Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Little Nouri Who Cried Ba'athist

Last month, Nouri al-Maliki began a crackdown on political enemies by yet again crying "Ba'athist!" Approximately 700 people have now been arrested. There is no law against having been a member of the Ba'ath Party -- the dominant political party in the country prior to the 2003 US invasion. And, in fact, a 2007 White House benchmark that Nouri signed off on and agreed to was supposed to not only end the de-Ba'athification process began by the US in 2003 but to move towards reconciliation. That hasn't happened and instead of ending the Justice and Accountability Commission, Nouri is currently calling for new members and declaring the terms of the current members have expired.

Nouri's tactics divide the country and they also allow for many blowbacks. For example, many have noted that this is increasing tensions as Sunnis especially feel targeted. Another blowback? Dar Addustour reportItalics that National Alliance MP Aziz Ugaili has declared that many former Ba'athist leaders are now in the Ministry of Defense and were put there by . . . Nouri al-Maliki. Yes, those who go on a witch hunt often learn that the same techniques can then be used against them. There's more. Unnamed government officials are stating that certain former Ba'athists were spared by Nouri due to personal ties while others were given a heads up allowing over 20% to avoid arrest.

Al Sabaah states Nouri al-Maliki stressed yesterday that nothing was more important to Iraq than "national unity." And yet he's pursued this crackdown. And now Babak Dehghanpisheh (Daily Beast) reports:

One reason given for the crackdown was odd, even by Iraqi standards. A “senior official in the Iraqi government” told The New York Times last week that they had received a tipoff from an unlikely source: intelligence documents found in Tripoli after the fall of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi indicated that the Saharan madman was helping Baathists and former military officers in Iraq to topple the government, the newspaper reported. Mahmoud Jibril, the former Libyan acting prime minister, allegedly passed on the intelligence tip to members of the Iraqi government while on a visit to Baghdad early last month.

Now a senior Iraqi official tells The Daily Beast that in fact there was no Libyan tipoff. “The Libyans didn’t pass any information. This report is absolutely baseless and untrue,” says the senior official, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the subject. “This was a plan by the security to arrest people they suspect. It’s a precaution to mobilize in the streets in anticipation of the American withdrawal.”

And that was completely forseeable. Dropping back to the October 27th snapshot:

But back to those eyes and ears al-Asadi was claiming, Al Mada reveals that the government is stating their source for the 'tips' about the alleged Ba'athist plot to take over Iraq came from the Transitional Government of Libya. The so-called rebels. A number of whom were in Iraq killing both Iraqis and US troops and British troops, several years ago. And supposedly prepping to rule Libya currently so you'd assume they had their hands full.

Tim Arango (New York Times) maintains that "secret intelligence documents" were discovered by the so-called 'rebels' that provided a link between Libya's late president Muammar Gaddafi and Ba'ath Party members and that Mahmoud Jibril made a trip to Baghdad to turn over the info. Jibril was acting prime minister who stepped down October 23rd. (We're back to when puppet regimes meet!) One would have assumed he had other things to focus on. It's also curious that this 'rebel' would have 'learned' after the fall of Tripoli of a plot. Curious because, unlike a number of 'rebel' leaders in Libya, Langley didn't ship Jibril in from Virginia, he was Gaddafi's hand picked head of the National Economic Development Board (2007 to 2011). One would assume he would have been aware of any big plot long before the so-called rebels began the US war on Libya.

Ali Hussein (Al Mada) reflects on the state of Iraq as Hanaa Edwar wins a peace award and notes that Edwar reflects what a free society is supposed to be about and yet is often demonized by the government which seems far less likely to embrace freedom and democracy. Hussein notes the brutal treatment of protesters in Baghdad's Tahrir Square by the gvoernment and the need to demonize those who speak out and Nouri's urge to hurl around words like "treason" and "enemies." Hussein notes that as the world applauds Hanna Edwar, Nouri al-Maliki looks at her with extreme contempt and condescension. For more on Hanaa Edwar's award, we'll drop back to the September 28th snapshot:

Still on the topic of Iraqi women, September 14th the International Peace Bureau announced that one of the two winners of this year's Sean MacBride Peace Prize was Hanaa Edwar:

["]Born 1946 in Basra, Iraq, Hanaa Edwar became an activist already as a student. She joined the Iraqi Women's League while very young, and was arrested after the Ba'athist-led coup in 1963. Escaping from prison, she moved to Germany to represent the Iraqi Women's League at the Women's International Democratic Federation in the 1970s.
["]After this period she moved to Lebanon and then Syria, and became a strong activist in the struggle against the dicatorship. She also joined the resistance movement in Iraqi Kurdistan for three years, but not in a military position. Forced to migrate again, she formed the Iraqi Al-Amal Association. This was located first in Damascus, and then from 1996 the organization settled in Erbil, Kurdistan. After the fall of the regime in 2003 she moved the head office to Baghdad.
Hanna's name has become synonymous with the defence of human rights, with a long track record of activities. She has been instrumental in the formation of the Iraqi Women's Network, made up of more than 80 organizations. One of her most recent campaigns was lodging a law suit at the High Court of Iraq against the Speaker of Parliament for acting unconstitutionally to hinder the formation of a government after the last election. This campaign became known as the Civil Initiative for the Preservation of the Constitution. Her action at the Human Rights Conference in Baghdad on 5 June 2011, to defend civil society organizations and to demand the release of four arrested young people, highlighted the increased attacks on civil liberties in general in Iraq. Her protest led to the release of four youths.
IPB's Co-President Tomas Magnusson comments: "Hanaa Edwar is an extraordinary woman activist, well-known in the whole of Iraq for her strong positions in the slow moving process among politicians. She is brave, and under constant threats to her life, but not slowing down in any way her mission. She is a most worthy laureate, determined and energetic, with an impressive record of activities to strengthen human rights and democracy, to develop civil society, and to defend women's rights. She has been an outspoken and tireless challenger of the ruling parties, the Ba'athists and male-dominated politics in general."["]

We'll note a book release.




Francis A. Boyle

ISBN: 978-0-9833539-2-8 202 pp. $16.95

Available in North America and UK/Europe

and from Clarity Press, Inc

During the past three decades, international legal expert Francis A.Boyle has dealt with some of the most difficult problems created byBritain’s continued military occupation of six northeast counties inIreland. In so doing, he along with other Irish Americans engaged the formidable Irish American domestic lobby in support of the Irish resistance.

This book addresses some of the most important aspects of their historic campaigns—the struggle to prevent deportation of Irish freedom-fighter,Joe Doherty, the protest against the U.S.-U.K. Extradition Treaty of 2006, the effort to engage U.S. multinationals in implementing the MacBride Principles to roll back discrimination against Catholics in Northern Ireland.

But most significantly, Boyle makes the legal case for viewing the horrific Irish “Potato Famine”—the Irish Hecatomb—as a result, not of laissez-faire economic policy, but of intentional British genocide.

This is the definitive book on all legal/political/human rights aspects of the Irish conflict, including Britain’s international legal obligation to decolonize Northern Ireland and going forward, a legal and human rights framework for establishing a United Ireland where all Irish can live in peace with justice for all irrespective of their differences.

United Ireland, Human Rights, and International Law is required reading for Irish Americans, people living in Ireland, and the Irish Diaspora around the world.

Dedication Irish America
Chapter 1.
The Irish Hecatomb: The Legal Case for the
Potato Famine as British Genocide / 19
Chapter 2
The Decolonization of Northern Ireland / 64
Chapter 3.
Putting Britain’s Colonial War in Ireland
on Trial in the USA / 89
Chapter 4.
The Struggle to Free Joe Doherty / 99
Chapter 5.
Opposing the U.S.—U.K. Extradition Treaty / 123
Chapter 6.
Advocating the MacBride Principles for
Northern Ireland / 154
Chapter 7.
Sparing Robert John MacBride / 184
Chapter 8.
Designing United Ireland / 188

Available directly from Clarity Press,,

or our distributors in the USA, UK/Europe/ Middle East,

Malaysia/Singapore, World

Clarity Press, Inc.

The following community sites -- plus Cindy Sheehan, On The Wilder Side, PRI and -- updated last night:

In addition, Rebecca's "the post office" and Stan's "Body of Proof" went up last night but aren't showing up on the links.

The e-mail address for this site is