Monday, July 13, 2020. A documentary series is about to kick off in the
UK, Turkey has grand plans for the Middle East, Howie Hawkins is the
Green Party's presidential candidate, and much more.
Once Upon a Time in Iraq
9pm, BBC Two
The film-maker James Bluemel, whose powerful 2016 series Exodus
told the story of the European refugee crisis, turns his attention to
documenting the legacy of the Iraq war. Told through first-person
testimony, this series interviews Iraqi civilians, soldiers and
journalists, who recount their histories of the war. We open with the
story of Waleed Neysif, who was only 18 when the war began in 2003 and
who initially supported it in the hope the country would be westernised.
Pick of the day: Once Upon A Time In Iraq
9pm, BBC Two
The 2003 invasion of Iraq is given a fresh perspective in a series from James Bluemel, the director of the acclaimed Exodus: Our Journey,
which put camera phones in the hands of refugees fleeing to Europe. His
compelling new documentary is a mosaic of individual witnesses to the
US-British conquest and its Isis-infested aftermath, but instead of the
usual gamut of politicians and generals, these are “normal” Iraqis
ranging from comedians, formerly West-obsessed teens, a farmer’s wife
from Saddam Hussein’s home town, Tikrit, and a Saddam loyalist. We also
hear from Americans, including a chilling ex-Marine who seems to have
modelled himself on Rambo.
Um Qusay, dressed in a black, sequined abaya and hijab, takes a slow
drag on her cigarette as she recalls the execution of Iraqi men in her
village who tried to assassinate their president. A Rambo-esque former
US marine readies himself with a swig of tequila before sharing his
Once Upon a Time in Iraq, a new documentary series airing on BBC Two from tonight, conveys the complex road to the Iraq war through the eyes of civilians, journalists and soldiers, 17 years on from an invasion that has fractured the world.
documentary begins tonight and, on July 16th, the book ONCE UPON A TIME
IN IRAQ will be published in England and in the US -- not to be
confused with Basil Balian's 2012 book by the same name.
Mark Alan, a retired schoolteacher from
Fort Collins, Colorado, is something of a late developer. He was 42 when
he "came to faith” and 65 when he married for the first time, with
Duygu, a Protestant convert from Turkey. “It was love at first sight,”
Alan, now 73, recalled in a telephone interview with Al-Monitor. The
couple settled into a comfortable life in the Aegean port city of Izmir.
“I always felt safe in Turkey, I had a real heart for the Turkish
people,” Alan said. Then in a single day, their whole world fell apart.
Alan was on his way back from the United States last June when he was
pulled aside at the airport by Turkish police and told he was banned
from entering the country ever again. “They didn’t explain why,” Alan
said. He insisted that he had no role in the local church in Izmir where
his wife served as a book keeper.
Alan is among more than 50 foreign
Protestants, including Finns, Germans and South Koreans, who have been
summarily banned from Turkey as recently as June 26 on the grounds they
present “a threat to Turkey’s public order and public health.” Some 26
are US citizens.
The wave of deportations began soon after Andrew Brunson,
a pastor from North Carolina, was freed from a jail near Izmir in
October 2018 after serving two years on outlandish terrorism charges
linked to the failed July 2016 attempt to violently topple Turkey’s
president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The evictions are continuing full
throttle and tearing families like Alan’s apart.
On June 5 of this year, Joy Anna
Crow Subasiguller, the American wife of a Turkish pastor in Ankara, was
notified by Turkey’s Interior Ministry that her residence permit was not
being renewed. She was given 10 days to leave. No reason was offered to
the 39-year-old mother of three. She is still breastfeeding the
couple’s 4½-month-old daughter, Derin Mercy.
“I am sad at the prospect of my
family having to leave our home, my husband’s precious family, and our
friends and church family,” Subasiguller told Al-Monitor. She is
appealing the decision in a Turkish court. Subasiguller has lived in
Turkey for the past 10 years. She said she expected an answer within one
or two months. Similar appeals have all been rejected.
Is Turkey being unreasonable with regards to religion or is this about spying?
is often a cover for spying. In the US, I became acquaintances in July
of 2014 with a woman we'll call M. She was and remains a nice person.
Her older brother does "God's work." He does it in places that seemed
rather strange to Ava. I shared with Ava that there was no way M's
brother was a missionary, he was most likely a spy for the US government
and to be careful of what she said to M in case M's meeting us was not a
chance event. The brother being a spy was confirmed six months later
when M's younger sister let that fact slip out.
this could be Recep Tayyip Erdogan's latest bout of religious
intolerance or it could be his attempt to address foreign spying on his
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has plunged his country into a
series of economic, political, and military crises. As he becomes unable
to justify his mistakes and to push his dubious designs—which include
the reviving of the Ottoman Empire, playing the Sultan, and using the
Muslim Brotherhood to that end—he points fingers at countries such as
Saudi Arabia and the UAE, accusing them of directing “black propaganda”
, "In the next three years, Erdogan said, Turkey will be an unstoppable power
in the region." Does that happen by attacking Iraq? Turkey has been
bombing Iraq and has sent foot soldiers into the country in violation of
international law and Iraq's national sovereignty. The Turkish
government loves to issue announcements claiming that they've killed X
number of terrorists but they've yet to issue an announcement -- or
apology -- when they kill civilians. The true terrorist is the Turkish
government. RUDAW reports:
Turkish artillery pounded Bedihe village in Duhok province on Saturday,
causing damage to civilian homes and lands, a local official told
"The bombing started around 6pm. They have so far targeted the village
with six mortars, causing damage to 10 households," Sarbast Sabri, head
of nearby Kani Masi town in the Amedi region of Duhok province, told
Rudaw. "The artillery has also damaged groves and orchards of locals in
Iraq faces many problems -- problems that appear to indicate they need a better prime minister than the one they have. AP reports,
"Iraq’s Prime Minister took a first step on Saturday to combat
cross-border corruption that has long plagued the country’s frontiers as
part of a reform plan to grapple with unprecedented financial
shortfalls." Since May 7th, Mustafa al-Kadhimihas been the prime
minister and, again, the corruption predates him becoming prime minister
-- by nearly two decades. ARAB WEEKLY points out,
"Every Iraqi premier has pledged new measures to fight corruption but
have been able to make a dent in the deep-rooted practices across the
public and private sector." His talk about ending corruption comes
after his promise to hold the military members who have killed
protesters accountable. How's that going by the way?
Security forces fired upon a group of demonstrators in southern Baghdad
on Sunday lunchtime, killing two and wounding over a dozen, according to
a protest spokesperson.
Thousands of people travelled from several southern Iraqi provinces to
Baghdad in the early hours of Sunday morning, protesting an end to
monthly, government-allocated compensation as part of an economic reform
package announced by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.
“They fired on us upon direct orders from Kadhimi and killed two of us,”
protester spokesperson Sheikh Amer Shalan Rafawi told Rudaw.
sound like anyone's been held accountable by the prime minister, does
it? No, not really. Not really at all. In fact, the protesters are
still being targeted. Different prime minister, same targeting.
's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Sisterhood
went up last night. It's important to note that a woman was raped and
Gloria Steinem looked the other way. The woman was her friend Phyllis
Chesler. It wasn't something to raise, it wasn't important to Gloria
who first worked to get Phyllis to wait on saying anything -- with the
promise of joining her for a public statement -- and then went from
avoiding the issue entirely.
feminism. Gloria needs to be called out and whatever luster is left to
her name needs to be removed. She is not a leader. She made a craven
choice and it's not a choice any second wave feminist would have
supported. (Although her roll dog Robin Morgan did support Gloria.)
made political calculations and put them ahead of what was done to one
woman and what could be done to many more -- rapists rape, that's what
they do. And Gloria was comfortable letting a rapist run free through
the world, she was okay -- what a feminist! -- with other women being
raped. Gloria's not a feminist -- she's someone who saw a job
opportunity and took it. She let down the movement from the start and
that was obvious by the time the DNC nominated Jimmy Carter for
president in 1976 when Gloria showed up to tell women not to press for
any advances, it was more important to get Jimmy elected.
wave feminism was all about actions and then Gloria made herself a
leader and actions stopped, real ones anyway. If she didn't
intentionally set out to destroy feminism, she did her part to water it
down because she is so weak and so pathetic.
the fact that her defense of the CIA has not been called out more is
appalling. What the CIA did to Americans as well as foreigners during
the time Gloria worked for them is a travesty. For her to be blithe
about it and, to this day, refuse to take accountability goes to why she
should be escorted off the national stage for good and forever.
there's more than just Gloria. When Gloria refused to treat rape as
rape but instead as political calculation, she did what so many do
today. It's not feminism. David Walsh (WSWS) is no fan of the Me Too
movement. He's been a critic all along. In his latest, he notes
[Ronan] Farrow, who has the distinction, along with Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor of the Times, of receiving a Pulitzer Prize for witch-hunting, is relatively quiet these days. The last article of his New Yorker lists was posted February 25.
It may well be that the immediate electoral concerns of the Democrats,
once Weinstein was disposed of, loom large in this. The charges of
sexual misconduct leveled by former staffer Tara Reade in March against
Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic Party presidential campaign, were
received coldly by the Times and the media generally (except
for its openly pro-Trump wing). Unquestionably, in that case, the #MeToo
campaign and its slogan of “Believe women” cut across the plans and
politics of the Times, the New Yorker, Time and the sections of the American ruling elite for whom they speak.
claims have been treated with skepticism, as they may well deserve, and
she has more or less disappeared from the headlines.
Milano, Jessica Valenti and other #MeToo promoters have made clear that
whether they believe Reade or not, that will not stand in the way of
their supporting Biden. Valenti’s comments on Medium (“The
Importance of Believing Women—Even When It’s Politically Inconvenient”)
were remarkable for their sophistry and anti-democratic spirit. She
argued it was the responsibility of feminists “to come to the aid of a
woman [Reade] who accuses a powerful man. We can listen to her story,
believe her, and speak out about what Biden has done—not just to Reade,
allegedly, but to the many women he has made feel uncomfortable or
diminished over the years. Doing all of this doesn’t mean we can’t vote
for Biden. We can be loyal to our feminist values while recognizing the
moral obligation we have to reduce harm and oust the dangerous bigot who
currently sits in the White House.”
Valenti manages to combine
disregard for the presumption of innocence (“allegedly” seems thrown in
here just for decoration), ridiculous concern for women made
“uncomfortable” by Biden and subservience to “lesser of two evilism” and
the big business Democrats. The worst of several possible worlds …
too presumably belongs to this #MeToo/pro-Biden camp. His silence may
in part be self-censorship: “Let’s keep everything under wraps until
after November.” Or he may simply have been given the word to keep his
Swiping from THIRD's "Howie Hawkins is the Green Party's presidential nominee
" Howie Hawkins in the Green Party's presidential nominee. Prior to
yesterday, the declared presidential candidates in the US included
Gloria La Riva, Joseph Kishore and Jo Jorgensen. Howie, like the
Democratic Party's Joe Biden, was the presumed nominee but he was not
officially the nominee. Last night, Howie moved from presumed to
official. Teri Weaver (SYRACUSE.COM) reports
It’s official: Howie Hawkins, a tireless and perennial Green Party candidate in Syracuse and across New York, is running for president.
officially won the designation today during the Green Party’s virtual
convention. The selection marks the 25th time Hawkins has run for
office, and his first national campaign.
is the only new presidential candidate for this month. Next month, at
the Democratic Party's convention, Joe Biden is expected to be declared
the party's presidential candidate.
Howie is not just a longtime Green Party member, he co-founded the US Green Party in August of 1991. WSYR TV notes
, "Hawkins has run for the governor of New York three times, a seat in
the Senate, a seat in the House of Representatives, and he ran for
Syracuse Mayor in 2017. Hawkins never won any of these elections, but he has helped the Green
Party gain popularity throughout New York State in recent years." Robert Harding (THE AUBURN CITIZEN) notes
On Saturday, Hawkins officially became
the Green Party's nominee for president. He received 210 of the 355
votes on the first ballot to win the nomination at the party's
convention, which was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
presidential bid is the culmination of a lifetime of activism and
nearly two dozen political campaigns. Hawkins, a retired UPS employee
and Teamster who lives in Syracuse, was asked to run for president eight
years ago. He declined because of his work obligations.
[. . .]
As the Green Party's presidential
nominee, one of Hawkins' main goals is to appear on the general election
ballot in every state and the District of Columbia. That's important,
he explained, because it could give the Green Party ballot access for
Hawkins and his running mate, Angela Walker, are on the ballot in nearly
30 states. He admitted it has been challenging because of the COVID-19
pandemic. While some states eased their rules for securing a spot on the
ballot, others did not.
You might not think
ballot access would be an issue in a democracy, but it is. The US
offers the illusion that Americans can freely choose who to vote for but
even when you cut through the online bullying by the Debra Messings of
the country, you're still left with the reality that the so-called
'presidential debates' are controlled by the Democratic and the
Republican Parties (not the people of the US) and they exclude all other
candidates. As for ballot access, earlier this week, SEP presidential
candidate Joseph Kishore wrote about the fight to get on the ballot in
the so-called democratic state of Michigan in "Michigan court rules that SEP must gather signatures despite pandemic
Instead of providing actual news,
the corporate press prefers to shape opinion. That's not their job. But as the late Edward S.
Herman repeatedly documented over the years as a media critic, it is
what they perceive as their role.
Friday, CSPAN did what it was created by Congress for and, on WASHINGTON JOURNAL, interviewed Howie.
victory that Howie's campaign had earlier this week was in meeting the
criteria for matching federal funds. July 9th, his campaign noted:
Federal law requires that campaigns raised $5,000 in 20 states in
increments of up to $250 per individual. Today, Virginia became the 20th
state and put the campaign over the top. Donations will qualify for
matching funds up to the last day of the Republican Convention, August
Matching funds must be spent for primary activities, including ballot
access petitioning. For the general election, there are public campaign
grants for parties that received over 5% of the popular vote in the
previous election, which the Green Party did not do in 2016. The
campaign will have to raise funds separately for the fall general
election. No other campaign in 2020 has qualified for matching funds.
The Democrats and Republicans reject matching funds because they can
raise more money from the millionaires and billionaires who they
represent, and no other third-party has achieved matching funds.
The campaign has raised nearly $220,000, from more than 4,000 people in more than 7,000 donations.
Hawkins/Walker plans to use the matching funds to get on the ballot
in 50 states and Washington, DC by hiring ballot access petitioners.
This is especially difficult during the COVID crisis. Attached are
pictures of Hawkins/Walker petitioners gathering signatures.
Hawkins/Walker will use much of the matching funds to hire petitioners.
The Green Party quotes Howie declaring in his acceptance speech:
campaign will reach out to the tens of millions of voters
who are not represented by the two parties of the millionaires and
billionaires, to the independent voters who have rejected both parties
and to the ‘hold your nose’ voters who reluctantly vote for candidates
they do not like, from political parties they do not trust. [. . .] The
US is a bi-partisan failed state. We need real solutions to the
life-or-death problems we face: Covid-19, racism, economic inequality,
climate change and the new nuclear arms race. The
mishandling of the COVID pandemic has resulted in more than 135,000
deaths. The collapse of the economy has 47.2 percent of working-age
people without work while the bi-partisans are bailing out their wealthy
friends and families. The people are rising up against racism and
police violence but Trump and Biden respond with violence. Neither party
will confront the climate crisis but instead continue building fossil
fuel infrastructure that heighten the crisis. And, the nuclear arms race
is escalating while never-ending wars continue.
Cami Mondeaux (KSL NEWS RADIO) notes
"Hawkins was the first to propose the Green New Deal in 2010,
for legislation that addresses climate change and economic inequality. A
decade later, Hawkins has used the deal as the central theme of his
campaign." The Green New Deal is now a plan advocated by many of
various political stripes. This is an example of the power of third
parties outside the corporate duopoly -- they can raised needed issues
and bring public attention to these issues. This campaign could
popularize other needed actions as well as increase awareness of the
Green Party and help them move closer towards ballot access in all fifty
This is what some see the purpose of the party to be in 2020, not
actually winning the election. We have argued in the past -- and
continue to argue today -- that any presidential candidate should run
their campaign as though they intend to win the presidency. If they
fail to do so, they aren't really a candidate for the presidency.
Some critics of Howie's argue that he's not a real candidate. Dario
Hunter, who also sough the Green Party's presidential nomination, lodged
complaints against Howie and stated that the campaign was fixed by some
Green leaders. If the campaign was unfair, proof would be good to
supply and not just accusations. We're not calling Dario a liar, we are
saying he made charges and didn't follow through. The lack of follow
through has been a real problem for Dario. In fact, it's why those of
us writing this piece who are Green switched from Dario to Howie. We
agreed and more closely aligned with Dario. But long before COVID19,
Dario failed to run a real campaign. No, the corporate press is not
going to cover third party candidates. Thats why you better have a
social media presence. Dario had none. He might go a week without
Tweeting. His campaign page -- on FACEBOOK -- rarely updated. How
could you get the word out on a candidate who did nothing?
By contrast, on Twitter, Howie and his campaign updated daily -- and, in
fact, updated repeatedly each day. They also had a campaign site that
regularly posted new content.
It was clear that Howie was running an actual campaign.
Let's say Dario is accurate and the campaign was fixed. So what? It's
not like Dario was fighting for the nomination at the start of 2020 --
or even really trying for it.
Jimmy Dore is someone we respect and he has voiced serious concerns about Howie and his campaign
Here's our problem with Jimmy's criticism -- criticism that may be
valid. When Jimmy's talking about how he doesn't feel Howie will push
hard enough and he feels Howie echoes CIA talking points, we're on
board. But then he goes to Jesse Ventura.
A number of people wanted Jesse to seek the Green Party nomination and,
earlier this year, he flirted with doing so. Then the former governor
of Michigan decided he would not campaign for it. He did say, however,
that he would accept the nomination if he was drafted.
If you're going to question whether the Green Party ran a fair campaign,
that's fine, do so. But you undercut your own argument when you then
start saying that the nomination should have gone to Jesse Ventura.
Jesse chose not to run. His choice. To give the nomination to a
candidate who didn't even run for the nomination? That's going to look
like a fixed race.
We harbor no ill will towards the former wrestler but we don't see how
gifting him with a nomination -- over Howie, over Dario, over everyone
that ran for it -- would look like a fair and transparent process.
Howie is the nominee. That doesn't mean he's above criticism. That
doesn't mean everyone has to rally behind him. That doesn't mean he
shouldn't be called out and pressured. But if you're arguing that the
process wasn't fair, you shouldn't also be arguing that the nomination
should have gone to a person who didn't even run for it.
We are honored to officially be the
nominees for President & Vice President! Thank you to Greens around the country who voted for us in the Green primaries! Thank you to our donors and volunteers!
Get involved in our #LeftUnity campaign at https://howiehawkins.us
While the Green Party now has a presidential candidate, the Democratic Party still does not.
17th, the DNC is supposed to kick off the convention which is set to
conclude August 20th. It is expected that they will nominate War Hawk
Joe Biden. Raheem Williams (INFORUM) observes
the War Hawks that are flocking to Joe Biden:
In the last few weeks, a slew of war hawks and Bush-era officials,
including Colin Powell, John Bolton and John Bellinger III, have
announced their support for Joe Biden. According to recent reports, more
will soon follow. However, progressives should be careful. The enemy of
your enemy may not be your friend. The growing list of so-called GOP
defections reveals a very stunning commonality: they all (like Biden)
promoted and supported the Iraq War.
Powell lamented Trump’s falsehoods before announcing his support for Biden. It is as if Powell expects you to forget his past and trust his judgment. Powell played a critical role in lying to the American people, Congress, and the world to garner support for the war in Iraq.
Likewise, Bolton was another architect of the Bush administration's
disastrous Middle East policy. Although these are some of the more
infamous names in our disastrous and asinine wars, they aren’t alone.
Bush-era intelligence officials assembled an orchestra of lies that led
to the deaths of over 400,000 people.
The destruction wrought by the fabrications of delusional Bush-era war
hawks makes Trump’s fibs seem trivial.To be clear, there is nothing
wrong with crossing the political aisles
for the good of the country. However, it would be foolish to assume
that’s what's happening here. Political endorsements are rarely spontaneous and almost always coordinated.
It’s also naive to think the aforementioned people actually care about
the common good. They didn't care when they promoted lies to send
American troops to slaughter. They don't care about the crippling debt
compiled from these endless wars and they don't care about the lives
they've ruined throughout the Middle East. Their records show their
concern for societal well-being is minimal to non-existent.
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