Saturday, March 27, 2021



From October 13, 2019, that's "Clueless:"  C.I. noted:

Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Clueless."  US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard explains, "I just realized these so-called debates may not be transparent or democratic." Isaiah archives his comics at THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS.

I was one of the fools who was taken in by Tulsi Gabbard.  I bought her lies.  I did catch on to reality the last night of July 2019 when she refused to challenge Joe Biden over the Iraq War.  Moderator Jake Tapper gave her two chances in the debate and she refused to call out the War Hawk -- despite running as an anti-war candidate.  She was a fake ass.

By the way, if you saw Betty's "Where is TINA!!!!!" this morning, TINA is finally up at HBO MAX.  You have to scroll down to find it -- the main page is still JUSTICE LEAGUE -- but it is up.  I'm streaming it right now (Angela Bassett's speaking right this second).

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

 Friday, March 26, 2021.  Migh the AMUF be repealed and would that end the Iraq War?  Joe Biden finally gives a press briefing, Moqtada al-Sadr offers to disarm others, and much more.

Andrew Desiderio (POLITICO) reports:

The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday advanced a measure to repeal a nearly two-decade-old authorization for the use of military force in Iraq, lawmakers’ first effort to claw back their war-making powers under President Joe Biden.

The panel’s action, which sailed through with support from Democrats and Republicans alike, scraps the 2002 authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) against Iraq, which at the time was led by Saddam Hussein. A similar push is already underway in the Senate, where Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) have proposed repealing the 2002 AUMF, in addition to a 1991 measure that also authorized military force in Iraq during the first Gulf War. 

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), the committee’s chair, said the outdated authorizations serve no operational purpose and argued that existing threats can be addressed by the 2001 authorization, which dealt with terrorist groups in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.“There are continuing threats from Iranian-backed militants. There are threats from ISIS and al Qaeda. That said, the 2002 AUMF doesn’t help us deal with any of these threats,” Meeks said. “Our forces would stay under Iraq under the 2001 AUMF, and the president can always defend America and our forces under Article II [of the U.S. Constitution].”

So even the repeal of the AUMF, if it happened, wouldn't end the continued occupation of Iraq by US troops.  SPUTNIK notes:

The 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq (AUMF), passed in October of that year, made the forthcoming US invasion of Iraq in March 2003 legal under US law. It built on the AUMF that was passed in 2001, in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda that killed 3,000 people. The 2002 law further extended the principle of pre-emptive strike that was at the heart of then-US President George W. Bush’s military doctrine that became the US War on Terror.

However, while a couple of Republicans sided with their Democratic colleagues in voting for the resolution, some said it was too soon to shred the 2002 AUMF, since a replacement for the 2001 AUMF hasn’t been implemented yet.

“Real AUMF reform requires Congress and the administration working together on actual text to replace the aging 2001 and 2002 AUMFs to provide authorities needed to keep the American people, and, most importantly, our deployed troops, safe from terrorists,” said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the leading Republican on the committee.

REUTERS adds, "The U.S. Constitution gives the power to declare war to Congress. However, that authority has gradually shifted to the president as Congress passed AUMFs that did not expire – such as the 2002 Iraq measure, as well as one that allowed the fight against al Qaeda in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."  The authority has shifted by custom, not by law.  By law, only Congress has the right to declare war.  By refusing to hold that power, they have allowed the executive branch to use it and courts can recognize custom.  

Meanwhile,  a parade took place in Baghdad yesterday.  David M. Witty Tweets:

Iraqi Rab’ Allah (ربع الله) militia conducts driving parade in Baghdad to protest US occupation, slow government, & demand to lower dollar exchange rate.

PRESS TV adds, "On Thursday, a number of armed Iraqi groups took to the streets of the capital Baghdad in a show of force, demanding the expulsion of all foreign forces from Iraq."  Staying with the topic of militias,  Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is back in the news.  Also covering the parade, MEMO notes:

An armed Iraqi militia yesterday threatened to target US forces and their agents in the country, Anadolu news agency reported.

The Rab'Allah militia made the threat during a military parade with weapons in the streets of the capital, Baghdad.

"The Iraqi people are living in the darkness of the brutal American occupation and a complicit and puppet government," the movement said in a statement, adding that its fighters have travelled across the capital "in a threatening message to the Americans and their agents".

The movement published photos of its fighters riding in pickups and carrying machine guns and RPGs in Baghdad.

These militias are now part of the government forces and Mustafa al-Khadimi has become the second prime minister in a row who, despite officially being over these forces, cannot control the militias.  ARAB WEEKLY reports:

Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr is increasingly wanting to appear as a statesman while his political ambitions to hold the reins of the executive authority in the country are growing.

Earlier in February, the populist Shia cleric said he backed early elections overseen by the UN, in a rare news conference outside his home in the Iraqi shrine city of Najaf.

Iraq is meant to hold earlier parliamentary elections this year, a central demand of an anti-government protest movement which erupted in 2019 and involved Sadr’s supporters.

The elections will be taking place under a new electoral law that has reduced the size of constituencies and eliminated list-based voting in favour of votes for individual candidates.

Sadr’s supporters are expected to make major gains under the new system.

In November, Sadr said he would push for the next prime minister to be a member of his movement for the first time.

With eyes on the executive authority, the Shia cleric has been calling recently for control of the weapons’ chaos in the country so as to curb attacks by armed factions on foreign forces, their supply convoys and the headquarters of the US embassy in Baghdad.

Sadr’s calls come even though the Shia cleric himself is at the head of the most powerful militias in Iraq, the Peace Brigades, which are seen as a heir to the Mahdi Army militia that had previously led an offensive against government forces under the rule of former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

The Mahdi Army was 'disbanded' in 2018Ir was active again by January 2020.  Mostada was once a movement leader with even some of his harshest critics hailing him as the potential healer of Iraq.  That was 2018.  But Shi'ites began turning on him in 2020 as he went from supporting the protests to opposing them to supporting them again to attacking them.  His ambition apparently was too much for him to control, let alone conceal.  

This ambition is at the heart of his proposal to disarm other militias.  Others.  Not his own.  It would give him a leg up that might make up for some of the popular support he has lost since early 2020.  

Joe Biden has a lot of ambition as well and look where it's led him -- he's not just President of the United States, he's Joe Bomber, destroying Iraq.  Chad Garland (STARS AND STRIPES) reports:


The U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State has conducted more airstrikes in Iraq this month than it did all of last year, destroying scores of enemy positions and killing dozens of terrorists.

Coalition jets carried out over 150 strikes against ISIS fighters in the mountains south of Mosul this month, U.S. and Iraqi military officials said earlier this week. An analysis of previous coalition strike data shows fewer than 120 airstrikes were carried out against ISIS in Iraq all of last year.

Including Iraqi air force and army aviation operations, a total of 312 airstrikes have destroyed 120 enemy positions and killed 27 terrorists, Col. Wayne Marotto, a spokesman for the military coalition, said in a tweet Wednesday.

Maybe Joe does have a 'plan' for ending the Iraq War?  End Iraq itself by bombing it out of existence?  

Biden Bluster was on display yesterday as Joe finally held a press briefing -- his first since being sworn in as president.  Ted Rall Tweets:

Biden held his very first news conference on Thursday, bringing to a close the longest amount of time in which an American president has held off hosting such an event in modern times. Your take depends on your politics.

Joe used a lot of words to say very little -- certainly nothing worth applauding.  Patrick Martin (WSWS) observes, "Biden pronounced on a number of other topics, ranging from the filibuster (he is not yet prepared to overturn it), to Afghanistan (he said the US would not meet a May 1 withdrawal deadline but would be gone by the end of the year), to his expectations for the 2024 election (he said he and Harris would run for reelection, but was unsure what his opposition would be, or if the Republican Party would even exist) to North Korea (he said that it was the most serious foreign policy issue facing the United States)."

Former US House Rep Justin Amash Tweets:

Obama said we’d leave soon. Trump said we’d leave soon. Biden says we’ll leave soon. It’s been almost 20 years. End the war. Leave Afghanistan now. No more excuses. Bring home the troops.

Jimmy Dore Tweeted:

So far : Zero questions on the $2000 checks lie, $15 minimum wage lie, Foreclosures, Evictions. American corporate news media-FUCK YEAH!!

I'm seeing nothing at ANTIWAR.COM and I checked the US Green Party's feed for some form of critique.  Guess everyone was busy?  Or maybe Biden just bores everyone into slumber?  THE KATIE HALPER SHOW did cover the  press briefing.  

New content at THIRD:

The following community sites updated:

Read on ...

Saturday, March 20, 2021

First Family Material

first family material

From October 6, 2019, that's "First Family Material."  C.I. noted:

Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "First Family Material?"  Wearing a t-shirt which reads "BEYOND DEAD BEAT DAD," Hunter Biden says, "Hey, it's me, future First Son Hunter Biden.  I get kicked out of the Reserves for my cocaine use, I have an affair with my dead brother's ife, I leave my crack pipe in a car rental and I'm being sued by a woman for being a baby daddy.  I make Bill Clinton look like a Boy Scout."    Isaiah archives his comics at THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS.

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

 Friday, March 19, 2021.  We're hours away from the 18th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War.

PRESS TV reports, "Four roadside bombs have separately gone off near convoys of trucks carrying equipment belonging to US-led coalition forces in Iraq’s southern provinces of al-Qadisiyah and al-Muthanna as well as the western province of Anbar."  We're almost to the anniversary of the start of the Iraq War and what's really changed?

AP's "Today In History" notes: "George W. Bush ordered the start of war against Iraq. (Because of the time difference, it was early March 20 in Iraq.)"  18 years and so many dead and wounded and for what?  The Iraqi people continue to suffer.


 Unidentified gunmen today opened fire on the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Iraq's Kurdish region, a police officer said.

"Unidentified gunmen in a car and motorbike fired with machine guns at the headquarters of the Democratic Party in Halabja, Sulaymaniyah province, at dawn today," a police officer told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

"The guards at the headquarters responded to the assailants by firing back at them, which prompted them to flee," the source said, adding no casualties were reported.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party is headed by Massoud Barzani, the former president of the Kurdistan Region.  It was formed in 1946 by Massoud's father Mustafa Barzani.  Massoud's son Nechirvan Barzani is the current president of the Kurdistan Region and Massoud's son Masrour Barzani is the prime minister of the Kurdistan Region -- both sons are also members of the KDP.  

BAS NEWS adds:

KDP faction at the Kurdistan Region Parliament condemned the attack and urged security forces to find the perpetrators and face them with justice.

It also blamed the local authorities in Halabja, where the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) is dominant, for failing to protect political offices as such attacks on the KDP are fairly frequent in Sulaymaniyah and Halabja.

The PUK is a rival political party.  In 1975, members of the KDP split off and formed the PUK which is dominated by the Talabani family.  The late Jalal Talabani held the title of president of Iraq from 2006 to 2014.

In other news,  ASHAR AL-AWSAT reports:

Iraqi President Barham Salih revealed on Wednesday new legal measures to recover the looted funds from Iraq.

Since 2003, a year after the ouster of Saddam Hussein, almost $250 billion of Iraqi public funds has vanished.

In a televised interview on Wednesday, Salih said that the presidency intends to introduce a code of conduct to put in place mechanisms to recover the stolen money, which may have gone abroad.

"Corruption is dangerous and needs serious mechanisms to tackle it," he added, noting that despite major challenges, a number of rulings took place regarding corruption cases before.

Salih stressed that striking financial corruption was essential to establishing security.

Will the punished include Nouri al-Maliki?  The former prime minister and forever thug lives a luxury as does his son Ahmed.  This despite Nouri fleeing Iraq in 1979.

That is the common trait of the prime ministers that the US and Iran have imposed upon Iraq -- they are not Iraqis who were living in Iraq their whole lives.  They all spent many years in exile and only returned after the 2003 US-led invasion.

 Here is a list of all the prime ministers since the start of the US-led war in 2003:


2004 prime minister Ayad Allawi fled in 1971.

2005 prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari fled to  Iran in 1980/

2006-2014 prime minister Nouri al-Maliki fled in 1979.

2015-2018 prime minister Hayder al-Abadi fled in 1983.

2018 prime minister Adil Abdul al-Mahdi fled in 1969.

2020 prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi fled in 1985.

Six prime ministers from 2004 to the present and every single one had fled Iraq.  

Would you want to be ruled by a coward?  Someone who fled your country and only came back after US troops had landed in your country?

Forget that the prime minister never serve the people, they're also not of the people.  Makes it very difficult to establish a legitimate government.  And Iraq doesn't have a legitimate government.

That's one of the reasons Iraqis have been protesting since fall 2019.  And the response of the Iraqi government?  To attack the protesters.


Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi renewed Wednesday the government’s stance on steering clear from the use of live ammunition against demonstrators. 

During a meeting for the Iraqi National Security Council (INSC), the PM rejected attempted attacks on private and public properties and the use of live ammunition to disperse protesters. But he called for providing security forces with the proper equipment to fulfill their duties.  

Maybe they keep shooting live ammo because all Mustafa every does is jaw bone about not doing it.  No one gets punished for doing it.  No one will be punished for doing it earlier this week.  It's become obvious that Mustafa is all talk.  

MEMO notes:

Protesters in Iraq shut down four government buildings in Dhi Qar Governorate on Thursday to highlight rising unemployment in the region.

The buildings were connected to the directorates of education, electricity, the municipality and the Nassiriya Oil Refinery. Angry protesters also closed the governorate administration and the refinery buildings earlier in the week.

Adam Sullivan (THE GAZETTE) notes:

If the Iraq War were a person, it would have to register for the draft by now but still wouldn’t be old enough to buy beer or marijuana. This week marks 18 years since the United States started dropping bombs near Baghdad.

On this date in 2003, George W. Bush went on television and promised to “disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.” It turns out our government was the grave danger.

It would become a historic foreign policy failure, claiming the lives of well over 100,000 Iraqis in addition to some 4,400 U.S. service personnel, including dozens of Iowans. Nearly two decades in, the war is officially over but America still can’t seem to leave.

In Iowa, with our first-in-the-nation presidential nominating contests and our previous status as a swing state, we’ve had outsized influence on presidential politics over the past couple decades. Twice in my voting life, Iowans have helped nominate and elect presidents who promised but ultimately failed to end the Iraq War. I was in junior high when the war started, but I was old enough to vote in those elections.

Barack Obama used his opposition to military interventionism, flimsy in hindsight, as a key point of difference in his 2008 primary against Hillary Clinton, who supported the 2003 invasion as a senator. Iowans rewarded him with an upset caucus victory that helped propel him to the nomination.

“I’ll be a president who ends this war in Iraq and finally brings our troops home,” Obama told a Des Moines crowd in his victory speech on caucus.

After winning the general election with Iowa’s support, Obama failed to deliver on his 18-month promise for withdrawal. His administration eventually did draw down troop presence by the end of 2011, only to re-engage in 2014 against the Islamic State. 

In a letter to the editors of THE GAZETTE, Ed Flaherty writes:

We have spent trillions in the last 18 years on our war in Iraq. Over 4,000 U.S. military members have died, and hundreds of thousands more suffer from PTSD and TBI. We have killed several hundred thousand Iraqis and decimated Iraqi infrastructure. It is time to end our military presence in Iraq. It seems our only purpose there is to have U.S. personnel there as sitting ducks, so when they get attacked, we can escalate our pressure on Iran.

Our invasion of Iraq in 2003 was based on lies. Our continued military presence there serves no useful purpose for Iraq or the United States. This is not a partisan issue, just an issue of common sense and humanity. Support the troops, bring them home.

Dr. Neta C. Crawford and Dr. Catherine Lutz (MILITARY TIMES) observe:

 The war has had various inspiring names: Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003 to 2010, Operation New Dawn from 2010 to 2011, and Operation Inherent Resolve from August 2014 to the present. At the outset, the Bush administration promised the war would eliminate Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. That sanctions could never work. That fighting would be quick, cheap at $50 billion to 60 billion, controllable, remake Iraq into a democracy, and be won with few civilian, allied or U.S. military casualties.

If this sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is. The Iraq War at 18 offers lessons for understanding the costs of war. Whatever promises and hopes, war is rarely quick, cheap, effective, or controllable.

The Iraq War continues.  US troops remain in Iraq.  There has never been an exit strategy.  Since the goal appears to try to exhaust the Iraqi people's resistance to a government imposed on them, there probably never will be an exist strategy.

As Iraqis suffer, the US prepares to tell generation after generation, "Sorry, we hocked your future for the Iraq War."

So many lives have been lost, so much money has been squandered.  

The Iraqi people have not seen their lives improve.  They do not have a government that represents them.  They have been told throughout 2020 to prepare for cuts in 2021.  This despite the fact that they live in an oil-rich country.  This despite the fact that Iraq brings in millions and millions daily.  They have been betrayed by the people put in charge.  

US troops have been betrayed by a government that lied to start a war, that fails -- to this day -- to honor their healthcare promises to veterans, that lies to continue the war.  Specifically, they have a president who supported this war and has never done anything to end it and a Congress who acts as though the war long ago ended.  I know Nancy Pelosi's old and addled but I don't think anyone's accused her of Alzheimer's yet.  

The Iraq War goes on and on with no end in sight.  And 'leaders' of the peace movement are as appalling as so-called leaders in Congress.  They got bored and moved on to other topics, ones that might get them publicity.  When there's no follow through from the opposition to war, why should the government listen?

The US government doesn't listen.  

18 years of war on Iraq in this wave of war.  And you'd think the left would be up in arms.  But Iraq rarely pops up at the left websites anymore.  It may in a few hours when Medea Benjamin remembers the anniversary and finds some man to co-write a column with her?

Maybe they'll pretend they care and we'll all pretend like CODESTINK hasn't spent years ignoring Iraq.  And we can pretend that in the summer of 2006, when they staged a big action, they didn't put it on hold to focus on another topic?  We can pretend like Leslie Cagen and UFPJ didn't fold tent the day after Barack Obama was first elected president in 2008?

We'd have to do a lot of pretending to believe that THE PROGRESSIVE, THE NATION, IN THESE TIMES, et al give a damn about the ongoing Iraq War.  Their output makes clear that they don't.

We'll note this video as we wind down.

The following sites updated:

Read on ...

Friday, March 12, 2021

Marco Bonafede's WORDLESS COMICS

We're all doing book reviews throughout 2021.  Here's a list of what's been done so far:



Rebecca's "the mommie dearest diary: carol ann tells all"

Kat's "How Mabel Normand's many scandals (at least five) destroyed her career"


Marcia's "Paul Jay's bad Gore Vidal 'book'"


Stan's "Adrienne Barbeau's bad book THERE ARE WORSE THINGS I COULD DO"


Trina's "Mexican Casserole and a book in the Kitchen"



So I'm doing mine this week.  Marco Bonafede's WORDLESS COMICS   Who is Marco?  AMAZON tells us:

Marco Bonafede is an Italian psychiatrist. He is interested in comics, fiction, history, psychology, neuroscience. In 2011 he founded the publishing house Pisolo Books.

Marco offers a series of one-dimensional drawings.  He's not interested in depth or contours.  The drawings are often the sort you might think of when you think of cave drawings -- I don't mean that as an insult, this is a stylistic choice he's made.  The only exception would be a nude woman where he does have an interest in contours.  There's a penis joke about a knight and not even it results in contours but the nude woman does.  He deals with basic themes and explores them -- such as battles, lambs, etc.

It's an interesting book.  I would recommend it.  I'm not sure that I'll use any of the ideas that the book sparked in my comics but I did find it inspiring.  I plan to do at least another book this year.


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

 Friday, March 12, 2021.  The militias dictate terms to Iraq's prime minister, the US government has no concern over an activist shot dead in Iraq, Joe Biden babbles and much more.

Starting with violence in Iraq, PRESS TV reports:

Four roadside bombs have exploded separately near convoys of trucks carrying logistical equipment belonging to the US-led coalition forces in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, southern province of Muthanna bordering Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the central province of Babil, as well as the southern province of Basra.

They note that one of the attacks was claimed by the Iraqi militia group Saraya Awliya al-Dam.  Earlier this week, at JUST SECURITY, Crispin Smith weighed in on legal issues with regards to the militias:

But despite their actions, and their close ties to Iran, there is another side to the militias. KH, AAH, KSS, HN, and other major muqawama groups are all officially and legally organs of the Iraqi state through their membership of the Hashd al-Sha’abi (Popular Mobilization Forces, or PMF), an umbrella organization comprising mostly Shi’ite groups that rose up in 2014 to join the fight against ISIS.

At the end of 2016, Iraq’s parliament passed “Law Number 40 of the year 2016: the Law of the Hashd al-Sha’abi Committee.” The law formalized a governing body for the militias (the “Popular Mobilization Committee” or PMC), while incorporating the Hashd al-Sha’abi into the Iraqi armed forces. The law also formalized a command structure, with the PMC and subordinate brigades answering directly to the Iraqi Prime Minister as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces under country’s Constitution. A series of Prime Ministerial Orders built upon that law over the subsequent years to regulate the militias by formalizing pay structures, a rank system, and the applicability of Iraqi military laws and regulations.

The result is that many of the key militia groups responsible for attacking the coalition also draw Iraqi government salaries while operating as official members of the security forces. KH, a U.S. designated terrorist organization, is also the 45th, 46th, and 47th PMF Brigades. AAH, also designated and likely responsible for rocket attacks in November and December owns the 41st, 42nd, and 43rd Brigades. KSS operates the 14th PMF Brigade. Of course, in reality these units rarely take orders from the Prime Minister; any government coordination comes from Abu Fadak, the acting deputy chairman of the PMF and a former KH intelligence officer. Though he holds a senior Iraqi government role, Abu Fadak was designated for terrorist activities under Executive Order 13224 on Jan. 13, 2021.

While militias benefit greatly from their status, the Government of Iraq bears liability for their illegal actions. International law of state responsibility defers to domestic legislation when determining who or what is an entity of a given State. In this case, Iraq has very clearly elected to incorporate the PMF, and must own their conduct.

And according to Article 7 of the International Law Commission’s Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts Iraq must remain responsible even when its state organ (e.g. a PMF militia) exceeds its authority or contravenes instructions. This rule evolved in response to a need to ensure clarity in state relations. Rather than allowing states to avoid responsibility by simply disavowing their organ’s actions, international law supports the proposition (Article 7, paragraph 3 of commentaries, p.45) that “all Governments should always be held responsible for all acts committed by their agents by virtue of their official capacity.” This most certainly extends to the killing and maiming of allied personnel operating in Iraq at Iraq’s request.

He's on sounder ground above than he is earlier in the essay when he writes "of successive elecgted Iraqi governments."  How was the 2010 government elected by a legal document?  It wasn't.  The voters rejected Nouri al-Maliki getting a second term.  Nouri refused to step down.  The government came to standstill for eight months (the political stalemate) until the US brokered Erbil Agreement gave Nouri a second term.  Don't call that an election.  Unless you're saying the US government is electing the prime minister which would be much more honest.  On the topic of the militias, yesterday afternoon, Suadad al-Salhy (MIDDLE EAST EYE) reported:

After frantic meetings in Baghdad, Beirut and Tehran, Iranian-backed Iraqi paramilitaries have agreed to stop attacks against US forces in Iraq on the condition that Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi formally demands an American withdrawal, officials and faction commanders told Middle East Eye.

Kadhimi must tell Washington that the pullout has to be completed within 12 months, they added. Sources said it is likely that Kadhimi will comply and make the formal request.

On 1 March, the armed factions announced the end of an unofficial armistice with US forces in Iraq that had largely held since October, despite a few violations.


So the government paid security forces are dictating to the prime minister what will happen?  Another reason that they should never have been made government forces to begin with.  A stupid move that the US government didn't even lodge an objection to.  

These militias are terrorizing the Iraqi people and the prime miniter either has no control over them or chooses not to exercise any control over them.  Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor issued the following: 

Iraqi citizen Jaseb Hattab, father of kidnapped activist Ali Hattab, has been killed by gunshot in Amara city in the Maysan governorate, southern Iraq, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said in a statement today warning of targeting activists’ families and its implications on the social peace.

At about 7 p.m. on Wednesday 10th of March, two gunmen on a motorcycle shot Jaseb directly while he was walking in Al-Maa’ard street in downtown Amara city in the Maysan governorate. Prior to his assassination, Jaseb had been participating in a memorial service for assassinated activist Abdul Quddus Qasim, which yesterday marked the first anniversary of his death.

“While the area witnessed a great overcrowding of citizens and widespread presence of security forces , two armed men on a motorcycle approached the victim,” an eyewitness, spoke on condition of anonymity, said to Euro-Med Monitor. “The victim tried to run as one of them got off the motorcycle and walked towards him. But the gunmen rushed towards him and shot him several times, which killed Jaseb instantly [before he could escape]”.

After the accident, a security force arrived at the scene, took the victim's body to the forensic medical office, and then began conducting an extensive investigation about the incident.

Jaseb had launched several distress calls demanding to know the fate of his son, lawyer and activist Ali Jaseb Hattab, who had been kidnapped since October 8th, 2019, for his participation in the popular protests. Since that time, no information had been known about his fate or whereabouts.

Euro-Med Monitor viewed a copy of a video of the victim, in which he confirms that he had reliable information about the identity of his son’s kidnappers. He said his son was kidnapped by Ansar Allah Alawfiaa faction, affiliated with the Popular Mobilization Forces, and demanded to meet the Prime Minister to provide him with documents confirming these claims.

The Hellija clan, to which the victim belongs, have made it clear in a statement to the media that the assassination of Hattab had nothing to do with any tribal disputes – contrary to what was stated in the provincial police statement about the incident. The clan held the security leaders and governor of Maysan governorate responsible for his assassination.

Political activists in Iraq have been subjected to great harassment and constant threats of liquidation. The number of activists who have received assassination threats since August of last year, reached about 30 activists, of which 19 have already been assassinated. Most recently, activist Salah al-Iraqi was assassinated on December 15th, 2020, near a security checkpoint in New Baghdad, southeast of the capital Baghdad.

"The assassination of the father of the kidnapped activist, Ali Jaseb Hattab, rings alarm bells that targeting activists extends to their families,” said Omar Al-Ajlouni, legal researcher at Euro-Med Monitor.

"The Iraqi authorities must commit itself to the provisions of the constitution that stipulates preserving the lives of activists and their families as Article 15 of it states: ‘Every individual has the right to enjoy life, security and liberty. Deprivation or restriction of these rights is prohibited except in accordance with the law and based on a decision issued by a competent judicial authority’.

Al-Ajlouni added that “This was also confirmed by Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which stated: ‘everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.’”

The Iraqi authorities should:

  • urgently investigate the circumstances of the crime,
  • bring the perpetrators to justice,
  • make more efforts to put an end to the widespread assassinations that escalated since the start of the popular movement in October 2019,
  • provide the necessary protection for political activists and their families who are under constant threats of liquidation, and
  • allow citizens to express their views without being subjected to any harassment or threat.

We noted Jaseb's murder in yesterday's snapshotSura Ali (RUDAW) reports:

Protesters took to the streets in five Iraqi provinces, including in the capital Baghdad on Thursday and Friday morning, to condemn the shooting death of the father of a protester. The killing of Jaseb Hattab has exposed government failures to protect protesters and bring to justice perpetrators of violence against demonstrators. 

Widespread anger over Hattab’s murder sparked renewed protests in Baghdad, Muthanna, Babil, Maysan, and Dhi Qar. 

Protests continued on Friday morning. In Samawah, Muthanna governorate, clashes took place between security forces and demonstrators, wounding dozens near the provincial government offices. Protesters called for the resignation of the local government, activist Musa Rahmatullah told Rudaw on Friday.

Hattab’s son Ali Jaseb is an activist who had participated in anti-government protests and was kidnapped in 2019. Hattab was outspoken in calling for the return of his son, even publicly naming the group he believed was behind the kidnapping – Ansarullah al-Awfyya’a, a powerful Iranian-backed militia part of the Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashd al-Shaabi in Arabic) in Maysan.

We'll note this Tweet:

 Many take to streets in several provinces to demand justice & accountability for latest assassination after Jaseb Hattab al-Heliji was killed - the father of a kidnapped activist & lawyer for whose release he tirelessly campaigned #جاسب_حطب



The European Union ambassador to Iraq, Martin Huth, highlighted the shooting on his Twitter page, posting a photo of Aboud with the comment, “Pope gone. Back to normal?”

Huth later deleted his post without explanation, much to the chagrin of some Iraqi social media users.

Aboud was a determined figure who for a time was a fixture on local media, reminding the Iraqi public about his missing son and seeking justice. He routinely took the six-hour bus journey from his rural town to the capital, Baghdad, to meet his lawyer. He always carried the documents he believed would deliver justice in a court of law.

The US government has had no official reaction -- not even a retracted one.  This despite Antony Blinken's recent rhetoric about human rights and "gross rights violations" in other countries.  The press also hasn't bothered to ask Jen Psaki, White House spokesperson, about the murder.  

In fact, it was pretty much another fluff press briefing yesterday.  The only thing of immediate news value would be this exchange:

Q    If I can ask just an unrelated question.  So, the relief bill includes subsidies for the healthcare exchanges and COBRA coverage.  The President, during the campaign, talked about also implementing a universal public option, lowering the Medicare age to 60.  Does he still plan to pursue those policy initiatives, and when can we expect to hear more on that from him?

MS. PSAKI:  Yes.  I mean, we’re only on day 50.  We’ve got a lot more time to go here.  Buckle up. 

Yes, he is — of course, this was his number one priority was getting this American Rescue Plan passed.  Today is a very big day here in the White House — significant moment for the American people, of course.  But he remains committed to and interested in pushing forward with the rest of his agenda and the commitments he made when he ran for President over the course of the last two years.

In other words, no, it's not  a priority and probably not happening.

Iraq just isn't an issue.  This despite the fact that the 18th anniversary is soon upon us.  Dan Caldwell hasn't forgotten the Iraq War and writes at THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE:

This month, the Iraq war—in which I served as a U.S. Marine more than a decade ago—turns 18. As a result, soon there will likely be service members deploying to Iraq who were born after the war began in 2003. When they arrive, they will find the conflict remains a dangerous one for Americans, as evidenced by the recent deadly rocket attacks against American bases.

Instead of conducting potentially unconstitutional and escalatory airstrikes in Syria to “defend” American troops in Iraq, who are performing a mission that is not necessary for our safety, President Joe Biden should withdraw the U.S. military from the country. Withdrawal would be not only good policy but good politics. Over two-thirds of the American people support leaving Iraq, according to recent polling.

There is no reason to keep sending Americans to risk life and limb in Iraq. We already lost the war when we made the disastrous decision to invade in 2003, handing a victory to Iran and Sunni jihadists who would exploit the chaos of post-invasion Iraq for their own ends. Everything we have done since—including the vaunted surge of Americans troops from 2007 to 2009—has been one failed attempt after another to overturn the terrible consequences of invading.

The inability of now four presidents to accept these realities has meant that America remains enmeshed in a country with no clear connection to our safety or other vital national interests. Over 4,500 American service members have been killed and tens of thousands more wounded in Iraq. Hundreds of thousands more who served continue to bear the burden of the war through mental health challenges and other illnesses connected to their deployments. Apart from the human toll, the war has cost American taxpayers nearly $2 trillion.

The price paid by the Iraqi people has been much higher. Between 200,000 and 1 million Iraqis died due to the war and up to 3 million more were displaced from their homes. Iraq’s Christian community—once the most vibrant in the Middle East, prior to the American invasion—has been driven “perilously close to extinction,” according to the archbishop of Erbil. The Yazidis, another Iraqi religious minority, have been victims of genocide by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), whose initial rise was fueled by the American occupation.

While the Iraqi people were promised freedom, they instead have a government that is increasingly repressivecorrupt, and under the sway of Iran. Maintaining a U.S. military presence in Iraq cannot undo this damage and would only needlessly endanger more American lives. It could even worsen the situation by providing to the anti-American and Iranian-backed militias who dominate the country a convenient foreign scapegoat for Iraq’s problems.

US President Joe Biden babbled away last night but said nothing of the ongoing wars.  Patrick Martin (WSWS) offers:

The nationally-televised address by President Biden Thursday night combined self-delusion with a complete refusal to address the causes or the real consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden seemed to have set his speechwriters the task of cramming as many maudlin banalities as possible into the first ten minutes of his speech, as he sought to display the “empathy” that was so lacking in his predecessor, who clearly cared not at all as the COVID death toll in America mounted into the hundreds of thousands.

The language of collective loss, suffering and sacrifice, however, ignored the brutal fact that one section of American society, the super-rich, has lost nothing at all from 12 months of the worst pandemic in a century.

While 527,000 Americans died, the billionaires increased their wealth by $1.4 trillion. While the economy collapsed, millions lost their jobs and hundreds of thousands of small businesses closed their doors forever, the stock market reached new record highs, a process that continues to this day.

Biden, however, in pursuit of his goal of “national unity,” said nothing at all about the class divisions that the pandemic has brought to the fore so clearly. He said little about the tidal wave of economic suffering unleashed by the pandemic, and made only one reference to the congressional passage of his American Recovery Act. This legislation aims to buy time for American capitalism by putting off a full-scale collapse of consumer spending until the end of the summer.

The most striking feature of the Biden speech was its narrow nationalism. He spoke as though coronavirus was a meteor that had crashed out of the sky and struck only the United States, not a global pandemic that has affected every country in the world.

He did not acknowledge the 800,000 dead in Europe, or the nearly equal number of dead in Latin America, or the mounting death toll in India and through Asia—although not in China, where the pandemic began.

This served two purposes. It allowed Biden to avoid the question of how COVID-19 became such a disaster in the United States, which has performed worst of all the major capitalist countries, with 30 million infections and more than half a million deaths.

Okay, we're going to try to quickly get through a few non-Iraq things.  First off, one of the attackers of Tara Reade has been revealed to be a paid political operator.

Yesterday's snapshot noted a column Tara wrote earlier this week and here's an excerpt:

          One obstacle I encountered when I tried to come public about what happened between me and Joe Biden baffled me. I was told my claims needed ‘numerosity’ – more women like me needed to come forward. Do I need to lead an army?

In approximately 60 AD a warrior Celtic Queen of the Iceni and her daughters were raped by Roman soldiers and flogged publicly. According to Tacitus, Queen Boudicca said, “Nothing is safe from Roman pride and arrogance. They will deface the sacred and will rape our virgins.”

Now, Boudicca let the Roman empire know her rage at the killing of her husband, rape of her daughters and slaughter of the peaceful Druids. She led armies in rebellion for a couple of years. History is written by the victors and the Romans painted a harsh picture of Boudicca. Personally, I like her spirit and relate to fighting back against an Empire.

The New York Times and Washington Post among other media outlets provided my public flogging for daring to speak out; my truth about the beloved Democrat, the elite Joe Biden, was quickly dismissed.

Sometimes, I feel as if I am being held underwater, far from the surface of being able to be heard. Sometimes, in my darkest moment, for inspiration I whisperBoudicca.”

An esteemed reporter once said to me, “Tara, we need numerosity to bring the allegations of Joe Biden forward in our piece.”

“Numerosity?” I asked, perplexed.

“More women to come forward.” He replied.

“How many murders make a murderer?” I shot back.

“How many rapes make a rapist?”

The reporter was silent. American rape culture functions on such assumptions.

I had heard this before. While there were seven other women discussing Joe Biden’s inappropriate touching, I was the only credible sexual assault allegation, at least in public.

Many times, by many well-known people, I was asked. “Are there any more names you can give us?”

I do know of more women that have complaints of varying severity about Joe Biden that may or may not ever come forward. However, their stories are not my story and I have no right to discuss their experiences. There is a photo, I have it, some journalists have it, that has not been released that shows Joe Biden in action with someone who does not want to receive his attention. When will it come out? Time will tell.

A prominent news anchor told me a very specific story about his wife receiving an unwanted hug that lingered too long and was “creepy.” The anchor said his wife did not want to discuss it but also added, “Tara, everyone knows this about Joe Biden, it’s an open secret.”

Glenn Greenwald.  Sexist?  Yes, I think he is.  I've never refrained from saying that.  That doesn't make him a unique creature on the face of the earth.  With ten being the worst, I'd rate him a 2 on sexism.  (I'd rate Michael Tracey an 8 on the same scale.)  We highlight him because he's an important voice.  He'd be a better voice if he'd look at how his college life reinforced ideas and agendas that led to his sexism.  He is a product of his time and his environment.  

Andrew Cuomo.  "How can you remain silent!!!" That's the tone of several e-mails Martha and Shirley summarized for me.

This site, that I am responsible for, has not ignored the claims against Andrew.  They have been covered in multiple videos -- including one that a CBS friend n NY called and told me that they had just posted -- it immediately went up at this site.  I am not following the case.  I know Andrew and I'm not offering a defense of him.

That's not an attack on anyone coming forward.  They are getting the space to tell their stories even at this site.

I like Andrew.  I am staying out of it.  It shouldn't matter but I'm staying out of it due to stress.  Two months in a row my diabetes has landed me in the hospital.  I don't want March to be the third month and I don't want to lapse into a diabetic coma which I came close to last month.  That's why I was off that week.  My diabetes can go, in thirty minutes, from a normal range to 340 or higher based on stress.  My doctor wants me to stop this site or to at least stop covering Iraq.  He says that has to wear on a person if they're covering it every day.  I'm not living it, the Iraqi people are.  And if there was anyone opposed to war who was covering Iraq regularly -- even once a week -- I'd feel okay walking away.  But I'm not going to walk away unless I have to -- not while the whole country ignores the suffering of the Iraqi people.  They've been let down by too many Americans already.

I do have to set up boundaries for my health.  And I'm not defending Andrew.  I'm also not following that case.  The courts and the people of New York will decide it.  I will gladly repost things about it here but I'm not getting into it.  I have enough on my plate and I'm supposed to be reducing stress.  Covering what appear to be credible allegations that a friend has harassed women is not stress-free and there's no need for me to step up and do it when the media is already all over it.  This is not a case like Tara Reade's where the media was ignoring it.

I hope that answers the many e-mails to the public e-mail account.  That would be which is for non-community members and really should be Iraq related.

The following sites updated:

Read on ...
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.