April 09/14


Bible Quotation for today/. You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? So give for alms those things that are

Luke 11,37-48/: "While he was speaking, a Pharisee invited him to dine with him; so he went in and took his place at the table. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not first wash before dinner. Then the Lord said to him, ‘Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you. ‘But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God; it is these you ought to have practised, without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love to have the seat of honour in the synagogues and to be greeted with respect in the market-places. Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without realizing it.’ One of the lawyers answered him, ‘Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us too.’ And he said, ‘Woe also to you lawyers! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not lift a finger to ease them. Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your ancestors killed. So you are witnesses and approve of the deeds of your ancestors; for they killed them, and you build their tombs."

Pope Francis's Tweet For Today
We need to rediscover a contemplative spirit, so that the love of God may warm our hearts
Pape François
Il faut récupérer un esprit contemplatif, pour que l’amour de Dieu réchauffe nos cœurs


Latest analysis, editorials, studies, reports, letters & Releases from miscellaneous sources For April 08/14

Iraq’s Bloodied Words/By: Diana Moukalled/Asharq AlAwsat/April 09/14


Latest News Reports From Miscellaneous Sources For April 09/14
Lebanese Related News

Syria Army, Hizbullah Start Battle for Rankus in Qalamun

SCC Calls for General Strike Wednesday as MPs Fail Again to Agree on Pay Raise

Roads Blocked in Rival Demos over New Rent Law

Grenades Attack, Road Closure as Army Carries out Tripoli Raids

Man, 2 Sons Arrested for Smuggling Drugs in Keserouan

Geagea: I Will Act as a President for All Lebanese, but with March 14 Approach

Syrian Opposition: Nasrallah's Latest Remarks Reflect Hizbullah's Great Losses in Syria

'Radical Solution to Corruption,' Lifting Responsibility off Employees over Wage Scale

Civil Defense Volunteers to be Granted Demands, Undergo Full-Time Employment Exam

Germany Bans Hizbullah-Linked Fundraising Group

Expired Food, Products Destroyed at Koura Dump

AL-Lino Denies Dahlan Involved in Mieh Mieh Clashes

Aoun Sends Message to Hariri that he Wouldn't Announce Candidacy without Consensus

Three Fugitives Held, Weapons and Drugs Seized in Hermel


Miscellaneous Reports And News

U.N. Chief Decries Death of Dutch Priest in Syria

U.N. Warns of Drought Crisis in Syria

Syria Opposition Chief to Visit China

Syria Presidential Candidacy to Open this Month

Kerry claims Israel responsible for crisis in peace talks

Pro-Moscow Separatists Declare 'Provisional Govt.' in Donetsk as U.S. Says May 'Reexamine' Europe Military Presence

Germany Outlaws 'Hizbullah Fundraising Group'

Naharnet/ German authorities banned a group Tuesday accused of raising millions for Hizbullah and staged raids across the country against its members. The interior ministry said it had outlawed the "Waisenkinderprojekt Libanon" (Orphan Children Project Lebanon) with immediate effect. "The name of the group masks its actual purpose," ministry state secretary Emily Haber said in a statement. She said the organization, based in the western city of Essen, had raised 3.3 million euros ($4.6 million) in donations between 2007 and 2013 for the Lebanese Shahid Foundation, an "integral" part of Hizbullah. The ministry said the funds were used to recruit fighters "to combat Israel, also with terrorist measures" and compensate the families of suicide bombers. "Organizations that directly or indirectly from German soil oppose the state of Israel's right to exist may not seek freedom of association protection," Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said in the statement. He said the group's goals violated Germany's constitution. Around 160 police officers searched premises across six states and confiscated cash, computers and 120 boxes of files. Two bank accounts with a total of around 104,000 euros were frozen but no arrests were made. The ministry said it had kept Waisenkinderprojekt Libanon, which has about 80 members, under surveillance since 2009. Authorities say there are around 1,000 Hizbullah supporters living in Germany.
The European Union in July last year listed Hizbullah's military wing as a “terrorist organization.”Source/Agence France Presse

Jumblat Demands 'Radical Solution to Corruption,' Lifting Responsibility off Employees over Wage Scale

Naharnet /Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat on Tuesday questioned the path the discussion over funding the new wage scale is taking, denouncing holding state employees responsible for “any possible financial or economic collapse” that could happen after approving the debated draft law. "It is weird and absurd how discussion is going in circles regarding the best means to fund the new wage scale, which is a rightful demand for public employees, without touching upon the main problem in depth,” Jumblat said in his weekly editorial in the PSP-affiliated al-Anbaa website. He explained that this problem is caused by the “unprecedented squandering and corruption and in the public sector, and the absence of any plans or reform projects that would take public administration out of its miserable reality towards modernity.”"It is also weird and absurd how we don't have any available final numbers regarding the cost of the new wage scale, and the financial burden that it could produce this year and in coming years,” he continued. "What are the reasons that explain not informing the Lebanese about these numbers?,” Jumblat asked. "All discussions taking place do not tackle the main sources of squandering, topped by the airport and the port's customs.” The PSP leader elaborated: “We question how these discussions are limited to the possibility of imposing taxes on maritime properties, and completely ignore considering to issue a law that would fully cover these properties, and which includes fining violators.” "This issue is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he noted. "It is weird and absurd how the ongoing debate over a rightful and important cause to several segments of the Lebanese people is taking place in an unscientific and an informal manner.” Let's all get involved in an in depth study to deal with the accumulating problems of corruption, instead of holding workers responsible for any possible financial or economic collapse that could happen in case this issue was approached in a random and arbitrary manner,” Jumblat stated. The joint parliamentary committees failed again on Tuesday to resolve the dispute on the Value Added Tax, but agreed to continue discussions to find ways to fund the new wage scale. Meanwhile, the Syndicate Coordination Committee, a coalition of private and public school teachers and public sector employees, has warned that it would resort to the streets on Wednesday if the new wage scale was not referred to parliament for approval.

Syrian Opposition: Nasrallah's Latest Remarks Reflect Hizbullah's Great Losses in Syria

Naharnet /The Syrian opposition slammed on Tuesday the latest positions of Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the Syrian conflict, saying that they are a reflection of the party's waning influence on the ground. Syrian National Coalition member Mohammed Yehya Maktabi said: “Nasrallah's remarks are a sign of the great confusion Hizbullah is experiencing as a result of the great number of losses among its ranks.”This confusion was also sparked by the pressure the party's supporters are exerting on it, he added. Maktabi noted that Hizbullah's capabilities in Syria have weakened “due to a decrease in the number of its fighters in the conflict because of the high cost of fighting alongside the regime of Bashar Assad.”“Hizbullah is trying to lift the morale of its members, but it will fail given the rise in the number of funerals of the party's fighters who were killed in Syria,” continued Maktabi. “Despite the support from Hizbullah, the Syrian regime is still suffering on the battlefield, which has forced it to turn to a new Iraqi militia amid reports of Iran's direct intervention to restructure Hizbullah as a result of its losses,” he revealed. Moreover, he interpreted Nasrallah's remark that the the military option in Syria has failed as an attempt by the Hizbullah leader to restore the balance of power on the ground and find an alternative to the military solution after realizing that this option cannot be achieved. Nasrallah had told As Safir newspaper on Monday that “the Syrian regime is not facing the threat of collapse anymore.” “We have overcome the threat of partitioning and the military choice (against the regime) has failed,” he added.

Geagea: I Will Act as a President for All Lebanese, but with March 14 Approach
Naharnet/Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea remarked on Tuesday that he is currently the LF's candidate in the presidential elections, hoping that he will soon become the March 14 camp's candidate. He said: “Should I emerge as a victor in the elections, I will act as a president for the all the Lebanese people, but one who adopts the March 14 forces' approach.”
“Contacts are ongoing with the March 14 alliance members in order to adopt my nomination, because we ultimately have to agree on a single candidate to face the March 8 camp's candidate,” he explained while meeting a delegation from the Editors Syndicate. He also expressed his fears that one of those “who aspires to become president would thwart the needed quorum at parliament in order to ensure that they be elected.” Geagea therefore called on all lawmakers to ensure that quorum be met in order to hold the presidential elections.
“MPs have an obligation towards their voters to perform their duties. They should provide a legitimate excuse to explain any absence from the elections,” he stressed.
Addressing his presidential program, the LF chief said that he aspires “to strengthen the state and its role, not weaken Hizbullah.”“The Lebanese people are bound to the constitution and laws,” he added. “My program seeks to restore the republic that is built on the Lebanese constitution and laws,” he continued. “A presidential candidate should have a clear political program, not just poetic phrases that do not lead to the rise of the state that we aspire to,” Geagea remarked. Asked about the “radical shift in rule” that he had spoken off should he be elected, he explained that this policy is based on equality among all people and not making compromises at the expense of their rights. Geagea announced his nomination to the presidential elections on Friday. He is the first official to announce his candidacy. Al-Joumhouria newspaper reported on Monday that head of the Mustaqbal Movement Saad Hariri's advisor Nader al-Hariri had held talks with Geagea over the elections and the need to nominate a single member of the March 14 camp. President Michel Suleiman's six-year term ends in May but the constitution states that parliament should choose a new head of state within a two-month period before the end of the incumbent's term, which was on March 25.

SCC Calls for General Strike Wednesday as MPs Fail Again to Agree on Pay Raise
Naharnet /The Syndicate Coordination Committee called for a general strike on Wednesday after the joint parliamentary committees failed again to resolve the dispute on the Value Added Tax during. “Tomorrow, April 9, we will respond to joint parliamentary committees' negligence towards employees. Tomorrow is a day of revolution to free the state from squandering and from financial deals,” SCC head Hanna Gharib said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. “Tomorrow we will eliminate the (draft law's) articles related to taxation and we will fund the new wage scale from banks and real estate's money, and from imposing fines on the violators of public properties,” Gharib added, noting that contractors and tenders will be given their rights similarly to state employees. “The joint parliamentary committees insist on linking the new wage scale to revenues, and this is not supported by the constitution. The objective behind this is to keep stalling and avoid approving the law,” he commented. He considered that Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh and the economic committees “are terrorizing the public over issuing the new wage scale.” Salameh warned on Monday during a meeting with a delegation of some joint parliamentary committees' members of the dangers adopting the new wage scale would have on inflation, interests, and on the Global Credit Ratings. Gharib called for a mass participation in Wednesday's strike, urging private schools, teachers, ministries' employees, and public administrators to join the march that will coincide with the MPs' session at the parliament.
The SCC head also warned of escalation in the protests, of an open-ended strike and of boycotting (the correction of) official exams. Meanwhile, head of the private schools teachers association Nehme Mahfoud said issuing the new wage scale will spare the country a “social explosion.” “Because the joint parliamentary committees did not resume studying the new wage scale, and because this matter has extended for over two and a half years, these officials should not stay in power,” he stated at the press conference. Earlier in the day, Deputy Speaker Farid Makari, who chaired the meeting of the committees, said during a press conference in parliament that several articles of a proposal to fund the wage scale were approved.
But due to differences on other issues, including VAT, they agreed to continue their talks after a parliamentary session set to take place on Wednesday and Thursday, Makari said. “I don't think there is any MP who rejects” the new wage scale, the lawmaker added. A proposal has been made to raise VAT from 10 to 12 percent or increase it to 15 percent on certain luxury items. Several parliamentary blocs reject such a plan. Makari tried to appease SCC protesters, telling reporters in parliament that the SCC “knows we are exerting efforts to resolve” the dispute on the wage scale.

Syria Army, Hizbullah Start Battle for Rankus in Qalamun
Naharnet /Syrian regime forces have shelled the Rankus area ahead of an operation to retake the town, one of the last rebel-held regions in the Qalamun area, a monitoring group said Tuesday. Hizbullah's al-Manar television also reported that the Syrian army had begun an offensive against Rankus. A military source, meanwhile, told AFP that regime forces had taken a hilltop position by Rankus and were surrounding the town. The Qalamun region is strategic because it lies along the border with Lebanon and the main highway between Damascus and the city of Homs runs through it. "The area of Rankus in Qalamun has been under heavy shelling and continuous air raids since Monday, ahead of a plan to storm it," Syrian Observatory for Human Rights chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. He said Hizbullah was leading the operation by regime forces in the region, where the army has gradually recaptured control of almost all areas formerly held by the rebels. Fighters from pro-regime militias were also involved in the battle, which comes after the regime secured a major victory by capturing the rebel bastion of Yabrud nearby on March 15. With the fall of Yabrud, rebel forces lost most of their supply routes crossing the border into Lebanon. Source/Agence France Presse

Man, 2 Sons Arrested for Smuggling Drugs in Keserouan
Naharnet/Internal Security Forces arrested on Tuesday a man and his two sons in the Keserouan town of Sahel Alma on drug smuggling charges. "The ISF Intelligence Bureau detained G. G. and his two sons after raiding their apartment in Sahel Alma,” the state-run National News Agency reported. "They were arrested on drug smuggling charges,” the NNA added. The same source noted that sniffer dogs were used in the raids, which lasted for about two hours.

AL-Lino Denies Dahlan Involved in Mieh Mieh Clashes
Naharnet/Palestinian Armed Struggle chief Mahmoud Issa, who goes by the nom de guerre of al-Lino, denied that sacked Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan was involved in the clashes that erupted at the Palestinian refugee camp of Mieh Mieh in the southern city of Sidon. Al-Lino said in comments published in al-Joumhouria newspaper on Tuesday that Dahlan's role at the camp is merely humanitarian. In June 2011, the central committee of the Fatah party led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has voted to expel Dahlan over allegations of corruption and murder. “Linking the humanitarian aid that Dahlan's wife (Jalila) and the developments that occurred is a suspicious and baseless claim,” he pointed out.
The Palestinian official considered that the “clashes go back to an old issue that renewed over power at the Mieh Mieh camp.” Eight people were killed on Monday and ten others were wounded in the unrest that started as an individual dispute ten days ago at the Mieh Mieh Palestinian refugee camp. The armed clash erupted between supporters of Jamal Suleiman's Ansar Ullah group, a close ally to Hizbullah and others of Ahmed Rashid's the Return Martyrs' Brigades. Palestinian security sources told the newspaper that the Palestinian factions are working on resolving the dispute as soon as possible to avoid any negative repercussions. “Today the Palestinians are facing an important test and they must assume their responsibilities or else the situation will deteriorate inside the Mieh Mieh camp, which would flare up the rest of the refugee camps,” the sources warned.

Grenades Attack, Road Closure as Army Carries out Tripoli Raids
Naharnet/The implementation of a security plan by the Lebanese army in the northern city of Tripoli faced on Tuesday attacks and protests by angry men.
The state-run National News Agency said several grenades were tossed in the area of al-Baraniyeh as residents shortly blocked the road of al-Dabagha and wheat market with burning tires. The grenade attack and the road closure were aimed at stopping the army from carrying out raids to arrest suspects involved in dozens of clashes that the city has witnessed in the past years. The protest expanded when the army impounded two cars from the motorcade of Dai al-Islam al-Shahhal, a prominent Salafist leader in Lebanon, in al-Baraniyeh, NNA said. The army soon intervened to disperse the protesters, arresting two people for the possession of three rifles, two guns, and ammunition. They were also found to have been driving a vehicle without proper legal papers. The army deployed in Tripoli last week in an unprecedented operation to quell violence between the Alawite neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen and the nearby Sunni district of Bab al-Tabbaneh. Al-Shahhal considered in a press conference that “there's a conspiracy targeting the Sunni sect by some sides that want it to subdued by the Iranian project.” “Lebanon is abducted and our army is being diverted to treat its people similar to the Syrian army.” He wondered why the “Salafist movement is being targeted.”“The army commits mistakes and if offenders weren't held responsible then we would be covering up for more crimes against” Sunnis, al-Shahhal added. A Baabda Palace statement said President Michel Suleiman followed up the security plan, stressing the importance of taking the necessary measures to reach stability and arrest perpetrators to bring them to justice.
Tensions between the two impoverished districts of Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh go back decades but have been exacerbated by the war in Syria, where Alawite President Bashar Assad faces Sunni rebels seeking to topple him. Successive rounds of violence between the neighborhoods have killed dozens of people and brought parts of the city to a standstill.

Aoun Sends Message to Hariri that he Wouldn't Announce Candidacy without Consensus
Naharnet /Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil has reportedly told the adviser of al-Mustaqbal movement leader Saad Hariri that Free Patriotic Movement chief Michel Aoun would not announce his candidacy for the presidency if there was no political consensus on him. During a meeting with Nader Hariri on Sunday night, Bassil, who is Aoun's son-in-law, said the FPM leader rejected his possible candidacy to be considered against the presidential bid of Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea. Bassil asked Nader Hariri to inform the head of al-Mustaqbal and the former prime minister about such a stance, al-Joumhouria daily reported. The newspaper said that the meeting between Bassil and Nader Hariri was held in the presence of several officials from the FPM and al-Mustaqbal. It came after similar talks between al-Mustaqbal movement's envoy and Geagea in Maarab on Saturday.
Nader Hariri is expected to travel to Riyadh soon to brief the Mustaqbal leader on the results of his talks. Al-Joumhouria quoted the movement's officials as saying that there was not yet a final deal within the March 14 alliance to consider Geagea as the camps sole presidential candidate. “This needs more time and contacts to overcome the rest of obstacles in that regard,” the officials, who were not named, said. Geagea's press office said Tuesday that he has also met with another Hariri envoy, former MP Ghattas Khoury, to discuss the presidential elections. Monday's “talks focused on the importance of preserving the unity of the March 14 alliance at this stage to bring a single candidate from the coalition to the presidency,” the statement said. Geagea announced last week that he would run for president, throwing the March 14 coalition in confusion after several of its officials said that the camp would have a single candidate.

Roads Blocked in Rival Demos over New Rent Law

Naharnet /Rival demonstrations were staged on Tuesday over the controversial new rent law that was recently adopted by parliament. Members of the Follow-Up Committee of the National Conference of Tenants blocked the main street of Beirut's Hamra district, demanding that an amended version of the law be put in place. It did not demand that the law be scrapped, but that a fair one be adopted instead. “It is unfortunate that none of the lawmakers and political blocs have taken our plight into consideration because they are the ones benefiting from the law,” it added.“This is the beginning of a social revolution,” it declared, while adding that it will stage a sit-in in front of parliament on Wednesday to press its demands.
“We will not be evicted from our houses,” stressed the protesters. “We have legal contracts to live in our own homes and we are demanding that our rights be preserved,” they added.
“Lawmakers should not be led to believe that this law will pass,” they warned. Later on Tuesday, the owners of old rent law buildings staged a rival sit-in at the Riad al-Solh Square in downtown Beirut to press President Michel Suleiman to sign the new rent law. "Mr. President, our parents suffered dire situations and some of them were not able to pay for their children's medical care. We, the sons of the owners who were displaced from our houses, will not forget how our parents died," a spokesman said during the protest.
"Mr. President, do not allow further 'executions' of owners of old rent law buildings. We are without shelter while others are benefiting from our properties," he lamented.
"The heirs of the owners of old rent law buildings are not capable of assisting their parents and we unwillingly contributed to resolving the housing crisis throughout four decades, but today we're the ones suffering a housing crisis," the spokesman noted. He said a lot of owners are elderly people and the new law represented "a glimpse of hope for them."
"You took an oath to be the constitution's first defender and your signing of the law would definitely protect the constitution and the rule of law," the spokesman said, addressing Suleiman. He also called on all owners to stage a sit-in Wednesday at the intersection of the presidential palace in Baabda "in support of the president" and to push him to sign the law.
Last week, parliament passed a controversial draft law regarding rents, which had been previously opposed by renters, who argue that many won't be able to afford it, which will force them to leave their homes. The new law calls for an increase in rents over a six-year period until they reach 5 percent of their current value. The old rent law pertains to rent contracts carried out before 1993. Several demonstrations have been staged in protest against the law, with the General Labor Confederation calling on President Michel Suleiman Suleiman to refer it back to the Joint Parliamentary Committees for further discussions.

Pro-Moscow Separatists Declare 'Provisional Govt.' in Donetsk as U.S. Says May 'Reexamine' Europe Military Presence

Naharnet/Hundreds of pro-Russians remained holed up Tuesday inside the Donetsk administration building in eastern Ukraine a day after proclaiming the creation of a sovereign "people's republic" and demanding that an independence referendum be held before May 11, as the U.S. said Russia's takeover of Crimea could prompt it to review its military presence in Europe. "We have formed a provisional government in Donetsk," separatist leader Vadym Chernyakov told Agence France Presse inside the occupied building.
The 33-year-old said his forces intended to control the region's airport and railway stations in order to "maintain order."The heart of Donetsk itself was a mesh of razor wire and hastily-assembled barricades of old tires that could be set on fire in case the riot police decided to mount an assault on the regional government seat. Meanwhile, a senior Pentagon official said Tuesday that Russia's takeover of Crimea could prompt a review of the U.S. military presence in Europe, which has declined steadily since the end of the Cold War.
"While we do not seek confrontation with Russia, its actions in Europe and Eurasia may require the United States to re-examine our force posture in Europe and our requirement for future deployments, exercises, and training in the region," said Assistant Secretary of Defense Derek Chollet. Some 67,000 U.S. military members are currently stationed on the European continent, mainly in Germany (40,000), Italy (11,000) and Britain (9,500). When the Soviet Union fell in late 1991, the total presence stood at 285,000.
Chollet, testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, did not specify what such a re-examination could entail at a time when the Pentagon faces budget cuts and is seeking to redeploy part of its resources to the Asia Pacific region as part of a so-called pivot strategy. "Russia's unlawful military intervention in Ukraine challenges our vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace," he said. "It changes Europe's security landscape. It causes instability on NATO's borders. And it is a challenge to the international order."
To reassure Eastern European NATO members, Washington has already deployed six F-15s as reinforcement to the Baltics, as well as 12 F-16s and three transport planes to Poland.
A guided-missile destroyer, the USS Donald-Cook, is due to arrive in the Black Sea in the coming days. The seizure of local administration buildings in Donetsk and Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine was "very concerning," Chollet said, adding that Washington did not believe them to be "spontaneous demonstrations." "Moving into eastern Ukraine would clearly be a very serious escalation of this crisis," he said. In his written testimony, Chollet said pressure from Moscow is not confined to Ukraine. "Moldova, for example, has Russian forces on its territory, nominally peacekeepers, but who actually support the separatist Transnistria region." NATO's top commander, the US General Philip Breedlove, expressed concern at the end of March about the large Russian troop presence along Ukraine's border, fearing it could lead to an intervention by Moscow in Transnistria. Source/Agence France Presse

Iraq’s Bloodied Words

Diana Moukalled/Asharq AlAwsat
Tuesday, 8 Apr, 2014
Iraqi MP Hanan Al-Fatlawi banged her hand on the table during a TV program on which she appeared, speaking angrily but effortlessly, and said: “For every seven Shi’ites killed, we want seven Sunnis [killed] in their place.”se, the seriousness of the situation which compelled Fatlawi to make such a statement is diminished by her words. An Iraqi parliamentarian has dismissed the authority of the constitution and the law to declare that the time has come to implement the principle of “an eye for an eye” to manage the sectarian conflict that is currently raging in Iraq. The media uproar which followed the Iraqi MP’s comments did not deter her or encourage her to retract her comments, and the echoes of her statement remained loud in the public arena. To top it off, Fatlawi is a member of the State of Law parliamentary coalition led by Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki.
The Iraqi MP’s TV moment of error ignited a firestorm on social media, worsening the sectarian discourse in the country and intensifying its hate campaigns. It is language that encourages the shedding of blood, which is what is taking place in Iraq and in many surrounding countries. In fact, the Iraqi MP did not depart from the line taken by the prime minister himself two weeks ago when he declared the principle of “blood for blood” in the case of the killing of journalist Mohammad Al-Bdaiwi at the hands of a Republican Guard officer.
The killing of the journalist was exploited in a manner which has not been seen in other daily killings taking place across the country. It is an incident which took place at a time which suited the current circumstances, and which, in turn, Maliki tried to benefit from. The officer who committed the murder is Kurdish, which turned an isolated crime into a national issue that nearly ignited a new Arab–Kurdish crisis in Iraq. Of course, linking Fatlawi’s comments, and before her Maliki’s, to the events in Iraq is not an attempt to lay all the blame for the country’s ills on them alone—this is, after all, a country where political violence kills dozens of people daily, Sunnis and Shi’ites, Arab, Kurds, and Turkmen alike.
However, with all this violence, it has become clear that coexistence between the different parts of the fabric of Iraqi society has been weakened to a level where a simple detail could lead to an explosion of hostile statement in the media, in its traditional or electronic form. The country is in the midst of major internal and regional crises, and the discourse presented by Maliki is part of these crises, and can even count as one of its “faces.” No one will be safe from the worsening situation in Iraq; it is like a sin which has many guilty parties. But for the prime minister and MPs from his coalition to turn the bloody discourse of sectarian violence into an official language is a major moment in history, 10 years into the experiment that is the new Iraq. It is a rapid decline and a frantic return to a discourse which raises the slogans of revenge and blood, and drops all that remains of a state of law—if there was anything left of it in the first place.