Carnage in Baghdad: New Fear, New Game

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A string of 16 bomb explosions ripped through the Iraqi capital on Thursday, leaving 72 people dead and 217 others fatally wounded.

By Ismail Salami

A string of 16 bomb explosions ripped through the Iraqi capital on Thursday, leaving 72 people dead and 217 others fatally wounded.

 

There is a new fear emerging in Iraq that the country will plunge even more into turmoil and political disequilibrium as the US troops cased in their colors and left behind a country which they helped lay bare to waste and dereliction.

This feeling of angst deepened when a string of 16 bomb explosions ripped through the Iraqi capital on Thursday, the worst in four months, leaving 72 people dead and 217 others fatally wounded.

Roughly coinciding with the homecoming of the US troops, the incident was opportunistically ascribed by Western observers to the security vacuum created as a result of the withdrawal of the US forces.

As a way of diverting attention from the real cause for these unspeakable acts of terrorism, some pointed fingers at Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who had recently been accused by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki of orchestrating assassinations and bombings in Iraq, an allegation he has strongly rejected.

However, this seems to be a remote plausibility as the Iraqi interior ministry issued an arrest warrant for him on Monday and that he did not have enough time to engineer these professionally organized acts of terrorism, which certainly took a lot of time, maybe weeks.

Still licking his wounds, Iraq’s Vice-President Tariq Hashemi, however, shifted the blame on Prime Minister Nouri Maliki and said he is to blame for the upsurge of violence that started in the country, implicitly aggrandizing the presence of the US troops and accused Maliki of behaving like Saddam Hussein.

“Many of Saddam’s behaviors are now being exercised by Maliki unfortunately,” Hashemi said.





“The judicial system is really in his pocket,” he said.

Hashemi, who is presently holed up in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, accused Maliki of leadership deficiency.

“What happened today shows the deficiency and it’s a good evidence for the lack of control over administration of the security brief, because the security services are pointed in the wrong direction.”

The vice president also told US magazine Foreign Policy that “many of Saddam’s behaviors are now being exercised by Maliki unfortunately”.

Although no one has assumed responsibility for the attacks, military experts say that the level of coordination shows a well-organized planning only available to al-Qaeda in Iraq or more possibly to the US intelligence agencies as Washington has ample reason to demonize Maliki in order to inculcate the idea that the withdrawal of the US troops was a mistake and that their presence was a blessing to the Iraqis and a guarantee for their security. Further to that, US warmongers will be in a better position to push ahead with their policies and diminish the power of President Obama whom they see as the weakest link in their united front against Iran.

Contributing to this line of thinking, Western media have brought Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki under severe criticism, comparing him to the executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and accusing him of promoting sectarianism.

Some observers say that Obama administration should share the blame as it “risked just such a breakdown when it disregarded the recommendation of its military commanders that some US forces remain in Iraq to help guarantee against a return to sectarian conflict” (The Washington Post, 22 December 2011).

Maliki has also been accused of pursuing “a sectarian agenda” or seeking “authoritarian power”. As if in coordinated efforts, most of the Western media insinuated that Nouri al-Maliki is bringing back the old days of Saddam Hussein.

Naturally but not strangely, US intelligence agencies had predicted that security in Iraq might degenerate into sectarian violence after the withdrawal of US troops from the country. This should be a surprise to no one that this is happening,” said House of Representatives intelligence committee chairman Mike Rogers.

“Most people believed, the assessments that were coming out believed, that the sudden rapid withdrawal with no troop presence on the ground was going to leave this vacuum that would be filled with the kind of problems that you’re seeing,” Rogers, a Republican, said in an interview with Reuters.

Washington is clearly creating chaos in the troubled country to justify its previous and possibly future presence and eliminate from its path whoever can be a game-player or a game-changer e.g. Iran and Maliki. In between, they have never ignored the increasing influence of Iran which they fear most.

Rogers also referred to “a chaotic Iraq plays into Iran’s desire for increased influence in that region.”

“There was plenty of advice and counsel and analytical product that said this was a bad idea and here’s what’s going to happen if you do it,” he said. “We see the beginnings of what was predicted were going to happen.”

If the US government manages to convince the international community into believing that their presence in Iraq was to the best interests of the country and its people, it might have another chance to engage in a new phase of occupation and colonization.

To Washington, the loss of political leverage in Iraq is tantamount to the loss of future leadership in the Middle East region. Therefore, the US government will play every possible card to have another chance to be back in the country.

In fact, Washington is making fresh attempts to portray Nouri Maliki as a new Saddam Hussein, convince the international community that without the presence of US troops, there will be forever a security vacuum in the country, and eventually pave the way for the re-occupation and re-colonization of the country and reap at its leisure the fruit of its colonialist endeavors.

CELEBRATION OF NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE WOWS AU CAMPUS go to site native american culture

The Beacon News – Aurora (IL) May 28, 2000 AURORA — The raindrops stopped in time for Native American dancers in full costume to perform at the 10th annual Aurora University Pow Wow. The two-day festival got under way Saturday with a “grand entry” of dancers, featuring nearly 200 performers representing two dozen tribes from throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Visitors were treated to several variations of dance regalia and three versions of dances.

Traditional men’s dance regalia features eagle feather and porcupine headdresses, beading, applique and metalwork.

The male dancers also wear a dance bustle, a circular arrangement of feathers on their back.

Each eagle feather represents a life.

The women’s costumes are just as bright, colorful and decorative, with jingle cones made from the lids of tobacco cans.

Dancers of all ages compete in various categories.

At the end of the festival today, dancers are awarded $20,000 in cash prizes.

The annual pow wow is a major event for the campus Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures, a museum featuring a collection of Native American artifacts.

“This is an opportunity for residents of the Fox Valley to learn all about Native American cultures and for Native American families to share time with friends,” said Dona Bachman, director of the Schingoethe Center.

“This is a social gathering, as well as a competition.” Coordinator Alan Walker said the event continues to grow in popularity.

“Our first pow wow featured a dozen dancers and maybe 200 spectators,” he said.

This year, organizers are expecting an estimated 8,000 visitors.

A flag song, invocation and veteran’s honor song followed the grand entry dance.

Members of the Waidley VFW Post 468 color guard, featuring Native American veterans, were invited to participate in the opening ceremonies.

Aurora University President Tom Zarle and Aurora Mayor David Stover were guest speakers.

“This is a spiritual experience.

Our Native American brothers and sisters have taught us a great deal about life,” Zarle said, adding that his own personal life has been enriched by the experience.

Zarle said the pow wow also is a gift to Fox Valley residents.

“This could not have been possible if it were not for the vision, creativity and generosity of Herbert and Martha Schingoethe,” he said.

Stover attended the pow wow with his wife, Karen.

“This provides an insight into a unique culture,” he said, adding it is also a celebration honoring Native American veterans during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

“We’re celebrating the Native American culture and honoring Native Americans who have served in just about every war this country has ever had,” Stover said.

The pow wow features prayer, drumming and singing. see here native american culture

The event also features 50 craft booths and free admission to the Schingoethe Center.

Chuck Medicine Bear of River Forest came with his wife, Mercedes, and two children, Dominique, 10 and Keshena, 6. His family represents a few tribes, including the Lahkota Tribe of North and South Dakota and the Nuskogee Tribe, which is from the southeastern part of the country.

Medicine Bear, who grew up in Chicago, said he learned the dances and traditions as a child from his grandmother.

“Each clan has a responsibility in the tribe.

The Bear clan people are medicine people,” he said.

Today, Medicine Bear carries on the tradition of gathering medicinal herbs for ointments and cough syrups.

He is also passing on the tradition of dance to his children.

“We dance to keep our culture alive, and that’s very difficult to do in our highly technological society,” he said.

“Dance is a way for us to express who we are.

We also dance for people who cannot dance — people in wheelchairs or people who are ill.

The women’s medicine dress is used for healing.” Gail Schmidt of Morton Grove came to the pow wow with her friend, Nan Czyzewicz of Las Vegas, to experience the culture and enjoy Native American cuisine, Indian-style tacos and fry bread.

“My Native American friends are very spiritual, loving and caring individuals.

Their family units are very cohesive,” Czyzewicz said.

Herbert and Martha Schingoethe said they would like people to walk away from the pow wow with a better understanding of the contributions of Native American Indians.

Herbert Schingoethe has been collecting artifacts since he was a young boy.

“Our greatest enjoyment is sharing the artifacts with others,” he said.

World Champion Hoop Dancer Eddie Swimmer performs in front of hundreds as the 1th annual Aurora University Pow Wow gets under way Saturday at the Aurora campus.

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