Wednesday, October 25, 2017

You must check this out to refute the fake news on the Congo

So much fake news -- and all of it coming at you from the corporate media in the United States.

Ann Garrison's "ISIS of Central Africa: A New Cover for Plundering Congo" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) is a must-read:

A video calling for an Islamic State jihad in the Democratic Republic of the Congo appeared online and in a few news reports last week. It was purportedly made in Beni Territory, within Congo’s North Kivu Province, where a phantom so-called Islamist militia, the Allied Democratic Forces, has been blamed for massacres of the indigenous population that began in October 2014.
The footage features a bearded, camo-clad North African or Middle Eastern man draped in ammunition belts and holding a Kalashnikov rifle, while calling on Islamic State jihadists to come to Congo—in Arabic. Camo clad Black African militia men stand behind him.
Trouble is, the Congo is somewhere between 80 and 95 percent Christian and only two percent Muslim, and the Roman Catholic Church is its most influential nongovernmental institution. Arabic is neither the international language, nor any of the national languages or indigenous languages. So this might even seem comical if the indigenous people of Beni weren't being massacred by the illegal resource trafficking militias already operating there and the proposed caliphate weren’t a new cover for that.
I asked Boniface Musavuli, a native of Beni and author of The Massacres of Beni: Kabila, Rwanda, and the Fake Islamists , to help contextualize the so-called news.
Ann Garrison: Boniface, what's your first response to this video? Do you think these ISIS jihadis have any real existence or any real interest in a holy war in your country?

BM: This video appears mainly as an attempt to manipulate international opinion, to make people believe that eastern Congo is becoming a bastion of international Islamist terrorism. The reality is that only two percent of Congo’s population are Muslims, and there is no radical imam to lead a holy war. Congolese Muslims have never fought against the government or even organized a political demonstration against the authorities. There is therefore no sociological basis for the establishment of a caliphate in Beni. A jihad in the Congo makes no sense whatsoever. Congo has never been claimed as a "land of Islam," and the Congolese government does not send soldiers to Muslim countries. 

Read the whole thing and grasp that you are being lied to -- repeatedly.

By a great many.

I used to listen to Laura Flanders.

I stopped when she was distorting what happened in Rawanda.

Ann Garrison and Keith Harmon Snow are two who didn't lie about Rawanda.

Not a lot of people can make that claim.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Wednesday, October 25, 2017.

This morning, Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler, Texas is holding a memorial for Spc Alex Missildine, their alumni who was killed in Iraq at the start of this month.

Specialist Alexander W. Missildine's journey home is complete. He was laid to final rest Monday in Tyler:

Tyler welcomes home fallen soldier, Spc. Alexander Missildine -

The body of 20-year-old Army Specialist Alex Missildine returned home to Tyler today. Video from KET

PHOTOS: Fallen soldier Alex Missildine returned home to Tyler:

The 20-year-old graduated from Robert E. Lee in 2015.

Meanwhile, a US State Dept spokesperson Tweets the following:

On the violence in region of : We want calm, we want dialogue, we don’t want any violent acts by anyone on any side.

An attack is launched by Baghdad and the State Dept looks the other way.  Now they step forward to call for 'both sides' to be reasonable.

They already took their stand -- they stood against the Kurds.

Michael Weiss (CNN) observes:

This is because in spite of its meek professions of neutrality, Washington did take a side in this conflict: that of Iraq's central government. But it did more than that by attempting to minimize the role its regional adversary, Iran, apparently played in the reconquest of Kirkuk. The commander of the Quds Force, the foreign expeditionary arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, was reportedly instrumental in the Kirkuk operation.
Nothing better illustrates the incoherence of America's stance in the Middle East than the fact that it turned out to be on the same side as Major General Qasem Soleimani, who occupies a status within US intelligence circles somewhere between Professor Moriarty and Darth Vader. He and his proxies are believed by US officials to have caused hundreds of American fatalities and injuries on the battlefields of Iraq.
Yet it's hard to overstate what the Iranian operative has just pulled off. Not only did Soleimani out-marshal and humiliate Washington by brokering a cleverer and more cynical deal, which undercut its own vain attempts at conflict resolution, but he was then rewarded with US legitimization of his scheme. (Iran officially denied any involvement in the recapture of Kirkuk.)
All this occurred less than 72 hours after President Trump heralded a get-tough-on-Iran policy, which included the designation of Soleimani's parent body, the Revolutionary Guards Corps, as a terrorist organization. In his strategy statement, Trump said: "The Revolutionary Guard is the Iranian Supreme Leader's corrupt personal terror force and militia," and he promised, "We will work with our allies to counter the regime's destabilizing activity and support for terrorist proxies in the region." Except the US just did the opposite in Kirkuk and alienated its longest and most stalwart counter-terrorism ally in Iraq, who, as the Kurds like to remind us, have never burned American flags much less attacked American soldiers.

GLOBAL RESEARCH offers a look at Baghdad's reaction to the US.

The issue came up in yesterday's State Dept press briefing with spokesperson Heather Nauert:

QUESTION: What’s your response to the statements of Iranian-backed militia figures, like Qais al-Khazali that – and they’re responding to Secretary Tillerson – that it’s the United States who should leave Iraq and not them? And are you concerned now about increased terrorism – Iranian terrorism against U.S. troops, as we saw during Operation Iraqi Freedom?

MS NAUERT: Yeah. So the United States operates in Iraq at the request of the Iraqi Government. We are there, a part of working in concert with the Iraqi Government and the many members of the D-ISIS coalition. Our aim is to take out ISIS and to assist with that. So when the Iraqi Government tells us they’re done with us, I guess that that would be the case.

QUESTION: Okay. Well, despite Secretary Tillerson’s warnings to Baghdad against further aggression against the Kurds, there were another three attacks today. He said in Baghdad – he said to the prime minister that’s it, don’t attack the Kurds anymore. They’ve attacked again. What is your response to those attacks?

MS NAUERT: Yeah. I would say we’re certainly aware of those reports, Laurie. We’re monitoring the situation very carefully, very closely in Iraq. We have maintained, from this podium and throughout the building, in addition to our people who are on the ground working with Iraqi Government officials every single day, also our friends in the north, that we want dialogue. We want calm; we want dialogue. We don’t want any violent acts being taken by anyone on any side.

QUESTION: But do you consider punitive measures if the Iraqis don’t listen?

MS NAUERT: I’m not going to forecast what we may or may not do. I can just tell you that we’ve had a lot of conversations with the Government of Iraq and others as well in the region.

QUESTION: Follow-up?

QUESTION: Follow-up?

MS NAUERT: Okay. Yeah. Let’s stay on Iraq for now, if we have additional questions on Iraq.

QUESTION: Follow-up?


QUESTION: Thank you. So Amnesty International has collected what it calls evidence from satellite images, videos, and witness interviews and victims that tens of thousands of Kurds, mostly Kurds, have been displaced from Tuz Khurmatu in Diyala by Iran-backed – because of the attack from the Iran-backed militias and Iraqi Government. Have you seen that report that came out today from Amnesty?

MS NAUERT: I have not seen the report and I’ve not seen any pictures. So I’m sorry, I’m not going to comment on something that I haven’t seen myself.

QUESTION: And just on Secretary Tillerson’s warning that the Iran-supported militias have to leave the country, do you have a timeframe during which they must leave, or just a warning?

MS NAUERT: I think the Secretary was – was really speaking to what a lot of people are concerned about, and that is Iranian influence in the region but also in Iraq. So that is a concern of the Secretary’s. I think we’ve made that clear in the past and that’s as far as I’m going to go on that.
Okay. Hey, Michelle.

QUESTION: On that same subject, Iraq is one that didn’t seem to be concerned in response to the words that the Secretary used. So what do you think of the way that they framed it, that there are no foreign troops here, that people who are here are just advising and assisting? Does that just add to the State Department’s concern?

MS NAUERT: Well, I think we recognize that there are various groups, that there are Iraqi forces that are – the PMF, for example, that are a part of the Iraqi Government forces, but where there is also an Iranian influence, so that’s something that we fully recognize.

QUESTION: But the fact that – I mean, the Secretary uses such strong words saying that these militias and these Iranian-backed groups need to get out. Iraq doesn’t seem concerned about it in the least. Is that going to be a problem?

MS NAUERT: I don’t know, Michele. I don’t know the answer to that. If – for any additional questions on that, I’d just refer you to the Secretary.

QUESTION: Iran’s chief of staff today said that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and Qasem Soleimani had spoiled an American-Israeli plot to create a second Israel in the Kurdistan region.

MS NAUERT: What? (Laughter.)

QUESTION: They said that --

MS NAUERT: I’m not aware of that, Laurie.

QUESTION: Well, that --

MS NAUERT: I’m not. Really, I mean --

QUESTION: But don’t you think that stopping the fighting would be an effective – a good counter to Iranian efforts to extend its influence into – into Kurdistan?

MS NAUERT: We would certainly call for calm on all sides. We talk about that a lot. We expressed a lot of concern about the pending referendum prior to the referendum, the concern that this would back Iraq away from a unified government. That remains a concern of ours and that is being borne out in some of the actions we’re seeing taken in Iraq right now. 

And the violence continues.

KRG statement: Iraq should halt military moves. KRG freezes referendum. Start talks based on Constitution...Putting ball in PM Abadi's court

BREAKING: Kurdistan Region decided to "freeze" referendum results, asked Iraq & Iran-allied groups to stop attacks, & turn to dialogue.

Blame it on Hayder al-Abadi, prime minister of Iraq.

He really is a little man.

President received Prime Minister of

And we're not just talking about his height.

Abadi few months ago:No meeting until all Turkish troops leave Iraq Erdogan: Abadi should know his limit, he is not at my level And today:

Turkish troops remain in Iraq.  Guess Hayder learned his limit?

The absurd in two sentences: "Trump is a threat.  Therefore, I am retiring."  Jeff Flake, no one knew he was even in the Senate because he never accomplished anything.  Now he's running -- amidst whispers of a sex scandal -- as a means of fighting?

New content at THIRD:

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, LATINO USA, PACIFICA EVENING NEWS and BLACK AGENDA REPORT -- updated:


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