AS SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY CONTINUES TO DEMAND THAT CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O BOMB HIMSELF (SEE "Kerry insists Obama must be bombed!" AND "THIS JUST IN! KERRY GOES BALLISTIC ON OBAMA!"), BARRY O CONTINUES TO STALL.
TODAY IN HIS WEEKLY ADDRESS, BARRY O ANNOUNCED THAT HE IS GOING TO GO TO THE UNITED NATIONS FIRST TO SEEK PERMISSION FOR A SELF-BOMBING.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Iraq received some attention from the world's press today. For violence. That's what the western media caught. What they missed was how important today was.
Violence isn't the only story in Iraq. Today was the nine month anniversary of the start of the ongoing protests. Dropping back to the December 21st snapshot:
AFP says the new crisis "threatens to reignite a long-running feud between the secular, Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc" and Nouri and his State of Law political slate. What the heck are we talking about? Look at this Reuters photo (individual photographer is not credited by the news agency or we'd note him or her by name) of the thousands who turned out to protest in Falluja today demanding Nouri al-Maliki resign as prime minister.
After morning prayers, Kitabat reports, protesters gathered in Falluja to protest the arrests and Nouri al-Maliki. They chanted down with Nouri's brutality and, in a move that won't change their minds, found themselves descended upon by Nouri's forces who violently ended the protest. Before that, Al Mada reports, they were chanting that terrorism and Nouri are two sides of the same coin. Kitabat also reports that demonstrations also took place in Tikrit, Samarra, Ramdia and just outside Falluja with persons from various tribes choosing to block the road connecting Anbar Province (Falluja is the capitol of Anbar) with Baghdad. Across Iraq, there were calls for Nouri to release the bodyguards of Minister of Finance Rafie al-Issawi. Alsumaria notes demonstrators in Samarra accused Nouri of attempting to start a sectarian war.
Aymenn J Al-Tamimi Tweets of today's protests:
Iraqi Spring MC notes Baghdad protested and called for the detainees to be respected, in Ramadi they noted the right of the citizens to defend themselves and the right to call for an unresponsive government to be dissolved, they gathered in Mosul (despite 5 bridges being closed to try to stop the protest), they gathered in Tikrit, they gathered in Samarra, and they gathered in Jawala,
National Iraqi News Agency quotes an Anbar sit-in organizer, Sheikh Mohammed Fayyad, stating: "The citizens participated in the prayers that held in the courtyard northern Ramadi and eastern Fallujah cities , stressing that the goal of this trickle is to send one again a message to the governing in Baghdad that our demonstrations are peaceful and backed by citizens deep conviction."
It's not easy to protest in Iraq. As Shajwan Tweeted last month:
A protest is the citizens best way in speaking their needs, not in
#iraq though! No freedom of speech! pic.twitter.com/kzEsjuBfhE
They have the Constitutional right to protest but, as the picture indicates, when they try to exercise that right, Nouri's thugs descend. Nouri's worst attack on the protesters was the April 23rd massacre of a sit-in in Hawija which 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 53 dead for several days now -- indicating that some of the wounded did not recover. UNICEF noted that the dead included 8 children (twelve more were injured).
The theme of today's protests was solidarity with Basra. Basra? Sunnis are being killed there in targeted executions. BRussells Tribunal explains:
Sunni Endowment Diwan announced last Monday the closure of Sunni mosques in Barah following a number of assassinations and killings during the past weeks in the second largest city of Iraq. The office of the Diwan in Basrah stated that Sunni mosques in Basrah will only call for prayers (Adan) from the speakers of mosques and advised Sunni sect members to hold prayers at homes for the sake of saving their lives.
Saad Qusay, a very active journalist and correspondent in Basrah raised concerns some days ago about the escalated violence, stating that not even one single day goes by without witnessing an assassination or killing by militants using silencer guns.
Targeted assassinations and killings
On 17 September an Imam of the Sunni mosque Balad Salama in the district of Abi Al-Kaseeb was assassinated, Elaph, a London-based and widely read electronic newspaper, reports. The Imam was shot dead, close to his mosque, by militants who were in a passing car in the district of Abi Al-Kaseeb, a widely Sunni populated district. Two other people from Basrah were assassinated by militias last Monday, Elaph said today. In the same district, militants kidnapped Talal Abdul-Hafed Faroq, a clerk of the Sunni Endowment Diwan, who owns a grocery shop, and killed him a while after the kidnapping, Basrah News Agency reported.
Sheikh Nateq Yasseen, an Imam and speaker of Al-Sibelyat mosque, was assassinated by militant groups. Sheikh Yasseen was a former member of the municipal council of Abo Al-Kaseeb district.
Two worshippers were targeted and got killed thereafter at the district of Al-Ma’kal in Basrah. Meanwhile, a cleric at the Sunni Endowment Diwan in Basrah was injured due to an explosion of a bombed car inside the yard of the Diwan. Abdul-Kareem Al-Kazragi, director of the Sunni Endowment Diwan of south Iraq said that a bomb was placed in a bus taking the Diwan’s employees. Luckily none of the employees was injured as they had to do overtime for auditing work and the bus exploded causing no human casualties. Mr. Al-Kazragi called for strengthening security measures for the protection of the Sunni Endowment Diwan offices.
In the Al-Zubair district west of Basrah, militants using guns with silencers killed a worshipper close to Al-Kudairi mosque. Two brothers were kidnapped in Al-Jomhoreya quarter in Basrah by unknown militants who killed them and thrown their bodies before their house. One of the two brothers owns a shopping center, according to a security sources speaking to the Basrah News agency. Three civilians killed and eleven others injured last Sunday when a bombed car exploded at an industrial street in Basrah.
Today was the nine month anniversary of continuous protests in Iraq. You might think the world media could make time to cover the brave people who turn out despite being targeted, despite being followed, despite being called "terrorists" by Nouri al-Maliki. They have shown so much strength and so much courage and could inspire the whole world if only the world knew what was taking place in Iraq.
Meanwhile Dar Addustour reports a man in Karbala today launched his own protest. To register his objection to the lack of jobs in Iraq, 30-year-old Ali Mohammed attempted to set himself on fire in front of a Karbala government building. He and his wife have four children and no income. So he threw gasoline on himself and attempted to burn himself to death but security officials were able to stop him before he set himself ablaze.
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