Twenty-six-year-old Trenten Dille, a miner and father of two from Littleton, West Virginia, died early Wednesday morning after being crushed by the rib of a support pillar in a Marion County Coal Resources mine. Barely 24 hours later, a second death was reported at Horse Creek Eagle Mine, operated by Alpha Metallurgical Resources in southern West Virginia. According to a news release late Thursday night, Nicholas David Adkins, 43, died in what the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) website said was an “electrical haulage” accident at the Raleigh County mine, formerly owned by Massey Energy.
Trenten Dille is the man in the photograph. The baby looks so happy to be held. How sad and how tragic. There needs to be accountability for his death. Conner notes:
West Virginia Governor and coal operator Jim Justice issued his usual hypocritical call for prayers for Dille’s family, as did Senator Joe Manchin. National Public Radio once gave Justice the title of “top mine safety delinquent” because of the numerous safety violations in the mines he owns. Manchin, a top Senate backer of the coal industry, refused to add funding to black lung surveillance and treatment programs to a 2019 bill that stripped funds from environmental rehabilitation of mines. Since 2012, black lung rates have soared to heights unseen since the early 1970s.
Marion County has seen some of the nation’s most devastating mining disasters. In 1907, an explosion in a network of mines in Monongah killed 361 miners. In November 1968, an explosion at the Consol Number Nine mine in Farmington claimed the lives of 78. The resulting fire burned for over a week, contained only after the mine was sealed with concrete.
In response, 40,000 coal miners throughout West Virginia staged wildcat strikes demanding safer working conditions and better health benefits. The widows of Farmington’s victims testified before Congress about the hazards their husbands had faced in the mines. Congress passed the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety act of 1969, which created more stringent oversight for the nation’s mines.
For decades after the Farmington explosion, working conditions improved for US coal miners. Black lung rates began to plummet. Deaths attributable to mining decreased. But over the course of the 21st century, those important gains have been reversed.
People like Trenten are not working to get rich, not on those wages for sure, but they are working to provide for their families. And if their employer cannot ensure basic safety requirements? Then they need to be out of business. He was working to provide for his family. Who picks up the slack now?
Governor Justice? Senator Manchin?
A family has to make do without a loved one. How are you going to make this right?
You gut safety rules and regulations, this happens. It needs to be addressed before more people suffer. There needs to be accountability.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Friday, June 4, 2021. The Turkish government continues its assault on the Kurds, Qassem Musleh remains in custody, and much more.
As noted in yesterday's snapshot, the Turkish government has threatened Iraq, insisting that they make take their illegal bombings and raids further into Iraq. THE ARAB WEEKLY puts it this way:
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Iraq that Turkey will “clean up” a refugee camp which it says provides a safe haven for Kurdish militants, threatening to take its long military campaign deeper inside Iraqi territory.
Turkish forces have stepped up attacks on bases of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) inside northern Iraq over the last year, focusing their firepower and incursions mainly on a strip of territory up to 30 kilometres inside Iraq.
But Erdogan said Makhmour, a camp 180 kilometres south of the Turkish border which has hosted thousands of Turkish refugees for more than two decades, was an “incubator” for militants and must be tackled.
AL-MONITOR's Amberin Zaman Tweets:
Hishyar Ozsoy, a lawmaker for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, said if Erdogan could get the blessings of Baghdad and the United States, attacking the town of Makhmour “isn’t something he would not do.” Ozsoy told Al-Monitor, “For a long while Makhmour and Shingal have — alongside Qandil — been cited as targets by the Turkish government.” Shingal is another name for Sinjar, the Yazidi-dominated region overlooking Syria, which Turkey claims is a strategic foothold for the PKK.
An unnamed Iraqi official cited by Reuters said Turkey had complained last week to Baghdad about “terrorist activities” launched by the PKK “from their camp in Makhmour.” The official said security officials had sought to investigate claims but were denied access to Makhmour by PKK fighters. It’s unclear how the PKK would attack Turkey from Makhmour given its distance from the Turkish border.
“Instead of resolving the Kurdish matter through dialogue [the Turkish government] is determined to persist in its militarist policy, attacking everywhere, including civilian settlements and refugee camps,” Ozsoy said. “Rather than bomb Makhmour, the government should be responding to the question of why Makhmour was established to begin with and why tens of thousands of Kurdish citizens of Turkey are living in a refugee camps in Iraq.”
The area that Turkey wants to target for 'PKK' is also an area heavily populated by the Yazidis. Who are the PKK? Aaron Hess (INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST REVIEW) described the PKK in 2008, "The PKK emerged in 1984 as a major force in response to Turkey's oppression of its Kurdish population. Since the late 1970s, Turkey has waged a relentless war of attrition that has killed tens of thousands of Kurds and driven millions from their homes. The Kurds are the world's largest stateless population -- whose main population concentration straddles Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria -- and have been the victims of imperialist wars and manipulation since the colonial period. While Turkey has granted limited rights to the Kurds in recent years in order to accommodate the European Union, which it seeks to join, even these are now at risk."
The PKK is not the inciting incident. The PKK is a response. It emerges after slaughter and persecution. Just as the Turkish government still refuses to take accountability for carrying out the Armenian genocide at the start of the 20th century, they refuse to take responsibility for their attempts to destroy, to eradicate, the Kurdish people.
The Kurds have no homeland so they've been pawns on the geopolitical chess board for years. Their struggle has largely been rendered invisible by a global media. Even now, as Recep threatens -- that is the word -- western outlets water it down to he 'warns' -- he's not warning, he's making a threat. He's talking of breaking more laws. But the western media insists that they are uses 'neutral' language. No, they are intentionally misleading.
We'll note this from AHVAL:
That's exactly what it is, the war you don't see.
On Thursday, the President of the Republic of Iraq, Barham Salih, said, “cutting down forest trees is an environmental crime,” referring to Turkey’s cutting down of trees within the borders of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
This came days after forests in the north of Duhok governorate were exposed to, what activists and environmental organizations described as, genocide by Turkey.
“Encroachment upon State sovereignty, violence, and the displacement of civilians from their homes in Harur, Bativa and other border areas in Kurdistan Region, are inhumane practices that should not be ignored,” Salih tweeted.
He attached his tweet with a picture of logged trees, which social media users said, were cut off by the Turkish forces.
“Practical coordination between the authorities of the federal government and Kurdistan Region is our duty in order to stop abuses and hold the guilty accountable,” the Iraqi president added.
In other news of violence, GULF NEWS reports a Baghdad bombing last night claimed 2 lives and left fourteen more people injured. Sura Ali (RUDAW) notes that ISIS has claimed responsibility for the bombing:
Pro-ISIS websites published a statement from the group in which they
claimed their fighters detonated an explosive device at a "gathering of
the Rafidah [Shiite] infidels" in the Kadhimiya area, killing three
people and wounding more than twenty others.
The Iraqi military’s Security Media Cell said the blast was the result of an exploding gas pipe in a shop. It did not report any deaths, but stated some people were injured.
Staying with violence, militia commander Qassem Musleh was arrested last week with reports out of Iraq noting this was due in part to the assassination of two activists. KIRKUK NOW Tweeted:
Alzino 12 Tweeted:
Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi ordered the arrest. Former prime minister Hayder al-Abadi has praised the move stating that no one is above the law. That point of view isn't found in Mina Aldbroubi's latest piece for THE NATIONAL:
Iraq’s refusal to release paramilitary commander Qassem Musleh a week on from his surprise arrest could lead to long-term security repercussions, experts have told The National.
Mr Musleh, leader of Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) operations in Anbar province, was arrested in Baghdad last Wednesday on suspicion of terrorism and in connection with the targeted killing of civil society activists and protesters.
Tensions in the capital skyrocketed when PMF fighters taking to the streets around the office of Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi, prompting him to deploy Iraqi security forces and the elite Counter-Terrorism Service to protect the government and diplomatic missions.
The standoff sparked fears of violence as some armed PMF factions gathered at the entrance to the fortified diplomatic Green Zone in Baghdad. But, so far, the situation has remained stable.
A previous attempt by Mr Al Kadhimi to have PMF fighters arrested led to similar standoffs and threats of violence before the gunmen were ultimately let free.
But, Mr Musleh remains in custody and the Iraqi government believes it has solid evidence linking him to the recent assassination of activist Ihab Al Wazni in the southern city of Karbala. Judicial and security sources also told Reuters that he was wanted in connection to rocket attacks on US and international forces in Iraq.
The next step for Mr Al Kadhimi’s government will be to file charges and bring Mr Musleh in front of a judge.
'Experts' have not worried about what letting killers walk has meant throughout this nearly three year wave of assassinations targeting activists (and journalists) in Iraq. ''Experts'' haven't concerned themselves with the rule of law. Now 'experts' are concerned? Now?
The following sites updated: