Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Barry O to discuss panty lines with Glamour





Starting with War Criminals.  Over the weekend, PBS' Religion & Ethics (link is text and video) featured Tony Blair in what Blair probably thought would be part of the hazy gauzy comeback he's been working so hard for yet even it had to let a little sunlight in.  Excerpt:
SEVERSON: Unfortunately for the former prime minister, many in his own country would not say the same of him. It's been almost ten years since the Iraq invasion, and still there are newspaper stories with negative headlines about Blair's role in the Iraq war.
O'SHAUGHNESSY: I will never forget what he's done, and you would have to hold me over hot coals several times before you get me to vote for him again.
SEVERSON: Hugh O'Shaughnessy is a noted British author on developing-world issues who, like many, felt betrayed when Blair led the country into war.
O'SHAUGHNESSY: People still keep in their minds the way he treated public opinion. He brushed public opinion aside and launched into this illegal, cruel and lawless war.
Now Tony's off to South Africa and Money Web reports a protest is planned for Johannesburg and quotes the president of the Al Jama-ah political party Ganief Hendricks stating, "The democration is being held to support a warrant of arrest to charge him for crimes against humanity relating to the invasion of Iraq which led to the killings of millions of Iraqis."  Arrest Blair For Crimes Against Peace notes his scheduled appearance in Johannesburg at the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit on Thursday and the site reminds:
Anyone attempting an arrest which meets the rules laid down here will be entitled to one quarter of the money collected at the time of his or her application.
Money donated to this site will be used for no other purpose than to pay bounties for attempts to arrest Tony Blair. All the costs of administering this site will be paid by the site's founder.*
The intention is to encourage repeated attempts to arrest the former prime minister. We have four purposes:
- To remind people that justice has not yet been done.
- To show Mr Blair that, despite his requests for people to "move on" from Iraq, the mass murder he committed will not be forgotten.
- To put pressure on the authorities of the United Kingdom and the countries he travels through to prosecute him for a crime against peace, or to deliver him for prosecution to the International Criminal Court.
- To discourage other people from repeating his crime.
We have no interest in people's motivation, as long as they follow the rules laid down by this site. If they try to arrest Mr Blair because they care about the people he has killed, so much the better. But if they do it only for the money, that is fine too, and we will have encouraged an attempt which would not otherwise have taken place.
TJ Strydom (Times Live) notes what can only be seen as a weak defense by the group that's asked him to speak -- Discovery Life's chief executive Herschel Mayers states, "We're not saying that we support him or that we don't support him, but he is a prominent international leader and we are glad to have him speaking."
From a former UK government official to a current US one,  Al Rafidayn reported this morning that  a US delegation will arrive in Baghdad September 3rd and that US Vice President Joe Biden will be leading it.   The Turkish Press states Biden will be discussing events in Syria and that it "will be the highest level visit by a U.S. official" in 2012.  Presumably Joe Biden will have the appropriate paperwork. Dar Addustour reports 5 British citizens were arrested in Baghdad yesterday -- they did not have passports or i.d. on them.

Moving to oil,  Seyhmus Cakan, Ayla Jean Yackley and Nick Tattersall (Reuters) report that a pipeline carrying crude oil from Iraq to Turkey has been shut down as a result of a fire and that how the fire broke out is not known at this time.  Xinhua identifies the pipeline as the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik pipeline and notes that "Turkish troops were deployed in the area" after the fire broke out.  Hemn Hadi (AKnews) adds, "The fire occured in Dorkulu village in Slopi town."  Press TV observes, "The pipeline, which carries a quarter of Iraq's oil exports, has been attacked several times in the past, sometimes cutting oil flows from Iraq for days.  PKK has claimed responsibility for some of the attacks."  Reuters quotes the Ministry of Oil's Asim Jihad declaring, "We were informed by the Turkish authorities that a blast and then a fire ignited on the 40-inch export pipeline on the Turkish side and we had to halt the crude flow.  We demand that the Turkish authorities work without any delay to repair the damage quickly and to help switch the flow to the second 46-inch alternate line to ensure no more disruption to Iraq's exports to Ceyhan port." 
The Voice of Russia reports, "The security forces in Turkey have announced that it was a terrorist attack and that they suspect it was carried out by the Kurdistan Workers Party."   In addition, Dar Addustour notes Saturday a waiting room in the Ministry of Finance caught on fire due to electrical wiring.
Saturday kicks off September.  As August winds down, the body count continues to rise.  Iraq Body Count notes that through Thursday violence has claimed 364 lives.  Bahrain News Agency reports, "An officer Iraqi Interior Ministry border garrisons in the rank of brigadier was killed by gunmen who targeted the officer's automobile in northern Baghdad today"  and a Mosul roadside bombing targeting a military patrol left two children injured.  Bushra Juhi (AP) reports a Haditha roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 person and left four Iraqi soldiers injured.  In addition, Alsumaria notes the PKK -- Kurdish independence group seen as a terrorist group by some nations including Turkey -- has announced that they killed 10 Turkish soldiers and 1 of their own was killed in the never-ending battles between the PKK and the Turkish military that take place on Iraq's border with Turkey.
Over the weekend, All Iraq News noted that Hussein al-Mansouri, an MP for Moqtada's bloc, states that the lack of people to lead the security ministries creates problems and prevents the Ministy of Defense and the Ministry of the Interior from properly carrying out their duties.  Two weekends ago, Nouri's State of Law was insisting that as soon as  Eid al-Fitr was over, Nouri would be nominating people to head the security ministiries.   He was supposed to do that in December of 2010.  They have instead remained without leadership.  All Iraq News also reported National Alliance MP Jawad al-Bolani  was calling for the creation of a nation terrorism and crime council.  In Nouri's first term as prime minister, Jawad al-Bulani served as Minister of the Interior.   If his proposal sounds familiar, it's what's in the Erbil Agreement.  It's what, November 11, 2010, Nouri was expected to create (and agreed to when he signed the Erbil Agreement).  However, he instead announced that he couldn't do it yet, that it would take awhile.  (This prompted the bulk of Iraqiya to walk out of the session of Parliament.) 
 Wael Grace (Al Mada) reports the Communications Network Commission is denying media reports that they were used by Nouri's security agencies to spy on Nouri's political rivals.  The claim might be more convincing if the CNC didn't get caught up in splitting hairs and lost in the weeds of wiretaps.  None of the media reports I saw referred to legal wiretaps so the CDC's distraction of courts and what's needed for a wire tap is besides the point.   Further harming the CNC's messaging is Alsumaria's report that the Minister of Communication, Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, just announced his resignation.  Al Mada adds that there was conflict between Allawi and Nouri with Allawi stressing the professional purpose of the ministry and Nouri allegedly wanting to use it for "personal and partisan interests."   Mohammed Tawfiq Alawi is a cousin of Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi.  Nouri's people whisper to Al Mada that the ministry was riddled with corruption and that Allawi resigned only after Nouri presented him with charges of corruption.  Others say the corruption is rooted in Nouri who entered into illegal telecom deals with close friends.  CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq Tweeted:
#Iraq's Communications Ministe Mr. Allawi resigned from his position in protest over political interference. PM #Maliki accepted it today.
 AFP quotes Allawi stating, "I resigned because Maliki refused to . . . (stop) political interference in my ministry."   BBC News points out, "Mr Allawi is thought to be the first member of the national unity government to resign since it was formed in 2010. Last year, Electricity Minister Raad Shallal al-Ani, an independent who was nominated by Iraqiyya, was sacked after allegedly authorising £1.1bn ($1.7bn) of improper contracts for power stations with foreign companies."  Reuters quotes from his resignation letter, "I present my resignation because I have become incapable of working in such an infested environment."  AP adds that he told Nouri to stop meddiling, "reinstate some officials he ordered transferred" or that he would resign his post.


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