Saturday, October 28, 2017

A new gilded age

The rich buy off politicians, who rig the system so the rich get richer and can buy off more politicians... And now:

The saddest thing about this new gilded age?

Most people won't even admit to it.

You can expect the robber (barons) to refuse to admit it, but so many of the people being robbed won't even admit to what's happening.

So much goes on that we won't even acknowledge.

  1. The FBI is fundamentally opposed to human rights of Black people. Repression of Black liberation movement is their job.
  2. I have seen this brutality directly. And remember these are the criminals training US police forces.

We need a course correction, to put it mildly.

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

Friday, October 27, 2017.

The Baghdad-based government in Iraq has been using US supplied weapons to attack the Kurds.  For those familiar with the law, the response required is not words of 'let's all get along.'  No, the law compels the US government to drop all support for the Baghdad-based government of Hayder al-Abadi.

Per an assortment of treaties and agreements -- as well as the Leahy Amendment -- the US must immediately cut off support with the Baghdad-based government.

This means that the administration of US President Donald Trump are currently breaking the law.

Kurds demonstrate & call for support from international community against the attacks of |i forces & Shia militias.

Greg Walters (VICE) updates the conflict:

 On Thursday, Baghdad spurned Kurdistan’s offer to “freeze” the results of referendum, insisting the plebiscite be cancelled outright.
The U.S. has seemed reluctant to do more than beg its Iraqi and Kurdish allies to put aside their differences and talk it out. On a surprise trip to Baghdad this week, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asked Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi to stop using violence against the Kurds.
“We want calm, we want dialogue,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a press briefing this week. “We don’t want any violent acts being taken by anyone on any side.”
So far, no one in Baghdad appears to be listening. 

Ranj Alaaldin (ALJAZEERA) observes:

Washington's decision to back Baghdad in its dispute with Erbil was based on its strategy to help Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi consolidate power and curb Iranian influence.
But by acquiescing to Baghdad's offensive on Kirkuk, the US inadvertently empowered the Iran-backed militias, which have dominated Iraq's security sphere since the 2014 collapse of the Iraqi armed forces.
The PMUs are supported by large segments of the Shia community in Iraq and will almost certainly alter the political map of the country in forthcoming elections in 2018. While in their ranks there are a number of state-aligned units that do not answer to Tehran, the PMUs are led and dominated by two Tehran-linked militias: the Badr Brigade and Ketaib Hezbollah.

The US government's refusal to support the Kurds has led to condemnation in some quarters.  David Shuster offers this commentary.

US abandonment of the in is a moral failure and a strategic mistake, says
Stateside | i24NEWS


The U.S. abandonment of the is absolutely stunning. Everyone needs to hear it. New Podcast...

Having sold out the Kurds and broken the law, the US government has certainly gone out on a limb for the Baghdad-based government.  And in return?  Hayder al-Abadi has attacked US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's suggestion that Iranian influence be slightly curbed.  Further, IRAQI NEWS reports:

The Iran-backed paramilitary force fighting Islamic State alongside the Iraqi government said Friday the United State’s remarks branding one of its top leaders as “terrorist” were a transgression against Iraqi security services.
Ahmed al-Assadi, a spokesperson of the Popular Mobilization Forces, said in statements, circulated by some Iraqi media outlets, that U.S. State Department Spokesperson, Heather Nauert’s description of Abu Mahdi al-Muhanids, deputy chief of the PMF, as a “terrorist” was a transgression against Iraqi security services.
“We are waiting for the Iraqi Foreign Ministry to respond to that transgression,” Assaid stated, noting that those remarks would not discourage the PMF from its mission.

Maybe Hayder and company feel they no longer need US support?  THE DAILY TIMES reports, "Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, whose forces Thursday battled jihadists in the west of the country and Kurds in the north, won the support of Iranian leaders at talks in Tehran."

1/ Am near to Faysh Khabur now, on Iraq/Syria border. Despite Iraqi push, Kurds in control of area. Ambulances waiting to transport wounded.

Replying to 
2/ Kurdish doctor told me: "Yesterday we had many wounded, especially from artillery, not bullets." Today 2wounded. "It is relatively quiet"

Replying to 
3/ Talked to Peshmergas who just returned from front. "For now no fighting. Y'day difficult but we stopped attack. No idea about tomorrow."

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4/ As peshmergas bought soft drinks in Faysh Khabur, they said: "We're alone - attacked by Isis, Iraq, Iran, Turkey & int community silent."

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5/ One Peshmerga claimed: "It's a scandal that Iraqi forces use U.S. supplied guns against us which were given to them to fight ISIS."

Replying to 
6/ Surprising to me 2hear some Kurds near frontline use sectarian language. "Shia try to kill us Sunnis". Kurds usually secular/nationalist.

Replying to 
7/ In Zakho, Kurdish civilians now putting up "banners with names &pics of our martyrs" who died y'day &today in battle with Iraqi forces.

Replying to 
8/ ...and more banners of young men who will never see their own children grow up. Too many sad stories here.

REUTERS is reporting that a truce may have been reached.  From earlier today:

forces used drone to locate KDP and PKK locations then Federal police IRAM targets them. Full video will be released soon.

No truce could mean problems for Hayder al-Abadi.  The only thing propping him up has been the US government.

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

iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq Iraq