Friday, April 15, 2022

Favorite Stevie Nicks video


From Wednesday night, that's Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Sam Seder's Amused."

tevie Nicks was an MTV artist -- meaning that she was popular on MTV, very popular, when it was a music channel.  And she's made some great music videos in her career including "For What It's Worth" and the stark and simple "Lady."

But my favorite remains 1985's "I Can't Wait."

It's got it all.  It's got Stevie symbolism, dancing, you name it.

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

Thursday, April 14, 2022.  Joe Bdien cries 'genocide' -- maybe he's looking at his polling numbers?/.

This morning, Andre Damon (WSWS) reports:

On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden claimed that Russia was committing genocide in Ukraine. In a subsequent statement to reporters in Iowa, he added, “I called it genocide because it’s become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out even the idea of being Ukrainian.”

Biden’s accusation that Russia is engaging in genocide is aimed at poisoning public opinion and galvanizing popular hatred of Russia. It was a transparent pretext for the White House’s announcement, just one day later, that the United States would send attack helicopters and hundreds of armored vehicles to Ukraine in the largest escalation of US military involvement in the war to date.

The weapons being shipped to Ukraine include 300 “kamikaze drones” known as “Switchblades,” 300 armored vehicles, and 11 Mi-17 helicopters, as well as land mines, radars, thousands of anti-tank weapons and nuclear protective equipment.

Announcing the action, the Pentagon declared, “The United States has now committed more than $3.2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration.” This includes $2.6 billion within the past six weeks.

On Wednesday, White House press spokesperson Jen Psaki was asked, “Is it the US policy that genocide has been committed in Ukraine, or was that the president’s personal beliefs?” To this Psaki replied, “Our objective now is evidenced by the enormous package of military assistance that we put out today.”

This exchange is revealing precisely because it stands reality so neatly on its head. In the statements of the White House, the unprecedented funneling of arms to Ukraine is a testament to how strongly the US believes Russia is committing “genocide.”


Joe Biden 'cares' -- we're supposed to beleive.  Because there's a genocide taking place that he' never said 'Boo!' about.  We'll get 8back to t8hat later n the snapshot.

He's looking for a reason to make the massive spedning that's going on right now look justified.  It's not going to.  As someone said in ZOON yesterday, "He's Diamond Joe Biden and he's spending all this money to impress the neighborhood while, at home, his own kids are starving."


Well, now we know how Hunter Biden ended up believeing it was okay to be a Dead Beat Dad -- the fruit didn't fall far from that rotten tree.

On Hunter, Jonathan Turley notes

There was nothing subtle about the alleged influence-peddling effort of Hunter Biden or his uncle James. In Washington, influence peddling is a virtual cottage industry. However, there was a little sophistication in these e-mails to hide the corruption. The Hunter dealings were more like influence peddling by eBay in terms of the raw pitches and open admissions.

On May 1, 2017, Hunter Biden recognized how his work with CEFC at a minimum could trigger FARA and acknowledged that his uncle was also aware of the danger:

“No matter what it will need to be a US company at some level in order for us to make bids on federal and state funded projects. Also We [sic] don’t want to have to register as foreign agents under the FCPA which is much more expansive than people who should know choose not to know. James has very particular opinions about this so I would ask him about the foreign entity.”

The e-mail is a prosecutor’s dream. FARA violations, like tax violations, can be viewed as cut-and-dried charges for jurors. In this case, the potential defendant not only incriminated himself under the law, but his associates and family, as well.

That is why, if the Justice Department applies the same standard applied to figures like Manafort, Biden would likely be indicted.

The question is whether the same standard will apply. I have long criticized the sweeping language of FARA. However, the Justice Department has shifted from prior administrative enforcement to criminal prosecutions. The Justice Department in recent years has convicted various individuals for engaging in public relations and lobbying efforts for foreign countries, including China and Ukraine.

A sudden shift away from such criminal enforcement would raise questions of favored treatment — and magnify the concern over Attorney General Merrick Garland refusing to appoint a special counsel in the scandal.

In The Washington Post, the Manafort and other FARA cases were heralded as essential to protecting democracy. A columnist concluded, “FARA can be a powerful tool for detecting those foreign instruments. We should use it. No matter whom it ensnares.”

It has now ensnared the son of President Biden. The question is whether the Justice Department and the media still have the same appetite for FARA prosecutions.

Despite rumors for the last five days, Nouri al-Maliki has not been put forward as a nominee for prime minister by the Coordinating Framework -- the body tht's trying to put together support now that Moqtada al-Sadr' repeat failures at forming a government have led Moqtada to step away (for 40 days).  They appear to be struggling the same way that Moqtada did though their efforts are still young.  Moqtada has failed three times so far -- three times a vote was scheduled for Parlaiemtn, three times it failed to take place because not enough MPs shoed due to the fact that Moqtada can't garner enough support.

This, please remember, is the man that the western press hailed as a king maker.

The Coordinating Framework is said to be favoring Mustafa al-Kahdimi for the post.

Grasp that.

Why did they even have elections?

Yeah, Moqtada wants his own cousing to be prime minister -- an underling with no national presecnec.

Bu tthe Iraqi people are deeply unhappy with their government.  

And yet thanks to Moqtada, the Speaker of Parliament will be the same person.

The Coordinatign Framework wants Barham Saleh to8 remain as Iraqi president and now they're flirting wit8h Mustafa?

Why wasted the time and the money on elections if nothing is going to change.

There's also the fact that Mustafa -- a failure and a liar 8-- o8nce declared he would serve only one term.

October 10th the elections took place and still the Parliament can't elect a president and, without a president, no one can be named prime minister designate. (Once named prime minister designate, the person has 30 days to form a Cabinet. If they do so, they are supposed to then become prime minister. That rule's been fudged repeatedly over the years.)

After Parliament failed several times this year to elect a new president, Iraq has entered a constitutional vacuum.

These events led to the end of the constitutional deadline set by the Federal Supreme Court on 6 April.

This required the court to resort to legal jurisprudence and issue a decision to continue the term of current President Barham Salih until a new president is elected.

Since its first session on 9 February, Parliament has been unable to elect a president from 40 candidates led by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) candidate, the current president, Barham Salih, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party's candidate, Rebar Ahmed.

Did the Court extend it to April 6th?

Well if you think it's a crisis, why don't you get honest with your readers.  The due date, per the Constitution, not the Court, passed in February.  That's reality.

And it's yet another example of the Court trying to make law and not interpret it.  That's not their function.  They came under heavy criticism for their recent decision against the KRG and what the KRG can do with oil because their decision was not based upon existing law.

Laws are written by the legislative branch, not by the Court.  The Court can uphold them or find them unconstitutional.  But they cannot write laws, that's not their power.  Maybe if the world's press would pay attention, the Iraqi Supreme Court would feel less likely to attempt to grab powers that they have no right to?

Little that needs attention receives it.  For example, a certain figure started calling the stalemate a ''crisis'' on Saturday and while some reported on it, most refused to explain how this was about a politician's self-interest.  Amr Mostafa (THE NATIONAL) reported:

Iraq’s President Barham Salih on Saturday said that the current political deadlock in the country would have dangerous repercussions, and called for the process of forming a new government to be speeded up.

Nearly six months have passed since Iraq held parliamentary elections, yet the country still has no government, due to wrangling over who will take the roles of president, prime minister and important posts in the Cabinet.

The parties have been unable to agree on a candidate for president, a problem that may also extend to the position of prime minister.

Barham insists it's a "crisis."  Well if he really feels that way, he holds the highest office of any member of the PUK political party.  They have been one of the stumbling blocks in forming a government because they want him to have another term as president.  The PUK has gotten less and less votes every election (we've addressed the why of that before).  And this go round?  Their worst ever.  So why do they get to hold the post of the president?  It's one thing to say that the post has to be held by a Kurd, it's another thing to say it has to be held by an unpopular party.

The KDP has consistently gotten more votes than the PUK.  

Again, Barham's the one calling it a ''crisis.'' If he really believes that, then, for the good of the country, he should announce that his political party is withdrawing their nomination (the PUK is nominating him).

He doesn't do that.

And he didn't consider it to be a "crisis" until last week when Moqtada al-Sadr, having failed three times to build support for his presidential choice (always from the KDP though the nominee has differed) decided to step away for a few weeks *forty days) to see if the 'other side' could have any more luck forming a government.

So shame on THE NATIONAL for reporting on this without disclosing that Barham's sudden 'concern' over the 'crisis' comes as his alliance has a few weeks time to try to install him into another term as president.

At AL-MONITOR, Ali Mamouri sees three potential outcomes:

Scenario 1: The two sides reach an agreement to form a consensual government together and share the government based on a credit point system, which was common after 2003. Accordingly, each party will get a share in the government based on the number of seats they won in the elections. This is unlikely to happen this time due to Sadr's demands to form a majority government, rejecting any proposal to reach an agreement with the Coordination Framework. He has tried several times to break up the Coordination Framework and convince some of its groups (Fatah, led by Hadi al-Amiri, or State of Law, led by Nouri al-Maliki) to join him separately. However, the Coordination Framework appears solid, rejecting any offer that does not include all of them in the new government. On the other side, Sadr is facing great pressure from his social base as he had promised them since the beginning of his electoral campaign to form a majority government with the Sadrist prime minister. Sadr has nominated his cousin, Jafar al-Sadr, the son of prominent political cleric Muhammad Baqer al-Sadr, for the prime minister position. Now it is difficult to withdraw from this promise, as it would lead him to great losses in the next elections.

Scenario 2: A Sadr-Halbusi-Barzani coalition obtains the remaining required numbers to select a president and go ahead with forming a government. They have already gone through negotiations with possible allies like the PUK and independent members. But it seems difficult to achieve this goal, especially after they failed to do so three times.

Scenario 3: The current government continues indefinitely as a caretaker government, and another early election is held sometime in 2023. This is likely, due to the fact that the constitutional deadline for forming the government has already passed and the political parties have failed to form a government. Meanwhile, the two axes will compete in dominating parliament and expanding their influence in state institutions. They will also work on changing the electoral law to their benefit for the next elections, which will create another source of conflict between them.  

In such circumstances, it seems the political deadlock is likely to remain for a long time and the conflict between the two sides is unlikely to be resolved, which means any newly formed government, if such occurred, would be weak and subject to collapse soon.


We'll note this statement from KRG President Nechirvan Barzani:

Today, we pay tribute to the memory of more than 182.000 innocent civilians who were killed in 1988 in one of the most heinous crimes of human history, perpetrated by the former Iraqi regime in Kurdistan.

The genocidal Anfal campaign, which was carried out in 8 stages across the Kurdistan Region, will remain one of history’s greatest infamies. It is the responsibility of all and everyone to prevent the repeat of such vicious mass crimes anywhere in the world.

As the Kurdistan Region currently moves through a critical period, the best way to honor the victims of Anfal and all the martyrs of Kurdistan is tolerance, common purpose and unity among all parties and communities in Kurdistan to ensure and preserve the constitutional rights of the Kurdistan Region and its political and federal status.

In view of the fact that the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal recognized the Anfal as genocide and war crime against humanity, we urge Iraq’s federal government to live up to its legal, ethical and human responsibility, to restitute the victims of Anfal and their families and to alleviate their sufferings and sorrows.

The Kurdistan Region will do its utmost to better serve and support the families of the Anfal victims, and will continue its efforts to reconstruct the areas ravaged by the campaign. We will spare no efforts to return the remains of all the martyrs, and will continue to work for an international recognition of the Anfal campaign.

Tribute to the memory of the martyrs.

Nechirvan Barzani
The President of the Kurdistan Region

And we'll note this Tweet:

34 years have passed since the #Enfal genocide in which 182,000 #Kurds were massacred ——— #TwitterKurds #Anfal #Kurdistan

RUDAW Tweets:

Nugra Salman castle, a remote prison fortress in southern Iraq, served as a concentration camp during the former Iraqi Baathist regime’s Anfal campaign against the Kurds in 1988. 📸: Bilind T. Abdullah/Rudaw

There's an ongoing genocide with Turkey attacking Kurdistan.  Joe Biden won't say a word about that, will he.

80Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Sam Seder's Amused" went up last night.  The following sites updated:


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Eli Lieb


"Boys Who Like Boys."  That song stuck in my head this morning.  I like it and I've liked it since this summer but for some reason, it just popped into my head. 

So what's your problem with boys who like boys
Maybe we just want a little love
Boys who like boys
Know one holds you like a big man does
Go keep on hating I'll just keep dancing
With boys who like boys
Yeah, I just want a little love

If he puts that on vinyl, that song, I will be purchasing but for now I just enjoy it as a digital download and a video on YOUTUBE.

Be sure to read Elaine's "Jonathan Turley and Diana Ross."

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

Wednesday, April 13, 2022.  The left hurts itself by embracing a registered sex offender and presenting him as a trusted source and friend.

 I thought we'd rogressed.  I hoped we had.  But instead, here we are again, having to discuss Pig Boy.

And maybe that's my fault.  When he started slinking back in, via CONSORTIUM, my attitude was that they just needed to stop lying for him.  Joe couldn't stop lying which is why we no longer note CONOSRTIUM.

Joe did a video where he praised Pig Boy.  Pig Boy was an innocent.  His only crime was that he told the truth a bout the Iraq War and for that the media turned on him.


That's not the truth,

Right now, Johnny Depp is in court with Ambr Heard.  The knee jerk reaction is to believe Amber.  Why?

She's perjured herself in a pre vious court appearance.  She has not been forthcoming about whether or not she donated over #3 million to the ACLU.  She got headlines for doing that.  Several years ago.  The headlines proclaimed that she did it.  But she didn't.  And instead of being honest about it, the ACLU tried to insist some sort of 'private communication' standard.

I'm sorry, ACLU, private?  When she grand standed for publicity, she threw away privacy.  I'm told she didn't donate the money.

Doesn't surprise one bit.

When Johnny decied to marry her, I told her she would ruin his life.  Because she's trash and I knew she was.  When I spoke to Amber after learning of the marriage plans, I asked what she was thinking?

Did she love him?

Was this something that was supposed to last forever?  If so, did that mean that they were going to have an open marriage because she was a declared bisexual.  

How exactly did she a happy marriage?

She couldn't answer the question and she couldn't because she was a user who was about to take Johnny for all she could.

Now you can argue that this is a he-said.she-said issue and that no one can know (the audio clips make it pretty clear she abused Johnny).  You can do that.

And we can disagree based on our own interpretations.  

Will Smith assaulted Chris Rock and some idiot who is not in the industry but got a paper degree barely wanted to tell the press that no one stripped Kevin Spacey of his Oscar.

When was Kevin convicted?

In a court of law, when was Kevin convicted?  He hasn't been.  We have an actor on a STAR TREK show insisting that when he was 14 or 15, he went to a party at the then-20something Kevin Spacey's apartment -- without his parents, without a guardian -- and the kid was bored and went to Kevin's bedroom and got on his bed.  After midnight, when all the normal guests had the decency to go home, Kevin walks into his bedroom and finds the guy on his bed.  He kisses the guy.

The guy does not want to be kissed.  The guy leaves.  Years later, the guy tries to turn it into an assault.  Not by the rules in play then and not by the rules today either.  

Maybe next time, don't go to strenage men's apartments, don't stay there alone after midnight and don't get on their bed.

If you do those things and a man kisses you and you object and that's the end of it, count yourself lucky

You didn't raped.  

You're a drama queen who needs the world's attention.

I don't care bout Richard Dreyfuss' kid, either.  He groped you, did he?  In front of your dad?  What does that say about relationship you and your father have?

Kevin's not ben convicted of anything.

He may hve used his position in London to harass men and I would find that objectionable but where are the results to that investigation>  To that announced investigation?

I believe Michael Jackson assaulted children.  Micaheal wasn't convicted of that.  We can all disagree and argue over that. 

We are thinking beings.  We have a brain.  And we have to look at what's put before us and come to our own conclusions.

I grasp that.  

Except when you try to apply that to convicted offenders.

Pig Boy is Scott Ritter.

He's suddenly become very popular in the last few weeks with  Jackson Hinkle, Aaron Mate, Max Blumenthal, Lee Camp, Richard Mehurst, the so-called 'Socialist' behind ENEMA OF THE STATE, Dan DeBar, Faran Fronczak, Franc Analysis, Comrade Misty, THE CONVO COUCH . . .

Exactly why are you bringing him on?

He's not an expert on Ukraine.  He wasn't even enough of an expert on Iraq to justify Sy Hersh doing that embarrassing tour with him -- a promotional tour that cost Hersh dearly.

You'll want to pay the cost to?

Let's look at that list for a moment.  

Jackson Hinke.  I was surprised when you used your platform to try to pick up women.  Mainly because I thought you were gay.  But also because it was such an abuse of the power you had been given by your audience.  You and your buddy were drunk and you brught on the two drunk women and produced a very shoddy episode and also disgraced yourself.  I don't know how you thought that was journalism or something to share with the world, but you did.

It was sad to watch and it goes to, at the very least, a level of immaturity that you need to address and, at worst, some issues that you have.

Richard Medhurst?  I defended you from the gossip.  I won''t do that again..  I defended you from charges -- whispers -- that you'd assaulted women.  I won't do that again.  You have brought Scott Ritter on repeatedly in the last weeks.

I believe tht goes to your character and I no longer am comfortable defending you.

I think you all need to take a look at your actions.

Scott Ritter was arrested three times for attempting to find underage girls online and have sex with them.  The first time, he largely talked his way out of it and was able to keep it quiet.  The second time, he got a slap on the wrist and, after he began speaking of Iraq, his enemies in the Democratic and Republican parties leaked to the media that he'd been arrested twice for this pedophilia.  And that he was on probation for it.

That's what got him kicked off the corporate media.  

Joe tried to lie on a CONSORTIUM program and claim that Scott was kicked off because he was telling truths about Iraq.


Kicked off because he was a pedophile.

And yet he was being promoted by Panhandle Media.  And they never noted the arrests.

If Scott's behavior continued, and it tends to do so with pedophiles, we noted that these outlets were putting young girls at risk.  They could say, "I read him at THE NATION so I thought I could trust him!" (Katrina vanden Heuvel, when it was put to her in terms of her own daughter, got it and stopped highlighting him at THE NATION), or "I saw him on DEMOCRACY NOW! so I thought I could trust him!"

No surprise, two times wasn't the end of it for Scott.  After Barack Obama became president (Scott had previously insisted the Bush administration had targeted him and persecuted hm and he was innocent!!!), Scott got arrested again.  He didn't get a slap on the wrist this time.  He got put on trial.  He was found guilty on multiple counts and was sent to prison.

He is now a registered sex offender.

If Twitter bans him, like Mike, I really don't care.  

I think, as a registered sex offender, his Twitter account should note that.  I think it should be dislcosed anytime someone's stupid enough to bring him on as a guest.

Three times.

What does this ay about the way the left sees women and girls?

We're just disposable.  We don't matter.  "Larger issues," you understand.

F**k that and anyone who operates under that.

You are condoing violence against females when you bring him on.  You promote as a victim and as a trusted voice.  Shame on you.

Now we made all these arguments in the '00s and managed to shut down his sphere of influence.  

As he began popping back up recently, I was hoping someone else would step forward and that I wouldn't have to again be the bitch that has to rain on their party and point out the obvious.

But it's not happening.  Monday night, for Hilda's Mix, I noted all the e-mails coming in on this topic asking me to speak to it.  I didn't yesterday morning because I was too angry.  If Hinkle and Medhurst think I was hard on them, they should read the unpublished version of yesterday's snapshot.

I don't get these people.  But maybe their own vanity will save them?

Scott Ritter, convicted sex offender, is not an expert on Ukraine.  

When you bring him on to make your case, ou're making a weak case because anyone watching can say, "He's a sex offender.  Why listen to him?"

More to the point, he's a really dumb sex offender.  In the '00s he was arrested for it three times.  Three.  Most crooks would have gotten smarter, not Scott.

What does that say about his 'great' mind and what he has to offer?

You look like an idiot bringing him on.

And you better believe that women and survivors of assault are notcing.

And it's going to be you who suffers.  Not Scott, you.

You're harming yourself because you're sending out a message that someone convicted is a good guest.  This is not a person done in by a whisper campaign.  This is a man three times arrested, publicly tried, found guilty and sentenced to prison.  A man who is a registered sex offender.

You're making your choices obvious.  Don't be surprised when women decaide you don't have a voice worth listening to.

And don't be surprised that people decide not to listen to you or trust your jdugment when you're big witness is a convicted sex offender.

The following sites updated:


  • Tuesday, April 12, 2022

    Super group?

    NME reports:

    A cohort of Seattle’s pre-2000 grunge icons – including Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil and Pearl Jam/Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron – have formed a new supergroup called 3rd Secret, and, without having announced it beforehand, dropped their debut album yesterday (April 11).
    A self-titled affair, the 11-track effort sports a broad tonal palette – it leans heavily on classic grunge and alt-rock flavours, but adds diversity with hints of laidback folk and indie-rock, swampy blues and stomping hard-rock.
    Tracks like ‘Dead Sea’ and ‘Winter Solstice’ make impressive use of twangy, melancholy acoustics, while the use of an accordion on ‘Right Stuff’ adds a unique sense of theatricality. ‘Diamond In The Cold’, on the other hand, is a crunchy, mosh-primed rock anthem, with songs like ‘I Choose Me’ and ‘Lies Fade Away’ embracing the epochal ‘90s grunge sound that 3rd Secret’s members built their legacies on.

    I wish Pat Smear were part of it. But I'm thankful that Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl aren't. Too bad they didn't record a tack with Courtney Love. That would have really helped get the word out on this new band.

    I was never a devotee of Courtney Love's. I could appreciate what Hole did but didn't really want to listen to them. When they did the album Billy Corgan helped out on, I liked that and it was the first album by Hole that I could listen to. (Again, they made art before that, I just wasn't into their sound.) Courtney did a strong solo album as well. People seemed to slam her for wanting to be a film star and for the lengths she went to in her attempt to become one. It's a shame (about Ray) (ha ha, Lemonheads joke) because Courtney has more talent in her pinkie toe than Dave and his Foo Fighters have in all their bodies combined.

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

     Tuesday, April 12, 2022.  The continued persecution of Julian Assange, the Kurdish genocide, tiny man Joe Biden and his war lust, all that and even THE THING ABOUT PAM.

    Starting with a reminder, Ruth and Betty have been covering THE THING ABOUT PAM at their sites.  Tonight, NBC airs the last episode of the six episode series.    As Jim has noted, like all broadcast TV fair of recent years, the second episode saw a drop off in the number of viewers but, unique to THE THING ABOUT PAM, viewership then began improving with each episode.  So much so, as Jim notes in his piece posted earlier this morning, episode five (last week) had more viewers than episode one.  NBC, like every other broadcast network, has had to settle for programs that bleed viewers each episode.  So that is rather significant.  The series is based on a true story and, as Ava and I noted, Renee Zellweger is excellent in the lead role.

    Turning to Julian Assange.  US President Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian for the 'crime' of journalism.  Jake Johnson (COMMON DREAMS) reports:

    A coalition of progressive leaders from across the globe demanded Monday that the Biden administration immediately drop all charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is currently jailed in a high-security London prison as he fights U.S. extradition attempts.

    In a letter to Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), more than 30 progressive advocates, intellectuals, and former heads of state argued that dropping the Espionage Act charges against Assange would "send a strong message to the world: that freedom of expression, freedom of thought, and freedom of the press constitute an instrument that can controvert the interests of any government, including that of the United States of America."

    "The cases where there are reports of serious violations of freedom of expression would also be impacted by the dropping of the 18 charges against Assange," the letter reads. "It would affirm the defense of this fundamental human right and would undoubtedly represent a clear and robust sign that everyone can express their opinion without fear of retaliation; that all the press outlets can give news to all the citizens of the world, with the certainty that the pluralism of thought is guaranteed."

    Signed by former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Chilean intellectual Carlos Ominami, and 30 others, the letter was sent on the third anniversary of Assange's forced removal from the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2019.

    Assange has since been languishing in Belmarsh prison under conditions that human rights experts have characterized as "torture." Last month, the U.K. Supreme Court denied Assange's request to appeal an earlier decision allowing him to be extradited to the U.S., where he could face up to 175 years in prison.

    SCHEER POST adds:

    s his extradition to the United States looms large, Julian Assange completed three years of imprisonment in the United Kingdom on Monday, April 11. Held in a high security prison complex in Belmarsh in the outskirts of London, the Wikileaks founder has been in prison since 2019 when he was dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London by the police.

    Marking the anniversary, Assange’s supporters held vigils in London and around the world. Last month, on March 14, the UK Supreme Court rejected Assange’s request to appeal against his extradition sanctioned by the High Court in London, making his extradition very likely.

    Later this month on April 20, the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, which had earlier declined the US extradition request, is expected to issue the order to extradite as per the High Court’s directive. The order is then to be passed on to the UK home office, which will have the final say to sanction the extradition.

    Joe Biden could end the persecution at any point.  The tiny man in the White House refuses to do o.  And history will not look any fonder on Joe than the American people currently do.  He has nothing to offer but maybe, like Barack, he can get millions of dollars from NETFLIX to refurbish his image?  Do nothing to protect, for example, nature while president but pretend to care once out of office?

    What Joe can do, as David North (WSWS) observes, is scream for war:

    In a warmongering speech before a major trade union conference last week, President Biden lined up the trade union bureaucracy to back the US-NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. The speech was part of the administration’s efforts to put together a “labor front” with the AFL-CIO unions to suppress the opposition to the demands for massive sacrifice to pay for American imperialism’s preparation for all-out war against Russia.

    Biden spoke to a legislative conference of North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), a federation of 14 national construction unions. The entire first half of Biden’s speech was devoted exclusively to the war in Ukraine. His remarks left no doubt that, far from their hypocritical claims to be defending “freedom” and “human rights,” the US and NATO are using Ukraine as a launching pad for a regime change operation in Russia and the transformation of the country into a semi-colony of the Western powers.

    Biden bragged about the devastation wreaked by sanctions on the Russian economy, citing the fact that its GDP has shrunk by double digits. “Just in one year, our sanctions are likely to wipe out the last 15 years of Russia’s economic gains,” Biden said. “And because we’ve cut Russia off from importing technologies like semiconductors and encryption security and critical components of quantum technology that they need to compete in the 21st century, we’re going to stifle Russia’s ability and its economy to grow for years to come.”

    Biden said the reason for the military setbacks inflicted by Ukraine against Russia are due to arms and training which NATO has flooded into Ukraine for years. “We’ve trained them, and we’ve given them the weapons.” The announcement of each new weapons system sent to the Ukrainian military and the prospect of the destruction of the Russian economy evoked raucous applause from the assembled union officials.

    The speech demonstrated the staggering degree of recklessness which prevails in the Biden administration. Washington has deliberately incited the war and is risking a nuclear exchange with the world’s second largest nuclear power.

    Biden made it clear that the US was preparing a long, drawn-out war, which would require massive sacrifice from workers in terms of economic and human costs. “This war could continue for a long time, but the United States will continue to stand with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people in the fight for freedom.  And I just want you to know that.”

    Significantly, Biden added, “If I got to go to war, I’m going with you guys. I’ll tell you. I mean it.” 

    Joe's not going anywhere except to a nursing home.  He didn't serve in Vietnam but he wants to glorify military service now.  And that's not a cue for him to bring up Beau Biden. In fact, probably better not to  because it's getting harder and harder for me to hold my tongue about Beau.  I honestly thought it would come out in Hunter's book.  It didn't.  He elected to keep the family secret -- even when it could have benefited him.

    Joe is perfectly fine with destroying the world, it's not like he plns to live in it much longer.  He's got very few gasps of air left at his age.  Those thinking that, in his ifnal years, he's going to have some soft of transformation are kidding themselves.  He was in the US Senate for decades.  He never served the American people or the world in any noble capacity all that time.

    He's a tiny man who was upstaged in 2008 by Barack Obama and so he had to be president to try to show the world tht he as up to it.  And he's not.  And he never will be.  

    What is he?

    More and more, he looks like a four year, paid advertisement purchased by Donald Trump.  As though his only real purpose is to remind people just how awful a government can be when the idiot in charge elects to harm the American people to pursue war that not only could bring us all to the brink of nuclear war but also is destroying the American way of life -- or whatever was elft of it -- with inflation, soaring gas prices and empty shelves at thee grocery store.  

    No one elected Joe to put their own lives at risk so that he could pursue ssome distant war that the US shouldn't be involved in to begin with.

    At WSWS, David North points out how THE NEW YORK TIMES helps Joe bring on war:

    Yesterday’s New York Times’ editorial, “Document the War Crimes in Ukraine,” draws belated attention to the 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal, which indicted and convicted Nazi leaders. It cites the tribunal’s definition of a war of aggression as an international crime:

    “To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

    In 2004, at a debate at Trinity College, I cited the Nuremberg trial as the basis in international law for the indictment of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, British Prime Minister Blair and many others as war criminals for having launched a war of aggression against Iraq. 

    During the last 30 years of repeated US wars of aggression, the Nuremberg precedent has been ignored by the Times. It now invokes the precedent against Putin, demonstrating again that the media’s attitude to international law is determined solely by US foreign policy interests.

    There may well be a case against Putin, but to hold him accountable for a “war of aggression” while ignoring the far more blatant culpability of numerous US presidents and high-ranking officials (i.e., Hilary Clinton) would be a legal travesty.

    Turning to Iraq, Doctors Without Borders notes:

    Undeterred by the stormy weather, a line of women formed outside the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Al-Amal maternity center, located in the Al-Nahwaran neighborhood of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq

    Maram is three months pregnant. She is expecting her third child, but this is the first time that she’s visited this center. “I came here because my relatives told me about [it],” she says. “My sister-in-law came here before, and she recommended it.” Many other women here also heard about the center through word of mouth, and patient numbers have increased in recent months. 

    Al-Amal offers routine obstetric care, newborn care, family planning, and mental health support. The MSF team also conducts health promotion. Thirty midwives and five midwife supervisors work in the facility, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

    The team assists between 10 and 15 deliveries daily, but a busy day can see up to 25 births. “Unfortunately, we still can’t cover all the needs,” said Rahma Adla Abdallah, an MSF midwife supervisor. “We help most women who come here, but we have to have admission criteria to maintain the best possible level of care within the limits of our own resources.”

    A long road to recovery 

    In June 2014, Mosul fell to the Islamic State group. In October 2016, a military offensive led by an alliance of the Iraqi security forces and an international coalition was launched to retake the city. The battle of Mosul lasted for more than 250 days and was described as one of the deadliest urban battles since World War II. 

    Almost five years after the city was officially declared retaken by Iraqi authorities, many medical facilities damaged in the fighting have yet to be fully renovated and are not fit for use. “What has mainly been done is to [temporarily] install containers next to destroyed facilities until they are rebuilt,” said Adla Abdallah. “But the containers are often not properly equipped for receiving patients. Right now, especially [with] COVID-19, the needs are too big for hospitals in Mosul to handle.”

    On top of this, there are still shortages of medical supplies, and thousands of families in Mosul and surrounding areas still struggle to access quality affordable health care. 

    Filling the gaps 

    In response to the high level of unmet needs after the conflict, MSF opened a specialist maternity unit in Nablus hospital in West Mosul in 2017 to provide safe, high quality, and free health care for pregnant women and newborns. In July 2019, a second MSF team opened the Al-Amal maternity unit within Al-Rafadain primary health care center, also in West Mosul. Last year, MSF teams in both facilities assisted the births of almost 15,000 babies.

    “We first opened this maternity unit because there were significant needs in the city when it came to access to health care in general, and even more so in the field of sexual and reproductive health care,” said Loay Khudur, MSF’s assistant project coordinator. “Three years later, many women still need to come here because the city’s health system is far from functional.”

    “Women in this community not only need access to physical health care, they also need full mental health support,” said Adla Abdallah. “Gender-based violence is an issue we sometimes witness. Some of our patients have experienced it but they very rarely talk about it.” 

    Iraq’s Directorate of Health has set up dedicated health services in the city to provide care for survivors of gender-based violence. But stigma continues to prevent many women from seeking this care. 

    “Most of the time, it’s the people who live with them who bring [the patient] here,” said Adla Abdallah. “The women themselves don’t speak because they feel scared. Gender-based violence is still very taboo and is an additional challenge we face when treating women here.”

    Barriers to accessing care 

    Stigma is not the only barrier women face to accessing care. “The environment is particularly complicated here,” said Bashaer Aziz, an MSF midwife supervisor. “A significant number of women cannot access health care either because they do not have the means to pay for it, or because they face other challenges, such as not having official administrative document due to the recent conflict or being displaced from their homes.” 

    MSF offers free care in all its facilities. “When patients come to our facility, they are generally very grateful to receive good medical and obstetric care,” said Aziz. “They don’t have other places to go, they cannot afford to pay for services at hospitals or private clinics. Our maternity unit makes a big difference to them.”

    “Before this maternity unit existed, nothing was available and we used to deliver at home,” said Mahaya, 50, who traveled more than an hour with her pregnant daughter-in-law to come to the clinic. “A midwife would come, deliver the baby, and that would be it. There wasn’t even a hospital we could go to. This maternity unit is a big improvement in our lives.”

    “There is still a long way to go before proper access to both physical and mental healthcare can be guaranteed in Mosul,” said Adla Abdallah. “But I focus on the little wins to keep on going. One day a patient left us a note to thank us for the services we provide, but also for the human approach we take at the maternity unit. Her thanks meant a lot to me.”

    Meanwhile, in 2020, KRG Prime Minister Masrour  Barzani declared:

    Today marks the 32nd anniversary of the worst genocide against the peoples of Kurdistan. The genocide was a series of massacres which aimed to eliminate the Kurdish identity and wipe out the Kurdistani nation.

    This was an horrific crime, which the people of Kurdistan cannot forget. Thousands of innocent people were killed while the world watched. The profound pain will continue to live on in our memories. But this anniversary should not merely be a commemoration of our past suffering. We must work together to eradicate the evil and racist ideologies that drove the Anfal genocide.

    The Kurdistan Regional Government will continue to strive for a global recognition of Anfal as genocide, and improve the living conditions of the families of the victims. The Iraqi government too should fulfil its moral and constitutional responsibility to compensate victims of this terrible crime and provide reassurances that it will not be repeated in the future.


    We bring that up because this Thursday will be the 245h anniversary of the genocide.  

    New content at THIRD:

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