Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Iraq snapshot

Tuesday, March 29, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the persecution of Sunnis continue, an illegitimate government continues to rule Iraq, and much more.

Two US service members are known to have died in the Iraq  War in the last months.

Dropping back to the October 24, 2015 snapshot:

Thursday saw the death of yet another person in Iraq -- this time a US citizen.

  • And now dropping back to the March 23rd snapshot:

    On the 13th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, another US service member died in Iraq.

    The USMC just released a photo of SSgt Louis Cardin, KIA Saturday in Iraq. RIP Marine.

    Barbara Starr (CNN) reports, "A U.S. Marine stationed at Firebase Bell was killed by an ISIS Katyusha rocket attack on Saturday. Eight U.S. troops were also wounded in the attack. Three were medivaced to Germany where one is described as having serious injuries a defense official told CNN."  


    Why did they die?

    Why did US President Barack Obama send them and others into Iraq?

    To help Iraq?

    He said, before he sent US troops in, that the only answer for Iraq was a political solution.

    But there has been no political solution.

    More to the point, there is no legitimate government.

    Yes, Barack forced Nouri al-Maliki to step down as prime minister before the end of his term.

    Yes, Barack backed Haider al-Abadi to be the new prime minister.

    But we're not talking about that.

    Iraq has no legitimate government.

    This is from Iraq's Constitution:

    Article 54:
    First: The electoral term of the Council of Representatives shall be limited to four calendar years, starting with its first session and ending with the conclusion of the fourth year.

    Second: The new Council of Representatives shall be elected forty-five days before the conclusion of the previous electoral term.

    Do you get it?

    Because the White House really, really hopes you don't.

    Nouri's term should have ended in November of 2014.

    Since Haider replaced Nouri, Haider's term should have ended in November of 2014.

    Haider is no longer a member of Parliament.

    There are legally no members of Parliament* because their four year term expired in November of 2014.

    [*We can argue this all you want but when Tareq al-Hashemi was Vice President from 2005 to 2010 and before he (and anyone else) was named to the posts following the 2010 elections, he was visiting other countries to promote investment and business in Iraq and Nouri objected and insisted that Tareq was not a vice president because his term had expired.  Nouri's understanding/view was not disputed by the press, they treated it as gospel.  So if that was the case then, it's the case now.]

    The current Parliament held their first official session November 11, 2010.  So if we're generous, we can argue their term expired in November 11, 2014.

    It's March 29, 2016.

    There is no legitimate government in Iraq nor any legal one.

    Where are the elections?

    Per the Constitution, they should have taken place over a year ago.

    Where are the elections?

    And how can Barack justify sending US troops into the failed state of Iraq when it doesn't even have a government?

    At the very least, he should have made any troops being sent in, any aid -- weapons or dollars conditional upon free and fair elections.

    Iraq is a failed state.

    The US troops are in Iraq to prop up the illegitimate government of Iraq.

    In what world is this acceptable?

    In the United States, elections are not postponed.

    9/11 did not result in a loss of elections nor, for that matter, did the American Civil War.

    What is Iraq's excuse?

    As we asked in yesterday's snapshot, where are the elections?

    We know where US troops are -- in Iraq with more to be deployed shortly.

    Thomas Gaist (WSWS) observes:

    In 2014, at the outset of the latest US Iraq war, known as “Operation Inherent Resolve,” the Obama administration vowed that the US intervention would be limited to air strikes and a minimal ground role, restricted to small numbers of “advisors” embedded with Iraqi units.
    During the nearly two years of escalating US operations that followed, these promises have been continuously rolled back. A familiar pattern has emerged, whereby the US military chiefs periodically announce, without any suggestion that the civilian administration has been consulted or even informed, their plans for an imminent expansion of the quality and role of US forces in the war.
    Last June, the Pentagon unveiled plans for the indefinite stationing of US ground forces throughout Iraq in a network of “lily pad” bases. In December, Secretary Carter announced the deployment of a Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) “expeditionary targeting force,” essentially a small army of lavishly funded and equipped commando units specializing in assassination, kidnapping, and other black operations.
    The US moves toward larger ground operations have proceeded beneath a relentless bombing campaign. US-led coalition planes have pummeled Iraq with more than 7,336 strikes since the beginning of the air war in August 2014.
    The American military violence being inflicted upon Iraq in the name of fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is part of a decades-long assault on the country.

    And the pummeling of Iraq continued today with the US Defense Dept announcing/claiming/boasting:

    Strikes in Iraq

    Attack aircraft conducted four strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Hit, two strikes struck an ISIL bed-down location and an ISIL safe house.

    -- Near Sinjar, a strike destroyed two ISIL assembly areas and suppressed an ISIL machine gun position.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike destroyed three ISIL assembly areas.

    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

    Turning to other violence, Al Jazeera reports:

    The armed group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in central Baghdad that police said killed seven people and wounded 27.
    The blast occurred on Tuesday near a gathering of workers in Tayaran Square, about a kilometre from a sit-in held by supporters of influential Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to demand political reforms.

    Meanwhile, Moqtada's rally behind Haider position appears to be wavering:

  • While Haider stands in danger of losing support from his fellow Shi'ites, he's done nothing to reach out to the long persecuted Sunni community.

  • One of the many reasons the Sunni youth join the Tyranny of the Rafidah Snakes

  • Iraqi Sunni civilians arrested by Shia militias without guilt or charge

  • Haider has become not just the failed leader of a failed state but the illegitimate leader as well.  When will Iraq hold elections?  When will it follow the country's Constitution?