Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The empty suit returns briefly to Chicago

That ridiculous Barack Obama.

The empty suit of all time.

Kristina Betinis (WSWS) reports:
      


In his first public appearances since leaving the White House, former President Barack Obama made two stops in Chicago, his former home, to urge young people to become involved in politics and community life. Both were small, closely managed affairs with little public interaction, and the proceedings at times veered into the absurd.


Obama’s first public event was held on Sunday in the neighborhood of Roseland, where he was invited by his former secretary of education Arne Duncan to speak with young men on reducing gang violence. In a widely-publicized event at the University of Chicago Monday, Obama led a discussion among six Chicago area high school and university students and an invited audience.


Obama’s statements revealed the immense disconnect between the Democratic Party and the vast majority of the population, in particular those he was purportedly aiming to reach.


Post-presidential mythmaking is in full swing, and Monday’s event had moments of unintended humor. The student who introduced Obama, Richard Omoniyi-Shoyoola, compared Obama’s life to those of Frederick Douglass and Theodore Roosevelt.


Obama spoke to his young aspiring political operatives on stage with him: “The single most important thing I can do is to help in any way prepare the next generation of leadership to take up the baton and to take their own crack at changing the world.”


Obama’s appearance is in line with the Democratic Party’s effort in the wake of the 2016 elections to somehow bolster support for the Democratic Party and the political system as a whole. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is currently touring the country with Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez for the same purpose.


What was most striking about Obama’s appearance was its political impotence. This is not surprising. As a presidential candidate in 2008, Obama appealed to young people with empty promises of “hope” and “change,” only to oversee an enormous transfer of wealth to the rich, unending war and the further destruction of democratic rights. The resulting widespread disillusionment with the Democratic Party and official politics helped Trump win the presidency last November.


In referring to the numerous social problems young people face, Obama had strikingly little to say: “Yes, we confront a whole range of challenges, from economic inequality and lack of opportunity, to the criminal justice system to climate change to issues related to violence. All those problems are serious, they’re daunting, but they’re not insoluble. What is preventing us from tackling them and making more progress really has to do with our politics and our civic life.”


Obama made the claim that the political situation is being made worse by individualism, which has undermined involvement in civic groups like Rotary Club or Parent Teacher Associations. Apparently all the problems in the world will be solved if only more people go to PTA meetings.


He accomplished nothing unless you consider dashing the dreams of millions an accomplishment.

8 years and he has nothing to show for it.

Because he did nothing for the people.

Which is why the Iraq War he was elected in 2008 to end continues to this day.

Fake.

Fraud.


This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Monday:



Monday, April 24, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue as we focus on the unresolved issues of autonomy for the KRG and the future for Kirkuk.


Hamdi Malik (AL-MONITOR) reports:

As talk of an independence referendum for Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) grows, Iran's role is becoming more visible, especially that of Qasem Soleimani, the powerful commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force. But it appears that this role is retreating in the face of Kurdish ambitions for more independence.
Kurdish media outlets reported April 10 that Soleimani had met senior leaders of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in Sulaimaniyah. Rudaw, a media organization aligned with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), reported April 11 that the goal of the visit was to prevent the KRG from holding an independence referendum.
But it appears that PUK officials were not the only parties to the meeting. Soleimani had discussed the poll with KRG President Massoud Barzani in Erbil. Soleimani is Iran's top official in Iraq, according to KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani. As such, he has had many relationships with Kurdish figures, especially in the PUK and the Kurdish Movement for Change (Gorran), since the 1990s.
Iraqi Kurdish political forces recently have increased their calls for a referendum on Kurdish independence. The leadership of the KDP has said such a poll will be held this year. The KDP and the PUK agreed to set up a joint panel April 2 to decide how the poll would be run and set a date for it.
Iran is against such a step and sees an independent KRG as a red line, something KDP Secretary-General Fadel Mirani dismissed on April 11, saying, "We don't need permission from anyone to hold a referendum." But it is impossible to ignore the clout of neighboring states opposed to Kurdish independence. Iran especially enjoys serious influence over the PUK and Gorran in Sulaimaniyah, which is close to the Iranian border.


 

It's still the big issue, it has been for over a decade.

Will the KRG move from semi-autonomous to full autonomy?

Another question swings with that: Will Kirkuk go with the KRG or go with the central-based government of Baghdad?


That second question is the easier to document.


Second Clause of Article 140 of Iraq's Constitution:


The responsibility placed upon the executive branch of the Iraqi Transitional Goverment stipulated in Article 58 of the transitional Administrative Law shall extend and continue to the executive authority elected in accordance with this Constitution, provided that it accomplishes completely (normalization and census and concludes with a referendum in Kirkuk and other disputed territories to dtermine the will of their citizens), by a date not to exceed the 31st of December 2007.

Nouri al-Maliki had two terms asprime minister of IRaq and he was not in compliance with the Constitution he took an oath to uphold.

Hayder al-Abadi's term has one more year on it.

Maybe he'll get a second term, maybe he won't.

But his term has not been rushed by any need to uphold the Constitution.

In addition to the Constitution binding Nouri on Article 140, in November 2010, Nouri signed a personal contract with the other political leaders.  Since the voters didn't want him, he didn't win a second term as prime minister.  A contract broked by the US government, the Erbil Agreement, gave him a second term.   The White House wanted Nouri to have a second term but the Iraqi people didn't feel the same way. To get around the results of the 2010 election and the country's Constitution, the White House brokered this embarrassing and extra-legal contract.  In it, Nouri makes promises to get that second term.  One of those promises?  That he would finally implement Article 140.


KRG President Massoud Barzani spoke April 5, 2012  at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (see the April 5th and April 6th snapshots).



President Massoud Barzani: Article 140 is a Constitutional Article and it needed a lot of discussions and talks until we have reached this.  This is the best way to solve this problem. It's regarding solving the problems of the territories that have been detached from Kurdistan Region.  In fact, I do not want to call it "disputed areas" because we do not have any disputes on that. For us it is very clear for that. But we have shown upmost flexibility in order to find the legal and the Constitutional solution for this problem.  And in order to pave the way for the return of these areas, according to the Constitution and the basis of law and legally to the Kurdistan Region.  And we have found out that there is an effort to evade and run away from this responsibility for the last six years in implementing this Constitutional Article.  And I want to assure you that implementing this Constitutional Article is in the interest of Iraq and in the interest of stability.  There are people who think that time would make us forget about this.  They are wrong.  Time would not help forget or solve the problem. These are Kurdish countries, part of Kurdistan and it has to return to Kurdistan based on the mechanism that has been stipulated in the Constitution. And at the end of the day, as the Constitution stipulates, it's going back to what the people want to determine.  So there is a referendum for the people of these areas and they will decide. If the people decide to joing Kurdistan Region, they're welcome and if the people decide not to, at that time, we will look at any responsibility on our shoulders so people would be held responsible for their own decisions.



Five years later, the fate of Kirkuk remains undetermined and Article 140 has still not been implemented.


Yusuf Selman Inanc (DAILY SABAH) offers:


The crisis comes at a time when the KRG has declared a referendum will be held this year under the observance of the U.N. and the central Iraqi government has not gained any remarkable success against [the Islamic State] without the support of the KRG's Peshmerga. While the Iraqi central government seemed to address the issue imperturbably, Iran and Turkey said it was not acceptable and would lead to a new crisis. Since then, the Turkmen population took to the streets, several official statements were made and the KRG said a referendum would be held for the annexation of Kirkuk. KRG representatives, remaining silent on Turkish and Iranian comments, audaciously responded to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's statements condemning Kirkuk Governor Najmaldin Karim said last week saying, "If they [Baghdad] find it unconstitutional, they can go to the court of the Federal Judiciary Authority to appeal the decision."

Still, it is a question of why Kirkuk matters so much and why both Turkey and Iran, having conflicting interests in the region, oppose the decision. Primarily, the historic city has a strategic location and is home to Iraq's largest oil fields. Posing a dispute between Baghdad and Irbil, the share of the oil revenue is considered to be the major reason for KRG's precipitous move to declare Kirkuk as coming under its section. The central government and KRG were in dispute over the portion of the revenue to be allocated for KRG's treason. While Irbil was eager to sell the oil via Turkey to the world markets, Baghdad has made obstacles and even stopped the pumping of oil a few times. The oil facility, which can pump as much as 150,000 barrels per day according to Iraq's state-run North Oil Company, 350,000 according to the KRG and have 8.7 billion barrels reserve according to the U.S. Energy Department, has become a matter of internal conflict in the KRG. Also "President Massoud Barzani, based in the capital of Erbil, began independent exports of oil from Kirkuk in 2014 but cut a deal with Baghdad last year to equally split the revenues. The deal has been opposed by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which is dominant in the area of Kirkuk and is the historic adversary of Barzani's Irbil-based ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)," Reuters reported last month.




One time US Ambassador to IRaq Chris Hill was always an idiot.  We covered the confirmation hearing and it was obvious then -- refer to the March 25, 2009 snapshot and the March 26th snapshot -- the hearing was the 25th, we spent two days on it. You can also refer to Third's "Chris Hill sings 'Much More'" (March 29, 2009).  He's an idiot. He showed up for his confirmation hearing knowing nothing.  He had food stains on his shirt, his hair was uncombed and this was when he was trying to make a good impression and get the job. See Isaiah's "The Pig-Pen Ambassador."  "Just an old fashioned land dispute," Hill dubbed Kirkuk in his Senate confirmation hearing -- oil-rich Kirkuk.  He understood nothing.  He had no background in the region.  He didn't even have language skills. He never should have been nominated, let alone confirmed. 

And maybe if someone qualified had been sought instead of Hill, the country wouldn't be as bad off as it currently is?


Meanwhile, day 187 of The Mosul Slog.


AFP reported yesterday, "An ambush by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group killed 10 members of the security forces Sunday in western Iraq, where federal and other forces recently ramped up an anti-jihadist offensive."


ISIS is supposed to be on the run -- but it's attacking the military and attacking the police.





9 Iraqi forces killed, 3 kidnapped by ISIS in Anbar via















Friday, April 21, 2017

Ay-yi-yi

Ever notice that when Tulsi Gabbard gets viciously attacked, the people who screamed "sexism" re: Hillary never rush to her defense? Strange


Exactly.


And that needs to stop.

And we also need to stop the cries of 'sexism' when it's false.

C.I. takes on the nonsense of 'calling Hillary weak' warps girls/woman -- or whatever that idiot Tweeted.

I'm glad C.I. took on the idiot.

This nonsense has to stop.

Feminism does not wall Hillary off from criticism.

It does not mean that we can't call her a "weak candidate" when she was a weak one.

She was horrible in fact.

I also want to note this from WSWS:

Mass water shutoffs resumed this week in the city of Detroit. It is the fourth straight year that city officials have sanctioned the shutoffs, targeting the most vulnerable layers of the population in the Motor City, the poorest big city in the United States.
According to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), some 17,995 households are on its target list for service disconnection. Water shutoffs began Wednesday, and shutoff notices went out 10 days earlier.
The resumption of water shutoffs in Detroit is part of a broader annual spring offensive, the start of mass utility disconnections in metropolitan as well as rural communities across the US. Whether it is gas, water or electric service, the loss of utilities can have dire health consequences, particularly for children, the sick and the elderly.
The purpose of the mass shutoffs in Detroit are two-fold. City officials are determined to increase revenues, squeezing hard-pressed workers in the city for every loose dollar to bolster the finances of DWSD in advance of possible privatization. DWSD Director Gary Brown recently told the Detroit News that his office has collected some $57 million as a result of the program.
At the same time, the mass water shutoffs are aimed at effectively driving tens of thousands of impoverished residents out of the city to make way for upscale developments by billionaires such as Quicken Loan CEO Dan Gilbert, who is buying up properties in the city right and left. This is in line with plans for the “return” of Detroit based on gentrification. Upscale development in the city center is combined with the shutdown of entire working class neighborhoods that are deemed no longer viable. This entails the mass closure of schools and the denial of basic services like street repairs.

Since 2014, some 50,000 Detroit households have been disconnected from water service, and there are currently 10,000-20,000 Detroit homes still without water. The city, which is located next to the Great Lakes, the largest bodies of fresh water in the world, has seen recent double-digit increases in its water rates, which have doubled over the past decade.


Shannon Jones wrote that, by the way.

This is outrageous.  It's the neoliberal scam to privatize our public goods.

It's the neoliberal scam against We The People.

This is disgusting and, as I've said since this began, Detroit is the test case.

If they can get away with it there, they will implement it everywhere.


This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Friday:



Friday, April 21, 2017.


We're going to have to deal nonsense right off the bat.







So some balding, pasty bitch is going to tell us all what to do based on her vaginal hiccups and anal seizures?

No f**king way.






Feminism is not Leah Balding McElrath's personal toy.

Feminism is a movement.

Feminism is about equality.

It's not about specialism.

I'm sick to f**k of trash like that bald idiot insisting Hillary was the most qualified candidate for president ever.

In 2007 and 2008 (long before I supported her), I would hear people scoff at the idea that she even had qualifications.

I would defend her.

And you can say she was qualified.

But you can't lie that she was the most qualified.

And I'm sorry Baldy McElrath if that bit of truth ripped off a butterfly's wing in some alternate universe.  (Where your oversized forehead is, no doubt, worshiped).

As Ann noted earlier this week ("Hillary was not more qualified than Al Gore, JFK or LBJ"), we already imploded that myth at THIRD with "Hillary was not 'the most qualified candidate ever..." where we noted how LBJ, JFK and Al Gore were all more qualified than Hillary.

Maybe were she running for talk show host, she'd be the most qualified?

Maybe not.

But for President of the United States?

I struggled to list meaningful credits she possessed in 2008 in exchanges with cab drivers.

Because she really doesn't have any.


She had one complete term as a senator and two years of a second one when she became Secretary of State.  Without even evaluating those two positions in terms of any accomplishments, that's really not that impressive.

First Lady doesn't count.

Now I counted it in 2008.

But I go by how people treat things.

Hillary doesn't think First Lady matters as evidenced by her sexist announcement that, were she elected, Bill would be over the economy.

He wouldn't, she assured us in this last run, be planning state dinners or picking out china.

Because it's too much to expect a male spouse of a president to do what we'd expect a woman to do?

Hillary's always been a troubling sort of feminist.

No, 2016 Hillary insisted, she, as president, would do that herself.

That's not feminism.


Nor is it practical.

Hillary was not the most qualified.


She was probably somewhere in the middle.

But that may be generous.

It's interesting that no one can criticize Hillary according to the balding "human rights activist" (means she supports LGBT rights, she doesn't speak out in favor of those destroyed by US wars), but she can -- and has -- slammed Jill Stein.

Slamming Jill Stein is okay?

That's a funny sort of feminism.

Again, as with Hillary, I judge people by the standards they apply to others.


Hillary Clinton was a lousy candidate.


Matthew Yglesias -- who I have no reason to defend now or ever -- calling Hillary "a weak candidate"  does not, as Balding Leah McElrath insists, "commit psychological violence against women/girls."

To allow this bitch to get away with this is to destroy free speech.




She's a liar and she's a loon.

Hillary was an awful candidate, not weak, awful.

And feminism is about telling the truth.

Telling the truth about men, about women, about the whole system.

If Hillary's a lousy candidate -- and she was -- then you say so.

And it's not violence against anyone.

But a hagged old balding bitch wants to tell us that we can't speak freely and wants to presume that women and girls can't handle truth?

That we're too delicate for public discourse?

 A presidential election is not a cover of 16 MAGAZINE.

Drop the hysteria.

But if she did, people could speak honestly and that's what Leah really fears.

Hillary was a lousy candidate.

In 2008, she did know how to campaign.

She lost it.

In 2016, she lost it.

And she was not the most qualified ever.

She wasn't even the most qualified in the Democratic primary.

"She persisted" is what Leah calls her Twitter feed.

Having read it, I think Leah should retitle it "She farted."

Or, possibly, she'd prefer "She quifed."

She's trying to blackmail people into silence.  That's not feminism.

Let's reset with Tori.





This four-year-old girl doesn't even flinch at gunfire -- trapped in Mosul, Iraq, she's never known anything but war








That's a reality.

It's a reality that 'human rights activists' (especially those who are Temple Love Slaves for War Hawk Hillary) will never face.


14 years and still going.

The Iraq War.

When does it end?


Molly Hennessy-Fiske and W.J. Hennigan (LOS ANGELES TIMES) report:


It also appears that the number of civilian casualties has risen in recent months as combat has shifted to densely populated west Mosul and the coalition has undertaken the heaviest bombing since the war began almost three years ago.
[. . .]
Raed Mohammed Hasan, 30, said he lost neighbors and relatives, including his 11-month-old daughter, Rania, in an airstrike in east Mosul on Jan. 21. He and other residents say 11 civilians died in that strike, which occurred during the months-long battle to oust Islamic State from Iraq’s second-largest city. Coalition records show a strike was carried out in Mosul that day, but officials say it is not being investigated for civilian deaths.


The report also contains numerous photos by Marcus Yam.


Day 185 of The Mosul Slog.

It never ends.

And it never ends because solutions are not sought.

Nouri al-Maliki was the mid-wife to the Islamic State.

His actions allowed them to rise.

That's on Bully Boy Bush and the Congress of the United States who all agreed to benchmarks for Iraq, remember that?

Congress was going to cut off support if Iraq did not show progress.

Congress was as full of it as was Bully Boy Bush (Democrats controlled both houses them).

But so was Nouri.  He agreed to those 2007 benchmarks.

One of which was political reconciliation.

But he never pursued it, he never enacted it.

And then Barack comes along.

He doesn't make Nouri stop persecuting the Sunnis.

He doesn't demand that Nouri keep the reconciliation promise.

In fact, when Nouri loses the 2010 election (to Ayad Allawi), Barack goes out of his way to overturn the elections results (via the US-brokered Erbil Agreement) and give Nouri a second term that the Iraqi voters did not want.

And Nouri only got worse.

There is still no political reconciliation in Iraq.

And stop pretending that the US government has no power.

They've always had power.

And that has nothing to do with troops or war.

It has to do with Iraq's needs.

Currently, the Iraqi government defines needs as: More weapons.

And the US government's response:  To whip it out on request, no conditions.

IANS reports, "The US State Department has approved arms sales worth $295 million to Iraq, the Pentagon confirmed."



There's a thing called "the diplomatic toolbox."


John Kerry couldn't find it because he was too busy, as Secretary of State, playing toy solider.

But now Donald Trump is in the White House and yet another administration will fork over everything to the Iraqi government (that the US installed and keeps in power) without any conditions.

Let's stop pretending that the never-ending Iraq War is seen as 'tragic' or even 'problematic' by the US government.

It doesn't want it to end.

If it did, it would follow textbook examples of diplomacy.

Three administration, over 14 years, and the war continues?

That's obviously the intent and the plan.


We're going to have to wrap up.  Sorry so much was spent on an idiot but we cannot allow anyone to dictate what we can and cannot say.


The following community sites updated:











  • Thursday, April 20, 2017

    Send DeLauro packing

    Read this:




    And if the Tweet doesn't post, it's this article at CounterPunch:


    If you want to know why the Democratic Party is dead, dead, dead, look no further than Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut).
    She’s a member of the House Progressive Caucus, which as a group has endorsed HR 676, the single payer bill in the House.
    A cool one hundred of DeLauro’s colleagues have co-sponsored HR 676, including a blue dog from Tennessee (Jim Cooper) and a member from Mississippi (Bennie Thompson) (See Single Payer Action’s running total.)
    But not DeLauro.
    We asked why, but her office did not respond.


    DeLauro can't be trusted.

    I remember her grandstanding throughout 2008 that she would call out any attempt to do a treaty with Iraq that did not go through the Senate.

    But Bully Boy Bush does it Thanksgiving Day of 2008 and she doesn't say a word.

    She never did anything about it.

    She's a liar.

    And that's only underscored by the fact that she won't support Medicare for all.

    It's time to vote Hillary's clingy buddy on out of Congress, if you ask me.






    .

    This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Thursday:


    Thursday, April 20, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, and much more.







    Day 184 of The Mosul Slog.


    Let's start with yesterday's snapshot:


    And, equally important, there is no safe passage out of Mosul.

    The Iraqi government refused to provide one.  And told people to stay at their homes.  A message they repeated only weeks ago.


    Those are facts.

    When you don't want facts?

    Turn to The Whore of Babylon herself, Jane Arraf.


    The former CNN reporter pops up anywhere they can throw a few pennies at her -- or toss a Hershey bar into her tent.

    Yesterday afternoon?

    NPR, where she insists:


    More than 300,000 civilians are still trapped in Mosul. ISIS has kept them there to prevent the U.S. and Iraq from launching airstrikes and mortars against their fighters. The Iraqi battle plan coordinated with the U.S. military has involved surrounding the city and leaving no escape route for either ISIS fighters or civilians.




    Leaving no escape route for ISIS or civilians?

    But it's ISIS that prevented them from leaving?

    It's ISIS?

    Oh, Jane, you will whore from your coffin at this rate.



    A few note that "later in the day," Ulf Laessing (REUTERS) wrotes:

     Iraqi's army has built a new pontoon bridge over the Tigris river south of Mosul, after flooding had blocked all crossing points, opening an escape route for families fleeing fighting between government forces and Islamic State.
    On Friday, the army dismantled makeshift bridges linking the two parts of Mosul due to heavy rain, forcing residents leaving Iraq's second-largest city to use small boats.


    That link does go to later in the day but that piece was published elsewhere when the snapshot was being dictated and I was aware of it.

    It doesn't effect anything Arraf stated.


    Safe passage defined as "official protection for someone when they are in danger or passing through a dangerous area."

    Reconnecting a bridge is not creating a safe passage.

    WIKILEAKS Julian Assange, for example, is in London at the Ecuadorian Embassy.

    His supporters have long called for a safe passage for him.

    Yes, Julian can travel to an airport or a dock to leave on a boat.

    Or he can try to.

    But there's no guarantee he won't be grabbed en route.

    That's why they want a safe passage.

    And on the topic of Julian Assange, let me be very clear since the slime that is SALON has published another trash attack on him.

    Julian Assange is not a rapist.

    That has never been determined.

    Go back to the archives.  When some of his supporters began insulting the two women involved in the case, we defended them from attacks.

    There is no reason to attack those women with smears and lies.

    There is also no reason to minimize rape or belittle it.

    (Naomi Wolf failed to learn that lesson.)

    But taking rape seriously does not mean that we say, "_____ is a rapist!"

    Julian deserves the same benefit of the doubt as anyone else who has not been convicted.

    Amanda Marcotte seems to think she's 'justice.'

    She's not.

    Julian has been convicted of nothing.

    Rape or alleged rape also has no bearing on WIKILEAKS. (Which is why our advice was two-fold back in the day: Stop attacking those two women and get back to publishing.)

    For fools like Marcotte to say they 'know' Julian (she's never met him) based on her interactions with men online -- how sad for Amanda that this is her only interaction, get out and live a little, there's a whole world offline -- to say the release of e-mails on Hillary were about sexism is to be invited to be called a damn liar.

    Hillary Clinton attacked Julian, she attacked his supporters.

    There is no question that there is personal animosity on both sides.

    Does Hillary hate men?

    I've never accused her of that.

    So Amanda and her ilk need to stop smearing Julian's work as based on hatred for women.

    What Julian hates is public record: Lies.

    His whole career is about that.

    The fact that it took place on the international stage explains why Marcotte has no clue.

    She's another simpleton who never realized that there's a whole word far beyond her nose.  She's got a big nose, but it's a big world.

    She is the ugly face of US feminism that so angers British activists.  She's ignorant, she fails to see that various factors can converge.  She's a single-issue type person, the sort of White feminist in the 70s that would refuse to recognize that women of color could face additional issues, real issues, that need to be addressed.

    The problem with "the personal is political" has always been that some have only seen their own personal life.

    The personal is political is a response to the idiots -- today it would be Michael Walzer to name but one -- who would look at, for example, spouse abuse and decree it a personal problem.

    Marlo Thomas has spoken at length and with far more wisdom on this topic than I ever could, but to short hand: issues like rape and spouse abuse were deemed "personal problems."  They are not personal problems.  Murder is not a personal problem.  But when men like Amanda were in charge, they would judge what worked as important for them.

    That's what "the personal is political" was truly about, destroying this separate spheres argument that undermined the rights of so many to protect those in power.

    Julian Assange has not been convicted of rape.


    It is dishonest to call him a "rapist."

    It's flat out lying to say he's sexist.

    Amanda and her ilk put a very ugly face on feminism and make it hard for those of us who are feminists.

    Safe passage for those in Mosul is not a new call.

    Media Contact
    Negin Janati 203.212.0044 (M)

    FAIRFIELD, Conn. (November 1, 2016) — As Iraqi forces close in on IS-held Mosul, now is a critical moment to protect children and open safe routes to allow the 1.5 million civilians still trapped in the city, including about 600,000 children, to leave safely.
    With civilians bracing for the anticipated escalation in violence, Save the Children warns that safe passages must be urgently established.
    Maurizio Crivellaro, Save the Children’s Iraq Country Director said innocent civilians face growing risks each day they remain in Mosul. "As fighting escalates, it is going to become increasingly difficult for families to leave, and for those who remain and are injured to get the medical treatment they need. We cannot sit back and wait for another situation like Aleppo to unfold while there is still the opportunity to get children out of the warzone."
    Fears are mounting for families trapped in the city amid reports of civilians being rounded up as targets, with IS placing them in the line of fire ahead of the imminent onslaught. An increasing number of hospitals and schools are believed to be occupied by IS fighters, and concerns are growing that they will be targeted by military forces in the coming days.
    Mahmoud* recently escaped the village of Shura, south of Mosul. As fighting approached the village about a week ago, he and his family were taken deeper into IS territory, where IS were reportedly forcing people to act as human shields.
    "We and about 100 families were taken on foot about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) along the road and were about to arrive in Surouj when Iraqi military helicopters attacked. There was so much fighting everywhere and we were trapped between the two villages."
    In the chaos, the families fled back to their village, but were forced to leave again days later when they heard IS was coming back.
    While more than 17,700 people have fled from towns in the Mosul region as the frontline has approached the city, the residents of Mosul itself have been prevented from leaving by IS fighters who have planted land mines and stationed snipers around the city, as well as by fighting in the area.
    "Protecting innocent civilians must be the priority in this battle," Crivellaro said. "Reports that IS has kidnapped people from villages nearby Mosul city shows they intend to make this fight as difficult as possible by hiding in a city full of civilians.
    "Iraqi forces must ensure that families are given genuinely safe passages out of the city to avoid mass casualties of innocent civilians who will be caught in the crossfire and beyond the reach of humanitarian aid.
    "Military commanders have previously suggested vulnerable families stay inside and put white flags on their homes. This risks making them targets.
    "The recent commitment of the Iraqi Prime Minister to establish safe corridors is reassuring – we need to see this prioritized and it should happen as soon as possible."
    Mahmoud said that children’s quality of life was under IS rule was significantly impacted, and they were unable to go to school or enjoy any semblance of normality. "I have four daughters. Before IS, the older ones were going to school and loved it. When IS took over the content of the curriculum changed, so we stopped sending them to school. Every lesson became militarized. Even math lessons—they would teach the children ‘one bullet plus one bullet equals two bullets’. They haven’t been to school for two years."
    "We didn’t have anything – I even had to sell my car for money to spend on food and medicine for my children," he said.
    *Names have been changed to protect identities.

    Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.




    Save The Children made that call back in November of last year.


    Carlo Munoz (WASHINGTON TIMES) reports:

    In the months since breaking into the city’s eastern districts, the offensive’s progress has bogged down significantly into the toughest urban fighting U.S. forces have seen since World War II, said Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the top U.S. commander in Iraq.

    American and coalition firepower, which was key to the Iraqi forces’ rapid advance in western Mosul, has also been stymied by the Islamic State group’s use of Iraqi civilians as human shields to frustrate coalition airstrikes.


    And Maher Chmaytelli (REUTERS) adds, "The battle to dislodge Islamic State from the Old City of Mosul, where hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians are trapped, could turn into the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the war against the militants, the United Nations warned on Tuesday."



    And again, this is day 184 of The Mosul Slog.



    Bodies suggest extrajudicial killings in Iraq








    I guess noticing killings isn't as 'fun' as lying about Julian Assange which is why the Amandas can blather on as a US-started war continues for 14 years without their bothering to weigh in?


    Tensions mount between Iraq (the KRG specifically but Erdogan's plan to continue war on northern Iraq is objected to by even the central government out of Baghdad) and we'll cover that tomorrow but for now we'll note:




    Iraq summons the Turkish ambassador to protest Erdogan comments on PMF "PMF is a terrorist organization"






    The following community sites updated:






















  • Iraq snapshot

    Thursday, April 20, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, and much more.







    Day 184 of The Mosul Slog.


    Let's start with yesterday's snapshot:


    And, equally important, there is no safe passage out of Mosul.

    The Iraqi government refused to provide one.  And told people to stay at their homes.  A message they repeated only weeks ago.


    Those are facts.

    When you don't want facts?

    Turn to The Whore of Babylon herself, Jane Arraf.


    The former CNN reporter pops up anywhere they can throw a few pennies at her -- or toss a Hershey bar into her tent.

    Yesterday afternoon?

    NPR, where she insists:


    More than 300,000 civilians are still trapped in Mosul. ISIS has kept them there to prevent the U.S. and Iraq from launching airstrikes and mortars against their fighters. The Iraqi battle plan coordinated with the U.S. military has involved surrounding the city and leaving no escape route for either ISIS fighters or civilians.




    Leaving no escape route for ISIS or civilians?

    But it's ISIS that prevented them from leaving?

    It's ISIS?

    Oh, Jane, you will whore from your coffin at this rate.



    A few note that "later in the day," Ulf Laessing (REUTERS) wrotes:

     Iraqi's army has built a new pontoon bridge over the Tigris river south of Mosul, after flooding had blocked all crossing points, opening an escape route for families fleeing fighting between government forces and Islamic State.
    On Friday, the army dismantled makeshift bridges linking the two parts of Mosul due to heavy rain, forcing residents leaving Iraq's second-largest city to use small boats.


    That link does go to later in the day but that piece was published elsewhere when the snapshot was being dictated and I was aware of it.

    It doesn't effect anything Arraf stated.


    Safe passage defined as "official protection for someone when they are in danger or passing through a dangerous area."

    Reconnecting a bridge is not creating a safe passage.

    WIKILEAKS Julian Assange, for example, is in London at the Ecuadorian Embassy.

    His supporters have long called for a safe passage for him.

    Yes, Julian can travel to an airport or a dock to leave on a boat.

    Or he can try to.

    But there's no guarantee he won't be grabbed en route.

    That's why they want a safe passage.

    And on the topic of Julian Assange, let me be very clear since the slime that is SALON has published another trash attack on him.

    Julian Assange is not a rapist.

    That has never been determined.

    Go back to the archives.  When some of his supporters began insulting the two women involved in the case, we defended them from attacks.

    There is no reason to attack those women with smears and lies.

    There is also no reason to minimize rape or belittle it.

    (Naomi Wolf failed to learn that lesson.)

    But taking rape seriously does not mean that we say, "_____ is a rapist!"

    Julian deserves the same benefit of the doubt as anyone else who has not been convicted.

    Amanda Marcotte seems to think she's 'justice.'

    She's not.

    Julian has been convicted of nothing.

    Rape or alleged rape also has no bearing on WIKILEAKS. (Which is why our advice was two-fold back in the day: Stop attacking those two women and get back to publishing.)

    For fools like Marcotte to say they 'know' Julian (she's never met him) based on her interactions with men online -- how sad for Amanda that this is her only interaction, get out and live a little, there's a whole world offline -- to say the release of e-mails on Hillary were about sexism is to be invited to be called a damn liar.

    Hillary Clinton attacked Julian, she attacked his supporters.

    There is no question that there is personal animosity on both sides.

    Does Hillary hate men?

    I've never accused her of that.

    So Amanda and her ilk need to stop smearing Julian's work as based on hatred for women.

    What Julian hates is public record: Lies.

    His whole career is about that.

    The fact that it took place on the international stage explains why Marcotte has no clue.

    She's another simpleton who never realized that there's a whole word far beyond her nose.  She's got a big nose, but it's a big world.

    She is the ugly face of US feminism that so angers British activists.  She's ignorant, she fails to see that various factors can converge.  She's a single-issue type person, the sort of White feminist in the 70s that would refuse to recognize that women of color could face additional issues, real issues, that need to be addressed.

    The problem with "the personal is political" has always been that some have only seen their own personal life.

    The personal is political is a response to the idiots -- today it would be Michael Walzer to name but one -- who would look at, for example, spouse abuse and decree it a personal problem.

    Marlo Thomas has spoken at length and with far more wisdom on this topic than I ever could, but to short hand: issues like rape and spouse abuse were deemed "personal problems."  They are not personal problems.  Murder is not a personal problem.  But when men like Amanda were in charge, they would judge what worked as important for them.

    That's what "the personal is political" was truly about, destroying this separate spheres argument that undermined the rights of so many to protect those in power.

    Julian Assange has not been convicted of rape.


    It is dishonest to call him a "rapist."

    It's flat out lying to say he's sexist.

    Amanda and her ilk put a very ugly face on feminism and make it hard for those of us who are feminists.

    Safe passage for those in Mosul is not a new call.

    Media Contact
    Negin Janati 203.212.0044 (M)

    FAIRFIELD, Conn. (November 1, 2016) — As Iraqi forces close in on IS-held Mosul, now is a critical moment to protect children and open safe routes to allow the 1.5 million civilians still trapped in the city, including about 600,000 children, to leave safely.
    With civilians bracing for the anticipated escalation in violence, Save the Children warns that safe passages must be urgently established.
    Maurizio Crivellaro, Save the Children’s Iraq Country Director said innocent civilians face growing risks each day they remain in Mosul. "As fighting escalates, it is going to become increasingly difficult for families to leave, and for those who remain and are injured to get the medical treatment they need. We cannot sit back and wait for another situation like Aleppo to unfold while there is still the opportunity to get children out of the warzone."
    Fears are mounting for families trapped in the city amid reports of civilians being rounded up as targets, with IS placing them in the line of fire ahead of the imminent onslaught. An increasing number of hospitals and schools are believed to be occupied by IS fighters, and concerns are growing that they will be targeted by military forces in the coming days.
    Mahmoud* recently escaped the village of Shura, south of Mosul. As fighting approached the village about a week ago, he and his family were taken deeper into IS territory, where IS were reportedly forcing people to act as human shields.
    "We and about 100 families were taken on foot about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) along the road and were about to arrive in Surouj when Iraqi military helicopters attacked. There was so much fighting everywhere and we were trapped between the two villages."
    In the chaos, the families fled back to their village, but were forced to leave again days later when they heard IS was coming back.
    While more than 17,700 people have fled from towns in the Mosul region as the frontline has approached the city, the residents of Mosul itself have been prevented from leaving by IS fighters who have planted land mines and stationed snipers around the city, as well as by fighting in the area.
    "Protecting innocent civilians must be the priority in this battle," Crivellaro said. "Reports that IS has kidnapped people from villages nearby Mosul city shows they intend to make this fight as difficult as possible by hiding in a city full of civilians.
    "Iraqi forces must ensure that families are given genuinely safe passages out of the city to avoid mass casualties of innocent civilians who will be caught in the crossfire and beyond the reach of humanitarian aid.
    "Military commanders have previously suggested vulnerable families stay inside and put white flags on their homes. This risks making them targets.
    "The recent commitment of the Iraqi Prime Minister to establish safe corridors is reassuring – we need to see this prioritized and it should happen as soon as possible."
    Mahmoud said that children’s quality of life was under IS rule was significantly impacted, and they were unable to go to school or enjoy any semblance of normality. "I have four daughters. Before IS, the older ones were going to school and loved it. When IS took over the content of the curriculum changed, so we stopped sending them to school. Every lesson became militarized. Even math lessons—they would teach the children ‘one bullet plus one bullet equals two bullets’. They haven’t been to school for two years."
    "We didn’t have anything – I even had to sell my car for money to spend on food and medicine for my children," he said.
    *Names have been changed to protect identities.

    Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.




    Save The Children made that call back in November of last year.


    Carlo Munoz (WASHINGTON TIMES) reports:

    In the months since breaking into the city’s eastern districts, the offensive’s progress has bogged down significantly into the toughest urban fighting U.S. forces have seen since World War II, said Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the top U.S. commander in Iraq.

    American and coalition firepower, which was key to the Iraqi forces’ rapid advance in western Mosul, has also been stymied by the Islamic State group’s use of Iraqi civilians as human shields to frustrate coalition airstrikes.


    And Maher Chmaytelli (REUTERS) adds, "The battle to dislodge Islamic State from the Old City of Mosul, where hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians are trapped, could turn into the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the war against the militants, the United Nations warned on Tuesday."



    And again, this is day 184 of The Mosul Slog.



    Bodies suggest extrajudicial killings in Iraq








    I guess noticing killings isn't as 'fun' as lying about Julian Assange which is why the Amandas can blather on as a US-started war continues for 14 years without their bothering to weigh in?


    Tensions mount between Iraq (the KRG specifically but Erdogan's plan to continue war on northern Iraq is objected to by even the central government out of Baghdad) and we'll cover that tomorrow but for now we'll note:




    Iraq summons the Turkish ambassador to protest Erdogan comments on PMF "PMF is a terrorist organization"






    The following community sites updated: