SUNDAY TV WAS DOMINATED BY THE QUESTION OF WHETHER CRANKY CLINTON CAN SECURE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION WITH HER SCANDAL STILL UNRESOLVED.
HOWARD DEAN, JERRY BROWN AND MARTIN O'MALLEY WERE AMONG THE DEMOCRATS PONDERING CRANKY'S SCANDAL.
REACHED FOR COMMENT BY THESE REPORTERS, CRANKY SNORTED, "THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS BAD PUBLICITY. I'M THE TALK OF THE COUNTRY. THAT'S HOW I'LL SEW THIS UP."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Starting with violence and oil.
One of many stories not covered. If there's news value in it, the only news value in it -- one that this Shi'ite propagandist Haidar Sumeri will never grasp -- is the strides that the Iraqi government will take to protect oil while the citizens are left to fend for themselves.
Dropping back to Thursday's snapshot:
In other poor visuals, Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi made a special visit today.
Aref Mohammed, Ahmed Rasheed, Isabel Coles and William Hardy (Reuters) note, "Hundreds of locals recently blocked some entrance to Iraq's giant southern West Qurna-2 oilfield, operated by Russia's Lukoil, demanding jobs in a sign of the growing challenges facing foreign firms operating in the south." So Haider rushed there today in an attempt "to reassure Lukoil."
Time and again, Haider puts oil first, ahead of the Iraqi people.
An now dropping back to the April 15th snapshot:
This morning, Arwa Damon (CNN -- link is video and text) reported on the situation in Anbar Province's Ramadi noting that deputy provincial council head Falih Essawi is issuing "a dire, dire warning" as the Islamic State advances.
Arwa Damon: ISIS forces, it seems, early this morning managing to enter the outskirts of the city of Ramadi from the east. This now means that ISIS is fighting on the east. ISIS advanced from the north -- taking over three towns from the outskirts there over the weekend. The routes to the south already blocked off. The city basically under siege except for the western portion that is still controlled by forces, by government forces, but that is wavering as well.
Sky News notes the three areas taken, "The militant group took the villages of Sjariyah, Albu-Ghanim and Soufiya, in Anbar province, which had been under government control, residents said." Nancy A. Youssef (Daily Beast) observed:
Pentagon officials stopped short of saying the city was on the brink of falling. But they didn’t sound confident it would hold, either.
“The situation in Ramadi remains fluid and, as with earlier assessments, the security situation in the city is contested. The ISF [Iraqi Security Forces] continue to conduct clearing operations against ISIL-held areas in the city and in the surrounding areas of Al Anbar province,” U.S. Central Command spokesman Army Maj. Curt Kellogg, a said in a statement, using the government’s preferred acronym for ISIS. The Coalition continues to coordinate with ISF forces and provide operational support as requested.”
AFP's Jean Marc Mojon and Karim Abou Merhil sound out various Middle East experts about the prospects for victory in Anbar. We'll note this section:
“Anbar, and especially Fallujah, is like Asterix’s village,” said Victoria Fontan, a professor at American University Duhok Kurdistan, referring to an unconquerable town in the French comic book series.
The province is packed with experienced fighters and while some Sunni tribes have allied with the government, others are fighting alongside ISIS or sitting on the fence.
Local knowledge is seen as key to retaking territory along the fertile strip lining the Euphrates, where ISIS has inflicted severe military setbacks to the police and army since June.
Iraqi Spring MC notes this takes place as calls for reinforcements of government troops to be sent to . . . Baiji.
That's in northern Iraq, Salahuddin Province. These reinforcements are being sent in to protect . . . Well, not people. There are people in Ramadi who need protection. But the government forces going to Baiji are going to protect an oil refinery.
How did that work out?
Does anyone remember?
Oh, yeah, the Islamic State seized Ramadi -- which they still control today.
But, hey, that refinery in Baiji, that oil refinery is safe.
Iraq Times reports the reaction to citizens in Basra which was to protest Haider's visit. The activists noted that he traveled all the way to Basra to reassure Big Oil but he did not meet with a single local protester to address the concerns that have had them pouring into the streets for the last weeks. The report notes that the British and US Ambassadors to Iraq had lobbied Haider to visit Basra to reassure Big Oil. As Iraq Times also notes, just north of Basra is where a protester -- protesting against Big Oil -- was shot dead by security forces working for yet another foreign oil company in Iraq.
There was a time when -- even under the despicable Nouri al-Maliki -- if foreigners killed an Iraqi citizen, it would be time for immediate arrests and a kangaroo trial.
But in Haider's Iraq, foreign oil companies can kill protesters and the government doesn't even publicly object.
Basra protesters are targeted in many ways.
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