Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Iraq snapshot

 Tuesday, September 29,  2020.  One day till the big debate  . . . 


I woke up this morning and, while working out, thought, "Oh, I missed the debate last night!"  Then, after a moment, I was okay with that.  But I didn't miss it, it's tonight.  They're calling it a presidential debate.  That's not really true.


Donald Trump is the president of the United States.  He's not debating, for example, Emanuel Macron -- the president of France.  He's debating another person who would like to be president of the United States: Joe Biden.


Another person.  


Singular.  


There are other people running for that office.  




Howie Hawkins, for example, is running on the Green Party ticket, Gloria La Riva is running on the Party for Socialism and Liberation's ticket and Joseph Kishore is running on the Socialist and Equality Party's ticket.  






In addition, there's Jo Jorgensen.


For years, the claim has been that limiting the 'debate' to the Republican and Democratic candidates makes sense because they are the only ones who could logically win due to ballot access issues.  That is not a valid reason for limiting the debates.


However, in 2020, that 'reasoning' is even more problematic.  Jo Jorgensen, the Libertarian Party's presidential candidate, is someone who can be voted on in every state.


'Wait, wait, wait, you can do a write-in in any state.'  You can do that but if the name you write-in is not a recognized write-in candidate, your vote may not count depending upon your state's laws.  If you write in Bernie Sanders, for example, in Texas, your vote will go to Joe Biden because, in that state, they 'interpret.'  If you write in any Democrat -- living or dead -- your vote will go to whomever's the top of the ticket.  Rebecca noted that in "why would you write-in bernie sanders?" last week.


Jo Jorgensen can be voted on in every state.  She's met the rules and guidelines.  She should be on the stage tonight.  We should point out that Jo's had it a little bit easier than Howie Hawkins.  Both have had to fight to meet the various rules and guidelines -- which differ from state to state.  But for Jo, meeting those guidelines was largely the end of it.  For Howie?  


He's had to meet the guidelines and then face legal challenges from the Democratic Party.  They've spent a lot of money keeping him off the ballot.  And we call this a democracy?  And Democrats often want to chant "Count every vote!"  The hypocrisy needs to be called out.  We need a better system and we need one that has fairness built in.  


Disenfranchising voters is something we on the left love to point out when Republicans do it.  Greg Palast, in fact, has built a career out of doing just that.  But disenfranchising voters is also keeping candidates off the ballot.  And partisan judges -- Democrats -- who go along with these efforts need to be called out and probably removed from office because they're not holding office to promote the Democratic Party, they're holding office to upholds the law.  


Why do we allow this to happen?  Clearly, the Democratic Party does not value We The People -- two primaries in a row, they've rigged it so Bernie Sanders couldn't get the nomination.  Two general elections in a row, they've given us distasteful candidates who don't run on issues.  And they don't trust the voter enough to allow choices.  There's nothing that Howie Hawkins is offering, issues he's running on, that Joe Biden couldn't co-opt and grab.  But Joe doesn't want to run on issues.  He is against Medicare For All, he is for destroying the environment (as evidenced by his recent pro-fracking comments).  Instead of trying to grab voters from Howie, the Democratic Party uses their energy to keep Howie off the ballot -- the ultimate act of disenfranchisement.  


This year's game plan is to keep every left or left leaning candidate for president off the ballot and present only two choices: Joe or Donald -- with Donald being the man the party and their media counterparts have demonized non-stop.  They're trying to ensure that you have no choice.  And the media is disgusting.  Playing games, choosing sides.  They want to pretend that they're part of a vibrant democracy but they aren't.  They lie for Joe, they fluff for Joe.  Anyone watching this, anyone impartial, should be appalled by how the system has been gamed this go round.


B-b-b-but it's different, it's the election of our lifetime!!!!


No.


No, it's really not.  And that lie's been used over and over -- in 2004, THE NATION called it the torture election, remember?  That's what was on the table.  And we'd never be the same and we'd never and we'd never that and blah blah blah.


Some crazys insisted Donald would postpone the election because it was a pandemic.  Didn't happen.  But I'm seeing a lot of people postponing ethics and truth this cycle to give Joe a 'break' because this is such an important election, so important that facts and standards no longer matter.  So we all pretend, for example, that it's okay Jill Biden is campaigning more than her husband.  In what world?  He's hiding behind her skirts.  If he can't campaign for the job, he's not up for it.  How pathetic that he hides away and he knows the bulk of the press will go along with it and offer excuses and justifications.


There are no legitimate excuses.  He's trying to promote social distancing?  Were that the case, his wife wouldn't be on the campaign trail.  


And the media won't point that out, they won't do their job.  She slaps down Jake Tapper who has a legitimate questions about Joe's 'gaffes' (lies) and says that Donald Trump makes that question moot.  No, Jill, he doesn't.


If you're going to lie, I'm going to have to call you out.  And I avoided mentioning you the whole time your husband was president (violating that only once for a veterans issue) because I do like you and if I noted you, it was only fair that I criticized you if you were wrong.


Jill, you're wrong.


Joe's running to be president.  If he succeeds, Donald is an ex-president.  So how are Joe's gaffes (lies) moot?  They're not.  They go to several important issues and Jake should have pushed back on you.  The press should push back on you.  


Your husband is allegedly running for president -- apparently, Jill's his legs, the new First Lady Roosevelt -- and that means every question deserves answers.  He is answerable to We The People if he wants to be president and it is really shameful to pretend otherwise.

This is just one more election.  The country will still be standing after election day.  And all the people who've whored and lied better grasp that no one needs them anymore.  Norman Solomon, you're a joke.  I tried to forgive you but we clearly can't.


You're a little whore who forgot that Lt Ehren Watada was the issue.  Not some journalist covering him (I'll leave her name out of it, apparently she didn't ask for Norman's repulsive actions).  Instead of supporting Ehren, you chose to publicly insist that he do this or that.  In the midst of his Article 32 hearing? While his future hung in the balance?  You wanted to put additional pressure on him?


F**k you, Norman, f**k you.


You followed that nonsense with injecting yourself into a couple's relationship and the couple divorced, you know who I mean.  To this day, you were the instigator and that is on you.


Then you decided to go PACIFICA RADIO and other stations trashing Hillary Clinton in 2008 -- while failing to inform listeners that you were a supporter of Barack Obama, a pledged delegate.  Now you included that in your syndicated columns and you made that disclosure there because you knew that failing to do so could end your syndicated career -- your writings not good enough to justify syndication and you know it.


So you lied to people over and over.


Then you show up in 2019 and you start trashing Elizabeth Warren because that's what you do, what you've always done, when it comes to women.  That's who you are, a pig.  You were for Bernie!!!! But then you were for Joe.  And it wasn't enough to support Joe, you then had to trash third party candidates.


I get it, Norman, not only are you a whore, but you also couldn't write convincingly of Joe Biden.  So you instead teamed up with  others and start trashing third party candidates.  (The previous sentence originally included one name and the question of: "___ why did you send me into a meeting with a CIA recruiter -- a meeting you passed off as an academic meeting."  I've long told the story here about how I refused CIA recruitment in college.  And I've been very kind by leaving ____'s name blank.  As with Saint Beau, people can be put on notice that I'm pretty damn tired of holding my tongue.  ____ should get honest about their CIA ties.  Or they should retire from public life because I've been about as kind to _____ as I plan to be.)   


Norman, you're useless.  Your trash and now your trash with an odor that everyone can smell.  Clearly, you do not value independent thought or the American people.  The 2024 election cycle will be much better without you.  A reality that you, and many others, will be forced to face.  


Once upon a time, Norman pretended to give a damn about the Iraq War.  He used for publicity.  These days, he pimps War Hawk Joe Biden.  These days, he refuses to demand accountability for the ongoing war.


Not everyone's as cowardly and pathetic as Norman Solomon.


General debate Item 4: Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention 

25 September 2020 

Thank you, President, 

We are deeply concerned about the systematic and widespread human rights violations in Iraq. We have raised this issue many times before UN relevant bodies and are still of the firm belief that the situation requires special attention by this Council. 

It is appalling that international crimes committed by powerful states against other states are too often erased from humanity’s collective memory and replaced with propaganda to cover up the millions of lives destroyed and extinguished through these crimes. We call attention to the 2003 illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq for which not a single person responsible has been brought to justice. The victims of that heinous war are entitled to the protections of international law and cannot be removed from our collective memory. 

 Therefore, International-Lawyers and Geneva International Centre for Justice repeat their calls to establish an international, independent Commission of inquiry to investigate all human rights violations in Iraq since 2003 in order to hold all perpetrators accountable. 

It is also appalling that the Iraqi government continues to evade calls for accountability for thousands of disappeared persons by branding them as terrorists solely on the basis that they derive from certain ethnic regions in Iraq. Human rights defenders in Iraq are subjected to abductions and assassinations merely for exercising their fundamental rights. 

Impunity enables these violations to persist and we repeat our call upon the Council to take all necessary measures to stop these grave violations. 

Thank you.


Meanwhile Nahal Toosi, Lara Seligman and Natasha Bertrand (POLITICO) report:


President Donald Trump is weighing closing the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad as intelligence agencies in recent weeks have picked up specific threats against American forces in Iraq, including against the embassy itself, according to three people with knowledge of the intelligence.

Over the past week, senior U.S. officials have told their Iraqi counterparts that they will close the massive, heavily fortified embassy within days unless Iraqi leaders do more to rein in the Iranian-backed militias lobbing rockets at and otherwise threatening the diplomatic outpost, people familiar with the issue said. 

It’s not clear how imminent any potential attack might be, or whether it is the driving factor in the administration’s recent push to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Iraq. But the situation bears echoes of another fraught incident: the attack on the U.S. consulate and another facility in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. 


Looking at the same basic details, Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr insists that civil war will break out in Iraq if this issue isn't addressed while an unsigned piece at ALJAZEERA insists that the Iranian government will see it as a sign of impending war with Iran if US diplomats pull out of Iraq.


How will you read the tea leaves?


Study war no more
Lay down your arms
Study war no more
Lay 'em down lay 'em down now
Study war no more
Lay down your arms
Study war no more

Newsreels rattle the Nazi dread
The able-bodied have shipped away
Molly McGee gets her tea-leaves read
You'll be married in a month they say
"These leaves are crazy!
Look at this town there's no men left!
Just frail old boys and babies
Talking to teacher in the treble clef"

She plants her garden in the spring
She does the winter shovelling
Tokyo Rose on the radio
She says she's leavin' but she don't go

Out of the blue just passin' thru
A young flight sergeant
On two weeks leave
Says "Molly McGee no one else will do!"
And seals the tea-leaf prophecy
Oh these nights are strong and soft
Private passions and secret storms
Nothin' about him ticks her off
And he looks so cute in his uniform

She plants her garden in the spring
He does the winter shovelling
But summer's just a sneeze
In a long long bad winter cold
She says "I'm leavin' here" but she don't go

"Sleep little darlin'!
This is your happy home
Hiroshima cannot be pardoned!
Don't have kids when you get grown
Because this world is shattered
The wise are mourning
The fools are joking
Oh what does it matter?
The wash needs ironing
And the fire needs stoking"

She plants her garden in the spring
He does the winter shovelling
The three of 'em laughing 'round the radio
She says "I'm leavin' here" but she don't go

She plants her garden in the spring
They do the winter shovelling
They sit up late and watch the
Johnny Carson show
She says "I'm leavin' here but she don't go

-- "Tea Leaf Prophecy," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her CHALKMARK IN A RAINSTORM.




Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Set Up" went up last night.  The following sites updated:





We're All In Trouble

Feminist Majority Foundation
 

Dear Common Ills,

We need to take action. Now that Donald Trump has nominated a virulent anti-equality, anti-reproductive rights  originalist zealot to the Supreme Court, every person — especially every woman, person of color, and LGBTQ person — in the United States is about to face one or more of these disasters if this candidate is confirmed:


…. Elimination of the Affordable Care Act and it’s health insurance coverage for millions of people, the elimination of its ban on sex discrimination in pricing and benefits (or back to being charged twice as much for half as much), its protection of some 130 million people with pre-existing conditions —all of this in a pandemic;


…. Elimination of the protections of Roe v. Wade and reducing access to birth control;


…. Weakening of sex discrimination law and the equal pay and equal education protections of Title VII and Title IX;


.......instead of moving forward for racial justice, turning back the clock on civil rights, human rights, gender equality, on climate change, on gun reform.


We urge you to take this IMMEDIATE ACTION that will help save us all from these disasters.


Click here to send a personal message to your two U.S. Senators right now.

 
Republican Senators must be put on notice to stand up for equality — that they will be held accountable for their hypocrisy and complicity if they go along with Mitch McConnell’s naked power grab and Donald Trump’s attempt to rig the Court to guarantee he stays in power.


Democratic Senators must be urged to stand firm for equality and blatant attempts by Trump and his GOP enablers to wreck our democracy.


Please don’t delay.


Take action: click here to send a personal message to your two U.S. Senators right now. 

For equality,

Ellie Smeal Signature
Eleanor Smeal
President
 
Kathy Spillar Signature
Kathy Spillar
Executive Director
 

P.S.  We’re not helpless.  If you’re disgusted by Mitch McConnell and his Republican Senate’s blatant efforts to steal your rights and Trump’s tossing gasoline on the fire by nominating a right-wing, anti-equality Justice who will give him a majority on the Supreme Court possibly to support his efforts to distort the election returns.  Take action now.  Silence is deadly. 

 

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Feminist Majority
1600 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22209

United States 



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