Friday, August 11, 2017

No to Kamala

The people(s)-centered human rights framework centers the principle that all oppressed have a right to resistance.



Love that illustration.

And people in prison?

There's no way in hell I'll be supporting Kamala Harris if she's the 2020 presidential nominee.

She did nothing but imprison one African-American after another.

Prison industrial complex trash does not ever win my vote.


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


Friday, August 11, 2017.


Elections were supposed to take place in Iraq this year.



First in Mach but they were pushed back.

Then in September but again pushed back.

Former prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki has used the time trying to look impressive.  That was behind his recent underwhelming trip to Russia.

Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr has also used the time -- he's visited Saudi Arabia and restarted his protests against corruption.


On the former,  Fanar Haddad (WASHINGTON POST) offers:


Though previously known as a “firebrand cleric” with a Shiite populist and militant line in Iraq, Sadr today presents himself as a moderate, nationalistic champion of change. His visit to Saudi Arabia was likely designed with two audiences in mind.
A message to Iraq’s Shiite population
Sadr’s visit was a message to his competitors in Iraq’s increasingly fragmented Shiite political scene. The Riyadh visit and the fact that Sadr was hosted at the highest levels of the Saudi establishment will underline his international relevance and burnish his prestige and credentials as an Iraqi statesman. This kind of political plumage is especially useful as Sadr and his rivals jockey for position ahead of next year’s Iraqi elections.
A message to Iran
Sadr’s visit demonstrated to Iran — and to Iran’s allies and proxies in Iraq/Sadr’s political rivals — that he not only has options, but he can even push back against Iran and has the power to potentially hurt Iranian interests in Iraq. If nothing else, this enables Sadr to present himself as the face of Arab (non-Iranian) Iraqi Shiism.

This is a position that resonates with his base — although the extent to which they will accept a Saudi embrace remains to be seen — and further differentiates him from his competitors. Having already announced a political alliance with Ayad Allawi, an anti-Shiite-Islamist figure, this visit will further polish Sadr’s credentials as a nationalist political figure who can rise above the politics of sect and ethnicity.


Ammar al-Hakim has also appears to be campaigning.  The Shi'ite leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq has formed a new party called National Wisdom; however, he has insisted that this does not mean he's left ISCI.

Ali Nasseri (NIQASH) reports:

The provincial government in Dhi Qar has been unstable for some time, with members of different parties and blocs defecting at will or forming new alliances. The most recent change saw seven members of the Muwatin, or Citizen bloc, join a brand new party created by the cleric Ammar al-Hakim.
 At the end of July al-Hakim, who had led one of the country’s largest Islamic parties, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, or ISCI, since 2009, announced he was leaving the party to form a new one. Called the National Wisdom party, Al-Hakim has said the new party, which has dropped Islamic from the name, is a project to rejuvenate Shiite Muslim politics in Iraq and to appeal to younger supporters. Al-Hakim had been at odds with older members of the ISCI for years.
As one commentator has noted, al-Hakim’s new party kept all the ISCI’s assets, essentially “stripping [them] of both the symbolism and the assets”.

Politicians in Dhi Qar appear to agree with al-Hakim’s new stand. The new party is about the creation of a new political generation,” said Adel al-Dukhili, the deputy governor of the province, one of those who defected to the National Wisdom party. ” A movement that believes in rapid change and turning challenges into opportunities, by adopting a clear manifesto.”



Will elections come in 2018?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

They've been twice postponed this year with no outrage expressed on the part of the global community.

Maybe Hayder al-Abadi will decide to postpone them yet again, say they'll hold elections in 2019?

Maybe he'll just play kick the can over and over.

He certainly hasn't suffered any outrage -- or consequences -- over the decision.


One election that may take place this year is on the fate of the Kurdistan region.

Will the semi-autonomous region move on to full autonomy?


RUDAW notes a new voice in the debate:

Iraqi Sunni politician and leader of the Ummah Party Mithal al-Alusi says that Iraq has failed its people and that the Kurds are justified in their quest for separation and the establishment of a state of their own.

“This is a cardboard state,” says al-Alusi in an interview with al-Iraqiya state television. “The Kurds have the right to say: I don’t want to be part of such a failed state.”

Al-Alusi, who describes himself as a secular politician from Anbar, cites the interference of regional countries as proof of Iraq’s failure.

“Is Qasem Soleimani entering Iraq on a visa? Does he have residency permit?” he asks. “Iranian intelligence working as advisors is this sovereignty? Saudi money piling up with the Sunnis, is this Iraqi sovereignty and an intact state?”

Soleimani is the commander of Iran’s Quds Force who is said to have been hired by the Iraqi government as an advisor to the defense ministry.

Al-Alusi who has been elected twice to the parliament and is a proponent of good relations with the West, including Israel, believes that Iraq has violated its own constitution which has given the Kurds a reason to seek a path of separation.

“We all voted for and agreed on this constitution that stipulates the unity of Iraq, but where has it got now and what democracy have we Iraqis got?” he says.



The move for self-determination is outlined in the Constitution.

Among the fear if the Kurds attempt it?

Neighbors like Turkey which regularly crush their own Kurdish population fear this will set an example.

The other fear in the room?

That Kurds taking this step might lead other areas of Iraq to do the same.


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    Thursday, August 10, 2017

    No to war on North Korea

    We don't need another war.

    We don't even need the wars we already have.



  •   Retweeted
    Nominations for seats on our Steering Committee start today! Visit for more info!


  • North Korea's nukes are in part a response to regime change in Iraq & Libya. US must end this failed policy.
  • Urgent. Prevent WWIII. Flood the White House switchboard now: Negotiate don’t escalate with North Korea! 202-456-1414
  • North Korea just responded to Trump’s “fire & fury” threat by “considering” a missile strike at Guam at any moment.
  • Cooler heads must prevail on North Korea. Trading threats isn't working. Listen to South Koreans, who want diplomacy, not war.



  • This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


     
    *movie preview voice* from the producers of Iraq War comes a new blood-soaked debacle, this time with *record scratch* real nuclear weapons
     
     




    Eli Lake: "Leaving aside means and only looking at outcome, regime change for North Korea would be a great outcome from a humanitarian perspective."

    It's as though the last fourteen years never happened or happened without Eli Lake.

    Iraq had regime change.

    There's been no benefit -- that's across the board but certainly when it comes to "a humanitarian perspective."

    Iraq still lacks a stable government -- forget one that governs fairly.

    It remains one of the most corrupt nations in the world.

    Population wise, it's a young country now with a median age of 19.9 years.

    It's a country of orphans in many respects due to the never-ending violence.

    A country of widows and orphans.



    Without an income + often with children to support, Mosul’s war widows are among most vulnerable displaced in :
     
     





    Areas of Iraq will produce birth defects for decades due to the weapons used there.  (Used there by foreign forces -- the US-led coalition.)

    Humanitarian includes medical and the US has bombed hospitals throughout the war as has the Iraqi government.  In addition, doctors have been repeatedly targeted and threatened leading to many of them fleeing the country.


    The education system is as frayed as everything else from the war.  In the next 20 years, Iraq needs to build at least 20,000 schools as a result of many things including (a) the destruction of schools from bombings and (b) 'aid' that resulted in faulty construction.

    I'm failing to see any benefits "from a humanitarian perspective."

    And the Iraq War was supposed to be 'quick.'

    Instead, it's 14 years later and still going.


    : attacks army positions in the area of Diyuub in northern , kills several soldiers & burs 4 bulldozers.
     
     



    In pictures: sharpshooters sneak up on Iraqi Army checkpoints near Tal Afar
     
     




    This is Iraq right now:


    US-backed Iraqi troops and militias assaulting and executing starved civilians found under the rubble in Old
     
     




    Confused as to how this qualifies as a 'success' "from a humanitarian perspective."




    Overturned Blackwater conviction evokes darkest days of Iraq War: | looks back to that day.
     
     



    Darkest days?

    What a load of nonsense.

    THE WASHINGTON POST can call it the "darkest days" because it's a contractor and further removed from the US military.

    Falluja in April or November of 2004.

    The gang-rape and murder of Abeer by US soldiers.

    The use of illegal weapons by the US-led coalition.

    But Blackwater is the "darkest days"?

    Far be it from THE WASHINGTON POST to ever call out the US government.

    And speaking of which, shame on any US journalist writing about Blackwater today and still not telling reporters who was being protected.

    Remember that?

    Supposedly, a US official was being escorted by Blackwater that day.

    All these years later, we can't even be told (a) if that was true and (b) if true, who it was?



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