Ed wishes I'd note more dessert recipes. Not much of a dessert person, sorry. Tonight, we did have dessert. Fresh blue berries with a drop of non-fat whip cream on top. But Ed loves this recipe -- a three ingredient recipe -- and I'll happily share it here.
400 ml of condensed milk
80 grams of walnuts
200 grams of chocolate
Again, not a big dessert fan but I am a fan of easy recipes and that's a very easy one.
While I'm noting videos of recipes, Mariana noted this video with five recipes.
Turning to the news, Tessa Fox (Aljazeera) reports:
On his first trip here at just 17 years old, Hyder’s excitement to visit the bustling capital to meet friends quickly faded to a traumatising nightmare that would leave him depressed for years to come.
Hyder, who identifies as queer, was stopped at a checkpoint on the way downtown and taken into a closed caravan where the security officers proceeded to touch his genitalia backed by a chorus of laughter.
They taunted Hyder, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, saying if he went to jail he would never leave and would be sold to prisoners.
“It was one of the most horrible events that ever happened to me … It has killed something inside me,” Hyder, now 19, told Al Jazeera.
The experience Hyder described to Al Jazeera is but one example of why the LGBTQ community in Iraq lives in constant fear, as a new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Iraqi LGBTQ rights organisation IraQueer highlights.
The 86-page report, extensively details cases of abductions, attempted murder, extrajudicial killings, sexual violence including gang rape, and online harassment against LGBTQ people by Iraqi police and armed groups.
In some cases, the abuses documented in the report were against children as young as 15.
Hyder told Al Jazeera the police had profiled him and stopped him because he had long hair. After searching him they found vitamin tablets he was using to recover from COVID, and accused him of drug possession.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Friday:
Friday, March 24, 2022. About the only good world news today, Mad Maddie Albright remains dead.
Apparently something needs clarification. It's up here before -- many times over. But some whiners to the public e-mail account insist that 'poor' Mad Maddie Albright was done wrong by me yesterday in the snapshot. If so, I'm fine with that. I don't give a damn about her. But I'm not sure that she was done wrong. 18 years this iste has been up. 16 years, I've wanted to wind it donw.
Because pretty much everyone walked away from the Iraq War -- the western press certainly did. The same whores who helped sell the Iraq War.
Bloggers pretended to care. Panhandle Media -- send money! send money! -- pretended to care. Congress pretended to care. All those people were apparently pretending.
I think they were suprised, politicians -- for example, by how strong the mood was against the Iraq War. But they saw it as a way to win eletions so they pretended to give a damn. When REupblicancs controlled the White House and both houses of Congress, the illegal war was wrong and must end immediately.
Then Democrats were put in charge of Congress (both houses in the November 2006 elections) and then the Congress and the White House (November 2008 elections) and wtihdrawing all US forces became a forgotten cry.
All the fake asses went away. Someone -- maybe Fiorella Isabel on THE CONVO COUCH -- this wee,k made the point that certain Republicans look ridiculous when they start saying that these generic centerist Democratsin Congress are "Communists." And I agree and get that point 100% but it's also true that Leslie Cagan is a Communist and she did everything she could to elect Democrats. She wasn't, it turned out, at all concerned about the Iraq War. She just grandstanded on that to drum up votes for the Democratic Party. That's why she and her group United For Peace and Justice immediately folded up their tent days after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008. The war hadn't ended. The media wasn't even pretending that it had at that point. But there was Leslie shutting down her cong game. While it's ridiculous to think Nancy Pelosi, for exmaple, might be a Communist, as some Republicans do, it's equally ridiculous that some Communists in American dedicate their lives to whoring and diverting for the Democratic Party.
If Leslie dies while this site is active? We'll probably remember her about as 'nicely' as we did Mad Maddie.
Because this iste isn't about Amerrican crooks and con artists. From the start, we've tried to highlight the Iraqi people. And you, an American (idiot/) might feel that Mad Maddie got treated unfairly with words I offered yesterday. However, the Iraqi children who suffered under sanctions -- many of whom died -- had to endure a lot more than mere words and for a lot longer than one day.
Children suffered because of Mad Maddie Albright. Some died. Some started off life with a struggle that she imposed.
We weren't the only ones noting the truth about Mad Maddie. But because enough people in the US were telling the truth, western media wasn't able to do their usual photo-shopping of the truth. Mad Maddie will probably still get her week of tributes that all crooks in the US political class get but NEWSWEEK and others are being forced to note that she was very proud of her part in the murder of Iraqi children via crippling sanctions.
As for your prayers you'll offer for my soul? I think we can probably all use some prayers, thank you. But I also think if you're torn and upset over the death of an 84-year-old woman who bragged that the death of at least 500,000 children was "worth it," someone whom even Colin Powell had to admonish (the US military is not a toy), someone who partenred with The Baker Group in 2004 to skim off millions from Iraq, then you're either a saint who cries for the death of each and every person or else you're priorities are incredibly screwed.
Here's Mad Maddie.
The Iraqi people suffered and continue to suffer. Mad Maddie is noted by Patrick Martin (WSWS) but he notes it's impossible to review her entire rap sheet:
Even more significantly, Albright became chair of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in 2001 and held that position until her death. The NDI is an arm of the capitalist state, CIA-financed to promote pro-imperialist political forces and to subvert any radical or oppositionist trend that might threaten US corporate interests in countries around the world.
In that capacity, Albright was deeply involved in every crime of the US military-intelligence apparatus in the first two decades of the 21st century, from Afghanistan to Iraq to Ukraine. The celebration of her life and work by the corporate media, and by Democratic and Republican politicians alike, is a demonstration of the bipartisan consensus that anything goes, no matter how undemocratic and bloody, in the defense of the profits and worldwide global interests of the American financial aristocracy.
Let's stay with garbage for a moment more. From Albright to another American who needs to buy a damn clue: Little Sammy P.N. Cook who is 'ceo' of his own sandbox entitled SanityDesk. He's surfaced online to inform the world that Urkaine, which he just left, is worse than it was in Iraq.
Little Sammy Junior, you were with the US military in Iraq. It was probably a lot easier for you -- for anyone -- in Iraq with the US military than it is for anyone in Ukraine. But don't confuse you entering that contury armed and with other people who were also armed with what it was like -- what it still is like -- for an Iraqi in Iraq. You reek of entitlement and of stupditiy. You really should learn to measure your remarks when you're trying to create yourself as someone smart enough to offer analysis. The Iraq war didnt make you an expert on anything and you're the one who is constantly proving that fact.
You need the press and 'experts' like Little Sammy to sell your wars. At BLACK AGENDA REPORT, Jacqueline Luqman explains:
A “newspaper of record” is a major newspaper with a large circulation whose editorial and news-gathering functions are considered authoritative. In this country, that newspaper has been the New York Times. It is believed that librarians began to refer to The New York Times (NYT) as the “newspaper of record” in 1913 when it became the first U.S. newspaper to publish an index of the subjects covered in its pages. Regardless of how it became known as the authoritative source for editorial and news content, it is time that we stop calling the NYT the “newspaper of record” now, especially during this conflict in Ukraine.
The NYT’s March 18th digital headline reads: “130 Rescued from Mariupol Theater, Official Says.” Beyond the headline and under the section, “Here are the latest developments in Ukraine,” more details are provided:
“At least 130 survivors have escaped the ruins of a theater that was nearly leveled in a Russian attack in the embattled southern city of Mariupol, a Ukrainian official said on Friday, but hundreds remained unaccounted for in the wreckage. The city was one of the many under withering missile bombardment across Ukraine as Ukrainian forces continued to frustrate Russian troop advances.”
There is more in this section about the millions escaping Ukraine and the “withering Russian attacks” on the theater. But there is not one word about the neo-Nazis which, in the case of the city of Mariupol and that theater, is a very important part of the story. In fact, the Azov Batallion , an openly Nazi paramilitary group that was consolidated in 2014 to fight against “pro-Russian separatists,” captured the city of Mariupol in 2014. To be clear, those designated “pro-Russian separatists” are the people who, in protest of the US-backed fascist coup in 2014 and in demand of their democratic rights, voted to secede from Ukraine and rejoin the Russian Federation.
It is true that we focus a lot on the neo-Nazis in this conflict. It is not because they are the only and major problem in the conflict. But the lack of reporting on them in US media is disturbing. Aren’t Nazis supposed to be the bad guys? You would think it would be easy for journalists of such a “reputable” publication such as the New York Times to report on the neo-Nazis who took over and now control the city of Mariupol. But no.
Even The Guardian - the British newspaper of note, with at least some standing - reported on the fascists controlling Mariupol back in September 2014 . The reporter focused the article on individual members of the battalion, particularly one man named Dmitry ( not his real name) who is quoted at the beginning of the article saying, “I have nothing against Russian nationalists or a great Russia, But Putin's not even a Russian. Putin's a Jew." The article continues:
“...there is an increasing worry that while the Azov and other volunteer battalions might be Ukraine's most potent and reliable force on the battlefield against the separatists, they also pose the most serious threat to the Ukrainian government, and perhaps even the state, when the conflict in the east is over. The Azov causes particular concern due to the far right, even neo-Nazi, leanings of many of its members.”
Actually, the good ol’ USA Today reported on the neoNazi problem in Ukraine, too, back in 2015. They didn’t even use the term “neo-Nazis;” They used “Nazis.” In the article, a drill sergeant named Alex is interviewed. The accompanying picture shows Alex laughing with an Azov Battalion patch on his jacket. Alex, according to the article,
“...admitted that he is a Nazi and said with a laugh that no more than half his comrades are fellow Nazis. He said he supports strong leadership for Ukraine, like Germany during World War II, but opposes the Nazis' genocide against Jews. Minorities should be tolerated as long as they are peaceful and don't demand special privileges, he said, and the property of wealthy oligarchs should be taken away and nationalized. He vowed that when the war ends, his comrades will march on the capital, Kiev, to oust a government they consider corrupt.”
The article, however, goes on to dismiss Russia’s concerns about these Nazis at their border in eastern Ukraine, claiming: Russian media exploit such statements to describe the brigade in this port city in eastern Ukraine as a bunch of thugs who menace the population yet are embraced by Ukraine's national government.” But it is these same Nazis who would go on to wage war against and kill mostly ethnic Russian people for the next 8 years.
It takes a lot of lies to encourage hatred and promote war. You have to promote hate -- all repressive governments grasp that and work towards it. If they can make someone hateful enough -- some outsider -- then they can justify the failures of their own -- the failures to improve the lives of their own citizens. Remember that as US President Joe Biden keeps trying to normalize food shortages. The only response to food shortages in the US is "Vote the bums out." That's reality. We pay millions in tax dollars each year and food shortages? Joe Biden was never up to being president. BAck to the latest war of choice . . . The edtiroial board of WSWS notes:
In a meeting with the US Business Roundtable ahead of the summit, Biden pointed to the long-running plans that are being put into practice.
“You know, we are at an inflection point,” Biden said. “It occurs every three or four generations. As one of the top military people said to me in a secure meeting the other day, 60 million people died between 1900 and 1946.”
He added that “now is a time when things are shifting... There’s going to be a new world order out there, and we’ve got to lead it.”
The phrase “New World Order” has a long and bloody provenance.
On September 11, 1990, US President George H.W. Bush gave a speech entitled “Toward a New World Order.” He declared, “The crisis in the Persian Gulf, as grave as it is, also offers a rare opportunity to move toward an historic period.”
As in the present crisis in Ukraine, the United States maneuvered to have Iraq invade a neighboring country to provide a pretext for war plans long in the making. The Gulf War triggered an eruption of US militarism that continued through the wars in Yugoslavia, the “war on terror” and the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the US overthrow of the Libyan government, and the years-long destabilization campaign against Syria.
Biden’s “New World Order” involves the transition from 30 years of wars and interventions in the Middle East and Central Asia, which have killed more than 1 million people, into a conflict targeting Russia and China, which raises the specter of a Third World War waged with nuclear weapons.
The headlines in the capitalist press expose the reckless war mania that has swept over the ruling class, bringing behind it the affluent middle class. “NATO Plans to Ramp Up Forces on Eastern Flank,” blared the New York Times. Another article in the Times stated that “both Russia and the United States have nuclear arms that are much less destructive—their power just fractions of the Hiroshima bomb’s force, their use perhaps less frightening and more thinkable.”
David C. Gompert, a former acting director of national intelligence under the Obama administration, wrote in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that the US “has more survivable, accurate and reliable offensive nuclear forces that could further decimate Russia’s strategic deterrent on the ground. Whatever Russian missiles survive such disarming strikes would be picked off by US missile defense systems.”
The Putin regime, confronted with the failure of its plan for a limited war in Ukraine that was aimed at pressuring NATO to negotiate on its security concerns, is trying to escape the trap into which it was lured by resorting to nuclear saber rattling. The world could face a dystopian crisis that ends in a “big nuclear explosion,” former Russian president and Putin ally Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday.
The interaction of NATO’s recklessness, fueled by a series of intersecting domestic crises, and Russia’s desperation has created an extraordinarily explosive situation.
This dangerous escalation must be opposed through the development of a mass anti-war movement, based on the international working class.
There is a growing movement of workers throughout the world against social inequality and exploitation. The consequences of the war drive are fueling protests and strikes over soaring inflation and mass poverty.
Moving to Iraq . . .
Let's again note this from ARAB WEEKLY:
Partisan and personal loyalties have decided the fate of Iraq's presidency and premiership, despite all previous vows by populist leader Moqtada al-Sadr to base his nominations for leadership posts on the national interest only.
Instead, Iraq seems to be moving away from a system of political quotas to one based on the accommodation of various players, if not indeed, plain nepotism.
Sadr chose to nominate Riber Ahmed, the Kurdistan region’s interior minister and director of the office of party leader Massoud Barzani, for the position of president of the republic. He has also nominated Mohammad Jaafar al-Sadr, one of his cousins, to serve as the country’s prime minister.
Iraqi political analysts said that Sadr, who had claimed to be motivated by a desire to free himself from the yoke of the pro-Iranian Shia Coordination Framework, has fallen under the control of Massoud Barzani and accepted his conditions. These included endorsing the latter’s nominee for the presidency of Iraq, despite the fact that the candidate is virtually unknown to most Iraqis. Moreover, Ahmed will have a hard time filling the shoes of a figure of the stature, connections and overall record of the incumbent Barham Salih.
Analysts said that by agreeing to be swayed by the game of political accommodation and by choosing a relative with no political record nor experience as nominee for prime minister, Sadr has shown he is no different from the rest of the political players who have assumed leadership positions in the country since the 2003 US invasion. His opposition to quotas, nepotism and his advocacy of the “national majority” now ring hollow, they add.
Three days before the appointment of a new president for Iraq, the tripartite alliance (the Sunni Sovereignty Alliance, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Sadrists) announced the formation of the largest bloc in parliament under the banner of “Saving the Country”. The new alliance officially announced the nomination of Riber Ahmed for president and Mohammad Jaafar al-Sadr as prime minister.
To be fair to Moqtdaq, he is backing a choice for prime minister that is different -- since it's hiw own cousin. But nepotisim really wasn't what the Iraqi people were wanting. He could argue back that without nepotism, he'd still be a cleark at an Iranian hotel, hiding out from his many enemies in Iraq.
Today, right now, these events are unfolding. And the western press is too busy selling war on Ukraine to take the time to notice just how awful life is for the Iraqi people and how they have a government that doesn't represent them and doesn't even offer the pretense that it does.
Let's wind down with this from Ajamu Baraka (BLACK AGENDA REPORT)::
Images of burnt flesh from napalm bombs, wounded and dead soldiers, scenes of U.S. soldiers burning the simple huts of Vietnamese villages, eventually turned the public against the war in Vietnam and produced the dreaded affliction, from the ruling class point of view, known as the “Vietnam syndrome.” This collective Post Traumatic Stress Disorder made it impossible for the public to support any foreign military involvement for years.
It took the rulers almost three decades to finally cure the public of this affliction. But the rulers were careful.
The brutal reality of what the U.S. was doing in Afghanistan and Iraq was whitewashed. That is why the images now being brought to the public by the corporate media are so shocking. It has been more than two generations since the U.S. public was exposed to the horrific images of war.
In the 1960s the rulers inadvertently allowed themselves to be undermined by the new television technology that brought the awful reality of imperialist war into the homes of the public. Now, the ruling class operating through its corporate media propaganda arms has been effectively using Ukraine war propaganda, not to increase Anti-war sentiment but to stimulate support for more war!
Incredibly also, the propagandists are pushing a line that essentially says that in the name of “freedom” and supporting Ukraine, the U.S. public should shoulder the sacrifice of higher fuel and food prices. This is on top of the inflation that workers and consumers were already being subjected to coming out of the capitalist covid scandal that devastated millions of workers and the lower stratums of the petit bourgeoisie.
But the war, and now the unfair shouldering of all of the costs of the capitalist crisis of 2008 - 2009, and the impact of covid by the working classes in the U.S., amounts to a capitalist tax. It is levied by the oligarchy on workers to subsidize the defense of the interests of big capital and the conditions that have produced obscene profits, even in the midst of the covid crisis and now, the Ukraine war.
These policies are criminal. While the U.S. continues to pretend that it champions human rights around the world, the failure of the state to protect the fundamental human rights of the citizens and residents in the U.S. is obvious to all, but spoken about by the few, except the Chinese government .
For those who might think that the Chinese criticism of the U.S. is only being driven by politics, and it might be, just a cursory, objective examination of the U.S. state policies over just the last few years reveals a shocking record of systematic human rights abuses that promise to become even more acute as a consequence of the manufactured U.S./NATO war in Ukraine.
The following sites updated: