Saturday, April 24, 2021

Our planet can't afford Joe Biden

In 2020, what we needed to do was to elect someone who got how serious the climate crisis was and who would seriously address it.  

That's what we needed.

What we got?  Joe Biden.

And boy are we in trouble.

The Green Party issued the following statement:

Green Party of the United States

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, April 21, 2021


Michael O’Neil, Communications Manager,, 202-804-2758
Diana C. Brown, Co-chair, Media Committee,, 202-804-2758
Philena Farley, Co-chair, Media Committee,, 202-804-2758

WASHINGTON — The Green Party of the United States said today that President Biden’s rumored climate goals of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030, reported in the press two days before his Earth Day Summit, is a step in the right direction but falls woefully short of what the science says must be done to avert a climate catastrophe.

“Democrats love to lecture that ‘half a loaf of bread is better than none’ but the President is offering half of a parachute when we’re about to be kicked out of an airplane,” said Green Party Communications Manager Michael O’Neil.

“The  COVID pandemic showed us how quickly and profoundly we can alter the fundamentals of society when we recognize we’re in an overwhelming crisis,” said Howie Hawkins, the 2020 Green Party Presidential Nominee. “There’s no doubt that climate change is an existential crisis to humanity and the planet. Biden needs to formally declare a climate emergency and launch an all-out mobilization of national resources to give current and future generations a fighting chance for a future” said Hawkins who became the first candidate in the United States to campaign for a Green New Deal, in 2010. 

The Green Party noted the science has long been clear: 7 years remain, at the world’s present rate of greenhouse gas emissions, before surpassing the limit required to keep warming below the 1.5℃ threshold that will trigger catastrophic climate change. Extreme weather, species extinction and fracturing ice sheets threatening massive sea level rise are all accelerating.

“Biden and the Democrats must, at long last, stop following the fossil fuel companies and their campaign contributions and start following the science,” said Green Party National Co-Chair Margaret Elisabeth. “That means a goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Aiming short of that is a plan to fail, before we even start.”

The Green Party’s plan for a Green New Deal — to transition to 100% clean, renewable energy while ensuring living wage jobs and economic security for everyone — calls for an annual, multi-trillion dollar investment that will include:

  • An immediate halt to new fossil fuel infrastructure, including new fracking and fossil fuel pipelines. Set timeline to phase out current infrastructure.
  • Phasing out natural gas with its dangerous methane emissions, swiftly transitioning to geothermal and heat pumps for buildings.
  • Moving from gas cars to electric and, with even greater benefit, expand and transform mass transit powered by green renewable energy.
  • Retrofit tens of millions of homes annually, not a million over 8 years. 

To pay for the program, the Green Party supports slashing the dangerous, bloated military budget (that devours over 60% of Congressional expenditures), enacting a carbon tax on polluters, and increasing taxes on the wealthy.

The Greens recently called for Congress to pass a ten-year, $4.1 trillion per year green economic stimulus to create 30 million jobs and accelerate the transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030. By comparison, Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure stimulus barely scrapes the surface of urgent climate needs, with only $400 billion for specific climate measures, and even that is spread out over 8 years.

Green leaders also prioritize a Just Transition to guarantee good wages for existing fossil fuel workers and to invest in frontline communities that bear the greatest risk, both at home and abroad, who’ve long been the principal victims of fossil fuel pollution and climate change. The Green New Deal revitalization will include environmental reforms beyond energy and climate goals, such as stricter EPA guidelines for disposal of toxic waste and agriculture regulations for pesticides, herbicides and use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

“Many Americans realize that the U.S. was an international climate pariah under Trump and his climate-change-denying promotion of fossil fuels. But they overlook how the U.S. was a negative force at the 2015 Paris climate summit, leading the industrial polluting nations in opposing a reduction in the global warming cap to 1.5℃ and blocking mandatory emission reductions. The world remains skeptical of the climate positions of both the Democrats and Republicans” added Green Party National Co-Chair Tamar Yager.


Green Party Calls for a $4 Trillion Green Economic Stimulus

Biden Should Commit to 100% Emissions Cut by 2030 at Earth Day Summit

The Green Party’s Green New Deal

Green Party of the United States
Newsroom | Twitter: @GreenPartyUS
Green Party Platform
Green New Deal
Green candidate database and campaign information
Facebook page
Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States
Green Papers

~ END ~

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

 Friday, April 23, 2021.  The media and how it sells hate and people who defocus.

First, is Rachel Maddow the new Bill O'Reilly?


A question well worth pondering.  

There are many things not worth pondering. 

There are three topics that keep coming in supposedly related to Iraq.  We haven't covered them!!!! We have failed!!!!

Is that what I'm supposed to say?

We've never covered everything.  There's never been that kind of time, to begin with.

There's also a thing known as common sense and I'd argue it's more important than book smarts or pretty much anything -- common sense.  

Right now, as in the clip above, people want to take on fake news.  As Winona Ryder says to Ethan Hawke in REALITY BITES, where were you?

For the last years, where were you?  Long before Rachel Maddow had celebrity and late night, broadcast network TV appearances, the left had a lot of trouble -- a lot of trouble with liars.

There was Amy Goodman repeatedly.  She pretends she's appalled by what happened to African-American youths and talks to mothers of the children involved but . . . she doesn't listen.  Not to the mothers.  She had a lie she wants to pimp so even though a mother of one of the children states to her, on camera, and even though Amy broadcasts that interview, Amy continues with her damn lie basically saying, "I know you live here, I know your child is one of the African-American children being targeted, but I am a White woman from NYC and so I know damn well better than you."  Heaven save us from the saviors.

There were  other lies she pimped.  A number of lefty media, for example, ran with the death of a Muslim woman in California.  They hate Iraq in that town, they hate Iraqis.  We saw a little bitch boy from Pacifica play that lie out with Amy on the air.

No, they don't hate Iraqis there.  We'd mentioned the story once in passing -- noting that things were as clear cut some were trying to say and that the most obvious killer of the woman wasn't some American youths but her own husband.  We threw out that flare.  But for two weeks Amy Goodman hit on that bulls**t topic over and over.  

You know when she was no longer interested in the dead woman?  The day the police arrested the husband.

She never touched on it again. She'd done multiple episodes on the (non)topic and had even included in that bad syndicated column that I believe all outlets have now dropped.  But she was no longer interested when the husband was arrested.

When she couldn't falsely cry hate crime, when it was 'just' another woman killed by her husband, it wasn't a story to cover for Amy or the bitchboi from PACIFICA whom I never trusted and I know no one at KPFA ever trusdetect ted  KPFA listeners knew he was full of s**t in 2006 when he showed up on Kris Welch's program to try to sell the Iraq War and insist it was going well -- this as the American people were turning on it.  

Common sense will help you many times from making a fool of yourself.  Amy Goodman and Rachel Maddow have no common sense.

I do have some.  And I will use it to determine what we use our time on here.

I don't know if you drive-bys read your e-mails, the ones you write this site, or not.  But I'm real good at contextual context, among other things, and I'm real good about seeing intent in writing (it's why I can't take John Grisham's novels, for example).

Of the twenty-five e-mails that came in Thursday and Friday about an Iraqi child, I don't detect any real interest in the child.  I don't detect any sympathy for him.

The story some drive-bys keep e-mailing about broke over two weeks ago in the Israeli media.

I didn't think it was a story then and I don't now.

A child was born with mutation, birth defect, challenge, whatever you want to call it.

Do we link it to the toxic environment and chemicals?

That would make it of interest here.  But no outlet did.  They offered a perv interest in a story about a newborn having three penises.

I saw drooling in the e-mails, I didn't see compassion.

I'm not interested in perving on a child or turning them into a freak show.  This was a bottom feeder, exploitive story and we didn't cover it.

The second big topic?

I don't know, reading those e-mails, I honestly have to wonder: What did domestic discipline ever do to you?

Did you not get off?  You couldn't jerk it to completion?  Or maybe you had your own domestic discipline circle and this sub was more popular than you so now you want to get back at him?

Since Glenn Greenwald's first column about Russia-gate this year (he's covered the topic for many years), e-mails have come in regarding a male sub who is in a domestic relationship with a female dom.  He runs a site (does she?)  and I know this because his 'fans' keep e-mailing this site about it. He promoted Russia-gate.  And then they show me how.

I'm so sick of it.  I'm so sick of the petty.

He runs a domestic discipline site -- that's where one partner (or one in a two person relationship) has the ability/task to discipline.  

That is his topic.  That is what the people who comment are supposed to write about.  From time to time, apparently, they veered off into politics.  Imagine that, someone veering off topic in an online discussion -- shocking!  (That was sarcasm.)

I've read a lot of these e-mails.  I even visited the site to make sure that Russia-gate was not a major topic there.  It wasn't.  It was a passing topic.  

It never seemed like a story of interest to me to begin with -- even before I visited to make sure this wasn't a major purveyor of lies to the American people.  The only thing I found was that one of the women e-mailing this site's public e-mail account was a woman who repeatedly lashed out on this topic when she brought it up.  At one point, she was even told to drop it.  She didn't.

Aren't subs supposed to follow orders?  Maybe she was looking to be disciplined for being rowdy and disruptive?  If so, she's really stupid because why would you go to a site run by a male sub and populated with male and female subs expecting to get discipline?


And it's stupid to get upset with someone who is not presenting as a political expert (I'm referring to the male sub whose site it was) and who is siting 'news' coverage when he responds to bratty female sub who keeps bringing up the topic.  

A lot of people were lied to and tricked by 'reports' from the news media about Russia-gate.   The news media is responsible for that.  And if someone wants to write something about how pervasive the lies from the news media were -- they even spread into a domestic discipline site -- that would be of interest and value.  But just thinking that we need to shame the sub -- for his opinions or for his lifestyle -- is nonsense.

I'm not going to shame anyone for a consensual relationship between adults.  If you're capable of being honest, we're all just struggling to get through the day.  If someone or something makes your day a little better and it's consensual, more please and power to you.  

I've noted one of the people who kept pushing this as an important issue to be covered -- noted it in the paragraph above -- and at least she just thinks the guy who runs the site is an idiot.  There's a man who keeps e-mailing about it (Martha says she's read 16 e-mails from him about this) and wants to share how "disgusting" and "perverted" the man is.

Then why are you going to his site?  Does it turn you on, mister?  

There are many things I'm not interested in and I don't visit sites about the topic.  There are also many things I am interested in but don't have time to visit sites about those topics.  I was hoping, for example, since Vice President Kamala Harris has been raising the topic of water wars to finally be able to write about that here.  Since this site started, I wanted to write about that topic.  I remember when Danny Schechter was promoting his Iraq film, we spent three hours discussing water rights issues.  The rights issue, as a legal issue, has long interested me and yet there's never been time to write about it here.  

Oh, look, a digression!!!  See, it does happen all the time -- certainly does here.  

Back to the offended man, if you think the website and the guy's lifestyle are disgusting and offensive, don't go the website.  I don't get that.  I don't waste my time on things that I don't like.  I have some food allergies, for example, and I don't look up recipes that involve those ingredients.  Why would I?  So why are you visiting a site that you claim to be opposed to?

Either because you're not really opposed to it or you don't have a life.

You'd do better to figure out why you keep visiting that site then to repeatedly tell me to call the sub running that website out. 

When I visited, I did not like the site.  I was streaming through threads, scanning them quickly, to make sure this wasn't a site where they repeatedly pimped Russia-gate.  One of the male subs was discussing a woman repeatedly, his former dom.  That's why I didn't like the site.  It was obvious, from his first comment, that the woman would be passing. 

I did not react to his comments with, "Oh, what a disgusting relationship!"  I reacted with watering eyes and a lump in my throat because it was obvious that if I had to keep going through these discussions at that website I was going to read that the woman had passed.  And she did.  And it was very sad to me because she was clearly the love of his life.

I don't know why you would want to lash out at someone like that guy who had lost someone he loved deeply.  I don't know why, if you found the life captured at that site so offensive, that you would repeatedly visit the website.

I don't like the Iraq War.  I know why I cover it:  I live in the United States and my government lied to start a war, the press lied to get it started (they wanted media consolidation -- that's a topic few are ever willing to address when noting that the press sold the Iraq War, it is an illegal war that has destroyed the country of Iraq and turned it into a land of orphans and widows.  

Equally true, many in the US look the other way.  Especially people who grand standed on it once when Bully Boy Bush occupied the White House.  I never used the Iraq War to promote myself or to make money.  But a lot of people did -- a lot of people on the left.

Where are they?  Where are they now?

At some point, I'll be among them.  I don't see doing this site much longer.  I am tired and I am tired of being online.  I will gladly cop to the fact that I used being very sick this week to avoid getting online and that when I was online I was more likely to be reading e-mails than posting content here.  But for as long as I've been able to, I have tried to call attention to the ongoing war and to do so in some way that was different.

We covered Russia-gate from the beginning here and called it out from the beginning.

A lot of people trace it to the 2016 election.  No, it predates that.  It really went public, in Barack's second term, when Ed Snowden was unable to leave Russia and trapped at that airport.

The better term for Russia-gate was always Russia-hate.

Our government and our media stirred up hate in many people -- that's what they're so very good at. 

Sura Ali (RUDAW) reports:

The Iraqi government is considering other options for displaced families who cannot return to their home areas because of security problems, as Baghdad continues its push to shut down camps. 

The migration ministry has suggested to some families they consider moving to other areas of the country if they can’t go home, the Minister of Migration and Displacement, Evan Faeq Jabro, said in an interview with state TV on Thursday.

Al-Jada in Nineveh province is one of just two camps still open in Iraq, outside of the Kurdistan Region. Security concerns are preventing families living in al-Jada from going home, Jabro said. The camp mainly houses families with suspected links to the Islamic State group (ISIS).  

Displaced people from Jurf al-Sakhar in Babil province are also unable to return home. The town was evacuated during the war against ISIS and security forces and Shiite militias are preventing their return, citing dangers from mines planted by ISIS. Sunni lawmakers have accused the militias of trying to change the demography of the area.

The minister did not give details of what other areas these families could go to.

The Iraqi government also wants Iraqis sheltering in the Kurdistan Region to return home. There are about 39,000 Iraqi families living in Kurdistan Region camps, according to Jabro. 


Since October of last year, we have covered how the Iraqi government plans to 'end' the displacement crisis by . . . shutting down the camps.  That's not curing anything and it doesn't help anyone.

Common sense can go a long way.  Common sense would tell you that shutting down camps while people are in need is not an answer.  Common sense would tell you a lot.

Caitlin Johnstone observes:

Exactly zero percent of the world’s worst criminals are in prison. Imperialists. War profiteers. Ecocide profiteers. The very worst of thieves are financial elites. The system isn’t designed to protect us from society’s worst, it’s designed to protect society’s worst from us.

I don’t write much about the specific individuals who drive the oligarchic empire because individuals are not the problem, the system is. Right-wing conspiracy analysts prefer to focus on specific corrupt elites because they like to think if you just got rid of them, capitalism would work fine. And it just wouldn’t. If you rounded up and executed all the sociopathic ruling elites today but left our current systems intact they’d just be replaced tomorrow. A competition-based model where war, corruption, oppression and exploitation remain profitable guarantees this.

A lot of right-wing conspiracy analysis today ultimately boils down to “These bastards are ruining the capitalism!” But capitalism is already ruined, and ruinous. As long as it’s profitable to destroy each other and our ecosystem, the ruin will continue. That’s the real problem. Making it about individuals feeds into the false impression that the individuals are the problem, and absolves us of our collective responsibility to move out of our competition-based model to one in which we collaborate with each other and our ecosystem to create a healthy world.

As long as we have systems in which it’s advantageous to be sociopathic enough to do whatever it takes to get ahead, we will find ourselves ruled by sociopaths. The names and faces on those sociopaths are ultimately irrelevant. They’re a symptom of the underlying disease.

It’s the mass media’s job to normalize war and abnormalize peace. It’s our job to do the exact opposite.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Who Killed Sara?

I really didn't care.  I really didn't care who killed Sara.  But at some point, Netflix made the trailer about Manolo Cardona without a shirt.

That?  That I cared about.  He's very sexy.

So almost a month after Netflix releases it (we're three days shy of a month), I finally watch.  

I would recommend it strongly.  And not just for Manolo Cardona but, hey, yes, it's worth recommending for him and fortunately he does take his shirt off a lot.  We even get to see his cute little butt in a prison shower scene in the first episode.  I'm not remembering him doffing pants or underwear after that but we do get to see him shirtless a lot.

It's a ten episode series.  Manolo plays Alex Gusman.  When he was a kid, his sister Sara was killed.  The Lazcano family says they'll stand by him if he'll just lie and say he put the harness of the parachute on her.  He'll spend two weeks in jail tops, they insist, and the father of the clan promises that he'll take care of Alex and Sara's mother who needs a new kidney.

Spoilers, so stop reading you have been warned.

Sergio Lazcano is the head of the family.  He's married to Mariana.  They're children are Rodoffo, Jose Maria and Elisa.  Elisa was too young to remember any of this.  Rodoffo was Alex's best friend.  He was dating Sara and was thrilled when she told him she was pregnant.  Jose Maria was Alex's friend and he had a crush on him.  He got Alex to do a three way with him and a girl but Alex thought they'd be sharing the girl and when Jose Maria grabbed Alex's penis during the three way, Alex objected.  This led to Jose Maria coming out to Alex and their friendship was fine.  But Alex let slip that not only had Sara thought Jose Maria was gay the entire time but she may have told someone in the Lazcano family which has Jose Maria freaking out because his family will disown him and kick him out and he's just in high school.  The way she taunts and threatens Jose Maria is the first clue that Sara isn't the person we know through Alex or Rodolfo's eyes. 

They get Alex to give a false confession and he ends up in prison for 18 years -- which is where the show starts.  Now he's released and he wants to solve the crime and have his vengeance -- Alex is like Emily Thorn (Revenge) but with a flatter chest with some sexy chest hair.  :D

The ten episodes rush by.  It's a great series and I strongly encourage you to stream.  When you get to the end of episode 10, you may be disappointed like I was -- for ten seconds before the message flashed onscreen that season 2 will debut May 19th.

 I can't wait.

Everyone does an excellent job -- in all the roles, big and small.  The writers have written strong storylines and deserve praise.  This is a dubbed series but you get so into it, you really don't notice.

I want to praise everyone involved for Lorenzo Rossi.  He's an actor played by Luis Roberto Guzman.  Lorenzo is also Jose Maria's current boyfriend.  And early one, with all the skin, there's a lot of skin, Jose Maria and Lorenzo get to have a kiss after tons of straight couplings -- nude and all.  They didn't get the passion that the straight characters did but credit to Luis who had Lorenzo passionatetly attacking Jose Maria's mouth.  It was a damn hot kiss.  Later on, when they did get to get it on -- they live together and are planning a family together -- and Jose Maria's trying to make up something to Lorenzo and make Lorenzo feel better so he goes down on him, I thought, "Well good.  The scene makes clear that Jose Maria is a bottom."  I lose interest in TV portrayals of gay chararacters that present the two men as either asexual or all-around-versatile.  But no sooner did I think that then the scene quckly switched to sex of the rutting kind and Lorenzo took Jose Maria on the bed, from behind and it was a wonderful scene.  (Though I could have done without the creepy character in the hallway masturbating while she watched Lorenzo make love to Jose Maria.)

Anyway, they deserve applause for making a real gay couple onscreen -- the writers, the directors, the actors, the show runner.  

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

Wednesday, April 21, 2021.  Pro-war SLATE pretends to be interested in how the Iraq War started, Amnesty International issues a report on executions throughout the world while Reporters Without Borders looks at the global threats to journalists, and much more


On SLATE's SLOW BURN podcast today, the question is why did "Americans" believe noted liar and exile Ahmed Chalabi?

What a load of crap.  And it just gets worse from the very beginning as you're lied to that Bully Boy Bush didn't want it but "was influenced by people in his administration."

No one's responsible, right?  That's the argument the pro-war SLATE made.  Makes?  Made?  I mean, I remember the garbage they offered in real time.  I remember the crap they forced down the throats of the American people.  So for them to show up all these years later and offer this garbage is not just disgusting, it's unethical.

They don't want answers, they're not pursuing answers.

They are part of the p.r. effort to removes the crimes of War Criminal Bully Boy Bush.  It's an ongoing process to try to clean the blood from his hands.  

BUSINESS INSIDER, for example, Tweeted:

George W. Bush said he's troubled by 'the capacity of people to spread all kind of untruth'

You can't have a serious discussion about 'fake news' include Bully Boy Bush as someone with an 'educated' opinion worth sharing.  As Sarah Abdallah noted, "Iraq’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction have just entered the chat."  Glenn Greenwald Tweets:

George WMD Bush has about as much credibility to denounce the spread of disinformation as CNN's media reporters, NBC's disinformation unit, and NYT's tech team do. It's like the Sackler family lamenting the rise of addiction.

If SLATE really wanted to know how "Americans" came to depend upon on Ahmed Chalabi, they'd have to first get honest that "Americans" didn't.  The average American, to this day, will stare at you blankly f you your bring up Dexy.

Government officials and representatives knew who he was, cavorted with him, had the press amplify him.  The press.

If we want to get honest, that's where you start.

Oh, look, it's Ahmed Chalabi being pleasured by Dexter Filkins who worked for THE NEW YORK TIMES in 2006 -- illustration we did at THIRD for "Go down, Dexy."

You want to know why Ahmed Chalabi was trusted?  Because the US government pimped him and the US press promoted him.

That reality is absent from SLATE's alleged 'inquiry.'  

Big surprise.

They'd rather attack "Americans" for what the press and the government did.  They just lie and lie again and never take responsibility or accountability.  

And don't blame just corporate media or just the right-wing.  MOTHER JONES elected to hire a writer to bring attention to their website.  There were a ton of bloggers who were against the war.  So what did the faux left MOTHER JONES do?  They hired pro-Iraq War blogger Kevin Drum.

SLATE continues the lack of accountability with their nonsense podcast that clears anyone of responsibility.

The CIA?

They gave Chalabi $4 million.  That was the American people's money.  They gave it to Chalabi.

B-b-b-but don't blame the CIA, SLATE wants you to know, because the CIA "didn't think they were financing a revolution, they mostly wanted him to produce anti Saddam propaganda to build opposition to the regime."  That sounds like they were deliberately sewing conflict -- which was what they were doing.  And, no, their hands aren't clean.  

At one point, the closest they come to accountability, SLATE offers a lengthy sentence about two US senators: John McCain and Joe Lieberman.

McCain is dead.  Lieberman's been out of the Senate since January 0f 2013.

This site didn't have positive things to say about either of the two.  But we also didn't mistake two sitting senators as the secret power behind the US press and the White House.

Talk about looney conspiracy theories.

No one gets blamed.  Instead of trophies, SLATE gives everyone a participation card -- get out of jail free card.

The Iraq War hit the 18 year mark last month.  All this time later, liars still can't get honest and would rather blame "Americans" for the ongoing and illegal war than those who had actual power and an institution that had an epic failure.  

On the failures of the press -- the ongoing failures -- let's note two reports.  First, Ryan Girdusky (MEDIAITE):

The now-discredited report that Russia offered bounties to Afghan militants to kill American soldiers was an October surprise — released in June. The story, originated in The New York Times and leaked by the intelligence community, was more proof in the eyes of an eager media that Trump failed to safeguard Americans from Putin. After spending four years portraying Trump at best as a useful stooge and at worst a willing accomplice of the Kremlin, The Times article was fodder for Democrats and used against the 45th president ad nauseam throughout the election cycle.

From the rearview window, this looks to many people as another example of the media using anonymous sources to peddle fake news to attack Trump. While that could be considered valid, it’s more important to realize that this is another example of sources within the intelligence community using the media to promote war.

The story broke just as the Trump administration finalized plans to cut the number of troops in Afghanistan by nearly 50 percent, the lowest level since the beginning of that conflict in 2001. Trump’s plan to dial back America’s military footprint around the world was nearly universally opposed by the intelligence community, the military-industrial complex, but most importantly, the media.

While the American public, especially Republicans, view the media as left-wing, they’re more of an institution that supports consensus, including being pro-war.

Read the article in full and grasp that it's information and approach is what SLATE wants to pretend it was doing with that awful podcast.

And let's pair Ryan's piece with Glenn Greenwald (SUBSTACK):

It was crucial for liberal sectors of the media to invent and disseminate a harrowing lie about how Officer Brian Sicknick died. That is because he is the only one they could claim was killed by pro-Trump protesters at the January 6 riot at the Capitol.

So The New York Times on January 8 published an emotionally gut-wrenching but complete fiction that never had any evidence — that Officer Sicknick's skull was savagely bashed in with a fire extinguisher by a pro-Trump mob until he died — and, just like the now-discredited Russian bounty story also unveiled by that same paper, cable outlets and other media platforms repeated this lie over and over in the most emotionally manipulative way possible. Just watch a part of what they did and how:

As I detailed over and over when examining this story, there were so many reasons to doubt this storyline from the start. Nobody on the record claimed it happened. The autopsy found no blunt trauma to the head. Sicknick's own family kept urging the press to stop spreading this story because he called them the night of January 6 and told them he was fine — obviously inconsistent with the media's claim that he died by having his skull bashed in — and his own mother kept saying that she believed he died of a stroke.

But the gruesome story of Sicknick's “murder” was too valuable to allow any questioning. It was weaponized over and over to depict the pro-Trump mob not as just violent but barbaric and murderous, because if Sicknick weren't murdered by them, then nobody was (without Sicknick, the only ones killed were four pro-Trump supporters: two who died of a heart attack, one from an amphetamine overdose, and the other, Ashli Babbitt, who was shot point blank in the neck by Capitol Police despite being unarmed). So crucial was this fairy tale about Sicknick that it made its way into the official record of President Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate, and they had Joe Biden himself recite from the script, even as clear facts mounted proving it was untrue.

By the way, one person was killed in the DC riot -- Ashli Babbitt.  She was unarmed.  The police officer who shot her wasn't.  If THIRD ever posts this week (I'm too sick -- cold -- to worry about it all that much), Ava and I addressed that reality in "types."  Ashli was shot dead.  The press didn't glom on that death -- until they wanted to paint her as sleaze because, after all, justice doesn't apply to sleaze, right?  We all know that 27th Amendment to the Constitution, right?  "Should you hold opinions that are different than the majority of people, we reserve the right to nullify you and to strip you of any expectations of fairness or justice."  We are so damn barbaric as a society.  That's the reality.  And we're encouraged to be by the press which is doing nothing -- day in and day out -- but getting people to root in the Colosseum for the death and destruction of others.  It's really sick and goes to just how little civilization has actually progressed.

Let's stay with reality and quote Sam Stanton (SACREMENTO BEE):

In a major blow to federal prosecutors, a federal judge in Sacramento ruled Wednesday that Omar Ameen may not be extradited back to Iraq to face trial in the 2014 murder of an Iraqi police officer.

The decision came in a 30-page order by U.S. Magistrate Judge Edmund F. Brennan, who labeled parts of the government’s arguments “dubious” and said they call for “some degree of skepticism.”

Ameen’s federal defenders had waged a two-year battle to stop their client from being extradited, arguing that he was in Turkey with his family when the officer, Ihsan Abdulhafiz Jasim, was killed in Iraq.

Read more here:

Judge Brennan has declined to certify Omar Ameen's extradition, and ordered his release! Here's my story on how the U.S. gov falsely maligned him as an ISIS member and sought to extradite him to Iraq for a murder that he couldn't possibly have committed.

We note the above for numerous reasons.  One is that we were talking last week about the Afghanistan War and how the government of Afghanistan was asked by the US government to hand over Osama bin Laden in the fall of 2001 and the Afghanistan government asked for solid reasons and proof and were rebuffed.  In fact, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell told them that the way it would work was, they would hand over bin Laden and then the US government would provide supporting evidence.

No, that's not how it works on the international stage.  The Iraqi government wants Omar Ameen deported.  They make the request, they supply what they argue is solid evidence and then the US government looks at the request.  Justice Edmund F. Brennan found the evidence supplied lacking and shot the request down.

Were Bully Boy Bush in charge of Iraq right now, the Iraqi government might 'respond' by bombing this country and continue to destroy it for the next 20 or so years.

We have a legal system in place.  Instead of utilizing that system, time and again the post-9/11 way has been to refuse to take accountability for mistakes and errors and to instead slam and shame the legal groundwork that exists in this country and insist instead upon new and draconian laws that undermine the very roots of democracy.

It's not a minor point.

Nor is the fact that attacking peaceful protesters is wrong but the Iraqi government continues to do so and there's little effort at this point to call the government out.  Every now and then, we'll hear that no one has been brought to justice for the injuring and murdering of protesters but that's about it.  Otherwise, it's treated as normal.  How not normal is it?

Iraq's going to be sending wounded protesters elsewhere for medical treatment.  Sura Ali (RUDAW) reports:

Dhi Qar Governor Ahmed al-Khafaji has said the Ministry of Oil has allocated money to send protesters wounded in clashes in the city of Nasiriyah for treatment overseas, state media reported on Wednesday.

A statement from Khafaji's media office said that the governor discussed the subject with Iraq’s Minister of Oil Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar, along with other issues such as creating job opportunities for graduates holding sit-ins in front of oil companies in the Dhi Qar provincial capital.

"It was approved to allocate a sum of money to send people injured in the protests for treatment outside Iraq," the statement said.

Amnesty International, meanwhile, has issued a new report that are some are spinning as 'progress' for Iraq.  Per the report, there were 483 executions carried out by governments in 2020 -- China is left out of the count with Amnesty noting that "the death penalty" there "is a state secret."  The Middle East and North Africa were reponsible for 437 of the 483 executions.

The report notes:

The rate of executions is even more disturbing given that the death penalty in MENA is regularly applied after trials that do not meet international fair trial standards. People in MENA continued to be executed or sentenced to death in 2020 for acts that should not be criminalized and other offences that do not meet the threshold of most serious crimes, meaning intentional killings, as required by international law.

At least 23 of the 107 people executed in Egypt were sentenced to death in cases relating to political violence, after grossly unfair trials marred by forced “confessions” and other serious human rights violations, including torture and enforced disappearances. Executions in Egypt shot up drastically following a security incident involving death row prisoners in the notorious al-Aqrab prison in September.

Amnesty notes that Iraq had 27 more people sentenced to execution in 2020 with executions carried out on 45 people.  They also note that "Iran, Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabi accounted for 88% of known global executions in 2020."

Amnesty's report is only one global report issued this week.  Khazan Jangiz (RUDAW) notes:

Iraq ranks 18 from the bottom of a list of countries classified by their freedom of the press, with dangers having reportedly “grown” for journalists since the October 2019 anti-government protests.

Lives of journalists in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region are at “risk” in protest coverage and corruption investigations, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in its annual World Press Freedom report, published on Tuesday.

Journalists are at the risk of being “harassed, abducted, physically attacked or even killed by unidentified militias” in Iraq and “the state’s powerlessness increases the dangers and makes it impossible to determine whether what the many militias are doing suits the government, whether the government has given them the go-ahead, or whether it has no control over the situation,” RSF said. 

RSF has previously reported that four journalists were killed in Iraq while covering protests in 2020. Three were killed with gunshots to their heads and one trying to flee from clashes between security forces and protesters.  RSF in the new report said murdering journalists goes “unpunished” due to lack of, or futile investigations.

The report evaluates press freedom in 180 countries, in which Iraq ranks 163 on the index, with the Middle East generally accused of undermining “the already beleaguered media freedom” which might “leave lasting scars on the media landscape,” says RSF, pointing to an “increased authoritarianism” in response to the situation of public health, economy and politics. 

This is the Iraq section of the Reporters Without Borders report:

IRAQ (down six at 162nd)

After the protests, authorities are now focusing on coronavirus coverage

The worsening conditions for journalists in Iraq since protests erupted in 2019 has put the country among those coloured black in the Index’s world map, which signifies “very serious”.

Five journalists have been killed in just four months. The various militias at large in the country constantly threaten the lives of journalists in an effort to prevent them covering the protests, repeating the allegations and also demonstrating the same ferocity as the police, who use live ammunition.        

The Iraqi government itself plays a full part in obstructing journalists. At least 10 news organizations have been suspended for covering the demonstrations in a manner deemed unfavourable by the authorities. Since the start of the health crisis, the authorities have been focusing on reports about the Covid-19 pandemic. The Communications and Media Commission (CMC) decided to suspend the news agency Reuters for publishing a story that quoted three unidentified doctors as saying they had been ordered not to talk to the media about the crisis. The autonomous region of Kurdistan is also in the firing line. The health ministry ordered the closure of the television channel NRT after it broadcast a report that the authorities had deliberately overestimated the number of people infected in order to discourage people from demonstrating. 


The following sites updated:


Howie and Angela



Saturday, Isaiah's  THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Glenn Greenwald Reaction" went up.

And a few hours ago, Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker did their latest livestream.

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

Tuesday, April 20, 2021.  A Joe Biden devotee/accolyte tries to rescue Joe from reality, Paul Wood tells a little truth about Brett McGurk (just a little -- as usual we are stuck doing the heavy lifting), Iraqis remember those killed for the 'crime' of protesting, and much more.

Never forget that is' always about oil or whatever else Iraq can be robbed of.  This morning, REUTERS reports:

China's Sinopec has won a deal to develop Iraq's Mansuriya gas field near the Iranian border, the oil ministry said on Tuesday.

Last year Iraq cancelled a contract signed with a group led by Turkish Petroleum Corp (TPAO) to develop the field and invited international energy companies to compete to develop it.

Sinopec won the contract in a bidding round held at the oil ministry headquarters in Baghdad on Tuesday, the oil ministry said in a statement

At THE ATLANTIC, Jonah Blank writes:

The original sin of the war in Iraq was going to war in Iraq. And the original sin of the war in Afghanistan was going to war in Iraq.

In September 2001, when Joe Biden was the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I was the policy adviser for the stretch of Asia that included Afghanistan. By 9 a.m. on 9/11, I felt certain that al-Qaeda (which was based in Afghanistan) was behind the attacks—but that we’d end up invading Iraq anyway.was a year and a half off. And that interim period was the only time the mission in Afghanistan ever stood a real chance. This week, President Biden announced that all United States forces will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of 9/11. To understand his decision to get out, one has to understand the decision to get in—and how that choice was quickly undermined by the invasion of another country.

In 2001, even the most ardent war hawks didn’t want to invade Afghanistan: They wanted to invade Iraq. Neoconservatives, such as the Pentagon officials Paul Wolfowitz and Doug Feith, had a grand vision of remaking the country in America’s image. Paleoconservatives, such as Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, wanted to oust Saddam Hussein, install a pliable puppet, and thereby deter any other would-be adversaries. Both camps saw Afghanistan as an unwelcome distraction from the main event, but they applied the same rationales there.

Jonah offers a very kind assessment of Joe Biden.  Not very real, but kind.  What he has Joe avoiding -- nation building, for example -- and wants you to know isn't in Joe's character?  It's exactly what Joe advocated in Iraq.  On Iraq, for example, Michael R. Gordon (NEW YORK TIMES) observed in August of 2008:

During the early part of the American occupation, Mr. Biden initially argued that more troops were needed. As the conflict dragged on, and the notion of sending additional troops became more unpopular with the voters, he began to advocate a new plan, one that sought to apply his Balkan experience to Iraq and appeared to open the door to troop withdrawals.

In a 2006 Op-Ed article in The New York Times that he wrote with Leslie H. Gelb, the president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Biden recalled how Bosnia had been divided into Muslim, Croat and Serbian federations. He advocated the creation of three largely autonomous Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish regions, while preserving a limited central government.

Critics complained that the sectarian groups in Iraq were too intermingled to be so easily disentangled. And in its original formulation, the plan had another liability: it was more popular in Washington than in Baghdad, where Iraqi leaders viewed it suspiciously as an effort to partition their country. When the Senate passed a resolution in September that endorsed Mr. Biden’s plan for a loose Iraqi federation, the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, and other Iraqi leaders initially objected.

Mr. Biden has sought to refine the original concept by emphasizing that his major point is the need for a decentralized federal system in Iraq. But the plan has faded from the public debate as violence has declined and the Maliki government has begun to assert its sovereignty.

Dismantling one system to impose another -- especially when the people in said country are not asking to be put into three semi-autonomous regions -- upon them?  That is nation building.

Maybe Jonah's confused about Joe because when Joe talks about things like Iraq, for example, Joe tends to praise neoconservatives -- they're bright, they're this, they're that -- while trashing the American people as uninformed?  Check out this speech he gave to the Brookings Institution in 2003.

In other news, Martiza Abdel Tweets:

Hundreds of protesters in southern #Iraq closed three bridges in the city of #Nasiriyah, the capital of Dhi Qar Governorate, and the Maysan Oil Company building demanding #jobs for local residents

The attacks on peaceful protesters happened during the month of Ramadan.  Ramadan is a month of worship and fasting.  This year, it started April 12th and ends May 12th.  And at the holy time of Ramadan, many Iraqis are reflecting on the Iraqi protesters.  For example, Mohamed Ali Tweets:

in the peaceful protests where they were killed after their return from the protests Here's the link to watch the criminals of adel abdul Mahdi when he was When he was prime minister and at the helm of power :
مأساة اكتوبر
No entry sign
من قمع المظاهرات وقتل وخطف أيام لا ينساها

Shahrazad Tweets:

Stop sign

Those responsible for the brutalities against the peaceful protesters in IRAQ must be hold accountable . Under one thousand got murdered, and many thousands disabled or disfigured, it was utterly ruthless.

Down pointing backhand index

Dhari al-Iraqi Tweets:

 Replying to

This is An Example What The government was Doing Against The People In Iraq.. 2019
0:06 / 0:32

Rafael Rita Tweets:

As we begin the month of Ramadhan, may we never forget the many protestors throughout #Iraq who were killed in cold blood by state and non-state forces. Let's include their families in our prayers and let's support their cause.

Ruba Ali al-Hassani Tweets:

As we begin the month of #Ramadhan
, may we never forget the many protestors throughout #Iraq who were killed in cold blood by state and non-state forces. Let's include their families in our prayers and let's support their cause. الرحمة لشهداء #ثورة_تشرين #نريد_وطن

In other news, Amnesty's Donatella Rivera Tweets:

"Like many Americans in #Iraq, McGurk was deaf to what was happening around him. His rise mirrored that of an Iraqi politician named Nouri al-Maliki, one careerist helping the other. That is McGurk’s tragedy - and Iraq’s." #USA - Brilliant, by Paul Wood


She's referring to Paul Wood's article for NEW LINES about US failure Brett McGurk:

In 2006, al-Maliki -- Abu Isra to those who knew him -- was an obscure member of the Iraqi Parliament begging for Green Zone passes from American officials. He was not obviously corrupt and was ready to put in 16-hour days, and so the U.S. backed him to become prime minister. But al-Maliki turned out to be a hard-faced Shiite nationalist: “sectarian, intolerant, ideologically Islamist and a paranoid politician,” in the words of one Western official who dealt with him. “If you’re working 16 hours a day, that’s not a virtue in the Middle East. It means you’re working to conspire against everybody else 16 hours a day.”

Abu Isra set about excluding Sunni opponents from power and turning the security forces into his own praetorian guard. Iraq became, once again, a place of secret prisons and torture. McGurk’s critics say his lack of Arabic meant he missed the vicious, sectarian undertones of what al-Maliki was saying in meetings right from the start. Translators censored or failed to keep up. Like many Americans in Iraq, McGurk was deaf to what was happening around him.

Al-Maliki was the consequence of two mistakes by the U.S. How much McGurk had to do with them remains in dispute. The first mistake was the “80 Percent Solution” for ruling Iraq. The Sunni Arabs were mounting a bloody insurgency, but they were just 20% of the population. The theory was that you could run Iraq with the Kurds and the Shiites. The second error was to identify the Shiites with hardline, religious parties backed by Iran. Al-Maliki, a member of the religious Da’wa Party, was the beneficiary of this.

The U.S. diplomat who was in Baghdad with McGurk remembers him asking a junior member of staff to type out a cable to Washington. “He decides to write the strategy for Iraq moving forward. This is after he talks to like three people in the government who speak English. And it’s completely off base, it’s hogwash: Make al-Maliki a dictator and, you know, Iraq in the rearview mirror.”

McGurk was “the Maliki whisperer,” as newspaper profiles put it — but as events turned out, it wasn’t clear who was “whispering” to whom. The former senior Western diplomat in Baghdad said there was ample evidence that al-Maliki was “poison,” but the U.S. believed that a “Shia tough guy” was needed to run Iraq. “He may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch. This narrative pervaded the Washington debate, and McGurk was at the heart of it. … McGurk convinced everybody. You will find huge numbers of Iraqis who had anything to do with Americans hate McGurk.”

But al-Maliki was not America’s son of a bitch. Two sources told me his aides dismissed McGurk as a “useful idiot.” They joked that he was not America’s man in Baghdad but Da’wa’s in Washington. These same aides later allegedly called the U.S. military commander, Lloyd Austin, now Biden’s defense secretary, a “coward” for his (supposedly) obsequious attitude toward Abu Isra. Such extraordinary insults stemmed from the confidence al-Maliki had in the unwavering support of the White House. Crocker, the former U.S. envoy to Iraq, told me that in 2008, he and McGurk tried to get President George W. Bush to drop al-Maliki but were told in no uncertain terms to think again. Under President Barack Obama, too, the policy was the same: “There is no alternative to Maliki.”

The U.S. even came together with Iran to save Abu Isra when he lost the 2010 election to a secular Shiite, Ayad Allawi. Allawi should have had the first chance to form a coalition but — after the votes had been counted — al-Maliki got the Iraqi supreme court to change the rules and horse trading began. Essentially, al-Maliki was being allowed to steal the election. Years later, McGurk told The Atlantic that he and other American officials had worked to find alternatives to al-Maliki but that “Maliki worked his ass off from day one and just collected seat after seat.”

Once again, there was “no alternative” to al-Maliki. One former senior U.S. official who worked with McGurk said: “Like every American operates overseas, you form relationships, and you get captured by those relationships. Al-Maliki was his guy. So he stayed with al-Maliki even when it was clear that al-Maliki was a serious human rights abuser who was ruthless and dangerous to the further development of his own country. Everybody in foreign policy makes these mistakes. Everybody. You wind up picking the people you’ve met, getting comfortable with them and then being stuck with whatever they’re doing on their own. You don’t know until it’s too late, and then you have to figure out how to manage it.”

Another former senior official who knows McGurk was less forgiving. He thought his influence over the Obama administration’s Iraq policy had helped to give al-Maliki another four years in power. “Those years were disastrous” — Iraq started to return to civil war; al Qaeda in Iraq reemerged and began to evolve into the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS.

At several moments in al-Maliki’s premiership, Iraq’s government would probably have collapsed — the country itself might have ceased to exist — without the U.S. presence in Iraq. The U.S. had all the power, but somehow they were the supplicants at Abu Isra’s court. In 2011, the issue was once again whether U.S. troops would stay. And once again, the U.S. was begging the Iraqis to grant permission for something that was supposedly happening at their request.

A participant in the talks told me: “McGurk had persuaded himself that he and Maliki had a unique relationship and that they could work something out. This was complete and utter … folly.”

Al-Maliki did do a deal — with Iran. He would get the U.S. out, and Iran would support him as the leader of Iraq’s Shiites. Al-Maliki’s government duly told U.S. forces to leave. Obama declared that he had fulfilled a campaign promise (already a foregone conclusion by the time he came into office) to bring the troops home, their job done. “We’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq.” In truth, it was a defeat for the U.S.


And we'll stop there because (a) it's a long enough excerpt and (b) Paul doesn't know what the hell he's writing about in the paragraph after our excerpt.  I say the second part as the first person to ever write about the scandal Paul notes -- and gets wrong -- Brett's extra-marital affair with Gina Chon.  Two days before THE ATLANTIC article -- bad article -- that Paul links to, one day before the DC paper.  We covered it and we covered it best.  All this time later, Paul can't grasp the issues.  Late to the dinner party and he didn't even bring a hostess gift, such poor manners.

Gina Chon was a reporter for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.  Apparently, we have to go over all of this and we have to because other people won't do their damn jobs -- the jobs they're paid to do.  Me?  I have had a nasty cold since Friday.  Because my doctor insisted, I just got back from taking a COVID test.  I'm sure it will come back negative but that was my morning.  And all I want to do is go to sleep.  But because Paul can't do the job he's paid to do, I have to do it.

Brett McGurk was an employee of the US government.  He was married.  Gina Chon was an employee of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.  She was married.  She gave him "blue balls" as he told her in that 'sweet' and 'romantic' e-mail.  Gina apparently had little experience with men and found that e-mail 'hot' and she began an affair with him.

If that's all that happened, that would have been bad enough.

A US employee was in Iraq and despite the cultural difference he began an affair with a woman -- a woman of color -- important when the country isn't, for example, the UK.  He instantly becomes "American infidel" in Iraq on social media when the affair is finally discovered.  He is the married, White American who came to Iraq and violated social customs.

It does matter when the US has put religious fanatics in charge of Iraq.

And let's also not forget that 'honor' killings are not uncommon in Iraq.  

That's what killed the nomination for Brett and I documented it here in real time.  The only thing I left out -- and I noted this in real time -- was the Democratic Party member who was then a US senator and went to Barack Obama to tell him that Brett would never get Senate approval to be US Ambassador to Iraq because that would put a target on the backs of any Iraqi women who worked at the embassy or needed to visit the embassy.

They would, as the senator explained to Barack, be seen by religious zealots in Iraq as ''consorting' with the infidel who had a reputation for seducing non-White women in Iraq.

I reported that as it happened and the only thing I omitted was the senator's name.  I would happily -- to this day -- give the senator credit.  I had spent many years calling this senator out.  (After many years praising.)  When the senator, who I have known for years, decided not to run for re-election, I asked, one more time, "Do you want me to credit you?"  No. 

So I have left the senator unnamed and unless they pass away before this site ends, I never will credit them.  

But that is what happened.  And Brett could never be ambassador for that reason.

Now Paul is a journalist so there's another part he needs to cover.

If Brett's scandal had happened under Bully Boy Bush -- Wait.  It did happen under him.  It didn't get exposed though until Barack was president and was nominating Brett for US Ambassador to Iraq.  If Barack had not bneen involved, the cowards and hypocrites at FAIR would have led on this issue.  They would have told you that it was unethical for Gina Chon, a reporter in Baghdad, to have an affair with a US government employee.  That alone was unethical.

What made it worse is Gina let him vet her copy.  Before she submitted it to THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, she let him vet it and she changed it as he instructed.

Gina did not 'leave' THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.  The paper fired her.  I noted that in real time too.  I was told it was going to happen hours before hand and, as I covered here, I was given an audio recording of the meeting in which she was fired.  She raged, she screamed.  Didn't matter, she had broken journalistic ethics and she got her ass fired.  

Paul doesn't cover that and in terms of the ambassadorship that was never to be, he doesn't get it.  He's rather piggish (thinking that Brett -- any man -- can do whatever they want with no consequences) or just rather xenophobic (not caring that threat of the lives of Iraqi women that would be in place if Brett had become ambassador).

It's not a minor issue.  We are yet again having to cover it because those who should do the job refuse to do so.

Let me wind this down by noting that CJR refused to cover it -- the supposed watchdog of journalism.  They ignored it over and over.  Then they wanted to go to town with some reporter who slept with a fire fighter (I believe that's what it was) when she was on the city beat and how could she!!!! When they posted that ridiculous item, our own Martha (who, with Shirley, does our book review at the end of each year) left a blistering comment at CJR calling them out for their rank hypocrisy and for that reaosn -- and only that reason -- they finally wrote a sentence or two about Gina and Brett and the lapse of journalistic ethics.  

After this posts, I'm going to bed.  Whenever I wake up -- this afternoon, tonight, early in the morning -- I will post some of the stuff sent to the public account.  

The following sites updated: