"Love Hangover" is one of the 19 number one pop songs (BILLBOARD US singles chart) that Diana Ross has sang on. November 19th, she'll be on the live broadcast (ABC) of The American Music Awards to perform and to receive the American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement. Motown Classic is issuing DIAMOND DIANA: THE LEGACY COLLECTION November 17th (today!) to note this monumental achievement. That's this Sunday and her daughter Tracee Ellis Ross (BLACKISH, GIRLFRIENDS) will be hosting the broadcast.
Turning to Iraq . . .
THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE this coming Sunday will feature a cover story by Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal "The Uncounted:"
Around midnight, Basim heard a thump from the second floor. He peeked out of his office and saw a sliver of light under the door to the bedroom of his daughter, Tuqa. He called out for her to go to bed. At 21, Tuqa would often stay up late, and though Basim knew that he wasn’t a good example himself and that the current conditions afforded little reason to be up early, he believed in the calming power of an early-to-bed, early-to-rise routine. He waited at the foot of the stairs, called out again, and the sliver went dark.
It was 1 a.m. when Basim finally shut down the computer and headed upstairs to bed. He settled in next to Mayada, who was fast asleep.
Some time later, he snapped awake. His shirt was drenched, and there was a strange taste — blood? — on his tongue. The air was thick and acrid. He looked up. He was in the bedroom, but the roof was nearly gone. He could see the night sky, the stars over Mosul. Basim reached out and found his legs pressed just inches from his face by what remained of his bed. He began to panic. He turned to his left, and there was a heap of rubble. “Mayada!” he screamed. “Mayada!” It was then that he noticed the silence. “Mayada!” he shouted. “Tuqa!” The bedroom walls were missing, leaving only the bare supports. He could see the dark outlines of treetops. He began to hear the faraway, unmistakable sound of a woman’s voice. He cried out, and the voice shouted back, “Where are you?” It was Azza, his sister-in-law, somewhere outside.
“Mayada’s gone!” he shouted.
“No, no, I’ll find her!”
“No, no, no, she’s gone,” he cried back. “They’re all gone!”
Not only did the strike target his house and his brother's house, the US military posted a video of the strike insisting it was targeting an ISIS facility.
There are no precision strikes. It's as big a lie as smart bombs.
But where has the left been since the fall of 2014 when Barack Obama began ordering daily strikes? Strikes that have continued under Donald Trump?
Is the only true sign of a 'woke' person really just bad morning breath?
We certainly haven't seen one damn effort to stop the Iraq War and our 'Social Justice Warriors' can't be bothered with Iraq.
Nor can THE NATION or THE PROGRESSIVE or any of our so-called 'independent' outlets.
They've had nothing to say or do for over three years now as Iraq has endured daily bombings -- not by terrorists but by a US-led coalition.
Kahn and Gopal note:
Our own reporting, conducted over 18 months, shows that the air war has been significantly less precise than the coalition claims. Between April 2016 and June 2017, we visited the sites of nearly 150 airstrikes across northern Iraq, not long after ISIS was evicted from them. We toured the wreckage; we interviewed hundreds of witnesses, survivors, family members, intelligence informants and local officials; we photographed bomb fragments, scoured local news sources, identified ISIS targets in the vicinity and mapped the destruction through satellite imagery. We also visited the American air base in Qatar where the coalition directs the air campaign. There, we were given access to the main operations floor and interviewed senior commanders, intelligence officials, legal advisers and civilian-casualty assessment experts. We provided their analysts with the coordinates and date ranges of every airstrike — 103 in all — in three ISIS-controlled areas and examined their responses. The result is the first systematic, ground-based sample of airstrikes in Iraq since this latest military action began in 2014.
We found that one in five of the coalition strikes we identified resulted in civilian death, a rate more than 31 times that acknowledged by the coalition. It is at such a distance from official claims that, in terms of civilian deaths, this may be the least transparent war in recent American history. Our reporting, moreover, revealed a consistent failure by the coalition to investigate claims properly or to keep records that make it possible to investigate the claims at all. While some of the civilian deaths we documented were a result of proximity to a legitimate ISIS target, many others appear to be the result simply of flawed or outdated intelligence that conflated civilians with combatants. In this system, Iraqis are considered guilty until proved innocent. Those who survive the strikes, people like Basim Razzo, remain marked as possible ISIS sympathizers, with no discernible path to clear their names.
This is Rawa, the lone survivor of an airstrike that killed her parents and siblings in Qaiyara, Iraq last year. The U.S. told us the coalition carried out an airstrike "10 meters away against a known ISIS weapons cache." https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/11/16/magazine/uncounted-civilian-casualties-iraq-airstrikes.html …
Murray Brewster (CBC) reports on one aspect of the US-led coalition:
Canada is sending 20 combat engineers to train Iraqi troops to dismantle roadside bombs and booby traps left behind by retreating ISIS fighters, the Canadian military announced Friday.
The undertaking unfolded this week even as the overall advise and assist mission involving 200 elite Canadian special forces troops, remains on hold because of tensions between the central government in Baghdad and the independence-minded Kurdish region.
The tensions are long standing. ISIS provided a common enemy that briefly set various problems aside. These problems include the lack of funding from the Baghdad-based government to the KRG.
They also include issues of oil and issues of territory.
September 25th a non-binding referendum was held in the KRG and over 92% of those voting expressed the wish for the semi-independent Kurdistan to become fully independent.
Today's Nervous Nancies and Terrified Terrances of the press trembled at the thought and did not report what was taking place but instead presented spin from the Baghdad-based government.
The notion of splitting Iraq into three areas under a system of federalism is not a new one.
And when Senator Joe Biden proposed it, it was treated as normal and rational.
In fact, we were among the few to oppose that.
Our reason for opposing it?
If the Iraqi people want to do it, let them do it. But it should not be imposed upon them by a foreign government.
We got a lot of flack for that position.
And yet a few years later, when a section of the Iraqi people want to explore it, the press treats it as how-dare-they! and acts as if the notion is something that has never been raised before and certainly not by any right-thinking-person.
It was a non-binding referendum.
The press and various foreign leaders treated it as though the KRG had announced they were building nukes.
This allowed Iraq's latest prime minister and thug Hayder al-Abadi to start persecuting the Kurds.
The latest move?
Kurdish members of the Iraqi parliament left Thursday’s session, causing the legislature to postpone a vote on punishing Kurdish MPs for participating in the independence referendum.
Parliament has sought to have Kurdish MPs stripped of their parliamentary immunity and put on trial in retaliation for voting for Kurdistan independence in the September 25 referendum.
The Iraqi parliament was to discuss the matter on Thursday, but most of the Kurdish MP’s left the legislature when the subject came up. Their absence meant quorum for the session was not met and the meeting had to be delayed.
An MP with the State of Law Coalition condemned the Kurdish lawmakers’ action.
“The parliament brought yet another failure on the people of Iraq. It was meant to punish wrongdoers. Voting on a parliamentary committee formed to punish separatist MPs was on the parliament agenda. These MPs were part of a big plot to undermine the security and stability of Iraq,” said Kazim Sayadi.
Again, this is awful for the Kurds at present but it will ensure that they are resolved in leaving Baghdad behind. Hayder doesn't know how to foster unity.
The following community sites -- plus THE GUARDIAN, DISSIDENT VOICE, LATINO USA, PACIFICA EVENING NEWS and GORILLA RADIO -- updated:
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