Saturday, April 13, 2019

ISIS still active in Iraq


A large US military convoy reportedly left the Syrian town of Ayn Issa in the northern countryside of Al-Raqqa on Friday. 
According to reports, the US military convoy made its way to the Iraqi border, where they were later mentioned to have deployed to a nearby base. 

No, the Iraq War never ends.  It especially will never end if the US government continues to define defeating the Islamic State as its role and not the role of the Iraqi government.  ISIS has not been defeated, it has not been vanquished.  Today, XINHUA reports:

Iraqi security forces on Saturday killed two would-be suicide bombers affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) militant group and captured two IS militants in an operation in Iraq's western province of Anbar, the Iraqi military said.
The troops, backed by Iraqi gunships and international coalition aircraft, conducted a search operation in the west of the provincial capital Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, Anbar Operations Command said in a statement.

Loaa Adel (IRAQI NEWS) adds, "A security source informed that four members of Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi were injured on Saturday. The fighters were injured while thwarting an attack by the Islamic State group in Khanaqin District, Alsumaria News reported."  Again, ISIS remains in Iraq. 

The US was friends with Ireland but never defined the IRA as a target for war or insisted that Ireland needed the US to defeat IRA.  Somehow, ISIS is supposed to be different.

In other violence, Mohammed Ebraheem (IRAQI NEWS) notes, "Two Iraqi policemen, including an officer, were wounded on Saturday in a bomb blast in Diyala province, a security source was quoted as saying."

Protests continue in Iraq.  RUDAW reports:

Protesters took to the streets of Iraq’s southern city of Basra on Friday to demand greater regional autonomy from Iraq’s central government.

“Today, the people of Basra are sending a positive message to the federal government and the world, that the will and future of the people of Basra is to inhale the air of freedom and redemption from the dictatorial factions that the federal government is to establish,” said Hussein al-Karim, a protester.

“We want to rebuild Basra, and we are not going to take over the oil, it’s the wealth of all Iraqis. We assure you that we are not having that ugly segregated behaviour, don’t try us because we are going through the process of setting up a provincial government despite the consequences,” he added.

Amid mass protests against federal government policies and neglect, Basra’s Provincial Council recently voted to hold a referendum on making Basra an autonomous region, much like the Kurdistan Region.

Not to be dismissed. A potential scene setter for what could be around the corner this summer when mass protests are likely to unfold & destabilise the country once again. It is no secret that the new Basra “czar”, Hadi al-Ameri, is a long-standing proponent of regionalisation.

In related news, Kelly Kennedy (ARAB WEEKLY) reports:

Polls in Iraq indicate people worry they can’t trust anyone and they say the government is corrupt. Experts in Washington said that could lead to another opportunity for an extremist stronghold in Iraq.
“This is one of the most worrying issues in Iraq for me — the distrust in others,” said Munqith Dagher, CEO of the Independent Institute for Administration and Civil Society Studies in Baghdad. “Right now, no one trusts no one.”
The latest poll stated that 11% of Iraqi respondents said they could trust other Iraqis, down from 40% in 2013 before the attempted takeover by the Islamic State (ISIS).

Also in the 2019 survey, 93% of polled Iraqis said corruption has spread. In addition, 33% of respondents said they trust the prime minister, 29% expressed trust in the president and 17% said they trust the judicial system. Fewer than 20% of those asked said they believe Iraq has a democratic system.

Moving to another topic, we've been noting the flooding for some time now.  Pam Wright (THE WEATHER CHANNEL) reports:

After weeks of heavy rains, historic water levels at Iraq's reservoirs are threatening dams, prompting the evacuation of thousands.
The heavy rain and melting snowcaps from Turkey and Iran have nearly overtopped Iraq's four main reservoirs, while the Tigris and Euphrates rivers continue to rise.
Residents near the Dukan dam in the northeast were told to leave their homes as water levels reached heights not seen since 1988.

  1. Meanwhile, downstream in Samarra Satellite imagery from

The following sites updated:

  • Your public comment needed: Stop Trump’s attack on our drinking water

    Monday is the last day to submit comments on Trump’s Dirty Water Rule.
    Even the Trump Administration has to take comments from the people. But corporate polluters are fighting like hell to enact the dirty water rule. The only way to stop them is with people power. Hip Hop Caucus is collecting your public comments and officially submitting them to the EPA.
    You can read more about this important issue in our original email, below.
    Team Hip Hop Caucus
    --- PREVIOUS EMAIL: ---
    Your Public Comment NEEDED:
    Tell the EPA: "Stop Trump’s “Dirty Water Rule.” We need the federal government to do more, not less, to protect clean water"
    Dear Friend,
    Clean water is a basic human right. Yet unbelievably the Trump Administration has launched a dangerous attack on our communities that will put everyone's drinking water at risk.
    You read that right. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the current Trump regime is pushing a plan that would roll back long-standing Clean Water Act safeguards by wiping out protections for streams that provide drinking water to tens of millions of people and wetlands that filter pollution and protect our communities from flooding. We call it Trump’s “Dirty Water Rule” and we need your help to stop it.
    We need to expose Trump's latest attack on our most vulnerable communities by submitting as many public comments as possible.
    Here’s the deal. For more than 46 years, thanks to the Clean Water Act, we have made significant progress in making our water safer for swimming, fishing, and drinking. But, today too many communities in the U.S. — especially low-income communities and communities of color — are still disproportionately suffering from pollution and contaminated drinking water.
    Instead of doing more to safeguard our water the Trump regime’s “Dirty Water Rule” will jeopardize the sources of drinking water and create uncertainty for our families, communities, and businesses that rely on access to clean water and the protections that wetlands provide, like pollution filtering and absorbing floodwaters.
    Water equity matters. Access to safe drinking water is a prerequisite for healthy, thriving communities, where everyone can participate, prosper and reach their full potential. The Dirty Water Rule would put water at risk for too many communities by removing protections for streams and wetlands across the nation. And unfortunately the rule will disproportionately harm low-income communities and communities of color.
    Even Trump’s EPA must accept comments from the public whenever it considers changing a rule. But the deadline is coming soon--your voice is needed TODAY!
    We can’t achieve equity and justice for all communities by radically wiping out safeguards for the water bodies we depend on to filter ground water, feed drinking water sources, and protect from flooding.
    No body of water should be open for pollution or destruction. Let’s make sure they hear from as many of us as possible. This is about our right to clean water and protecting the health of our families and communities.
    For Future Generations,
    Rev Yearwood
    President & CEO
    Hip Hop Caucus
    Hip Hop Caucus1638 R Street, NW #120, Washington, DC 20009

    Green Party Calls for Release of Julian Assange

    From the Green Party:

    Green Party Members Organize Protest at UK Embassy in Washington, DC at 5:00 p.m. today

    The Green Party of the United States strongly and unequivocally condemns the arrest of Julian Assange and calls for his immediate release. Assange was expelled from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London this morning and is being held in the United Kingdom for extradition to the United States, where he is very likely to face espionage charges. Assange is the publisher of Wikileaks, which published documents exposing US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, human rights violations at the Guantanamo Bay prison and State Department cables that showed corporate corruption of US foreign policy.

    Green Party of the United States
    Media Advisory For Immediate Release
    April 11, 2019
    Kevin Zeese (301-996-6582)
    Margaret Flowers (410-591-0892)
    Holly Hart, Media Committee Co-chair,

    The Green Party of the United States strongly and unequivocally condemns the arrest of Julian Assange and calls for his immediate release. Assange was expelled from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London this morning and is being held in the United Kingdom for extradition to the United States, where he is very likely to face espionage charges. Assange is the publisher of Wikileaks, which published documents exposing US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, human rights violations at the Guantanamo Bay prison and State Department cables that showed corporate corruption of US foreign policy.
    Members of the Green Party have organized a protest today at 5:00 pm outside of the British Embassy in Washington, DC, located at 3100 Massachusetts Ave., NW at 5 pm. Another action is in New York City at 845 Third Avenue at 4:30 pm.
    In April 2010, Wikileaks posted on its site the famous 17-minute video, entitled “Collateral Murder,” of an incident in Baghdad that took place in July 2007, in which the crew of a US Apache helicopter killed two unarmed employees of Reuters and gravely wounded two small children of a man who was merely attempting to assist one of the dying Reuters men. The video, seen to date by over 16 million people on YouTube, revealed to people worldwide the ugly nature of the Iraq War, which the Green Party opposed from the start, not the sanitized version propagated by the U.S. government.
    Since that time, Assange has endured smears by the media and fierce condemnation by US politicians, including even calls for the death penalty. In the resulting hysteria, the dire implications of this attempted silencing of an uncompromising publisher have been ignored, even by mainstream media outlets that have the most to lose by ignoring them.
    “Freedom of the Press in the 21st Century is under unprecedented attack and the arrest with the prosecution of Julian Assange represents perhaps the most dangerous manifestation of this trend,” said Kevin Zeese, member of the Maryland Green Party coordinating council and advisory board member of the Courage Foundation. “Assange is being persecuted for exposing and embarrassing US government administrations, Republican and Democrat, not, as claimed, for revealing vital secrets necessary to national security."
    Beginning under President Obama and continuing under President Trump, whistleblowers are being arrested and charged with the Espionage Act at ominously increasing levels. From the time the Espionage Act was passed in 1917 until the Obama administration took office, it was used against one person. Eight people were prosecuted by the Obama Department of Justice. The number of investigations of leaked information has tripled under the Trump administration.
    Publishing the truth is not a crime. The US and international courts should be prosecuting those who committed the crimes exposed in the documents published by Wikileaks, not the media outlet who exposed such crimes.
    Wikileaks has democratized the media by enabling people to expose the crimes of governments and corporations, and by anonymously leaking documents that show their activities. This innovation gives power to the people to be the media. Such power is essential at this time of corporate concentration of media, where only six companies control 90 percent of the news.

    Exporting Dictators

    The U.S. government gets little credit for it, doesn’t even like to brag about it, but as of 2017 provided military “aid” to 73% of the world’s dictatorships. Ocassionally, the U.S. turns against one of its dictators and chooses that moment to tell everyone about him: Hussein, Noriega, Gadaffi, Assad. Sometimes it loses a dictator for other reasons: the Shah of Iran, Hosni Mubarak.
    Sometimes the U.S. imposes a U.S. dictator on a foreign colony: as historically in the Philippines, or Haiti, Chile, or post-“liberation” Iraq. More often it selects and trains, imposes and props up a dictator from within the population of “natives” or “savages.” And sometimes such a dictator spends many years in the United States preparing and awaiting opportunity.
    When I heard that Juan Guaido, a graduate of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., had proclaimed himself president of Venezuela, I was reminded that his fellow GW (and Harvard and Princeton) graduate Syngman Rhee was flown to South Korea by the United States government and put in charge of the place, and given the power to commit massive atrocities — the greatest of which was pushing the Korean peninsula into war. Does George Washington University recruit students with promises of small distant countries in which to have life-and-death power over the primitives?
    Then Khalifa Haftar hit the news again. This guy lived in Falls Church, Virginia, from around 1990 to 2007, and Vienna, Virginia, until 2011. If you’re not from Fairfax County, Virginia, you should know that you could practically topple over a pyramid of naked Muslim prisoners on the roof of the CIA in Langley, Virginia, and land some of them in Falls Church or Vienna. Haftar was exported to Libya multiple times during those years in failed attempts to take the place over. His latest attempt has been ongoing since the United States exported him in 2011. Maybe there is an area of U.S. exports other than weaponry that is increasing.
    Haftar is not unique. The D.C. area harbors a number of dictators in waiting less well known than Mike Pence. There’s Crown Prince Ahmad Shah Khan and various other members of the Afghan royal family. There’s Iranian Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi, the son of the last dictator whom the United States imposed on Iran from 1953 to 1979. Pahlavi lives in Potomac, Maryland, (across the river from Langley) and openly advocates for an overthrow of the Iranian government (because 1953 has worked out so well?) or, as the Washington Post puts it, “runs an advocacy association that is outspoken about the need for democracy in his home country.”
    Now, call me crazy, but I’d like to leave it up to the people of Iran to run their own country, free of sanctions, lies, and threats. But the dictator-export industry does not seem to me to be completely without value. Surely there must be some place to which — despite his troubled apprenticeship — we can now export Donald Trump.
    David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at and He hosts Talk Nation Radio.He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.
    Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.
    Help support,, and by clicking here:

    Sign up for these emails at

    photographs from the archives - coachella's palmeros - 1992

    Award winning photo journalist David Bacon has a new photo essay.  This is the opening.

    Photoessay by David Bacon

    Photographs from the Archives are occasional photoessays, based on images from David Bacon's film archive of photographs taken between approximately 1988 and 2005.

    I saw my first immigration raid long before I became a photographer. I was an organizer for the United Farm Workers in the Coachella Valley. One morning I drove out to a grove of date palms to talk with the palmeros working high in the trees. As I pulled my old white Valiant (the only kind of car the union had) down a row between the palms, I saw a green Border Patrol van. The workers I'd talked with the night be- fore in the union hall were all staring at the ground, handcuffed behind their backs.

    I felt helpless to stop the inexorable process in which they were loaded into the van. I chased it to the holding center in El Centro, two hour's drive south, but then stood outside the barbed wire, wondering what I could do to help the families left behind. It was one of the watershed experiences?of a lifetime.

    There were other immigration raids during the time I worked for the UFW, often and by no coincidence during the times workers were organizing. It was easy to see how detentions and deportations are not just violations of human rights, and cause devastating pain for families, but are a weapon in a war to keep immigrants from organizing.

    I carry my camera as a tool to help stop this abuse, and to take photographs that will help people organize. Part of the effort is to give personality and presence to the people involved.  When I began working as a photographer I thought right away about going to the Coachella Valley and taking photographs of the communities where I'd worked as an organizer.  I thought especially about the palmeros, not just because of that raid, but because the work they do requires such skill and courage.  

    And here is a list of David's exhibits and books:

    Exhibition Schedule
    Exhibitions of photographs are scheduled for the following venues and dates:

    In the Fields of the North / En los campos del norte
    Scheduled exhibitions:

    June 16, 2019 - August 18, 2019
    The Museum of Ventura County's Agricultural Museum, Santa Paula
    September 1, 2019 - December 22, 2019
    Hi-Desert Nature Museum, Yucca Valley
    January 5, 2020 - March 1, 2020
    Community Memorial Museum of Sutter County, Yuba City
    March 21, 2021 - May 23, 2021
    Carnegie Arts Center, Turlock

    In Washington’s Fields 
    Scheduled exhibition:

    February 5, 2020 - July 15, 2020
    Washington State Historical Museum, Tacoma, WA

    In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte
    Photographs and text by David Bacon
    University of California Press / Colegio de la Frontera Norte

    302 photographs, 450pp, 9”x9”
    paperback, $34.95 (in the U.S.)

    order the book on the UC Press website:
    use source code  16M4197  at checkoutreceive a 30% discount

    En Mexico se puede pedir el libro en el sitio de COLEF:

    Los Angeles Times reviews In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte - clickhere

    En los campos del Norte documenta la vida de trabajadores agrícolas en Estados Unidos -
    Entrevista con el Instituto Nacional de la Antropologia y Historia

    Entrevista en la television de UNAM

    David Bacon comparte su mirada del trabajo agrícola de migrantes mexicanos en el Museo Archivo de la Fotografia

    Trabajo agrícola, migración y resistencia cultural: el mosaico de los “Campos del Norte”
    Entrevista de David Bacon por Iván Gutiérrez / A los 4 Vientos

    "Los fotógrafos tomamos partido"
    Entrevista por Melina Balcázar Moreno - Laberinto

    Die Kunst der Grenze für "eine andere Welt"

    Die Apfel-Pflücker aus dem Yakima-Tal


    "Documenting the Farm Worker Rebellion"
    "The Radical Resistance to Immigration Enforcement"
    Havens Center lectures, University of Wisconsin, click here

    San Francisco Commonweallth Club presentation by David Bacon and Jose Padilla, clickhere

    EN LOS CAMPOS DEL NORTE:  Farm worker photographs on the U.S./Mexico border wall
    Entrevista sobre la exhibicion con Alfonso Caraveo (Español) REALITY CHECK - David Bacon blog

    Cat Brooks interview on KPFA about In the Fields of the North  - Advance the time to 33:15

    Book TV: A presentation of the ideas in The Right to Stay Home at the CUNY Graduate Center

    Other Books by David Bacon

    The Right to Stay Home:  How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration  (Beacon Press, 2013)
    Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants  (Beacon Press, 2008)
    Recipient: C.L.R. James Award, best book of 2007-2008

    Communities Without Borders (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006)

    The Children of NAFTA, Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border (University of California, 2004)

    En Español:

    EL DERECHO A QUEDARSE EN CASA  (Critica - Planeta de Libros)


    For more articles and images, see and