Saturday, February 19, 2011

Protests in Kurdistan

Iraqi protesters stepped up their challenges to provincial leaderships throughout the nation on Friday, with more than 1000 demanding that the governor of Basra step down and looters attacking a Kurdish political party headquarters in Sulaymaniyah.

The vandalism in Kurdistan followed violent clashes between government forces and protesters on Thursday in which at least two people were killed.



Anonymous said...

First electric staircase in Iraqi Kurdistan

Um Ayad said...

Sociocide: Iraq Is No More

... In Iraq, the United States has spent or wasted trillions of dollars over two decades, destroyed trillions of dollars worth of infrastructure, killed millions of people, injured and traumatized many millions more, driven several million people from their homes creating the greatest refugee crisis in the Middle East since the Nakba, encouraged ethnic and religious strife, segregated towns and neighborhoods, empowered religious fanatics, set back women's rights horribly, effectively eliminated gay and lesbian rights, nearly killed off some minority groups, decimated the nation's cultural heritage, and created a generation of people without the experience of peace, without education, without proper nutrition, without tolerance, without proper healthcare, without a functioning government, and without affection for or even indifference to the United States...

Um Ayad said...

Mideast Unrest Puts US Military Access in Jeopardy

Popular unrest sweeping the Middle East highlights the US military’s reliance on Arab regimes that offer privileged access to airfields and ports from Cairo to Qatar…..

WASHINGTON (AFP) The military’s dominant role in the region hinges on a web of agreements with friendly Arab states that allow American forces to patrol oil shipping routes in the Gulf, target Islamist militants and keep a watchful eye on arch-foe Iran.

Um Ayad said...

Thousands protest in Iraq's Kurdish north over shooting; orphans, widows rally in Baghdad

Iraqi orphans chant slogans while carrying religious flags during a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011. Hundreds of orphans and widows marched in downtown Baghdad, calling on the Iraqi government to take care of them.

Marcus said...

What I find interesting: In all those proclamations for "freedom" for the people and all that jazz, so many hint that Iran especially and other ME-countries too should be "freed" but so very few even mention Saudi Arabia. Now, why is that?

I'm sure it couldn't have ANYTHING to do with OIL, right? Nooooo, nothing ever had anything to do with that. Right?

Um Ayad said...

"I'm sure it couldn't have ANYTHING to do with OIL, right? Nooooo, nothing ever had anything to do with that. Right?"

Saudi Arabia...Nooooo, of course not! Lol

Oil Flows, but High Prices Jangle Nerves

PARIS — The turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East has helped drive oil prices up to more than $102 a barrel for an important benchmark crude, Brent, although so far there have been no significant disruptions in production or supply, according to experts at the International Energy Agency here.

The reserves in the Middle East and North Africa (known as the MENA countries), while long important, have grown even more critical as demand for oil increases. Prices have risen about 30 percent since September, reaching their highest level since September 2008.
Those who track oil prices are especially worried about the renewed turmoil in Iran and the possibility of unrest spreading from Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, which could have a major impact on oil’s price and its availability.
Richard H. Jones, the energy agency’s deputy executive director and a former American diplomat in the Middle East, said that about 17 million barrels of oil passed through the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz every day. “So if that shuts down, we’re in big trouble,” he said

Um Ayad said...

Also Tony Blair's handshake with Gaddafi in Libya had nothing to do with OIL!

Britain's alliance with Libya turns sour as Gaddafi cracks down

Tony Blair's handshake with Muammar Gaddafi in 2004 began an uneasy relationship that now presents difficult questions

Announcing a "new relationship", however, Blair said he had been struck by how the Libyan leader wished to join with Britain in "common cause with us against al-Qaida, extremists and terrorism".

That was then. In the last few days it has been Gaddafi who has looked liked the extremist, sending troops, and reportedly mercenaries, to crush demonstrations against his rule in the towns of Benghazi and Al Bayda. Human Rights Watch says this has led to the deaths of at least 85 of his people.

But it has not only been a dubious partnership against terror that has increasingly embroiled the United Kingdom in Libya's affairs. There has been a second "common cause" that has underpinned the relationship with Gaddafi's regime, underscored by the announcement on the same day in 2004 of a £550m deal with Shell for exploration rights.

Now Britain's risky and controversial relationship with Libya is beginning rapidly to unravel.

Um Ayad said...

I forgot to mention Tony Blair also thought Hosni Mubarak was "Immensely Courageous And A Force For Good".

But then.... "Tony Blair should choose his friends wisely"

TONY Blair accepting a gift of a luxury Red Sea holiday from Hosni Mubarak always had the whiff of a festering misjudgment.

Um Ayad said...

Death toll is rising, just heard another report saying more than 230 killed and many more wounded.

Libya unrest: dozens killed in Benghazi 'massacre'

Dozens of people were killed when Libyan troops used heavy weapons during a funeral procession amid unrest in Benghazi, a doctor in the city says.

She told the BBC that at least 45 bodies and 900 wounded had been brought to just one hospital on Saturday, describing the scene as a "massacre".

Human Rights Watch says at least 173 people have been killed in Libya since demonstrations began on Wednesday.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

      "…but so very few even mention Saudi Arabia.
      Now, why is that?

I've not seen any native ‘freedom and democracy’ movement showing any signs of life in Saudi Arabia.  Near as I can tell, Saudi Arabia is the native home of the Wahabi sect and the birthing grounds of al-Qaeda  The despots there are the moderates and modernizers.  So, which of the counter forces to the royal family do you think we in The West should be supporting?  You making this pitch in support of the Wahabi fanatics, or in favor of al-Qaeda?  Which of these do you prefer as the alternative?

Or, do you think you perhaps see a native, Saudi democracy movement that has somehow escaped my attention?  And, what evidence do you have for that?  I'd certainly be interested in mentioning them more often, if I thought they were actually there.

Whom does Sweden, or even your own personal self, support there in Saudi Arabia?

(Not to belabor the obvious facts; i.e. that Iran is second only to Saudi Arabia in oil, and yet we're kinda supporting upheaval there in spite of their oil output and the fact that an internal upheaval will probably be disruptive of that output.)

Bruno said...

Saudi Arabia is relatively free from the wave of democracy protests because the stupendous profits realised from the sale of oil are used to essentially pay off a relatively small populace. The standard of living there is pretty high. It's when hunger bites and your rulers are living in luxury that the urge to toss them out becomes strongest.

But, yes, Marcus is right when he implies that oil security drives western foreign policy.

Bruno said...

"Oil security" being Western (US) control of oil, that is.