Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Iraq snapshot

Wednesday, May 11, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the deadliest bombings in Iraq for 2016 so far take place today, Nancy A. Youssef uses the term "ethnic cleansing," War Hawk Down in West Virginia as Hillary Clinton loses another primary to Bernie Sanders, and much more.

Bombings slammed Iraq today. Jane Onyanga-Omara (USA TODAY) reports, "Three different car bombings in Baghdad Wednesday killed at least 93 people and wounded upwards of 165 in one of the deadliest days in Iraq this year, according to media reports."  Jomana Karadsheh, Joshua Berlinger and Ashley Fantz (CNN) explain, "The Sunni terror group ISIS says it's behind a series of attacks in Iraq's capital Wednesday [. . .]"  AL MADA notes they're the deadliest bombings in Iraq so far this year.  GULF DIGITAL NEWS includes the reactions of some Iraqis:

"The state is in a conflict over (government positions) and the people are the victims," said a man named Abu Ali. "The politicians are behind the explosion."
Abu Muntadhar echoed his anger. "The state is responsible for the bombings that hit civilians," the local resident said. The politicians "should all get out".

Ban Ki-Moon is the Secretary-General of the United Nations.  His Special Representative for Iraq, Jan Kubis, stated:

These are cowardly terrorist attacks on civilians who have done nothing but going about their normal daily lives. Such acts of terrorist violence are certainly against all the principles of decency and humanity, and as such must be strongly condemned. I call on the authorities to do their utmost to quickly bring the perpetrators to justice, and express my deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and wish the injured a speedy recovery.

Human Rights Watch's Joe Stork declared, "Once again ISIS has carried out a devastating attack designed to inflict maximum death and suffering on ordinary Iraqis.  The presence of some militia – even if true – cannot possibly justify this latest ISIS atrocity." NATIONAL IRAQI NEWS AGENCY adds that Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi condemned the bombings-- including the one in Baquba -- as terrorist actions.

  1. is crying now. It's raining.
  2. A mute, apathetic, & idle world watches dying. Other lives seem to matter more.

The bombings?

First,  BBC News notes, "A car bomb at a crowded Baghdad market has killed at least 64 people, officials say, in one of the worst recent attacks in the Iraqi capital." Sinan Salaheddin (AP) describes the scene, "The street was stained red with blood in many places and the facades of several buildings were heavily damaged. Smoke billowed from ground-level stores which had been gutted out by the explosion."

  1. More images from Sadr City bombings in Baghdad. Conflicting reports on number of martyrs.

  • Images of the earlier bombings in Sadr City, Baghdad.

    The bombing took place in the Sadr City section of Baghad -- also known as "slum" by some outlets.  It's where Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr's Baghdad followers live -- in squalor.  XINHUA reports that, in addition to the 64 dead, there are at least 87 people who have been left injured.  The already alarming death toll could rise further depending on how severe some of the injuries are.

    Iraqis gather to donate blood for the wounded following the wave of deadly bombings that swept across Baghdad.

    ITV adds, "The second exploded at the entrance to Baghdad's Kadhimiya district, killing at least 15."

    Third, Kareem Raheem and Ahmed Rasheed (REUTERS) report, "Another bomb went off at a checkpoint on a commercial thoroughfare in a predominantly Sunni district of western Baghdad, killing eight and wounding 20."

    Locals light candles at the scene of the bombing that took place in Sadr City, Baghdad.

    The amount of daily killings in is staggering. Sadly only few care, majority can't be bothered.

    CBS NEWS notes the climate the bombing took place in, "But CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata reported the tension that erupted in the Green Zone had been building for months; simmering anger at the government over charges of corruption and criticism that they appear unable to stop ISIS from carrying out terror attacks in the capital city and elsewhere." Jomana Karadsheh, Joshua Berlinger and Ashley Fantz (CNN) add,  "Experts have said that a security vacuum has opened in Iraq amid the political turmoil the nation has been facing lately. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi struggles to firm up a government capable of battling ISIS and, at the same time, continue to address problems related to Iraq's long-standing economic and political wounds from years of war. "

    NATIONAL IRAQI NEWS AGENCY reports MP Samira al-Moussawi has called for Parliament to deliver a vote of no confidence on Haider al-Abadi.  Should such a vote take place and the Parliament withdrew confidence, it would trigger immediate elections.  She noted his failures including his failure to resolve the political issues and she declared he was now part of the political crisis in Iraq.  Samira herself is a petroleum engineer and has Chaired Parliament's Women, Children and Families' Committee in Parliament.

    She is not the first MP to call for Haider to step down.  Mustafa Saadoun (Al-Monitor) noted:

    On March 2, Hanan al-Fatlawi, member of parliament (MP) and head of the Irada block -- and independent block that has no governmental position and only one parliamentary seat -- demanded that Abadi, her former colleague in the State of Law coalition, should either resign from his position as head of the government or declare a state of emergency and ask the parliament to vote on it.
    She noted in a press statement, "Abadi came up with the ministerial change to distract the Iraqi street and waste time until the end of the current election round.  The current ministers in the Iraqi government are not working seriously, and the ministries are almost paralyzed because of the anticipated ministerial change sought by Abadi."

    Earlier this week, Baquba was the site of a bombing.  RUDAW reported, "A car bomb in the town of Baquba in Diyala province killed 12 and wounded 40 others on Monday evening."

    ALL IRAQ NEWS notes Haider met with his security heads to discuss today's bombings.

    Nancy A. Youssef (DAILY BEAST) reports:

     The carnage not only shocked the capital, but also raised questions about whether Iraqi security forces are capable of reclaiming Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, which has been occupied for almost two years by the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
    One obvious question is how Iraqi security forces can retake and secure Mosul if they cannot protect Baghdad from three suicide bombings in a matter of hours. But the picture is more complicated, and indeed, more problematic even than that.
    The bombings targeted Shia neighborhoods in what appears to be part of the continuing ISIS effort to provoke a frenzy of ethnic cleansing similar to that of a decade ago. As one U.S. official immersed in the anti-ISIS war puts it, “Sunnis see ISIS as their protection—their wall against Shia revenge.”

    Do me a favor and read that excerpt again.


    Notice it?

    "Ethnic cleansing"?

    We called it that in real time here.

    Nancy didn't.

    Writing for MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS, she wasn't allowed use the term.  It's seldom noted -- except by us -- but Nancy, writing for KNIGHT RIDDER on the last day it existed (MCCLATCHY bought it out and slapped their name on it), broke the story that the US military was, in fact, keeping a count of the number of Iraqis killed -- something the White House had denied.

    At KNIGHT RIDDER, she could break news and write truthfully.

    MCCLATCHY was for more restrictive.

    Hopefully, DAILY BEAST will continue to be less restrictive.

    It was ethnic cleansing.

    She's wrong about it "restarting."

    It's already in Iraq and we've named it here.

    The Shi'ite militias are targeting the Sunni civilians -- not the Islamic State, but Sunni civilians.

    Iraqi Sunni civilian burned , tortured and killed by shia militias in oh my God

    1. shia militias crimes نداء استغاثة من الفلوجة اجساد العوائل السنيه بدئت تنهار جوعا الحشد الشيعي يمنع عنهم الغذاء

    2. Iraqi civilians starving to death in besieged by Shia militias backed by Iran

    1. Shia militias crimes عاجل مليشات الشيعه تحرق قرية نوفل السنيه بديالى وتختطف ابنائهم والعوائل تستغيث اين الاعلام
    2. Iraqi Sunnis civilians houses destroyed & burned by Shia militias in village #

    On Mosul, Martin Chulov (GUARDIAN) reports:

    For a few days early last month, the offensive looked like it already might be under way. But that soon changed when the Iraqis, trained by US forces, were quickly ousted from al-Nasr, the first town they had seized. There were about 25 more small towns and villages, all occupied by Isis, between them and Mosul. And 60 miles to go.
    Behind the Iraqis, the Kurdish peshmerga remained dug into positions near the city of Makhmour that had marked the frontline since not long after Mosul was seized in June 2014. The war had been theirs until the national army arrived. The new partnership is not going well.
    On both sides, there is a belief that what happens on the road to Mosul will not only define the course of the war but also shape the future of Iraq. And, despite the high stakes, planning for how to take things from here is increasingly clouded by suspicion and enmity.

    There were other bombs in Iraq today -- including the ones dropped by US war planes.  The US Defense Dept issued the following:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted nine strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, two strikes struck an ISIL beddown location and destroyed an ISIL mortar position.

    -- Near Rutbah, a strike produced inconclusive results.

    -- Near Fallujah, two strikes destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb, two ISIL tunnel systems and an ISIL weapons cache.

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

    -- Near Mosul, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Sinjar, a strike destroyed an ISIL bulldozer.

    -- Near Tal Afar, a strike destroyed an ISIL excavator.

    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.

    Staying with deadly US actions, noted War Hawk Hillary Clinton is running for president.  Unable to run on her record -- it doesn't exist other than support for bombing countries -- she's running on her husband's record and her own gender.

    It doesn't always work.

    Like yesterday when West Virginia held their primary.

    Hillary ended up losing yet another primary to Senator Bernie Sanders.

    Not only do we get a lot of the Democratic votes, we get a lot of the Independent votes. Our campaign is best suited to beat Donald Trump.

    Thank you to the people of West Virginia for the tremendous victory they gave us today.

    Earlier this evening, Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Hillary's Reaction To Losing West Virginia To Bernie" went up.



    nancy a. youssef