Iraqi anti-poverty march

This video from the USA is called Electricity Woes in Iraq.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Iraq‘s poorest march for change

Friday 16 September 2011

by Our Foreign Desk

Thousands of people rallied in the Baghdad slum of Sadr City yesterday to press the federal government to boost employment, improve public services and ensure that all US troops leave by December 31.

Protesters carried caskets through the streets to symbolise Iraq‘s regular electricity shortages, declining food rations and chronic unemployment.

Iraq war and oil: here.

U.S. To Hand Over Iraq Bases, Equipment Worth Billions: here.

Baghdad has paid US arms giant Lockheed the first tranche of a $3 billion (£1.9bn) bill for 18 F16 war planes, officials reported on Tuesday: here.

Freedom Isn’t Free at the State Department. Peter Van Buren, TomDispatch: “On the same day that more than 250,000 unredacted State Department cables hemorrhaged out onto the Internet, I was interrogated for the first time in my 23-year State Department career by State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) and told I was under investigation for allegedly disclosing classified information…. Why me? It’s not like the Bureau of Diplomatic Security has the staff or the interest to monitor the hundreds of blogs, thousands of posts, and millions of tweets by Foreign Service personnel. The answer undoubtedly is my new book, ‘We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People'”: here.

Chickening Out in Iraq. Peter Van Buren, TomDispatch: “… I was sent to play a small part in the largest nation-building project since the post-World War II Marshall Plan: the reconstruction of Iraq following the American invasion of 2003. My contractor colleagues and I were told to spend money, lots of money, to rebuild water and sewage systems, fix up schools, and most of all, create an economic base so wonderful that Iraqis would turn away from terrorism for a shot at capitalism. Shopping bags full of affirmation would displace suicide vests”: here.

7 thoughts on “Iraqi anti-poverty march

  1. Capital prison fire claims eight lives

    IRAQ: Eight inmates were killed in an early morning fire today at a prison in Baghdad.

    At least 31 other inmates were treated for smoke inhalation and other injuries from the blaze that broke out at dawn in an Interior Ministry jail in Baladiyat in the east of the capital.

    Sadr City MP Hakim al-Zamili said the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction.

    He called on the authorities to speed the investigations of some of the inmates, many of whom he said have not yet been charged.

    He also sought to quell speculation that the inmates may have started the fire in an attempted prison break.


  2. Cable: Blackwater staff kept working in Iraq after ban

    September 05, 2011 02:08 AM


    BAGHDAD: A leaked U.S. diplomatic cable says that “hundreds” of former employees of Blackwater, which was barred from Iraq over a deadly 2007 shooting, later worked with other firms guarding U.S. diplomats here.

    Iraq announced in January 2009 that it would not renew Blackwater’s operating license due to a Sept. 16, 2007, incident in which guards protecting a U.S. diplomatic convoy opened fire in Baghdad’s busy Nisur Square, killing at least 14 civilians.

    After that announcement, the U.S. State Department did not renew its contract with Blackwater, which has renamed itself Xe, for security services in Iraq.

    But U.S. diplomatic cables released by whistleblower website WikiLeaks confirmed that ex-Blackwater employees kept working in Iraq with other security firms.

    “There are many former Blackwater employees at other private security companies in Iraq, most notably Triple Canopy and DynCorp, providing security services to us,” said a Jan. 4, 2010, cable from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which was released on Aug. 30.

    Another cable from Jan. 11, 2010, also expressed concern over Iraqi efforts to oust former Blackwater employees from the country, noting that it could reduce the capacity of Triple Canopy to provide embassy security.

    “The embassy understands that Triple Canopy currently employs several hundred former Blackwater employees,” said the cable, which was also released by WikiLeaks Aug. 30.

    The cable said that DynCorp, which provides aircraft support, also “employs dozens of ex-Blackwater employees.”

    “Given how many former Blackwater employees are currently in the services of Triple Canopy, there is a serious possibility that the [Iraqi government’s] request that they leave Iraq will diminish the company’s ability to fulfil the embassy’s security requirements,” it said.

    Despite U.S. misgivings, the Iraqi Interior Ministry announced in Feb. 2010 that it had given 250 former Blackwater employees seven days to exit Iraq and confiscated their residence permits, “in connection with the crime that took place at Nisur Square.”

    The early 2010 move to oust ex-Blackwater employees came amid Iraqi outrage over a December 2009 ruling by a U.S. federal judge that dismissed criminal charges against five Blackwater employees accused of fatally shooting 14 people in Nisur Square.

    A U.S. appeals court reopened the prosecution against four of them earlier this year.

    It is not clear if the 250 who were ordered to leave were just some or all of the former Blackwater employees working for the U.S. in Iraq.

    The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad referred all inquiries concerning whether former Blackwater employees were still employed by the U.S. in Iraq to Washington.

    A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 05, 2011, on page 9.

    (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::


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