Saturday, February 11, 2017

Protests turn violent? Or Iraqi forces use violence on protesters?

Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr called for demonstrations in Baghdad today.

Did the crowd turn out?

Goodness, did they.

  1. The demonstration in Tahrir square is getting bigger and bigger.
  2. Massive demonstration started in Tahrir square by Sadr supporters demanding change to the elections committee.

Huge protest in

Breaking: Demonstrators pass the security barriers & they go to the gates of the .

This was the third protest Moqtada had called in the last nine days.

It's also the only one western press elected to cover.

Violence is the 'hook' for their stories.

Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) reports:

Saturday's protests were called for by influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and clashes that erupted as crowds pushed toward the Green Zone left two policeman and three protesters dead, according to police and hospital officials.
The officials said six other policemen were injured along with dozens of protesters. The violent outbreak prompted the government to call for a "full investigation."

The western media is all over this story . . .

Well AP is.

Qassim Abdul-Zahra's report is reprinted all over (like here).

And a longer version also includes:

Mr al-Sadr's office issued another statement on Saturday night following news of protester casualties claiming that "excessive force" was used against the demonstrators and threatened greater protests.
"The next time the blood of our martyrs will not go in vain," the statement read.

Dozens of protesters were injured?

Try hundreds.

  1. : Two riot police, five protesters declared dead so far in protests
  2. BREAKING: police says 7 killed when for electoral reform turned violent - 5 protesters and 2 mb security forces
  3. BREAKING: At least 5 people killed, 320 were injured after a protest turned deadly in , -
  4. governor "4 protesters dead & 320 wounded after security forces fired tear gas & gunfire to disperse demo earlier"

It would appear the forces overreacted in their responses -- from the deaths and wounded tolls alone, they overreacted.

It would appear AP under-reacted in their reporting -- including what was at the heart of the protests -- corruption.

Baghdad also saw rocket attacks today.

UNCONFIRMED REPORTS Mortars and Katyusha rockets fell on the fortified Green Zone in .

Friday, US President Donald Trump spoke with Iraq's Prime Minister Hayder al-Abadi.  The White House issued the following:

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Readout of the President’s Call with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq

President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq to underscore the support of the United States for the Iraqi people in our shared fight against the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).  President Trump emphasized the buildup of the United States military.  President Trump also congratulated Iraqi forces on their recent progress in Mosul, thanked Prime Minister al-Abadi for his leadership, and expressed condolences for the many Iraqi lives lost in the counter-ISIS campaign.  The two leaders discussed the strong partnership between the Iraqi and United States militaries, as well as the great sacrifice by both countries.  Both leaders spoke to the threat Iran presents across the entire region.  They also reaffirmed their commitment to the long-term partnership between the United States and Iraq grounded in the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement.

The following community sites -- plus Cindy Sheehan and BLACK AGENDA REPORT -- updated:

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