I commented earlier today (https://www.davidstockmanscontracorner.com/memo-to-washington-iraq-is-not-a-nation-and-you-cant-build-it) on the utter futility of Washington’s nation-building and regime management strategy in Iraq. Q.E.D.
By Matt Bradley And Ali A.Nabhan
Relatives of Iraqi soldiers killed in a battle with Islamic State militants over a military base stormed parliament on Tuesday and shut it down, protesting over the government’s failure to account for those who died.
The protests stemmed from the insurgent attack on the Speicher military base, about 100 miles north of Baghdad, on June 11 that left hundreds of Iraqi troops dead. Family members are furious that the government hasn’t provided an explanation of who died and how they were killed and that, in some cases, bodies haven’t been retrieved for burial.
The anger is part of a broader frustration among many Iraqis over the government’s handling of the insurgency. While politicians quibble over power sharing deals in Baghdad, Islamic State fighters are swallowing larger portions of the country and killing innocent civilians.
This was the second time in two weeks that Iraqis who lost relatives in the battle for the base shut down parliament with protests. Other protests related to the deaths have flared among family members in Iraq’s southern cities.
While many Iraqi troops fled the Islamic State’s advance, fighters at Camp Speicher held their ground before they were wiped out in what many family members have called a massacre. Most vexing for the families are reports from some survivors that the low-ranking soldiers, many of them students and fresh graduates, were left to die at the base while senior officers managed to escape.
Outrage among family members grew after videos spread online showing what are thought to be Islamic State fighters gunning down rows of Iraqi soldiers. One video showed a masked fighter standing on a dock shooting soldiers in the head one by one before throwing their corpses into a river.
Parliament has scheduled a special session on Wednesday to discuss the killings at Speicher, said Salim al-Jabouri, the assembly’s newly elected speaker.
While Mr. Jabouri expressed his condolences to the family members of the dead soldiers, he also castigated parliament’s security for allowing the large, highly secured facility to be overrun by protesters.
“We feel sympathy with those protesters but they pushed into the parliament and caused confusion that canceled the session today,” he said. “We received some of them and talked and agreed to have a special session tomorrow to discus the issues of Speicher incident’s victims.”
The Speicher killings are only one example of the Islamic State’s reign of terror in northern Iraq.
In a report released on Tuesday, Amnesty International accused the group of “ethnic cleansing on a historic scale” that has killed hundreds or thousands of people and forced “more than 830,000 others to flee the areas it has captured.”
Amnesty alleged the Islamic State has massacred minority groups including Assyrian Christians, Turkmen Shiites and Yazidis.