Friday, July 14, 2017

That media mob

Less salacious headline: He's an American citizen and lobbyist who says he was drafted into the Soviet Army in 1986

Less salacious is appreciated but it's a shame it's coming from Tracey's Twitter feed and not NBC NEWS itself.

But NBC isn't about news at all.

Tom Brokaw, for whatever faults, did try to play it neutral.

Today, it's witch hunt city at NBC and MSNBC -- Andrea, Rachel, Lester, Richard, go down the list.

They are a mob with burning torches and they don't even realize that -- or the damage that they're doing.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Friday, July 14, 2017.   The Mosul Slog, officially over, continues.

 Day 269 of The Mosul Slog -- yes, it is still going.

People coming out of Mosul. I don't think we have any idea what a humanitarian tragedy this has been

And continues to be.

Replying to 
: Mass executions committed by |i forces in Western . Where are , and Western media?

War Crimes.

They haven't stopped and the US is aiding them.  This is in clear violation of the Leahy Amendment which demands the US pull all financial and military support for any country whose military does what is videotaped above.

Peter Beaumont (GUARDIAN) reports:

The Iraqi government has said it will investigate a graphic video that appears to show its soldiers killing an unarmed suspected Islamic State fighter by throwing him off a high ledge.
The video was reportedly filmed in the Mosul area where Iraqi troops have largely retaken a city once controlled by the extremist group, and comes amid mounting concern over claims of abuse committed by Iraqi soldiers and police in the battle for Mosul and in its aftermath.
[. . .]
The footage shows a man being held in a building and then dragged by soldiers across an open area to a ledge above a drop of at least 30ft where another body lies motionless.
It appeared alongside a second video that has also been circulating on social media which appears to show a man in Iraqi army fatigues gunning down an unarmed man kneeling in front of a car.

Iraq investigating horrific video of soldiers throwing tortured IS suspects from clifftop

Bill Van Auken (WSWS) reports:

Gun battles continued to rage and air strikes sent plumes of smoke rising over Iraq’s devastated second largest city Wednesday, more than 36 hours after the country’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, proclaimed victory in the nine-month US-backed siege of Mosul.
The top US commander in the US interventions in Iraq and Syria, Gen. Stephen Townsend, told Pentagon reporters via a video call from Baghdad that fighting in the city could go on for weeks.
“Make no mistake, this victory alone does not eliminate ISIS, and there’s still tough fighting ahead,” Townsend said. “There are still pockets of resistance in Mosul, holdouts, and hidden IEDs that will take weeks to clear.”
He added that there remained “a lot of mopping up and back-clearing to be done.”
These terms are military euphemisms for a continuation of the killing and destruction that has left tens of thousands of civilians in Mosul either dead or wounded and driven over 900,000 from their homes.
There are growing indications that the “mopping up” being carried out by Iraqi security forces and sectarian militias operating with the aid and guidance of US Special Forces “advisers” involves a campaign of revenge assassinations and terror against anyone believed to have collaborated with ISIS during the three years it controlled Mosul, as well as against the families of suspected ISIS members and supporters.
Iraqi security forces have been dragging away men and boys seeking to escape the city. The Washington Post described a “screening station” set up in an old fairground on the eastern bank of the Tigris River where “dozens of men sat in rows last week and waited for judgment.” The article continued: “Military intelligence officers in balaclavas sporadically moved among them to pull out an evacuee accused of working with the militants.” Videos have surfaced of the brutal torture of such suspects, who have been beaten with hammers and run over with tanks.

The Mosul Slog may have been declared over but it slogs on.

  Jul 12

There was fighting in the Old City of Mosul today, 3 days after victory was declared. Not over yet. By

These are the haunting images of Mosul's civilians, still fleeing the city despite Iraqi forces celebrating victory.

The Mosul Slog keeps slogging.  Tony Duheaume (AL ARABIYA) wonders what awaits Iraq

But as far as the acts of terror being committed by the Popular Mobilization Units are concerned, they cannot claim them to have just simply committed in the heat of battle, as their past history suggests otherwise. But considering some of these atrocities had taken place under the tenure of the more moderate Shiite Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi what would the prospects for future peace efforts be, should Nouri Maliki return to power any time soon.
Because the next time around, Maliki would be implementing his divisive, and pernicious racial policies, using a military fully controlled by Popular Mobilisation Unit commanders, with an agenda of ridding Iraq of any form of Sunni control. All of this backed by the Iranian administration, who are desperate to see a Shiite Islamic republic in Iraq, modelled after their own, and fully controlled from Tehran by their Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Sadly, such a prospect might not be too far in the distant future as Maliki is now campaigning to get his old job back and running neck-and-neck with the present incumbent prime minister. Should Tehran’s man Maliki win, Iraq would most certainly be returning to the dark old days when rampant death squads roamed the streets, a time when badly mutilated bodies turned up in profusion, dumped in ditches after being tortured in the secret dungeons spread across Iraq, set up by National Intelligence Service.
So, the death squads that had caused so much havoc for coalition troops during their occupation of Iraq, have now found themselves fighting alongside Iraqi troops, not only hitting back at advancing ISIS forces, but also responsible for committing atrocities against the innocent Sunni population.

With these militias better armed than before, with more control than ever, they are no doubt readying themselves to once again be pitted against civilians in the role of death squads, should their revered leader Nouri al-Maliki once more become prime minister.

Now for this . . .

Proud of who spent her 20th birthday with girls in Kurdistan / Iraq. Read more

It's the coward who visited Iraq only once during his eight year presidency.

Trying to grab some luster from a young woman's trip to Iraq.

She's a young woman.

Look what she's doing.

By contrast, Barack's floating around on David Geffen's yacht knobbing with Tom Hanks and Bruce Springsteen.

But he thinks he's in a place to Tweet about anything?

He oversaw the largest transfer of wealth in US history and the destruction of wages for the working class but he goes off to party on a yacht.  And then rushes in to Tweet about someone else doing what his candy ass should have been doing?

The following community sites -- plus PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The disease named Schumer

Yea, I loved this! "Why Trump Won, 101". is always a finalist in the annual Smuggest SOB in Politics competition. !

Charles Schumer is one of those members of Congress who has done nothing to help the people.

Nothing at all.

How telling that he'd gladly run off working class Democrats to pick up "moderate suburban Republicans."

He should be run out of the party -- but he actually represents the true heart of the party today so he'll do just fine.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Thursday, July 13, 2017.

Let's start with the world of misinformation.  What's wrong with this Tweet?

This is what victory in Iraq and nation building looks like. Well done Dick Cheney and the Neocon establishment. John McCain is proud.

Yes, a lot of neoliberals were on board as well.  Dems who supported the attack on Iraq included John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Joe Lieberman . . .  The list is a long one.  Dems who supported the war after it started is even longer.

So there's that.

But for me, the most striking aspect of this Tweet about Iraq showing the destruction of Iraq?

The photo is Syria.

It's photo 41 of 68 on this CNN page.  When you click on it, the caption reads:

A Kurdish marksman looks over a destroyed area of Kobani on Friday, January 30, after the city has been liberated from the ISIS militant group.  The Syrian city also known as Ayn al-Arab, had been under assault by ISIS since mid-September.

If you read Arabic, you can find it on this CNN page.

And then there's this one:

MRAs: "Sure women can't abort their rapists babies, BUT IRAQ!!"

There are multiples here again.

Let's start with the original Tweet.

This is an absolute outrage.

FEMINIST FREQUENCY -- a  pop culture site -- Tweets the above.

WAFFLE responds by noting Iraq.

Don't know anything about WAFFLE.

But the response is not inaccurate.

Abortion is moving beyond their pop culture scope.

That's fine.

But when you move beyond it, you better be prepared for the things you ignore to be raised.

FEMINIST FREQUENCY's Tweet does not exist in a vacuum..

And if you know feminists from the Middle East or women activists from the ME, you know this is not a minor issue.  It's given feminism a very bad name.

What WAFFLE Tweets about?

These are post-invasion conditions.

So western feminists have no excuse for ignoring these conditions.  (FEMINIST FREQUENCY is Canadian-American.)

Yes, it is outrageous that rape victims would have to notify their rapists before getting an abortion.

What's more outrageous on that story is the selective outrage by VICE and by FEMINIST FREQUENCY.

Forget rape for one minute, the law requires a woman getting an abortion to notify the sperm injector.

Quit whining about rape -- and, yes, it is whining.

The larger part of that law -- any notification -- is what's objectionable.

No woman has to explain -- including women who do not want to use the term rape but were raped.

She certainly shouldn't have to get permission.

Yes, the rape aspect is appalling.

But stop ceding our rights by running to the inflammatory when the whole thing is objectionable on its face.

Having addressed that.

The next thing that's wrong?

WAFFLE's Tweet is correct.

And if you're going to stop Tweeting about gaming and TV for abortion you better eat your vegetables and take accountability for what the west did to Iraq.

Don't ignore it.

It is a feminist issue.

But so many ignored it.

Even Abeer.

In fact, that story was illuminating for women around the world about just how myopic the navel gazing feminists of the west could be.

(I am a feminist of the west.)

Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi is the 14-year-old Iraqi girl who was gang-raped and murdered March 12, 2006.

The way that tragedy and War Crime was ignored by western feminists was appalling.

And it was ignored.

We covered it here, Jane Fonda covered it in a speech, but if you look at the bulk of women who identify as feminists in North America, you will see very little content produced.

A 14-year-old girl was observed by US troops.  They plotted how to break into her home and to gang rape her and then to pin the violence on 'militants.'  They gang-raped her while her parents and her younger sister were shot dead in the next room.

They almost got away with it.

This was a War Crime and it's appalling how little the issue mattered -- how little Abeer mattered -- to western feminists.

So that Tweet by WAFFLE doesn't exist in a vaccum.

The third thing wrong: Cultural appropriation.

  28 Jan 2015



As men, we say MRAs are the worst. They spread misinformation about feminism, while hurting men's real issues. And yes, they just flat out hate women.

The men insert themselves into the poster of Rosie the Riveter.

They can't use an iconic image to celebrate women, they have to impose themselves on it.

Which makes the "We can do it" slogan offensive.

Because, apparently, when it was a woman -- Rosie -- it couldn't be done and therefore they had to change the image.

This is beyond offensive.

And their nonsense Tweet is offensive:

MRAs: "Sure women can't abort their rapists babies, BUT IRAQ!!"

Again, this is an ongoing, global conversation among feminists.  TakeDownMRAs is not a feminist group.  A group of men who are feminists wouldn't doctor a Rosie image to advance themselves.  And it takes the War Hawk lovers to get offended about Iraq being raised.

They didn't care about Iraq in real time and they don't care about the destruction the west has caused to Iraq today.

Moving on to other topics . . .

Watch: The environmental & health impacts from oil wells set on fire by ISIS will affect the Iraqi people for years to come.
The devastating environmental legacy of ISIS

Reminds me that Luke Mitchell (HARPER'S) reported in 2007:

I was making that same journey from well to terminal, and yet in all my time in Iraq I would see the oil itself only once. This was in a particularly empty patch of desert, beyond even the lonely cinder-block houses and the rock-throwing kids. We had sped past dry concrete canals and abandoned oil drums and rocket-charred tanks, past mile upon mile of flat dirt and rust, and then we found ourselves driving between a series of mirror-black ponds. These pools crept along both sides of the highway, and through the scratchy ballistic glass of our SUV it was hard to tell at first if the liquid within was oil or water. There were no ripples, though—the pools were thick—and the hot asphalt smell was strong enough that it had become a taste. Sam said the oil came from leaky pipes, that there is no EPA watching over Rumaila. “You have to give the devil his due here,” he said, meaning Iraq. “On a good day, they export 60,000 to 70,000 barrels an hour. If 500 barrels of crude spill on the ground here, what is that? Not more than a half minute of export.”

Photojournalist David Bacon has had many exhibits and written many books, including the highly praised The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration.  

LIVING IN THE SHADOWS is his new book.  We'll note the following:

Book Review By Paul Von Blum
Truthdig, Posted on Jun 30, 2017

"In the Fields of the North/ En los Campos del Norte"
A book by David Bacon

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. . . They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

-Donald Trump, June 16, 2015

We live in a despicable era of racism and xenophobia, fueled by the anti-immigrant fervor of the Trump regime and abetted by right-wing media forces. Mexican immigrants have borne the brunt of much of this public animus, including countless verbal assaults and some egregious examples of physical violence. Few perpetrators of this hostility recognize the long historical origins of their nativist outpourings. Even fewer realize the deep humanity and the powerful suffering of the Latino farmworkers who have come north to the United States to escape grinding poverty and hunger and try to eke out marginal livings for themselves and their families.

A new bilingual book by David Bacon offers both a dramatic antidote to the deplorable reality of racism and a majestic life-affirming view of these hidden women, men and children. "In the Fields of the North" is a landmark fusion of journalism and documentary photography. Bacon is an accomplished writer and photographer, with a long record of union organizing for the United Farm Workers, the United Electrical Workers, the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and others. He has effectively documented the impact of globalization, the degrading conditions of workplaces for many immigrants, the human consequences of migration, the political struggles for workers' and human rights, and many related topics in his books and commentary.

But above all, Bacon is a documentary photographer of extraordinary power, insight and skill. In his introductory comments to the book, he is modest-too modest-about contributing to the long history of socially conscious photography: "I hope my work contributes to this tradition today." I have had the privilege and pleasure of teaching and writing for many years about some of the giant American figures of this tradition, including Jacob Riis, Lewis Hine, Ben Shahn, Dorothea Lange, Margaret Bourke-White, Roy DeCarava and Gordon Parks.

The following community sites -- plus GORILLA RADIO, Jody Watley, THE GUARDIAN and LATINO USA -- updated: