Thursday, June 22, 2006

How To Make Friends And Influence People Part 2

Iraqi trade minister al-Sudani Friday prayers Sadr city June 16 2006Somewhat more detail has now emerged of the circumstances in which Australians shot dead one of Iraqi trade minister Abdul Falah al-Sudani's bodyguards and injured three others.

As I noted yesterday al-Sudani - seen here attending Friday prayers in Sadr city on June 16th 2006, is a powerful figure within the ruling Shi'ite bloc. It appears that the Australian security personnel were a protection detail for a visit by Greg Hull. Hull is Australia's STC (Senior Trade Commissioner) for Iraq, Jordan and the Palestinian territories and was apparently not present at the time. Various reports suggest that they "became nervous" and opened fire at the car containing bodyguards who were (of course) in plain clothes and armed with the ubiquitous AK-47. From the reports of eyewitness accounts of the killing the Australians thought that the car containing the bodyguards was trying to overtake theirs and opened fire killing one bodyguard, two civilians, and wounding three other bodyguards.

[Readers should note that the death of the two civilians is omitted from most Western reports - I wonder why … … no scratch that, I don't wonder why the death of two Iraqi civilians doesn't appear in the Western media reports of the shooting … … I don't wonder about that even slightly.]

What isn't in doubt is the minister's reaction. He immediately went on state TV and demanded both an apology and compensation for the victims, threatening to "reconsider" contracts with Australia if these weren't forthcoming. He got his apology within hours.

Isn't it amazing what threatening to hit a country that's taken part in the corrupt, illegal, and racist invasion of your country (and is now participating in its corrupt, illegal, and racist occupation) in the wallet can do? I very much doubt if the right wing Australian government gives a damn about the dead Iraqis. Particularly as their apology came from their ambassador while their prime minister said it was "too early" to do so. I very much doubt that they particularly care what the shooting says about the trigger happy nature of Western "protection details" but I don't doubt even for a moment that they care greatly about the profits of the businesses that fund them.

As a sidenote I got three emails two from Malaysia and one from Indonesia today about this. The gist of all three was that al-Sudani and his party have quite a few political friends in both Malaysia and Indonesia, isn't that interesting?

markfromireland

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