Friday, January 13, 2017

The Guardian is concerned with selective fairness

Not real fairness.

They don't give a damn.

And let's talk about what they are, first off.

They are not an independent paper.

Some people say that.

They are a house organ of the Neoliberal party in England.

That's why they did not call out the Iraq War.

That's why it was a Rupert Mudcoch paper (The Times of London) that broke that story on The Downing Street Memos and why The Guardian never, ever reported on it.

Over here in the US, we were outraged when various papers ignored The Downing Streep Memos.

But in England, where the story mattered as well, The Guardian ignored it.

It's a very cowardly house organ for neoliberalism.


Julie Hyland (whose work I thought I knew from FAIR) has a good article at WSWS which opens:


In Britain, the Guardian newspaper is at the forefront of the McCarthyite witch-hunt against Russia.

Utilising unsubstantiated claims of Russian hacking of the Democratic Party the paper has allied with the most hysterical warmongers in the political and military-intelligence apparatus in the United States and Britain.

The Guardian’s hostility to Russia is not new. It supported the western-backed coup in Ukraine in 2014, employing allegations of Russian aggression to press for punitive sanctions against Moscow. The debacle of US and British imperialism in Syria, and the crisis in US foreign policy exemplified by the accession of Donald Trump to the presidency, has seen its sabre rattling become ever more frantic.

A January 8 editorial, “Trump and Russia: playing Putin’s game—again,” treats as good coin the allegations of Russian interference in the US election. Aware of widespread scepticism over the claims, the comment consists of a barely concealed polemic against its own readership.

The Guardian asserts that there is a long history of the US and the Soviet Union trying, “mostly surreptitiously, occasionally bloodily, sometimes successfully, to shape elections in many parts of the world.”

“So, whatever else there is to say about Russia’s alleged involvement in the 2016 US election, do not make the mistake of saying that such a thing is unprecedented—because it is not.”

This sleight of hand is typical of the Guardian’s dishonest approach. Based on the allegation that Russia has interfered in elections in the past, it insists that the same must be true today and that, “However you slice and dice it, Russia’s apparent involvement in America’s 2016 election is indefensible.”

The editorial naturally says nothing about the content of the material that was leaked, which showed that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee conspired against her challenger in the primaries, Bernie Sanders. This evidence of a deliberate intervention into the electoral processes with the aim of rigging the outcome is ignored by the Guardian.



This is outrageous and should be yet another warning to those of us in the United States that this is not a newspaper, it's a biased, house organ for neoliberalism.


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


Friday, January 13, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, the Canadian government won't answer to whether or not their soldiers receiving treatment in Iraq were injured in battle, when do we ever arrive at what passes for 'victory' and much more.


More and more, I think what any occupant of the White House needs is a car with twin 11-year-olds in the backseat, bored, hopped up on Monster and kicking the seat in front of them while repeatedly asking, "Are we there yet?  Are we there yet?"

Are we there yet?

That's one of the most important questions that president-elect Donald Trump will face once he's sworn in as President of the United States.

And someone needs desperately to define where ''there" is.

The Iraq War, or at least this century's installment, started in March of 2003.

Two months shy of 14 years, the war continues and US troops are still engaged in it -- from the air and on the ground.

As a point of reference, WWI and WWII did not last as long -- did not last as long combined.

Yet still the Iraq War continues.

Erik Gustafson (THE HILL) offers four things to remember regarding Iraq.


1) Victory in Mosul does not mean the ISIS threat is over.
2) Young democracies like Iraq are not the place for strongmen.
3) Reconstruction must address the longterm needs of the Iraqi people.
4) Iraq's ability to secure its future is limited by serious economic shortcomings.


A fifth?

Maybe . . . don't take your eyes off Iraq?  Don't ignore it?






Terrorism in Iraq gets far less attention, but Iraq was the site of the deadliest terrorist attack in 2016.










Yep, it does get less attention.

Why is that, Kenny boy?

Because you used your Twitter feed to campaign for Hillary Clinton?

I'm sorry, I thought Human Rights Watch was politically neutral.

Had you just focused on Iraq, maybe it would get the attention it needs.

Had you just Tweeted about HRW's Iraq reports, it might have gotten attention.

But before the election you thought you were slyly promoting Hillary and post-election you've had a tantrum or two.

Maybe if you'd focus on human rights and the work of HRW, Iraq could get the attention it deserves.

If you're part of the problem, that's on you.

So maybe we could also try to avoid dumb assery as well?





The Isis campaign against Iraq’s Shia Muslims is not politics. It’s genocide | Ranj Alaaldin












That's dumb assery.

At best, that's dumb assery.

The Islamic State is a terrorist organization.


As we've long noted, it is not the problem.

The issues in Iraq that allowed it to take root are the problem.

Destroy ISIS today and something will quickly replace it.

I'm not in the mood to be nice about this.

I warned it was coming over and over, day after day and week after week while 'smart' people either ignored what was coming or insisted everything was fine.

Sunnis are persecuted in Iraq.

Stop persecuting them.

Long before the Islamic State took root we were the only ones, here at this website, just us, pointing out the very strange issue around prison breaks: Prisoners weren't being caught.

Why not?

Because they were usually Sunni and the local residents protected and hid them.

Why?

Because of the persecution taking place in Iraq.

It was so bad that escapees could be hidden.

The Islamic State wanted power -- somewhere, anywhere.

They made Iraq a focus because Sunnis were persecuted.

And that's why they either got support from Sunnis or the Sunni reaction was: This is between the government that persecutes us and ISIS, it's not my battle.

If you missed that sentiment, you missed a whole lot.

And if you can't acknowledge it today, you are a dumb ass contributing dumb assery and no one really needs you at this point.


Maya Mailer (INDEPENDENT) reports:


“Isis is like a mushroom. It was able to grow here, in Iraq, because there is a fertile environment. It didn’t just come from nowhere.” That is what one Iraqi activist told me, with an edge of anger and passion in her voice, when I was in Iraq late last year. She went on to say that Isis could not be – and should not be – eradicated through bombs and fighting. Instead, Iraq desperately needed to embark on a national programme of reconciliation and reform.
“Isis is like a mushroom. It was able to grow here, in Iraq, because there is a fertile environment. It didn’t just come from nowhere.” That is what one Iraqi activist told me, with an edge of anger and passion in her voice, when I was in Iraq late last year. She went on to say that Isis could not be – and should not be – eradicated through bombs and fighting. Instead, Iraq desperately needed to embark on a national programme of reconciliation and reform.


If that's shocking or surprising to you, then let me join you in shock and surprise.

Where the hell have you been?

June 19, 2014, even President Barack Obama stated that the only solution to Iraq's crises was a political solution.


He said that.

And then did nothing to help there.

He started dropping bombs on Iraq.

He put "boots on the ground."

He surged the military.

He just didn't surge the diplomacy.

For the record, it's the same failure Bully Boy Bush made earlier.

Also for the record, we repeatedly made that point throughout 2014 and 2015 and 2016.

But nothing was done.

And there's no reconciliation in Iraq still.

There's no effort to end the persecution.

So defeat ISIS with the military and you haven't defeated anything.

They'll regroup or something else will replace them.

The Mosul slog continues.

It's 88 days since the operation began.

Mosul was seized by the Islamic State in June of 2014.

88 days ago, the liberation or 'liberation' effort began.

The International Organization of Migration notes:

Nearly 13 weeks into the Mosul military operation against the Islamic State (ISIL) – which began on 17 October – over 144,500 Iraqis are currently displaced. The majority are in desperate need of life-saving humanitarian assistance, especially in the cold winter weather and rain.

According to IOM Iraq’s Displaced Tracking Matrix (DTM) the displacement count from 17 October through 12 January stands at 144,588 people. The latest Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Emergency Tracking figures on displacement from Mosul operations are available at: http://iraqdtm.iom.int/EmergencyTracking.aspx


This is what success looks like?


THE CANADIAN PRESS reports:

National Defence is refusing to disclose details about several Canadian soldiers treated at a military hospital in northern Iraq in recent weeks, including whether any of them were wounded on the battlefield.
The soldiers were among 120 patients who were seen at the medical facility since it began operating near the Kurdish city of Erbil at the end of November, according to figures provided to The Canadian Press.

Again, the question, this is what success looks like?


This morning, the US Defense Dept announced:


Strikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber and fighter aircraft and rocket artillery conducted eight strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Haditha, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Mosul, nine strikes engaged five ISIL tactical units; destroyed five vehicles, three mortar systems, two unmanned aircraft launch sites, three fighting positions, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, a vehicle bomb manufacturing and armoring facility, a heavy machine gun, a supply cache and an anti-air artillery system; and damaged 18 supply routes and two bridges.

-- Near Rawah, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle, a command-and-control node and a weapons storage facility.

-- Near Sinjar, a strike destroyed a mortar system.

-- Near Tal Afar, three strikes destroyed a vehicle, a vehicle bomb facility and an unmanned aircraft launch site.


Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.



It's past time someone in charge was able to answer the question of "Are we there yet?" with something more than "Not yet."


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