Saturday, October 05, 2019

The people of Iraq continue to fight for their rights -- despite attacks from security forces

As more protesters die in Iraq, Joe Biden's 'leadership' should be noted.  He never tires of bragging that Barack Obama put him in charge of Iraq from 2009 through 2016.  That's not even fully three years ago, grasp that.  In fact, for most of January 2017, he was still in charge of Iraq.

But he has nothing to say, two years later, about what's happening in Iraq right now?

Protests began last week and the violent response from security forces -- as ordered by the prime minister of Iraq -- ignited a passion among the Iraqi people allowing the protests to grow and spread.

Joe Biden is so busy in retirement that he just doesn't have time to pay attention to the news, right?

Oh, wait, he's running to be president.

He's running to be president and the task he was entrusted with for eight years as vice president was Iraq but he has no comment?

The always ridiculous NEW YORK TIMES offered this:


Link to headline article

"Goes to war with itself"?  Even they realized that was too much of a lie.  So they changed it to "Deaths Mount As Protests Catch Iraq Government Off Guard."

At war with itself?  That was an embarrassing characterization.

They didn't choose the prime minister, they didn't even do the vetting.

Who wrote the original headline?  Doubtful they'll come forward.  Alissa J. Rubin wrote the article and it's far better than either headline:

When peaceful protesters poured into the Iraqi streets this past week, demanding an end to widespread government corruption, unemployment and a lack of basic services, the government was caught off guard.
The Iraqi leadership shut down the internet, imposed a curfew, deployed security forces and was largely unapologetic when they opened fire on demonstrators.
Over the past week, the police killed at least 91 people, and had wounded more than 2,000 as of Saturday.

  • 1/ Thought we were going to an comedy show tonight. But instead, he apologized for disappointing us and shared raw footage from the Thousands of peaceful protestors, in the streets, government responds with live ammunition.
  • Update - 🇮🇶 - 94 killed - 4,000 Wounded - 540 arrested (200 in custody) - Internet down 72 hours now
  • ⏱ It's now 72 hours since shut down most internet access amid nationwide protests; real-time network data show further cuts today hindering attempts to document human rights violations and leaving loved ones out of touch 📉 📰
  • . Iraqi security forces targeting the demonstrators.
  • Replying to 
    IRAQ is asking for his rights, and thats how he gets them!! Such disappointing and heartbreaking to see our innocent people cant even protest peacefully! May god protect u guys 💔. And may god be with IRAQ.

  • Could you imagine being in charge of Iraq only two years ago and seeing that go on right now but have nothing to say?  Joe Biden is really something, isn't he? 

    He won't talk about Iraq but he's happy to tell journalists what they should and shouldn't ask him.  And this is as a candidate, grasp that.  If elected president, he would only get worse.  Keith Griffith (DAILY MAIL) reports:

    Joe Biden has lashed out at a reporter in response to a question about his family's potential conflicts of interest in the Ukraine, insisting that press should focus on allegations against President Donald Trump.
    At a Service Employees International Union forum in Los Angeles on Friday, Biden was asked about his work overseeing foreign policy for Ukraine as vice president while his son Hunter served on the board of a major Ukrainian company.
    'It's not a conflict of interest. There's been no indication of any conflict of interest, in Ukraine or anywhere else. Period,' Biden snapped.
    Asked how his son's cushy $50,000-a-month gig didn't at least create the appearance of a conflict of interest, Biden rejoined: 'I'm not going to respond to that. Focus on this man. What he's doing that no president has ever done. No president.' 
    Death toll in Iraq's protests exceed 100, while Western Media is focused on Hong Kong. Having invaded Iraq and destroyed it, they have no further need for it.

    Joe Biden voted for the war, cheerleaded it, lied to start it and lied to keep it going.  But he's got nothing to say about what's taking place in Iraq right now?

    Iraqi security forces stormed many channels in this evening to stop coverage of , now Baghdad & the south of country without internet with less media coverage.

    Media coverage could be prompted by Joe.  Hell, by any of the candidates.  And unless you're Bernie Sanders, you don't have an excuse right now for not using your campaign to shine a spotlight on people in need.  (Bernie had a heart attack this week, for those who don't know.)

    At NIQASH, Mustafa Habib notes how the protests were fueled by the firing of  Abdul Wahab al-Saedi:

    But then this past week, the general was ousted from his role leading the famed counter terrorism services. Al-Saedi described the move as a “humiliation”. And The reasons for this remain unclear. Why would Iraqi prime minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, do such an unpopular thing while his government is facing all kinds of other challenges and major public pressure due to a lack of state services and corruption? Was Abdul-Mahdi unaware of al-Saedi’s popularity across sects and ethnicities?
    Nobody is saying. However leaks indicate that it may well be because of political negotiations behind the scenes that will eventually see senior security roles shared out differently, between the ruling political parties. That in itself is not something new in Iraq. However what is new is that there is a larger dimension to the  case of the “wounded” general.
    Al-Saedi is a true product of Iraqi military institutions. He was gradually promoted under the Saddam Hussein regime and already had a high rank before the US invasion that toppled Hussein in 2003. In the following years, he became a member of the special operations forces, which were actually redeveloped from scratch by the US military. Despite the fact that recruits came from all sects and ethnicities (in an effort to banish Saddam Hussein’s Sunni bias), the new special forces were considered by some Iraqis to be loyal to the US. That criticism is now emerging again.  
    And it may well be emerging because some of Iraq’s semi-official Shiite Muslim militias, those closely affiliated with Iran, have found the popularity of the counter terrorism forces and their leader, al-Saedi, troubling. In many ways, the special forces were seen as particularly heroic in the fight against the IS group, who became universally unpopular. To counter this, the Iran-affiliated militias began to accuse the special forces of being disloyal to Iraq, and loyal to the US.
    On the other side of the equation, the politicians and lobbyists opposed to Iranian influence in Iraq supported the growing popularity of al-Saedi and his troops – not because they particularly liked him but because affection for him was a thorn in the side of their enemy, Iran and the Iranian loyalists in Iraq.  
    This conflict between Iraq’s two important, but rivalrous, international partners – Iran and the US - has been raging since 2003. Back then, both Iran and the US had a common goal: getting rid of Saddam Hussein. Even today, the US still justifies its invasion and the consequent mismanagement of the country by saying it had to topple a dangerous dictator. Iran says it needs to have influence in Iraq in order to prevent the re-emergence of another dictator like Saddam Hussein.

    The following sites updated: