Sunday, January 13, 2013

Editorial: Nouri hates truth tellers

If you missed it, by paying people to turn out in Baghdad and by busing them in, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was able to get a 'few hundred' to march around chanting that they love him on Saturday.  He immediately issued a statement praising them.  (If you're late to the story, see "The Wives of Nouri al-Maliki.")


Meanwhile real protests have been going on since December 21st.  Thousands of Iraqis protesting.  Calling for change, calling for their loved ones to be freed from prisons, calling for an end to the rape and torture of women in Iraqi prisons, calling for Nouri to step down.

These protesters, who represent many more Iraqis than Nouri's paid brigade does?

They're attacked.  The military uses batons on them.  Fires guns in the air to scare them.

They're called unconstitutional and illegal and it's said they need a permit to march.

But if you do the exact same thing but in support of Nouri, he doesn't send out the military, he doesn't scream that you're breaking the law, he doesn't do anything but praise you.

Nouri's against the real protesters because they're telling the truth.  It's that simple.

But Nouri's one person and less and less people listen to him.   From Fridday's snapshot:

Alsumaria reports that cleric and leader of the Islamic Supreme Council delivered a sermon today calling for dialogue among all the parties and refusing to lay the blame on protesters.   Also weigh in?  Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani whose message today, delivered by Sheikh Abdel Mahdi al-Karbalai during morning prayers, was a call for unity and responsibility.  Alsumaria reports he stated that the political blocs are responsible for the current problems and that the politicians and the security services must exercise restraint and utilize wisdom.  He warned against attacking the protesters.  All Iraq News notes that he spoke of the need for government institutions to be independent and to preserve the independence so that no one official could exploit the powers of the government for personal gain.  Cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr also weighed in today.  Kitabat notes that Moqtada explained the popular protests in Mosul, Salahuddin and Anbar are not against government but against policies and that it is the right of the Iraqi to speak their beliefs.   He noted that there had been some early mistakes (referring to some slogans and banners in early protests -- they generally expressed the not uncommon belief in Iraq that things were better before the US invasion) but that these are cries to rally the nation.  He stated that Nouri is the one throwing out obstacles.  Alsumaria reports Minister Rafia al-Issawi and Sunni Endowment president Ahmed Abdul-Ghafoor Samarrai showed their support by attending a demonstration in Baghdad following morning prayers.  All Iraq News reports Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq issued a statement today declaring that force should not be used against the protesters.   Others went further.  For example, Kitabat reports Sunni Sheikh Abdul Malik Saadi stated that it is the resposibility of Iraq's rulers to hear the protesters' demands, that it is the right of citizens to exercise their rights, and that the security forces are to provide security and their role is not to target the protesters but to protect them.  The Iraqi people are partners in the country, the Sheikh noted, citizens, military, they are partners.  He called on the protesters to be strong and patient, not to take up arms and he called on the military to protect the protesters.

Cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr's already called for his supporters to turn out this coming Friday.  And the Friday after that?  It should be something to see.

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