Sunday, March 25, 2012


In a news analysis, Suadad al-Salhy (Reuters) notes that Iraq is attempting to send a message that the war is over with the Arab League Summit scheduled for this week but resistance remains in Iraq and al-Salhy labels it as "al Qaeda in Iraq and its allies" which "maintain a hold over economic and political life that shows little sign of lossening."

I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name

Yes, we've changed the title. With the hopes that some in some cosmic way it might nudge the US (State Dept, Special Ops, 'trainers,' FBI and CIA) out of Iraq. A departure, like Muhammad in 622 when he left Mecca for Medina. Only far less noble. The occupation of Iraq continues. The billions of US taxpayer dollars continue to be spent. $6 billion was this year's State Dept budget for Iraq with another $6 billion requested for next year -- in ten years, that will be $60 billion just spent by the State Dept but no one's supposed to ask how it's being spent or what the plan is.

Last Sunday, the number of US military people killed in the Iraq War since the start of the illegal war was 4488. Tonight? PDF format warning, DoD lists the the number of Americans killed serving in Iraq at 4488.

In Baghdad, the lockdown is in place for the Arab League Summit. Reuters explains, "Entire streets in Baghdad have been closed down, SWAT teams have been combing the city, the government has declared a five-day public holiday, and around 100,000 extra security forces have been drafted in to man hundreds of checkpoints. The extra security has caused big traffic jams, forcing some people to abandon their cars and walk to work."

Nouri's announced -- in a move he hopes will cause Iraqiya not to bring up the political crisis and the need for a national conference -- that he wants prep meetings for a national conference to begin next month. Today AFP reports Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has done Nouri one better, he's calling for the conference to be held April 5th.

Meanwhile the political crisis finally got the world's attention when Nouri charged Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi with terrorism -- it's not every day that a vice president gets charged with anything. More recently, Amir Sarbut Zaidan al-Batawi has died in the midst of months of being held by Nouri's security forces. He was al-Hashemi's bodyguard and al-Hashemi states he was tortured to death. Human Rights Watch has called for an investigation into the death. AFP reports he gave a speech today:

"I ask all human rights related organisations in Iraq to take urgent actions by sending (a) neutral and specialised committee to examine the body medically and to identify the cause of death," Hashemi said in a televised speech delivered in English.

"I also ask security and judicial authorities in Iraq to provide an explanation for what happened."
He said his lawyers had not been allowed to witness investigation hearings, and when they were given access to minutes of the hearing, judges barred them from taking notes or making copies.
"I beseech (the) international community to take rapid action to rectify (the) disastrous situation and status related to human rights, as the situation in Iraq has become intolerable," Hashemi said.

The Associated Press observes, "Al-Hashemi's timed his speech for the arrival in Baghdad of dignitaries, journalists and political observers for the annual Arab League summit in the Iraqi capital this week. Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby flew into Baghdad on Sunday and was meeting Iraq's leaders."

New content at Third:

Isaiah's latest goes up after this. Kat's "Kat's Korner: Carole's back catalogue" went up Saturday and her "Kat's Korner: Carole Touches the Sky and Soul" went up Sunday morning. Pru notes "Mary Shelley at the West Yorkshire Playhouse" (Great Britain's Socialist Worker):

Shared Experience theatre company brings to stage the life of Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein and political radical.

Frankenstein, which she wrote aged 21, was created a sensation when it was published anonymously in 1818.

The show is written by award winning playwright Helen Edmundson who specialises in adapting literature for the stage.

It looks at Mary Shelley’s relationship with the liberal political philosopher William Goodwin, her father.

© Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.

The e-mail address for this site is