Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Obama Silent About Iraqi Government's Crackdown on Journalists & Protesters

Crackdown on Journalists & protesters in Iraq Obama MIA
Obama cherry picks which popular uprising to support and which authoritarian Regime or dictator to support depending on America's relationship with each regime. America's friendly dictators are supported and the pro-reform movement in such a country are ignored or dismissed out of hand or even demonized or thrown under the bus as it were by the Obama Regime as in Iraq, Yemen , Saudi Arabia etc.And while condemning Qaddaffi in Libya Obama refuses to take seriously the anti-government reform movement in Iraq -Obama insists the people of Iraq love the Americans are are glad to have their country occupied by a foreign power. In the same way the delusional Qaddaffi still publicly claims the people of Libya love him and the uprising is part of a foreign plot by Alqaeda to undermine his regime 's authority.

"US Silent as Iraqi Regime Cracks Down" by Justin Elliott at Salon.com via Commondreams Feb. 28, 2011

We saw it with Yemen, and now we're seeing it again with Iraq: the Obama administration is conspicuously quiet when friendly Middle East regimes use ugly tactics -- including violence and imprisoning peaceful demonstrators -- to quell growing protest movements in their countries.

That's in marked contrast to the administration's tough stand when similar tactics are employed by unfriendly governments like the one in Iran. In a statement yesterday, the White House "strongly condemn[ed] the Iranian government's organized intimidation campaign and arrests of political figures, human rights defenders, political activists, student leaders, journalists and bloggers."

But in one of the least-noticed stories of the week, the U.S.-backed government of Nouri al-Maliki in Iraq has resorted to imprisoning 300 journalists, intellectuals, and lawyers in order to stop ongoing protests, according to a well-reported Washington Post dispatch from Baghdad.

The Post story reports that about 30 people have been killed -- at least some of them gunned down by government forces seeking to disperse protests. And the imprisoned dissidents are not being treated humanely, according to one journalist who was detained:

Just before they were freed, however, Hadi was held in a room where about 300 people sat on the floor. They had black hoods over their heads. Many were groaning, their shirts bloodied. Some wore suits and ties. An elderly man had passed out. Hadi recognized a friend, a TV broadcaster, among them.

As far as I can tell, there has been no public response from the administration to what's happening in Iraq. Yesterday I reached out to State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley to see if the administration has any comment. I will update this post if I hear back. It's also worth noting that the administration has a lot more real sway with Iraq -- where there are still tens of thousands of American troops posted -- than with many of the other countries in the region.

Madison Police crack down refuse protesters access to Capitol Building /Rotundra Wisconsin
Is this to be another trade off made by Obama for what non-cooperation of the Tea Party Republicans.
It is difficult these days to make a real distintion between the Tea Party the Religious Right & The Republican Party.
The rich want less government and less taxes for them with increasing surveillance on the general public who are only seen as consumers and not as partners in America's pseudo-democracy.
The Religious Right wants la decrease in the federal governments powers and an increase in the power of states and municipalities which they believe should be controlled by God fearing born again Christians and the Christian Mullahs who would enforce Biblical law on all Americans no matter their religion.In fact like the Islamists extremists these Christian Nationalists or Christian Taliban or Christian Fascists believe that other religious groups are not to have the same freedoms , rights or privileges as the Christians. As Newt Gingrich and his fellow travelers have said they believe that no more Mosques or Hindu Temples or Buddhist centers be built in America since allowing these other religions equal status is an affront to Christianity and to America which is a nation which owes its very existence to God and not men. The men involved over the centuries in the creation of the American colonies from plymouth rock on to the War of Independence were doing God's Will.
If those fighting for the thirteen colonies independence were carrying out God's Will does that the British Empire was anti-God and working unknowingly for the principalities ie Satan.

Anger After a Day of Lockdown in Madison by David Dayen at Firedoglake via CommonDreams.org, Feb. 28, 2011

With a lot of the media pulling up stakes yesterday in Madison as protests entered their third week, and with one day until Governor Walker’s budget presentation to a joint session of the legislature, it was an opportune time for a serious crackdown on access to the Capitol. And that’s what happened today. Capitol police only allowed in constituents with appointments with members of the legislature, and refused access for anyone who wouldn’t show ID, including a state Representative.

State Rep Kelda Helen Roys, D-Madison, says she was denied access to the Capitol at several entrances this morning because she refused to show her Capitol ID card.

“I said I’m a representative, but I don’t feel you have any legal basis for restricting my access whether I have a Capitol ID or not,” she says. “And they said, ‘Our orders are that no one gets in this building unless they have a Capitol ID.’”

She eventually got in by tagging along with a member of the media.
Roys was not the only Democratic Assemblymember who had difficulty today. And even those who entered the building were subject to pat-downs and metal detectors, which never occurred previously. There were even police dogs out front. This sounds like a totally different place from the one I left yesterday.

Protest organizers have been negotiating with the Capitol police for access for their colleagues throughout the day, as well as an increase in access to supplies, but to no avail. The rules kept changing – first people wouldn’t be allowed in, then a few negotiated individually. But in general, the Capitol was closed to visitors and protesters, the opposite of what organizers were told Sunday night, and in violation of the state Constitutional allowance for peaceful assembly. Even as Democrats held a “public” hearing on the budget repair bill, the public could not get to the Capitol Rotunda, and were escorted to and from the hearing room. Protesters have dwindled to anywhere from a dozen to a hundred, depending on what you read.

The Wisconsin ACLU wrote a letter to the Department of Administration making these same points. “Prohibiting protesters on either side of the debate from entering the Capitol during normal business hours or during legislative hearings or sessions, while allowing others with ‘business’ in the Capitol to enter, is manifestly content-based and hence presumptively unconstitutional,” a letter from the group to Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch said. You can read Huebsch’s response. It’s nonsense. He’s saying that the Capitol remains closed to additional protesters, when that’s not what he told activists yesterday.

“It’s definitely different from what they were saying last night,” says David Wasserman, who was at the Capitol Sunday night, but who was back at his teaching job at Sennett Middle School this morning.

Wasserman says police told protesters Sunday that the Capitol doors would be open for business as usual this morning.

“Our understanding was the general public would be able to access the Capitol based on the regular hours and they actually specifically said that at 8 o’clock the doors would be unlocked,” he says.
Rep. Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) said in a statement, “Governor Walker and the Republicans are trying again to shut down freedom of speech and assembly, core Constitutional values. This is part of Walker’s plan to ram the budget despair bill through without letting 28 other Representatives vote. Now he is taking away your rights and freedom to visit the Capitol.”

You can add to that the petty measures to make it difficult for Democratic Senate staffers to get their work done, like revoking their photocopying codes and charging for printing paper (really).

I don’t see how this does anything but raise the anger among the protesters, hundreds of whom chanted and demonstrated outside the Capitol today. Maybe that’s the point, to get them to do something stupid. But I don’t think that will happen. The protest movement is far smarter and more focused in their activities than to do that. They are saying that this is an illustration of how Governor Walker has tried to silence the voices of Wisconsin citizens, and an extension of Walker’s effort to silence public employees. As the co-president of the Teaching Assistants’ Association, Kevin Gibbons, said, “Governor Walker is blatantly abusing his power to quell the public dissent and discourse around the Budget Repair Bill and the impending release of the state budget. The citizens of Wisconsin should not accept such blatant disregard for our rights to be inside of the Capitol, peacefully demonstrate, and voice our opinions.”


Ray Davis an American citizen who claims diplomatic immunity is not a diplomat but a member of a covert operation by the US government in Pakistan. The operation in fact maybe both illegal and unethical but that never stopped the USA before since they are the only ones permitted to decide what the rules are to be in its pseudo war on Terrorism .

Once again Obama has little interest in justice when it comes to protecting American undercover agents even if they commit murder. This has been the attitude of American presidents and their administrations going back at least 60 years.

"Same Cover, Same Lies
I Had Ray Davis's Job, in Laos 30 Years Ago" By ROBERT ANDERSON February 28, 2011 "Counterpunch" via Information Clearing House Feb. 28,2011

The story of Raymond Allen Davis is one familiar to me and I wish our government would quit doing these things - they cost us credibility.

Davis is the American being held as a spy working under diplomatic cover out of our embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. You can understand why foreign countries no longer trust us and people are rising up across the Middle East against the Great Satan.

In the Vietnam War the country of Laos held a geo-strategic position, as does Pakistan does to Afghanistan today. As in Pakistan, in Laos our country conducted covert military operations against a sovereign people, using the CIA.

I was a demolitions technician with the Air Force who was reassigned to work with the CIA’s Air America operation in Laos. We turned in our military IDs cards and uniforms and were issued a State Department ID card and dressed in blue jeans. We were told if captured we were to ask for diplomatic immunity, if alive. We carried out military missions on a daily basis all across the countries of Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Cindy Sheehan writes that it amazes her that so few of the protesters in Wisconsin have publicly made the connection between the disastrous War on Terror and America's economic problems.
Meanwhile Obama has turned out to be more in favor of the Military Industrial Complex than he is in helping average Americans and the poor and wotking poor.
In fact he has increased the budget for the Military while lowering or ending subsidies for the poor and working poor.

It's the War Economy, Duh!By Cindy Sheehan at "Information Clearing House"(ICH) Feb. 28, 2011

I recently sent out a statement in solidarity with the workers who are standing firm against their respective states wanting to make the workers pay more for their benefits and retirement—Wisconsin is hoping to make state workers take what amounts to an 18% cut in pay by raising their contributions for these safety nets. Wisconsin is also trying to severely limit collective bargaining for state workers, which, of course would further undermine labor.
With the cost of EVERYTHING rising because the cost of the US’s “reserve currency,” gasoline, is rising, asking the working class to sacrifice any more is unconscionable, especially when it is not the fault of the workers that capitalism is in such a state of crisis right now. Where does the Robber Class always go to preserve its status quo? That’s right, right after the resources of the Robbed Class.

Last year on this date, the average price of a gallon of gas was $2.70, and today it’s $3.29! With the volatility of oil prices resting on increasing political turmoil in the countries that produce (or give unfettered access to canals and pipelines) the most oil, one would have to wonder who really is behind the chaos in these countries?

Today, with the average price per gallon of heating oil rising to 3.62 (up .72 cents per gallon from last year), the Obama administration is cutting back on and heating oil subsidies for the most vulnerable of our population after he just signed a two-year extension of tax cuts for the rich! Extending the Bush era tax cuts for the rich added almost 900 billion dollars to the deficit and to partially offset that wealthy-fare, he is slashing social programs for the poor.

The defense industry received another swelling of its coffers by the Pentagon (the cash machine for the profiteers) being allotted a record-shattering 550 billion dollars plus some 160 billion dollars for the OCO (Overseas Contingency Operation). That brings the Pentagon’s base budget (doesn’t include black-ops , the nuclear program , or foreign military aid ). All this from a "peace" president who campaigned on a platform unequivocally stating (with his fingers crossed behind his back), that, as president, he would include the cost of the wars in with the regular budgets and not ask for supplemental funding as his predecessor had done on numerous occasions.

...It’s the war economy, duh. It’s been widely reported that it costs one million dollars a year to keep one troop deployed in Afghanistan—with about 100, 000 troops currently there, if that immoral misadventure ended tomorrow, that would be a 100 BILLION dollar savings just on troop upkeep!

Wisconsin is facing a 137 million dollar budget deficit—that’s 137 troops. If Obama brought home 137 troops and gave the savings to Wisconsin, that problem would be solved!

Indiana is facing a one billion dollar shortfall for 2012-2014 (they have two year budgetary cycles), and that would mean that 1000 more troops home would solve Indiana’s budgetary crisis.
My own dear state, California, is facing a WHOPPING 26 billion—because we’re a whopping state—Obama, bring home 2600 more troops and fork over the savings to us.

As a matter of fact without listing each state individually, 44 states plus the District of Columbia are in financial crises right now with a projected cumulative short fall of 125 BILLION dollars. Bringing every troop home from Afghanistan, and the remaining troops from Iraq would save 160 billion plus, because the troops are coming home, cancel that 36 billion dollar contract Boeing just received to build 179 tankers for the War Machine. Take the savings and reinvest that money back into the states and a real jobs’ program that isn’t chaired by the King of Outsourcing (Jeff Immelt), and we down here in our stratosphere would be sitting rather prettily.
Our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters and friends would be home from the killing deserts and there would be decent paying jobs for them when they returned.

Don’t expect MoveOn.org to connect the dots of war spending with these budget emergencies—a look at the front page of its website mentions nada about wars, except to slam Rummy’s new book, but he’s just a Republican, anyway.

and so it goes,

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