Friday, February 03, 2017

What a huge turnaround

Check this out.

Anyone else find it noteworthy that the suddenly has a soft spot in its heart for militant anarchists?

Does anyone remember Air America Radio?

Yeah, it failed.

But NYT was against anarchists then.

So were the NYC tabloids.

Randi Rhodes was too.

She had moved to NYC to do her show (which aired after Al Franken's show).

And she was in a tizzy for weeks leading up to the RNC in NYC.

Anarchists, she screamed about them daily.

Over and over.

And NYT was like a print version of her.

But she screamed over and over.

Now days, it's okay with NYT.

Maybe because it's in California so it's so far away?

Or maybe because of who the target is?

Regardless, they've made a huge turnaround.

"Iraq snapsho" (THE COMMON ILLS):t
Friday, February 3, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, it all continues. Day after day.

US House Rep Seth Moulton Tweets:

“We thought we were partners with our American friends, and now we realize that we’re just considered terrorists."

They're not considered to be terrorists.

But they should be.

The Iraqi forces followed orders from Nouri al-Maliki on the day after the US military did their drawdown.  What were those orders?

Tanks encircling the homes of Sunni leaders.

They followed orders in the dawn raid on a Sunni member of Parliament's home that left his brother dead.

These are the reasons that the US government -- among the reasons -- is in violation of the law -- domestic and international -- for supplying Iraq with weapons and money.

That's before we get to the fact that current Prime Minister Hayder al-Abadi brought the Shi'ite militias into the Iraqi forces despite their past history of abuse and the current history as well.

What does the general think is happening to Sunni boys and young men fleeing Mosul?

They're being rounded up by the militias.

They're disappearing.

That means torture or death.

I don't think US President Donald Trump's  90 day moratorium on accepting some Iraqis equals what's being done to the Sunnis right now in Iraq in a supposed 'liberation' effort.


The Trump administration amended its visa ban to allow emigration by the families of Iraqi interpreters

And by the way, we noted former primer minister (and forever thug) Nouri al-Maliki and current prime minister Hayder al-Abadi because they ran and run the country.

In a poor attempt at humor, Donald Fagin posts, at THE HUFFINGTON POST, a fictional commentary that mistakes the ceremonial post of president of Iraq with that of president of the United States.  I guess beating your wife doesn't allow you much time for an education or a fact check.

Domestic abuse is homegrown terrorism and should be treated as such.

Sadly, more and more THE HUFFINGTON POST sees itself as community service for various offenders.

To say it's worse to revoke a visa than bomb Muslims is ridiculous. They hate Trump that's why

Unbelievable how far Obama's cheerleaders will go to defend his every action. Get over it, hypocrites. Your man is a war criminal.

It's a pity that Obama's "regime change" wars did not move liberals to protest the same way Trump's refugee ban did.

Back in August of 2014, the US government began bombing Iraq daily.

The bombings continue.

Yesterday, the US Defense Dept announced:

Strikes in Iraq
Bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted five strikes in 19 engagements in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Kisik, a strike engaged an ISIL staging area.

 Near Mosul, four strikes engaged two ISIL tactical units and an ISIL staging area; destroyed three fighting positions, two vehicles, two vehicle bomb factories, a tunnel entrance, a supply cache and a weapons cache; and damaged a supply route.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

On these daily bombings, REUTERS reports, "Eleven civilians were killed in four separate air strikes by the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria between Oct. 25 and Dec. 9, the U.S. military said on Thursday."

In Basra today, ALSUMARIA reports, hundreds of Iraqis turned out to protest in the dispute over a waterway between Iraq and neighboring Kuwait.

Such disputes are not umcommon for neighboring countries.

And Iraq shares borders with Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

On Iran . . .

Iran is rapidly taking over more and more of Iraq even after the U.S. has squandered three trillion dollars there. Obvious long ago!

Hayder al-Abadi has responded that Iran is not in control of Iraq.

Others would beg to differ, many would differ over what control means.

Certainly, Iran has seized land from the border it shares with Iraq.  That has caused tensions in Iraq.

Patrick Cockburn of THE INDEPENDENT has long insisted that Iran chose the 2010 prime minister of Iraq (no, it was the US government and the Iranian government together).

Iranian militias run freely in Iraq.

THE NEW YORK TIMES has reported on increased control of Iraq by Iran for over ten years now in one one report after another.

For over ten years now, the US government has decried Iran's influence in Iraq.

(And we've noted that as a bordering neighbor, of course Iran will have some impact in Iraq.)

In the last year, Nouri al-Maliki has made repeated visits to Iran in what Iraqi political observers see as his attempt to be renamed prime minister.

Former Iraqi president Jalal Talabani was kept in office for a year after the stroke, despite being unable to walk or speak, due to his wife Hero's efforts with the government of Iran.

And Abdulrahman al-Rashed (AL-ARABYIA) argues in a new column:

The new US President Donald Trump criticized his predecessor Barack Obama several times. He said that Obama has left Iraq an easy target for the Iranians, squandering $3 trillion efforts deployed by the US to build an allied Iraq.
The Iranian authorities sent Trump indirect threatening messages instead of reassuring ones. They ordered one of their many militias in Iraq, al-Nujaba movement, to fire missiles in order to show its strength. Al-Nujaba is one of the militias that can target neighboring countries and is similar to the Yemeni Houthis that are also used by Iran to bomb Saudi Arabia with missiles financed by them.
Iran’s threat in Iraq is not just for the neighboring Gulf countries but rather a threat against Iraqis first and then against the surrounding countries.

Iran’s main objective is to seize Iraq, which is the second-richest country in the region, to finance its economic and military needs. During the past six years, Iran has converted Iraq into an Iranian military base, from which it wages its wars in Syria, and threatens Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
The leadership of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards brags about not costing the Iranian treasury any money on foreign military activities in Syria and Iraq, because it depends on the Iraqi treasury that has become its financial portfolio and under the control of pro-Iranian groups after marginalizing the authorities of current Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Meanwhile, ALSUMARIA reports roads to Baghdad's Tahrir Square were cut off in an attempt to halt today's protest
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Thursday, February 02, 2017

It's only February

At US NEWS & WORLD REPORTS, David Catanese has an interesting article which includes this:

In the frenzied opening days of the rebellious Trump era, top leaders in the Democratic Party have taken a posture of relentless, immovable, caustic opposition – assailing the commander in chief at every turn and often employing extreme rhetoric to punctuate its impact. It is a cold-blooded approach that's required for this precarious moment, they say, given the severe changes Trump is attempting on everything from how the U.S. should deliver health care to who should be allowed to become an American citizen.
But there's a risk in outright, perpetual obstruction as well and it's simmering below the surface in conversations between Democratic lawmakers, leaders and strategists as the party debates the most effective path forward: If Democrats protest everything with hair-on-fire outrage, will anything end up sticking with the American public beyond their infinite indignity? If they cry wolf every 12 hours, will the effect of their urgency wane over time? Instead of presenting an alternative vision, will they end up looking simply like a party of outrage?
"We need to be guided by a positive message about economic growth for everybody and a country that includes everybody," says Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who has expressed concern about the party's focus in reacting to Trump. "We can't respond to everything. You have to decide what to respond to based on what your vision for the country is."
Murphy, echoing many top Democrats, believes that message must be economic-based and populist, consistently articulating to the public why their party can deliver wider opportunity and growth on jobs, wages and financial security than Trump's unique brand of Republicanism.
You can overplay a hand -- even a winning hand.

I don't think the Dems in office realize how poorly this is aging.

Or how quickly.

And it's only February.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Thursday, February 2, 2017.  Chaos and War Crimes continue, The Mosul Slog continues, Andrea Mitchell seems confused by numbers and much more.

When Andrea Mitchell started wearing her 'summer dresses' on air on MSNBC I groaned -- they make clear that she is 70 years old -- no matter how 'freshened' up her face has been.  Who knew she was stupid enough to choose a professional photo wearing one?

Someone please tell White House Australia has more troops fighting ISIS in Iraq than any other ally + has fought at our side since WW2

Tacky clothes, tacky thoughts.

Andrea's got her Depends in a wad over the fact that President Donald Trump wants to examine a deal former President Barack Obama made to take refugees Australia had basically kept in pens and camps.

Andrea ignores that reality.  She ignores the struggle of the refugees who sailed to Australia.  She ignores everything because, damn it, she hates Donald Trump.

Does Australia have more troops fighting ISIS in Iraq than any other ally?


According to US media, there are supposedly no foreign troops in Iraq fighting ISIS.


"Train and advise."

Isn't it time she be shown the door before she embarrasses herself further.



I'm just quoting her one line from her appearance on 30 ROCK -- how professional -- how news like.

Forever in ever in syndication, she's the catty cow who hissed "slut!" at another woman (Tina Fey's Liz) who was single, an adult and had sex.

Long after she's dead, that's all she'll be remembered for.


How appropriate.

Does Australia have the most troops in Iraq after the US?

That's probably not true.

They have "about 780" troops in Iraq.

That's per their own Defence Dept.

As for the UK?

It's a bit more complicated.

The official number has been 500 for some time.

In March, THE DAILY MIRROR reported:

Dozens more British troops are being sent to Iraq to help a massive push to drive out Islamic State, boosting the UK’s force in the region to more than 1,000.
It is the most UK military personnel fighting ISIS in the Middle East since our withdrawal from Iraq nearly seven years ago and signals an escalation in the fight against terror in Iraq.

In addition as many as 200 British special forces troops, including the SAS, Special Boat Service and Special Reconnaissamce Regiment, are actually fighting ISIS on the ground in Iraq and neighboring Syria.

this would appear to indicate that the Iraq number was higher than 500.  In addition, BBC NEWS reported in June that 300 more were being sent to Iraq.

And, of course, early last month, the British Army website posted on their Iraq operations page: "Following additional deployments, in the next few months we will have up to 1,350 UK personnel supporting Counter-[Islamic State] operations."

They have been moving towards that number and have already passed Australia's troop numbers.

I have no idea why that matters to Andrea.

If we want to play a numbers game, Australia, under John Howard, had 500 troops in Iraq while the UK and US had thousands.

The war was and is illegal.

Not really sure why Andrea's so eager to push deployments but if she is she should get her numbers right.

Stephanie Anderson and Henry Belot (Australia's ABC) report:

US President Donald Trump has hit out at what he says is a "dumb deal" to take "illegal immigrants" from Australia.
The deal to take refugees from Manus Island and Nauru was brokered between the Federal Government and the US in the closing weeks of the Obama administration.

Donald has every right to review the deal.

He wasn't involved in it.

He should have been.

His thoughts on 'extreme vetting' were already well known.

It looks like a trap set by Barack.

Standing Rock was a trap to.  Barack could have protected it but instead appeased the corporations by just making it 'safe' until he left office.  He set a trap for Donald there too.

Link to headline article

Oh, let's all shed a tear for GE which didn't "bring good things to life" with the Hudson River.

Meanwhile VICE insists that there are plans to take western Mosul.

I would certainly hope so.

It's day 108 of The Mosul Slog.

A few weeks, they insisted, a few weeks and they could take Mosul.

That was 108 days before the operation began.

Mosul is still not liberated.

And the War Crimes continue.

Human Rights Watch notes:

(Erbil) – Groups within the Iraqi military are screening and detaining men fleeing Mosul in unidentified detention centers where they are cut off from contact with the outside world.
The groups, the Popular Mobilization Forces (known as the PMF or Hashd al-Sha'abi), are apparently screening the men for suspected involvement with the Islamic State (also known as ISIS). Given these groups’ lack of training in screening, the irregular nature of these screenings and detentions, and the detainees’ lack of contact with the outside world, the detained men are at heightened risk of abuse, including arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance.
“In case after case, relatives are telling us that their male family members are being stopped by PMF fighters and disappearing,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “While we cannot know exactly what has happened to the men detained, the lack of transparency, particularly for their families as to their whereabouts, is cause for real concern.”
Iraqi authorities should only allow bodies with a screening mandate to screen people and ensure that anyone detained is held in a recognized detention center accessible to independent monitors and granted their due process rights enshrined in international and Iraqi law. All detention should be based on clear domestic law, and every detainee should be brought promptly before a judge to review the legality of their detention. Iraqi law requires that authorities bring detainees before an investigative judge within 48 hours of their detention.
The authorities should ensure that detainees’ families know where they are and publicly issue information about the number of people detained as part of the operation to retake Mosul from ISIS.
Human Rights Watch interviewed families from one village, Nzara, who said that PMF fighters had taken all the villagers to another town for 15 days in November 2016, then to refugee camps. But five men who had left the village to sell their sheep never returned and later were seen on a television broadcast identified as captured ISIS fighters. Another man who had left to sell his sheep described being attacked and detained by PMF fighters and eventually reunited with his family, but three men who had been with him in the car have yet to reappear.
Human Rights Watch also interviewed members of four displaced families who traveled between December 26 and January 15, 2017, through a screening site about two kilometers south of eastern Mosul that was under the control of the Iraq Security Forces’ ninth division. The families each said they arrived with large numbers of civilians fleeing, between 1,500 and 4,000 people. They said they also saw between 7 and 20 local PMF fighters there, distinguishable by their badges, accents local to the area, and by their civilian dress. One heard the local fighters being called Abu al-Hashad, signifying their PMF affiliations.
The families who passed through the site all described the same screening process, which was carried out overnight. When they arrived, usually in the evening or at night, men and boys aged 15 and above were separated from women and other children, who went into one of four tents. The military checked each of the men and boys’ IDs against lists of people wanted by various Iraqi authorities for suspected ISIS-affiliation.
This is the common procedure facing all men and boys fleeing the current conflict, usually at the first screening site they reach, and sometimes repeated at multiple other sites, dozens of men and boys who fled have told Human Rights Watch. The men from two of the families said that at least eight men screened with them were detained after the ID check.
After that, the men said, they were separated into groups by their Mosul neighborhoods, and four masked men came and pointed at a few men, whom they took away. The men said that as many as seven other men also were taken away, with no explanation from the military and PMF officers. The seven detained men did not reappear before the rest of the group left on buses with their families for the camps the next morning. They did not personally know any of these men, so did not know if they had been with their families or alone.
On January 10, one soldier from the ninth division working at the screening site told Human Rights Watch that he had been stationed there for several weeks and that every night, PMF fighters from the area, known as Tashkeelat Nawadar, led by Abdulrahim al-Shammiri, would come and detain groups of men who were not included on the authorities’ “wanted lists.” A fighter with the Nawadar Hashad, based at the site, confirmed that his forces were detaining men on a nightly basis, because they were sure these men were ISIS-affiliated. He would not divulge what happened to the detained men. One man who passed through the screening site referred to the PMF there as Hashad Nimrud, and another as the Hashad Nineveh, two different local Hashad groups.
A nongovernmental organization working in the area confirmed to Human Rights Watch that the screening site is under Iraqi military control, but the road and area are under PMF control. Human Rights Watch has been unable to locate the detained men or any families of men detained at the site.
The PMF do not have an official mandate to carry out screenings, and as far as Human Rights Watch has been able to determine, have not been trained to carry out screening, raising concerns about possible ill-treatment.
The authorities should ensure that no groups are carrying out screening without legal authority. They should inform family members of the location of anyone detained, allow family members to contact them, and ensure that anyone detained is brought before a judge within 48 hours to comply with Iraqi law. The authorities should publicly issue and update numbers on how many people are being held, where they are from, and where they are being held.

“Some men appear to be vanishing into the night even after official screenings by Iraqi security forces confirmed they were not on their wanted lists” Fakih said. “It is crucial for the authorities to take all measures to ensure that their whereabouts are known and the scale of detention is documented.”

If Andrea "SLUT" Mitchell is so concerned about Iraq that she brings it into an Australian issue, maybe she'll take the time to chat about the HRW alert on her meaningless program?

In yesterday's snapshot, we noted how stupid it was for an Iraqi-American to blame the death of his mother on Donald Trump.  It was even more stupid than we thought -- the man was lying.  The following was added last night to the snapshot:

[ADDENDUM added 2/1/17 at 7:54 p.m. -- The son lied.  He lied.  That's the culture we are living in.  People feel they will be rewarded and recognized for attacking Donald Trump so they'll go to any extreme.]

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