Friday, May 01, 2015






Moving on to another topic, let's note this exchange from yesterday:

US House Rep Sheila Jackson Lee: Let me finish by saying that if you have any comments about Camp Liberty and those continued attacks if you want to include that and how we can work to better stop that I would appreciate the Chairman's indulgence and I thank you very much for your answers to these questions. 

Maryam Rajavi:  [. . .] And just very briefly about Liberty as I said to expect that the United States government will uphold its expectations which have been violated but and the US must really put Camp Liberty under its own protections soon and put an end to the barricade, to demand from the Iraqi government to lift the blockade and to recognize their rights as a protected person under the Geneva convention.

That exchange took place on Wednesday as the House Foreign Affairs on Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade held a hearing.  The Subcommittee Chair is US House Rep Ted Poe and US House Rep William Keating is the Ranking Member.

Maryam Rajavi is the President-Elect of the National Council of Reistance of Iran and she was testifying to the Subcommittee via satellite while former US Ambassador Robert Ford and Walid Phares of the Transatlantic Parliamentary Group on Counterterrorism testified to the Committee in person.

Camp Liberty is where the Ashraf community was relocated.  As of September 2013, Camp Ashraf in Iraq is empty.  All remaining members of the community have been moved to Camp Hurriya (also known as Camp Liberty).  Camp Ashraf housed a group of Iranian dissidents who were  welcomed to Iraq by Saddam Hussein in 1986 and he gave them Camp Ashraf and six other parcels that they could utilize. In 2003, the US invaded Iraq.The US government had the US military lead negotiations with the residents of Camp Ashraf. The US government wanted the residents to disarm and the US promised protections to the point that US actions turned the residents of Camp Ashraf into protected person under the Geneva Conventions. This is key and demands the US defend the Ashraf community in Iraq from attacks.  The Bully Boy Bush administration grasped that -- they were ignorant of every other law on the books but they grasped that one.  As 2008 drew to a close, the Bush administration was given assurances from the Iraqi government that they would protect the residents. Yet Nouri al-Maliki ordered the camp repeatedly attacked after Barack Obama was sworn in as US President. July 28, 2009 Nouri launched an attack (while then-US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was on the ground in Iraq). In a report released this summer entitled "Iraqi government must respect and protect rights of Camp Ashraf residents," Amnesty International described this assault, "Barely a month later, on 28-29 July 2009, Iraqi security forces stormed into the camp; at least nine residents were killed and many more were injured. Thirty-six residents who were detained were allegedly tortured and beaten. They were eventually released on 7 October 2009; by then they were in poor health after going on hunger strike." April 8, 2011, Nouri again ordered an assault on Camp Ashraf (then-US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was again on the ground in Iraq when the assault took place). Amnesty International described the assault this way, "Earlier this year, on 8 April, Iraqi troops took up positions within the camp using excessive, including lethal, force against residents who tried to resist them. Troops used live ammunition and by the end of the operation some 36 residents, including eight women, were dead and more than 300 others had been wounded. Following international and other protests, the Iraqi government announced that it had appointed a committee to investigate the attack and the killings; however, as on other occasions when the government has announced investigations into allegations of serious human rights violations by its forces, the authorities have yet to disclose the outcome, prompting questions whether any investigation was, in fact, carried out."  Those weren't the last attacks.  They were the last attacks while the residents were labeled as terrorists by the US State Dept.  (September 28, 2012, the designation was changed.)   In spite of this labeling, Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) observed that "since 2004, the United States has considered the residents of Camp Ashraf 'noncombatants' and 'protected persons' under the Geneva Conventions."  So the US has an obligation to protect the residents.  3,300 are no longer at Camp Ashraf.  They have moved to Camp Hurriyah for the most part.  A tiny number has received asylum in other countries. Approximately 100 were still at Camp Ashraf when it was attacked Sunday.   That was the second attack this year alone.   February 9, 2013, the Ashraf residents were again attacked, this time the ones who had been relocated to Camp Hurriyah.  Trend News Agency counted 10 dead and over one hundred injured.  Prensa Latina reported, " A rain of self-propelled Katyusha missiles hit a provisional camp of Iraqi opposition Mujahedin-e Khalk, an organization Tehran calls terrorists, causing seven fatalities plus 50 wounded, according to an Iraqi official release."  They were attacked again September 1, 2013.   Adam Schreck (AP) reported that the United Nations was able to confirm the deaths of 52 Ashraf residents.  In addition, 7 Ashraf residents were taken in the assault.  November 2013, in response to questions from US House Rep Sheila Jackson Lee, the  State Dept's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iraq and Iran Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Brett McGurk, stated, "The seven are not in Iraq."

The Ashraf community at Camp Liberty is supposed to be relocated outside of Iraq.

If and when that ever happens, the US government's legal obligation will be over. The minor number that the US has helped relocate, for example, are no longer under the protected persons designation.

It is in the US government's own interest to get these refugees out of Iraq.

The administration of Barack Obama has shirked their legal obligations and only addresses the issues of these refugees when the world is aghast over an attack.  Such was the case in September 2013 and this led to the State Dept naming Secretary of State John Kerry's personal friend (who really had no qualifications for the job) to be the "Senior Advsior for MEK Resettlement."

Having no qualifications for the job, Jonathan Winer's failure at it was appalling.  Less than 3,700 refugees needed to be re-settled outside of Iraq.  They couldn't be sent to Iran (where they would face prison and torture for their dissent) but it's big world and there were plenty of other countries (including the US) where they could be restteled.

However, being John Kerry's roll dog means never having to do any actual work.

So Winer rewarded for his failures by being given a new post in May of 2014.

Maybe in the future, when John Kerry puts personal friends on the US payroll, he can make their payment conditional upon getting results.  The US taxpayers footed the bill for Winer -- which reportedly included many design modifications for his office -- from September to May and, during that time, he accomplished nothing.

In approximately 8 months he was unable to resettle 3,700 people.

Again, in the future, maybe when John Kerry puts his personal friends on the US taxpayer's dime, their salary should be conditions-based and, if they're unable to do the job they were hired to do, they can be paid minimum wage for a 40 hour work week and nothing more.  (Should payment in excess of that amount have been made to them, they should immediately be required to refund it or faces charges of defrauding the US government.  Just a suggestion of one way to bring accountability to the cronyism that is rampant in the State Dept currently.)

We'll note this exchange from the hearing:

US House Rep Judy Chu: I would like to address these questions to Mrs. Rajavi, I'd like to ask about Camp Liberty.  Camp Liberty is the military base that has become a permanent home for over 3,000 Iranian refugees but the conditions there are poor and freedom severely restricted.  Worse, there are reports that the Iraqi government is blockading the base preventing food, water and medicine from arriving, combined with the restriction on travel, this blockade has led to at least 25 deaths.  The most recent being Mr. Jalal Albadini on April 17th.  Can you give us a sense of living conditions in Camp Liberty in regard to food, medicine and decent housing?  

Maryam Rajavi:  Our primary concern about the residents of Camp Liberty is their safety and security. That is the main problem that they're facing in Camp Liberty now to the extent that since the protection of the residents were transferred from the United States to Iraq, 126 have been killed, 7 have been taken hostage and the residents are denied timely access to medical care for this reason so as you just mentioned 25 people have lost their lives while there was the possibility to save their lives I think it was 127 who have been killed during these attacks by the Iraqi forces.  They have no freedom of movement and enormous restrictions have been imposed upon them.  Just to give you one example, Camp Liberty is the elecricity is still not connected and since the Abadi government took office there have been no changes in the conditions and there is still a prison-like condition for the residents. And I think the new government must recognize Camp Liberty as a refugee camp and remove and lift inhuman restrictions which have been imposed on the Camp and put an end to the daily harassment of the residents.  In particular, it is very important that the camp management be changed because they are the same people -- the people who manage the camp are the same people who were engaged in the massacre and the killing of the residents in the past attacks and as you know the United States has made the written commitment to provide safety and security for these people but that obligation has been violated and I think Camp Liberty should be really under the protection of the United States or at least their personal weapons to be given so that if they're attacked by the militia or paramilitary groups that they could defend themselves.  And I expect that the United States would uphold its commitment to regular monitoring of Liberty.

US House Rep Judy Chu:  Let me ask now about do you have any confidence in the current government to improve conditions? And what is the future for the residents of Camp Liberty?  Is there a US role?

Maryam Rajavi: I think the US government can really demand and urge the Iraqi government to uphold its obligations. So far the government has not done anything that we could really trust them that they would do the right thing.  And, as I said, people are still living in a prison-like situation in Camp Liberty as a prisoner.  That's what I said, that the new government should recognize Liberty as a refugee camp and remove all the restrictions imposed on the camp and end the harassment of the residents. And I want to reiterate that it is very vital to change the camp management and do not allow the mullah's regime to send its agents for psychological torture of the residents and lay the ground for another massacre of Camp Liberty.  These are the actions that they can take. And I believe that the United States government is really in a position to call and demand from the Iraqi government to uphold these obligations. 

In the hearing, doubts were raised about the White House's plan or 'plan' for addressing the Islamic State.  We'll note this critique.

US House Rep Scott Perry:  President Obama declared his intention to defeat ISIS and developed a plan he believes can achieve his aims.  However, I have serious concerns with the strategy -- and I use the term loosely -- especially because the President doesn't seem to have a clear understanding of our enemy.  In the past year, President Obama has referred to ISIS as not Islamic and as al Qaeda's j.v. [junior varsity] team.-- statements that cause confusion about the group and may have contributed to significant strategic errors.  Denying that the US is at war with radical Islam makes it difficult to engage in a factual, honest, idealogical debate exposing ISIS' false narrative and to empower moderate Muslim voices.  Misperceptions and the lack of understanding about ISIS have consistently led to underestimating this rapidly expanding terror group.  

One of the witnesses, former US Ambassador (to Syria) Robert Ford felt the White House was on better footing than did Rep Perry.  This is from Ford's opening statement and he's discussing Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, etc.  This is the "Iraq snapshot" so I'm editing it so the focus is on Iraq (as always, any edits that leave our remarks between statements are noted by "[. . .]"):

Ambassador Robert Ford: The administration is right to understand that we have to confront the Islamic State and this is an organization wholly different from al Qaeda.  However, if we properly understand the ideology that drives the Islamic State, we would understand that it will never stop fighting in Syria and Iraq, or in other countries where it has a foothold.  It might eventually seek temporary truces but its absolutist interpretations means that eventually the Islamic State will choose to fight all other communities that do not recognize its authority.  Its severe, literalist interpretations of governance and justice alienate a great many of the inhabitants of territories it controls since many of those inhabitants enjoy aspects of 20th and 21st century living.  We have seen this in places like Raqqa and Dier Zour in Syria and in Mosul in Iraq. [. . .] Among jurisprudents in Salafi circles, the Islamic State has vulnerability about its declaration of its being a caliphate and the long-hoped for new caliphate.  If it loses territory so that it cannot govern -- and its judges cannot administer its brand of justice -- it loses some legitimacy of its claim to loyalty and allegiance.  The ground gains in Iraq are important, therefore.  [. . .] Finally, as we and friends fight against the Islamic State, it is extremely important to remember the original context -- aggrieved Sunni Muslim communities in places like Lebanon, Syria and Iraq who are angry at and afraid of Iran and the Arab Shia.  If we ally with Iran against the Islamic State -- directly or indirectly -- we play into the Islmaic State's narrative and will help its recruitment.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015






We'll again start with the ridiculous US State Dept and their pretense that they give a damn about press freedom.  Thaer Ali, Iraqi journalist, was executed by the Islamic State in Mosul this week and the State Dept still hasn't found time to note that murder.  Or the attacks on the press from the Iraqi government.

Today, spokesperson Marie Harft, apparently finally recovered from the public spectacle she made of herself Saturday night at the White House Correspondents Dinner, handled the briefing.

MS HARF: Good afternoon, and welcome to the daily press briefing. I have a couple items at the top, so bear with me. First, in the State Department’s Free the Press campaign – and I think we have some photos, hopefully, coming up – we have two cases for today’s Free the Press campaign.
The first comes from Russian-occupied Crimea, where de facto authorities have shut down 11 of the 12 Crimean Tatar media outlets, including ATR TV – I think it’s up behind me now – the last independent television station serving the Crimean Tatar population. Occupation authorities also have banned most Ukrainian language programming, replacing content with Russian programming. These restrictions on media freedom are part of a worsening situation that demonstrates Russia’s disregard for the population of Crimea. Occupation authorities are systematically closing the space for freedom of expression and leading an intimidation campaign that targets independent journalists for detention and prosecution. All residents of Crimea should have access to a wide range of news, opinion, and information. We condemn Russia’s abuses and call for the end of its occupation of Crimea, which is part of Ukraine, as we’ve said.
I think the screens have gone on to our second case, which comes from Maldives, where an investigative journalist named Ahmed Rilwan has remained disappeared since August of last year. Mr. Rilwan, who wrote often about politics, criminal gangs, and Islamic extremism, was reportedly forced at knifepoint from his residence. We call on the Government of the Maldives to credibly investigate the disappearance of Ahmed Rilwan and to take steps necessary to create space for independent journalists to work without fear of violence or harassment.
And along the same lines here, moving on to the next item at the top, we congratulate Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent, on being named the United Nations Educational – I think, yeah, let’s stay with the map – Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, goodwill ambassador for freedom of expression and journalist safety. As UNESCO’s goodwill ambassador, Amanpour will keep freedom of expression and journalist safety on the global agenda and serve as a voice to governments, reminding them of their obligation to assure that a free press flourishes and combat the culture of impunity that leads to fear and self-censorship among all media professionals. We look forward to her work.

QUESTION: She’s going to leave her position with CNN?

MS HARF: I think you’d probably ask CNN, but I doubt it.

Marie Harf's ridiculous statements come on the same day that Iraq's Minister of the Interior Mohammad Salem al-Ghaban launched his attack on the press blaming them for the Iraqi military's failures (many, many failures).  AP reports:

The comments by Mohammad Salem al-Ghaban, in charge of Iraq’s police, come afterReuters bureau chief recently left the country after threats against him by Shiite militias over a story about abuses and looting following the capture of Tikrit.
Ghaban also suggested that blame for the collapse of Iraqi forces last summer in the initial onslaught by the extremists lay at the feet of journalists.

AP's referring to Ned Parker who had to leave Iraq due to the public threats made against him.  These include the attacks on journalism that Haider al-Abadi was offering April 8th and April 9th.  Monday, we noted that Haider attacked the press twice -- once via a statement from the Cabinet of Ministers (written statement) and the second time was when he appeared before Parliament that day.

Marie Harf and others at the State Dept -- as they pretend to give a damn about press freedom -- have failed to note that.

They look so ridiculous -- but then Marie's been dubbed a "granny chaser" by a friend who attended Saturday's event -- and he has a hilarious routine he's built around that.

Let's move to more ridiculous from granny chaser Marie Harf.

QUESTION: Yes. Do you have any comment about this draft resolution at the Armed Services Committee that calls for the recognition of the Sunni fighters and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces as a country, and so they can be – directly receive aid and weapons from the U.S., not through the central government?

MS HARF: I saw that. I saw that. And to be very clear: The policy of this Administration is clear and consistent in support of a unified Iraq, and that we’ve always said a unified Iraq is stronger, and it’s important to the stability of the region as well. Our military assistance and equipment deliveries, our policy remains the same there as well, that all arms transfers must be coordinated via the sovereign central government of Iraq. We believe this policy is the most effective way to support the coalition’s efforts.
So we look forward to working with congress on language that we could support on this important issue, but the draft bill, as you noted, in the House – this is very early in the process here for the NDAA – as currently written on this issue, of course, does not reflect Administration policy.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: Do you – broadly, do you support – do you believe it’s the Executive Branch’s prerogative to recognize countries?

MS HARF: I do.

QUESTION: Or is it the Senate Armed Services Committee?

MS HARF: This actually is the House --

QUESTION: House Armed Services Committee.

MS HARF: -- Armed Services Committee. The Executive Branch.

Oh, Marie.  Are you still hung over from Saturday?

Or are you that stupid?

Let's zoom in on this nonsense:

Our military assistance and equipment deliveries, our policy remains the same there as well, that all arms transfers must be coordinated via the sovereign central government of Iraq. We believe this policy is the most effective way to support the coalition’s efforts.
So we look forward to working with congress on language that we could support on this important issue, but the draft bill, as you noted, in the House – this is very early in the process here for the NDAA – as currently written on this issue, of course, does not reflect Administration policy.

It's always hilarious to watch Marie make an idiot of herself.

That's not US policy.

It wasn't policy under Bully Boy Bush.

It wasn't policy under Barack.

If you don't get how stupid Marie is (or what a liar she is), focus on one word: Sahwa.

Sahwa, largely Sunni fighters, were paid by who?

The United States.

Even after the press first reported Nouri had started paying the Sahwa, he hadn't.  Under Barack Obama, the US taxpayer was paying Sahwa.

Not through Baghdad, they were paying Sahwa directly -- each male fighter earned approximately $300 a month (female fighters earned less) -- and that was a little over 90,000 men -- and I use "men" intentionally.  No effort was ever made to count the number of female fighters (Daughters Of Iraq, they were called while the males were called Sons Of Iraq and both were also referred to as "Awakenings").

Not only were they paid by the US taxpayer, they were provided with arms by the US taxpayer.

And that's before we get into the CERP funds.

We can get into that too.

We can expose the lies of all Marie's ridiculous pronouncement today.

Again, maybe she was still hung over from Saturday?

Regardless, she didn't utter one true statement in what we quoted.

US policy has been to provide the Sahwa with money and arms. 

That didn't go through Baghdad.

Bully Boy Bush and Barack both knew that sending it through Baghdad would mean it never would arrive because Nouri al-Maliki did not support Sahwa, he did not want them to exist, when the US finally stopped paying the bulk of Sahwa (well into 2010), Nouri refused to pay them, began having leaders and members arrested and worse (killing them is worse). 

So Marie can stop lying about what was and wasn't US policy.

She looks like a ridiculous fool and there's no reason for anyone in the US or elsewhere to believe her after she lies so blatantly in a press briefing.

As we noted this morning and in yesterday's snapshot, the bill in the House of Representatives was making news in Iraq.  It has continued to do so.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015







At today's US State Dept press briefing, spokesperson Jeff Rathke continued the pretense that the department wants a free press:

First, I mentioned yesterday our Free the Press campaign for this week. We have two cases today. Our first comes from Ethiopia. The freelance journalist and former high school English teacher Reeyot Alemu remains in prison after being convicted under Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism proclamation on January 19th, 2012. Reeyot is among 18 other journalists detained in Ethiopia on charges related to their work, making Ethiopia the largest detainer of journalists on the continent.
Reeyot was arrested in June 2011 after writing articles that criticized government policies. She was tried, convicted, and sentenced to 14 years on terrorism-related charges. Her sentence was reduced to five years by the supreme court in August 2012, and she lost a subsequent appeal to dismiss the case altogether. We call on the government to release Reeyot, who is in prison simply for exercising her right of freedom of expression. We urge the government to refrain from using its anti-terrorism proclamation as a mechanism to curb the free exchange of ideas.

Our second case comes from Vietnam, where a blogger, Ta Phong Tan, winner of the 2013 International Women of Courage Awards, currently is imprisoned amid a 10-year sentence for writing posts critical of the government and the Communist Party. She was among the first bloggers to write and comment on political news events long considered off limits by authorities. And we call on the Government of Vietnam to release her immediately and to allow all Vietnamese to express their political views freely both online and offline.

As we noted in yesterday's snapshot, Iraqi journalist Thaer Ali was killed in Mosul, executed by the Islamic State.  Agenzia Nova notes IS grabbed him three weeks ago and charged him with the 'crime' of having a cellphone and using it to communicate with person or persons outside of Mosul.   Shafaq adds that Thaer "was the editor of al-Rae local newspaper, which had been issued in Mosul before the events of last June."

"The events of last June" refer to when the Islamic State took control of Mosul.  NRT points out, "IS militants regularly kill Mosul residents who oppose the group's rule, including political candidates, lawyers, professors and even members of its own leadership."

The State Dept can't say a word about the murder of Thaer Ali.

This while pretending they're defending freedom of the press worldwide with their silly little campaign.

When Reuters' journalist Ned Parker had to leave Iraq this month for the 'crime' of reporting, Reporters Without Borders observed:

According to the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, a Reporters Without Borders partner organization, the authorities in the southern province of Basra are prosecuting freelance journalist Nasser Al-Hajjaj for criticizing the governor on social networks. The head of the Supreme Islamic Council has asked the governor to withdraw his complaint. Al-Hajjaj is currently in Lebanon.

Reporters Without Borders and JFO wrote a joint letter to the Supreme Council of the Judiciary, the Baghdad Court of Appeal and the Court for Press and Publication Cases in February 2014 drawing attention to the way many government officials and politicians abuse the possibility of bringing legal proceedings in order to sabotage the work of journalists.

Iraq is ranked 156th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

And Iraq's prime minister continues to do his part to keep the attacks on the press alive. Alsumaria notes that today the Council of Ministers condemned the press and did so with (yet another) statement from Haider al-Abadi attacking the press.

He carried his attack to the Parliament today.  All Iraq News notes that he decried the 'defaming' of the Iraqi military.

See, if the Iraqi military attacks civilians and steals and burns down civilian homes after 'liberation,' Haider's okay with that.  He'll give them a day or two to break the law and commit crimes and then declare publicly 48 or hours later that starting now -- right now -- these crimes need to stop.

Now if the press dare report on these crimes -- as Ned Parker did -- that's bad.

April 3rd, Ned Parker and Reuters reported:

Since its recapture two days ago, the Sunni city of Tikrit has been the scene of violence and looting. In addition to the killing of the extremist combatant, Reuters correspondents also saw a convoy of Shi'ite paramilitary fighters – the government's partners in liberating the city – drag a corpse through the streets behind their car.
Local officials said the mayhem continues. Two security officers, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Friday that dozens of homes had been torched in the city. They added that they had witnessed the looting of stores by Shi'ite militiamen.

Later Friday, Ahmed al-Kraim, head of the Salahuddin Provincial Council, told Reuters that mobs had burned down "hundreds of houses" and looted shops over the past two days. Government security forces, he said, were afraid to confront the mobs. Kraim said he left the city late Friday afternoon because the situation was spinning out of control.

Reporting those realities is a 'crime' in Haider's eyes and he not only issued a statement attacking reporters today, he also attacked them before the Parliament.

While reporting is a crime to Haider, the military's action isn't -- not in Haider's eyes, never in Haider's eyes -- but reporters who do their jobs?  That's a crime in Haider's eyes.

Appearing this month on NPR's Morning Edition (link is audio and transcript), Ned discussed the report with Steve Inskeep:

Steve Inskeep: What happened that instead began to make this a story about you?

Ned Parker: Well our team, on the day that Tikrit was liberated, they called me during the day and said, "We've witnessed an execution by federal police of a detainee in the street."  And it was a mob mentality.  And they could only stay a few moments because it was such a crazed scene I think our people feared for their own safety.  So when they came home that evening, we had a huge debate about do we report this, is this too sensationalist?  It's one incident.  But when we looked at the whole picture, we also saw a body being dragged by a group of Shi'ite paramilitaries.  We had   photos of this which we published  And there had been looting and arson of areas that surround Tikrit.  So we felt that we had to report what happened there, that if we didn't, we wouldn't be meeting our obligation to report fairly and impartially about the critical issue right now: What happens when security forces enter an area that has been under Islamic State control, that is Sunni and then has predominately Shia security paramilitary forces enter.

Steve Inskeep: This is the most basic job of a war correspondent: Go look at a war and report exactly what you see.

Ned Parker: Mm-hmm.  Right.  And this was a test case for the government.  The Iraqi government and the US government have spoken about the importance of post-conflict stabilization operations in Iraq.

Steve Inskeep: What happened after you published the story?

Ned Parker: It was picked up everywhere.  I think it was seen because of what our correspondents witnessed -- this execution which was horrific -- where they watched two federal policemen basically trying to saw off the head of a suspected Islamic State fighter to cheers from federal police, our story became really the example of what went wrong in Tikrit.  And it was published on April 3rd.  The night of April 5th on Facebook, on a site associated with Shi'ite paramilitary groups and political forces, a picture of myself went up calling for Iraqis to expell me. It quickly received over 100 shares and comments including, "Better to kill him than to expel him."

Steve Inskeep:  Did it blow over?

Ned Parker: No.  It only got worse.  I-I did go out and try to have meetings with some people, different prominent Iraqis, about it.  And then on Wednesday night [April 8th]  the channel of Asaib al-Haq -- which is a prominent Shi'ite political party and paramilitary group, my face is the backdrop as the anchor talks and he actually waives also a print out of my face and talks about how I should be expelled from the country and then proceeds to read a letter from an Iraqi living in the United States who also again calls for me to be expelled and describes Reuters as trampling on the dignity of Iraq and Shi'ite paramilitary groups and after that there's no way I could have stayed in the country -- both for myself and for my staff.  My presence was polarizing the situation.  So I left the next day.

All Iraq News notes Parliament held a session today in which they hosted Hiader.  Alsumaria reports Haider al-Abadi declared that there was no marginalization of any groups of people in Iraq and that the Cabinet votes are determined by consensus.

Well then it's time for Shi'ite militias to start killing Shi'ites because they're being 'marginalized' what with all the time these thugs are devoting to killing Sunnis.

ميليشيات الحشد تقتل "8" من نازحي الانبار في منطقة حي الجهاد غرب بغداد.
54 retweets21 favorites

That's Iraqi Spring MC noting 8 refugees from Anbar Province who were killed by Baghdad's Shi'ite militias.

Graffiti is going up around Baghdad, threatening the displaced from Anbar, telling them to leave or be killed.  And to the south of Baghdad, in Mahmudiya, the Shi'ite militias have declared all Anbar refugees must leave within 72 hours or they will be killed.

But remember, Haider said this morning that no group is targeted in Iraq.

Of course, Rudaw reports that he also told the Parliament that if the day came when he "couldn't protect the Iraqi people, I will leave my post."

Does he think he's protecting the Anbar refugees?

Does he think he's protecting the Sunni population?

If so, he has a very minimal notion of what "protection" actually means.

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