Tuesday, April 30, 2019


As Tom Mackaman (WSWS) explains, there's an effort taking place to distort Eugene V. Debs:

The growing interest in socialism continues to provoke attempts to falsify its history. This is the aim behind the New York Times’ publication last week of a column on the pioneering American socialist, Eugene V. Debs. Written by Hamilton College professor Maurice Isserman, the article presents Debs as a tragic figure who attempted to create a distinctly “American socialism” only to see it fail.
Debs’s fervent insistence on the centrality of working class revolution, which dominated his writings and speeches, is overlooked entirely. Isserman makes no mention of the Russian Revolution, though Debs enthusiastically supported it. Indeed, in Isserman’s rendering, Debs was not much of a socialist at all.
Though he admits that Debs “certainly read his Marx and Engels,” and that he never joined a church and professed no religious faith, Isserman nonetheless argues that Debs really stood in the tradition of “Protestant radicalism,” tracing this pedigree back to religious dissent in “the founding days of Massachusetts Bay Colony.” After religious influences, Isserman gives pride of place in Debs’s political worldview to the concept of “citizenship,” writing that Debs “spoke American, not Marxist.”
To Isserman, Debs was, in sum, a moral crusader unwittingly mobilized (“whether consciously or not”) by religious and patriotic concepts. All Debs really wished for, according to Isserman, was “another, more equitable America.” This portrayal serves a definite political purpose, revealed by Isserman in the column’s last sentence. What is needed today, he argues, is a form of American radicalism that joins “the redemptive promise of moral protest and the practical achievements of political action. …” One suspects the professor may have in mind Bernie Sanders.
Debs would be horrified. He spent his entire 25-year career as a socialist fighting against—albeit within the straitjacket of the “all inclusive” American Socialist Party—just such anodyne politics and those “experts” and intellectuals who, like Isserman, espoused them.
In his attempt to discover “the real Debs,” Isserman is compelled to overlook what Debs himself said and wrote. In answer, it is worthwhile to let Debs speak for himself. In countless speeches and hundreds of articles, Debs railed relentlessly against capitalism and capitalist exploitation in the most searing language.
He could not have been much clearer. “The Socialist Party is not a reform party!” Debs thundered in a speech to miners in 1902. “It proposes to abolish the capitalist system to transfer from private hands all the means of production and distribution and turn them over to the people in their collective capacity.”
In his several runs for the presidency, Debs always “campaigned on a program of straight class-struggle socialism,” in the words of James P. Cannon. Debs traveled the country demanding the expropriation of the capitalist and the liberation of the “wage slaves.” With such slogans Debs won 6 percent of the vote in the 1912 election. An equivalent outcome in the last presidential election would have meant some 8 million votes.
But Debs viewed elections only as a means of political education. “Voting for socialism is not socialism any more than a menu is a meal,” he said. “Of far greater importance than increasing the vote of the Socialist party is the economic organization of the working class. … Socialism must be organized, drilled, equipped and the place to begin is in the industries where the workers are employed.”
The overriding aim of Debs’s political activity was to wrest workers away from the Democratic Party. “This world only respects as it is compelled to respect, and if you working men want to be respected you have got to begin by respecting yourselves,” he told striking workers in Philadelphia in 1908. “Get out of the capitalist parties. You do not belong there.”

If you're looking to read more on Debs, I would recommend Marguerite Young's Harp Song For A Radical which is one of my favorite books of all time.

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

Tuesday, April 30, 2019.  Joe Biden's not building support and the Yazidi leadership is giving all Yazidis a very bad name.

In the US, the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues.  No Momentum Biden continues to be defined by his past actions.  Why?  Because Joe offers no future.  He is the past.

"I helped lead the fight against NAFTA; [Vice President Biden] voted for it. I helped lead the fight against PNTR with China; he voted for it. I strongly opposed the TPP; he supported it. I voted against the war in Iraq; he voted for it," .

A voting record is a voting record:

“I strongly opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership; [Vice President Biden] supported it.

I voted against the war in Iraq; he voted for it." –

Joe is the man who chaired the Hill-Thomas hearing and he's the man who smeared Anita as a "liar" (see the late Senator Arlen Spector's 2000 memoir PASSION FOR THE TRUTH.  He can't apologize to Anita Hill to this day.  In fact, it was only this month that he bothered to call her in what can best be described as a "We good, right?" phone call.  No, Joe, you aren't good.  You owe Anita Hill an apology.  The women of THE VIEW made that clear at the end of last week but even in a friendly and encouraging format, Joe couldn't apologize.

If he hadn't decided to run, he obviously would never have called Anita Hill -- that's all you need to know on that.  He was fine without apologizing or making amends.  But when he decided he was running, it was reach out to Anita time and hope Anita would fall in line for The Great White Male, right?  Hope, she'd just go along with whatever Joe wanted.

That's not how it works.  His inability to apologize and his inability to take accountability for his actions demonstrate that he is not fit to be president.  He voted for the Iraq War yet insists he has no regrets.  He gives Bully Boy Bush a medal and raves over him in a public speech.  And this is who will save the country?

Obama picked Biden specifically to pander to moderate Republicans. The fact that he is being rolled out to lead us through a slow, painful repeat of 2016 is incomprehensible to me. They don’t even have to try when Americans are this deeply brainwashed

"We don't need someone who voted for the Iraq War, for mass incarceration, and for the Bankruptcy Reform Act while voting against gay marriage, reproductive rights, and school desegregation," -

Biden voted for Bush's Iraq War, to gut welfare, to deregulate Wall Street, to ban 'partial-birth' abortion, doesn't support Net Neutrality, supports the failed drug war, silenced Anita Hill, and even wrote horrible 1994 Crime Bill

“I voted to go into Iraq, and I’d vote to do it again,” Biden said in August 2003. 

In other news, ALJAZEERA reports:

Children born to Yazidi women raped by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) fighters will not be permitted to join the community in northern Iraq, the minority sect's faith leaders have said.
In a statement late on Saturday, the Yazidi Supreme Spiritual Council said an earlier declaration stating "all survivors" of ISIL crimes and their children would be accepted in the community did not, as widely interpreted, "include children born of rape, but [instead] refers to children born of two Yazidi parents".

The Yazidis.  It's hard to feel sorry for them with their war hungry leaders who aligned with the neocons in DC.  It's hard to feel sympathy for them when they are led by repugnant people who attack innocent children.

For those who've forgotten, the group labeled as "devil worshipers" by the international press throughout the first decade of the Iraq War suddenly got a rehab when they merged with the neocons to implore that more US troops be sent into Iraq.  Apparently, their religion renders them ineffective in battle so they needed others to fight for them.  For reasons they might want to address, the Iraqi military didn't feel the need to help them.  The Kurdish peshmerga did and their thanks for that help was to be endlessly attacked by Yazidi leaders.

In the end, the Yazidi leadership just can't seem to get along with anyone.

Now they're saying that children should be discarded.  MANORAMAOLINE explains, "Those who had children with IS fighters faced a difficult choice: either remain ex-communicated from their Yazidi relatives, or leave the children behind. Dozens who returned to the Yazidi heartland of  Sinjar in northwest Iraq in recent months chose the latter."


What a religion.

Stay away or abandon your child.

What a religion.

I think the world needs to register this.  I think the world needs to grasp that the official Yazidi position is that children should be abandoned -- even infants.

And the world should grasp that and remember it so that the next time the Yazidis -- in all their pathetic splendor -- are unable to fight for themselves and are whining that they need help?  Don't pick up the phone.  Just let it ring.

People who scapegoat innocent children are not people you want as allies.

Their leadership is war like and demands one war after another.  They've made known that the US should remain in Syria.  I'm sorry, who asked them?  If they think fighters need to be in Syria, why don't they take their delicate little asses over their themselves.  They're so very good, the Yazidi leadership, at insisting others fight.

It's past time that the rank and file Yazidis either reject their leadership or accept that they're telling the world that they're okay with this.

What is being done here is appalling.  It's truly an indecency.  It's also how hate is bred and it is how never-ending wars are launched.  These children will grow up feeling scapegoated and attacked and persecuted.  It is perfectly natural that they will want to respond as adults.  What kind of an idiot, what grown adult, sets that in motion?

It's the 21st century, unless you're a Yazidi leader.  In which case, it's the Dark Ages.

The Yazidis begged for the world's mercy but they have no mercy for children?  They have no compassion for the young mothers?  If that's the message they want to send the world, they better grasp that the world is just fine letting the Yazidis isolate themselves through the next crisis and the one after and the one after that and . . .  Humanitarian aids is pretty much predicated on the recipient acting like a member of the human race.  It's going to be a lot harder next time to gin up support for a group that has forced young mothers to abandon their children.

The Norwegian Refugee Council notes:

An estimated 45,000 displaced children in camps are missing civil documentation and may face total exclusion from Iraqi society: barred from attending school, denied access to healthcare and deprived of their most basic rights, the Norwegian Refugee Council warns today in a new report.

“We face a possible human time-bomb. Allowing these children to have an education, healthcare, simply the right to exist, is key to ensuring a sustainable future for them and for the country,” said Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council. “A society cannot be at peace if it allows a generation of stateless children in its midst.”
The report ‘Barriers from Birth’ found that children born under IS rule were issued birth certificates by the group that are considered invalid in the eyes of the Iraqi government. Others lost their documentation as they fled. Without a valid birth certificate, one health official reported that newborns are unable to receive vaccinations in some areas, raising fears of new diseases. Children’s enrolment in Iraqi schools also requires ID. Sitting exams or obtaining graduation certificates is often not allowed without civil documentation. As they reach adulthood, these children risk being denied state recognized marriages, owning property or even being formally employed. 
The chance of obtaining civil documentation is nearly impossible for children from families accused of IS affiliation, resulting in the collective punishment of thousands of innocent children.
“Children are not responsible for crimes committed by their relatives, yet many are denied their basic rights as Iraqi citizens,” said Egeland.
The number of undocumented children will increase significantly in the coming weeks with the expected return of more than 30,000 Iraqis from Syria, 90 per cent of whom are wives and children with suspected ties to IS militants.
As the Iraqi government and the international community continue to invest in restoring public services and institutions, it is critical to ensure communities most affected by the conflict with IS — many of whom are children — have the documents required to benefit from these services. This will guarantee Iraq’s road to recovery and reconstruction.
“Undocumented children risk remaining left on the margins of society if this issue is not addressed immediately. This seriously undermines future prospects of reconciliation efforts,” Egeland added. “We urge the government to ensure that undocumented children have the right to exist like any other Iraqi citizen.”

Read more at: https://english.manoramaonline.com/news/world/2019/04/30/yazidi-council-disowns-children-of-women-taken-as-sex-slaves-by-is-men.html

The following sites updated:

  • Monday, April 29, 2019

    Mike Gravel calls the primary, David Walsh calls the White House Correspondents Dinner

    If Democrats nominate Joe Biden, he may win, and we'll have four years of weak, feckless Democratic leadership. And then, in four years, he'll be defeated by a Republican Party even more openly white nationalist. If you nominate an Obama redux, you'll just get a worse Trump redux

    Mike Gravel is correct.

    This is from WSWS, about the idiotic, navel gazers who took part in the White House correspondents dinner:

    The White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington DC on Saturday evening was a travesty.
    The organizers staged this year’s event in front of a large banner that read, “Celebrating the First Amendment.” Toasts were actually offered to that amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees freedom of the press.
    Olivier Knox, the outgoing president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, the organization of journalists who cover the White House, decried “attacks on the free press in a global context” and listed the names of journalists targeted by governments and other forces.
    Yet no one on the podium referred to either Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks publisher brutally seized and imprisoned by British authorities and facing rendition to the US and the most savage punishment, or Chelsea Manning, also in prison, locked up for refusing to testify before a secret grand jury drawing up fabricated charges against Assange.
    The most notorious persecution of a journalist, confronted by the most powerful state, military and intelligence apparatus on the planet, went entirely unrecognized from the platform on Saturday.
    For that matter, none of the 3,000 or so affluent attendees—paying $300 a ticket—who dutifully applauded every reference to “freedom of the press,” climbed to his or her feet and denounced this criminal omission. From this quarter, consisting overwhelmingly of flacks for the CIA and the Pentagon, there was no protest, not so much as a squeak.
    The Correspondents’ Association is hardly unaware of the Assange and Manning cases. Silence here is thoroughgoing complicity.

    David Walsh wrote that.

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

    Monday, April 29, 2019.  "I'm sorry" are hard words for Joe Biden, Seth Moulton makes a statement that's truly beneath a member of Congress, the Iraqi government demands that the US Embassy in Baghdad remove a FACEBOOK post, and much more.

    This morning MEHR NEWS AGENCY reports, "Iraqi Foreign Ministry on Sunday said that it has summoned the charge d'affaires of the US embassy in Baghdad over comments on social media considered offensive to the diplomatic norms."  What are they talking about?  As noted in Saturday's "Moqtada floats closing the US Embassy, the Iraqi government demands the US delete a FACEBOOK post."

    So that's one problem for the US government.  Here's another -- this is from the US Embassy in Baghdad's FACEBOOK page:

    يستشري الفساد في جميع مفاصل #النظام_الإيراني، بدءا من القمة. فممتلكات مرشد النظام علي #خامنئيوحده تقدر بـ 200 مليار دولار، بينما يرزح كثير من ابناء الشعب تحت وطأة الفقر بسبب الوضع الإقتصادي المزري الذي وصلت اليه #ايران بعد أربعين عاما من حكم الملالي.
    Corruption is rife in all parts of the #IranianRegime, starting at the top. The possessions of the current supreme leader Ali #Khamenei alone are estimated at $200 billion, while many people languish in poverty because of the dire economic situation in #Iran after 40 years of rule by the mullahs.

    As ALSUMARIA notes, the Iraqi government sees that post as interfering in Iraqi affairs and they says it goes too far.  They are calling for the US Embassy to remove the post.

    Will it?

    Better question, why is it that the US media is ignoring this?  Normally, when the US and another government clash, it's news.  Does no one in the US media pay attention to Iraq anymore?  Or are they all desperate to save the US government any embarrassment by ignoring this story?

    As we noted in Sunday's "US embassy calls Iran corrupt, Iraq responds with a call for censorship, where's the US media?," even though IANS and KURDISTAN 24 had found the story, the US media continued to ignore it.  Repeating, don't understand why the US media doesn't believe it's a story that the Iraqi government is demanding the US Embassy in Baghdad remove a FACEBOOK post.  It should be a story for the content of the post.  It should be a story for the censorship issue (the call to remove it).  And it should be a story because of the tensions between the governments of the US and Iraq.

    By the way, why are they summoning the US charge d'affaires?  Because the US has no Ambassador to Iraq currently.  B-b-but, Douglas Silliman!  Douglas Silliman left Baghdad months ago.

    My thoughts as I depart Baghdad.

    Joey Hood is the US charge dd'affaires.  Who is Joey Hood?  From the US State Dept:

    Joey Hood is the Chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Mission in Iraq.  Mr. Hood has spent much of his career working in the Middle East, and particularly on the Arabian Peninsula. Prior to assuming his duties in Baghdad, Mr. Hood was Deputy Chief of Mission in Kuwait, which followed an assignment as Consul General and Principal Officer in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.  Previously, Mr. Hood was Acting Director of the Office of Iranian Affairs at the State Department in Washington, DC.
    Mr. Hood has also served in Riyadh, where he coordinated U.S.-Saudi military cooperation, and in Asmarawhere he was a liaison to rebel leaders from Sudan’s Darfur region.  He has also been assigned to U.S. embassies in Yemen and Qatar.
    Prior to the Foreign Service, Mr. Hood was a Fulbright scholar in Burkina Faso and worked at a bank in Vermont.  He earned a Master’s degree from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College.

    Why hasn't President Donald Trump nominated a new ambassador?  In November, Donald nominated Matthew Tueller.  The Senate then proceeded to drag its collective feet.  At the start of this month, they finally held confirmation hearings.  And then?  Nothing.  No up or down vote.  Again, Douglas Silliman left Iraq on January 31st.

    Is he qualified?  If he's not, vote no and be done with him.  If he is qualified, vote yes so that there's an ambassador to Iraq.  Democrats liked him enough when then-Secretary of State John Kerry championed him to be Ambassador to Yemen (the post he still holds currently) back in 2014.  Equally true, a sitting ambassador is generally a sure-thing vote wise when proposed to be an ambassador to another country.  Why the hold up?

    When in the US Senate, Joe Biden never had a problem voting.  He voted for every war you could think of -- including the Iraq War.  Thursday, he announced his intent to run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination via a lackluster video.  Four days later, he finally makes his first campaign stop.  He'll be in Pittsburg today.  Four days later?  Remember that the former vice president turns 77 in November.

    That's a lot of years and he has a long history that goes with them.

    I did look at his record: He voted for DOMA, repealing Glass-Steagall, wrote & voted for the Patriot Act, the Iraq War, to make it harder for students to declare bankruptcy. I don't care about "decency", but I care that he's been on the wrong side of a lot of issues.

    Replying to 

    Sellout ... You just got so greedy you couldn't help but cash in. First it was your brother's firm getting multi billion construction deals in Iraq, then Ukraine energy deal then China gives your kid and Kerry's kid billions. Just disgusting!

    Replying to   and

    He voted for the Iraq war. Anyone who took that vote should never get another vote for anything again.

    Replying to   and

    If we had a real opposition party this would be a deal breaker and might get him kicked from the party. Anyone who voted for the Iraq war should never get a single vote for anything in our country.

    Replying to 

    Joe Biden’s horrible history as a legislator (Don’t Ask Dont Tell, credit card company billz, Defense of marriage act, the Iraq war) need to be discussed now. His campaign needs to end NOW. Otherwise it’s Trump 2020-2024. I refuse to ignore what a bad candidate he is.

    How did Creepy Joe Biden's brother get a $1.5 Billion dollar contract to rebuild houses in Iraq while his brother was VP.Crooked Joe stopped an investigation on his son for corruption by his son.

    What excites you most about Biden?
    Fought Desegregation
    Attacked Anita Hill
    Repeal Glass-Steagall
    Voted Iraq War
    Wrote Patriot Act
    Voted Homeland Security Act
    Voted⬇ Gay Marriage
    Author 1994 Crime Bill
    Voted Bankruptcy Act
    Pro Cutting Social Security

    Replying to 

    a strong Wall Street ally
    voted to gut welfare
    wrote the original ‘94 crime bill
    for the War on Drugs
    voted for the Iraq War
    voted for the 2006 border fence
    unreliable (at best) on Net Neutrality
    voted for NAFTA and supported the TPP
    allowed Anita Hill to be silenced and shamed

    Replying to  

    I’m not sure Biden is the best option. He’s likely the most right wing democrat running for the democratic nomination and has an awful history of opposition desegregation, supporting the Iraq war as well as the crime bill that lead to mass incarceration.

    Replying to   and

    Biden literally said he’s not sorry for anything he has done. He also bragged about voting for the Iraq war and said he’d do it again. Doesn’t seem like he regrets playing an integral part in almost every major legislative disaster of the past half century.

    Last Friday, Joe appeared on ABC's THE VIEW where he was given a chance to apologize to Anita Hill -- something he still has not done.

    "I think what [Anita Hill] wants you to say is 'I'm sorry for the way I treated you' not 'for the way you were treated." -

    "Well, I'm sorry the way she got treated. If you go back and look at what I did and didn't say, I don't think I treated her badly." -



    Despite gentle prompting from a supportive Joy Behar, Joe refused to issue an apology.

    This is how Joe Biden treated Anita Hill.

    Art Markman has a column entitled "Why Men Like Joe Biden Find It So Difficult To Apologize."  One rival for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination says Joe owes Anita an apology.  AP reports:

    Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton says the former vice president should apologize for the way Hill was treated during confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Moulton said Hill “was treated terribly” when she testified to Biden’s committee in 1991 that Thomas had sexually harassed her. Moulton added: “I think he should apologize.”
    Biden said on NBC he was sorry “for the way she got treated” but added that, “I don’t think I treated her badly.”

    Equally true, former Senator Arlen Specter said Joe said Anita lied to Congress -- as the late senator wrote in his 2000 book PASSION FOR THE TRUTH.  Specter died in 2012.  Joe's never corrected Arlen's account.  Apparently, he owes Anita Hill several apologies.

    Seth's putting his foot in his mouth a lot lately.  Is he trying to be the new Joe Biden?  Seth felt the need to declare that Donald Trump was not a patriot.  It's the sort of garbage you expect to hear from blowhards in front of a radio microphone, not from members of Congress.  The statement is beneath him and if anyone doubts where that kind of garbage leads . . .

    is NOT a patriot he dodged going into the war by a fake foot/ankle issue a lie. he is the worst person. And he proves it everyday Rep Seth Moulton, an Iraq War veteran,Trump 'is not a patriot' :

    What an ugly statement from such an ugly person.

    On her Twitter feed, the ugly woman claims she believes in decency and civility.  After she's declared someone else not to be a patriot?  And after she's slammed someone for not going to Vietnam.

    Does the bitch know that Bruce Springsteen didn't go to Vietnam?

    I don't think less of Bruce for that.  I'm grateful for everyone who didn't go over.  Kim Carvente is just an ugly woman with a butt ugly face and even uglier way of thinking.

    When Seth makes his stupid comment, that's where it ends up -- with aged hags like Kim Carvente slamming people for whether or not they went to Vietnam.  That's not the test of patriotism, sorry.  Participating in illegal wars does not make you a patriot.  Hags like Kim, of course, never fought in combat.  But for hags like Kim, that's the way to judge patriotism.

    Kat's "Kat's Korner: Rhiannon Giddens proves THERE IS NO OTHER" went up Sunday night.  New content at THIRD: