Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Cooking intel, freeing the anonymice

Despite CENTCOM under investigation for cooking intel and presenting a 'rosy' picture of 'success' in Iraq, some still rush to note press releases:

Earlier this week,, Shane Harris and Nancy Youssef (The Daily Beast) reported on what was being cooked:

In some cases, analysts were also urged to state that killing particular ISIS leaders and key officials would diminish the group and lead to its collapse. Many analysts, however, didn’t believe that simply taking out top ISIS leaders would have an enduring effect on overall operations.

Many analysts, however, didn't believe that simply taking out top ISIS leaders would have an enduring effect on overall operations.

And hasn't.


And didn't in earlier waves of the Iraq War either.

But the Pentagon trumpets a 'kill' and the cry is echoed.

What people should have reTweeted was RT report noting, "Over 53,000 flights, 6700 strikes, and nearly $4 billion dollars later, Operation Inherent Resolve has yet to achieve any of its objectives."

Meanwhile Reuters embarrasses itself with the following:

Turkish jets launched air strikes on a Kurdish militant camp in northern Iraq late on Tuesday, targeting a facility being used as an "education and logistics" hub, security sources said.
The jets took off from an air base in Diyarbakir, southeast Turkey, the sources added. 

Which part, please explain, can you actually report?

In other words, what did your correspondents verify themselves?

They took dictation from whispered sources that they agreed not to reveal.

Because it's apparently a whispered secret that Turkish war planes are bombing Iraq?

The Turkish government boasts of that constantly.  It's all part of  President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's strategy for winning the upcoming election, remember?

So why does Reuters need to guarantee anonymity for the above?

 By contrast, you can **tell** why Ragip Soylu (Daily Sabah) would grant anonymity to sources for the following:

The U.S. military in October 2014, ceased providing drone surveillance and reconnaissance support on PKK targets in northern Iraq for the Turkish military amid the siege on the Kurdish city of Kobani in Syria, a senior Turkish official told Daily Sabah.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Washington and Ankara had differences at the time over the level of threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and the PKK against Turkey. Turkish officials perceived the PKK as another immediate threat while the United States wanted to focus more on ISIS's siege of Kobani, and began to use its two Predator drones, stationed at İncirlik Air Base in Adana since 2011, to locate ISIS targets. "The Americans said they don't have time for PKK targets since they wanted to take ISIS down in Syria. But the coordination between the parties was not very good at the beginning in 2013," the Turkish official said. Such cooperation had been ongoing since 2007. 

Meanwhile Alsumaria reports that Haider has denied that there are any foreign troops in Iraq. Presumably, he's splitting hairs over troops classified as "combat" since the US, Canada and Iran are among the countries with troops stationed in Iraq.

Alsumaria is also advocating consuming raw eggs.

In the midst of a cholera outbreak, Alsumaria is recommending Iraqis eat raw eggs.

Because what goes better with cholera than salmonella?

The Qatar conference, long passed, continues to be an issue in Iraq even after State of Law's efforts to attack Sunnis (and remove Sunni politician Salim al-Jabouri as Speaker of Parliament) imploded when the US Embassy in Baghdad began leaking the names of State of Law members who attended the conference.  Since then, it's emerged that participation in the conference took place with Haider al-Abadi's full knowledge and today Iraq Times ups the number of State of Law participants to ten.

Amnesty International has an online petition regarding Iraq:

One year after the take-over of Mosul by the group calling itself Islamic State (IS), Iraq is experiencing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.

Sectarian violence has spiraled to a level not seen since 2006-2007, the worst period of civil strife in the country’s recent history. IS’s territorial gains have been accompanied by widespread war crimes, including mass killings, abductions, rape and destruction. Hundreds of thousands of people, mainly religious and ethnic minorities, have been forced from their homes. Some 2.8 million people have been displaced by the conflict. Many are living in dire conditions, as the Iraqi central government and Kurdish authorities, as well as the international community, have struggled to provide for even the most basic needs of the growing number.  Many of the displaced have also been denied access to safe areas by both the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) acting out of security concerns but also on sectarian and discriminatory grounds.
At the same time, Shi’a militias acting with impunity and outside any legal framework, but with the backing of Iraqi government and government forces have been carrying out reprisal attacks against Sunni communities, including mass killings, abductions and destruction of Sunni villages.

Sign our petition to call on the Iraqi central government, the Kurdistan Regional government and the international community to protect civilians and put an end to human rights abuses

Call on the Iraqi government  and the Kurdistan Regional government to:
  • Ensure that all allegations of abductions, hostage-taking, enforced disappearance, unlawful killings, including extrajudicial executions and other summary killings, torture and other ill-treatment by members of pro-government militias and members of the security services or armed forces are investigated promptly, thoroughly, transparently and independently;
Call on the Iraqi central government, the Kurdistan Regional Government and the International community to:
  • Make concerted efforts to ensure that adequate protection and humanitarian assistance including shelter, food, water, sanitation and essential medical assistance is provided to those displaced by the conflict, and that they are allowed a safe passage to safe shelter.
  • When transferring or receiving weapons, adopt a preventive approach and strict safeguards in order to mitigate and remove the substantial risk of the arms being used directly by the intended recipients, or through diversion, to commit or facilitate serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law

If you'd like to sign the petition, click here.

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