Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Nurses strike

 Joyce Chediac has a really good article at Liberation and this is the opening:


Nurse burnout and short staffing in hospitals is once again in the news. It’s no wonder. Some 800,000 COVID infections are being reported daily. The daily average of hospitalization is 150,000, higher than any other time in the pandemic. Close to 2,000 people are dying every day.

Hospital administrators are wringing their hands, claiming that they are trying to get more staff, but there just aren’t enough nurses to fill the gaps.

But nurses say this is not true.

“Our employers claim there is a ‘nursing shortage,’ and that’s why they must flout optimal isolation times, but we know there are plenty of registered nurses in this country. said Zenei Triunfo-Cortez, RN, president of National Nurses United.

The country’s largest nurse labor union maintains that hospitals are deliberately understaffing units and forcing nurses to work long hours to increase profits. COVID, they say, is not the reason, it’s an excuse to accelerate this process, which puts both patients and staff at risk.

Under-staffing or short-staffing is an intentional practice in which hospital management does not schedule an appropriate number of registered nurses, with the appropriate clinical experience, to safely care for patients in a hospital unit, driven by a desire to increase hospital profits. These profits come at the expense of both patient care as well as worker health and safety, says NNU.

On Jan. 13, this 175,000 member union took to the streets in 12 states and Washington D.C. to demand safe working conditions, the hiring of more nurses and that federal legislation be passed that protects nurses and patient safety.

And let me note this Tweet:

Check out these practical tactics to demand the protections we need to stay safe at work. From holding press conferences to holding sitdown strikes, these methods have worked for nurses and teachers across the country. (Not listed: talking to HR.)

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

 Wednesday, January 19, 2022.  We deal with a number of topics including how it's cute what the press dubs "political violence" and what it doesn't.

Germany's DW is ridiculous today.  They report:

Over the past month, there has been an increase in political violence in Iraq again.

But, instead of the US bases or convoys that are often attacked, there were some less-usual targets. Last week, grenades were thrown at offices belonging to Sunni Muslim and Iraqi Kurdish political parties in Baghdad.

On Sunday, grenades were lobbed at two Kurdish-owned banks in the capital. 

On Monday, the house of a Shiite Muslim cleric in Muthanna province was attacked by gunmen.

And, earlier in January, a senior member of a Shiite paramilitary group was apparently assassinated in southeastern Maysan province.

Has there been an increase in "political violence in Iraq"?

Not really.  If you only count political parties being targeted as political violence, then, yes, there was an increase.

That requires you to ignore the last years of violence aimed at political protesters -- violence that has wounded them and killed them.  Any two month period, Iraq has seen more injured and killed for protesting than they have since the October 10th election with violence aimed at candidates and parties.

But apparently, DEUTSCHE WELLE, like the Iraqi government, doesn't give a damn about the Iraqi civilians who were injured and killed for excersizing their right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

You look at the western press like DW and have to wonder if they're supposed to be a news outlet or the society pages because they have no interest in the Iraqi people.

It's also cute what DW wants to argue was ''political violence:"

Over the past month, there has been an increase in political violence in Iraq again.

But, instead of the US bases or convoys that are often attacked, there were some less-usual targets. Last week, grenades were thrown at offices belonging to Sunni Muslim and Iraqi Kurdish political parties in Baghdad.

On Sunday, grenades were lobbed at two Kurdish-owned banks in the capital. 

On Monday, the house of a Shiite Muslim cleric in Muthanna province was attacked by gunmen.

And, earlier in January, a senior member of a Shiite paramilitary group was apparently assassinated in southeastern Maysan province.

Oh no!!!! Kurdish owned banks targeted!!!! Stop the political violence!!!

There's no proof that the attack on the banks was political violence.  As for the assassination of "a Shi'ite paramilitary group" member?  That's violence.  Not political violence.  That's violence and I'm sorry DW is unaware of how often the militia members do get shot in Iraq. Strange because they include a Tweet noting that the attacsk on the militia members have been taking place "on a monthly basis since 2018."  But I guess DW is too busy churning out nonsense to grasp that the Tweet they include undercuts their highly suspect argument.

 They slide right by the attacks on US bases or convoys, don't they?

This despite the fact that, since Joe Biden said combat missions have ended for US troops in Iraq, there have been at least three attacks a week on either US bases or US convoys in Iraq.

What's going on with DW?  They selected the narrative and then cherry picked -- poorly -- events to try to back it up.  Events do not back it up.

 Deutsche Welle is such a joke but then they all are these days.  DW goes on to insist, "As varied as they are, these targets all have something in common. They all did something to offend the losers in last October's federal elections."

The lies never end when DW decides to take a course in creative writing.  

Really?  The targets had in common that they did "something to offend the losers in last October's federal elections"?  

How did the militia members that were targeted do anything to offend the losers? 

DW does grasp that the big losers were the militias, right?  They were disenfranchised by not being allowed to vote in the early election which meant theyd have to vote on election day but couldn't do that unless the polls they were deployed to protect were also the polling station that they would vote in.  

Who objected repeatedly and repeatedly challenged the results?

That's right the militias.

So, again, DW, explain to me how they -- militia members -- did "something to offend the losers in last Octobers federal elections" when these targeted militia members were the losers in the October 10th election?

Do we just make up any lie and stick it out there?

Apparently, the wester press does.

Today, Dilan Sirwan (RUDAW) reports:

Iraq’s top court on Wednesday adjourned the session to review the cases filed against the first parliamentary meeting to January 25. 

The Federal Court decided to adjourn the hearing after the plaintiff claimed MP Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, who was chairing the first parliamentary session on January 9, was assaulted before being evacuated from the parliamentary hall.

However, the plaintiff failed to provide a medical report at court.

The Iraqi parliament held its first session earlier this month, almost three months after October’s early election.

And his article also notes that Iraq has until February 8th to elect the president.  (They can't do a prime minister-designate until they have a president.)  So that's about 20 days from now.  And -- maybe DW should focus on this? -- they aren't any closer to moving forward politically.

The most interesting thing about the DW article may be its outlandish headline, "Hope for democracy in Iraq as political violence escalates."

There is no democracy in Iraq.

Actions have consequences -- unless it's the US government's actions and then the press wants to ignore the consequences.  If you were an Iraqi who went to the polls in 2010 and, like most did, voted to send Nouri packing and eight months later the US government overturned your vote, why would you believe in voting?  Why would you ever believe your vote mattered?

Some of us -- a handful -- called this b.s. out in real time.  Some of us noted the longterm effects from this move.  Others, like Patrick Cockburn, just lied like a whore.  To this day, Paddy and his burning pee-wee has never once written of The Erbil Agreement.  Because that's what whores do.  Historians have not been silent and it's already part of the historical record.  And we'll make sure that part of the record is that Patrick Cockburn never told the truth about The Erbil Agreement, he was just a cheap liar who lied repeatedly.  

It matters.

History matters.

You can see the fall off in voting after the votes were overturned by the US government in 2010.  The Iraqi people began to stop voting culminating in October's disasterous turnout that was much worse than the press ran with.  It was noted, before the election, that they were going to count turnout differently -- and it was noted that was because they expected the turnout to be low.

The press needs tos top lying.  It's not helping anyone.

In other news, Human Rights Watch notes:

On December 31, Iraqi security forces killed 20 people from a single family in a raid on a home in Jableh district in Babil governorate, south of Baghdad. Security forces carried out the raid after reportedly receiving false information about a suspect purportedly living there. While the Iraqi government swiftly opened an investigation, the authorities should examine how security forces often appear to rely on unsubstantiated, questionable, and/or false information to target suspects, especially alleged ISIS members.

On January 3, the Iraqi judiciary charged 13 people – including 9 state security personnel for their involvement in the Jableh operation and killings. Iraq’s High Judicial Council said in a statement that a relative of one of the victims provided “false information as a result of family disputes.” Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi also subsequently dismissed senior officers in Babil, including the police chief in Babil governorate and intelligence chiefs in Jableh and Babil, and formed a committee of senior security officials to investigate the massacre.

The Iraqi government’s quick and high-profile actions are a positive response to these killings. But the authorities have previously formed committees to investigate human rights violations while failing to publicly disclose any findings. There has been little transparency on any measures to sanction those responsible, nor have there been any structural changes to address the root causes of these abuses. The committee should directly address how unsubstantiated information is often used to justify targeting and arresting suspects.

Human Rights Watch has long documented the misuse and abuse of Iraq’s anti-terrorism laws and policies. Iraqi authorities, for instance, continue to rely on unverified information provided to them by secret informants about former ISIS members and sympathizers. Media and Human Rights Watch reporting has shown that some residents and families have exploited security forces’ reliance on often unsubstantiated accusations from informants to settle personal and family disputes.

Reports indicate that in this case, the informant who provided the false information was a police officer himself, raising still more concern about the perversion of anti-terrorism laws and policies among those tasked with enforcing them.

The Jableh massacre is a tragedy. It will be even more devastating if the authorities who claim they intend to prevent another like it fail to address the structural issues that helped facilitate these killings.

In sports news, we'll note this press release from the Kurdistan Presiden Barzani's office:

President Nechirvan Barzani receives medalists in women’s weightlifting

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, January 19, 2022

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani received eight women athletes who won medals in the Arab Weightlifting Championship, in Erbil on Wednesday.

All the medalists are from the Kurdistan Region, representing the Iraqi team in the tournament which was held December 26-31 in Erbil last year, taking home several gold, silver and bronze medals.

The President lauded the medalists and said that their achievements had made their families and him proud and happy. The President also expressed his full support for the contestants and wished them continued success.

The medalists expressed their appreciation and delight over the meeting with the President, and said that they were motived further by the President’s great encouragement and support.

We'll wind down with RUPTLY noting the continued persecution of Julian Assange.

The following site updated: