mardi 29 janvier 2013

The 2006 Mass Murder of Iraqi Civilians by US Forces. Evidence of Unspeakable War Crimes

The 2006 Mass Murder of Iraqi Civilians by US Forces. Evidence of Unspeakable War Crimes

New Facts Emerge About the 2006 Al-Ishaqi Massacre. Investigation Must Be Reopened

Iraq War Crimes: Haditha: Another Small Massacre – No One Guilty
Global Research Editor’s Note
We bring to the attention of our readers this study on the 2006 Al Ishaqi massacre in Iraq, where eleven innocent civilians including five children were massacred by US occupation forces. The Pentagon immediately proceeded in portraying the massacre as part of an operation directed against Al Qaeda militants.
According the  US Forces Spokesman, William B. Caldwell,  “US military personnel had followed the proper procedures and rules of engagement, and that they had done nothing wrong”.
An investigation was opened following the massacre and the case of was casually dismissed. The investigation confirmed that US military personnel “had implemented the correct military procedures”.
Immediately following the massacre, however, the Iraqi police (which has a mandate to act in liaison with the US occupation forces):
“accused US troops of rounding up and deliberately shooting 11 people, including five children and four women, before blowing up their house.”
To which a US military spokesman responded that it was “highly unlikely that the allegations [of the Iraqi police] were true”.
US authorities said they were involved in a firefight after a tip-off that an al-Qaeda cell leader, Ahmad Abdallah Muhammad Na’is al-Utaibi, was visiting the house and that they killed another one named Udai Faris. Caldwell confessed that the investigation confirmed the death of 4 to 13 persons during the operation.
This case is not by means unique. it is part of a routine process of killings of Iraqi civilians by US forces, using the “war on terrorism” as a pretext.
Killing of  civilians by US “Liberation forces” is the “new normal” under the general umbrella of  America’s “humanitarian” undertakings.
Circulate this article far and wide.
Post it on Facebook.
It provides evidence of crimes against humanity ordered and implemented by the US government.
Michel Chossudovsky, January 28, 2012
[note to readers: disturbing photographic evidence]

The 2006 Mass Murder of Iraqi Civilians by US Forces. Evidence of Unspeakable War Crimes

by Mayyasa Abduljabbar and Dirk Adriaensens
New Facts Emerge About the 2006 Al-Ishaqi Massacre. Investigation Must Be Reopened. 
The Al-Ishaqi incident refers to the reported mass murder of Iraqi civilians committed by US forces in Al-Ishaqi in 15 March 2006. After the incident, US troops rounded up and deliberately shot 11 people, including five children and four women, before blowing up their house.
the March 2006 Al-Ishaqi Massacre. 11 Iraqi civilians assassinated in cold blood by American Forces

As if he sees them for the first time, Ibrahim Harat, a former Iraqi officer whose leg is amputated, bents over to collect the bullet cases that American soldiers used six and a half years ago in an act of mass killing. In the destroyed house, he lost nine members of his family, among them five children, the youngest of them five months old.

The American Forces have told lie after lie about this mass killing they committed in the night of 15 April 2006, when the house of Faez Harat, a 28 years old primary school teacher, was raided. US Forces have claimed that the victims died in a tactical operation during the search for the Kuwaiti citizen Ahmad Abdullah Al-Utaibi, and how they killed another Iraqi armed man named Udai Faris. But the reports of the investigation prove that what really happened was nothing but an arbitrary execution.
The Iraqi armed man, as the Americans claimed, was imprisoned in Camp Bucca Prison, and now he’s in one of the government prisons in death row awaiting his execution after his conviction for violent acts. The other man, a Kuwaiti citizen, was handed over by the Americans to the Iraqi authorities in October 2008, and the Iraqi authorities sent him back to his country in the Autumn of 2010, to be put in jail for a previous offence he was accused of. The investigators have documents proving that Al-Utaibi had already been arrested by the American Forces one day before the mass murder.
Nothing remains from the house of Faez, which was raided by the American Forces on 15 March 2006, only the wall where the victims were executed remains, and hundreds of bullet cases. In the corners of the ruins, some burnt papers remain from the last English exam Faez had taken from his students in Al-Ishaqi Area, 100 km north of Baghdad.
Contrary to the lies mentioned in the reports submitted by the American Forces, the morgue reports and the copies obtained from Tikrit General Hospital to where the corpses were taken after the massacre, confirmed that the victims died as a result of shot wounds from very close range in their heads and chests. Additional proof can also be read in the reports of the local investigation committees and the tens of eyewitnesses in the Al-Safa Village. All of them assured that the victims, who were taken from their house after an hour of this attack, were all handcuffed, and their mouths were tied.
A U.S. diplomatic cable made public by WikiLeaks in August 2011 provided evidence that U.S. troops executed at least 10 Iraqi civilians, including a woman in her 70s and a 5-month-old infant, then called in an airstrike to destroy the evidence, during this controversial 2006 incident in the central Iraqi town of Al-Ishaqi. This cable brought the case back to the surface. The cable contained questions from Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur of extrajudicial and arbitrary executions, to the American Ministry of Defense on 27 March 2006 about the incident, which had angered local Iraqi officials, who demanded some kind of action from their government. U.S. officials denied at the time that anything inappropriate had occurred, although the house was raided, 11 persons handcuffed, among them four women and five children, and all of them executed, before an air raid destroyed the whole house.
The cable notes that “at least 10 persons, namely Mr. Faiz Hratt Khalaf, (aged 28), his wife Sumay’ya Abdul Razzaq Khuther (aged 24), their three children Hawra’a (aged 5) Aisha (aged 3) and Husam (5 months old), Faiz’s mother Ms. Turkiya Majeed Ali (aged 74), Faiz’s sister (name unknown), Faiz’s nieces Asma’a Yousif Ma’arouf (aged 5 years old), and Usama Yousif Ma’arouf (aged 3 years), and a visiting relative Ms. Iqtisad Hameed Mehdi (aged 23) were killed during the raid.”




By Michael Knights – January 28, 2012 - On January 27, the Iraqi Council of Representatives passed legislation to limit presidents, prime ministers, and parliamentary speakers to two terms of office.

Although the country’s Supreme Court may soon strike the legislation down, the opposition to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has scored a notable and encouraging victory, demonstrating cohesion throughout the process. In contrast, Maliki’s supporters were divided and may have been signaling him to adopt a less confrontational stance.

The opposition bloc — composed of Iraqi Kurds, the predominately Sunni Arab Iraqiyah list, Muqtada al-Sadr’s followers, and the Shiite-led Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) — introduced the legislation and rushed it through two readings in parliament in less than two months, which is record time by Iraqi standards. For yesterday’s session, the bloc pulled together an impressive 170 votes, surpassing the 163-seat threshold to pass legislation. Only 70 legislators voted against the bill or abstained.

vendredi 25 janvier 2013

Hassan Aydinli met with MEP Struan Stevenson and William Spencer at the EU Parliament in Brussels

 William SPENCER, Executive Director, Institute for International Law and Human Rights and  Dr. Hassan AYDINLI, ITF EU Representative

Struan STEVENSON, Chairman of the Delegation for Relations with Iraq and Dr. Hassan AYDINLI, Iraqi Turkmen Front EU Representative.

Hassan Aydinli met with MEP Struan Stevenson and William Spencer at the EU Parliament in Brussels
The Delegation for Relations with Iraq Meeting took place at the EU Parliament in Brussels on 24th January 2013

The object of the Meeting was the Preparation for the 5th Interparliamentary meeting EP-Iraqi CoR. Situation of the country, logistics and practical arrangements.

The guest speaker was Mr. William SPENCER, Executive Director, Institute for International Law and Human Rights. The Meeting was attended by Mrs. Sybille RIEDER, EEAS INTCEN and Mr. Charles STUART, EEAS Security Directorate.

MEP Ms. Ana GOMEZ attended the first half of the meeting.

The Chair, MEP Struan STEVENSON, opened the Meeting by saying that he deplored the continued assassinations and lack of security in Iraq. He also deplored the fact that although Iraq now has a huge income from its massive oil production, the access to electricity, running water and sewage remains very limited.  Baghdad is considered to be the second dirtiest city in the world.

MEP Struan STEVENSON announced that the EU Mission to Iraq would take place from11th to 15th February 2013.

The Members of the EU Delegation will arrive in Baghdad from Vienna on Sunday 10th February where they will hold meetings until Wednesday 13th February. They will be staying at the Rasheed Hotel and all the meetings will take place in the Green Zone for security reasons.

From Wednesday 13th February to Friday 15th February they will be in Erbil to meet with the KRG officials and members of the Civil society.

They will leave Iraq on Friday 15th February 2013.

Mr. Zana KURDA from the Iraqi Embassy said that the Kurdish Peshmerga have offered to take care of the security of the delegation.

MEP Struan Stevenson said that the Delegation would like to visit Kirkuk to meet with the Kirkuk representatives and that they will have to travel by helicopter. MEP Ana GOMEZ intervened to say that this would be a waste of time for the delegation and she advised for the meetings to take place in Erbil.
The Chair then gave the floor to Mr. William SPENCER.

William SPENCER said that the Institute for International Law and Human Rights is a Civil Society NGO,  which has worked in Baghdad since 2005, where they established the H.R. Commission. He said they have offices in Brussels, Baghdad and Washington D.C.

He said that the number of attacks have not changed significantly since 2009 in Iraq, that Baghdad and Ninewah remain the most violent.

William SPENCER said that there is great dynamism in construction in Baghdad. He said that the Kurds are now present all over the ‘disputed territories’. He mentioned that in Ninewah people  complain that the oil money goes to Erbil. He said that Al-Qaeda terrorists enter in Iraq from the Syrian border.

William SPENCER said that life remains a struggle for ordinary Iraqis and that there is government corruption. He added that Maliki and Barzani want to appear strong before the Provincial elections which are due to take place in April 2013 and the General Elections foreseen in January 2014.

William SPENCER recommended that the Members of the EU Delegation reach out to various groups outside the green zone when they are in Baghdad.

Dr. Hassan AYDINLI spoke with the Chairman MEP Struan Stevenson regarding  MEP Ana GOMEZ’s advice against the delegation going to Kirkuk to meet with Kirkuk representatives and her recommendation to hold the meetings in Erbil instead. Hassan AYDINLI told MEP Struan Stevenson  that if the EU delegation does not go to Kirkuk to meet with the Kirkuk representatives it is preferable to hold the meetings with them in Baghdad rather than in Erbil.

ITF EU Representative spoke with Mr. William SPENCER about the situation of the Turkmens who are caught between the Arabs and the Kurds. He said that the tensions between Arabs and Kurds have increased since the creation of the Dijla forces, and that when the Dijla and Peshmerga  confront each other in the Turkmen Region it is the Turkmens who get killed.

The Turkmens are caught between hammer and anvil and the recent attacks on their leaders and intellectuals in Tuz Khurmatu  show that the unarmed Turkmens continue to be targeted and that they are victims of ethnic cleansing.

Mr. Spencer said he was aware of the Turkmens’ plight and that the Turkmens and the minorities who are not armed are at risk in Iraq.

Dr. Hassan AYDINLI informed Mr. SPENCER that the Central government in Baghdad remains deaf to the Turkmens’ repeated demands to grant the Turkmens their right to defend themselves and form law enforcement units of each locality from the local Turkmens and provide them with financial support and proper training.

He asked Mr. SPENCER to be the voice of the Turkmens at the international level and to mention the Turkmens’ plight in the publications of his NGO, the Institute for International Law and Human Rights.


Get the facts right New York Times!
TUZ KHURMATU is not 'in the Kurdish north'!

TUZ KHURMATU is an Iraqi Turkmen city,  it is situated in TURKMENELI, which is the Turkmen region of Iraq. 
The Turkmen region extends from TELAFER city in the north-west of Iraq (West of Mosul and close to the Syrian border) to MENDELI city (East of Baghdad close to the Iranian border).

Turkmeneli which means "Turkmens' land" is the region of Iraq which separates the Arab region from the Kurdish region.

TUZ KHURMATU is a Turkmen name.

The original inhabitants of TUZ KHURMATU are Turkmens.
All the victims in this latest attack are Turkmens.

TUZ KHURMATU was NOT included in the 'safe haven' that the U.S. created in 1991 to protect the Kurds. So how come that in 2013 you are considering it as belonging to the "Kurdish north"?


Bombing at a Funeral in Northern Iraq Kills at Least 35

Ako Rasheed/Reuters
A man wounded by a suicide bomber in Tuz Khurmato district in northern Iraq was treated at a hospital in Kirkuk.

BAGHDAD, Iraq — A crowded tent full of Turkmen mourners in northern Iraq was transformed into a mass killing ground on Wednesday by a suicide bombing that left at least 35 people dead and 117 wounded, regional officials and tribal leaders said, calling it a genocidal attack meant to further stoke the already-inflamed sectarian tensions in the country.

Both the dead and wounded victims included a number of high-ranking regional dignitaries, military officers, professors and religious men among the Turkmen population of the Tuz Khurmato district in Salahuddin Province, an area in the Kurdish north also claimed by Arabs and Turkmens. It came a day after an extended outbreak of sectarian shootings and bombings in the country that killed at least 24 Iraqis.

Mourners at the Imam Ali mosque had been paying their respects to a Turkmen employee of the Ministry of Health who had been killed in the mayhem the day before, the brother-in-law of a deputy in the Iraqi Turkmen Front, a political party. They had packed into a funeral tent for the ceremony when the suicide bomber, apparently masquerading as one of the aggrieved, blew himself up.
Turkmen leaders were outraged.

“We demand to have international forces to secure us, for the Turkmens and our areas,” said Faid Alla, the head of a Turkmen tribe. “We are being targeted, and our existence in Iraq is very dangerous, and we are under genocide. The central government is doing nothing for us.”

Tuz Khurmato, south of Kirkuk in an oil-rich area, was the site two months ago of a sectarian-tinged confrontation over disputed territory between forces loyal to the Iraqi government in Baghdad and the Kurdish regional government, which has its own armed forces.

mercredi 23 janvier 2013

Turkey condemns suicide attack on funeral ceremony in Iraq

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has condemned in the strongest terms a suicide attack that targeted a funeral, claiming the lives of at least 25 people in Tuz Khormato, a town in northern Iraq in which Turkmens constitute the majority of the population.

In a written statement released on Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry said that the suicide blast at the funeral and at a mosque showed how inhumane the act was and that it had learned about it with great sadness.

We condemn this atrocious attack, ask for God's mercy on those killed and wish the wounded a speedy recovery, the ministry said.

We believe that the people of Iraq will not be a tool of those who have learned nothing from humanity, the ministry also said.

According to Iraqi security forces as well as medical staff, the suicide blast at the funeral took place at about 4:30 p.m. and resulted in the death of at least 25 people. Seventy-five people were wounded in the incident.

A Turkmen deputy in the Iraqi national parliament, Fevzi Ekrem stated that Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) Deputy Chairman Ali Hasim Muhtaroğlu and former ITF Chairman Sadettin Ergeç as well as Kirkuk Provincial Assembly member Munir Kafili were also wounded in the suicide blast.


23 OCAK 2013

Health Directorate staff Ahmet Salah Asker, a close relative of Deputy Head of Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) and member of the Selahattin Province Assembly Ali Haşim Muhtaroğlu lost his life in an armed attack executed by unidentified assailants in the Tuzhurmatu district of Selahattin province.

Ahmet Salah Asker who was born in 1978 was hailed by a storm of bullets in the middle of a street on his way home after work. Asker’s body and head were hit with bullets and he lost his life on the spot. Asker’s body was taken to Tuzhurmatu Hospital and later to the Kirkuk Forensic Medicine Morgue. Asker’s house was also the target of a bomb attack on the 1st of January 2013 and greatly damaged. Two days before his death (the 20th of January 2013) Asker spoke on a television channel indicating that the Turkmen in Tuzhurmatu were defenseless and constantly the victims of attacks and demanded that the government establish an armed forces for the Turkmen.
Deputy Head of ITF Ali Haşim Muhtaroğlu, member of the Executive Board of the ITF and Head of the Kirkuk Province Assembly Hasan Turan and ITF Spokesman and member of Kirkuk Province Assembly Ali Mehdi went to Kirkuk State Hospital for the body.
Head of the Kirkuk Province Assembly Hasan Turan said that the government did not listen to the Turkmen and demanded that a serious investigation be made about the incident. Turan said:
“Unfortunately there is no end to the incidents. Turkmen are always being targeted. All parties are silent and wait and watch the massacre of the Turkmen. We have hundreds of statements. Unfortunately we have not received any significant help from the government. The government should deputize a serious commission. Not like the other commissions.”

ITF Spokesman Ali Mehdi demanded that a Turkmen force be established and that the Turkish world support the Iraqi Turkmen. Mehdi voiced his reaction by saying, “There is no government in Iraq. Every day the Turkmen people are targeted somewhere. The Turkish world, Turkey hear us. The Turkmen here are all alone”.

Son dakika...Az once Tuzhurmatu ilcesinde bir cenaza torenine intihar saldirisi duzenlendi

Son dakika...Az once Tuzhurmatu ilcesinde bir cenaza torenine intihar saldirisi duzenlendi

son dakika...Az once Tuzhurmatu ilcesinde bir cenaza torenine intihar saldirisi duzenlendi. saldirida Irak Turkmen Cephesi Baskan yardimcisi Ali Hasim Muhtaroglu ve Salahattin val yardimcisi Ahmet Koca yaralandi. Ayrica 30 kisi hayatini kaybederken 70 ustunde yarali var

Emine Bozkurt, a member of the European Parliament, spoke about the Turkmens and Assyrians in Iraq in the parliament session on January 16


Emine Bozkurt, a member of the European Parliament, spoke about the Turkmens and Assyrians in Iraq in the parliament session on January 16.

Ms. Bozkurt brought attention to the unsatisfactory and deteriorating humans rights of Assyrians and Turkmens in Iraq.

Below are Ms. Emine Bozkurt’s remarks:

The news coming from Iraq is not very pleasant. Tensions among religious and ethnic groups are on the rise, and the situation in the country is deteriorating. At such a critical time, the EU is concluding a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Iraq.

In the early days of this year, a 54-year-old Assyrian woman was killed. She was not the first to be murdered because of her religion. Assyrians in Iraq do not feel safe; their churches have been attacked, perpetrators have not been brought to justice. They do not have their own police to protect them.
Turkmens of Iraq are also alarmed over a wave of assassinations and abductions targeting their community. They face discrimination in the labor market and suffer from arbitrary detentions.

I support the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, not despite of, but because of these problems. The people of Iraq need a deep, sustainable democracy based on human rights, equality and rule of law. However, how is the EU going to make sure that these principles are being upheld? Can all the religious and ethnic groups depend on the support of the EU?

Steun voor Partnerschap- en Samenwerkingsovereenkomst EU – Irak

donderdag 17 januari 2013
Vandaag heeft het Europees Parlement in Straatsburg ingestemd met de Partnerschap- en Samenwerkingsovereenkomst (PSO) tussen de EU en Irak. Emine Bozkurt, lid van het Europees Parlement namens de PvdA, spreekt haar zorgen uit over de situatie in het land:“De precaire mensenrechtensituatie in Irak is een belangrijke reden om de banden met Irak te versterken. Hierdoor kan de EU het land beter aanspreken op haar mensenrechtenbeleid. De Iraakse bevolking heeft behoefte aan een duurzaam democratiseringsproces met aandacht voor mensenrechten en het versterken van de rechtstaat. Het is van belang voor de stabiliteit in het land en de regio dat de EU dit proces in Irak ondersteunt.”

Terwijl de PSO wordt ondertekend, is de mensenrechtensituatie in Irak nog steeds zeer zorgwekkend. De Iraakse grondwet biedt op papier waarborgen voor fundamentele vrijheden en mensenrechten, maar de spanningen tussen religieuze en etnische groepen in de samenleving lopen alsmaar op. Zo werd begin dit jaar een 54-jarige Assyrische vrouw vermoord wegens haar religieuze achtergrond. Ook de Iraaks-Turkmeense gemeenschap wordt geconfronteerd met ontvoeringen en moorden. De politiediensten beschermen deze gemeenschappen totaal niet.

 De EU zal door de PSO meer druk moeten uitoefenen op de Iraakse regering om de mensenrechten van alle bevolkingsgroepen en minderheden gelijk te beschermen en te verbeteren.
De PSO is de opvolger van de reeds bestaande Handels- en Samenwerkingsovereenkomst en vormt het eerste rechtskader voor Europese betrekkingen met Irak. Er wordt onder andere in vastgesteld dat er een politieke dialoog zal plaatsvinden tussen de regio’s. Ook worden er handels- en investeringsregels vastgelegd die in lijn zijn met de eisen van de Wereldhandelsorganisatie.

mardi 22 janvier 2013

Syria’s Kurds: A Struggle Within a Struggle


Syria’s Kurds: A Struggle Within a Struggle

Erbil/Damascus/Brussels, 22 January 2013: Syria’s conflict gives its Kurdish population an opening to rectify historic wrongs and push for more autonomy, but facing internal divisions, poor ties with the non-Kurdish opposition and regional rivalries, its challenge is to articulate clear, unified and achievable demands.
Syria’s Kurds: A Struggle Within a Struggle, the latest International Crisis Group report, examines the growing influence of Kurdish factions in Syria while warning against entanglement in the broader regional battle over Kurdish independence.

“For the foreseeable future, the fate of Syria’s Kurds lies in Syria and rests on their ability to manage relations with the surrounding society and an emerging, pluralistic political scene”, says Peter Harling, Crisis Group’s Syria, Egypt and Lebanon Project Director. “They express specific fears and general demands, but need to engage broader society and define a platform to serve as a basis for negotiations”.

Syria’s conflict has given its Kurds an opportunity to escape from a long period of systemic discrimination. Hoping to avoid a new battlefront and banking on Arab-Kurdish divisions to further muddy the picture, the regime largely left Kurds alone. In turn, Syrian Kurdish factions, many with ties to Kurdish groups based in Turkey or northern Iraq, took advantage of the regime’s preoccupation. This is the case in particular of the Democratic Union Party (Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat, PYD), the Syrian offshoot of Turkey’s PKK insurgency, whose military wing has ousted government officials and security forces from many majority-Kurd areas.

Yet, several factors should give Kurdish leaders pause. Kurdish factions are deeply divided over goals and tactics, as well as more petty rivalries. Some accuse the PYD, the largest and most influential group, of being overly dependent on the PKK. Other Kurdish groups are a motley collection of smaller parties that, unlike the PYD, lack an effective military presence within Syria.

Kurdish factions compete not only with each other but also with the non-Kurdish opposition, whose predominantly Arab nationalist and Islamist narratives alienate many Kurds. In turn, Kurds have raised suspicions about their ultimate goals and notably their willingness to remain part of Syria. The more the conflict drags on, the more ethnic tensions build. Already, there are turf battles between PYD fighters and opposition armed groups. Worse clashes may come.

Finally, the Syrian conflict has exacerbated the undeclared fight for the heart and soul of the Kurdish national movement in the four countries (Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Iran) across which it is divided. Syrian Kurdish parties, like their regional patrons, have different views on tactics: whether to extract concessions by force or engagement and compromise.

“By and large, Syria’s Kurds already have made strides in their quest for greater rights by being masters of their own areas for the first time in the history of modern Syria”, says Maria Fantappie, Crisis Group’s Middle East Analyst. “They plan to parlay new freedoms into constitutional guarantees in the new order that eventually will emerge. But that will only be possible if their parties and youth groups coordinate, reach out to broader Syrian society and make their struggle for Kurdish national rights part of the larger struggle for citizenship in Syria”.

Inauguration Day: Two Nobel Laureates, Drones Apart by Felicity Arbuthnot

Inauguration Day: Two Nobel Laureates, Drones Apart by Felicity Arbuthnot

by Felicity Arbuthnot
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
London, England
January 22, 2013
President Obama delivers his address at the 57th Presidential Inauguration, January 21, 2013
Image by Photo Phiend via Flickr
One day …
Children at school will ask:
What is war?
You will answer them.
You will tell them:
Those words are not used any more.
Like stagecoaches, galleys or slavery.
Words no longer meaningful …
– Martin Luther King (15 January 1929-4 April 1968)
Oh the cynicism. The man whose words have rung down over four decades, encapsulating a non-violent demand for peace, equality and fairness: “I have a dream”, has again been resurrected as President Obama’s philosophical icon.
In the most blatant act of symbolism, as Africa is now threatened by a President who touted the importance of his African roots four years ago, Obama reaffirmed his Presidential oath today on both Abraham Lincoln’s Bible – and that of Martin Luther King – on the day dedicated to Martin Luther King.
In truth the ceremony was a bit of a sham. The President was sworn in yesterday in a private ceremony in the White House, with, according to the New York Times: “Michelle Obama holding the family Bible for the ceremony”, as their daughters, Malia and Sasha stood beside their father in the Blue Room: “as he recited the thirty five word oath in the Constitution”, as four years ago, administered by Chief Justice John G. Roberts. “About a dozen relatives of the Obamas and Jane Roberts, the Justice’s wife, watched, out of camera range.”
Back on 20th January 2009, the inaugural address contained some fine words – proved empty:
“The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness … from the grandest capitols to the small village where my father was born … know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more (but) power … does no entitle us to do as we please…”
Obama assured: “To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.” People would be judged on: ” … what you can build, not what you destroy.”
Tell that to the droned and dismembered of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the ruined of Libya, Syria, Iraq, the fearful and threatened in Iran and now those in Africa in villages similar to where: “my father was born.”
Six months later in Cairo he avowed: “I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world … I have known Islam on three continents.”
It now seems he now is prepared to blow it up on three continents.
The scale of human carnage under the Nobel Peace Laureate President is astounding, shaming and chilling:
“Bush’s roughly 24,000 air strikes in seven years from 2002 to 2008 amounted to an air strike about every three hours, while Obama’s 20,130 in four years add up to one every one and three quarter hours.”
“The Obama Administration is responsible for at least 18,274 air strikes in Afghanistan since 2009, at least 1,160 by pilot-less Drones.”
At least 116 air strikes were conducted in Iraq in 2009 and in Libya approximately 1,460 of NATO’s 7,700 strikes in 2011 were US bombings.
There is also thought to be a five-fold increase in air and drone strikes over George W. Bush’s second term’s murderous record in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
The man who swore on Martin Luther King Junior’s Bible today is reported as personally deciding, weekly, who will be dismembered-by-drone, carried out by a youth at a computer screen around six thousand miles away. No law, no trial, just extra-judicial murder or mass murder of “suspected Islamic militants” – no questions ever asked, even when they are later proved to be baby, toddler, or kindergarten age “militants.”
But assassinations are now the sickening norm, as also Osama bin Laden, then Colonel Quaddaffi, the latter after US Ambassador Christopher Stevens arrived in Libya with a cargo ship of munitions and mercenaries. Both bodies disappeared, even death’s dignities denied. Terrorist actions.

lundi 21 janvier 2013

Iraq Discovered Another Billion Barrels Of Oil It Had No Idea Existed

Iraq Oil
Iraq said on Sunday it has discovered deposits of crude equivalent to one billion barrels of oil after the first exploration work by state-owned firms in almost 30 years.
The deposits were found after exploration in Maysan province, in southern Iraq near the border with Iran, and could potentially make a significant addition to Baghdad's already substantial reserves.
"Exploration began in Maysan, south of (provincial capital) Amara" last year, oil ministry spokesman Assem Jihad told AFP.
"Today, it completed 100 percent and achieved a big success.
"The initial assessment from this discovery is about one billion barrels of oil," he said, adding: "It will increase production capacity for (state-owned) Maysan Oil Company."
Jihad said the state-owned oil exploration firm had been carrying out its first exploration work within Iraq in nearly three decades.
Iraq, which is highly dependent on oil sales for government revenue, has sought in recent years to dramatically ramp up production and exploration in order to help rebuild its conflict-battered economy and infrastructure.
The country has proven reserves of 143.1 billion barrels of oil and 3.2 trillion cubic metres (111.9 trillion cubic feet) of gas, both of which are among the largest in the world.

Christian Cultural Centre inaugurated in Kirkuk

Iraq opens Christian centre in ethnically-mixed city
Iraqi police patrol in a market in the multi-ethnic northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on December 23, 2011. Authorities on Sunday opened what they billed as the first Christian cultural centre in Iraq in a decade, despite a dramatic decline in the country's once significant Christian population.
Iraqi police patrol in a market in the multi-ethnic northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on December 23, 2011. Authorities on Sunday opened what they billed as the first Christian cultural centre in Iraq in a decade, despite a dramatic decline in the country's once significant Christian population.
AFP - Authorities on Sunday opened what they billed as the first Christian cultural centre in Iraq in a decade, despite a dramatic decline in the country's once significant Christian population.
The building was inaugurated in the northern city of Kirkuk, home to a diverse population of Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen, and is to host conferences and meetings to promote inter-faith communications between the city's Muslim and Christian communities.
"This centre is the first of its kind in Iraq since 2003, it sends a message of peace, and promotes the language of dialogue," said Louis Sakho, Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk.
"The communities of Kirkuk are one family," he added.
Construction of the cultural centre, which lies next to Kirkuk's Chaldean church, began in early 2012 and was completed at a cost of around $305,000, officials said.

Saudi Arabia Sent Death Row Inmates to Fight in Syria in Lieu of Execution

Assyrian International News Agency

(AINA) -- A top secret memo sent by the Ministry of Interior in Saudi Arabia reveals the Saudi Kingdom sent death-row inmates, sentenced to execution by decapitation, to Syria to fight Jihad against the Syrian government in exchange for commuting their sentences.

According to the memo, dated April 17, 2012, the Saudi Kingdom negotiated with a total of 1239 inmates, offering them a full pardon and a monthly salary for their families, who were to remain in the Kingdom, in exchange for " for the sake of sending to the Jihad in Syria."

The memo was signed by Abdullah bin Ali al-Rmezan, the "Director of follow up in Ministry of Interior."

According to the memo, prisoners were of the following nationalities: Yemenis, Palestinians, Saudis, Sudanese, Syrians, Jordanians, Somalis, Afghanis, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Iraqis, and Kuwaitis.

There were 23 Iraqi prisoners.

A former member of the Iraqi parliament, who spoke to AINA on condition of anonymity, confirmed the authenticity of the document and said most of the Iraqi prisoners Saudi Arabia sent to Syria returned to Iraq and admitted that they had agreed to the deal offered by the Saudi Kingdom, and requested the Iraqi government to petition the Saudi government to release their families, who were being held hostage in Saudi Arabia.

vendredi 18 janvier 2013

Message of Condolence from Dr. Hicran Kazancı

Message of Condolence from Dr. Hicran Kazancı

It is with deep sadness that we have learned of the demise of the master of journalism and news, Mehmet Ali Birand. The Turkish media community has lost a doyen whose knowledge and experience are irreplaceable. Mehmet Ali Birand who occupied an elite place in the Turkish press with his successful career and passion for this profession will always be remembered with respect. May the deceased rest in peace; I extend by condolences to his family, those who loved him and the journalism community.

  Dr. Hicran Kazancı  Iraqi Turkmen Front
Turkey Representative

Turkmen martyrs were commemorated with a ceremony


Asst.Prof. Dr. Necdet Koçak, retired Colonel Abdullah Abdurrahman, businessman Adil Şerif and scientist Dr. Rıza Demirci who were executed by the former regime in Iraq on the 16th of January 1980 were commemorated with a ceremony at the Turkmen Martyrs Monument in Keçiören.
The ceremony was attended by Iraqi Turkmen Front Turkey Representative Dr. Hicran Kazancı, Head of Turkmeneli Foundation Fatih Türkcan, Head of Turkmeneli Foundation Cultural Center Dr. Mustafa Ziya and numerous Turkmen. The Turkmen who gathered in the spiritual repose of the martyrs placed a wreath upon the monument.

  Dr. Hicran Kazancı  Iraqi Turkmen Front
Turkey Representative

mercredi 16 janvier 2013

Two Turkmen footballers killed and 4 others wounded in Kirkuk northern Iraq

Two Turkmen footballers killed and 4 others wounded in Kirkuk northern Iraq


Two footballers from the Bashir sports team were killed and four others wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) blew up near their bus on Friday 11th 2013, the Iraqi police in Kirkuk province said .

The footballers are from Turkmen community and were leaving a stadium where the Kirkuk football championship is played.

"An improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a bus carrying members of the Bashir team after a match they played in Hozayran neighbourhood, southern Kirkuk, on Friday night," police spokesperson said.

The wounded players are in critical condition and were taken to intensive care, he said.

According to police spokesperson, the attack is a part of a "series of terrorist attacks" armed groups launch against Turkmen Community.


Two bomb explosions in Kirkuk : 60 dead and over 100 injured



Kerkük şehrinin Atlas caddesinde bulunan KDP ofisi ile Terörle Mücadele Binasını hedef alan bombalı saldırılarda 60 kişi öldü, 100’den fazala kişi yaralandı.

Kerkük'te şehir merkezinde bu sabah 09.00 sıralarında eş zamanlı 2 ayrı patlama meydana geldi. İlk patlama, Atlas caddesindeki KDP ofisi önünde park halinde bulunan bomba yüklü araç patladı. Olayda ilk belirlemelere göre 35 kişi öldü, 110 kişi yaralandı. Patlamanın etkisiyle çevrede büyük maddi hasar meydana geldi.

İkinci patlama ise Kerkük'ün merkezinde eski Milli Eğitim Caddesi'ndeki Terörle Mücadele Binası'na gerçekleşen intihar saldırı ile meydana geldi. Patlamada 30 kişi hayatını kaybetti, 11 kişi de yaralandı.

Öte yandan Kerkük'e bağlı Tuzhurmatu ilçesinde meydana gelen patlamada ise 3 kişi öldü 35 kişide yaralandı.

mardi 15 janvier 2013

We Shall Not Forget Them

We Shall Not Forget Them
The date of 16th January 1980 has a very important place in the history of the struggle of the Iraqi Turkmen.
Exactly 33 years have passed since the great Turkmen Leaders Assistant Professor Dr. Necdet Koçak, Retired Colonel Abdullah Abdurrahman, businessman Adil Şerif were executed and scientist Dr. Rıza Demirci died under torture by the old regime of Iraq. The great Turkmen leaders who were executed by the old regime of Iraq who are unforgettable heroes of the national cause the Turkmen walked to the execution stand with their heads held high.
Assistant Professor Dr. Necdet Koçak who was innocent of any crime and was executed as a result of the  intimidation policy practiced by the Baas Party was an extraordinary personality, a valuable community leader. Assistant Professor Dr. Necdet Koçak who was devoted to his nation and cause spent his life in protecting the national identities of Turkmen and fighting to gain their political and cultural rights.
Retired Colonel Abdullah Abdurrahman who has executed was the head of Turkmen Brotherhood Group for many years. He traveled from village to village, town to town and was deeply involved in the problems of Turkmen. He enlightened the people regarding the national cause of the Turkmen everywhere he went.
Business Adil Şerif made many large material and spiritual sacrifices on behalf of the Turkmen national cause. He was a very beloved, respected and admired man.  
The research carried out by esteemed scientist Dr. Rıza Demirci who succumbed to inhumane torture put the Turkmen population and their settlement areas onto the agenda. He was a man devoted to his nation, a courageous and enterprising man. 
The execution of the leaders of Iraqi Turks has drowned the Turkmen community in infinite pain and sorrow. However history has shown us that national causes can only be won by the presence of those who believe that the cause is worth dying for. Like the great Turkish author and poet Mithat Cemal Kuntay said in one of his poems "Territory is a homeland when it has been died for."
Our esteemed leader Dr. Necdet Koçak addressed his family and compatriots a few hours before his execution with the following words:  
“Friends, a tree will produce leaves when it is pruned. I ask that you do not forsake the cause and continue. At the moment I am more at peace than ever. I go to God with peace in my soul. I am handing the flag to you. I am confident that you will bear it with honor. Do not stray from the path of truth and God. Be with God.”

We bear the flag handed over by our leaders with honour. We commemorate these honourable people with mercy and gratitude. The Turkmen community will never forget them.
May their souls rest in peace.
Dr. Hicran Kazancı
Iraqi Turkmen Front
Turkey Representative

Reidar Visser: PDF Tribute of Iraq Articles for Aaron Swartz

PDF Tribute of Iraq Articles for Aaron Swartz

by Reidar Visser

I can easily sympathise with the outpouring of support for Aaron Swartz who took his own life this7 weekend after having faced the prospects of decades in jail in the United States for his computer hacking activity.
In the first place, Swartz championed academic freedom and specifically open access. He criticised the system whereby journal publishers make good money from institutional subscriptions to academic journals, whereas the authors who write the articles never earn anything, and the students who need the articles often face difficulty in getting access to them on a reasonable budget. The whole business of academic publishing has in many ways  become farcical, with the supposed gold standard of "double-blind peer review" often nothing more than barely disguised camaraderie.
Second, Swartz was a victim of prosecutorial overreach and law enforcement agencies abandoning entirely the principle of proportionality in responding to a perceived problem. For a hacking crime that has been described as the equivalent of checking too many books out of the library, S was facing the prospects of decades in jail and enormous fines. Once more, one senses that the advocates of openness are the ones that are being systematically targeted by the prosecution, whereas crimes on the part of emerging big brother governments are systematically ignored or even encouraged.
We can only hope that Swartz's tragedy will prompt governments around the world to rethink their current tendency of bullying, persecuting and prosecuting academics who refuse to follow the mainstream. With respect to my own case of law enforcement overreach, I hope Swartz's tragic death will make the Norwegian government abandon their 2-year long fascistic witch-hunt directed against me: Since February 2011, the they have deprived me of my most basic human rights in an ill-conceived international police operation intended as punishment for perfectly legal street photography for an academic project.
Thanks to the totalitarian tactics of the Oslo police, I was forced to leave my native land in a hurry and never got the opportunity to bring with me my Iraq materials. In solidarity with Swartz and the PDFtribute project, I will nonetheless take this opportunity to put online at least some of those Iraq articles that I have got copies of. My hope is that this tiny gesture will help put focus on the inhumane character of the war on academics that so-called Western liberal  governments prosecute, in the United States and Norway alike.
Hyperlinked articles below lead to PDFs. If anyone has copies of other of my articles and want to share them here, please forward them to me at and I will upload them. 
 “The emasculation of government ministries in consociational democracies: The case of Iraq”, in International Journal of Contemporary Iraq Studies vol. 6 no. 2, 2012, pp. 232-242
“Policing a Messy Federation: The Role of the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court, 2005-2010”, pp. 12-18 in Orient vol. 52 no. 2, 2011
“The territorial aspect of sectarianism in Iraq”, pp. 295-305 in IJCIS, vol. 4 no. 3, 2010
“Tribalism in Iraq: resurgent force or anachronism in the modern state?”  Contemporary Arab Affairs, vol. 3 no. 47, 2010, pp. 495-502
“The Kurdish Issue in Iraq: A View from Baghdad at the Close of the Maliki Premiership”, The Fletcher Forum, vol. 34, no. 1, 2010, pp. 77-94
“New Non-State Players and Implications for Regional Security: The Case of the Shiite Religious Establishment of Iraq”, SAIS Review vol. 29 no.2, 2009, pp. 11-20
“Proto-political conceptions of ‘Iraq’ in late Ottoman times”, IJCIS, vol. 3 no. 2, 2009, pp. 143-154
“Taming the Hegemonic Power: SCIRI and the Evolution of US Policy in Iraq”, International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies vol. 2 no. 1, 2008, pp. 31-51
“Historical Myths of a Divided Iraq”, Survival, vol. 50 no. 2, 2008, pp. 95-106
“The Western Imposition of Sectarianism on Iraqi Politics”, in Arab Studies Journal vol. 16 no. 1, 2008, pp. 83-99
“Ethnicity, Federalism and the Idea of Sectarian Citizenship in Iraq”, in IRRC, vol. 89 no. 868, 2007, pp. 809-22