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السبت، 10 أغسطس 2013

Nouri Al-Maliki's non-stop failures and crimes

Nouri Al-Maliki's non-stop failures and crimes

The Common Ills

Through Monday, Iraq Body Count counts 106 violent deaths in Iraq so far this month -- a month that isn't even 10 days old.  National Iraqi News Agency reports that a Hamrin bombing claimed 2 lives and left three people injured, and Nouri's Tigris Operation command has killed at least 11 Iraqis in their latest efforts today at mass arrests. Alsumaria reports 1 police officer was shot dead outside of Falluja, a Mosul armed attack has left 4 people dead (three were brothers)Ahmed Rasheed (Reuters) explains, "The past four months have all had higher death tolls than any in the five years before April, leading the Interior Ministry to declare last week that Iraq was now once again in 'open war'."

Alsumaria notes that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is praising the Baghdad Operations Command and the operations in Baghdad and around for the great job they're doing.  That's mass arrests.  For those who don't know or would prefer not to remember, the US government decided the US military should behave like thugs whose credo is lower than even the mafia which generally won't target family members.  But the US military would.  Wives and children and parents were regularly rounded up because the military couldn't locate the suspect.  Wives, children and parents were regularly used as blackmail in an attempt to force various males (who may or may not have been guilty of anything) to turn themselves over.

This is using people as hostages.  It is a shameful and disgusting episode that few wanted to talk about in real time and, you'll note, no serious conversation has taken place since.  (No surprise, we're talking about counter-insurgency -- the topic no one wants to talk about -- but we'll address it yet again in the snapshot today.)

Would Nouri be doing the same thing now if the US government hadn't waived it through then?

We will never know.

But we do know it happened then and it happens now.

The mass arrests anger the Iraqi population.  People are arrested for the 'crime' of being related to a suspect that Nouri's forces can't find.  These people don't get their days in court.  They can't because they aren't charged with anything.  They are, however, tossed into Iraqi prisons -- prisons, not jails -- and kept there for years.  They are among Iraq's many disappeared and they (and the way they are treated) regularly provide the motivation for one series of protests after another throughout Iraq.

Having failed to provide security, Nouri now attempts to look 'tough' by rounding up grandmas and children across Iraq.  The person who needs to be tossed into an Iraqi prison is Nouri al-Maliki.

Since December 21st, Iraq has seen an ongoing wave of protests.  The protests continued on Friday and from that day's snapshot:

World Bulletin reports today that reporters who attempted to cover a protest in Baghdad's Tahrir Square, "A group of journalists wanted to go to Tahrir Square to follow the protests which are to be held for the improvement of security standards in the state, but were detained by Iraqi security officials, sources said. The journalists' cameras and video cameras were also confiscated."  Nouti's back to imprisoning journalists.  Will anyone bother to condemn his latest attack on the press? This protest was part of the Consolidated Friday theme and included recognition of International Quds Day.  National Iraqi News Agency notes that it featured "hundreds of members of the League of the Righteous, Hezbollah, Badr Organization and other parties" took part in actions which were "called by Iranian Imam Khomeini."   In Baghdad, All Iraq News notes, hundreds turned out.  Looking at the photo with the article, you'll see that it should probably be changed to "thousands."  They explains "International Quds Day is an annual event that began in Iran in 1979 that is commemorated on the last Friday of Ramadan, expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people and opposing Zioneism as well as Israel's control of Jerusalem."  But NINA makes clear, that the Baghdad Tahrir Square demonstration also included those who were "demanding the government to address the security file and the elimination of terrorism as well as the abolition of the use of broken sonar devices in the multiple checkpoints in Baghdad and of other provinces. Iraqi Spring MC notes that Nouri's SWAT forces cut off roads leading to Tahrir Square.  In addition, the SWAT forces began arresting people in Tahrir Square and downtown Baghdad.  And they turned out in Baghdad's Adhamiya, in Baiji, in Jalawla,  and these protests also took place today in Basra and in Karbala.   The protests have been going on since December 21st (and today's theme was Consolidated Friday which allowed the ongoing protests to also include the Quds focus).

Saturday, Al Mada reported that at least two activists are still being held.  Buthaina al-Suhail wants to know where her son Ahmed al-Suhail is?

Mushreq Abbas (Al-Monitor) divides the two protests in Baghdad on Friday, stating that the Quds protest was permitted while the Iraqis protesting each Friday was denied a permit:

The issue of these young people trying to get approval for their demonstration seems like a paradox. In a statement posted on the group’s Facebook page on the evening of Aug. 4, the group said that they went to the local government in Baghdad to get a permit for the demonstration and were told to "go to the Council of Ministers." So, they went to the Council of Ministers, which told them that demonstration permits were under the jurisdiction of the Interior Ministry. They then went to the Interior Ministry, which told them that they would get the permit from the Baghdad Operations Command on the day of the demonstration."
According to the statement they issued, on the morning of the demonstration, the "Iraq Rises Up" demonstrators distributed flowers to the military forces who deployed around them. But soon after, the military forces attacked them.
That long scenario about granting a demonstration permit illustrates one of the most important aspects of the imbalance in the Iraqi legal system. Article 38 of the constitution provides that the state shall guarantee "freedom of assembly and peaceful demonstration, and this shall be regulated by law."
The phrase "regulated by law," which is everywhere in the Iraqi constitution, may be one of the most prominent aspects of the Iraqi political crisis. The Iraqi parliament never sought to pass a law that translates the essence of the phrase "the state shall guarantee ... freedom of assembly and peaceful demonstration." But rather, the Iraqi administrative and security bodies are relying on laws that go back to the era of the former Iraqi regime.

And they're apparently writing new 'laws' on the spot.  NINA notes that today 7 fishermen have been arrested by al-Jazera Operations Command in Anbar.  There may or may not have been cause for the arrests (the report doesn't note why they were arrested) but the 'security forces' then set fire to and burned the fisherman's boats.  That's a novel approach to law enforcement.

All Iraq News reports:

The Ahrar bloc associated with Sadr Trend headed by Muqttada al-Sadr warned the Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki from nominating for third term as this step means further failure on all levels.
MP Hussein al-Sherifi said "Maliki's nominating for third term means further failure and flounder on all levels where the country is suffering poor services, unemployment, financial and administrative corruption, and deteriorated security across the provinces."


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