Friday, April 5, 2013. Chaos and violence continue, Brett McGurk
returns to Iraq (pray for Iraqi women), the US stabs the Kurds, Iraqiya
and others in the back, The Erbil Agreement is now officially shredded
by McGurk, Nouri issues an arrest warrant for Finance Minister Rafi
al-Issawi, protests continue, and more.
Never think Thug Nouri al-Maliki possesses any sanity. World Bulletin News reports
that a Baghdad court has "issued arrest warrants and inquiry against
outgoing Finance Minister Rafi al-Issawi on charges of 'involvement in
issues of financial and administrative corruption'." This is not
something minor. Protests have gone in Iraq for over 100 days. They
kicked off December 21st. From that day's snapshot
After morning prayers, Kitabat reports,
protesters gathered in Falluja to protest the arrests and Nouri
al-Maliki. They chanted down with Nouri's brutality and, in a move that
won't change their minds, found themselves descended upon by Nouri's
forces who violently ended the protest. Before that, Al Mada reports, they were chanting that terrorism and Nouri are two sides of the same coin. Kitabat also reports
that demonstrations also took place in Tikrit, Samarra, Ramdia and just
outside Falluja with persons from various tribes choosing to block
the road connecting Anbar Province (Falluja is the capitol of Anbar)
with Baghdad. Across Iraq, there were calls for Nouri to release the
bodyguards of Minister of Finance Rafie al-Issawi. Alsumaria notes demonstrators in Samarra accused Nouri of attempting to start a sectarian war.
So what happened yesterday? Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports:
Finance Minister Rafei al-Essawi said Thursday that "a militia force"
raided his house, headquarters and ministry in Baghdad and kidnapped
150 people, and he holds the nation's prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki,
responsible for their safety. Members
of the al-Essawi's staff and guards were among those kidnapped from the
ministry Thursday, the finance minister said. He also said that his
computers and documents were searched at his house and headquarters. He
said the head of security was arrested Wednesday at a Baghdad checkpoint
for unknown reasons and that now the compound has no security.
that these raids took place in the Green Zone, were carried out by the
Iraqi military and that Nouri, yesterday evening, was insisting he knew
nothing about them. In another report, Tawfeeq quotes
al-Essawi stating, "My message to the prime minister: You are a man
who does not respect partnership at all, a man who does not respect the
law and the constitution, and I personally hold you fully responsible
for the safety of the kidnapped people." BBC News adds,
"Rafie al-Issawi, a prominent member of the al-Iraqiyya political bloc,
said about 150 of his bodyguards and staff members had been arrested on
That was day one of the protests. The targeting of Rafie al-Issawi was the final straw.
arrest has echoes and implications that go far beyond your average
arrest warrant. Not only will this likely impact the ongoing protests,
there's the fact that provincial elections are supposed to be held in 15
days (in 12 of Iraq's 18 provinces). al-Issawi is a member of Iraqiya
and a Sunni and this will be seen as yet another attempt by Nouri to
influence the elections by painting his political rivals as crooked.
(Iraqiya beat Nouri's State of Law in the March 2010 parliamentary
In December 2011, when most (but not all) US troops
left Iraq (15,000 remain in the surrounding area -- in addition to those
in Iraq), you had something similar take place. Dropping back to the December 19, 2011 snapshot
this afternoon that an arrest warrant had been issued for Iraqi Vice
President Tareq al-Hashemi by the Judicial Commitee with the charge of
terrorism. Omar al-Saleh (Al Jazeera) terms
it a "poltical crisis" and states, "The government says this has
nothing to do with the US withdrawal, that this has nothing to do with
the prime minister consolidating his grip on power. However, members of
al-Iraqiya bloc, which Hashimis is a member of, say 'No, [Maliki] is
trying to be a dictator." Sam Dagher (Wall St. Journal) observes,
"The arrest warrant puts Mr. Maliki on a possible collision course
with the Kurds, who run their own semiautonomous region in the north and
participate in the central government but have longstanding disputes
with Baghdad over oil and land; and with Sunni Arabs in provinces like
Anbar, Diyala, Nineveh and Salahuddin who have pressed in recent weeks
for more autonomy from Baghdad with the backing of the Kurds."
What the hell is going on?
Over the weekend, Nouri went for another power grab.
actually started before Saturday but the press was ga-ga over
photo-ops. 'Last soldier out! No, really, last US soldier out! Except
for the ones still there! Don't look behind the curtain!' And
apparently covering for Barack was more important than telling Americans
what was taking place in Iraq.
Late Saturday night online (Sunday in print), Liz Sly (Washington Post) noted
that the 'government' in Iraq is "unraveling faster than had been
anticipated Saturday." Really? All in one day. Well, no, not in one
day. She continued, "In recent days, the homes of top Sunni
politicians in the fortified Green Zone have been ringed by tanks and
armored personnel carriers, and rumors are flying that arrest warrants
will be issued for other Sunni leaders."
"In recent days."
seems to me if you know -- for even just one damn day -- that Nouri's
goons -- in tanks, no less -- are 'ringing' his political opponents
home, you report it then. Yet even with Sly reporting this late
Saturday -- by which point it was already all over the Iraqi media --
you had Jim Axlerod (CBS News) filing garbage and crap and pretending
that was covering Iraq.
The targeting of
Tareq al-Hashemi only ensured that Nouri's power-grab became more
obvious. For months before that happened, you had Iraqiya, the Kurds
and Moqtada al-Sadr calling on Nouri to honor The Erbil Agreement and
stating that he was ruling like a dictator -- Ayad Allawi said it
outright to a British publication; Saleh al-Mutlaq told CNN Nouri was
the new Saddam. We'll come back to The Erbil Agreement because the US
government officially trashed it this week -- but the US press 'forgot'
to report that. Imagine that.
May they cut off his cock and shove it down his throat.
Let's talk Iraqi women. Sophie Ghaziri (Al Arabiya) explained
last month how the US-led Iraq War destroyed the status of women in Iraq:
Women in the country once had a place in society; held prominent and
important roles across the public and private sectors. But after two
wars, an authoritarian administration and U.N. sanctions Iraq has been
left crippled with most women struggling to meet their most basic needs;
most living in poverty.
The daily life of ordinary, poor women
in Iraq is tough as they are without income, social security and are
constantly at risk of being abused. Not to mention the women who still
remain locked up in Iraqi prisons for unspecified reasons, or as
blackmail to get their male loved ones to hand themselves over to
security forces and confess to charges the government has brought
Those women are the ones that sparked protests in Iraq over the last
couple of months. Those women are the ones who face daily abuse, torture
and no respect. The plight of female detainees brought thousands onto
to the streets carrying placards of those who still remain behind bars,
looking for justice.
In Margaret Atwood
's novel The Handmaid's Tale
fundamentalist militias take over the United States and women lose all
rights and agency. What was a brilliant but scary novel has become
reality for Iraqi women.
Symbolism matters in Iraq today and has mattered. Canada deserves applause for their recent move. Fan-Yee Suen (CTV News) reported
Monday on Stephanie Duhaime:
Duhaime, a Sudbury native who is fluent in English, French and Arabic,
was appointed as the charge d’affaires of Canada’s newly created
diplomatic mission in Iraq on Monday.
The new one-woman semi-ambassadorial post -- the Canadian embassy in
Jordan will continue to work full-time to restore diplomatic relations
in Iraq -- is meant to expand Canada’s engagement with the country at a
time of economic prosperity.
Where Barack Obama flips the middle finger to the Iraqi people
don't care about (or know) Stephanie Duhaime's politics. I do care
about the fact that Iraqi officials are forced to interact with women in
power and that the Iraqi people see this. Iraqi women have great
strength and are fighting their way back to equality. The very least
foreign countries can do is to make clear that women are forces within
That was too much for the sexist in the White
House. US President Barack Obama can't be bothered with symbolism --
even though his own electoral victory was in large part due to
symbolism. Before he was sworn in, he was asked to appoint a woman to
be the US Ambassador to Iraq. He and his team chose to ignore that
In addition, Barack found four people he could support
as US Ambassador to Iraq -- all were men. He first nominated the idiot
Chris Hill, then he nominated James Jeffrey, then he nominated Brett
McGurk and then he nominated R. Stephen Beecroft.
and Beecroft were all confirmed. No, three different Ambassadors to
Iraq in one term does not make for stability and that's another
criticism of the lack of consistency the US government has provided in
dealings with Iraq. But Brett McGurk went under for a reason.
slept with Gina Chon when Bully Boy Bush occupied the White House. He
and Chon were both married to other people. Some idiots in the US want
to act like that doesn't matter. It matters and we'll get to it. Chon
was a reporter, he was working for the US government. Chon allowed him
to vet her copy (he read it before her editors did) and that's so
wrong. It's also equally true, you're not supposed to sleep with your
sources. That is a major ethical lapse. Because he was Barack's
nominee when all this came out, Columbia 'Journalism' 'Review' and
others wanted to dismiss this.
You had a government employee
sleeping with a reporter covering the government's actions in Iraq and
CJR wants to pretend it's a private matter? There is whoring and then
there is whoring. They made themselves a joke (and we did the parody at Third
abound in the US and they like to pretend that Republicans killed
Brett's nomination. No, his penis killed his nomination. Republicans
couldn't block Hagel. The White House was approached by three
Democratic senators stating that they couldn't vote for McGurk. That's
why McGurk pulled his nomination. The three senators were Democrats and
they also had brains.
I don't give a damn who sleeps with whom
in the US. I don't care. I have no idea who's cheating, who's
faithful, it really doesn't matter to me. In the US.
the US. Iraq has been destroyed by the US. You cannot send Brett
McGurk back to Iraq and without him taking his baggage. When the affair
emerged last year, it didn't matter in the Iraqi press that Gina and
Brett were married to each other now. The scandal and his texts about
"blue balls" were all the rage in Iraq -- in a way that even Rhianna's
semi-nude outfits aren't (and every one of those outfits get tons of
In Iraq, Brett McGurk is known now as a man who sleeps with married women. Iraqi women could not have met with him if he'd been made Ambassador. They would have been risking their own safety.
If it's not clear to you, you need to follow closely this excerpt from Jonathan Hiles (Harvard Record) report
on a panel about the Iraq War:
Apart from damaging the environment, the war has also given rise to
civil disorder and religious extremism, leading to great victimization
of women. Ms. [Yanar] Mohammend [of Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq] said that many women and girls were trafficked
abroad during the war’s first years and that growing numbers are now
being been sold to "entertainment houses" frequented by government
officials in Iraq. A large portion of victims are orphans of the war,
and 65 percent are 17 years old or younger, she said.
The "honor killing" of women suspected of "immoral" conduct has also
increased. OWFI estimates that at least 1,000 Iraqi women die annually
in the "honor killings," which are often committed by family members. In
2010 an employee of the Baghdad morgue told OWFI that it receives 300
to 500 women each year whose bodies have the "signature" marks of an
honor killing, "which could be like a hand chopped off."
Section 409 of the criminal code, written after the U.S. invasion,
sets a three-year sentencing cap for a man who "surprises his wife or
one of his female dependents…in a state of adultery…and kills her."
According to Ms. Mohammed, the Iraqi government rarely enforces even
this punishment. Iraq's Constitution, finalized in 2005, has expanded
the role of Sharia Law, which allows polygamy and arranged marriages for
minors, among other things. Ms. Mohammend claimed that the previous
legal system involved a "more humane" combination of secular and
religious law, while Iraq’s new Constitution "feels like it was written
in the Middle Ages."
Ms. Mohammed argued that U.S. authorities are partly responsible,
since they have supported religious zealots in order to lend an Islamic
façade to neo-liberal economic reforms. "Policies against the working
class, the new labor code that’s being written, the suppression that's
going on against the labor demonstrations…it all goes hand in hand, it's
not just the women."
Religious extremists outside of government have persecuted gay
teenagers, murdering dozens in Baghdad alone. According to Ms. Mohammed,
U.S. authorities, in conjunction with the Iraqi government, have chosen
to obscure the true nature of the problem by referring to gay killings
as "emo killings." The "emo" culture is generally associated with teen
alienation, fashion and punk music. "You ask any Iraqi what's the
meaning of emo, nobody knows."
Can you start to get it
now? The desire of the press to play stupid -- scary thought: It's not
pretending to be stupid, it actually is that stupid -- and to whore for a
president is appalling. Sending Brett McGurk into Iraq as the US
Ambassador to Iraq would mean Iraqi women were stripped from the
political process or they were at risk of 'honor' killings because they
associated with a man who came to Iraq earlier and slept with a married
woman. Americans are not held in high regard (for good reason) in Iraq
as it is. You bring in Mr. Can't Keep It In His Pants and you're
kicking women out of the process because it is not safe for them to have
been to have met with him.
And that's what the three Democratic senator based their object to McGurk on.
He withdrew his nomination.
That should have been the end of it.
But alas and alack, look who's back in Iraq.
The filth is back in Iraq. Kitabat reports
that Brett McGurk, a US State Dept advisor, dined with journalists at
the American Embassy in Baghdad and declared that a majority government
was fine and dandy. We'll come back to that outrageous shift in policy
in a moment. We're going to stay focused on women.
Let's put a curse on Brett right now: If
even one woman is 'honor' killed because she interacted with Brett
McGurk, may he be grabbed by Iraqis who cut off his cock and shove it
down his throat
. He damn well knows the baggage he carries. May he
be cursed from the four corners of the earth. While I don't myself
practice witchcraft, I do have Pagan and Wiccan friends (hello, upstate
New York) who do and, yes, they will work the spellcraft. And hopefully
it will take. Because no Iraq woman should die due to Brett McGurk
being unable to keep it in his pants or because Barack Obama cares so
damn little about Iraqi women.
Not that he cares a great deal about Iraqi men or children either.
. Let's go back to Kitabat reports
that Brett McGurk, a US State Dept advisor, dined with journalists at
the American Embassy in Baghdad and declared that a majority government
was fine and dandy. We mentioned The Erbil Agreement earlier. It's
amazingly important and so rarely reported on by the western press which
appears to have mistaken a major in whoring for one in journalism.
March 2010, Iraq held parliamentary elections. They have a
parliamentary government and the person with the most members in their
'Congress' is named prime minister-designate and given 30 days to form a
cabinet. Not a partial cabinet. A full cabinet. You do that in 30
days or someone else named prime minister-designate.
of the 2010 elections? Iraqiya headed by Ayad Allawi. It's a mixed
political slate attempting to include of all Iraq. Iraqiya offers and
embraces a national 'we are all Iraqis' identity. It is also the
political slate that has female members of Parliament and not tokens.
(Al-Fadhila's Susan Sa'ad is not a MP I would want to represent me but
she's also not a token. One of the few non-Iraqiya female members who
can make that claim.) In the 2009 provincial elections a thread in
those results was that it appeared Iraqis were moving away from a
(US-imposed) Sunni-Shi'ite split and going for a national identity.
This was confirmed in the 2010 results when Nouri's State of Law was
defeated by the new Iraqiya coalition (whose members were killed in the
lead up to the election, whose members were barred from running by the
Justice and Accountability Commission).
Nouri stomped his feet and demanded a recount. The results were the same.
It was now time for Nouri to step down and for a new prime minister to emerge via the process outlined in the Constitution.
Nouri refused to allow that to happen. It's as though, in January
2009, Bully boy Bush announced he wasn't leaving the White House and
Barack Obama wasn't going to be named president.
Nouri kept the
country of Iraq in an eight-month political stalemate while he refused
to step down as prime minister. He was only able to do that with the
backing of the governments of Iran and the United States. Nouri is a
White House puppet. He was first appointed by the Bush White House when
they didn't want Ibrahim al-Jaafari to become prime minister in 2006.
By 2010, Nouri's secret prisons, torture cells, corruption and much more
were well known and documented. While Barack and others in the White
House love to sneer at the Iranian government's alleged embrace of
torture, their hands are just as dirty.
And the Iraqi people had
gone to the polls. They had expressed their wishes and the votes were
counted and then recounted. And yet the US that supposedly wanted to
introduce 'democracy' to Iraq immediately pissed on democracy, pissed on
the voters, pissed on the Iraqi Constitution.
During the eight
month political stalemate, US officials repeatedly pressured the
political blocs to let Nouri have a second term. No surprise, most said
no and said no repeatedly. After it hit the eight month mark, US
officials began telling the political leaders that Nouri was willing to
go another eight months, that nothing would ever get done in Iraq. So
why not be the adult in the room, give Nouri a second term as prime
minister and, in exchange, we'll put your concerns on paper in a legally
binding contract that Nouri will have to follow.
concerns? One example. Kirkuk is oil rich. Because it's oil rich,
it's disputed. The semi-autonomous KRG in the north claims it and the
Nouri's Baghdad-based government claims it. How do you solve who gets
it? Well Iraq wrote and passed a Constitution in 2005. Article 140
explained how this would be addressed: A census and a referendum. Nouri
took an oath in 2006 to obey the Constitution. He never implemented
Article 140. Before you say, "Maybe he was busy," the Constitution
mandates that Article 140 be instituted no later than December 2007.
Nouri ignored the Constitution.
It is thought that a vore would see Kirkuk go to the KRG. So Nouri's delayed the vote, repeatedly ignoring the Constitution.
say US officials, we'll put it in writing, it'll be a binding contract
and Nouri will have to honor it. [He wasn't honoring the Iraqi
Constitution but he was going to honor a contract?] US officials did
this with the leader of each political bloc to get them to agree that
Nouri would get a second term. This is the US-brokered Erbil Agreement.
is extra-constitutional because it goes around the Constitution which
clearly defines how someone becomes prime minister. For example, Nouri
never formed a full cabinet. Back in July, Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) observed
"Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has struggled to forge a lasting
power-sharing agreement and has yet to fill key Cabinet positions,
including the ministers of defense, interior and national security,
while his backers have also shown signs of wobbling support." Those
positions were supposed to have been filled before the end of December
2010. They were not. They are still not filled. Nouri refused to fill
them because once the Iraqi Parliament confirms a nominee, that nominee
is autonomous. Nouri can't fire them, only the Parliament can. (Which
isn't easy. Nouri's gotten Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi convicted
of 'terrorism' and sentenced to death with the Baghdad courts he
controls but he can't get Parliament to strip Tareq of his title.)
he was governed by The Erbil Agreement and not the Constitution, he
didn't have to meet any requirements. And he trashed The Erbil
Agreement. Immediately. A census was supposed to take place in Kirkuk
the first week of December 2010. Nouri called it off, said it was
postponed. It's never been brought up again. He was supposed to
appoint Ayad Allawi to head an independent national security agency.
Immediately after President Jalal Talabani named Nouri prime
minister-designate, Nouri told Parliament that Allawi's position would
have to wait. It's 'waited' ever since.
The US image in Iraq
wasn't good before then. For obvious reasons (an illegal war that
destroyed Iraq). Barack Obama's election meant that Iraqis thought a
real change might be coming. They were hopeful. They no longer are.
They have seen through Barack Obama and his 'withdrawal' which is
actually more counter-terrorism US troops in Iraq today than at the
start of 2012. (Not surprising because he told the New York Times
do that when he was first running for the presidency.) But what it
mainly did was send the message to Iraqi political leaders that the US
can't be trusted. For example, there is so much damage in the trust
that did exist among Kurdish leaders. They now realize they will be
screwed over every time. It didn't have to be this way.
could have supported the will of the Iraqi people, the votes, the
attempt at democracy. He refused to do so. Let's again note John
Barry's "'The Engame' Is A Well Researched, Highly Critical Look at U.S. Policy in Iraq
" (Daily Beast
Washington has little political and no military influence
over these developments [in Iraq]. As Michael Gordon and Bernard
Trainor charge in their ambitious new history of the Iraq war, The Endgame,
Obama's administration sacrificed political influence by failing in
2010 to insist that the results of Iraq’s first proper election be
honored: "When the Obama administration acquiesced in the questionable
judicial opinion that prevented Ayad Allawi's bloc, after it had won the
most seats in 2010, from the first attempt at forming a new government,
it undermined the prospects, however slim, for a compromise that might
have led to a genuinely inclusive and cross-sectarian government."
What The Erbil-Agreement put forward was a power-sharing
government. This week, Brett McGurk announced that the US government
now supports a majority-government. that's what Nouri has been
insisting on all along. He couldn't accomplish that at the ballot box
-- hell, he couldn't even win a term as prime minister at the ballot box
-- but now the US is backing his power grab. This is major news and
will have huge implications on the way the Iraqi people see the US.
went to Karbala today. Speaking alongside his political cronies, Nouri
refused to take off his sunglasses. None of the over 16 people
standing beside him required sunglasses but Nouri had to hide his eyes.
He has to hide a lot. Alsumaria reports
that he accused other political parties and slates of being terrorists.
And what is a reach around to Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq, he
declared that some political parties work to keep smaller ones from
success. (al-Mutlaq is currently the leader of the National Dialogue
Front which is a part of Iraqiya. al-Mutlaq and Nouri have gotten very
tight as al-Mutlaq's leadership has fallen into question.) He
also pushed his desire for majority government -- again, something the
voters did not sign off on -- and declared it was the only way to end
the "political impasse
." Kitabat notes
that he declared this is what has kept Iraq from moving forward.
Parliamentary elections are currently supposed to take place in March of
2014. Nouri called for early elections and said the 2010 elections
were marred by vote rigging. This is the piece of crap that the United
States government has backed -- under Bush, under Barack. There's not a
damn bit of difference between Bush and Barack except Barack can speak
properly and Bully Boy Bush knew how to come off human (and not like the
first place winner in a Leonard Nimoy competition).
that Brett McGurk has announced he will be entering discussions with
various political leaders on how to solve the political crisis. Well
it's "crises" -- not crisis. And the roots go back to the failure of
Nouri to honor The Erbil Agreement and the failure of the US to keep
their promise that they would ensure The Erbil Agreement would be
honored. It's 2013. It's a little damn late, even if the US was trying
to strong arm Nouri, for the 2010 contract to be honored (because come
2014, new parliamentary elections will be held). But why would any
Iraqi politician expect either Nouri or the US government to be honest
at this point? With their track record of lying over and over, why
should Nouri or the US government be trusted?
Chain smoking cigarettes
Enemies across the table
Wonderin' if I can ever trust anyone again
-- "Darkness 'Til Dawn," written by Jacob Brackman and Carly Simon
, first appears on Carly's Another Passenger
Wonderin' if I can ever trust anyone again
. Kitabat reports
protesters in Kirkuk and Hawija today called out the "traitors" --
Cabinet ministers who returned to the Cabinet meetings -- as usual the
list of the denounced included Saleh al-Mutlaq. The people do not feel
the government is representing them. NINA reports
that Hayde al-Mulla has declared today that Iraqiya wants the
protesters' demands to be met before they return to Cabinet sessions. NINA notes
"Thousands demonstrated in the protest squares in Ramadi and Falluja,
on the international highway connecting Iraq with Syria and Jordan,
carrying banners criticizing the Government for having double standards
and demanding it put a stop to the executions and random arrests as well
as not to discriminate between citizens." Organizer Mohammed
al-Dulaimi declared that Nouri's government refuses to listen to the
demands of the people but instead to respond with "executions and random
Today they also protested in Jalawlaa
, and Baquba
. They protested despite attempts to stop them. National Iraqi News Agency notes
, "Security forces closed off all roads leading to the sit-in yard north of Ramadi before noon today." Despite this, NINA notes
that "thousands of people flocked to the main sit-in squares north of Ramadi and eastern Falluja." Iraqi Spring MC reports
that the Baghdad mosque was raided and one was raided in Nineveh Province
. Arbitrary arrests of activists are taking place in Diyala Province
and Nouri's forces disrupted morning prayers in Muqdadiya
. In Samarra, NINA reports
Sheikh Hussein Ghazi declared that Iraq ranked "first in the world in
human rights violations and corruption and criminality against the Iraqi
people." And the outlet notes
that Sheikh Yunis al-Hamdani in Falluja observed that Nouri bears
"responsibility for assassinations and executions against Sunnis" and
called on the Kurds to join in the cry to stop the mass executions. Iraqi Spring MC reports that the protesters in Falluja asked that the "BBC Make the Unmissable, Unmissable!!
" But the BBC didn't rush to provide coverage.
On the topic of violence, National Iraqi News Agency notes
that a Baquba bombing has left a number of people injured, a Hilla roadside bombing has claimed 5 lives and left two more people injured
, an armed attack outside Kirkuk left three Sahwa injured
, an armed attack to the north of Tikrit left 2 Sahwa dead and one injured
, a Hilla car bombing claimed 2 lives and left two more injured
, and a Tikrit sticky bombing claimed 1 life
. All Iraq News adds that seven people were injured in the Baquba bombing
, a Mahawil bombing claimed 3 lives and left seven more people injured
, and, dropping back to last night, a farmer and his son were kidnapped from their Samarra farm
. Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) notes
that a Baghdad bombing (Abu Ghraib) claimed the lives of 3 Iraqi soldiers. Alsumaria notes
1 corpse was discovered in Mosul. In addition, AFP
's Prashant Rao Tweets:
We noted the excavations yesterday. Arwa Damon has a strong story at CNN on the topic
Now you tell me
Who you gonna get to do the dirty work
When all the slaves are free?
-- "Passion Play," written by Joni Mitchell
, first appears on Joni's Night Ride Home
When all the slaves are free.
In the US, Lynne Stewart
is a political prisoner, tossed in prison not for breaking a law but
for breaking an agreement. Sentenced and then re-sentenced to even more
time. She's over 70, she's a grandmother and her cancer has returned.
If Barack had any compassion, he would move to release her
immediately. She's an attorney who used her degree to try to defend
people, not to try to get rich. She was the people's attorney and now
she remains behind bars, the victim of Bully Boy Bush and Barack Obama.
There is a petition calling for a compassionate release of Lynne due to her health
. Ralph Poynter, her husband, notes:
5,600 and counting! Individuals are reaching out to their friends,
family and colleagues. Organizations are reaching out to their members.
People throughout the world are joining together in the effort to free
Archbishop Desmond Tutu sent this Cri de Coeur: “It is devastating,
totally unbelievable. Is this in a democracy, the only superpower? I am
sad. I will sign. Praying God’s blessings on yr efforts.”
Pete Seeger declared: “Lynn Stewart should be outa jail!” on a
postcard signed “old Pete Seeger” accompanied by a drawing of his banjo.
Your outpouring of support has lifted Lynne’s spirits as she
undergoes the ravaging effects of chemotherapy. On March 20, she sent
this message to each and every one of you from her seven-person cell in
the Federal Medical Center, Carswell, Texas:
“I want you, individually, to know how gratifying and happy it makes
me to have your support. It is uplifting, to say the least, and after a
lifetime of organizing it proves once again that the People can rise.
“The acknowledgement of the life-political, and solutions brought
about by group unity and support, is important to all of us. Equally, so
is the courage to sign on to a demand for a person whom the Government
has branded with the ‘T’ word — Terrorist. Understanding that the attack
on me is a subterfuge for an attack on all lawyers who advocate without
fear of Government displeasure, with intellectual honesty guided by
their knowledge and their client’s desire for his or her case, I hope
our effort can be a crack in the American bastion. Thank you.” — Lynne
Lynne Stewart devoted over 30 years of her life to helping others as a
criminal defense lawyer. She defended the poor, the disadvantaged and
those targeted by the police and the State. Such had been her reputation
as a fearless lawyer, ready to challenge those in power, that judges
assigned her routinely to act for defendants whom no attorney was
willing to represent.
Now Lynne Stewart needs our urgent help or she may die in prison. Our
determination can compel the Bureau of Prisons to file the motion for
compassionate release that will free Lynne Stewart.
Check out the Justice for Lynne Stewart website www.lynnestewart.org
to view the signatories (up to 03/31/13), the postcard from Pete
Seeger, Archbishop Tutu’s message as well as Lynne Stewart’s letter back
to him, and much more.
Remind your friends to sign the petition and to disseminate it to
others. Ask each person to get five people to sign, and each of those
five to ask five people of their own. In five stages, you will have
reached another 3,000 people!
michael r. gordon
the daily beast
national iraqi news agency
all iraq news
the associated press