Friday, August 25, 2017

White girls stick together?

I mean no disrespect when I say I can't imagine why I would value James Cameron's opinion of Wonder Woman.

I'm getting really tired of the media.

I keep saying, "Betty, don't call them crackers."

But it's getting harder and harder.

James Cameron's being slammed for noting WONDER WOMAN is a weak film.

It's a crowd pleaser, I agree.

The KKK and the thugs from Charlottesville probably loved it.

This Black woman?

I saw it with my daughter.

Where were the people of color?

Now it would have been harder to hide them in WWII.

So the film's set in WWI.

Even though Wonder Woman was created during WWII in the comic book.

It was a wonderful White cartoon.

And there's nothing wrong with that until you start acting like it's a great artistic statement.

It's less than drivel.

And it's racist.

So NPR maybe you need to rethink you're White faces.

They live in White Girl World and tend to forget that we don't all live there.

In other words, kiss my Black ass.

(That is aimed at the media -- not at White women in general.)

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Friday, August 25, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, the director of a cartoonish pro-war film mistakes herself for an auteur, a homophobe (recovering?) gets applauded by HUFFINGTON POST, and much more.

Let's start with the nonsense.

I get it, Carlad Herreria needs a she-ro whose crotch she can bury her face in and she thinks that woman is Senator Tammy Duckworth.

It is offensive to identify Tammy repeatedly as "who lost both legs in . . ."  That's what happened to her, it's not who she is.  Carla and HUFFINGTON POST can't even fit Tammy's name in their headline.  They're reducing her to an object.

That's (A).

(B) Tammy thinks that transgendered persons should serve in the military.

That's her right.  (I happen to agree with her.)

Her losing two legs in the Iraq War doesn't make her opinion any more valid or any less valid than anyone else -- a fact Carla might realize if she could stop dreaming of Tammy's crotch (drooling over?).

(C)  Carla's so busy quoting that she doesn't do the job of reporting:

“When I was bleeding to death in my Black Hawk helicopter after I was shot down, I didn’t care if the American troops risking their lives to help save me were gay, straight, transgender, black, white or brown,” Duckworth said in a statement shared Thursday on Twitter.

Thanks for the fanzine bulletin, Carla.

(D) Reality.

I believe, when Tammy was bleeding to death, she did care whether the troops who helped save her were married.

Excuse me, rather they were married to members of the same sex.

Because in 2006, when she first ran for Congress (in a rigged primary that pushed out the real progressive Christine Cegelis -- and it was rigged as was the 'independent' media coverage), she was against marriage equality.

It wasn't until 2015 that Tammy came out for marriage equality.

That's three years after Joe Biden made his remarks in support of marriage equality on MEET THE PRESS.

So let's abandon the notion that Tammy's opinion is more valid than anyone else.  It's certainly not more valid because she lost two legs in war.

Were that the case, then let's find someone with even greater injuries -- and, yes, there are many more severely injured veterans -- because by Carla and HUFFINGTON POST's 'reasoning' they would be the ultimate arbitrary.

Ava and I have gone over this nonsense repeatedly, of elevating people to positions they don't warrant.  For example, then-Chastity Bono is forced out of the closet by THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER and is immediately made the voice of gay America by the media and by GLAAD.  She didn't have a clue.  She was an idiot.  Her comments about ELLEN got the show negative publicity and gave ABC an excuse to cancel it.  She did not just say "too gay" on THE TONIGHT SHOW, she said in interviews (including to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER).  She didn't know a thing and her opinion shouldn't have been treated like gospel but she became the media voice for lesbians.

Where is she now?

No more.

Chastity is now a man, Chaz Bono.

He is no longer the media voice for lesbians -- nor should he have ever been.

Tammy Duckworth's opinion?

She can and should offer it.

Before treating it as gospel -- in shriekings better left to TIGER BEAT  -- we might need to evaluate the opinion and the source.

On a related note, glad for Patty's success but James Cameron is correct, WONDER WOMAN was not about feminism not was the character especially strong.  Women in James' films have tended to not only be more complex, but stronger as well.

And while I'm happy for Patty's success, surely she doesn't believe she wrote the screenplay.

Because she didn't.

Allan Heinberg did.

It's actually an embarrassing film -- both for being pro-war (that's not what Princess Diana was about) and for refusing to grapple with the world.

It's movie-land.  Meaning they set it in WWI because they didn't want African-American characters.  And movie-knowledge allows them to get away with that.  (Meaning old movies rarely featured African-Americans in anything other than bit parts so the White landscape in WONDER WOMAN -- which is not reflective of the ear -- does merge with what many see as the past via feature films.)

When Patty can leave the cartoonish, glorification of war, she might have something to be proud of.

Until then, she should probably shut her mouth or others will step forward to respond as I have done-- this is the first time I've ever commented publicly on that film.  (As noted before, James Cameron is a friend.)

The Whiteness of WONDER WOMAN is truly offensive.

(And don't bring up Gal.  She's not playing a Jew, she's playing a White Amazon.  Do we want to explore the damage done to our society via enforced "passing"?  Didn't think so.)

Leaving cartoon war and its glorification for the reality of the Iraq War, RT notes, "The operation in Tal Afar has been going on for less than a week, but according to some estimates, over 10,000 local civilians have been displaced since its start. Those who manage to flee the battlefield have to walk for hours to reach safety."  They explain further:

Most people displaced from Tal Afar have to walk for hours “in arduous conditions before reaching safe areas,” and many arrive “exhausted and in poor health, often with critical levels of malnutrition among children, some unable to move,” the UN Migration Agency, IOM, reported on Tuesday. The people who flee carry a minimal amount of clothes, some only had what they wore, and some were only partially clothed, it added.
The IOM said that those who fled from the area arrive at military checkpoints and mustering points, and are then transported by the local authorities to areas including Hammam al-Alil, an area south of Mosul in the Nineveh Governorate, which hosts a displacement camp. From there, they are transported to other displacement camps and emergency sites.
Some refugees report “walking up to 20 hours before reaching Badoush, a point at which the authorities provide onward transport,” including to Hammam al-Alil, NRC reports.
“To get through those checkpoints, you need documentation. If you don’t have it or you have the wrong kind of documentation, you are prevented from moving further on,” Melany Markham, the Norwegian Refugee Council's (NRC) media coordinator in Iraq, told RT.

Another 'liberation' effort.  Didn't work for Ramadi, Falluja or Mosul -- they're still destroyed and thousands are dead.  But the same plan is being used again.

Joan Soley (BBC NEWS) reports:

The military assault on Tal Afar might seem clear cut, but the combination of forces involved invites complications on the ground.
Approximately 40,000 troops are taking part in the fighting - three Iraqi Army divisions, Iraqi and US-led coalition special forces personnel, as well as "government-backed" paramilitary fighters from the Popular Mobilisation (Hashd al-Shaabi).
The Popular Mobilisation is an umbrella organisation under whose banner are militias like Kataib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Brigades), Moqtada al-Sadr's Saraya al-Salam - the current incarnation of the Mehdi Army - and the Badr Organisation.
The Popular Mobilisation's ranks also include fighters from Asaib Ahl al-Haq, a group trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force that has been accused of a number of kidnappings and attacks in Iraq.
The factions in the Popular Mobilisation are predominantly Shia and many are backed and funded by Iran. When you speak to them, many of their fighters do not try to hide their deep-seated disdain for Iraqi's Sunni population.

The forces -- not just the militias (which are now officially part of the Iraqi forces) -- are known for War Crimes.  The US government looks the other way -- as they pretend not to know so much else.

Child soldier in US-backed Iraqi Army. It is impossible for the US and coalition to be unaware of child soldiers. via

Meanwhile Hamdi Malik (AL-MONITOR) reminds:

As the Islamic State weakens in Iraq and Syria, the forces fighting the group are eyeing each other more critically. The United States and Iran are vying for influence in Iraq, and accusations are flying.
In the battle to control the Iraqi-Syrian border, the Sayyid al-Shuhada Brigades, an armed faction of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) came under attack Aug. 7. In a strongly worded statement the same day, the group accused US forces of attacking their positions in western Iraq and vowed to avenge the casualties.
The statement said US forces had heavily bombed the brigades’ positions on and near the border, “killing and wounding many of our forces.” The group called for “an urgent meeting of leaders of the Islamic resistance factions in Iraq to consider an appropriate response.”
Denials came from many quarters. On Aug. 8, the Iraqi Joint Operations Command denied any attack on PMU positions in the area and stressed, “Incidents reported by the media occurred outside the Iraqi border.” Coalition spokesman US Army Col. Ryan Dillon stated via his official Twitter account, “Allegations of #coalition strikes vs. Popular Mobilization [Units] near #Iraq-#Syria border are INACCURATE. No coalition strikes there [at this time].” Even the leadership of the wider PMU issued a statement the next day echoing the coalition’s denial.

Who wants some democracy next..?
All the lives lost, all the money wasted, all the homes destroyed and how's that worked out?  A war that's now passed 14 years.  
Before the U.S invaded Iraq in 2003,there has never been a suicide blast in Iraq, while 1892 blasts, after invasion
Today AHLUL BAYT NEWS AGENCY reports, " Iraq witnessed nine of the 11 deadliest attacks in 2016, all claimed by ISIS militants, said a study by the university’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START)."  That's the never-ending Iraq War.
Sold to you by the press which cheerleaded it before it began and then for years after.  Still sold to you by the press when they moved to ignore it because it was going so poorly.  Andre Damon (WSWS) observes:

 Another example of the convergence between the press and the military/intelligence establishment is an op-ed published Wednesday by Thomas Friedman, the New York Times ’ chief foreign policy columnist. Friedman boasts of having “spent eight days traveling with the Air Force to all of its key forward bases in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates,” including a trip to a “strike cell” carrying out airstrikes in Iraq.
Friedman describes US air strikes in an urban area with undisguised enthusiasm. “Quickly, the smoke cleared and the 30-foot-wide building was smoldering rubble—but the two buildings to the sides were totally intact, so any civilians inside should be unhurt,” exults the Times columnist, without pondering the fate of any civilians who were in the building that was vaporized.
“This is the war in Iraq today in a nutshell,” he writes, suggesting that the American military as a true liberator focuses its energies on preventing civilian casualties. This criminal lie is, of course, contradicted by the reality of millions killed, wounded and uprooted by more than a quarter century of US wars in Iraq and surrounding countries in the oil-rich Middle East, including the recent leveling of Mosul. Unfortunately for Friedman and the Times, this panegyric to the moral purity of the American military appeared two days after a US air strike in Syria killed more than 40 civilians.
Friedman’s whitewashing of the homicidal activities of the US Air Force exemplifies the role of the press, led by the New York Times and Washington Post, as shameless cheerleaders for US military intervention, together with the major TV networks, which routinely present retired military officials as authorities on all questions of policy.

The following community sites updated:

  • iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq Iraq

    Thursday, August 24, 2017

    Hillary grows more pathetic

    I'm glad John Stauber Tweeted this:

    : "days before the world heard him brag about groping women. Now he followed me closely ... making faces”

    What a bunch of nonsense.

    If Hillary felt 'crowded' by Donald, she should have said so.

    Is this #WhiteGirlProblems?

    I don't think so.

    Yes, I'm Black and, yes, I'll tell a guy to back the hell off.

    But I am friends with many White women who would do the same.

    If Hillary's too weak to say, in public, "You need to step back"?

    She's too weak to be president.

    And notice she brings up this nonsense.

    The debate was ruined for her.

    How sad.

    Does she tell us about how she got the debate questions before the debate?

    Oh, guess she's not really honest -- big surprise.

    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
    Thursday, August 24, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue as the 'liberation' of Tal Afar continues, a safety warning for journalists in Iraq is issued, turns out more US troops are in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan than the US government told us (shocker!), and much more.

    The current liberation or 'liberation' operation in Iraq targets Tal Afar.  In June 2014, the Islamic State seized control of Tal Afar and continue to hold it.  Saturday, August 19th, Prime Minister Hayder al-Abadi announced the operation had begun.  Like Mosul, it's in Nineveh Province.  Unlike Mosul, it's population isn't in the millions.  The city is estimated to have less than 100,000 or a little over 200,000 depending on the source.  The bulk of the population is said to be Turkmen.

    And the number of Islamic State members said to be in Tal Afar?

    Baghdad estimated the number of ISIS Fighters in TalAfar between 1200 and 2000, then why did they mobilize more than 50 thousand troops.. ?!

    And as Iraq mobilized 50,000 fighters to go after 2,000, grasp that's not the entire number fighting ISIS.

    Belgian Special Forces Group during the offensive.

    And, of course, US Special Ops are participating on the ground and the US military is also flying war planes dropping bombs on the still highly populated Tal Afar.  And doing quite a bit more.  Tara Copp (NAVY TIMES) reports:

    The Pentagon knows precisely how many troops are deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria on a daily basis and could provide that information to the public if needed, U.S. and military officials told Military Times.
    Yet for the last year, the Pentagon, under the Trump administration, has publicly reported only the “force management level” — the official cap for troops authorized for each country — even as the real numbers far exceeded those caps.

    Recent reports suggest that the total number of U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan may be about 20,000, far more than the official tally of about 14,000.

    Do they ever tell the truth about numbers?  Copp's report is similar to Nancy A. Youssef's report for KNIGHT RIDDER (the last day before it was officially absorbed into MCCLATCHY) where she revealed that despite claims otherwise the US government was keeping the numbers for civilians killed in the Iraq War.

    All these years later, what does 'liberation' look like?

    OXFAM explains this morning:

    Traumatized women and children fleeing Iraq's Tal Afar district have told Oxfam how people died walking for days through the desert in 50C heat to reach safety. One mother said the road they took to escape smelled of dead bodies while another said she feared her husband was dead as ISIS took him when they fled.

    On Sunday, the Iraqi army launched a major offensive to retake Tal Afar, one of the last urban strongholds held by ISIS in Iraq. More than 30,000 people have already fled the city, according to the UN, and up to 40,000 remain in and around Tal Afar.

    Oxfam’s Amy Christian met some of those fleeing Tal Afar in a screening site in Badush, around 60km east of the city, where Oxfam is supporting those that have fled: “The sound of children crying was deafening. Covered in dirt and incredibly thin, they have been through hell to get there. The families stayed very close to each other and the women held on tightly to young children and babies. Everyone looked extremely exhausted and clearly traumatized from their experience. After days walking in the blistering heat, they urgently need food, water and shelter.”

    People also said they had run out of food in Tal Afar and had to escape during the night as ISIS was preventing them from fleeing.
    Ahlam Ibrahim, who fled the village of Mzra’a near Tal Afar when bombing began, said: “We left because we were afraid of the airstrikes. We were so afraid for the children. The road was steep and rocky, and old people were dying. It was so hard to walk and the road smelled of dead bodies. I lost my voice because I was shouting at my children to stay with me. They were so scared.”

    Nahida Ali*, also from Mzra’a, told how she walked for two days in the blistering heat with no water: “ISIS took my husband two days ago as we tried to escape. We wanted to leave a month ago but ISIS wouldn’t let us. If they saw a family leaving, they would take the men. We saw a lot of people killed; that’s why we were so afraid. We are worried they will kill my husband. My son won’t stop crying because ISIS took his father and we don’t know where he is.”

    Oxfam is calling on the government of Iraq to ensure that civilians can reach safety and receive the help they urgently need. It is also calling on all parties to the conflict to avoid harming civilians who stay in the city, and to protect civilian areas and infrastructure – including avoiding the use of explosive weapons with wide area affect.

    Notes to editors

    Oxfam is supporting those fleeing the fighting in Iraq with life-saving food and water both in camps and in communities that have been recently retaken and where families are seeking shelter.
    Oxfam is working at the Badush screening site distributing kits with soap, nappies, underwear and sanitary towels to new arrivals, who are then redirected to a camp. The international agency is also assessing whether the needs of those fleeing the conflict are being addressed.
    *Name has been changed

    Contact information

    Oxfam has in country spokespeople available.
    Harriet Hernando on / +447557 077 008

    14 years of US-led war and counting and Iraq's no better off.

    In fact, the Committee to Protect Journalists just issued the following alert yesterday afternoon:

    Threats to journalists in Iraq have changed after government forces regained control over the city of Mosul and significantly reduced the territory controlled by the militant group Islamic State. CPJ's Emergencies Response Team (ERT) has issued the following advisory for journalists who plan to continue working in Iraq.
    Despite the decline of the Islamic State group's presence in Iraq, the country is no more stable. The reemergence of Shia militias is blurring defined front lines and has elevated general risks for journalists in the region.

    The Hashd al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs), have played a key role in the fight against Islamic State and, in recognition of their work, the Iraqi parliament has designated them an official military force. In this new landscape, journalists will be required to get approval from these groups as well as the government, depending on where they plan to work.

    Many of these newly approved armed groups have poor human rights records, according to a Human Rights Watch report published in July 2016. The New York-based group has documented summary killings, enforced disappearances, torture, and the destruction of homes by some of these factions, and has called on Iraqi authorities to stop operating alongside these militias.

    There are concerns that these groups could turn to violence as a means to censor reporting on corruption, violence, abuse or human rights violations.

    In December 2016, a group of gunman affiliated with a Shia militia kidnapped Afrah Shawqi al Qaisai from her home and held her for nine days after the Iraqi journalist wrote an article criticizing an interior ministry official and the culture of impunity surrounding militia groups.

    While Islamic State has suffered territorial losses, the militant group still remains a threat to journalists working in Iraq. It still controls Tel Afar, a city 39 miles (63 kilometers) west of Mosul, and surrounding areas.

    Currently, Iraqi troops, with support from Kurdish Peshmerga forces and PMUs, are waiting for official orders to start a ground offensive to retake Tel Afar. Iraqi troops are already carrying out airstrikes on Islamic State and have stationed military equipment in Badush, 25 miles (40 kilometers) northwest of Mosul. Some of the area's villages have already been retaken.

    Islamic State also maintains support among parts of the population in Iraq's western Anbar province. In recent weeks, there has been an uptick in attacks that use guerrilla tactics, a trend that security experts say is likely to continue. Islamic State is expected to continue targeting media as well.

    Here are some tips for journalists working in Iraq. They are intended as guidance and may not fit all situations.

    General advice:
    • Have a clear understanding of which militias or armed forces control the areas where you will be working and determine if media presence will be welcome.

    • Obtain necessary permissions that may vary with each militia group. Failure to have the proper credentials can lead to altercation or arrest.
    • Create a contingency plan with an emergency contact. Set up a communication schedule with your contact and agree on actions to be taken should you fail to check in at the appropriate time. In high-risk situations, journalists should consider tracking devices.
    • As part of your contingency plan, leave your passport or other identification details, insurance policy numbers, medical history, and blood type with your emergency contact.
    • If you will be at risk of kidnapping or arrest, agree on proof of life questions with your emergency contact. Also provide him or her with passwords for social media and personal wishes regarding media coverage and ransoms. In such situations, it is also advisable to leave instructions regarding power of attorney in the event that you go missing or become incapacitated.
    • Your emergency protocols in case of injury, arrest or kidnapping should include contact information of people in your network, i.e. your fixer or local journalists. Leave their contact information with your emergency point person. Also include contact information of your country's local embassy or consulate.
    CPJ encourages local journalists, freelancers, and media organizations covering the Mosul offensive to closely follow the safety principles and practices of the ACOS alliance, which can be found here.

    For more information on conditions for journalists working in Iraq, visit CPJ's Iraq page on our website. For additional safety information and details including security assessments, visit CPJ's Journalist Security Guide.

    Things aren't getting better.

    Fourteen years and so many dead and the Iraq War continues -- with little attention in the US despite this being a US-led war.

    In fact, a press briefing yesterday at the US State Dept contained Matt Lee's usual fake theatrics (poor Matt, those e-mails to Vicky Nuland revealed just how staged his 'brave' interactions were) but not one mention of Iraq.

    Tuseday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did a press briefing by phone.  Credit to ABC NEWS' Martha Raddatz for her focus which included the exchange below:

    QUESTION: It’s all right. Secretary Tillerson, I know you don’t want to talk about the military, but you were just using some military terms, and battalion level and that. I know and understand why the administration does not want to talk about tactical moves, but strategy – don’t the American people deserve to know approximately how many more of their sons and daughters will be going back to Afghanistan in a war that’s lasted nearly 16 years?

    SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, I think – and I don’t want to speak for Secretary Mattis – but I think the intent is there will be visibility to troop levels once the decision has been made. I think what the President has conveyed, and I agree wholeheartedly with him, is that we are not going to signal ahead what our plans are. We’re not going to signal ahead an increase, a decrease, the timing of any of that. It will be driven by conditions on the ground. The only way we can defeat an enemy that is as nimble and as cagey, tactically, as this enemy, is we have to be as cagey and tactical as they are. And we’ve not been fighting that way.

    QUESTION: Could that include strikes in Pakistan?

    SECRETARY TILLERSON: I’m not going to comment on what it could include, but the President has been clear that we are going to protect American troops and servicemen. We are going to attack terrorists wherever they live, and we have put people on notice that if you are harboring and providing safe haven to terrorists, be warned. Be forewarned. And we’re going to engage with those who are providing safe haven and ask them to change what they’re doing and help us help them. Because in my view, the best – the greatest benefactor, other than the Afghan people themselves, to achieving stability and peace in Afghanistan, are the people of Pakistan. They will benefit more than any other nation. 

    So many in the press seem unaware of either the Afghanistan or Iraq War.

    But, of course, not everyone suffered.

    For example, corporations reaped massive profits.

    We'll note these Tweets from US Special Envoy Brett McGurk that pertain to one group of Iraqi Christians.

    Grateful for Father Salar & people of Telskuf for your warm welcome. Restoring life to your town defies and honors our fallen. 5/5
    Our supports Telskuf & towns around Mosul w/stabilization projects. This substation will soon return power to plain. 4/5
    lost. Churches are still standing, now being restored, & 4,000 people have returned to their homes in over last 6 months. 3/5
    is a mostly Christian town de-populated by in 2014. terrorists tried to destroy churches that stood since 258 AD. 2/5
    Visited today just north of . U.S. Navy SEAL Charles Keating IV sacrificed his life here fighting on May 3, 2016. 1/5

    The following community sites -- plus GORILLA RADIO -- updated:

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