Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bieber documentary

Reader Rochelle asks if I'm surprised that Justin Bieber's new documentary has flopped?

I had no idea what she was talking about.

Click here.

I've got to tell you, Rochelle, I don't understand how he's had a career.

I've only heard him sing once and that was on TV.  I didn't think he had that great of a voice and I thought the song was awful.

I put it down to little girls must like him.

He looked girlish to me -- this was probably 4 years ago.

He doesn't look girlish -- and hasn't for some time -- so how did he keep his fans?

Do people really like his music?

I always feel like he's Frankie Avalon or Dion.

People don't realize it now, but those guys had hit records.

And now no one takes them seriously.

The article I linked to tries to blame the documentary bombing at the movies on the holiday season.

That could be.

Or maybe he's finally lost the teeny boppers?

I have no idea but, honestly, I've never been able to figure out the Bieber phenomenon and, at one time at least, it was huge.

Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, January 2, 2014.  Chaos and violence continue, the New York Times played people for fools on Benghazi, today they rewrite history on Iraq, 'media watchdog' Greg Mitchell idiotically reTweets the Times, Nouri assaults Anbar, children are being killed, where did Iraq get fighter jets, and so very much more.

We're going to start with Benghazi.  September 11, 2012, an attack in Benghazi left 4 Americans dead: Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith and Chris Stevens.

Sunday, the New York Times published David Kirkpatrick's garbage on the Benghazi attack.  I heard in November, from a White House friend, that the Times was doing a major front page article on the attack to help improve Susan Rice's image.  The White House designated Rice a press leaker in the first term and she remains that.  She is one of those 'government officials' who is given anonymity to leak flattering details about the White House or to attack White House opponents.

The silly Bob Somerby applauded the article, he wasn't the only one to do so.  I avoided the article thinking it would need a mention or two in the year-in-review.  Then I read it when I started writing  "2013: The Year of Exposure."

People who value journalism should not value this crap.  Andrew Rosenthal wrote an idiotic defense of the article and attack on its critics.  When the paper gets defensive, it's because they're caught lying.

Not caught by the people, they never give a damn about that.  But Democrats and Republicans in Congress have pushed back.  That's a bit of a surprise if you consider this is a week when people take time off.

So now the paper gets defensive.

In the year-in-review, I focused on the YouTube nonsense.  In paragraph ten of the long, long article, Kirkpatrick claims that the video is connected to the attack.

Alright then.  Walk us through it.

I believe he's given at least 7,200 words.

Few people will get 1,000 words to back up their point.

But Kirkpatrick can't back up his point.  The closest he comes is telling you an Egyptian program broadcast a clip of the video then moves to a Libyan man who supposedly backs up that the program is watched in Libya -- apparently by those with satellite TV.

Here's the thing though.  The Libyan man says they watch the Egyptian program on TV Fridays before morning prayers.  Okay well there are problems with that claim but let's let it go forward.  The article tells us that the Egyptian program aired the clip in the September 8th program.  Since the attack was in September 2012, we're talking about September 8, 2012.

Here are the two paragraphs we're talking about.

Then, on Sept. 8, a popular Islamist preacher lit the fuse by screening a clip of the video on the ultraconservative Egyptian satellite channel El Nas. American diplomats in Cairo raised the alarm in Washington about a growing backlash, including calls for a protest outside their embassy.
No one mentioned it to the American diplomats in Libya. But Islamists in Benghazi were watching. Egyptian satellite networks like El Nas and El Rahma were widely available in Benghazi. “It is Friday morning viewing,” popular on the day of prayer, said one young Benghazi Islamist who turned up at the compound during the attack, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

I can't believe how gullible and complaint people are.

Did no one read this damn report?

It's too long, granted.  But if you read it where was your brain?

September 8, 2012, one of the entries that went up here was "Nouri's criminal ways."  What didn't go up?  An Iraq snapshot.  Why was that?

I don't do a snapshot on Saturdays.

The argument is the Egyptian program popularized the video and the program is watched in Libya Friday mornings before prayers and that Friday they watched the program, saw the clip, it incited rage.  None of that is proven or even backed up.  But worst of all, if the clip was broadcast September 8th, no one in Libya saw it on that Friday because that was Friday, September 7, 2012.

Not only did the readers -- if anyone did read it -- fail to use their critical thinking, but there was no fact check of this awful article.

This article -- in an earlier form -- was so bad that the paper didn't run it.  In June, Kirkpatrick wrote a version of it.

You need to grow the hell up and grasp when you're being conned.  An article that didn't qualify to the paper as "all the news that's fit to print" in June is printed at great length in December?

What changed?

The deal to rehabilitate Susan Rice's image.

You're being conned and you're being lied to and if that's okay with you, then cheer the stupid article, but if you've got a brain in your head, now's the time to use it.

The article's being pimped as proof of two things -- the YouTube video caused what happened and that al Qaeda was not involved.

Earlier today, Mike and I talked about the article for his "Benghazi."  From that:

[Mike:] The other assertion is that al Qaeda was not involved.

C.I.: I don't believe the article proves who was involved but on al Qaeda, Kirkpatrick plays stupid.  I'm sorry, I'm doing the Iraq snapshot every day but holidays and I see the way the western press covers Iraq.  I have repeatedly noted that "al Qaeda" did not carry out this or that attack.  Sometimes the press will allow "al Qaeda-linked."  But I have repeatedly noted that the press needs to be precise in their reporting.  Kirkpatrick attempts to pin the blame on a group -- I don't think he succeeds which doesn't mean the group's innocent, it means he didn't back up his claims -- but that group -- which is not al Qaeda -- has been reported in many outlets before -- including the New York Times -- as al Qaeda or al Qaeda-linked.  To be clear, I don't know which group or groups carried out the attack.  I don't claim to.  But what I'm saying is Kirkpatrick's insisting it's group Z and group Z has often been said to be al Qaeda.  It's not.  Group Z is not.  But that is true of many groups the press falsely dubs al Qaeda. I've frequently written about this at The Common Ills and repeatedly the press needs to be precise when they speak of these groups.  Kirkpatrick can argue he is being precise to which I would reply I'm glad he's being precise and I hope everyone at the paper will be from the publication of his article forward.

Repeatedly here, I have called out various outlets that insist "al Qaeda in Iraq" or just "al Qaeda."  They use it as a catch-all.  Sometimes, with the same groups, if we've harped on it here enough, they'll go a week or two of saying "al Qaeda-linked" or "al Qaeda-affiliated."

Jonathan Karl (ABC News) quoted the CIA version of the events from an early draft:

The Agency has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al-Qa’ida in Benghazi and eastern Libya.  These noted that, since April, there have been at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British Ambassador’s convoy. We cannot rule out the individuals has previously surveilled the U.S. facilities, also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks.

Here's Karl again:

Like the final version used by Ambassador Rice on the Sunday shows, the CIA’s first drafts said the attack appeared to have been “spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo” but the CIA version went on to say, “That being said, we do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qa’ida participated in the attack.”  The draft went on to specifically name  the al Qaeda-affiliated group named Ansar al-Sharia.

Now I'm real sorry that Bob Somerby's an idiot.  But for several years now, we've argued here that this 'classification' is imprecise and needs to stop.

But it hasn't stopped.

I don't see that the New York Times article proves anything about who was behind the attack -- clearly the US government agrees with me on that since there are still no arrests for the attack -- but it's crazy for people to being splitting hairs over this.  I'm fine -- I am more than fine -- with a strict definition of al Qaeda.  But until that day comes, we've got what we've got.

Feel free to join me in demanding a strict definition.  I'm unaware that anyone has outside of the United Nations.  I'm certainly Bob Somerby's never bothered with the topic in all of his useless prattles.

A USA Today friend called to ask if we could note J.D. Gordon's column on Benghazi (it's online, it will be in tomorrow's paper).  We'll note this from it:

 Not only does that contradict U.S. intelligence authorities, including sworn testimony before Congress, it also purposely downplays the danger posed to all Americans from a wide variety of radical Islamic terror groups that routinely communicate and coordinate with each other. Many of these groups openly claim to be "affiliates" of Al Qaeda. Some of them almost certainly were among the Al Qaeda affiliates who participated in a rally in Benghazi in June of 2012, three months before the consulate killings. But when it comes to Al Qaeda, the Times defines the term even more narrowly than White House spokesman Jay Carney's reference to "Core Al Qaeda".

You can't keep stretching it back and forth.  Join me in demanding a strict definition or accept things as they are now.  If you're accepting them as they are now, Kirkpatrick's 'reasoning' doesn't hold up -- nor does it match other work product from the paper.

People need to learn to use their critical abilities.

Patrick Martin (WSWS) read the report and found a takeaway that's not going to thrill everyone:

A lengthy front-page report in Sunday’s New York Times provides additional confirmation that the attack on a US facility in Benghazi, Libya in September 2012 was the outcome of the Obama administration’s use of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists in its war against the Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi.
The Times article, based on dozens of interviews in Benghazi, asserts that the attack that killed four Americans, including US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, was carried out by Libyans who had previously been allied with the US government in the 2011 war that overthrew and murdered Gaddafi. Times correspondent David D. Kirkpatrick writes that the attack was not organized by Al Qaeda or any other group from outside Libya, but “by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi.”

Just the fact that the paper published this tired story in the dead week tells you they knew it was nothing.  Unless a natural disaster takes place -- like the tsunami a few years back -- the paper's dead this time of year.  So the fact that they slip the article in this time of year should have raised eyebrows automatically.

If they had any faith in it, they would have run it in June.

If you're praising the article, you're not reading critically.  In fact, if you're eyes moved over this article and you're praising it,  I'm not even sure  we can call it reading, maybe "absorbing"?

Over 7,000 words and none of them back up the central claims.  No direct links are presented.  Kirkpatrick's article is like an early Sonny and Cher recording, it goes round and round but never hits the actual note.

If you were fooled by the Times again, take comfort that there's always a bigger fool.

Remember this:

Unlike a lot of media and political writers I am not one to let bygones be bygones, at least in a very few tragic or high stakes cases.  For example, the media failures in the run-up to the Iraq war, given the consequences.  This explains my reaction to the Columbia Journalism Review today announcing, after a widely-watched search, that it was hiring Liz Spayd of The Washington Post as its new editor.

Now, I suppose I should review her entire career, for context, though others are doing it and you can read about it in plenty of places.  She has been managing editor of the Post for years now and obviously supervised a good deal of important work (and some not so terrific, of course).  But I am moved to recall, and then let go,  one famous 2004 article, by Howard Kurtz, then media writer at the Post, which I covered in my book on those media failures and Iraq, So Wrong for So Long.

That's Greg Mitchell in November and we called him out.  We didn't see sincerity in his remarks, no, we saw opportunism.

For those who think I was too harsh on noted sexist Greg Mitchell, he Tweeted today:

  • Think of the wasted lives, and scream: NYT reports radicals in Iraq possibly about to take over Fallujah and Ramadi.

  • So he was pissed about the press and Iraq and savaged a woman but today he's Tweeting the New York Times?

    I'm sorry, I thought Greg wrote:

    Unlike a lot of media and political writers I am not one to let bygones be bygones, at least in a very few tragic or high stakes cases.  For example, the media failures in the run-up to the Iraq war, given the consequences.

    He did.  He wrote that.

    He's not going to let bygones be bygones, he insists, and he's appalled still by "the media failurs in the run-up to the Iraq war" -- but not so appalled and not so anti-bygones be bygones that he's not going to reTweet the New York Times.  (And it's bad article on top of that -- it's more revisionary crap from the Times that sold the illegal war, but he's reTweeting it?)

    Okay, let's move to Iraq.  Today, the topic came up when spokesperson Marie Harf was doing the US State Dept press briefing.

    QUESTION: Marie, moving over to Iraq, does State Department have any comments on reports that al-Qaida has captured parts of Ramadi and Falluja?

    MS. HARF: Let me see what I have on that. So we continue to follow closely events in Anbar. We’re working to help all leaders focus on the threat to Iraq posed by al-Qaida. This is a common threat that we are obviously very familiar with, and we are helping to support the Iraqi Government in this common fight. We’ve been in constant – in close communication with the Iraqi Government. Ambassador Beecroft on the ground, Brett McGurk here from Washington have been engaging with government officials at the highest levels across the ethnic and sectarian spectrum in Iraq on this issue. We’ve encouraged the government to work with the population to fight these terrorists to draw on some of the lessons, quite frankly, we learned when we were there, to isolate extremists which exist on both sides, and encourage moderates on both sides. We obviously condemn in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks we’ve seen. There’s no place for this kind of violence in Iraq, and we are very committed to continuing to work with them to fight this common enemy together.

    QUESTION: Do you think the threat from al-Qaida is increasing in the Middle East?

    MS. HARF: That’s a pretty broad question. I think there are in some places, as I said I think to Matt’s question, either al-Qaida affiliates or groups that may share some sort of extremist ideology with al-Qaida, that in some places, particularly because of the civil war in Syria, have taken advantage of the security situation to perpetrate terrorist attacks. That’s certainly what we’ve seen in Iraq, we’ve seen it in Lebanon. It’s something we’re concerned about. I think it’s not as simple as saying al-Qaida. Each of these groups is a little bit different, and that’s important because when you’re trying to figure out how to combat them and fight them, it actually matters who they take guidance from and who’s giving them orders and who’s planning these attacks.

    QUESTION: So do you blame Syria for the increase of violence in Iraq?

    MS. HARF: That’s certainly a huge part of it, absolutely. We’ve seen the kind of terrorist violence we’ve seen in Syria, and that’s certainly spilled over into Iraq. But we are very concerned about it. That’s why we’re engaged consistently with the Iraqis to help fight it together. But it is a problem we’re very concerned about, absolutely.

    QUESTION: Yep. Wait – anything else on the Middle East?

    Marie Harf says, "It's not as simple as saying al Qaeda" and at least Marie Harf and I agree on something. Maybe others can agree and we can all get a little more mature?

    It won't happen any time soon.  Jim Michaels didn't get the memo.  He opens his USA Today report tonight with this, "Al-Qaeda militants in key western Iraqi cities launched a series of brazen attacks against police stations and fought battles with government forces Thursday amid growing sectarian tensions between Sunnis and Shiites."  To stage this operation?  Nouri has to pull troops from across Iraq.

    Iraq Times reports that troops were pulled from Dhi Qar and, now in Iraq, they don't have sufficient food rations.  More poor planning from Nouri.

    سيطرات في مناطق السعدان بقضاء غرب العاصمة بغداد بعد فرار عناصرها. .

    Militants/terrorists/rebels/who knows attacked/defended/ who knows.  But turmoil continued in Iraq today. All Iraq News notes Baghdad Opertations Command says they've killed 30 people (suspects) in Anbar.  National Iraqi News Agency reported clashes taking place in Ramadi, a tribe has taken 'back' a Ramadi police station from militants, the governor of Anbar says Ramadi is quiet and police should return to their posts and help citizens repair police stations  and Jabbar Yawar (Secretary Generl of the KRG's Ministry of Peshmerga) declared, "The Peshmerga forces are protecting citizens in the areas between Nafutkana and Vichabour, which include Salahuddin, Diyala and Kirkuk provinces, and part of Nineveh."  You get what the 'safe to return' message from the governor is, don't you?  People deserted their posts.  A Ministry of Interior announcement today also made that clear.  Here you can see a photo of the military force in Anbar after Nouri's forces fled.  Al Mada notes that for several hours today fighters were able to seize police stations in Ramadi and Falluja.  Irish Times reports on the seizures and includes this:

    “The tribesmen are now fighting the army. What is the army doing in our city and why did they come?” Sheikh Adnan al-Mehana, the head of one of the biggest tribes in Anbar, said by phone from Ramadi.
    “Today, we defeated the army and if another force will be sent, we are ready for them,” he said.

    Grasp that?


    For the second time this week, the BBC's Rafid Jaboori has provided lies as news.  I hope Nouri's f**king Rafid, because I hope Rafid's getting something out of his whoring.  Here he is today, offering 'analysis:'

    Al-Qaeda has moved into Anbar to exploit the dispute between the Sunnis and the government. However, Mr Maliki has now secured backing from key Sunni tribal leaders.

    Maybe if you just follow the BBC you can pretend Rafid's offering analysis.

    Iraqi Spring MC notes that Anbar tribal leaders are pointing out that they did not ask for Nouri's forces to be sent into the province and the tribal leaders maintain they're more than able to provide security without Nouri's forces.

    Nouri's forces are committing genocide.  You can pretty as much you damn well want and you kid yourself however you need to, but that's what's happening and that the United States government is allowing to happen.  They have armed a despot.

    As the day wound down, NINA reported that police Colonel Mohammed al-Thiyabi had been shot dead in Ramadi.  Iraqi Spring MC reports that tanks shot at rebels on a bridge in Anbar and that Nouri's aircraft dropped bombs on homes in Ramadi.   His forces also bombed Falluja and many people were wounded and taken to Falluja General Hospital.  A 6-year-old girl named Estrabraq was killed by the bombs Nouri's forces dropped and two more children were left wounded.

    The people are being terrorized and maybe someone can ask the State Dept about that?  Maybe they can ask about this child that Nouri's forces shot dead in Iraq?

    عناصر تقتل طفلا-8 سنوات- باطلاق الرصاص باحدى سيطراتهم في الصقلاوية. . .

    That little boy was shot dead by Nouri's forces in Saqlawiyah which is an Anbar Province city near Falluja.

    Nouri's forces always get away with killing children.

    Former US Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey tells USA Today (on the Anbar assault, not about children dying), "Maliki has taken a very serious and unfortunate step toward pushing a large percentage of the Sunni population to feel disenfranchised."

    There are multiple reports in Arabic social media that "fighter jets" are being used.  Iraq has no fighter jets.  That's what Congress was told in December, just weeks ago.  So where did these fighter jets come from?

    Also, the White House might want to check with the propaganda channel Voice of America -- it's also saying fighter jets are being used in Anbar.

    Let's drop back to Monday's snapshot:

    Rudaw also notes, "The scholars also demanded that all Sunnis involved in the political process withdraw from the so-called Document of Honor, because 'Maliki has proved that he does not respect treaties or covenants'."  Let's get back to the resignations noted earlier in the snapshot.  Al Mada reports 44 MPs with the Motahidon Alliance have submitted their resignations to Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi because of today's attacks on the protesters in Anbar.  All Iraq News notes the spokesperson for the Motahidon Alliance held a press conference and stated that the resignations are taking place and "that the war in Anbar is unconstitutional and violate all patriotic terms."  KUNA covers it here. Liu Dan (Xinhua) reports, "The MPs from the Sunni Motahidoon (United) Alliance also demanded the withdrawal of the army from cities in the Anbar province and the release of Ahmad al-Alwani, a Sunni lawmaker who was arrested on Saturday, the bloc's spokesman Dhafer al-Ani said at a televised press conference."  Matt Bradley (Wall St. Journal) points out, "Mr. Awlani was an early supporter of the year-old Sunni protest movement against Mr. Maliki and his Shiite-dominated government."

    Monday at Marie Harf's State Dept press briefing some of that was asked of:

    QUESTION: Today, a number of parliamentarians have resigned and the government continued to pound areas in Ramadi and Anbar and so on, and at the same time, you have already sent in some drones and other material to fight terrorism. Do you have any comments on that?

    MS. HARF: Well, we’re tracking the events in Anbar closely. We’re concerned by the reports of soldiers and civilians who have been killed in clashes. We, from the U.S. side, have been intensely engaged from both Baghdad and Washington with Iraqi leaders on all sides. We’ve been urging restraint, dialogue, and certainly for all sides to take steps to de-escalate and not to further escalate the situation. We’ll continue to gather facts on the ground and continue to engage with Iraqi leaders as this moves forward.

    QUESTION: Yeah. Are you talking to the – to people, like, from the Iraqiya and the dialogue like (inaudible) and so on who have just withdrawn, including the speaker of the parliament and --

    MS. HARF: Well, I think we’re still gathering facts on that, Said. I saw some of those reports before I came out. I think all the facts aren’t entirely clear. Suffice to say, we’re talking to folks from all different sides that are involved in this.

    QUESTION: Are you concerned that the government may collapse?

    MS. HARF: I think you’re getting 15 steps ahead of where we are. What we’re calling on folks to do is to de-escalate the situation on all sides.

    QUESTION: Don’t you think that the security forces has overreacted in dealing with the protestors in Anbar?

    MS. HARF: Again, we’re still looking at the situation to get all the facts on the ground. I just don’t want to go further than that before we know exactly what happened. We’ve called on all sides to show restraint. That includes, certainly, the security forces and other folks as well. So we’ll see what exactly happened and go from there.

    QUESTION: And on what level are you talking to the prime minister?

    MS. HARF: I can double-check and see if there’s some specifics I can share about what level.

    Let's note what's going on with imprisoned MP Ahmed al-Alwani -- illegally imprisoned.  NINA reports:

    A parliamentary delegation headed to the Anti-terrorism center to meet MP Ahmed al-Alwani.
    MP, of the Iraqiya coalition, Sumayya al-Qallab told the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA /: "The delegation includes MP Khalid al-Alwani, MP Hamid al-Zobaie and Sumayya al-Qallab."
    The Acting Defense Minister, Saadoun al-Dulaimi and the head of the Iraqi Awakening Conference, Ahmed Abu Risha met Alwani yesterday, emphasizing that he enjoys good health, and he was allowed to contact with his family, and he will be presented to the investigating judge on Thursday.

    Why did that visit take place?

    Before today's visit was being reported, Wednesday, in fact, Iraq Times was reporting that Nouri had acknowledged that al-Alwani was not responsible for shooting anyone or transferring weapons and would allow the visit to take place.

    How nice of him.

    Per the Iraqi Constitution, al-Alwani cannot be arrested unless he's arrested while he's committing a crime or the Parliament strips him of his office.  At his home at dawn, asleep, on Saturday, he was not in the midst of any crime.

    He has not been stripped of his immunity.

    The arrest was illegal.

    He was said to be -- yes, it's coming -- a 'terrorist.'  And an assassin.

    Why have the charges not been made public?

    Where's the government release noting why he was arrested?

    It doesn't exist.

    But Monday, Nouri's office did issue a statement of him claiming the assault on Anbar was uniting the province.

    Monday was when Nouri ordered his forces to attack the peaceful protesters.  Yasir Ghazi and Tim Arango (New York Times) live in a curious world -- one that pimps al Qaeda, granted, "The fighting began after Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, a Shiite, ordered security forces to dismantle protest encampments in Falluja and Ramadi."

    So if I set your house on fire and you turn around and do the same to me, I can claim that the trouble started with you?

    Nouri attacks and then the fighting begins?

    I think the fighting began when Nouri's forces attacked.

    That is what happened even if the New York Times can't handle logic.      

    Gulf Daily News reminds (what the New York Times 'forgot'), "Ten people died when the government moved against the camp in Ramadi on Monday."

    As all the above takes place, so do other incidents of violence.  Reuters notes a Balad Ruz suicide car bomber took his own life and the lives of "at least 12 people who had gathered to buy and sell cars."  NINA reports  1 police officer was shot dead in Mosul, a Mosul rocket attack killed 2 Iraqi soldiers, a Shura bombing claimed 1 life,  a Falluja bombing claimed 1 life and left four people injured, a Latifiyah attack left 2 Iraqi soldiers and 2 rebels killed and two rebels were injured, a Nineveh operation leaves 3 suspect dead and six more injured, security operations in Qayyarah left 1 suspect dead, and 1 doctor was kidnapped from a Baquba medical clinic. and a Hilla bombing left five Iraqi soldiers injured.  EFE reports a Baquba truck bombing has killed 15 people and left thirty injured.

    On medical, All Iraq News reports a fire broke out in Dhi-Qars Hussein Hospital ("reasons behind this fire are unknown").'s Jason Ditz (CounterCurrents) notes:

    2013 in Iraq began much the way 2012 did, with violence well down from the levels of the US occupation era. Then the Maliki government attacked a peaceful protest in Hawija in mid-April, and a sectarian powderkeg just exploded.
    By summer the death tolls were again rivaling the worst of the US surge-era, and 2013 ended with well over 10,000 dead, and 1,180 killed in the month of December alone. The toll is the worst since 2007.

     Iraq Body Count counts 983 violent deaths for the month of December and 9475 violent death for the year.   The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq issued the following:
    Baghdad, 1 January 2014 – According to casualty figures released today by UNAMI, a total of 759 Iraqis were killed and another 1,345 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence in December*.
    The number of civilians killed was 661 (including 175 civilian police), while the number of civilians injured was 1201 (including 258 civilian police). A further 98 members of the Iraqi Security Forces were killed and 144 were injured. 
    The total number of civilian casualties (including police) in 2013 has been the highest since 2008, with 7,818 killed (6,787 in 2008) and 17,981 (20,178 in 2008) injured. 
    “This is a sad and terrible record which confirms once again the urgent need for the Iraqi authorities to address the roots of violence to curb this infernal circle,” the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Mr. Nickolay Mladenov, said. 
    The most violent month of 2013 was May, with a total of 3,154 civilian casualties (including police), of whom 963 were killed and 2,191 wounded. Since April 2013, the total number of civilian casualties (killed and injured, including police) has been consistently above 1,500. 
    “The level of indiscriminate violence in Iraq is unacceptable and I call on the Iraqi leaders to take the necessary steps to prevent terrorist groups to fuel the sectarian tensions, which contribute to weaken the social fabric of the society,” Mr. Mladenov added. 
    Baghdad was the worst affected Governorate with 809 civilian casualties (254 killed, 555 injured), followed by Salahadin (102 killed 160 injured), Diyala (99 killed 161 injured), Ninewa (105 killed 147 injured), and Anbar (62 killed 79 injured).
    Kirkuk and Babil also reported casualties (double digit figures).

    *Data do not take into account casualties of the current IA operation in Anbar, for which we do not have sufficient information.

    Disclaimer: The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq undertakes monitoring of the impact of armed violence and terrorism on Iraqi civilians in accordance with its mandate. UNAMI relies on direct investigation, along with credible secondary sources, in determining civilian casualties. UNAMI figures are conservative and may under-report the actual number of civilians killed and injured for a variety of reasons. Where different casualty figures are obtained for the same incident, the figure as verified by UNAMI is used.

    the new york times

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