Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Iraq snapshot

Wednesday, April 16, 2017.  Chaos and violence continues and look who's concerned about Kurdish independence.





 

Link to headline article



REUTERS has filed what they're boasting is a "one minute read."

Me? I'm marveling over the fact that it took 3 people to produce it: Ece Toksabay, Turvan Gumrukcu and David Dolan.

The only thing the headline doesn't tell you is that the remark was made to TRT HABER.

What does he mean?

Far be it from REUTERS to offer that.

They neither quote his exact words or go beyond the headline.

A good guess -- but a guess none the less -- would be this is more nonsense from Turkey and from Mevlut Cavusoglu.


AFP quotes him stating, "In that country (Iraq), which has been through so many problems, a referendum on independence can make the situation even worse.  God forbid, it could even bring it to civil war."

Oh, he's just concerned about Iraq.

How sweet.

To provide a bit of context on Cavusoglu, in March the Netherlands announced he would not be allowed to land in their country.  In May, he called for the US government to replace Brett McGurk as special envoy (he insisted McGurk supported the PKK and YPG -- apparently he was unaware of Brett's youthful involvement with the YMCA).  And, of course, Cavusoglu made a spectacle of himself whining about the 'treatment' of Turkish bodyguards (the bodyguards were attacking peaceful protesters in DC).


So that's the 'diplomatic' Cavusoglu.

More context?

For over a decade now, Turkey has been bombing northern Iraq -- killing farmers and villagers mainly.


Turkey has long maintained that every strike killed PKK fighters and nothing but PKK fighters.  As for the PKK, Aaron Hess (International Socialist Review) described the PKK in 2008, "The PKK emerged in 1984 as a major force in response to Turkey's oppression of its Kurdish population. Since the late 1970s, Turkey has waged a relentless war of attrition that has killed tens of thousands of Kurds and driven millions from their homes. The Kurds are the world's largest stateless population -- whose main population concentration straddles Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria -- and have been the victims of imperialist wars and manipulation since the colonial period. While Turkey has granted limited rights to the Kurds in recent years in order to accommodate the European Union, which it seeks to join, even these are now at risk."


Cavusoglu represents the faction that has oppressed Kurds in Turkey.  They fear that if the KRG becomes independent, Kurds in Turkey will press for their own rights.

Kurds are discriminated against in Turkey -- if they're lucky, that's all they face.  They often are also the targets of violence.

Rather than address their own problem, they now want to whine about what might happen in Iraq.

They really need to address the oppression they have imposed on their own country (I'm referring to the Kurds but you can include the more recent targeting of the press and dissidents as well).

Instead, they want to whine.


Let's drop back to the February 13, 2016 snapshot:



US House Rep Paul Cook: Picking up on that question of the Turks and the Kurds, point blank, is there any hope for a separate homeland for the Kurdistan?  I don' think geography favors it.  But we've disappointed the Kurds so many times and after all of their fighting and everything else, particularly with the pressure with the Kurds -- I just don't . . . I think we're going to betray them once again.  Can you comment on that?


Special Envoy Brett McGurk:  Well the Kurds -- and I've dealt with my friends, the Kurds, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq for almost a decade now.  And you're right, there's a historical memory of what happened to the Kurds after WWI which is something I think we all have to recognize and be sympathetic to.  Uhm, the Kurds in northern Syria we've developed a relationship with over the last 18 months or so in the counter-ISIL campaign.  I was able to go into northern Syria last week and meet a number of them.  And they have the same -- it's a very similar historical narrative.  Uhm, however, at this moment in time, creating new, independent states is not something that I think would be particularly stabilizing.  So when it comes to northern Iraq, and the Kurds, as I mentioned, I think before something like that can be discussed in a serious manner, first you have to get ISIS off the southern border, it's all jihad-istan on the entire southern border of northern Iraq and the Kurdistan region.  Second, the economic situation has to stabilize.  And, third, the political situation has to stabilize.  So right now, I think the Kurds of northern Iraq, uh, and recognize this.  Nobody is trying to do the impossible and create a unified Iraq that is a glowing democracy.  But a federal Iraq, which is defined in their constitution, which empowers local leaders, empowers the Sunnis in the provinces, empowers the Kurds in northern Iraq, empowers the Shia in southern Iraq is something that's realistic, is something that is in Iraq's constitution and something that we support.




The US has repeatedly attempted to thwart any move towards Kurdish independence.


As we noted SaturdayALSUMARIA reported that Hoshyar al-Zebari stated today that, despite US objection, the referendum will be held on September 25th.  Monday, Mythili Sampathkumar (INDEPENDENT) reported), "Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had asked Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani to delay the 25 September vote because America fears it would detract from "more urgent priorities" in the region, such as defeating the Isis terror group. "

Yes, it's never a good time for the KRG.

It's always been that way, from the US government's perspective.

The betrayals and lies go back decades.


You can't  discuss the US government's relationship with the Kurds seriously without referenceing the Pike Report which the US Congress produced but then quickly decided not to release.  It was leaked to the press (by CBS NEWS' Daniel Schorr after CBS NEWS questioned whether or not to report on it) and, February 16, 1976, The Village Voice published Aaron Latham's "Introduction to the Pike Papers."  Latham explained:



In 1972, Dr. Henry Kissinger met with the Shah of Iran, who asked the U.S. to aid the Kurds in their rebellion against Iraq, an enemy of the Shah.  Kissinger later presented the proposal to President Nixon who approved what would become a $16 million program.  Then John B. Connally, the former Nixon Treasury Secretary, was dispatched to Iran to inform the Shah, one oil man to another.
The committee report charges that: "The President, Dr. Kissinger and the foreign head of state [the Shah] hoped our clients would not prevail.  They preferred instead that the insurgents simply continue a level of hostilities sufficient to sap the resources of our ally's neighboring country [Iraq].  The policy was not imparted to our clients, who were encouraged to continue fighting.  Even in the context of covert action, ours was a cynical enterprise."
During the Arab-Israeli war, when the Kurds might have been able to strike at a distracted Iraqi government, Kissinger, according to the report, "personally restrained the insurgents from an all-out offensive on the one occasion when such an attack might have been successful."
Then, when Iran resolved its border dispute with Iraq, the U.S. summarily dropped the Kurds.  And Iraq, knowing aid would be cut off, launched a search-and-destroy campaign the day after the border agreement was signed.
A high U.S. official later explained to the Pike committee staff: "Covert action should not be confused with missionary work."



That is the root and start of a relationship where the US government repeatedly used and misled the Kurdish people and repeatedly lied and broke promises.


Since 2003, the broken promises have increased.

The KRG needs to do what the people of the KRG want.

A referendum is scheduled for September 25th.  The Kurds need to decide for themselves.  They do not need 'advice' from the US or Turkey.  Self-determination.


How do you leave that out?


The bombs continue to be dropped on Iraq.


IS conflict: Iraqi jets bomb Tal Afar ahead of ground assault


Balint Szlanko and Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) report:

Thousands of Iraqis have fled an Islamic State-held town west of Mosul as Iraqi and coalition warplanes step up strikes ahead of a ground offensive to drive out the militants.
Tal Afar and the surrounding area is one of the last pockets of IS-held territory in Iraq after victory was declared in July in Mosul, the country's second-largest city. The town, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) east of the Syrian border, sits along a major road that was once a key IS supply route.


Maher Chmaytelli (REUTERS) adds, "The town, which had about 200,000 residents before falling to Islamic State, experienced cycles of sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shi'ites after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, and has produced some of Islamic State's most senior commanders."



In other news, WSWS is among the websites currently targeted with censorship.  They note:

Nearly 1,000 people from all over the world have signed the petition to oppose Google censorship.

Here is what some have said:

  • I'm against any kind of censorship on the Internet. It should be a free space and not controlled by corporations. -- Ricardo, Portugal
  • Information should be free and the reader should have the choice whether to believe it. -- Muhammad, Pakistan
  • Disallowing the dissemination of information critical to exposing the class nature of all political issues we face represents a leap towards authoritarianism. -- John, United States
  • Internet censorship must stop... freedom of speech and access to information on the web! -- Srilal, Sri Lanka
Read all the comments and add your name here.

Sincerely,
The World Socialist Web Site



The following community sites updated:











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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Iraq snapshot

Tuesday, August 15, 2017.  Chaos, violence and the illegal war continue as THE NATION, THE PROGRESSIVE, DEMOCRACY NOW!, et al stay silent about the Iraq War.





Honoring 82nd Airborne's Sgt. Allen Stigler Jr., 22, of Arlington, Texas, & Sgt. Roshain Brooks, 30, of Brooklyn, NY. Killed in Iraq Sunday




Sgt. Roshain E. Brooks, 30, and Sgt. Allen L. Stigler Jr., 22, were identified as soldiers killed in Iraq on Sunday





Corey Dickstein (STARS AND STRIPES) notes, "According to the 82nd Airborne division, Stigler was from Arlington, Texas and joined the Army in November 2013; Brooks, from Brooklyn, New York, joined in July 2012. Both have been posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal and Combat badge, the statement said."  Patrick M. Walker (FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM) adds:


Stigler joined the Army in November 2013. After basic combat training and advanced individual training, he was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division in Camp Casey, Korea from May 2014 to June 2015. In July 2015, he was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. This was his first combat deployment.
Stigler’s awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with “C” Device, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korea Defense Service Medal, the Overseas Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, and the Parachutist Badge.



NBC NEW YORK 4 notes:

Brooks joined the Army in July 2012, and was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas. In 2016, he was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, and he deployed to Afghanistan from June to November 2014. This was his first deployment to Iraq.
Brooks' awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with "C" Device, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge.



These are two more deaths in the never ending Iraq War.

These two men did not die 'protecting us.'

They protected corporations, maybe.  (As one Iraqi MP revealed last week, there exists, in writing, a plan by the current council of ministers to privatize electricity in Iraq.)

There's no reason for the US military to be in Iraq -- not now, not yesterday, not today.

But try to find that expressed at so-called left outlets.

THE NATION offers the always ridiculous Robert L. Borosage with "Democrats Are Fighting Among Themselves, and That's Okay."


Oh, quit whoring, Robert.

Democrats 'fought' among themselves in 1992.

The result: slashes in the safety net.  Attacks on the poor.

That's what's happening again.

The spirit of Will Bunch lives on.

And Robert doesn't have the guts or spine to tell you.

The conversation taking place, that Robert's so proud of, is the same one that took place in 1992 and a lot of people are about to be sold out once again.  But Robert's not going to inform you of that history, he's not going to tell you anything.

So why doesn't he just pack it in?

He's nonsense and bulls**t and 100% worthless.

As he babbles on endlessly, Peter Van Buren (ANTIWAR.COM) writes:


I’m going to take a break with this blog. I may post here and there when I get bored, I may rerun some old things, I may do nothing at all. But after some six years and over 2,000 posts, I’m gonna do something else. Not sure just what yet.
The reason is simple: the Internet has become too boring and too toxic. It is no longer a matter of having a thick skin, it is a question of why bother.
The past election finally broke the idea of the informal interchange blogs thrive on, as it broke journalism. And as it apparently caused most of America to lose its mind.

Partisan reporting devolved into partisan facts; for example, though the basics are black and white in how the government’s document classification system works, the mass of media allowed itself for over a year to believe that Clinton had no classified material on her email server because someone retyped things without the SECRET headers, then spent months telling everyone even if she did that did not matter, even after it did. There are plenty of other examples. For example, a large number of Americans now believe, based on no real evidence presented yet so far, that our government is literally controlled from Moscow. But mention the idea of a Deep State and you’re labeled a nut case conspiracy theorist. Sure.

Journalism used to involve sources, people and documents – facts. Reporters told us how they knew something so we could judge the validity of the reporting. If the source on a new strategy toward India was an intern who quit last year versus a senior national security advisor, we could judge. Now, major stories are near-exclusively sourced anonymously, and often include second and third hand leaks and rumors, all jumbled together as fact. As long as the main story point supports a given bias (Trump is bad) most people seem to play along. As the old joke goes, that’s not reporting, it’s typing.


The wrong people are closing shop.  Peter's work had impact and was important.  It wasn't mindless cheerleading that Robert will disown a few minutes from now (the way he launched the "Take Back America" campaign under Bully Boy Bush only to then play dumb when Barack came into office and insist that Republicans saying "Take Back America" must be racist -- couldn't be about political differences, could it, Robert?).


I'm tired of the liars and the whores.

I'm tired of screeching passing for reflection.

I'm tired of the nonsense.

Most of all, I'm tired of the silence on the ongoing war.

There's not a major lefty alive that didn't use the Iraq War to promote themselves -- Amy Goodman, that includes you.  And yet where are you today?

Whoring on some other topic, ignoring the ongoing war.

You're useless.

You don't help anyone.

If you want to know the Iraq War is going on today, this is sad, you can't find that out at THE NATION or THE PROGRESSIVE.  But, at THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE, you can find Daniel L. Davis' "U.S. Forces Cannot be Iraq's Security Crutch Forever:"


Now that the Islamic State (ISIS) has been driven from Mosul, a number of senior U.S. officials are calling for a long-term military presence in the region. The president should resist such calls without hesitation. 
I returned last month from my third trip to the environs around Mosul since ISIS first captured the city. Again, I talked to a number of refugees and survivors of the fighting.  One thing remains clear: the fundamentals of the conflict that existed in the years prior to the ISIS 2014 takeover have not gone anywhere.  There are still Sunni grievances and outright hatred between and among many Sunnis and Shia in the city, and even mistrust between the Kurds and the Arabs.  I saw no evidence of a change in leadership from Baghdad that would make me believe the age-old antipathies that spawned the fights in the first place will be healed in the foreseeable future.

Make no mistake: If Trump were to submit to the calls for continued presence in Iraq, the net effect would be to establish the United States military as the permanent security force for Baghdad, with no benefit to American national security.


Where's an argument -- in support, a counter-argument, an alternative argument -- being made at a left periodical online?

Where?


Forget that, where's even the acknowledgement that two deaths took place -- two US service members -- on Sunday in Iraq?

It must be nice to live in the gated communities of THE PROGRESSIVE and THE NATION where US foreign policy never harms or destroys these days -- or, for that matter, wars don't take place.


As a woman, I'm particularly outraged that this silence on war has taken place as women have ascended to positions of power at MOTHER JONES, THE PROGRESSIVE and THE NATION.

Shame on you.  Shame on you ridiculous little bitches who don't seem to grasp that peace is a feminist issue.

Shame on you.

It's really nice the way these rags -- that beg for your money because they can't survive without donations -- turn themselves over to the Democratic Party, sell out the readers, and lie over and over and over -- Robert, there's not a speck of truth in your lousy article that misleads America.  Shame on you.  Shame on you, Katrina, for publishing that nonsense.

Stop being cheerleaders for the Democratic Party while stealing the money of the people.

Shame on you.


This war has seen three different people in the White House.

First occupant Bully Boy Bush, then President Barack Obama and now President Donald Trump.

When is it enough?

Why was it only important to cover it -- let alone protest it -- when Bully Boy Bush was in office?

Why are you comfortable allowing the government to continue to send US troops over there?

There was no reason to ever go into Iraq.

There's no reason to be there now.

Except greed.  New markets, oil, you name it.

Is that what THE NATION is supporting?

Where is the coverage of Iraq?

Where is the acknowledgement that this illegal war continues day after day?

You don't understand what whores you are or that you're seen as such.

Katha Pollitt, you're ridiculous whoring includes trashing Cindy Sheehan -- in a non-feminist way, by the way.  Pretending to care about her as you trash her for running against Nancy Pelosi.

You're ridiculous whoring includes ignoring the gang-rape and murder of Abeer by US soldiers.  We stayed on your ass about that and finally got a whole paragraph from you, didn't we?

And you call yourself a feminist?

You're just a fat and old woman (who stalked your ex who left you for younger and pretty) who calls yourself a feminist because it's your excuse for being so fat and ugly.

Check out my new Giving Page at Donorschoose. Chip in to help provide low-income students with books, music, more!



That's not feminism, Katha, it's consumerism.

Try learning.

I'm sick of all of you whores who pretend that war doesn't matter and doesn't need to be covered.

The Iraqi people don't have that luxury.

The US government -- Barack Obama -- supported the very government that led to the rise of ISIS in Iraq.

The Iraqi people said no to a second term of Nouri al-Maliki.

Barack's the one who trashed the election results and gave a Nouri a second term (via The Eribl Agreement).

But I guess calling out St. Barack was just too much for the fake ass left?

And for whatever reasons, after eight years of silence, you still can't find your spines or your voices.

The Iraqi people need to have the right to self-determination.

The US has imposed, they have ignored the Iraqi people.

But it's okay, Katha's gifting to the needy in the US.

Go, Katha, maybe you can get some Target gift cards?

What nonsense.

This is pathetic.

The Iraq War is claiming lives to this day.

It needs to end.

Shameful would be all the people who cannot say that but want to claim to be leaders and opinion makers.





















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