It really is cute the way this story keeps getting mistold. The Parliament is in the Green Zone. Moqtada's cult isn't just seizing the building, they are breaking into the Green Zone. Again, when this first happened earlier in the week, I pointed out the videos on Arabic social media of Moqtada's cult removing concrete blocks that are the protective barrier around the Green Zone. Why is this detail not being included by most US outlets? AP is including it: "Earlier in the day and heeding al-Sadr’s calls, the demonstrators used ropes and chains to pull down cement barricades leading to the gate of Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings and embassies."
Do they have to attack the US Embassy in the Green Zone before observers start to wonder about how come the Green Zone is being invaded? Or to question safety measures?
EURASIA REVIEW includes this, "The demonstrators breached the fortified barriers around the Green Zone, the INA said. The highly-secured Green Zone in the capital is home to several government buildings and diplomatic missions." THE LIBYAN EXPRESS notes Mohammed al-Halbusi, Speaker of Parliament, "Halbusi also called on Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi to take necessary measures to protect state institutions and demonstrators."
The United Nations also has no trouble noting that the Green Zone was breached:
In a statement issued late Saturday night, the UN chief appealed to all relevant actors “to take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation, avoid any further violence, and ensure the protection of peaceful protesters and State institutions”.
For the second time in a week, on Saturday protesters stormed the parliament in Baghdad, breaching the high-security Green Zone and injuring more than 120 people, news media reported.
Issue at hand
Following nine months of a political deadlock that has prevented the creation of a new government, on Wednesday hundreds of people first broke into the parliament.
News reports said that the unrest has been triggered by supporters of Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr – whose block won the majority of seats last October and who opposes the nomination of a pro-Iran rival candidate for prime minister.
Respect fundamental rights
Mr. Guterres noted that “freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are fundamental rights that must be respected at all times”.
“The Secretary-General urges all parties and actors to rise above their differences and form, through peaceful and inclusive dialogue, an effective national government that will be able to deliver on longstanding demands for reform, without further delay,” the statement concluded.
The Green Zone, we were told, was a protected area. When it was almost breached in 2006, Nouri al-Maliki and the US government had a meltdown. When ISIS began taking over territory in Iraq (during Nouri's second term as prime minister), one of the reasons Barack Obama was publicly sending US troops back into Iraq was because the US government was afraid that the Green Zone would fall. Barack had already begun sending US troops back into Iraq in the fall of 2012. If you're late to the party, that's when Tim Arango (NEW YORK TIMES) reported:
Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to General Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence.
Now the Green Zone has twice been breached. Is there a reason that the US press isn't discussing it? And is the White House so focused on Joe Biden's COVID that no one's paying attention to what's taking place?
Radical hate monger Moqtada al-Sadr is responsible for the deaths of many Americans. It would be nice if the US government could take a moment to comment on the invasion of the Green Zone since that is where the US government's largest embassy is located.
The Parliament building was empty for those who aren't being properly informed by news outlets. Arabic media is very clear that the police warned this might happen ahead of today and that there was no session taking place as a result.
So Moqtada's goons invaded an empty building.
The issue here should be that the Green Zone has now been breached twice in one week.
The US compound/embassy is supposed to be impenetrable. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But with the unrest and the continued US presence in Iraq, this is something a functioning government would be publicly addressing. And a functioning press would be demanding statements about.
None of this is a call for more US troops to be in Iraq -- all US troops should be out and the size of the so-called diplomatic presence should be drastically reduced. But the US government's not listening to me. They have chosen to keep Americans in Iraq. They owe to the American people to issue, at the very least, a statement about what's going on and how it might or might not impact the safety of Americans in Baghdad.
The following sites updated: