Saturday, February 12, 2011

More protests planned in Iraq

Multiple groups are springing up on Facebook calling for protests to demand reforms, among them No to Silence, Baghdad Won't Be Kandahar, the Blue Revolution and one simply called Join US Soon for the Biggest Ever Youth Sit-In in Baghdad, which initiated the small protest Friday in Tahrir Square.

Another is planned for Monday, but the biggest buzz is building around what has been billed on various Web sites as a "Revolution of Iraqi Rage" scheduled for Feb. 25 in the same square, the city's most prominent public space, just across the Tigris River from the fortified Green Zone.

The groups say their goal is not to overthrow the government - which is still not fully formed after elections nearly a year ago, another source of frustration - but to demand change on multiple fronts, from specifics such as the provision of electricity and jobs to more general issues such as good governance and accountability.

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Iraqis send Valentine to leaders:

Young Iraqis are to hold a Valentine's Day rally on Monday to call on their leaders to love the war-battered country rather than rob its resources, an organiser told AFP.

"We do not want Valentine's Day to be only one day of love but a celebration for reform, democracy, citizenship and freedom," said Karnas Ali, a young engineer.

Three groups under the names of "No Silence," "Baghdad Is Not Kandahar" and "Blue Revolution" are organising the event.

They are using Facebook to call for the demonstration at Baghdad's Tahrir Square, which like in other Arab capitals has the same name as the main venue in Cairo for Egypt's uprising which toppled president Hosni Mubarak.

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63 comments:

Anonymous said...

funny iraqi guy

RhusLancia said...

Power to the people

Freddie al-Starr said...

funny iraqi guy ate my hamster

Ayman said...

A government that is not fully formed this long after the election.

The Iraqis need a new constitutional system, one that allows elections to actually determine who is in charge.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
      "…to demand change on multiple fronts, from
      specifics such as the provision of electricity and
      jobs to more general issues such as good
      governance and accountability.
"

More electricity would be good.  More jobs sounds good too.  Hard to argue against ‘good governance and accountability’.  All sounds like good stuff to be in favor of there.  Although, I might have a good argument to make in favor of having the government actually charge money for the provision of electricity, and I don't think they do that there yet.

On a related subject:

      "Congress shall make no law…abridging the…
      right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to
      petition the government for a redress of
      grievances.
"
      U.S. Bill of Rights; First Amendment to the U.S.
      Constitution.

Works for us; hope it works out as well for them.



             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
      "The Iraqis need a new constitutional system,
      one that allows elections to actually determine
      who is in charge.
"

And then again, lots of countries, from Europe to India and across South America have been working with a parliamentary system very similar to what's been established in Iraq, and been muddlin’ through with it for years and years.  Maybe what the Iraqi mostly need is a little more political expertise and sophistication, which one can hope they'll acquire with practice.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
And, could add several countries in the Far East to that list of folks who muddle through well enough with a parliamentary system similar to what's been adopted in Iraq.  (Personally, I philosophically prefer our presidential system, but that preference may be influenced by established habit.).

Petes said...

China bubbling away.

http://video.ft.com/v/772837551001/Why-Jim-Chanos-is-short-China

Ayman said...

Looks like the Obama administration is talking much about the way Iran has reacted to the Egyptian revolution.

Biden tells "my Iranian friends" to "Let your people march. Let your people out of jail."

Robert Gibbs says that the Iranian government is afraid of the will of its people.

Another Obama official criticizes Iran's government for applauding the Egyptian protesters but not letting Iranians participate in protests.

It will be interesting to see if Iran's "green revolution" gets restarted after being brutally suppressed a few years ago.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

"funny Iraqi guy"

lol!

Is that the Iraqi version of rap?

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Multiple groups are springing up on Facebook calling for protests to demand reforms,...

The whole point of having elections is to find, support and vote for candidates who will work for what you want. If they are not doing that then you must remove them. That is the leverage that voters have.

One of the major problems in Iraq, corruption, is something that all Iraqis must fight. I know, it is the same advice I gave to the Egyptians, but it really does "take a village" to get things done. So, don't take bribes, don't offer bribes, and those in positions of authority must not in any way appear to approve of bribery. That means prosecuting those people suspected of taking or giving bribes. No exceptions. It's a tall order, but it is the only thing that will work. Protests can only do so much, you have to practice what you preach.

Ayman said...

Seems like the next election in Iraq could be one of those "throw the bums out" elections where all of the politicians lose their seats in parliament.

Anyone associated with the current government should be given the boot.

Zeyad said...

Ayman, I won't count on Iraqis to vote out their current leaders because they're too divided and blinded by their sectarianism. Those protesters are a vocal few who did not vote for either of the two or three major slates (Sunni, Shia and Kurd).

Anonymous said...

Zeyad,

Hopefully Iraqis (and Arabs everywhere) will learn from the last 30 days which saw two dictators fall in utter disgrace that anything is possible. The one thing that we all saw in Egypt and Tunisia was people willing to come together across class and sectarian divides for a united cause. Iraqis don't need to start over from scratch, their dictator is gone now is the time for Iraqis to unite for their future. I hope that eventually the sectarian divide in Iraq and Lebanon disappears.

Ayman said...

Zeyad,

Call me naive. But I still hold out hope that Iraqis can quit repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

There is an old saying that with representative government the people get the kind of government they deserve.

Clearly the Iraqi people do not deserve a government as dysfunctional as the current one!

Petes said...

I overheard this on a BBC interview in Tahrir Square:

"We are hoping for a democratic secular Egypt, inshallah"

:-)

Bruno said...

[zeyad] "I won't count on Iraqis to vote out their current leaders because they're too divided and blinded by their sectarianism."

Exactly. What will happen, IMHO, is that the so-called "Shia" bloc will consolidate its power until it is unchallengeable. Afterwhich it will start to fracture and fall apart. That is what I see happening in my own country, but the process takes a very long time.

Bruno said...

Report: Sons of Egypt's Mubarak nearly came to blows - Local daily says Alaa Mubarak accused brother Gamal of turning citizens against their father by promoting his business friends in political life. 'You helped spoil his image,' he reportedly said

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4028118,00.html

Bruno said...

Cheney, Rummy, appear to have lost their shine even amongst conservatives:

Dick Cheney, former vice president, and Donald Rumsfeld, former defense secretary, were booed Thursday in D.C. at CPAC 2011, the Conservative Political Action Conference, reports the Daily News. Reportedly, young supporters of Texas Rep. Ron Paul, walked out in protest when the former defense secretary took the stage in D.C. to receive the conference's "Defenders of the Constitution" award. As former Vice President Cheney made an unscheduled appearance to honor Rumsfeld, he too was booed. Audience members were heard to yell "Where's Bin Laden" "murdering scum," and "draft dodger."

http://www.thirdage.com/news/cheney-booed-cpac-2011-conference_2-11-2011

Bruno said...

Millions of migratory birds that take southern Iraq and the marshes as temporary refuge to escape harsh winters in Europe have been poisoned this year, said Iraqi biologist Khalaf –al-Rubaie. Rubaie said the birds were fed poisoned seeds which southern Iraqi farmers got from the Ministry of Agriculture for cultivation purposes. He said the poisoning was on such a large-scale that markets in the southern Province of Basra were overflowing with poisoned birds.

http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2011-02-10\kurd.htm

...why do I have a sneaking suspicion that these were GM seeds?

Bruno said...

ALREADY??

China is now the world’s second largest economy and analysts are predicting that it will match the size of the behemoth US economy in the next decade. Japanese economic figures show that while that nations economy topped $5.474 trillion at the end of last year, China was edging near $5.8 trillion. GK Dragonomics consultant Tom Miller told the BBC that : "It's realistic to say that within 10 years China will be roughly the same size as the US economy”

http://www.newstime.co.za/Business/China_Overtakes_Japan_As_World%E2%80%99s_2nd_Biggest_Economy_Eyes_US/20696/

Bruno said...

A few dozen Egyptian protesters who have held out in Cairo's Tahrir Square were cordoned by military police and soldiers on Monday, and they said they had been told by the army to leave the square or face arrest.

"We have half an hour left, we are cordoned by military police. We don't know what to do. We are discussing what to do now," one of the protesters, Yahya Saqr, told Reuters adding that a senior officer "told us we have one hour to empty the square or we will be arrested."

http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/egypt-army-orders-last-protesters-to-leave-cairo-square-or-face-arrest-1.343321

analee said...

That Iraqi guy makes me laugh.... hahaha

Petes said...

[bruno]: "...why do I have a sneaking suspicion that these were GM seeds?"

'Cos it'd be a great opportunity to have a whinge about an American multinational?

Petes said...

Mubarak has allegedly squirreled away bazillions in Egyptian money to fund his retirement. Crowds in Tahrir Square in the last couple of days have been shouting for their money back from Mubarak and government ministers. Obviously they haven't been to the Bruno school of giving public money to despots to take a hike. What's a billion or two between friends, right?

Don Cox said...

"[bruno]: "...why do I have a sneaking suspicion that these were GM seeds?""

Because you know nothing about GM seeds. What makes you think a GM seed would be poisonous? Rearranging the DNA doesn't make it toxic, it is still just DNA.

Don Cox

Bruno said...

[petes] "an American multinational"

Maybe I'd whinge about your shaky use of logic, instead?

[oetes] "Obviously they haven't been to the Bruno school of giving public money to despots to take a hike."

...but I'm guessing that they know all about the Petes school of "let's pay despots to stay in power."

Too bad they kicked him out, eh?

Petes said...

Well then, Bruno, here's some heartwarming little rags-to-riches stories about poor Hosni that you will appreciate:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/8320912/Egypt-Hosni-Mubarak-used-last-18-days-in-power-to-secure-his-fortune.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/8319821/Hosni-Mubarak-resigns-Switzerland-to-freeze-assets-of-ousted-ruler.html

Petes said...

Thinking about it, I guess Bruno isn't alone after all. You'll be comforted to know that the entire Oirish establishment (and most of Europe for that matter) has been to the Bruno school of making the wrong people pay.

http://www.southernstar.ie/article.php?id=2433

Bruno said...

So your dictator seems set for life, eh? I'm guessing that you and he might have some entertaining "filthy lucre" stories to swap!

I can just picture the two of you holding hands, watching the sun go down, G&T's in hand.

Bruno said...

Damn, some people might be pissed that Egyptians got rid of their dictator without foreign assistance. That must be a real hard pill to swallow.

Petes said...

[bruno]: "So your dictator seems set for life, eh? I'm guessing that you and he might have some entertaining "filthy lucre" stories to swap! "

Uh, are we forgetting that you're the one wanting to pay these f*ckers off. As far as I'm concerned Mubarak should certainly be allowed to retire to Sharm el-Sheikh ... stripped to his underpants, with maybe a free piece of twine for a fishing line.

Petes said...

Woman beats off tiger with soup ladle. Bruno wonders why she didn't just pay him to leave:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12446232

Bruno said...

[bruno]: "So your dictator seems set for life, eh? I'm guessing that you and he might have some entertaining "filthy lucre" stories to swap! "
[petes] Uh, are we forgetting that you're the one wanting to pay these f*ckers off.

Uh, yes, if that gets them gone. RATHER than going in all guns blazing which is YOUR option.

Let's be honest, though, your murkin heroes were paying Mubarak off ... but to stay, not go. 60 billion dollars in bribes isn't chump change even for grafters par excellance like Mubarak.

Bruno said...

Yeah, even tigers aren't what they used to be.

PeteS is sad that the murkins didn't drop a MOAB on that tiger, and didn't destroy the village in order to save it.

Petes said...

I was forgettin' that all the tigers in brunoland just leave when asked politely.

Bruno said...

If I have to stretch this analogy, PeteS would be the one that dumped steak sauce on that villager in the first place. Maybe if you didn't insist on wrapping up villagers in bacon rind, the tigers would leave them alone.

Bruno said...

Here's one for PeteS' reading list: Rummy's memoirs have been released:

"Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their pro-war crowd warned us Iraq's Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction that he might use against neighboring countries. But they said fixing the problem would be simple. Before the invasion, Rumsfeld told troops, "It could last, you know, six days, six weeks, I doubt six months."

Cheney said the conflict would be "weeks rather than months.""

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2011-02-11-column11_ST_N.htm

Them heroes!

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
Today's proposed Iranian demonstrations "in sympathy and support" of the Egyptian Revolution appear to have mostly fizzled out.  I'm reading reports on unused reserves of internal security forces never called out of their staging areas; indeed, never even put on alert and formed up inside their staging areas..

Ayman said...

Lee C.,

Check out this coverage of the protests in Iran. They seem very vigorous.

Protests in Iran

.

Ayman said...

Here is some footage of the protests today in Iran.

Ayman said...

Here is some coverage of the protests today in Iran.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2011/02/iran-live-blog-25-bahman-14-february.html

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Zeyad] Ayman, I won't count on Iraqis to vote out their current leaders because they're too divided and blinded by their sectarianism.

If sect is the only criteria for a voter's vote then they can't come complaining to the world. You get what you vote for...

Bruno said...

NEWS:

Good Egypt analysis:

"Mr Mubarak, it is now clear, was ushered out of the door by the army high command. But he was overthrown by a popular uprising. The people who took part in it expect Field Marshal Tantawi and his men to bring in the changes that they want. They applauded when the army dissolved parliament, which was elected in a rigged vote, and when it suspended the constitution, which was designed to make sure that Mr Mubarak or his chosen successor stayed in office.

But the army has been at the centre of power in Egypt since a coup in 1952. The system that has developed since then suits the generals very well. Now they are expected to dismantle it. Power and money are hard things to give up. The military has promised to introduce civilian rule in six months or when elections come. To get to that point some big challenges have to be mastered. "

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12460885

Traitorous Iraqis spend money on feeding the poor instead of buying American jets:

" Iraq has postponed the planned purchase of 18 F-16 fighter planes from the United States this year and diverted the funds to feeding the poor, an official said on Monday, amid growing protests that have been inspired by the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. "The F-16 contract has been postponed this year and the money has been diverted toward improving food rations" for the poor, government spokesman Ali Dabbagh told AFP.
[...]
In an interview with AFP this month Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said that six million Iraqis possessed food ration permits, entitling them to the full quota of subsidised essentials. He said his government would increase the total amount spent on food rations for the needy from $3 billion to $4 billion.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gDXzgmrk9FWxHZ2_WgXzJQnd2QNQ?docId=CNG.26f85a77fe573d0130a10eb475c1a65e.541

Bruno said...

Iranian government not so happy now that protests have spread to Tehran:

Iranian police used tear gas and electric prods to crack down on the country's biggest antigovernment protests in at least a year, as demonstrators buoyed by activism across the Middle East returned to the country's streets by the tens of thousands Monday. The day of planned antigovernment rallies began largely peacefully, according to witnesses, with protesters marching silently or sitting and chanting. But as demonstrators' ranks swelled, police and antiriot forces lined the streets, ordered shops to shut down and responded at times with force, according to witnesses and opposition websites

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703584804576143792351777466.html

Diversion into comedy with Rummy's revisionism:

Rumsfeld pins most of the blame on the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) for its alleged mishandling of Iraq's political transition in 2003-04, which "stoked nationalist resentments" and "fanned the embers of what would become the Iraqi insurgency."
[and I agree that this was a big factor...]
Rumsfeld's basic theme is that the CPA erred by failing to grant Iraqis "the right to govern themselves" early in the U.S.-led occupation.
[... but! ...]
To the contrary, Rumsfeld's instructions endorsed the top-down approach his book condemns. The CPA should "assert authority over the country," he wrote, and should "not accept or tolerate self-appointed [Iraqi] 'leaders.' " There should be "clarity that the Coalition is in charge, with no conflicting signals to the Iraqi people," Rumsfeld wrote. He directed Bremer to take a "hands-on" approach to Iraq's "political reconstruction," noting that "the Coalition will consistently steer the process to achieve the stated objectives" and should "not 'let a thousand flowers bloom.' " The "transition from despotism to a democracy will not happen easily or fast," he concluded, noting that "[r]ushing elections could lead to tyranny of the majority."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/14/AR2011021405224.html

Bruno said...

American drones work with Nazi efficiency:

"You can expect to see at least two people inside the secret bunkers in Virginia where the CIA pilots its lethal drones over Pakistan. One controls the distant drone, his hand on a joystick, ready to fire off a missile at a target below. Another is a CIA lawyer, watching to ensure that the operator is within his rights to attack his target. Call it a “punctilious” method to avoid civilian casualties and legal hot water, as one of those lawyers recently did — or call it the bureaucratization of a shadow war."

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/02/behind-the-drones-lots-of-bureaucracy/#more-40790

RhusLancia said...

I think that I will send one dollar to the Iranian government. That way, Bruno will be able to join the rest of the world in hoping to see their replacement. Not because of their repressive totalitarianism, but because they were then creaed and sustained by the merkins...

Bruno said...

Other protests: Bahrain:

"Anti-government protests in Shia villages around Manama, the Bahraini capital, have left several people injured and one person reported dead. Demonstrators had called for Monday's 'Day of Rage' after apparently being inspired by the recent uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia."

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/2011214925802473.html

Bruno said...

LOL @ Rhusty ...

The fact is, I believe that the Iranian government can and should be replaced. Where we will diverge is doubtless on the methods necessary for that replacement. I think that out of all the authoritarian governments of the region, Iran is one of the ones that shows the most potential for internal, peaceful change.

These protests are good in the sense that they put pressure on the regime to think seriously about that change.

All that Iran needs is for the political system to open up, not necessarily for a decapitation of its leadership.

RhusLancia said...

I'm not sure the regime is internally thinking about peacefully opening its system as it hangs and gasses the protesters. But maybe I am reading them wrong?

Bruno said...

Iran is a little more complicated than that, Rhus. I think you know this.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
      "Iran is a little more complicated than that,
      Rhus.
"
 
Preachers wanting money and power, and insisting to their flock that it's God's Will that the preachers have money and power.  Ancient story.  Not complicated at all, never has been.

Bruno said...

"War on Terror"
"From other sources it has been established that Dr Siddiqui was separated from her children for the five years of her ordeal, and that the two older children, born in 1996 and 1998, were not together, but in separate prisons, and that the third child, Suleman who was six months old on the day of the disappearance, probably died then. For nearly eight years now, manufactured confusion has surrounded the disappearance and the subsequent whereabouts of Dr Siddiqui and her three children. "

http://www.counterpunch.org/brittain02142011.html

Bruno said...

Awesome! Ol' Lee managed to sum up Iran in a single sentence! A true example of Bush-like genius at work.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
The summation applies to preachers with power.  Being as it's God's Will that they have money and power, it's therefore a non-negotiable point, that is, until the preachers run up against a superior temporal power.

Bruno said...

"Being as it's God's Will that they have money and power, it's therefore a non-negotiable point"

For a change, I agree with Lee.

Bruno said...

Azzaman on the fate of Mubarak and implications for US / Israeli policy:

The fall of the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is a lesson to learn from for all pro-U.S. Arab leaders. Mubarak was ousted by his own people and not his military generals. But who was a better servant than Mubarak as far as the U.S. is concerned? The Arab world might not produce a leader like Mubarak who has served both U.S. and Israeli interests in the best manner possible. Mubarak is a good example of how the U.S. would like its pro-leaders to be in the Middle East. Mubarak not only listened to the U.S. and Israeli dictations but he implemented them to the letter.
[...]
But these rulers first question to these envoys is whether the U.S. can spare them the fate of Mubarak and the Tunisian President Zain al Abideen. These rulers would be naïve to believe any assurances that the U.S. can protect them from the type of popular revolts that took place in Tunisia and Egypt. The people’s revolution in Egypt could defeat Mubarak. Any revolution of that sort will be impossible to quell even by a nuclear bomb.

http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2011-02-15\kurd.htm

RhusLancia said...

Bruno: "Awesome! Ol' Lee managed to sum up Iran in a single sentence! A true example of Bush-like genius at work.

...

For a change, I agree with Lee."


I find much humor in that. Dankie.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Iranian police used tear gas and electric prods to crack down on the country's biggest antigovernment protests in at least a year, as demonstrators buoyed by activism across the Middle East returned to the country's streets by the tens of thousands Monday.

[Bruno]I think that out of all the authoritarian governments of the region, Iran is one of the ones that shows the most potential for internal, peaceful change.

Hmmm...well, I suppose you can always hope...

Truth Seeker said...

Curveball?

Own it, war mongers.

Bruno said...

Rhus, I know, I know. See, Lee didn't even reply, because the ambiguity of the message fused his logic circuits. Was I agreeing with what he meant or was I agreeing with the quote as stated? What a dilemma!

My linking with Bush was unintentional and therefore worthy of lulz.

Jack Wayne said...

There are certainly problems with the electricity supply.

Pablo said...

Pablo got out of the US Army and has written several short story novel; see them on KINDLE or see his site at; http://sites.google.com/site/benitostreasurehunt

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