Thursday, May 20, 2021

Avocado Tacos in the Kitchen

First up, Georgia e-mailed asking where are my recipes? I have been busy and tired lately and my Friday or Saturday posts just having been getting written. Sorry. I should be back to normal shortly. (Fifth grade graduation for one of my grandchildren Friday. After that I've got one recital. Also I have Mike and Elaine's daughter with me and Mike as well. They're here for about a month.) In addition to working overtime, it's just been busy. Very busy.

Sherry e-mailed a diabetic recipe from California Avocados:

1 ripe, Fresh California Avocado
As needed Non-stick cooking spray
1 1/4 cups onion, julienne strips
1 1/2 cups sweet green pepper, julienne strips
1 1/2 cups sweet red pepper, julienne strips
1 cup cilantro
1 1/2 cups Fresh Tomato Salsa (recipe below)
12 (8-inch) flour tortillas
Fresh Tomato Salsa (Yield: 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup onions, diced
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/3 tsp. jalapeño peppers, minced
2 tsp. cilantro, minced
1 pinch cumin
1 1/2 tsp. fresh lime juice

Prepare fresh tomato salsa in advance (see below). Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray.
Lightly sauté the onion and green and red peppers. Mince cilantro and cut avocado into 12 slices. Warm tortillas in oven or in a cast iron skillet and fill with sautéed peppers and onions, cilantro, avocado slices, and salsa. Fold tortilla over and serve

That sounds tasty and I'll probably make a big batch of salsa after I post this to let it deepen in flavor in the fridge for tomorrow night and we can have those. It's Friday, so we may have some fish as well and for those that need some meat in the taco, they can put some fish in.

Dominic Gustavo (WSWS) has an interesting article:

In January of this year the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) launched a new recruitment campaign showcasing the agency’s commitment to “racial and gender diversity.” The ad campaign was originally posted on the CIA’s YouTube page in a series of videos titled “Humans of CIA.” The videos have caused immense controversy and backlash from workers, particularly young people, as the campaign made its way through social media platforms.
One of the ads begins with a female CIA agent proudly introducing herself as a “first generation Latina,” a “cisgender millennial” and “intersectional.” In a different video, another female agent states: “It is important to have a diverse workforce within the agency because our mission is international.”
Another ad features a gay CIA librarian who explains that the atmosphere while working at the CIA encourages “the out-of-the-box ideas that drive progress.” The video does not elaborate on what some of those “out of the box” ideas may be ... waterboarding, environmental manipulation, sleep deprivation, etc. The same ad continues: “inclusion is a core value here. Officers from the top down work hard to ensure that every single person, whatever their gender, gender identity, race, disability or sexual orientation, can bring their entire self to work every day.”
In one video, an African-American CIA agent even speaks with pride about the role that African Americans have played in US imperialist violence: “The African-American presence here at CIA is deep and rich. And I would encourage anyone and everyone to know something about that history and the value we have brought to this agency over the past 70+ years.”
The CIA’s filthy role in flooding the inner cities of the US with crack-cocaine in the 1980s, leading to the jailing and subsequent disenfranchisement of millions of working people, most of them African American, is presumably not included as part of this “deep and rich” history.
The ad campaign is perhaps best summed up in a video that introduces the CIA’s “Hispanic Advisory Council,” the purpose of which is explained by a CIA agent: “We are all unique. And we’re here to provide that accountability and guidance to ensure this organization stays pristine.”
It is not within the scope of this article to go over the long and sordid history of the CIA. Suffice it to say that the CIA’s machinations throughout the world—terrorism, sponsoring of coups against democratically elected governments, support for murderous dictatorships and death squads, alliances with criminal elements such as drug traffickers—have led to, at a minimum, hundreds of thousands of deaths, while condemning millions more to untold misery.
The ad campaign is a transparent attempt at rebranding the CIA to appeal to a younger, “more diverse” audience. It has largely drawn a scornful, mocking response on Twitter and other social media platforms. Workers and youth all over the world are familiar with the criminal role that the CIA has played as a bulwark of US imperialism.
The campaign has also drawn criticism from right-wing circles who feel the embrace of pseudo-progressive language by the CIA is somehow a concession to the enemies of US imperialism. This was articulated crudely in a tweet by former CIA director Mike Pompeo, a thuggish representative of the most viciously reactionary sections of the ruling class: “The collection of incredibly talented patriots serving at the CIA is what makes it the best spy agency in the world—and we must continue to recruit the best and brightest. We can’t afford to risk our national security to appease some liberal, woke agenda.”
Former CIA official Susan M. Gordon responded to these criticisms in a revealing op-ed in the Washington Post headlined, “CIA critics are creating a false choice between diversity and excellence.” She writes, “In reality, the smart move is to choose both. Inclusion and excellence. Diversity and mission.” Referencing the video of the Latina agent walking down what she refers to as the “sacred halls of Langley,” she writes, “For so long, the outside image and the inside leadership of the intelligence community was White, Ivy League, male. The visual of her walking down a corridor of past directors tells a story that is hard to ignore.” How progressive of Ms. Gordon!
Various so-called “left” proponents of identity politics have been quick to denounce the ad campaign. A Left Voice article earlier this month denounced the ad campaign for using “the language of the movement to try to recruit people of color to their organization, a central pillar of U.S. imperialism.” This sentiment was echoed on Twitter with one user nervously commenting: “They are coopting what was supposed to be an emancipatory language to enact mass murder and torture.”
In reality, politics based on race, gender and sexuality has become a fundamental part of the Democratic Party’s efforts to divide workers and enrich a thin layer of the middle class who falsely present themselves as “representational” of the broad masses. But the truth is that workers, regardless of their gender or background, have no representation whatsoever in any branch of government.
As the Democratic Party moves ever more sharply to the right, identity politics is used to give the party a left veneer, however thin it may be. Since the ascension of Democratic President Joe Biden, the corporate media has endlessly celebrated Biden’s incoming cabinet as “the most diverse in US history.” They have proclaimed the appointment of women, African Americans and Latinos to key cabinet positions to be a sign of “tremendous” social progress.


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

Thursday, May 20, 2021.  Turkey continues to terrorize Iraq, Mustafa al-Kadhimi remains inept one year later, and much more.

At WSWS, Andre Damon observes:

Around the world, millions of people are shocked and outraged at the brutal terror bombings, ethnic cleansing and communal violence being carried out by Israel, a US client state, against the people of Gaza.

Two hundred and twenty-seven people, including 63 children, have been killed in Israel’s ten-day-long assault on Gaza, a figure nearly 20 times higher than the number of Israelis killed in the conflict.These crimes are committed using American armaments, funded by American tax dollars, and with the approval of the American government. They are facilitated by arms deals and military alliances created behind the backs of the American population and orchestrated to facilitate the predatory interests of the US financial oligarchy.

On Monday, after a week of murderous bombardment of the Gaza’s civilian population, US president Joe Biden began a telephone discussion with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu by declaring, in the words of the official readout, “The President reiterated his firm support for Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks.”

When on Tuesday Biden visited Dearborn, Michigan, the city with the nation’s highest percentage of Arab American residents in the United States, he was greeted by thousands of people protesting the crimes Israel is committing with US support.

Asked if he would take a question on the conflict from a reporter as he was test-driving a new Ford truck, Biden replied, “No, you can’t. Not unless you get in front of the car as I step on it.”

Journalists laughed at his comments.  They sucked up hard.  They should have been disgusted.  But they throw their itty-bitty, baby egos out the window when the insult comes from one of their higher ups.  At that point, they just lick the boots.

So busy spit polishing, they never seemed to grasp just how offensive Biden's remarks are.  The Israeli government is terrorizing the Palestinians.  Can Joe be asked a question?  Only if you're willing for him to drive you down in the vehicle he's in.

The way, right before the start of the Iraq War, Rachel Corrie was killed?  That's how she was killed on March 16, 2003.  She was protesting on behalf of the Palestinian people and an Israeli miliatry bulldozer ran over her.

Is that what Joe's threatening?  

Oh, by all means, laugh it up.

How embarrassing.

How shameful.

Tom Elliott Tweets:

After Biden jokes about running over a reporter trying to ask him about Israel, many reporters start laughing; he then peels off and the press corps breaks into hysterical laughter

Glenn Greenwald Tweets:

As you watch these reporters giggle in delight at Biden's playing with this car, remember - regardless of your view on Israel/Palestine - that there's a savage war going on for which Biden bears direct responsibility. Seems, at least, to be bad optics to being playing with toys.

So that's one point with regards to Andre Damon's article.

The second point?

Is WSWS ever going to note the Kurds in Iraq?  Is their hatred of the Kurds just going to mean they continue to be silent?

More 'reports' of Turkey 'neutralizing' Kurds in Iraq.  Murdering them.  Claiming they're terrorists.  Invading Iraq on the ground and dropping bombs from war planes.

How did we get to the point where the Israeli government could so openly and wantonly murder Palestinians?  By people looking the other way for years.  By the press ignoring the realities.

What's it going to take for the press to wake up to what the Kurds are doing?

Most of them covered for nearly 100 years -- covered for Turkey, looked the other way with regards to the Armenian genocide that Turkey carried out.  

Steve Sweeney (Australia's GREEN LEFT) reports:

Hundreds of Kurdish villagers have been forced to flee their homes in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq due to Turkish bombing — and are being replaced by jihadists imported from Syria.

An agricultural worker from Barwari Bala in the mountainous Duhok province, which borders Turkey, told the Morning Star that he had abandoned his land and home due to the intensity of the aerial bombardment.

“Every day, every night, for the past weeks we are being bombed. Our lands are being destroyed: we cannot grow our crops,” he said.

“Nearly all of us have left — there is nothing for us. Our future is being destroyed, and they give our homes to Daesh [Isis].”

“We are civilians: farmers, children. Why are they doing this? The world does nothing to help because we are Kurds. Everyone wants to kill us.”

He insisted that there had been no guerilla fighters in the villages — Turkey’s pretext for invasion — but added that the people supported the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which Turkey deems a terrorist group, as the only force preventing a genocide.

“If I see them, I hug them,” he said. “Without them, Turkey would kill us all.”

Turkey’s illegal invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan, codenamed Operation Claw Lightning, started on April 23, the anniversary of the start of the Ottoman Armenian genocide in 1915, during which 1.5 million men, women and children were systematically exterminated.

Why the silence from WSWS?  Were the Kurds anti-Trotsky or have some long ago beef with SEP?  Maybe Eric London could write an article about that -- another long winded confusing article, as Mike pointed out.

The Kurds are being attacked.  This is genocide.  Turkey is carrying it out in Iraq and Syria as well as within the Turkish borders.  

The United Kingdom's Boycott Turkey notes:

Our arms industry arms Turkey. Turkey uses these weapons in places like northern Iraq and northern Syria where civilians are regularly killed and injured.

Podcaster Peculiar Blend wonders:

How many people knows what's happening between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdish? Which military giant is using hightech machineries e.g. F16 & F4 in Northern Iraq? Where's the noise discussion outrage about what Turkish Military is doing to Kurdish people? #OperationClawLightning

To hear the Turkish government tell it, they never kill or injure civilians in Iraq.  It's always terrorists, according to them.  To hear the Turkish government tell it, the Armenian genocide never happened.  Cableee3 points out:

Turkey: Soldiers shoot two Kurdish civilians in Hakkari near the Iraq border

MEDYA NEWS reports:

Turkish soldiers on 18 May reportedly shot Şahap Şendol, a 23 old shepherd and Celil Ekinci, aged 17, in the Derecik district of Turkey’s eastern province of Hakkari (Colemerg), which borders Iraq.

The incident took place at around 07:00 am on Tuesday in a rural area near the village of Hacı Bey. The soldiers on duty along the Turkey-Iraq border reportedly fired on Şendol and Ekinci ‘without warning’.

As both were wounded by the gunfire, they were taken to a hospital in Iraqi Kurdistan. Whilst Şendol was wounded in his hand and released from hospital, the treatment of 17-year-old Ekinci, who was wounded in his stomach, continues.

The Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) MP for Hakkari Sait Dede announced the incident in his social media posts, sharing the footage that was recorded at the scene of the incident.

Turkey gets away with it.  They get away with attacking anyone.  Even Americans on US soil.  Barack Obama was president then and he looked the other way.  Sorry, Barack, diplomatic immunity does not cover assaults.  Those people should have been charged and put on trial.  They should not have been allowed to slip out of the country.

Meanwhile, Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) reports:

Weapons in Iraq are not the solution to the crises the country is facing, Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi said as he encouraged citizens to participate in the upcoming elections to create a change for the better.

Iraq faces serious issues, from a dilapidated healthcare system, corruption and war-battered economy, to the task of reining in armed groups that operate outside the state's authority.

The country has witnessed dozens of assassinations and targeted killings of activists and reporters in recent months by unknown gunmen, the latest was Ihab Al Wazni who was murdered last month in the southern city of Karbala.

"There is anarchy in Iraq’s planning system that has caused the accumulation of a large number of problems. The use of weapons is not the solution, rather elections and a large voter turnout is needed to change for the better,” Mr Al Kadhimi said during a visit to the southern governorate of Wasit.

Anarchy, huh?

Well, Mustafa, you've had a year and what have you done?  

It was May 7, 2020 that Mustafa became prime minister.  A year later, what can he claim to have accomplished?

No killed of activists has been brought to justice.  The report, the government report, remains suppressed, he's the one refusing to release it -- despite repeated, public promises.  The Iraqi people continue to suffer.

Turkey has set up a base in Iraq and Mustafa won't address that.  He was supposed to be a one term prime minister -- by his own statements -- but instead he's trying to get a second term -- even going so far as to form a conditional alliance with cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.  

What has he accomplished?

Lawk Ghafuri noted May 6, 2020 what Mustafa was planning:

The highlights of Iraqi PM-designated Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s cabinet agenda:- - Improve Iraqi security forces - Improve #Iraq’s economy - Develop diplomatic ties - Fighting corruption

What has he done?  You could say "develop diplomatic ties" if you ignored that fact that his recent flurry of phone calls have to do with his attempts to shore up support for a second term.

The following sites updated: