Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Mosul bombing

Victims of coalition airstrikes buried in mass graves in . What a tragedy.

In August of 2014, the US government began bombing Iraq daily to 'liberate' it.  These daily bombings continue to this day.

Maybe now that Donald Trump's president, we can all care?

Since we were too busy ignoring reality when Barack was over the killings, now we can pay attention?

Martin Chulov and Emma Graham-Harrison (GUARDIAN/OBSERVER) write of "international outrage." But we're not led to believe this is US outrage.

They also note:

Civil defence workers say they have pulled more than 140 bodies from the ruins of three buildings in Mosul Jadida and believe that dozens more remain under the rubble of one building, a large home with a once cavernous basement, in which up to 100 people had hidden last Friday morning.
Local people at the site told the Observer that the enormous damage inflicted on the homes and much of the surrounding area had been caused by airstrikes, which battered the neighbourhood in the middle of a pitched battle with Isis members, who were under attack from Iraqi forces.

The UN’s humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, Lise Grande, said: “We are stunned by this terrible loss of life.”

Sinan Salaheddin (AP) reports, "An airstrike targeting Islamic State militants in the Iraqi city of Mosul that witnesses say killed at least 100 people was in fact launched by the U.S. military, American officials said Saturday."  CNN's Barbara Starr, Mohammed Tawfeeq, Joe Sterling and Ghazi Balkiz add:

Also Saturday, Iraq's Ministry of Defense opened an investigation into an "aerial bombardment incident" that took place in the same area of the city on March 22 and 23, said Col. Laith Al-Nuaimi, a ministry spokesman.
Bashar al Kiki, chairman of the Nineveh Provincial Council, told CNN Saturday that as many as 200 people were killed those days in "indiscriminate airstrikes" he blamed on Iraqi and coalition air forces in the western Mosul neighborhoods of al Jadidah, al Amel and al Yarmouk.
The US Central Command report doesn't mention strikes on March 22 or 23.

Iraqi Vice President Osama al-Nujafi posted the following to his website:

 وجه السيد أسامة عبد العزيز النجيفي نائب رئيس الجمهورية يوم السبت 25 آذار 2017 مجموعة رسائل إلى السادة :
  • الدكتور حيدر العبادي رئيس مجلس الوزراء
  • الدكتور سليم الجبوري رئيس مجلس النواب
  • السيد انطونيو كوتيريش الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة
  • السيد عرفان محمود الحيالي وزير الدفاع
  • السيد قاسم الأعرجي وزير الداخلية
حول الكارثة الإنسانية في الموصل باستشهاد مئات المواطنين الأبرياء بالقصف الجوي لطائرات التحالف الدولي فضلا عن الاستخدام المفرط للقوة النارية عبر المدفعية والصواريخ من قبل قوات الشرطة الاتحادية .
وأشار السيد النجيفي في رسائله إلى التغيير الحاصل في قواعد الاشتباك قياسا إلى القواعد التي اتبعت في تحرير الساحل الأيسر من المدينة ، حيث نتج عن القواعد الجديدة استشهاد المئات من المواطنين دفنوا تحت أنقاض بيوتهم وما يزال بعضهم تحت الأنقاض دون أية مساعدة أو انقاذ .
ودعا السيد النجيفي في رسائله إلى اجراء تحقيقات سريعة وحماية أرواح المواطنين وكرامتهم ، كما دعا إلى عقد جلسة طارئة لمجلس النواب لمناقشة هذه الكارثة وفتح تحقيق برلماني بها .
كما طالب في رسائله إلى العمل الفوري من أجل إعادة النظر في الاستعجال الذي تم ودفع ثمنه المواطنون لأنه سيولد وضعا معقدا يصعب الاحاطة بتأثيراته السلبية ..
كما أجرى السيد النجيفي اتصالا بالسيد وزير الدفاع الذي أكد أنه سيتابع الأمر بكل جدية وسيذهب للاطلاع ميدانيا على الوضع 

al-Nujafi is calling the murder of civilians "a human catastrophe" and calling for a full investigation and a change in the rules of engagement.  He sent out a series of letters on this matter to the following: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Efran al-Hiyali (Iraq's Minister of Defense), Qaassim Mohammed al-Alaraji (Iraq's Minister of the Interior), Hayder al-Abadi (Iraq's Prime Minister) and Salim al-Jubouri (Speaker of Iraq's Parliament).  He also notes that he spoke with the Minister of Defense.

ALSUMARIA reports that the Minister of  Defense has opened an investigation into the bombing and that the Speaker of Parliament has called an emergency session of Parliament for this coming Tuesday to address the bombing.

The following community sites updated:

  • 1 day ago 

  • The e-mail address for this site is


    Isakson Statement on Government Accountability Office Report on VA Appeals Process



    Senator Johnny Isakson (above) is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.  His office issued the following yesterday:

    Thursday, March 23, 2017
    Contact: Amanda Maddox, 202-224-7777
    Kristen Hines, 202-228-2967

    Isakson Statement on Government Accountability Office Report on VA Appeals Process
    MARIETTA, Ga.U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today released the following statement on the report released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office regarding the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) benefit compensation appeals process: 
    “We must continue to make it our top priority to address the unacceptable delays that veterans and their families face during the VA’s disability claims appeal process. This report provides a valuable assessment of the areas where progress is being made and where more work remains to be done. I appreciate the Government Accountability Office’s review of this important topic. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress, the VA and key stakeholders to determine the best path forward to improve the process and ensure that veterans do not continue to experience long delays when seeking benefits from the VA.”

    The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is chaired by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., in the 115th Congress. Isakson is a veteran himself – having served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966-1972 – and has been a member of the Senate VA Committee since he joined the Senate in 2005. Isakson’s home state of Georgia is home to more than a dozen military installations representing each branch of the military as well as more than 750,000 veterans.

    Iraq War update from Michael Tracey

    Some Tweets from journalist Michael Tracey.

  • JJ -- 1 year old. Redondo Beach, CA
  • Iraq War 3.0 update:
  • Highlights from last night's Bill Maher show
  •   Retweeted
    It'll probably keep flipping between the two. It has since June 2015.
  • Getting hopelessly immersed in alternate universe conspiracy dimensions is all well and good... but maybe leave the young kids out of it.
  • Sad. Not in the "SAD!" sense: just really, genuinely sad.
  • Tracking pundit opinion... November 2016: "Fascism has dawned... a new dictator is born" March 2017: "lol bunch of incompetents! Clownshow"
  •   Retweeted
    This is so embarrassing
  • Preliminary attempt to figure out what happened:
  • Noted far-right nationalist Tariq Ali on the U.S. response to the annexation of Crimea.
  • There's nothing inherently right-wing or "nationalist" about questioning the efficacy/wisdom of Russia sanctions
  • GOP Healthcare Defeat: “Three-Dimensional Chess,” Or Just Incompetence?
  • 5 Times Donald Trump Praised Socialized Healthcare
  • There was something weirdly shambolic and cynical about this entire (arbitrarily expedited) process -- not 100% sure what to make of it yet.
  • GOP qualms were resolvable with some basic legislating/compromising. NY delegation had already been mollified. But Trump nuked the process.
  • If passage of the bill was ever a sincere priority for Trump he could've simply delayed the vote by... a week? It doesn't make any sense.
  • Trump is reportedly untroubled by the health care failure. This entire thing was almost certainly a bait-and-switch
  • Imagine predicting 2 years ago: "The GOP's first major act upon gaining control of Congress & the Presidency will be to entrench Obamacare"
  • Read this tweet one more time.