Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Iraq snapshot

Tuesday, April 26, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, Haider presents his 'reform' ministers to Parliament, he semi succeeds, he also gets water bottles 'handed' to him, cracks in the lie that the US bombings of Iraq only target 'terrorists' continue to emerge, and much more.

As if Iraq doesn't have enough drama all by itself, THE WASHINGTON POST attempts to create some.  Loveday Morris and Mustafa Salim insist, "Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi desperately tried to steer his country out of political turmoil on Tuesday, partially reshuffling his cabinet amid stepped-up pressure as thousands of protesters threatened to storm parliament."

We'll get to the 'protesters,' first "Haider al-Abadi desperately tried to steer his country out of political turmoil"?

The 'turmoil' is created by Haider.

The US-installed prime minister is not following the Iraqi Constitution.

Why is that so damn hard for reporters at THE WASHINGTON POST to be honest about?

Oh, that's right, for US press outlets, the State Dept line becomes 'fact.'

At least it does for the immediate time.

But let there be no mistake five years from now, when Americans all know the truth, that the truth was known then but these reporters and press outlets didn't convey it and let them be forced to explain why that was.

Haider has created any 'turmoil' by insisting that he needs a new Cabinet.

He's done at the bidding of the US government.

Let's move over to 'protesters.'

Threaten to storm the Parliament, did they?

The Parliament's in the Green Zone.

That would be the heavily fortified Green Zone.

Where Iraq's politicians hide out from the people.

It was almost breached shortly after Nouri al-Maliki became prime minister in 2006.  That was very scary for those hiding out in the Green Zone (which included US officials).

This caused anxiety and a flurry of measures being added to further fortify the Green Zone.

To storm the Parliament, these 'protesters' would first have to storm the Green Zone -- something no group has managed to do in over a decade of the Green Zone's existence.

Let's say that they managed to breach the Green Zone.

And then let's forget for a moment that the orders in place would be warning shots and then firing at those civilians trying to get into the Green Zone.

Let's just say that they managed to breach the Green Zone.

They then just waltz into the Parliament?


The Parliament has its own set of security.

The notion that anyone was going to breach the Green Zone today and make it into the Parliament was never a genuine possibility.

Anyone saying otherwise is lying.

Again, Iraq has enough drama, there's no need to lie in order to create more.

The 'protesters' were followers of Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr who have repeatedly responded to his call to turn out to show support for Haider al-Abadi's proposals.

Iraq: Sadr supporters in mass protest for political reform

They rally, they don't protest.

We've said it all along.

Look at the photo above.

They were their to rally.

Moqtada's actions have been to provide cover for Haider, to try to silence Shi'ite critics.

BBC NEWS words it delicately:

On Tuesday, hundreds of thousands of Mr Sadr's supporters heeded his call to "frighten" MPs from the main political parties, which rely on control of ministries for patronage and funds, and "compel" them to agree to the prime minister's reforms.

While Moqtada's zombies were no real threats, there were a few actual ones.

Speaker escorted by his bodyguards to enter the Parliament earlier today.This is how a failed state looks like

The US has sent Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ash Cater and Gen Joseph Dunford (Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) to Iraq in recent weeks to convey the White House position (Barack himself is apparently afraid to visit Iraq as president): We stand with our puppet.

Haider proposed the current Cabinet of Ministers to Parliament back in the fall of 2014 and Parliament voted them into office.

Now he just can't work with them, he insists.

And he wants a do-over.

That doesn't exist in the Iraqi Constitution.

Nor does the way Haider's attempting to go about replacing them.

But it's what the US government wants so it's what gets shoved ahead.

And since it's what's the US government wants, western reporters don't feel the need to ever point out that Haider's attempts go against the country's constitution.

The protesters that the Speaker of Parliament had to worry about?

Those protesters are inside the Parliament, they are Members of Parliament.

Recent sessions have resulted in screaming matches, threats of violence and more -- and that's just between the MPs.


  1. Video of water bottles being thrown at Iraqi PM as he enters Parliament Hall today. Hanan Fatlawi throws one too
  2. Protests inside Iraqi Parliament now shouting "Betrayal! Betrayal!" Speaker replies: "Sit down so we can talk. Iraqis are waiting for us"
  3. Dissenting MP shouts "I will not leave until I die." Speaker replies: "Die then."
  4. There are demonstration inside Iraqi Parliament right now shouting "Baghdad will be free. Reforms are just & valid" Speaker mocking them
  5. Iraqi Parliament right now looks like a clown show. MPs shouting at Speaker. Security forces and army personnel inside in huge numbers

VIDEO: Water bottles thrown at Iraqi PM by MPs as he entered Parliament today -

Oh, Haider.

And all this time later, he still wasn't able to pull it off.

He got six ministers approved today.


RUDAW notes:

Hasan Janabi as Minister for Water, Wafa Mahdawi as Minister for Labour, Alaa Ghani as Minister for Health, Abdulrazaq al-Eisa as Minister for Higher Education, Alaa Dishr as Minister for Electricity and Aqeel Mahdi as Minister for Culture.


RUDAW explains, "The remaining ministerial posts to be voted on are: Education, Communications, Foreign, Finance, Justice, Youth, Industry, Planning, Housing, Transport and Oil."

 In more signs that nothing changes, the US Defense Dept announced more bombings of Iraq today:

Strikes in Iraq
Bomber, ground-attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 18 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed an ISIL mortar position.

-- Near Rutbah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Beiji, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Fallujah, six strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units; destroyed 11 ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL-used bridges, an ISIL bunker and two ISIL heavy machine guns; and damaged a separate ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Habbaniyah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Hit, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

-- Near Kirkuk, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL command and control node, an ISIL assembly area and an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Kisik, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL assembly area.

-- Near Mosul, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL weapons storage facility and destroyed an ISIL supply cache.

-- Near Sinjar, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL vehicle.

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. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

The western media's been very good about either ignoring these bombings completely or else insisting that they only kill 'terrorists.'

Nicholas J S Davies (CONSORTIUM NEWS) offers an important new report which opens:

USA Today reported on April 19 that U.S. air forces bombing Syria and Iraq have been operating under new, looser rules of engagement since last fall. The war commander, Lt Gen Sean McFarland, now orders air strikes that are expected to kill up to 10 civilians without prior approval from U.S. Central Command, and U.S. officials made it clear to USA Today that U.S. air strikes are killing more civilians as a result of the new rules.
Under these new rules of engagement, the U.S. has conducted a major escalation of its bombing campaign against Mosul, an Iraqi city of about 1.5 million people, which has been occupied by Islamic State since 2014. Reports of hundreds of civilians killed in U.S. air strikes reveal some of the human cost of the U.S. air war and the new rules of engagement.
Previous statements by U.S. officials have absurdly claimed that over 40,000 U.S. air strikes in Iraq and Syria have killed as few as 26 civilians. Speaking to USA Today, a senior Pentagon official who is briefed daily on the air war dismissed such claims, noting that heavier civilian casualties were inevitable in an air war that has destroyed 6,000 buildings with over 40,000 bombs and missiles.