Monday, January 28, 2019

Don't fall for war on Venezuela

They're beating the drums for war on Venezuela.  The same corporate media that rips Donald Trump constantly is now trying to get behind war because on that cowards and neocons can agree.

The Black Alliance for Peace is clear:" Not one drop of blood from working class and poor to defend interests of the capitalist oligarchy." The working class and peasantry in Venezuela are not our enemies. And to say that the U.S. is concerned about democracy is a sick joke.

It's time to stand up and say "NO!"  There is no point to another war. 

We need to reject this march to war -- loudly and clearly reject it.

It is an obscenity for the U.S. that supports an Israeli government that kills hundreds of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza to talk about repression in Venezuela.

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

Monday, January 28, 2019.  Problems in the KRG as a Barzani stumbles and fumbles.

We're starting with this from ZERO HEDGE:

Former San Francisco Mayor and Speaker of the California State Assembly Willie Brown claimed to have "influenced" the career of US Sen. Kamala Harris with political appointments while the two were having an extramarital affair, Brown admits in a short article in the San Francisco Chronicle
Harris was 30 years Brown's junior when the two were dating, approximately half his age at the time. 
""Yes, we dated. It was more than 20 years ago. Yes, I may have influenced her career by appointing her to two state commissions when I was Assembly speaker," writes Brown, adding "And I certainly helped with her first race for district attorney in San Francisco." 
Brown noted that he also helped the careers of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Gavin Newsom and Sen. Dianne Feinstein - though it is unclear whether any of them were also boffing Brown. 
Concluding with what may be sour grapes, Brown writes: "The difference is that Harris is the only one who, after I helped her, sent word that I would be indicted if I "so much as jaywalked" while she was D.A."
As a powerful assembly speaker, Brown appointed Harris to a $97,000 per year position on the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, then appointed her to the California Medical Assistance Commission for $72,000 per year, according to a 1994 report in the Los Angeles Times.
Harris, a former deputy district attorney in Alameda County, was described by several people at the Capitol as Brown's girlfriend. In March, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen called her "the Speaker's new steady." -Los Angeles Times
Brown also connected Harris with campaign donors who helped her outspend her opponent in the race for San Francisco district attorney, according to Business Insider.

Please note, in the first snapshot after the story broke, we made it the the first thing of note.  I've known Willie Brown for years and made no effort to hide or ignore the above story.  For any wondering, I've interacted with Kamala, I wouldn't term us friends.  I've donated minimally to her campaigns.  She was not my choice for US senator -- I was backing Loretta Sanchez.

Moving over to Iraq . . .

KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani: Going to the Turkish base and attacking it is not the solution.  The truth is, if the PKK wasn't there, there would be no airstrike. It's clear that the cause of the events here is the PKK.  We have warned people not to enter some areas before but our citizens have violated the order

That's Massoud Barzani's son mangling everything.  What's he speaking about?  Many things.  First off, the PKK.  Aaron Hess (INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST REVIEW) described the PKK in 2008, "The PKK emerged in 1984 as a major force in response to Turkey's oppression of its Kurdish population. Since the late 1970s, Turkey has waged a relentless war of attrition that has killed tens of thousands of Kurds and driven millions from their homes. The Kurds are the world's largest stateless population -- whose main population concentration straddles Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria -- and have been the victims of imperialist wars and manipulation since the colonial period. While Turkey has granted limited rights to the Kurds in recent years in order to accommodate the European Union, which it seeks to join, even these are now at risk."  That's the PKK.

Why is Barzani referring to them?

Saturday (see "Protests in Iraq" and "About those US bases in Iraq . . ."), protesters stormed a Dohuk base (Dohuk is in northern Iraq and part of the Kurdistan Regional Government).  They were angry over Turkish war planes bombing the area the day before and killing civilians.  Salar Salim and Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) report the number of civilians killed in the bombing was six.  The Turkish military -- at their base in Dohuk -- fired at the protesters killing 1 and injuring ten more.

AFP reports, "Iraq Sunday said it would summon the Turkish ambassador over the death of a Kurdish protester after Turkish troops opened fire on demonstrators in the country’s northwest."  SPUTNIK adds:

According to the statement, the note read that Ankara’s "actions are a violation of sovereignty, incompatible with friendly relations and brotherhood between the two countries, and called on the Turkish side to stop such unilateral actions."

While the Iraqi government registered alarm, the KRG government instead punished a news outlet.  ANADOLU AGENCY reports:

Iraqi Kurdish authority has shut a private broadcaster in northern city of Duhok on Sunday reportedly over its provocative broadcasting regarding Saturday's attack on Turkish military post.
The NRT TV said its office in the city was raided and sealed off by security forces, and some employees working in the office were also detained and released later on bail. 

KRG shuts local TV over Turkish base attack in N.Iraq

Duhok Office of Kurdish TV channel () captured footages of Turkish occupier army killing Kurdish civilians closed by Barzani administration in Kurdistan region of Iraq.

The KRG resorted to censorship as though they had something to hide.  Unlike the Baghdad-based government, they did not call out the shooting nor did they call out the bombing the day prior.   The Iraqi government has not been welcoming of Turkey's military actions.  For example, Mohammed Ebraheem (IRAQI NEWS) reports:

The Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday that it summoned Turkish Ambassador to Baghdad Fatih Yıldız in protest at the last week’s bombardment of the town of Shaladze in the autonomous Kurdistan region, which left several people killed and wounded.
The Turkish bombardment “violates our country’s sovereignty and contradicts with fraternal and brotherly ties between the two countries,” Baghdad Today quoted the ministry as saying in a statement.

While the Baghdad-based government has called out the actions -- including earlier this year -- and noting the violation of Iraqi sovereignty, the KRG has been silent.  Until Barzani now.  And what his remarks indicate is that his party is allowing the Turkish government to have a base in Dohuk, allowing the bombings to continue.

If that's the case, the Baghdad-based government and the KRG now have a serious problem that needs an immediate resolution: Baghdad says Turkey is violating Iraq's sovereignty and the KRG is giving Turkey the go-ahead.

Iraq’s FM demanding Turkey ends its military incursions into Iraqi territory, while KRG’s PM reasons w/Turkey & shifts blames on the PKK is la crème de la crème of diplomacy.

The Barzanis and their KDP political party also have a problem as the public face for welcoming Turkey in northern Iraq.  Turkey's actions towards the Kurds in its own borders can best be termed apartheid.  That's the kindest term.  It's one thing to have trade relations with a neighbor (Turkey borders northern Iraq), it's another thing to allow them to attack Iraqi Kurds.

Replying to 
If they will do their business like this let them Iraq government take over so called KRG!Talabanistan and Barzanistan doing their family business they don't care Kurdish or Kurdistan! If they can't save and protect our nation don't need so called KRG

As the KRG stumbles to form a government following their elections last fall -- still stumbles -- the Barzanis helping Turkey attack northern Iraq is not a good look.  Especially when you grasp that the Turkish military repeatedly insists it killed 'terrorists' but, time and again, the fact is they killed farmers, villagers, civilians.

Peshmerga says Turkish military operations in Iraq Kurdish Region have killed 20 innocent civilians between 2015 & 2018 and destroyed much infrastructure and caused civilian displacements.

This is who the Baraznis are allowing Turkish bombs to be dropped on.

1. The // condemn violence but express support for people protesting civilian deaths from Turkish airstrikes & & presence. - to investigate if 'provocateurs' led to storming of TurkishBase.

2. Those in-the-know, please keep us informed of investigation's outcome. Truth is priceless, whether or not (sympathiser/s) involved, given shamelessly twists every event in & for its own propaganda purposes.

This new conflict between the Baghdad-based government and the KRG is not the only conflict.  The two governments have battled over who has the right to oil-rich Kirkuk.  MIDDLE EAST MONITOR notes:

Tension between the Iraqi political circles including the central government in Baghdad, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Iraqi Turkmen are threatening renewed conflict in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.
The Turkmen in particular have been suspicious of a deal being struck between the central government and the KRG to share power in the city.
Leader of the Turkmen Front, MP Hassan Tauran told Al-Khaleej Online that “recently leaked information indicates the existence of political agreements between Baghdad and the Kurdistan region regarding Kirkuk, to rearrange the situation in accordance with the Kurdish desire to turn the situation to what it was before the referendum.”
“The governments of Erbil and Baghdad should leave the people of Kirkuk to decide their fate and agree on how to deal with their files according to decades of coexistence between the city’s components, otherwise entering the city into regional conflict will destabilise the already fragile security in it, and may lead to chaos that cannot be controlled.”

MIDDLE EAST MONITOR ONLINE also notes that Barzani is insisting that US troops must remain in Iraq until ISIS is defeated.  That's a position that will not play well in Iraq and shouldn't play well in the US.  Since when is the defense of Iraq supposed to reply on the US troops?  Is Iraq not its own country?  Is it still unable to fight ISIS?  How long are US troops going to be expected to train and retrain and then retrain yet again these troops?

For over a decade, the Peshmerga were seen worldwide as a functioning fighting force.  Now the KRG apparently can't even take care of them as evidenced by the story in the following Tweet.

A struggling Peshmerga in Sulaimani is asking for help as heavy rains have flooded his home, leaving it in ruins and forcing his family of eight to share one room. 📷: Kurdistan 24/Ibrahim Fatah More photos:

The helpless state being promoted by Barzani comes as the US government was seeing the peshmerga as a possible solution for Kirkuk.

Important (1) suggested new Project to solve disputes 1. Unites and Army to deploy in Kirkuk countryside 2. Asayish & Iraqi Federal police to deploy inside Kirkuk 3. 's CT & to leave the city

What a great time for Massoud Barzani's son to make an idiot of himself in public.

While Barzani insists that US troops must remain in Iraq for some time (forever?), others say "no."  And we're not just talking about Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr.  Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Zeina Karam (AP) report:

The leader of one of Iraq's most powerful Iranian-backed Shiite militias which also fought pitched battles in neighboring Syria said Monday that he expects a vote by Iraq's parliament calling for withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country within the next few months.

Qais al-Khazali, head of Asaib Ahl al-Haq, or League of the Righteous, said there's no longer a justification for thousands of U.S. troops to remain in Iraq after IS has been defeated. He suggested American forces may eventually be driven out by force if they do not yield to the will of the Iraqi parliament and people.

Who is the League of Righteous?  Dropping back to the June 9, 2009 snapshot:

This morning the New York Times' Alissa J. Rubin and Michael Gordon offered "U.S. Frees Suspect in Killing of 5 G.I.'s." Martin Chulov (Guardian) covered the same story, Kim Gamel (AP) reported on it, BBC offered "Kidnap hope after Shia's handover" and Deborah Haynes contributed "Hope for British hostages in Iraq after release of Shia militant" (Times of London). The basics of the story are this. 5 British citizens have been hostages since May 29, 2007. The US military had in their custody Laith al-Khazali. He is a member of Asa'ib al-Haq. He is also accused of murdering five US troops. The US military released him and allegedly did so because his organization was not going to release any of the five British hostages until he was released. This is a big story and the US military is attempting to state this is just diplomacy, has nothing to do with the British hostages and, besides, they just released him to Iraq. Sami al-askari told the New York Times, "This is a very sensitive topic because you know the position that the Iraqi government, the U.S. and British governments, and all the governments do not accept the idea of exchanging hostages for prisoners. So we put it in another format, and we told them that if they want to participate in the political process they cannot do so while they are holding hostages. And we mentioned to the American side that they cannot join the political process and release their hostages while their leaders are behind bars or imprisoned." In other words, a prisoner was traded for hostages and they attempted to not only make the trade but to lie to people about it. At the US State Dept, the tired and bored reporters were unable to even broach the subject. Poor declawed tabbies. Pentagon reporters did press the issue and got the standard line from the department's spokesperson, Bryan Whitman, that the US handed the prisoner to Iraq, the US didn't hand him over to any organization -- terrorist or otherwise. What Iraq did, Whitman wanted the press to know, was what Iraq did. A complete lie that really insults the intelligence of the American people. CNN reminds the five US soldiers killed "were: Capt. Brian S. Freeman, 31, of Temecula, California; 1st Lt. Jacob N. Fritz, 25, of Verdon, Nebraska; Spc. Johnathan B. Chism, 22, of Gonzales, Louisiana; Pfc. Shawn P. Falter, 25, of Cortland, New York; and Pfc. Johnathon M. Millican, 20, of Trafford, Alabama." Those are the five from January 2007 that al-Khazali and his brother Qais al-Khazali are supposed to be responsible for the deaths of. Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Robert H. Reid (AP) states that Jonathan B. Chism's father Danny Chism is outraged over the release and has declared, "They freed them? The American military did? Somebody needs to answer for it."

No one answered for it.  Barack made a deal with terrorists and there was no benefit for the US to it.  

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