press releases passed off as journalism.

Again, Haider al-Abadi's smart enough to know not to risk the ire of the Iraqi people by stating it's okay for a foreign country (Turkey) to bomb Iraq or send combat forces into Iraq.

Haider needs popular support because he's lost so much political support.

Wael Grace (Al Mada) reports that Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi is on a mission to stop the bleeding of Shi'ite political support Haider is currently experiencing -- a decline in support that's also accompanied with rumors that Haider will be removed as prime minister.

The effort to oust Haider?

He skipped out on Parliament this month.  He arrived at the building and was about to enter the session when he bailed.

Why has continued to be a mystery.

Iraq Times reports that State of Law allegedly had a plan to oust Haider. Nouri al-Maliki, Medhat al-Mahmoud and Judge Alaa al-Saadi were planning to spring a trap on Haider during the session.

Turning to some of today's violence, All Iraq News notes an al-Nahrawan bombing left six people injured.  Xinhua adds:

In Iraq's northern central province of Salahudin, two suicide bombers drove their explosive-laden vehicles near the positions of the security forces and allied militias and blew them up in Iraq's largest oil refinery near the battleground town of Baiji, some 200 km north of Baghdad, a provincial security source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Dozens of IS militants immediately followed the two huge blasts sparking heavy clash with the troops, the source said.

At least two security members were killed and five others wounded by the blasts and the following clash, he said without giving details about the casualties among the IS militants.

We'll close with Human Rights Watch:

(Washington) – Iraqi government-backed militias carried out widespread destruction of homes and shops around the city of Tikrit in March and April 2015 in violation of the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Militiamen deliberately destroyed several hundred civilian buildings with no apparent military reason after the withdrawal of the extremist armed group Islamic State, also known as ISIS, from the area.
The 60-page report, “Ruinous Aftermath: Militia Abuses Following Iraq’s Recapture of Tikrit,” uses satellite imagery to corroborate accounts of witnesses that the damage to homes and shops in Tikrit, and the towns of al-Bu ‘Ajil, al-Alam, and al-Dur covered entire neighborhoods. After ISIS fled, Hizbollah Battalions and League of Righteous forces, two of the largely Shia pro-government militias, abducted more than 200 Sunni residents, including children, near al-Dur, south of Tikrit. At least 160 of those abducted remain unaccounted for.
“Iraqi authorities need to discipline and hold accountable the out-of-control militias laying waste to Sunni homes and shops after driving ISIS out,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director. “Abusive militias and their commanders acting with impunity undermine the campaign against ISIS and put all civilians at greater risk.”
Ahead of the campaign, Shia militia leaders had promised revenge for the June 2014 massacre by ISIS of at least 770 Shia military cadets from the Camp Speicher facility, near Tikrit. In videos of home demolitions, Shia militiamen curse Sunni residents and invoke Shia slogans.
The militias are part of the Popular Mobilization Forces, consisting of several dozen Shia militias, which the government created in response to the rapid ISIS advance across Nineveh and Salah al-Din provinces in June 2014.
The militias receive government salaries and weaponry but act in loose coordination with one another and with the Iraqi army and other security forces. On April 7, the Iraqi cabinet recognized the Popular Mobilization Forces as a distinct security force under Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s command.

Satellite imagery corroborated witness accounts that destruction of buildings occurred primarily after pro-government forces had routed ISIS and the Iraqi army left the area to militia control. Damage from government and US-led coalition airstrikes and artillery or by ISIS during its nine-month rule prior to March was limited.