Saturday, December 09, 2017

ISIS is ended cries Hayder

 It's like a never-ending farewell tour from Cher -- Hayder al-Abadi has (again) announced that ISIS has been defeated (again) in Iraq.  It's "final," this time, it's for real . . .  This time, he knows it's for real.

Harriet Agerholm (INDEPENDENT) notes a dissenting voice:

Theresa May has warned that Isis is ”not yet defeated” after Iraq declared an end to its fight against the jihadi group.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Saturday declared the country’s war against Isis officially over, saying the group no longer occupied significant territory in the country.

I remember when IS were rampaging across Iraq in 2013, and it looked like they wouldn't be stopped. IS group aren't finished, but for Iraq, this is quite a moment. Iraq declares war with Islamic State is over

Hayder is insisting it's all over.


  1. Although Iraqi PM Abadi has declared the end of ISIS in Iraq, but as this map shows, there is still a small ISIS-controlled desert area between Ninawah and Anbar.


 Alexandra Zavis and Nabih Bulos (LOS ANGELES TIMES) explain that Hayder is insisting the 'win' doesn't mean that US troops should leave because he needs some to say on for "training, intelligence and logistical support."  They further note:
“Victories over terrorists have been precipitously declared countless numbers of times before only to have proven illusionary,” said Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University in Washington. “Groups like ISIS always leave behind a subversive cadre that has the capability, the motivation and the intention of becoming the nucleus of either the group’s next iteration or even its rebirth.”
ISIS is a common acronym for Islamic State, which is an offshoot of an Al Qaeda affiliate in Iraq that many U.S. commanders believed had been defeated nearly a decade ago. Even as Iraq’s Shiite-led government celebrates its latest victory, deep-seated grievances among minority Sunni Arabs who dominated under the late strongman Saddam Hussein remain unaddressed.
“Fear of Iran, fear of Shia domination, fear now of becoming victims themselves has produced a witch’s brew that certainly surviving elements of ISIS could take advantage of and exploit, or that a successor could build upon,” Hoffman said.

On the issue of 'training,' Jack Detsch (AL-MONITOR) reports:

The United States and its allies failed to train any new members of Iraq’s elite counterterrorism force in the aftermath of the battle for Mosul, a potential blow to efforts to rebuild the country’s premier fighting unit after the fall of the Islamic State (IS).
Between July and October, according to the Pentagon’s Inspector General (IG), the 73-nation coalition combating IS in Iraq and Syria did not train a single new recruit for the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), which spearheaded nearly nine months of block-by-block combat to reclaim Iraq’s second-largest city from IS. The admission raises concerns about the Pentagon’s ability to meet its goal of having 20,000 fighters in the elite unit within the next three years, especially after they suffered a 40% casualty rate in the battle for Mosul.
“I think it’s questionable whether that’s a realistic goal,” retired Lt. Gen. James Dubik, who led the training of Iraqi forces for NATO during the surge of 2007-2008, told Al-Monitor. “The country probably has some thinking to do, because the CTS forces were originally envisioned to be just that — more of a special forces capacity. They were able to be very selective in the kind of training and material and intelligence force they provided.”


Another interesting problem?  Hayder's speech.  RUDAW notes he thanked "the army, police, security forces, Hashd al-Shaabi, counter-terrorism forces, air force and pilots, and all the divisions of the armed forces who supported us, including engineer and medical teams and our supporters from the tribal forces and people in the liberated areas, those who supported their army" but 'forgot' to mention the Peshmerga (Kurdish force).
Bilal Wahab Retweeted Rudaw English
Simply, a missed opportunity for Baghdad.
Bilal Wahab added,
ALSUMARIA explains that the Ministry of the Peshmerga has criticized Hayder for his omission 
 And if you don't grasp how badly Nouri al-Maliki wants to return as prime minister, note this:

Iraqi PM Abadi doesn't mention Peshmerga in his 'victory' speech over ISIS, but Iraqi VP Maliki does mention Peshmarga in his congratulatory speech.

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Bioneers Indigeneity Moves on Rights of Nature

Getting Real With Bioneers Media
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“For the threat on lands still intact after centuries of hostility, let us keep finding meaning in the work we give ourselves to. This morning I'm reflecting on what it might mean to see homelands slowly destroyed by the same devastation seen elsewhere. A place kept sacred and in a constant state of creation. We have to keep caring for our beings that are larger than us."
shásh jaa’ bá sodadolzin

-Dylan McLaughlin (Diné), Bioneers Indigeneity Media

Over the past three days, millions of acres of Native American sacred lands have been critically threatened as the current administration rolls back federal protections for the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, Bears Ears National Monument, and Indian Creek National Monument for more mining and drilling. These are just the latest actions in an endless campaign to strip Native lands of their resources, violate ceremonial sites, destroy sacred burial grounds, and ultimately extinguish Native Peoples’ human rights. Since it was founded 28 years ago, Bioneers has understood that Indigenous worldviews and rights are central to protecting the planet for all of us for generations to come.
The wolfman petroglyph at Bears Ears National Monument has already been riddled with bullets. Now, this, and many other sacred rock art sites, will lose critical protection.

At any given time, there are hundreds of proposed developments to desecrate, and eventually abandon sacred Native lands to fuel our extraction-based economy. Until we change the very underlying system under which our country was founded—a system that treats Indigenous lands and ecosystems as expendable private property—the never-ending destruction of the Earth will continue. That’s why we were so excited to learn about the Rights of Nature movement. If you have heard about how the country of Ecuador wrote Rights of Nature into its Constitution, you know about Rights of Nature. If you have heard about India granting personhood to the Ganges River, you have heard about Rights of Nature. (You can learn the basics of Rights of Nature from this website, the 2016 Bioneers speech by our partners at the Community Legal Defense Fund, or the video below.)
President of Ecuador's National Coordinating Entity for Environmental NGOs, Natalia Greene, speaks on Rights of Nature in Ecuador.

Instead of current environmental law, which works within a system founded to endlessly take from the planet, Rights of Nature turns the legal system on its head. Rights of Nature is a movement of all peoples, led by urban communities, towns, tribes, and citizen action groups, to take back the law by implementing new policy that recognizes the fundamental rights of nature to exist, and if it is destroyed, to be repaired. Unlike current environmental law, Rights of Nature does not accept that nature is property. 

Nature has rights. 

This is what our ancestors have always said. Bioneers Indigeneity Program Director, Cara Romero, grew up in the wild of the Mojave Desert always being reminded that this pristine area belonged to the animals and that we must learn to exist without disturbing balance to the ecosystem. We talk to the plants and even sing to all the trees and the smallest ants in our songs that come from time immemorial. It’s the idea that we are actually in service to all the life givers and providers of our ecosystem. That we only take if we’ve asked, that we do not cause pain and harm to Mother Earth. Even with the rattlesnakes back home, grandma would say: “Just remember, we moved into their territory.”
Cara Romero on a recent visit to where she grew up in the Mojave Desert.
Similarly, Indigeneity Program Manager, Alexis Bunten, grew up in the temperate rainforests of the Northwest Coast with the belief that human beings are no higher than plants or animals. Nature isn’t something you own and can take from at will. We each have a relationship with all parts of nature, down to the rocks and dirt, as kin, and as such, we have a responsibility to it. If we ignore that responsibility, we are doomed. We are out of touch with reality. And that’s what the modern, consumerist, capitalist society has done and is perhaps most obvious in America at this very moment. 
Alexis Bunten with a friend hiking in Alaska
What also makes us feel so passionate about Rights of Nature is that it is not just Indigenous wisdom injected into the legal system (though you can read our blog from earlier this year to learn how Rights of Nature is based in Indigenous worldviews). Rights of Nature is something that everybody can understand, no matter where they come from. We owe nature, not the other way around. 

The Bioneers Indigeneity Program is partnering with Native American communities to share ways we can protect the rights of nature through our sovereign tribal governments. In 2017, we organized two training workshops with tribal partners on the topic of Recognizing the Rights of Nature in Tribal Law, and Cara will be introducing Rights of Nature provisions to her Chemehuevi tribe in the coming months. 

Rights of Nature is just the kind of big, revolutionary, paradigm-shifting idea that we love to highlight at Bioneers. Grassroots Rights of Nature policy-making holds the power to take back America, and the world, from the fossil-fuel-guzzling, hyper-capitalist economy bent on destroying itself. We are hopeful that the Rights of Nature movement will bring us together from all walks of life, all backgrounds, in our shared love for this planet and nature. 

The Bioneers Indigeneity team also collected and analyzed the people, places and events that surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline resistance into a free-to-read Standing Rock primer

Over the next year, we invite you to follow Bioneers Indigeneity on social media and read our newsletters to hear more about how you can learn about Rights of Nature and how you can get involved. 

Your financial support helps make valuable work like this possible.

Cara Romero and Alexis Bunten

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