Iraq's violent streak goes mostly unnoticed -

Iraq’s violent streak goes mostly unnoticed

Tease the day: Attackers hit a police headquarters near the northern city of Mosul


The former site of Saddam Hussein's statue in Baghdad's Firdos Square. (Maya Alleruzzo/AP)

Let’s be frank. Strictly speaking, the most popular baby in the world will be big news for a long while. The little guy has a name, which he didn’t a day ago, and that’s worth celebrating, or at least mentioning, on front pages as far as the eye can see. I get it. The prince is an important fellow, because princes eventually become kings. So, yes, the prince was above the fold everywhere this morning, and prominently so, and justifiably so. But let’s not talk about George.

Let’s talk about Iraq. Remember the prison breakout at Abu Ghraib that freed 500 inmates, many of which are on the loose? Well, yesterday, in the city of Bashmaya, which is near the northern city of Mosul, attackers struck again. This time, a police headquarters was the target, and nine police officers perished in the assault. There’s more. “An ambulance rushing to the scene was hit by a roadside bomb, wounding the driver and his assistant,” reported the Associated Press. Such is the carnage in Iraq. Follow that last link and you’ll read about four other fatal attacks in Iraqi cities in just the last week.

The United Nations’ Security Council voted yesterday to extend its mission in Iraq. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke out against the violence. “I again urge political leaders from all sides to intensify their efforts to resolve the continuing political stalemate in accordance with the Constitution, through serious dialogue and with a spirit of compromise, so that no space is left to those who seek to exploit the situation through violence and terror,” he said in a report. Barely a whisper of those words in any newspaper, anywhere.

Syria is a disaster. Egypt is teetering. Turkey and Brazil have faced angry crowds. There’s no easy way to determine what, among so much unrest and violence and instability and human suffering, is worthiest of the world’s attention. Violence in Iraq requires no spotlight, however, and the situation just continues to worsen.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with TransCanada’s claims that it’s gained support for a west-east pipeline that premiers will discuss during today’s summer meeting. The National Post fronts Canadian efforts to convince the European Union to ban Hezbollah as a terrorist group. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with the Islamic Society of North America’s alleged funnelling of charity funds to a militant group that hopes Kashmir can secede from India. The Ottawa Citizen leads with a potential buyer for an historic piece of land in the Ottawa River currently owned by Domtar. iPolitics fronts calls for western Canadian leadership on aboriginal issues. leads with the massive train derailment near Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. CTV News leads with the Spanish train derailment that left at least 77 dead and at least 140 injured. National Newswatch showcases .

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Arms exports. The federal government is consulting the public on plans to add Peru, Chile, Brazil and South Korea to a list of countries to which Canadian arms dealers can export guns. 2. Aquatic centre. Iqaluit is set to borrow $40 million to pay for a waterslide-equipped aquatic centre that local critics say ignores other critical infrastructure needs facing the city.
3. Aboriginal protest. Demonstrators in seven cities across Canada will raise awareness about the federal government’s nutritional testing on aboriginals in six residential schools in the 1940s. 4. Sexual abuse. Former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong was taken to court by two former students who allege he physically and sexually abused them while teaching in northern B.C.
5. Immigration. Australia sends asylum-seekers who arrive by boat to detention centres in Papua New Guinea and Nauru. The conditions at the facilities have been heavily criticized as inhumane. 6. China. Bo Xilai, a former member of China’s elite politburo who allegedly took millions of yuan in bribes, embezzled millions of yuan, and abused power, may be facing trial in coming days.

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Iraq’s violent streak goes mostly unnoticed

  1. “The United Nations’ Security Council voted yesterday to extend its mission in Iraq. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke out against the violence.”

    Daily Telegraph – July 2013

    Last week, before the UN Security Council in New York, there unfolded the latest bizarre chapter in one of the most extraordinary stories I have ever followed in this column. Testifying to the council was Martin Kobler, who has just retired after two years as the special representative of the UN’s Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, in Iraq. But Mr Kobler stands accused of having colluded with the Iranian regime in a conspiracy to betray thousands of defenceless Iranian dissidents, who for years have been living in exile in Iraq, allowing scores of them to be murdered and leaving many hundreds injured.

    Then in 2011, they were tricked by Mr Kobler, acting as the UN’s special representative, into moving into a former US military base, ironically named “Camp Liberty”, which turned out to be no more than a hellish prison. Guarded night and day by armed thugs, without water or electricity, robbed of their belongings, they were subjected three more times to heavy mortar attacks – one only last month, leaving scores more dead and injured. All this was made possible, apparently, by Mr Kobler, one of whose senior aides was so outraged by the deceit involved that he last year resigned, giving chilling testimony to both the US Congress and the European Parliament.

    • Oh, good … more media management in the continuing ..

      and successful .. effort to rehabilitate MEK.

  2. People were very keen to invade, and they cheered every step of the way……until it became apparent we were actually losing and losing badly….which is when everybody lost interest and went looking for a new shiny object.

    • We’ll we Canadians were not keen to invade, hence our lack of participation.

      In fact very few outside the U.S. were keen to invade, as most projected the war to unfold as it has.

      • We weren’t keen on Afghanistan either….Or Lebanon….or anywhere else, but that never stops us from going.

        • Really Emily? Lebanon? Wow that was quite a nap! Ok…I’m awake now…just when did Canada invade Lebanon?

          • LOL sorry, I meant Libya.

          • where else exactly ? we sent peace keepers to Egypt, we were involved in ww1 and ww2 and that’s about it. And we never invaded Libya, we were part of NATO, that’s why we even got involved. the house of commons was angry that we were involved if you remember. and we never invaded, we set up a no fly zone( abused by the west bomb the shit out of Libya, but still it was passed as a un mandate for a no fly zone)… so what else have we done that we werent keen on?

          • Lots more than that….depends on how far back you want to go, and how official you want to be.

            Boer war, Spanish civil war, Viet nam, Afghanistan….we were in Iraq quietly as well. Korea.

            Claiming we were part of NATO or that war wasn’t ‘officially’ declared doesn’t excuse Canadians from being there.

          • wow…… ok that was Britain… big difference between Canada and Britain. Korea and Afghanistan were both NATO wide operations and both were done with a UN Mandate. we never actually participated in the Vietnam war and only sent a paltry force as peace keepers to enforce the peace afterwards( same as Egypt). and as for Iraq… we NEVER EVER moved Canadian armed forces into the Iraq conflict of 2003. we were involved in the first gulf war as was the rest of NATO under a UN mandate to stop the unlawful( although debatable) invasion of the republic of Kuwait. so Vietnam is out, so is Egypt as peace missions , all that’s left is the 2 world wars, Korea, Afghanistan, and beyond that in the first gulf war we only saw action in the airspace, same as in Libya but there( gulf war) we actually had legal grounds to attack ground forces unlike in Libya .

          • Well we were Britain for all ntents and purposes….it only changed when I was a kid and we were allowed to call ourselves ‘Canadian citizens’ and not British subjects..

            Invading a country under NATO is still Canada invading a country. Yes we were in Vietnam

            Yes Canadians were in Iraq….people loaned to the US, and ships in the Gulf.

            Far more has gone on than you seem to be aware of….but moving the goal posts around doesn’t change a thing

          • ok, when we don’t decide, as a country to declare war, that’s not a Canadian war. that’s us following Britain… ie World war 1 where we were automatically at war when Britain went to war… in world war 2 Canada declared war for itself. a week after Britain did. and in Iraq, we had less then a hundred exchange troops. that’s a military program that has nothing to do with our involvement in war( that’s like saying that because the Russians have supply personal manning the anti aircraft systems in Syria they have declared war on the rebels, NO they have had those advisory people there for decades). those troops where part of a training program. and as for ships, ya those are navel ships. we can have a navel presence in neutral waters. those ships never fired missiles into iraq or entered iraqi borders.and btw Iraq has only one port, the city of Basra and the Canadian ships where no where near there. we never declared war on Vietnam, we never sent armed forces into invade Vietnam… we went in to ensure the paris treaty was upheld as peace keepers that’s it… ( that’s like saying the peacekeepers in gloan heights are invading Israel & Syria, think not). and no ever since 1914 we have declared our own wars, world war 1 was the last time that Britain declared war for us. we became Canadian citizens in 1982, big gap ur missing between 1914 -1982. and a NATO lead mission + a UN mandate means that we as Canadians where quite keen on it… your point is that we declare wars when we dont want to… quite the opposite we are keen in intervene when the UN has said that this is an international problem and Nato decides that it will take the UN mandate and act. it matters because unlike the US and Britain and others we dont act unless the UN votes that action is neccasery and all opinions have been heard…. it matters because we seen as peacekeepers across the world and have always striven to be seen as such, and this is the reason that we are seen as such

          • I was born a British subject in 1946.

            As to the rest of it, you can parse it any way you like…but we were the ones doing the invading and the fighting….sometimes in sneaky ways


          • you were born a Canadian citizen subject to the law of the British British Parliament which had to approve any measure passed by the Canadian parliament and subject to the British monarch to whom we are still subject to. this proves that we acted as a diplomatic force, and that we we traded war materials. that has nothing to do with our militaristic involvement in the war. america is our largest trading partner what were we superposed to do cut off all trade because they declared war on a nation which we were against. and even there it says that we did speak out against the american methods. our role with soldiers was only in a peace keeping capacity

          • we were not cut off, the no tariffs act was removed so it became more profitable for us to trade with the united states. and you were born a British subject because we are subject to the British queen. you were not born a British citizen you were born a Canadian citizen big difference… technically we still are born British subjects, so are the aussie’s and the kiwi’s

  3. Yes its terrible. All so terrible. Iraq is a mess because of the us people say so I am sure all these other countries it must also be the usa fault. Then lets balme the oil sands for the rest. Oh I am sorry to hear about abuse to the poor natives. I wonder one thing if the treaties were to keep the peace and those who broke the treaties were not to have them honoured why do those 1st nation people who broke canadas laws still have treaty rights.
    If you break the law, you brak the treaty right? Why do they get special treatment, I feel they should keep up their end of the treaties if the rest of us have to pay our taxes to keep up this end.Why cant the standard they hold all of canada to apply to them. It all goes back to selling papers and kissing donkeys. Who in the press wants to make waves….

    • ok the natives thing is your opinion and you can have that. But as for Iraq, in Canada we complain and have outrage over 2-10 dead and 30 injured… we are shocked by a da .. while there the reality is that everyday about 20 are killed and 100 some people are injured…. the usual in iraw is 6 car bombs going off, and an explosion every 2 hours, 6/12 hours of power a day( random times) and political turmoil for almost 10 years…. when i hear that it puts things like Boston in perspective.. so ya when you see all of that and you see that the united states was the and still is very involved in international moves it makes you question whether they should be the world leader