Monday, September 26, 2022

Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Banks embarrass themselves and others

Exactly who thought Nancy Pelosi making a speech at a music festival was a good idea?  She was booed:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a surprise appearance onstage at a music festival on Saturday night and was seemingly booed by some in attendance.

Pelosi, a California Democrat, appeared at the Global Citizen music festival in New York City. The festival has been organized in the city annually since 2012 by the Global Poverty Project with the goal of helping end extreme poverty in many parts of the world. This year's festival featured performances from Metallica, Mariah Carey, and the Jonas Brothers.

Pelosi was called up onstage on Friday night by actor, musician, and activist Priyanka Chopra. As she took the stage and discussed efforts to combat climate change, many members of the audience began to boo her. One user claiming to be in attendance shared a video on Twitter to controversial "alt-right" figure, Jack Posobiec. As of Sunday afternoon, the clip had been viewed over 167,000 times.

And she should be booed:

While it is unclear based on the available footage why the crowd was booing Pelosi, given the festival's goals of tackling poverty and climate change, the jeers could reflect the feelings of dissatisfaction with Pelosi from within her own party. During an appearance earlier this month on CNN's New Day, Democratic Representative Elissa Slotkin of Michigan said that should the Democrats keep the House in the midterms, someone new should replace Pelosi as Speaker.

"I have always said, I think it's time we have new leadership," the congresswoman said. "I think it's time, frankly, that some Midwesterners get into leadership. We have a lot of New York and California; I'd like to see more diversity in leadership there. I have made a commitment to my district—I stick to that commitment."

She's doing nothing to help the environment.  Her attendance was an embarrassment and maybe Nick Jonas' wife should grasp that she (herself) is not all that interesting and that starring in a so-so watched TV show in the US did not make her a star so take her rear off the stage, we don't need her.  No one ever needed Christie Brinkley onstage during a Billy Joel concert and Christie was a superstar at the time.  Again, she was the lead in a low rated series on ABC which went off the air over four years ago.  And I really don't like non-Americans -- whether it's his wife or Harry Styles -- sticking their nose into American politics.  

Staying with the misguided, let me note this:

"Let me say I’m proud of the movie,” Banks begins, after some slight hedging and a suggestion she may be “in trouble” for her comments. “It was an incredible experience.”

But, Banks laments, there’s a definite but. “It was very stressful, partly because when women do things in Hollywood it becomes this story,” she explains. “There was a story around Charlie’s Angels that I was creating some feminist manifesto. I was just making an action movie.”

You shouldn't be proud of 2019's CHARLIE'S ANGELS -- it was an awful film.  See "Should Elizabeth Banks ever be allowed to direct a film again?" where I note that Banks is doing close ups in action scenes instead of showing us the action.  She did not know what she was doing.

I love the first season of CHARLIE'S ANGELS (TV show).  I like season two through four.  (Forget season five.  Awful.)  I also like Drew Barrymore's two CHARLIE'S ANGELS films.  I desperately wanted to like Banks' film.  But it was awful and she has no one to blame but herself.  Feminist manifesto?  That might have been more interesting than the garbage she tossed onscreen.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Monday, September 26, 2022.  The western media gloms on one death while ignoring another and Iraq may be close to ending the ongoing political stalemate.

Over at COMMON DREAMS, Julia Conley wants you to know that US 'progressives' like AOC are up in arms and expressing 'solidarity' with some protesting in Iran over the death of 21-year-old Mahsa Amini.  It's great Julia Conley that you've finally discovered a Kurd -- it's not as though you've written of any Kurds in Iraq despite the fact that they are being terrorized by the government of Turkey.  In fact, here's RUDAW reporting yesterday on the latest Turkish attack:

Akre’s acting mayor Shaaban Barwari told Rudaw that alleged Turkish warplanes had struck villages in Dinarte district at 11:30pm on Saturday.

A local villager from Amedi, Ramzi Sargali, told Rudaw’s Nasser Ali that Turkish aircraft has been bombing the area for almost three months and while no casualties have been inflicted, it is causing fear among the local population. 

Turkey launched its latest operation, dubbed Claw-Lock, on April 18 targeting Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) positions in the mountainous areas of Metina, Zap, Avashin, and Basyan in Duhok province. The operation is the fourth stage of Ankara’s Claw operations against the PKK in the Kurdistan Region, with the first stage starting in 2019. 

If you were a sentient human being, you might ask why this death, of all deaths, is getting so much play but that would require a brain -- wouldn't it, Julia?

And a brain might mean you'd ask why members of the US Congress are so up in arms over a death in Iran that has nothing to do with the US while they ignore -- as does Julia Conley -- the death of a 15-year-old girl in Iraq last week, a death that said to be the fault of the US military.  You'd think members of the US Congress would be asking what happened in Iraq.

At INSURGENTE.ORG, Hafsa Kara-Mustapha notes that the Iranian death is beloved by western media because it takes place in a country that doesn't "toe the Western line" and that an investigation was launched in Iran and that Iranian officials offered condolences to the family.  The coverage, Hafsa notes, seems created to "inspire riots in resource-rich countreis" and that we've seen that before.  Meanwhile, 15-year-old Zainab Essam al-Jaszli was shot last week near Camp Bucca in Baghdad by US forces without any Western media reporting on the murder "demonstrating once again that it is not about human rights."

 Zainab Essam al-Khazali, as we noted Friday, "That's a name the US media can't seem to find.  But others are noting her name."  Including Haid Nasrallah:

Is anyone talking about Zainab Essam Al-Khazali? the 15 year old Iraqi girl who was shot and killed by US forces in Iraq yesterday. She wasn’t killed by Iran so her story does not matter to western media.

All these days later, the US media tries to maintain a silence.  The excessively -- yes, that is the term -- cover the death of an Iranian female, Mahsa Amini, while ignoring the death of an Iraqi girl.  When I saw the interview on that with Amy Goodman, it just gave me an uneasy feeling.  A little too pat, a little to planted, a little too hypocritical.  It was Thursday afternoon when I saw that segment and I already knew about Zainab.  A death in Iran was breaking all over the media but this Iraqi death, which is the US is said to be responsible for, no one was talking about it.

As we noted Saturday, "hypocrisy" is the term foreign outlets were using to describe the US media silence. Sunday, the hypocrisy continues.  

With one exception, at WSWS, Dominic Gustavao reports on Zainab:

A teenage girl was shot dead by American soldiers as they conducted live-fire drills at the Victoria military base near Baghdad International Airport on September 20. 

Fifteen year-old Zainab Essam Majed al-Khazali, a student, was working with her father on their family farm when a bullet struck her in the head. Her funeral procession was held the next day. 

The Iraqi Security Media Cell promised an investigation into the murder, which it initially described as a “random shooting.” However a statement given by Iraq’s security forces, quoted by The Cradle, confirmed the culpability of the US military: “The killing of Zainab Essam Majed coincided with the presence of training operations for the American forces … the bullet that was taken out of the girl’s head confirms that it is from one of the weapons used by the American forces in the embassy and airport.” 

The shooting has provoked widespread outrage, with locals demanding to know why American soldiers were holding live-fire exercises near residential areas. On September 22, Iraqi legislator Ahmed Taha al-Rubaie, from the Basra province, called upon the Baghdad government to summon the American ambassador and present her with a formal note of protest, along with taking legal measures to hold those responsible for the murder accountable. 

In a post on Twitter, Rubaie wrote, “Even though two days have passed since the teenage girl was killed by a bullet fired during US military exercises near the Victoria base northwest of Baghdad, the US Embassy has not bothered to issue any official apology for the unjust incident.”

He went on, “The death, which occurred as a result of the use of live rounds during military drills near residential neighborhoods, exhibits an outrageous disregard for the Iraqi blood and a blatant disrespect for the country's sovereignty.”

Qais al-Khazali, leader of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, a Shi’ite militia group that is part of the Popular Mobilization Forces, demanded on Twitter that the government “present a detailed report to the Iraqi people, explaining … this cowardly incident, and how a military base can exist on Iraqi soil in clear violation of the Iraqi constitution … and sovereignty.”

It remains unclear whether the shooting was intentional, or the result of US troops recklessly firing off live ammunition near populated urban areas. In either case, it demonstrates the criminal indifference of the US occupiers towards the lives of the people whom they “liberated.” It also exposes the cynicism and hypocrisy of the leaders of the US and the other imperialist powers as they invoke concern for “human rights” to justify the use of militarism. 

As Dominic notes, both THE NEW YORK TIMES and THE WASHINGTON POST have used the same person (Karim Sadjadpour) to weigh in on the death of the female in Iran while ignoring the murder of the Iraqi girl.  And, for the record, Karim is not the same person Amy Goodman brought on to cover the Iranian death.  Amy went with former VOICE OF AMERICA correspondent Negar Mortazavi.

This morning, Kumail Abbas Tweets:

A 15-year-old Iraqi girl was killed by US on Tuesday 20th September, identified as Zainab Essam Majed al-Khazali. The murder of the teen by US forces has gained little to no coverage in Western media. #zainabessamalkhazali #iraq #USA #fullajah

Ijaz Shigri Tweets:

Why #ZainabEssam, who was killed by the firing of American soldiers in Iraq, could not get the attention that #MahsaAmini's death got? Because Mahsa's death is in the interest of America and the West, and the case of Zainab Essam is directly related to American brutality.

Meanwhile, in an article noting government protests may resume October 1st -- this would be The October Revolution, not Moqtada's cult -- THE NATIONAL's Sinan Mahmoud reports:

Meanwhile, the Iran-backed Co-ordination Framework is close to announce a coalition with Kurds and Sunnis that could not only expedite the government formation process, but also provoke the powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr, who has boycotted the political process.

The announcement was planned for Sunday, but was postponed.

Fadi Al Shimmari, a politician affiliated to CF, said the agreement was finalised late on Sunday with two main Kurdish parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the Sunni Azam and Sovereignty coalition as well as the Christian Babylonian party.

The following sites updated: