Monday, November 08, 2010

Fate of Iraqi Christians



Should Christians suck it up and stay in Iraq for the sake of a democracy they have no stake in or to please the local church authorities? Or should they seek protection as refugees in other countries?

Laith has translations of witness accounts from last week's church attack.

86 comments:

JG said...

Should Christians suck it up and stay in Iraq for the sake of a democracy they have no stake in or to please the local church authorities? Or should they seek protection as refugees in other countries?


That's a tough question, and one I think only the community itself can answer.

Two strong pieces on this issue here and here.

It's been reported that half the Christian population of Iraq has left since 2003, presumably lots more will now follow. Tragic.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

In this situation I agree with JG. It has to be up to the individual what they choose to do. And only they can decide if they have a stake in the future of Iraq.

It did surprise me when I heard that the government had stormed the church as they did. That is always a difficult call. I well remember the Russians doing the same when something similar happened there. Even well trained security forces may not succeed in getting all the hostages out alive. As PeteS mentioned in the other comments section, our Special Forces in the incident with the British hostage in Afghanistan ended up killing her. I realize that negotiations were probably not realistic with the type of people who took the hostages. But I would have seriously considered snipers. And if the Iraqis didn't have qualified people on staff, they should have called us. We must still have a few scattered around Iraq. Of course, that is my view without having complete knowledge of the situation. Perhaps snipers were not feasible either.

As to the larger picture, this attack reminds me of the attack on the Yazidi village that you mentioned in the previous post. They specifically targeted a religion. In the Yazidi case I believe the person responsible met up with one of our 500lb bombs.

Petes said...

From previous thread (sorry, O/T now):

[bruno]: "I'm aware that you regard nobody except for the grand murkins as being able or worthy of dispensing justice."

On the contrary, I was pleased to see Iraq dispensing justice on Saddam, even though I disagree with the death penalty and would prefer to see him and his henchman (including Tariq Aziz) imprisoned rather than executed.

[bruno]: "You do know that Iraq offered to open up the borders to thousands of US investigative officers to find WMD, as well as agreeing to hold democratic elections, in addition to Hussein's exile offer, in a bid to stave off invasion? It's a no-brainer. "

Oh yeah, for a minute there I forgot what a pillar of integrity Saddam had shown himself to be in his previous international dealings. My mistake.

[bruno]: "It is fairly obvious that America merely uses grand ideological statements as a smokescreen for its actual geopolitical aims, which include making good with the (formerly super-evil) Taliban and Al Qaedists if the situation demands it, despite previous statements to the contrary."

What's fairly obvious is that no conflict will ever be resolved without a reconciliation between the former antagonists. (Well, maybe not obvious to the chaos mongers).

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bruno,

I responded to you in the previous thread.

Petes said...

From Laith's translation of that poor young girl in the video:

"She is explaining: The terrorist kept throwing [grenades] toward us, and he was telling us that you all infernal gonna go to hell even when you live you are in hell, while no matter what we do, we are going to heaven..."

Holy crap! How do you answer that?!

Freddie Starr said...

JG ate my hamster!

John said...

Ramzy Baroud (editor of the Palestine Chronicle):

"Iraqi society has long been known for its tolerance and acceptance of minorities. There were days (pre-invasion) when no-one used labels such as Shia, Sunni and Christians - there was one Iraq and one Iraqi people.

This has changed completely because part of the American strategy following the invasion was to emphasize and manipulate the ethnic and religious demarcation of the country to create insurmountable divides."

"The Americans are enabled to justify their continued presence in Iraq on the premise that they are there to protect those caught in the middle. For hundreds of years every colonial power in the Middle East has used such logic to rationalise their violence and exploitation."

"This arrogant, self-serving mentality compelled Republican strategist Jack Burkman to describe the people of the Middle East as "a bunch of barbarians in the desert" in an English Al-Jazeera programme."

This is the same arrogant self-serving mentality emanating from the putridly oderous minds of war fetishists such as Lyingette and Shameous.

They continue to rationalize America's plunder of Iraq and the never ending murder of her innocents on the basis that Saddaam was 'a bad man'!

Tell that to the thousands of Iraqi orphans and widows while the Americans sip on their pool side martinins in the stolen land they call the 'Green Zone'!

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

This has changed completely because part of the American strategy following the invasion was to emphasize and manipulate the ethnic and religious demarcation of the country to create insurmountable divides."

Complete BS. There was no such strategy, except in the minds of the conspiracy theorists.

Mister Ghost said...

Thilo Sarazzin, former banker:

“1915 there were still 25 % Christians in Turkey, today its 0.2%. That’s the Islamic concept of multiculturalism…”

Unsurprisingly, the same thing is happening in Iraq and essentially throughout the Middle East. At the beginning of the 20th century, 20 percent of the Middle East was Christians - at the start of the 21st century, it was down to 5 percent. So, Iraq is essentially a microcosm. Only in Israel is the Christian population rising naturally, as opposed to say Syria, where many Christian refugees have gone.

Any ways, the best coverage in the Iraqi Blogosphere about the church massacre and the ongoing genocide against Iraq's Christians has been:

Eastern Liberty, a great site run by two Iraqi Chaldeans in Iraq, engineers who cover women's rights and Iraqi issues. I won't put their link, because last time I did, there was Dolly appearing, badgering poor Freedom about whether the church Christians paid the jizya. So hopefully the Lynnettes of the world will visit them along with other people slightly more sane than Dolly. )))

And honorable mention for coverage goes to Iraqi Mojo, who's also done some fine posts about the subject.

Um Ayad said...

Should the Iraqi Christians leave or stay in the Iraq? I agree with JG, this is a tough one and only the Iraqi Christians can make that decision. It would be sad to see them leave, they are Iraqis and Iraq is their homeland but like millions of other Iraqis who have fled in to exile who can blame them wanting to seek safety for their families. Making that decision to leave is hard and living as a refugee is not easy. Some will reach the point when they think they can take no more of the death and suffering.

I read Laith's very good translations of the interview "Witness of Church Attack" but watching and listening to them speaking in Arabic on the videos was so heartbreaking and emotional it left me miserable and depressed. Will the young girls ever recover from the horrors they have seen?....I hope so but it will take time and they will never forget.

Um Ayad said...

Iraqi church attack wounded in France for treatment

A group of Iraqi Christians, wounded in an attack on a church in Baghdad, have arrived in Paris for medical treatment.

Thirty-four Christians and one Muslim security guard who suffered grenade and bullet wounds have now been taken to hospitals around Paris.

They are being given six months' asylum but may be allowed to stay permanently.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11715227

Um Ayad said...

Iraq: the Invisible War

The war on Iraq continues not just through the presence and activities of US occupation forces and foreign mercenaries, but also through a series of punitive tools that are used against Iraq in order to ensure compliance with US wishes.

As a residue of the sanctions imposed in 1990, Iraq’s oil revenues are deposited into a fund in the US that is overseen externally and which is subject to restrictions that give the US great leverage. All Iraq’s foreign reserves are also held in the US and have been explicitly threatened with legal action in US courts. This leverage was used by the US to obtain concessions in negotiations with the Iraqi Government over the Status of Forces and Strategic Framework Agreements in 2008. In September this year, Maliki’s government agreed to pay $400m in settlement of some bizarre claims against Iraq by US citizens in US courts; claims which the US government and court system can simply impose by impounding Iraqi financial assets. This mockery of law and civilised international relations is reminiscent of the pillage of Iraqi assets in the first year of the occupation, and it shows that claims of Iraq having recovered its sovereignty are vacuous.

So, the sanctions are still used to coerce and damage Iraq....

http://www.counterfire.org/index.php/features/91-iraq/7476-iraq-the-invisible-war

Petes said...

Out-hamstered again.

Petes said...

Um Ayad - I can't speak a word of Arabic and those videos left me upset. Horrible.

Petes said...

Anyone with access to BBC -- Ancient Worlds series on history of civilisation starts tonight (Wednesday) with Uruk in Mesopotamia.

Bridget said...

"Should Christians suck it up and stay in Iraq for the sake of a democracy they have no stake in"

The question contains the answer.

He who fights and runs away lives to fight another day. Or better yet, runs away to a place where it's not necessary to fight.

It's most unfortunate that Iraq's democracy is not mature enough to appreciate the value of it's Christians (and it's agnostic/ atheist dentists). You saw this coming a long time ago, Zeyad, and you made the absolute correct decision. It's one thing to stay and fight if you see that you have a chance to wind AND that winning will lead to something better. If you can't win, or you see that any victory will be a phyrric one, best to get the hell out of dodge.

If I may mix a few metaphors. :)

Bruno said...

I'm sad to say this, but it sounds like the time has come for either Iraqi Christians to wall themselves up in impregnable enclaves, or to buy tickets out of there.

The 2003 invasion: the gift that keeps on giving. :(

Bruno said...

[bruno]: "I'm aware that you regard nobody except for the grand murkins as being able or worthy of dispensing justice."
[petes] On the contrary, I was pleased to see Iraq dispensing justice on Saddam"

Changing the subject. The subject being: the invasion of Iraq was not necessary to bring SH to justice.

[bruno]: "You do know that Iraq offered to open up the borders to thousands of US investigative officers to find WMD, as well as agreeing to hold democratic elections, in addition to Hussein's exile offer, in a bid to stave off invasion? It's a no-brainer. "
[petes] Oh yeah, for a minute there I forgot what a pillar of integrity Saddam had shown himself to be in his previous international dealings."

My reponse is the same as my response to Lynnette in the previous thread: the onus is on the United States to accept the offer and call his bluff. Merely to state "he is lying" and to act as if that were the truth is dishonest and morally reprehensible, not to mention rather hard on the millions of Iraqis that have been butchered, displaced or rendered paupers by the invasion. If he were lying that would emerge soon enough.

ASK ZEYAD whether he would have preferred Saddam to go into exile, and for elections to have been held, as opposed to the cowboy invasion of Iraq. I've no doubt of his answer.


[bruno]: "It is fairly obvious that America merely uses grand ideological statements as a smokescreen for its actual geopolitical aims"
[petes] What's fairly obvious is that no conflict will ever be resolved without a reconciliation between the former antagonists."

... well except if the 'antagonist' is SH. THEN only invasion and butchery will suffice. No negotiations are possible. But a plan can always be made for (formerly) super-evil acid-throwing Taliban and Al Qaedist child-bakers. :|

Petes said...

[bruno]: "Changing the subject. The subject being: the invasion of Iraq was not necessary to bring SH to justice."

Not in brunoland, no, where "justice" means the prize for mass murder is piña coladas by the pool and a cool billion in the bank.

Petes said...

[Bridget]: "It's most unfortunate that Iraq's democracy is not mature enough to appreciate the value of it's Christians (and it's agnostic/ atheist dentists)."

The Islamic nutjobs who threw grenades at Christian men, women, and children are hardly representatives of Iraqi democracy, though. Security ain't the same as democracy. Not that it necessarily changes the sensible course of action for Iraqi Christians.

Um Ayad said...

More attacks on Iraqi Christians today. My heart goes out to them... They need protection at this terrible time. Having said that all Iraqis need better security, I don't care what religion they have or do not have.

Christian areas targeted in Baghdad attacks

A series of bombings and mortar attacks targeting Christian areas has killed at least three people in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, security sources say.

Six districts with strong Christian majorities were hit, and at least 24 people have been injured.

The attacks come days after more than 40 people died when Islamist militants seized a Catholic cathedral.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11724378

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

   
      "…the prize for mass murder is piña coladas
      by the pool and a cool billion in the bank.
"

One has to wonder if that sort of thing could inspire other tin-pot dictators of the third world toward vicious repression, on the theory that slaughtering ones own people had proven to be no less than an investment in a U.S. financed retirement plan.  Just how many dictators do we suspect might see the slaughter of the helpless as a key to being ‘bought out’ at a fair profit by the Evil Merkins?  (And, of course, Bruno and Um Ahab would quickly be announcing that encouraging civilian slaughter in the Third World was official U.S. ‘policy’; all intentionally bought and paid for with U.S. dollars.)

Um Ayad said...

Petes,
"Um Ayad - I can't speak a word of Arabic and those videos left me upset. Horrible."

Yes, it was horrible and the news is getting worse.

Thanks for reminding me about the BBC TV programme, "Ancient Worlds"....I had forgotten about it.
Just as I was typing this a trailer came on to my TV screen!

Um Ayad said...

The police and they said there was nothing they could do about it. They should be sacked!

Bombings target Christian neighbourhoods in Baghdad Co-ordinated attacks on churches and homes, including that of a family caught in cathedral assault, leave at least four dead
More than 14 bombs and mortar shells were detonated, targeting homes and a church across the Iraqi capital.
At least one of today's attacks targeted the family of a victim of an assault last week on one of Baghdad's main cathedrals, which left 53 worshippers dead.

In the nearby suburb of al-Sana'a, Linda Jalal was woken at 5:45am by neighbours knocking on her door. "They said they saw a car drive by and drop a black bag behind our car," she said. The car had a cross hanging from the rear vision mirror. "We called the police and they said there was nothing they could do about it. We went to the back room and it exploded at 7:15am.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/10/bombings-target-christians-in-baghdad

Um Ayad said...

This is worth a read:

Mesopotamia: Birthplace of civilisation

We look to Greece and Rome for the roots of the modern world. But, as Michael Wood reminds us, civilised life in Iraq began 4,000 years earlier.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2010/nov/10/ancient-world-mesopotamia

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Thanks, Mister Ghost. :) I'll check out that site when I have more time.

Hmmm...yes, Dolly. I've seen her at Mojo's. Unfortunate.

Petes said...

"Mesopotamia: Birthplace of civilisation
We look to Greece and Rome for the roots of the modern world. But, as Michael Wood reminds us, civilised life in Iraq began 4,000 years earlier."


Civilisation in Çatalhöyük, Turkey, started 3,500 years earlier than Uruk. And in Göbekli Tepe another 2,000 years earlier even than that. Neolithic civilisation is a pretty expansive continuum.

Mister Ghost said...

Thanks a lot, Lynnette. ))

As regards the current genocide against Iraq's Christians, as
Freedom over at Eastern Liberty notes:

There were once Jews in Iraq-many people don't know that. Over 120,000 prior to 1948. They fled to Israel in the 1950's when they too were targeted by bloody violence, and as they left, they spoke to the Christians of Iraq: "Today is our day for leaving Iraq, and one day you will be forced to leave your homes too." Today there are less than 10 Jews in all of Iraq.


With the Jews and Christians gone, I'm not sure who's left for the Iraqis to run out? Maybe the Yezidis, because the Mandaeans, a very fascinating group of perhaps extant Gnostics, who moved to Iraq around the 4th century AD, exited stage left already.

Petes said...

Tell Qaramel in Syria may be a thousand years older again than Göbekli Tepe in Turkish Kurdistan. That would put it in pole position at the very dawn of the Neolithic.

Mister Ghost said...

The best thing the Iraqi Christians could do is claim they're a lost tribe of Vietnamese boat people and they demand to be let in to the US. )))

Petes said...

[Mr. Ghost]: "With the Jews and Christians gone, I'm not sure who's left for the Iraqis to run out? Maybe the Yezidis, because the Mandaeans, a very fascinating group of perhaps extant Gnostics, who moved to Iraq around the 4th century AD, exited stage left already."

Hey, don't forget the Zoroastrians -- the Arabs ran them out of town in the early seventh century. Ironically, the Iraqi Arabs rode into town on the back of the conquest of a Sassanid empire weakened by wars with Byzantine Christendom. And the cute Christians avoided conflict with the Arabs (at least until the reign of Justinian II) by paying their chieftains to not raid Byzantine territory in Syria.

Cue Bruno to complain about dirty dealings with low-life Sassanid killers. ;-)

Um Ayad said...

2000-year-old monastery found in Iraq’s Najaf

An ancient monastery dating to the 1st century A.D. has been discovered in the religious city of Najaf, an Antiquities Department official says.
Nazar al-Nafakh, Najaf’s leading archaeologist, said the monastery was revealed as bulldozers were leveling ground for Najaf’s new airport.
“It is about 2000 years old,” he said.
“We have brought to surface the monastery’s foundations and have evidence that there were at least 54 rooms in it,” Abdulzahra said.

Ancient monasteries are common historical landmarks in Iraq.
Iraq was predominantly Christian until late 13th century.
Monasteries and Churches were present almost everywhere in the country, particularly in central and southern Iraq.

Today there are a handful of ancient monasteries most of them still inhabited by monks and situated in the restive province of Nineveh of which the city of Mosul is the capital.
At least three of them – Mar (saint) Hormuz, Mar Matti and Mar Behnam – have architectural evidence that dates them back to the 4th century A.D.
The monastery in Najaf will the most ancient ever discovered in Iraq.

http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2010-11-10\kurd.htm

Um Ayad said...

Amnesty International

USA: Former President’s defence of torture highlights need for criminal investigations

Former President George W. Bush’s confirmation that he authorized the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” against detainees held in secret US custody serves to highlight once again the absence of accountability for the crimes under international law of torture and enforced disappearance committed by the USA during what the previous administration called the “war on terror”.

In the NBC interview, former President Bush said that he authorized the interrogation techniques in question because government lawyers had cleared them as legal under US law, and he asserted that using them had “saved lives”. Asked whether he would make the same decision today, the former President responded that “Yeah, I would”.

Under international law, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment are never legal. No lawyer can render them lawful; no politician, legislator, judge, soldier, police officer, prison guard, medical professional or interrogator can override this prohibition. Even in a time of war or threat of war, even in a state of emergency which threatens the life of the nation, there can be no exemption from this obligation. The same is true of enforced disappearance.

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR51/103/2010/en/9a2b9f90-a9ba-4871-8119-6e9294d0231b/amr511032010en.html

Um Ayad said...

Uruk: The First City

For thousands of years, southern Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq) was home to hunters, fishers, and farmers, exploiting fertile soil, rivers, and abundant animals. By around 3200 B.C., the largest settlement in southern Mesopotamia, if not the world, was Uruk: a true city dominated by monumental mud-brick buildings decorated with mosaics of painted clay cones embedded in the walls, and extraordinary works of art.

http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/uruk/hd_uruk.htm

Um Ayad said...

Available on BBC iPlayer:
Ancient Worlds

Archaeologist and historian Richard Miles explores the roots of one of the most profound innovations in the human story - civilisation - in the first episode of an epic series that runs from the creation of the first cities in Mesopotamia some 6,000 years ago, to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.
Starting in Uruk, the 'mother of all cities', in southern Iraq, Richard travels to Syria, Egypt, Anatolia and Greece, tracing the birth and development of technology and culture.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00w0dqx

Um Ayad said...

Eight persons were wounded Wednesday in a rocket attack on the fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad, according to a security source.

“A number of rockets hit al-Qadissiya residential compound in the Green Zone, injuring eight people,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

http://en.aswataliraq.info/?p=138816

Three people were wounded Wednesday in a sticky bomb explosion in central Baghdad, according to a security source.
“A bomb, stuck to a vehicle, exploded in al-Nedal street in central Baghdad on Wednesday (Nov. 10), injuring three people onboard,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, noting that the wounded were carried to the nearby Ibn al-Nafis hospital for treatment.
“A Katyusha rocket hit a residential building in al-Salehiya region, central Baghdad,” the source said, without giving details on possible casualties or damage.

http://en.aswataliraq.info/?p=138822

Bridget said...

On the subject of to suck it up or not to suck it up:

Boer farmers head for new home in Georgia

Petes said...

Interesting. You can actually do a Christian religious tour of Iraq via some tourism company on Saadoon Street in Baghdad. The 6-day "Holy Churches" visiting program takes you to churches and monasteries in Baghdad, Samarra, Mosul, Nimrud. The Syriac Catholic Church in Karrada is the last one on the itinerary as far as I can tell ... I suspect that one might be off the list for now. Lovely concept ... but I think I'd be waiting just a wee while before spending my holidays on that one.

Petes said...

Lynnette -- did you know that Minneapolis is twinned with Najaf since last year?

Petes said...

[Bridget]: "Boer farmers head for new home in Georgia"

Ah! The former Soviet Republic, not the US state :)

Petes said...

Yeek! Oil prices have been quietly climbing back toward $90/barrel. Nearly time for the next recession? ... assuming we've left the last one.

Bruno said...

[bruno]: "Changing the subject. The subject being: the invasion of Iraq was not necessary to bring SH to justice."
[petes] "Not in brunoland, no, where "justice" means the prize for mass murder is piña coladas by the pool and a cool billion in the bank."

1: The exile offer was not, to my knowledge, accompanied by guarantees of US protection from international justice
2: You evidently missed this:

http://www.icc-cpi.int/Menus/ICC?lan=en-GB
http://www.icty.org/sections/AbouttheICTY

on the previous thread. I repost it now for your convenience. If you are still unable to read this, I shall repost it in this handy bold font.

3: Even IF your characterisation of Saddam's 'exile' was correct, I submit that it is a no-brainer alternative to the subversion of international law, the destruction of a country and the butchery and displacement of millions of Iraqis by a bunch of (murderous) clowns who think that "them Ay-rabs hate us 'cause of freedom".

4: Amazing to see that even after the holocaust inflicted on Iraq, that there are people who still think that invasion was the only option, despite evidence to the contrary. The depravity of humanity knows no bounds.

Bruno said...

[lee] "an investment in a U.S. financed retirement plan."

Somebody needs to read the threads more closely, before rushing in and tripping over their oversized furry paws.

[lee] "Bruno and Um Ahab would quickly be announcing that encouraging civilian slaughter in the Third World was official U.S. ‘policy’"

No, of course not! Just because the US trained, equipped, deployed, advised those forces engaged in slaughter and terror against the populace of (for example) Latin America, doesn't mean that America intended it. And just because their modus operandi of violence and slaughter was similar in different countries doesn't mean that it was deliberate. Probably it was just coincidence, even if these paramilitaries were all trained in the "School of the Americas". Obviously, any stoolpidgeons that come forth from the various countries and rat out the Americans for complicity in torture and murder, are merely lying commies who hate America for its freedom. The United States is deeply loved and revered in Latin America to this day. Viva los gringos!

:|

Bruno said...

A gentle reminder to leave Iraq:

Eight persons were wounded Wednesday in a rocket attack on the fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad, according to a security source."

http://en.aswataliraq.info/?p=138816

Bruno said...

(This is utter lies and bullshit of course. The nice Amreeki would never do this sort of thing, according to the ape. But here are the lies about training death squads and so forth, the same as they did in Iraq. But that's just coincidence, bad apples and doing what you have to do:)

" Secret documents have leaked from inside Kopassus, Indonesia's red berets, which say that Indonesia's US-backed security forces engage in "murder [and] abduction" and show that Kopassus targets churches in West Papua and defines civilian dissidents as the "enemy." The documents include a Kopassus enemies list headed by Papua's top Baptist minister and describe a covert network of surveillance, infiltration and disruption of Papuan institutions The disclosure comes as US President Barack Obama is touching down in Indonesia. His administration recently announced the restoration of US aid to Kopassus. Kopassus is the most notorious unit of Indonesia's armed forces, TNI, which along with POLRI, the national police, have killed civilians by the hundreds of thousands.
[...]
A detailed 25-page secret report by a Kopassus task force in Kotaraja, Papua defines Kopassus' number-one "enemy" as unarmed civilians. It calls them the "separatist political movement" "GSP/P, " lists what they say are the top 15 leaders and discusses the "enemy order of battle."
[...]
Kopassus identifies the enemy with two kinds of actions: "the holding of press conferences" where they "always criticize the government and the work being done by the security forces" and the holding of private meetings where they engage in the same kind of prohibited speech."

http://www.counterpunch.org/nairn11102010.html

Bruno said...

NO WITHDRAWAL:

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates signaled Tuesday that the US is preparing to scrap a 2011 deadline for withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq, setting the stage for a permanent military occupation of the oil-rich country.

“We’ll stand by,” Gates told reporters. “We’re ready to have that discussion if and when they want to raise it with us.” The defense secretary, a holdover from the Bush administration, reiterated Washington’s formal position that while the “initiative clearly needs to come from the Iraqis; we are open to discussing it.”

The reality is that the Obama administration is presently exerting intense political pressure aimed at breaking an eight-month-old deadlock in the formation of a new Iraqi government so that it can have a US client regime capable of taking the “initiative” of asking American troops to stay.
[...]
According to the Associated Press, the State Department document echoed warnings by defense analysts and former diplomats that “hard-won security gains could crumble if US forces leave on schedule.”

http://www.iraq-war.ru/article/237288

Petes said...

[bruno]: "1: The exile offer was not, to my knowledge, accompanied by guarantees of US protection from international justice"

Oh I get it now. The billion for Saddam was to cover the cost of airline tickets to a tribunal in The Hague.

[bruno]: "2: You evidently missed this:...

Forgive my confusion, what exactly was the point of those links?

[bruno]: "3: Even IF your characterisation of Saddam's 'exile' was correct, I submit that it is a no-brainer alternative to the subversion of international law, the destruction of a country and the butchery and displacement of millions of Iraqis by a bunch of (murderous) clowns who think that "them Ay-rabs hate us 'cause of freedom"."

Aren't you forgetting that the clowns didn't "do" it; they only "unleashed" it. Or is that allegation getting all blurry after so many years of making it? I suppose we have Bruno's cast iron guarantee that nothing nasty would have been "unleashed" by paying Saddam to drink cocktails.

Bruno said...

[bruno]: "1: The exile offer was not, to my knowledge, accompanied by guarantees of US protection from international justice"
[petes] Oh I get it now. The billion for Saddam was to cover the cost of airline tickets to a tribunal in The Hague.

Given American "honesty" in its previous dealings with Iraq and other victims, that would seem to me to entirely be the case. But even if the Murkins decided to leave SH in peace, that doesn't necessarily mean that other parties couldn't take action.

[bruno]: "2: You evidently missed this:...
[petes] Forgive my confusion, what exactly was the point of those links?

The point is to illustrate that there are many roads to justice, and that not all of them involve America and its ad hoc allies du jour playing at cowboys and indians.

[bruno]: "3: Even IF your characterisation of Saddam's 'exile' was correct, I submit that it is a no-brainer alternative to the subversion of international law, the destruction of a country and the butchery and displacement of millions of Iraqis by a bunch of (murderous) clowns who think that "them Ay-rabs hate us 'cause of freedom"."
[petes] Aren't you forgetting that the clowns didn't "do" it; they only "unleashed" it.

Lynnette, is that you?

(Oh, I see PeteS also plays your game.)

To clarify the muddy waters: Iraq - (Saddam + pina colada) > Iraq + (unmitigated chaos - Saddam)

[petes] "I suppose we have Bruno's cast iron guarantee that nothing nasty would have been "unleashed" by paying Saddam to drink cocktails."

You can have my cast-iron guarantee that exiling Saddam and holding elections would have been far less 'nasty' than this tragic invasion.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

   
First, he chastizes Petes for changing the subject; to wit:

      "Changing the subject. The subject being:
      the invasion of Iraq was not necessary to bring
      SH to justice.
"
      Bruno @ 3:10 AM

Then, he doesn't like how it's working out when we stick to the subject, so he changes the subject.

      "The United States is deeply loved and
      revered in Latin America to this day. Viva los
      gringos!
"
      Bruno @ 1:22 AM

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

   
      "You can have my cast-iron guarantee that
      exiling Saddam and holding elections would
      have been far
less 'nasty' than this tragic
      invasion.
"

You have no guarantee to give.  All you have is uttterly baseless and therefore completely worthless speculation.

Bruno said...

I notice that the swamp ape is peturbed by the broadside of sarcasm directed at his mangy pelt. That is good.

I furthermore note that utterly baseless speculation was good enough for him and every warmonger with a hard-on to invade Iraq on. Tsk, tsk. How times have changed, eh?

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
I notice that you are still trying to change the subject.  And, apparently you're hoping that a few extraneous insults will do the trick for you this time.  That's a desperation move.
Ain't gonna work.  Ain't gonna happen for ya.  I can give you a cast-iron guarantee on that one.

Bruno said...

*Sheriff Lee.C. (USA) draws down the brim of his stetson, chewing on a matchstick. He grimaces as the sun glares into his eyes at the OK Corral ... but that won't stop him from whipping out his trusty .45 'Mary-Sue' and blasting the nefarious ...*

... and then he woke up, and his coffee was cold. Mum had put too much milk in it again, and the skin was disgusting. What to do today? Should he masturbate, or should he find somebody on the internet to annoy? Perhaps, he could do both at the same time ...

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Mister Ghost,

The best thing the Iraqi Christians could do is claim they're a lost tribe of Vietnamese boat people and they demand to be let in to the US. )))

Religious persecution is a basis for granting asylum in the US. I think the sticking point comes because there is that clause that says the government(in the home country) must be shown as unable to control those who are doing the persecutiing. For the US to grant asylum on the basis of religious persecution would be to admit that the government of Iraq is unable to control the situation, thus jeopardizing the pullout of our troops. Not politically popular for the Obama administration. And, to be fair, not politically popular for the Bush administration either.

You aren't far off with your statement. Those who worked with us in some capacity have a better chance of being granted asylum. *sigh* Not fair at all, as it is obvious that the GOI is having difficulty.

I can only hope that the recent power sharing agreement will help.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

PeteS,

Lynnette -- did you know that Minneapolis is twinned with Najaf since last year?

Yes, I had heard about that. I think, if I remember right, that it came about partly because of an Iraqi expatriate that lived in the Twin Cities. He was a prominant business owner (a popular restaurant). His family was from the Najaf area. I think I read somewhere that he has gone back to Iraq to help with the rebuilding of Iraq. But he maintains ties with Minnesota. This is "off the cuff" so any error in this is only because of my faulty memory. ;)

This kind of illustrates why the United States may take an interest in other countries. There are those here who still have ties to their birth country and want to help.

Petes said...

[bruno]: "But even if the Murkins decided to leave SH in peace, that doesn't necessarily mean that other parties couldn't take action."

Other parties DID take action, or had you forgotten those UN resolutions that Saddam gave the two-finger salute to? Oh yeah, I forgot, we're in Brunoland where Brunohistory started in 2003, right?

[bruno]: "The point is to illustrate that there are many roads to justice, and that not all of them involve America and its ad hoc allies du jour playing at cowboys and indians."

Uh, ok. A few realistic examples wouldn't go amiss, and see if you can bring yourself to consider why they hadn't worked in the twelve years before the start of Brunohistory.

[bruno]: "You can have my cast-iron guarantee that exiling Saddam and holding elections would have been far less 'nasty' than this tragic invasion."

Easy as that, huh? Just click your heels together and repeat "There's no place like a poolside cocktail bar in Amman" (and try not to think about how that worked out for Saddam's own sons-in-law). Then just throw together an aul' UN-sponsored election... no danger that you'd still end up trying to glue Sergio de Mello back together. Yep, all sounds very Brunolandishly plausible.

Petes said...

Quick update on eeevil Canadians with production sharing contracts in Iraq. This WesternZagros company vid from last year claims they expected the revenue sharing controversy between the KRG and federal gov to be resolved by now. No such luck.

However, WesternZagros continue to hit paydirt with the Kurdamir-1 exploratory well in the southern Zagros Fold, and a test just completed in the last couple of weeks still confirms a "world class" find, which may be part of a truly giant 150 square kilometre reservoir.

They are still discussing production sharing arrangements with the KRG. I wonder what Bruno or Canadian John have to say about those cuddly Canucks ripping off the Iraqi people?

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Bruno said...

[bruno]: "But even if the Murkins decided to leave SH in peace, that doesn't necessarily mean that other parties couldn't take action."
[petes] Other parties DID take action"

War crimes tribunals? My memory fails to recall any.

[petes] had you forgotten those UN resolutions that Saddam gave the two-finger salute to?

Lots of rulers, when in power give the two fingered salute to international law. (Sort of the way America and Chimpy did in 2003) However, when removed from their power base, things become less cosy.

[bruno]: "The point is to illustrate that there are many roads to justice, and that not all of them involve America and its ad hoc allies du jour playing at cowboys and indians."
[petes] A few realistic examples wouldn't go amiss

Examples:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Criminal_Tribunal_for_the_former_Yugoslavia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusto_Pinochet%27s_arrest_and_trial

[petes] ", and see if you can bring yourself to consider why they hadn't worked"

... the accused died of old age? Bastards! How dare they subvert justice like that! :D

[bruno]: "You can have my cast-iron guarantee that exiling Saddam and holding elections would have been far less 'nasty' than this tragic invasion."
[petes] Easy as that, huh?

Absolutely.

[petes] "no danger that you'd still end up trying to glue Sergio de Mello back together."

See, the advantage of doing it this way is very simple. On the off chance that he was lying and shaking the lead, y'all warmongers still have the option of invasion. However, invading first forever removes the option of a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

EVEN IF one accepts the American reasons for invading as legitimate - ie WMD, getting rid of Saddam, democracy - it is completely unconscionable NOT to pursue those aims using peaceful means, until those peaceful means either work or are proved unworkable. Simply to declare "it won't work" and to declare "invasion is the only option" is depraved and redolent of a mind obsessed only with violence and control.

Bruno said...

[petes] "I wonder what Bruno or Canadian John have to say about those cuddly Canucks ripping off the Iraqi people?"

Invade Canada, hang all the guilty parties. Resistance is terrorism and needs to be rooted out. A federalist state is the only option for Canada. We need to set up militias to protect the Canadian people from Al Qaeda.

Bruno said...

Victory is near:

Killing each Taliban soldier costs $50 Million; Killing each NATO soldier costs $50 Thousand

http://kabulpress.org/my/spip.php?article38463

ttv said...

Welcome back my brother.

Petes said...

[bruno]: "Examples: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Criminal_Tribunal_for_the_former_Yugoslavia"

All gave themselves up, did they?

From that page:
Criticisms levelled against the court include: Two key indictees are still not apprehended, which reflects badly on its image. Defenders point out that the Tribunal has no powers of arrest, and is reliant on other agencies (notably national governments, EUFOR, and KFOR) to apprehend and extradite indictees.


Enough of this tosh.

Petes said...

That aspect of the criminal justice system where you have to catch your criminal first seems to have escaped Bruno's notice.

Marcus said...

Lynnnette:

"For the US to grant asylum on the basis of religious persecution would be to admit that the government of Iraq is unable to control the situation, thus jeopardizing the pullout of our troops. Not politically popular for the Obama administration. And, to be fair, not politically popular for the Bush administration either."

I guess not. We did take in more Iraqis to Sweden during the dark years of 2006-2007 than the entire USA did, by far, and we're a 9 million population. As I remember it it was only Sweden and the Netherlands that granted Iraqis who fled the violence asylum by default back then, and no country does so now. Of course we only got the ones who could finance/organise a trip here with the aid of human trafickers.

I don't really know about Syria and Jordan that received the bulk of fleeing Iraqis but it seems to me that those countries did not really grant asylum rights, but that the many Iraqis who fled there are what we refer to as illegal immigrants or stay on temporary visas. I could be wrong on that.

But it does raise the question:

IF we assume that christian Iraqis might not have a futute in Iraq, what are their options and what responsibility does other countries have to take them in?

I think that Sweden would be reluctant to open up the borders once again to Iraqis as we now receive so many from Somalia, Afghanistan and also from the Balkans (romas). Much of Europe is in the process of restricting immigration, not taking on more refugees/immigrants. The borders of Europe as a whole are slowly closing.

So, what are the real options for Iraqi christians today?

To be realistic I think that staying on in Iraq will be the only option for most.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

So, what are the real options for Iraqi christians today?

For any Iraqi the choices are limited. Especially if they are really intent on starting over. Obviously there are other ways to come to the States, such as what Zeyad or "Morbid Smile" have done. But not all will be able to finance school here or win a Fullbright scholarship.

It will take governments, mine included, to realize that no matter whether we are there or not, it may be difficult to eliminate persecution of any specific group of people. Christians are being targeted now. Tomorrow it may be someone else. Asylum, if it is sought, should be granted on that basis. Whether or not it is politically popular, it is the correct thing to do.

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Um Ayad said...

Allawi: 'Power-sharing is dead now'

Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) -- Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi offered Friday a grim prediction for the future of Iraq's government a day after leading his Iraqiya bloc's walkout from parliament in a dramatic display of unhappiness with a power-sharing agreement that had been forged earlier in the week.

"We think the concept of power-sharing is dead now," the secular Shiite told CNN. "It's finished."

Asked how that might affect a future government, he said, "For Iraq, there will be tensions and violence, probably."

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/11/12/iraq.allawi/

Petes said...

Cultural interlude... "line singing" or "lined out singing" as practiced by the Reformed traditions. First in Gaelic from the Isle of Lewis in the Scottish Hebrides, followed by transplanted Appalachian versions from Old Regular Baptists of Virginia and Primitive Baptists of eastern Kentucky. Finally, one Old Regular Baptist -- Roscoe Holcomb, legendary Appalachian singer. Great stuff.

Petes said...

Oh, and here's a version that Bruno might prefer ;-)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

I kinda liked this one. :)

The scenery on the Isle of Lewis reminds me of the Dakota's. The flat farm country portion. Not the island portion. ;)

Petes said...

Aha! I came across this stuff first in that movie. I especially liked dirges like Ralph Stanley's "Oh Death". I hadn't realised until lately that they were connected with Appalachian religious music, with European roots.

Regarding Lewis -- looks may be deceiving... I think the Dakotas are natural prairie, except for the Black Hills. Lewis is naturally forested -- it's just that it was all cut down in the 15th century. You'd also find it a lot wetter than the Dakotas, pretty water-logged in fact. It has four times the average rainfall of the Dakotas, and rains three days out of four. :-)

Bruno said...

[petes] "Two key indictees are still not apprehended, which reflects badly on its image. Defenders point out that the Tribunal has no powers of arrest, and is reliant on other agencies (notably national governments, EUFOR, and KFOR) to apprehend and extradite indictees. "

So? A court anywhere has no inherent powers of arrest. It is reliant on the relevant constabulary for doing so. In this case, that relevant constabulary would be the countries where SH would be 'exiled' to. It might be slow and difficult, but certainly not impossible:

"General Augusto Pinochet was indicted for human rights violations on 10 October 1998 by Spanish magistrate Baltasar Garzón. He was arrested in London and"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusto_Pinochet%27s_arrest_and_trial

Of course, there's nothing like justice the PeteS way: rush in all guns blazing, kill thousands of innocents, haul the party before a court of questionable authority and competence, and lynch the guy afterwards.

In reality, Pete, you're a 'lite' version of PE.

Petes said...

LOLOLOL. Bruno you are surely havin' a laugh!

"General Augusto Pinochet was indicted for human rights violations on 10 October 1998 by Spanish magistrate Baltasar Garzón. He was arrested in London and"...

...and? ...and? Let me finish that sentence for you ...

"... and he was entertained with tea by Lady Thatcher, his old right wing buddy".

Pinochet died in bed, surrounded by his family. He was never convicted of any crime.

"So? A court anywhere has no inherent powers of arrest. It is reliant on the relevant constabulary for doing so. In this case, that relevant constabulary would be the countries where SH would be 'exiled' to. It might be slow and difficult, but certainly not impossible"

... which is why Saddam's offer of going into exile was bullshit from the get go.

"Of course, there's nothing like justice the PeteS way: rush in all guns blazing, kill thousands of innocents, haul the party before a court of questionable authority and competence, and lynch the guy afterwards. "

You're mistaking me for someone else. I'd prefer if Saddam had faced an international war crimes tribunal.

"In reality, Pete, you're a 'lite' version of PE."

Ah. I see who you're mistaking me for. :)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

You'd also find it a lot wetter than the Dakotas, pretty water-logged in fact.

Speaking of waterlogged...Minnesota is feeling a little bit like that right now. lol! No sooner did I finish the last of the fall clean up and run the gas out of the mower then we get dumped on with snow. I hope it's not going to be one of those kinds of winters.

Petes said...

Been a bit wet around here too. However, nothing could put the dampeners on our October -- the sunniest for forty years, resulting in the most glorious autumn colours I've ever seen in these parts. Not even copious November rain and wind have been able to completely obliterate the autumn colour yet. No New England trip necessary this year!
And the sky has been glorious too... the ISS has been sailing overhead all week; Jupiter is at it's closest for decades, and will have it's third spectacular conjunction with Uranus in a few weeks time. There is still a shuttle launch in the offing. Comet Hartley 2 is visible (and apparently has produced fireball meteors in the US). Oh, and ... I just got my flashy new 11" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. :-)

Petes said...

A video from the Chinese bubble ... time lapse of a 15-storey hotel being erected in 6 days!

There's an associated Yahoo News story

I wonder will they now blow it up in 6 seconds?!

:)

Bruno said...

[petes] Pinochet died in bed, surrounded by his family. He was never convicted of any crime."

Sure, that's because he died of old age, before a trial could conclude.

[bruno] It might be slow and difficult, but certainly not impossible"
[petes] ... which is why Saddam's offer of going into exile was bullshit from the get go.

Uh, excuse me, but EVEN IF he lived out the rest of his life sipping pina coladas in exile, untouched, surely that would be a better option than the disastrous aftermath of the invasion. I submit that hanging Saddam isn't worth the misery and death that it took. Not even close.

Petes said...

[bruno]: "I submit that hanging Saddam isn't worth the misery and death that it took. Not even close."

That's because you buy into the theory that all the misery and death was the result of trying to hang Saddam.

Bruno said...

[bruno]: "I submit that hanging Saddam isn't worth the misery and death that it took. Not even close."
[petes] That's because you buy into the theory that all the misery and death was the result of trying to hang Saddam.

No, I buy into the theory that the misery and death the invasion unleashed is because the Americans invaded to overthrow a hostile government and to install a compliant government which would furthermore open Iraqi resources up to exploitation.

In other words, OBVIOUSLY the Americans would not be content with simply "getting rid of Saddam" regardless if he was railroaded post haste to an international tribunal ... because "getting rid of Saddam" was NOT the aim.

Neither was "getting rid of the WMD'S" the aim.

Control and remoulding of Iraq was the aim.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Oh, October was beautiful here too. If you were a golfer you were out getting in those last few rounds. ;)

Actually it was in the 60's just last week here. And on Saturday we had snow. It's Minnesota, blink and the weather will change. :)

[Bruno]Control and remoulding of Iraq was the aim.

Only in Bruno's colorful imagination. Removal of any threat posed by Saddam was the aim.

Petes said...

[bruno]: "...I buy into the theory that the misery and death the invasion unleashed..."

Ah, I was making a bet with myself about when that weasely word "unleashed" would make an appearance. :-)

Petes said...

[Lynnette]: "Oh, October was beautiful here too. If you were a golfer you were out getting in those last few rounds. ;)"

Yeah, same here. But needless to say when I had family here for golf in the first week of November it bucketed rain all week. (Admittedly golf in November in Ireland is somewhat asking for trouble).

"Actually it was in the 60's just last week here. And on Saturday we had snow. It's Minnesota, blink and the weather will change. :)"

When do they start the annual cannibal fest? :-)

At least you get some daylight in mid-winter -- nearly two hours more than Marcus (but two hours less than Bridget). I get a measly 30 minutes more than Marcus. No wonder the Oirish had to invent Newgrange, Guinness, and wild party-fuelled bankruptcy.

escalante blogger said...

That's another history...

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

When do they start the annual cannibal fest? :-)

I think once the roads and cars improved they gave up any "extracurricular" eating. :D

At least you get some daylight in mid-winter -- nearly two hours more than Marcus (but two hours less than Bridget).

Ahhh, besides the driving on ice, the lack of light has to be my least favorite part of winter. All it does is make one want to hibernate. No doubt your Newgrange builders would have understood. ;)

I get a measly 30 minutes more than Marcus.

It does look like Marcus, along with a few others, will be a winner in the climate change lottery ahead, though. I barely started "The World in 2050", but have gotten that far anyway. But even with that, the effects of population growth may make us all losers in the end. But I have been distracted by "Decision Points", so haven't gotten back to that book yet.

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "Removal of any threat posed by Saddam was the aim."

Yeah and AQ blew up the Twin Towers because of a possible "threat". You never know where those "threats" might be hiding, eh? Gotta catch em all!