Monday, February 2, 2015

Tim Wise and other nuts

John Halle has a strong article at CounterPunch about how various people use charges of "racism" to silence dissent:

That this is not just an abstract theory but real world reality has been demonstrated by the Obama administration’s routine silencing of its critics using tactics very similar to those of the SJWs, as I have noted elsewhere. These have included dark suggestions that left criticisms of Obama’s objectively reactionary policies were motivated by racism. The first of these was circulated by noted anti-racist activist Tim Wise who denounced those showing insufficient enthusiasm for the investiture of the first African American president as likely candidates for “immolation” which according to Wise, they will “richly deserve.”
Wise’s mission was then carried on by Melissa Harris-Perry, who took up Wise’s smear of Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden as “not heros” while claiming that Obama’s violations of civil liberties could be dismissed since “black people didn’t care”. Other reliable pitbulls were Al Sharpton, Joy Ann Reid and others at MSNBC who passed on other smears of those in the Occupy Movement criticizing Obama administration back bailouts as suffering from “white privilege.”


I think it's an important article and would point out that Tim Wise needs to sit his ass down and shut his mouth.

As an African-American woman, I don't need Tim speaking for me.

Nor do I need his White ass taking up a seat at the table that should be going to an African-American.

Tim is the Cracker who won't shut the f**k up.

His racism is so deep that he thinks he can better speak for African-Americans than we can speak for ourselves.


This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"



Monday, February 2, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, the UN releases their tolls for the dead and wounded in Iraq for January, Margaret Griffis offers real tolls, Dirk Adriaensens and BRussells Tribunal break the news that Iraq was the deadliest country for journalists in 2014, Haider al-Abadi and Nouri al-Maliki flap their gums, and much more.



Dirk Adriaensens has updated  "Iraq: Media professionals assassinated in 2014." (BRussells Tribunal) to note that 2014 was even deadlier for journalists in Iraq than previously known:


Here are those 17 reported cases of  assassinated media professionals in Iraq in 2014, making the country in 2014 again, as was the case in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013, the deadliest place on earth for media professionals:

 
17- Ali Rasham, 15 November 2014 (not reported by CPJ, not reported by RSF)
Martyrdom of journalist Ali Rasham, in Jurf Al Saqhar Battles in Babylon Province.

16- Muhanad al-Akidi, 13 October 2014 (not reported by CPJ, not reported by RSF)
Iraqi Kurdish journalist working for the Sada news agency, was killed Monday at the Al-Ghazlani camp in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Islamic State (IS) militants on Monday evening executed an Iraqi-Kurdish journalist in north-west Iraq.
Muhannad Akidi was shot in the head and killed by IS militants in Alghazlani camp, south of Mosul, a representative of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) said in a statement.
Akidi was kidnapped two months ago by IS in Mosul. He worked as a reporter for a local news agency and presented programs on domestic television.
Medical staff in Mosul on Monday night were said to be preparing his body to be returned to his family, according to the Abu Dhabi based Erem News.

15- Ammar Amir Lattoufi, 12 October 2014 (not reported by CPJ, not reported by RSF)
Martyrdom of Al Anbar TV satellite Channel photographer, Ammar Amir Lattoufi, while accompanying Al Anbar commander of Police, General Ahmad Saddaq Al Dulaimi, who was also martyred in an IED explosion north of Ramadi City.

14- Raed Al-Azzawi, 10 October 2014
Islamic State militants killed al-Azzawi, a cameraman for the local Sama Salaheddin channel, six weeks after he was kidnapped, according to the station, news reports, and the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate. Al-Azzawi was killed with his brother and two other residents of Samra village, near Tikrit, the reports said. There were conflicting reports on how he was killed. Family members said he was shot, according to Al-Jazeera, but other news reports cited an anonymous security source saying the victims were beheaded.
The journalist was kidnapped by Islamic State militants in early September 2014, the director of the station, Marwan Naji Jabara, told CPJ. There were conflicting reports on the exact date of his kidnapping.
It is not clear why Islamic State militants kidnapped and killed al-Azzawi. Jabara told CPJ that al-Azzawi was accused of helping the Iraqi Air Force target Islamic State positions, an allegation Jabara denied. Islamist militant groups including the Islamic State have previously accused journalists of spying as an excuse or rationale for abducting them, according to CPJ research.
CPJ has documented numerous cases of Iraqi insurgents targeting journalists who have any contact with government officials, including the security forces. Jabara told CPJ that the channel's support of the Iraqi armed forces leads to constant threats by insurgents, including the Islamic State group. After insurgents took control of Tikrit in June 2014, Sama Salaheddin's office was raided and its equipment looted, Jabara told CPJ.
Al-Azzawi had also previously worked in the media center for the governor of Salaheddin province, according to news reports, and he may have been targeted for that reason as well. Insurgents have previously targeted individuals working for the government as press officers, according to CPJ research.
It is also possible al-Azzawi was kidnapped after criticizing the group. Jabara told CPJ that some citizens in Samra were upset with Islamic State's control over their village, especially as it drew bombing from the Iraqi military. According to Jabara, al-Azzawi told his friends that the militants, including one of his relatives who is a senior leader in the group, should leave Samra to stop the bombing.

13- Ali Ghazzay Al Miyyahi, 10 September 2014 (not reported by CPJ, not reported by RSF)

Martyrdom of Editorial Secretary and Union Member of Qutouf Newspaper, Ali Ghazzay Al Miyyahi, with his wife in an IED explosion in New Baghdad District, south east Baghdad.

12- Fatimah Omar Abdul Kareem, 22 August 2014 (not reported by CPJ, not reported by RSF)
Martyrdom of Iraq’s Journalist Syndicate Member Fatimah Omar Abdul Kareem in and IED explosion in Central Baghdad.

11- Leyla Yildizhan (Deniz Firat), 08 August 2014
Yildizhan, a Kurdish journalist who also goes by Deniz Firat, was killed when shrapnel from a mortar shell hit her in the chest, according to news reports. Yildizhan was covering the clashes in the Mukhmur district between Kurdish forces and insurgents with the Islamic State, an Al-Qaeda splinter group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, the Firat News Agency said.
Firat, who was from the Kurdish city of Van in eastern Turkey, was embedded with Kurdish forces, according to Rahman Gharib, general coordinator for the local press freedom group Metro Center to Defend Journalists, and news reports. She was reporting for the Firat News Agency, an outlet based outside Turkey pro-Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) station. She also reported for other several pro-Kurdish TV stations, including Sterk TV, Med NUÇE, andRonahi TV.
Firat's body was sent back to her hometown in Çaldıran district of Van in Turkey for herfuneral, according to news reports.

10- Khalid Ali Hamada, 15 June 2014
Hamada, cameraman for Al-Ahad TV, was killed in an attack in northern Diyala province, the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate and Iraqi news outlets reported. Moataz Jamil, a correspondent for the station, was also injured in the attack. Al-Ahad TV is affiliated with the Shia militant group League of the Righteous, according to Phillip Smyth, a researcher at the University of Maryland who focuses on Shia Islamist groups.
The station reported that Hamada was killed as the crew reported on military operations in Diyala province between what it called the "Islamic Resistance" and "terrorists." CNN reported that Iraqi security forces, backed by Shia militias, clashed with suspected ISIS gunmen in Diyala that day.
The deadly attack came amid escalating clashes between the Iraqi government and its allies against an insurgency spearheaded by Islamic State, an Al-Qaeda splinter group formerly known as Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS).
There were conflicting reports on how Hamada was killed, with some outlets reporting the journalists were hit by a mortar shell while others said gunmen drove up to them and opened fire with automatic weapons.
Al-Ahad TV did not provide details on the attack or an update on the health status of Jamil, the wounded journalist. The station did not immediately respond to CPJ's e-mailed request for more information.
It was not clear who was responsible for the attack or whether the journalists were targeted specifically. Some Twitter accounts claiming to support ISIS rejoiced at the news of the attack, declaring the "lions of Islamic State" were responsible. CPJ was unable to verify the claims.

9- Kamran Najm Ibrahim, June 2014. (not reported by CPJ, not reported by RSF)
Iraq has consistently been among the most dangerous countries for journalists, who are victims of threats and violence from security forces and armed groups. However, the security situation has deteriorated considerably since ISIS began a major offensive in June.  Cameraman Khalid Ali of Al-Ahad TV and freelance photographer Kamran Najm Ibrahim both lost their lives in June while covering the fighting between pro-government forces and militants in Diyala province and Kirkuk.

8- Hammam Mohammed, 09 April 2014 (not reported by CPJ, not reported by RSF)  
Photographer of Altaghyir satellite TV channel, Hammam Mohammed was killed due to the fall of an army cannon shell on his home in downtown Ramadi city capital of Anbar province.

7- Wathiq Al Ghathanfari, 27 March 2014 (not reported by CPJ, not reported by RSF)
Martyrdom of television presenter in Mosul TV Satellite Station, Province Media Director, Wathiq Al Ghathanfari, in an armed attack, east of Mosul.

6- Mohamed Baidawi, 24 March 2014. (not reported by CPJ)
Reporters Without Borders is dismayed to learn that Mohamed Baidawi, Radio Free Iraq’s Baghdad bureau chief, was shot dead in Baghdad on 22 March, while Radio Babel journalist Raji Hamadallah was badly injured in a shooting attack yesterday in Babil province.
Baidawi was trying to enter the high security “Green Zone” where the Radio Free Iraq’s office is located when he got into an argument at a checkpoint with a member of the presidential guard, who hit him several times and finally shot him in the head.
This well-known journalist’s murder has shocked Iraqi media workers. The presidential guardsman has been arrested and an investigation is under way to determination the circumstances of the shooting. Reporters Without Borders offers its condolences to the victim’s family and colleagues.
Hamadallah was badly injured in a targeted shooting yesterday outside his home in Qada Jalba, in Babil province, 90 km south of Baghdad. Unidentified gunmen shot him several times before fleeing.
“We condemn the repeated attacks on journalists in Iraq and we urge the competent authorities to carry out independent and impartial investigations in order to shed light on the circumstances and identify those responsible,” said Lucie Morillon, head of research and advocacy at Reporters Without Borders.

5- Muthanna Abdel Hussein, 10 March 2014
Abdel Hussein, a cameraman for the state-run Al-Iraqiya TV station, was killed in a suicide bombing at a police checkpoint in Iraq's Babil province, according to news reports. The explosion killed dozens of Iraqis, including Khaled Abdel Thamer, another cameraman for the station.
The blast destroyed dozens of cars waiting to pass through the checkpoint, trapping some victims in their burning vehicles. It is unclear if the journalists were driving a vehicle or how near they were to the checkpoint at the time of the explosion. There were conflicting reports on the number of casualties, but a Reuters report citing police and medical sources said that as many as 45 people were killed and 157 injured. Abdel Hussein's mother told Reuters that she identified her son by his socks and shoes.
The Iraq Journalists Syndicate reported that Abdel Hussein and Abdel Thamer were covering preparations for next month's parliamentary elections. The elections would be the first since American forces left the country in 2011 and would be held despite a significant spike in violence across the country.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Iraqi officials said they believed Al-Qaeda was responsible. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered the formation of a committee to investigate the explosion, according to news reports.

4- Khaled Abdel Thamer, 10 March 2014
 Abdel Thamer, a cameraman for the state-run Al-Iraqiya TV station, was killed in a suicide bombing at a police checkpoint in Iraq's Babil province, according to news reports. The explosion killed dozens of Iraqis, including Muthanna Abdel Hussein, another cameraman for the station.
The blast destroyed dozens of cars waiting to pass through the checkpoint, trapping some victims in their burning vehicles. It is unclear if the journalists were driving a vehicle or how near they were to the checkpoint at the time of the explosion. There were conflicting reports on the number of casualties, but a Reuters report citing police and medical sources said that as many as 45 people were killed and 157 injured. Abdel Hussein's mother told Reuters that she identified her son by his socks and shoes.
The Iraq Journalists Syndicate reported that Abdel Hussein and Abdel Thamer were covering preparations for next month's parliamentary elections. The elections would be the first since American forces left the country in 2011 and would be held despite a significant spike in violence across the country.
No group immediately claimed responsibility f or the attack, but Iraqi officials said they believed Al-Qaeda was responsible. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered the formation of a committee to investigate the explosion, according to news reports.
 
3- Thamir Mani'i Mohammed, 13 February 2014 (not reported by CPJ, not reported by RSF)
On the 13th February, martyrdom of Al Mustaqbal journalist Thamir Mani'i Mohammed, in an IED explosion in central Baghdad.

2- Firas Mohammed Attiyah, 20 January 2014 (Not reported by RSF)
Attiyah, a correspondent with the pro-government news station Fallujah TV, was killed when a bomb exploded at the side of the road in the city of Khalidiya, according to news reports. At the time of the attack, the journalist was accompanying a government patrol that was headed to a ceremony for the reopening of a police station, according to the local Journalistic Freedoms Observatory and other press freedom groups.
The bomb also injured Anbar TV correspondent Muayad Ibrahim, the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate said.
Attiyah had been reporting on clashes between the Iraqi army and the Al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) in Anbar province, according to news reports. In late December, Sunni militants--some linked to ISIS--launched an offensive against security forces in Anbar province, taking at least partial control of both major cities in the province, Ramadi and Fallujah.
Fallujah TV, which was founded in part to counter Al-Qaeda's influence in the city, posted on Facebook a picture of the journalist's body draped in an Iraqi flag.

1- Mohammed Ramadan al-Hadidi, 12 Januari 2014 (not reported by CPJ, not reported by RSF)
Gunmen shot and killed a local television presenter outside his home in Mosul.
Mohammed Ramadan al-Hadidi, who hosted a show on herbal medicine on Nineveh al-Ghad TV, was shot by unidentified gunmen as he left his house in the western part of the city.
A local journalist told CNN that the journalists union received a text message Sunday threatening to target journalists in Nineveh province. The message was signed by al Qaeda-linked groups in the province.

In another incident Sunday, an Iraqi journalist was wounded along with a driver when a bomb attached to the car they were in detonated south of Mosul. The journalist works for the city's Mosuliya TV channel.




Dirk Adriaensens'  "Iraq: Media professionals assassinated in 2014" documents the reality no one else bothered to.  Reporters Without Borders, CPJ and others should probably explain why that is.


Staying with the topic of violence, UNAMI issued the following on Sunday:



Baghdad, 1 February 2015 – According to casualty figures released today by UNAMI, a total of 1,375 Iraqis were killed and another 2,240 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence in January*.

 The number of civilians killed was 790 (Including 59 civilian police), and the number of civilians injured was 1,469 (including 69 civilian police).
A further 585 members of the Iraqi Army were killed and 771 were injured.
Civilian Casualties (killed and injured) per governorate
Baghdad was the worst affected Governorate with 1,014 civilian casualties (256 killed, 758 injured). According to information obtained by UNAMI from the Health Directorate in Anbar, up to 31 January inclusive, the Governorate suffered a total of 779 civilian casualties (195 killed and 584 injured). This includes 49 killed and 375 injured in Ramadi and 146 killed and 209 injured in Fallujah. Diyala suffered a total of 114 killed and 49 injured; Salahuddin 100 killed and 52 injured; Ninewa 85 killed and 12 injured; and Kirkuk 14 killed and 6 injured.
*CAVEATS: In general, UNAMI has been hindered in effectively verifying casualties in conflict areas.  Figures for casualties from Anbar Governorate are provided by the Health Directorate and are noted below. In some cases, UNAMI could only partially verify certain incidents.  UNAMI has also received, without being able to verify, reports of large numbers of casualties along with unknown numbers of persons who have died from secondary effects of violence after having fled their homes due to exposure to the elements, lack of water, food, medicines and health care.  For these reasons, the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum.


Margaret Griffis (Antiwar.com) reports 6,106 violent deaths and 2,240 left injured.

Margaret does a great job counting.

She's shakier when she moves to other ground -- such as classifying death categories.

Were you there?

Then you don't know if they're "militants."

Please stop the bulls**t.

It's not helpful and it's certainly not anitwar.


Also on shaky ground is this statement she writes, "Meanwhile, on Saturday, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi promised to address the deaths of 72 Iraqis allegedly murdered by Shi’ite militiamen."


Did Haider promise to address it?

No.

And the link, a Reuters report, doesn't maintain that he did.

Stephen Kalin, Ahmed Rasheed, Saif Hameed, Dominic Evans and Stephen Powell report that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abahdi gave a speech.

It's an insignificant speech.

Al Jazeera noted of it:

Iraq's prime minister has fired a warning at government and militia fighters who operate beyond the law.
Speaking at a security summit in Baghdad, Haider al-Abbadi said criminals and outlaws responsible for kidnappings and killings were no less dangerous than what he called terrorists.

Here's the quote:


"Let everyone hear me - those are outlaws by the consensus of all Iraqi society. They do not represent the popular mobilisation forces, nor the security forces or even Iraqis," Abadi said.
"Those are criminals and outlaws. They came with their agenda to entrap Iraqis.
"I have said it before and will say it today - those who were conducting killings and kidnapping crimes in Baghdad and other cities are no less dangerous than terrorists."


What the hell was that?


He did not promise to address the deaths.

His comments about the investigation weren't even news.

He wasn't announcing an unknown thing.

The investigation was noted days ago.  Nabih Bulos (Los Angeles Times) reported it the Ministry of the Interior announced the investigation last Tuesday.

Haider al-Abadi did not say anyone would be arrested, did not assert that anyone would be punished.  He just noted the investigation and that this behavior (the massacre) is not helpful and is as destructive as terrorism.

Well it is terrorism.

Shi'ite militias (and possibly Iraqi forces) targeting and killing Sunnis is terrorism.

The Reuters report notes that the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani endorses an investigation and that is new and news worthy.  But Haider just flapped his gums.

He flapped his gumbs because, as a State Dept friend said on the phone tonight, Democrats in the Senate are in a panic over Human Rights Watch's report on Iraq in their [PDF format warning] 25th annual World Report.

In November of 2013, Barack came dangerously close to the Senate cutting off his flow of weapons to Iraq because  they were concerned that the weapons were being used on the Iraqi people by thug Nouri al-Maliki.

Barack strong armed to get his way.

Now he's not just trying to continue the flood of weapons into Iraq -- with a new prime minister, Haider -- he's also trying to get authorization for US ground troops in Iraq, to keep critics of his 'plan' for Iraq at bay and much more.

In other words, Barack doesn't have time for the bad publicity of the massacre. Last Monday, Ahmed Rasheed, Stephen Kalin and Robin Pomeroy (Reuters) reported:


Sunni politicians and tribal chiefs from Iraq's eastern Diyala province accused Shi'ite militias on Monday of killing more than 70 unarmed civilians who had fled clashes with Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) militants.

And then Ahmed Rasheed, Ned Parker and Stephen Kalin (Reuters) reported on the testimony of the survivors.


Barack doesn't have time for this.

So the White House that can't or won't use their power to force Haider to put through a more inclusive government did use their power to inform Haider he had to make some remarks the White House could use to calm Congressional Dems.



Staying on the topic of meaningless words, former prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki insists he is not plotting to seize the post of prime minister (coup). He makes those remarks to Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Vivian Salama (AP) while also insisting he would retake the post if the Iraqi people elect him.

They've never elected him.

The Parliament elects the prime minister per the Constitution.

But that's not how it worked in 2006 when Bully Boy Bush insisted Nouri be named prime minister.  Or in 20102 when Barack had US officials negotiate The Erbil Agreement to give Nouri a second term when he couldn't get the post through honest (and Constitutional) means.

We may go into more of Nouri's lies from the interview tomorrow, we may not.



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For now, we'll note that Vivian Salama (AP) reported this morning on the Kurds "tenuous hold" on areas surrounding Mount Sinjar like Snuny, "The Kurds retook Snuny from the Sunni militants last month, but a weeks-old battle has reached a point of stalemate on the other side of the mountain for militant-held Sinjar. To the southeast, the oil-rich city of Kirkuk remains at risk of falling to the Islamic State group."

But the Kurdish Peshmerga need not worry, the cavalry is coming!

In about six months . . .

Asharq Al-Aswat explains:

Iraqi National Guard units will be formed within six months, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi pledged on Saturday at an interfaith dialogue conference in Baghdad.
“The government is committed to forming a National Guard force within 6 months,” the prime minister said, highlighting the importance of the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) “gang”.


So just hold on and know that help is coming . . . in six months.
Well . . . six months to form.  
How long to train?

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