Day 184 of The Mosul Slog.
Let's start with yesterday's snapshot:
And, equally important, there is no safe passage out of Mosul.
The Iraqi government refused to provide one. And told people to stay at their homes. A message they repeated only weeks ago.
Those are facts.
When you don't want facts?
Turn to The Whore of Babylon herself, Jane Arraf.
The former CNN reporter pops up anywhere they can throw a few pennies at her -- or toss a Hershey bar into her tent.
NPR, where she insists:
More than 300,000 civilians are still trapped in Mosul. ISIS has kept them there to prevent the U.S. and Iraq from launching airstrikes and mortars against their fighters. The Iraqi battle plan coordinated with the U.S. military has involved surrounding the city and leaving no escape route for either ISIS fighters or civilians.
Leaving no escape route for ISIS or civilians?
But it's ISIS that prevented them from leaving?
Oh, Jane, you will whore from your coffin at this rate.
A few note that "later in the day," Ulf Laessing (REUTERS) wrotes:
Iraqi's army has built a new pontoon bridge over the Tigris river south of Mosul, after flooding had blocked all crossing points, opening an escape route for families fleeing fighting between government forces and Islamic State.
On Friday, the army dismantled makeshift bridges linking the two parts of Mosul due to heavy rain, forcing residents leaving Iraq's second-largest city to use small boats.
That link does go to later in the day but that piece was published elsewhere when the snapshot was being dictated and I was aware of it.
It doesn't effect anything Arraf stated.
Safe passage defined as "official protection for someone when they are in danger or passing through a dangerous area."
Reconnecting a bridge is not creating a safe passage.
WIKILEAKS Julian Assange, for example, is in London at the Ecuadorian Embassy.
His supporters have long called for a safe passage for him.
Yes, Julian can travel to an airport or a dock to leave on a boat.
Or he can try to.
But there's no guarantee he won't be grabbed en route.
That's why they want a safe passage.
And on the topic of Julian Assange, let me be very clear since the slime that is SALON has published another trash attack on him.
Julian Assange is not a rapist.
That has never been determined.
Go back to the archives. When some of his supporters began insulting the two women involved in the case, we defended them from attacks.
There is no reason to attack those women with smears and lies.
There is also no reason to minimize rape or belittle it.
(Naomi Wolf failed to learn that lesson.)
But taking rape seriously does not mean that we say, "_____ is a rapist!"
Julian deserves the same benefit of the doubt as anyone else who has not been convicted.
Amanda Marcotte seems to think she's 'justice.'
Julian has been convicted of nothing.
Rape or alleged rape also has no bearing on WIKILEAKS. (Which is why our advice was two-fold back in the day: Stop attacking those two women and get back to publishing.)
For fools like Marcotte to say they 'know' Julian (she's never met him) based on her interactions with men online -- how sad for Amanda that this is her only interaction, get out and live a little, there's a whole world offline -- to say the release of e-mails on Hillary were about sexism is to be invited to be called a damn liar.
Hillary Clinton attacked Julian, she attacked his supporters.
There is no question that there is personal animosity on both sides.
Does Hillary hate men?
I've never accused her of that.
So Amanda and her ilk need to stop smearing Julian's work as based on hatred for women.
What Julian hates is public record: Lies.
His whole career is about that.
The fact that it took place on the international stage explains why Marcotte has no clue.
She's another simpleton who never realized that there's a whole word far beyond her nose. She's got a big nose, but it's a big world.
She is the ugly face of US feminism that so angers British activists. She's ignorant, she fails to see that various factors can converge. She's a single-issue type person, the sort of White feminist in the 70s that would refuse to recognize that women of color could face additional issues, real issues, that need to be addressed.
The problem with "the personal is political" has always been that some have only seen their own personal life.
The personal is political is a response to the idiots -- today it would be Michael Walzer to name but one -- who would look at, for example, spouse abuse and decree it a personal problem.
Marlo Thomas has spoken at length and with far more wisdom on this topic than I ever could, but to short hand: issues like rape and spouse abuse were deemed "personal problems." They are not personal problems. Murder is not a personal problem. But when men like Amanda were in charge, they would judge what worked as important for them.
That's what "the personal is political" was truly about, destroying this separate spheres argument that undermined the rights of so many to protect those in power.
Julian Assange has not been convicted of rape.
It is dishonest to call him a "rapist."
It's flat out lying to say he's sexist.
Amanda and her ilk put a very ugly face on feminism and make it hard for those of us who are feminists.
Safe passage for those in Mosul is not a new call.
Negin Janati 203.212.0044 (M)
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (November 1, 2016) — As Iraqi forces close in on IS-held Mosul, now is a critical moment to protect children and open safe routes to allow the 1.5 million civilians still trapped in the city, including about 600,000 children, to leave safely.
With civilians bracing for the anticipated escalation in violence, Save the Children warns that safe passages must be urgently established.
Maurizio Crivellaro, Save the Children’s Iraq Country Director said innocent civilians face growing risks each day they remain in Mosul. "As fighting escalates, it is going to become increasingly difficult for families to leave, and for those who remain and are injured to get the medical treatment they need. We cannot sit back and wait for another situation like Aleppo to unfold while there is still the opportunity to get children out of the warzone."
Fears are mounting for families trapped in the city amid reports of civilians being rounded up as targets, with IS placing them in the line of fire ahead of the imminent onslaught. An increasing number of hospitals and schools are believed to be occupied by IS fighters, and concerns are growing that they will be targeted by military forces in the coming days.
Mahmoud* recently escaped the village of Shura, south of Mosul. As fighting approached the village about a week ago, he and his family were taken deeper into IS territory, where IS were reportedly forcing people to act as human shields.
"We and about 100 families were taken on foot about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) along the road and were about to arrive in Surouj when Iraqi military helicopters attacked. There was so much fighting everywhere and we were trapped between the two villages."
In the chaos, the families fled back to their village, but were forced to leave again days later when they heard IS was coming back.
While more than 17,700 people have fled from towns in the Mosul region as the frontline has approached the city, the residents of Mosul itself have been prevented from leaving by IS fighters who have planted land mines and stationed snipers around the city, as well as by fighting in the area.
"Protecting innocent civilians must be the priority in this battle," Crivellaro said. "Reports that IS has kidnapped people from villages nearby Mosul city shows they intend to make this fight as difficult as possible by hiding in a city full of civilians.
"Iraqi forces must ensure that families are given genuinely safe passages out of the city to avoid mass casualties of innocent civilians who will be caught in the crossfire and beyond the reach of humanitarian aid.
"Military commanders have previously suggested vulnerable families stay inside and put white flags on their homes. This risks making them targets.
"The recent commitment of the Iraqi Prime Minister to establish safe corridors is reassuring – we need to see this prioritized and it should happen as soon as possible."
Mahmoud said that children’s quality of life was under IS rule was significantly impacted, and they were unable to go to school or enjoy any semblance of normality. "I have four daughters. Before IS, the older ones were going to school and loved it. When IS took over the content of the curriculum changed, so we stopped sending them to school. Every lesson became militarized. Even math lessons—they would teach the children ‘one bullet plus one bullet equals two bullets’. They haven’t been to school for two years."
"We didn’t have anything – I even had to sell my car for money to spend on food and medicine for my children," he said.
*Names have been changed to protect identities.
Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Save The Children made that call back in November of last year.
Carlo Munoz (WASHINGTON TIMES) reports:
In the months since breaking into the city’s eastern districts, the offensive’s progress has bogged down significantly into the toughest urban fighting U.S. forces have seen since World War II, said Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the top U.S. commander in Iraq.
American and coalition firepower, which was key to the Iraqi forces’ rapid advance in western Mosul, has also been stymied by the Islamic State group’s use of Iraqi civilians as human shields to frustrate coalition airstrikes.
And Maher Chmaytelli (REUTERS) adds, "The battle to dislodge Islamic State from the Old City of Mosul, where hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians are trapped, could turn into the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the war against the militants, the United Nations warned on Tuesday."
And again, this is day 184 of The Mosul Slog.
I guess noticing killings isn't as 'fun' as lying about Julian Assange which is why the Amandas can blather on as a US-started war continues for 14 years without their bothering to weigh in?
Tensions mount between Iraq (the KRG specifically but Erdogan's plan to continue war on northern Iraq is objected to by even the central government out of Baghdad) and we'll cover that tomorrow but for now we'll note:
Iraq summons the Turkish ambassador to protest Erdogan comments on PMF "PMF is a terrorist organization"
The following community sites updated: