Saturday, November 22, 2008

Crime and Punishment

Saturday November 21

Haifa Zankana, in her regular AlQuds alArabi op-ed today (p. 19, if you need to use the archives) compares Maliki's deal with the Americans to the sale of indulgences by the Church of Rome in the 16th century (this came to a head when when Leo X, son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, short of money for the rebuilding of the Basilica, ordered the stepped-up marketing of indulgences for sin as a fund-raising measure, scandalizing Luther among others). The difference with Maliki, she writes, is that absolution is offered not just to individuals for their sins, but to the entire British-American criminal project including the unprovoked attack on the country in 2003, and the destruction, killings and other crimes that followed. It's the same idea, and all of the collaborators with the Maliki government are in on it.
The differences between the various groups in the Maliki government are like the differences between the person that brings the knife to the killer, the person that puts it through the heart of the victim, and those others who stand aside in satisfaction. The differences are superficial, but the essence of the participation in the killing of the Iraqi homeland is without excuse. The bankrupt Pope and Church of the [16th] century sold indulgences to collect wealth, at the expense of religion, moral principles and values. What we have here is the occupation government headed by Maliki selling to the occupation forces, not only the future of Iraq [he noted earlier there is also a long-term strategic framework agreement included in the package] but also indulgences for the killing of a million and a half Iraqi martyrs, all in exchange for their acquisition of wealth, the slaking of their thirst for revenge, and the chance of being granted asylum in the countries of the occupation once they are expelled from by their own, and by their own people.

Because their fate, which they themselves have chosen, is within the womb of the occupation, and they are linked to it by an umbilical cord, which will be severed on the day that [the occupation forces] withdraw.
It is also worth noting that the parties that are expected to vote together in Monday for ratification of the agreement(s) are themselves already at loggerheads, with Barzani threatening Talabani (for not being tough on Maliki's creation of support councils in territory Barzani considers his), who in turn is threatening Maliki (with the possibility of replacing him with a "government of national unity(!)", who for his part accuses the whole presidency council of ignoring the constitution in permitting Kurdish oil contracts and so on and so forth. Links at RoadstoIraq. It is almost as if the gang was starting to come apart of its own accord, ahead of time, in anticipation.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please note that Haifa Zankana is a woman.

7:35 AM  
Blogger badger said...


8:01 AM  
Blogger annie said...

of course, can't you tell by her thoughts?

which they themselves have chosen, is within the womb of the occupation, and they are linked to it by an umbilical cord, which will be severed on the day that [the occupation forces] withdraw.

men don't think w/these sorts of graphics. or maybe i've been reading layla for too long! (impossible)

6:12 PM  
Blogger badger said...

I guess you're right, although I think men *could* write like that. I was mesmerized by her bluntness and the fact the accompanying AlQuds picture does make her look a little like Sammy Beckett...

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

badger, is there anything about the "Strategic Framework Agreement" available in the Arab press?

What is in it?
Will it go through parliament?
Will it get published?

12:59 AM  
Blogger badger said...

I haven't seen anything.
Your guess is as good as mine.

6:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you are back Badger! Imad Khadduri gives links to Arabic language sources on the Strategic Framework Agreement in this post: Has anybody seen this document?

4:42 PM  
Blogger badger said...

Thanks! Okay, there is what is headed "US negotiating text" of the Strategic Framework Agreement dated Oct 30 of this year, it isn't necessarily the final text, which is still mysteriously missing from the public discussion. (The link is available at Alamet's link above). However, it's worth noting how this is tied in with the Security Agreement, and another potentially interesting point, per Article 3: "Defence and security cooperation" (my rough translation of what is obviously a rough Arabic translation of the US draft):

For strengthening security and stability in Iraq, and thus contributing to international security and stability, and strengthening the capacity of the Republic of Iraq for deterring any existing threats to its sovereignty and its security and the integrity of its territory, the two parties continue to work for the development of close cooperative relations, relating to defence and security arrangements, without prejudicing the sovereignty of Iraq, on land sea and air. And this cooperation in defence and security will take place in accordance with the agreement on the temporary presence and activities of the American forces in Iraq, and their withdrawal from [Iraq] and the takeover by the Iraqi forces of complete security responsibilities.

Notice that according to this (1) the close cooperation in defence and security arrangements has been inserted into the long-term strategic framework agreement; and (2) while the cooperation is in defence and security arrangements, what is contemplated at the end of this section is the takeover by the Iraqi forces of full responsibility for security, the word defence being missing there. It is enough to make you wonder, and particular in the light of the fact that the final version of this seems to be something of a secret. Where are you, Democratic Party and "progressive" policy people who have been harping on these issues lo these many months: Are you hiding?

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks badger, keep looking out for the SFA - seems it is a mighty stink-bomb I anticipate.

10:28 PM  
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