Let's start with Nawres Hamid.
The US defence contractor whose death set off a spiralling confrontation between Washington and Tehran has been named as 33-year old Nawres Hamid. He was born in Iraq and worked as a translator with US forces. His sons are 2 and 8.
This is Nawres Hamid. He is the American killed in the Dec. 27 attack in Iraq that spiked tensions between the U.S. and Iran. He worked as an interpreter for U.S. forces. He was a dad and husband, born in Iraq and naturalized as a U.S. citizen. RIP. https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/contractor-whose-death-trump-cites-was-a-naturalized-us-citizen-born-in-iraq/2020/01/07/afa7e774-31ac-11ea-91fd-82d4e04a3fac_story.html …
Question: Will the nutty people who were all over Twitter from Friday forward insisting this man didn't exist apologize? A number of these nutty people present themselves as 'journalists.'
So this is the American citizen who was killed in the attack. Maybe 'journalists' will at least delete their Tweets that insisted the man was made up and didn't exist because he hadn't been named. (The US Defense Dept rarely names the contractors killed in Iraq. Your failure to realize that goes a long way to proving my point that none of you pay attention to Iraq.)
Here's a crazy person -- though not a journalist.
There's a lot of right wing chicken hawks urging war. How many of them would feel the same way after discovering that the US private contractor at the center of this story is Nawres Waleed Hamid, an Arab American. 257 US contractors have been killed in Iraq. Why wage war now?
I guess it's hard, Roderick, for you to grasp that four US service members were injured in that same attack. Probably hard to grasp because you didn't pay attention to the reporting or to Iraq.
Nawres' life mattered. Let's not turn him into a political football. Two little boys no longer have a father, a woman has lost her husband.
Nawres' death doesn't make Donald Trump right and it doesn't make him wrong. We can argue the merits of what took place (I do not support drone strikes) and do so without attempting to use Nawres as a political football. His family has suffered enough.
But that escapes many and leaves us with garbage Twitter like the following:
Wow. I don’t see the trump camp or any republicans mourning the contractor that was killed. I’ll bet I know why. He was an interpreter who was born in Iraq and lived in Sacramento. Nawres Hamid, 33, became a naturalized citizen in 2017 RIP
Thanks, Ty Scott, for being human filth. I wasn't going to cite the Trump Twitter feed. Now I have to in order to demonstrate to the world what a liar you are.
That's Donald Trump's 2020 campaign Tweeting. And doing it 13 hours before you Tweeted your lie and smear. So that's what you do? You just lie about a dead man, you just hijack his memory and lie to the whole world on Twitter?
Shame on you, Ty Scott, not only did you try to use that man's death for partisan purposes, you also lied.
The rockets launched yesterday have been noted in yesterday's snapshot and we posted "Remarks by President Trump on Iran" (which I haven't read and don't plan to, it's up as part of the official record). I've seen numerous reports and 'reports' on that attack. We're only again noting it because there's so much that never gets reported by the US media -- big or small.
Hayder al-Abadi. He was the prime minister Barack Obama installed after Barack (finally) forced thug Nouri al-Maliki to the exit door. ALMADA reports that Haider al-Abadi's coalition issued a statement on the Iranian attack stating it was a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and that they reject Iran or the US using the land of Iraq or risking the blood of the Iraqi people in these attacks. Also noted is that Speaker of Parliament Mohamad al-Halbousi condemned the attack as a violation by Iran of Iraq's sovereignty as did MP Muthana Amin who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee (he is one of eleven MPs sitting on that Committee).
Tomorrow, after Friday sermons, protesters will again gather in Baghdad.
How many will bother to Tweet about that?
How many who claim on Twitter to be friends of "black and brown people" will note this brave effort that the Iraqi people have been carrying out for months?
I guess you're a funny kind of friend to people of color in that you're only interested in them when you can use them to talk about Donald Trump.
For some of the falsehoods about Iraq being repeated -- by the media and by Twitter -- please check out Jane Lytvynenko and Craig Silverman's report for BUZZFEED. On the topic of Twitter, NINA notes that Twitter has finally deleted an account of a person who has pretended to be Barham Salih, President of Iraq. Why did it take them so long? Salih has had his own Twitter account since 2009. The fake one (not a parody account) started in October 2018. Only when fake comments about the attack on al-Assad base were posted did Twitter finally say "enough."
Protests continue in Basra.
The Iraqi people have suffered. They have suffered in so many ways. A certain dead terrorist -- I'm tired of even mentioning his name -- made a point to turn the militias loose on Iraqis suspected of being gay. Remember that? Oh, that's right, you don't remember because it took place after Barack was president and you no longer cared about Iraq. But Iraqis suspected of being gay were being tossed off roofs -- by these same Quds Force that so many of you seem to think were wonderful -- they were having their anuses sealed with superglu. I can remember that we'd been covering it forever and a day and then a friend goes on KPFK and talks about it -- good for him -- and the host is shocked that she's never heard of it. Of course, she's never heard of it -- Iraq disappeared from her radio program the minute Barack became president.
I will oppose using drones to kill people. But I will not shed tears for a man who led the targeting of Iraq's LGBTQ community. I do wish he'd been put on trial and forced to answer for that and other actions in a court of law. I do think that might have helped provide some closure for many of his victims. His victims include -- and continue to include -- the protesters -- which are predominantly Iraqi Shi'ites. As Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) noted at the start of last month, "Iraqis have voiced anger at the government's failure to address or take responsibility for its part in the bloodshed, or to hold members of the Iran-backed Popular Mobilisation Forces accountable." Staying with that outlet, Khaled Yacoub Oweis (THE NATIONAL) reports:
Hours after Suleimani was buried in his hometown of Kerman on Tuesday, masked members of an Iraqi Shiite militia he oversaw opened fire on demonstrators in the impoverished city of Nasiriyah. They overran the protest camp in the southern Iraqi city as they continue an attempted crackdown on the three-month mass uprising.
Since early October, thousands have taken to the streets of Iraq to demand the resignation of the entire political class, and a new, non-sectarian administration to end corruption, provide public services and jobs.
In Nasiriyah, a major hub of Iraq’s protest movement, the militiamen burnt tents the demonstrators had set up in the centre of the Shiite majority city. At least five protestors were reportedly wounded in Tuesday night’s violence.
Since the uprising began in October, security forces and Shiite militias have killed over 500 and wounded thousands. Dozens have been abducted by masked men, threatened, tortured and some killed.
The man who orchestrated, or at least prodded, much of the violence was Suleimani.
The 62 year old head of Iran’s Quds forces regarded the uprisings in the Levant as a grave threat to the regime in Tehran. The man who has spent decades methodically building Tehran’s regional influence and web of proxies then set about crushing protests against its interests.
Barely a day after the Iraqi uprising in early October, Suleimani flew to Baghdad and surprised a meeting of Iraqi security officials, instructing them to deal with the protest movement with an iron fist. In the week after, the authorities and militias supported by Iran killed 150 protesters, with snipers deployed to shoot unarmed civilians.
Hussein al-Amel (ALMADA) reports that Muhammad Sikban was one of the protesters injured in the attack carried out by the 'mourners' on the protesters in Nasiriyah. He died a day after the attack at a Nasiriyah hospital. He was 27-years old. KITABAT reports that government forces fired at Baghdad protesters Wednesday evening and that the police attacked the protesters in Karbala as well. KITABAT also reports that Ali Hussein, Wasit Province's police chief, has declared he will kill the protesters if their actions cut off a road, if they should burn a tire, or if they should call for a general strike.
#الآن من أمام قيادة شرطة واسط المتظاهرين يطالبون قائد شرطة واسط بالاستقالة ردا على التهديدات التي وجهها اليوم
The protesters are calling for his immediate resignation as a result of those threats.
Meanwhile, Mustafa Saaddoun (AL-MONITOR) observes:
Aqeel Abbas, an assistant professor at the American University of Sulaimaniyah, told Al-Monitor, “Some PMU leaders and members believe this would be the right time to squash the protests given the critical situation in the country. The protesters should hold their breath for a little longer to overcome this phase.”
“There is a real danger that the most radical PMU groups would seek to dismantle the demonstrations,” Abbas added.
A video showed a member of the coordination committee of the protests in Karbala province accusing PMU gunmen of harassing and killing protesters in the last two days of December, calling on demonstrators to ready their sticks and rods to repel any attacks.
It appears this is a favorable opportunity for the PMU to crush the ongoing protests, especially with the media blackout on the demonstrations after the attempt to storm the US Embassy and the death of Soleimani and Muhandis.
In sum, the accusations of treason against Iraq’s protesters since the outbreak of the demonstrations are likely to serve as a valid religious and political justification to suppress them. This is true despite the fact that some PMU leaders have previously stated the protests were “justifiable and understandable.”
Some radical PMU groups, however, are openly opposed to the protests, which have seen 600 protesters killed and nearly 22,000 wounded over the past three months.
Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr is in the news. Lawk Ghafuri (RUDAW) reports:
Shiite Cleric Muqtada al Sadr has called for Iranian-backed militias to be "patient" and allow for parliamentary and political efforts to expel foreign troops from Iraq.
He also called for the closure of militia bases and the quick formation of a government in order to tame the unrest gripping the country.
[. . .]
In a tweet on Wednesday, Sadr provided five steps to calm the current situation, following de-escalation statements by both Washington and Tehran.
Sadr urged for the formation of a governmental cabinet in next 15 days by nominating five "eligible and skillful" candidates in order to restore Iraq’s independence and dignity.
“In order to restore Iraq’s dignity and independence, the next Iraqi government should be formed within the next 15 days,” the statement read.
NINA reports that MP Faiq Al Sheikh Ali has said that Moqtada's Tweet is wrong that the protestes are against the quota system and other positions which NINA fails to note are not really the positions of the protesters but have been the positions of Ali for some time -- dating back to at least 2014 and certainly part of the reason that his coalition (Civil Democratic Alliance) split in 2018. It's strange when someone like Ali thinks he can speak for the protesters and that Moqtada can't when it was Moqtada's voice that got them in the streets and that continues to call for the protests -- not to mention that Moqtada has called on his followers to protect the protesters. KITABAT quotes Ali declaring that the protesters will put an end to the armed militias.
There's a move by some Shi'ites in Parliament that Moqtada will nix. ALMADA reports that some Shi'ites are pimping the notion of giving disgraced Adl Abudl Mahdi the chance to form a new government -- as though elections had been held and Mahdi had won.
If the dead terrorist was planning to meet with Mahdi -- as Mahdi has insisted -- it was not about any other nation, it was about how Mahdi could hold on to the post of prime minister. And how he could sideline Moqtada. Going back to the Bully Boy Bush occupation of the White House, that's what the terrorist and Mahdi met to discuss. Then Mahdi would run back to the US and reveal the plans to sideline or destroy Moqtada. This is probably why Mahdi was repeatedly the CIA's choice for who the US should install as prime minister. (Mahdi's hideous reign as prime minister only proved again how out of touch the CIA is with actual reality.)
I don't see Motada putting up with Mahdi being reinstalled as prime minister -- or Moqtada's followers. More to the point, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani will not go along with it.
ALSADA NEWS reports that al-Hikma has confirmed the move by some Shi'ites in Parliament to restore Mahdi to the post of prime minister. Who? It's Ammar al-Hakim's National Wisdom Movement.
Ali Hussein has a powerful column on the stupidity of Mahdi and how he does not serve the needs of the Iraqi people. Iraqi journalists stick their necks out in ways that western journalists do not. They are living in a war zone, they have a government that is hostile to a free press (no, it doesn't mock them on Twitter, it physically attacks them). Still they persevere and engage and debate and report. All of this is to note that one source we used to utilize is no more. SHAFAK ceased publication on December 31st. It noted that there was no funding for independent journalism in Iraq.
The following sites updated: