Friday, November 10, 2017


Last time, I wrote "Roy Moore ."

Among the e-mails is one from a woman who's very upset with me.

I wrote, she insists, that to destroy Roy Moore politically.

And I did that, she insists, because he's a Republican.

I did not identify him as a Republican and tried to not make the post about political parties.

He is accused of inappropriate behavior with girls -- not women, girls.

The issue for me were the charges, that's why I wrote about it.

I also tried to explain that the story here to me was that in this short time, there is no way to get proof for or against Moore.

To me, the smart thing to do would be to let a new person fill his spot, especially if state rules mandate that a replacement would have to be a write-in.

If it helps any . . .

Bill Clinton is still headlining the gala despite being accused of raping Juanita Broaddrick, who Hillary Clinton threatened for speaking up. Why isn't this a bigger deal? An accused rapist and his victim-blaming partner are the the faces of the feminist movement.

Bill Clinton?

Probably raped Juanita Broaddrick.

As far as I'm concerned, he did it.

He's refused to ever publicly acknowledge her.

If he's innocent, he'd shout it to the skies.

Instead, he's made a point to never speak of it.

And the press has allowed him to get away with that.

Hillary Clinton ran for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 2008 and again in 2016 and then ran for president of the United States, her husband is a man publicly accused of rape and the press never asks her about it or him about it.

Sorry, that's wrong.

Juanita Broaddrick was believable when she came forward.

She's only more believable today.

As far as I'm concerned, he's a rapist.

Now when I started this blog, I didn't believe that.

But I didn't know anything about it.

I never saw the NBC interview with Broaddrick or read any of the coverage.

It was after the whole Monica Lewinsky and impeachment and I was exhausted by it all.  I don't think that was an uncommon reaction.

So when Juanita Broaddrick stepped forward, she didn't get attention from me or from many others.

Today, I believe her.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Friday, November 10, 2017.

"Love Is Here and Now You're Gone" by Diana Ross & the Supremes is one of the 19 number one pop songs (BILLBOARD US singles chart) that Diana Ross has sang on.  November 19th, she'll be on the live broadcast (ABC) of The American Music Awards to perform and to receive the American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement.  Motown Classic is issuing DIAMOND DIANA: THE LEGACY COLLECTION November 17th to note this monumental achievement.

C. Alexander Ohlers (THE HILL) offers:

One of the less told stories of Iraq is its success in 2008, at which time Coalition Forces, diplomats, and the international community began to gain momentum under the ‘surge’ strategy. By 2010, the once formidable al Qaeda in Iraq had been relegated to the countryside of Mosul, civilian deaths fell from as high as 3,500 per month in late 2006 to below 250 per month, and Iraqi’s, who previously hid in their dark Baghdad homes, could walk the streets and dine out.
Another positive development was the emergence of a non-sectarian Sunni-Shiite coalition, the Iraqi National Movement (al Iraqiya), which would win a narrow majority in the 2010 election against Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s State of Law Collation.
Although the victors normally have the first opportunity to form a collation government, Maliki influenced the Iraq courts to sanction his party with a prevenient opportunity to form a government. A nine-month standoff ensued as a result, during which time Maliki retained power while Iran pressured wayward Shiite groups to join Maliki’s coalition.
The U.S. Administration was faced with a decision: to reinforce Iraq’s democratic process; or, to support the Maliki government. As reported by Ned Parker in Foreign Affairs and Politico, Vice President Biden and then Ambassador Hill chose to back the politically stronger Maliki as prime minister through a compromise power sharing arrangement, or the Erbil Agreement.
The outcome was dire. After U.S. troops departed from Iraq at the end of 2011, Maliki reneged on the terms of the Erbil Agreement. Instead, he moved to centralized power, exiled several Sunni leaders, and marginalized Sunni groups in what many analysts believe set fertile soil for the rise of ISIS.
That's how it happened before.
Sadly, it appears to be happening again.
ISIS has not been destroyed but Prime Minister Hayder al-Abadi is determined to destroy Iraq -- just like Nouri al-Maliki did before him.
Not seeing it?
armed forces detain journalist Samir Obeid since Oct. 22 because of an article criticizing Iraqi PM . continues to be inhospitable for press freedom

The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Iraqi authorities to release freelance journalist and political commentator Samir Obeid immediately.
Iraqi armed forces from the 54th brigade arrested Obeid at his Baghdad home on October 22, according to the local press freedom groups the Iraqi Center for Supporting Freedom of Speech and the Iraq Observatory for Press Freedoms. The arrest came a day after Obeid published an article to his Facebook page, which has over 24,000 followers, that was critical of Iraq's prime minister.
On October 26, Baghdad's Al-Sa'a Court charged Obeid with spreading rumors and fake news and misleading public opinion in accordance with Article 210 of the Iraqi penal code, according to a post that Obeid's brother-in-law, Hassan al-Rassam, published on his Facebook page.
"Iraqi journalists are already reporting in some of the most dangerous conditions worldwide. The Iraqi government should not compound their difficulties by arresting journalists like Samir Obeid for critical reporting," said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour from Washington D.C. "Iraqi authorities must immediately release Obeid and allow journalists to work freely and without fear of reprisal."
According to the brother-in-law, bail conditions were met and Obeid was expected to be released on October 30, but he remained in detention. On November 8, authorities referred Obeid's case to a criminal court and charged the journalist with communicating with foreign parties in accordance with Article 164 of the Iraqi penal code, al-Rassam told CPJ.
Obeid has been held at Baghdad's Al-Muthanna Air Base.
According to al-Rassam, neither Obeid's family nor lawyer has been able to contact the journalist since his arrest.
In his article, published on October 21, Obeid wrote that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi used the country's armed forces to retake Kirkuk so that foreign oil companies that helped al-Abadi become prime minister-- most notably the British-owned oil company British Petroleum-- could gain control of the oil fields in Kirkuk. According to BP estimates, the Kirkuk fields hold 9 billion barrels of recoverable oil.
Al-Rassam told CPJ that his brother's arrest was in retribution for this article and that the charges against his brother-in-law are false and unfounded.
The Iraqi Prime Minister's office did not immediately reply to CPJ's request for comment.
The second charge, for communicating with foreign parties, is based on Obeid's guest appearances on the Al-Jazeera program "Opposite Directions," al-Rassam wrote in a Facebook post. He wrote that Iraqi authorities consider the Qatari-owned broadcaster Al-Jazeera to be allied with foreign countries that plan to overthrow their government. CPJ was unable to verify al-Rassam's explanation of the charges.
Samir Obeid was a frequent critic of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, and lived in exile in Norway until 2014 when he returned to Baghdad.
Obeid has regularly appeared as an expert and commentator on television channels including Tigris TV, ANB, and NRT, and has provided analysis on Iraqi political issues including the implications of the Kurdish independence referendum and the Iraqi government's decision to award the U.S. firm Blackwater a contract to protect the Trebil section of the Iraq-Jordan border crossing.
Obeid posted opinion pieces and articles on the ongoing dispute between the Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq and the Iraqi government to his Facebook page following the Kurdish independence referendum on September 25, 2017. 
Attacking the press?  Nouri did that.  (Of course, Hayder's been attacking the press for some time -- and made a mockery out of the threats against journalist Ned Parker.)
Care to notice it before another ISIS rises again?
Or will the global community just stick its head in the sand again?

As IS’ power recedes, however, it is slowly being replaced by sectarian Shia Islamist militias who operate nominally under Baghdad’s control, but are closely linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. These groups are likely to be destabilising factors - antagonists to Iraq’s Sunni Arabs and now also its Kurds - dictating political terms in the areas they control despite supposedly being under the authority of the central government. As a result, small insurgencies have already started to flare again in cities that were previously feted as “liberated” by Baghdad.
[. . .]
There are already signs that such an insurgency is indeed re-emerging in key locations around Iraq, with so-called “low-intensity conflict” reasserting itself as the normative violence in the war-ravaged country. Baghdad’s efforts may not only need to be focused on IS, though, as other groups who have stayed dormant for more than three years attempt to make a comeback.

As Abadi was raising the Iraqi national flag in Qaim on Sunday, twin blasts rocked the recently recaptured oil-rich city of Kirkuk, the centre of recent explosive events between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government based in Erbil. Footage circulating online showed plumes of smoke rising from the scene of the suspected suicide bombings on Atlas Street, which lies in a busy shopping area.

The attacks targeted a crowded market and a former police station taken over by a Shia Islamist militant group, who set themselves up after Baghdad ejected Kurdish Peshmerga militias from the disputed city last month. While many Peshmerga fighters abandoned the city – often described by Kurds as the “Kurdish Jerusalem” – other Kurds swore that they would not allow the Shia-led government in Baghdad to control Kirkuk easily.

The Shi'ite militias are outlawed in the Constitution.  But Hayder has officially recognized them and made them a part of the Iraqi forces.

He's in violation of the Constitution and his militias are carrying out War Crimes.

Concerned yet?

Namo Abdulla Retweeted Hemin Hawrami
Warning! Some may find this video disturbing: alleged members of the Iraqi Army executing a young man in civilian cloths. Regardless of identity of victim, this is total savagery!
Namo Abdulla added,

There is no any difference between Iraqi &İran and ISIS. Who Can explain why part of his government forces act like this? Is this state or militia state?

Wednesday, Hayder al-Abadi declared in his weekly press conference that "this week, we received another batch of F-16 aircrafts from the USA."

Just keep rewarding him, ignore his War Crimes, ignore his attacks on the Iraqi people?

That's what Barack Obama did with Nouri al-Maliki until the summer of 2014.

He knew Nouri was corrupt and trash -- so much so that the day after the 2012 US election, Barack refused to take Nouri's call of congratulations and instead fobbed the call -- and Nouri -- off on then-Vice President Joe Biden.

But he kept rewarding Nouri.

No conditions were ever set on aid or US support.

Donald Trump, some have noted inherited this problem.

Yes, he did.

But it was a known problem and Donald decided he wanted to be president, so he needs to lead.

He hasn't led on Iraq.

He's failed.

With all the reports of War Crimes and with the militias (and Hayder himself) publicly rebuking US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the US still delivered more war planes to Iraq this week.

No conditions, just give the crying despot what he wants?

That's the policy?

Even though it hasn't worked before?

Donald Trump's president now.  He can't blame his failures on anyone else. The Iraq War was started under Bully Boy Bush and continued under Barack Obama.  It's still going on and if Donald has no ideas of how to end it, he shouldn't have run for president.

In last Friday's snapshot, we noted the new effort to lower the age of marriage to at least 9-years.  Mustafa Habib (NIQASH) reports:

“There are serious constitutional and legal violations in this desire of the Islamic parties to amend the law,” one Iraqi MP, Shuruq al-Abaji, told NIQASH.
She points out that Article 41 of the Iraqi Constitution guarantees that Iraqis are free to choose personal status according to their religious beliefs, sects or other choices. Before the amendments can be made to the personal status law, this article would need to be changed, al-Abaji insists.
And there is another legal issue, the politician notes. The proposed new personal status law would refer issues of marriage, divorce, custody and inheritance to the religious endowment authorities – these are the bodies tasked with running and maintaining Shiite or Sunni mosques and shrines and they are very important institutions within their own sectarian communities. But, as al-Abaji argues, that violates not just the principle of the separation of powers but also human rights and international laws around women’s rights.
“The organization of these issues should be the responsibility of the courts and not the executive branch of Sunni or Shiite religious orders,” al-Abaji concludes.
Iraq’s original personal status law and the proposed amendments could not be more different. The first one grants mothers the right to custody and gives wives the right to inherit their husband’s estate. Meanwhile religious jurisprudence tends to say the custody of children is a matter for the father and that women do not have the right to inherit real estate or land.
However these were not even the issues that really riled Iraqis up. The change that most angered locals was the one related to legal marriageable age. Civil law says a couple should be aged at least 18 in order to marry. Meanwhile religious law says puberty means a female is of marriageable age. In some cases, this is considered to be nine years old, in others 12 years old. 
“The newly proposed law encourages the marriage of minors and reminds us most of the way that the [extremist group] Islamic State behaved with young girls, how the organisation forced them to marry group members when they were in control in Mosul and Raqqa,” says MP Rizan al-Sheik Daleer.
Once again, civil society and women’s rights organisations rallied around to protests the changes in the law. Many Iraqis on social media used the hashtag #NoToUnderageMarriages and a number of Facebook pages were created to organize the protests and garner support.

Not one US news outlet has reported on this.

The following community sites -- plus Cindy Sheehan, Jody Watley and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated:

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Roy Moore

How does Roy Moore stay in the race?

  1. Replying to 
    Even granting that attitudes have changed, I think most commonsense Americans in 1979 would've objected to a sexual relationship between a 32-year-old prosecutor and a 14-year-old girl.
  2. Sexually pursuing a 14-year-old would be bad enough, but Roy Moore did it as *a sitting prosecutor* -- hard to fathom a more egregious power disparity

I don't understand this.

He should have immediately said, "I'm dropping out."

The election is December 12th.

Give him the benefit of the doubt and say, "he's innocent," okay?

Even if he was innocent, you couldn't clear this up between now and Dec. 12th.

There's no way.

He should have dropped out immediately.

Do I give him the benefit of the doubt?

I wish I could say yes.

But it's multiple women.

That doesn't make it true but it feels true.

And I think that's how many people are going to feel about  it.

We're tired of the abuse.  We're tired of the violence.  We're tired of rapes.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Thursday, November 9, 2017.
"You Keep Me Hanging On" by Diana Ross & the Supremes is one of the 19 number one pop songs (BILLBOARD US singles chart) that Diana Ross has sang on.  November 19th, she'll be on the live broadcast (ABC) of The American Music Awards to perform and to receive the American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement.  Motown Classic is issuing DIAMOND DIANA: THE LEGACY COLLECTION November 17th to note this monumental achievement.

Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs has just published its accounting of U.S. overseas conflicts covering 2001 to present.
The figures include previous and new defence spending for combat operations in  Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Syria.
The actual wars are estimated to cost $4.3 trillion U.S. That overall figure also includes increased spending on veterans from those wars. In addition, the cost figure includes $783 billion in spending for the Department of Homeland Security for the prevention and response to terrorism.
The price tag for endless war.
The hubris of leaders who think they can spend the United States into the poor house and the citizens we'll love them for it.
All the things that $4.3 trillion could have bought.
All the needs that go unmet.
The world is not safer because of that spending.  It's more at risk.
Iraq's certainly no better for this.

Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed its concern for the fate of innocents besieged inside Rawa, last ISIS' stronghold in Iraq.

Military observers believe that the presence of civilians inside the city might force the security forces to change their military tactics in launching the liberation operation.

OHCHR added that “according to the detecting sources at the commission’s offices in Anbar, ISIS terrorists are still holding nearly 2500 families, equivalent to 10,000 individuals, to use them as human shields and hamper the advance of Iraqi forces”.
After all the victory laps Iraq's tiny prime minister Hayder al-Abadi's taken while claiming ISIS has been defeated in Iraq (it hasn't), turns out Rawa's still controlled by ISIS -- as has been the case since June of 2014.
Private banks have until Tuesday to close down in Kurdistan. Thank you every day you make me why I should never ever feel being "Iraqi". My kids don't know word "Iraq" nor I will ever let them do so. Are KDP & PUK corrupt yes, but normal Kurds dont deserve this.
Humiliation and persecution -- the two tools Hayder uses.  They only fuel resistance.
A true leader grasps that.
A despot doesn't care.
Hayder's creating the resistance.
In more bad news for Hayder, RUDAW reports:
The United States Congress has taken the first steps to impose "terrorist sanctions" on Iranian-proxy militias operating in Iraq.

Hezbollah al-Nujaba and As-Saib Ahl-Haq are alleged to have been "provided training, funding, and arms by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), IRGC-Quds Force, and mentored by Lebanese Hezbollah."

Rep. Ted Poe sponsored the bill on Friday which will first be referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The text also claims Ahl-Haq leader, Qais al-Khazali, "has pledged allegiance to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei."

Ahl-Haq “conducted numerous attacks” against US and Coalition forces since its inception in 2006, according to the bill.

Rights agencies like the UNHCR and Human Rights Watch have alleged the two groups have carried out human rights abuses in Iraq and Syria during the war against ISIS and Syria’s internal conflict. Alleged abuses include execution of civilians during the 2016 siege of Aleppo and extrajudicial killings of Sunni and Kurdish civilians in areas liberated from ISIS.

The two Iraqi Shiite militias are part of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), which is officially under Iraqi government control.
The Iraqi government must find a balance, dealing with the increasingly important Shiite Muslim militias, who express their allegiance to Iran, and the US. They must convince a large mainly Shiite Muslim political bloc to accept the ongoing presence of US troops in Iraq and appease and restrain some of the more extreme elements within the Shiite Muslim militias.
Over the past fortnight some of those tensions have been expressed by commentators at the highest political levels.
US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, earned both applause and opprobrium when he called for Iranian-backed militias and Iranian advisers, who helped to defeat the extremist Islamic State, or IS, group, to “go back home”. US diplomats also caused an uproar when they described Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, one of the most senior commanders in the Shiite Muslim militias, with close contacts to Hezbollah in Iraq, as a “terrorist”; al-Mohandes had previously been designated a terrorist in 2009 but has played an integral part in the fight against the IS group. 
Qais al-Khazali, who heads the League of the Righteous militia, one of the most extremist fighting groups in Iraq, was quick to respond. He wrote on Twitter, using his personal account, to tell Tillerson that, now defeat loomed for the extremists, the US forces in Iraq had no excuse to be there any longer and that they should get out.
Most of the Shiite Muslim political parties also condemned the US’ statements and al-Mohandes was defended on all sides, even though he has close ties to Iran (which some politicians disagree with).
Caught in between the diplomats, the fighters and the rhetoric is the Iraqi government.
The militias are supposed to be disbanded.
They are never to be made part of the Iraqi military -- per the Constitution.  But Hayder ignored the Constitution.  Where's the Baghdad-based court ruling on that?
Iraq's Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi has been in the US.  In DC, he's been calling for the US to arm the Sunnis.  Yara Bayoumy (REUTERS) reports, "Iraq's top Sunni Muslim politician said on Wednesday he would back Shi'ite Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi for a new term as long as conditions such as bringing Shi'ite militias under state control and balancing relations with other countries are fulfilled."
It's a rare bit of good news for Hayder.  Of course, Osama does tell REUTERS that there would be conditions for such support and that Hayder would have to start ruling for all of Iraq and not just for the sub-section of Shi'ites in the Dawa party.
And RUDAW quoted from a speech Osama gave this week:

“Disputed areas should be under the security of a confederated entity. This doesn't mean the Peshmerga and Iraqi armies should be deployed on the ground,” said the Sunni leader Nujaifi at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, D.C. “It should originate from the local populaces – in the hands of the people there.”
That's not an idea unique to Osama.
The US government has often argued that.
But they've never done much more than give lip service to it -- they haven't set conditions on aid or training, they've just said, "Take these trillions and do whatever you want!"
The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley and LATINO USA -- updated: