Friday, March 12, 2021

It's funny because it's true


I'll post again this weekend (about Call Me Kat) but right now, I'll just share one of my favorite videos from 2020.  

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

Thursday, March 11, 2021.  A major tragedy takes place in Iraq but NYT is too busy whining to notice.  {See note added.]

The latest wave of protests in Iraq began in the fall of 2019.  An inept and corrupt government that refuses to serve the Iraqi people led many Iraqis (mostly Shi'ites) to take to the stretts.  They were attacked by Iraqi security forces and largely mocked by the press.  NPR will never live down their 'report' about how there was no real damage from the security forces firing tear gas canisters at the protesters -- not after multiple deaths.  From the October 25, 2019 snapshot:

In addition, Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) reports, "Iraqi police fired live shots into the air as well as rubber bullets and dozens of tear gas canisters on Friday to disperse thousands of protesters on the streets of Baghdad, sending young demonstrators running for cover and enveloping a main bridge in the capital with thick white smoke. One protester was killed and dozens were injured in the first hours of the protest, security officials said."

The cost of freedom is always high, but Iraqis have always paid it. I’m sorry for the horrible video but this is the democracy USA brought to Iraq a protester been shot in head with tear gas canisters



The first one killed is said to have been hit with a tear canister.  The video above is supposed to be of that protester after he was hit.

That same month, Human Rights Watch noted:

Iraqi security forces fired tear gas canisters into crowds, killing at least eight protesters, during demonstrations in Baghdad on October 25, 2019. Although forces in Baghdad refrained from using live rounds, at demonstrations in southern cities, protesters attempted to burn down Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashad or PMF) office buildings, leading forces inside to open fire and kill protesters. In Basra, a police vehicle drove into a crowd of protesters, injuring some.

“Even facing violent attacks by protesters, security forces are required to limit their response strictly to what is proportionate and necessary to maintain order,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “What we’ve now seen time and again are Iraqi security forces resorting to unnecessary force, even against nonviolent protesters.”

Protests started in Baghdad and Shia-majority governorates in southern Iraq on October 1, with protesters demanding improved services and more action to curb corruption. Between October 1 and 9, Human Rights Watch documented how security forces used excessive lethal force in confronting rock-throwing protesters, killing 149 and injuring 5,494. Security forces also shot at protesters as they dispersed and sprayed them with scalding water.

When not being harmed or killed publicly, the protesters have been stalked and kidnapped.  Which is why it matters when some idiot in the US, like Jeff Mackler takes to COUNTERPUNCH to credit a group with the actions of the protesters and it especially matters when the wrong group he's crediting is part of the people attacking the protesters.  This is life and death.  He needs to get his facts right and COUNTERPUNCH needs to stop publishing incorrect garbage.  Today, we find more violence against the protesters and their families.  Sura Ali (RUDAW) reports:

The father of activist Ali Jaseb, kidnapped in October 2019, was assassinated in Maysan province on Wednesday, activists have confirmed to Rudaw English. 

Two unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle shot dead Jaseb Hattab while he was walking back to his house, in the provincial capital of Amarah, from a memorial for another activist killed last year, activists said.

He had regularly spoken out against militias he accused of kidnapping his son Ali, a 29-year-old lawyer and father of two children.

Ansarullah al-Awfyya’a, a powerful Iranian-backed militia part of the Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashd al-Shaabi in Arabic) in Maysan, is suspected to be behind Ali's abduction and the death of his father.

Rasha al-Aqeedi reports that the man "was attending the one year memorial service for AbdulQudoos Qassim who was assassinated by militias after a protest in Nasiriya.  On his way home from the service he was fatally shot."  Hiwa Shilani (KURDISTAN 24) adds:

Activist Ali Agwan said the central government was “responsible for the continuation of the assassinations, which have become the biggest threat to the activists and their families,” indicating to that “the party behind the assassinations is known to us and the government, and they are the armed militia, but the government have not arrested any of them."

Prior to his assassination Aboud publicly accused a powerful Iran-backed militia, Ansar Allah al-Awfia, of kidnapping his son and even took the dangerous step of seeking to take its commander to court.

Amnesty Iraq noted in 2019:

29-year-old lawyer Ali Jaseb Hattab al-Heliji was abducted by suspected members of #PMU in #Ammarah more than 2 months ago. Ali had been representing arrested protesters during the #Iraqiprotests. TAKE ACTION WITH US FOR ALI

Noting the father's death, MEMO offers this background on the son's kidnapping:

Ali Jasb was abducted in Amara on 8 October 2019. The final sighting of the 21-year-old was captured by a surveillance camera.

In the footage, a woman can be seen greeting Jasb before he is grabbed by two men, forced into a black SUV and driven away.

The woman is then seen climbing into a waiting pickup truck. The kidnap took just 30 seconds. He has not been heard from since.

The footage and Jasb's kidnap have become a symbol of terror campaign waged by militias who are believed to have abducted and killed over 60 activists.

Amnesty International's Donatella Rovera observes:

The father of disappeared lawyer Ali Jaseb, who was desperately looking for his son. Today he too is gone. #Iraq #IraqProtests #WarCrimes

One family, two lives lost, taken.  Both father and son were fighting for a better Iraq, a country that honored its people.  Journalist Rash al-Aqeedi points out:

Ali Jaseb was not as prestigious as Jamal Khashoggi.He never penned for


.He wasn't a permanent resident of the US.He was a father of two,the youngest only 6months ago when he was disappeared by militias.I thought heartbreak would kill his father, but bullets did



 In September, he met with Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi who promised to work on his case. An open letter by Amnesty International in November cited that promise, while notin there was "a lack of progress in his case, now compounded by repeated threats to his family".

For those paying attention, this is tragic and this is suffering.  

Other things that claim to be suffering, that claim to be destroying of life?  Really not so much.

Yes, we're going to have to return to Drama Queen Taylor Lorenz.  No, not because she's turned her mob loose online.  After no one in the US, no thinking person, gives two s**ts what the idiot Sophia Smith Galer thinks.  If they think of Sophia at all it's in a, "With all the problems the UK has with journalism these days, that Brit thinks she has right to stick her nose into a US issue?"  Really, get a life, you stupid idiot and no gives a damn that you think that Taylor speaks to "kids" and is their favorite journalist.  You sure see a lot of America from across the Atlantic, Sophia, maybe just f**k the hell off?  Don't take to Twitter with claims you present as facts and, honestly, find a real issue.  Jaseb is dead and all you can do is try to swoop in protect the already insulated and swathed.  

Why do we have to go back to this topic?  Because THE NEW YORK TIMES weighed in on their little stooge.  From THE HILL:

The New York Times on Wednesday criticized Fox News host Tucker Carlson for what it called a “calculated and cruel” attack on one of its journalists during a segment on his show Tuesday night.

“In a now familiar move, Tucker Carlson opened his show last night by attacking a journalist,” the Times said in a statement released Wednesday evening.

“It was a calculated and cruel tactic, which he often deploys to unleash a wave of harassment and vitriol at his intended target. Taylor Lorenz is a talented New York Times journalist doing timely and essential reporting. Journalists should be able to do their jobs without facing harassment,” the Times continued.

Here's the video:

Is this what Taylor's been calling "attacks"?  Then grow the f**k up.  When we noted this in yesterday's snapshot, I noted that I've received threats, Betty's received threat, Deliah Boyd received threats, Digby received threats.  These were threats of violence.  Betty's talked about how it was 'I know where you live and I am going to rape you at night.'  That sort of thing.  Those are threats, those are attacks.

Tucker mocked a spoiled brat who is too stupid to appreciate what she has and feels the need to claim victim class.  He mocked her.  That's fine.  There's nothing wrong with that and if she can't handle it, if her Swiss boarding school didn't prepare her for elbowing in the real world, maybe she needs to just live her pampered life and stop 'reporting' -- if that's what you want to call her work.

NYT weighs in.  Their reporter is attacked!  They won't stand for it!!!!

NYT?  They think they have standing?  Forget that they're a garbage rag -- especially the lifestyle section Taylor works in where facts never matter -- if you're friend wants a title in the piece you write for him, create it, never mind what the magazine's masthead says, just give him a title and when NYT is asked for a correction, explain you won't do one because your friend wanted that title (I could go on and on) -- after the Iraq War 'coverage,' they think they have standing?

Where are their articles calling out the attacks on the Iraqi people?  I know they lied and sold the war.  Most people don't realize that they sold the war before the war started and after it started.  Their bad coverage, their lies, kept the war going.  They lied and lied over and over.

Jasb Hattab Aboud is dead.  This is the real world, this is where people live under threats.  Taylor Lorenz and NYT reek of privilege.  They fail to realize that they are not the center of the world and that Taylor being mocked is not a 'danger' -- clear or present.  They are ridiculous.  And if NYT is going to defend people, it should be the paper's victims which include the people of Iraq.

Glenn Greenwald offers his reply to Taylor Lorenz:

The most powerful and influential newspaper in the U.S., arguably the West, is The New York Times. Journalists who write for it, especially those whose work is featured on its front page or in its op-ed section, wield immense power to shape public discourse, influence thought, set the political agenda for the planet’s most powerful nation, expose injustices, or ruin the lives of public figures and private citizens alike. That is an enormous amount of power in the hands of one media institution and its employees. That’s why it calls itself the Paper of Record.

One of the Paper of Record’s star reporters, Taylor Lorenz, has been much discussed of late. That is so for three reasons. The first is that the thirty-six-year-old tech and culture reporter has helped innovate a new kind of reportorial beat that seems to have a couple of purposes. She publishes articles exploring in great detail the online culture of teenagers and very young adults, which, as a father of two young Tik-Tok-using children, I have found occasionally and mildly interesting. She also seeks to catch famous and non-famous people alike using bad words or being in close digital proximity to bad people so that she can alert the rest of the world to these important findings. It is natural that journalists who pioneer a new form of reporting this way are going to be discussed.

The second reason Lorenz is the topic of recent discussion is that she has been repeatedly caught fabricating claims about influential people, and attempting to ruin the reputations and lives of decidedly non-famous people. In the last six weeks alone, she twice publicly lied about Netscape founder Marc Andreessen: once claiming he used the word “retarded” in a Clubhouse room in which she was lurking (he had not) and then accusing him of plotting with a white nationalist in a different Clubhouse room to attack her (he, in fact, had said nothing). 

She also often uses her large, powerful public platform to malign private citizens without any power or public standing by accusing them of harboring bad beliefs and/or associating with others who do. (She is currently being sued by a citizen named Arya Toufanian, who claims Lorenz has used her private Twitter account to destroy her reputation and business, particularly with a tweet that Lorenz kept pinned at the top of her Twitter page for eight months, while several other non-public figures complain that Lorenz has “reported” on their non-public activities). It is to be expected that a New York Times journalist who gets caught lying as she did against Andreessen and trying to destroy the reputations of non-public figures will be a topic of conversation.

The third reason this New York Times reporter is receiving attention is because she has become a leading advocate and symbol for a toxic tactic now frequently used by wealthy and influential public figures (like her) to delegitimize criticisms and even render off-limits any attempt to hold them accountable. Specifically, she and her media allies constantly conflate criticisms of people like them with “harassment,” “abuse” and even “violence.”

That is what Lorenz did on Tuesday when she co-opted International Women’s Day to announce that “it is not an exaggeration to say that the harassment and smear campaign I have had to endure over the past year has destroyed my life.” She began her story by proclaiming: “For international women’s day please consider supporting women enduring online harassment.” She finished it with this: “No one should have to go through this.” Notably, there was no mention, by her or her many media defenders, of the lives she has harmed or otherwise deleteriously affected with her massive journalistic platform.

We would have noted Glenn's response regardless but I had said all I intended to say on the topic in yesterday's snapshot but then NYT weighed in having no perspective and no sense of shame.  

**NOTE ADDED** All below until "The following . . ." SSWS 3/11 10:15 PST.

I have lost any sympathy I might have had for Drama Queen Taylor Lorenz.  She Tweeted the following:

The amount of loss, death, grief we’ve all had to endure this past year has been unimaginable. I’ve lost people I cared about deeply, among other tragedies. Barraging someone in that fragile state w/ messages like this for months as part of a vicious harassment campaign is sick

My apologies for the C word above, I don't know how to remove it from what Taylor has elected to post.

There are a lot of stupid people in the world and maybe Taylor's one?  I know that if people were saying I was being dramatic when I chose to bring up threats, I would offer the best proof of threats.  is that Taylor's best proof?

Because that's not a threat.

Someone hoping something is not a threat.  

Watch: I hope Taylor wins all the prizes in journalism!

That's a hope, it's not a certainty and, based on her writing, it's not likely to happen.  

I was on the phone with Betty who asked me to include a message to Taylor, "White girl, grow the hell up.  You are the typical Karen who thinks the world revolves around you.  I have gotten real threats, threats to kill me, threats to rape me.  If that Tweet is the best example you can offer, grow the hell up.  You're so entitled you seem to think the whole world has to bend for you.  Quick, go see if you can find a teacher on the playground to snitch to.  Or, then again, just grow the hell up."

Are the sentiments nice?  No, they are not.  But, oh well, grasp that everyone in the world is not obligated to love you or even like you.  That's part of public life.  Susan Lucci would have never played Erica Kane for a month (let alone for 40 years) if she couldn't handle 'fan mail' like that.  

THE NEW YORK TIMES may want to seriously reconsider pursuing their current path.  Why?  If that's a threat, I have about 12 similar e-mails from their current employess (another 8 from their former employees).  Should I start publishing those?  I can.  If NYT thinks what Taylor's serving up is a threat, maybe I should publish the e-mails from their own employees.  I'd start with the now retired journalist that people seem to think is a God (I'm not referring to Chris Hedges).  

You can't be in public life without receiving mail like that.  If Taylor can't handle it, she needs to find another occupation.  I've had in the real world, not online, mail like that for decades.  You grow up and develop a thicker skin.  I was giving her the benefit of the doubt until Betty called m and asked me about her Tweet.  I hadn't seen it.  If that's what qualifies for a threat, she doesn't know from threats.  She may have lived a life far too sheltered to grasp reality.  Maureen Dowd gest harsher e-mails than Taylor.   She really needs to grow up and hte paper needs to stop coddling her.

While I'm adding to the snapshot, let's note Tara Reade's Tweet:

OpEd please read & share Tara Reade: Women like me should not have to gather in armies to be heard

The following sites updated: