- Representative of Iraq’s most senior Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has called on Iraqis to take up arms against what he called “terrorists” who have overrun large swaths of the country.
- We go to the city of Najaf to speak to Sami Rasouli, founder and director of the Muslim Peacemaker Teams in Iraq.
- Rachel Maddow Warns Against A New American Attack On Iraq
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Friday, June 13, 2014 | Amy Goodman: We turn now to Iraq. A representative of Iraq’s most senior Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has called on Iraqis to take up arms against what he called “terrorists” who have overrun large swaths of the country. The call comes just hours after Islamist militants seized two more strategic towns northeast of Baghdad, moving the country closer to disintegration. Over the past few days, fighters from ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, have seized several major cities including Mosul and Tikrit. According to the United Nations, hundreds of people have been killed in Mosul, many of them summarily executed. Hundreds of thousands have fled Mosul, many afraid Iraqi forces would bomb the city. Meanwhile, Kurdish fighters have taken control of the oil city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq. On Thursday, President Obama said he won’t rule anything out that might aid Prime Minister Maliki.
President Barack Obama: I think it’s fair to say that in our consultations with the Iraqis, there will be some short-term, immediate things that need to be done militarily, and, you know, our national security team is looking at all the options. But this should be also a wake-up call for the Iraqi government. There has to be a political component to this, so that Sunni and Shia who care about building a functioning state that can bring about security and prosperity to all people inside of Iraq come together and work diligently against these extremists. And that is going to require concessions on the part of both Shia and Sunni that we haven’t seen so far.
Amy Goodman is an American award-winning broadcast journalist, syndicated columnist, investigative reporter and author. Goodman’s investigative journalism career includes coverage of the East Timor independence movement and Chevron Corporation’s role in Nigeria.
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