Friday, June 02, 2017



Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "A Gift From Hillary" went up earlier tonight.

Trina's "Panama (not the Van Halen song)" dealt with Poppy Bush and Manual Noriega.  I enjoyed it.  Also?  James McEnteer (DISSIDENT VOICE) writes:

At midnight, December 19, 1989, President George Herbert Walker Bush sent 26,000 U.S. troops – in the largest combat operation since Vietnam – to invade Panama, for the ostensible reason of bringing Manual Noriega to trial in the United States on drug charges and liberating Panama from his dictatorship. Mainstream American media broadcast the Bush claims without comment. Nor did they contest the official U.S. figure of 250 deaths from the attack.

Barbara Trent’s 1993 Oscar-winning documentary, The Panama Deception, revealed a very different reality in Panama. Her film shows the terrible physical destruction in Panama’s working-class neighborhoods. She discovered that the dead actually numbered between 2,500 and 4,000, along with 18,000 residents forced into detention centers and another 7,000 arrested without charges. She shows some of the mass graves where U.S. forces dumped thousands of bodies and interviewed detainees still warehoused in Panama years after the invasion. What Bush called a “liberation” she exposed as a gratuitous massacre.

Trent also uncovered the real reason for the invasion: to destroy the Panama Defense Forces (PDF), thus stopping the gradual turnover of the Panama Canal to the Panamanians, scheduled to begin ten days after the invasion. By the terms of the treaty, signed by President Carter in 1978, the United States would cede sovereignty of the canal to Panama unless Panama was incapable of defending it.

Having destroyed the PDF, the United States passed a law in 1991 to ensure continued U.S. presence in the Canal Zone on the grounds that Panama could not defend it. Chutzpah of a high order. Trent also learned that U.S. forces used the invasion to test new, unheard-of weapons on the Panamanian people, a kind of dress rehearsal for the Persian Gulf War the following year.

Trent’s powerful, important film is available to view in its entirety right now on YouTube. It’s a scathing indictment, not only of U.S. government hypocrisy and brutality, but of the complicit U.S. media that will not and does not question the deceptive, murderous practices of our government. PBS refused to screen Trent’s film, but as many Americans as possible need to see it. Its messages remain urgent.

Noriega hid in the Vatican embassy for several days after the Bush invasion, finally surrendering to spend the rest of his life in prison. For his cynicism and his vanity, using a massive invasion and the murder of thousands of Panamanians to distract from the economic problems of his presidency and dispel the onus of “the wimp factor,” George Herbert Walker Bush deserves to be remembered as a war criminal and an extreme violator of human rights, a disgrace to the presidency and to the species.

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

Friday, June 2, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, NATO sets up in Iraq, The Mosul Slog continues and much more.

Ishaan Tharoor (WASHINGTON POST) notes:

It's a truism that the world has grown numb to terrorist attacks outside the West. When the Islamic State set off a car bomb on Tuesday outside a popular ice cream shop in Baghdad, killing 13 people and wounding dozens more, no candlelight vigils took place in Western cities. No imperial monuments were lit up in Iraqi colors in European capitals. When militants set off a devastating explosion in Kabul's diplomatic enclave on Wednesday, killing at least 80 people and injuring hundreds more, no CNN anchor uploaded the flag of Afghanistan on social media. No pop stars organized solidarity concerts.

Part of the contrast, of course, is the extent to which we are used to hearing these stories. In the global news cycle, a bombing in Baghdad or a Taliban strike in Kabul is like a typhoon in the Pacific or a Sean Spicer gaffe. These things happen. If we pay attention at all, we do so fleetingly, grimace at the calamity and move on.

Tharoor blames lays out a lot of blame for why that is in his column but neglects the media.

How do you do that?

How do you ignore the media?

The media is how the information is transmitted.

And the media is the problem.

You need huge numbers to feel moved if all you have is numbers.

The ice cream parlor bombing found 1 victim worthy of naming -- an Australian girl.

Hope that she would be the first named proved false because she was the only one named.

The Iraqi victims were left unnamed, rendered invisible.

And this happens over and over.

Deaths matter because life matters.

If you're not conveying the life lost, you're not doing the job.

The media is not doing its job.

Iraq and Afghanistan are US wars but the press can't be bothered with them on most days.

That's a media issue.

Governorate tops casualty figures for May 2017 with 312 casualties (86 killed and 226 injured) -

Those deaths have been largely off the media radar.

The rare attention the western media gives to Iraq usually focuses on Mosul (and usually works overtime to paint that battle as a success).

The United Nations' count for May:

Baghdad, Iraq, 01 June 2017 – A total of 354 Iraqi civilians were killed and another 470 injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in Iraq in May 2017*, according to casualty figures recorded by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

The number of civilians killed in May (not including police) was 345, while the number of injured (not including police) was 446.

Of those figures, there were 160 civilians killed and 52 injured in Ninewa Governorate, 86 killed and 226 injured in Baghdad Governorate, and 13 killed and 41 injured in Basra.

According to information obtained by UNAMI from the Health Directorate in Anbar, the Governorate suffered a total of 136 civilian casualties (47 killed and 89 injured). Figures are updated until 31 May, inclusive.

Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Mr. Ján Kubiš, decried the terrorists’ continued targeting of civilians, before and in the early days of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

“The terrorist[Islamic State] is in its death throws in Mosul, but it has continued to stretch its wicked arm there and in other areas to relieve the military pressure on it, deliberately aiming to kill and maim the maximum number of civilians. [The Islamic State] has attacked with explosives a busy ice cream shop in Baghdad where families gathered at night after Iftar. The terrorists also hit on a street outside a government pension office in the capital, and struck as far as the city of Basra in the south.”

The SRSG lamented the loss of civilian lives as a result of the many bombings but he was confident that the carnage committed by [the Islamic State] will not derail the efforts of the Iraqis to rid their country of the terrorists.

“The people of Iraq are resolute in their drive to liberate their land. As painful as they are, these despicable attacks will serve to only increase this determination,” Mr. Kubiš said.

*CAVEATS: In general, UNAMI has been hindered in effectively verifying casualties in conflict areas. Figures for casualties from Anbar Governorate are provided by the Health Directorate and are noted in the May casualty report. Casualty figures obtained from the Anbar Health Directorate might not fully reflect the real number of casualties in those areas due to the increased volatility of the situation on the ground and the disruption of services. In some cases, UNAMI could only partially verify certain incidents. UNAMI has also received, without being able to verify, reports of large numbers of casualties along with unknown numbers of persons who have died from secondary effects of violence after having fled their homes due to exposure to the elements, lack of water, food, medicines and health care. Since the start of the military operations to retake Mosul and other areas in Ninewa, UNAMI has received several reports of incidents involving civilian casualties, which at times it has been unable to verify. For these reasons, the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum.

For more information, please contact: Mr. Samir Ghattas, Director of Public Information/Spokesperson
United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Phone: +964 790 193 1281, Email:
or the UNAMI Public Information Office:

It's interesting how they've not only dropped the count of the Iraqi forces at the orders of the Iraqi government but they've also adopted the language of the Baghdad-based government.

Even more interesting, they continue their 2014 practice of being unable to give reliable figures for Anbar.  Three years and counting.

The above undercount still manages to convey that this is an ongoing war and that -- though Mosul may steal the spotlight -- it going on across Iraq.

The Pentagon is asking for more a billion dollars in a multi-year commitment to the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), in a sign the U.S. role in Iraq and Syria is likely continue for the majority of President Donald Trump’s first term.
The budget provision is likely a facet of Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Trump’s overarching strategy to defeat the Islamic State. The new budget request will provide the ISF with hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons to help the ISF contain the fall out from the Islamic State’s defeat in the city of Mosul.

Fourteen years and counting, it's a never-ending war.

For any doubting that reality, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) announced yesterday:

 NATO marked an important step in its deepening relations with Baghdad on Thursday (1 June 2017), as Mr. Paul Smith of the United Kingdom assumed office as NATO Senior Civilian in Iraq. Mr. Smith will represent the NATO Secretary General and the Alliance at large, as NATO continues to help strengthen the Iraqi security institutions in their fight against terrorism. Mr. Smith succeeds Mr. Richard Froh of Canada, who served in the same capacity over the past months.
Mr. Smith will liaise with a range of interlocutors, including high-level Iraqi officials, representatives of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, the diplomatic community, and members of international organizations, including the United Nations and the European Union. He will also be at the helm of the NATO Training and Capacity Building presence in Iraq (NTCB-I). This includes a Core Team of eight civilian and military personnel as well as mobile training teams – provided by NATO nations – who travel to Iraq, as required, to provide specific courses agreed with the Iraqi authorities.
NATO’s support to Iraq is aimed at increasing Iraq’s training capacity in the medium and long term. It includes courses on countering improvised explosive devices, explosive ordnance disposal and de-mining; civil-military planning in support of operations; civil emergency planning; training in military medicine; technical maintenance of Soviet-era military equipment; and reform of the Iraqi security institutions.
NATO-Iraq relations are underpinned by an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme signed in September 2012, which provides a framework for political dialogue and tailored cooperation in mutually agreed areas, and a Defence Capacity Building Package for Iraq, agreed in 2015.
Prior to taking office as NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Iraq, Mr. Smith served in senior roles at the NATO Communications and Information Agency; Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe; and the UK Ministry of Defence.

When does it end?

United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) in Richmond VA in 4 weeks. Register now.


The UNAC conference is approaching fast

June 16-18, 2017
Greater Richmond Convention Center
403 North 3rd Street, Richmond, VA 23219

              Have you registered yet?  Register here:

                        UNAC's founding conference in 2010

This will be the place where the antiwar and social justice movement will come together this spring to discuss, map strategy and organize for the coming period.  Antiwar leaders from across the country and across the world will be in attendance including: Ajamu Baraka, Medea Benjamin, Glen Ford, Bernadette Ellorin, Bruce Gagnon, Lawrence Hamm, Jaribu Hill, Jonathan W. Hutto, Sr, Margaret Kimberley, Ray McGovern, David Swanson, Ann Wright, Kevin Zeese and many more.  For a more complete list of participants, please go to

See the conference web site:  http://www.unacconference2017.orgJoin and share the Facebook event:
To see a report on UNAC's last conference, please go here:

Day 226 of The Mosul Slog.

ALJAZEERA reports:

More than 140 civilians have been killed in less than a week while trying to flee western Mosul, according to military sources, as the Iraqi army seeks to close in on fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) in the armed group's last stronghold in Iraq.
According to the military on Thursday, most of the fatalities were women and children. 

The UNHCR's Andrej Mahecic notes:

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, urgently needs US$ 126 million to meet critical needs of vulnerable children, women and men displaced from, and returning to, Mosul, until the end of the year. A shortage of funds threatens to undermine our humanitarian response at this critical time. Heavy fighting is continuing, and UNHCR is expecting more large movements of people from the west of the city where the fighting is currently concentrated.
Iraqi authorities say that more than three quarters of a million Iraqis have been forced to flee Mosul since military operations started in October.
The vast majority of the internally displaced are families with children and babies – groups that are especially vulnerable and would be most affected by aid shortages should international support wither. Nearly half of the urgently requested funds – US$ 60 million - is required to assist more than 100,000 newly displaced Iraqi families with emergency shelter in the camps, legal assistance to replace lost and missing documents, child protection, prevention of sexual and gender based violence, as well as to provide them with blankets, mattresses and other core relief items. UNHCR has so far established 12 camps in support of the overall efforts by the Iraqi authorities to provide shelter to currently 316,000 internally displaced Iraqis in relative proximity to Mosul.
A further US$ 24 million is needed to assist and support Iraqi families returning to their homes. It is estimated that 125,000 internally displaced people have returned to their homes, many in east Mosul and on the outskirts of the city. Most of the returnees are living in damaged buildings and need shelter assistance as well as cash support. In areas of return, UNHCR and partners will provide material assistance, including emergency shelter and sealing-off kits to help returnees living in unfinished buildings, as well as essential protection services, including psycho-social support, replacement of missing and lost documents and protection monitoring.
Lastly, US$ 42 million is required for on time procurement of shelter and aid materials for next winter. To cope with eventual drops in temperatures, UNHCR plans to assist 135,000 displaced and returnee families with a range of core winter items including blankets, fuel, jerry cans and heating stoves. This includes the provision of one-time cash assistance of US$ 150 per family to 100,000 IDP and returnee families to help them buy fuel to get through the winter.
Since 2014, Iraq has suffered massive internal displacement. It is estimated that up to three million Iraqis are still internally displaced and another quarter of a million live as refugees in the neighbouring countries.

Overall UNHCR protection and assistance programmes in Iraq amount to 578 million in 2017. These are currently 21 per cent funded which is a cause for concern halfway through the year.

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Rebel Hillary" went up last night.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, PACIFICA EVENING NEWS and BLACK AGENDA REPORT -- updated:

  • Thursday, June 01, 2017

    Hillary never takes responsbility


    Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Rebel Hillary."

    1. Jill Stein is trending because people are still blaming Hillary's loss on her... I'll say it one more time. DNC PUSHED A FLAWED CANDIDATE.


    Bernie would have won.

    He drew crowds, he inspired people.

    Hillary drew yawns and tired the country with yet another attempt to be president.

    We could have had Bernie as president but crooked Hillary rigged the primaries and got debate questions in advance.

    In fact, when -- in all her never ending bitching -- is she ever going to take responsibility for that?

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

    Thursday, June 1, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, the crimes begin to get attention, and much more.

    considering she voted to send him to Iraq: I really doubt my boyfriend will ever talk to me the way he talks about Clinton

    Amanda Marcotte thinks she knows everything.  It's the curse of those rejected by love.  It's what allows her to ignore Hillary Clinton's long support for the Iraq War, for war on Syria, for war on Libya.

    Oh, Amanda, go try to hit up another man for abortion money when you're not sure if he's the father.

    It's funny how Iraq mattered to Amanda whens he worked for John Edwards (who apologized for his vote in a column for THE WASHINGTON POST) but now doesn't mean a thing -- funny in a sort of pathetic way but everything about Amanda's pathetic.

    She doesn't care about the war built on lies because, again, she's the woman who publicly whined that her boyfriend offered to marry her when she told him she was pregnant and all she wanted was for him to cover half the abortion -- she also confessed that she wasn't sure he was the father.  That's trash, that's Amanda.

    Day 225 of The Mosul Slog.

    The Islamic State seized Mosul in June of 2014.

    It's now June of 2017.

    Three years later and they've still not been run out of the city.

    The current operation began in October of 2016 because the government of Iraq clearly wasn't too concerned about a terrorist group seizing a city as evidenced by their do nothing attitude for over two years.

    1. map update.

      Green= completely liberated.
      Orange= frontline clashes.
      White= control.

    What's been accomplished in these 225 days?

    ALJAZEERA notes:

    The UN estimates almost 10,000 people fled from Mosul’s northwest and the Old City every day last week.
    More than 750,000 people have been displaced from the city since October.

    But it's not easy getting out of Mosul.  The Iraqi government told residents to stay in their homes until late April, they never offered safe passage out of Mosul and now they're targeting vehicles.  RUDAW reports:

    Any motorized vehicles in western Mosul are considered to be a threat and subject to strikes by the US-led international coalition and the Iraqi forces, while authorities have encouraged civilians to leave the war-torn areas by foot in the face of starvation and hunger.

    "Iraqi Security Forces transmitted information to residents of West Mosul a week or two ago telling them that, due to ISIS' use of vehicles (both automobiles and motorcycles), moving or static, could be considered a threat," US Col. Ryan Dillon, the spokesperson for the coalition told Rudaw English.

    As many as 180,000 people are reportedly hungry and living in miserable conditions, according to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

    It's been one nightmare after another including Iraqi forces torturing and killing civilians.  James Gordon Meek, Haider Newmani, Brian Ross and Rhonda Schwartz (ABC NEWS) report:

     In hours of footage captured by Iraqi photojournalist Ali Arkady, licensed by ABC News and broadcast on World News Tonight with David Muir and Nightline last week, officers of an elite Iraqi unit called the Emergency Response Division (E.R.D.) are shown directing the torture and execution of civilians in Mosul late last year. A U.S. military spokesman said that while an investigation of new evidence of atrocities committed by the E.R.D. is warranted, there is no legal reason the U.S. cannot continue to work with the unit.
    The unit had already been blacklisted in March 2015 under the Leahy Act, which requires foreign military units to be banned from receiving U.S. military aid if there is "credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights.” Top American commanders, however, have continued to praise the successes of the E.R.D. and boast of a "fruitful partnership" between the U.S. military and the unit, including coordinating airstrikes on ISIS.
    “The photos are sickening. They clearly depict war crimes,” Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who authored the federal law 20 years ago, said in a statement to ABC News. “That they were brazenly lauded by the unit’s leader suggests that they were far from aberrations. It is my understanding that the United States no longer supports the Iraqi unit involved, but we should insist that the individuals responsible, and particularly the leaders, be prosecuted and appropriately punished. The fact that U.S. military personnel praised the Iraqi unit’s cooperation is deeply disturbing and requires further investigation by the Pentagon.” 

    Turning to the US and Detroit . . .

    Detroit Regional Chamber And Detroit Public Television Bring the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference to Michigan
    Watch LIVE online at
    For the seventh consecutive year, the Detroit Regional Chamber and Detroit Public Television (DPTV) will collaborate to provide Michigan citizens with the highest level of access to the Mackinac Policy Conference’s content. Viewers can watch the conference live online by visiting the MiWeek website at
    Since 2011, the Chamber and DPTV have worked together to significantly broaden access to the event.  Each year, an average of nearly 50,000 unique audience members watch at least some part of DPTV’s Mackinac Policy Conference coverage via computers, phones and tablets during and immediately after the event.
    All content, including livestreams, will also be offered, at no cost, to any public or commercial broadcast outlet, as well as all other news organizations in Michigan, to continue to make coverage of the Conference as accessible as possible.
    DPTV plans to broadcast and/or webcast:
    • Streaming coverage of virtually every Conference session (with the exception of those not allowed under speaker contracts), featuring keynote addresses and panel discussions.
    • A daily half-hour recap of Conference activity at 7:30 p.m. on TV.
    • Live and recorded interviews with speakers, Conference participants and analysts.
    DPTV coverage will be anchored by award-winning journalist and host of MiWeek, Christy McDonald, with analysis from Detroit Free Press Pulitzer Prize-winning Editorial Page Editor Stephen Henderson, and Detroit News Editorial Page Editor Nolan Finley.
    News organizations may access the embed code required to run the coverage on their own websites via:
    Coverage Schedule
    Wednesday, May 31
    9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
    Special Livestream: The Skillman Foundation Hosted Session – Rebuilding Detroit Schools
    11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Full-Day Livestream Coverage
    Thursday, June 1
    10:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.
    Full-Day Livestream Coverage
    Friday, June 2
    8:30 – 10:45 a.m.
    Full-Day Livestream Coverage
    DPTV’s coverage of the Mackinac Policy Conference begins on Wednesday, May 31st, at 9:00 A.M. ET on Follow the conversation around the conference on social media using #MPC17.
    Rich Homberg
    President and CEO
    Detroit Public Television
    248-640-4169 -  - @RichHomberg
    Detroit is in the center of everything.”

    Tomas Hook/President/International Association of Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) - 5-17-17

    The following community sites updated: