Thursday, July 02, 2020

They don't care

Interesting NPR report from Alina Selyukh:

A strange thing happened this spring.
As co-workers began to get sick, essential worker Yudelka LaVigna took an unpaid leave of absence. When she got her unemployment benefits, she realized something unheard of: She was making more money not working.
"That just kind of opens your eyes," says LaVigna, who's now back at her New York call center job for essential services.
When the government shut down the U.S. economy in a bid to tame the spread of the coronavirus, Congress scrambled to help tens of millions of people who lost jobs. The government rushed one-time relief checks to all families that qualified and tacked an extra $600 onto weekly unemployment benefits, which are usually less than regular pay and vary by state.
But so far, lawmakers have not passed any measure to increase pay for workers who were asked to keep going to work during a highly contagious health crisis. Some companies did create hazard, or "hero," pay — typically around $2 extra an hour or a one-time bonus. Most have since ended it.

As Trina's noted, as I've noted, they don't care. They just don't care. Who?

The American people?

No, the politicians who supposedly serve us.

You better believe they get paid. You better believe that they make sure they get a raise. But when it comes to America's workers, they don't give a damn. If you haven't already read Trina's "You learn a lot about people in a crisis" from yesterday, please make a point to do so.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Wednesday, July 1, 2010.  Coronavirus continues to impact Iraq, Turkey continues to terrorize Iraq, the Iraq War continues with US troops remaining in Iraq, the remains of a US service member are found after she went missing following her disclosures of harassment by a superior, and much more.

Coronvirus is a global pandemic.  Iraq has been especially hurt. How bad is it?  MEANFN reports, "The health ministry of Iraq said on Monday that 1,749 more patients have been diagnosed with coronavirus in the country, which has increased the total number of COVID-19 cases across Iraq to 47,151 as 1,852 more patients have recovered in the earlier 24 hours."  XINHUA adds, "The ministry also confirmed 104 more deaths, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 1,943 in the country, while 1,786 more patients recovered, bringing the total recoveries to 24,760." The huge numbers put a big strain on Iraq's medical resources.  AP reports Nineveh Province has imposed a curfew.

Unpaid salaries, mask shortages, threats from patients’ families — doctors across Iraq are cracking under such conditions, just as they face a long-feared spike in coronavirus cases.
“We’re collapsing,” said Mohammed, a doctor at a COVID-19 ward in Baghdad who did not use his full name so he could speak freely.
“I just can’t work anymore. I can’t even focus on the cases or the patients,” he said at the end of a 48-hour shift.
Iraq has officially registered more than 47,000 coronavirus cases, with doctors increasingly infected.
“I personally know 16 doctors who caught it over the last month,” Mohammed said.

JANE ARRAF:  This is a war against the coronavirus, and we've lost the war, a government official tells me. He doesn't want his name used because he's not authorized to speak publicly. It's so difficult getting accurate statistics in Iraq that almost no one believes the official ones. And although on paper there are more than enough intensive care beds in Iraqi hospitals, that's not the reality. Dr. Aizen Marrogi is a former senior medical officer for the U.S. Army and at the U.S. embassy in Iraq.
AIZEN MARROGI: Corruption is No. 1. All the medications get - first, second, third day after they arrive, they disappear. The government pays for a lot of employees that don't exist. They're ghost employees.
ARRAF: He says the health care system lacks proper managers, nursing staff and technical expertise. The crisis is a major test for the country's new prime minister. Mustafa al-Kadhimi took power in May after anti-government protests forced out his predecessor. He's promised to fight corruption and rein in Iran-backed militias. But now he's also grappling with a drop in oil prices and a deepening crisis over the virus.

Iraq struggles around many issues.  Another one would be their northern neighbor Turkey which keeps attacking them.  Turkey is bombing Iraq and has sent ground troops into the country.  David Lepeska (AHVAL NEWS) offers:

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government has in the past few years sent Turkish soldiers into action in Syria, Libya, and Somalia, and it added to that list two weeks ago when it airlifted commando units into northern Iraq.
Ankara has for years regularly launched airstrikes into northern Iraq against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has led an insurgency within Turkey for three decades and is based in Iraq’s Qandil mountain range. It has also occasionally sent Turkish soldiers across the border for brief missions.
Yet this air and ground offensive may end up like those in neighbouring Syria, where Turkey has taken and held sizeable chunks of territory beyond its borders.
“Turkey is planning to create a buffer zone and split the Kurdish geography,” Bestoon Khalid, a Sulaymaniyah-based journalist and Kurdish affairs analyst, told Ahval in a podcast, adding that such a move would be unprecedented in the mainly Kurdish area of northern Iraq.
“The Turkish media is clearly saying that the objective of these offences is to stay,” he said. “It’s the first time that Turkey is creating control on the ground in the Iraqi Kurdistan region.”
Collaborating with local Syrian rebels, Turkish forces have in the last few years taken hold of three pieces of Syrian territory, including two mainly Kurdish areas, Afrin in 2018 and northeast Syria last October. In both cases, Turkey and its proxies reportedly committed war crimes and human rights violations, such as ethnic cleansing, roadside killings and forced disappearances, according to watchdog group Amnesty International.
Ankara’s incursion into northern Iraq has barely begun, yet it has already raised similar concerns. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom condemned Turkey’s offensive and urged Ankara to stop after airstrikes hit Yazidi and Christian areas, killing five civilians according to local reports.
Last week, a Turkish air strike hit Kuna Masi village outside Sulaymaniyah, killing one man and injuring at least half a dozen civilians. In a video taken in the moments leading up to impact, two fathers are seen wading in a small pond, teaching their young children how to swim. Suddenly a massive blast is heard, the camera goes flying and people start screaming.
From last Friday's snapshot:

Turning to Iraq where Turkey continues to terrorize the Iraqi people. 

Call it Operation Claw-Eagle, call it Operation Claw-Tiger, it's terrorism under any name.  Turkey is violating international law and it is violating Iraq's sovereignty.  This morning, ALJAZEERA reports:

On Thursday evening, a Turkish strike hit a pickup truck in a rural area north of the Kurdish city of Sulaymaniyah, said local official Kameran Abdallah.
"It killed one man who was in the car," said Abdallah, without being able to specify whether the victim was a civilian or fighter. "The six wounded consisted of two women, two children and two men, all members of the same family."
On Friday, Baghdad issued a statement calling on Turkey to end its breach of Iraqi airspace and sovereignty, in which a number of civilians were killed, according to local media reports. 
"These actions are a flagrant violation of the principle of good neighbourliness, and a clear violation of international agreements," said the statement issued by Iraq's presidential office.
Since "Claw-Tiger" began, at least five civilians have been killed and hundreds of families have fled their homes.

AFP covers the video today and notes:

The local mayor reported that six civilians were injured during the attack and one so-called “fighter”. PJAK (the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan is the Iranian branch of the PKK) reported that one of its fighters had been killed during the attack and three others were wounded. PJAK added that the fighters were returning from a mission when they were targeted by "Turkish state’s fighter jets and reconnaissance aircraft”.

The military leadership of Kurdistan, an autonomous region in Iraq, said Turkey was responsible for this attack on civilians.

"In the name of the hunting down members of the Kurdistan Workers Party [commonly known as the PKK, this is an armed autonomist group based in Turkey] they [the Turkish government] targeted civilians in the Kuna Masi resort,” said Babakir Faqe, the spokesperson for the ministry of the armed forces of Iraqi Kurdistan (Peshmerga).

Just a few days before this incident, Turkey launched joint operations known as Claw-Eagle and Claw-Tiger with Iran against the PKK in the mountainous region that saddles Turkey, Iraq and Iran. Claw-Eagle, the air offensive, was launched on June 15, while Claw-Tiger, the ground offensive, was launched two days later. The Iraqi government has reported that five civilians have died in the days since the start of this campaign.

Turkey is terrorizing all of Iraq.  Among the groups being terrorized especially would be the Yazidi community.  Nancy Lindborg, United States Institute of Peace, moderates a discussion on the issue of the state of the religious minorities in Iraq.

The Iraq War continues.  Margaret Griffis (ANTIWAR.COM) looks back on last month and offers, "During the month of June, at least 254 people were killed, and 84 more were wounded. Also, 604 victims were found in mass graves. At least 262 people were killed, and 149 were wounded across Iraq during May, so the fatality numbers remained about the same."  Yes, the Iraq War continues and it continues with US involvement.

That's footage of US Marines in Iraq doing target practice in June.  The US Marines posted that video on the military branch's official YOUTUBE channel.  Again, US troops remain on the ground in Iraq.  The war has not ended.  Something to remember as the US heads into the July 4th weekend.  Related, PBS' FRONTLINE issued the following press release on Monday:

Once Upon a Time in Iraq
Tues., July 14, 2020
Streaming at 7/6c at & in the PBS Video App
Airing at 9/8c on PBS and on YouTube | Twitter: @frontlinepbs
Instagram: @frontlinepbs | YouTube:
In the more than 17 years since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the country’s people have endured chaos, poverty and sectarian violence.
But today, the Iraq war and its bloody aftermath have largely been overshadowed in Western media, even as ordinary Iraqis continue to deal with the ongoing consequences.
Their voices take center stage in Once Upon a Time in Iraq, an unprecedented, two-hour FRONTLINE documentary special releasing July 14.
Taking Western viewers inside the realities of Saddam Hussein’s rule, the invasion, occupation, civil war and life under ISIS, the film tells the story of the war, the withdrawal and what followed through the personal accounts and lasting memories of Iraqis who lived through it.
Iraqis like Waleed Nesyif, who was a teenager when he started to hear rumors that the U.S. was about to invade. Compared to the American movies he and his friends enjoyed, life under Saddam was oppressive, so he was excited about a new chapter for his country: “When I hear statements like, ‘They hate our freedom and our democracy,’ its like—no, we actually love it, we fricking love it. That’s all we wanted,” he says.
He wasn’t alone: “When I saw them, I felt hope,” Ahmed Albasheer, now a famous Iraqi comedian, says of seeing American soldiers as a teen. He remembers inviting them to his house, eager to practice his English, and hoping Iraq would become “a country like America, this was my dream. Actually, that was lots of people’s dream.”
Um Ibrahim, who tells FRONTLINE Saddam executed 17 people from her family, remembers thinking that after his capture, “things would stay good, fine and safe forever.”
But that hope would be tragically short-lived as the country was torn apart by sectarian violence, and the emergence of ISIS.
In Once Upon a Time in Iraq, this tragedy is told through the eyes of people who experienced it firsthand — from a young cadet in the Iraqi army who recounts surviving an ISIS massacre that killed 1,700 of his peers, to a woman in a nearby town who helped to save the lives of 800 young men threatened by ISIS. A man who joined the terror group himself speaks from prison, sentenced to death.
We also hear from Omar Mohammed, a university professor from Mosul who risked his life as the anonymous author of a blog exposing atrocities committed by ISIS. “It’s very dangerous to forget,” he says of what the Iraqi people have endured over the years. “Because memory [is all t]hat’s left for us.”
As they reflect on the sweep of the past 17 years, the Iraqis featured in the film share insights into what it has meant to survive, and what they now strive for.
“They destroyed a whole country. Plunged it into corruption, sectarianism and war. They did all of that just to get rid of one person,” says a young woman named Sally Mars, who was just six years old when coalition troops entered Baghdad. “But it made me stronger. I learned a tough lesson. I learned the true value of peace.”
Directed by multi-award-winning filmmaker James Bluemel (Exodus), Once Upon a Time in Iraq premieres Tues., July 14. It will be available to watch in full at and in the PBS Video App starting that night at 7/6c. It will premiere on PBS stations (check local listings) and on YouTube at 9/8c.
Once Upon a Time in Iraq is a Keo Films Ltd. production for WGBH/FRONTLINE and BBC. It is filmed and directed by James Bluemel. The executive producers for Keo Films are Andrew Palmer and Will Anderson. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath.

FRONTLINE, U.S. television’s longest running investigative documentary series, explores the issues of our times through powerful storytelling. FRONTLINE has won every major journalism and broadcasting award, including 93 Emmy Awards and 24 Peabody Awards. Visit and follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and YouTube to learn more. FRONTLINE is produced by WGBH Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Abrams Foundation, the Park Foundation, the John and Helen Glessner Family Trust and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation.

Press Contact:, 617.300.5312

In other news,  Vanessa Guillen is dead.  Her body has been found.  She went missing in April.  She had told her family she was a victim of assault.  Christine Carrega (ABC NEWS) reports:

The remains, which will undergo an identification process, were found near where a previous search was conducted on June 22, officials with the Army Criminal Investigation Division said.
"After receiving additional information, agents have discovered what has been described as partial human remains after analysis from a forensic anthropologist," said CID Chief of Public Affairs Chris Grey.
"Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, no further information will be released at this time," Grey said.
The discovery came on the same day that Guillen's family announced they were seeking a congressional investigation into the 20-year-old's disappearance.
Guillen was last seen in the parking lot of her Regimental Engineer Squadron headquarters at the Fort Hood military base on April 22, and has not been heard from since.

Before Guillen went missing, she had told her family that she was being sexually harassed by one of her sergeants at Fort Hood, according to the website her family set up to promote the search. She did not identify the sergeant.
    Guillen, a private first class, was last seen wearing a black T-shirt and purple fitness-type pants, according to the Army CID. Her car keys, room key, identification card and wallet were later found in the armory room where she was working earlier that day.
    Guillen is described as 5 feet 2 inches, 126 pounds with black hair and brown eyes, according to the Army CID statement.

    FOX West Texas Tweets:

    We'll wind down with this:

    The first episode of On the Issues with Michele Goodwin is available now!
    As you’ve come to expect from our reporting here at Ms. magazine, On the Issues is a show that reports, rebels, and tells it like it is. In each episode, Host Dr. Michele Goodwin will tackle a different, critically important and newsworthy topic, in conversation with the thought leaders of our time, including leaders and activists, elected officials, scholars and other special guests. The overarching theme of the podcast will center listeners’ concerns about advancing the promise of equality and rebuilding our nation.
    The first episode—available TODAY, Tuesday, June 30 on Apple PodcastsSpotify and—tackles an issue that is critically important in this current moment: ending police violence in the United States.
    Professor Goodwin is joined in conversation by Laura Goodman, who served in criminal justice for 35 years as a police officer, sergeant and deputy chief of police in major metropolitan police departments; Deirdre Fishel, director and producer of the documentary film, Women in BlueAnne Li Kringen, assistant dean and associate professor of criminal justice at the University of New Haven; and Song Richardson, dean and chancellor’s professor at University of California, Irvine School of Law.
    In this one-hour premiere episode, Dr. Goodwin and her guests explore critical questions about the roles of race and sex in policing, as well as why it matters that there are so few women in law enforcement across the country. They also take on police unions and the hazing that women officers experience.  
    We want to reach as many new listeners as possible, and the number one thing you can do to support Ms. magazine’s podcast is subscribe, rate and review the podcast on Apple. Let’s show the power of independent, feminist media! We can’t do it without your support. 
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    Wednesday, July 01, 2020

    Shannon was no one hit wonder

    Shannon's big hit is "Let The Music Play."

    That song was a big hit and went to number one on the dance charts.  Shannon is not a one hit wonder.

    That's "Give Me Tonight" which also went to number one on the dance charts.

    "Do You Want To Get Away" is actually my favorite song by Shannon.  Oh, guess what, it's also a number one hit on the dance chart.

    "My Heart's Divided" went to number three on the dance charts.

    "Stronger Together" is another hit, it made it to number 25 on the dance charts.  In addtion, "Give Me Tonight 2000" made it to number three as did her other remix "Let The Music Play 2000" which made it to number 32 on the dance charts.

    On the dance charts alone, Shannon had three number ones.  She had seven hits on the dance chart.  She was no one hit wonder.

    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
    Tuesday, June 30, 2020.   "Weak" is the word (that you heard) when describing Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

    Starting with CURRENCY 365.

    "What was all of that two and three weeks ago?"

    He is correct.  Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi did announce that he had ordered the salaries released a few weeks back.  He got good press for that.  But nothing happened.  And now he's announcing again that he's ordering the government to release the salaries (to pay the employees).  

    "What are you talking about?"  the host asks stunned that the national security forces might be put under the supervision of a puppet of Nouri al-Maliki.  "It's getting bad guys.  Mustafa's done," he observes.  

    Kataib Hezbollah in Iraq is riding high after humiliating the Iraqi Prime Minister this week. After 14 of its members were arrested and then released it held a victory party burning images of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi and telling pro-Iranian media that it will never give up the “resistance weapons.” This is similar to the way Hezbollah in Lebanon describes its need to have a massive arsenal of weapons and be a state within a state. The Iranian IRGC model now appears to be moving full steam ahead as groups like Iraqi Hezbollah seek to have a parallel armed force.
    Kataib Hezbollah is a group of hard core pro-Iranian cadres who support the Iranian agenda. They are also part of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) a group of militias that have become an official paramilitary force in Iraq. They are accused of extrajudicial killings and running secret prisons. They fought ISIS but instead of disbanding Iran pushed former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to make them an official force. They are now a cross between Lebanese Hezbollah and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran. They have fired dozens of rockets at US forces in Iraq, killing three members of the Coalition earlier this year. The US has carried out airstrikes against them.  

    They are burning pictures of him, they are "humiliating the Iraqi Prime Minister."  Get why we've focused for weeks now on how weak Mustafa comes off?  

    Other news out of Iraq involves a raid.

    AFP reports, "Iraqi security forces arrested more than a dozen pro-Iran fighters overnight, in their first raid against those accused of anti-US rocket attacks, Iraqi officials told AFP early Friday.  Elite fighters from Iraq’s Counter-Terrorism Service raided a headquarters in southern Baghdad used by Kataeb Hezbollah, a pro-Iran faction also identified as Brigade 45 of the Hashed al-Shaabi military forces." Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) adds:

     Jaber Al Jaberi, an Iraqi member of parliament, told The National that the CTS raid on Kataib Hezbollah was an attempt to exert state authority and a test to see what the reaction might be.
    “Indeed the reaction by the so-called axis of resistance was strong, where their armed and hysterical response revealed a lot about them, their capabilities and their non-compliance with the laws of the state,” Mr Al Jaberi said.    

    Al Jazeera's Simona Foltyn, reporting from Baghdad, said Iraq's elite Counter Terrorism Service seized at least 10 rockets during the operation, which was "carried out an in effort to pre-empt an impending rocket attack on the Green Zone and Baghdad International Airport, both of which house US troops".
    "Subsequently, dozens of armed Kataib Hezbollah fighters arrived in the Green Zone and laid siege to one of the buildings belonging to the Counter Terrorism Service, demanding the release of the detainees, claiming they were arrested illegally without an arrest warrant," she said.

    And now some are released.  AP notes, "The officials offered varying accounts of the number of detainees who had been released. A militia official said 11 among the 14 arrested on Thursday were released on bail and three suspects remained in custody. Two government officials did not specify the number and said some were released on bail. One government official said all were released except one prime suspect."  Arabic social media insists that those freed were freed due to former prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki.  Yoni Ben Menachem (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) offers:

    Iraqi law prohibits local militias from receiving directives from abroad. Since their establishment, pro-Iranian militias in Iraq have committed war crimes, violated Iraqi law, and become a threat to the security of the state and its citizens.
    The “Hizbullah Brigades” issued a statement accusing Mustafa al-Kadhimi of cooperating with the United States and that while he served as Iraqi intelligence chief, he helped the United States assassinate Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The brigades promised that they were lying in wait for him for his deeds.
    Even before he was appointed prime minister, Kadhimi denied these accusations, and he met with Lebanese Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah in order to receive a “Kosher certification,” which would allow him to be appointed Iraq’s new prime minister.

    Let's note a US House Rep who's bought into a whisper campaign ('officials -- unnamed -- say') from THE NEW YORK TIMES.  US House Rep Jackie Speier:

    If true, the report that Putin put bounties on US servicemembers' heads is an act of war & demands a proportional response. The fact that POTUS has still NOT been briefed is unbelievable. Remember when 1 US contractor was killed in Iraq? Trump demanded Soleimani’s assassination.

    We're not going to run through the loon's conspiracy plagued mind.  We are going to note the last two sentences.  First off, 1 US contractor was killed.  Second, many were injured.  Third, it wasn't one attack.  It was a series of attacks that led to the attack where one died.

    What exactly would Jackie Speier have done?  

    She clearly thinks Donald Trump was wrong.  So what would she have done?  Probably nothing.  She's so stupid that she doesn't even realize it was a series of escalating attacks.

    And those attacks?  They actually qualify as "an act of war."  Does the idiot not get that?

    I know, I know, Soleimani peed rainbows and roses grew out his butt.  Because Donald Trump assassinated him, the knee jerk reaction for the left -- faux and otherwise -- was to rush to defend the 'poet.'  He was a terrorist.  Iraq's LGBT community suffered severely because of him.  I'm sorry, Jackie, that you're too damn stupid to do the work required before you rush in to take the opposite of whatever stand Trump takes.  

    Soleimani was evil. He terrorized Sunnis in Iraq.  Should he have been killed?  We can debate ethics and international law, if you'd like.  But that was requires brains and education.  Much easier to scream, "Bad Trump! Bad Trump!"

    That's not a defense of Donald Trump or a defense of assassination.  While I won't cry that Soleimani is dead, I don't think the rules of engagement were followed and I don't believe international law was either.  (Supporter of Donald would point out -- rightly -- that the US rarely follows international law when engaging in armed conflicts.)

    What I'm saying is that the discussion is far too complex for the idiots who've tried to take the lead on it.  And I've been saying that since the fairy tale of Soleimani sprouted in the hours after his death -- you'll note that I pruned the link list on the side and we stopped noting a number of left -- genuine left, not faux left -- people because of their need to spread lies about how amazing Soleimani was.

    He wasn't.  And I won't abandon the Iraqis who suffered, certainly not Iraq's gay community.  He terrorized them.  

    Jackie's only the latest idiot.  I used to expect so much more from her.

    But, remember, America, at election time, Jackie Speier is okay with attacks on American forces and American contractors (both were under repeated attack).  That's what her Tweet makes clear.  It also makes clear that she stands with terrorists.  That's what Soleimani was.

    Jackie's such an idiot that while she's running for re-election, she Tweets something so stupid that her opponent (Ran Petel) could easily make an issue of.

    Idiots?  I love the idiot defending the Turkish invasion of Iraq online who keeps hectoring people that what they don't know is that the PKK started in Iraq and it's a new group and other garbage that flaunts the man's ignorance.  He really needed to stop Tweeting but he (wrongly) felt that he had so much to share.

    Here are the basic facts on the PKK as . Aaron Hess (INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST REVIEW) described them in 2008, "The PKK emerged in 1984 as a major force in response to Turkey's oppression of its Kurdish population. Since the late 1970s, Turkey has waged a relentless war of attrition that has killed tens of thousands of Kurds and driven millions from their homes. The Kurds are the world's largest stateless population -- whose main population concentration straddles Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria -- and have been the victims of imperialist wars and manipulation since the colonial period. While Turkey has granted limited rights to the Kurds in recent years in order to accommodate the European Union, which it seeks to join, even these are now at risk." The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq has been a concern to Turkey because they fear that if it ever moves from semi-autonomous to fully independent -- such as if Iraq was to break up into three regions -- then that would encourage the Kurdish population in Turkey. For that reason, Turkey is overly interested in all things Iraq. So much so that they signed an agreement with the US government in 2007 to share intelligence which the Turkish military has been using when launching bomb raids. However, this has not prevented the loss of civilian life in northern Iraq. Aaron Hess noted, "The Turkish establishment sees growing Kurdish power in Iraq as one step down the road to a mass separatist movement of Kurds within Turkey itself, fighting to unify a greater Kurdistan. In late October 2007, Turkey's daily newspaper Hurriyet accused the prime minister of the KRG, Massoud Barzani, of turning the 'Kurdish dream' into a 'Turkish nightmare'."

    Turkey is currently bombing Iraq and has sent ground soldiers in --- this is a violation of international law and this is a violation of Iraq's national sovereignty.  Mustafa's inability to call this out has also led to him looking weak in the eyes of the Iraqi people.

    it doesnt matter why turkey is in iraq that isnt how a state is suppose to act, turkey invites hamas leaders all the time to turkey should israel invade turkey? its a stupid argument.


    Congressional pressure is building to reprimand Turkey for its military campaign against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.
    The Turkish military is carrying out two offensives—Operation Claw-Eagle and Operation Claw-Tiger—aimed at rooting out Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
    The operation has struck rural PKK hideouts as well as populated areas, including the Makhmour Refugee Camp and the Yazidi community of Mount Sinjar.
    “I strongly condemn the Turkish air strikes & ground operations near Kurdish & Yazidi civilian areas,” Rep. Eliot Engel (D–N.Y.) announced in a Friday statement. “This type of reckless endangerment of civilian lives is unacceptable, especially for a NATO ally.”
    Engel, the outgoing head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called on Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to stop the operation “immediately.”
    Rep. Jim Cooper (D–Tenn.) added on Saturday that he was “disturbed” by the operation. Cooper represents Nashville, a city with a large Kurdish community.
    The lawmakers’ comments came after a widely-shared video showed an alleged Turkish bomb striking a lake while a family played nearby. Local journalist Jîl Şwanî claims that the video showed his brother and nephew in Kunamasi, a town in Sulaymaniyah Governorate.
    The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, appointed by Congress to investigate human rights worldwide, condemned the offensive for its effects on Yazidi genocide survivors.

    In 2020 alone, the country has played host to a cascade of domestic militia rocket attacks, a spike in US-Iran tension that brought the wider region to the brink of war, and economic debilitation caused in part by the COVID-19 pandemic and the collapse of global oil prices, in part by long-term state economic mismanagement.

    To make matters worse, Turkey launched an air campaign dubbed Operation Claw-Eagle on June 15, striking suspected Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in the Kurdistan Region and disputed territories of northern Iraq. It launched ground invasion Operation Claw-Tiger two days later, putting Turkish commando boots on Iraqi ground.

    A day after Turkish airstrikes began, Iran struck areas of the Kurdistan Region close to its border, targeting suspected positions of the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) and PKK. Media affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) reported that the Turkish and Iranian airstrikes were conducted with coordination.

    Iraq’s government released a statement last week calling on Turkey to end its operations. Turkish ambassador to Iraq Fatih Yildiz has been summoned twice by Iraq's foreign ministry to answer for his country's air and ground campaigns. The Iraqi government has yet to release a statement condemning the violation of sovereignty by Iranian artillery, though it did summon the Iranian ambassador to answer for the strikes on June 18.

    Despite condemnations of foreign operations by the governments of federal Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, the strikes have the consent of both, Iraqi security analyst Husham al-Hashimi told Rudaw English on Friday.

    “Baghdad and Erbil have both given Turkey and Iran the green light to conduct airstrikes,” Hashimi said.

    The following sites updated: