AS BARACK CONTINUES TO ARM AL QAEDA, THESE REPORTERS HAVE LEARNED CONGRESS IS PREPARING TO ACT ON THE AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE AGAINST TERRORISTS WHICH WAS PASSED IN 2001.
USING THE ACT, THEY WILL CALL FOR MILITARY FORCE TO BE USED TO TARGET THE WHITE HOUSE. SENATORS CARL LEVIN AND JOHN MCCAIN ARE IN AGREEMENT ON ORDERING THE DAHLIBAMA TO ATTACK HIMSELF.
WHAT OF BARRY O'S WIFE AND CHILDREN? MICHELLE WILL JOURNEY TO QATAR -- AS SAJIDA TALFAH DID BEFORE HER WHILE THE TWO DAUGHTERS WILL RESETTLE IN JORDAN.
REACHED FOR COMMENT TONIGHT, BARRY O TOLD THESE REPORTERS, "I'M UP TO IT. I'M ITCHING TO BOMB SOMEBODY. IF I CAN'T BOMB SYRIA WELL I GUESS BOMBING MYSELF WILL HAVE TO DO. IT'S LIKE MASTURBATION, AS LONG AS YOU GET TO FINISH YOU DON'T COMPLAIN."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
This evening Brandon J. (Firedoglake) observed, "Why do I feel Iraq (and Afghanistan) is now a footnote for our media and politicians? The increase of violence in Iraq has 'threatened to renew civil war in Iraq'." Peter Z. Scheer (TruthDig) points out, "With the Syrian civil war drawing the world’s attention, the persistent suffering in neighboring Iraq has gotten less ink."
NINA reports an attack in Falluja left a police officer dead and a bystander injured, 2 Sadr City car bombings left 6 people dead and fifteen injured, a northeastern Baghdad (Husseiniya) left 3 dead and twelve injured, 2 car bombings in central Baghdad (Batawiyeen) left 3 people dead and eleven injured, a southwestern Baghdad (Amil) car bombing left 2 people dead and eight more injured, a southeastern Baghdad (Zafaraniya) car bombing claimed 1 life and left seven more people injured, another southwestern Baghdad bombing (Saydiya) bombing resulted in 1 death and ten people injured, and rebels shot dead 7 soldiers in Ain Jahash village while injuring an eighth. On the seven soldiers, Trend News Agency adds, "Unidentified gunmen executed seven off-duty soldiers at a fake checkpoint in the northern city of Mosul, officials said." Press TV reports, "In the western city of Fallujah, another eight people were killed after three bombs went off at a police station. Moreover, gunmen opened fire on a police vehicle, killing six officers near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul." Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) informs, "In northern Mosul, about 400 kilometers (249 miles) north of Baghdad, a bomb exploded in the convoy of army Gen. Mohammed Khamas, killing him instantly. Khamas was the deputy head of army intelligence department in Mosul."
That's at least 25 dead and over seventy injured.\
Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) speaks with Sunni Endowment head Abdul-Karim al-Khazrachi who reveals the last two weeks have seen the deaths of 17 Sunnis in Basra, "that the killings were preceded by threats, including letters that came with bullets in the envelopes, vowing revenge for insurgent attacks against Shiites across Iraq. The letters demanded that Sunnis leave the province. He said he didn't know the killers' identities." Xinhua counts the numbers, " At least 49 people were killed and 148 others wounded in separate violent attacks across Iraq on Tuesday."
Through yesterday, Iraq Body Count counts 592 violent deaths this month. Al Jazeera explains, "The attacks on Tuesday were the latest in a surge of unrest that has left more than 4,200 people dead this year." Each month has become a string of bloody days. Monday, Gwen Ifill (PBS' NewsHour) noted Sunday's dead and wounded, "In Iraq, Shiites in several cities spent the day assessing the damage, after a bloody Sunday of bombings and shootings. More than 150 people were being treated in hospitals across the country; 58 were killed in the attacks in Baghdad and elsewhere. They were the latest victims in a wave of violence that has claimed more than 4,000 lives since April."
Cathy Otten (USA Today) offers an overview of the ongoing violence which includes:
"There has been little progress on the political front in Iraq, and al-Qaeda is banking on dissatisfaction with the government to increase their flexibility in large swaths of land in western Iraq, neighboring Syria," said Hayder Al-Khoei, associated fellow at the MENA program at the London-based think tank Chatham House.
With such violence and deadly blasts occurring every week and showing no signs of stopping, Iraqis say they are used to living with fear.
"The proper word for what people are is hopeless," said Haithman Abid, a counselor at a hospital in Sadr City, a Shia-dominated area on the outskirts of Baghdad. "When there's an explosion in Sadr City, or elsewhere, people say you get used to it but actually this is one type of hopelessness."
France 24 also tries to make some sense of the continued and increasing violence. Among those consulted are Baghdad security expert Amir Jabbar al-Saidi and Iraqi journalisr Ali al-Moussawi.
Amir Jabbar al-Saidi: In the last couple months, most explosions were either triggered remotely by a cell phone or by suicide bombers. A new, particularly cruel tactic has recently emerged. In a busy parking lot, someone parks their car in a way that blocks other cars from passing, and leaves a phone number on the windshield. When another driver calls that number, this phone call triggers the bomb.
Ali al-Moussawi: I’ve noticed over the last several months that the security forces have improved their response time to deal with the increased number of bomb attacks. They reach the explosion site very quickly, because there is no longer any place in Baghdad that is more than 500 metres away from a checkpoint. They quickly establish a security perimeter over an extended area, because they know that another attack is likely to occur nearby. It prevents me from filming, but this method saves many lives. That said, prevention is lacking. The authorities have been unable to avoid these attacks, in spite of security forces’ heavy presence throughout the city. Furthermore, what is really shocking is that they continue to use so-called “bomb detectors” at checkpoints, even though we now know that they are totally useless. In fact, the man who designed these detectors was recently sentenced to prison.
The violence continues because of Nouri al-Maliki -- because of the various crises he creates and also because of the way he has 'addressed' violence since 2006: with more violence. Noting the Iraqi government's high execution rate, Samir Goswami (Guardian) gets at the heart of why the violence continues:
With reports showing that more than 1,000 people were killed in sectarian and terrorist attacks in July alone, it is easy to understand why Iraqi authorities might seek desperate measures. But violence thrives where justice, due process, and human rights are denied. Continuing that cycle of violence by executing people only serves to further erode confidence in the government's ability to protect its citizens, especially when its own institutions do not live up to their own standards.
Simply put, adherence to the rule of law grounded in human rights principles can help prevent violence. This is especially true for fragile governments that are trying to instil confidence in their core governance responsibilities.
The Iraqi government's struggle with this dilemma is exemplified in its deeply flawed criminal justice system: death sentences are commonplace and human rights abuses and extreme punishments of all kinds are the prevailing norm. In May of last year, the United Nations assistance mission for Iraq expressed "serious reservations about the integrity of the criminal justice system in Iraq, including abuses of due process, convictions based on forced confessions, a weak judiciary, corruption, and trial proceedings that fall short of international standards".
Let's leave violence for a moment to note AFP's Prashant Rao's visit to the Baghdad Zoo:
Two tiger cubs play/wrestle at Baghdad Zoo http://instagram.com/p/eXOO_-hnRo/
Meanwhile Alaric Gomes (Al Bawabia) reports on Iraq's national tennis team which has to endure "curfews, shoot-on-sight orders, bombings and constant checkpoints" in order to train:
The Iraq national tennis squad have been forced to accept this scenario as part of their lives, but have still managed to compete in Dubai at the ongoing Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group IV matches being played at the Aviation Club this week.
The Iraq Tennis Association (ITA) has not asked the government to try and sort the situation out, instead the organisation has gone about its job despite the surrounding chaos.
“To start with, the national team and the coaching staff is all based in Baghdad. Some of the players walk it out to the tennis courts for practice, some come on bicycles, while some of us [the coaching staff] use our cars to get there,” coach Auday Ahmad told Gulf News on the sidelines of the Davis Cup competition.
“And since cars are only allowed to be on the roads of Baghdad depending on whether they have odd or even number plates, a few of us have managed to have one car each with an odd and even number plate so that we can just go and attend practice.”
That's animals and sports. Let's turn to art because good art reflects the world we live in. Mushreq Abbas (Al-Monitor) reports:
“The singer was standing next to a cemetery, addressing a sad widow who had just buried her husband. He owes her deceased husband money, he says, so he will kiss her, as a settlement!” This is the subject of an Iraqi song that is widely popular among youth. The song has been harshly criticized by intellectuals and the Iraqi people for satirizing death and its inappropriate lyrics.
For those who think, "Animals at a zoo, don't you call out fluff?" I call out (or just ignore) Kelly McEvers doing some dumb ass report on cooking in Iraq. There's a difference. McEvers and NPR offered no reports from inside Iraq for months. They finally do one and it's a cooking segment? That's fluff. Prashant Rao covers the killings daily. I don't consider his going to the zoo or enjoying his trip to the zoo to be shirking his responsibilities. That's the difference. Also true, it allowed us to ease into the music story which is both revealing and important.
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