Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Sometimes I don't get Michael Tracey

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Okay, I'm thankful for the right to disagree. 

And for being able to read people I can disagree with.

I like Michael Tracey's Tweets and often agree with them.  But sometimes we don't agree and sometimes he leaves me confused.

  1. Replying to 
    Menendez deserved to be ousted even without the corruption ordeal -- one of the most incorrigible hawks in the senate -- but the NJ Democratic Party is so structurally decrepit that it'll be virtually impossible for anyone to mount a serious primary challenge.

Has he written about this or just Tweeted?

Senator Bob Menendez has been strongly against the Iraq War before it started.

He voted against it.

He has repeatedly called for US forces to be redeployed out of Iraq.

He's called out our support for the Nouri al-Maliki government in 2014 -- a stance that many of us believe led to the court issues that resulted in a mistrial.

SO I don't see how he is "one of the most incorrigible hawks in the senate" as Michael says.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Wednesday, November 22, 2017.  As many go on holiday in the US, school is still in session for the US State Dept (child soldiers) and US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (reality) while the biggest story for Iraq is that the IMF now controls the country.

Currently, Iraq is planning to hold elections in May.  One factor that might influence voting?

Iraq's further loss of sovereignty.

The International Money Fund released the following yesterday:

 IMF Mission on Iraq

November 21, 2017
End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF's Executive Board for discussion and decision.
  • The Iraqi authorities and IMF staff continued discussions on the third review of the Standby Arrangement.
  • Good progress towards reaching agreement on a draft 2018 budget in line with the program.
The Iraqi authorities and the staff of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) continued discussions in Amman from November 17 to 21, 2017 on the third review of Iraq’s 36-month Stand-By Arrangement (SBA). The IMF Executive Board approved the SBA on July 7, 2016 (See Press Release No. 16/321), and completed the second review on August 1, 2017 (See Press Release No. 17/311).
At the end of the mission, Mr. Christian Josz, Mission Chief for Iraq, issued the following statement:
“The Iraqi authorities and IMF staff continued discussions on the third review of the SBA and made good progress towards reaching agreement on a draft 2018 budget in line with the SBA.
“During the discussions, the team met with Acting Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI), Dr. Ali Mohsen Ismail Al-Allaq, Acting Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr. Maher Johan, Deputy Minister of Planning, Dr. Qasim Enaya, Financial Adviser to the Prime Minister, Dr. Mudher Saleh, Chairman of the Board of Supreme Audit, and officials from the ministry of finance, CBI and the ministry of oil. The team would like to thank the Iraqi authorities for their cooperation and the open and productive discussions.”

IMF Communications Department
PRESS OFFICER: Randa Elnagar
Phone: +1 202 623-7100Email:

"In line with the program."

Iraq now has to discuss their budget -- get permission from the IMF -- and it has to be "in line with the program."

This is exactly what Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani warned about.

But Hayder al-Abadi knew better, or thought he did.

He's prime minister.

For now.

He's never been popular.

He's considered a lazy Nouri al-Maliki.

He hasn't ended corruption.

He persecutes the Sunnis.  He persecutes the Kurds.

He's riding a light wave of popularity because the US-led coalition has bombed and bussed -- yes, and bussed -- many of the Islamic State fighters out of Iraq.

Replying to 
We finished [ISIS] militarily in Iraq and liberated our towns and cities. This is an Iraqi victory, made by the Iraqi people. We thank all those who supported Iraq and stood by us during our battles of liberation

And already the wave of popularity is fading.

Now this.

Now the Iraqi people have to see that Hayder al-Abadi sold out the country's future.  And they know the Grand Ayatollah publicly warned about a deal with the IMF.  They know that he warned about it repeatedly, over and over.

But Hayder went through with it.

And now Iraq has to bow before the IMF, Hayder has turned the country into debt slaves.

That's going to be hard to run on.

Nouri still wants to be prime minister.  That's just the sort of thing Nouri can exploit to thin out Hayder's Shi'ite support (at present, Hayder has no support except for Shi'ites and Turkmen).  Even Nouri didn't do that, even he didn't sell out Iraq's rights and future.

This is big news that will become bigger news.

It attacks the reality of Iraq and the image of the Iraqis.  It's a major blow to belief, to pride, to nationality.

Let's go to yesterday's US State Dept press briefing with spokesperson Heather Naurert:

QUESTION: Thank you. The head of Kurdish foreign relations has asked the U.S. to appoint a special envoy to mediate between Baghdad and Erbil. What’s your response to that request?

MS NAUERT: Yeah. So we certainly heard about that idea to appoint a special envoy. We believe at this point that this is an issue that can be worked out internally, that it can be worked out between Baghdad and Erbil and don’t feel that it’s necessary to appoint some sort of United States envoy in some sort of new position to handle this. We have close relationships with the Kurds and with the central Iraqis. We will continue to try to facilitate conversations but we just don’t feel that an envoy is necessary to have – to appoint.

QUESTION: Well, I’m sure the Kurds do, otherwise they wouldn’t have asked, and a point in fact for example --

MS NAUERT: I’m – Laurie, I’m not aware of a formal request to appoint an envoy. I’ve heard of this report. I’m not aware of a formal request. But look, I mean, every nation, every dispute around the world could ask us to appoint an envoy. We think that countries can work out some issues on their own. There’s a very long history here. These folks have lived together, have fought together, have raised families together; we think that they can probably work it out on their own as well.

QUESTION: And one party has committed genocide against the other not so long ago. But yesterday, the Kurdistan government called on the international community to press Baghdad to lift the punitive measures that it has imposed on the Kurds, like the closure, for example, of the Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports. So what have you done in that regard to facilitate the opening of those airports, which is a necessity?

MS NAUERT: Sure. We have lots of conversations to try to facilitate some sort of an agreement on the part of Baghdad and Erbil. Brett McGurk was just there; I believe it was late last week. He met with both Barzani and also with the prime minister, Abadi, both in Baghdad and in Erbil last week. He made calls over the weekend. Secretary Tillerson was on the phone over the weekend. He spoke with both Mr. Barzani and Abadi over the weekend. So, I mean, that’s a very high level of support that we have trying to help facilitate things – for things to improve in Iraq. I don’t know that there’s that much more that we can do. But we call on the governments to sit down and have a conversation together and work this out.

QUESTION: As a result of all that talking, has Baghdad made any commitment on when those airports will be reopened?

MS NAUERT: The last thing that I have on that is just we’re going to work to continue to press for the opening of any remaining airports that are closed.


Great -- and when will they address the blockade Baghad's imposed that prevents medicine from going into the KRG?  Or the attempts to arrest those who supported a peaceful referendum?

Staying with the State Dept, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in the news.  At issue?  Iraq, Burma and Afghanistan getting a pass on using children as soldiers.

The State Department is defending Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's decision to leave three countries -- Afghanistan, Iraq, and BurmA -- off a list of those using child soldiers


The issue was raised at yesterday's State Dept press briefing.

QUESTION: When the Secretary made a decision on whether to designate Iraq, Burma, and Afghanistan as not employing child soldiers, did he do so on a technical basis or on a political one?

MS NAUERT: Yeah, yeah. No, on a technical basis really. He made the decision after considering – let me back up for a second. When these designations are made there’s a lot information that comes in. It’s information that comes in from NGOs, sometimes from post, sometimes from the Intelligence Community, a lot of different – sometimes open source material. A lot of information flows in and we take a look at it all and try to make sure it’s all accurate and credible.
I want to be clear about the importance of using the Child Soldier Prevention Act. And we announced our list earlier this year, in the summer. We all know why it’s in the news. It’s in the news because there was a dissent memo. That’s why it’s in the news today. But essentially this is an incentive – the act is itself – for governments to prevent the unlawful recruitment and use of child soldiers. No one in the United States Government likes the idea of the use of child soldiers. It is abhorrent, okay? We will not designate to – we will not hesitate to designate any country as ineligible for assistance if a statutory standard for listing would be met in the future. Okay.
In June, the Secretary determined that there were eight countries that met the statutory requirement to be identified under the Child Soldier Prevention Act, and let me list those countries, if I may: Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen. That’s both South Sudan and Sudan. So those countries all were put on that list because we know that they use child soldiers. When it came to looking at Burma and also Iraq and also Afghanistan, the Secretary made the decision to not have those countries on the list because he considered the credibility of all the information that was available to him from all of those multiple sources. He reviewed all the facts and he felt that he made the decision to not have those countries on the list as justified pursuant to law.

QUESTION: Now, as you know – well, maybe I shouldn’t ask this one since it was yours. Did you want to ask this one?

MS NAUERT: Go ahead and follow up before --

QUESTION: Well, just a quick question on the credibility thing.


QUESTION: Both the human rights report issued by the State Department and the trafficking report, I believe, argued that they do use and recruit child soldiers. So why did the Secretary not find his own institution’s reports lacking credibility in this regard?

MS NAUERT: I think part of it has to do with the numbers in the reports, and I’m not going to be able to say much beyond that. There are countries that use lots and lots of children. There are countries where, just as a general matter, where you may have heard from one source, among the many sources that I mentioned, where maybe one source might say that they heard a child had been a border guard. I’m just making that up, but something of that sort. And if we can’t corroborate that information and it is a child who’s listed under a certain government, that government wouldn't necessarily make the list. If we can’t back up that information, if it is a report that only lists one or two, the belief was on the Secretary’s part to not put those types of countries on this list.

QUESTION: Isn’t one too many?

MS NAUERT: It’s a good question. That’s a fair question. Look, I can tell you that he took a technical look at that and that’s the decision he made.

QUESTION: The reason that I asked --

QUESTION: He’s recently visited the three capitals concerned.

MS NAUERT: I’m sorry?

QUESTION: He’s recently visited three capitals concerned, Kabul, Baghdad, and Naypyidaw.


QUESTION: Did he bring up this issue with the leaders of those countries?

MS NAUERT: I think – I’m not sure what – I don’t have the entire readout of the meetings in Afghanistan and also in Iraq. As you well know, I was not there. In the meetings in Burma, there are huge issues to be discussed. Not that this is not important, okay, but some of the things that they have to do is talk about the biggest issues at hand, and that is the more than 600,000 Rohingya who have been forced to flee that country because they’ve been pushed out, because women have been raped, because children have been killed, and all of that. You know the story. Perhaps he did bring it up in some of the conversations; I can’t get into the details of all the diplomatic conversations. But these are the types of things that come up regularly in our diplomatic conversations with various countries around the world.

QUESTION: Just one follow-up, if I may. I asked a question about isn’t one too many not just rhetorically, but according to the memo which we have, which my colleagues obtained and published --

MS NAUERT: Which memo?

QUESTION: The memo unanimously from the State Department staff, including all the clearances on it, said that the statutory standard was that – was met by even one child soldier, and therefore I don’t – if you doubt your own reports, I can’t argue with that, but if you have sufficient credibility in your reports to publish them and to find that there are, in these cases, at least one, and if the statutory requirement, according to your own internal memo, says one is too many and triggers the requirement, I don’t understand why you wouldn’t go ahead and do it, partly because you also have the ability to issue waivers afterwards to spare countries the consequences of it.

MS NAUERT: That’s the President’s decision, waivers are.


MS NAUERT: I don’t have the statutory language in front of me, so I don’t want to quote from that or read that back to you, because I just don’t have it.

QUESTION: But you said that it was a technical decision. So --

MS NAUERT: Yeah, and that was the decision that the Secretary made. Okay.

QUESTION: The question of --

MS NAUERT: Look, I’m not an expert on this matter. Admittedly, I am not an expert on child soldiers, and nor am I a lawyer. I can do the best to give you the information that I have.

QUESTION: The question on this also is that he disregarded the recommendation, I mean, as Arshad said, by essentially all of the bureaus that would have sort of equity in this; they all recommended that these countries be on the list, and he disregarded their recommendations. So what was it that he felt made it worthwhile for him to disregard the recommendations of all the bureaus?

MS NAUERT: Well, I think getting more to the point is that when people disagree here in this building, there is a channel for that, and that is the dissent cable memo. Four or five of them, to my understanding, are issued every year when – and that is where people in the building who have a different point of view than the Secretary can write up, and that information goes into his office, and he can review that and decide to take that into consideration, he can go along with it and agree with it, or he can decide to go his own – or he can decide to make his own decision. The Secretary did that. He made his own decision on this, but it was not without reviewing the information that came from all the various bureaus and individuals. Okay.

QUESTION: Heather, can I just clarify? Are you saying that they were left off the list because they have a smaller number or --

MS NAUERT: I’m not – I’m not saying that. I’m just saying --

QUESTION: -- or is it because they’re making improvements, which was noted --

MS NAUERT: Well, and that’s another thing where improvements can be made. For example, we have a close working relationship with Prime Minister Abadi in Iraq. We were just talking about that. Prime Minister Abadi has taken great strides in not only making the military more and more professional, holding people to account, and trying to ensure or ensuring that there aren’t child soldiers serving in their various militias and militaries. So we look to those governments as taking – as they take better steps in the right direction.

QUESTION: But in the law, it doesn’t say if they’re taking those steps that they can left off the list.

MS NAUERT: Again, I don’t – I’m sorry, I don’t have the law in front of me. I should have it in front of me, and unfortunately I don’t. So -- 

Jason Szep and Matt Spetalneck (REUTERS) report:

 A confidential State Department “dissent” memo, which Reuters was first to report on, said Tillerson breached the Child Soldiers Prevention Act when he decided in June to exclude Iraq, Myanmar, and Afghanistan from a U.S. list of offenders in the use of child soldiers. This was despite the department publicly acknowledging that children were being conscripted in those countries. []
Keeping the countries off the annual list makes it easier to provide them with U.S. military assistance. Iraq and Afghanistan are close allies in the fight against Islamist militants, while Myanmar is an emerging ally to offset China’s influence in Southeast Asia.

One is too many.

But the State Dept is not the only one getting schooled.  US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, also learns that school is still in session.

Daniel McAdams Retweeted Nikki Haley
No, Nikki. The Christian exodus from Iraq had nothing to do with ISIS. By the time ISIS came into being, your neocon allies and their 2003 invasion of Iraq had decimated Christianity in Iraq. You are responsible. Don't pretend to be a savior!
Daniel McAdams added,

Exactly.  The targeting of Christians in Iraq began long ago and the same militias now roaming Iraq are the same ones who attacked the Christians.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, BLACK AGENDA REPORT, the ACLU, DISSIDENT VOICE, THE GUARDIAN,  LATINO USA and NPR -- updated:


Tuesday, November 21, 2017


In a fitting farewell to the planet that had been its home for over 13 years, the Cassini spacecraft took one last, lingering look at Saturn and its splendid rings during the final leg of its journey and snapped a series of images that has been assembled into a new mosaic. 
Cassini's wide-angle camera acquired 42 red, green and blue images, covering the planet and its main rings from one end to the other, on Sept. 13, 2017. Imaging scientists stitched these frames together to make a natural color view. The scene also includes the moons Prometheus, Pandora, Janus, Epimetheus, Mimas and Enceladus.

Between Cassini and Curiosity, we have learned so much of late about Saturn and Mars.

This is the sort of thing I was talking about last week when I was talking about how I wish I had a reset button to hit because so much more is known now than when I was in high school.

Charles Q. Choi (SPACE) reports that Saturn’s “mysteriously cold vortex of air whirling above the south pole of Saturn’s moon Tiatan may result from its atmosphere’s unique chemistry.” And Mike Wehner (BGR) notes:

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft was an incredibly reliable machine, providing an incredible amount of data and relaying countless observations from its orbit around Saturn. It also took some glorious photos during its extended mission, and even though the spacecraft made the ultimate sacrifice by plunging into Saturn in a blaze of glory, we can all still enjoy its last great image of the entire planet and its iconic rings.

Amazing.  And probably some day, our great-great grandchildren will be able to travel to these planets.  (Yeah, that makes me want a re-set button too.)

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Tuesday, November 21, 2017.

Starting in the United States.

It's not the 1990s.

Meaning your crap is not going to work today the way it did for the Clinton White House.

You want to call out 'fake news'?

Start addressing the swill online regarding Leeann Tweeden.

She was the first woman to come forward publicly and explain that she had been assaulted by Al Franken.

Someone seems to think her alleged sexual history matters.

It doesn't.

And we need to lose that bulls**t right now.

I can blow every man in America and that doesn't mean my behavior gives a man a greenlight to assault me.

Though attorneys may look for the 'ideal' case, the reality is that there are not grades of victims.  If you're wronged, you're wronged.

And there are not acceptable assaults.

We're seeing that with some of the commentary -- not only with regards to Leeann but also with regards to Juanita Broaddrick.  Kathleen Wiley is not as 'serious' as what happened to Juanita.

Juanita says she was raped and I believe her.

Kathleen Wiley says she was grabbed in the Oval Office by Bill Clinton.

That doesn't mean he gets a pass on Kathleen.

"Oh, well she wasn't raped so we don't have to deal with this one."

No, that's not how it works.

Leeann was 'only' groped so we can hang on to Al!

People are not grasping what took place.

Maybe they lie to themselves all the time, I don't know.

But Leeann took part in a USO tour.  She did that for the troops.  She did that for her country.  There was no reason for her to believe she'd be assaulted.  But that's what happened.

Al Franken was the headliner and he had all the power.

He didn't just write a bad little scene where they kiss and then force her to rehearse it over and over.  He waited until she was asleep and grabbed her breasts.  He did that in front of others.  He did that in front of others to 'assert his power' and to ridicule her.  That's not a surprise, he's always been threatened by women who didn't coo over him.

What he did was wrong.

And it brings shame to the USO.

Al Franken assaulted a woman on a USO tour.

This is not minor and was not minor before the second woman stepped forward yesterday.

A USO tour is supposed to be something wonderful.  It allows a civilian to interact with the military and it is supposed to uplift everyone.  Al Franken disgraced the USO.

If someone serving in the military had done what Al did and there was the photograph of them that there is of Al, they would be facing serious consequences up to and including being tossed out of the military.

One liar online wants to insist that Leeann is a liar and that 'besides' Al does so many great things.

Oh, okay.

Can you give me that list?

I ask that not just because Al doesn't do great things.  (He's been an embarrassment on Iraq since before the illegal war started.)

I ask that also so that we can all benefit.

Take for 'good things' from column A and three from column B, for example, and you can kill someone and walk because you're 'good things' outweighs your crime.

What Al did is a crime.  In both cases.

An e-mail insists that I've never called out Trump.

I've called out Donald many times.  I do not like him.  I have not liked him -- long before he became president, I did not like him.

The "grab them by their p**sy" remark?

Sorry, I don't give a damn about that.

It was crass.

The ridiculous reaction to it was embarrassing.

They will let you does not mean that he did that.

He's referring to the power of celebrity.

By overplaying that, the laughable 'resistance' has made themselves useless.

Are we supposed to be offended by his use of the p-word?

Maybe we are.

I was offended by the use of the c-word.

When the head of THE PROGRESSIVE magazine Matthew Rothschild used it on Hillary Clinton in 2008.

Where were the brave defenders of Hillary and/or women then?

(It was called out here in real time.)

After that was allowed to fly on the left, little shocks me with regards to language.

Has Donald assaulted women?

I wouldn't be at all surprised.  If it took place, I'd imagine it did on 'sex island' or whatever that strip of land is known as -- the one Donald and Bill Clinton both visited by airplane, the one the convicted child molester owned.

Roy Moore.

Is that the creep's name?

I don't live in Alabama.  The press has taken him on strong enough that I don't need to learn who he is.  But those who say the voters will decide?  That is correct.

I like Sandy Berger.  I've known him for years.  As I've said here repeatedly, after the incident involving the papers (he smuggled classified papers out in his pants), that should be it for any appointed office ever.  That was a betrayal of public trust.  However, if he chooses to run for office and the people choose to vote him in, that's a different deal.  The people can decide who they want to represent them.

By that token, Roy Moore's running for public office.  Everything that is known should factor into people's decisions.  If they don't believe what he's accused of matters, they can vote for him.  If they do believe the issues matter but they don't believe Moore is guilty, they can vote for him.  They can make whatever decision they want.

And voters did on Trump.  The election is over.  If you have something new, bring it up.  If you've got something that can result in criminal charges, even better.

But that's a dead issue because the voters spoke.

They can re-evaluate that decision -- both in 2020 and historically.

But for now it's over.

Well what about Bill!!!!!

Bill Clinton ran for office (national) in 1992 and 1996.

The public did not know about Juanita Broaddrick or Kathleen Wiley.

They did know of Paula Jones' charges.  But he would go on to settle with Jones.  And it's equally true that the White House engaged in slander and assault on Jones and others.

Bob Somerby continues to practice those slurs at THE DAILY HOWLER.  He doesn't get that it's not the 90s and he's never understood the nature of assault.

Juanita says Bill raped her.  I believe her.  You can join me in that or believe she's lying or reserve judgment or whatever.  That's your right.

Bill Clinton's never discussed that charge.  He's hidden behind one spokesperson who made one statement.

All these years, Bill has allowed the charge that he raped Juanita to go unanswered.

That's rather telling for a man who's known to talk the ears off of everyone.

In the 90s, those of us on the left have much to be embarrassed and ashamed of.  That includes me as well.  But let's hope that, as a country, we've since learned that.

The ongoing effort to smear Leeann suggests that we haven't learned from it.

Al Franken doesn't get a pass because you like him or because you feel he's needed as a Democratic vote in the Senate (he'd be replaced with a Democrat if he resigned, Minn.'s governor is a Democrat (Mark Dayton, Democrat-Labor-Farmer Party).

This goes down to whether or not women control their own bodies.  If they do, then assault is wrong.  If they don't, then we really do need all of you liars who rush forward to explain to us which assaults are wrong and which women assaulted are worth listening to.

I don't believe that.

I believe women own their own bodies and not one of them 'deserves' to be assaulted.

In the 21st century, this is not a controversial notion.

But apparently it's one we, as a society, can give lip service to up until the point when we might actually have to stand by it -- and stand against one of our 'heroes.'

Put me on the Al Franken must resign list.

This week in Iraq, the Supreme Court has declared that the September 25 referendum carried out by the Kurdistan Regional Government is not valid.

Reactions are piling up -- including:

Iraq# Federal Supreme Court is not constitutional since no law enacted by a 2/3 majority of Iraqi # COR to form it. Its decisions political

ICYMI: says Iraqi Federal Court politicized, not neutral, has no legal grounds

  1. : President : federal court is politicized and not neutral. It was established before the approval of the 2005 in which the article 92 urges the establishment of a new federal court.

While it's hard to argue with the above, it's also true that the Court had no business weighing in.  What jurisdiction did they have over a non-binding measure?

The fact that they weighed in on a non-binding measure indicates both abuse of power and failure to abide by their job duties.  The Iraqi courts are still grossly backlogged and that members of the Supreme Court of Iraq thought they had the time to weigh in on a non-binding vote -- a survey, in fact -- goes to the reality that they are not fit for their jobs.

This is not a new finding.

Thursday, February 16th 2012, an incredible act of judicial abuse took place as the 'independent' Supreme Court in Baghdad issued a finding of guilt against Tareq al-Hashemi. Was a trial held? Because Article 19 of Iraq's Constitution is very clear that the accused will not be guilty until convicted in a court of law. No. There was no trial held. But members of the judiciary -- who should damn well know the Constitution -- took it upon themselves not only to form an investigative panel -- extra-judicial -- but also to hold a press conference and issue their findings. At the press conference, a judge who is a well known Sunni hater, one with prominent family members who have demonized all Sunnis as Ba'athists, one who was then demanding that a member of Iraqiya in Parliament be stripped of his immunity so that the judge can sue him, felt the need to go to the microphone and insist he was receiving threats and this was because of Tareq al-Hashemi, that al-Hashemi was a threat to his family.

They have made a mockery of justice and done so for years.

They are not independent but instead under the control of whomever the US government installs as prime minister.

Also true, each US-installed prime minister targets the country's Sunni population.

Today, Ghait Abdul-Ahad (GUARDIAN) reports on what is termed "an orgy of killing" that civilians in Mosul now face.  From ISIS?  No, from the Iraqi forces.  'Justice' is being served by the forces and it's not just.

Meanwhile,  Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal "The Uncounted" (THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE) on how the US government has counted civilians as "terrorists" continues to have an impact.  Neil Macdonald (CBC) observes:

The authors of the Times story, over an 18-month period ending last June, visited the sites of 150 bomb strikes in Iraq, and collected detailed data on 103 of them. The Times says its data clearly shows that every fifth American airstrike in Iraq kills a civilian, a rate about 31 times higher than that acknowledged by the Pentagon.
The revelations didn't surprise Larry Korb, a Washington academic who once served as an assistant secretary of defence under Ronald Reagan. Trump, Korb told me, has given the military what it longed for but was denied under the Obama administration: full licence to carry out airstrikes in any manner it sees fit.
Naturally, conservative hawks and pro-Trump news outlets have basically ignored the Times account. Trump has not commented on it, and if he ever does, it will likely be in a tweet about unpatriotic fake news.

That's an observation.

It's also fake news.

How does this crap get printed?

Did Macdonald read the report itself?

The June date is for April to June of this year when the reporters visited airstrikes going back years -- September 2015 in one case.

This isn't a reflection on Donald Trump.  This deals with Barack Obama's bombings.

But Madonald would rather lie about that -- as would Lawrence Korb.

Stop lying.

Learn to read.

From the report:

It did not include western Mosul, which may have suffered the highest number of civilian deaths in the entire war. Nor did it include any strikes conducted after December 2016, when a rule change allowed more ground commanders to call in strikes, possibly contributing to a sharp increase in the death toll.

Read Macdonald and grasp that neither he nor Korb understands that Trump's strikes aren't covered in the report by THE TIMES:

Nor did it include any strikes conducted after December 2016, when a rule change allowed more ground commanders to call in strikes, possibly contributing to a sharp increase in the death toll.

There's no reason to lie but people like Madonald can't resist the urge.  Nor can Korb who is identified as someone who worked in the Reagan administration but not as someone who works for the Democratic front organization The Center for American Progress.

Working there means never having to tell the truth or, for that matter, never having to learn to read.

The following community sites -- plus BLACK AGENDA REPORT, Cindy Sheehan, DISSIDENT VOICE, Tavis Smiley and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- reports:

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