SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

Center Column Archives

Iraq :   2    |  Search

Two Iraqi trade union leaders on a speaking tour of the United States called for rejection of the new oil law being considered in the Iraqi parliament. The law was secretly written in Houston in favor of the U.S. oil companies long before it was ever seen by any member of the Iraqi parliament. If passed, the new oil law would effectively turn over all new oil fields to the control of foreign oil companies. Speaking before an enthusiastic audience of approximately 125 people in the Laborers Hall in San Jose on Sunday, June 10, the two Iraqi trade union leaders from Basra agreed that the U.S. occupation must end. Both leaders clearly indicated that the U.S. occupation itself creates sectarian violence and reduces security.
Thu Jun 14 2007 (Updated 06/16/07) Al-Askariya mosque bombed again
On June 12th, the minarets of the Al-Askariya mosque in Samarra, one of the most revered shrines of Shiite Islam, were reduced to rubble. The mosque was supposed to be one of the most carefully defended locations in Iraq due to its religious significance to Shiites and the violence that followed the bombing of its golden dome in 2006.
The US military has ordered that at least 10 areas of Baghdad be entirely sealed off by walls. The western Baghdad district of Ghazaliyah has already been walled off. The 15,000 residents of the area are subjected to curfews and can only enter and leave through one checkpoint, where they are subjected to repeated identity checks and searches. Since April 10, US forces have been constructing a five-kilometer wall made of six-ton concrete sections along the highway dividing Adhamiyah from its Shiite neighbors. On April 23rd, residents the Sunni enclave demonstrated and shouted slogans against the wall and Prime Minister Al Maliki called for an end to construction, but the US military has said that it will continue building the walls.
Sat Apr 21 2007 SF Iraq Oil Law Protest
On April 19th anti-war protesters gathered in front of a Chevron station in San Francisco to protest a proposed Iraqi law that would give Western oil companies more control over Iraqi oil. If the law is adopted as is, control of the Iraqi oil industry will shift from the public sector, where it’s been since the 1970s, into the hands of the multinational oil companies, especially British and American firms.
On April 6th, Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani, said that Turkey must not interfere in the Kurds' bid to attach northern Iraq's oil-rich city of Kirkuk to the Kurdish semiautonomous zone, otherwise Iraq's Kurds will retaliate by intervening in Turkey's southeast. On April 12th, the head of Turkey's army, called for a military operation in northern Iraq to target Kurdish rebels. On April 13th, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, the speaker of Iraq's parliament spoke out in support of Barzani, warning Ankara that "the hand that will be extended to interfere in our internal affairs will be cut."
On April 9th, up to one million Iraqi Shias marched from Kufa to Najaf in a mass demonstration calling for US-led troops to leave Iraq. The protest was called by Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr for the four year anniversary of when US troops entered Baghdad.
Thu Mar 22 2007 (Updated 03/23/07) Iraqis 'pessimistic' about future
Two-fifths of the US "surge" in troop strength has already taken place, but the effects are unclear. Some Sunni officials claim the Iraqi government "dissolved Al-Mahdi Army before the implementation of the plan and asked the Al-Mahdi Army not to take up arms against US forces." According to one official, the government has absorbed them into the National Guard, the Interior Ministry storm troopers, or law enforcement personnel. Many Shias see themselves as the victims of the US military push. On March 16th, thousands protested following evening prayers in the first public expression of hostility toward the US military operations in Sadr City. Demonstrators chanted “No occupation” and “No America” as they marched in opposition to the announcement by American commanders that they were establishing their first permanent base inside Sadr City’s limits, at an Iraqi police station.

Iraq:   2