Monday, May 22, 2017

Haymarket Books and other embarrassments

WSWS has so many great articles right now but I want to highlight Jessica Goldstein's piece:

  


On Tuesday, May 9, Haymarket Books, the publishing house of the International Socialist Organization (ISO), hosted a public conversation between authors Naomi Klein and Michelle Alexander at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois. The conversation was moderated by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, assistant professor of African-American studies at Princeton University in New Jersey and a leading member of the ISO.


Alexander is a Stanford University law professor and the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2010). Klein, who lives in Canada, is the author of several books that cover economic and environmental issues, including The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007) and This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate (2014).


The conversation was held against the backdrop of a ferocious conflict within the ruling class in the United States. The Democrats have centered their opposition to Trump not on the deeply right-wing and authoritarian tendencies of his administration, but on his alleged ties to Russia.


The conflict was not even mentioned in the event, which took place as the ISO was maintaining a complete silence on the crisis consuming the American political system. This is because the ISO supports that faction of the ruling class that favors a harsher line against Russia, and in general seeks to channel social opposition behind the Democratic Party.


Taylor presented the opening remarks, which revealed to the audience what the meeting was really about—to build a base of support for “a multi-racial, democratic, left-wing movement” among “a left that is disparate and seeking to define itself.” That is, to develop a new regroupment to function as a prop for the Democratic Party.


The entire event sought to provide a political cover for the Democrats. This began with the analysis of the 2016 elections, which were presented as the consequence of racialist animosity among white workers. Alexander declared that the election of Obama created resentment among “whites.” “Any time there’s been a movement toward racial progress,” she said, “there’s been a whitelash throughout history.” She also blamed “sections disgusted with the establishment” that are prone to bigotry or “turn a blind eye to it,” referring to working class voters who supported Trump in the 2016 elections.


This is entirely in line with the position of the Democratic Party itself, aimed at denying and obscuring the impact of the right-wing policies of the Democrats and the Obama administration, while sowing divisions in the working class along racial and gender lines. (See “Once again on race and the 2016 elections”)

They really need to go screw themselves.

Naomi Klein?

Glenn Greenwald hiring her for The Intercept was one of the weakest and most revealing moves.

I have no respect for Glenn Glenn now.

And Naomi is a joke.

She needs to keep her ass in Canada and out of American politics.

Like her father (who went to Canada as a war resister during Vietnam), she chose to make her home there so get your ass over there and fix your own country.

Haymarket Books.

Like that piss ant Anthony Arnove?

He lost interest in Iraq when he couldn't slime Bully Boy Bush.

Bush should be in prison, I'm not defending Bush.

I'm noting that he whored for Barack.

And that started with that embarrassing inaugural ball and fundraiser.

Don't worry, the piss ant knows what I'm talking about.


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


Monday, May 22, 2017.  The Mosul Slog continues, CBS NEWS continues to sell it and much more.


Starting with the White House's Special Envoy Brett McGurk:



  Retweeted

President Trump during Arab Islamic American Summit "This is not a battle of different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations"

Video
U.S. Department of State











Thank you, Brett, for Tweeting that, honestly, no sarcasm.

But if we're talking about what this isn't, can we talk about what it is?

Because the Iraq War drags on and surely you know that.

You served in Iraq when Bully Boy Bush occupied the White House, you've served in Iraq under President Barack Obama and now you serve under President Donald Trump.

When does it end?



RT reports:


The US and Middle Eastern countries have backed a new pact that promises to provide extra troops for defeating Islamic State, singles out Iran for destabilizing the region, and says that Riyadh is to become the heart of the region’s counter-terrorism operations.
Described as the Riyadh Declaration, the document was signed following US President Donald Trump’s visit to the Saudi capital for a summit that brought in Islamic representatives from 55 countries, and vowed “to combat terrorism in all its forms, address its intellectual roots, dry up its sources of funding and to take all necessary measures to prevent and combat terrorist crimes in close cooperation among their states.”




A lot of reports over the weekend but CBS NEWS goes with what?




U.S backed Iraqi forces in Mosul are closing in on the last neighborhoods still under ISIS control








Charlie Rose looks a little tipsy, doesn't he?

He also looks a lot like Rex Harrison in the film STAIRCASE, doesn't he?

He just doesn't look much like a journalist.

But then a journalist wouldn't be offering that nonsense on day 215 of The Mosul Slog.


Especially not with the reports of abuse being covered -- being covered outside of CBS NEWS, we should note.



  59 minutes ago




Harrowing: SPIEGEL photographer Ali Arkady documents Iraqi security forces abducting, torturing, raping, and killing civilians around Mosul.













Human Rights Watch notes:


Iraqi government-allied troops arbitrarily detained at least 100 men in late April 2017, in some cases torturing them during interrogations, Human Rights Watch said today. 
Human Rights Watch interviewed three men from al-Hadar, a village 90 kilometers southwest of west Mosul, who were detained by the Popular Mobilization Forces (known as the PMF or Hashd al-Sha'abi) and two local officials who had knowledge of the detention operations in the area. The men said the fighters detained them as they fled their homes because of the fighting, and held them for up to 15 days in a school building and in one case a home in an area solely under PMF control. Their captors interrogated them about possible Islamic State (also known as ISIS) links, and in two cases beat them with thick metal cables, before releasing them and a small number of other detainees. Other detainees told them they had also been beaten during interrogations.

“Given the previous track records of PMF abuse in the area of screening and detaining local men, Baghdad should treat these findings with the gravest concern,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Authorities should do all in their power to ensure that families fleeing the fighting around Mosul are able to get to safety, not tortured in secret facilities.”



It's not covered by CBS NEWS which is working overtime to sell war yet again.

The Mosul Slog's been a disaster.

As the Norwegian Refugee Council notes:



                         
The last three years of conflict in Iraq have caused a displacement crisis that is ‘nearly without precedent’ according to a report released today by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).


The Global Report on Internal Displacement found that widespread military offensives in Iraq caused almost 660,000 new displacements in 2016. One in ten people displaced by conflict around the world in 2016 were displaced in Iraq, bringing the total number of internally displaced Iraqis to over three million. A growing proportion of Iraqis have also been displaced more than once.
“Internal displacement is not solely the responsibility of national governments,” said Heidi Diedrich, Country Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council in Iraq. “The international community must support the efforts of the Iraqi Government to help those displaced by conflict in this country,” she said, speaking from Erbil, Iraq. 









Photojournalist David Bacon has had many exhibits and written many books, his latest book is The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration.   He has an important new photo essay that we'll note the opening of.




40,000 AT&T WORKERS ARE SET TO STRIKE
By David Bacon
Working In These Times, 5/18/17
http://davidbaconrealitycheck.blogspot.com/2017/05/40000-at-workers-are-set-to-strike.html
http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/20145/40000_att_workers_are_set_to_strike



Workers have issued an ultimatum, giving company executives until 3 p.m. ET on Friday to present serious proposals—or the workers will walk. (Photo credit: David Bacon)  

Around 40,000 members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) at AT&T could walk off their jobs, starting Friday, for a three-day strike, as pressure continues to mount on the corporation to settle fair contracts.

In California and Nevada, around 17,000 AT&T workers who provide phone, landline and cable services have been working without a contract for more than a year. Last year, they voted to authorize a strike with more than 95 percent support. And in February, an estimated 21,000 AT&T Mobility workers in 36 states voted to strike as well, with 93 percent in favor.


[. . .]


Full disclosure: David Bacon and In These Times staff are members of the Communication Workers of America, and the union is a sponsor of the magazine.
 

In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte
Photographs and text by David Bacon
University of California Press / Colegio de la Frontera Norte




Book Presentations -
In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte

Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 23, 2017
1-3 PM, Chicano Studies Research Center, 144 Haines Hall
UCLA
5:30-8 PM, UCLA Downtown Labor Center
675 S. Park View St.

Davis, Thursday, June 1, 2017
7-9 PM, Art Annex Room 107 (Technological Studies Building)
UC Davis Main Campus



302 photographs, 450pp, 9”x9”
paperback, $34.95

SPECIAL OFFER:
order the book on the UC Press website:
ucpress.edu/9780520296077
use source code  16M4197  at checkout
receive a 30% discount

En Mexico se puede pedir el libro en el sitio de COLEF:

http://libreria.colef.mx/detalle.aspx?id=7560
 

Was zwischen den USA und Mexiko schon seit langem existiert
Die Traurigkeit der Grenzmauer
http://www.nrhz.de/flyer/beitrag.php?id=23703


In den Straßen von Guadalajara
http://www.nrhz.de/flyer/beitrag.php?id=23425

Kinder – in Berliner Straßen
http://www.nrhz.de/flyer/beitrag.php?id=23309
"Wir sind obdachlos, und wir wählen"
http://www.nrhz.de/flyer/beitrag.php?id=23263

THE REALITY CHECK - David Bacon blog
http://davidbaconrealitycheck.blogspot.com

EN LOS CAMPOS DEL NORTE:  Farm worker photographs on the U.S./Mexico border wall
http://us7.campaign-archive2.com/?u=fc67a76dbb9c31aaee896aff7&id=0644c65ae5&e=dde0321ee7
Youtube interview about the show with Alfonso Caraveo (Spanish)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJeE1NO4c_M&feature=youtu.be

Interviews with David Bacon about his book, The Right to Stay Home:

Book TV: A presentation of the ideas in The Right to Stay Home at the CUNY Graduate Center

http://booktv.org/Watch/14961/The+Right+to+Stay+Home+How+US+Policy+Drives+Mexican+Migration.aspx

KPFA - Upfront with Brian Edwards Tiekert
https://soundcloud.com/kpfa-fm-94-1-berkeley/david-bacon-on-upfront-9-20
 


Books by David Bacon

The Right to Stay Home:  How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration  (Beacon Press, 2013)

http://www.beacon.org/productdetails.cfm?PC=2328


Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants  (Beacon Press, 2008)
Recipient: C.L.R. James Award, best book of 2007-2008

http://www.beacon.org/Illegal-People-P780.aspx

Communities Without Borders (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006)
http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100558350

The Children of NAFTA, Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border (University of California, 2004)
http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520244726

En Español:

EL DERECHO A QUEDARSE EN CASA  (Critica - Planeta de Libros)

http://www.planetadelibros.com.mx/el-derecho-a-quedarse-en-casa-libro-205607.html

HIJOS DE LIBRE COMERCIA (El Viejo Topo)
http://www.tienda.elviejotopo.com/prestashop/capitalismo/1080-hijos-del-libre-comercio-deslocalizaciones-y-precariedad-9788496356368.html?search_query=david+bacon&results=1

For more articles and images, see  http://dbacon.igc.org and http://davidbaconrealitycheck.blogspot.com









Saturday, May 20, 2017

Penne Toss in the Kitchen

This recipe makes 8 servings with 1 serving being 49 carbs, Tammy e-mailed noting she got the recipe at Everyday Diabetic Recipes:

1 pound penne pasta
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained no-salt-added
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil



Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, olive oil, onion, garlic, vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper; mix well. Add the cooked pasta; toss to coat. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and chopped basil, and toss again; serve warm.


Tammy notes there is a feeling that you can't have pasta if you're diabetic.

You can but you have to be carb smart.


No one's been Flint smart.

The residents continue to suffer.

Jerry White (WSWS) reports:

Residents of the city of Flint continue to demand relief from the devastating public health crisis caused by the switch of the city’s water supply to untreated water from the polluted Flint River in April 2014. Three years after this criminal act, driven by the profit interests of wealthy bondholders and politically connected private contractors, residents of the former manufacturing hub of General Motors continue to suffer ill health, devastating medical costs and the collapse of home values.
To add insult to injury, Governor Rick Snyder, claiming that the water is now safe, has ended water bill subsidies and will soon end the distribution of bottled water. The city, seeking to squeeze $6 million dollars from residents to pay off the bondholders, has resumed mass water shutoffs and has threatened 8,000 residents with tax liens and the potential foreclosure of their homes if they do not pay for water that is still tainted with lead, bacteria and other toxins. To silence and intimidate residents, the city’s Democratic mayor, Karen Weaver, and the Flint police chief oversaw the arrest of six residents at a “town hall meeting” on April 20.
With anger reaching a boiling point just days before the May 19 deadline to impose tax liens, the Democratic-controlled city government, working with the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP, passed a resolution for a one-year moratorium on the issuing of tax liens for outstanding water bills incurred between April 2014 and “until such time as unfiltered tap water is deemed potable [safe to drink or to use for food preparation without risk of health problems].”

The temporary measure does not provide debt forgiveness for residents who have been charged for poisoned water. Moreover, additional unpaid bills accumulated during the moratorium can be imposed as a tax lien whenever some unnamed body deems the water safe or after a one-year limit set by the City Council. The resolution also does not eliminate tax liens imposed prior to April 2014 or do anything to recover the homes of workers who lost their homes prior to that date.


This is yet again proof that no one in government gives a damn about the residents of Flint.


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


Friday, May 19, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, AP doesn't think the refugee crisis created by the slog is important for US news consumers (differs on the international scene), and much more.




forces have stormed the last two blocks in 17 Tamouz district NW , just a little more & it will be completely liberated.





Just a little more?


It's day 212 of The Mosul Slog.


Replying to 

Latest map update for west Operations after liberated Al-Qahira (Cairo) village south Qayrawan.






Meanwhile, does AP have a prankster in its midst?

That would explain this headline "Airstrikes fuel Mosul gains as Iraq pushes for quick victory."

It could also be explained by an urge to cover for empire and that motive would also explain the need to pretend that The Mosul Slog has two parts.

It doesn't.


There was not an operation to liberate the eastern half and an operation to liberate the western half.

That's a rewriting of history, revisionary tactics.

The Mosul Slog was not supposed to be a slog, it was supposed to be a quick operation, one expected to last only a few weeks.

That has not been the case.

Instead, AP splits it up into two because 100 days looks a lot more successful than the 212 days the operation has been going on.


How else do they make it look better?


Burying this:

  
Some 500,000 people have fled western Mosul since February and the United Nations warned another 200,000 may be forced to flee as the operation continues.
U.N. humanitarian coordinator Lise Grande called the numbers "overwhelming."

17 paragraphs into the article before you find the above.

The refugee numbers are "overwhelming."

And that's not the lede?

How does that happen?

AP should try to explain that.

Overseas, AP emphasizes the refugee crises and even makes it the headline.  But for US audiences, it's a different story.







's Releases VDO Showing Destroying 3 Humvees By Guided Missiles Near Tal Banat SW Of .






In a blow to the CIA, Nawshirwan Mustafa has died.  Idris Okuducu (ANADOLU AGENCY) reports he was 73-years-old and that he passed away "following a long illness."  Left out of the announcement is that the CIA provided him with seed money for Goran -- a political party that they hoped would make the Kurds easier to control.

Goran had increased in popularity in the last elections; however, this was in part due to the PUK falling out of favor as a result of the deceptions regarding Jalal Talabani's health.

Whether Goran can **retain** its lead over the PUK without Mustafa will be interesting to see.

(The Barzani's KDP remains the dominant political party in the Kurdistan Region.)



In the US, whistle-blower Chelsea Manning has been released.


Monday April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released  military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7, 2010, the US military announced that they had arrested  Chelsea Manning (then known as Bradley Manning) and she stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Leila Fadel (WASHINGTON POST) reported in August 2010 that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." In March, 2011, David S. Cloud (LOS ANGELES TIMES) reported that the military has added 22 additional counts to the charges including one that could be seen as "aiding the enemy" which could result in the death penalty if convicted. The Article 32 hearing took place in December. At the start of this year, there was an Article 32 hearing and, February 3rd, it was announced that the government would be moving forward with a court-martial. Chelsea had yet to enter a plea. The court-martial was supposed to begin before the November 2012 election but it was postponed until after the election so that Barack wouldn't have to run on a record of his actual actions.  INDEPENDENT.IE added, "A court martial is set to be held in June at Ford Meade in Maryland, with supporters treating him as a hero, but opponents describing him as a traitor."  February 28, 2013, Chelsea admitted he leaked to WikiLeaks.  And why.


Chelsea:   In attempting to conduct counter-terrorism or CT and counter-insurgency COIN operations we became obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists and not being suspicious of and avoiding cooperation with our Host Nation partners, and ignoring the second and third order effects of accomplishing short-term goals and missions. I believe that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information contained within the CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A tables this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as [missed word] as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.
I also believed the detailed analysis of the data over a long period of time by different sectors of society might cause society to reevaluate the need or even the desire to even to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore the complex dynamics of the people living in the effected environment everyday.




For truth telling, Chelsea was punished by the man who fears truth: Barack Obama.  A fraud, a fake, a 'brand,' anything but genuine, Barack is all marketing, all facade and, for that reason, must attack each and every whistle-blower.  David Delmar (Digital Journal) points out, "President Obama, while ostensibly a liberal advocate of transparency and openness in government, and of the 'courage' and 'patriotism' of whistleblowers who engage in conscientious leaks of classified information, is in reality something very different: a vindictive opponent of the free press willing to target journalists for doing their job and exposing government secrets to the public."


 Tuesday, July 30, 2013, Chelsea was convicted of all but two counts by Colonel Denise Lind, the military judge in his court-martial.



She deserves praise for what she did.  We do not, however, need to lie about what she did.



Hidden history of the Iraq war is Chelsea Manning leaks were totally decisive in securing a US withdrawal. Saved countless lives.





That's not hidden history, that's made up inventions.

It's also insulting as it implies the favorite western narrative of all time: The natives were too stupid on their own and needed a White savior to rescue them.

The occupation of Iraq was authorized under a UN mandate which was yearly.

Each year, the prime minister of Iraq would renew it.

Nouri al-Maliki came under tremendous pressure near the end of 2006 for renewing it -- pressure within Iraq.  He promised that he would put it before Parliament the next year.

In 2007, he renewed it and did not go before Parliament.

The Status of Forces Agreement was a three year contract for that reason -- he did not want to take the hit each year as the supporter of occupation in his own country.








Chelsea Manning did a heroic thing and the video of the attack on the REUTERS reporters probably woke a few up in the US.

However, this was not news to the Iraqi people.

They saw the foreign military do that (and far worse) in their country on a regular basis.  There was also the issue of Blackwater and other mercenary groups.

Chelsea did a great job and her actions were heroic.

But let's not pretend that the Iraqi people needed Chelsea -- seven years into the Iraq War -- to tell them how they were being treated on a daily basis.  It's insulting.


Also in the US, Carlo Munoz (WASHINGTON TIMES) reports on statements made to a think tank:

The U.S. may need to keep as many as 20,000 troops and other military personnel in Iraq, even after the Islamic State is driven out, to stabilize the country, the former head of the Pentagon’s policy shop said Thursday.
A postwar force of between 4,000 to 8,000 American troops “is probably sufficient” to help local security forces ensure security in Iraq as ISIS faces defeat in its final stronghold in Mosul, Eric Edelman, the Pentagon’s top policy official during the George W. Bush administration, said in an interview.
The U.S. forces would likely be deployed as advisers, not combat troops, to support Iraq’s police and military forces, he said.


We'll note this from South Central Michigan Greens:



South Central Michigan Greens
=============================
Calhoun, Hillsdale, and Jackson Counties Local
People and planet over profit.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  May 12, 2017
UPDATED:  May 16, 2017


For more information:
--------------------
John Anthony La Pietra, Calhoun County Contact/SCMiGreens
269-781-9478


South Central Michigan Greens to Meet
at Albion Biggby's 5-7pm May 20
===============================


The South Central Michigan Greens will hold their monthly meeting on
Saturday, May 20 from 5 to 7pm in the meeting room at the Albion
Biggby's Coffee, 217 East Michigan Avenue.

The meeting had been scheduled for 2:30 to 4:30pm in the Elsie Munro
Room at the Albion District Library, but the plans changed after
water-main work on Superior Street was announced to begin on Wednesday.

The Green Party of Michigan local group was formed earlier this year. It
covers Calhoun, Jackson, and Hillsdale Counties, and has been meeting in
various places to reach out to the communities.

Planning an ongoing schedule of dates and places for future meetings
will be on the agenda.  So will discussion of issues and activities to
get involved in, materials on how to campaign for office and how to go
door-to-door to find new members and issues, and information about the
state party's opposition to a misleading ballot proposal.

For more information, please visit the South Central Michigan Greens
Facebook page -- or contact Calhoun County organizer John Anthony La
Pietra (269-781-9478; jalp5dai@att.net).

NOTE:  East Michigan Avenue is north of the downtown construction zone;
Biggby's is a block and a half east of Superior Street, on the north
side of Michigan.  Those entering town from the EAST can Exit 124 off
I-94 onto Michigan Avenue and go west until they reach the coffeeshop.
Those entering town from the WEST can take Exit 121 south into town on
Eaton, turn left at the second stoplight to continue on Business Loop
94, turning right and then left again at the next stoplight which is
Michigan Avenue.


#  #  #


The Four Pillars of GPMI:
    Grassroots Democracy
    Social Justice
    Ecological Wisdom
    Non-Violence
For our Ten Key Values, add:
    Community-Based Economics
    Decentralization
    Feminism
    Future Focus/Sustainability
    Personal and Global Responsibility
    Respect for Diversity


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

They try distracting us while they screw us over


Joseph Kishore (WSWS) has a must read which opens:

With each passing day, it becomes increasingly evident that the political crisis gripping Washington involves a conflict between two reactionary factions of the ruling class and state apparatus.


The Trump administration poses a grave danger to the democratic and social rights of the working class. His administration, composed of oligarchs and generals, is seeking to establish a form of political dictatorship based on a presidency with unlimited powers. In terms of its social physiognomy, the Trump administration directly embodies the gangsterism that characterizes the corporate/financial aristocracy which rules America.


Trump’s opponents in the media and political establishment, headed up by the Democratic Party, represent another faction of the ruling elite. They are not raising a single progressive or democratic issue in their campaign against Trump. Their appeal is not to the working class, but to the military-intelligence apparatus, particularly the FBI, NSA and CIA. It has an unstated agenda, developed behind the scenes, and centered largely on foreign policy issues.


If their effort to bring Trump into line or remove him from office succeeds, it will only strengthen the position of the corporate-financial elite and the “deep state” of intelligence officials and generals. The main consequence will be to immediately shift foreign policy toward aggression against Russia, escalating the drive to world war and, bound up with this, social counterrevolution.


While this conflict unfolds in Washington, something else is taking place throughout the country, separate from and opposed to the bitter infighting in Washington. Far from sharing the desire for a confrontation with Russia, masses of people are hostile to war. It is not “Russian hacking” that is on their minds, but unemployment, inequality, the destruction of health care and pensions, indebtedness and other manifestations of a deepening social crisis.


What is happening in the real world of the vast majority of Americans?


Despite Democratic Party claims that the economy has never been better, and Trump’s demagogy about “making America great again,” workers face low wages, a declining standard of living and persistent unemployment. Nearly nine years after the 2008 economic meltdown, the real jobless rate is 8.6 percent, taking into account those who have stopped looking for work or are forced to work part-time. Job cuts are devastating both the retail sector (81,000 since the election of Trump) and manufacturing. On Tuesday, Ford announced it was cutting 10 percent of its global workforce, following thousands of layoffs at GM.


Wages are stagnant, growing at barely the official inflation level.


While the cat's away, the mice will play.


Mike was five or six when one of his uncles got a divorce.

The wife had been cheating on my brother-in-law.

It's not the sort of thing we would discuss in front of the children.

But one day when it was official and we were talking about it, Mike was sitting at a table off on the side coloring a Scooby Doo coloring book and, without looking up, just sighed and said, "Well when the cat's away, the mice will play."

It caused a lot of laughter but I bring it up because I think we can often instinctively know or feel that we're being wronged or robbed.

And I think that feeling is the reason for the discontent with both of the duopoly parties.

We're tired of being screwed over.

And we know it's taking place.

Even as the media and the corporations (which is the media, after all) work overtime to distract us.

From the end of Kishore's article, "For information on joining the Socialist Equality Party, click here."

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


Wednesday, April 17, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, time for a new SOFA, and much more.





Iraqi troops on the brink of recapturing Mosul from ISIS








On the brink.

It's day 210 of The Mosul Slog.

210 and they're "on the brink."

Finally "on the brink."


And what a huge 'success' it's been.



Hundreds of thousands who fled the fighting in have abandoned everything. They need help & protection:









"It’s a particularly important moment [to] keep Iraq on the radar screen."UNICEF Director of Emergency Ops . visits E Mosul.








The supposed point of finally moving to 'liberate' Mosul last October (the city was seized by the Islamic State in June of 2014) was to rescue the civilians.


That's really not been a concern to judge by what's taken place.

This also includes the Iraqi forces taking it upon themselves to decide who is ISIS and who is a civilian and who lives and dies.  Daniel Brown (BUSINESS INSIDER) reports:


 
ISIS fighters are sometimes executed at the front lines, while others are executed after being interrogated, a Mosul-based commander told Integrated Regional Information Networks, a nonprofit media site that focuses on conflict zones.
Extrajudicial killings of ISIS fighters have been emerging pretty much since the fight for Mosul began about seven months ago.

[. . .]
"[K]illing captured combatants or civilians is a war crime, as is the mutilation of corpses," Belkis Wille, Human Rights Watch's senior researcher in Iraq, told IRIN.



It is a War Crime.


Mohamed Walid and Serhad Shaker (ANADOLU AGENCY) report, a suicide bomber in Mosul today took his own life and the lives of 3 Iraqi soldiers, 2 Mosul car bombings left 4 police officers and 3 Iraqi soldiers dead and:




Meanwhile, 25 civilians were killed in a U.S.-led coalition raid in western Mosul, according to Iraqi officer Sadoun Fahd.

He said the airstrike targeted a group of Daesh militants in the city's western side. "The militants were preparing to carry out an attack against Iraqi forces in al-Refai district," he said.

He said nine women and three children were among the victims of the attack. 



'Liberation'?

The Mosul Slog continues with so little to show for it.


In the meantime, where's the reconciliation in Iraq?




See? I wasn't just making things up. Senior Iraqi Shia cleric holds views about Christians similar to ISIS







As we noted Saturday:


The Islamic State has been the most wonderful gift to empire and its whores in the western press.


It's allowed everyone to indulge in historical amnesia and pretend that, goodness, if it just weren't for the Islamic State, Iraq would be wonderful.

The Islamic State was never the problem.

It's a terrorist organization.

It could have been taken apart by the people.

But for that to happen, the reasons for its existence would have to be demolished.


Persecution in Iraq allowed it to rise.

Continued persecution in Iraq means it will continue or something similar will take its place.

And this should have been obvious to everyone.


For those who still can't see reality.









: Christian MPs condemn a speech by head of Shi'ite endowment says: Christians should either convert to Islam, pay Jizya or be killed.












ALSUMARIA reports that Alaa al-Moussawi, head of the Shi'ite Endowment, declared that Iraqi Christians could convert to Islam, pay or a tax or be murdered.

For those who've forgotten, these were the same terms the Islamic State gave to the citizens of Mosul when they took over the city in June 2014.

The Islamic State is a Sunni terrorist organization.

Repeating, Alaa al-Moussawi is Shi'ite.

Want to keep pretending the problem is the Islamic State?


Let's see how many more have to die before you wake up to the reality that the leaders (most installed by the US -- few chosen by Iraqis) have got to call for one-Iraq-for-all or the future is never ending violence in Iraq.





As this takes place, the KRG and US White House officials meet up.






PRESS RELEASE - KRG delegation led by meets tops White House officials







. - is an island of stability in tumultuous region, as result of our people & competent security services












Many details to firm up.

Apparently, these details also include a Status Of Forces Agreement.  Carlo Munoz and Dan Boylan (WASHINGTON TIMES) report:



With U.S. and Iraqi officials talking of the imminent defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq, President Trump faces a challenge to swing a deal that President Obama failed to nail down: an agreement with Baghdad to keep U.S. forces in Iraq after the fighting ends.
Negotiations between Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and U.S. officials in Baghdad on a new status of forces agreement began in earnest this month, senior U.S. officials said. The deal would outline the legal and diplomatic parameters underpinning a long-term U.S. military presence in the country, and avoid the power vacuum that critics say developed after American forces pulled out in December 2011.
The issue is sensitive in Iraq, and Mr. al-Abadi this month insisted that there would be no “combat troops” in Iraq once the Islamic State is defeated, even though both sides said talks on the long-term role of the U.S. military in the country continue. An official who traveled to Baghdad with Defense SecrNetary James Mattis recently said “nothing has been finalized.”



















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