Tuesday, February 04, 2014

He gets caught lying again







Saturday, UNAMI issued the following:

Baghdad, 1 February 2014 – According to casualty figures released today by UNAMI, a total of 733 Iraqis were killed and another 1,229 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence in January*.

The number of civilians killed was 618 (including 178 civilian police), while the number of civilians injured was 1,052 (including 237 civilian police). A further 115 members of the Iraqi Security Forces were killed and 177 were injured not including casualties from Anbar operations.
“Iraq continues to face substantial security challenges by armed groups who promote violence and seek to divide people. Political, religious and civil leaders urgently need to show national unity in dealing with violence and in promoting social peace. Security operations need to go hand-in-hand with inclusive policies, based on the respect for human rights, the rule of law, social development”, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG), Mr. Mladenov said. “As fighting continues to affect the people of Anbar, I am deeply alarmed by the humanitarian situation of thousands of displaced families and particularly of those stranded in Fallujah. They lack water, fuel, food, medicine and other basic commodities”, the UN Envoy added.  “It is vital that everything possible is done to ensure that urgent humanitarian aid reaches those affected people”, he said. 
*Casualty figures for January do NOT include casualties resulting from the ongoing fighting in Anbar, owing to problems in verification and in ascertaining the status of those killed and injured
Anbar excluded, Baghdad was the worst affected Governorate with 882 civilian casualties (297 killed 585 injured), followed by Salahuddine (105 killed 169 injured), Diyala (89 killed 90 injured), Ninewa (81 killed 82 injured), and Kirkuk (21 Killed, 101 injured).
According to information obtained by UNAMI from the Health Directorate in Anbar, the total of civilian casualties in Anbar up to 27 January was 138 killed and 598 injured, with 79 killed and 287 injured in Ramadi and 59 killed and 311 injured in Fallujah. Media sources as of 31 January quoted health officials from the Anbar health department stating that civilian casualties in Anbar in January 2014 have been 140 killed and 660 injured.

Saturday, Iraq Body Count also released their total for violent deaths in the month of January: 1076.  The Iraqi ministries offered their count Friday and Press TV covered it, "According to the figures, compiled by the ministries of health, interior and defense and released on Friday, 1,013 people were killed in January, including 795 civilians, 122 soldiers and 96 policemen." Historically, the ministries -- two of which remain headless and controlled by Nouri (Ministry of Defnese and Ministry of Interior) -- have provided an undercount. Friday, Jason Ditz noted Antiwar.com's count is 1,840.  Ditz also notes that Iraq's toll is 1,202.

Friday's snapshot included this from Felicity Aruthnot's  Pravada column on Nouri al-Maliki's assualt on Abnar:.

However, the US and UK are seemingly remarkably selective when it comes to tyrants who "kill their own people", and not only have failed to censure their tyrannical Iraqi puppet, Nuri al-Maliki, but are arming him to the teeth with the same weapons which are linked to the horrific birth defects, and cancers throughout Iraq, which he is now using on "his own people." Moreover, if allegations from very well informed sources that he holds an Iranian passport are correct, to say that US-UK's despot of choice appears in a whole new political light would be to massively understate.To facilitate Al-Maliki's assault on Iraq's citizens, the US "rushed" seventy five Hellfire missiles to Baghdad in mid-December. On 23rd January Iraq requested a further five hundred Hellfires, costing $82 million - small change compared to the $14 Billion in weapons provided by America since 2005.The AGM-114R Hellfire II, nauseatingly named "Romeo", clocked in at: $94,000 each - in 2012. Such spending on weaponry in a country where electricity, clean water, education and health services have all but collapsed since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Last week an "American cargo jet loaded with weapons" including 2,400 rockets to arm Iraqi attack helicopters also arrived in Baghdad.(iii)
This week a contract was agreed to sell a further twenty four AH-64E attack helicopters to Iraq "along with spare parts and maintenance, in a massive $6.2 Billion deal." With them comes the reinvasion of Iraq, with: "hundreds of Americans" to be shipped out "to oversee the training and fielding of equipment", some are "US government employees", read military, plus a plethora of "contractors", read mercenaries. (iv)
According to Jane's Defence Weekly, on November 15th 2013 Iraq also took delivery of: " its first shipment of highly advanced Mi-35 attack helicopters as part of a $4.3 Billion arms purchase from Russia", of an order of: "about 40 Mi-35 and 40 Mi-28 Havoc attack helicopters." 

The all to "attack his own people" in the guise of defeating "Al Qaida" in Anbar province and elsewhere where the people have been peacefully protesting a near one man regime of torture, sectarianism, kangaroo courts which sentence victims who have also had confessions extracted under torture.

My apologies to Felicity Aruthnot because I wrongly credited this to Ramsey Clark and did not realize my error until I read her same column at Dissident Voice Saturday morning  Again, my apologies for my error.

Iraq's prime minister and chief thug Nouri al-Maliki continues his assault on Anbar Province.  Ramzy Baroud (Arab News) comments:

As US Secretary of State John Kerry hurried to his helicopter ready to take off at the end of a visit to Iraq last year, it was becoming clearer that the Americans have lost control of a country they wished to mold to their liking. His departure on March 24, 2013 was the conclusion of a “surprise” visit meant to mark the 10th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq. Ten years prior, the US had stormed Baghdad, unleashing one of the 20th century’s most brutal and longest conflicts. Since then, Iraq has not ceased to bleed.
Kerry offered nothing of value on that visit, save the same predictable clichés of Iraq’s supposedly successful democracy, as a testament to some imagined triumph of American values. But it was telling that a decade of war was not even enough to assure an ordinary trip for the American diplomat. It was a “surprise” because no amount of coordination between the US Embassy, then consisting of 16,000 staff, and the Iraqi government, could guarantee Kerry’s safety.
Yet something sinister was brewing in Iraq. Mostly Muslim Sunni tribesmen were fed up with the political paradigm imposed by the Americans almost immediately upon their arrival, which divided the country on sectarian lines. The Sunni areas, in the center and west of the country, paid a terrible price for the US invasion that empowered political elites purported to speak on behalf of the Shiites. The latter, who were mostly predisposed by Iranian interests, began to slowly diversify their allegiance. Initially, they played the game per US rules and served as an iron fist against those who dared resist the occupation. But as years passed, the likes of current Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki, found in Iran a more stable ally: Where sect, politics and economic interests seamlessly align. Thus, Iraq was ruled over by a strange, albeit undeclared troika in which the US and Iran had great political leverage where the Shiite-dominated government cleverly attempted to find balance and survive.
Of course, a country with the size and history of Iraq doesn’t easily descend into sectarian madness on its own. But Shiite and Sunni politicians and intellectuals who refused to adhere to the prevailing intolerant political archetype were long sidelined — killed, imprisoned, deported and simply had no space in today’s Iraq — as national identity was banished by sect, tribe, religion and race.

Also offering a take on the current events is Saadula Aqrawi (Kurdish Globe):

Nothing seems to have changed in the new federal democracy of Iraq: the government is ruled by the same ideology, the same minds, the same policies. Personally, I don't think the democratic system is to blame, it's more about the cultures of the Middle East.

Nothing seems to have changed in the new federal democracy of Iraq: the government is ruled by the same ideology, the same minds, the same policies.
Personally, I don?t think the democratic system is to blame, it's more about the cultures of the Middle East.
The Kurds have taken the Iraqi government to task over the political cost of excluding Sunnis, Kurds and other ethnic minorities.
The Iraqi government's mismanagement of Iraqi politics has contributing to the recent surge in violence.
The insurgents believe the Iraqi government is too dominated by Iran, and Baghdad's mistreatment of the Sunnis and the Kurds is pushing the former towards extremism.
The unwise policies currently being pursued by the Iraqi Government are the same that drove Iraq to civil war over the last decade, and there is every reason to fear the same fate may befall Iraq once more. 

Iraqi novelist and activist Haifa Zangana delivered a presentation before the European Parliament last Thursday.  BRussells Tribunal carries the presentation in full and we'll note the opening here:

National Iraqi News Agency reported on Fri 24th January that the Iraqi military's mortar shelling the night before left 4 people dead and 32 more injured "including women and children" and Saturday’s military shelling of Falluja left 5 people dead and 14 more injured -- "most of them women and children." Falluja General Hospital was shelled as well.
Iraqi’s government assault on Anbar continues.  Maliki’s Collective punishment is called “Revenge for the martyr Mohamed” which was preceded by a campaign with the title: “Revenge for martyrs”.
And the attacks have been indiscriminate leading many civilians to flee.  – The UN refugee agency on Friday reported[1] that more than 65,000 people had over the past week fled the conflict in the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi in central Iraq's Anbar province. Since fighting broke out at the end of last year, more than 140,000 people have been made homeless by fighting according to Iraq's Ministry of Displacement and Migration.
This number comes on top of the 1.13 million people already internally displaced in Iraq and who are mostly residing in Baghdad, Diyala and Ninewa provinces.
"Many of the displaced, nonetheless, are still in desperate need of food, medical care, and other aid. As the insecurity has spread, many families who fled several weeks ago have been displaced again," according to UN.
The UN in Iraq has asked the government to facilitate the opening of a humanitarian corridor to reach displaced and stranded families in Anbar province. Currently, it is impossible to reach the area from Baghdad and relief agencies are using roads coming from northern Iraq.
Why am I talking about this and not about workshops for women’s empowerment and gender equality and political participation?  Because In order to fully address women’s issues and come with helpful policy suggestions we need to address women not as separate from the rest of society, but as a part of it  together with men.
.. and allow me to read the rest of the report :
“Other areas of Iraq including Baghdad, Erbil, Kerbala, Salah-al-Din and Ninewa have witnessed the arrival of thousands of displaced people. People are reportedly without money for food and lack suitable clothing for the rainy conditions. Children are not in school and sanitary conditions, particularly for women, are inadequate.”
The suffering of the displaced is far beyond the sheer loss of a house, it is the loss of neighborhood, community; schools and health service, the feeling of safety associated with familiarities and on the long run the submission to the newly manufactured identity   . The lack of one of these or the combination of all leads to extreme levels of trauma, fear, depression, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder[2].
The regression in women’s situation is so devastating that she has reached the bottom of human needs. Just to survive.
I will focus on violence in the public sphere and how it became so prominent that women have been forced to give up hard earned rights, such as employment, freedom of movement, abolition of polygamy, and the right for education and health service, seeking instead, protection for themselves and their families.

All Iraq News repors a security source has told them "that the security forces are preparing to storm in Fallujah city."  Ammar Karim and, Salam Faraj (AFP)  add, "A security official told AFP that an assault on the city was imminent, but a journalist in Fallujah said it was largely calm on Monday."

In reaction to the announcement of an impending all-out assault on Falluja, Wael Grace (Al Mada) reports Anbar government officials are calling such an attack "madness" and stating it will only increase the national crisis.  MP Hamid al-Mutlaq denounces the plan as "insane" and declares that it can only lead to more blood spilled and more cracks and fissures in the national unity.  He states you cannot call for peace while screaming war.

Khaled Qaraghouli (Kitabat) notes the military assault on the cities of Anbar has resulted in indiscriminate bombing and shelling which have in turn led many to flee their homes -- fleeing from the military, which is supposed to provide safety -- and becoming displaced while the public infrastructure in Anbar is being destroyed by the bombings and shellings.

Friday, a horrific video came out of Anbar and made it to YouTube.  From that day's snapshot:

On YouTube video has surfaced of Nouri's forces today . . . next to a man being burned alive.  Did they set the Sunni male on fire?  It appears they're not concerned with putting out the fire so it's fair to conclude they started it.   It's the sort of government cruelty that's led Iraqis to protest in the first place.

That video is impossible to forget.

Mahdi Jassim (Kitabat) notes the video  today in a column that opens noting how Iraq (which created the zero) is seen as the owners of the written word, that a Moroccan friend points this out to Mahdi Jassim.  And how Jassim wonders what the impact of that video will be on the way people see Iraq, watching soldiers dancing next to corpses being burned?  Mahdi Jassim asks where is God's humanity and how can that soldier be dancing while the corpse is burning?   Jassim writes of wanting to believe it was a lie, wanting to believe it was being seen wrong somehow  Jassim writes that it appears the government is now beyond all laws -- international and humanitarian -- and that shameful crimes, barbaric crimes are being carried out.   Jassim says that as the government continues to fail to rebuke the actions captured on video, it sends a message that these actions are not the plans of a few soldiers but the direction that the government itself has trained the soldiers to carry out.

It's a very strong column.

Nothing like it has appeared in the US press but the US press hasn't even noted the video which surfaced Friday -- still hasn't noted the video.

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