Friday, February 24, 2017

Look who's getting targeted

As a Green, I always note how the media refuses to play it down the middle -- while they pretend they do.

  1. Democrats Are Facing Town Hall Pressure Too: a reassuring video report


Yep, protests at Dem townhalls too.

As it should be.

Real protesters target an issue, not just one side.

Meanwhile, net neutrality.

Is On Its Deathbed
Net Neutrality Is On Its Deathbed
Trump’s head of the FCC is rolling back net neutrality protections. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, the hosts of The Young Turks, tell you what the consequences will be.


Well that's what we get for being so complacent the last 8 years.

We could have been demanding action and insisting on laws that would protect us.

Instead, we fell for the bait and switch again.

As always.


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


Friday, February 24, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, efforts to resell the war never end, US taxpayers spend $12.5 million a day dropping bombs on Iraq at the Iraqi government's request but Iraq takes its F-16 to Syria to drop bombs, and much more.




IMPORTANT PM ordered Iraqi Air Force to target positions inside & the first airstrike is successful.
 
 


Joint Operations announced that F-16 targeted in Albu Kamal inside territory & completely destroyed it HQ.
 
 
 


Joint Operations released a video of the airstrike that targeted in which was ordered by PM .
 
 




So Iraq's using one of the F-16s the US government wrongly (illegally) supplied to bomb Syria.

And how many billions have the US taxpayers footed for the bombing of Iraq from US war planes since August 2014?

Why is that happening?

If the Iraqi government has F-16s (and they wrongly and illegally do), why don't they do their own bombings?


The US taxpayer is on the hook for "$12.5 million a day on air operations against the Islamic State and has spent billions more training and equipping Iraqi security forces," according to Loveday Morris (WASHINGTON POST).


Tubby Hayder al-Abadi issued a statement moments ago.

It's 8 points.

The usual nonsense we'd expect.

The Iraqi forces are on the human side, for example.

Except of course when they're threatening or harming civilians.

He leaves that part out.

He does not that they bombed Syria and that they will continue to do so.

And he mentions the people of Mosul (seventh point).

Remember them?

The 750,000 civilians that may still be in Mosul?

Does he note the harm they have faced?

No.

He just calls on them to support the Iraqi forces.

Hayder forgot the people of Mousl?

Well that's what he's always done, right?

Mosul was seized by the Islamic State in June of 2014.  By August of that year, Hayder was transitioning into the role of prime minister.

But he would wait until mid-October of 2016 -- over two years later -- to attempt to liberate or 'liberate' Mosul.

130 days later, The Mosul Slog continues.

Jordan Shilton (WSWS) reports:


An estimated 750,000 civilians remain in the west side of the city and the offensive by Iraqi forces will prove deadly for many. Other urban centers recaptured from ISIS over the past two years, including Ramadi, were virtually destroyed in the process.
The streets in the ISIS-held part of the city are narrower and virtually all routes for escape have been closed off. Bridges linking the east and west sides of Mosul across the Tigris River were destroyed by air strikes, and Shiite and Kurdish militias have surrounded the city to the north and west.
According to the United Nations, more than half of all casualties thus far in the battle for Mosul have been civilians. At least 1,096 civilians have died and a further 694 have been injured since the government’s offensive was launched last October.
The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that “available food and fuel supplies continue to dwindle, with residents resorting to burning furniture and rubbish to keep warm. Food and fuel supplies are dwindling, markets and shops have closed, running water is scarce and electricity in many neighborhoods is either intermittent or cut off.”
It added that spaces at refugee camps could provide shelter to only 60,000 civilians.


The people of Mosul.

The supposed reason for the operation.

Completely forgotten by the corporate press.

Well maybe that's not fair.

Qassim Abdul-Zahra, Sinan Salaheddin and Susannah George (AP) remember the civilians . . .

in paragraph thirteen.

12 paragraphs have to take place before the supposed reason for the operation can even be mentioned.

AP clearly has other priorities.


Day 130 and CNN's Ben Wedeman sells war with lies -- the operation isn't 48 hours old.

Sorry, Ben, your lies are as offensive as your looks.

As he lies to reset the clock, he also leaves out the reason for the alleged 'success' of the last few days:  US troops, Australian troops and Canadian troops.

It's not the Iraqi forces.

It's the foreign troops.

Quit lying.

Yes, the operation is moving quicker in the last days.

That's not because of the Iraqi forces.

It's because 'trainers' and 'advisers' are now officially in combat.

Susannah George and Balint Szlanko (AP) note:


In the fight against the Islamic State group in Mosul, the United States has adjusted its rules of engagement as American and other international troops are now closer to front-line fighting than before.

During the push to take Mosul International Airport on Thursday, American and European advisers were embedded with forward Iraqi rapid response and special forces units.



If it were left to the Iraqi forces, The Mosul Slog might last a full year.


Let's note a stupid Tweet.


Hey Trump, do you even realise this? Nah, too complicated for you.
 
 


The Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State -- some of these forces are committing War Crimes -- aren't trying to come to the US.

How stupid are you?

More to the point, they don't like the US.

Even excluding the Shi'ite militias loyal to the government in Tehran, they don't care for the US.

Not a crime, they don't have to.

But let's grasp as more billions are poured into Iraq that the US State Dept said they'd oversee training of Iraqi forces.

Did we all forget that?

In October 2011, the US mission was transferred to the State Dept in anticipation of the military drawdown at the end of that year.


And the State Dept was given millions of taxpayer dollars for this.

And millions were spent on a Baghdad training facility.

What happened there?

Before the drawdown even took place, the Iraqi government had declared they didn't want US training.

Did the whole world forget that?

Then in 2014, it's train me, train me, train me.

Get real.

Even the Hillary Clinton supporters should agree with this because Hillary held onto that money at State for months hoping the Iraqi government would change its mind.

They did not while she was Secretary of State.

The Iraqi military that the stupid Tweet (and its stupid owner) support is the same one that 'followed orders' after the bulk of US troops left Iraq in December and patrolled and circled (with tanks) the homes of Sunni politicians.  They're the same military that invaded the home of a Sunni member of Parliament at dawn and killed people in the raid -- including the MP's brother.

They're the same ones who 'followed orders' and 'disappeared' thousands of Sunni civilians.

Herr Trump can hump the legs of the Iraqi military but there's no reason for any sane person to be impressed by them.

They attacked Sahwa, they attacked the Peshmerga.

And if and when the Islamic State is gone (or at least a minor threat), they'll go back to attacking other Iraqi military.

For now, they keep their teeth sharp by attacking Iraqi civilians in 'liberated' areas.


Yes, they get good press.

When whores like Ben Wedeman are embedded with them, something happens.  Sexual lust?

Probably.

As well as the whole Patty Hearst hostage experience.

They're not journalists when they're embedded.

They're controlled whores.

Ben Wedeman needs to free his inner Tania.

And the western press needs to stop serving sop to whatever consumers they have left.


Loveday Morris' recent report for THE WASHINGTON POST offered more reality than Ben could fit into three hours of his embed 'reporting.'  Morris:

In an open letter to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a Facebook page called Mosul Eye, which has chronicled life in the city under the Islamic State, warned that abuses by some parts of the security forces were creating humiliation for the local population, while "huge corruption" meant that Islamic State members were going free.


And protesters gear up in Baghdad.


Roads leading to Tahrir Square are closed again today in preparation for another protest.
 
 




The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley -- updated:



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    Thursday, February 23, 2017

    Catwoman

    We didn't deserve Michelle Pfeffier

    The best Catwoman ever was Michelle Pfeiffer.

    For years, I thought it was Eartha Kitt (she played the role during the third season of the 60s show Batman).

    But Batman Returns set a new Catwoman standard.

    I love Halle Berry but when she played Catwoman after Michelle?

    I didn't care for her conception of the role.

    I felt the same way about Anne Hathaway in the Christian Bale Dark Knight film.

    Michelle brought a physcality to the role that so many others forgot.

    And Catwoman wasn't Selena.

    Michelle's conception had Selena at war with herself.

    But while Michelle was the finest ever, it's also true that even a bad Catwoman is better than most cartoon characters.



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

     
    Thursday, February 23, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, the western press continues to lionize (via coverage) an apparent suicide bomber while ignoring the death of a US servicemember in Iraq, The Mosul Slog continues, and much more.


    Two foreign deaths this week in Iraq.  A Brit apparently blows himself intentionally and am American dies serving.

    Which one did western media glom on?

    Which one do you think?

    Link to headline article



    A strong response from War Criminal Tony Blair?

    As we noted yesterday, the British suspect was (a) released from Guantanamo at the urging of the British government and (b) apparently handed one million dollars from the British government.  And Tony's objection?

    That press reports are blaming him for both when the million dollars took place after he was out of office.

    Again, of the two issues, begging for the release of a prison who allegedly went on to kill himself and others?  That's the one you really don't want to be attached to.

    But Tony's always been an idiot.

    It's why he gets out of bed each morning, forever convinced that this will be the lucky day the world develops amnesia and forgets his War Crimes.


    From the death they can't stop talking about to the one that's barely getting attention . . .





    "Pfc. Brian Patrick Odiorne" died serving in Iraq.  The death was announced Tuesday.

    Ware selectmen held a moment of silence to honor Army Pfc. Brian Odiorne, who died in Iraq.
     
     




    Jim Russell (MASS LIVE) reports:

    Selectmen requested a moment of silence prior to the start of Tuesday night's meeting to honor a soldier and town resident, Army Pfc. Brian Odiorne, who died the previous day while serving in Iraq.
    The more than two dozen attending the meeting stood in silence with selectmen.


     Tiffany Chan (WWLP) offers, "Massachusetts Veterans Services Secretary Francisco Urena told 22News at a State House military event, that Odiorne’s loss is especially tough, since he was just 21 years old." The young man is remembered by many.  Antonio Planas (BOSTON HERALD) includes this:

    “He was a very kind and loving soul that always put others first. If you were in need, he’d stay and help even if he just met you. He loved being a peacekeeper, and me and his other brother will miss him more than anything,” Kyle North told the Herald in Facebook messages. “He was my hero. ... Men like him are so rare.”


    David McKay (WWLP) notes:

    Odiorne was well known throughout the area. He was a machine shop student at Pathfinder Regional High School, and he was also on the football team. He graduated in 2014. Whether it be in the hallways at school or out on the football field, he was known as a people pleaser.
    Coach Chris Pope said, “He was just “OD” that was his name, I probably didn’t know his name was Brian in four years of knowing him. Everybody liked him…I’m sorry to his family, it’s a real loss.”

    McKay also explains, "If you would like to make a donation to the Pathfinder Booster Club in honor of Odiorne, you can send it to Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School at 240 Sykes Street, Palmer, MA 01069, c/o Booster Club."


    CNN notes the state's Governor Charlie Baker declared Wednesday that he had spoken with the family,  "I said to them, I’m not calling you as a public official, I’m not calling you as your governor, I’m calling you as a dad to speak to how sorry and sad I am that your son, who committed to serve this country, isn’t coming back."








    Day 129 of The Mosul Slog and some are trying to sell it as success.

    I guess if US troops openly in combat in Iraq qualifies as wonderful to you, then it's a success.

    CBS and AP report, "Iraqi federal police pushed their way into the perimeter of Mosul International Airport on Thursday, taking control of the runway amid fierce exchanges of fire with Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants hunkered down in several airport buildings, police officials said."  BBC emphasizes, "Foreign troops from the US-led coalition were with the attacking troops, officials told AP, without specifying their nationality."


    Sara Hussein and Jean-Marc Mojon (AFP) report:

    Senior US officials this week estimated there were only 2,000 IS fighters defending west Mosul, suggesting the jihadist group had suffered heavy losses in the first four months of the operation.
    The US-led coalition, which has provided intensive air support as well as advisers on the ground, said before the Mosul offensive began that 5,000 to 7,000 jihadists were in the city.
    AFP reporters saw US forces moving into Al-Buseif on Wednesday in convoys of large military vehicles.
    A coalition spokesman acknowledged later that US forces had been shot at and returned fire in the battle for Mosul.
    "They have come under fire at different times, they have returned fire at different times, in and around Mosul," Colonel John Dorrian said, declining however to confirm if any US troops had been wounded.



    So it's a success.

    The Mosul Airport has been seized apparently.

    It's an end to all those ISIS direct flights to Miami!!!!

    The 750,000 people in western Mosul?

    The airport seizure means nothing for them.

    But the operation has little concern for civilians since day one.

    And as Loveday Morris (WASHINGTON POST) notes, while everyone's watching Mosul, the Islamic State appears to be re-entering old territories.


    US troops are in combat in Iraq and no one's pretending otherwise at last.  Richard Sisk (MILITARY TIMES) offers up new possibilities:

    U.S. troop increases in Syria and Iraq could be part of the plan for speeding up the campaign against ISIS that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will present to the White House next week, military officials said Wednesday.
    Army Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, told reporters traveling with him in the Mideast, "It could be that we take on a larger burden ourselves" in supporting a combined Syrian Arab and Syrian Kurdish force closing on the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, Syria. "That's an option."


    The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley -- updated:











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