Thursday, February 12, 2009

I Hate The War

The return of secular Baathists comes after years of rule by Shiite leaders and nearly six years after the Bush administration purged party members from the government and military in 2003. Many Sunnis responded to de-Baathification, to the U.S.-led occupation and to attacks by Shiite militias by allying themselves with al Qaida in Iraq and other militant Sunni groups, but many have since rejected Islamic fundamentalism.
The Baathists' return "is indicative of a larger rethinking of de-Baathification," said Michael Wahid Hanna, a program officer at The Century Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit public policy research group.
Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki's government recently invited exiled former Iraqi Army officers -- almost all of them Baathists -- to return to Iraq and apply for jobs, an olive branch aimed at building national unity.

The above garbage is from Trenton Daniel's "Saddam's party makes comeback, but they're not the same Baathists" (McClatchy Newspapers). Why is it garbage? Well how about the fact that we noted the story being reported by Iraqi media? Yesterday morning as a number rushed to ga-ga-goo-goo over al-Maliki, it was necessary to point out that no US outlet was reporting the developing story about the Baathists that had been all over the Iraqi media. And now Trenton wants to show up late for the party, after all the guests have left and stand pounding on the front door, drunk and with all the basic facts soooooooooooo wrong.

Here's a lie from the mouth of Trenton: "Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki's government recently invited exiled former Iraqi Army officers -- almost all of them Baathists -- to return to Iraq and apply for jobs, an olive branch aimed at building national unity." We'll again note Ma'ad Fayad's "Iraqi Dawa Party Official: No dialogue with Armed Groups" (Asharq Alawsat -- and Haydar al-Ibadi who is spokesperson for Dawa , Nouri's party):

Al-Ibadi categorically denied that any official in the state spoke to Baathist leaders whether inside Iraq or abroad.
He explained: "The Iraqi constitution does not allow this. Besides, the public' general mood does not support the Baath Party because it committed a lot of crimes during and after the rule of the [former] regime."
He added: "The Baathists have committed a lot of crimes and killed a large number of Iraqis since 2003 to date. It is they who allowed the Al-Qaeda Organization to enter the country and who were involved in the killing of hundreds of Iraqis."
He asked: "So, how can such a party rejoin the political process?"
However, Al-Ibadi noted: "There are Baathists who returned to their jobs and who live a normal life without any problems. But they did so as Iraqis, not as members of the Baath Party, which is known for being a conspiratorial military party that does not believe in democracy and does not allow the establishment of a democratic rule."
He added: "Permission for the return of the Baath Party to political action needs a constitutional amendment, and I very much rule out the possibility of such a move."

Trenton quotes al-Ibadi in his article, though he downgrades his position in the party. And he leaves out the whole denial that invitations were taking place. Here's reality, al-Maliki's being built up by the press and they never intended to report on the Baathist issue. The fact that some Americans were noticing the situation meant it was time for a white wash and look who shows up.

So what he gives you is, 'Guess what, invitations to Baathists are going out!' He leaves out the entire denial that they were taking place -- a HUGE story in Iraqi media at the start of the week. He leaves out the claims of Constitutional issues at play.

He reveals himself as something other than a journalist. Toss a Hershey bar on the ground in front of him and he will drop drawers and drop to all fours.

There's Trenty, in too much make up and heels that will kill his back and feet, cooing about "Iraqis' desire for a strong ruler. In the poll's preliminary results, Maliki's State of Law coalition won a plurality of the votes in nine of 14 provinces -- more than any other party. Maliki has reinvented himself as a pragmatic, non-sectarian leader. He was the bold figure who crushed both Sunni and Shiite militias, although his opponents charge that he's becoming a dictator." His opponents say that? I can think of many NGOs that say similar things off the record. al-Maliki has not "reinvented himself," the press has and it takes idiots like Trent -- the equivalent of a general studies major -- to continue to pimp the equivalent of state legistlature elections (only in 14 of Iraq's 18 provinces*) as 'heavy on the symbolism.'

The portent was there when al-Maliki began campaigning around the country, offering empty promises and bribes, and he wasn't a candidate. If the President of the United States started trying to pull that stunt in Vermont, people would be outraged. They would rightly point out that the President has no business sticking into his nose into the election of a state legislature. But al-Maliki sits on billions and he controls how it is spent. He completely thrwarted the democratic process and he should have been called out for it. The elections do not indicate a damn thing. The country remains split. Iraq has 18 provinces, nine -- if you misread the results -- are for al-Maliki!

Well nine aren't. Kirkuk might go for him. It's doubtful but it could happen. The three Kurdish provinces will not be hopping on board the Dawa Party wagon.

And if people want to get really honest, what the results indicate is a federation just became more likely. Look at the provinces. The north won't go with al-Maliki's party, nor will the south. The support cuts straight along the lines of proposal for breaking up Iraq.

(We do not support a federation being imposed upon Iraq in this community. If Iraqis decide they want that, the issue is their business and only their business. Basra recently tried to break away, for those who missed it.)

What the results -- if people want to read them as support or non-support for al-Maliki (and that's how the press has played this) -- indicate is that the southern section of Iraq stands a good chance of becoming its own regional government the way the northern section is now the KRG.

That's good news for al-Maliki?

No, it's not. All the oil rich areas and the ports are denied him with 'control' over central Iraq only. Not only is not good news, it indicates that should al-Maliki do something that the KRG and the southern region do not support, he's about as powerful as Hamid Karzai. If the press insists upon wrongly maintaining that the results (still not official results) say something about al-Maliki, then what it actually says is he has very tiny base of power, it is centrally located in Iraq and he's hemmed in there with only slightly more room than Karzai.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4237. Tonight? 4243. Just Foreign Policy lists 1,311,696 as the number. The number they finally moved up to last week. In a week's time, according to Just Foreign Policy, no Iraqis died. JFP, dabbling towards an end of the illegal war.

The only thing more ridiculous than the continued and intentional misreading of the (unofficial) results is the insisting that the results say something about Muqtada al-Sadr -- al-Sadr only endorsed candidates two weeks prior to the election.

The e-mail address for this site is

mcclatchy newspapers