Saturday, December 21, 2019

Violence continues in Iraq -- a topic Joe Biden owns but avoids discussing

In the US, Joe Biden continues to pursue the Democratic Party's presidential nomination despite all the harm he has done to Iraq.  This harm includes his family personally profiting from the war.  Jason Jones (WAR ROOM) explains:

Joe Biden’s track-record of wheeling and dealing is more than what journalists, congressional investigative bodies, and even President Trump have made of it.
How big is it?

Well, imagine if President Harry Truman, after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, used his political position to give his own family a multi-billion-dollar contract to rebuild cities in Japan.
Make no mistake: What Joe Biden did in 2011 is hardly less scandalous.
It was in June of that year that HillStone International, a relatively new homebuilding concern, landed a $1,500,000,000 contract to build homes in Iraq.

Vice President Biden’s brother, James Biden, had landed an executive position at HillStone just months earlier.

Iraq is in ruins.  Joe Biden is one reason why. 

Now that i have your attention Protests have been taking a place in Iraq since October the 1st. Over 600 peaceful demonstrators got killed in the most atrocious ways. (Thousands got serious injuries that affect their lives) Activists been getting kidnapped and murdered

Carlos Christian (NEW YORK TIMES via UNION JOURNAL) reports:

For 12 weeks, Iraqi protesters have massed within the streets of Baghdad and cities in southern Iraq to demand the ouster of the federal government, an finish to corruption and a halt to the overweening affect of Iran.
And for 12 weeks, the federal government has foundered in its response, alternating obscure guarantees of reform with brutal remedy of protesters by its safety forces. Greater than 500 protesters have been killed and 19,000 wounded, in line with the United Nations particular envoy to Iraq, however the violent response has solely deepened protesters’ resolve.
The prime minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, has resigned however has remained in a caretaker position, and Parliament has but to give you somebody to exchange him

XINHAU notes, "Unidentified gunmen assassinated on Friday a civil society activist in the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah southeast of the capital Baghdad, a local police source said.  The attack took place in the evening when two masked gunmen in a car opened fire on Ali al-Usaimi and killed him before they fled the scene, Ammar Khalil from Nasiriyah police told Xinhua."  MIDDLE EAST MONITOR ONLINE adds, "Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights called on Friday for the Interior Ministry to put an end to the assassination and kidnapping of activists protesting against the government and its politicians, Anadolu Agency reports."  KURDISTAN 24 points out, "After the Iraqi parliament missed Thursday’s constitutional deadline to nominate a replacement for Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi, who resigned amid national anti-corruption demonstrations, Iraq’s top Shia cleric argued for an early election."  Nabil Ahmed (ARAB WEEKLY) focuses on the political aspect:

The protesters’ specifications for the next prime minister included not having held any ministerial post since 2003, not being over 55 years old or a dual citizen of another country in addition to pledging not to run in upcoming elections.
Faced with the ruling elite’s inability to nominate a candidate who meets the demonstrators’ specifications, protesters are not likely to stop calling for regime change.

A protester who identified himself as Ali told the Associated Press that he and his comrades had gone  too far to stop now. “This is a one-way street,” he said. “It’s either us or them. If they win this time, it’s over.”

Daniel L. Byman (Brookings Institution) offers:

The unrest involves a wide range of social groups and numerous parts of Iraq, suggesting the depth of popular anger at the government, resentment towards the heavy Iranian role, and dissatisfaction with difficult living conditions in Iraq.  Iraq is one of the world’s most corrupt countries, and protesters unsurprisingly rail against this. Many other problems, such as the government’s decision to transfer and snub Lieutenant General Abdul Wahab al-Saadi, the popular counterterrorism service commander who led the fight against the Islamic State in Mosul, are often seen in that light, with protesters believing that the general was being punished for refusing to go along with corruption.
A high body count is adding to popular rage. Specifics are elusive, but Iraqi security forces and paramilitary groups, operating with support and direction from Iran, have killed at least 400 Iraqis and injured several thousand more. Important Iraqi figures, such as the popular Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, have called for new leadership and a rejection of foreign influence. Many other leaders are publicly embracing at least some of the protesters’ agenda while at the same time worrying about their possible loss of power and looking for opportunities to ride this wave.

Regime responses

The Iraqi political system is dominated by various warlords and political power-brokers who form shifting and uneasy alliances that enable them to capture resources of the Iraqi state and channel them to their followers to preserve their influence. These elites use the courts, media, and other forms of state power to strengthen their grip on power. Such an elite-driven pact between rival factions, which is one part a power-sharing arrangement and one part a distribution of state resources among rival ethnic and religious factions, has helped Iraq avoid civil war. The protests call this whole system into question, and the Iraqi regime’s response is likely to mix repression, cooptation, and limited (and mostly cosmetic) reform. 

The following sites updated:

The e-mail address for this site is