ALSUMARIA reports this morning's claim that 50% of Old Mosul is liberated.
Glass half full types should remember that the glass is also half empty.
And it's day 248 of The Mosul Slog.
Our delegate, Yara Khaweja is on Alsharqiya news speaking about the wounded civilians trapped in #Mosul
Notice, the International Red Cross is being interviewed by non-Western media.
The Mosul Slog continues.
And while it continues, the Islamic State is active in other areas -- like Anbar Province below.
How bad are things?
Concrete barriers (once called "Bremer Walls") are going back up in Baghdad.
If only political solutions had been sought over the last three years instead of a focus solely on military.
Meanwhile, the United Nations lies to Iraqis. CBS NEWS reports:
U.N. equipment and supplies are not stamped with the instantly-recognizable blue globe insignia, and local Iraqi contractors are carrying out the work in the name of the Iraqi government, rather than foreign contractors. The U.N.’s new strategy is designed to minimize the promotion of its own work, and to instead quietly facilitate a “for the country, by the country” reconstruction.
“The Iraqis coming home don’t necessarily know that it is the U.N. that is helping them. They see that the government cares for them and the government is doing things for them,” Lise Grande, Deputy Special Representative of the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq, tells CBS News. “That helps to reinforce a sense of confidence in the government; as citizens, they need to know that the government is for them.”
Lying to the Iraqi people does not help them.
Pretending the Iraqi government is helping the people doesn't change anything.
The UN should be embarrassed that they are not proudly and openly carrying out their activities.
And the Iraqi people have every right to be insulted by this attempt to deceive them.
In other news, Zach D. Huff (HUFFINGTON POST) reports:
The Kurds stand apart from their fellow Muslim-majority neighbors because of their progress on women’s equality — boasting the only all-female units taking on ISIS — but are there signs that the Kurdish areas could someday be a relative sanctuary for LGBT people?
This Pride Month, the LGBT flag flutters once again at the U.S. consulate in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan. The State Department allows embassies to recognize Pride “as appropriate to their local context” — perhaps why it was raised over the Iraqi Kurdish capital city, but not in Baghdad, Iraq’s capital. The resulting condemnation from a member of Iraq’s parliament about wishing he could attack the Erbil consulate stands in stark contrast to the measured silence of Kurdish authorities.
The restraint shown by Iraqi Kurds on the taboo subject began to change last year when Ayaz Shalal, a gender rights activist, became the first — and lone — voice in Iraqi Kurdistan advocating for LGBT equality.
Ayaz embarked on nationwide public engagement campaigns and public art projects, introducing Kurds and Iraqis to the issue in a personal way. In just one recent meeting, Ayaz hosted a town hall-style forum with 129 Muslim and Christian faith leaders.
“Obviously not everyone is open to what I have to say, especially at first. When I speak to the community, it is the first open conversation they’ve had on LGBT issues, and some do walk away questioning the antiquated popular opinions,” said Shalal, 25.
His organization, Rasan, provides counseling support to struggling sexual minorities, and aims to soon provide safe spaces and greater asylum support to victims who currently have nowhere to turn.
The following community sites updated:
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