Friday, March 17, 2017

The Little Princess


Monday, April 28, 2014

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Little Princess"





 

From April 28, 2014, that's "The Little Princess."  C.I. noted:

Barack holds a wand and explains, "I'm such a little princess.  I won't talk about the Drone War, illegal spying, The Erbil Agreement or anything to do with my job but let a man and a woman have a private conversation and I'm all over it.  Anything to aovid doing my own job."  Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts.


Barack busybody -- what a lousy president he was.

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


Friday, March 17, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, Iraqi civilians are killed in another bombing by US-led warplanes, George Clooney's beard presumes to speak for the US government, and much more.




Excellent interactive . spent 28 hours trapped & under fire from ISIS...she went back





Day 151 of The Mosul Slog.

In June 2014, the city of Mosul was seized by the Islamic State.

The Iraqi government's response?

Non-existent.

Finally, in mid-October of last year,t hey launched an operation to liberate or 'liberate' Mosul.

It's 151 days later and ongoing.

It took seven months to fight The Gulf War and retaking Mosul is already on month six?

Grasp that.


Susannah George (AP) reports:


Iraqi and U.S. commanders offered conflicting accounts Thursday of progress in western Mosul, where U.S.-backed Iraqi forces have been battling the Islamic State group for nearly a month as they try to retake the remainder of the city.

Maj. Gen. Joseph Martin, the American commander of coalition ground forces in Iraq, said the troops had recaptured "a little over a third" of neighborhoods west of the Tigris River, while Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, an Iraqi military spokesman, said they had retaken up to 60 percent, with fighting still underway. Iraq declared eastern Mosul "fully liberated" in January.  



This is not the first time that the two have reported conflicting 'progress.'  Of the Iraqi claims, Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) offers, "That’s a lot of gains in the past few days, and particularly hard to believe since it’s only been a few days since they declared 33% recovered, and in those days that followed, fighters had described the advance as virtually halted by ISIS snipers and inclement weather."


What's not in doubt?

That yet another refugee crisis has been created by The Mosul Slog.

This is UNHCR's Babar Baloch:

As displacement from Western Mosul continues unabated, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is opening two new camps and asking donors for additional funding to help protect and shelter those forced to flee.Around 255,000 people have been displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas since October, including over 100,000 since the latest military campaign in western Mosul began on 19 February. The last week has seen the highest level of displacement yet, with 32,000 displaced between March 12 and 15.
For 2017, UNHCR needs USD 212 million, currently barely funded, to continue providing urgent assistance to IDPs from Mosul and for Iraqis who have crossed to Syria. The appeal includes a new request for an additional USD 7 million in the next 10 days and USD 30 million in the next two months, totaling USD 37 million.
UNHCR’s new Hasansham U2 camp, east of Mosul, is ready to shelter 3,000 people from this weekend, before expanding to 9,000, while Hammam al-Alil 2, 25kms south of Mosul, will be ready to receive 6,600 people on Monday and will have capacity for 30,000 when complete.
UNHCR continues to advocate with the Iraqi Security Forces and authorities for newly displaced people from western Mosul to be taken to camps east and north of the city, where there is capacity. We anticipate that IDPs will begin to be transported to camps in the north this week.
For several days, arrivals at the screening site at Hammam al-Alil have averaged 15,000 a day, with Iraqi Ministry of Transport buses bringing IDPs daily. UNHCR is doubling the capacity of the adjacent reception and transit centre from 20,000 to 40,000 to try to ensure a safe, relatively comfortable transit to other camps with capacity, as Hammam al-Alil 1 camp is now full. Protection partners are present at the site to identify and assist vulnerable IDPs, including separated families and unaccompanied children. New arrivals have been given the options of going to Gogjali, east of Mosul, Qayyarah, or other IDP camps, including the recently opened UNHCR Chamakor camp, now full to its 12,000 capacity after just one week.
While thousands displaced from western Mosul continue to arrive at the Hammam Al-Alil screening site, arrivals have slowed down in some of the camps receiving those fleeing western Mosul, suggesting that out-of-camp displacement is increasing.
Reports indicate some people are moving in with friends and family in east Mosul, finding shelter in tribal communities and squatting in unfinished buildings in southern and eastern Ninewa. The extent of out-of-camp displacement is still to be confirmed. Humanitarian partners are liaising with local authorities in east Mosul to identify the locations of IDPs who don’t live in camps and prioritize protection and assistance needs. UNHCR is prepared to support emergency shelter needs in urban locations and offer flexible solutions for up to 50,000 IDPs. Emergency relief items have been distributed in various locations around Mosul.

Another UNHCR camp at As Salamiyah 2, south east of Mosul, with capacity for up to 60,000 people, is being planned. UNHCR currently has 10 camps operating or under construction to host up to 111,000 people.


Again, this is an addition to an already existing refugee crisis in Iraq.



The International Organization for Migration notes, "As of 2 March 2017, the DTM has identified 3,062,808 internally displaced persons (i.e. 510,468 families) displaced after January 2014, dispersed across 106 districts and 3,660 locations in Iraq. For the same period, DTM has identified 1,579,362 returnees (i.e. 263,227 families)."

That just since 2014.

One group assisting the refugees is the Norwegian Refugee Council.  Their director in Iraq, Wolfgang Gressmann, notes, "People are arriving in the camp with only the clothes that they are standing in. They are cold, exhausted and hungry --crying from either exhaustion or trauma or both. NRC and other aid agencies are meeting their needs for now but we fear what will happen as the wave continues and even increases."



THE BAGHDAD POST reports this morning, "Al-Seha tunnel, located on the right bank of Mosul has been bombed by the jets of the US-led coalition, reports said Friday. The tunnel has been completely destroyed after the bombardment."


And this morning, the US Defense Dept announced:


Strikes in Iraq
In Iraq, coalition military forces conducted seven strikes consisting of 37 engagements against ISIS targets, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Huwayjah, two strikes engaged an ISIS staging area and destroyed an unmanned aerial vehicle storage facility and a vehicle bomb storage facility.

-- Near Mosul, four strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units; destroyed 11 fighting positions, seven vehicles, a recoilless rifle, a heavy machine gun, a rocket-propelled grenade system, an explosives factory, a supply cache and an ISIS-held building; damaged 14 supply routes and a fighting position; and suppressed 13 ISIS mortar teams.


-- Near Tal Afar, a strike destroyed a vehicle bomb facility and an ISIS-held building.




The bombs don't fall on empty land.

A lot of civilians are being killed.






Relatives react near the bodies of civilians killed in air strike, during a battle between forces and ISIS, in








And all of this for what?

There's still no political reconciliation.


THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER'S Trudy Rubin is a long time observer of Iraq -- and a reporter who never forgot the Iraq War continued.  She's back in Iraq and in her most recent column notes:

What happens when the fighting stops?
Most Iraqis worry that the same grievances that allowed the Islamic State to flourish will enable jihadi cells to regroup and reemerge. The history is there: Sunni anger at being marginalized by the U.S. invasion and by the sectarian Shiite-led governments produced al-Qaida in Iraq in the mid-2000s, and its successor group, the Islamic State.
Today, Sunni cities lie in ruins, their infrastructure deliberately destroyed by the jihadis or damaged by fighting. The Sunni community is divided between backers and supporters of the Islamic State, and all fear vengeance by Shiite militias.
Iraq’s moderate Shiite prime minister, Haidar Abadi, called for reconciliation at the Suli conference, but he heads a government financially strapped by the war and low oil prices, and undercut by Iranian meddling. Unless he can find funds to rebuild wrecked cities, the angry and unemployed may again find purpose in jihadist ideology. If the country splinters further, if Iranian mischief precludes reconciliation, watch out.



We'll note this from yesterday's State Dept press briefing moderated by spokesperson Mark Toner (and conducted over the phone):

OPERATOR: And that’s from Laurie Mylroie with Kurdistan W-24. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mark, for taking my question. Can you explain what is being done to bring ISIS members to justice for the genocide against Yezidis? Amal Clooney spoke eloquently about that issue last week, and the UN Ambassador Haley said that the U.S. is committed – or she tweeted, “The U.S. is committed to bringing ISIS to justice, not just on the battlefield, but in the judicial system as well.”
So I want to know, what are you doing on this issue?

MR TONER: Sure. First of all, we’re appalled by the horrific acts being committed by ISIS against people from a wide variety of ethnic and religious groups in Iraq and Syria, and that includes, of course, the Yezidis. We’re working with these communities and the government – and the Government of Iraq to facilitate their safe return to their ancestral homes. That’s first and foremost.
And our ambassador to Iraq, for example, just completed a visit to Bashiqa in northern Iraq, where he met with Yezidi and Christian communities to better understand and assess their situation on the ground. We also, of course, welcomed the determination by the House of Representatives last year with respect to the genocide of Yezidis, and we stand with all the innocent victims of ISIS’s inhumanity. And we’re working with our partners – and this can’t be underscored enough – we’re working with our partners around the world to defeat ISIS and destroy ISIS and eradicate it from both Iraq and Syria and wherever else it extends its tentacles to.
We’re also continuing to strongly support efforts to collect, document, preserve, and analyze the evidence of atrocities, and do all that we can to see that the perpetrators of these atrocities are held accountable. And as I said, that starts with eliminating, defeating ISIS both on and off the battlefield.
I’m going to end there, guys. Thanks so much for joining us and have a great afternoon.
Toner had a really nice way of saying: Amal Clooney doesn't know what the hell she's talking about.
Reminder, not only has Anal Clooney not been voted into a US government position by any group of American citizens, she also hasn't been appointed to one by the US government.
More to the point, she's only American -- dual citizenship -- actually, she has triple citizenship -- by her recent arranged marriage.
In other words, she needs to stop attempting to speak on behalf of the American government.
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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hillary's Shoe Response

 



 

From April 14, 2014, that's "Hillary's Shoe Response."  C.I. wrote:


After dodging a shoe tossed at her last week, Hillary Clinton suits up and issues her response, "I see this run as being as much about dodging as it is about campaigning.  And I was the dodge ball champ of Eugene Field Elementary."    Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts.


Okay, who else had a shoe tossed at them?

Bully Boy Bush.

So how did this not register to the honchos at the Democratic Party that Hillary had a likeability problem?

Exactly how did they miss that?



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


Friday, March 10, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, facts do not necessarily lead to solid interpretations, The Mosul Slog continues (as does the civilian tragedy) and more.

"When the heartache is over, you know I won't be missing you," sings Tina Turner.  Amen.

When the Iraq War is over -- surely that day has to come -- there's so much I won't miss.

Chief among them self-deception.

Danny Sjursen has a post that's all over the internet.  Sometimes it includes the lie that the January march against Donald Trump was larger than the protests against the Iraq War.  No.  DC and LA had strong turnout in January.  But the Iraq protests spread out across all of the US -- not just media centers -- and they were huge.

It's typical of 'the resistance' to have spread that lie (not calling Sjursen part of 'the resistance').  They didn't take part in the protests against the Iraq War.  And now they try to build their lies on the foundation of real work.

We'll link to Sjursen's article at THE NATION because at least it ditches the intro that includes that lie about the January protests being greater than the 2003 protests against the Iraq War.

Sjursen declares the Bully Boy Bush "surge" of Iraq a failure.

There are facts and there are interpretations of facts.

I think Sjursen's failing in both.

Bully Boy Bush's surge (which we opposed, check the archives) was about (a) increasing the number of US troops in Iraq to address the violence and (b) this providing space for the Iraqi politicians to work on reconciliation.

Sjursen seems completely unaware of the second part.

He judges the first part to be a failure.

I disagree, it did what it was supposed to do.

He's not honest about what that was.

I'm tired of the self-deceptions people tell themselves to feel good.

(I'm also tired of pieces on Iraq that focus on Bush and Trump while ignoring Barack Obama.)


Sjursen talks about "civil war" (we used the term long before the surge) and how Baghdad became a Shi'ite city.

By the time Sjursen was part of the surge, we were already calling it what it was: Ethnic cleansing.

I'm really sorry that he can't deal with the reality of what went down in Iraq.

It was ethnic cleansing.

He can denounce Nouri (while never calling Barack out for giving Nouri a second term when the Iraqi people voted him out in the 2010 election).

He can talk about what Nouri did and the attacks on the Sunnis.

He just can't connect the dots -- we were doing so in real time, a decade later he still wants to self-deceive.

Part (a) of the surge was a success.  The military part was a success.

The military did what they were tasked to do.

But what were they tasked to do?

To support a government carrying out abuses.

That meant taking sides.

Which they did.

The ethnic cleansing was conducted with their assistance.

That's what they provided cover for.

The US government installed the Iraqi government and the US government used the US military to keep it propped up.


It was US policy.

That's why, when Iraqi voters rejected Nouri in the 2010 elections, the US government -- then led by Barack Obama -- did not force Nouri to step down but backed him as he refused to step down for 8 months -- bringing Iraq's goverment to a stand still.

That's why when Iraqi voters rejected Nouri -- whose crimes were already known from his first term -- Barack gave Nouri a second term via The Erbil Agreement.

You can blame Iran -- as Patrick Cockburn always does -- but Iran didn't have any part in negotiating The Erbil Agreement -- that was the US government that did that.

And had Barack moved quickly, even up to month six after the election, he could have forced Nouri to honor the results.  As late as that point, Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr was still calling for Nouri to step down.

Hayder al-Abaci has done very little, accomplished even less.  But it doesn't matter to the US government -- now led by Donald Trump.  They will support him no matter what.

Barack had personal distaste for Nouri al-Maliki, refused to take his congratulatory call after Barack had won re-election in 2012 (he fobbed it off on Joe Biden).  But he still gave him the US government's backing.

Didn't matter that he was committing crimes, even War Crimes.

Didn't matter a bit in the end.

Until we can be honest about that, I don't know how much point there is in talking about the (ongoing) Iraq War.

The military did what they were tasked with in the surge.

That was propping up an abusive government.

I don't blame the US military for that, I blame the US government that issued those orders.

Maybe Danny Sjursen can't make that distinction yet?  Maybe he never will?

Until he does, he's writing sad little commentaries that are more confusing than enlightening.

This was US policy, this remains US policy.

Instead of explaining what happened, he offers bits of facts and never connects anything together because he refuses to see what took place.

Had more US troops stayed beyond the end of 2011 (all US troops did not leave -- and some who left were moved to Kuwait), as Nouri al-Maliki wanted, they would have been used to prop up Nouri's government.

Without them, Nouri more openly used Iraqi forces for this.

That's why he immediately had tanks circling the homes of Sunni MPs and went off on his tear accusing various Sunni politicians of terrorism.

Remember, the CIA profile of Nouri is what got him installed as prime minister -- his deep paranoia which the US government (headed by Bully Boy Bush at that point) saw as a plus -- they could use it to control him.

Why did the US go to war?  Why does the US continue the war?

ALL Wars are Bankers Wars They spill the blood of the ignorant poor to make rich men, richer Iraq and Afghanistan






When he can strip away the artifice, Sjursen might have something to offer.


Moving from the veiled to the ridiculous . . .



Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney urges Iraq and the U.N. not to let ISIS "get away with genocide"







The talking beard.  Amal Clooney.  She looks so good in lavender, doesn't she?

Amal Clooney is outraged by a terrorist group.

She's not outraged by what the Iraqi government has done and continues doing the Sunni population.  Because she's not a human rights attorney.  She is an instrument of war.

She poses as a human rights attorney.

But then she poses as wife to George Clooney.

Neither is convincing.



Day 144 of The Mosul Slog.



: Latest displacement figures as tracked by 's . 10,279 families (61,674 individuals) displaced in last 14 days.






Mosul's a massacre.

And women who marry gay men because the gay men won't come out of the closet can pretend that they're helping (their husbands or the Yazidis) but they're really just perverting the truth.


An important analysis went up at Ross Caputi's FACEBOOK page.  The analysis is by Dirk Adriaensense (of BRussells Tribunal).



"This gives you an idea. The following figures date from end January 2016: I analyzed the database of Iraqbodycount for an article I wrote for an online newssite of the Belgian progressive community: http://www.dewereldmorgen.be/long-read/2017/01/21/westerse-coalitie-richt-bloedbad-aan-in-mosoel

The "estimation" of Airwars, https://airwars.org/coalitioncivcas2017jan-mar/, is much lower than the numbers of Iraqbodycount. It appears that between 27 December 2016 and 21 January 21 2017, an overwhelming majority of the fatalities in the offensive against Mosul was caused by air strikes: 
Airstrikes: 450 
IED: 43 
Execution: 61 
Car bomb - suicide bomber: 39 
Gunfire 3 :
Shelling - Mortar: 87 
Sniper: 1
https://www.iraqbodycount.org/database/recent/

And these are the figures as compiled by Joel Wing:

The "estimation" of Airwars, https://airwars.org/coalitioncivcas2017jan-mar/, is much lower than the numbers of Iraqbodycount. It appears that between 27 December 2016 and 21 January 21 2017, an overwhelming majority of the fatalities in the offensive against Mosul was caused by air strikes: 
Airstrikes: 450 
IED: 43 
Execution: 61 
Car bomb - suicide bomber: 39 
Gunfire 3 :
Shelling - Mortar: 87 
Sniper: 1

And these are the figures as compiled by Joel Wing:

"There have been over 20,000 casualties since the start of the Mosul battle in October. Based on tracking reports in more than 40 papers per day including aid agencies there have 4,923 fatalities and 15,903 wounded. Civilians have been the biggest victims with 4,470 dead and 14,762 injured. Another 277 members of the ISF, 102 Hashd, 70 Peshmerga, 2 Kurdish Counterterrorism members, 1 Hashd al-Watani and 1 U.S. sailors have been reported killed, and 824 ISF, 253 Peshmerga, 59 Hashd, and 5 Hashd al-Watani wounded. The Islamic State has been accused of executing 2,749 civilians. Another 497 dead and 643 injured were blamed on Coalition Air Strikes.
Battle for Mosul Casualties Oct 17, 2016-Jan 14, 2017
4,923 Killed
1 U.S. Sailor, 1 Hashd al-Watani, 2 Kurd CT, 70 Peshmerga, 102 Hashd, 277 ISF, 4,470 Civilians
15,903 wounded
5 Hashd al-Watani, 59 Hashd, 253 Peshmerga, 824 ISF, 14,762 Civilians" 

The number of killed soldiers stated above contrasts with the last figures that were "allowed" to be released by UNAMI:

"On the first day of December 2016 the UN gave figures on the death toll for the month of November. CNN reported: "Iraq's military has disputed UN figures indicating that nearly 2,000 Iraqi troops were killed across the country in November, saying the number was "not accurate and much exaggerated."
Iraq's Joint Operation Command did not give CNN any numbers Saturday, saying it was not obliged to publish casualty figures while the battle against ISIS was ongoing." http://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/03/middleeast/iraq-mosul-battle-deaths/

These figures give an idea about the under-reporting on the number of victims.

Les Roberts, author of The Lancet study, in 2007: "A study of thirteen countries affected by war, presented at a conference at Harvard, found that more than 80 percent of violent deaths in conflicts is not mentioned by the press and governments . "(...)" There are now two polls and three scientific studies that suggest that the official figures and media-based estimates in Iraq have missed 70-95 percent of all deaths. Data show that the extent of under-reporting by the media is only increasing with time. "(Les Roberts, September 20, 2007) http://www.dewereldmorgen.be/artikels/2013/03/19/stop-de-leugen-over-120000-slachtoffers-in-irak

On Airwars.org many casualties are missing. Based on a comparison of the IBC-figures and the estimates of the mortality studies on Iraq ("Body Count - Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the ‘War on Terror"): 
http://www.psr.org/assets/pdfs/body-count.pdf , one must assume that the real number of deaths is 5 to 10 times higher as the estimate of the IBC. 

The large number of attacks alone and the Pentagon "success stories" about destroyed targets and killed fighters associated to Daesh (45.000) suggests a much higher number of civilian casualties than those mentioned by Airwars and IBC. (See Joachim Guilliard's article: "Continued Cover-up – Civilian Casualties in the Air War of the US Alliance in Syria and Iraq" http://jghd.twoday.net/STORIES/continued-cover-up-civilian-casualties-in-the-air-war-of-the-us-allian/

Let's keep this in mind when looking at the numbers of casualties. It's a massacre."


My apologies that I can't find exactly where on Ross' FACEBOOK page this is, it was noted in an e-mail and I've looked for it but I don't FACEBOOK and I'm obviously missing it.

It's a civilian tragedy.

But no one wants to talk about that in the press.

Not even faux human rights attorneys who break from their faux marriages to pretend to care about the world.


We're closing with this from Thursday's US State Dept press briefing by spokesperson Mark C. Toner (who did the briefing via phone).


OPERATOR: Thank you. And next, we’ll go to Laurie Mylroie with Kurdistan 24. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Hi, Mark. Two questions. Ambassador Haley said yesterday that a political settlement in Syria required that it no longer be a safe haven for terrorists – quote, “We’ve got to make sure we get Iran and their proxies out.” Is reducing in a significant way Iran’s influence in Damascus a new U.S. objective in regards to Syria?

MR TONER: Not at all. We’ve consistently raised our concerns about the destabilizing nature of Iran’s activities in the region, but certainly in Syria, and we continue to hold the Iranian Government accountable for its actions, using the tools at our disposal.
On Syria, frankly, the support the Assad regime has received and continues to receive from Iran has enabled it to avoid pursuing what we all agree is the only outcome possible there to resolve the conflict, and that is a peaceful political outcome. It’s avoided – it’s allowed them to avoid seeking a negotiated end to the conflict, and that’s an issue.
We’ve imposed targeted sanctions on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as well as its Ministry of Intelligence and Security for their support of the Assad regime. So as I said, we’re looking to counter those destabilizing actions, and we recognize – and we have recognized for some time – that Iran is playing a very destabilizing role in Syria. That should come as a surprise to no one.
You had a follow-up?

QUESTION: Yeah. It had to do – you mentioned this counter-ISIS meeting that you’re going to hold later this month. Are you considering or might you consider KRG representation at these meetings?

MR TONER: Well, again, this is something that the Government of Iraq would be attending, and we’ve talked about this before: We are very appreciative and aware of the sacrifice and effectiveness of Kurdish forces in the fight against ISIS, but we also recognize that they operate under the command and control of the Iraqi Government. That’s been very clear in all of our dealings with the Iraqi Government and our support for forces in Iraq that are fighting ISIS that we operate under the mandate of Iraqi Government command and control to all of our assistance, and that continues.
That said, we – and our Special Envoy Brett McGurk has frequent conversations with Kurdish leadership on the ground, and we consult with them closely. So we believe they’ll be represented here by the Government of Iraq.

QUESTION: Any chance you might encourage the Government of Iraq to bring along some Kurdish officials?


MR TONER: Well, look, that’s something for the Government of Iraq to work out with Kurdish officials themselves.





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