Saturday, May 30, 2020

Turkey kills more civilians in Iraq, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi calls for an end to corruption

The government of Turkey continues to terrorize the Iraqi people.  For years now, they have been ignoring Iraq's sovereignty and bombing the country of Iraq.  These bombings have resulted in many dead.  Seth J. Frantzman (JERUSALEM POST) reports:

Turkish airstrikes killed civilians on Saturday, days after another set of airstrikes killed members of a far-left Iranian dissident group in the mountains of the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. The attacks appear to represent an increase in Ankara’s use of drones and airstrikes against Kurdish groups. Ankara claims these groups, linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) are “terrorists” but presents no evidence that any of them are involved in “terror.”

The PKK is one of many Kurdish groups which supports and fights for a Kurdish homeland. Aaron Hess (International Socialist Review) described them in 2008, "The PKK emerged in 1984 as a major force in response to Turkey's oppression of its Kurdish population. Since the late 1970s, Turkey has waged a relentless war of attrition that has killed tens of thousands of Kurds and driven millions from their homes. The Kurds are the world's largest stateless population -- whose main population concentration straddles Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria -- and have been the victims of imperialist wars and manipulation since the colonial period. While Turkey has granted limited rights to the Kurds in recent years in order to accommodate the European Union, which it seeks to join, even these are now at risk." The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq has been a concern to Turkey because they fear that if it ever moves from semi-autonomous to fully independent -- such as if Iraq was to break up into three regions -- then that would encourage the Kurdish population in Turkey. For that reason, Turkey is overly interested in all things Iraq. So much so that they signed an agreement with the US government in 2007 to share intelligence which the Turkish military has been using when launching bomb raids. However, this has not prevented the loss of civilian life in northern Iraq. Aaron Hess noted, "The Turkish establishment sees growing Kurdish power in Iraq as one step down the road to a mass separatist movement of Kurds within Turkey itself, fighting to unify a greater Kurdistan. In late October 2007, Turkey's daily newspaper Hurriyet accused the prime minister of the KRG, Massoud Barzani, of turning the 'Kurdish dream' into a 'Turkish nightmare'."

Frantzman notes, "Iraq has complained to Ankara about the airstrikes but Ankara acts with impunity and international organizations that usually monitor human rights refuse to critique Turkey or visit the areas of the drone strikes."  Let's drop back to December 29, 2011:

BBC News (link has text and video) reports on last night's bombing, "An air strike by Turkish warplanes near a Kurdish village close to the border with Iraq has left 35 people dead, officials say. One report said that smugglers had been spotted by unmanned drones and were mistaken for Kurdish rebels." Reuters quotes Uludere Mayor Fehmi Yaman explaining that they have recovered 30 corpses, all smugglers, not PKK, and he declares, "This kind of incident is unacceptable. They were hit from the air." AFP adds, "Local security sources said the dead were among a group smuggling gas and sugar into Turkey from northern Iraq and may have been mistaken for Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels."

One day.  Picked at random.  It happens over and over.  Over and over. Over and over -- as Christine McVie sings on her song "Over and Over" from the Fleetwood Mac TUSK album.


By the way, Christine and Stevie Nicks joined bandmate Neil Finn on his new song (released yesterday) "Find Your Way Back Home."

The Islamic State group in an audio message blasted Iraq's new prime minister, calling him an "American agent," and criticized the closure of Islam's holiest shrine in the Saudi holy city of Mecca to limit the spread of coronavirus.

In the message reportedly read by the group's chief spokesman Abu Hamza al-Qurayshi, released late Thursday, al-Qurayshi asked why mosques are being closed and people being prevented from praying at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, hinting that Muslims are immune to the coronavirus.

The new prime minister, as of May 7th, is Mustafa al-Kadhimi.  Zhelwan Z. Wali (RUDAW) notes that the prime minister is vowing to end corruption and the step being taken right now is to end duplicate salaries of government employees:

Hanin Qado, a member of the Iraqi parliament's finance committee told Rudaw that 250,000 civil servants in Iraq receive duplicate and even triplicate salaries.

"This is a massive waste of Iraq's money and it must be resolved," Qado said, adding that this corruption has been done through "law and must be resolved also through law."

There are more than 500,000 ghost employees on the Iraqi government's payroll, according to Iraq's Free Dialogue Forum, an assembly of academics, analyst and political pundits.

Last week, such fire-starter impulses re-emerged: Omar expressed support for Tara Reade, who has accused Joe Biden of sexual assault. Omar conceded that Reade’s accusations have not been proven, and said she would still vote for Biden for president. But she also said it was “important” to believe Reade just because she describes herself as a “survivor”.

It’s “not my place to litigate her story”, she said.

[. . .]  a proper DNC inquiry is just what’s needed to give Reade’s allegation the full attention it deserves. Why be so afraid to carry one out? If the evidence is compelling enough on either side, then voters will know whether or not they have a candidate they can be confident in. As Representative Ayanna Pressley recently said: “I reject the false choice that my party and our nominee can’t address the allegations at hand and defeat the occupant of the White House.”

The following sites updated: