Friday, September 22, 2017

Corrine Brown


From November 27, 2014, that's "Corrine Brown."  C.I. noted:

As US House Rep Corrine Brown struts past, US House Rep Loretta Sanchez declares, "Corrine looks a little different.  Has she lost some weight?"  US House Rep John Conyers explains, "Nah, she just can't stop preening since she stole the Ranking Member post."   Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts.

Convicted felon Corrine Brown.

Crooked even before she was convicted earlier this year.

And Nancy Pelosi let the woman be the Democrat in charge of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.  

That's on Nancy.

All on Nancy.

Corrine was always a crook.  

I think I did four or five comics on Corrine in the last years.  I'll probably do a few more (she's appealing her multiple convictions).

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

Friday, September 22, 2017.

In three days, the KRG and Kirkuk are scheduled to hold a referendum on whether or not they should remain a part of the Baghdad-based government.

As the vote looms, panic ensues among those opposed to the vote.

Denouncing the move are the foreign ministers of Iraq, Turkey and Iran.  The three elected to meet up in New York.  Tuvan Gumrukcu and Tulay Karadeniz (INDEPENDENT) type:

In a joint statement, the foreign ministers of the three countries voiced concerns that the referendum would endanger the gains Iraq has made against Islamic State, and reiterated their fears over the potential for new conflicts in the region.

How would a vote "endanger the gains Iraq has made against Islamic State"?

They repeat that fear over and over and no one ever asks them to define it.

The KRG and the Baghdad-based government do not get along and have not for years.

Has that prevented them working together in Mosul?

Why would this be any different?

It wouldn't.

But fear and the trash that peddles it always runs wild.

Let's play their game for just a second.  The Baghdad-based government manages to shut down the vote at the last minute, how does that help the struggle against ISIS?

Link to headline article

The pressure has been going on for weeks now.  So far, the KRG has refused to buckle.

Martin Chulov and Paul Johnson (GUARDIAN) quote KRG President Massoud Barzanin stating:

From world war one until now, we are not a part of Iraq.  It's a theocratic, sectarian state.  We have our geography, land and culture.  We have our own language.  We refuse to be subordinates.  The parliament in Baghdad is not a federal parliament.  It's a chauvinistic, sectarian parliament.  Trust is below zero with Baghdad.

And the Baghdad-based government is in violation of the Constitution and has been for years.

There are three days until the vote is scheduled to take place.

During that time, something could happen.

At present, meaningless words have not helped change any minds.

But anything could happen over the weekend and this remains a huge global issue -- as the western media ignores it.

Kurds from around the world watch closely to see what will happen.  As Aaron Hess (International Socialist Review) observed in 2008, "Since the late 1970s, Turkey has waged a relentless war of attrition that has killed tens of thousands of Kurds and driven millions from their homes. The Kurds are the world's largest stateless population -- whose main population concentration straddles Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria -- and have been the victims of imperialist wars and manipulation since the colonial period. While Turkey has granted limited rights to the Kurds in recent years in order to accommodate the European Union, which it seeks to join, even these are now at risk."

RUDAW notes:

The referendum will be held as scheduled as no acceptable alternative has been offered, the High Referendum Council announced following a meeting on Thursday.

The High Referendum Council, headed by President Masoud Barzani, met on Thursday. In a statement released after the meeting, the Council reiterated that as time is running out and no alternative has been offered to replace the referendum and guarantee independence, the vote will be held on time.  

The always useless UNAMI bowed yet again before the prime minister of Iraq and issued the following:

The members of the Security Council expressed concern over the potentially destabilizing impact of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s plans to unilaterally hold a referendum next week.
Council members note that the planned referendum is scheduled to be held while counter-ISIL (Da’esh) operations – in which Kurdish forces have played a critical role – are ongoing, and could detract from efforts to ensure the safe, voluntary return of over three million refugees and internally displaced persons.
Council members expressed their continuing respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and unity of Iraq and urged all outstanding issues between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to be resolved, in accordance with the provisions of the Iraqi constitution, through structured dialogue and compromise supported by the international community. Council members expressed full support for UN efforts to facilitate dialogue between Iraqi stakeholders.

The Kurds will have independence one day.

When that day comes -- this year, whenever -- history is not going to look kindly upon all that stood in the way.

The US government claims to be about self-determination.

But it will have a very hard time explaining all the efforts to prevent the Kurds from independence.

For this segment of the timeline only, it will have a hard time explaining how threats from the Turkish government were ignored.  There will be violence -- thunders the Turkish government.  Sounds like a threat.  The Turkish government has no say in internal, Kurdish matters.

ANADOLU AGENCY notes, "The [Turkish] parliament will hold an extraordinary session on Saturday to debate the extension of Turkish military’s operation in northern Iraq and Syria, according to ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's parliamentary group deputy chairman."

Interesting timing.

YENI SAFAK offers:

The U.S. while releasing statements that it is against the non-binding independence referendum the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) plans to hold on Sept. 25, has deployed 1,700 troops to occupy Kirkuk, Iraq. The specially trained soldiers deployed in Erbil will work against the prevention of the referendum in Kirkuk. There are still 14,000 Peshmerga troops working for KRG President Masoud Barzani and former Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in Iraq’s oil center, Kirkuk. The United States’ occupation of Kirkuk is interpreted as preparing the region for an independent state which will be declared after the referendum.

Nearly a decade ago, the RAND corporation noted Kirkuk and the need for its status to be decided.  The longer this is postponed, the worse the situation gets.

And the price for the never-ending wars just keeps increasing.

While most working people live paycheck to paycheck, Iraq & Afghanistan wars have cost average US household $100K.

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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Let's Be Whats!


lets be what

From November 23, 2014,  "Let's Be Whats!"  C.I. noted:

US House Rep Corrine Brown (apparently soon to be the Ranking Member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi take a ride (at veterans' expense) and star in the new film Let's Be Whats! -- "Fake Patriots. Real Pieces Of Work."  Corrine declares, "Screw veterans!" Nancy thumbs up and chuckles, "I hear you!"    Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts.

Nancy made her Ranking Member.

Even though Corrine was not qualified.

Even though Corrine was a crook (convicted this year of several felonies).

Even though Corrine spent more time picking out wigs than trying to master the English language.

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

Friday, September 8, 2017.  The war drags on as many profit.

Ask people in Iraq, Syria, Gaza, Honduras, Haiti, Libya, eventually you'll find an answer Secretary Clinton

Starting with Hillary Clinton who is apparently on a mission to become this century's John and Martha Mitchell combined.  Sloppy drunk?  It's in there.  It's all in the book.  It's dishy and trashy and someone thought she was presidential?

If she had a better ghost writer, she might be able to set herself up as the next Jaqueline Susann.

It's dishy and trashy and she's yet again managed to set a bad example to all.

The good news for the country?

It's unlikely she'll try for president next go round.

We know she won't accept the results -- even if she pledges to do so.

Her book is another ghost written embarrassment intended to make money.  She's shameless in sporting her greed which includes outrageous prices for tickets to see her.

And she wonders why the working class felt she was out of touch with their issues?

Two questions that need to be answered.

First, why are US taxpayers paying for Secret Service protection?

She's getting millions for this book so why does the American people have to pay for her protection at her book promotion efforts?

Shouldn't Hillary pick up that tab?

Second, she voted for the Iraq War.

How much of the book's proceeds will she be donating to veterans?

Her greed must be her chief motivator.

When is enough for Hillary?

When does she give back?

She said her vote for the war was a mistake.

Okay, atone for your mistake, don't just line your own pockets.

She voted for the war.

The war that still drags on.

At THE NATION, Iraq War veteran Danny Sjursen wonders why that is and explains:

In Syria and Iraq, the US military is fighting a loathsome adversary in ISIS, but even so, the situation is far more complicated than usually imagined here. As a start, the US air offensive to support allied Syrian and Kurdish rebels fighting to take ISIS’s “capital,” Raqqa—grimly titled Operation Wrath of the Euphrates—killed more civilians this past May and June than the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. In addition, America’s brutal air campaign appears unhinged from any coherent long-term strategy. No one in charge seems to have the faintest clue what exactly will follow ISIS’s rule in eastern Syria. A Kurdish mini-state? A three-way civil war between Kurds, Sunni tribes, and Assad’s forces (with Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s increasingly autocratic Turkey as the wild card in the situation)? Which begs the question: Are American bombs actually helping?
Similarly, in Iraq it’s not clear that the future rule of Shia-dominated militia groups and others in the rubble left by the last years of grim battle in areas ISIS previously controlled will actually prove measurably superior to the nightmare that preceded them. The present Shia-dominated government might even slip back into the sectarian chauvinism that helped empower ISIS in the first place. That way, the United States can fight its fourth war in Iraq since 1991! 
And keep in mind that the war for the Greater Middle East—and I fought in it myself both in Iraq and Afghanistan—is just the latest venture in the depressing annals of Washington’s geo-strategic thinking since President Ronald Reagan’s administration, along with the Saudis and Pakistanis, armed, funded, and supported extreme fundamentalist Afghan mujahedeen rebels in a Cold War struggle with the Soviet Union that eventually led to the 9/11 attacks. His administration also threw money, guns, and training—sometimes illegally—at the brutal Nicaraguan Contras in another Cold War covert conflict in which about 100,000 civilians died.
In those years, the United States also stood by apartheid South Africa—long after the rest of the world shunned that racist state—not even removing Nelson Mandela’s name from its terrorist watch list until 2008! And don’t forget Washington’s support for Jonas Savimbi’s National Movement for the Total Independence of Angola that would contribute to the death of some 500,000 Angolans. And that’s just to begin a list that would roll on and on.
That, of course, is the relatively distant past, but the history of US military action in the 21st century suggests that Washington seems destined to repeat the process of choosing the wrong, or one of the wrong, sides into the foreseeable future. Today’s Middle East is but a single exhibit in a prolonged tour of hypocrisy. 

We should all be asking why the war continues.

We should all be questioning so-called 'humanitarian' motives for continuing the war.

Movement leader and Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr plans to continue his protests against corruption and to stage them before Iraq holds elections -- supposedly next year, but, again, they were supposed to take place this year and didn't.  In addition, XINHUA notes:

Iraq's firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Thursday announced that he will dissolve his military wing after full defeat of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq.
A statement issued by Sadr urged the militants loyal to the Shiite cleric known as Saraya al-Salam, or Peace Companies militia, to join the government security forces and the government-run paramilitary Hashd Shaabi units.

Should Moqtada indeed disband his militia, there will still be many others active in the country.

Iran militia to attack Americans after ISIS defeat in IraqThe U.S. military is keeping a wary eye on Iran's most violent proxy militia in Iraq, which has vowed to start killing Americans again once the Islamic State is expelled.

Rowan Scarborough reports:

The U.S. military is keeping a wary eye on Iran’s most violent proxy militia in Iraq, which has vowed to start killing Americans again once the Islamic State is expelled.
With the Islamic State’s defeat in Iraq coming closer — the U.S. estimates that the once 25,000-strong terrorist group is down to a few thousand followers at most holding only pockets of resistance — the danger from the Hezbollah Brigades is fast approaching.
A commander in the Shiiite battalion, also known as Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) and the largest and most ruthless Iranian-trained militia fighting in Iraq and Syria, warned Americans on Sunday that they must leave Iraq or face a new war, Iran’s Fars News Agency reported.
Said the Fars headline, “Iraqi Popular Forces Warn to Target US Forces after Defeating ISIL Terrorists.”
Spokesman Jafar al-Hosseini issued a similar threat in March. His scripted messages on Beirut’s al-Mayadeen Arab-language TV station suggest the militia is not bluffing and is preparing for that day.

The following community sites -- plus PACIFICA EVENING NEWS, Cindy Sheehan and Jody Watley -- updated:

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    Saturday, September 2, 2017

    The Men Of NBC



    From November 16, 2014, that's "The Men of NBC."  C.I. says:

    Lester Holt declares, "We're the men of NBC.  I'm Lester Holt and, boy, have I aged badly."  Matt Lauer chimes in, "And I'm Matt Lauer.  30 years ago people thought I was sexy."  Coming up from the rear, Chuck Todd adds, "And I'm Chuck Todd.  If you're looking to toss someone a pity f--k, think of us."   Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts.

    I like that one.  I think I really nailed Chuck Todd.  :D

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

    Friday, September 1, 2017.  Numbers don't convey people and isn't that the whole point?

    Starting with Bill Van Auken's WSWS report on Syria:

    The UN’s chief adviser on the prevention of genocide, Adama Dieng, issued a separate statement condemning the “horrendous situation faced by civilians caught up in the offensive to retake the city from ISIS,” while the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein charged that “civilians—who should be protected at all times—are paying an unacceptable price.”
    In other words, a war crime of monstrous dimensions is unfolding in plain sight, while its perpetrator, US imperialism, enjoys complete impunity.
    On its Twitter account, the local monitoring group, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, posts photographs daily of babies, children, men, women, the elderly and entire families perishing under the US bombs, missiles and shells, along with the utter devastation of the city’s residential neighborhoods.
    The siege of Raqqa follows close on the heels of the even larger scale war crime consummated this summer in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, once the country’s second largest, where the death toll from nine months of bombing and shelling by the US and its Iraqi government allies has been estimated as high as 40,000.
    All of this carnage is virtually blacked out of the US media, which only last year was engaged—in close coordination with the US government—in a full-throated campaign of feigned moral outrage over the Russian-backed offensive by the Syrian government to retake eastern Aleppo from Al Qaeda-linked and US-armed Islamist “rebels.”

    The western media looks the other way repeatedly, over and over.

    It allows Americans to treat people as numbers.

    And numbers will never have the same standing as people.

    So when someone parrots the US government line, that person gets a profile (brief) in the western media but the Iraqi who is rightly outraged at what is done to his/her land is silenced.

    The United Nations mission in/on Iraq released their latest monthly undercount today:

    Baghdad, 01 September 2017 – A total of 125 Iraqi civilians were killed and another 188 injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in Iraq in August 2017*, according to casualty figures recorded by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

    The number of civilians killed in August (not including police) was 116, while the number of injured (not including police) was 181.
    Of those figures, Baghdad was the worst affected Governorate, with 180 civilian casualties (45 killed, 135 injured). Ninewa Governorate followed with 36 killed and 18 injured, and Salahadin had 4 killed and 24 injured.
    UNAMI has not been able to obtain the civilian casualty figures from the Health Directorate in Anbar.
    The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Mr. Ján Kubiš, condemned the targeting of civilians by the Daesh terrorists.
    “Daesh terrorists have shown absolute disregard for human life. Shamelessly, the terrorists have indiscriminately targeted civilians, most recently in Baghdad earlier this week, to avenge their losses on the battlefield as they lost control of Tal Afar. However, the patience and resilience of the Iraqi people have defeated the terrorists' aim in breaking their unity."
    *CAVEATS: In general, UNAMI has been hindered in effectively verifying casualties in conflict areas; in some cases, UNAMI could only partially verify certain incidents. UNAMI has also received, without being able to verify, reports of large numbers of casualties along with unknown numbers of persons who have died from secondary effects of violence after having fled their homes due to exposure to the elements, lack of water, food, medicines and health care. Since the start of the military operations to retake Mosul and other areas in Ninewa, UNAMI has received several reports of incidents involving civilian casualties, which at times it has been unable to verify. For these reasons, the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum. UNAMI has not been able to obtain the civilian casualty figures from the Anbar Health Department for this month.
    For more information, please contact: Mr. Samir Ghattas, Director of Public Information/Spokesperson
    United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Phone: +964 790 193 1281, Email:  
    or the UNAMI Public Information Office:

    On undercounts, the US government has updated their civilian kills in Iraq.  David Alexander and Bernadette Baum (REUTERS) report, "The U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants said on Friday it had confirmed another 61 likely civilian deaths caused by its strikes in Iraq and Syria, raising to 685 the number of civilians it has acknowledged killing since the conflict began."

    So there you have the updated undercount.


    It's a number.

    It's not a person.

    It's highly impersonal.

    And the government's counting on no one thinking for themselves, imagining what the media won't tell you, these were families, these were friends.

    They're gone now.

    They're all dead.


    Lucky them, right?

    So lucky to have the US involved in killing them.

    "Liberation" efforts to a lot of Sunnis in Iraq look like genocide.

    But we're not supposed to talk about that either, are we?

    Next stop on the so-called 'liberation' train?


    Why might the Islamic State have been able to get a foothold in Hawija?

    How about Nouri's slaughter.

    The April 23, 2013 massacre of a sit-in in Hawija which resulted from then-prime minister (and forever thug) Nouri al-Maliki's federal forces storming in.  Alsumaria noted Kirkuk's Department of Health (Hawija is in Kirkuk)  announced 50 activists have died and 110 were injured in the assault.   AFP reported the death toll eventually (as some wounded died) rose to 53 dead.   UNICEF noted that the dead included 8 children (twelve more were injured).

    Where was the outrage in the US?

    Or do we only care about deaths when they look like us and talk like us and share our experiences?

    8 children dead.

    Where was the world's press?

    Where was the world's attention?

    Barack and Samantha Power were convinced Nouri was the only way to get what they wanted from client-state Iraq.

    So they gave him a second term as prime minister -- after voters rejected him -- in 2010.

    He used that second term to attack reporters and activists.

    And no concern from the world.

    As Sunnis were targeted and slaughtered, it's no surprise that the Islamic State rose up.

    No surprise, and check the archives, we said it would.

    We said that when the people have used the ballot box to try to achieve fairness and that's failed, when they've turned to their elected officials and that's failed (the effort to hold a no-confidence vote -- all measures were met so fat ass Jalal Talabani invented a new one at the request of Joe Biden), when you've turned to peaceful protests and that fails, the options are limited.  Violence becomes one of the options.

    The Islamic State appeared when Nouri's goons were attacking peaceful protesters staging a sit-in on the highway between Baghdad and Anbar.

    The refusal to grasp the rise of the Islamic State is part of the blindness imposed by the press.

    Rule 1: The US can never be in the wrong.

    Rule 2: If we explain that the US caused violence we'll have to also take this plan away.

    Because Hayder's no better tan Nouri al-Maliki.

    Hayder al-Abadi is tolerated by the US government because they hope he will meet US objectives.

    He oversaw War Crimes throughout his tenure.

    Not just the attacks on civilians by the military when 'liberating' various locales.

    He oversaw the bombing of civilian neighborhoods in Falluja.

    That's a War Crime.

    KUNA reports, "Iraqi jetfighters dropped Thursday leaflets over Hawija, informing people to get ready for an imminent operation to drive" ISIS "out of the city. [. . .]  The leaflets urged residents to keep away from the IS militant assembly posts as well as the buildings and areas they control."

    Who can figure out what's missing?

    The leave portion.

    They didn't tell the civilians in Mosul to leave either.

    In what may be an improvement, the leaflets in Hawija do not appear to tell the residents to stay in the city -- that's what happened in Mosul.  They were warned not to leave.

    Let's go to Congress, Adam Schiff.

    I'm introducing an amendment to prohibit payment of funds to Trump businesses. should not profit off of the Presidency

    Hey, Adam, you do realize that each of Hillary's big book tours is made possible because of the Secret Service?  Possibly when people are raking in millions, the US tax payer shouldn't be footing the bill?  So you need to change that proposed bill to president or former president.

    As anyone with even a basic grasp of publishing knows, Hillary's tours are costly -- or would be if either she or the publisher had to arrange for security for every stop on the tour.

    Since she's been paid millions for these books -- that others write and she puts her name to -- the question is why are we paying the Secret Service to protect her on these tours?

    The following community sites -- plus PACIFICA RADIO -- updated:

  • We'll close with this from WSWS:

    More than 3,000 people from at least 80 different countries have signed the petition against Google censorship. Many have left a donation to help expand the campaign. If you haven't yet, please make a financial contribution today.

    As I type, our printers are running non-stop for shipments of David North's Open Letter to campuses and cities throughout the US. The response from workers and young people to our campaign against Google's censorship has been overwhelming. Just yesterday, campaigners in Chicago received nearly 50 new signatures for the petition in less than an hour. From autoworkers in Detroit, to striking telecommunication workers in New York City, to workers in Sri Lanka--there is a widespread understanding that the attack on Internet freedom is an attack on the working class.

    These and other activities require financial resources, and we need to do much more. Help us expand this work! Help us reach new layers of workers and youth around the world.

    Please make a donation today

    Joseph Kishore for the World Socialist Web Site
    Donate to fight Internet censorship!
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    Articles: Copyright © 2017, All rights reserved.

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