Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Remembering the thankfully dead

Zbigniew Brzezinski, neocon who helped lie us into the Iraq War, is no more Press S to spit on his grave

Bill Van Auken (WSWS) notes:

He was recruited into anti-Soviet operations while lecturing at Harvard University in the 1950s. He was among a delegation sent by the CIA through its front group, the “Independent Service for Information,” to intervene at a Soviet-backed world youth festival held in Vienna in 1959. He was described by contemporaries as the most anticommunist and provocative of those sent by the US intelligence agency.
In the early 1970s, Brzezinski was tapped by David Rockefeller to head the Trilateral Commission, a body created to coordinate imperialist strategy between Washington, Western Europe and Japan. The commission, made up of influential business and political figures, in turn, threw its support behind the 1976 presidential campaign of Democrat Jimmy Carter, then governor of Georgia and seen as a Washington “outsider” who could provide a fresh face after the debacle of the administration of Richard Nixon and that of his successor, Gerald Ford. Members of the commission occupied key posts in the Carter administration, with Brzezinski as national security adviser exercising overwhelming influence over US foreign policy.
It was in this position that Brzezinski authored one of the greatest crimes carried out by US imperialism in the 20th century, the instigation of a war in Afghanistan that has continued to ravage the country to this day.
In its obituary of Brzezinski, the New York Times acknowledges that “his rigid hatred of the Soviet Union” had placed him “to the right of many Republicans, including Mr. Kissinger and President Richard M. Nixon.” It adds that under Carter he directed US policy with the aim of “thwarting Soviet expansionism at any cost…for better or worse.” As an example, it states, “He supported billions in military aid for Islamic militants fighting invading Soviet troops in Afghanistan.”
This is a deliberate distortion of the real role played by Washington, its military and the CIA in Afghanistan, under Brzezinski’s direction.
Brzezinski acknowledged in an interview with the French news magazine Le Nouvel Observateur in January 1998 that he initiated a policy in which the CIA covertly began arming the mujahedeen in July 1978—six months before Soviet troops intervened in Afghanistan—with the explicit aim of dragging the Soviet Union into a debilitating war.
Asked, given the catastrophe unleashed upon Afghanistan and the subsequent growth of Islamist terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, whether he regretted the policy he championed in Afghanistan, Brzezinski replied:
“Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.”

Not only did he not go to prison -- where he belonged -- his little girl Mika became a cable personality (let's not say "star," she's not star).

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

Wednesday, May 31, 2017.  Chaos and violence continues as so much of the dead are rendered invisible.

Recent violence in Iraq has been largely ignored by the western press.  One event this week, the bombing of an ice cream parlor in Baghdad, has gotten some attention.

Replying to 
The Karrada Emperor of Ice-cream, poem by

Russell Goldman offers a thirteen paragraph report for THE NEW YORK TIMES.

Read over it and see if you can see the major flaw.

Megan Levy (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD) reports:

An Australian schoolgirl was one of more than a dozen people killed when a massive car bomb tore through a popular ice-cream parlour in the Iraqi capital Baghdad this week.
Zynab Al Harbiya, 12, was with her family at the Al-Faqma ice-cream parlour in Baghdad's central Karrada district in the early hours of Tuesday, local time, when a jihadist blew up an explosive-laden car parked outside.

Liz Burke (NEWS.COM) notes:

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop this morning confirmed the year seven student was killed in a suicide bombing that targeted an ice cream parlour in the Iraqi capital.
Accompanied by family members, the young girl had just enjoyed an ice cream on Monday night, breaking the daily fast undertaken during the holy month of Ramadan when a car bomb was detonated outside the popular eatery.
“She broke her fast and she just wanted to go and get some ice-cream from the parlour,” Zynab’s cousin Layla Al-Saabary said through tears on The Project.

The violence in Iraq is repeatedly ignored.

The victims of the violence are immediately forgotten.

Go read Russell Goldman's article.

The problem?

There's not one name in it.

Don't give him credit for 'time rush.'

There was no time rush.

We're calling it a Tuesday attack due to the time change.

But this is the same attack that we first covered in "ISIS attacks Baghdad" which posted here Monday at 8:14 PST.

And how do you not get the name of one person killed even if the blast was four hours ago?

At THIRD, on Monday night, we offered "Editorial: Do the deaths matter?"

We included two Tweets in the editorial:

Iraq, just like Syria, has endured the most death & ruin at ISIS's hands. But sadly, the global outrage and MSM coverage is slim to none. 💔

  5h5 hours ago

Replying to 
How many monuments around the world will be lit up in Iraq's colours to show solidarity with tonight's victims? How many minutes airtime?

Maybe the world would take notice if the western press did?

Taking notice means you include the dead.

Including the dead does not mean you give numbers, it means you give details.

You have to wonder how the impersonal 'reports' of this violence could impact other violence?

The reports indicate -- by failing to cover the victims -- that lives don't matter.

How does that impact readers in Iraq?

Because a westerner was one of the victims, we have a name.

We have no names of the Iraqis, though.

And we're treating this as normal.

It's not.

It's not even reporting.

They need to dig a little deeper.  And the video is Ella Eyre performing "Deeper."

Violence isn't limited to Baghdad and Mosul.

Bomb attack in Iraq's Hit city In Anbar province kills 14, injures 23

Meanwhile, it's day 224 of The Mosul Slog.

On The Mosul Slog, James Cogan (WSWS) reports:

Secretary of Defense James Mattis has again declared, during a lengthy interview with CBS News on Sunday, that the US-led campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has shifted from “attrition tactics” to “annihilation tactics.”
Mattis implied these “tactics” included the extra-judicial execution of wounded or captured people suspected of being ISIS militants—a flagrant war crime under international law. The former marine general, who directed the murderous US military assaults against Iraqi insurgents in the city of Fallujah in 2004, told CBS: “Our intention is that the foreign fighters do not survive to return home to North Africa, to Europe, to America, to Asia, to Africa. We’re not going to allow them to do so.”
The current focus of the US-directed war on ISIS is the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, which once had a population of over 1.6 million. After months of relentless air strikes and bloody street-to-street fighting, the Iraqi government claims that the remaining ISIS fighters are trapped in the compact and densely-populated suburbs of Mosul’s west, known as the “Old City.” What is left of the ISIS leadership is believed to be holed up in the 900-year old Great Mosque of al-Nuri, where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed a “caliphate” three years ago.
In October 2016, a massive force of Iraqi troops, Kurdish peshmerga militias and Shiite militias began the offensive to retake Mosul. The assault has been supported from the air by jet fighter-bombers and helicopter gunships provided by the US, Australia, Britain, Canada and France. Iraqi ground forces are being accompanied into battle by special forces personnel from the same countries. Iraqi military commanders have boasted they will complete the recapture of Mosul over the coming two weeks.
Earlier this month, Iraqi commanders claimed that some 16,000 ISIS fighters had been killed in the Mosul area since October. When the offensive began, the number of ISIS fighters in the city was generally estimated, by both US and Iraqi government sources, at around 5,000, and at the most, 10,000.
How many of the purported ISIS dead were in fact non-combatants may never be known. What is known, however, is that all males from Mosul older than 14 have been interrogated by government forces as potential ISIS fighters. An unknown number have not survived the process.
In now widely published images, taken between October and December 2016, photographer Ali Arkady captured, in photo and film, some of the horrific torture inflicted during interrogations. According to a March report by Human Rights Watch, some 1,269 people, detained during the earlier stages of the fighting, were being held in “horrendous” and “degrading” conditions in makeshift prison camps. Some 700 others had been transferred to prisons in Baghdad.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley -- updated:

  • Tuesday, May 30, 2017

    Hillary needs to sit her tired ass down

    John Stauber Retweeted Donald J. Trump
    I hate to say it, but has a point here 😂
    John Stauber added,


    And Hillary is a disgrace with all of her stupid excuses.

    She was lazy.

    Like Bully Boy Bush, she wanted to sleep in her own bed.

    That's why she didn't do enough rallies, why she didn't visit states like Wisconsin.

    It's on her.

    She had no message.

    She had no point to running for office.

    She seemed to believe the nonsense Gloria Steinem started spitting out in 2008 -- around May or June -- that Hillary would follow Barack.

    We just had to be patient.

    She was 'owed' it.

    That's certainly how she campaigned.

    And think about it, she lost in 2008.

    She had 8 years to plan her campaign -- and that was the best she could do?

    No more do overs, Hillary.

    Just sit that tired ass down.

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

    Tuesday, May 30, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, a new prediction is made for when TMS will end, and much more.

    The new predicition?  Mosul will be liberated by June 10th.  GULF NEWS quotes Iraqi army Maj Qusay al-Kinam declaring, "Mosul fell to [the Islamic State] on June 10, 2014, so by June 10 this year, it must be liberated."

    Must it?

    Because so many predictions have already been made.

    For example, Lieutenant-General Othman al-Ghanimi, Iraq’s chief of staff, was insisting the operation would wrap up by the start of Ramadan. AL-ARABIYA reported May 11th:

    The Iraqi Ministry of Defense has announced that the entire Mosul area will be under control before Ramadan.

    This announcement came through army Chief Osman al-Ghanmi during his inspection of the operations taking place against ISIS in the city of Mosul.

    Ramadan's already begun.

    So now we're being told things will wrap up June 10th.

    Let's deal with reality.

    In June of 2014, the Islamic State took over Mosul.

    The Iraqi government did nothing in 2014.

    The Iraqi government did nothing in 2015.

    Finally, in October of 2016, they launched an operation.

    This operation is still ongoing.

    Reality, it's now day 223 of The Mosul Slog.

    Day 223 for an operation that was supposed to take mere weeks.

    These Iraqi refugees are spending in a camp. Resources are limited during what should be a joyful time.
    Video: Ramadan in a refugee camp


    That's what The Mosul Slog has produced -- more refugees in a country already having a refugee crisis.

    Jack Moore (NEWSWEEK) notes, "Seven months of battle -- longer than Stalingrad -- and Baghdad’s forces, backed by the U.S.-led coalition, have slowly eaten away at the jihadi group’s stranglehold on the largest city in its possession."


    Ghassan Adnan and Ben Kesling (WALL STREET JOURNAL) report, "Two car bombings in the Iraqi capital early Tuesday killed at least two dozen people and injured 60 others, Iraqi officials said, in attacks that targeted families during the holy month of Ramadan."  One of the bombings targeted an ice cream parlor.  Murtada Faraj (AP) counts 13 dead and twenty-four more injured and reports, "A number of wounded lay on the ground, others propped themselves up on the colorful park benches outside the ice cream shop. One young girl, wearing a ribbon and bow in her hair, wandered the scene dazed."

    It was a deadly attack.

    No buildings around the world will honor victims by putting its lights out, just cry yourself to sleep & start a new day tomorrow.

    Had it happened elsewhere, it would be the subject of non-stop news, people would talk of showing solidarity with the victims.

    But it's Baghdad so, if the pattern holds, the western news media will have forgotten it by this afternoon.

    KUNA notes, "The Arab League strongly condemned Tuesday recent attacks carried out in the Karrada district, Baghdad, killing and wounding a large number of people.  Arab League Secretary General Almat Abudl-Gheit affirmed the solidarity with the Iraqi leadership, government and people against this brutality that targets innocent civilians."

    Happy islamic terrorist bomb . Did u know Iraq wasn't an islamic Republic until we bombed them?

    At least 10 killed, dozens injured in bomb blasts in central ,

    moment of blast that targeted a busy district tonight , it was an ice cream shop

    BREAKING: ISIS blows up a popular ice cream shop in Iraq's Karradah, slaughtering dozens of Iraqi Shia men, women and children. 💔

    ****GRAPHIC*** Bombing rocks Karrada Iraq just now. Many casualties reported! News coming to us from those on the ground. Spread the message

    And the US Special Envoy Brett McGurk Tweeted:

    ISIS terrorists tonight in Baghdad target children & families enjoying time together at an ice cream shop. We stand w/Iraq against this evil

    The second bombing?  Samuel Osborne (INDEPENDENT) reports, "A few hours later, a second explosives-laden car went off during rush hour near the state-run Public Pension Office near the al-Shahada (Martyrs') Bridge in the busy Shawaka district, killing at least 12 and wounding 23 more, a police officer said."

    ....I give up on this world..second car bomb in 12hrs in Baghdad, Iraq. 27's Ramadan..

    Blondie is back with a new album.  Kat reviewed it in "Kat's Korner: Blondie's summer return" and you can catch Blondie on NPR:


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