Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wildwood and other new Tori Amos songs

A little truth at the start:



  1. Obama didn't go to the UN and threaten to destroy Libya. But that's exactly what he did anyway.



What else?



Betty's written twice about Tori's new album and Rebecca's written about it as well.


I saw this at the Sydney Morning Herald:



But just when you're getting used to one Amos – the seasoned, politically aware performer who says "there are lot more men my age with record contracts than women" – you suddenly realise she's taken a detour into metaphysics and is describing a group of benevolent spirits called the muses.
Ask her about writing songs and she describes a "bloody" process in which "the muses often kick my ass". "When you are choosing to write from a place of personal experience you have to deal with what you discover," she says. "The muses are there, but they can't solve what gets brought up. So if you want to traverse that territory it's a mark on your soul."
I'm a little lost. Like psychotherapy, perhaps?
"No, it's a little different to that," she says. "Therapy is a safe place for it all to crumble and it's OK. It doesn't have to be crafted. With songwriting you have to let it crumble, edit it and craft it."

I really love Native Invader.  If you've ever been a Tori fan, I hope you'll check it out.

It's really a great album and I'd pick it for album of the year.

I think "Wildwood" is my favorite song on the album but it changes daily.

  Behind the birches whirl
The bongo boys in their summoning
The sound seeds now
In the fingers of the eastern breeze
Where the sleepless wait
For her ascent from the perilous pit
She said "The only way to change our fate
It is to make it rain"

Wildwood
Poppies
Wildwood
Touch me

Past the Alders and the Oaks
Through the Willow Grove snakes the Ivy's gift
Which taught you can't escape anguish
But how to live with it
Then reports from the robins
Form in you an inner radiance
It's as if they fused with a spirit you knew
Who's come back again

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


Wednesday, September 20, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, efforts continue to derail the planned September 25th vote, Turkey kills at least 3 Iraqi civilians, and much more.



ALSUMARIA reports that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared today that KRG President Massoud Barzani should call off the planned referendum on September 25th or face sanctions from Turkey's government.

Sanctions?

Today, Turkish warplanes attacked Dohuk Province and left 3 civilians dead according to ALSUMARIA NEWS.

Is this Erdogan's idea of sanctions?

As we noted in yesterday's snapshot:


Also ANADOLU AGENCY states, "Turkish fighter jets killed at least three PKK terrorists in northern Iraq, the military said in a statement late Tuesday."  And THE DAILY SABAH states, "The counterterror operation was launched upon receiving intelligence that PKK terrorists were planning an attack, the statement elaborated."  Earlier, XINHUA noted another strike, "The Turkish Air Force conducted an airstrike in northern Iraq on Tuesday, killing at least four PKK militants, a statement released by General Staff said."

Two strikes in one day.  Based on the statements of the government who ordered and carried out the strikes.  No one on the ground to check it out.  Nor will there be any follow up.  Most of the time, these strikes kill animals, villagers, farmers.  But, hey, let's just go with what Turkey claims happened, right?  The Turkish government would never lie, right?  No government would ever lie, right?



Well today the Kurdish War Planes killed 3 civilians and injured an untold number.

But they 'forgot' to issue a statement on that.

They killed civilians and where is the condemnation?

They do this over and over and get away with it.

The western press treats it as a non-event and parrots whatever the Turkish government says.

 This Tweet gets it right.



As Erdogan rants against Kurdish independence in the UN, his state is funding terrorists or bombing Kurds in Iraq, Syria and Turkey.





The White House should be condemning Turkey.  Instead, they look the other way.


Nash Naam (EFFINGHAM DAILY NEWS) offers this look at what's going on in Iraq:


The Iraqi government in Baghdad is trying to dissuade Barzani from going ahead with the referendum. Iraq neighbors, especially Turkey and Iran, don’t want this referendum to take place. They are concerned that breaking away of one third of Iraq will destabilizes the already inflamed situation in that part of the Middle East. Even the Trump administration is trying to push Barzani to postpone the vote indefinitely.
But even if the referendum does not go as planned, the fact that the Kurds, who now occupy at least a third of Iraq, and are itching for a measure of independence, will eventually try to establish at least a sort of federal relationship with the Baghdad government. No matter what happens, it seems the winds of change are creating a reality that is vastly different from the Iraq that we knew before.
At one time, former Vice President Joe Biden, then a senator, advocated dividing Iraq into three small countries based on their sectarian differences. Many, including me, scoffed at his remarks. Sadly, now it seems that his vision may be the ultimate solution to the sectarian violence and hatred that permeate this area of the world.

Despite legitimate Kurdish aspirations for statehood, the Sept. 25 vote, in reality, is not necessarily meant to secure total independence. Instead, its goal is to fundamentally reshape the relationship between the Kurdistan regional government and the federal government in Baghdad. Many Kurdish politicians hinted at their satisfaction with something less than total independence, such as confederation between Kurdistan and Iraq.




Meanwhile, those opposed to the referendum stage a meet-up.



Turkey-Iran-Iraq meet to discuss referendum at the .



Interesting.


The only time Iraq, Iran & Turkey sit down & have a friendly meeting is when they’re discussing a way to keep the Kurds down.





The Kurds do not trust the Baghdad-based government because it has not acted fairly since 2003 and it has not followed the Constitution (including the refusal to implement Article 140).  RUDAW notes, "Kurdistan emphasizes that the Iraqi constitution allows Erbil to end the “free union” between the two governments because Baghdad has violated at least 55 articles of the Iraqi constitution, including cutting the regional government’s share of the Iraqi budget since early 2014, lack of defense budget for the Kurdish Peshmerga, and Article 140 that concerns the fate of the Kurdistani or disputed areas such as the oil-rich Kirkuk province. "


But the current problems go the larger problems, the historical ones and that's what the western media refuses to talk about in their contemporary coverage of the issue.

From 2006, this is PBS:

After the war with Iran began in 1980, Iraqi troops stationed in the north were transferred to the frontline, allowing Kurdish peshmerga forces to gain in strength and numbers. At the time, Kurdistan, as the area is often called, simmered with revolt, led by the KDP and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). In the war, both parties actively sided with Iran. By 1987, although Kurdish cities were still controlled by Iraqi troops, the villages of the vast interior were safe havens for the Kurdish rebels. That year, Saddam tapped his cousin, Ali Hassan al–Majid, a man well–known for his brutality, to take charge of northern Iraq. Al–Majid quickly deployed military resources to, in his words, “solve the Kurdish problem and slaughter the saboteurs.” He ordered Iraqi aircraft to drop poison gas on PUK and KDP targets and civilian villages, killing hundreds indiscriminately. The Iraqi regime had become the first in history to attack its own civilian population with chemical weapons. Al–Majid came to be known as “Chemical Ali.”
The Anfal began in earnest in early 1988. A directive from Baghdad ordered commanders to bomb rural areas of the north day or night “in order to kill the largest number of persons present.” The same directive declared that “[a]ll persons captured in those villages shall be detained and interrogated by the security services, and those between the ages of 15 and 70 shall be executed after any useful information has been obtained from them.” There were eight Anfal attacks in all, each following a similar pattern. First, air attacks dropped chemical weapons on both civilian and peshmerga targets. Next, ground troops surrounded the villages, looting and setting fire to homes. Then townspeople were herded into army trucks and taken to holding facilities, the largest being Topzawa, an army camp near Kirkuk. At these camps, men and boys deemed old enough to carry a weapon were separated from women, the elderly and young children. Routinely and uniformly, these men and boys were taken to remote sites, executed in groups, and dumped into pre–dug mass graves. Many women and children were also executed, especially those from areas that supported the Kurdish resistance.
The Anfal military campaign ended in September 1988 when Saddam’s regime announced a general amnesty for all Kurds (although they were not permitted to return to “prohibited zones”). In any case, 90 percent of Kurdish villages had essentially been wiped off the map, and the countryside was strewn with land mines to discourage resettlement. The response from the international community was muted, as many nations, including the United States, had supported Hussein with money and arms during the Iran–Iraq war.
Charges and evidence

Human Rights Watch estimates that between 50,000 and 100,000 people were killed during al–Anfal; Kurdish officials have put the number as high as 182,000. When presented with this figure, “Chemical” Ali Hassan al–Majid took exception. “It could not have been more than 100,000,” he said. Since the fall of Saddam, mass graves related to al–Anfal have been found in Hatra, near Mosul, and in Samawa, southeast of Baghdad. In some cases, audiotapes document meetings of Ba’ath leaders discussing the campaign. Soil samples taken from bomb craters in northern Iraq show evidence of the use of chemical weapons. Observers expect that Saddam will be tried for his role in al–Anfal following the Dujail trial. He may be charged with genocide.


On Monday, the State Dept's Bureau of Near Easter Affairs acting assistant secretary David M. Satterfield got called on US hypocrisy in the middle of a press briefing.


QUESTION: You talked about the need for an intact, nonpartitioned, independent Syria. What do you then say to the Kurds who, let’s face it, did a lot of the hard fighting for us for the last several years and are now seeing their aspirations for independence being suppressed in multiple parts of the region?

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: Well, we would certainly not agree with that characterization. There was discussion --

QUESTION: Which part of the characterization are you disputing?


AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: The suppression of Kurdish desires for independence. There was discussion during this meeting which was focused on Syria – I want to underscore that – but there was discussion of the Kurdish referendum. And I’ll be very clear that there was uniform consensus in the room that now was not the moment for this referendum, announced and advocated as it has been, to proceed. I think there is an international consensus on that point. But frankly, this was a Syria discussion, not a Kurdish-focused discussion. 


Kenneth M. Pollack has moved from Brookings to the American Enterprise Institute -- shedding further light on just how right-wing Brookings actually is.

Today, he yet again claims a 'turned corner' in the Iraq War.

And he's yet again prepared to advise how to move forward (keeping US troops on the ground indefinitely is part of that 'move forward').  He also offers:



Meanwhile, the United States and United Nations should take responsibility for three compelling issues: (1) beginning a national reconciliation process among senior Iraqi leaders – primarily Sunni and Shi’a, but also including other minority groups as well; (2) investigating and possibly reforming Iraq’s Independent High Election Commission to ensure that Iraq’s elections are fair and free; and (3) overseeing talks between Baghdad and Erbil over the status of Iraqi Kurdistan. On this last issue, Iraqi-Kurdish talks should run on two parallel tracks, one focusing on a long-term (5-10 years) process for peaceful Kurdish secession, and a second focusing on Baghdad-Erbil relations in the short term, to include sticky issues like security cooperation, administration of Kurdish occupied territory, oil revenues, and fiscal policy.
The last thing that the Iraqi government will need considerable American assistance in handling is the question of the militias. Because of their domestic power and Iranian backing, these cannot simply be handled by fiat. They need to be slowly integrated into Iraq’s security forces at the individual level. Most of their leaders need to be rewarded for their service and give respectable positions within the Iraqi government or else significant pensions for their service. Any attempt to break them or disband them, let alone punish them, could break Iraq instead. But a key will be to build up the power and popularity of the Iraqi government to the point where its leaders can negotiate with the militia leaders (and the Iranians) from a position of much greater leverage. The best way to do that would be to accomplish all of the other steps on this punch list above.


Today's violence also includes a west Baghdad bombing left 1 person dead and four injured.


Meanwhile, in the United States, despite non-stop coverage and promotion, Hillary Clinton's latest ghost written tome couldn't even sell a half million copies in its opening week -- despite major price slashing at Costco and at Barnes & Noble, despite online prices that amounted to little more than free give aways.

For someone so quick to pass off the 65 million voters as her personal fan club (ignoring just how many held their noses to vote for her), 300,000 is a rather paltry sales figure.

Andre Damon (WSWS) offers his take on the War Hawk's latest book:

Her speeches and the six-figure honorariums she received were, she explains, entirely appropriate.
“My life after leaving politics had turned out to be pretty great,” she writes. “Like many former government officials, I found that organizations and companies wanted me to come talk to them about my experiences and share my thoughts on the world—and they’d pay me a pretty penny to do it. I liked that there was a way for me to earn a very good living without working for any one company or sitting on any boards. It was also a chance to meet interesting people.”
But, she admits, she failed to appreciate that ordinary people, with their limited perspective, might see things otherwise. “I should have realized it would be bad ‘optics’ and stayed away from anything having to do with Wall Street. I didn’t. That’s on me.”
All of Clinton’s supposedly candid admissions of mistakes have the same character. Whether the issue is millions in speaking fees from Wall Street or glib talk about putting coal miners out of work, there was nothing intrinsically wrong about what she did, only her failure to anticipate the response of the ignorant masses.
Clinton admits to two major electoral surprises: the popular support for socialist policies as reflected in the mass backing for the supposed socialist Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries, and the collapse of minority working-class support for her campaign on Election Day.
Regarding the primaries, Clinton writes: “Nothing in my experience in American politics suggested that a Socialist from Vermont could mount a credible campaign for the White House.” But Sanders “tapped into powerful emotional currents in the electorate.”
She adds, “When a Des Moines Register poll in January 2016 found that 43 percent of likely Iowa Democratic caucus goers identified as Socialists, I knew there could be trouble ahead.”
In one of her speeches to Goldman Sachs, Clinton admitted that she was “kind of far removed” from the struggles of ordinary people because of “the economic, you know, fortunes that my husband and I now enjoy.”

While she makes no such frank admission in her book, the above quote perfectly sums up the type of middle-class snobbery that pervades it, including a passage where she equates the aspirations of millions of people for a decent job, health care and retirement savings, expressed in their support for Sanders, with a child’s selfish desire to “get a pony.”


The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley and BLACK AGENDA REPORT -- updated:










iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq Iraq