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السبت، 18 مايو 2013

17 May: 'Our Choice Is The Protection Of Our Identity' Friday

17 May: 'Our Choice Is The Protection Of Our Identity' Friday
by Iraqi Spring Media Center and The Common Ills on 18-05-2013
BRussells Tribunal
Summary of Events of the Iraqi Popular Revolution, Friday 17 May 2013. And The Common Ills Blog comments on Friday's events.

More than 70 people were killed in bombings in majority Sunni districts in Baghdad and surrounding areas, in what has been noted as the deadliest day in Iraq in more than eight months.
Bulletin No. 19
Friday, 17th May, 2013
Main Events:
-        Maliki’s government forces impose restrictions on the people, deploying its checkpoints throughout the center of Hawija, its entries and exits and all its districts.
-        Violent clashes in the Seeniya District, Beiji, with army and federal police forces, resulting in the burning of two (2) army vehicles and the death of all their passengers, as well as the retreat of the army and the police.
-        Fifth Regiment Headquarters in Beiji attacked with mortar fire.
-        S.WA.T. forces provoke worshippers heading to Unified Friday Prayers in Sarriya Mosque, tightening up procedures.
-        Government army forces surround Sarriya Mosque in Baquba.
-        Explosion of IED amongst worshippers leaving Sarriya Mosque after Unified Friday Prayers in Sarriya Mosque in Baquba with a great number of dead and wounded victims.
-        Eye witnesses: “ S.W.A.T. forces were the perpetrators of the bombing that struck the worshippers leaving United Friday Prayers in Baquba.”
-        Explosion of IED amongst targeting worshippers in the Sallam Mosque in QarraTeppa in Diyala Province resulting in numerous victims.
-        Government and S.W.A.T. forces surround Baquba General Hospital preventing people donating blood to save the wounded of the Sarriya Mosque massacre.
-        S.W.A.T. forces attack and insult civilian motorists transporting the wounded from the Sarriya Mosque in Baquba, by beating them up.
-        Sources:” Most martyrs were victims of sniper fire by S.WA.T. forces after the explosion.”
-        Dijla (Tigris) Operations orders local Health and Police Departments not to reveal the real numbers of wounded and martyred from the Sarriya Mosque Massacre.
-        Dr. Ali Al Timeemi, Director General of Diyala Health Department officially prevents the issuing of statement concerning the real numbers of wounded and martyred from the Sarriya Mosque massacre.
-        Detonation of IED in the Khaima Al Shamiyya Coffee Shop in the middle of the City of Falluja resulting in dead and wounded.

About 300 people have died in May so far in Iraq amid fears of a new round of sectarian bloodshed
Comment of an Iraqi protester:

"Praying in Iraq is forbidden by Iran and Maliki. Clear and simple. When every iraqi goes to pray on a Friday, he is a target either going or returning from a mosque or Demonstration grounds. Why do Preachers continue to call for public prayers without providing protection for people only to continue preaching their political ambitions in a divided federal Iraq instead of ridding the whole of Iraq of the whole US/Iranian political process there."
"Most preachers on Fridays are members of the Islamic Brotherhood and the Islamic Party which is in the Government and part of the political process. These interests are more important it seems than the lives of common people. It should be declared Plain and simple that Islam as a religion in Iraq is Prohibited by Iran and Maliki and let's see what the Azhar Mosque In Cairo has to say then considering their silence on Iraq for the last 145 days of Demonstrations & knowing that they have recently received Ahmedi Najad of Persia to Promote the so called Common Ground Negotiations with this ambitious nation not to forget Mr Morsi who promotes Tourism with Iran. What Bollocks is that ?!?"
Today’s Statistics:
-        Numerous Unified Friday Prayers were held in Baghdad and several Iraqi Provinces while the Iraqi Spring Media Center documented most of these Prayers through a network of correspondents throughout Iraq and were as follows:
PROVINCE                                           MOSQUE
1- Baghdad-Al A’adhamiya                    Al Imam Al A’adham
2- Baghdad - ZayyounaWaheeb Al Faraj Mosque
3- Baghdad - Al Qahira                            Al Nida’a Mosque
4- Baghdad - Al Sulaikh                            Al Hameed Al Majeed Mosque
5- Baghdad - Al Amiriya                          Al Hassanain Mosque
6- Baghdad - Al Khadra’a                         Al Rahman Mosque
7- Baghdad - Al Jami’a                              Al Burhan Mosque
8- Baghdad - Al Mansour                       Sa’adiya Al Omari Mosque
9- Baghdad - Al Yarmouk                       Omar Al Mukhtar Mosque
10-Baghdad - Al Ghazaliya                     Al SIddeeq Mosque
11-Baghdad - Al SayddiyaShakir Al ABoud Mosque
12-Baghdad – Hay Al Jihad                    Al Hussain Mosque
13-Baghdad - Doura                               Al Abbass Mosque
14-Ninevah                                               The Great Nourie Mosque
15-Ninevah - Al Mansour                      Yehya Al Imam Mosque
16-Ninevah – Al Mansour                     Barekat Al Rahman Mosque
17-Ninevah - Hay Tammouz                   Al Sahaba Mosque
18-Ninevah – Hay TammouzBarekat Al Rahman Mosque
19-Ninevah - Hay Al Sukkar                   Al Rahma Mosque
20-Ninevah - Hay Al KeramahNour Al Eaman Mosque
21-Ninevah - Al Qadissiya Al Thaniya   Al Niai’mi Mosque
22-Ninevah - Hay Al Meethaq                Al Qassim Mosque
23-Ninevah – Hay Sumer                         Al Qiba’a Mosque
24-Ninevah – Hay Al Quds                      Al Huda Mosque
25-Ninevah – Hay Al Zira’iiAkramSaeed Mosque
26-Ninevah - Hay Al Keramah               Al Seekati Mosque
27-Ninevah - Al QayyaraBillal Al Habashi Mosque
28-Ninevah - Al Ba’ajj                             Al Ba’ajj Great Mosque
29-Ninevah - Nimrod                             The Great Mosque
30-Ninevah - Hammam Al AleelThe Great Mosque
31-Al Anbar-Al Ramadi                          Pride and Dignity Square
32-Al Anbar - FallujaFalluja
33-Al Anbar - Heet                                  Othman bin Affan Mosque
34-Al Anbar - A’anaThe Great Mosque
35- Al Anbar - RawaRawa Sports Hall
36- Al Anbar - Al QaimThe Great Mosque
37- Al Anbar - Al Obaidi                       Al Mustafa Mosque
38- Al Anbar - Al KerrablaThe Great Mosque
39- Al Anbar - Al Roummana             Al Ghimer and Al Kabassnah Mosques
40- Sallahudeen  Sammarra’a
41- Sallahudeen  Tikreet
42- Sallahudeen  Beiji
43- Sallahudeen                                   Al Dhuluiya
44- Sallahudeen                                   Al Shirqatt
45- Sallahudeen                                  Al Dour-Omar bin Abdul Azeez Mosque
46- Diyala - BaqubaSarriya Mosque
47- Diyala - Al Muqdadiya              Hay Al Mua’llimeen
48- Diyala - Jallawla’a                      Abu Hanifa Mosque
49- Diyala - BeladRouz                   Al Hay Al Asri Mosque
50- Diyala - QarraTeppa                Al Sallam Mosque
51- Diyala - Mendali                       Al Hidaya Mosque
52- Ta’ameem – Kirkuk                 The Parade Ground
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A bombing and Nouri's SWAT forces kill protesters in Baquba

It's Friday 17 May, which means protests in Iraq and, sadly, more and more means chief thug and prime minister Nouri al-Maliki's forces wound and kill Iraqis.
Iraqi Spring MC reports a Baquba bombing has left many dead 
Nouri's Tigris Operation Command forces are ordering the hospital not to reveal the number of dead and wounded they are receiving.  Why is the Iraqi military being used against citizens, why is being used to harass medical providers?
How many Iraqis does Nouri get to kill before the world community rises up and calls for the thug to step down?  He's already run most business out of Iraq (except for northern Iraq).  It wouldn't take much to get Nouri out of office (and would require no guns).  You make it clear that aid is tied to it, you make it clear that you're pulling all support -- not just financial -- and the slender thread Nouri's been swinging from is cut and that National Alliance and Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq join with Moqtada al-Sadr, Iraqiya and the Kurds to vote him out office.
We're at the Ways and Means hearing which is packed and about to start.
This is the biggest news out of Iraq this morning.
How big?
There are no reports on it other than Iraqi Spring MC -- once again, the world press is silent as Iraqis suffer.
Friday, May 17, 2013
Chaos and violence continue, today is said to have the highest death toll in eight months, a new protest takes place in Baghdad, Ammar al-Hakim visits the First Lady,
A lot of people do nothing.  Like today with regards to Little Saddam, Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister and chief thug of Iraq who was installed by Bully Boy Bush in 2006 (the Iraqi Parliament -- who are supposed to be 'the deciders' on this -- wanted Ibrahiam al-Jafaari) and whom the Iraqi people thought they had rid themselves of in 2010 when they voted Iraqiya into first place in parliamentary elections (Barack backed the loser and had the US-goverment broker The Erbil Agreement to go around the country's constitution and the will of the people to give Nouri a second term).
In Iraq, Fridays mean protests -- this wave has been going on since December 21st.  More and more, peaceful protests in Iraq also mean a wave of attacks on participants by Nouri's forces. 
In Ramadi and Falluja, NINA notes that security measures were "tightened" and a security source tells them, "The security services have taken preventive measures to protect the worshipers in the unified prayer which are held in Baquba capital of the province, Balad Ruz, Mandali, Jalawla, and Qaratappa districts."  NINA reports thousands of protesters turned out in Ramadi and Falluja and quotes sit-in organizer Sheikh Mohammed Fayyad stating that the protesters are gathered to send a message to Baghdad that the protests are peaceful and are supported by the Iraqi people.
Nouri's forces did not protect in Baquba.  Iraqi Spring MC reports a Baquba bombing has left many dead.  Protesters and bystanders who attempted to help the wounded to the hospital were attacked and beaten by Nouri's SWAT forces.   SWAT forces also surrounded Baquba General Hospital to prevent people from donating blood.  Nouri's Tigris Operation Command forces ordered the hospital not to reveal the number of dead and wounded they are receiving.  Why is the Iraqi military being used against citizens, why is being used to harass medical providers?
In addition to the bombing, his SWAT forces began firing at protesters.  At least 1 man was killed.  Alsumaria reports 40 are dead from the bombing and 46 injured.  Fang Yang (Xinhua) reports it was two bombs "which hit almost simultaneously."  Matt Brown (Australia's ABC) also reports two bombings.  Citing security and medical sources, AFP goes with 41 dead and fifty-seven injured.  Duraid Adnan (New York Times) explains, "The Saraya mosque, where the blasts took place, is one of the main mosques where Sunnis in Baquba pray and hear speeches to support protests in Anbar and other Sunni provinces calling for change in the Shiite-dominated government." The violence is part of what Deutsche Welle has hailed as, "The deadliest day in Iraq in eight months."  Mohammad Tawfeeq (CNN) reports Baghdad bombings, one which left 12 people dead and thrity injured and one in the Baghdad home of Iraqiya MP Ahmed al-Massari whic left two of his bodyguards injured.  Tawfeeq notes, "Al-Massari's brother was shot dead near his house in the Baghdad neighborhood of al-Bayaa on Thursday."  RT adds, "Another explosion struck a cafe in Fallujah, which killed two people and wounded nine." Al-Arabiya notes (link is text and video), "In Madain, south of Baghdad, a roadside bomb exploded near a funeral procession for a Sunni man, killing eight people and wounding at least 25, security and medical officials said, according to AFP." In addition, National Iraqi News Agency reports a Kirkuk inspection department employee was shot dead and his relative injured in Kirkuk,  All Iraq News reports 1 woman's corpse was discovered in Mosul.  Jason Ditz ( looks at today's violence as well as Wednesday's and Thursday's and counts more than 160 deaths and more then 400 injured.  Dominic Kane (Al Jazeera -- in the video, not the text) reports that over 300 violent deaths have already taken place this month.
Various opinions make the rounds regarding the violence.  William Clarke (Telegraph of London) offers, "The burst of violence raises the spectre of the tit-for-tat killings that killed tens of thousands of people during the height of sectarian tensions."  Omar al-Saleh (Al Jazeera -- from text) observes of the violence, "It's an indication that security conditions are really going downhill in this country. There is a huge and growing sense of fear among Iraqis."
The Washington Institute's Michael Knights argued a few days ago at Foreign Policy that the problem is de-centralization was put into the Iraqi Constitution but then ignored:
But starting in 2008, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki re-centralized power, leaning on an increasingly narrow circle of Shia opponents of the previous dictatorship. And like all successful revolutionaries, this clique is paranoid about counterrevolution and has set about rebuilding a version of the authoritarian system it sought for decades to overthrow. Maliki’s inner circle dominates the selection of military commanders down to brigade level, controls the federal court, and has seized control of the central bank. The executive branch is rapidly eclipsing all checks and balances that were put in place to guarantee a new autocracy did not emerge.
 The root of Iraq’s violence is thus not ancient hatreds between Sunni and Shia or Kurd and Arab, but between decentralizers and recentralizers – and between those who wish to put Iraq’s violent past behind them, and those determined to continually refight it. The demands that have been consistently stated by the Kurdish and Sunni Arab anti-Maliki opposition could not be clearer. First, the opposition demands devolution of fiscal authority to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the provinces, encapsulated in a revenue-sharing law that will provide a formula for the proportion of the budget allocated to the KRG and provinces. Second, it demands the implementation of the system of checks and balances on the executive branch – particularly by empowering parliament and ensuring an independent judiciary. Third, it calls for a comprehensive truth and reconciliation process that provides justice for those damaged by Saddam’s regime, but stops short of collectively punishing Sunnis.
Did the world turn its back on Iraq?  Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari tells Aleem Maqbool (BBC News -- link is text and video, quotes are from video),  "We've been several times to hell and back. But Iraq still needs the engagement the commitment of the international community to work out its recent difficulties."  Aleem Maqbool observes, "What Iraqis are asking is why there's not the urgency here and abroad to try to avert what many see as almost invetiable civil war?"  Aziz Alwan (Los Angeles Times) points out, "Sectarian tension among Iraq’s Shiite and Sunni elite have soared in the absence of compromise on the issues raised by Sunni protesters, including resolving the fate of thousands of Sunni detainees and addressing the continued marginalization of those who served in late dictator Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party."  Today the UN News Centre noted:
17 May 2013 – The top United Nations official in Iraq today urged Iraqi leaders to protect civilians following a wave of bombings over the past few days which have claimed more innocent lives.
“It is the responsibility of all leaders to stop the bloodshed in this country and to protect their citizens,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Iraq, Martin Kobler.
“Small children are burned alive in cars. Worshippers are cut down outside their own mosques. This is beyond unacceptable. It is the politicians’ responsibility to act immediately and to engage in dialogue to resolve the political impasse and put an end to this.”
According to media reports, two bombs near a Sunni mosque north of Baghdad killed at least 43 people and wounded more than 80 on Friday. One bomb reportedly exploded as worshippers were departing a mosque in the city of Baquba, while a second went off after people gathered at the scene of the first blast.
Hundreds of people have been killed or wounded in recent clashes across the country, including in Hawija, north of Baghdad, where government helicopters shot at militants hiding in the village, resulting in dozens of people killed or injured.
Mr. Kobler has repeatedly called on Iraqi authorities to take decisive measures to stop the escalating violence. Earlier this month,Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged all Iraqis to come together and engage in inclusive dialogue to overcome the “deep political crisis” facing the country.
“Peace must come to this country now. The people of Iraq have suffered enough,” Mr. Kobler said. “We will continue to remind the leaders of Iraq that the country will slide backwards into a dangerous unknown if they do not take action.”
Returning to the topic of protests, Baghdad saw another target of a protest today.  All Iraq News notes that Moqtada al-Sadr is calling for the Bahraini Embassy in Baghdad be closed.  Alsumaria notes that "hundreds" of followers of cleric and movement leader Moqtada attempted to protest outside the embassy today in western Baghdad but were prevented from getting in front of the building by Nouri's forces.
Meanwhile All Iraq News reports Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq leader Ammar al-Hakim met today with First Lady of Iraq Hero Ibrahim Ahmed at her official residence in Sulaimaniya.  There, the First Lady "reassured" al-Hakim "on the health of President Talabani" and al-Hakim stressed that Jalal Talabani was both "a personal and national symbol for all Iraqis, not just the Kurds."  Last December,  Iraqi President Jalal Talabani suffered a stroke.
 The incident took place late on December 17th (see the December 18th snapshot) and resulted in Jalal being admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital.    Thursday, December 20th, he was moved to Germany.  He remains in Germany currently.  Last week, questions arose regarding Jalal's health.  Friday,  All Iraq News noted that the PUK's Najm al-Din Karim declared that the rumors were false and that "Talabani enjoys good health and has continuous improvement" and "Talabani's health continues to improve day after day."  Monday morning, Nouri launched an effort to replace Jalal as president and by Monday evening it was being announced (by Kurdistan Alliance MP Muhsin al-Sadoun) that Jalal would be doing media appearances "shortly" -- though "shortly" was not defined as hours, weeks or months.    Al-Hayat(translation by Al-Monitor) reports that, in the disputed province of oil-rich Kirkuk, Arab tribes and political parties are saying replacing Jalal Talabani now would send the country further into crisis:
Sheikh Abdul Rahman Monshed al-Assi, a leader in the Arab Political Council, has called upon all related parties "not to lead the country and political forces toward a new conflict through the election of an alternative to Talabani.” He stressed the need to "refer to the constitution and not to exceed its content." The sheikh also demanded that "the nomination be done away from quotas and repartition of positions on a nationalist and sectarian basis, as this would harm the political process and cause crises."
Meanwhile, Arab tribal leaders have criticized "[the parties] for being ungrateful towards Talabani, who has been unbiased and patriotic. Throughout his presidency, Talabani has not dealt with issues on a sectarian basis."
In a statement to Al-Hayat, Sheikh Farhan al-Saadi said, "It is too soon for political blocs to talk about an alternative to President Talabani, as he is still in a difficult health condition."
Muqtada al-Sadr, on the other hand, has declared his support for the nomination of a replacement for Talabani and has called to speed up the measures in this regard. The United Nations Office in Iraq’s Kurdistan region has mentioned several reasons that would hinder the nomination of any alternative. In a statement issued by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Sokol Conde, head of the UN Office, said that the "no party alone can take the place of president Talabani. Governance in Iraq was built on the basis of consensus and partnership between political blocs and components, which imposes the attainment of national consensus on various issues."

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