Sunday, February 02, 2014

Editorial: War Crimes

The headline that probably captures the ongoing assault best?

"Helicopters renew bombing areas south and southeast of Falluja."

Saturday, National Iraqi News Agency reported an attack on an al-Sicher checkpoint left 2 Iraqi soldiers dead and three more injured, a Hamman al-Alil attack left 1 person dead and two more injured, a Latifya bombing claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier and left two more injured, a Muzaffar car bombing left 1 person dead and five more injured, 3 Daash fighters were killed in Ramadi, an eastern Baghdad car bombing (Palestine Street) killed 1 person and left nine more injured, a Muzaffer Square car bombing claimed 3 lives and left eleven injured, a Meshahdea roadside bombing left five Iraqi soldiers injured, a Rahseed roadside bombing left 1 person dead and five more injured, Baghdad Operations Comand announces they've killed 9 suspects, and the Ministry of Defense announces they've killed 15 suspects.

For those who missed it, chief thug and prime minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, started an assault on Anbar Province as December and 2013 drew to a close.  Anbar is largely Sunni and if one thing has stood out in Nouri's two terms as prime minister, it's that he hates the Sunnis.

He's repeatedly targeted Sunni politicians.  To the point that Iraq's own Vice President, Tareq al-Hashemi, can't enter Iraq.  A sham of a court, controlled by Nouri, convicted al-Hashemi in absentia.  The judge refused to allow Jalal Talabani to testify.  Talabani wanted to testify.  If you're not getting how wrong the denial was, you may not know that Jalal was (still is) the President of Iraq.

They wouldn't let the president of the country testify.  They also tried Tareq al-Hashemi despite the fact that he has immunity while in office and only Parliament can remove the immunity.  That means until he's out of office, he can't go on trial unless Parliament agrees to it.  Parliament didn't agree to it.

That's just the most extreme conduct.  (Although his early dawn raid on MP Ahmed al-Alwani's home -- a raid that left six people dead, including al-Alwani's brother -- may come close -- and if al-Alwani is tried -- for 'terrorism' -- it may top what he did to al-Hashemi.)  There's a long list of Sunnis he's gone after.

Sunni politicians.

There's also the Sunni people.  In Anbar and elsewhere, they have been protesting Nouri's government non-stop since December 21, 2012.

How does Nouri respond?  Well  January 7th, Nouri's forces assaulted four protesters in Mosul,  January 24th,  Nouri's forces sent two protesters (and one reporter) to the hospital,  and March 8th, Nouri's force fired on protesters in Mosul killing three.

And as bad as that sounds, it got worse. The April 23rd massacre of a peaceful sit-in in Hawija resulted from  Nouri's federal forces storming in.  Alsumaria noted Kirkuk's Department of Health (Hawija is in Kirkuk)  announced 50 activists have died and 110 were injured in the assault.   AFP reported the death toll rose to 53 dead.  UNICEF noted that the dead included 8 children (twelve more were injured).

He kicked off the assault on Anbar by sending his forces in to tear down the protesters tents and to harass and physically remove them.

That's how he treats the Sunni people.

Sahwa are mainly Sunnis (according to then-Gen David Petraeus in 2008, they also included a few Shi'ites).  These are fighters who were attacking the US military and the US military's property.  So they put them on the US payroll.  Until Senator Barbara Boxer asked, in April 2008, why the Iraqi government wasn't paying for this itself?

They were supposed to.  But the US kept making payments even after McClatchy Newspapers and a few others (falsely) announced that the Sahwa had been turned over to the Iraqi government.

Nouri didn't want to pay them.  He didn't want to make them part of the country's security forces either.

He didn't mind arresting them.  He didn't mind when they quit due to non-payment.


Why do you think?  Because they were Sunni.

January 23rd, Iraq's Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi spoke at the Brookings Institution in DC. al-Nujafi is Sunni.   His remarks included:

So the political components in Iraq were not able to build the Iraqi political system or to implement the Constitution and to reach a genuine partnership and a genuine reconciliation.  They were not able to implement the laws as it should be and get rid of corruption and abuses and they did not respect all the Iraqi components as to represent them  in a fair manner in the armed forces.  According to the Constitution, they did not provide the provinces with enough funds. Also we did not adopt the law on hydrocarbons oil and gas which is very important to set a balanced relation between the provinces and the center for the production and exportation of oil.  
So some parties are implementing the Constitution based on their own perspective and this is hindering the building of the state, the national cohesion and is leading to more division.  And more and more people are being disappointed and do not trust the political process at this point as we have seen by the very low turnout in the last general elections [2013 provincial elections] and the ones before [2010 parliamentary elections]. We believe that Iraq is, at this point, at a crossroad.  The key to situation is clear and we can find a solution.  What we need though is a strong determination and the political will for everyone to agree on the Constitution and to forget the past, to move beyond the fears and to stop punishing the Iraqi people and move to reconciliation and prevent Iraq from sliding into even greater troubles.  
In the Kurdish provinces [Kurdistan Regional Government, three semi-autonomous provinces in northern Iraq] there was a law adopted to amnesty every one who committed a crime against the Kurdish people and worked with the previous regime.  Some of them were accused of violent crimes but they decided to amnesty everyone.  And the situation in the Kurdish provinces is stable and everyone is part of the political process.  The Kurdish provinces are now an example of security and successful investment and  wise politics.  
But in central Iraq, we are still arresting people and we are also still implementing the law on the Justice and Accountability in a partial sectarian way.  We are still banishing some of the Iraqi people who were not part of the previous regime and doing so for political reasons.  That is unfair. 
So we have failed in implementing this law.  

Iraq is violent right now for many reasons -- chief among them (1) the US government (along with the UK government) started an illegal war that devastated a country already torn and harmed by US sanctions and (2) that the US government refused to allow Iraq to choose their prime minister in 2006 and imposed Nouri on them and, in 2010, when Nouri's State of Law lost the election to Ayad Allawi's Iraqiya, the US government again insisted Nouri would be prime minister.

But those aren't the only reasons there is violence.

After those two US government actions, there's also Nouri himself.

Nouri doesn't want the country to heal, he wants to destroy the Sunnis.  He blames them for forcing him to cowardly run from the country he now pretends to qualify to rule.  He was a chicken who wouldn't fight Saddam Hussein.  But he would spend years as an exile imploring the US government to take out Saddam.

And he blames the Sunnis and now intends to have his revenge.  That's his ruling pattern.

So now, pretending he's going after 'terrorists,' Nouri assaults Anbar.

Falluja General Hospital?

It's off limits, it's a hospital.  But that didn't stop Nouri from ordering it to be shelled.

He's also shelled and bombed residential neighborhoods in this assault.

He's carrying out collective punishment which is defined as a War Crime.

And innocents, as pictured below in Falluja after Nouri ordered a residential area bombed last Thursday, are the victims of his War Crimes.

احد الجرحى الذين اصيبوا اليوم بسبب القصف المتعمد من قبل مليشيات المالكي التي تستهدف الاحياء السكنية في ،

And he's doing it with weapons that US President Barack Obama keeps supplying him with.

That makes Barack a War Criminal.

These are War Crimes and most people in the US won't even acknowledge what's taking place.

So much for the so-called peace movement.

Excuse us, we called it the peace movement because we believe in peace.

It was more commonly referred to as the anti-war movement.

And, of course, for false leaders like Leslie Cagan, it was really just an anti-Bully Boy Bush movement and they lost all interest in peace when they got Barack into the White House.

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