Tuesday, August 08, 2017

I shouldn't forget Grenfell

I'm saying "I."

Not "we."

I shouldn't.  Maybe you haven't.  I have.

If you know me at all you know I'm lazy and a procrastinator.

Did you notice that I'm about 2 months overdue for another album review?

I realized that over the weekend and said, "Oh, I'll do one Sunday."

Did you see one Sunday?


Maybe next time.

But Grenfell was economic terrorism.

The people were the victims of terrorism.

I wish I knew -- never mind.  Judith N. Shklar.  There are misfortunes and injustices, she explained.

Grenfell was not misfortune.

It was an injustice.

People suffer because their lives weren't judged to be as important.

Things were done that shouldn't have been and wouldn't have been in a place for the wealthy.

So here's WSWS' latest on Grenfell:

A Socialist Equality Party team has been campaigning in Ladbroke Grove, ahead of the public meeting, Grenfell Fire—Social Murder: A crime against the working class.
Munira is a survivor of the fire, who escaped from Grenfell Tower with her husband and children. She lived there for nine years, while her husband and their three children were all born there. Describing how she escaped, Munira was critical of the emergency services’ advice for residents to stay in the burning tower:
“It was around 12:30 a.m. when we left,” she said. “We have lost a lot of people. They were told, ‘Stay, we are coming to help.’ I called my friend at nearly quarter to three [more than two hours after the fire started] and I told her to calm down. Some people were told by the fire brigade they were going to bring a mask. If you are going to rescue people who don’t you carry a mask with you? By telling them to go down and come back up again, how many lives are gone?”
Asked who she held responsible for the fire and loss of life, she said: “The main people are Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) Council. We were against all this [putting flammable cladding on the towers exterior]. We had meetings and signed petitions. We said no, but they didn't listen. They just went ahead and did it. We are signing a petition calling for all the cabinet to resign. They should be punished; they shouldn’t do this to anybody else.
“We said we were not happy about the cladding. What is it for, to look good? They built a new school [with similar cladding]; they wanted to match with it.”
Residents faced major problems with the lifts that “used to break down every day. My friend lived on the 23rd floor with two kids. She had to walk up and down every two or three days. She had to do that with the buggy and a baby. I would call the school and say I can’t come in because the lift has broken down. They kept doing that for the past two years when they were doing the refurbishment.”
Munira lost many friends in the inferno: “I know about 15 families—husbands, wives, grandparents, children, aunties, about 30 people. A friend’s dad died in the lift, but the coroner said he threw himself out of the window. It was on the 18th floor. There was a family of five, but they have only found one body. Where are the rest of the bodies?
“We pray that whoever has done this will get punished. We know they did it intentionally to get rid of us. I am saying this because since I got married, not one single day have we called the council for benefits or anything. My husband works day and night to provide for us. The only thing we get is for my father, but he worked in this country for years.”

Again, my finger is pointing at me -- for all I know, all of you have kept up with Grenfell.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Tuesday, August 8, 2017.  Attention focuses on a bombing the killed several militia members.

14 years and counting -- how's that war on Iraq 'improving' lives?

This is how Iraqis live now.Listen to Al Sharqiya News in Iraq.

That's 'progress.'  14 years later and counting.

Does anyone remember the Iraq war and how well that worked out?

Do you remember, Val, that the Iraq War continues?

Valerie Plame was at war with her own agency.  The CIA is often at war with itself.  It's probably the only thing that's prevented its complete takeover of America.  Val stomped her feet and made a spectacle of herself.

For those who don't remember, she was outed by the administration of Bully Boy Bush.

For Val, the whole issue is Val.

She's never really been able to speak to Iraq, of the ongoing war, of the dead.

But damned if she couldn't hop in a convertible to pose for VANITY FAIR.

Vanity's not fair and Valerie Plame's self-obsession goes a long ways towards explaining why the United States is still in Iraq.

A book deal, Naomi Watts playing her in a movie, and Val's hungry ego has still not been satisfied.  Some day, it may be and she may get around to actually talking about Iraqis.

The Iraq War hasn't helped the people of Iraq.

Now it's even hurting the thugs in the militias.

Most infamous for their attacks on Sunnis and their publicly professed loyalty to Iran, Iraq's Shi'ite militias number a few less as a result of a US action.

XINHUA reports:

A paramilitary Hashd Shaabi unit said Tuesday the U.S. forces pounded its posts near the border with Syria and killed dozens of its militants, warning that the attack will not go without punishment.
The U.S. forces carried out "heavy bombardment on Monday morning on the posts of Sayyd al-Shuhadaa Brigades in Akashat area near the border with Syria, leaving large number of martyrs and wounded fighters," the unit said in a statement emailed to Xinhua.

It said that group "holds the U.S. forces the responsibility for the consequences of the action. We declare that it will not go without punishment."

AHLULBAYT NEWS AGENCY also notes the statement from the militia:

The “criminal forces” of the US heavily pounded the positions of Sayyid al-Shuhada Brigades along the common border between Iraq and Syria which led to the martyrdom and injuring of a large number of fighters, the statement said.

“We declare that this move will not go unpunished,” the statement read. 

ANADOLU AGENCY counts 30 militia members dead and eighty more injured in the bombing.  BBC NEWS also goes with 30 dead but counts eighty-five injured.

BBC also notes the denial from coalition forces that they were involved in the bombing:

Allegations of strikes vs. Popular Mobilization Forces near - border are INACCURATE. No Coalition strikes there ATT

PRESS TV adds, "In the statement, the brigades called on the Iraqi government to launch an extensive investigation into the incident, while noting that the US’ actions will not remain unanswered."

Some feel there are additional motives behind whatever happened:

And here's another view on social media:

created ISIS.US sponsors, arms, defends ISIS. US acts as ISIS's airforce, bombing anti-ISIS Iraqi Shi'a fighters

The status of the militias is being debated in Iraq.  Prime Minister Hayder al-Abadi has made them part of the military.  Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr has stated they need to be under government control or disbanded.

Among the reasons some people distrust the militias?

(A) Many have publicly stated they answer to Iran.

(B) They are known for War Crimes.


Turning to politics, last month Ammar al-Hakim left the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq to form a new party National Wisdom.  Now Ammar is stating that creating the new party does not mean leaving ISCI.  IRAN FRONT PAGE reports:

However, in an interview with the Mehr News Agency, he said the formation of the new party does not mean breaking relationship with the members of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.
“Since 2009 and after the relative failure of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq in the political arena of the country, we came to the conclusion that the structure and approaches of the council need some sort of reform in order to restore its position according to the facts in the Iraqi society,” the Iraqi politician added.
“This approach has been discussed for a long time at the higher levels of the council, but for some reasons it was not accepted by some colleagues, and finally we decided to form a new party.”
Hakim also pointed out that the management of the new conditions in which the young generation of Iraq came into existence need to be reviewed.
“We are trying to take a fresh look at how to attract more of this generation,” he added.

“There is not going to be any negative competition between us and our friends from other groups, especially in the Supreme Council. I am the same Seyyed Ammar, but we should take into consideration that getting updated in the field of political action needs change in some approaches, especially in relation to the new generation of Iraqi society,” Hakim noted.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley and BLACK AGENDA REPORT -- updated:

  •  19 hours ago

  • iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq Iraq