Tags: Joseph Sasson, Saddam Hussein's Baath party
Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party, An Interview With Prof. Joseph Sassoon
Tags: Iraqi local elections
|2013 Iraqi Local Election Results|
The Iraqi people went to polls on 20 April 2013 to designate provincial councils in Iraq. 302 political groups formed 50 coalitions to take part in provincial councils and 8100 candidates competed to take office in provincial councils.The total electoral turnout in 12 provinces where elections were held was 51%. The Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq (IHEC) announced the first election results according to 87% of the votes in 12 provinces on 20 April 2013. You can have access to the early election results of provinces.
|26 April 2013|
Tags: Anne Nivat
Anne Nivat : « Les femmes sont exceptionnelles en temps de guerre »
Par Emilie Poyard – Le 18/03/2013
Ce soir, ne ratez pas le très bon documentaire d’Anne Nivat, « Irak, l’ombre de la guerre ». La reporter de guerre française est rentrée cet automne d’Irak où elle a retrouvé les familles qui l’ont accueillie depuis 2003, à chacun de ces reportages. La journaliste indépendante, récompensée en 2000 par le prix Albert-Londres, a demandé à tous comment ils ont traversé la guerre. Et comment ils vivent aujourd’hui. Intimiste et incisif, ce film donne à voir les liens qu’elle a tissés avec des Irakiens, qu’ils soient prof, pharmacien, ex-amiral ou prêtre, tout en dressant un portrait du Bagdad d’aujourd’hui. Avec un dur constat : malgré la chute de Sadam Hussein, l’Irak peine à se reconstruire. Interview.
Tags: army intervention, Hawijah, Kirkuk, public protests
World Bulletin/News Desk
Death toll was announced as 92 over the incidents in Hawijah town of Kirkuk in Iraq.
In the past two days, incidents spread after the army forces intervened in a public protest during which 92 people were killed and more than 100 others were wounded.
An ambush on an army convoy near Tikrit with roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenades killed three more soldiers. Three more troops were killed in an attack in Diyala province.
Later on Wednesday, clashes erupted in the northern city of Mosul, where gunmen launched an attack after using a mosque loudspeaker to call Sunnis to join their fight. At least three police and four soldiers died in the assault, officials said.
In a separate attack, at least eight people were also killed and 23 more wounded when a car bomb exploded in eastern Baghdad, police and medical sources said.
Also, four Iraqi ministers resigned to protest the incidents.
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Salih al-Mutlaq, Minister of Industry & Minerals Ahmad Nasir Dilli al-Karbuli, Education Minister Muhammad Tamim, and Minister of Science & Technology Abd al-Karim al-Samarrai resigned as a reaction to the incidents. On Wednesday, tribes in Al Anbar city in the west of Iraq decided to set up armed units to protect the protestors.
Thousands of Sunnis have been protesting since December, venting frustrations building up since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the empowerment of Iraq’s Shi’ite majority through the ballot box.
“We are staying restrained so far, but if government forces keep targeting us, no one can know what will happen in the future, and things could spin out of control,” said Abdul Aziz al-Faris, a Sunni tribal leader in Hawija.
Maliki has set up a committee headed by a senior Sunni leader to investigate the violence at the Hawija camp. He has promised to punish any excessive use of force and provide for victims’ families.
Meanwhile, Organization of the Islamic Cooperation released a statement, and condemned the excessive force used by security forces.
According to a written statement released by OIC, Iraqi government was called to protect the unity of the public, follow the route of peace and dialogue, and fulfill the demands of protestors.
It was also added in the statement that opinion leaders and religious officials had to make efforts within the framework of Mecca Agreement which was signed to strengthen unity of Iraqi people.
Iraqi Sunni and Shia leaders signed the Mecca Agreement in October 2006 to stop the sectarian tension and bloodshed in the country.
Tags: Corruption in Iraq, Fake bomb detectors
|Zero Tolerance for Corruption|
Posted on 25 April 2013
IRAQ BUSINESS NEWS
Before the local elections, an art student climbed the tallest building in central Baghdad and hung a banner depicting a giant eye, with the caption “We can see you”, overlooking the Green Zone.
It’s an image that should be in the minds of all who consider bribery to be a perk of the job, or even an entitlement.
This week in the UK, businessman Jim McCormick was found guilty of selling fake bomb detectors to security forces, many of them in Iraq; he made an estimated $84 million from the scam, and was facilitated by corrupt officials who were happy to take his life-changing backhanders. Many others, however, had their lives changed in very different ways, when they fell victim to the bombs that went undetected by McCormick’s phoney devices.
At a different level, there are many who believe it’s OK to accept ‘gifts’ for simply doing their jobs, and they will always have an excuse for it: “everyone else is doing it”, “I need the money”, “other people are taking more”,
But it’s all part of the same amoral culture that must be eradicated from any civilised society. Finding the culprits is one thing, but making the crime of corruption socially unacceptable is another. The people can see you, and ultimately will have zero tolerance for what you do.
Tags: Hicran Kazanci
The Turkmen base their hopes on resolution
The Iraqi Turkmen are also focused on the resolution process. Iraqi Turkmen Front Representative Kazancı: If the peace process is interrupted we will become an open target.
Interpretations in terms of ‘process’ from Iraqi Turkmen… Iraqi Turkmen Front Representative Hicran Kazancı spoke to AKŞAM regarding his expectations in terms of the negotiations and resolution process carried out with Imralı.
Kazancı indicated that they feared that the resolution efforts would be interrupted however, they did not want to lose hope and said, ‘it is the hope of us all that the process achieves success’. The assessment of Iraqi Turkmen Front Representative Kazancı is summarized as follows:
WE DON’T EVEN WANT TO THINK ABOUT IT
If the RESOLUTION is interrupted the repercussions of the conflicts will have a negative impact on Turkey as well as the Turkmen living in Northern Iraq. But we do not even want to think about this. Because we have made positive and significant headway with the Kurds in North Iraq. Now when conditions normalize the Iraqi Turkmen will emerge to the forefront. In other words the strengthening of Turkey in the region will be in our favor.
If the process is interrupted the situation will be reversed. We may have a security problem. Since we do not have an armed militia in Kirkuk we have always been an open target there. If the process is unsuccessful we may become a target. A conclusion of the conflict will not only bring stability to Turkey but to the whole region. When the process is normalized in Iraq the Turkmen will become the strongest element.
WE WİLL FEEL SAFE
When the PEACE process is finalized there will be no stopping the rising power of Turkey. With the rise of this power the Iraqi Turkmen will feel more safe over there. The population and presence of the Iraqi Turkmen is dependent on the influence of Turkey in the region. The stronger the influence of Turkey is, the stronger is our population, our presence. For this reason Turkey is the guarantee of our existence.
TURKEY does not act in line with the scenarios drawn by global states any more. It has become a playmaker. For this reason those who objected to the rising power of Turkey always scratched this scab. Used it against Turkey.
NO EXPANSIONIST POLICY
The dictatorships in the MIDDLE EAST always plant the idea with their people that ’Turkey follows an expansionist policy’. They said, “Turkey wants to confiscate our lands as well’. A great hatred for Turkey was prevalent among the people. However, particularly after the bill of 2003 it was understood that Turkey had no clandestine agenda in terms of the region. The people of Iraq understood this: that the smear propaganda regarding Turkey had no truth to it and that Turkey was not involved in an expansionist policy.
10 years after the war, Innocent New Lives are Still Dying and Suffering In Iraq. Human Rights NGO new reportApril 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: Congenital birth defects in Fallujah, Fallujah, Human Rights Now
On April 18, HRN released a press release:
Human Rights Now
10 years after the war, Innocent New Lives are Still Dying and Suffering In Iraq.
Human Rights NGO publish the Report of a Fact Finding Mission on Congenital Birth Defects in Fallujah, Iraq in 2013
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War. After the war, particularly in the most recent few years, a deeply troubling rise in the numbers of birth defects has been reported by doctors in Iraq, leading to suspicions that environmental contamination from the war may be having a significant negative effect on the health of local people, and in particular infants and children. For instance in Fallujah, the city heavily attacked by the US twice in 2004, the data of Fallujah General Hospital shows that around 15% of babies of all births in Fallujah since 2003 have some congenital birth defect.
Human Rights Now (HRN), a Tokyo based international human rights NGO in consultative status with the UNEconomic and Social Council, conducted a fact-finding mission in Fallujah, Iraq in early 2013 to investigate the situation of the reported increasing number of birth defects in Iraq.
Today, HRN published a report over 50 pages entitled “Innocent New Lives are Still Dying and Suffering in Iraq” on this investigation.
This is the first investigation conducted by an international human rights NGO on the congenital birth defect issue in Iraq since 2003. Despite the gravity of the situation, there has not been a sufficient investigation of the health consequences associated with toxic munitions in Iraq by the US, UK or any independent international organization such as a UN body.
Through one month period’s extensive investigation, the fact finding team has found an extraordinary situation of congenital birth defects in both nature and quantity. The investigation suggested a significant rise in these health consequences in the period following the war, and HRN found that the rights to health and life of children have been seriously violated in Fallujah, Iraq, and that the epidemic of congenital birth defects in Iraq needs immediate international attention.
The report discloses documentation and photos of over 70 cases of recent birth defects in Fallujah, with the permission of the hospital and the families. “Although the disclosure of such incidents is an extremely sensitive issue, the families and especially the mothers expressed a strong desire to share their cases in order to highlight the birth defect situation in Iraq. We sincerely hope many people in the world, especially the states concerned as well as relevant international institutions, know the gravity of the victimization.”, Kazuko Ito, Secretary General of Human Rights Now stated.
An overview of scientific literature relating to the effects of uranium and heavy metals associated with munitions used in the 2003 Iraq War and occupation, together with potential exposure pathways, strongly suggest that environmental contamination resulting from combat during the Iraq War may be playing a significant role in the observed rate of birth defects. However, without sufficient disclosure of information related to toxic weapons used during the conflict, the cause of problem has not yet been identified.
In order to prevent further victimization of the lives of innocent children, it is urgent that a comprehensive investigation into the prevalence of birth defects and toxicity related illnesses in Iraq be conducted, including any correlation between such illnesses to scrap or munitions debris left by the Iraq conflict. It is essential to investigate the sources and spread of birth defects, identify causes, establish effective public health policies and medical care, and provide appropriate compensation for victims.
Human Rights Now therefore calls on the US and UK governments to disclose all information regarding the types of weapons used during the occupation, quantities fired, and exact firing points, and to take necessary measures to protect the right to health and life of the local people if a pollution problem is indicated.
Furthermore, HRN calls on the Iraqi government to establish an independent commission into investigating serious health problems reported after the war, and the UN Human Rights Council to establish measures for the investigation of all human rights abuses committed during the war, including the use of inhumane and toxic weapons. The outcomes of the WHO investigation into the birth defect issue in Iraq has yet to be publicly released, but in the event of a public health issue being identified, HRN additionally urges the WHO to provide technical assistance and guidance in creating policies and measures to tackle the issue, as well as to consider conducting further investigations to try to better clarify the epidemiological nature of the phenomenon.
Tags: Iraq's electricity
Another Hollow Promise By Iraq’s Electricity Ministry, End To Power Shortages By October 2013
Iraq’s Electricity Ministry recently said that it would solve Iraq’s power problems later this year. This was not the first time that it had much such a bold announcement. That was also the reason why the remarks were met with widespread skepticism within the country. Questioning the Ministry’s statement is justified, because it has failed to reach its benchmarks before, and lacks the institutional capacity and support to deal with the daunting task it faces.
In April 2013, the Electricity Ministry promised that Iraq’s electricity shortages would be ended by October. The Ministry was quoted as saying that private generator operators would have to sell their equipment, because they would no longer be needed in just a few months. The Ministry made similar statements back in January, when it said that the country would reach self-sufficiency in power by the end of the year. The next month, Deputy Premier Hussein Shahristani who is in charge of Iraq’s energy policy announced that three new power stations would be opened per month until the electricity problems were solved. These assertions were immediately criticized. A parliamentarian from the oil and energy committee for example, told the press that the Ministry was exaggerating, and that the government continuously claimed that it would solve the electricity crisis soon, but never did. The lawmaker had grounds to be skeptical. The Electricity Ministry was actually misrepresenting its goals. According to its 5-year plan, the government is not supposed to meet demand for power until 2015. Not only that, but Shahristani has openly come out against the Ministry in the past claiming that its predictions should not be listened to, and that its numbers were only theoretical. Iraq is in fact facing large structural and institutional problems that inhibit it from solving its power problems any time soon.
There are a number of interconnected issues, which have stalled Baghdad’s plans for resolving its energy needs. First, the country’s power grid needs everything from power stations to generators to transmission lines and more. It is also poorly designed, which leads to up to one-third of the power to be lost before it reaches consumers, the highest rate in the Middle East. That means that simply installing generators or building new stations as the government continuously announces will not end the country’s dilemma. In fact, if the entire system is not repaired and renovated, the Ministry cannot achieve its goal. Second, the authorities have not budgeted enough money for the Ministry. Its 5-year plan calls for $31.8 billion, but in 2011, it only got $3.2 billion for its capital budget. The government has also failed to attract private money for its effort, which means that the federal funds are all that it has available. Third, the Electricity Ministry lacks the capacity to plan, manage, and maintain the infrastructure that it has and wants in the future. That means it can’t handle the large contracts that it is signing. Finally, demand for power has continuously increased since 2003 due to the release of pent up demand after over ten years of sanctions. On top of that, few Iraqis pay their bills, and many that do have subsidized prices. That means there is little real control over consumption. In fact, after the Ministry’s recent remarks, Azzaman reported a run on prices for consumer goods like refrigerators and air conditions. Altogether that means there is little likelihood that Baghdad can solve the country’s power outages this October, or anytime soon. Until it builds up its personnel, emphasizes developing the entire network, gets the necessary funding, and puts a clamp on usage all of its remarks are hollow promises.
Every year the Iraqi government claims that it is close to solving the country’s continuous black outs and electricity problems. Every year it comes up short. The April 2013 announcement that private generators would no longer be necessary by October is part of this long list of promises that will ultimately be broken. Baghdad simply lacks the capacity to adequately plan for such a monumental task, not to mention fund, implement, and then manage and maintain all of the work that needs to be done on the national grid. Until the government addresses its institutional problems it will never be able to resolve this pressing issue, which continues to rank as one of the most important to the public.
Tags: Ana Gomez, Arab Spring, Guy Verhofstadt, Isabelle Durant, Spinelli Debate at the EU Parl
Isabelle Durant,Vice-President of the European Parliament; Mahmud Gebril, Interim
prime minister of Libya during the civil war; Guy Verhofstadt, President of the ALDE
Group; Néguib Chebbi, Leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (Tunisia)
Néguib Chebbi, Leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (Tunisia)
Mahmud Gebril, Interim prime minister of Libya during the civil war and former chairman of the National Transition Council.
Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Spinelli MEP, Co-President of the Greens/EFA Group (absent)
Guy Verhofstadt, Spinelli MEP, President of the ALDE Group
Isabelle Durant, Spinelli MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament
MEP Anna Gomez attended the Meeting.
The EU was taken by surprise when the Arab world awoke, as demonstrated by the uncoordinated national responses rather than a European response. This situation highlights the need for a better structured and more focused EU policy approach in order to participate to the emergence of a more stable and democratic Arab world.
Today the Arab world’s new political elites are facing the double challenge of satisfying popular pressure for democratic governance and an economic and social crisis. Have the Arab Spring protests calling for democracy and economic justice, just come and gone?
Full house for the Spinelli group debate at the EU Parliament in Brussels
The Chair, Mr. Guy Verhofstadt, opened the meeting by welcoming the Tunisian and Libyan guests. He said that Europe should engage more in the Arab world to help the Arab Spring. He wished for cooperation with the countries around the Mediterranean and said: ‘Let’s create a great Mare Nostrum“.
Ms. Isabelle Durant, Vice-President of the European Parliament said that some call it an ‘Arab Winter’ but that change needs time. She said that revolution unites but that elections divide the people. Counter power is still missing, one must build for the next elections in order to consolidate democracy.
Mr. Mahmud Gebril said that Libya is still in the beginning of its revolution, he reminded the audience that the first 10 years of the French revolution were bloody. He said : We do not have a state yet, we are a stateless society, the tribal structure keeps the country together. In the three North African countries Tunisia, Libya and Egypt the new generation went to the street to have a better world, they have no ideology, they are defending Human Rights and democracy. A national dialogue is needed in the three countries, the EU can play a role. The EU influence in North Africa is diminishing, regrettably. Illegal migration is a heavy burden on the EU. The African market is going to be the fastest growing market within the next 50 years. Transfer of technology is important. The integration and participation of the youth is essential for the revolution to succeed. Regarding Syria he said that the Syrian people are paying a very heavy price, there are more than 4 million refugees. More unity is needed within the Syrian revolution, Assad should leave power, but people from the actual government who have no blood on their hands should be maintained. He added: if everybody is included there will be no extremism.
Mr. Néguib Chebbi thanked the EU for their moral support. He said that the economic model had failed under the dictatorial regime in Tunisia. The revolution in Tunisia is not an historical accident, it is thanks to the young Tunisians that the revolution began. The youths who use new technologies to communicate such as internet and FB went to the street to demand better living conditions and the respect of their human rights. The revolution took the political parties by surprise. He said he visited the young Tunisians in Lampedusa, he spoke with them and all they want is to work and have their share, therefore the political parties must guarantee the rights of the new generation. Mr. Néguib Chebbi said that the future of the EU and of North Africa is interdependent.
Dr. Hassan Aydinli spoke with MEP Ana Gomez, he updated her on the situation in Iraq and informed her of the latest attacks on the Turkmens.