Friday, March 12, 2021

5 Nick Jonas tracks

This go round, the top five tracks are selected by Betty's daughter.  She's a big fan of singer-songwriter Nick Jonas.  He's known for his solo work and for being a member of the group The Jonas Brothers with his brothers Kevin and Joe.  

1) "Jealous"

2) "Chainsaw"

3) "Spaceman"

4) "Close"

5) "Chains"

Be sure to read over Betty's "My daughter and I are fighting (Jonas Brothers)."

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

 Friday, March 12, 2021.  The militias dictate terms to Iraq's prime minister, the US government has no concern over an activist shot dead in Iraq, Joe Biden babbles and much more.

Starting with violence in Iraq, PRESS TV reports:

Four roadside bombs have exploded separately near convoys of trucks carrying logistical equipment belonging to the US-led coalition forces in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, southern province of Muthanna bordering Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the central province of Babil, as well as the southern province of Basra.

They note that one of the attacks was claimed by the Iraqi militia group Saraya Awliya al-Dam.  Earlier this week, at JUST SECURITY, Crispin Smith weighed in on legal issues with regards to the militias:

But despite their actions, and their close ties to Iran, there is another side to the militias. KH, AAH, KSS, HN, and other major muqawama groups are all officially and legally organs of the Iraqi state through their membership of the Hashd al-Sha’abi (Popular Mobilization Forces, or PMF), an umbrella organization comprising mostly Shi’ite groups that rose up in 2014 to join the fight against ISIS.

At the end of 2016, Iraq’s parliament passed “Law Number 40 of the year 2016: the Law of the Hashd al-Sha’abi Committee.” The law formalized a governing body for the militias (the “Popular Mobilization Committee” or PMC), while incorporating the Hashd al-Sha’abi into the Iraqi armed forces. The law also formalized a command structure, with the PMC and subordinate brigades answering directly to the Iraqi Prime Minister as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces under country’s Constitution. A series of Prime Ministerial Orders built upon that law over the subsequent years to regulate the militias by formalizing pay structures, a rank system, and the applicability of Iraqi military laws and regulations.

The result is that many of the key militia groups responsible for attacking the coalition also draw Iraqi government salaries while operating as official members of the security forces. KH, a U.S. designated terrorist organization, is also the 45th, 46th, and 47th PMF Brigades. AAH, also designated and likely responsible for rocket attacks in November and December owns the 41st, 42nd, and 43rd Brigades. KSS operates the 14th PMF Brigade. Of course, in reality these units rarely take orders from the Prime Minister; any government coordination comes from Abu Fadak, the acting deputy chairman of the PMF and a former KH intelligence officer. Though he holds a senior Iraqi government role, Abu Fadak was designated for terrorist activities under Executive Order 13224 on Jan. 13, 2021.

While militias benefit greatly from their status, the Government of Iraq bears liability for their illegal actions. International law of state responsibility defers to domestic legislation when determining who or what is an entity of a given State. In this case, Iraq has very clearly elected to incorporate the PMF, and must own their conduct.

And according to Article 7 of the International Law Commission’s Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts Iraq must remain responsible even when its state organ (e.g. a PMF militia) exceeds its authority or contravenes instructions. This rule evolved in response to a need to ensure clarity in state relations. Rather than allowing states to avoid responsibility by simply disavowing their organ’s actions, international law supports the proposition (Article 7, paragraph 3 of commentaries, p.45) that “all Governments should always be held responsible for all acts committed by their agents by virtue of their official capacity.” This most certainly extends to the killing and maiming of allied personnel operating in Iraq at Iraq’s request.

He's on sounder ground above than he is earlier in the essay when he writes "of successive elecgted Iraqi governments."  How was the 2010 government elected by a legal document?  It wasn't.  The voters rejected Nouri al-Maliki getting a second term.  Nouri refused to step down.  The government came to standstill for eight months (the political stalemate) until the US brokered Erbil Agreement gave Nouri a second term.  Don't call that an election.  Unless you're saying the US government is electing the prime minister which would be much more honest.  On the topic of the militias, yesterday afternoon, Suadad al-Salhy (MIDDLE EAST EYE) reported:

After frantic meetings in Baghdad, Beirut and Tehran, Iranian-backed Iraqi paramilitaries have agreed to stop attacks against US forces in Iraq on the condition that Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi formally demands an American withdrawal, officials and faction commanders told Middle East Eye.

Kadhimi must tell Washington that the pullout has to be completed within 12 months, they added. Sources said it is likely that Kadhimi will comply and make the formal request.

On 1 March, the armed factions announced the end of an unofficial armistice with US forces in Iraq that had largely held since October, despite a few violations.


So the government paid security forces are dictating to the prime minister what will happen?  Another reason that they should never have been made government forces to begin with.  A stupid move that the US government didn't even lodge an objection to.  

These militias are terrorizing the Iraqi people and the prime miniter either has no control over them or chooses not to exercise any control over them.  Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor issued the following: 

Iraqi citizen Jaseb Hattab, father of kidnapped activist Ali Hattab, has been killed by gunshot in Amara city in the Maysan governorate, southern Iraq, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said in a statement today warning of targeting activists’ families and its implications on the social peace.

At about 7 p.m. on Wednesday 10th of March, two gunmen on a motorcycle shot Jaseb directly while he was walking in Al-Maa’ard street in downtown Amara city in the Maysan governorate. Prior to his assassination, Jaseb had been participating in a memorial service for assassinated activist Abdul Quddus Qasim, which yesterday marked the first anniversary of his death.

“While the area witnessed a great overcrowding of citizens and widespread presence of security forces , two armed men on a motorcycle approached the victim,” an eyewitness, spoke on condition of anonymity, said to Euro-Med Monitor. “The victim tried to run as one of them got off the motorcycle and walked towards him. But the gunmen rushed towards him and shot him several times, which killed Jaseb instantly [before he could escape]”.

After the accident, a security force arrived at the scene, took the victim's body to the forensic medical office, and then began conducting an extensive investigation about the incident.

Jaseb had launched several distress calls demanding to know the fate of his son, lawyer and activist Ali Jaseb Hattab, who had been kidnapped since October 8th, 2019, for his participation in the popular protests. Since that time, no information had been known about his fate or whereabouts.

Euro-Med Monitor viewed a copy of a video of the victim, in which he confirms that he had reliable information about the identity of his son’s kidnappers. He said his son was kidnapped by Ansar Allah Alawfiaa faction, affiliated with the Popular Mobilization Forces, and demanded to meet the Prime Minister to provide him with documents confirming these claims.

The Hellija clan, to which the victim belongs, have made it clear in a statement to the media that the assassination of Hattab had nothing to do with any tribal disputes – contrary to what was stated in the provincial police statement about the incident. The clan held the security leaders and governor of Maysan governorate responsible for his assassination.

Political activists in Iraq have been subjected to great harassment and constant threats of liquidation. The number of activists who have received assassination threats since August of last year, reached about 30 activists, of which 19 have already been assassinated. Most recently, activist Salah al-Iraqi was assassinated on December 15th, 2020, near a security checkpoint in New Baghdad, southeast of the capital Baghdad.

"The assassination of the father of the kidnapped activist, Ali Jaseb Hattab, rings alarm bells that targeting activists extends to their families,” said Omar Al-Ajlouni, legal researcher at Euro-Med Monitor.

"The Iraqi authorities must commit itself to the provisions of the constitution that stipulates preserving the lives of activists and their families as Article 15 of it states: ‘Every individual has the right to enjoy life, security and liberty. Deprivation or restriction of these rights is prohibited except in accordance with the law and based on a decision issued by a competent judicial authority’.

Al-Ajlouni added that “This was also confirmed by Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which stated: ‘everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.’”

The Iraqi authorities should:

  • urgently investigate the circumstances of the crime,
  • bring the perpetrators to justice,
  • make more efforts to put an end to the widespread assassinations that escalated since the start of the popular movement in October 2019,
  • provide the necessary protection for political activists and their families who are under constant threats of liquidation, and
  • allow citizens to express their views without being subjected to any harassment or threat.

We noted Jaseb's murder in yesterday's snapshotSura Ali (RUDAW) reports:

Protesters took to the streets in five Iraqi provinces, including in the capital Baghdad on Thursday and Friday morning, to condemn the shooting death of the father of a protester. The killing of Jaseb Hattab has exposed government failures to protect protesters and bring to justice perpetrators of violence against demonstrators. 

Widespread anger over Hattab’s murder sparked renewed protests in Baghdad, Muthanna, Babil, Maysan, and Dhi Qar. 

Protests continued on Friday morning. In Samawah, Muthanna governorate, clashes took place between security forces and demonstrators, wounding dozens near the provincial government offices. Protesters called for the resignation of the local government, activist Musa Rahmatullah told Rudaw on Friday.

Hattab’s son Ali Jaseb is an activist who had participated in anti-government protests and was kidnapped in 2019. Hattab was outspoken in calling for the return of his son, even publicly naming the group he believed was behind the kidnapping – Ansarullah al-Awfyya’a, a powerful Iranian-backed militia part of the Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashd al-Shaabi in Arabic) in Maysan.

We'll note this Tweet:

 Many take to streets in several provinces to demand justice & accountability for latest assassination after Jaseb Hattab al-Heliji was killed - the father of a kidnapped activist & lawyer for whose release he tirelessly campaigned #جاسب_حطب



The European Union ambassador to Iraq, Martin Huth, highlighted the shooting on his Twitter page, posting a photo of Aboud with the comment, “Pope gone. Back to normal?”

Huth later deleted his post without explanation, much to the chagrin of some Iraqi social media users.

Aboud was a determined figure who for a time was a fixture on local media, reminding the Iraqi public about his missing son and seeking justice. He routinely took the six-hour bus journey from his rural town to the capital, Baghdad, to meet his lawyer. He always carried the documents he believed would deliver justice in a court of law.

The US government has had no official reaction -- not even a retracted one.  This despite Antony Blinken's recent rhetoric about human rights and "gross rights violations" in other countries.  The press also hasn't bothered to ask Jen Psaki, White House spokesperson, about the murder.  

In fact, it was pretty much another fluff press briefing yesterday.  The only thing of immediate news value would be this exchange:

Q    If I can ask just an unrelated question.  So, the relief bill includes subsidies for the healthcare exchanges and COBRA coverage.  The President, during the campaign, talked about also implementing a universal public option, lowering the Medicare age to 60.  Does he still plan to pursue those policy initiatives, and when can we expect to hear more on that from him?

MS. PSAKI:  Yes.  I mean, we’re only on day 50.  We’ve got a lot more time to go here.  Buckle up. 

Yes, he is — of course, this was his number one priority was getting this American Rescue Plan passed.  Today is a very big day here in the White House — significant moment for the American people, of course.  But he remains committed to and interested in pushing forward with the rest of his agenda and the commitments he made when he ran for President over the course of the last two years.

In other words, no, it's not  a priority and probably not happening.

Iraq just isn't an issue.  This despite the fact that the 18th anniversary is soon upon us.  Dan Caldwell hasn't forgotten the Iraq War and writes at THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE:

This month, the Iraq war—in which I served as a U.S. Marine more than a decade ago—turns 18. As a result, soon there will likely be service members deploying to Iraq who were born after the war began in 2003. When they arrive, they will find the conflict remains a dangerous one for Americans, as evidenced by the recent deadly rocket attacks against American bases.

Instead of conducting potentially unconstitutional and escalatory airstrikes in Syria to “defend” American troops in Iraq, who are performing a mission that is not necessary for our safety, President Joe Biden should withdraw the U.S. military from the country. Withdrawal would be not only good policy but good politics. Over two-thirds of the American people support leaving Iraq, according to recent polling.

There is no reason to keep sending Americans to risk life and limb in Iraq. We already lost the war when we made the disastrous decision to invade in 2003, handing a victory to Iran and Sunni jihadists who would exploit the chaos of post-invasion Iraq for their own ends. Everything we have done since—including the vaunted surge of Americans troops from 2007 to 2009—has been one failed attempt after another to overturn the terrible consequences of invading.

The inability of now four presidents to accept these realities has meant that America remains enmeshed in a country with no clear connection to our safety or other vital national interests. Over 4,500 American service members have been killed and tens of thousands more wounded in Iraq. Hundreds of thousands more who served continue to bear the burden of the war through mental health challenges and other illnesses connected to their deployments. Apart from the human toll, the war has cost American taxpayers nearly $2 trillion.

The price paid by the Iraqi people has been much higher. Between 200,000 and 1 million Iraqis died due to the war and up to 3 million more were displaced from their homes. Iraq’s Christian community—once the most vibrant in the Middle East, prior to the American invasion—has been driven “perilously close to extinction,” according to the archbishop of Erbil. The Yazidis, another Iraqi religious minority, have been victims of genocide by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), whose initial rise was fueled by the American occupation.

While the Iraqi people were promised freedom, they instead have a government that is increasingly repressivecorrupt, and under the sway of Iran. Maintaining a U.S. military presence in Iraq cannot undo this damage and would only needlessly endanger more American lives. It could even worsen the situation by providing to the anti-American and Iranian-backed militias who dominate the country a convenient foreign scapegoat for Iraq’s problems.

US President Joe Biden babbled away last night but said nothing of the ongoing wars.  Patrick Martin (WSWS) offers:

The nationally-televised address by President Biden Thursday night combined self-delusion with a complete refusal to address the causes or the real consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden seemed to have set his speechwriters the task of cramming as many maudlin banalities as possible into the first ten minutes of his speech, as he sought to display the “empathy” that was so lacking in his predecessor, who clearly cared not at all as the COVID death toll in America mounted into the hundreds of thousands.

The language of collective loss, suffering and sacrifice, however, ignored the brutal fact that one section of American society, the super-rich, has lost nothing at all from 12 months of the worst pandemic in a century.

While 527,000 Americans died, the billionaires increased their wealth by $1.4 trillion. While the economy collapsed, millions lost their jobs and hundreds of thousands of small businesses closed their doors forever, the stock market reached new record highs, a process that continues to this day.

Biden, however, in pursuit of his goal of “national unity,” said nothing at all about the class divisions that the pandemic has brought to the fore so clearly. He said little about the tidal wave of economic suffering unleashed by the pandemic, and made only one reference to the congressional passage of his American Recovery Act. This legislation aims to buy time for American capitalism by putting off a full-scale collapse of consumer spending until the end of the summer.

The most striking feature of the Biden speech was its narrow nationalism. He spoke as though coronavirus was a meteor that had crashed out of the sky and struck only the United States, not a global pandemic that has affected every country in the world.

He did not acknowledge the 800,000 dead in Europe, or the nearly equal number of dead in Latin America, or the mounting death toll in India and through Asia—although not in China, where the pandemic began.

This served two purposes. It allowed Biden to avoid the question of how COVID-19 became such a disaster in the United States, which has performed worst of all the major capitalist countries, with 30 million infections and more than half a million deaths.

Okay, we're going to try to quickly get through a few non-Iraq things.  First off, one of the attackers of Tara Reade has been revealed to be a paid political operator.

Yesterday's snapshot noted a column Tara wrote earlier this week and here's an excerpt:

          One obstacle I encountered when I tried to come public about what happened between me and Joe Biden baffled me. I was told my claims needed ‘numerosity’ – more women like me needed to come forward. Do I need to lead an army?

In approximately 60 AD a warrior Celtic Queen of the Iceni and her daughters were raped by Roman soldiers and flogged publicly. According to Tacitus, Queen Boudicca said, “Nothing is safe from Roman pride and arrogance. They will deface the sacred and will rape our virgins.”

Now, Boudicca let the Roman empire know her rage at the killing of her husband, rape of her daughters and slaughter of the peaceful Druids. She led armies in rebellion for a couple of years. History is written by the victors and the Romans painted a harsh picture of Boudicca. Personally, I like her spirit and relate to fighting back against an Empire.

The New York Times and Washington Post among other media outlets provided my public flogging for daring to speak out; my truth about the beloved Democrat, the elite Joe Biden, was quickly dismissed.

Sometimes, I feel as if I am being held underwater, far from the surface of being able to be heard. Sometimes, in my darkest moment, for inspiration I whisperBoudicca.”

An esteemed reporter once said to me, “Tara, we need numerosity to bring the allegations of Joe Biden forward in our piece.”

“Numerosity?” I asked, perplexed.

“More women to come forward.” He replied.

“How many murders make a murderer?” I shot back.

“How many rapes make a rapist?”

The reporter was silent. American rape culture functions on such assumptions.

I had heard this before. While there were seven other women discussing Joe Biden’s inappropriate touching, I was the only credible sexual assault allegation, at least in public.

Many times, by many well-known people, I was asked. “Are there any more names you can give us?”

I do know of more women that have complaints of varying severity about Joe Biden that may or may not ever come forward. However, their stories are not my story and I have no right to discuss their experiences. There is a photo, I have it, some journalists have it, that has not been released that shows Joe Biden in action with someone who does not want to receive his attention. When will it come out? Time will tell.

A prominent news anchor told me a very specific story about his wife receiving an unwanted hug that lingered too long and was “creepy.” The anchor said his wife did not want to discuss it but also added, “Tara, everyone knows this about Joe Biden, it’s an open secret.”

Glenn Greenwald.  Sexist?  Yes, I think he is.  I've never refrained from saying that.  That doesn't make him a unique creature on the face of the earth.  With ten being the worst, I'd rate him a 2 on sexism.  (I'd rate Michael Tracey an 8 on the same scale.)  We highlight him because he's an important voice.  He'd be a better voice if he'd look at how his college life reinforced ideas and agendas that led to his sexism.  He is a product of his time and his environment.  

Andrew Cuomo.  "How can you remain silent!!!" That's the tone of several e-mails Martha and Shirley summarized for me.

This site, that I am responsible for, has not ignored the claims against Andrew.  They have been covered in multiple videos -- including one that a CBS friend n NY called and told me that they had just posted -- it immediately went up at this site.  I am not following the case.  I know Andrew and I'm not offering a defense of him.

That's not an attack on anyone coming forward.  They are getting the space to tell their stories even at this site.

I like Andrew.  I am staying out of it.  It shouldn't matter but I'm staying out of it due to stress.  Two months in a row my diabetes has landed me in the hospital.  I don't want March to be the third month and I don't want to lapse into a diabetic coma which I came close to last month.  That's why I was off that week.  My diabetes can go, in thirty minutes, from a normal range to 340 or higher based on stress.  My doctor wants me to stop this site or to at least stop covering Iraq.  He says that has to wear on a person if they're covering it every day.  I'm not living it, the Iraqi people are.  And if there was anyone opposed to war who was covering Iraq regularly -- even once a week -- I'd feel okay walking away.  But I'm not going to walk away unless I have to -- not while the whole country ignores the suffering of the Iraqi people.  They've been let down by too many Americans already.

I do have to set up boundaries for my health.  And I'm not defending Andrew.  I'm also not following that case.  The courts and the people of New York will decide it.  I will gladly repost things about it here but I'm not getting into it.  I have enough on my plate and I'm supposed to be reducing stress.  Covering what appear to be credible allegations that a friend has harassed women is not stress-free and there's no need for me to step up and do it when the media is already all over it.  This is not a case like Tara Reade's where the media was ignoring it.

I hope that answers the many e-mails to the public e-mail account.  That would be which is for non-community members and really should be Iraq related.

The following sites updated:


Free speech

Jonathan Turley:

We have been discussing how universities are remaining silent as student governments limit rights of free speech and association, including the impeachment of conservative students.   Now, students at Skidmore College have reportedly barred fellow students from starting a campus chapter of the conservative group Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). In Rochester Institute of Technology, the student government has impeached student Senator Jacob Custer for defending campus police officers wearing Thin Blue Line masks. In both controversies, there are appeals or reviews being pursued but students were subjected to weeks of abusive campaigns for the exercise of their free speech and associational rights.

Skidmore has been previously in the news as a campus with a growing anti-free speech movement, including an unsuccessful effort to fire  professors for attending a police rally. There is a growing threat to free speech posed by student governments curtailing free speech under the guise of self-governance.  For some universities, student governments can accomplish indirectly what they cannot legally or politically accomplish directly.

That danger is evident in the account of Hannah Davis of how she was the subject of a campus campaign and petition to prevent her founding a YAL chapter. According to the Albany Times Union, the Skidmore Student Government Association told Davis she could not establish a YAL chapter because the formation of the group triggered “concerns of hate speech and … students on campus feel unsafe.” 

Free speech, you'd think everybody would be on board.  You'd think that anyway.  But free speech, as we're seeing with Taylor Lorenz's dramatic meltdowns, is a threat to many people -- especially bad reporters like Taylor Lorenz.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Thursday, March 11, 2021.  A major tragedy takes place in Iraq but NYT is too busy whining to notice.  {See note added.]

The latest wave of protests in Iraq began in the fall of 2019.  An inept and corrupt government that refuses to serve the Iraqi people led many Iraqis (mostly Shi'ites) to take to the stretts.  They were attacked by Iraqi security forces and largely mocked by the press.  NPR will never live down their 'report' about how there was no real damage from the security forces firing tear gas canisters at the protesters -- not after multiple deaths.  From the October 25, 2019 snapshot:

In addition, Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) reports, "Iraqi police fired live shots into the air as well as rubber bullets and dozens of tear gas canisters on Friday to disperse thousands of protesters on the streets of Baghdad, sending young demonstrators running for cover and enveloping a main bridge in the capital with thick white smoke. One protester was killed and dozens were injured in the first hours of the protest, security officials said."

The cost of freedom is always high, but Iraqis have always paid it. I’m sorry for the horrible video but this is the democracy USA brought to Iraq a protester been shot in head with tear gas canisters



The first one killed is said to have been hit with a tear canister.  The video above is supposed to be of that protester after he was hit.

That same month, Human Rights Watch noted:

Iraqi security forces fired tear gas canisters into crowds, killing at least eight protesters, during demonstrations in Baghdad on October 25, 2019. Although forces in Baghdad refrained from using live rounds, at demonstrations in southern cities, protesters attempted to burn down Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashad or PMF) office buildings, leading forces inside to open fire and kill protesters. In Basra, a police vehicle drove into a crowd of protesters, injuring some.

“Even facing violent attacks by protesters, security forces are required to limit their response strictly to what is proportionate and necessary to maintain order,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “What we’ve now seen time and again are Iraqi security forces resorting to unnecessary force, even against nonviolent protesters.”

Protests started in Baghdad and Shia-majority governorates in southern Iraq on October 1, with protesters demanding improved services and more action to curb corruption. Between October 1 and 9, Human Rights Watch documented how security forces used excessive lethal force in confronting rock-throwing protesters, killing 149 and injuring 5,494. Security forces also shot at protesters as they dispersed and sprayed them with scalding water.

When not being harmed or killed publicly, the protesters have been stalked and kidnapped.  Which is why it matters when some idiot in the US, like Jeff Mackler takes to COUNTERPUNCH to credit a group with the actions of the protesters and it especially matters when the wrong group he's crediting is part of the people attacking the protesters.  This is life and death.  He needs to get his facts right and COUNTERPUNCH needs to stop publishing incorrect garbage.  Today, we find more violence against the protesters and their families.  Sura Ali (RUDAW) reports:

The father of activist Ali Jaseb, kidnapped in October 2019, was assassinated in Maysan province on Wednesday, activists have confirmed to Rudaw English. 

Two unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle shot dead Jaseb Hattab while he was walking back to his house, in the provincial capital of Amarah, from a memorial for another activist killed last year, activists said.

He had regularly spoken out against militias he accused of kidnapping his son Ali, a 29-year-old lawyer and father of two children.

Ansarullah al-Awfyya’a, a powerful Iranian-backed militia part of the Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashd al-Shaabi in Arabic) in Maysan, is suspected to be behind Ali's abduction and the death of his father.

Rasha al-Aqeedi reports that the man "was attending the one year memorial service for AbdulQudoos Qassim who was assassinated by militias after a protest in Nasiriya.  On his way home from the service he was fatally shot."  Hiwa Shilani (KURDISTAN 24) adds:

Activist Ali Agwan said the central government was “responsible for the continuation of the assassinations, which have become the biggest threat to the activists and their families,” indicating to that “the party behind the assassinations is known to us and the government, and they are the armed militia, but the government have not arrested any of them."

Prior to his assassination Aboud publicly accused a powerful Iran-backed militia, Ansar Allah al-Awfia, of kidnapping his son and even took the dangerous step of seeking to take its commander to court.

Amnesty Iraq noted in 2019:

29-year-old lawyer Ali Jaseb Hattab al-Heliji was abducted by suspected members of #PMU in #Ammarah more than 2 months ago. Ali had been representing arrested protesters during the #Iraqiprotests. TAKE ACTION WITH US FOR ALI

Noting the father's death, MEMO offers this background on the son's kidnapping:

Ali Jasb was abducted in Amara on 8 October 2019. The final sighting of the 21-year-old was captured by a surveillance camera.

In the footage, a woman can be seen greeting Jasb before he is grabbed by two men, forced into a black SUV and driven away.

The woman is then seen climbing into a waiting pickup truck. The kidnap took just 30 seconds. He has not been heard from since.

The footage and Jasb's kidnap have become a symbol of terror campaign waged by militias who are believed to have abducted and killed over 60 activists.

Amnesty International's Donatella Rovera observes:

The father of disappeared lawyer Ali Jaseb, who was desperately looking for his son. Today he too is gone. #Iraq #IraqProtests #WarCrimes

One family, two lives lost, taken.  Both father and son were fighting for a better Iraq, a country that honored its people.  Journalist Rash al-Aqeedi points out:

Ali Jaseb was not as prestigious as Jamal Khashoggi.He never penned for


.He wasn't a permanent resident of the US.He was a father of two,the youngest only 6months ago when he was disappeared by militias.I thought heartbreak would kill his father, but bullets did



 In September, he met with Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi who promised to work on his case. An open letter by Amnesty International in November cited that promise, while notin there was "a lack of progress in his case, now compounded by repeated threats to his family".

For those paying attention, this is tragic and this is suffering.  

Other things that claim to be suffering, that claim to be destroying of life?  Really not so much.

Yes, we're going to have to return to Drama Queen Taylor Lorenz.  No, not because she's turned her mob loose online.  After no one in the US, no thinking person, gives two s**ts what the idiot Sophia Smith Galer thinks.  If they think of Sophia at all it's in a, "With all the problems the UK has with journalism these days, that Brit thinks she has right to stick her nose into a US issue?"  Really, get a life, you stupid idiot and no gives a damn that you think that Taylor speaks to "kids" and is their favorite journalist.  You sure see a lot of America from across the Atlantic, Sophia, maybe just f**k the hell off?  Don't take to Twitter with claims you present as facts and, honestly, find a real issue.  Jaseb is dead and all you can do is try to swoop in protect the already insulated and swathed.  

Why do we have to go back to this topic?  Because THE NEW YORK TIMES weighed in on their little stooge.  From THE HILL:

The New York Times on Wednesday criticized Fox News host Tucker Carlson for what it called a “calculated and cruel” attack on one of its journalists during a segment on his show Tuesday night.

“In a now familiar move, Tucker Carlson opened his show last night by attacking a journalist,” the Times said in a statement released Wednesday evening.

“It was a calculated and cruel tactic, which he often deploys to unleash a wave of harassment and vitriol at his intended target. Taylor Lorenz is a talented New York Times journalist doing timely and essential reporting. Journalists should be able to do their jobs without facing harassment,” the Times continued.

Here's the video:

Is this what Taylor's been calling "attacks"?  Then grow the f**k up.  When we noted this in yesterday's snapshot, I noted that I've received threats, Betty's received threat, Deliah Boyd received threats, Digby received threats.  These were threats of violence.  Betty's talked about how it was 'I know where you live and I am going to rape you at night.'  That sort of thing.  Those are threats, those are attacks.

Tucker mocked a spoiled brat who is too stupid to appreciate what she has and feels the need to claim victim class.  He mocked her.  That's fine.  There's nothing wrong with that and if she can't handle it, if her Swiss boarding school didn't prepare her for elbowing in the real world, maybe she needs to just live her pampered life and stop 'reporting' -- if that's what you want to call her work.

NYT weighs in.  Their reporter is attacked!  They won't stand for it!!!!

NYT?  They think they have standing?  Forget that they're a garbage rag -- especially the lifestyle section Taylor works in where facts never matter -- if you're friend wants a title in the piece you write for him, create it, never mind what the magazine's masthead says, just give him a title and when NYT is asked for a correction, explain you won't do one because your friend wanted that title (I could go on and on) -- after the Iraq War 'coverage,' they think they have standing?

Where are their articles calling out the attacks on the Iraqi people?  I know they lied and sold the war.  Most people don't realize that they sold the war before the war started and after it started.  Their bad coverage, their lies, kept the war going.  They lied and lied over and over.

Jasb Hattab Aboud is dead.  This is the real world, this is where people live under threats.  Taylor Lorenz and NYT reek of privilege.  They fail to realize that they are not the center of the world and that Taylor being mocked is not a 'danger' -- clear or present.  They are ridiculous.  And if NYT is going to defend people, it should be the paper's victims which include the people of Iraq.

Glenn Greenwald offers his reply to Taylor Lorenz:

The most powerful and influential newspaper in the U.S., arguably the West, is The New York Times. Journalists who write for it, especially those whose work is featured on its front page or in its op-ed section, wield immense power to shape public discourse, influence thought, set the political agenda for the planet’s most powerful nation, expose injustices, or ruin the lives of public figures and private citizens alike. That is an enormous amount of power in the hands of one media institution and its employees. That’s why it calls itself the Paper of Record.

One of the Paper of Record’s star reporters, Taylor Lorenz, has been much discussed of late. That is so for three reasons. The first is that the thirty-six-year-old tech and culture reporter has helped innovate a new kind of reportorial beat that seems to have a couple of purposes. She publishes articles exploring in great detail the online culture of teenagers and very young adults, which, as a father of two young Tik-Tok-using children, I have found occasionally and mildly interesting. She also seeks to catch famous and non-famous people alike using bad words or being in close digital proximity to bad people so that she can alert the rest of the world to these important findings. It is natural that journalists who pioneer a new form of reporting this way are going to be discussed.

The second reason Lorenz is the topic of recent discussion is that she has been repeatedly caught fabricating claims about influential people, and attempting to ruin the reputations and lives of decidedly non-famous people. In the last six weeks alone, she twice publicly lied about Netscape founder Marc Andreessen: once claiming he used the word “retarded” in a Clubhouse room in which she was lurking (he had not) and then accusing him of plotting with a white nationalist in a different Clubhouse room to attack her (he, in fact, had said nothing). 

She also often uses her large, powerful public platform to malign private citizens without any power or public standing by accusing them of harboring bad beliefs and/or associating with others who do. (She is currently being sued by a citizen named Arya Toufanian, who claims Lorenz has used her private Twitter account to destroy her reputation and business, particularly with a tweet that Lorenz kept pinned at the top of her Twitter page for eight months, while several other non-public figures complain that Lorenz has “reported” on their non-public activities). It is to be expected that a New York Times journalist who gets caught lying as she did against Andreessen and trying to destroy the reputations of non-public figures will be a topic of conversation.

The third reason this New York Times reporter is receiving attention is because she has become a leading advocate and symbol for a toxic tactic now frequently used by wealthy and influential public figures (like her) to delegitimize criticisms and even render off-limits any attempt to hold them accountable. Specifically, she and her media allies constantly conflate criticisms of people like them with “harassment,” “abuse” and even “violence.”

That is what Lorenz did on Tuesday when she co-opted International Women’s Day to announce that “it is not an exaggeration to say that the harassment and smear campaign I have had to endure over the past year has destroyed my life.” She began her story by proclaiming: “For international women’s day please consider supporting women enduring online harassment.” She finished it with this: “No one should have to go through this.” Notably, there was no mention, by her or her many media defenders, of the lives she has harmed or otherwise deleteriously affected with her massive journalistic platform.

We would have noted Glenn's response regardless but I had said all I intended to say on the topic in yesterday's snapshot but then NYT weighed in having no perspective and no sense of shame.  

**NOTE ADDED** All below until "The following . . ." SSWS 3/11 10:15 PST.

I have lost any sympathy I might have had for Drama Queen Taylor Lorenz.  She Tweeted the following:

The amount of loss, death, grief we’ve all had to endure this past year has been unimaginable. I’ve lost people I cared about deeply, among other tragedies. Barraging someone in that fragile state w/ messages like this for months as part of a vicious harassment campaign is sick

My apologies for the C word above, I don't know how to remove it from what Taylor has elected to post.

There are a lot of stupid people in the world and maybe Taylor's one?  I know that if people were saying I was being dramatic when I chose to bring up threats, I would offer the best proof of threats.  is that Taylor's best proof?

Because that's not a threat.

Someone hoping something is not a threat.  

Watch: I hope Taylor wins all the prizes in journalism!

That's a hope, it's not a certainty and, based on her writing, it's not likely to happen.  

I was on the phone with Betty who asked me to include a message to Taylor, "White girl, grow the hell up.  You are the typical Karen who thinks the world revolves around you.  I have gotten real threats, threats to kill me, threats to rape me.  If that Tweet is the best example you can offer, grow the hell up.  You're so entitled you seem to think the whole world has to bend for you.  Quick, go see if you can find a teacher on the playground to snitch to.  Or, then again, just grow the hell up."

Are the sentiments nice?  No, they are not.  But, oh well, grasp that everyone in the world is not obligated to love you or even like you.  That's part of public life.  Susan Lucci would have never played Erica Kane for a month (let alone for 40 years) if she couldn't handle 'fan mail' like that.  

THE NEW YORK TIMES may want to seriously reconsider pursuing their current path.  Why?  If that's a threat, I have about 12 similar e-mails from their current employess (another 8 from their former employees).  Should I start publishing those?  I can.  If NYT thinks what Taylor's serving up is a threat, maybe I should publish the e-mails from their own employees.  I'd start with the now retired journalist that people seem to think is a God (I'm not referring to Chris Hedges).  

You can't be in public life without receiving mail like that.  If Taylor can't handle it, she needs to find another occupation.  I've had in the real world, not online, mail like that for decades.  You grow up and develop a thicker skin.  I was giving her the benefit of the doubt until Betty called m and asked me about her Tweet.  I hadn't seen it.  If that's what qualifies for a threat, she doesn't know from threats.  She may have lived a life far too sheltered to grasp reality.  Maureen Dowd gest harsher e-mails than Taylor.   She really needs to grow up and hte paper needs to stop coddling her.

While I'm adding to the snapshot, let's note Tara Reade's Tweet:

OpEd please read & share Tara Reade: Women like me should not have to gather in armies to be heard

The following sites updated: