Thursday, May 26, 2022

Ghislaine Jizzy Pants Maxwell

Graham Elwood has an interesting video regarding Ghislaine Maxwell.  



What do you think?  Interesting.  


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

 

 Thursday, May 25, 2022.  Another attack in Iraq, Jonathan Cook takes on the war propaganda, I take on NPR's hit job against male survivors, and more.


Starting with an attack in Iraq, MEHR NEWS notes:

 Local media in Iraq have reported an attack on the US troops in Saladin province in central Iraq on Thursday.

Sources in Iraq told Sabereen News telegram channel that a US military logistics convoy was targeted in Iraq.

The report said that a US Army logistics convoy was targeted in Saladin.


Aren't we all glad that the Iraq War ended?  Aren't we all thrilled all US troops left Iraq?


Oh . . .  Wait.  That didn't happen.  Just because CODESTINK and the others walked out on efforts to end the war, the war didn't end.  It's not just the hollow words from Barack Obama, it's the hollow words from self-appointed 'leaders' like CODESTINK.  


Now we're going to move to something else . . .



I've kept Johnny Depp and Amber Heard largely out of the snapshots. Largely because I've had a blind item or two or three or four since the marriage began. The last was noting what a cold fish she was on screen. No, the WB reaction was not a surprise to me and I actually provided feedback regarding that. I know Johnny and I've known him for years. I do not like her. The marriage was a huge mistake and I said in real time to both of them. To him that it would destroy him. To her that she wasn't fooling me and she was clearly in it for herself (after she responded to my question about how she could promise to stay faithful to Johnny). I don't like her. I don't believe her.

I don't know any woman who believes her that knows Johnny. Ellen Barkin's an honorary man, after all, Ava and I have long noted her toxic masculinity.

But we get to comment on Johnny today because NPR doesn't know how to play by the rules.

 

I'm not doing news reports. I don't have to play fair. I also don't take money for this site -- let alone get government money -- US taxpayer money.

Anastasia Tsioulcas doesn't seem to grasp the area of public trust and the responsibility that being a journalist for NP requires.

She has written a piece of garbage that should honestly have her fired. But firing her would implicate those immediately above her so watch them pretend not to notice.

A trial is ongoing currently, is there a reason that she's taking sides?

And I'm sorry but her 'expert' is as ugly in the mind as she is and it's just one expert.

There is no blance, read her garbage because it's as ugly as her face is.

Johnny is an abuser to read the article. Amber is a victim to read the article.

I'm not impartial. I don't pretend to be. Anytime I've written about this -- usually at THIRD -- I've noted that I am a friend of Johnny's.

Why is NPR airing a report that argues Johnny is not a victim of domestic abuse, that this is some nonsense offered by men's right activists?

What a load of garbage.

She needs to be fired. She won't be because that this garbage got posted goes to what a cesspool she's standing in.

I am not in the mood for these people. Those of us who spend out lives raising awareness of abuse know damn well that men can be victims. We've encountered them our whole lives. I've detailed here many times that there are days when I just don't want to open a vein because someone in the room's going to have a trauma and need to talk about it and I just can't do that over and over and over and over . . .

But I do it as often as I can. And with male victims, it is so difficult to get them to open up -- prior to me, apparently, I'm the can opener -- because there are so many judgments and so much shame based on societal expectations. We need to stop it. We are short changing survivors and we are short changing equality.

Anyone can be an absuer. I loved Bob Filner tremendously but when women came forward, I said that they needed to be heard. And they did need to be heard and he issued an apology and stepped down.

We never know everything that goes on and I would never have guessed that Bob would assault and harass.

Could I be wrong about Johnny?

Nope.

Because I'm not just basing it on Johnny. I'm also basing it on Amber. I'm basing it on how she used women and had physical altercations with them. I'm basing it on how she forced women to hide in the shadows when she couldn't cop to bi. I'm basing it on the rather infamous 2018 fight she had with a female lover that no one's talking about to the press.

Sorry, Amber is the profile of an abuser. And she has abused women and she's abused men. She's a malignant narcissist. After years of fuming over Lindsay Lohan and Blake Lively (she was especially obsessed with Blake), she thought she found a way to have the fame that they had. Johnny was going to be her meal ticket to fame and prestige. And she wasn't happy because people like that are never happy.

Let me stop a second. Johnny was stupid to marry her and I am on the record, to his face, before it imploded stating that. I told him that sometimes you honestly do meet someone who agrees with you about everything but, more often than not, what you've actually met is someone who's going to kiss your ass to get their grip on you and they don't really agree with you. (And I don't believe that happiness is found in a relationship where you agree on everything in most cases) He was blindly in love and if you want to fault him for something then fault him for that.

In the NPR piece, the 'expert' whines and whines and perfect victim and blah blah blah. If you're a known liar, you're a known liar. Now I've stated here before about the woman who thinks rape is sexy, the loon who told that to Anderson Cooper on air on CNN, even loons can be raped, even lairs can be.

I find it hilarious that the NPR reporter and NPR think they can high horse it on Johnny Depp's back when no one has ever had more supporting facts than Tara Reade and yet she didn't get defended, did she?

It wasn't politically smart to stick up for her. (We did -- community wide. And she told the truth.)

Amber isn't Tara. Amber hasn't told the truth.

And she's lied. Doesn't mean she can't be a victim. Ambition's not a crime either. Some can even justify using someone to get their dreams.

But we have a total portrait of who she is and who she is is someone who is not sympathetic, someone who is on a recording -- that I noted here over two years ago, before it was public and before it was ever brought up in a court -- gloating that no one will believe Johnny was abused.

Amber didn't want the life Johnny offered. She thought she could marry him and make her do this and that and her career would get promoted and this would happen and that would happen. Sorry, boys and girls, only Freddie Prinze Jr is more of a homebody than Johnny. When Amber realized what her life was and that she couldn't nag Johnny into making her into Blake Lively, she turned nasty. And she wanted out and she began to plot how she could exist to maximum effect.



After getting around it and having some people start to call her brave and express sympathy for her, she thought she was enough of an actress to pretend to be a domestic violence survivor and she wrote that absurd column.

Johnny gets falling down drunk. I've seen it with my own eyes. And because of that and his drug use, she knew she could paint him as an abuse and some would believe anything.

What she didn't count on was how this wasn't going to work. Johnny is a weepy drunk. He can be a loud drunk, but he's a weepy drunk. He wants to hug you when he's drunk. He does not want to hit you when he's drunk. I've been around him when he was drunk (or worse) more times than Amber ever has. I know his behavior. This is not Johnny. He is not an abuser in his best moments, he is not an abuser in his worst moments.

I try not to use this as a platform to protect my friends. But Johnny's being accused of things he did not do and I'm not going to stand for it.

It's only going to get worse for Amber.

And she's lying and we know she is -- 'we' being the industry.

He's not Kirk Douglas (who raped Natalie Wood, Dorothy Dandridge and so many other women). He's not James Caan who has a long list of 'explosive' relationships. He's not a predator.

As Kate Moss testified, what Amber claimed -- and what many wrongly repeated -- never happened. That's true of so much that comes out of her mouth so it's a shock to read NPR's disgusting and one-sided piece of garbage.

Does Johnny have benefits on his side?

Yes, he's someone the public feels they know. That is a plus in the court of public opinion. Amber's made herself well known though she's not exactly a civilian.

We live in a sexist society, so gender gives Johnny some benefits. We live in a sexist society, so gender gives Johnny some minuses. Like NPR refusing to see that he can be a victim of domestic abuse because he's a male.

Johnny's movie roles have made him well liked. That's a plus. Amber onscreen is a message to the movie goers to run to the lobby and get some popcorn since nothing's going to happen for awhile. That's a minus.

They both have pluses and minuses.

I'm not NPR. US tax payers are not supporting what I write. Nor am I presenting myself as objective in this case. Nor should I since I know both participants. But NPR does have to be objective and there is nothing objective in their so-called report. It is a hatchet job, a smear and it is not journalism to be proud of.

I think I've now weighed in more on the case here than I have previously combined here or at THIRD (and Ava and I noted the case in this week's "Media: We wonder, We wa wa wa wa wonder").

I am offended by NPR for what they did for so many reasons.  One, it's not fair to a friend of mine.  Two, it's not journalism worth praising and it's not journalism that tax dollars should be paying for.  Third, this is a slap in the face to male survivors. 


There were many men with real METOO moments and they got ignored.  Some were victims as children.  Watch as the bitches at the Academy Awards try to turn it into a wage issue and a this issue and erase all the children -- male and female -- that suffered abuse was appalling.  The media went along with it.  A friend of mine told a very brave story, came forward and talked about how he was abused as a child actor and instead we're focusing on other issues or pretending that, honestly, Harvey came onto a  a sleep around  -- verbally -- and didn't get his way and she wants to whine when we all know who she slept with to get her break.   No one wants to take responsibility  and everyone wants to celebrate the female victim.  

(The sleep around slept with a friend of mine for a part.  That wasn't the deal.  The deal was she pretended to be in love with my friend -- who is a woman -- and slept with her and then, when the contract was signed, dumped my friend.  And I think we pretty much know who I'm talking about but if you're not sure, Seth worked a visual joke about this into AMERICAN DAD.  She has used sex to build the career she once had and that's why people don't take her seriously -- people outside of the press.  But  a woman like that gets attention while true survivors do not.  That's the press.)


Amber played into that and the NPR article -- which is not journalism -- shows why Amber has been able to get away with it.  


If NPR doesn't want to recognize male victims of abuse, I want NPR to return all taxpayer funds.  And if NPR thinks one-sides hit pieces qualify as journalism, then they need the plug pulled permanently.  


Let's note Cynthia McKinney.  





There's the conversation that she and Sabby are having and there's the way you can apply it to almost every other topic.  We'll discuss it later this week  -- tomorrow or Saturday.


We're going to wind down with this from Jonathan Cook (DISSIDENT VOICE):


It was apparently a “gaffe” of the kind we had forgotten since George W Bush stepped down from the US presidency in early 2009. During a speech in Dallas last week, he momentarily confused Russian President Vladimir Putin’s current war of aggression against Ukraine and his own war of aggression against Iraq in 2003.

Bush observed that a lack of checks and balances in Russia had allowed “one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq… I mean, Ukraine. Iraq too. Anyway… I’m 75.”

It sounded like another “Bushism” – a verbal slip-up – for which the 43rd president was famous. Just like the time he boasted that people “misunderestimated” him, or when he warned that America’s enemies “never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people – and neither do we”.

Maybe that explains why his audience laughed. Or maybe not, given how uncomfortable the laughter sounded.

Bush certainly wanted his mistake to be seen as yet another slip-up, which is why he hurriedly blamed it on his age. The senility defence doubtless sounds a lot more plausible at a time when the incumbent president, Joe Biden, regularly loses track of what he is saying and even where he is.

The western media, in so far as it has bothered to report Bush’s speech, has laughed along nervously too. It has milked the incident largely for comic effect: “Look, we can laugh at ourselves – unlike that narcissist Russian monster, Putin.”

The BBC accorded Bush’s comment status as a down-page brief news item. Those that gave it more attention preferred to term it a “gaffe” or an amusing “Freudian slip”.

‘Putin apologists’

But the focus on the humour of the moment is actually part of the media’s continuing war on our understanding of recent history. It is intended to deflect us, the audience, from thinking about the real significance of Bush’s “gaffe”.

The only reason the media is now so belatedly connecting – if very indirectly – “a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion” of Ukraine and what happened in Iraq is because of Bush’s mistake.

Had it not happened, the establishment media would have continued to ignore any such comparison. And those trying to raise it would continue to be dismissed as conspiracy theorists or as apologists for Putin.

The implication of what Bush said – even for those mockingly characterising it in Freudian terms – is that he and his co-conspirator, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, are war criminals and that they should be on trial at the Hague for invading and occupying Iraq.

Everything the current US administration is saying against Putin, and every punishment meted out on Russia and ordinary Russians, can be turned around and directed at the United States and Britain.



The following sites updated:


Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Green Party US Statement on Mass Shooting in Buffalo, NY

Press release from the Green Party:

WASHINGTON, DC — The Green Party of the United States stands in coalition with all who seek to end the culture of violence and politics of corruption that enable violent extremists.


Green Party of the United States
www.gp.org

For Immediate Release:
May 19, 2022

Contact:
Michael O'Neil, Communications Manager, meo@gp.org, 202-804-2758
Diana C. Brown, Co-Chair, Media Committee, media@gp.org, 202-804-2758
Philena Farley, Co-Chair, Media Committee, media@gp.org, 202-804-2758


“The tragedy in Buffalo, NY on Saturday, May 14, is yet another reminder that racist violence is a fact of life in the U.S. This is not new – it has been happening for centuries. White supremacist terrorism is part of a culture and governmental system that violently oppresses Black people and other people of color at every turn, whether through police killings or mass shootings." said Philena Farley, National Black Caucus Media Co-Chair and Green Party US Media Co-Chair.

This act of white supremacist terrorism is just the latest in a long string of racist and fascist violence in the United States. A direct product of the toxic rhetoric and fascistic delusion of a “Great Replacement” conspiracy promoted by the so-called “alt-right,” the Buffalo attack represents a perversely intersectional hatred toward a staggeringly large and diverse array of people. Radical solidarity is the surest way — the only way — to overcome such an abhorrent movement.

It is our belief that all struggles for liberation from modes of oppression are part of the same fight. Our commitment to ecosocialism and the interdependence of people’s movements is expressed through our founding Four Pillars of Non-violence, Ecological Wisdom, Grassroots Democracy and Social Justice and, more recently, in our 2018 “Resolution in Opposition to Rising Fascism,” which includes four recommendations for action:

  • Show up, protect your community: we must organize coalitions to publicly oppose hate groups and fascists and protect the most vulnerable among us
  • Lift up the voices of the vulnerable: listen to the targeted people in our communities, amplify their voices in spaces where they have been marginalized, and protect their First Amendment right to speak against those who intend them harm
  • Help to shift the public discourse about fascism: use all available channels to reinforce the message that everyone on this Earth — Black, Brown, Muslim, immigrant, LGBTQIA+, and Indigenous — has the right to life, dignity, and protection from racist violence, economic exploitation and state repression
  • Don’t settle for the status quo — the point is to change it: fascists and white supremacists gain traction and recruits by manipulating the alienation and suffering wrought by the existing power structure. We must demonstrate the possibilities and fulfill the promise of making a just, sustainable, and equitable world that puts people, planet, and peace over profit!

MORE INFORMATION

Green Party US Resolution in Opposition to Rising Fascism gp.org,  December 16, 2018

How to Confront the US Culture of Violence. Hawkins, Howie. howiehawkins.us, August 11, 2019

Green Party of the United States

www.gp.org

202-804-2758

Newsroom | Twitter: @GreenPartyUS

Green Party Platform
Green New Deal
Green candidate database and campaign information
Ballot Access
Facebook page
YouTube
Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States
Green Papers


 

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

 Wednesday, May 25, 2022.  Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian Assange,  possible plot against Bully Boy Bush, the stalemate continues in Iraq . . . 


US President Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian Assange for Julian's 'crime' of reporting the truth.  The world watches as Joe targets Julian and declares war on a free press.  At SCHEERPOST, Joe Lauria notes:


At some point during the next nine days, British Home Secretary Priti Patel will decide whether or not to extradite imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to the United States to face espionage charges for publishing accurate information revealing U.S. war crimes.

Pressure is building from both sides on the home secretary.  Press freedom and human rights organizations, a Nobel laureate, the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner, journalists and Assange supporters have appealed to Patel to let Assange go.  

While it would be deemed improper for outside influence to be brought on judges, it would not be fanciful to imagine that behind the scenes Patel is getting the message from the U.S. Department of Justice and possibly from U.S. and U.K. intelligence services about what is expected of her.

The home secretary should know without prodding what the U.S. and British governments want her to do. Patel is a highly-ambitious politician who no doubt will calculate how her decision will impact her career. 

“Politicians think about their next election, they think about their voters … that’s what makes them tick,” Kristinn Hrafnnson, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief, told Consortium News at a protest outside the Home Office in London last Wednesday. “For the first time it’s in the hands of a politician, and Priti Patel, if she wants to think about her legacy … she should do the right thing.” 


Really, Joe?  Then maybe we should all be applying pressure to Joe Biden who faces a huge upset in the mid-terms.  Joe Biden is the one who can end it.  Joe can drop the charges immediately.  The left -- faux and real -- has been so pathetic for years now.  With few exceptions, they refuse to make demands.  Joe L wants yu to scare a British politician.  But Joe L is Americn.  And Joe Biden is American.  We're getting as pathetic as  that blogger Luke back in 2005 and 2005, remember him?  An Australian citizen blogging from Australia who spent every day railing against Bully Boy Bush and Tony Blair for the Iraq War yet never calling out John Howard.  He was the ruler of Australia.  But Luke was too pathetic to call out the politician in his own coutry.


That's how Joe L is looking right now.


Joe Biden can end this.  Joe Biden should end this.  But when you're doing everything but demanding Joe Biden end it, you're not really doing anything except looking pathetic.


do we want to game this thing out?


Let's say Joe L gets what he wants and the British politician refuses to hand Julian over to the US.  That becomes the official position.  So they release Julian and allow him to book a flight to Australia.  Do you think the US government grabs him at tHeathrow Airport or do you think they wait until he lands in Austraia and they grab him there?


Because that it what would likely happen.  


Both the UK and the Australian government would likely be very cooperative with the US government and possibly even assist.

And Julian would be disappeared.  


Joe L is trying to plug holes on the sinking boat Julian's trapped on instead of rescuing him.


Joe Biden has got to be pressured to stop this persecution.  


And that means some of the timid on the left need to find their voices and use them.


Their voices.


Some idiot e-mailed the public account about how happy I must be that ISIS went after Bully Boy Bush.  First off, did they?


I think they have more on their plate and this was probably some wanna-be.  I could be wrong.


But, no, I don't want Bully Boou Bush murdered.  That's too easy for him.  I want him to be shunned, I want him -- and his family -- to know that blood is on his hands and will be forever more.  I want him to be haunted by the ghosts of dead Iraqis to the point that he fears sleep.


I wouldn't mind seeing him in prison but I don't want him murdered.


You murder him and you create sympathy and the revisionary nonsense that's already taken place with regards to that War Criminal gets even more intense.


He is an awful man.  If you use violence on him, you are helping him.  All we need to combat Bully Boy Bush is our voices.  We need to boo him when he tries to go out in public.  We need to remind him over one million Iraqis are dead because of him.  And we need to make it clear to an idiot like him, even him, that it is not a joking matter and we are not laughing.


Killing him is too easy.  


And it's also the weakest move you can make.  He needs to be Glenn Close t the end of DANGEROS LIASONS.



Alina Romanowski was finally sworn in as US Ambassador to Iraq yesterday.  US Vice President Kamala Harris swore her in.  Hopefully, she can now leave DC and head to Iraq.


Iraq where the political stalemate continues.  Elections were held October 10th and still no prime minister, still no president.  Only the foolish observers were shocked by the Iraqi court ruling  tht the holdover prime minister does not have the power to implement long range plans for Iraq.  Maybe now, observers will start to take the stalemate seriously?  

We're 16 days away from eight months since the election and the rulers can't pull it together still.  Will every US reporter who hailed Moqtada back in October as a "kingmaker" step forward so we can mock them?


There was never a reason to make that claim.  He had no pattern of being a kingmaker.  He was an ineffective cleric who ran in and out of Iraq anytime he thought the bench warrant against him was going to be issued.  


His hold on his cult has grown less and less.  There are very real complaints against him coming out of even Sadr City -- the slum he holds sway over that has seen no improvements despite his so-called rise to power.  His voters showed up in lower numbers in the October election.


He's at his weakest.  The young Shi'ites mock him publicly.  


But ignoring all of this, US observers kept insisting that he was a kingmaker.  Still want to pimp that claim today?


New content at THIRD:



The following sites updated:


 


Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Howie

hollywood

 


That's  Isaiah's   THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Hollywood V. Reality."  and this is the latest video posted to Howie Hawkins' YouTube account.


 


It's Dr. Margaret Flowers explaining the importance of Medicare For All.


Again, Howie is not like previous Green Party presidential nominees.  After the election, he didn't go into hiding.  He's been out there every week pushing Green Party issues, discussing them, addressing them, promoting them.  


He is now running for governor of New York and this is from his Facebook page:


Howie is running for Governor of New York and the Green Party of New York State needs your help to get on the ballot! Can you sign a petition (NY voters), collect (anyone), or donate (anyone) to help them get 45,000 valid signatures in 42 days?

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


 Tuesday, May 24, 2022. An Iraqi refugee reflects on the current US government propaganda and much more.

Democrats are limited in what they can do regarding the Supreme Court and ROE V WADE     -- SEVERAL DRIVE-BY E-MAILS TO THE PUBLIC ACCOUNT MAKE THAT CLAIM.


FALSE.


They can codify ROE.  They can get the votes.  You horse trade, you do whatever you have to but you secure 51  votes.  It isn't that difficult and when you look at great Congressional leaders -- in the past, of course, there hasn't been a great leader in Congress in decades -- you see that they did that. by impeaching  Clarence Thomas.  


That's one option.



Another is eliminate five votes.  


 Supposedly, to hear Democrats in Congress on MSNBC, his wife was involved in January 6th, was involved in trying to sway electors, was this and was that.  Are thy just flapping their jaws or are they serious?


Her actions reflect upon her husband because he's got a lifetime post and he's clearly failed to recuse himself on cases where he should have.


So if they're just flapping their gums then they need to shut up.  But if they mean what they're saying, they need to move forward with impeachment.


My guess?  If they're forced to put up or shut up, they'll shut up.


The answer is to make it law and they can do that.  It doesn't appear that they want to.


 Moving over to Iraq . . .


At WSWS, Barry Grey speaks with an Iraqi refugee about the current US attack on Russia:


Barry Grey: I would first like to get your response to the present war being waged in Ukraine and the attempt by the US and NATO to present it as a war for freedom, democracy and national sovereignty.

Adila: As a refugee from Iraq, having been born at the dawn of the Iraq War and my parents, my family having lived through the 13-year sanctions imposed by NATO and the US, we are not foreigners to the propaganda surrounding war.

In recordings of President Bush’s old speeches we hear repeatedly how the US invasion and occupation was a war against terrorism, a war to protect the people of Iraq and the Middle East from the weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein supposedly had.

President Bush at a Washington D.C. event made a joke about the weapons of mass destruction, saying, “We’re still looking for them.” It was kind of like him making a mockery of the propaganda he upheld for so many years and then later retracted in a laughing statement, after having essentially murdered over 625,000 children between 2003 and 2006.

The propaganda that is being pumped out today in support of the war against Russia in Ukraine feels like a repeated episode. The same emotions are being evoked—that the war is being fought to preserve freedom. Images of children running away or in bomb shelters are used to insinuate that we need to act fast. The propaganda is being used to push the largest corporate enterprises to place sanctions and holds on their businesses in Russia.

Even my university—I go to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor—has basically divested from Russia. We as Arab and Muslim students have been fighting for the divestment movement since 2002 on this campus, to divest against the apartheid in Palestine. We were always told this is complicated, it cannot happen, you cannot place sanctions on a place because of political views.

But this is exactly what is happening now and you see how it is happening so quickly and easily. All of the corporations and the politicians who are funded by these corporations are showing us how easy it is to divest resources from that region.

BG: The remarks by Bush to which you referred were at the White House Radio and Television Correspondents Association Dinner in 2004 and ironically you just had the one the other night where Biden congratulated the press for lining up 100 percent behind the government propaganda and refusing to allow the slightest dissenting view on the war against Russia. And in the name of press freedom, they are sanctioning the banning of Russian artists, musicians, media outlets and even cultural treasures.

What is the reality, from your own experience in Iraq and that of your family and since then, of American militarism and imperialism?

 

Adila: I was born in 2002 in Raffah Hospital, central city Baghdad. It’s where my mother was born and her mother before that. It is a really old hospital and one of the really well known hospitals in Iraq.

But after 1990, when the US and NATO placed sanctions against Iraq, essential food, water and medication was not able to reach Iraq for some 13 years. The medical devices were not updated. No medications, including epidural anesthetics, were allowed to be imported into the country.

When my mother gave birth to me, it was her first birth and she had complications during birth. She was in a very bad condition. She had an emergency C-section. I was born in breech, she was in labor for 12 hours without medication and during the procedure she was also unmedicated. So she felt every single cut of the scalpel, every single pain that came with childbirth through a C-section.

My mother is one of hundreds of thousands of women who had to undergo the same ordeal. The death toll we have for the sanctions, before the violent occupation that began in 2003, circles around 623,000. But Iraqi data analysts and physicians expect this number to be around a million.

There was an immense death toll. I think it is referred to as the essential death toll, which means the death toll that we know can be attributed to the violent deaths that occurred. It does not include the slow death from famine, it does not include all the children and mothers who died in childbirth as a result of the ban on medications and imported devices.

One day in 2003, when I was a couple months old, US soldiers barged into my family home and took seven of my uncles and my father and my grandfather to Abu Ghraib prison. They were held there for some time. They were tortured, electrocuted, sexually assaulted, whipped. My father lost an eye.

My father and my uncles were released after several years and pardoned. They were told, “Oops! Sorry, wrong name.”


Bully Boy /bush came out from under his rock last week.  


AP offers, "The 75-year-old former president jokingly blamed the mistake on his age, shaking his head and correcting himself, drawing laughter from the crowd."  It's not a laughing matter.  Arwa Mahdawi  (GUARDIAN) notes:


Tell you what, I’m not laughing. Nor are a lot of Arabs. I don’t think it’s possible to overstate the depravity and horror of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Iraqi prisoners of war – many of whom were innocent people who were arrested by mistake – were violently tortured by US and UK troops. Hundreds of thousands of civilians died. The entire country was left in ruins. And the suffering continued long after the occupying forces left. The US military’s frequent use of munitions containing depleted uranium in Iraq, along with military hardware abandoned by troops, poisoned the environment and the population. Even now babies are being born with severe birth defects linked to the invasion. “Doctors are regularly encountering anomalies in babies that are so gruesome they cannot even find precedents for them,” the lead researcher of a 2019 study said. “The war has spread so much radiation here that, unless it is cleaned up, generations of Iraqis will continue to be affected.” So, yeah, please excuse me if I don’t find Bush’s slip-up particularly funny.

You know what’s even less funny? The fact there has been zero accountability for any of the architects of the Iraq war. Sure, some of the military personnel were convicted of crimes relating to torture of Abu Ghraib prisoners, but the people who were really in charge have faced no consequences whatsoever. Bush himself has had his reputation whitewashed in recent years; he has transformed himself into a cuddly grandpa figure who paints and pontificates about “unity”. As for his coterie of enablers, most of them went on to high-paying jobs and prestigious positions.

Before anyone starts making excuses for the architects of the Iraq war (“how could they have known?”), let me remind you that it was clear from the start that the war – and the flimsy weapons of mass destruction excuse used to justify it – was a sham. In February 2003 millions of people, including myself, in at least 650 cities around the world took to the streets to protest the US-led invasion of Iraq. It was the largest one-day global protest in history. Ordinary people could see the war was immoral and probably illegal – and yet there is a concerted effort in some quarters to rewrite the war as a deeply regrettable lapse in judgment that nobody at the time could really have been expected to get right.


To add insult to injury, the US has not yet issued an apology to Iraqis, and almost two decades after the invasion, some — at least those in Bush's audience on Wednesday — are still laughing about it."  Chip Gibbons (JACOBIN) advises, "If Bush is not going to stand trial for war crimes, he should at the very least have the decency to avoid appearing in public as a moral authority on unjustified invasions. Instead, as Bush’s recent gaffe and his audience’s clear amusement at his misstatement demonstrate, neither Bush nor US society has ever really reckoned with the consequences of his imperialist crusade."  I remember bumping into Chip all over the country back when he was helping to push back against the hideous PATRIOT ACT.  Just tossing that out there because when I saw the byline, I smiled remembering many interesting conversations over the years.  I look forward to reading his upcoming book on the FBI.  At WSWS, Patrick Martin notes:


The World Socialist Web Site and the Socialist Equality Party opposed the Iraq war from the very beginning, condemning the support for the war, not only by the Bush administration and the Republican right, but by the bulk of the Democratic Party. It was the leading Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, then-Senator Joe Biden, who played a central role in pushing through the Authorization for the Use of Military Force that provided a congressional rubber stamp for the illegal invasion.

In a series of articles in May 2007, the WSWS summed up the devastation inflicted by the US conquest and occupation of Iraq, branding it “sociocide,” the deliberate destruction of an entire society, and pointing out that under both Bush and his father, American imperialism had carried out crimes of the type previously associated only with fascist regimes. We wrote:

Iraq, once among the most advanced countries of the region, has been reduced, in terms of basic economic and social indices, to the level of the poorest countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

What is involved is the systematic destruction of an entire society through the unleashing of violence and criminality on a scale not seen since Hitler’s armies ravaged Europe in the Second World War.

Less than a third of the population nationwide has access to clean drinking water, and just 19 percent have a functioning sewage system. Both the water and sewage systems were damaged heavily by US bombardments in the 1991 Persian Gulf War and the 2003 invasion…

On average, Iraqis receive only eight hours of electricity a day, with even worse conditions in Baghdad, where most of the capital’s seven million people get only six hours or less of service daily.

We noted the 150 percent increase in the infant mortality rate from 1990 to 2005. Half of all Iraq’s children were suffering from malnutrition; only one-third were attending school. Half of Iraq’s doctors had fled the country. Per capita GDP was half that of 1980, and Iraq’s state-owned industries had been privatized and shut down, with the loss of half a million jobs, by an ideologically motivated campaign of the Iraq occupation authority set up by the US in Baghdad. The WSWS concluded:

The premeditated destruction of an entire society carried out on the basis of lies and in pursuit of the financial and geo-strategic interests of America’s ruling elite constitutes a war crime of historic proportions, punishable under the same statutes and on the basis of the same principles as those used to condemn leading figures of Germany’s Third Reich at Nuremberg.

Those responsible for launching the war in Iraq consist not merely of the right-wing Republican cabal grouped around Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. They include also the Democrats who enabled this war, the heads of US energy conglomerates and finance houses that hoped to profit from it and the chiefs of the media monopolies that promoted it. All of these layers, constituting the political establishment and financial aristocracy of the United States, are guilty of the same fundamental crime for which the Nazis were prosecuted nearly 60 years ago: the plotting and waging of a war of aggression. It is from this principal crime that all the multiple crimes and horrors inflicted upon the Iraqi people have flowed.

It is not a matter of justifying Putin’s reactionary attack on Ukraine to point out that the war he launched has produced nothing like the level of destruction inflicted by the US in Iraq.



The Iraqi people suffered and continue to suffer and their country remains occupied.  Millions of dollars, billions, have gone to destruction.  The country is no betr off but the real point of war is never to make lives better.  Chris Hedges (SCHEERPOST) explains how there's always money for war:


The United States, as the near unanimous vote to provide nearly $40 billion in aid to Ukraine illustrates, is trapped in the death spiral of unchecked militarism. No high speed trains. No universal health care. No viable Covid relief program. No respite from 8.3 percent inflation. No infrastructure programs to repair decaying roads and bridges, which require $41.8 billion to fix the 43,586 structurally deficient bridges, on average 68 years old. No forgiveness of $1.7 trillion in student debt. No addressing income inequality. No program to feed the 17 million children who go to bed each night hungry. No rational gun control or curbing of the epidemic of nihilistic violence and mass shootings. No help for the 100,000 Americans who die each year of drug overdoses. No minimum wage of $15 an hour to counter 44 years of wage stagnation. No respite from gas prices that are projected to hit $6 a gallon.

The permanent war economy, implanted since the end of World War II, has destroyed the private economy, bankrupted the nation, and squandered trillions of dollars of taxpayer money. The monopolization of capital by the military has driven the US debt to $30 trillion, $ 6 trillion more than the US GDP of $ 24 trillion. Servicing this debt costs $300 billion a year. We spent more on the military, $ 813 billion for fiscal year 2023, than the next nine countries, including China and Russia, combined.

We are paying a heavy social, political, and economic cost for our militarism. Washington watches passively as the U.S. rots, morally, politically, economically, and physically, while China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, and other countries extract themselves from the tyranny of the U.S. dollar and the international Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a messaging network banks and other financial institutions use to send and receive information, such as money transfer instructions. Once the U.S. dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency, once there is an alternative to SWIFT, it will precipitate an internal economic collapse. It will force the immediate contraction of the U.S. empire shuttering most of its nearly 800 overseas military installations. It will signal the death of Pax Americana.

Democrat or Republican. It does not matter. War is the raison d’├ętat of the state. Extravagant military expenditures are justified in the name of “national security.” The nearly $40 billion allocated for Ukraine, most of it going into the hands of weapons manufacturers such as Raytheon Technologies, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing, is only the beginning. Military strategists, who say the war will be long and protracted, are talking about infusions of $4 or $5 billion in military aid a month to Ukraine. We face existential threats. But these do not count. The proposed budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in fiscal year 2023 is $10.675 billion. The proposed budget for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is $11.881 billion. Ukraine alone gets more than double that amount. Pandemics and the climate emergency are afterthoughts. War is all that matters. This is a recipe for collective suicide.





The following sites updated: