Sunday, June 24, 2012


As noted yesterday, a document surfaced announcing Nouri al-Maliki's government's plan to shut down 44 media outlets in Iraq including the BBC.

Today Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) reports that the head of the Communications and Media Commission, Safaa Rabie, has confirmed the memo is genuine and that the plan is to go forward.  Rabie insists that it's "not a crackdown" and offers a 'reason' for the planned closures: They don't have operating licenses.  But Abdul-Zahra checks with two and quickly establishes that they do have them.  When you have an idiot like Serena, Reuters is useless.  They present the Iraqi government's explanation without question, like the good lap dog Serena is.  She is destroying their reputation. 
Margaret Griffis ( goes into the details cowed Serena's too scared of:

For years, the Iraqi government has harassed journalists and organizations it has seen as a threat. One of the stations on the list, Baghdadiya TV, has been shut down before and even seen the occupation of its station in the past for its coverage of a massacre at a Christian church. Other stations are less politically inclined, but their religious affiliations may be the focus of the government’s attention.

Who at the State Dept press briefing on Monday will have the guts to ask about this?  Probably no one.

But Nouri began his crackdown on the press in July of 2006, he was freshly named prime minister.  He continued it.  At one point, his attacks translated into a reporter for the New York Times having an Iraqi soldier aim a gun at him, pull the trigger and then laugh because there was no chamber in the round.  This is what Nouri's encouraged and fostered in Iraq.  He's sued the Guardian, he's sued everyone.  Saleh al-Mutlaq tells CNN in December that Nouri's acting like a dictator and Nouri spends months trying to get al-Mutlaq stripped of his Deputy Prime Minister post.

In 2012, Nouri's favorite thing is to storm Iraqi news websites with hits to try to get them denied service.  No one comments on that because there's hardly any foreign press in Iraq anymore.  But there's too much still for Nouri.  Little Saddam can't do what he wants to do if there's a chance that the world's watching.

And watch the White House roll over yet again.  Watch them refuse to take on the little dictator.  He's the one they fought for in 2010.  He wasn't the Iraqi's people choice but democracy and votes don't matter when the US White House decides their puppet gets a second term.

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

The number of US military people killed in the Iraq War stands at  4489.

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