Monday, November 21, 2016

Iraq snapshot

Monday, November 2, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the Mosul operation continues, Moqtada al-Sadr speaks out against corruption, Hayder al-Abadi blames the media, human waste Hannah Allem tries to have fun at Kanye West's expense, and much more.

We're in a spot where Iraq just doesn't matter to the US media yet again.

Coverage is non-existent as is commentary.

Worse . . .

We've got the ridiculous Hannah Allem whose 'private' thoughts on Donald Trump should disqualify her from covering him for MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS on a Twitter tear about Donald Trump.

I know she's a crazy ass.  I know she's useless.

I know not only did none of her Iraqi 'reporting' ever produce one story worth reading but that also she was whining at a fundraiser for Iraqi refugees about how Iraqi refugees didn't get media attention at the same time that she (a) wasn't writing about them and (b) wasn't even Tweeting about them.

If you don't get what a worthless piece of s**t Hannah Allem is, let's just note one 'educated' Tweet she's decided needs to be emphasized.

We lost Kanye but gained Axl Rose, what a week

Yes, I do consider Kanye a friend and have for years.

So I don't consider him 'lost.'  Nor am I offended that he's trying to think true what the election means or doesn't mean.

It's amazing what a piece of s**t like Hannah will do to go after a person of color like Kanye while extolling the disgusting Axl Rose.

That little 'innocent' Tweet that she's reTweeted goes to why the left in the US is so screwed up today.

False equivalency.

A desperate desire to welcome in the destroyers.

The same way sleaze David Brock was welcomed in.

He apologized for his Clinton witch hunt!!!!

Who gave a f**k?

Most of us will always remember him as the liar who falsely smeared Anita Hill.

Time and again, the Hannah Allam's rush to embrace those who have attacked people of color.

Axl rose?

The man who wrote and sang "One In A Million"?

Let's see, how did that little ditty go?

Police and n**gers, that's right
Get outta my way
Don't need to buy none of your
Gold chains today

[. . .]
Immigrants and fa**ots
They make no sense to me
They come to our country
And think they'll do as they please
Like start some mini-Iran
Or spread some fucking disease
And they talk so many G** damn ways
It's all Greek to me

Exactly who's rushing to preach intolerance against immigrants, people of color and LGBTQ?

It's not a cute Tweet.

It's not a funny Tweet.

At the same time it slams Kanye for daring to search his own soul, it elevates a man who's embraced and spewed out racism, homophobia, xenophobia and sexism.

If Hannah Allem were capable of shame, she would have tossed in the towel long ago.

But she's not capable of shame.

Ask any of the Iraqis who worked in Iraq for MCCLATCHY, they'll tell you all about Hannah (as they've told me).

I don't know where Kanye's going to end as he wrestles with the results of this election.

He's offended by the celebrity parade that was behind Hillary and that has gone on to slam We The People.  He's not thrilled that some are encouraging Americans to live in fear.  (Kanye doesn't buy into fear.)  He's struggling with the results and trying to make some sense of them -- both for himself and for the country.

He's doing so in the middle of a tour.

That's part of why he's an artist.

Joni Mitchell, John Lennon, Phil Ochs, Laura Nyro, Prince -- real artists have always struggled with the world around them.  Kanye's a real artist.

It would be very easy for him to go on automatic drive each night and just do a by rote performance.

He never does that and he never would.

A lot of the people slamming him and mocking him are only demonstrating their own intolerance.

As well as their own ignorance.

Of art.  Of politics.  Of reality.

Hannah's demonstrated all three and her Twitter feed is a testament to the need for MCCLATCHY not to let her cover the administration.

But don't send her back to Iraq.  Can't imagine a bigger waste of time or money.  She produced nothing of value on a trip after trip.

When Iraqi journalists were being pulled off the streets by Nouri al-Maliki's forces?  Forget reporting, Hannah couldn't even be bothered with a reTweet when Stephanie McCrummen THE WASHINGTON POST or when NPR reported on it.

For that matter, brave Hannah didn't say a word about the assassination of journalist Hadi al-Mahdi.

See the September 8, 2011 snapshot for Hadi's murder and grasp that Hannah didn't give a damn.

Now she rushes to reTweet slams against Kanye who's only crime is trying to sort out what just happened.

And she thinks she's done something?

As Stevie Wonder once sang, you haven't done nothin'.

ALSUMARIA reports that Iraq's prime minister Haider al-Abadi took to state media today in order to attack the media.

He's not talking about the WHO report that was falsely reported.

He's saying the media -- and human rights organizations -- are undermining his war effort by reporting on the various War Crimes taking place in the operation to liberate or 'liberate' Mosul.

The number of civilian causalities caused by fighting in the Battle for Mosul has gone beyond the capacity aid groups and the Iraqi government are able to cope with, the UN said on Saturday.
Civilians made up around 20 percent of the causalities fallen from the fighting in the first month, a department of health official told Reuters.
While authorities in Iraq do not officially release casualty statistics, UN figures may represent only a small fraction of the total num...
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Aid groups in Iraq are struggling to cope with a rising number of...
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That operation started 35 days ago and still slogs on.

IRAQI SPRING MC notes the humanitarian devastation taking place in Nineveh Province.

Instead of addressing those realities or the corruption in his own government (remember when that was supposedly going to be Hayder's big issue?), he's lashing out at the media.

He's another Nouri al-Maliki.

He's not going to do a thing for the Iraqi people.

And the conditions remain the same.

Let's drop back to the September 9, 2011 snapshot:

"They promised to serve the people while all they did is loot!" was one of the cries in Baghdad's Tahrir Square this morning. Alsumaria TV observes,  "Massive demonstrations took place in Iraq provinces on Friday."  Dar Addustour notes that protests took place in several cities as protesters demanded basic services, jobs and reforms with some activists calling for early elections as well.  The paper explains that there were attempts to halt the protest in Baghdad by tightening security and blocking off roads; however, citizens turned out in the "thousands"
We'll come back to Baghdad but demonstrations took place across Iraq on what is called the Dawn of The Liberators.  The Great Iraqi Revolution posts video of the protest in Ramadi where the chants included "We're coming to Baghdad, we're all soldiers to liberate Baghdad!Aswat al-Iraq reports protests took place in Hilla as well with citizens demands ("handed to the Provincial Council") including "dissolving the council, relieving Babil governor from his post, putting to account all corrupted governmental officials, activation of industrial, trade, service, agricultural and sodial services, protection of civil freedoms and adopting talented people for building the new society."  A council member responded that the governor is "on probation" and that the other issues are issues that the central government out of Baghdad (Nouri) has to address.  The Great Iraqi Revolution reports that in Wasit Province's Kut, "the government refused to grant the activists the permit required.  Anti riot forces armed with guns, armors and armored vehicles, ambudlances and police cars are spread in and around the city specifically Amel Square in Kut; and invidiual searches are carried out as well."  And they report that "security forces in Wasit province arrested a large number of the demonstrations organizers and the number of detainees exceeded 50 people, among them the activists Sayed Jaber and Sajad Salem were arrested in the city of Kut."  Aswat al-Iraq reports on the protest in Falluja where "hundreds of unemployed youths, intellectuals and triable sheiks demonstrated" and organizer Kahmess Jadan al-Lihaibi explains the demands (end to corruption, employment, basic services and a functioning judicial system) included "stopping the work in Kuwaiti Morbarak terminal and calling the UN to intervene to terminate Iranian and Turkish atrocities against Iraqi borders."  The outlet reports on the protest in Diwaniya as well noting that the "hundreds" of participants included members of the Socialist Movment, NGOs, Democratic and Communist parties "and some well-known personalities" and they quote the Communist Party's Jabbar al-Shaibani stating that "the demonstration marched with 500 citizens, including women and children, who raised placards denoucning the government and demanding the central and local governments the implementation of basic services, otherwise these demonstrations shall be repeated in stronger manner."  Al Jazeera notes protests also took place in Basra and Najaf.
Back to Baghdad, Alsumaria TV notes, " In Baghdad, an Iraqi army force using batons dispersed a demonstration organized by Abu Ghraib residents, western Baghdad, in protest against administrative corruption. Demonstrators staged three rallies in Al Tahrir Square, central Baghdad. The first demanded the elimination of corruption, the second called for the establishment of FAO port and the abolition of borders' demarcation with kuwait while the third objected the visit of Iraqi speaker Ousama Al Nujayfi, and Iraqi Vice President Tarek Al Hashimi to Saudi Arabia. Security Forces closed all entrances to the Green Zone and tightened security measures in anticipation to any security implications."  Something's left out of that, did you catch it?  Let's move over to Aswat al-Iraq which states that the demonstration in downtown Baghdad (Tahrir Square) lasted over three hours and called for "better services, early elections and termination of corruption" and that they "shouted against Mubarak terminal and the Turkish and Iranian atrocities in the north" (Turkey and Iran's armies are shelling and bombing northern Iraq).  Hmm.  They miss it too.
"The martyr was one of the activists in the movement against corruption and the curbing of rights and freedoms, through Facebook and through demonstrations in Tahrir Square.  He was always stressing the need to reject any violation of the constitution and the law."  That's WG Dunlop (AFP) quoting activist Zahir al-Jamaa.  Speaking of?  Journalist and activist Hadi al-Mehdi who was not at the protest today because he was assassinated yesterday.
His face was seen at today's demonstrations across Iraq as, in Baghdad and throughout, protesters carried photos of Hadi.  The Great Iraqi Revolution notes, "Our correspondent in Baghdad:: The government forces refused to release the body of the assassinated journalist Hady Mahdy for the public funeral arranged by protestors. The did not allow a symbolic funeral to take place either.// Hady Mahdy , what greatness! They fear you dead or alive."
Dar Addustour calls the assassination of Hadi "a deep wound in the conscience of Iraq" and Hadi "a shining star in the honored sky illuminating the path in the stuggle against tyranny."  In Baghdad today, at the Tahrir protest, activist Hattem Hashem told AFP, "The voice of Hadi will not be silenced, despite his assassination with a silenced weapon."  Al Jazeera quotes Hadi once telling the network, "When we speak up and raise our voices they kill us and tell lies about us."  They describe his weekly radio program:
Music and humour punctuated his pointed attacks on everyone he thought was ruining Iraq.
Taxi drivers were riveted by the show and callers phoned in to complain about everything - from paying bribes to get running water to politicians who, once elected, moved to the Green Zone, the heavily guarded area where many of Baghdad's government institutions are housed.
Although his favourite targets were corrupt politicians and the Iraqi parliament, he also lashed out at armed groups considered untouchable.
Anne Gowen (Washington Post) reports on the protest in Baghdad and notes Hadi al-Mahdi, "On his radio program, 'To Whoever Listens,' Mahdi loudly criticized Iraqi politicians of every stripe, including Maliki. He had a background in theater, and it showed in his delivery. He often used humor in his attacks. Maliki's officials often had complained about Mahdi's views to the radio station that aired the thrice-weekly talk show, supporters said."   Dina al-Shibeeb (Al Arabiya) reports:
Iraqis reacted to the news of Mahdi's death with condemnation and criticized a government they see as increasingly dictatorial and basically unchanged from the rule of its brutal predecessor, Saddam Hussein.
In response to Mahdi's killing, a Facebook group, "We Are All Hadi al-Mahdi," was created, and has attracted 1,700 members.
"In a cowardice operation a criminal hand killed the activist and the organizer of tomorrow's protest ... " one member wrote, while another commentator said "the path of freedom has become the path of martyrdom … the revolution has begun."
One female reader wrote "write all that comes from your souls and hearts, we are all corpses that will be buried one day," and another group member said, "death to Maliki and long live Hadi al-Mahdi."
Al Mada quotes Hanna Edwar stating, "Hadi al-Mahdi was a strong voice calling out attacks on freedom and demanding reforms in the system."  Ali Hussein (Al Mada) cals out the assassination and "the silencing of voices of truth and justice" seeing similarities between the current Iraq and Iraq under Saddam Hussein's rule, how "many things have not changed."  The assassination of Hadi is a cae where "a citizen loses his life with the utmost simplicity due ot the absence of law and the lack of knowledge and responsibility on the part of those who are supposed to implement the law."  The assassin accomplished very little because Hadi al-Mahdi remains in the hearts of Iraqis with the same brilliant smile and childlike features.  Ali Hussien writes of knowing Hadi and of Hadi's belief in the future of Iraq, of seeing him last in a Baghdad cafe one evening with friends, full of life and talking about his future and the future of Iraq and he saw Iraq as an adventure and living in Baghdad as an adventure.  Ali Hussein ends the column wondering, "Who killed Hadi al-Mahdi?  I think all of Iraq should be seeking that answer."


So it was, so it remains.

The Iraqi people continue to be left unprotected and unserved by their own government.

Hayder al-Abadi thought his military mission would distract everyone.

And many press idiots spent the last weeks insisting that the Mosul operation had bound Iraqis together.

That's not the case.

Only an idiot -- or a liar -- would have claimed that could happen.

ALSUMARIA reports Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr has stated there does not need to be a government ministry for religion but that there is a need to clean up the government corruption.

Moqtada's not going away.

Nor are the Iraqi people.

Hayder may be.

He's not done a damn thing to improve the life of the Iraqi people.

Kat's "Kat's Korner: Bruno Mars wants to see you dancing" went up Sunday.  New content at THIRD: