HILLARY CLINTON'S FOUND HERSELF IN YET ANOTHER SCANDAL OF HER OWN MAKING.
THIS TIME SHE WAS DISCOVERED TO HAVE USED A PERSONAL E-MAIL ACCOUNT, NOT A GOVERNMENT ONE, WHEN E-MAILING.
REACHED FROM COMMENT A CRABBY CLINTON TOLD THESE REPORTERS THAT IF PEOPLE WANT E-MAILS, "ALL THEY HAVE TO DO IS ASK."
AND HOW WILL THEY KNOW THAT SHE HAS TURNED ALL E-MAILS OVER?
"PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO TRUST ME."
ONCE UPON A TIME WHEN YOU RAN FOR THE PRESIDENCY YOU EARNED THE PEOPLE'S TRUST.
CRABBY CLINTON NOT ONLY TAKES THE PEOPLE'S TRUST FOR GRANTED, SHE ALSO TAKES THE PEOPLE FOR GRANTED.
The assault on Tikrit has begun.
Sunday, Dominic Evans (Reuters) reported that "Iraq's army and Shi'ite militia" were attacking Tirkit.
Nancy A. Youssef (Daily Beast) reports that the forces are being aided by the Iranian government but not the US one:
The U.S.-led coalition forces that have conducted seven months of airstrikes on Iraq’s behalf did not participate in the attack, defense officials told The Daily Beast, and the American military has no plans to chip in.
Instead, embedded Iranian advisors and Iranian-backed Shiite militias are taking part in the offensive on the largely Sunni town, raising the prospect that the fight to beat back ISIS could become a sectarian war.
The news is the latest indication that not all is well with the American effort against the terror group. On Friday, U.S. defense officials told The Daily Beast that a planned offensive against the ISIS stronghold of Mosul had been indefinitely postponed.
Jim Michaels (USA Today) adds, "Iran provides artillery and other support for a military offensive in Tikrit, according to a senior U.S. military official. He did not want to be named because he is not authorized to speak publicly about Iran's role." Zaid Sabah and David Lerman (Bloomberg News) note:
Naim al-Aboudi, a spokesman for the Iranian-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia, one of the main forces fighting around Tikrit, said that “the U.S.-led coalition has never decisively ended any battle.”
“We don’t trust the coalition and we don’t need their help,” he said by phone.
Meanwhile Luis Martinez and Martha Raddatz (ABC News) offer, "A U.S. official told ABC News that this appears to be more of a 'tactical operation' and that Iraqi military elements involved do not appear to be well-coordinated."
Iranian help is not just support from afar in Tehran, it's on the ground in Iraq. Paul McLeary (Defense News) notes, "Twitter came alive on Monday with photos of Iranian Quds Force commander Gen. Qasem Soleimani who is again in Iraq, directing Shia militias in their fight against IS militants."
The assault's just begun. Already the warning signs are flashing bright red. Bobby Ghosh (Quartz) reports:
There’s already cause for alarm. Early reports indicate that Shia irregulars are leading the assault on Tikrit, under the supervision of Hadi al-Amiri, nominally Iraq’s transport minister, but better known as the leader of the Badr Organization, an Iran-backed militia notorious for brutal torture and murder of Sunnis.
Apparently unsatisfied with having a surrogate in the battlefield, Tehran has also despatched to Iraq’s Salahuddin province—of which Sunni-majority Tikrit is a part—the notorious Qassem Suleimani, the general who supervises most of Iran’s proxies, from Hizbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, to the Houthis in Yemen.
One of the world’s most dangerous men, Suleimani has had the freedom of Iraq for over a year, building and reinforcing Shia militias that have been murdering and terrorizing Sunnis with almost as much enthusiasm—if not with quite as much efficiency—as ISIL has been slaughtering civilians.
Mark Thompson (Time magazine) notes Haider spoke today:
He addressed the Iraqi people in a televised address Monday. “Today, God willing, we start an important military campaign to liberate the citizens of Salahuddin province which includes Samarra, Dhuluiya, Balad, Dujail, al-Alam, al-Door, and Tikrit and other areas in the province from ISIS,” al-Abadi said.
More than just being suspicious of Haider, the Sunnis in Tikrit are right to be suspicious of the 'liberation' being attempted by the Shia forces.
Sheren Khalel and Matthew Vickery (Middle East Monitor) speak with a man, Kareem Abbas, whose Diyala Province village was 'liberated' by Shia forces:
According to Abbas, the massacre didn’t start until the day the Islamic State was pushed out. The Badr Brigade, an Iranian-funded Shiite militia with a force between 10,000 and 15,000, advanced on his village, and forced the Islamic State out of his hometown in a move the Iraqi central government called liberation.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has documented several cases of kidnap and summary executions by the Badr Brigade in Diyala province.
“Iraqi civilians [in Sunni areas] are being hammered by ISIS and then by pro-government militias in areas they seize from ISIS,” Joe Stork, HRW’s deputy Middle East and Africa director, said in a statement.
Visibly upset with hands shaking, Abbas tells MEE that on that first day militiamen gathered the villagers together, crosschecking their identification with names of known Islamic State fighters. Terrified, Abbas and other adult male villagers co-operated with the armed men.
“But then a man with a facemask approached the fighters,” Abbas explains. “He started screaming at them ‘Are you really doing this? We know they [the villagers] are not with the Islamic State. We are here to kill.’”
According to Abbas, the masked man raised his gun to the nearest villager and fired several shots at point blank range into the man – the rest of the militiamen started shooting indiscriminately.
Dominic Evans (Reuters) quotes Iraq's Shi'ite Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declaring Sunday of the Sunnis in Tirkist, "This is their last chance. If they insist on staying on their wrong path they will receive the fair punishment they deserve because they ... stood with terrorism."
With those kind of remarks, do you really think the Sunni population is safe in Tikrit?
UNAMI issued the following cautionary statement today:
Baghdad, 2 March 2015 – The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Mr. Nickolay Mladenov, urges all armed forces in Tikrit to do their utmost to spare civilians and to protect their security and safety in line with international standards.
“Military operations reinforced by international and Iraqi air support must be conducted with the utmost care to avoid civilian casualties, and with full respect for fundamental human rights principles and humanitarian law”, Mr. Mladenov noted. He also called on the Government and the international community to take urgent action to ensure that desperately needed humanitarian aid is provided and to ensure that all those who fled from ISIL can safely return to their homes.
Also issuing a statement was the Association of Muslim Scholars (statement via BRussells Tribunal):
The Association of Muslim Scholars in its Statement No. 1056 , issued on the 1st March 2015 charges the current government as well as the religious “marijiya”in Nejaf with the responsibility for the crimes committed by the sectarian militias.
The Association reiterated the truth of the fact it had previously stated that Abadi’s government is nothing but an extension of Maliki’s government in committing sectarian crimes and that they are both Qassim Sulaimani’s diligent pupils, and part of his tools for putting into effect the Iranian project in the region.
AMSI attributed to eye witnesses in Al Muqdadiya in Diyala that the so called “popular mobilization militias” with the government police force in the area bombed the Tawfiq Ajjaj Mosque, after using it as a headquarters, in addition to last Thursday in the Al Hussayniya area, north of Baghdad, 19 extra judicial executions and kidnappings of displaced people from the Yathrib area in Sallahudeen were carried out by sectarian militias in the presence and full view of government security forces.
Finally, the Association charged the current government, with full responsibility for these hideous crimes, as well as the religious “marjiiya” in Nejaf, for it is the “marjiiya” that called for the formation of the “popular mobilization militias” in the first place, and did not take any steps and precautions to keep them under control and prevent them from committing such crimes against innocent civilians.
Ben Wedeman and Mariano Castillo (CNN) note, "Iraqi forces approached Tikrit from several fronts, Iraqiya TV reported, engaging with ISIS north of the city at al-Alam and south of the city at al-Dour."
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"