POOR KILLER BARRY O. ONE MINUTE HE'S SHAKING HIS TIRED ASS TO METROSEXUAL PIN-UP JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, CHAIR DANCING AND SINGING ALONG AND THE NEXT THERE ARE ALL THESE QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS DOWN-LOW RELATIONSHIP WITH JAY-Z -- AKA POSSIBLY THE ONLY MAN ON THE PLANET WHO COULDN'T GET BEYONCE PREGNANT POSSIBLY FORCING HER TO PASS HER SISTER'S CHILD OFF AS HER OWN.
"WHY IS THE PRESS SO CRUEL?" KILLER BARRY WHINED TO THESE REPORTERS TONIGHT. "WHY? DON'T THEY VALUE HUMAN LIFE? DON'T THEY KNOW THAT PEOPLE HAVE FEELINGS? OH, S**T! I'M LATE FOR ORDERING A DRONE STRIKE. GOTTA' GO."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Last month, Banen al-Sheemary (Mondo Weiss) observed, "'The war in Iraq will soon belong to history' stated Barack Obama, in an address marking the supposed end of the occupation of Iraq. America will remember it as history, but Iraqis live through it every day." Masarat editor Saad Salloum offers at Niqash:
The war being fought in Iraq today pits Iraqis against one another. Today the people of Iraq are fighting over a ruined and divided country with no real national identity. Iraqis don’t know whether they have a theocracy, similar to that in neighbouring Iran, or whether they have a more secular democracy, complete with sectarian and ethnic quotas in leadership, similar to those used to rule Lebanon.
After 2003 the US has played a similar role to that played by Great Britain in 1921, when they installed Faisal bin Hussein as the king of a new Iraq. Some say Iraq was never created by God; rather it was created by Winston Churchill, who was Colonial Secretary with special responsibility for the Middle East at the time.
Now, in 2013, Iraqis are still trying to formulate their identity – but they’re doing it in a way where they must challenge one another. On the ethnic level, they are Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians and Turkmen. On the religious level, they are Muslims, Christians and Yazidis as well as Sunnis and Shiites too.
It has become clear to many that the US only removed the lid to a melting pot containing a stew of many foul-smelling flavours. Those smells had been repressed during the short life of the Iraqi state.
This newly discovered pluralism makes Iraqis more afraid of each other than they are of missiles and weapons of mass destruction. It makes them more afraid of each other than of the Safawi [Shiite Muslim religious] state, an Ottoman Empire [out of Turkey] or the UK or US.
As noted in an Iraqi Spring MC video, Sheikh Ali Hamad spoke in Jalawla today at the protest there. He asks a basic question in his speech: If the Constitution guarantees Iraqis the right to protest and demonstrate why are those who exercise the right being targeted, arrested and tortured?
The question lingers in the air with no answer forthcoming.
On one side of the Sheikh, a protester carries a sign that reads, "Obama, If you Cannot Hear Us Can you Not See Us?" On the other side of the Sheikh, a protester carries a sign which reads, "IRAQ has become the Wild West, Land with NO LAW." In Samarra, they burned flags of Israel and the US. At the start of 2009, Iraqis had such hope for the US. A new president was being sworn in, Barack Obama. He'd make things so much better. Instead, in 2010, when they voted Nouri out, Barack demanded he stay. Barack went around the Constitution, having the US broker a contract, The Erbil Agreement, to give Nouri a second term. As they've seen that the US government does not care about human rights, does not care about the torture and secret prisons Nouri runs, as they've seen that Barack is no better than Bully Boy Bush, they burn more and more American flags.
As a young Iraq male explains on this month's War News Radio, "We hope that Americans will help us or something like that. But they did nothing. They just, I think, I not sure, they steal some oil or something. Nothing's changed. The government now is worse and worse." A young Iraqi woman, Noor, tells War News Radio, "We like the people of America" but not "the power, the government." The State Dept wants to pour over two billion into Iraq in the next fiscal year -- most of it to prop up Nouri. It doesn't matter. The Iraqi people can't be bought. You can't ignore their 2010 vote and then bribe them with money. Barack cannot buy away the bruises he has left on the dignity of the Iraqi people.
All Iraq News quotes MP Majida al-Timimi declaring, "The many government in Iraq after 2003 failed to improve the services and economic situation in Iraq." She is with the Moqtada al-Sadr affiliated Ahrar bloc.
At the sit-in in Baiji, protesters declared that their biggest concern was the release of our men and women. This goes to the point we've been making all week. The Justice and Accountability Law and Commission -- not the big concern for the average Iraqi. It's concerns for politicians and government officials. The people are concerned with Article IV. That's what allows innocent people to be arrested. That's what the protesters mean when they say release the innocents. It's not that complicated or difficult to follow unless you're paid by a western media outlet and then you're cluseless. In Mosul, protesters delcare they will not relinquish their rights. In Falluja, activists chanted, "We will not retreat. We will not surrender." They turned out in Tikrit.
Alsumaria notes that thugs tried to infiltrate the Kirkuk protests and they were expelled by the activists. (The reason they tried to infiltrate? They were carrying the Iraq flag from the days of Saddam Hussein, hoping to pose as protesters and discredit the movement.) NINA quotes Dr. Abdullah Jawala stating, "We continue our demonstration and sit-ins until our demands are met."
NINA reports, "Thousands of protesters and worshipers flocked from the early hours of the morning to the main squares of sit-ins north of Ramadi and west of Fallujah to participate in Friday prayers." Alsumaria reports tens of thousands in Ramadi (and check out their photo). NINA also quotes Sheikh Qusai Zein of the Ramadi sit-in declaring, "We do not only demand to bring down Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, but we want to execute him from crimes committed against humanity that he tolerate." Al Mada reports that Nouri al-Maliki, prime minister and chief crooked thug of Iraq, was denounced by protesters in Ramadi and Falluja who said he only pretends to listen to the demands of the protesters. Iraq Times reports that students demonstrated at the University of Basra.
For strong and varied coverage of the protests, refer to the Iraqi Spring MC -- here for Facebook, here for Twitter, here for Flickr.
Meanwhile Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports a Kanaan double bombing targeting Sunnis leaving a mosque which has claimed 7 lives and ldeft twenty-five injured. Alsumaria has a photo of some of the wreckage here. Xinhua notes the mosque was near Baquba. Raheem Salman and Patrick Markey (Reuters) quote survivor Ahmed al-Karkhi stating, "We were about 250 worshippers, we were just leaving when the explosion went off. Police were not protecting the mosque and people had to be taken to hospital in cars." The Irish Independent notes, "The blasts struck as worshippers were leaving after midday prayers from the town's Omar Bin Abdul-Aziz mosque, said police officials in Diyala province, where Kanaan is located." DPA notes that the death toll has risen to 15 (twenty-six wounded) and that a third mosque bombing (Baquba) claimed 1 life and left five people injured. The United Nations issued the following statement today:
12 April 2013 – The top United Nations envoy in Iraq today condemned “in the strongest” terms a deadly attack on worshippers at a mosque in Diyala province and appealed for peaceful coexistence among all groups in the sensitive region.
According to published reports at least seven people were killed and 25 wounded in front of a Sunni Muslim mosque, as worshippers were leaving after Friday prayers in the town of Kanaan in Diyala where a surge of attacks by Sunni Islamists have targeted Shi'ite Muslims in growing sectarian confrontation.
“These brutal acts of violence, particularly in such sensitive areas, will not undermine the true and deep belief in peaceful coexistence among the people of Diyala,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative for Iraq Martin Kobler said in a statement.
He extended his deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery for the wounded.
In other violence, All Iraq News notes a Shurqat bombing claimed the life of 1 Sahwa and left another injured. National Iraqi News Agency notes that 3 corpses were discovered in Hatra (south of Mousl, 2 police officers, 1 Iraqi soldier, all shot to death), an armed clash in Samarra left 5 people dead, a sniper shot and wounded a police officer in Falluja, a Baghdad roadside bombing left three people injured,
On the topic of violence, Tuesday's "Iraq does executions, press doesn't do corrections" noted AFP's ridiculous claim of 271 violent deaths in Iraq for the month of March was disputed when UNAMI released a statement Monday noting that they counted 456 violent deaths. As noted Tuesday, AFP's way of dealing with that 'discomfort' was to ignore the UN release in its reporting but to mention it in a Tweet by journalist Prashant Rao.
It's bad enough they wouldn't do a correction -- and let's be clear Prashant left Iraq during that time period and no one kept up with the daily deaths until he was back so AFP knew their count was wrong (or 'incomplete') before they published it. Today AFP repeats their lie, "Violence killed 271 Iraqis last month, the highest monthly figure since August, according to an AFP tally."
If you're not going to get the violence, don't pretend to cover it. AKI, Iraq Body Count and the United Nations all have over 150 more deaths than AFP.
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