Wednesday, November 28, 2018

THE GUARDIAN's attack on Julian

James Cogan (WSWS) reports on the attack on Julian Assange:

The Guardian has stepped up its contemptible role as one of the main media conduits for the persecution of Julian Assange, publishing unsubstantiated and sensationalist allegations that the WikiLeaks publisher met with American political lobbyist, Paul Manafort.
One of the two authors of the Guardian article was, predictably, Luke Harding. Harding has penned a stream of material aimed at undermining support for Assange and WikiLeaks and attempting to justify the efforts of the US government to prosecute him for espionage or conspiracy. Assange aptly described an error-filled 2014 book written by Harding about whistleblower Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks as a “hack job in the purest sense of the word.”
The allegation that Assange met with Manafort is another desperate effort to implicate WikiLeaks in the lurid claims of the Democratic Party, US intelligence agencies and much of the media that the Russian government “interfered” in the 2016 US presidential election to promote the victory of Donald Trump.
Manafort was, from the outset, one of the key persons of interest in the investigation headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Between June and August 2016, he served as the chairman of Trump’s election campaign. In October 2017, he was convicted of conspiracy to launder millions of dollars he was allegedly paid for lobbying, until 2014, on behalf of Russian-backed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted in a US-backed political coup the same year. No charges, however, have been laid against Manafort relating to the 2016 election.
The Guardian article makes wild assertions that meetings between Manafort and Assange took place in 2013, 2015 and early 2016 in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks editor has been confined since he sought political asylum there on June 19, 2012. The article insinuates that the last meeting had some relationship to the publication by WikiLeaks of leaked Democratic Party emails. It baldly asserts that “Vladimir Putin’s spies” sent the emails to WikiLeaks in July 2016.
Some of the Julian coverage in the community last night:
9 hours ago
10 hours ago
10 hours ago
10 hours ago
And let’s never forget who pimped The Guardian as a great paper: Amy Trash Goodman.  She ‘forgot’ to tell her American audience that The Guardian helped sell the Iraq War.  She presented them as this great alternative news source.  And they aren’t any thing of the kind.

So much that Amy 'reported' turned out false. 

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2018.  Protests continue in Iraq as the government continues to falter.

How bad are things in Iraq?  RUDAW reports:

The government in Baghdad is tackling the country’s dirty water problem, Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi said on Tuesday.

“We have held a series of important meetings with senior experts to stop water pollution, typically in rivers,” he told reporters during his annual press conference.

Iraqis are concerned about the health of their water supply after a series of crises this year – water levels in the Tigris were at historic lows this summer, polluted and very salty water sent thousands to hospital in Basra, and mass fish deaths sparked concerns that the Euphrates River had been poisoned. 

The water problem is being tackled!  Why, there have been meetings!

Wait, comedian Adil Abdul al-Mahdi wasn't done with the laughs: "He said that recent rains – which caused deadly floods in the centre of the country – had improved water supplies in Basra."

The floods!  He's using the floods as a selling point!  That would be the floods that have claimed lives and displaced so many.


More than 15 schools badly affected in Thi Qar province after recent floods.
The scale of damage caused by flooding at Qayara cano was heart breaking. Over 2,000 families had their tents completely flooded with no dry space to even sit on.

Emergency workers in Iraq struggle to help flood victims

In Southern Iraq, water levels usually rise slightly in November with the rainy season in late December or early January, where sudden transient floods are expected. So this may just get worse unfortunately. May God keep them safe and secure always.

This is the prime minister's selling point?  We've held meetings and, by the way, the flooding has made the water better -- while also killing people and displacing them and creating a crisis -- rah rah!  That's his selling point?

In other 'great news,' he promises -- continues to promise -- a full Cabinet -- some day.

PM : A number of oversight bodies including the Accountability and Justice Commission are carrying out due diligence work and vetting of nominees for the remaining Cabinet posts. We will present our nominees to parliament once this process is completed

Had the Iraqi Constitution been followed, October 24th wouldn't have found him moving from prime minister-designate to prime minister.  He would have either come up with a full Cabinet in the 30 days or he wouldn't be prime minister.  That's all you have to do per the Constitution.  The president names your prime minister-designate and then you have 30 days to form a Cabinet -- that's what you do in order to become prime minister.

But he couldn't do it.  Not even after drastically reducing the Cabinet to 22 posts, he still couldn't fill it.  He couldn't even fill the security posts: Minister of the Interior and Minister of Defense.

He couldn't fill the Cabinet and people are losing patience.

Iraq's Sadr calls on prime minister to finalize cabinet

Iraq's Sadr calls on prime minister to finalize cabinet

The new appointed PM of Iraq Adil AbdulMahdi is going no where with his efforts to form a cabinet of Ministers that can work with him to provide essential services to the people. The guy is passive and lacks the determination to do what he was asked to do.

Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said the ministries of defense and interior in the new should be filled with independent cadres or commanders who played a major role in the war against .

And while Minister of Defense and Minister of Interior should be the focus, let's remember they are only two of eight posts that the prime minister still hasn't filled.  Repeatedly, it's going to happen . . . next week.  In fact, the posts were supposed to be filled yesterday but now that's been postponed to . . . next week.

The last time a prime minister failed to fill the posts of Ministers of Defense and Interior, what happened?  The rise of ISIS in Iraq.  It was Nouri al-Maliki, in his second term and Iraq's still dealing with ISIS to this day.

Dealing poorly with ISIS in many ways.  For example, ANADOLU AGENCY reports:

Around 1,900 bodies have been pulled from the rubble in the northern city of Mosul following Iraq’s three-year conflict (2014-2017) with the [ISIS]  terrorist group, a local civil-defense official said Wednesday.
"Civil-defense teams have so far recovered some 1,900 bodies found under the rubble of destroyed buildings in Mosul's Old City district," Fahed al-Abed, a civil-defense official in Iraq’s Nineveh province (of which Mosul is provincial capital), told Anadolu Agency.

Under the rubble?  Hmm.  Rubble?  Oh, right from all the bombs dropped on a city with civilians in it.  Dropped from war planes -- planes in the US-led coalition because what better way to save the occupied city of Mosul then to bomb it?

At least al-Mahdi can take comfort in the fact that the timeline there is on the previous prime ministers Nouri al-Maliki and then Hayder al-Abadi.  However, the Basra protests?  They started in July.  He became prime minister in October.  And he's issued a lot of statements -- he does love those statements -- but he's done nothing to meet the demands of the protesters -- demands that include safe drinking water which won't result in another 100,000 residents being sent to the hospital.

“We've been sleeping on the streets for 30 days…I told the governor, the youth is a ticking bomb,” a protester told the media today in light of renewed street blocking protests in due to lack of government response to address deteriorating living conditions
Following 5 months of continued street protests accompanied by 27 nights of sit-in demonstrations in front of Oil Company, time has expired on yet another set of promises. Dire living conditions in are not addressed and today marks a new phase in .

On the issue of protests, THE NEW ARAB reports:

"Raise your voices! Where are your voices? Raise your voices against killings of women, raise your voices for women!" exclaimed the scores of women and men at a demonstration in central Baghdad this month.
Activists gathered near the al-Mutanabbi Statue in downtown Baghdad on November 16, calling for the end to violence against women. Hundreds of others in the area joined the activists, reinforcing their outcry for women and freedoms of women.

Every year up to hundreds of women in Iraq are killed by men belonging to tribes. They accuse women of immorality and they proudly claim to possess them and their honour, while impeding them from any decision in life or free movement.
The protests were planned by the Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), with demonstrators holding large red banners stating that tribal killings of women should be treated in the same way as the Anti-Terrorism Act. Activists said that these unjustified killings destroyed the woman’s family life and endangered her children for the rest of their lives.
"Every tribe man who takes a woman’s right to life must be punished - not defended or protected by the state," said activist and founder of OWFI, Inar Mohammed.
"The state is collaborating with tribes in the killings of women under the guise of dishonour to society. We are here today against these tribal killings, against child marriages and against all violence women endure."

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