Monday, September 26, 2022

Hey look, Stevie, it's Cher doing in 1969 what you think you just did this year

Poor Stevie Nicks.  She's trying to be woman-positive but erasing a woman in the process.  ROLLING STONE reports:


Stevie Nicks has dropped a cover of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” putting her own witchy spin on the classic Sixties protest anthem.

Nicks recorded the song earlier this year in Los Angeles with producer Greg Kurstin, longtime guitarist and session legend Waddy Wachtel, and backing vocalist Sharon Celani. Her rendition contains the spirit of the original — which Stephen Stills wrote about the Sunset Strip curfew riots in Los Angeles — while her husky vocals contribute a current feel.

“I’m so excited to release my new song this Friday,” Nicks wrote on social media earlier this week. “It’s called ‘For What It’s Worth’ and it was written by Stephen Stills in 1966. It meant something to me then, and it means something to me now. I always wanted to interpret it through the eyes of a woman — and it seems like today, in the times that we live in — that it has a lot to say…”



Problem?  A woman interpreted already.  And did so years ago.  3613 JACKSON HIGHWAY is the album.  It's the first track on that 1969 album by . . . Cher.

Nice try, Stevie.  Please play again.

Here's Cher singing the song.


Maybe Stevie missed the album?  But she did watch Glenn Campbell's TV show.  She's talked about that in interviews.  Oh, look, here's Cher performing "For What It's Worth" on Glenn's TV show.




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


Monday, September 26, 2022.  The western media gloms on one death while ignoring another and Iraq may be close to ending the ongoing political stalemate.


Over at COMMON DREAMS, Julia Conley wants you to know that US 'progressives' like AOC are up in arms and expressing 'solidarity' with some protesting in Iran over the death of 21-year-old Mahsa Amini.  It's great Julia Conley that you've finally discovered a Kurd -- it's not as though you've written of any Kurds in Iraq despite the fact that they are being terrorized by the government of Turkey.  In fact, here's RUDAW reporting yesterday on the latest Turkish attack:


Akre’s acting mayor Shaaban Barwari told Rudaw that alleged Turkish warplanes had struck villages in Dinarte district at 11:30pm on Saturday.

A local villager from Amedi, Ramzi Sargali, told Rudaw’s Nasser Ali that Turkish aircraft has been bombing the area for almost three months and while no casualties have been inflicted, it is causing fear among the local population. 

Turkey launched its latest operation, dubbed Claw-Lock, on April 18 targeting Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) positions in the mountainous areas of Metina, Zap, Avashin, and Basyan in Duhok province. The operation is the fourth stage of Ankara’s Claw operations against the PKK in the Kurdistan Region, with the first stage starting in 2019. 


If you were a sentient human being, you might ask why this death, of all deaths, is getting so much play but that would require a brain -- wouldn't it, Julia?


And a brain might mean you'd ask why members of the US Congress are so up in arms over a death in Iran that has nothing to do with the US while they ignore -- as does Julia Conley -- the death of a 15-year-old girl in Iraq last week, a death that said to be the fault of the US military.  You'd think members of the US Congress would be asking what happened in Iraq.


At INSURGENTE.ORG, Hafsa Kara-Mustapha notes that the Iranian death is beloved by western media because it takes place in a country that doesn't "toe the Western line" and that an investigation was launched in Iran and that Iranian officials offered condolences to the family.  The coverage, Hafsa notes, seems created to "inspire riots in resource-rich countreis" and that we've seen that before.  Meanwhile, 15-year-old Zainab Essam al-Jaszli was shot last week near Camp Bucca in Baghdad by US forces without any Western media reporting on the murder "demonstrating once again that it is not about human rights."


 Zainab Essam al-Khazali, as we noted Friday, "That's a name the US media can't seem to find.  But others are noting her name."  Including Haid Nasrallah:


Is anyone talking about Zainab Essam Al-Khazali? the 15 year old Iraqi girl who was shot and killed by US forces in Iraq yesterday. She wasn’t killed by Iran so her story does not matter to western media.
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All these days later, the US media tries to maintain a silence.  The excessively -- yes, that is the term -- cover the death of an Iranian female, Mahsa Amini, while ignoring the death of an Iraqi girl.  When I saw the interview on that with Amy Goodman, it just gave me an uneasy feeling.  A little too pat, a little to planted, a little too hypocritical.  It was Thursday afternoon when I saw that segment and I already knew about Zainab.  A death in Iran was breaking all over the media but this Iraqi death, which is the US is said to be responsible for, no one was talking about it.


As we noted Saturday, "hypocrisy" is the term foreign outlets were using to describe the US media silence. Sunday, the hypocrisy continues.  


With one exception, at WSWS, Dominic Gustavao reports on Zainab:


A teenage girl was shot dead by American soldiers as they conducted live-fire drills at the Victoria military base near Baghdad International Airport on September 20. 

Fifteen year-old Zainab Essam Majed al-Khazali, a student, was working with her father on their family farm when a bullet struck her in the head. Her funeral procession was held the next day. 

The Iraqi Security Media Cell promised an investigation into the murder, which it initially described as a “random shooting.” However a statement given by Iraq’s security forces, quoted by The Cradle, confirmed the culpability of the US military: “The killing of Zainab Essam Majed coincided with the presence of training operations for the American forces … the bullet that was taken out of the girl’s head confirms that it is from one of the weapons used by the American forces in the embassy and airport.” 

The shooting has provoked widespread outrage, with locals demanding to know why American soldiers were holding live-fire exercises near residential areas. On September 22, Iraqi legislator Ahmed Taha al-Rubaie, from the Basra province, called upon the Baghdad government to summon the American ambassador and present her with a formal note of protest, along with taking legal measures to hold those responsible for the murder accountable. 

In a post on Twitter, Rubaie wrote, “Even though two days have passed since the teenage girl was killed by a bullet fired during US military exercises near the Victoria base northwest of Baghdad, the US Embassy has not bothered to issue any official apology for the unjust incident.”

He went on, “The death, which occurred as a result of the use of live rounds during military drills near residential neighborhoods, exhibits an outrageous disregard for the Iraqi blood and a blatant disrespect for the country's sovereignty.”

Qais al-Khazali, leader of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, a Shi’ite militia group that is part of the Popular Mobilization Forces, demanded on Twitter that the government “present a detailed report to the Iraqi people, explaining … this cowardly incident, and how a military base can exist on Iraqi soil in clear violation of the Iraqi constitution … and sovereignty.”

It remains unclear whether the shooting was intentional, or the result of US troops recklessly firing off live ammunition near populated urban areas. In either case, it demonstrates the criminal indifference of the US occupiers towards the lives of the people whom they “liberated.” It also exposes the cynicism and hypocrisy of the leaders of the US and the other imperialist powers as they invoke concern for “human rights” to justify the use of militarism. 


As Dominic notes, both THE NEW YORK TIMES and THE WASHINGTON POST have used the same person (Karim Sadjadpour) to weigh in on the death of the female in Iran while ignoring the murder of the Iraqi girl.  And, for the record, Karim is not the same person Amy Goodman brought on to cover the Iranian death.  Amy went with former VOICE OF AMERICA correspondent Negar Mortazavi.

This morning, Kumail Abbas Tweets:


A 15-year-old Iraqi girl was killed by US on Tuesday 20th September, identified as Zainab Essam Majed al-Khazali. The murder of the teen by US forces has gained little to no coverage in Western media. #zainabessamalkhazali #iraq #USA #fullajah
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Ijaz Shigri Tweets:

Why #ZainabEssam, who was killed by the firing of American soldiers in Iraq, could not get the attention that #MahsaAmini's death got? Because Mahsa's death is in the interest of America and the West, and the case of Zainab Essam is directly related to American brutality.
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Meanwhile, in an article noting government protests may resume October 1st -- this would be The October Revolution, not Moqtada's cult -- THE NATIONAL's Sinan Mahmoud reports:


Meanwhile, the Iran-backed Co-ordination Framework is close to announce a coalition with Kurds and Sunnis that could not only expedite the government formation process, but also provoke the powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr, who has boycotted the political process.

The announcement was planned for Sunday, but was postponed.

Fadi Al Shimmari, a politician affiliated to CF, said the agreement was finalised late on Sunday with two main Kurdish parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the Sunni Azam and Sovereignty coalition as well as the Christian Babylonian party.



The following sites updated:





Saturday, September 24, 2022

New Barbra Streisand album

There might finally be a Streisand album this decade (and last) worth listening to.  Might be.  AP reports:




A series of 1962 performances by Barbra Streisand at a Manhattan nightclub before she became a superstar have been remastered and will be released this fall.

The performances were intended to become Streisand’s first album, but instead many of the songs were redone as studio recordings and released as her Grammy-winning self-titled debut album in 1963.

Streisand kept the recordings in her personal collection and she approved the release after engineer Jochem van der Saag used technology to improve their quality, according to a news release. The nightclub's acoustics were not meant for professional recording, but modern techniques allowed van der Saag to separate Streisand's vocals from the instrument sounds.


That was Barbra's debut album that then got scrapped.  It's why she had such a small budget on her first released album -- THE BARBRA STREISAND ALBUM -- they had spent a large part of the budget already due to the live recording over several nights.  The first album is considered a classic.  I don't consider it a classic.  She does some nice work on it.  THE SECOND BARBRA STREISAND ALBUM is her first classic to my ears.  First of all, she's got better arrangements, her singing is even more passionate, what she does with Harold Arlen's great songs and she records an original -- which she didn't on her first album -- written just for her that has gone on to become a classic "Gotta Move."  She needed a fast number for her act and Peter Matz -- her conductor and arranger -- wrote it for her.  

After that?  I will easily put both FUNNY GIRLs on her classics list -- the Broadway album and the film soundtrack (I like the film soundtrack more because I love her version of "My Man").  And that's really it for the sixties.

I will put STONEY END on her classics and I'm fine with BARBRA JOAN STREISAND but I don't really care for the bulk of the 70s output with the exception of WET.  Yes, it has her biggest hit ever -- the duet with Donna Summer ("Enough Is Enough") -- but that's not why.  Songs like "Niagara"  are just spellbinding. "Kiss Me In The Rain"?  Has she ever been more open and hopeful in a song?  "On Rainy Afternoons" should have been a single and it should have gone on to be the most played song on radio.  With that huge number one duet, the rest of the album got overwhelmed.

And before someone e-mails, "It was only number one for two weeks and 'The Way We Were' and 'Women In Love' were number one for three weeks," stop.  It's her biggest single.  Yes, it made pop and adult contemporary charts like her other numbers ones.  Unlike the other numbers ones, it also made it to number one on the dance charts and to number twenty on the R&B charts -- her only single to chart on the R&B charts.  It had huge cross over appeal and was her biggest hit.  A lot of that credit goes to Donna Summer who was coming off three number one pop hits -- "MacArthur Park," "Hot Stuff" and "Bad Girls" -- the last two and the duet would give her three numbers one pop hits in 1979 alone -- and she'd also go into the top ten with "Dim All The Lights" (number two on pop) and "On The Radio" (number five).  So 1879 saw five huge hits on the pop chart for Donna.  She's responsible for at least half the success of that duet.

In 1980, she releases GUILTY and you have to put that on her classic list.  The soundtrack to YENTL belongs there.  Some would put THE BROADWAY ALBUM on the list of classics.  I wouldn't.  I really have grown less impressed with it over time -- due to the sound quality -- not her vocals, but the production.  After YENTL, the only classic album I think she's done is LOVE IS THE ANSWER and, of the two versions, I prefer the version with just Barbra and a quartet backing her (the deluxe edition is two discs -- the first is Barbra in the studio with a ton of musicians, the second is her doing the same songs but with just a quartet backing her).




Anyway, I've shared before that I don't think she'll be releasing many more studio albums of current recordings -- WALLS may be the last one and, if so, what an awful album to go out on.


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


Friday, September 23, 2022.  Did US forces  kill a 15-year-old girl in Iraq this week, does no one get insult humor when Whoopi Goldberg practices it, what MSNBC program brought on a guest to praise Joe Biden and the Democrats this week and failed to disclose that Joe Biden has nominated the guest's wife for a post? 


Starting with THE VIEW and Whoopi Goldberg due to e-mails.  Disclosure, I know Whoopi and she's much more reasoned and reasonable in real life.  As am I.  (I hope.)  But THE VIEW is a morning food fight.  We don't get to see the best of Whoopi on that program.  James Crowley (HOLLYWOOD LIFE) reports:


Whoopi Goldberg began a segment with an explanation for a joke she made at Republican Senator Lindsey Graham’s expense during a discussion about abortion rights and marriage equality with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on The View on Thursday, September 22. After a commercial break, the moderator defended her comment. “It was a joke. Nothing more than that,” she explained.

The press secretary had referenced Graham’s recent proposal for a nationwide abortion ban, and she warned that such a bill would set a precedent for other issues. “It’s not just abortion. It’s going to be on marriage. It’s going to be on contraception. It’s going to be on our privacy,” she said, before mentioning that the South Carolina senator had made conflicting comments before proposing the bill. “Senator Graham had said—maybe about a month ago, early August—that he believes when it comes to marriage, when it comes to abortion, it’s for states to decide. So, Senator Graham, what changed?”

Whoopi responded to the question with a quip at Graham’s expense. “Maybe he’s getting married. Do it quick, because I know people are fooling around with our marriage rights,” she said. While the co-host didn’t make any outright statements about the senator’s sexuality, some interpreted the comment as such. An editor for Media Research Center and conservative outlet Newsbusters Nicholas Fondacaro accused Whoopi of “dabbling in homophobic bigotry,” on Twitter. “This plays to the smear that Graham is closeted,” he wrote.

When the show returned from a commercial break, Whoopi explained that she wasn’t making a serious statement. “I was doing what I do as a comic. Sometimes I make jokes,” she said. “I just got a whole conversation about people misunderstanding the joke. I mean, okay. I should probably never do this show again if this is what it’s coming to. It was a joke, guys.”




I've called Whoopi out here before and have no problem doing so again.  However, I don't think she did anything wrong.


I know Lindsey as well.  And I know his record.  (I'm not saying anything about his personal life.)  He is strongly opposed to marriage equality.  He supported DOMA.  He's made insane statements about marriage equality and about gay people.

Whoopi did a joke.  It was an insult.  She was joking that he should get married quick because the  life-long bachelor Lindsey wouldn't be able to marry a man for much longer if he had his way.

It's a joke.  "The joke is that he's gay!"

Is that what she said?

I didn't see that.

He is rude and evil to gay people and Whoopi insulted him.

Insult comedy.

Has no one heard of Don Rickles?

Whoopi especially has a defense because she actually is a comedian.  That's where she came up.  And it's insult comedy.  

It's not homophobia.  Whoopi supports gay rights.  Whoopi's not homophobic.  She did a same-sex kiss with Demi Moore in GHOST, she did a same-sex kiss with Margaret Avery in THE COLOR PURPLE, she played Jane in BOYS ON THE SIDE, go down the list.  And that may not seem like much today, but back then people were saying no repeatedly -- Patti Labelle was not the only woman who turned down the part of Shug over the same-sex kiss.  Patti's gay fan base, which is all she really has left, stayed mute and disappointed in the 80s, they would not put up with it today (and they shouldn't have then -- when your a performer whose base is over 50% gay, you either appreciate your base or you retire).  So this was not homophobia on Whoopi's part.

Lindsey thinks there's something wrong with people who are gay.  He's the one with the homophobia.  Whoopi played on that with her insult comedy.

On comedy, there are --

Jon Stewart.

I like Jon and I know Jon.  He's done many wonderful things.  His time at THE DAILY SHOW . . .

Love him but sometimes I wish he'd never done that (sometimes I wish that even more than I wish he hadn't had his scenes cut out of FIRST WIVES CLUB).  

THE DAILY SHOW made our comedy and our 'news' and public affairs programs worse, much worse.

Jon is a comedian.  He could (and can) do comedy.  The popularity of THE DAILY SHOW made THE WASHINGTON POST and Dana Milbank think anyone could do comedy and politics.  Dana's MAD DOG BITCH 'comedy' bit about Hillary Clinton should have ended that misguided notion for good but it did not.  

So we get various talking heads who are not comedians and have never done stand up hosting 'news' programs (talk shows) and thinking they're funny.  They mug, they joke, they do everything but news.  

They're like local 'news' teams.  You'd think they'd be thrilled to be journalists and take their occupation seriously but they think anyone can tell a joke and, as anyone who's watched MSNBC or FOX NEWS knows, many people cannot tell a joke and should not try.

Other comedians can do things similar to Jon but, as Trevor Noah proves nightly, there's only one Jon Stewart.  

Again, Whoopi offered insult humor.  If you didn't like the joke, you didn't like it.  That's your right.  But she was not being homophobic.  She was not saying 'gay is bad' -- she was taking Lindsey's anti-gay position and mocking it by joking he might marry a man.  Being a comedian does not give Whoopi a get out jail card if she's not joking.  "She's a comic!," for example, does not excuse her statements on the Holocaust earlier this year.  She was not joking in those comments.  Here she was clearly joking.  (And, if had not been clear, I'd still have given her the benefit of the doubt on this because Whoopi has faults like we all do but homophobia is not one of them.)


Media notes.  The ridiculous Chris Matthews was on MSNBC's MORNING JOE this week.  Why?  He was let go by MSNBC -- fired -- for cause.  More to the point, he was there to talk up Democrats and Joe Biden yet I never heard the needed disclosure from him or from the on airs at MORNING JOE:  "Joe has nominated my wife for a post."  Does disclosure not matter anymore to those who pretend to be journalists?

September 19th, the White House announced a series of nominations including this one:

Kathleen Cunningham Matthews, of Maryland, to be a Member of the International Broadcasting Advisory Board for a term expiring January 1, 2023.  (New Position)



That's Chris' wife of 42 years.  I'd say that disclosure's needed.  The media is supposed to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.  So pig boy Matthews shouldn't have been brought on for that reason.  He was brought on and Joe and Mika and company didn't feel a disclosure was necessary. The President of the United States is nominating your wife for a post, I'd say you need to disclose that before you begin uttering your hogwash spin.  I'd also argue that if what Chris did to women was wrong -- and it was wrong -- he shouldn't be invited back on MSNBC.  



Still on media, congratulations to Jimmy Dore who finally discovered African-American women and managed to have two on a segment.  It would be great if he weren't using them to hide behind and he grasped that African-American women can and do weigh in on war, the economy, peace, healthcare and so much more.  But at least he had them on his show to defend himself against women of color.  An e-mail said my calling him out "made" that happen.  I don't think so.  I do think his attacks on Nina Turner hurt and so now, when he wants to attack women of color, he'll bring on women of color to hide behind.  

Zainab Essam Majed.

That's a name the US media can't seem to find.  But others are noting her name.

Is anyone talking about Zainab Essam Al-Khazali? the 15 year old Iraqi girl who was shot and killed by US forces in Iraq yesterday. She wasn’t killed by Iran so her story does not matter to western media.
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Zainab Al-Khazali, 15, was killed by US forces in Iraq. Her killing has been widely ignored.
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U.S. occupation forces kill 15 year old Zainab Essam at Abu Ghraib, #Iraq, during a "live fire drill". She is the latest of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to fall victim to #Washington's extended slaughter in the Arab country. Press TV.
A fifteen-year-old girl named Zainab Essam Al Khazali was shot by the US military on September 20 near the infamous Camp Bucca in Baghdad but not even a single Western media outlet reported the murder, writes Hafsa Kara-Mustapha.
This is Zainab Essam Al-Khazali, a 15-year-old Iraqi high school student. She was killed in broad daylight by American troops during their military drill in Abu Ghraib area, west of Baghdad, while helping her father at their farm. Where is the outrage?
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The US, even after its "withdrawal" of troops from Iraq, still maintains several military bases on Iraqi soil and apparently holds "training" drills near residential areas using live ammunition. As a result, a 15-year-old girl was shot dead by US troops.



THE NEW ARAB explains:


Iraqi security forces have vowed to reveal the "truth" behind the death of a 15-year-old girl killed on Tuesday.

Zainab Essam Majed was allegedly killed following a "random shooting" in the Abu Ghraib district of Iraq, just west of Baghdad, which has sparked outrage over her death.

Pro-Iran and Tehran-linked media outlets and militias have blamed "American army drills" at a "US military camp" near Baghdad Airport.

It did not mention which location the alleged gunfire referred to the former US base Camp Victory, located close to Baghdad Airport, was handed over to the Iraqi government in 2008. 

This has not prevented pro-Tehran militias from blaming US forces for her death and comes after international outrage over the alleged killing of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, by Iranian morality police.


AL BAWABA covers the events here.  This is a scandal brewing.  No, the facts aren't known yet.  Could be US forces had nothing to do with the death.  Could be they are responsible.  But this is a scandal and, for some reason, the US press isn't interested.


Just like Joe Biden's apparently not interested in meeting with Mustafa al-Kadhimi, the caretaker prime minister of Iraq. Joe can dash off to London for the funeral of a woman who never attended the funerals of even one US president -- not the funeral of Harry Truman, not the funeral of Dwight Eisenhower, not the funeral of John F. Kennedy, not the funeral of Lyndon B. Johnson, not the funeral of Gerald Ford, not the funeral of Ronald Reagan, not the funeral of George H.W. Bush.  But Joe can scurry across the Atlantic to act like a royal subject.


This week, Joe wouldn't have even needed to take Air Force One to Baghdad in order to meet face-to-face with Mustafa because Mustafa came to the US to speak at the United Nations.  He's met with many leaders while in the US.  For example . . .


Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi met Thursday with the SecGen of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, in New York, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. During the meeting, they discussed the situation in Iraq and the government's efforts
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RUDAW reports on the above meeting here.  When not meeting with world leaders, Mustafa has been meeting the press.  


Mina al-Oraibi (THE NATIONAL) reports:

Asked about the solution to the political crisis, Mr Al Kadhimi said one word: “Dialogue”.

He went on to say that there are two options: either “we go towards a clash in a society that has tried all types of violence or an opportunity for dialogue”.

Since taking office more than two years ago, some of the primary concerns for Mr Al Kadhimi have been to limit the role of militias, reinforce security in the country and re-establish an effective state.

But two years in, he is dealing with emboldened militias and complete political gridlock. His critics say he should take a stand against the militias, but that could lead to more bloodshed.

“A thousand years of dialogue is better than one moment of killing,” he said.

He said it was high time to “divorce the violent past and a future built on true democratic values built not just on the ballot box votes”.

But dialogue takes time. Though time is not in Iraq’s favour with all the crises it faces, he said: “What other choice do we have?”


For those who've forgotten -- or never knew -- his term is over.  Iraq held elections October 12th.  There's still no prime minister or president.  Both positions have still not been determined all this time later.  Joe Biden likes to go on and on about respecting election results.  Well he could have stood next to Mustafa and addressed the press pointing to what is happening right now in Iraq when the results (and the process) are not respected.  We'll note one more thing from Mina's interview in a moment but this is from Andrew Parasiliti's report for AL-MONITOR:

Kadhimi came to office in May 2020, in the wake of the resignation of his predecessor, Adel Abdul Mahdi, who stepped down after security forces and armed groups killed over 500 anti-government protesters between October and December 2019.   

The popular Tishreen movement, and the increased role of new independent parties in Iraq, is a sign of change, which Kadhimi takes to heart.

“My priorities are dialogue, then dialogue, then dialogue,” said the Iraqi prime minister. 

The government deadlock occurs in the wake of some noteworthy achievements in foreign policy and regional integration over the past two years.

Kadhimi’s regional policies have included being “very clear with the Iranians, telling them that we want relations, a state-to-state relationship, and we want noninterference in internal affairs.” 

“Iran has friends in Iraq, and it is able to influence them and push them toward dialogue rather than using the weapons that they currently possess,” Kadhimi noted. “We need a good relationship and we currently do have a good relationship with Iran.” 

  
Back to Mina's report, we'll note this section:

Another challenge is that of the disappeared in Iraq, some of whom were taken under the pretext of “fighting terrorism” at the height of sectarian tension several years ago, and others who were kidnapped during the protests of October 2019.

“Investigations are ongoing regarding the disappeared … we have been able to find those who took protesters [of October 2019] and last week we arrested a man who worked in one of the government entities and who played a large role in the kidnapping and assassination of protesters,” Mr Al Kadhimi said.

He also said that one of the men responsible for killing analyst Hisham Al Hashimi in the summer of 2020 has been arrested.

As for those who have been kidnapped, particularly from Sunni-majority provinces, Mr Al Kadhimi did not have clear numbers of how many there are.

“This matter has to do with some political parties who are part of the political process … some use this issue for corruption and political aims,” he said.

While refraining from going into detail, Mr Al Kadhimi made clear that there are political forces behind the disappearances of ordinary Iraqi citizens and that it is a matter his government is working to resolve.

We'll wind down with this from Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT):


Every day the republican governors of Texas, Greg Abbott, and Florida, Ron DeSantis, eagerly announce that they are sending people generically labeled as migrants to what are known as sanctuary cities. The corporate media report that thousands of people have been convinced to board buses to New York City or Washington DC or Sacramento or Chicago or even chartered flights to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. What they don’t explain is who these migrants are and why their status is highly problematic and a function of imperialist foreign policy.

Republicans rail against what are called sanctuary cities and imply that federal law doesn’t apply in these places or that undocumented people get some sort of special deal. However, the term sanctuary city doesn’t really mean very much. In New York it means that the city government and its employees will not assist in the deportation process. It does not mean that no one is ever deported or that federal rules don’t apply. Undocumented people are eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other benefits only under very limited circumstances and applying in a sanctuary city doesn’t change that fact. The media cannot seem to disseminate this easily provable information and people in this country are whipped into a frenzy over non-issues.

But there is a larger issue at work here that also goes unaddressed. The people taken to Martha’s Vineyard have made legal requests for asylum, which may be granted because of U.S. policy against their home country of Venezuela. Migrants from nations targeted by the U.S. are automatically eligible for asylum. In this hemisphere Venezuelans, Cubans, and Nicaraguans are likely to be granted asylum because the U.S. doesn’t like their governments. Ukrainians are favored because the U.S. supports their government’s role in attacking Russia and they are also given asylum when they arrive at the border. Some 100,000 Ukrainians have arrived here since February 2022.

Conversely, Haitians are routinely deported. Their country is in worse shape than any of the others mentioned and entirely because of U.S. interference in their sovereign rights. In 2010 the Obama administration even ordered Haiti to hold an election twice because they didn't like the initial result. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton famously pressured the Haitian government to lower the already low minimum wage there. Now the U.S. orders the current illegitimate president Ariel Henry to enact austerity programs that create misery. The U.S. coups, UN occupations and other interventions have made Haiti unlivable.

But the Joe Biden administration has no sympathy for Haitians fleeing the problems of U.S making. As of February 2022 more than 19,000 Haitians were deported in the first year of Biden’s term. That figure is more than three times the number deported in the last three administrations combined.

Not only do Abbott and DeSantis lie about who they are sending around the country, but no one in the media calls them out on their subterfuge. They are scoring points by claiming to send undocumented people when they are in fact sending people who under international law have a legal right to request asylum in the U.S.

The corporate media are complicit because they are joined at the hip with the Biden administration. Sloppy reporting is not a problem for them. Pointing out the inherent injustice of U.S. sanctions against Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela might damage precious connections and white house access. Any responsibility for informing readers and viewers doesn’t matter and journalistic ethics go out the window so that the media can be slipshod and curry favor simultaneously.





The following sites updated: