Monday, February 16, 2015

Haider has no plan (except to allow the continued killing of Sunnis)

The BBC is so hopeful (and misleading) in its headlines this morning.  "Iraq preparing to retake Mosul from Islamic State -- PM."  They were supposed to launch an operation to do just that in February.  So they're doing that now?


"Mr Abadi told the BBC he hoped Mosul would be liberated in a few months' time, and with a minimum of casualties."

A few months' time.

The Islamic State seized control of Mosul in June.

Maybe on the one year anniversary, Haider al-Abadi can order troops to try and seize it back?

What a huge failure Haider al-Abadi is.

It's often been noted, throughout the Iraq War, that Iraq is roughly the size of the state of California. Can you imagine the outrage if control of San Diego was seized by some violent outsiders and nothing happened?  Seven months later the National Guard, the US military, no one had done a damn thing?

But, not to worry, some Haider equivalent was insisting, because 'in a few months' time,' an attempt will be made to retake San Diego?

Haider makes plenty of time in his BBC interview to put up walls for help from other nations.  This one was too slow, that one . . .

But while he can call out Turkey and the United States, you may notice -- as has Congress (not that any US news outlet bothers to cover that) -- he doesn't call out Iran.

In fact, Tian Shaouhui reports:

The level of economic relations between Iran and the neighboring Iraq should be upgraded to the same pace with the expansion of bilateral political ties, Iran's First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri said on Monday.
"The economic relations of the two countries now stand at a proper level, and the volume of (trade) exchange between the two sides is (currently) about 12 billion U.S. dollars," Jahangiri was quoted as saying before leaving for Iraq.

Alsumaria adds that the two nations have signed Memorandums of Understanding today.  On what? On issues like trade, housing, transportation . . .

Nothing in there about reaching an understanding that Iran would stop supplying Shi'ite militias with weapons or sending Iranian Shi'ite militias into the country.

Nothing in there about the sanctity of life and how Iran would agree to stop targeting the Sunni civilian population.

Again, the western press isn't interested in this topic but the Congress is -- on both sides of the aisle.  And they've made that clear repeatedly in hearing after hearing since December.

They've made it clear that whatever plan Barack thinks he has with Iran -- what he has is nothing to show for it -- does not mean that the lives of Sunni civilians are ignored or that the government of the United States pretends that under 'new' prime minister Haider al-Abadi, the killing of Sunni civilians is not continuing.

Barack's up against the wall.  His legacy at this point will be an embarrassment.  So he's holding out for Tehran, for this supposed deal that's he has wasted so much time, a deal that even Valerie Jarrett no longer believes is possible.

In the process, he continues to willfully ignore the executions of Sunni civilians in Iraq.

Yesterday, Human Rights Watch issued a release which includes the following:

Abuses by militias allied with Iraqi security forces in Sunni areas have escalated in recent months. Residents have been forced from their homes, kidnapped, and in some cases summarily executed. At least 3,000 people have fled their homes in the Muqdadiyya area of Diyala province since June 2014 and, since October, been prevented from returning. In addition to the events documented here, Human Rights Watch is conducting an investigation into more recent allegations that militia and SWAT forces killed 72 civilians in the town of Barwana, also in Muqdadiyya.

Residents told Human Rights Watch that security forces and allied militias began to harass residents in the vicinity of Muqdadiyya, an area 80 kilometres northeast of Baghdad in June, shortly after the extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS) took over Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. The abuses escalated around October, witnesses said, the month after Hayder al-Abadi took over as prime minister, pledging to rein in abusive militias and to end the sectarianism that fed the cycle of violence under his predecessor.

“Iraqi civilians are being hammered by ISIS and then by pro-government militias in areas they seize from ISIS,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director. “With the government responding to those they deem terrorists with arbitrary arrests and executions, residents have nowhere to turn for protection.”

Human Rights Watch spoke to six displaced residents of villages near Muqdadiyya – a largely rural region in central Diyala with a diverse population of about 300,000, including Sunni and Shia Arabs, Kurds, and Turkoman. Five residents told Human Rights Watch that they initially left their villages in June and July, when Asa’ib Ahl al-Haqq militiamen, volunteer fighters, and Iraqi SWAT forces attacked.

In mid-October, hearing that militias had left the area, residents began to return home, only to find that militias had torched many homes. Soon after, militia members who now control the area began kidnapping the returned residents and firing randomly in the street, at homes, and in the air with automatic weapons. The residents interviewed described the kidnappings and killings of three men by militias.

The attacks in northern Muqdadiyya appear to be part of a militia campaign to displace residents from Sunni and mixed-sect areas after the militias and security forces routed ISIS in these areas. On December 29, Hadi al-Ameri, the Badr Brigades commander and transport minister under the previous administration of Nuri al-Maliki, threatened Muqdadiyya residents, saying, “The day of judgment is coming” and “We will attack the area until nothing is left. Is my message clear?”

In October, Human Rights Watch researchers observed militias occupying and setting fire to homes in the proximity of Amerli in Salah al-Din province, following the retreat of ISIS fighters. On December 17, the Wall Street Journal and other media reported that militias were carrying out evictions, disappearances, and killings in the Baghdad Belt after conducting military operations against ISIS. In January 2015, media reported that militias had arrested thousands of men in Samarra without warrants and were preventing them from returning home. On January 26, militias, volunteer fighters, and security forces reportedly escorted 72 civilians from their homes in Barwana, Diyala province, and summarily executed them. Human Rights Watch is currently investigating these allegations.

On December 18, 2014, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Prime Minister al-Abadi in which he pledged to “bring … all armed groups under state control. No armed groups or militias will work outside or parallel to the Iraqi Security Forces.” In addition to ordering a public investigation into the killings in Barwana, al-Abadi ordered an investigation into allegations that security forces extrajudicially killed two Sunni civilians in Anbar and has strongly condemned unlawful conduct by militias and security forces.

The evidence that militias are leading security operations in Salah al-Din, Diyala, Baghdad, and Babel provinces belie this pledge, Human Rights Watch said. On January 1, 2015, Abu Mehdi al-Muhandis, the long-time leader of the Kita’ib Hezbollah militia who now heads the Hashd al-Sha’abi (Popular Front), a quasi-governmental organization, gave a news conference in which he described himself as a military commander and the president of the “militia Hashd al-Shaabi,” and attacked Saudi Arabia and the US, which he described as sponsors and supporters of ISIS. This suggests that despite the prime minister’s promises, militias continue to act with free rein.

“The Iraqi government and its international allies need to take account of the militia scourge that is devastating places like Muqdadiyya,” Stork said. “Any effective response to ISIS should start with protecting civilian lives and holding those who abuse them to account, especially in areas where people have already suffered from ISIS occupation and attacks.”

Again, Congress has been very vocal -- from both sides of the aisle -- that the killing of Sunni civilians is an outrage and that it's reason enough to question the current government led by no-change Haider.

Iraq suffers in part today because a lot of whores in the press lied from 2010 up until June of 2014.

Only after the White House broke with Nouri al-Maliki did many outlets begin to report the truth of the last four years.  Even then, they watered it down.

They're refusing to tell the truth yet again.

And Sunnis are being hunted and killed across Iraq while the western press stays silent.

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