Saturday, April 26, 2014

The vote in Iraq: Posters torn down, polling stations bombed, speeches given

National Iraqi News Agency reports a Baiji polling station was blown up killing three police members with two more injured. Baiji is in Salah ad Din Province.  This happened after NINA reported:

Baghdad Operations Command declared that military units and security forces received the polling stations in Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces since today Saturday 26, April, to ensure the security and safety of these stations in preparation for a special vote on next Monday, then the public vote on next Wednesday.
The spokesman of BOC, Brigadier General Saad Maan told the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA / "The leadership has not taken, so far, a decision to impose a curfew on the public and private voting ," adding that "the number of stations of special voting in Iraq are 532 , and the public are 8075 stations ." 

Iraqis vote in the parliamentary elections on Wednesday.  Osama al-Khafaji and Ghassan Hamid (Alsumaria) have noted that there are 9032 candidates competing for 328 seats.  And Baghdad Operations Command says Nouri's forces are in charge of the polling stations as of Saturday.

Saturday when the Baiji polling station was bombed.  Saturday when a school that will be a polling station on Monday and Wednesday was bombed in al-Qaim.  al-Qaim is in Anbar.  As NINA notes, this was one of three polling stations blown up in Anbar today. So four bombings of polling stations after the security forces took over. Oh, wait.  All Iraq News reports 2 polling stations in Tikirt were bombed today.  That's a total of six.  Maybe if Nouri hadn't attacked Anbar, he'd have sufficient forces to protect the polling stations.

Then again, maybe not.  NINA reports, "Baghdad’s streets witnessed heavy deployment of army forces especially around the Green Zone today."  The heavily fortified Green Zone needs additional protection?  How telling.

Even in the face of such high profile failures, Nouri continues to bluff.  Mu Xuequan (Xinhau) reports:

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki said on Saturday that his coalition aims to form a " majority" government after the upcoming parliamentary elections so as to make a "change" to the crisis-ridden country.
"Together we can reform the political process because in such process we can't move. We have to make a change on the bases of the constitution to meet the expectation of our people," al-Maliki said at an election rally of his State of Law Coalition in Baghdad.

Sunday's Zaman notes, "Although the Shiite-dominated State of Law Coalition (SLC) led by Maliki -- who is seeking a third consecutive term in office -- is widely seen as the front-runner, experts believe the outcome of the elections may yield a surprising result as there are criticisms of Maliki's leadership. Iraq's election not only offers real competition, but there is also uncertainty about the outcome."

Alsumaria reports cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr gave a televised speech today where he stated this election was the last chance to make a change. He called on the United Nations and other bodies to be neutral, to monitor the process closely and not choose sides in the election.  He called on the country's Electoral Commission to be independent as well.

Mustafa Habib (Niqash) focuses on the vote in Baghdad.  We'll note this section of Habib's report:

Another interesting religious group in Baghdad is that of Christian politicians – there are ten Christian political groups in Baghdad competing for the one quota seat allocated to them. These parties are competing for the votes of those Iraqi Christians left in Baghdad. Much of the country’s Christian minority has been displaced over the past few years – some say as many as 1 million have left – and some of the Iraqi Christian candidates actually travelled overseas to woo potential voters who emigrated.

In addition to the political blocs founded around sectarian and religious allegiances, there are also a number of secular parties competing for Baghdadi votes. A notable new group is the Civil Democratic Alliance, formed as an umbrella organisation for a number of smaller, secular parties and civil society groups. Prominent members include the Iraqi Communist Party and socialist groups and they seem to be relying on the waning popularity of Islamic parties to win votes.

Another of these groups is headed by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, who is distinguishing his party, Wataniya, from others by attempting to exclude almost all religious overtones; his candidates consist of civil society activists, women’s rights campaigners and personalities from Iraq’s secular society. It seems that Allawi wants to send a loud and clear message that he remains a liberal personality who believes in the separation of church and state.

Ayad Allawi Tweeted this week:

While Habib looked at Baghdad,  Rudaw examines the vote in Kirkuk:

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the PUK are the two major parties in Kirkuk. But despite running on a joint list in most previous Iraqi elections, they decided to run separately in the April 30 polls due to political disagreements.
Both parties are now vying for Kirkuk’s more than 841,000 eligible voters.
“Unfortunately we could not create one united Kurdish list of candidates,” says Mamand. “However, we are not going to base our expectations on the results of the 2010 elections and we do expect to win more seats this time around.”
Meanwhile representatives of smaller parties in Kirkuk think that the KDP-PUK split aside, the two parties are likely to lose many voters due to their poor political record in the multiethnic province.

Duraid Salman and Tareq Ammar (Alsumaria) report voters turned out in Kirkuk today to protest outside the Electoral Commission Office because voters names are not showing up on the voter rolls and these voters are not receiving the new electronic voting card which is required to vote in the election.  KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani is with the KDP.   Below is a photo of him and his wife Nabila Barzani voting in Erbil last September in the KRG provincial elections.


Alsumaria reports that the KRG prime minister gave a speech today in which he called on people in the KRG to vote and noted that Nouri's Baghdad based government is attempting to impose cuts on the KRG and the only way to stop that is to vote.

AP offers an overview/analysis of the election here and they break down the some of the major parties here.

Meanwhile, Nouri's War Crimes continued today as residential neighborhoods in Falluja continued to be bombed by the Iraqi military.  Alsumaria reports 1 civilian was killed and three more injured by the bombings.  Through Friday, Iraq Body Count counts 826 violent deaths so far this month.


National Iraqi News Agency reports an al-Dour roadside bombing left four people injured, Fayek Dhiab Telfah (an engineer and a member of Salah ad-Din Provincial Council) was shot dead in Al-Rakah along with 2 of his bodyguards (and his son was left injured), an al-Hajaj roadside bombing left 2 Iraqi soldiers dead, an Arab Jabur Village bombing left two police members injured, a Katton al-Razi bombing left two people injured, a battle at a checkpoint northeast of Falluja left 2 Iraqi soldiers dead (two more injured) and 6 rebels dead, Sheikh Ahmed Naem al-Merare, who sided with the security forces against the rebels, died today in al-Muror village from a "bomb placed under a boat," security forces announced they killed 6 suspects outside Albuasaf, security forces killed 10 suspects in Tal al-Zalat Village, a Baquba bombing left 1 person dead and two injured, an eastern Baghdad restaurant bombing left 1 person dead and ten more injured and a southwest Baghdad bombing left 1 police member dead and two more injured as well as three civilians injured.  All Iraq News adds a corpse was discovered (shot to death) dumped in the streets in northern Baghdad.

In other violence, All Iraq News reports, "A two-headed boy who was born on Friday passed away in less than 24 hours in Nasiriya city in Dhi-Qar province."  How is that violence?  The US government's decision to allow White Phosphorus and Depleted Uranium in Iraq has long lasting consequences.  Some Iraqis have seen it repeatedly already -- as have some US couples where one or both are veterans of the Iraq War.

The following community sites -- plus the Guardian,, Jody Watley, Ms. magazine's blog, Jake Tapper, Pacifica Evening News, Z on TV, Tavis Smiley and the ACLU -- updated:

  • The e-mail address for this site is


    I Hate The War

    Yesterday, Mark Hosenball, Warren Strobel, Phil Stewart, Ned Parker, Jason Szep and Ross Colvin (Reuters) reported, "The United States is quietly expanding the number of intelligence officers in Iraq and holding urgent meetings in Washington and Baghdad to find ways to counter growing violence by Islamic militants, U.S. government sources said." The Times of India carries the Reuters report today, it was noted last night on The NewsHour (PBS):

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Jane, there’s a Reuters report today that the U.S. is adding intelligence support in Iraq right now because of this kind of violence. What does all this say about the security situation right now?

    JANE ARRAF: I think what that says is that the United States is understandably worried.

    This is an important development and you'll note, like so much regarding Iraq, it's being ignored.

    That's especially distressing with regards to so-called 'alternative' media -- The Progressive, The Nation, etc. And that's true of anything to do with Iraq.  We noted how left outlets were avoiding Iraq on Wednesday, "That's not about the campaign per se but in the US the left -- or the hustler left -- doesn't give a damn about Iraq.  I'm left, I care about Iraq, but supposedly The Progressive, The Nation, blah blah blah are left and they can't be bothered with Iraq. "

    The next day Russ Wellen's "Maliki: One of the Wrongest Horses the U.S. Ever Backed" (Foreign Policy In Focus) went up and we noted it (this is the third time we've provided a link to the piece).  That's really about it for the left.

    This ties into War Criminal Tony Blair who gave a speech this week trying to pretend he had some ethical ground to stand on.

    At The Daily Mail, Mark Almond points out:

    In office, Tony Blair argued in favour of pre-emptive military action against threats to the West. Last week he launched a pre-emptive strike on the Chilcot Report into his war in Iraq. Didn’t we realise, he told a City audience, that it was a war against the Islamic fundamentalism now wreaking havoc worldwide?
    Secular Saddam Hussein and his missiles launchable at 45 minutes’ warning were forgotten. Today’s war, even tomorrow’s, are what Tony Blair wants us to believe he was trying to pre-empt eleven years ago.
    Although he was happy to let Lord Hutton inquire into BBC coverage of the death of Dr David Kelly, Blair fought tooth and nail against a public inquiry into how he led Britain to war on false information.
    Although Gordon Brown in 2009 conceded an inquiry led by Sir John Chilcot, the political class in Westminster has fought almost five years of trench warfare against admitting mistakes, let alone placing the blame for them. Every opportunity to throw sand in our eyes has been taken.

    We called out Tony Blair's speech repeatedly this week which led to a few e-mails from visitors pointing out that I don't do the same to Bully Boy Bush.

    Bully Boy Bush is not in the White House.  He does not hold a title anymore -- Tony does, idiots put him in charge of the Middle East.  Bully Boy Bush is cooped up.  He's not a free range chicken, he's in a tiny coop. It truly is tiny, we published the floor plan here, after all.  It's a shoddy little house that didn't get completely built, couldn't pass inspections while it was being built and is adjacent to Highland Park.  But, please understand, not in Highland Park because Bully Boy Bush is so damn cheap.  H. Ross Perot lives in Highland Park.  Bully Boy Bush lives in Dallas.  (Highland Park is not a part of the city of Dallas, it is its own city.) 

    He does an occasion thing for veterans.  

    As a general rule, if it's a fundraiser or a charity event for veterans, I don't call anyone out for participating.

    Other than that, Bully Boy Bush stays in his cheap chicken pen.  

    He's not advocating for new wars the way Tony Blair is.

    Bully Boy Bush is out of the White House.  I wanted that for years and years.  This is a victory.

    Learn to savor it.

    He's unimportant in our lives today.

    Tony Blair refuses to go away.  There's a difference.

    Now there are those who want Bully Boy Bush's head on a pike.

    The week before last, one such person wrote something he wanted highlighted here.

    We didn't highlight.

    Not interested.

    Bully Boy Bush isn't important enough to me to obsess over.  He may be for other people and that's their right.  But for me, I wanted him out of the White House.

    I don't live under the belief that real criminals go on trial.  None of the Bushes ever went on trial.  Prescott was basically a Nazi collaborator.  Prior to that, he's said to have been part of the conspiracy to overthrow President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  He never went to prison, he never went to trial, he never even got charged.

    Bully Boy Bush knows that, like Henry Kissinger, he can't travel freely around the world.  But it's also true, he never wanted to travel -- that was obvious in 2000 when he couldn't stop whining about campaign events that didn't allow him to be home in his Texas bedroom.  

    I can't turn back the clock.  

    But Bully Boy Bush is out of the White House.  

    There are those who care about Iraq that feel differently than me and that's their right.  But I believe in picking your battles and, for me, there's no battle there.  

    Tony Blair refuses to fade away.  He, like Kissinger, is convinced he can wear people down if he just keeps lying.

    That's a battle that needs to be fought.  He's a danger to the world as he attempts to advocate for more wars.

    If someone genuinely cares about Iraq and they call out Bully Boy Bush, great.  We might even note it here.

    Cindy Sheehan, for example, is someone we might note doing that.

    But these people who call out Bully Boy Bush today, right now, and toss out the word "Iraq"?

    I can't stomach whores.

    Most of the people on the 'left' (partisans, not real leftists) who write about BBB today and try to pretend to care about Iraq have nothing to offer about Iraq.

    They don't know a damn thing.  They stopped paying attention (and stopped caring because attention is showing that you care) when Barack got into office.

    They show up with their attempts to elect Democrats by pretending to care about Iraq.  I don't have time for it.

    If nothing else, these jerks could have read Ned Parker's "Who Lost Iraq?" (POLITICO) in January, or his "Iraq: The Road to Chaos" (The New York Review of Books) this month.  Or even Dexter Filkins' "What We Left Behind in Iraq" (New Yorker).  But they don't want to be informed because being informed means knowing about Barack's responsibilities.

    Barack's destroyed Iraq.

    That's on him.

    That doesn't mean BBB didn't.  It means things could have moved forward, could have progressed but Barack, once he became president, made one bad decision after another.  

    The smart thing to do would have been to have pulled all US troops out of the country after he was sworn in.  He could have stuck to his 16 months 'promise' or he could have accelerated it.

    But instead of leaving, Barack wanted to put in new carpet and, hey, what's with those drapes? -- and can we get a new paint job?

    He busied himself with the country and his decisions went beyond bad.  His finger prints are on Iraq.

    Had he immediately moved to pull troops -- and that's what we said in real time -- he'd be able to say, "The people wanted this as per the 2008 elections."  And having kept his hands off it, it wasn't his fault.  Iraq could be right where it is right now and he'd be innocent of blame.

    But he decided to 'own' and 'improve' Iraq.

    So now it's on him.

    The violence today is because Nouri al-Maliki refused to power-share.

    That's on Barack Obama.  That's got nothing to do with the idiot Bully Boy Bush.

    Iraqis went to the polls in 2010 and voted.  Nouri's State of Law lost to Ayad Allawi's Iraqiya.  Allawi should be prime minister.  He's not.

    Nouri got a second term.

    That has nothing to do with George W(ar Criminal) Bush.  That has everything to do with Barack.

    It was Barack who had US officials in Iraq broker The Erbil Agreeement.  That's what gave Nouri the second term.

    There are some great big liars who keep bringing up Iran.

    Oh, Iran persuaded Motada al-Sadr to support Nouri.

    Yeah, they did.  I believe we noted that in real time repeatedly and noted the rumors that Moqtada was promised he would be the next prime minister if he'd go along.

    But that's not what gave Nouri a second term.

    By October 2010, Moqtada had discarded his objection to Nouri.

    But October 2010 didn't end the political stalemate and didn't see Nouri named prime minister-designate.

    So stop lying and stop whoring.

    If it's just that you're lazy, here's the 2010 week you're looking for:

    That's the week the government was formed.

    That's where you'll find things like this:

    Leila Fadel (Washington Post) notes the latest rumors that a deal has been reached and explains the expected process: "Legislators are expected to meet Thursday afternoon for only the second time since the inconclusive March 7 election. Under the deal reached Wednesday, the parliament is expected to appoint a speaker from Iraqiya, then name the current Kurdish president, Jalal Talabani, as president. He, in turn, will name Maliki as prime minister. Maliki will then have to put together a cabinet that a simple majority in Iraq's parliament will have to approve."  Whomever is named PM-designate -- whenever they're named -- will have 30 days to pull together a cabinet.  Nouri's past history of ministers walking out -- as well as his own boasting in April 2006 that he'd put together a cabinet before 30 days -- are forgotten, apparently.  Also forgotten is what this says: Elections are meaningless. 
    If the rumors are true about the make up of the next government and that does come to pass, the message is: "Elections are meaningless, voters stay home."  The president and the prime minister remain the same?  Only the speaker changes?

    What is she talking about?  What deal?

    It's The Erbil Agreement.  Brokered by the US.  You'll find this:

    Political issues?  An Iraqi journalist tells the BBC today, "I think a lot of people who voted this time round will have hoped for a change, and will be disappointed to see the same people in charge." John Leland, Jack Healy and Steven Lee Myers (New York Times) add, "Iraq's lawmakers took a small step toward forming a government of Thursday evening, hammering out the details of a deal struck one day earlier to end an eight-months political impasse."
    March 7th, Iraq concluded Parliamentary elections. The Guardian's editorial board noted in August, "These elections were hailed prematurely by Mr Obama as a success, but everything that has happened since has surely doused that optimism in a cold shower of reality." 163 seats are needed to form the executive government (prime minister and council of ministers). When no single slate wins 163 seats (or possibly higher -- 163 is the number today but the Parliament added seats this election and, in four more years, they may add more which could increase the number of seats needed to form the executive government), power-sharing coalitions must be formed with other slates, parties and/or individual candidates. (Eight Parliament seats were awarded, for example, to minority candidates who represent various religious minorities in Iraq.) Ayad Allawi is the head of Iraqiya which won 91 seats in the Parliament making it the biggest seat holder. Second place went to State Of Law which Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister, heads. They won 89 seats. Nouri made a big show of lodging complaints and issuing allegations to distract and delay the certification of the initial results while he formed a power-sharing coalition with third place winner Iraqi National Alliance -- this coalition still does not give them 163 seats. They are claiming they have the right to form the government. In 2005, Iraq took four months and seven days to pick a prime minister. It's eight months and three days and still counting.

    Today the KRG website announces:

    Baghdad, Iraq ( - Iraq's political leaders yesterday agreed to hold the parliamentary session as scheduled on Thursday and to name an individual for the post of Speaker of the the parliament (Council of Representatives). The Speaker post will go to the Al-Iraqiya bloc, which is headed by former prime minister Ayad Allawi.
    During the meeting, which was attended by the leaders of all the winning blocs at President Masoud Barzani's Baghdad headquarters, agreement was reached on two other points: to create a council for strategic policy and to address issues regarding national reconciliation.
    President Barzani, who sponsored the three days' round of meetings, stated that today's agreement was a big achievement for Iraqis. He expressed optimism that the next government will be formed soon and that it will be inclusive and representative of all of Iraq's communities.

    Martin Chulov (Guardian) reports one hiccup in the process today involved Ayad Allawi who US President Barack Obama phoned asking/pleading that he accept the deal because "his rejection of post would be a vote of no confidence". Ben Lando, Sam Dagher and Margaret Coker (Wall St. Journal) confirm the phone call via two sources and state Allawi will take the post -- newly created -- of chair of the National Council On Higher Policy: "Mr. Obama, in his phone call to Mr. Allawi on Thursday, promised to throw U.S. weight behind the process and guarantee that the council would retain meaningful and legal power, according to the two officials with knowledge of the phone call."  So all is well and good and . . . Ooops!!!! Lando, Dagher and Coker file an update, Iraqiya wasn't happy and walked out of the session.  Prashant Rao (AFP) reports that "a dispute erupted in the Council of Representatives chamber when the mostly Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc argued that the agreement they had signed on to was not being honoured, prompting the bloc's MPs to storm out. [. . .] Specifically, Iraqiya had called for three of their lawmakers, barred for their alleged ties to Saddam Hussein's Baath party, to be reinstated before voting for a president."  As The Economist noted earlier today, "An actual government is not yet in place; last-minute hiccups may yet occur."  AP notes, "A parliament vote on the government could still take several weeks, as the factions work out the details of who gets what posts." 

    I don't what to tell you except I'm sorry you were stupid and listened to hacks like Amy Goodman and the always uninformed Ra'ed Jarrar.

    I don't have any sympathy for you.  The Goody Whore?

    When she tried to profit by selling 2009 inauguration ball tickets, you should have grasped that the Whore was nothing but a Whore.

    A journalist doesn't do that.

    She's a Whore for Barack.

    She's one of many.

    They pretended to care about Iraq but when they didn't have a Republican in the White House to slam, they didn't give a damn what happened in Iraq.

    Nouri didn't earn a second term.  The US is the reason he has one.  The Erbil Agreement is how.  And though Nouri used it to get his second term he refused to honor the other parts of the contract.

    That's why Iraq is where it is now.

    You can't blame Gen Ray Odierno for this because he saw it coming and tried to warn the administration.  But Barack was enthralled with the idiot Chris Hill (who had hurt feelings that the press was talking more to Odierno than to him so he got the White House to ban Odierno from giving interviews).

    You can blame Barack.  And if they make the idiot move that Laura Rozen reported earlier this week -- and I'm sure she's correct -- I will really be letting them have it.

    The Goody Whore won't.  She's all about whoring.  Fortunately, Pacifica can't afford their addiction to her anymore so she's attempting to spread like a virus elsewhere in anticipation of what may be coming down the pike.

    Barack's in the White House.  He's President Barack Obama.  Excuses and blaming others?  That's worn so very thin but watch and you'll see partisan whores continue to offer that.

    It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
    There's a war going on
    So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
    And I'm writing a song about war
    And it goes
    Na na na na na na na
    I hate the war
    Na na na na na na na
    I hate the war
    Na na na na na na na
    I hate the war
    Oh oh oh oh
    -- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

    The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4489.

    The e-mail address for this site is