Friday, July 14, 2017


Who do you want to win an Emmy?

Not Julia Pukey Stuck Up who's probably going to walk home with another Emmy for VEEP.

That awful show just wrapped season six and she's nominated again -- after five previous wins for the same performance playing the same character.

I'd go with BIG LITTLE LIES.

I loved that show.

I think everyone was great but I'd go with Nicole Kidman for best lead actress in a limited series.

I wouldn't cry if Reese Witherspoon won, though.  She was very good in her role as well.

I would pick Laura Dern for supporting and Alexander Skarsgard for supporting actor.

I think those were all great performances.

And I love the show.

There's talk of a second season.

I would watch.

And I don't usually watch HBO shows.

They usually bore me.

But this one held me from the start.

Zoe Kravitz and Adam Scott were also wonderful (though not nominated).

The story was great and about topics I care about: friendship, empowerment, strength, etc.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Friday, July 14, 2017.   The Mosul Slog, officially over, continues.

 Day 269 of The Mosul Slog -- yes, it is still going.

People coming out of Mosul. I don't think we have any idea what a humanitarian tragedy this has been

And continues to be.

Replying to 
: Mass executions committed by |i forces in Western . Where are , and Western media?

War Crimes.

They haven't stopped and the US is aiding them.  This is in clear violation of the Leahy Amendment which demands the US pull all financial and military support for any country whose military does what is videotaped above.

Peter Beaumont (GUARDIAN) reports:

The Iraqi government has said it will investigate a graphic video that appears to show its soldiers killing an unarmed suspected Islamic State fighter by throwing him off a high ledge.
The video was reportedly filmed in the Mosul area where Iraqi troops have largely retaken a city once controlled by the extremist group, and comes amid mounting concern over claims of abuse committed by Iraqi soldiers and police in the battle for Mosul and in its aftermath.
[. . .]
The footage shows a man being held in a building and then dragged by soldiers across an open area to a ledge above a drop of at least 30ft where another body lies motionless.
It appeared alongside a second video that has also been circulating on social media which appears to show a man in Iraqi army fatigues gunning down an unarmed man kneeling in front of a car.

Iraq investigating horrific video of soldiers throwing tortured IS suspects from clifftop

Bill Van Auken (WSWS) reports:

Gun battles continued to rage and air strikes sent plumes of smoke rising over Iraq’s devastated second largest city Wednesday, more than 36 hours after the country’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, proclaimed victory in the nine-month US-backed siege of Mosul.
The top US commander in the US interventions in Iraq and Syria, Gen. Stephen Townsend, told Pentagon reporters via a video call from Baghdad that fighting in the city could go on for weeks.
“Make no mistake, this victory alone does not eliminate ISIS, and there’s still tough fighting ahead,” Townsend said. “There are still pockets of resistance in Mosul, holdouts, and hidden IEDs that will take weeks to clear.”
He added that there remained “a lot of mopping up and back-clearing to be done.”
These terms are military euphemisms for a continuation of the killing and destruction that has left tens of thousands of civilians in Mosul either dead or wounded and driven over 900,000 from their homes.
There are growing indications that the “mopping up” being carried out by Iraqi security forces and sectarian militias operating with the aid and guidance of US Special Forces “advisers” involves a campaign of revenge assassinations and terror against anyone believed to have collaborated with ISIS during the three years it controlled Mosul, as well as against the families of suspected ISIS members and supporters.
Iraqi security forces have been dragging away men and boys seeking to escape the city. The Washington Post described a “screening station” set up in an old fairground on the eastern bank of the Tigris River where “dozens of men sat in rows last week and waited for judgment.” The article continued: “Military intelligence officers in balaclavas sporadically moved among them to pull out an evacuee accused of working with the militants.” Videos have surfaced of the brutal torture of such suspects, who have been beaten with hammers and run over with tanks.

The Mosul Slog may have been declared over but it slogs on.

  Jul 12

There was fighting in the Old City of Mosul today, 3 days after victory was declared. Not over yet. By

These are the haunting images of Mosul's civilians, still fleeing the city despite Iraqi forces celebrating victory.

The Mosul Slog keeps slogging.  Tony Duheaume (AL ARABIYA) wonders what awaits Iraq

But as far as the acts of terror being committed by the Popular Mobilization Units are concerned, they cannot claim them to have just simply committed in the heat of battle, as their past history suggests otherwise. But considering some of these atrocities had taken place under the tenure of the more moderate Shiite Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi what would the prospects for future peace efforts be, should Nouri Maliki return to power any time soon.
Because the next time around, Maliki would be implementing his divisive, and pernicious racial policies, using a military fully controlled by Popular Mobilisation Unit commanders, with an agenda of ridding Iraq of any form of Sunni control. All of this backed by the Iranian administration, who are desperate to see a Shiite Islamic republic in Iraq, modelled after their own, and fully controlled from Tehran by their Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Sadly, such a prospect might not be too far in the distant future as Maliki is now campaigning to get his old job back and running neck-and-neck with the present incumbent prime minister. Should Tehran’s man Maliki win, Iraq would most certainly be returning to the dark old days when rampant death squads roamed the streets, a time when badly mutilated bodies turned up in profusion, dumped in ditches after being tortured in the secret dungeons spread across Iraq, set up by National Intelligence Service.
So, the death squads that had caused so much havoc for coalition troops during their occupation of Iraq, have now found themselves fighting alongside Iraqi troops, not only hitting back at advancing ISIS forces, but also responsible for committing atrocities against the innocent Sunni population.

With these militias better armed than before, with more control than ever, they are no doubt readying themselves to once again be pitted against civilians in the role of death squads, should their revered leader Nouri al-Maliki once more become prime minister.

Now for this . . .

Proud of who spent her 20th birthday with girls in Kurdistan / Iraq. Read more

It's the coward who visited Iraq only once during his eight year presidency.

Trying to grab some luster from a young woman's trip to Iraq.

She's a young woman.

Look what she's doing.

By contrast, Barack's floating around on David Geffen's yacht knobbing with Tom Hanks and Bruce Springsteen.

But he thinks he's in a place to Tweet about anything?

He oversaw the largest transfer of wealth in US history and the destruction of wages for the working class but he goes off to party on a yacht.  And then rushes in to Tweet about someone else doing what his candy ass should have been doing?

The following community sites -- plus PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Prison could keep her in the headlines

'JW's said FBI was played by Clinton lawyers & didnt care and he called for audit of the investigation.'

I think it's time for Hillary to be arrested.

Otherwise, how will she stay in the news?

2018 means a focus on candidates and she's not one.

She's a loser.

A big, massive loser.

Only time in prison can keep her on the front pages.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Wednesday, July 12, 2017.   Chaos and violence continue, a new leader of the Islamic State may or may not have emerged, Amnesty Internationl's charge of War Crimes gets some attention, IRAQI DAY publishes a photo that goes to the heart of the charges (though they fail to grasp reality), Brett McGurk prepares to dupe the Kurds and much more.

Apparently, everyone wants to make like Sandy Denny and since "Peace In The End" (the song she and Trevor Lucas wrote for their group Fotheringay).  Well keep singing the lovely song and, as they note in those anonymous meetings, "it works if you work it."  Maybe someday.

But not today.

Link to headline article

First, Iain Burns(DAILY MAIL) notes talk of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's death.

Yes, we've been here before -- many times before.

At present, there is no confirmation of the death -- although at this point, with so many earlier reported deaths, I don't know what form of confirmation would be required.  It's the story of the little boy who cries wolf over and over only to not believed when a wolf finally does emerge.

Second, Abu Hatham al-Obaidi

After noting the rumors of al-Baghdadi's death, HEAVY notes:

Abu Haitham al-Obeidi means “Father of Young Eagle” and may be derived from Malik ibn al-Haytham al-Khuza’i, an important figure in the Abbasid Revolution which fought and defeated the Umayyad Caliphate of Iran shortly after the spread of Islam.

The Islamic State has not been defeated in Iraq.

Mosul may or may not be 'liberated'  . . .

Counter Terrorism units are still searching underground tunnels Old city this morning.

. . . but the Islamic State has not been defeated in Iraq.

Pretending otherwise?

You need to dig a little deeper.

Ella Eyre performing "Deeper" (first appears on her album FELINE).

That 'success' in Mosul?

We tracked the highest ever number of alleged Coalition casualty events in June (223). Hundreds of civilians died

Bill Van Auken (WSWS) observes:

This city, which three years ago had a population of nearly two million, has been subjected to a murderous siege that dragged on for nearly nine months. The scenes of destruction in Mosul are comparable only to the kind of devastation that was wrought upon European cities in the Second World War. The Old Town of western Mosul, the heart of this ancient city, has been largely flattened by US missiles, bombs and shells, with hardly a single residential or commercial building left intact.
The crimes carried out against the civilian population are on a Hitlerian scale. Close to one million people have been driven from their homes. Those trapped in the city were subjected to a continuous bombardment by US warplanes, attack helicopters and heavy artillery. Early on in the siege, the destruction of basic infrastructure and the cutting off of all supply routes deprived hundreds of thousands of men, women and children of electricity, clean drinking water and access to adequate food and medical care.
The total number of dead and wounded may never be known. Buried in the reports of the victory celebrations by the US-backed Iraqi forces is the grim fact that these troops were dancing on rubble amid the unmistakable stench of rotting corpses.
The monitoring group Airwars has documented the deaths of 5,805 civilians as a result of attacks launched by the US-led “coalition” between February and June of 2017. There is no doubt that this figure, which excludes casualties during the first four months of the siege as well as those resulting from the intense bombardment of the past three weeks, is a serious underestimate. Tens of thousands more have been wounded.
Among those escaping from the besieged city, boys and men were treated as ISIS suspects, in many cases subjected to interrogation, brutal torture and summary execution, all under the approving eyes of American Special Forces “advisers.”

Amnesty International issued a report Tuesday titled “At Any Price: The Civilian Catastrophe in West Mosul,” in which it recounted that civilians were subjected “to a terrifying barrage of fire from weapons that should never be used in densely populated civilian areas.”

We noted Amnesty International's report in Monday's snapshot.  Julia Conley (COMMON DREAMS) notes:

The report also focuses on the human cost of the U.S.-led coalition's actions in Mosul. Amnesty interviewed 150 witnesses, experts and analysts about dozens of attacks, and focused on a pattern of attacks that took place between January and July 2017.
"The horrors that the people of Mosul have witnessed and the disregard for human life by all parties to this conflict must not go unpunished," says Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty's director of research for the Middle East. "Entire families have been wiped out, many of whom are still buried under the rubble today. The people of Mosul deserve to know, from their government, that there will be justice and reparation so that the harrowing impact of this operation is duly addressed."

Stephen Kalin (REUTERS) reports:

Amnesty said Iraqi forces and the coalition had carried out a series of unlawful attacks in west Mosul since January, relying heavily on Improvised Rocket Assisted Munitions (IRAMs), weapons with crude targeting capabilities that wreaked havoc in densely populated areas.
"Even in attacks that seem to have struck their intended military target, the use of unsuitable weapons or failure to take other necessary precautions resulted in needless loss of civilian lives and in some cases appears to have constituted disproportionate attacks," the report said. 

War Crimes.

Yet some don't even grasp what they see with their own eyes.

forces walked over caliphate in .

The man in the photo above, who may or may not be a member of the Islamic State,   He has his hands secured behind his back and is in nothing but his underwear.

The War Criminal, by contrast, is heavily armed and placing his foot on a prisoner while posing for photos.

He's not just a War Criminal, he's a proud War Criminal.

Which goes to how f**ked up things are in Iraq.

IRAQI DAY is a moderate site.

But they see this as a photo worth sharing.

And attach a 'quip' to it to spread the laughs.

Turning to the White House's special envoy Brett McGurk . . .

Welcome high level visit to led by 's oil minister to discuss cooperation on vital issues after .

"Cooperation on vital issues" will be led by "Iraq's oil minister."

Wording, Brett, wording.

Oil, yet again, oil.

Is oil an issue in the chasm between the central based government in Baghdad and the KRG?


But the KRG has announced a move towards independence.

Any effort to derail that -- which is what this appears to be -- will result in a perception that certain KRG officials took a bribe, sold out the long held dream of Kurdish independence -- and a Kurdish homeland -- for a few dinars.

What would this accomplish?

As Brett knows full well, it would not only halt the legal moves towards Kurdish independence, it would also toss the northern region into chaos as the people turned on their leaders.

Don't forget that the party Goran was a creation of the CIA.  It would be the most likely to benefit from this.

But just destabilizing the Kurds would be enough.

It's been the tactic of the US government since the days of Henry Kissinger.

Let's again note Aaron Latham's "Introduction to the Pike Papers" (VILLAGE VOICE, Feb. 16, 1976):

In 1972, Dr. Henry Kissinger met with the Shah of Iran, who asked the U.S. to aid the Kurds in their rebellion against Iraq, an enemy of the Shah.  Kissinger later presented the proposal to President Nixon who approved what would become a $16 million program.  Then John B. Connally, the former Nixon Treasury Secretary, was dispatched to Iran to inform the Shah, one oil man to another.
The committee report charges that: "The President, Dr. Kissinger and the foreign head of state [the Shah] hoped our clients would not prevail.  They preferred instead that the insurgents simply continue a level of hostilities sufficient to sap the resources of our ally's neighboring country [Iraq].  The policy was not imparted to our clients, who were encouraged to continue fighting.  Even in the context of covert action, ours was a cynical enterprise."
During the Arab-Israeli war, when the Kurds might have been able to strike at a distracted Iraqi government, Kissinger, according to the report, "personally restrained the insurgents from an all-out offensive on the one occasion when such an attack might have been successful."
Then, when Iran resolved its border dispute with Iraq, the U.S. summarily dropped the Kurds.  And Iraq, knowing aid would be cut off, launched a search-and-destroy campaign the day after the border agreement was signed.
A high U.S. official later explained to the Pike committee staff: "Covert action should not be confused with missionary work."

Trickery and deceit have been the hallmarks of the US government's relationship with the Kurds for decades.

Let's note an event coming up later this month (July 22nd):

South Central Michigan Greens
Calhoun, Hillsdale, and Jackson Counties Local
People and planet over profit.


For more information:
Monika Schwab, Local Contact/SCMiGreens

South Central Michigan Greens to Discuss Reaching Out
to the People 3-5pm July 22 at Albion Biggby's

The South Central Michigan Greens local will discuss events, canvassing, 
and other ways to reach out to people in the three-county area at the 
group's next monthly meeting 3-5pm on Saturday, July 22 at the Albion 
Biggby's, 217 East Michigan Avenue.

Calhoun, Hillsdale, and Jackson County members of the Green Party of 
Michigan -- and others who agree with the party's values -- are invited 
to come and bring information about events in their area.

John Anthony La Pietra of Marshall, longtime Elections Co-ordinator for 
the state party and the Green nominee for Michigan House District 63 
last year, will talk up some upcoming events near him in central and 
eastern Calhoun County.

"Marshall has the Calhoun County Fair next month and the 54th Annual 
Historic Home Tour September 9-10.  Albion has the Festival of the Forks 
September 15-17, and the Fall Festival at Homer's Blair Historical Farm 
is September 23."

La Pietra also wants to invite Greens and other supporters of working 
people to join a Labor Day walk September 5 connecting Marshall's two 
historical monuments to the labor movement.

Information about canvassing door to door to share views on issues was 
presented briefly at last month's meeting June 24 at the downtown branch 
of the Jackson Coffee Company.  This month, La Pietra hopes, the 
discussion will expand to how, when, and where to do some canvassing 

The South Central Michigan Greens local was formed earlier this year to 
bring together Green Party members and supporters at monthly meetings 
held around the three-county area.

For more details and news about the South Central Michigan Greens,
please visit the local's Facebook page:

#  #  #

The Four Pillars of GPMI:
    Grassroots Democracy
    Social Justice
    Ecological Wisdom
For our Ten Key Values, add:
    Community-Based Economics
    Future Focus/Sustainability
    Personal and Global Responsibility
    Respect for Diversity

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