Monday, June 22, 2015

Dicking around while Iraq burns

Action On Armed Violence has released the results of their latest study which finds civilian deaths and injuries on the rise throughout the world with Iraq topping the list with 10,735 civilian casualties in 2014.

Nouri al-Maliki used to rack up multiple 'honors' when he was prime minister of Iraq but now it's Haider al-Abadi's 'honor.'

The country he presides over as prime minister is the most violent in the world for civilians.

Possibly, he should have worried about real issues and worked towards a political solution?

Voting this month on a new national anthem?

That's a trifle.

That's something you can maybe do if you're addressing the serious issues.

But when you're ignoring the national guard prospect that you've agreed to form but done nothing on, when you're ignoring working towards political solutions and when you're working against the Constitution (such as the move to defy the Constitution on the death penalty by giving the power to decide executions to the Minister of Justice when the Constitution places that authorization solely in the hands of the presidency council), when you still can't pay the KRG their part of the national budget, you really don't have time to waste or dick around on issues like the national anthem.

In other let's-all-waste-our-time, James Cogan (WSWS) writes:

During an exchange in the House Armed Services Committee last Wednesday, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that the Obama administration was prepared to accept the break-up of Iraq as a unified national-state.
“What if a multi-sectarian Iraq turns out not be possible?” Carter asked rhetorically. “That is an important part of our strategy now on the ground. If the government can’t do what it’s supposed to do, then we will still try to enable local ground forces, if they’re willing to partner with us, to keep stability in Iraq—but there will not be a single state of Iraq.”
Carter’s brazen statement underscores, once again, the predatory and colonial character of decades of US interventions in the Middle East—as well as the endless lies utilized to justify them.

It would be imperialism to split Iraq up?

Well it was imperialism that lumped it together about 100 years ago or are we forgetting empire created the artificial state?

My opinion: If Iraq is split up, that's a decision for the people of Iraq.

But can Cogan and others stop obsessing over a Washington Post report?

The press has yet to report the key exchange.

We have.

  • Iraq snapshot
  • Barack wants Gulf states to send ground troops int...

  • Iraq snapshot

  • Here's the exchange Cogan and the rest are missing, the one that truly matters:

    Ranking Member Adam Smith: The Chairman and I met last week with the Sunni leader of the Iraqi Parliament [Salim al-Jabouri] and one of the things he said during our meeting that surprised me a little bit as we were talking about the difficulty of getting support from the Baghdad government and sort of shifting focus to where could the Sunnis in that path sort of from Anbar up into Syria where ISIL is most dominant and he expressed disappointment, frankly, that the other Gulf states -- Saudi Arabia, UAE -- or even Turkey, to go up north.  It did not seem to really be willing to provide much support -- uhm, even Jordan as well -- uhm, for the Sunnis in that area.  Uhm, number one is do you agree with that assessment?  I tend to take this guy at his word.  Uhm, and number two, why?  Uhm, it would seem to me that defeating ISIL is something that would be very important to Saudi Arabia -- amongst the others there.  Why aren't they doing more, uh, to help those groups that want to resist ISIS in that part of Iraq and Syria? 

    Secretary Ash Carter:  That's a critical question and it goes back to something that you said in your opening statement about other Sunnis and Arab forces countering ISIL.  And I too met with Mr. Jabouri last-last week who said the same thing  and I think he was speaking on behalf of a number of the Sunni forces -- political forces in western Iraq who would like to see more support and recognize -- as I think you noted and the Chairman noted in the operning statements -- that Americans and westerners  are, uh -- can lead and enable but if they get too high a profile that becomes a problem in its own right.

    Ranking Member Adam Smith:  Exactly.

    Secretary Ash Carter:  Therefore all the more reason to get others uh, uh involved -- Sunnis involved in the fight.  Now the-the head -- one thing I'll note is the heads of state of the GCC were here in Washington and we went to Camp David -- about three weeks ago.  And I would say that this was one of the major themes of our conversation with them.  The other one being, to get them back to what the Chairman said checking Iranian malign influence which they're also concerned about.  Their concern about ISIL is genuine but their actions, I think, can be greatly strengthened.  And that was one of the principle things that we talked about, getting - leading them in the train and equip program --

    Ranking Member Adam Smith:  But again --

    Secretary Ash Carter:  Sorry?

    Ranking Member Adam Smith:  Yeah, I got all that.  But why?  Why isn't -- What, in your opinion, having worked with these people, why isn't it happening?

    Secretary Ash Carter:  Well  one reason is that they simply lack the capacity and so we talked a lot about building special operations forces that had counter -- as opposed to air forces.  We have enough air forces.  We're looking for ground forces. 

    Splitting up Iraq is theoretical talk, "we're looking for ground forces" is stating the White House is telling the American people one thing while plotting and scheming to ramp up the violence.

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