Saturday, August 06, 2016

Iraq snapshot

Saturday, August 6, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the persecution of Sunnis continue, the Green Party presidential candidate is Jill Stein and much more.

Today, in Houston, Texas at the Green Party's national convention, Jill Stein was declared the party's presidential candidate.

  1. "It's time to end the racist war on drugs & release hundreds of thousands of nonviolent offenders from prison" -
  2. "Every community needs a police review board so that communities control their police, not the other way around" -
  3. "We can end racist violence not only in policing, but in courts, prisons & the economy at large" -
  4. "We'll halt deportations for people whose only crime was fleeing violence & poverty caused largely by US policies" -
  5. "GOP is the party of hate & fearmongering, but Dems are the party of night raids & record deportations" -
  6. "We say to Donald Trump: we don't need no friggin' wall! We need to stop invading other countries." -
  7. "We should stop causing immigration crisis in the first place w/ policies like NAFTA, war on drugs & US-backed coups"-
  8. "We must end the shameful night raids, detentions & deportations of hard-working, law-abiding immigrants" -
  9. "We need a welcoming path to citizenship for undocumented Americans who are critical to our economic vitality" -
  10. "Teach to the whole student for lifetime learning & nurture the creative, independent minds our future depends on" -
  11. "It's time to provide small classrooms, pay teachers well, & honor their unions" -
  12. "We must end high-stakes testing used to justify closing & privatizing schools & disempowering teachers & unions" -
  13. "Poverty is biggest obstacle to learning; we need to make sure students are nourished, healthy & free from poverty" -
  14. "We can revive public education by fully funding it & ensuring kids come to school healthy & ready to learn" -
  15. Breaking News: & claiming the Presidential & VP nomination
  16. Jill Stein & Ajamu Baraka are officially nominated as the ticket for president
  17. "We must ensure disabled members of our community get the support, healthcare, treatment, housing & jobs they need" -
  18. "We need healthcare as a human right through : head-to-toe healthcare, everybody in, nobody out" -
  19. "A will revive our economy, stop climate meltdown, & make wars for oil obsolete" -
  20. "We can get to 100% renewable energy by 2030 if we put an immediate moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure" -
  21. "We need a WWII-style mobilization to green our energy, food & transportation systems & restore our infrastructure" -

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange appeared at the Green Party convention via satellite.

He also appeared on HBO Friday.  Daniel Kreps (ROLLING STONE) reports:

Assange first defended the criticisms against the DNC leaks, which was reportedly perpetrated by Russian hackers in an attempt to discredit and splinter the Democratic Party to better Donald Trump's chances of being elected president. Assange argued that the leak was necessary as there was evidence high-ranking members of the DNC conspired against Bernie Sanders, including labeling his supporters as violent.
"This is the DNC demonizing – in a covert manner through its chain of command to the press and its favored press contacts – a Democrat, saying that a Democrat was conducting violence, when you have the same allegations against the Trump campaign, thereby watering down the critique against the Trump campaign," Assange said, adding that the emails directly resulted in the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other staffers.

Assange is correct about what has taken place.

It's not surprising.

When Daniel Schorr gave the retroactively retracted PIKE REPORT to THE VILLAGE VOICE (which published it), he observed, "The Ford administration seemed more than happy to shift the issue from what had gotten out to how it had gotten out" (CLEARING THE AIR, 1977).

It happens over and over and shame on the press which -- due to being a suck up to whomever's in power -- plays this game over and over.

Shame for those who also try to distract.

That includes MSNBC's Chris Hayes with his efforts to misdirect the public focus from the DNC scandal by whining about 'personal information' getting out.


Yes, whining.

WikiLeaks has taken the approach since day one of the organization that the public has a right to the information and has released information without editing.

That was fully known by the time they released the IRAQ WAR LOGS in 2010.

Six years later, Chris wants to ignore the contents of the release to tut-tut over WikiLeaks policy?

It's been covered, Chris.

And now you're just covering the DNC by going there again.

But MSNBC is home of trash, right?

I'll be discussing and with Matthews today on . Tune in and consider the bad combo.

Oh, look, it's gutter trash Valerie Plame Wilson.

Yeah, the gloves are off.

She's gutter trash.

Why is she on TV?

Forget what side of the political fence she's on, why is Gutter Trash on TV?

She was CIA.

She should be in a prison for what she did in other countries.

She and her ilk have a long history of lying to Congress, of lying to presidents, of lying to the American people.

She's a spook.

She's not one that's a whistle-blower.

So why the hell is Gutter Trash on TV?

The most gentle aspect of her profession was lying.

Again, Valerie Plame belongs behind bars, not on basic cable TV.

Valerie and other Gutter Trash that have been paid to deceive the American people and the Congress (and the White House so actions can be disavowed) are not trusted speakers.

Her statements, those of Chris Hayes and others have not helped the rumors brewing for the last four months about MSNBC being 'infiltrated.'

While Gutter Trash and her ilk distort, lie and distract, Iraq remains in crisis.

Human Rights Watch's Donatelle Rovera Tweets:

2 months on, more than 700 residents abducted by anti- militias are still missing & feared dead

Yes, the Sunnis continue to be persecuted.

Yes, the media continues to look the other way.

They basically did throughout Nouri al-Maliki's second term as prime minister (given to him by US President Barack Obama who, after the voters in Iraq rejected Nouri, had US personnel facilitate The Erbil Agreement which gave Nouri his second term -- voters didn't do it, a US brokered contract did it).

After Nouri's fall from grace in the summer of 2014, the press could finally get honest about it.  Take this PBS' FRONTLINE report:

Much of the world was shocked when militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took over Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, in June. One of the many factors that allowed the group of Sunni extremists to take the city so quickly was a Sunni population disillusioned with Iraq’s central government and unable or unwilling to fight against the militants.
Politicians who served under former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Shia-led government, and were targeted for arrest by his security forces, were not surprised. Here, they describe the many grievances of Iraq’s Sunni population while Maliki was in power, which they say led to the resurrection of the Sunni insurgency — once again providing a safe haven for extremists.
Tariq al-Hashemi served as vice president in Maliki’s government from 2006 until 2011, when a warrant was issued for his arrest for alleged links to terrorism. While former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey conceded that there were “a lot of problems” with Hashemi, the arrest of his bodyguards in 2011 was the first major indication of Maliki’s emerging sectarian politics. Hashemi, who fled Iraq, was later tried in absentia and sentenced to death.

Rafi al-Essawi was the minister of finance in Maliki’s cabinet, a figure who was “greatly respected” by many Iraqis, according to journalist Dexter Filkins. Almost exactly a year after Hashemi’s bodyguards were rounded up, Maliki’s security forces arrested Essawi’s bodyguards on similar allegations of ties to terrorism. The move triggered huge protests in Sunni parts of Iraq, because as Filkins said, “everybody knows Rafi al-Essawi is a peaceful man.” Fearing he would be arrested like Hashemi, Essawi fled to the Sunni-dominated city of Ramadi.

Much of the world was shocked, yes.

Because the western press wasn't covering it.

And not just the corporate press.

While ANTIWAR.COM was busy nuzzling Nouri al-Maliki's crotch, we were calling him a thug here.  Because that's what he forever is: a thug.

Understand that Nouri attacking the press -- having them rounded up and tortured, for example -- did not turn Barack against Nouri.

Nor did Nouri being connected to the assassination of Iraqi journalist Hadi al-Mahdi.  From the September 8, 2011 snapshot:

In Iraq, a journalist has been murdered.  In addition to being a journalist, he was also a leader of change and part of the movement to create an Iraq that was responsive to Iraqis. 
Al Mada reports Iraqi journalist Hadi al-Mahdi is dead according to an Interior Ministry source who says police discovered him murdered in his Baghdad home.  Along with being a journalist, Al Mada notes he was one of the chief organizers of the demonstrations demanding change and service reform that began on February 25th -- the day he was arrested by Iraqi security forces and beaten in broad daylight as he and others, after the February 25th protest, were eating in a restaurant. The New York Times didn't want to tell you about, the Washington Post did.  And now the man is dead. Gee, which paper has the archives that matter to any real degree.  Maybe it's time to act like a newspaper and not a "news magazine" with pithy little human interest stories?  (That is not a dig at Tim Arango but at the paper's diva male 'reporter' who went on NPR to talk of an Iraqi college this week.)  So while the Times missed the story (actaully, they misled on the story -- cowtowing to Nouri as usual),  Stephanie McCrummen (Washington Post) reported:

Four journalists who had been released described being rounded up well after they had left a protest at Baghdad's Tahrir Square. They said they were handcuffed, blindfolded, beaten and threatened with execution by soldiers from an army intelligence unit.
"It was like they were dealing with a bunch of al-Qaeda operatives, not a group of journalists," said Hussam al-Ssairi, a journalist and poet, who was among a group and described seeing hundreds of protesters in black hoods at the detention facility. "Yesterday was like a test, like a picture of the new democracy in Iraq."

A picture of the new democracy in Iraq, indeed.  And now one of the four is dead.  But back to that roundup, from the February 28th snapshot:
Over the weekend, a number of journalists were detained during and after their coverage of the mass demonstrations that took place in central Baghdad's al-Tahrir Square. Simone Vecchiator (International Press Institute) notes:

["]During a news conference held on Sunday, four journalists -- Hussam Saraie of Al-Sabah Al-Jadid newspaper, Ali Abdul Sada of the Al-Mada daily, Ali al-Mussawi of Sabah newspaper and Hadi al-Mehdi of Demozee radio -- reported being handcuffed, blindfolded, beaten and threatened by security forces. They also claimed they were held in custody for nine hours and forced to sign a document, the contents of which were not revealed to them. 
Aswat al Iraq news agency reported that the journalists will file a court case against the executive authority in response to the alleged violations of their civil rights.
This episode is the latest in a series of repressive measures adopted by security forces in order to stifle media reports about the current political and social
NPR's Kelly McEvers interviewed Hadi for Morning Edition after he had been released and she noted he had been "beaten in the leg, eyes, and head." He explained that he was accused of attempting to "topple" Nouri al-Maliki's government -- accused by the soldiers under Nouri al-Maliki, the soldiers who beat him.  Excerpt:
Hadi al-Mahdi: I replied, I told the guy who was investigating me, I'm pretty sure that your brother is unemployed and the street in your area is unpaved and you know that this political regime is a very corrupt one.
Kelly McEvers: Mahdi was later put in a room with what he says were about 200 detainees, some of them journalists and intellectuals, many of them young protesters.
Hadi al-Mahdi: I started hearing voices of other people.  So, for instance, one guy was crying, another was saying, "Where's my brother?" And a third one was saying, "For the sake of God, help me."
Kelly McEvers: Mahdi was shown lists of names and asked to reveal people's addresses.  He was forced to sign documents while blindfolded.  Eventually he was released.  Mahdi says the experience was worse than the times he was detained under Saddam Hussein.  He says the regime that's taken Sadam's place is no improvement on the past. This, he says, should serve as a cautionary tale for other Arab countries trying to oust dictators. 
Hadi al-Mahdi: They toppled the regime, but they brought the worst -- they brought a bunch of thieves, thugs, killers and corrupt people, stealers.
Madhi had filed a complained with the courts against the Iraqi security forces, noting that they had now warrant and that they kidnapped him in broad daylight and that they beat him.  Mohamed Tawfeeq (CNN) adds, "Hadi al-Mehdi was inside his apartment on Abu Nawas street in central Baghdad when gunmen shot him twice with silencer-equipped pistols, said the ministry official, who did not want to be identified because he is not authorized to speak to media."  Mazin Yahya (AP) notes that in addition to calling for improvements in the basic services (electricity, water and sanitation), on his radio program, Hadi al-Mehdi also used Facebook to get the word out on the Friday protests in Baghdad's Tahrir Square.
Al Mada notes that Hadi has been killed on the eve of tomorrow's protest.  The youth activists took the month of Ramadan off and announced that they would return to downtown Baghdad on September 9th (tomorrow).  And tomorrow they'll now be minus at least one.  Al Mada quotes Hadi writing shortly before he died on his Facebook page about the demonstration, noting that it would herald the emergence of real democracy in the new Iraq, an Iraq with no sectarian grudges, just hearts filled with tolerance and love, hearts saying no to corruption, looting, unemployment, hearts demaning a better Iraq and a government for the people because Iraqis deserve the best and they deserve pride and dignity.  The Great Iraqi Revolution notes, "The funeral of the martyred jouranlist Hady Mahdy, who was killed earlier today will process from his Karrad home where he was assassinated to Tahrir Square. The funeral procession will commence at around 9 A.M."
Reporters Without Borders roundly condemns the well-known journalist Hadi Al-Mahdi's murder in Baghdad today, on the eve of nationwide protests that he supported. His body was found at around 7 p.m. in his home in the central district of Al-Karada. He had been shot twice in the head. There can be no doubt that his murder was politically motivated.
Offering its sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues, Reporters Without Borders urges the authorities to quickly investigate this murder and to assign all the necessary resources to ensure that those responsible are identified and brought to justice. This crime cannot go unpunished.
Aged 44, a Shiite and married to a Kurd, Mahdi hosted a talk show called "To whoever listens" on Radio Demozy (104,01 FM). His irreverence, his well-observed criticism that spared no one, neither the prime minister nor his detractors, and his readiness to tackle subjects ranging from corruption to the deplorable state of the Iraqi educational system made it one of the most popular talk shows in Baghdad.
It was clear from the messages that Mahdi had sent to relatives that he knew he was in danger. He had received many warnings and had told friends two days ago that something terrible could happen ( But he was determined to tough it out, regardless of the risks.
After covering a demonstration in Baghdad's Tahrir Square on 25 February, he and three fellow journalists were arrested, threatened and beaten.
Shortly after graduating from Baghdad's Academy of Fine Arts in 1989, Mahdi fled to Syria and then to Sweden and did not return until 2007, after nearly a decade in exile. He began hosting "To whoever listens" for Radio Demozy, an independent station, a year later. (A New York Times profile of Mahdi)
He was the seventh Iraqi journalist to be murdered since the start of 2011 and the 12th since the United States announced the withdrawal of its combat troops in August 2010.
Mahdi's murder comes exactly a month after the Iraqi parliament adopted a law on the protection of journalists on 9 August.
Nouri al-Maliki's forces beat Hadi.  They are under Nouri's command.  Nouri demonized the protesters all along.  He has repeated the slurs in the last weeks that the September 9th protests are organized by Ba'ahtists, are out to topple him, are out to turn Iraq into a lawless state and much more.  Did Little Saddam aka Nouri al-Maliki, thug of the occupation, order his forces to murder Hadi?  Regardless, he certainly created the climate for the murder at the very least.  At the more extreme?  Little Saddam may be dreaming of becoming the next Augusto Pinochet.

Hadi had a dream that Iraq could become what so many in the US press portrayed it as being, a democracy, a place of fairness, a government that provided for the people.  The youth activists will carry on the struggle, as will be evident tomorrow, but it says a great deal about the stae of Iraq, he real state of Iraq, that Hadi can be targeted and murdered for wanting what so many US gas bags and US politicians and liars wnat to insist Iraq already has and is.

And the protesters did take to the streets.  They launched over a year of protesting.

But the western media, like the White House, was usually not interested.

Not even when Nouri was ordering protesters be shot and killed.

The biggest example of that was the April 23, 2013 massacre of a sit-in in Hawija which resulted from  Nouri'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).

That's not when Barack said enough.

When Barack finally had enough, he replaced Nouri with Haider al-Abadi -- yet another exile.

Why does the US government refuse to support Iraqi leaders who didn't leave Iraq for decades?

Oh, that's right, it might allow Iraqis to actually have a voice in their own government.

So Haider got installed and nothing changed.

No surprise.

Haider was a member of Nouri's political party (Dawa) and also a part of Nouri's self-created political slate (State of Law).

How much of an idiot do you have to be to think Haider is going to be different than Nouri.

Last March, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace provided this overview:

Understanding Iraqi Sunni Estrangement

  • Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has not convinced many Iraqi Sunnis that he can offer something different from his predecessor, Nouri al-Maliki, whose policies contributed to Sunni estrangement from the state and the political process.
  • Iraqi Sunnis are disillusioned by the monopolization of power by a few Shia elite and the impunity of perceived sectarian Shia militias that are part of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).
  • Some Iraqi Sunnis support the Islamic State and more remain indifferent. For example, a large portion of Mosul’s population appears supportive of or indifferent about the group.
  • There is no united authority, cause, or identity driving the Sunni movement, which makes it difficult for Iraqi Sunnis to engage with the state and adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Further disrupting the community’s cohesion are internal political differences (such as over whether to work with Abadi) and ideological disagreements (such as about whether to mobilize as a Sunni party or front).
  • Following Mosul’s 2014 fall to the Islamic State, much of the Sunni leadership has shifted course and seeks greater local autonomy.

The problems have not changed one bit.

In her 2010 book, ECLIPSE OF THE SUNNISDeborah Amos  observed, "Despite Prime Minister Maliki's pledge to work for political reconciliation, he was unable or unwilling to rein in the Shiite militias in the captial -- in particular, Sadr's militia, the Jaysh al-Mahdi (known to the U.S. military as JAM)."

The change from Nouri to Haider hasn't really changed anything.

Doubt it?

Nouri, Deborah notes, promised political reconciliation but "was unable or unwilling to rein in the Shiite militias" -- and Haider?

Last week, Human Rights Watch issued the following:

Iraqi military commanders should prevent militias with records of serious abuses from taking part in planned military operations for the city of Mosul. The government’s obligation to take all possible measures to protect civilians and ensure respect for the laws of war makes it essential to prevent these groups from participating in the Mosul campaign.
  Militias with abusive records include components of the mostly Shia Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) such as the Badr Brigades, the Hezbollah Brigades (Kata’ib Hezbollah), and other groups. During recent operations to retake territory from the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), Human Rights Watch documented summary killings, enforced disappearances, torture, and the destruction of homes by these and other groups that are part of the government-affiliated PMF. There have been no apparent consequences for these abuses.
“Militias that form part of the PMF have repeatedly carried out horrific, sometimes wide-scale abuses, most recently in Fallujah, with no consequences despite the government’s promises to investigate,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director. “Iraqi commanders shouldn’t risk exposing Mosul civilians to serious harm by militias with a record of recent abuse.”
ISIS took control of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, in June 2014. It is thought that hundreds of thousands of civilians still remain in the city. In mid-March 2016, the Iraqi army, in cooperation with Iraqi Kurdistan’s Peshmerga forces, opened a ground offensive from the town of Makhmur, in Erbil governorate, that reached Qayyara, 70 kilometers south of Mosul, by mid-July. This raised the prospect of an imminent assault on Mosul.
PMF officials have said their forces would be at the forefront of the campaign against ISIS in Mosul, and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, which have also been responsible for abusing civilians, also insist that they will participate. In a June 25 statement, Hadi al-Amiri, leader of the Badr Brigades, said, “The PM[F] will take part in the liberation of Mosul, against the will of the politicians who oppose this.”
In May, prior to the campaign to retake Fallujah from ISIS, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Badr leader Hadi al-Amiri, and the United States-led coalition spokesman, US Army Col. Steve Warren, said that the PMF would not enter Fallujah. But allegations of abuses of civilians by members of the PMF immediately surfaced after the start of operations on May 24. Members of the Badr Brigades and Hezbollah Brigades, among others, and in at least one instance, Federal Police officers, allegedly beat hundreds of Sunni men escaping the fighting after taking them into custody, summarily executed dozens, forcibly disappeared hundreds, and mutilated at least a dozen corpses.
On June 4, al-Abadi said he had opened an investigation into allegations of abuse in the Fallujah operation. Three days later, he announced unspecified arrests and the “transfer of those accused of committing violations to the judiciary to receive their punishment according to the law.” Since then, officials have not responded to Human Rights Watch inquiries about the status of the investigation, who is conducting it, or steps taken. The abuses in Fallujah followed numerous earlier allegations of widespread abuses by militias that were part of the PMF, including in Diyala, around Amerli, and Tikrit.
Two people told Human Rights Watch that, in March, the Hezbollah Brigades, League of the Righteous (Asa’ib Ahl al-Haqq), and Soldier of the Imam (Jund al-Imam) militias rounded up thousands of Sunni families fleeing the Jazira desert area west of Baiji, Tikrit, and Samarra, and held them in food warehouses south of Tikrit. Another source Human Rights Watch interviewed in March said that a militia fighter told him that he and fellow militiamen had executed dozens of Sunni young men, also from the area west of Tikrit and Samarra.
After ISIS claimed two bombings at a café in the town of Muqdadiya, in Diyala governorate, on January 11, fighters with the Badr Brigades and the League of Righteous responded by attacking Sunnis, killing at least a dozen people and perhaps many more, local residents told Human Rights Watch.
Human Rights Watch also documented widespread destruction and looting after ISIS had withdrawn in March and April 2015, by the Badr Brigades, Ali Akbar Brigades, Hezbollah Brigades, League of the Righteous, Khorasan Companies (Saraya Khorasan), and Soldier of the Imam militias, all part of the PMF, after battles in al-Dur, al-Bu ‘Ajil, and parts of Tikrit. Sunni PMF forces also destroyed property in al-‘Alam.
Shia PMF militias and Federal Police officers also carried out apparent extrajudicial killings in Tikrit in early April. Human Rights Watch interviewed by phone people who had been recently detained by the Shia militias who said that groups including Hezbollah Brigades and League of the Righteous had abducted at least 160 people, all of whom remain unaccounted for, from al-Dur, south of Tikrit.
In September and October 2014, several militias, including the League of the Righteous, Badr Brigades, Khorasan Companies, and Hezbollah Brigades, destroyed buildings in at least 30 villages around Amerli, 80 kilometers east of Tikrit, after lifting the three-month ISIS siege on that Shia Turkmen town. Around Amerli, Human Rights Watch documented abductions of Sunni residents by Shia militias.
Human Rights Watch has also documented abuses by Peshmerga and other forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Human Rights Watch has documented serious abuses by ISIS forces and said that ISIS should not use civilians to shield its military objectives from attack. Human Rights Watch also called on all sides not to use child soldiers and to allow civilians to flee to safety.
The US-led coalition has conducted aerial attacks on ISIS, including in the recent Fallujah offensive, and advises local forces on ground attacks. Germany trains and provides weapons to Peshmerga and other forces and provides them with weapons. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps provides military advisers to Iraq.
On July 12, the US announced the deployment of an additional 560 US troops. The US should request that none of the militias with a record of serious abuses with impunity is put in a position where they could commit similar abuses, including in any Mosul operation.
Any military operation to retake Mosul should also include efforts to preserve mass graves for victim identification and justice, both in Iraq and elsewhere. A focus should be the mass grave holding about 600 Shia prisoners whom ISIS captured at Badoush Prison on June 10, 2014, and killed in the nearby desert. The precise killing site remains unknown but, once identified, it requires immediate protection to preserve crucial evidence.

“Given the record of abuses by militias, it is crucial for Iraq’s military and political leaders to hold accountable those who have violated the laws of war in past operations,” Stork said. “It goes without saying those same forces should be kept away from efforts to retake Mosul.”

Lastly, in Houston, singer and activist YahNe Ndgo addressed the Green Party convention:

Are ya'll ready for the political revolution?  I've got something that I'm going to say and you'll not going to like it.  F**k the political revolution. Revolution -- I got the -- I got the definition pulled up here on my phone. "A revolution is a forcible overthrow of government or social order in favor of a new system."  I was sitting -- I was sitting at home -- or in my room thinking about this idea of a political revolution. And what I realized is that that is not a realistic idea.  It doesn't exist. A political revolution really is kind of saying we're going to get up inside of the politics and the system and we're going to transform it. That's not a revolution.  That's reformation.  Or reforming -- whatever the correct word is. That's not a revolution.  That's not overthrowing anything. That's not -- That's what we've been doing for generations. The idea of a political revolution is what brought us mass incarceration.  A political revolution has increased the number of people who have been deported from our country.  A political revolution has cost the lives of millions of people across this globe in -- just within the last several years. We do not need a political revolution.  What we need is an actual revolution. What we need to do -- as I was talking about this with various of my comrades -- many of you I talked to in this room -- and the question comes up how can you do that, right?  When the systems in place are so powerful?  And they are.  And they've got all kinds of resources -- including now drones that allow them to be able to drop bombs on us like we're video game characters anytime they want to.  They don't even have to feel the reality of what they're doing to people anymore, right?  I mean, that's what we're dealing with right now. How do we do it?  And my answer to that is we do it from inside of here [gestures to her heart].  We do it amongst ourselves. So we have to start -- and this goes back to a little bit about what we were talking about last Thursday -- we got to go inside and understand what it is that we are holding onto and what it is that we are doing that is actually counter-revolutionary.  So, for example, I would like all the people in here -- and I think that a good number of you will stand up -- but I would like all of the people in here who are racist to stand up. Racist.  Racist.  Those of you who are sitting down, you have work to do. You've got work to do.  Because you can't be growing up in this system here and not be racist.  It's not possible.  It's not your fault.  But you can't do anything to transform it if you can't even acknowledge it.  I need you to say, "Hello, my name is _____ and I am a racist."  I need you to say it.  [Crowd does.]  Thank you.  That is the beginning of us being able to begin that transformational and revolutionary process.  We have to be able to acknowledge that we've got so much crap inside of us that prevents us from being able to be the people that we're striving to be all day long that we've been programmed by our media, we've been programmed by our magazines, by our movies, by the books we read, by the curriculum that we learn in our schools, we have been programmed to be racist against each other and against ourselves.  And if we don't deal with that programming, then we're going to be killing more people in more countries and in this country as the generations progress. So we have to acknowledge what's going on.  That's where the revolution starts.  That is where the revolution starts.  So you've got to understand what is not revolutionary -- when we're sitting here running around talking about being in a revolution. It is not revolutionary to have a president drop a microphone and then drop a bunch of bombs on a bunch of people across this earth. It's not revolutionary for us to not criticize a president simply because he's a Black man.  And to hold on to him as somebody who's too important to criticize because he got swag, because he's walking around with a good looking face and a smooth voice. It's not revolutionary for us to criticize the [former] Secretary of State and act like that man is not her president, to act like that man is not her boss. That coup in Honduras that she supported?  He supported that s**t too.  And I want you to understand that when you don't fight for the people of Honduras, you are fighting against me.  If you don't stand with the people of Rawanda, then you don't stand with me.  You stand against me. Those are my brothers and sisters in Rawanda.  Those are my brothers and sisters in Honduras. Those are my brothers and sisters in Haiti.  Those are my brothers and sisters in Iraq.  Those are my brothers and sisters in Libya. Those are my brothers and sisters in Syria.  It don't matter that they are on the other side of the world.  Buttons are nice.  T-shirts are nice.  Slogans are great. Those are not revolutionary.  Throwing on a T-shirt does not make you a revolutionary.  You might be a revolutionary who throws on a T-shirt but throwing on a T-shirt does not make you a revolutionary.  Okay?  We have been very much, I've noticed a lot of Bernie supporters in here, right?  I'm about to hurt your feelings again. I don't like to hurt your feelings but I want you to know I didn't come here to make you'll feel good -- that's not what I came here to do today.  I came here to push a little bit. I came her to challenge because the reality is that if we don't get this s**t right, we're gonna have the loss of our shores. We're gonna have the loss of half of our species -- plant and animals species.  We're gonna have bombs exploding all over this country within the next year.  We've got to get this right.  We've got to understand what we're up against, okay? Now I want to read you just the first paragraph of an article that was written and posted in May of last year at BLACK AGENDA REPORT by brother Bruce Dixon who I believe is here. [Amid clapping, Bruce Dixon stands.]  Alright.  Alright. The title of this article is "Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders Sheepdogging for Hillary and the Democratic Party:"

The sheepdog is a card the Democratic party plays every presidential primary season when there's no White House Democrat running for re-election. The sheepdog is a presidential candidate running ostensibly to the left of the establishment Democrat to whom the billionaires will award the nomination. Sheepdogs are herders, and the sheepdog candidate is charged with herding activists and voters back into the Democratic fold who might otherwise drift leftward and outside of the Democratic party, either staying home or trying to build something outside the two party box.
[. . .]
Vermont senator and ostensible socialist Bernie Sanders is playing the sheepdog candidate for Hillary Clinton this year. Bernie's job is to warm up the crowd for Hillary, herding activist 

Any activists in here?

herding activists energies and the disaffected left back into the Democratic fold one more time. Bernie aims to tie up activist energies and resources till the summer of 2016 when the only remaining choice will be the usual lesser of two evils.

Anybody been hearing anybody talk about the lesser of two evils today?  Anybody heard talk over this summer, over the summer of 2016?  And I know the idea -- the idea that Bernie would be working in this entire system while he's telling us that he's against us is a hard idea but this is the reality: It doesn't even matter. And let me tell you why it doesn't matter: It doesn't matter because all of us are here. Bernie still served that purpose as a beacon and he pulled millions of unactivated people and got them involved in the system.  He still caused millions of people to understand that we are living in a corrupt system.  He caused us to find each other. Now we are prepared with the collectiveness to change this world.