I wanted to note this video.
That's how I've seen it. There is a group devoted to Kamala Harris. -- a samll group, usually women. But there's never been a push for Kamala in the Black community. And that's because we've never seen here as Black. She's mixed and she doesn't know the expereince that we do. She doesn't come from the Black church. So we've never been rooted in her. And then there are her actions (as a prosecutor, for example) that go against what we believe in. Then there are her empty words -- I can't even call them positions because they're just empty words.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Friday, March 4, 2022. War propaganda gets exposed as do the hsulters who promote it, Iraq remains in a political stalemate, and much more.
"The fog," Robert Frost wrote, "comes on little cat feet." What does the truth come in on? A very limited number of feet. Here's Jimmy Dore and THE CONVO COUCH providing some truth regarding Rujssia and Ukraine.
Lorraine Ali (LOS ANGELES TIMES) takes on the racism in the coverage:
The scenes are gravely familiar to anyone familiar with the 21st century news cycle: families fleeing on foot, swarming border crossings and searching through rubble for loved ones. Journalists reporting on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could not help but compare the military strikes and resulting humanitarian crisis to recent conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
But a painful double standard quickly emerged inside of those comparisons.
“This isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan, that has seen conﬂict raging for decades,” said CBS News correspondent Charlie D’Agata on Sunday. “This is a relatively civilized, relatively European — I have to choose those words carefully too — city, one where you wouldn’t expect that or hope that it’s going to happen.”
D’Agata’s troubling language, in which he seemed to catch himself midsegment, pinpointed much of the emerging bias. In the heat of war, as the international press corps scrambled in real time to wrap their arms around a fast-moving military campaign, a number of correspondents, consciously or not, framed suffering and displacement as acceptable for Arabs, Afghans and others over there — but not here, in Europe, where the people “have blue eyes and blond hair” and where they “look like us.” (And yes, those are actual quotations from news clips.)
The sentiment has been laid bare again and again in numerous American and European press outlets since the beginning of the invasion last week. “We’re not talking here about Syrians ﬂeeing the bombing of the Syrian regime backed by Putin; we’re talking about Europeans leaving in cars that look like ours to save their lives,” Philippe Corbé of the France-based 24-hour news channel BFM TV said. Tellingly, Europe’s own history of brutal warfare, from one end of the 20th century (World War I) to the other (the 1990s Balkan wars), tended to receive far less attention.
The propaganda has been outrageous but so has the racism. SNL has done nothing for the Arab world but when they feel the people 'are like us' and 'look like us' they do a cold open that's a tribute. Soldiarity. . . with the other White people? It's a small-minded world, that should be the Disney ride, after all.
Adam Lucente (AL-MONITOR) reports:
An American news outlet has been hacked by Iraqi hackers in response to a journalist comparing Iraq unfavorably to Ukraine.
Last week, CBS featured a reporter in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, who spoke about the Russian invasion of the country. He said that Ukraine has been relatively peaceful throughout history, unlike Iraq.
“This isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan that has seen conflict raging for decades. This is a relatively civilized … city,” said the reporter.
On March 2, hackers temporarily assumed control of CBS’ website and posted messages praising Iraqi civilization. One image read “Iraq came, then history came,” the Iraqi News Agency reported. The image also circulated on Iraqi social media.
The reporter apologized for his remarks. In response, CBS was hacked again today by a hacker who demanded an apology from the network as a whole. He also posted a picture of the Iraqi flag on the website, Al-Monitor contributor Saman Dawod reported.
The ordeal created a stir on Iraqi social media. The Erbil-based radio station Babylon FM posted one of the hackers’ images on Facebook today. The picture showed a Mesopotamian structure with the caption “uncivilized.”
Iraq is often dubbed the “cradle of civilization” and is one of the oldest inhabited places on Earth. The use of currency traces back to ancient Mesopotamia, for example.
Sorry, but that's the least -- the very least -- that should happen.
CBS NEWS has not taken responsibility. The reporter has not been punished in any way. CBS itseflf has not issued an apology on behalf of the network. The remarks were grossly offensive and truly revealing. And CBS NEWS, as it scrambles to conceal another sexual harassment scandal, refuses to disown the remarks, let alone condemn them.
Roseann, a coemdian, lost a show for a bad joke on Twitter. Charlie flaunted racism on a news report and he goes unpunished.
Which means CBS NEWS agrees with Charlie and that his remarks reflect their opinion.
They were hacked!!!! Oh, horror!
Their racism has inflicted harm on the Iraqi people for years now. They've treated them as 'the other' and gotten away with it and now they're bragging about it on air. They got hacked?
That's the least that they deserve, the very least.
This should be a much bigger story, how they revealed their true nature and how their true nature impacted coverage.
Some people are very mad at SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE for that cold open last week. Good. SNL deserves it. But remember too that the cast of SNL is not a smart cast. Its drop outs and drama majors. Back when THE MAJORITY REPORT started, host Janeane Garafalo was shcoked when she had two cast members on as guests and they knew nothing about politics -- one was Amy Poehler, if you've forgotten or missed it back in the day.
Between taking drugs and pulling pranks, they try to pull together 45 minutes of humor each week and rarely succeed so are we really susprised that they don't know anything about the world? They're the worst group ever. Too woke to joke, as I noted Sunday.
It's been how long since there's been a breakout character?
The show's a study of failure put on by a group of failures.
Maybe this week's cold open will te them performing a HOGAN'S HERO spoof?
Aishwarya Varma (THE QUINT) reports:
A video of three army personnel behind a tank in a conflict area, where one of them rushes past the tank to rescue a child before returning, is being shared linking the video to the ongoing war in Ukraine, with users commending the bravery of the soldiers, calling them “real heroes.”
However, we found that the video is neither recent nor from Ukraine.
The video was shot in 2017 in Mosul, Iraq and shows David Eubank, a former United States Special Forces soldier turned aid worker, who ran to rescue a six-year-old girl amid Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) sniper fire as two soldiers covered him.
Lies, lies, lies. And desperate whores -- SNL, Marianne Williamson, etc -- serving themselves up to sell the lies.
Marianne, you should be ashamed of yourself. You have o platform anymore. Some people found your 'aspirational sermons' to be freakish and offensive during the AIDS crisis. I cut you slack because I thought you were sincere. But someone who wants to see the good does not turn around and reduce everything to cartoon villanry so that she can take sides and preach war. That's all Marianne's doing right now. Someone needs to shove her COURSE OF MIRACLES right up her ass.
WSWS' editorial board has issued a statement:
The deep-rooted and essential causes of a war are revealed not in how a war begins but in how it develops and to what it leads. The American Civil War was not caused by the firing on Fort Sumter. The assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand did not cause World War I.
That the Civil War was ultimately about the destruction of slavery (and the resulting unfettered growth of modern capitalism in the United States) would become clear in historical retrospect. That the assassination of Ferdinand in Sarajevo was little more than a trigger event for the eruption of long simmering interimperialist conflicts was apparent in 1914 only to the most farsighted Marxists, especially Lenin, Trotsky and Luxemburg.
It is now evident that the invasion of Ukraine has developed into a conflict between the US-NATO and Russia. However, in the mass of hysterical commentary on the Ukraine-Russian War, it is all but impossible to find—outside of the World Socialist Web Site—any attempt to place the outbreak of the conflict in a broader geopolitical and historical context.
In reporting on the conflict, the distinction between journalism and propaganda has been obliterated. Everything is presented in black and white, and the media gives no space for the brain to work. According to the universal narrative, Russia invaded Ukraine because there is a monster called Putin, just as there were monsters named Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and Slobodan Milosevic.
Learned academics—even those who have grappled for decades with the complex problem of historical causation—are in a state of intellectual collapse and are content to let CNN, MSNBC and, of course, the New York Times, think for them. No serious questions are posed, let alone answered.
Here are just a few questions that are not but should be asked:
1) What is the relation between the domestic crisis in every country (including Russia), exacerbated by the pandemic, and the eruption of war?
The media presents the war drive as if it had no connection to the dominant event of the past two years: the COVID-19 pandemic. According to an estimate by the Economist, the pandemic has killed 20 million people around the world. It has deeply destabilized political life in every country, nowhere more so than in the United States, leading to a desperate effort on the part of the ruling class to deflect internal tensions outward.
2) What is the relation between the wars that have been waged without stop by the United States over the last 30 years, often with NATO collaboration, and the rapidly escalating confrontation with Russia?
In 1992, the United States adopted a strategy document declaring its intention to block “the emergence of any potential future global competitor.” The Persian Gulf war of 1990-91 was followed by the war against Serbia in 1999, the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the second war against Iraq in 2003, the war against Libya in 2011 and the CIA-backed civil war in Syria.
Nowhere in the media can one find any mention of the fact, spelled out in strategic documents, that the US has been planning for years for a direct confrontation with Russia and China. Beginning in 2016, the US initiated a massive, multitrillion-dollar expansion of its nuclear arsenal, involving the creation of more usable, smaller-yield battlefield nuclear weapons. In 2018, the US left the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and began to develop and test missiles capable of hitting major Russian cities from countries in Eastern Europe.
3) Having vastly expanded NATO and moved its forces hundreds of miles eastward, does the United States view the war as an opportunity to inflict a massive defeat on Russia, leading to its eventual break-up? What is the relation of this confrontation to conflict with China?
Who would know, watching news broadcasts and reading the major newspapers, that American strategists have long dreamed of the breakup of Russia to allow direct access to the country’s natural resources? For years, major US think tanks have advocated “destabilizing the Russian regime,” and ultimately implementing a policy of regime change. Were these efforts to succeed, Russia could be transformed into a staging ground and resource hub for a world war targeting what the American ruling class considers to be its central strategic competitor: China.
4) Is Germany’s decision to triple its military budget and effectively do away with all post-World War II restraints on its armed forces nothing more than a spontaneous response to the Ukraine war? Or has the war provided Germany with a pretext for long-planned rearmament?
In a historic shift, Germany this week violated its policy of not sending weapons into conflict zones by dispatching offensive weapons to Ukraine, alongside a massive expansion of Germany’s military spending. This was the consummation of a policy initiated in 2014, when President Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced at the Munich Security Conference that Germany was “too big to only comment on world politics from the sidelines.” Since then, there has been a systematic effort to remilitarize Germany, involving the campaign to trivialize Nazi war crimes.
Germany is not alone. In a break with Japan’s entire post-World War II history, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proposed that the country station US nuclear weapons on its territory. Last week, Switzerland broke hundreds of years of neutrality and initiated sanctions against Russia, a move without precedent in half a millennium.
Can one believe that these massive changes in geopolitical relations, long in the planning, are simply a response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine?
5) What are the global corporate and financial interests that benefit from war and would profit from the breakup of Russia and unfettered access to its immense resources on the Eurasian landmass?
While denouncing the Russian oligarchs, the media does not speak of the interests that American oligarchs have in the breakup of Russia and direct access to the strategic corridor between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Russia is the world’s largest supplier of natural gas, the second-largest exporter of oil, the largest exporter of wheat, the third-largest exporter of coal, and a major provider of iron, gold, platinum, aluminum, copper and diamonds, all of which are essential in all types of modern production, including critical war production.
6) How does the eruption of a conflict between Russia and NATO square with the claims that were made about the “end of history” and the triumph of peace and democracy after the dissolution of the USSR?
The eruption of this conflict has shattered the false claims that the dissolution of the USSR and the capitalist development of China would lead to a new era of peace and global prosperity. Rather, the last three decades have been dominated by war and global conflict, in a prelude to what threatens to be a nuclear third world war.
7) But the most important question that is not being asked is: What will be the consequences if this confrontation escalates into a nuclear war? What will be left of the planet?
Amidst all the breathless coverage of the war in Ukraine, no one in the media cares to ask where this all leads. Do workers in the United States and Europe want to risk nuclear war and the destruction of humanity to defend the “sacred principle” that Ukraine should be allowed to join the NATO military alliance against Russia? Amidst all the social problems confronting the working class, is this where the line must be drawn?
None of these questions can be asked or answered because they point to the fact that the war arises out of an insoluble crisis of the world capitalist system. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, based on the reactionary nationalism of the Russian oligarchy, must be opposed by socialists and class-conscious workers. However, any analysis of the present crisis that does not place it in its broader historical and political context only serves to cover up its deeper roots.
The World Socialist Web Site calls on workers in Ukraine, Russia, the United States, Europe and all over the world to draw the lessons of the disaster unfolding before their eyes, and to join the struggle for the socialist transformation of society and the end of the capitalist nation-state system that is the fundamental cause of war.
Corporate media whores -- that does include the sad clowns of SNL -- have worked to whip up a frenzy and you see people pouring vodka down the drain and you see ROKU and others rushing to pull RT fromt he arirwaves. A lot of impotanet people are being whipped into a frenzy to do things that are undemocratic and appalling. David Walsh (WSWS) notes:
What exactly are those who express unwavering support for Ukraine, its government and its imperialist backers signing up for?
Major entertainment conglomerates, which generally operate in lockstep with the US government and the Pentagon, have announced plans to cut Russia out of their operations. The Hollywood Reporter noted March 1 that the global film and television industry had taken a “series of swift actions … in solidarity with Ukraine, with many companies beginning to sanction Russia in the wake of the invasion. Disney, Sony, Warner Bros. and Paramount have pulled or paused planned theatrical releases in the country.”
Meanwhile, “International television market MIPTV has also condemned the Russian invasion, saying that it would follow French sanctions, a move likely to mean there will be little to no Russian presence at the [annual] Cannes TV market.”
HOw very small minded, how very fearful, how very pathetic.
Kremlin-backed media outlets have been banned throughout the European Union, both on television and on apps and online platforms. RT has lost its Sky TV slot in the UK, where the outlet is also blocked on YouTube. Australian TV providers SBS and Foxtel have dropped RT, and the federal government is putting pressure on social media platforms to block Russian media in Australia.
In the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Latvia, speaking in support of the Russian invasion of Ukraine will get you years in prison.
Twitter, historically the last of the major online platforms to jump on any new internet censorship escalation, is now actively minimizing the number of people who see Russian media content, saying that it is “reducing the content’s visibility” and “taking steps to significantly reduce the circulation of this content on Twitter”. This censorship-by-algorithm tactic is exactly what I speculated might emerge after former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey resigned back in November, due to previous comments supportive of that practice by his successor Parag Agrawal.
Twitter is also placing warnings labels on all Russia-backed media and delivering a pop-up message informing you that you are committing wrongthink if you try to share or even ‘like’ a post linking to such outlets on the platform. It has also placed the label “Russia state-affiliated media” on every tweet made by the personal accounts of employees of those platforms, baselessly giving the impression that the dissident opinions tweeted by those accounts are paid Kremlin content and not simply their own legitimate perspectives. Some are complaining that this new label has led to online harassment amid the post-9/11-like anti-Russia hysteria that’s currently turning western brains into clam chowder.
It takes a lot of liars to actively promote hate the way so many are doing. Speaking of liars, Joe Biden. Samantha Putterman and POLITIFACT.take on one of his most recent lies. "Many of you have been there. I’ve been in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan over 40 times.," declared US President joe Biden in his overdue Stte of the Union speech on Tuesday.
It's a lie.
It was a lie when he made a simlar remark in 2019.
Biden said he has visited Iraq and Afghanistan "over 40 times."
This isn’t accurate. There is no evidence that Biden has been to either country since being president. The last time he was in Iraq appears to be in 2016. For Afghanistan, it was in 2011.
The latest estimate of his travels to the two countries come from his presidential campaign, which said in 2019 that he had visited both a combined 21 times.
Biden’s statement is off by about half. We rate it False.
You can be sure SNL won't poke fun at Joe. That would require humor and they have none. The funniest thing all week took place yesterday before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I streamed it online, I did not attend. Though not worthy of a trip, it was wrothy of a chuckle to watch Joe Biden's nominee for Ambassador of Iraq, Alina Romanowski, insist that, if confirmed, she would work with Iraq's elected officials to - - well, you know, create a government . . . or something.
October 10th is when elections were held in Iraq. It's now March. Still no prime minister, still no president. One week away from five months after the election.
Five months? In 2010, it too over eight months. And that was with Joe Biden leading the US approach. He oversaw The Erbil Agreement that ended the political stalemate by giving the loser of the election, Nouri al-Maliki, a second term despite it being already known that he was using torture chambers and secret jails. Now its another stalemate and Joe is again in charge. It's going to be something, I'm sure, to remember, the way he deals with it this time.
(I did not say something "good." I said memorable.)
The United Nationas noted last week:
Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert reported that four months after parliamentary elections, politicians still struggle to form a government.
This prolonged phase could be forgiven “if we were witnessing vibrant exchanges on policy orientations, on development pathways and economic reform plans,” she said.
“However, so far, we are observing quite the opposite: hampering the change and reforms the country so desperately needs.”
Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert added that as the “political impasse” continues, “precious time” is passing by.
“Behind the headline debate of a majority vs. consensus government, many Iraqis increasingly wonder whether the national interest is actually ‘front and centre’ in the ongoing negotiations - rather than access to resources and power, or how the pie of political appointments and ministries will be carved this time around.”
Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert, who also heads the UN mission in the country, UNAMI, updated ambassadors on recent developments since the October 2021 vote to decide the Council of Representatives, Iraq’s 329-seat parliament, which in turn elects the President and confirms the Prime Minister.
Members met for the first time last month and elected a Speaker and two deputies. However, they failed to reach a quorum for the 7 February session to elect a President.
While the nomination period was re-opened for another three days, the Federal Supreme Court ruled in the interim that one candidate, former Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, is ineligible.
Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert explained that once elected, the President will have 15 days to charge the Prime Minister-designate, the nominee of the largest parliamentary bloc, to form a Council of Ministers.
“Well clearly, the current situation suggests that we’re not there yet,” she remarked.
With the election long over, the UN envoy stressed that tackling the “long list of outstanding domestic business” must be prioritized.
Since then, the federal court has ruled that the newly submitted names for presidential candidates are invalid and that the previous list -- minus Hoshyar -- should stand. Adnan Abu Zeed (AL-MONITOR) offers an illuminating look at the federal court:
Iraq's federal court ruled March 2 that the formation of the Anti-Corruption Committee formed by the Iraqi prime minister in mid-2020 is unconstitutional, and therefore it should be dissolved.
The committee that was headed by Lt. Gen. Ahmed Abu Ragheef focused on high corruption and terrorism cases. It had arrested 36 suspects, of whom 16 received legal sentences by the relevant courts.
Among the suspects was the killer of Hisham al-Hashemi, a prominent anti-terrorism researcher, who was shot dead on July, 6, 2020, by Ahmed Hamdawi Owaiedan, an affiliated member of Kataib Hezbollah. He was supposed to hear his sentence last week, but the court postponed the decision. Meanwhile, his father had filed a complaint to the federal court against the committee, claiming its formation and rulings are not legal. The court ruled in favor of Hamdawi Owaiedan's father.
This is not first time that the judiciary interfered in political cases.
Last year, a court in Baghdad ordered to release prominent militia commander Qasem Muslih, who was arrested by the Abu Ragheef Committee and accused of killing an activist in Karbala. The release took place after militias entered the Green Zone in order to put pressure on the government to release Muslih.
In another incident last week, a judge at al-Karkh court in Baghdad had ordered to move a suspect of using illegal drones to another security institution in order to facilitate his release, similar to what happened with Muslih. However, special forces from the counterterrorism unit surrounded the court and moved the suspect to the Anti-Corruption Committee.
On Feb. 24, Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council called on Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who is also the chief commander of the armed forces, to investigate the case where a military force besieged the Court of Appeal in al-Karkh.
A security source told Al-Monitor, “Influential parties tried to smuggle one of the defendants out of the Court of Appeal in al-Karkh. This person is accused of having targeted the prime minister’s home Nov. 7. That prompted the prime minister to dispatch a security force to protect the court.”
Amid sharp political differences between the conflicting Iraqi forces, the federal court plays a prominent role in resolving legal disputes over elections and other matters among political forces, figures or parliamentarians.
On Dec. 28, the federal court rejected the appeal to annul the elections results, which Fatah Alliance leader Hadi al-Amiri submitted.
On Jan. 25, member of parliament Bassem Khashan submitted the appeal to the federal court, challenging the constitutionality of the first parliamentary session.
Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Massoud Barzani said Feb. 15 that the federal court’s ruling in the oil and gas case is politicized.
On Feb. 18, leading KDP figure Hoshyar Zebari said that the federal court’s ruling invalidating his candidacy to the post of president was “unjust and politicized.”
Speaking to Al-Monitor, Ali al-Tamimi, former judge and legal expert, said, “It has become commonplace now that whoever loses a lawsuit in the federal court accuses the court of being biased.”
He noted, “The federal court bases its verdicts on evidence. There is a plaintiff and a defendant, and there are nine judges who have spent their lives serving, which bolsters their independence in issuing decisions in accordance with the constitutional provisions.”
The following sites updated: