Friday, November 26, 2010

Why does Barack keep sending US forces into Iraq?

The Mahdi Army has also in effect seized control of cellblocks at one of Iraq's largest detention facilities, Taji prison. Within months of the U.S. hand-over of the prison in March, Mahdi Army detainees were giving orders to guards who were either loyal to or intimidated by them, Iraqi and U.S. officials say.
It marks a remarkable return to prominence for Sadr, an Iranian-backed Shiite cleric who stunned his followers in September when he delivered pivotal parliamentary votes to Maliki that helped him stay in power.
Senior Sadr supporters are being brought into the Interior Ministry at high-level positions, according to Mahdi Army members and Iraqi officers. One Sadr commander who is being given the rank of brigadier general said he knew of 50 others who were being recruited for officers' positions.

The above is from Ned Parker's "Sadr sees star rise again in Iraq" (Los Angeles Times) and if there's anything more frightening than the current Iraq prison system it's grasping that the Mahdi Army is more or less in charge of some of them. Paul Walsh (Minneapolis Star Tribune) reports that the Minnesota National Guard is sending 80 members to Iraq and the question should be why?

The government in Iraq is nothing but exiles installed by the US. It's not a real government, it's not of the people -- easily demonstrated when the people's voice was rejected this month. So why is the US military being used to prop up this corrupt regime? And when does it end?

The 'government' lacks the consent of the governed. So to keep these exiles in place, the US military will have to stay on the ground in Iraq for years to come?

That's not democracy, that's thwarting the will of the people.

Thursday the European Union adopted three resolutions. From the one on Iraq:

Condemning the recent attacks on Christian communities in Iraq, Parliament calls on EU High representative Catherine Ashton to treat the problem of the safety of Christians within Iraqi borders as a priority and urges the Iraqi authorities to "drastically increase their efforts for the protection of Christian and vulnerable communities". MEPs also call on the European Union to strengthen the fight against terrorism.

Iraqi Christians have been targeted throughout the illegal war. The latest wave of attacks began October 31st with the assault on Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad in which at least 70 people were killed and at least 70 were injured. Adnkronos reports that 7 hand written threats against Iraqi Christians have turned up throughout Baghdad this week and they quote "Christian community leader" Abdullah al-Nawafili stating, "Threats of these types have been coming in over the past few days that push us to leave the country." Vatican Radio reports that Cardinal Leonardo Sandri delivered a liturgy last night at St Peter's Bascilica in Rome and called for "peace and reconciliation":

Survivors from that terrible tragedy, who since November 11th have been receiving treatment in Rome's Gemelli hospital, were also present Thursday. They were the physical testimony of the wounds that the Iraqi Christian community has suffered and continues to suffer, for the faith.
Speaking to them Cardinal Sandri spoke of the saving mystery of martyrdom.
"Our thoughts, hearts and prayers go to Iraq and many other parts of the world, where to this day loyalty to baptism is answered in blood, for He who loved us to the Cross."

Caroline Alexander (Bloomberg News) reports that the European Union is calling for the US to remove the People's Mujahedeen of Iran (MEK) from their "list of terrorist organizations." The MEK is a group of Iranian dissidents who sought shelter in Iraq for decades. After the US-led invasion, the US military provided protection for the group which is hosed at Camp Ashraf. The US got 'promises' from the 'government' of Nouri al-Maliki that the residents of Camp Ashraf would be safe and turned control over to him at the start of 2009. In July 2009, Nouri launched an assault on the camp in which at least 11 people were killed and at least four hundred were injured. When the assault took place, Amnesty International issued the following statement:

AI Index: MDE 14/021/2009
28 July 2009
Iraq: Camp Ashraf residents attacked
Amnesty International is seriously concerned at today's attacks by Iraqi forces on unarmed residents of Camp Ashraf which left several people injured and led to the arrest of at least eight others.
Hundreds of armed Iraqi security forces are said to have stormed the camp, north of Baghdad, at around 3pm local time. They used tear gas, water canons and batons against unarmed Iranian residents who tried to stop them from entering the camp.
Video footage seen by Amnesty International clearly shows Iraqi forces beating people repeatedly on different parts of the body, including the head. Dozens of people are said to have been injured.
Two of them, Reza Chelcheraqi and Mohammad-Reza Shahsavandi, are believed to be in serious condition. At least eight people, including Hasan Besharati, Humayoun Deyhim, Gholam Reza Behrouzi, Hosein Fili, Mehdi Zareh and Naser Nour Ebadian, were arrested and their current whereabouts are unknown.In the last few months the Iraqi government has publicly stated that it wants to take over full control of Camp Ashraf, in Diyala governorate, north of Baghdad. On 27 July government spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh told an Iraqi satellite television channel that the government "will take over the responsibility of internal security affairs of Camp Ashraf". The authorities are reportedly planning to establish a police outpost inside the camp.
Amnesty International calls on the Iraqi government to investigate the apparent excessive use of force by Iraqi security forces. The government should reveal the whereabouts of the eight people detained and ensure that they are protected from torture or other ill-treatment, as well as from forcible return to Iran.
Around 3,400 residents of Camp Ashraf are members or supporters of the People's Mojahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI), an Iranian opposition organization whose members have been resident in Iraq for many years. Until recently the PMOI was listed as a "terrorist" organization by the European Union and other governments, but in most cases this designation has now been lifted on the grounds that the PMOI no longer advocates or engages in armed opposition to the government of Iran.The US forces provided protection for the camp and its residents, who were designated as "protected persons" following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but this situation was discontinued following the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the US and Iraqi governments, although the SOFA makes no reference to Camp Ashraf or its residents. Public Document
For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566 or email:
International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UK

Damien McElroy (Telegraph of London) observed of the assault, "The American-installed government in Iraq has shown its true colours. By fighting its way into an Iraqi camp of Iranian dissidents, possibly killing 11 people in the process, it has earned brownie points in Iran. American disapproved, but its diplomatic internvention was limited to medical assistance." US forces were present. They watched as Nouri's thugs terrorized the camp. They stood and watched. They are there to protect the installed 'government' of Nouri. They are not present for the people.

Things to note quickly, Mike posted early this morning, Kat's "Kat's Korner: The 80s (where Cher proves them all wrong)" and "Kat's Korner: Cher demonstrates this is far from over" went up yesterday and David DeGraw has another penetrating examination of the economy at Amped Status.

The e-mail address for this site is