Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Glen Ford

Several things.  First, books.  Trina's "Leslie Bennetts writes about something but it's not Joan Rivers" just went up tonight.  Reminder, Ruth's "THE INHERITANCE: POISONED FRUIT OF JFK'S ASSASSINATION" went up Saturday.

Second, the stupid Jim Acosta.  I wrote about him earlier this week.  Check out Mike's "The defenseless go undefended" and Marcia's "Free Julian Assange" and grasp just how unimportant Jim Acosta is.  Grasp that Julian Assange's journalism has made a real difference in our lives.  Jim Acosta has accomplished nothing.  In addition, Glen Ford (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) notes that what Trump is doing actually follows what those before did:

In that sense, Trump is different only in degree from Bill Clinton, who during the 1992 campaign travelled to Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Operation Push/Rainbow Coalition annual conference to single out activist Sistah Soulja  as the Black equivalent of Ku Klux Klansman David Duke. Sistah Souljah hit back , blasting Clinton as a “draft dodger” turned warmonger, a “reefer smoker,” abuser of women, and a racist who “lacks integrity.” Clinton’s “race stand” was no less cynical and deliberate than Trump’s. White voters got the message: that Clinton would defy Jackson and his recent intra-Democratic Party insurgency and resist all pressures from progressives and the dark side of the nation. Upon election, the Man from Hope (Arkansas) followed through on his implicit racial promises, abolishing welfare “as we knew it” and reinforcing the Mass Black Incarceration State with 100,000 additional police officers and a whole new set of draconian laws crafted to condemn millions more Blacks to prison.
“Clinton’s “race stand” was no less cynical and deliberate than Trump’s.”
Clinton’s acolytes -- his wife and Barack Obama -- still dominate the Democratic Party apparatus on behalf of corporate and Silicon Valley oligarchs. The Democrat-oriented section of the U.S. ruling class was heavily reinforced when Donald Trump captured the GOP in 2016, defeating the entire menagerie of established corporate Republicans and sending whole sectors of the ruling class and its “Deep State” protectors fleeing to asylum in Hillary Clinton’s “Big Tent,” from whence they plotted the destruction of his unpredictable presidency. Most of the White House press corps are anti-Trump partisans in this intra-ruling class war.

What is “unprecedented” is the split in the U.S. ruling class, a contest of capitalist titans that has been playing out in the electronic and print corporate media for the past two years. Corporate media operatives, including the White House press corps, are foot soldiers in this war. The bulk of them oppose Trump because that is corporate policy; professional ethics have nothing to do with it -- indeed, such ethics no longer exist in U.S. corporate journalism, if they ever did.

Read Glen Ford's article.  He also shares what happened to him when he was covering Jimmy Carter's administration.

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2018.  A UN official prepares to leave Iraq and issues a string of lies on his way out.

The United Nations notes:

In his last briefing as the top United Nations official in Iraq, Ján Kubiš updated the Security Council on the country’s post-election political settlement, commending the “exemplary peaceful transfer of power” between Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and his successor, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who was sworn in at the end of October.
“The new Government intends to start immediately, particularly on the delivery of services and jobs, on reforming and energizing the economy, fighting corruption and administrative red-tape,” he said, calling on the international community for its continued support. “We must not let them down.”
He noted that during the government formation process, competition and differences had been “largely political and not sectarian,” calling it, “a break from the past.”

Pointing out that the main negotiations had been carried out by political factions including the influential cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr and Hadi al-Ameri on behalf of their respective Islah and Binaa blocks, Mr. Kubiš said it signified “that all of these primary partners and political forces now share a responsibility for creating an enabling environment for the new government to deliver on its programme, and for its stability.”

Well he had to praise something, right?

Peaceful transition?

Iraq held elections May 12th for a new government.  It's November 14th and the prime minister still doesn't have a full Cabinet -- despite forming a Cabinet being the only requirement to move from prime minister-designate to prime minister.

Six months after the elections and Iraq still doesn't have a full Cabinet.  22 posts and only 14 are filled.  Empty?  Empty includes Minister of Defense and Minister of the Interior -- the two security posts.

Six months after the elections.

PM : We have formed a strong , and we will submit the names of the nominees for the remaining Cabinet posts to parliament soon



When Nouri al-Maliki failed/refused to have a Minister of Defense and Minister of Interior in his second term, what happened?  Oh, that's right, the rise of ISIS.  ISIS ended up seizing Mosul and other lands, seizing and controlling.

By all means, let's allow this pattern to be the one to follow.

At least there's no violence in Iraq right now, right?



Qatar expresses its strong condemnation and denunciation of the attack in Anbar province western Iraq, which led to the death of 9 people, reiterating its firm stance on rejecting violence and terrorism, regardless of motives and reasons.

Margaret Griffis (ANTIWAR.COM) counts 25 dead in Tuesday's violence.

But, by all means, Jan Kubis, pull your Pebbles.

I'm out the door, babe.
There's other fish in the sea.

And Kunis is out the door but as for those fish in the sea . . .

This month thousands of fish turned up dead in Iraq.  Is it pollution?  No one knows.  But that didn't stop Kunis from insisting to the United Nations that Iraq is "a success, a positive story, in a region marked by many negative trends and developments."

A success?  A positive story?

Kunnis loves to lie.

إستمرار تسجيل حالات التسمم بالماء الملوث في قضاء "أبي الخصيب" في محافظة ؛ حيث تسجل المراكز الطبية من 100-200 حالة يومياً، وسط تجاهل من قبل حكومة للمشكلة.

That's IRAQI SPRING MC noting that the people drinking the water in Basra continue to be hospitalized.

Kubis attempts to lie as he has one foot out the door, trying to justify his failed term (Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert will be replacing him).

In local are continuing to see 100 to 200 new cases of contaminated water daily in Abul Khasib district, whilst the Iraqi government is completely ignoring the problem

And, Kubis, why are they protesting in Basra?  Over the water, yes.  Also over the lack of jobs, the corruption, the poverty . . .  Who but Kubis would try to sell that as progress and success?

residents, who have been protesting to demand services and jobs, are disappointed with the new for not appointing any minister from Basra and call for the establishment of a Basra .

Amnesty International's Donatella Rovera responds to a recent FOREIGN POLICY article:

True that South has long been neglected & is in a mess. But not true that “the whole world” is focussed on rebuilding North . Ask the thousands of families in etc whose homes were bombed to dust & have received zero help.

Meanwhile the weather remains an issue in Iraq.  Right now, it's the rain.

Main streets in Baghdad and cities in the southern and central provinces in Iraq ;are drowned due to rainwater which shows the corruption on the infrastructure projects. .

The infrastructure has been allowed to decay (and it's been harmed by US bombings as well).  This despite the fact that the rainy season in Iraq means flooding and deaths.  In Sadr City (a section of Baghdad), for example, heavy rains mean standing water at least knee level.

In Basra, a young girl died because of the rains.

Iraqi girl falls into a street drain and dies because it had no cover. This is what happens when Western governments give foreign aid to a corrupt government. This is Basrah, the oil rich and wealthy city in Southern Iraq. No ISIS here, just corruption.

Killed by rain -- and corruption.  Don't forget the corruption.

But Kunis sees only success as he completes his term.  Which leaves the rest of us to wonder, how bad would it have to be for him to see failure?

Failure is what most will see, if they're honest.  Kunis is apparently unwilling or unable to be honest.

Bashdar Ismaeel (NEW ARAB) offers:

More than 15 years have gone by since the highly contentious invasion of Iraq. 

After the war, many had hoped to usher a new chapter, based on ethno-sectarian inclusion, democracy and prosperity, that could serve as a beacon of light for the greater Middle East. But the country quickly became bogged down by sectarian bloodshed, animosity, ubiquitous political wrangling and marginalisation.
During this period, Iraq has witnessed many false dawns and a range of excuses for the lack of stability, nation-building or improvement in standards of living. These have included the need to eradicate the imprint of Saddam Hussein and Baathism, navigating the rocky transition to Iraq's new democratic path, the US withdrawal in Iraq, foreign meddling, and most recently, the costly and deadly fight against the Islamic State (IS).
In the meantime, Iraq continually tops the charts as one of the most corrupt states in the world.
As new Iraqi prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi works overtime to finalise a cabinet that can appease Iraq's fractured political divide and the many parties vying for power and influence, it is time for Iraqi politicians to take a long look at themselves, take accountability and finally deliver, instead of continuing to seek out excuses for Iraq's failures.
Iraq's recent parliamentary vote and historically low voter turnout sent a clear message from the public, one of fatigue and frustration with years of broken promises, sectarian policies and dwindling standards of living.
Ironically, while Iraq sits on one of the largest oil reserves in the world, and is the second largest OPEC producer, many places such as Basra have seen basic services and the standard of living decline, culminating in mass protests in recent years.
While the battle against IS took centre stage from 2014, a factor often overlooked is the sectarian policies and the continuous disenfranchisement of the Sunni population that helped fuel their eventual rise.

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