Saturday, May 18, 2013

Barack extends 'national emergecy' in Iraq

Today saw news on Jalal Talabani, at least 16 kidnappings in Iraq, at least 26 violent deaths, at least 24 left injured but the biggest news may be from the White House late Friday.   This was e-mailed to the public account.  It's not a press release, it is an official White House announcement:

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Notice -- Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to the Stabilization of Iraq


- - - - - - -


On May 22, 2003, by Executive Order 13303, the President declared a national emergency pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by obstacles to the continued reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in the country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq.

The obstacles to the continued reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in the country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. For this reason, the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303, as modified in scope and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13438 of July 17, 2007, must continue in effect beyond May 22, 2013. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency with respect to the stabilization of Iraq declared in Executive Order 13303.
This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.


     May 17, 2013.

The first question is why the US is continuing to declare "a national emergency with respect to the stabilization of Iraq"?  The second question is why is Kitabat the only outlet reporting on this extension?

Violence continues in Iraq, yes.  But wasn't the Iraq War supposedly over?  Didn't  most US troops leave and wasn't Iraq supposed to be sovereign?

Through Friday, Iraq Body Count counts 378 violent deaths in Iraq so far this month.  National Iraqi News Agency notes a Baghdad home invasion which killed a colonel and 3 family members,  an attack on a Falluja checkpoint (with gunfire and grenades) left 2 police members dead as well as 1 civilian deadfive police officers were kidnapped in Anbar Province, eight Iraqi soldiers were kidnapped in Anbar Province, three people were kidnapped in Karbala,  an armed clash in Anbar Province between rebels and the military left 1 shepherd dead1 police officer was shot dead in Mosul, a Mosul truck bombing left four Iraq soldiers injured, a Mosul roadside bombing left 1 Iraqi soldier dead and two more injured, an armed attack (machine guns) in Falluja left 3 people dead (one was a police officer), an armed attack in Qai'm targeted "the motorcade of Colonel Ahmed Jidyan al-Dulaimi" leaving him "seriously" injured, a Ramadi bombing near the Nasr Sports Club left 4 people dead and twelve more injured, a bombing near a Baghdad mosque left four people injured, and Sheikh Asaad Nasser was assassinated in Basra while "on his way to the mosque for dawn prayers."  All Iraq News adds an attack on a Tikrit checkpoint left 3 Sahwa dead and a Tirkit bombing left one person injuredReuters notes an attack left 4 Sahwa dead in Garma (Anbar Province).  Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) adds 1 police officer was shot dead in Baghdad (apparently by the same assailants who did the home invasion).

The ongoing violence is disturbing politicians.  Kitabat reports Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi stated today that Parliament needs to hold an emergency session to address the violence.  Alsumaria notes it would be Tuesday. .  All Iraq News adds that Iraqiya released a statement today declaring that they support an emergency session as well."

In other news, Al Mada runs a photo of Jalal Talabani seated outdoors with his medical team and notes the team states the Iraqi President's health has continued to improve and he will return to Iraq shortly. Last December,  Iraqi President Jalal Talabani suffered a stroke.   The incident took place late on December 17th (see the December 18th snapshot) and resulted in Jalal being admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital.    Thursday, December 20th, he was moved to Germany.  He remains in Germany currently.  Two weeks ago, there were new rumors swirling about his health and, this past week,  Nouri al-Maliki attempted to have Jalal stripped of his post.  (Parliament rejected the notion.)


Jalal is also the head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), his political party.  They run the photo (above) and note Jalal and his medical team were photographed in the German hospital's garden.  If you use the link, you can also see Kurdish reaction to the news about Jalal's improved health (those pictured are overjoyed).  At the website of the Kurdistan Regional Government, KRG President Massoud Barzani congratulates Jalal Talabani on his improved health and wishes for his return in "health and wellness at the nearest time possible." Nouri's warm wishes must have gotten lost in the mail.

Tuesday, the Iraq Times reported that Nouri al-Maliki wasn't content to steal a second term as prime minister and retain the posts of Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of the Defense.  Smarting from the less than spectacular showing of his State of Law in the recent elections (only 12 of Iraq's 18 provinces voted), Nouri's used his seizure of the central bank to pump up inflation -- one US dollar was worth 1,200 Iraqi dinars but Nouri's made the dollar worth 1,300 dinars.  Inflation is not the goal, the paper argues that Nouri's attempting to profit on currency exchange.  Yesterday, the Iraq Times reported that Parliamentary sources were backing up the report and stating an investigation was ongoing.

The following community sites -- plus Adam Kokesh, Pacifica Evening News, and Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox -- updated last night and today:

The e-mail address for this site is

the associated press
sameer n. yacoub 


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