Wednesday, August 09, 2017

The hysteria

Sick of the Russia hysteria?

Me too.

John V. Walsh explains what the nonsense is costing -- we're closer and closer to war with Russia.

We really can't afford that.

Walsh also notes:

During his lengthy interviews with Vladimir Putin, Oliver Stone showed him the movie “Dr. Strangelove” which Putin had never before seen.  Putin commented that the movie captured, among other things, a technical truth with its depiction of the Doomsday Machine.  That is, said Putin, nuclear weapons grow increasingly harder to control with every passing day.  Given this, the failure to applaud the Trump-Putin on the part of those who were full of praise for the UN vote on denuclearization made me wonder whether there was any thought behind their chatter.  Hatred of Trump and Putin seemed to blot out a rational concern for human survival.  Are we living in a mad house?  Did we not learn our lesson when we narrowly escaped Armageddon in Cold War 1?
In the face of such madness, let us take the time to offer full-throated, unmistakable praise for the Trump-Putin summit meeting.  The parley was a long time coming because of the relentless attack on Trump over Russiagate, a Big Lie told blared out relentlessly lo these many months and only now collapsing for want of so much as a smidgen of evidence.  Although Trump had promised to hold this summit with Putin even before he was inaugurated, he could not do so because of the intense Russia-gate related pressure against it – from the Elite of both Parties but with the Democrats far in the lead.  But Trump pushed ahead with the meeting anyway; as we learned during the 2016 campaign, this is not a guy who gives up despite the odds.

We need to end this nonsense of war mongering.

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

Wednesday, August 9, 2017.  The quest for Kurdish independence continues, the brain drain continues, the displacement is expected to grow.

Let's start with the semi-autonomous northern region of Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government.

President Barzani: It is an honor to have this meeting w/Kurdistan Muslim clerics 2explain the way forward . Referandum is for independence

Now Preisdent Barzani in Erbil meeting w/1000 Kurdistan Muslim clerics.Referendum is not only for Kurds,for all other nations in Kurdistan.

President Barzani: Iraq failed 2accept Kurdistan partnership. Destruction 4500villages,Anfal, chemical bombardment,genocide, arabization.

President Barzani: The Post 2003 Iraq failed Partnership,no power sharing, 55 articles of constitution violated,marginalizing Sunnis, Kurds.

President Barzani: We contributed a lot to make Iraq a functioning federal state. In 2004 Kurds were 40% of Iraqi Army, now it is zero.

President Barzani: We hav stated many times if Iraq continues in violating constitution,not accepting consensus, we will not b part of Iraq.

President Barzani: those countries who say the referendum is ill timed, what is their suggestion for a good time? What is alternative?

If not now, then when?

KRG President Massoud Barzani makes a good point there.

Repeatedly over the years, various think tanks -- including RAND -- have warned that this issue has the potential to be an explosive one.

Which is why you don't leave it on the backburner.

If this had been addressed in 2007, for example, any fallout could have been addressed by now.

Grasp that the US military remains in Iraq.

Grasp that some will always insist that the US military remains.

The longer this issue of independence is postponed, the longer some will insist the US must remain in Iraq.

KURDISTAN 24 reports:

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has scheduled and insists on holding a referendum on independence for the Kurdistan Region on Sep. 25, 2017, to decide whether or not to secede from the rest of Iraq.
Barzani stated that the move toward independence is part of a peaceful process aimed at deterring violence. “The main purpose [of the referendum] is to prevent further tragedies and wars from taking place[in the future].”
Regarding the timing of the vote, the President noted that if the Kurdistan Region waited for others to accept its decision, the right time would never come.

“Independence is a legitimate claim for our people, and the referendum can rightfully be held, at the earliest opportunity, so the world can be made aware of the will of the people of Kurdistan… We do not want to spend another 100-years repeating the same tragedies tied to the Iraqi state.”

What a change that is from the Jalal Talabani -- the ridiculous Jalal.

Dropping back to the March 16, 2009 snapshot:

Meanwhile Hurriyet reports:

Talabani told a Turkish newspaper in an interview published on Monday that it would not be realistic to believe that an independent Kurdish state could survive as it is likely that neighboring countries Turkey , Iran and Syria would close their borders.          
"I tell my Turkish brothers not to fear that Kurds will declare independence. It is an advantage for Kurds to stay within the borders of Iraq in terms of their economic, cultural, social and political interests," he told in the interview.


Sabah got the interview and they quote Talabani stating, "Iraq will not be separated and the civil war is over" and "The ideal of a united Kurdistan is just a dream written in poetry. I do not deny that there are poems devoted to the notion of a united Kurdistan. But we can not continue to dream." If accurate, Talabani's remarks will spark anger among some Kurds. And it may be a great deal of anger and it may be among many Iraqi Kurds.

Jalal Talabani, the sell out.  The only time he ever fought was to be first in line at the all-you-can-eat buffet.

Regardless of how the vote turns out, no one can claim Barzani didn't try.

Dropping back to last Friday:

In familiar news, Mustafa Habib (NIQASH) reports:
Last week, unknown assailants broke into the medical clinic of Iraqi doctor, Salim Abdul-Hamzah, in the Maamel neighbourhood of Baghdad. In other parts of Baghdad, two doctors were kidnapped: Mohammed Ali Zayer who works in a hospital in the Sadr City area and Saad Abdul Hur who had a private clinic in the New Baghdad neighbourhood. In the same week, a dentist, Shatha Faleh, was killed in a medical centre in the Washwash area.
All of the above happened within the space of just one week in Baghdad. No wonder Iraqi doctors are worried.

“The recent crime wave targeting Iraqi doctors is catastrophic for the country,” Jasib al-Hajami, a senior official in the Baghdad health department, told NIQASH. “The doctors and medical staff are the real wealth of our country and these crimes targeting them will push medical professionals out of Iraq. In fact, many of them have migrated or are thinking about migrating. More efforts must be made to protect them.”
On June 25, doctors in Baghdad and in other parts of the country organised sit-ins inside their local hospitals to protest the crime wave that appeared aimed at them and their colleagues. Their banners called upon the Ministry of Health to offer them better protection and the individuals protesting also warned of a decrease in the number of trained professionals in Iraq.


Longtime observers will read the above and nod while thinking of the "brain drain" as it was called in earlier waves.  Shi'ite militias targeted doctors throughout the Iraq War.  In part, it was a war on science.  The doctors and others with technical expertise that fled Iraq during the waves were part of a "brain drain."

This moring, Peter Schwartzstein (NEWSWEEK) reports:

Since the 2003 U.S. invasion, Baghdad’s intellectual and cultural elite has left its turbulent homeland, fleeing violence, persecution and an economy with fewer and fewer good jobs. Tens of thousands have moved to the U.S., where many have enjoyed considerable success. Over half a million others—including many of the country’s most educated people—have moved elsewhere in the Middle East. And their numbers have increased since the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) conquered up to 40 percent of the country in 2014.
ISIS has since been pushed out of most of Iraq, but many Iraqis aren’t returning. In countries such as Jordan, Lebanon and the Gulf states, talented Iraqi émigrés continue to staff hospitals, design roads, extract oil and lecture students. And as the country continues to bound from one crisis to the next, in part due to rampant corruption and mismanagement, its most educated citizens are succeeding in their new homes—and finding life in exile more and more appealing.
“We needed a safe environment to work and live, and they needed skilled labor,” says Ali Nawaz, a Saudi-based petroleum engineer, who skipped out of Baghdad after a death threat in 2006. “It’s been a good match.”

Whether more will leave Iraq in the coming weeks or not, displacement with Iraq is expected to increase.  NRT reports:

 The U.N.’s humanitarian aid coordinator for Iraq warned of possible evacuations of hundreds of thousands of civilians as the Iraqi forces prepare for three other operations against the Islamic State (ISIS) militants in the country.  
“We think that by the end of those military operations several hundred thousand more civilians are likely to be displaced,” Lise Grande told reporters on Tuesday (August 8) in Geneva.
Grande further said teams are moving to areas near the expected operations in Tal Afar near Mosul and Hawija in Kirkuk province to the southeast and the western Anbar province. 

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, DISSIDENT VOICE and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated:

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