Wasn't going to blog at all. I'm tired. But I realized I'd been so busy tonight -- family stuff -- that I didn't eat. I did cook. But one of my sisters called and I was speaking with her and forgot all about eating. So I made a grilled cheese sandwich and was just surfing the net for something to read while I ate it and came across Brook Anderson's article at In These Times:
Anayeli Guzman was born into a Mixtec-speaking Indigenous community in San Miguel Chicahua in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her family raised chickens on their land, and as a child she would help plant corn, squash and radishes. They ate handmade tortillas with beans, eggs and salsa. Her grandparents taught her to care for the land and to revere the rain. Few people worked for wages. Rather, families owned small plots and grew seasonal, drought-resistant crops, exchanged produce with nearby communities and helped each other with big projects.
After migrating to the United States to be with her husband, Anayeli (along with 11,000 other, mostly Indigenous, immigrant farmworkers) toils for meager wages in the $1.9 billion wine industry of Sonoma County, Calif. In the past several years, record-breaking wildfires have ravaged the area, often during harvest season. Vineyard owners routinely escort workers through evacuation zones to pick grapes in a haze of toxic smoke.
Fed up, Anayeli and her coworkers began to organize in summer 2021. After surveying hundreds of farmworkers, their committee created the 5 for Farmworkers in Fires campaign to demand language justice, disaster insurance, community safety observers, hazard pay and clean bathrooms. Workers hand-delivered those demands to dozens of wineries. When one winery, Simi, did not respond, around 300 workers and allies picketed Simi’s lavish, $145-per-ticket wine tasting. (Disclosure: I first met Anayeli and other farmworkers as a photographer hired to help document their campaign.)
Wineries not only endanger workers’ lives by instructing them to harvest in the midst of raging climate change-fueled blazes; wineries actually accelerate climate destabilization. Industrial agriculture is one of the largest contributors to climate change globally, and wineries are particularly likely to erode local ecological balance through soil depletion, intensive water use and the deployment of toxic fertilizers.
Indigenous farmworkers, however, often have access to traditional ecological knowledge passed down through millennia — about how to live in right relationship with the land, water and one another — but lack the power to steward and heal the land.
It's really worth reading. Otherwise, I would've gone to bed without blogging.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Wednesday:
Wednesday, January 26, 2022. Victoria and the other uglies are stirring unrest, explain to Jane Arraf that ISIS didn't creae anything (they're just taking advantage), and much more.
There's never too much war for the crooks and creeps in the US Congress. Jake Johnson (COMMON DREAMS) reports:
Despite warnings that a dangerous war with Russia could soon be unleashed if diplomatic efforts fail, House Democrats are reportedly looking to bypass typical procedures and fast-track a vote on legislation that would send $500 million in military aid to Ukraine—a move that critics say only adds fuel to the fire.
The Intercept reported Tuesday that "Democrats in the House of Representatives are planning to expedite a massive bill that would dramatically increase U.S. security assistance to Ukraine and lay the groundwork for substantial new sanctions on Russia—hastening a war-friendly posture without opportunity for dissent as concerns over a military invasion abound."
"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told members on a caucus call Tuesday that she's looking to skip marking up the bill and move it straight to the House floor, setting up the possibility of a vote as soon as early next week," The Intercept revealed, citing two unnamed congressional sources.
News of the push for speedy passage of the bill comes just one day after President Joe Biden put 8,500 U.S. troops on standby to deploy to Eastern Europe and as anti-war voices increased their warnings against military action.
One senior Democratic aide told The Intercept that the House leadership's plan to rush a vote on the Ukraine measure "is how the space for nonmilitary options gets slowly closed off in Washington, without any real debate."
Yesterday, the always eager for war NEW YORK TIMES felt the need to spotlight propaganda on Ukraine . . . from the Russia end. Hmm. Have they ever seriously explored Victoria Nuland's efforts? Even the BBC repoted on it back in 2014 -- you know, when Joe Biden was Vice President and Barack Obama was president. Necon Victoria was noted in January of last year by Mark Episkopos (THE NATIONAL INTEREST):
President-elect Joe Biden plans to name Victoria Nuland to a top State Department post, sending the clearest signal yet on the president-elect’s likely policy approach to Russia and Ukraine.
Earlier this month, Politico reported that the Biden-Harris transition team had decided on a new round of foreign policy and national security appointees. Biden is expected to nominate veteran diplomat Victoria Nuland as undersecretary of state for political affairs, according to sources familiar with the process. These sources also told reporters that the president-elect will tap Wendy Sherman, a veteran of the Obama and Clinton administrations, as the deputy secretary of state.
Nuland was the U.S. Ambassador to NATO under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2008. She served as State Department spokesperson under Secretary of State of Hillary Clinton before succeeding Philip Gordon as the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. More than simply an “Obama veteran,” Nuland played a central role in executing the Obama administration’s Ukraine policies during and after the 2014 Euromaidan revolution. She conveyed U.S. support for demonstrations in Kiev against the government of President Viktor Yanukovyvch, condemning efforts by local police to quell the protests. “It is still possible to save Ukraine’s European future, and that’s what we want to see the president lead. That’s going to require immediate security steps and getting back into a conversation with Europe and with the International Monetary Fund and bringing justice and human dignity to the people of Ukraine,” said Nuland in December 2013. She met with pro-EU protesters in Kiev on Dec. 11, distributing food in a symbolic gesture of solidarity with anti-government protesters; the move prompted widespread outrage in the Kremlin, which perceived Nuland’s outing as a brazen act of public interference in Ukraine’s domestic affairs.
It was revealed in early 2014 that Nuland, along with then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, was intimately involved in ongoing U.S. efforts to curate and install a new government in Ukraine. “I think Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience,” said Nuland in a leaked phone conversation with Pyatt, referring to the installation of Ukrainian politician Arseniy Yatsenyuk to a top government post. Nuland likewise voiced her strong dispreference for opposition leader Vitali Klitschko: “I don’t think Klitsch [Klitschko] should go into the government. I don’t think it’s necessary, I don’t think it’s a good idea.” The phone call is best remembered for Nuland’s colorful reference to the European Union, which did not fully see eye-to-eye with Washington on key questions involving the fate of the Yanukovych government: “OK. He’s now gotten both [proposed UN mediation team member [Robert] Serry and [UN Secretary General] Ban Ki-moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday. So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and to have the UN help glue it and, you know, F*** the EU.” After widespread rebuke from high-placed EU officials, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki announced that Nuland “has been in contact with her EU counterparts and of course has apologized for these reported comments.”
She's a chicken hawk -- always using the lives of others to fight her petty wars and whore battles.
And she's aided by a whorish media that has bent every ethical rule int he world for her. The whore's name first appears at this site in 2004 becauase back when John Kerry was running for US president against Bully Boy Bush NPR felt the need to bring Robert Kagan on to 'evaluate' John Kerry..It never should have happened and what made it worse was the ombusperson for NPR weighed in and never mentioned the real problem with Kagan appearing. This was October, during a presidential election, and NPR gave airtime to the husband of DIck Cheney's girl Victoria Nuland.
Everyone listening to the report deserved to now that the man speaking had a wife who worked for Dick Cheney. But they weren't told that on air and, when the hideous Jeffrey Dvorkin weighed in, he also refused to supply that truth, that fact.
Dick's baby girl. Now I'm not saying the two slept together, we all know Robert's the player in that marriage -- and, honestly, who could blame him, right? I mean, you've seen her, right?
But the press has always whored for that family and continues to do so.
Victoria doesn't need a government job, she needs a fumigation.
And she's working overtime for war. The US government is ready to spend millions on Ukraine but not on Medicare For All. They'll do anything for war.
The American people can and have suffered. But they'll do anything for war.
There is no reason for anyone -- not a single person -- to be homeless in the United States but Congress won't fix that problem, will they? The number skyrocketed in the 80s. This is not a new problem and we see our inept and crooked Congress press do nothing over and over. But for war? They're always on board.
Turmoil in Ukraine has been a longterm goal of the US government. And they'll deny Americans basic rights, they'll refuse to address the needs of the American people, to push for it.
There should be a prison for these people like Victoria Nuland who work to cause war and to send people to their deaths. There should be a prison that they're kept in. Instead, they wait for the administrations to change and then they pop back in with their petty wars and plans and start working them all over again.
Let's move over to the ongoing disaster that Victoria and her family helped create: Iraq.
An audacious attack on a prison housing thousands of former ISIS fighters in Syria. A series of strikes against military forces in neighboring Iraq. And a horrific video harking back to the grimmest days of the insurgency that showed the beheading of an Iraqi police officer.
The evidence of a resurgence of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq is mounting by the day, nearly three years after the militants lost the last patch of territory of their so-called caliphate, which once stretched across vast parts of the two countries. The fact that ISIS was able to mount these coordinated and sophisticated attacks in recent days shows that what had been believed to be disparate sleeper cells are re-emerging as a more serious threat.
“It’s a wake-up call for regional players, for national players, that ISIS is not over, that the fight is not over,” said Kawa Hassan, Middle East and North Africa director at the Stimson Center, a Washington research institute. “It shows the resilience of ISIS to strike back at the time and place of their choosing.”
It's a piece co-written by The Whore of Baghdad, Jane Arraf. Never had a scoop her entire time in Iraq -- going back to the 90s when she did Saddam friendly propaganda for CNN (as Eason Jordan would admit after the start of the Iraq War in, where else?, THE NEW YORK TIMES). She knows who signs her check and she can't do antying else. She does these faux reports that offer nothing of value and don't pass for news so she has to make herself useful somehow.
Today, she joins Ben Hubbard to co-sign that nosnense.
ISIS? It never left Iraq, it's never been defeated. Our focus is not Syria at this website but it is true that Barack bacekd ISIS in Syria while maintaining the US was fighting them in Iraq. It's also true that to reclaim Mosul, the US government aided ISIS' escape/withdrawal to Syria from Mosul.
But our focus isn't Syria. Our focus is Iraq.
Is ISIS on the rise?
It's a terrorist organization. It's been active because it never left Iraq. What's changed?
ISIS exists to grab any break they can to carry out fivolence and destruction.
So what's the big change in Iraq right now that would allow for this -- you know, the real issue, the thing that Jane and Ben refuse to explore, let alone lead with?
It's the lack of a government.
The US State Dept is rather surprised that US citiziens are bombarding it lately with questions about Iraq. They should be more bothered that they have no official position and are not officially working on resolving the issue of the government formation. They should be more worried that a number of American people are noting this.
The Whore of Baghdad wants US troops in Iraq. If they leave, she'd have to. And no one wants her in the US. And she only has a career as an 'expert' on the Middle East. To keep the money coming in, she needs US troops on the ground.
It's that or being a greeter at Walmart for Jane where, every day, some assistant manager is cracking down on her and insisting, "Those bakery samples are for the customers!"
October 10th? That's when elections were held. When will the government be formed?
And on Arabic social media, what do you find? Dismay as it appears that all the powerful positions will be filled by the same men who held them before the election took place.
ISIS doesn't create. It watches and it takes advantage. It's watching as the political stalemate continues and it sees opportunity.
Iraq’s political turmoil reflects a broader battle for control in the Middle East.
“Three months ago, there was an election, and [Sadr’s] group won. This is not aligned with what [Iran wants]; they are not trying to do what Iran tells them to do,” Fadi Sharaiha with MENA Leadership Center says.
“Iranians lost their seat in the parliament, and they (Iran’s leaders) did not take this lightly. They are challenging this in the courts and the streets.”
“This is a clear impact of the proxy war in Iraq, as it is happening in Yemen, Lebanon, and in Libya, unfortunately,” Sharaiha says.
He adds that the battlefields change, but most of the conflict traces its roots to one issue.
As the war in Iraq continues, Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian Assange. Marjorie Cohn (TRUTH OUT) notes:
On January 24, 2022, the British High Court of Justice allowed WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to ask the U.K. Supreme Court to hear his appeal of the extradition order. In December 2021, the High Court had overturned U.K. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s January 2021 ruling denying the U.S. request for extradition.
Following a three-week evidentiary hearing, Baraitser concluded that if extradited to the United States for trial, Assange was very likely to commit suicide because of his mental state and the harsh conditions of confinement under which he would be held.
During that hearing, the Biden administration didn’t provide the judge with any assurances that Assange would not be held in near-isolation in U.S. prisons. It was only after Baraitser denied extradition that the U.S. government came forward with “assurances” that Assange wouldn’t be subject to special administrative measures (SAMs) or be held in the ADX supermax prison in Florence, Colorado. But those so-called assurances contained a loophole. They would be null and void if Assange were to commit a “future act” that “met the test” for the imposition of SAMs.
The late timing of the U.S. assurances precluded Assange’s defense from arguing that they were unreliable. Nevertheless, the High Court accepted the Biden administration’s 11th-hour assurances and ruled that Assange could be extradited to the United States.
Assange is facing 175 years in prison for charges under the Espionage Act that stem from the 2010 WikiLeaks publication of evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo. The Obama administration considered charging Assange for those revelations but declined to do so for fear of running afoul of the First Amendment’s freedom of the press. Donald Trump did indict Assange, however. But instead of dismissing the case, Joe Biden is vigorously fighting to extradite Assange and pursue the charges that Trump filed.
Questions of the viability of assurances that, inter alia, make torture a future option, were ruled not to be arguable appeal points.
So the certified point, whether assurances can be submitted at the appeals stage, is not really just about timing and deadlines, it is about whether there should be scrutiny of the assurances or not.
However it does not look like a substantial point. It looks like just a technical point on timing and deadlines. This is very important, because it may be the screen behind which the British Establishment is sidling slowly towards the exit. Was Lord Burnett looking to get out of this case by one of the curtained doors at his back?
If any of the other points had been certified, there would have been detailed discussion in court of the United States’ penchant for torture, its dreadful prison conditions, and its long record of bad faith (it is an accepted point of law in the United States that domestic authorities are not bound by any assurance, commitment or even treaty given to foreign governments). For the Supreme Court to refuse Assange’s extradition on any of those grounds would be an official accusation against the United States’ integrity, and thus diplomatically difficult.
But the Supreme Court can refuse extradition on the one point now certified by the High Court, and it can be presented as nothing to do with anything bad about the USA and its governance, purely a technical matter of a missed deadline. Apologies all round, never mind old chap, and let’s get to the claret at Simpson’s.
Can there really be an end in sight for Julian? Is the British Establishment quietly sidling to the exit?