I'd love to close. But I probably won't. One reason is, we're about the only one focusing on Iraq in the US and certainly only one of two focusing who wants the war to end. (Margaret Griffis does a violence round-up for ANTIWAR.COM each day and she wants the war to end, I'm sure.)
The other reason?
Ava and I never know what we're going to write about each week at THIRD and if we think about it? We'll panic. We figured out what we were writing early for us. A few hours ago, we wrote the second half of our piece for THIRD (the first half isn't written yet, no, we don't necessarily start with the first sentence). We were watching a TV documentary that was good, not great, but good. It's scope was too narrow. And a singer isn't an actress so it really does matter that they slighted her singing to cover her acting 'career.' So we thought we could cover that and use it to cover a documentary about a professional liar. The documentary has been praised by NPR and others. So we watched. It's a piece of crap filled with lies. No surprise consider who they focus on.
The lies are so big they make the media reviisionary history on Billie Jean King look honest (see Ava and my 2014 piece about the reality of Billie Jean 'coming out' and how she lied in real time and also smeared her ex-loved -- it was not a fling -- as a crazy).
Billie is a first! A brave woman!
When people start trying to sell you 'firsts,' you really should be suspicious. There are very few firsts. And when making a thousandth or a millionth a first erases the accomplishments of so many women who came before, I get really pissed.
A documentary was made about a professional liar (one who still hides in the closet) who is a footnote in her chosen field at best. But she's treated as a pioneer, presented as someone who blazed the path.
That sort of lying crap? That's why I keep going. Because no one seems to care enough to call this crap out. It is insulting to women when these lies triumph. It is why Catherine MacKinnon has spoken for years about how women have to constantly "reinvent the wheel."
Two men make a 'documentary' about a woman and to declare her great (there is nothing great about her or her work), they erase all the women that have come before -- even the woman she stalked in sexual heat and then stole the woman's persona. (We all know who I'm talking about already, don't we?) To crown her "a pioneer," they have to erase decades of women who came before.
I'm tired of that. I'm so tired of that. I have spent my entire life fighting women being erased -- either to promote men or a single woman.
So that's one thing that keeps me motivated while I'm online. Iraq's the other.
TRT WORLD reports:
Roughly 12,000 civilians have been killed in the US-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria in four years, a human rights commission said on Saturday.
The Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights said in a statement that coalition forces’ airstrikes killed 11,800 civilians — including 2,300 minors and 1,130 women — in the last four years.
The statement also said that 8,000 civilians have been injured in these airstrikes, calling for an explanation on these figures.
That's a lot of dead and wounded. And ISIS isn't 'defeated.' You defeat terrorism with ideas and options. Simon Tisdall (GUARDIAN) tries to imagine what happens when ISIS is gone:
But they are now regrouping in Sunni areas and could soon pose a dangerous new threat, according to a Pentagon report published last month. “Isis is regenerating key functions and capabilities more quickly in Iraq than in Syria,” the report said., underscoring the case for continued counter-terrorism operations in both countries. “Absent sustained pressure, Isis could likely resurge in Syria within six to 12 months and regain limited territory in the [middle Euphrates river valley].”
Iraq’s Shia leaders are meanwhile alarmed at Trump’s suggestion that US troops freed up in Syria could be redeployed in Iraq, not to prevent an Isis comeback but to “keep watch” on Iran. “Don’t overburden Iraq with your own issues … We live here,” Barham Salih, Iraq’s president, told Trump. Iraq’s pro-Iran Hizbullah Brigades warned the plan could make “American forces legitimate targets for the Iraqi resistance”.
Simon doesn't have a lot of imagination, does he? What will happen is what is happening -- which, by the way, is what we said would happen back when ISIS still held Mosul. The factions can't get along, can't rule. That's in part because it's a US-installed puppet government. But it's also true that putting cowards in charge -- despite the chips on their shoulders -- made it easy for divisions to harden. There is no unifying principle. There's nothing to draw everyone together. Iraqiya was about unity. Maybe if Barack Obama had backed Iraqiya when they won the 2010 election -- instead of overthrowing that election with The Erbil Agreement to give Nouri al-Maliki a second term -- Iraq would be in a better place today?
And speaking of lack of imagination. Does no one grasp that if the US government is watching Iran closely, as Donald Trump wants, that part of that reason is to expose Iran? Iran and Iraq have problems like many other countries with border disputes. Those problems flair up. Part of keeping US forces in Iraq (which I do not favor) is encouraging those problems to flair up.
I am amazed, over and over, how the media never sees that the US government actively disrupts -- even when the US government brags about it.
No progress is being made in Iraq. Nazli Tarzi (ARAB WEEKLY) reports:
The official proclamation of the defeat of the Islamic State (ISIS) was loudly celebrated throughout Iraq and even in Washington but a place untouched by such optimism is Mosul and its surrounding cities, which are now mountains of post-war rubble.
France pledged 1 billion euros ($1.13 billion) to help Iraq’s reconstruction when French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Baghdad January 14. The French gesture comes almost one year after donor countries pledged $30 billion to rebuild Iraq.
Pledges at the International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq, last February in Kuwait, have fallen short of delivering the turnaround or urban renewal of neighbourhoods, green spaces and mosques as existed prior to ISIS’s capture of Iraq’s second largest city.
The pledges, proposed by the assembly of representatives from 76 countries and global institutions, have translated into very little on the ground. Doubts over the disbursement of funds and execution of projects remain high.
Beyond platitudes and requests for assistance to generate the $88 billion required, Baghdad has not responded to the lack of deliverance. Its allies, however, have been irrepressibly vocal about rebuilding the country. Turkey reiterated its preparedness to “contribute to infrastructure” in Iraq, the European Union pledged more than $450 million and Jordan expressed hope of breathing life back into its own construction sector by vying for contracts alongside Baghdad’s favoured foreign associates.
The following sites updated: