Sunday, May 09, 2010

And the war drags on . . .

If the White House had any brains, they'd do an immediate extraction of Chris Hill from Iraq.* The notion that they can wait until this summer to replace him as US Ambassador to Iraq is laughable. Arthur MacMillan (AFP) reports on Hill and it's as if he thinks he can work furiously and now save his job. It's so embarrassing and, worst of all, it just makes him (by proxy the US) look like a moron. Hill's rushing to insist everything's fine and dandy -- better even! "The counting is going faster," AFP quotes him stating of the recount in Baghdad "and we do expect it to be over by the end of the week." Do we expect it? And that's fast? Go back in real time to when the recounts were announced and it was stated that it would take two weeks to do the recounts. They started last Monday . . . Hill's saying that they'll end this week. Which would be? Two weeks. So they're going according to schedule, as predicted and Chris Hill's so damn out of it or so eager to make it look like he's on top of things that he's insisting the counting's taking place "faster" when it's going at the pace that it was predicted to take. And his other statements?

Hill's supposed a diplomat, he's supposed to be a public face of the US. His idiotic rantings do not play well in the Arab world nor are they attempting to Happy Talk recent events the way the US moron is.

Mohammad Akef Jamal (Gulf News) expresses
a popular opinion:

In reality, the appeals of the State of Law coalition, which happens to be the government coalition, represent the real obstacle. The coalition, formed by Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki and his Dawa party, insisted on a manual recount. At the same time, it has used all its power and influence to target the alliance that won the largest number of votes. Clearly, it aims to rob the winning alliance of its constitutional right to put together a government.
The United States is extremely concerned about the goings on in Iraq and the possibility that the struggle for the post of prime minister may turn into a violent affair. The likelihood of this is increased by the threats that are being fired back and forth.
The US will not object to any peaceful settlement between the competing parties, because the paralysis of the political process threatens the planned partial military withdrawal that is supposed to begin in August.
Al Maliki, who insists on holding on to his post, and the Dawa party are ignoring the rights of others. The party which is in control of many key posts in the Iraqi government is the primary obstacle to the formation of a new government, thus creating a dangerous power vacuum.

Musa Keilani (Jordan Times via Al-Arabiya) explains
, "The sum of the political equation in Iraq today does not bode well for the ordinary people of Iraq. The government is largely ineffective outside the fortified Green Zone. A majority of the people does not have enough water and power. Jobs are scarce and most hospitals do not have any facility to handle any serious case, let alone emergencies. Schools are functioning, but at a level that does not permit any learning beyond rudimentary education."

Ayad Allawi's Iraqiya was the winner in the March 7th elections. Nouri's circumvented that win by abusing his powers. DPA reports Iraqiya spokesperson Hani Ashour states that Nouri, while playing the glad-hander for public consumption and insisting he wants all involved, has not met with Iraqiya: "There was no initiative or a serious action that confirms the intentions of the State of Law coalition to set a date to meet with the head of Iraqiya, to bring their views closer and confirm their national partnership." Sun Yunlong (Xinhua) reports that -- excepting Baghdad -- all vote counts were being sent to the Supreme Court for ratification. Which means only Nouri gets a recount.

They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)

Last Sunday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4394. Tonight? 4397.

In some of today's reported violence, Reuters notes a Baghdad roadside bombing which injured five people, a Mosul drive-by which claimed the life of 1 man and, dropping back to yesterday, 4 corpses were discovered in Samarra.

*Immediate extraction? For those who claim a vacuum would be created, no, it wouldn't be. Yes, a new ambassador would need to go through the confirmation process. While that took place, you would have Barack designate someone already over there to be an acting ambassador. The staff over there is already doing all of Hill's work plus spending a huge amount of time doing damage control for Hill's actions and statements. Putting them in charge as acting ambassador would, in fact, lighten their load considerably.

New content at Third:

Isaiah's latest goes up after this. Pru notes "Business is killing people and planet" (Great Britain's Socialist Worker):

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico shows how multinational corporations are threatening the environment and the lives of working class people.

Eleven workers died when the oil rig exploded two weeks ago. The environmental damage is growing by the day.

The explosion, and the devastating aftermath, is the result of the ruthless drive for profits by oil companies.

This leads to cost-cutting on safety and attempts to speed up “productivity” – with horrific consequences.

Brent Coon, a lawyer whose company has filed a lawsuit against BP on behalf of an injured rig worker, said, “They are the most arrogant bunch of bastards I’ve ever dealt with. It’s like they just don’t care.”

Big business is vociferously lobbying governments, demanding that they be allowed to carry on polluting our planet.

Governments invariably back down and time after time fail to implement any policies that can curb environmental destruction.

This devastation will harm workers and the poorest the most.

We urgently need to build up the movement to save our planet from the minority who put profit before people and the environment.

But that movement must be based on the force that has the most to gain from saving the environment – and the power to do it – the working class.

BP’s chief executive, Tony Hayward, thinks that too many people are “trying to save the world”.

Let’s prove him right.

The following should be read alongside this article:
» Drive for profit lies at heart of oil disaster
» Shameful record of safety failure

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