Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Bad writing at CounterPunch

Susan Babbitt babbles at CounterPunch.

Ana Belen Montes is supposedly the subject of her article.

Montes is in prison (federal).  I know about her case thanks to Wikipedia.

I had to go there to find out about Montes.

Susan Babbitt writes about basically everything but Montes.

She may think she's giving context.

I don't.

I think she's showing stupidity.

I'm not judging Montes -- I don't have enough information to be pro-Montes or anti-Montes.

Babbitt failed to provide it.

Worse, she writes at length about Le Roi Jones.

If you just felt yourself get irritated, you were right to.

Amiri Baraka.

Does Babbitt even know that?

There's nothing in her writing that suggests she does.

Following the assassination of Malcolm X, Jones was known as Amiri Baraka. 

He swore off the other name.

Again, I don't believe Babbitt knew that.

She doesn't appear to know much about Montes either and pads out her piece with Baraka and John Pilger.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 
Tuesday, May 23, 2017.   Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, US troops continue to deploy to Iraq and much more.


KCEN reports, "Around 250 Fort Hood soldiers from III Corps are set to deploy to Iraq and Kuwait in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.  As part of the regular rotation of forces, III Corps will replace the 18th Airborne Corps in their mission against ISIS. The 18th Airborne is based at Fort Bragg, N.C."

Why?

Every day that should be the question: Why?

The US government kicked off this ongoing war in 2003.

It's 2017.

Why?


Why are US troops still going into Iraq?

Why does the Iraq War continue?

Why?

We need to think and we need to ask questions.

And we need to hold people accountable.


Alleged civilian casualties in Iraq & Syria up under Trump. Data here: . New analysis here:
 
 
 






Are we supposed to cheer Colin?

If so, why?

He was perfectly happy taking part in the death of civilians during Barack's presidency, remember?


Now he's offended because the number of civilians killed -- "alleged civilians," he tells us -- has increased?

It was a crime to begin with.


Whether it's increased, decreased or stayed the same, it was a crime to begin with.

Colin Kahl is War Trash and people need to think.


Human Rights Watch notes:

As civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria rise in the battle against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), the Australian government should take all feasible measures to protect civilians during military operations and improve the transparency of its operations, Human Rights Watch said today. The Australian government is an active member of the United States-led coalition against ISIS and has dropped thousands of munitions on targets in Iraq and Syria since August 2014, but has been one of the least transparent members of the coalition.
On May 8, 2017, the Australia Defence Force (ADF) began releasing fortnightly reports on strikes taken by the Australian air force as a member of the US-led coalition, but more detailed reporting is urgently needed.

“The rise in reports of civilian casualties raises questions about the precautions and procedures in place to protect civilians,” said Elaine Pearson, Australia director at Human Rights Watch. “New fortnightly Australian defense reports are a welcome step, but the government needs to provide more detailed information to ensure greater transparency and accountability for its military operations in Iraq and Syria.”



It's day 216 of The Mosul Slog.



 
 





The United Nations News Centre notes:


      22 May 2017 – With the liberation of Mosul imminent, the international community must maintain a dual focus on defeating the remaining Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh) forces in Iraq, and on working towards post-conflict security and reconstruction, the United Nations envoy for the country told the Security Council today.

“The days of the so-called Da'esh caliphate in Iraq are numbered” and discussions on how to rebuild the country had begun, Ján Kubiš, Head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), said in a “briefing to the Council, where he announced that UN Secretary-General António Guterres recently received the long-awaited submission of the Iraqi Forces Coalition's vision of a national settlement.

Moreover, the recent “Turkmen Forum” held in Baghdad served as an inclusive platform for the sharing of reconstruction visions.

Mr. Kubiš went on to stress that the imminent defeat of ISIL must also provide an urgent impetus to address the needs of minorities, especially their ability to return to their homes.
The return of all internally displaced persons to all liberated areas must be a top priority, as should tackling increasing incidents of kidnapping and paying sustained attention to upcoming elections in 2017 and 2018.

“National reconciliation can only succeed if it reflects the aspirations of the population, including women and youth,” he said, adding that women and youth, who make up more than half of Iraq's population, are key constituencies. With this in mind, he noted that UNAMI has convened seven separate forums across the country: in Basra, Erbil, Najaf, Diyala, Sulaymanyah, Kirkuk, and Baghdad, bringing together over 750 young participants from all Iraqi provinces.

Urging Baghdad and Erbil to leverage their joint efforts against ISIL and to address such issues as border disputes and building a “functional federation” based on partnership, Mr. Kubiš noted that senior officials in Kurdistan recently announced their intention to hold a referendum on the region's future later in 2017.
They had indicated, he continued, that their aim was to “show the world the will of the people” on the status of Kurdistan, rather than assert independence immediately.
Meanwhile, Turkey's Armed Forces maintained their relentless air attacks against PKK fighters, he said, citing Ankara's declarations that they would continue in order to deny sanctuary to the PKK. The Prime Minster had deplored the attack, he added.

Noting that the overall rule of law remained weak, Mr. Kubiš said kidnapping was becoming an increasing problem, recalling that the National Intelligence Cell had met on 11 May to discuss the link between terrorism and organized crime, including kidnapping. The international community must vigorously pursue accountability for crimes committed by ISIL in Iraq, he said.

Meanwhile, the issue of internally displaced persons remained critical, with some 700,000 people having fled their homes since mid-October, he noted. Hundreds of thousands of others remain in ISIL-controlled areas, suffering lack of food and water and often finding themselves caught in crossfire.


Mr. Kubiš concluded by reporting on his recent visit to Kuwait, saying he had met with officials there on the issue of missing Kuwaiti nationals and property. They had voiced concern about the lack of progress on the ground, he said, urging the Government of Iraq promptly to fulfil its obligations under that file.



In other news . . .



VP "We are not responsible for what he did" criticising ’s one-man rule
 
 





What measures are in place to prevent a repeat of Nouri al-Maliki?


None.


The persecution of Sunnis continues.


There is no national reconciliation.



The following community sites -- plus Cindy Sheehan, NPR, PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated:








  •  
     







    Monday, May 22, 2017

    Trump and the press

    Vakerie Richardson (Washington Times) reports:


    President Trump has insisted that his press coverage has been historically negative, and a newly released Harvard journalism study backs him up.
    A major study released last week by the Harvard Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy found that the coverage of Mr. Trump during his first 100 days was “unsparing,” with negative reports outnumbering positive ones by 80 percent to 20 percent.
    Trump’s coverage during his first 100 days set a new standard for negativity,” said Harvard Kennedy School of Government professor Thomas E. Patterson in the report.
    He added that the coverage was “negative even by the standards of today’s hypercritical press.”


    Does that surprise you?

    Me neither.

    Onto another topic.



    The happiest of birthdays to an incredible human/soul & exceptionally talented 🍾🎉🎈🎂🎁👑🐺👿🦄


    His birthday's passed.  But what I want to note is that amazing artwork.


    I praise who ever drew that.  Excellent.

    Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
     
    Monday, May 22, 2017.  The Mosul Slog continues, CBS NEWS continues to sell it and much more.


    Starting with the White House's Special Envoy Brett McGurk:



      Retweeted
    President Trump during Arab Islamic American Summit "This is not a battle of different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations"
    Video
    U.S. Department of State








    Thank you, Brett, for Tweeting that, honestly, no sarcasm.

    But if we're talking about what this isn't, can we talk about what it is?

    Because the Iraq War drags on and surely you know that.

    You served in Iraq when Bully Boy Bush occupied the White House, you've served in Iraq under President Barack Obama and now you serve under President Donald Trump.

    When does it end?



    RT reports:


    The US and Middle Eastern countries have backed a new pact that promises to provide extra troops for defeating Islamic State, singles out Iran for destabilizing the region, and says that Riyadh is to become the heart of the region’s counter-terrorism operations.
    Described as the Riyadh Declaration, the document was signed following US President Donald Trump’s visit to the Saudi capital for a summit that brought in Islamic representatives from 55 countries, and vowed “to combat terrorism in all its forms, address its intellectual roots, dry up its sources of funding and to take all necessary measures to prevent and combat terrorist crimes in close cooperation among their states.”




    A lot of reports over the weekend but CBS NEWS goes with what?


    U.S backed Iraqi forces in Mosul are closing in on the last neighborhoods still under ISIS control






    Charlie Rose looks a little tipsy, doesn't he?

    He also looks a lot like Rex Harrison in the film STAIRCASE, doesn't he?

    He just doesn't look much like a journalist.

    But then a journalist wouldn't be offering that nonsense on day 215 of The Mosul Slog.


    Especially not with the reports of abuse being covered -- being covered outside of CBS NEWS, we should note.



      59m59 minutes ago

    Harrowing: SPIEGEL photographer Ali Arkady documents Iraqi security forces abducting, torturing, raping, and killing civilians around Mosul.









    Human Rights Watch notes:


    Iraqi government-allied troops arbitrarily detained at least 100 men in late April 2017, in some cases torturing them during interrogations, Human Rights Watch said today. 
    Human Rights Watch interviewed three men from al-Hadar, a village 90 kilometers southwest of west Mosul, who were detained by the Popular Mobilization Forces (known as the PMF or Hashd al-Sha'abi) and two local officials who had knowledge of the detention operations in the area. The men said the fighters detained them as they fled their homes because of the fighting, and held them for up to 15 days in a school building and in one case a home in an area solely under PMF control. Their captors interrogated them about possible Islamic State (also known as ISIS) links, and in two cases beat them with thick metal cables, before releasing them and a small number of other detainees. Other detainees told them they had also been beaten during interrogations.

    “Given the previous track records of PMF abuse in the area of screening and detaining local men, Baghdad should treat these findings with the gravest concern,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Authorities should do all in their power to ensure that families fleeing the fighting around Mosul are able to get to safety, not tortured in secret facilities.”



    It's not covered by CBS NEWS which is working overtime to sell war yet again.

    The Mosul Slog's been a disaster.

    As the Norwegian Refugee Council notes:


                             
    The last three years of conflict in Iraq have caused a displacement crisis that is ‘nearly without precedent’ according to a report released today by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

    The Global Report on Internal Displacement found that widespread military offensives in Iraq caused almost 660,000 new displacements in 2016. One in ten people displaced by conflict around the world in 2016 were displaced in Iraq, bringing the total number of internally displaced Iraqis to over three million. A growing proportion of Iraqis have also been displaced more than once.
    “Internal displacement is not solely the responsibility of national governments,” said Heidi Diedrich, Country Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council in Iraq. “The international community must support the efforts of the Iraqi Government to help those displaced by conflict in this country,” she said, speaking from Erbil, Iraq. 






    Photojournalist David Bacon has had many exhibits and written many books, his latest book is The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration.   He has an important new photo essay that we'll note the opening of.




    40,000 AT&T WORKERS ARE SET TO STRIKE
    By David Bacon
    Working In These Times, 5/18/17
    http://davidbaconrealitycheck.blogspot.com/2017/05/40000-at-workers-are-set-to-strike.html
    http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/20145/40000_att_workers_are_set_to_strike



    Workers have issued an ultimatum, giving company executives until 3 p.m. ET on Friday to present serious proposals—or the workers will walk. (Photo credit: David Bacon)  

    Around 40,000 members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) at AT&T could walk off their jobs, starting Friday, for a three-day strike, as pressure continues to mount on the corporation to settle fair contracts.

    In California and Nevada, around 17,000 AT&T workers who provide phone, landline and cable services have been working without a contract for more than a year. Last year, they voted to authorize a strike with more than 95 percent support. And in February, an estimated 21,000 AT&T Mobility workers in 36 states voted to strike as well, with 93 percent in favor.


    [. . .]

    Full disclosure: David Bacon and In These Times staff are members of the Communication Workers of America, and the union is a sponsor of the magazine.
     


    In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte
    Photographs and text by David Bacon
    University of California Press / Colegio de la Frontera Norte




    Book Presentations -
    In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte

    Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 23, 2017
    1-3 PM, Chicano Studies Research Center, 144 Haines Hall
    UCLA
    5:30-8 PM, UCLA Downtown Labor Center
    675 S. Park View St.

    Davis, Thursday, June 1, 2017
    7-9 PM, Art Annex Room 107 (Technological Studies Building)
    UC Davis Main Campus



    302 photographs, 450pp, 9”x9”
    paperback, $34.95

    SPECIAL OFFER:
    order the book on the UC Press website:
    ucpress.edu/9780520296077
    use source code  16M4197  at checkout
    receive a 30% discount

    En Mexico se puede pedir el libro en el sitio de COLEF:

    http://libreria.colef.mx/detalle.aspx?id=7560
     


    Was zwischen den USA und Mexiko schon seit langem existiert
    Die Traurigkeit der Grenzmauer
    http://www.nrhz.de/flyer/beitrag.php?id=23703


    In den Straßen von Guadalajara
    http://www.nrhz.de/flyer/beitrag.php?id=23425

    Kinder – in Berliner Straßen
    http://www.nrhz.de/flyer/beitrag.php?id=23309
    "Wir sind obdachlos, und wir wählen"
    http://www.nrhz.de/flyer/beitrag.php?id=23263

    THE REALITY CHECK - David Bacon blog
    http://davidbaconrealitycheck.blogspot.com

    EN LOS CAMPOS DEL NORTE:  Farm worker photographs on the U.S./Mexico border wall
    http://us7.campaign-archive2.com/?u=fc67a76dbb9c31aaee896aff7&id=0644c65ae5&e=dde0321ee7
    Youtube interview about the show with Alfonso Caraveo (Spanish)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJeE1NO4c_M&feature=youtu.be

    Interviews with David Bacon about his book, The Right to Stay Home:

    Book TV: A presentation of the ideas in The Right to Stay Home at the CUNY Graduate Center

    http://booktv.org/Watch/14961/The+Right+to+Stay+Home+How+US+Policy+Drives+Mexican+Migration.aspx

    KPFA - Upfront with Brian Edwards Tiekert
    https://soundcloud.com/kpfa-fm-94-1-berkeley/david-bacon-on-upfront-9-20


    Books by David Bacon

    The Right to Stay Home:  How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration  (Beacon Press, 2013)

    http://www.beacon.org/productdetails.cfm?PC=2328

    Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants  (Beacon Press, 2008)
    Recipient: C.L.R. James Award, best book of 2007-2008

    http://www.beacon.org/Illegal-People-P780.aspx

    Communities Without Borders (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006)
    http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100558350

    The Children of NAFTA, Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border (University of California, 2004)
    http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520244726

    En Español:

    EL DERECHO A QUEDARSE EN CASA  (Critica - Planeta de Libros)

    http://www.planetadelibros.com.mx/el-derecho-a-quedarse-en-casa-libro-205607.html

    HIJOS DE LIBRE COMERCIA (El Viejo Topo)
    http://www.tienda.elviejotopo.com/prestashop/capitalismo/1080-hijos-del-libre-comercio-deslocalizaciones-y-precariedad-9788496356368.html?search_query=david+bacon&results=1

    For more articles and images, see  http://dbacon.igc.org and http://davidbaconrealitycheck.blogspot.com