Saturday, May 30, 2020

Turkey kills more civilians in Iraq, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi calls for an end to corruption

The government of Turkey continues to terrorize the Iraqi people.  For years now, they have been ignoring Iraq's sovereignty and bombing the country of Iraq.  These bombings have resulted in many dead.  Seth J. Frantzman (JERUSALEM POST) reports:

Turkish airstrikes killed civilians on Saturday, days after another set of airstrikes killed members of a far-left Iranian dissident group in the mountains of the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. The attacks appear to represent an increase in Ankara’s use of drones and airstrikes against Kurdish groups. Ankara claims these groups, linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) are “terrorists” but presents no evidence that any of them are involved in “terror.”

The PKK is one of many Kurdish groups which supports and fights for a Kurdish homeland. Aaron Hess (International Socialist Review) described them in 2008, "The PKK emerged in 1984 as a major force in response to Turkey's oppression of its Kurdish population. Since the late 1970s, Turkey has waged a relentless war of attrition that has killed tens of thousands of Kurds and driven millions from their homes. The Kurds are the world's largest stateless population -- whose main population concentration straddles Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria -- and have been the victims of imperialist wars and manipulation since the colonial period. While Turkey has granted limited rights to the Kurds in recent years in order to accommodate the European Union, which it seeks to join, even these are now at risk." The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq has been a concern to Turkey because they fear that if it ever moves from semi-autonomous to fully independent -- such as if Iraq was to break up into three regions -- then that would encourage the Kurdish population in Turkey. For that reason, Turkey is overly interested in all things Iraq. So much so that they signed an agreement with the US government in 2007 to share intelligence which the Turkish military has been using when launching bomb raids. However, this has not prevented the loss of civilian life in northern Iraq. Aaron Hess noted, "The Turkish establishment sees growing Kurdish power in Iraq as one step down the road to a mass separatist movement of Kurds within Turkey itself, fighting to unify a greater Kurdistan. In late October 2007, Turkey's daily newspaper Hurriyet accused the prime minister of the KRG, Massoud Barzani, of turning the 'Kurdish dream' into a 'Turkish nightmare'."

Frantzman notes, "Iraq has complained to Ankara about the airstrikes but Ankara acts with impunity and international organizations that usually monitor human rights refuse to critique Turkey or visit the areas of the drone strikes."  Let's drop back to December 29, 2011:

BBC News (link has text and video) reports on last night's bombing, "An air strike by Turkish warplanes near a Kurdish village close to the border with Iraq has left 35 people dead, officials say. One report said that smugglers had been spotted by unmanned drones and were mistaken for Kurdish rebels." Reuters quotes Uludere Mayor Fehmi Yaman explaining that they have recovered 30 corpses, all smugglers, not PKK, and he declares, "This kind of incident is unacceptable. They were hit from the air." AFP adds, "Local security sources said the dead were among a group smuggling gas and sugar into Turkey from northern Iraq and may have been mistaken for Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels."

One day.  Picked at random.  It happens over and over.  Over and over. Over and over -- as Christine McVie sings on her song "Over and Over" from the Fleetwood Mac TUSK album.


By the way, Christine and Stevie Nicks joined bandmate Neil Finn on his new song (released yesterday) "Find Your Way Back Home."

The Islamic State group in an audio message blasted Iraq's new prime minister, calling him an "American agent," and criticized the closure of Islam's holiest shrine in the Saudi holy city of Mecca to limit the spread of coronavirus.

In the message reportedly read by the group's chief spokesman Abu Hamza al-Qurayshi, released late Thursday, al-Qurayshi asked why mosques are being closed and people being prevented from praying at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, hinting that Muslims are immune to the coronavirus.

The new prime minister, as of May 7th, is Mustafa al-Kadhimi.  Zhelwan Z. Wali (RUDAW) notes that the prime minister is vowing to end corruption and the step being taken right now is to end duplicate salaries of government employees:

Hanin Qado, a member of the Iraqi parliament's finance committee told Rudaw that 250,000 civil servants in Iraq receive duplicate and even triplicate salaries.

"This is a massive waste of Iraq's money and it must be resolved," Qado said, adding that this corruption has been done through "law and must be resolved also through law."

There are more than 500,000 ghost employees on the Iraqi government's payroll, according to Iraq's Free Dialogue Forum, an assembly of academics, analyst and political pundits.

Last week, such fire-starter impulses re-emerged: Omar expressed support for Tara Reade, who has accused Joe Biden of sexual assault. Omar conceded that Reade’s accusations have not been proven, and said she would still vote for Biden for president. But she also said it was “important” to believe Reade just because she describes herself as a “survivor”.

It’s “not my place to litigate her story”, she said.

[. . .]  a proper DNC inquiry is just what’s needed to give Reade’s allegation the full attention it deserves. Why be so afraid to carry one out? If the evidence is compelling enough on either side, then voters will know whether or not they have a candidate they can be confident in. As Representative Ayanna Pressley recently said: “I reject the false choice that my party and our nominee can’t address the allegations at hand and defeat the occupant of the White House.”

The following sites updated:

George Floyd Protests: Discussion With Margaret Kimberley of Black Agenda Report

Please support The Katie Halper Show on Patreon Margaret Kimberley (@freedomrideblog) editor and senior columnist at Black Agenda Report (@blkagendareport) and author of "Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents," joins Katie to discuss the events of the past few days surrounding the murder of George Floyd. Follow Katie on Twitter:

Weekends with Ana Kasparian and Michael Brooks: May 30, 2020 (featuring Wosny Lambre)

Every Saturday starting at 1 PM ET, Ana Kasparian and Michael Brooks will be broadcasting a new show live from the Jacobin YouTube channel. “Weekends” will feature free-flowing and entertaining conversations between Ana, Michael, and their guests. The guest today: culture writer at The Athletic magazine, Wosny Lambre Subscribe to the channel and press the like button! Subscribe to Jacobin:

#TheJimmyDoreShow Sunrise Movement Being Co-Opted By Biden Task Force

Become a Premium Member: Go to a Live Show: Subscribe to Our Newsletter: LIVESTREAM & LIVE SHOW ANNOUNCEMENTS: Email: Twitter: Facebook: Instagram: WATCH / LISTEN FREE: Videos: Podcasts: (Also available on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or your favorite podcast player.) ACCESS TO FULL REPLAYABLE LIVESTREAMS: Become a Premium Member: SUPPORT THE JIMMY DORE SHOW: Make a Donation: Buy Official Merch (Tees, Sweatshirts, Hats, Bags): DOWNLOAD OUR MOBILE APP: App Store: Google Play: Jimmy Dore on Twitter: Stef Zamorano on Twitter: Edited by Arno Bolbolian: Edited by Koki Miyazaki About The Jimmy Dore Show: #TheJimmyDoreShow is a hilarious and irreverent take on news, politics and culture featuring Jimmy Dore, a professional stand up comedian, author and podcaster. With over 5 million downloads on iTunes, the show is also broadcast on KPFK stations throughout the country.

In Minneapolis, Veterans Call on National Guard to Stand Down | Corporate Lawsuits Could Devastate Poor Countries Grappling with Covid-19

30 May 2020


Amid Minneapolis Uprising, Anti-War Veterans Call on National Guard to Stand Down

“We urge you to have the courage to do the right thing. Refuse activation orders.”


Corporate Lawsuits Could Devastate Poor Countries Grappling with Covid-19

Wealthy corporations may use trade courts to keep public health measures from cutting into their profits.


Former Leaders of SDS, Meet the Current Members of DSA

The authors of “An Open Letter to the New New Left From the Old New Left” failed to grasp several things about the Democratic Socialists of America.


The Wealthy Bosses and Right-Wing Ideologues Behind the Rush to “Reopen”

The rich are doing everything they can to benefit financially from the crisis—and their work is paying off.


There’s Room for Solidarity Between the Working Class and Progressive Professionals

A discussion about meritocracy, work in the corporate world, and that feeling in your gut that most of what you do is pointless.



Fight Over Safe Reopening Is The Latest Front in “Civil War” at the EPA

The EPA's biggest union says Trump's political appointees are creating a hostile work environment to push longtime employees out of the agency.



Blaming Ourselves for Crowded Parks Misses the Point: There Aren’t Enough Parks

People aren't selfish for wanting to go outside. The pandemic has revealed we don't have enough public spaces to go around.


In These Times is a nonprofit, reader-funded publication.

Trump Tweets Like He Isn't President: "Bring Our Soldiers Back Home!"

Support The Show On Patreon: Here's Our Amazon Link: Follow Kyle on Twitter: Like the show on Facebook: Clip from The Kyle Kulinski Show, which airs live on Blog Talk Radio and Secular Talk Radio Monday - Friday 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Eastern time zone. Listen to the Live Show or On Demand archive at:

Kat's Korner: Ricky Martin re-emerges

Kat: When you think of big shoulders, depending on your original point of reference, you may think of Joan Crawford in any of her movies -- especially the film noir classics she made.  You might think of the eighties and DYNASTY with Linda Evans and Joan Collins.  You might think of a shoulder you'd really want to rest your head on -- Henry Cavill or Mark Wahlberg or Jay Ellis.  Or you might think of 1999 when the epic battle of the shoulders was between Madonna and Ricky Martin. 

It was probably the last minute she ever mattered musically.  She was coming off 1998's RAY OF LIGHT, her last album that really delivered, and "Beautiful Stranger," her last single the country wanted to listen to.  Ricky?  He was young and new to many non-Latinos.  He was breaking into the English language music market with his hit "Living La Vida Loca" and his self-titled album that would go on to sell over seven million copies in the US alone.  Like the vampire she's often compared to, Madonna was attracted to the fresh new blood Ricky had to offer.

Remember them at the Grammys -- all shoulders and delts?

Madonna and Ricky Martin | Madonna, Ricky martin, Performance

Life's not been good, on the charts or musically, for either of them since that moment.

Ricky chose to shake his bon-bon and that resulted in an awkward hit that sent many of his new admirers fleeing.  They never came back.

Do we blame Barbara Walters with her 2000 interview?  Or do we accept that her raising the issue of sexuality was actually a brave and needed thing?  Was Ellen really going to be the last celebrity to come out? 

America needed to grow up. 

Some of us had already.

Ricky being gay really wasn't a shocker (though it would take several years before Ricky himself realized it).  The minute he showed up in the video "Living La Vida Loca," didn't most of us know he was gay?  My friend Maggie didn't.  Then again, it took the public toilet bust for her to realize George Michael was gay and even then she wanted to argue it out.  But for most of us, we already knew and it wasn't anything that put us off.

Ricky was hot, sexy and young. 

Even in 1999, many Americans only cared about that.  It didn't matter that he was gay.    And then came the bon-bon shaking which was too camp for words and one of the truly worst songs to ever chart -- yes, far worse than even "We Built This City."

After that, he largely disappeared in many ways.

Sure, he popped up for the piss outrage.  He revealed he liked golden showers and suddenly, due to so many tisk-tisks, the world was reminded Ricky was still around. 

In 2012, he played Che in EVITA on Broadway.  He really was amazing. I wrote that at the time (I'm not a Broadway gal, we went to see it because we were speaking in the area and because C.I. is a friend of Ricky's, which is how we got to meet him after the performance).  I knew EVITA only due to the Madonna movie -- a depressingly unsexy film by Alan Parker (who previously bungled sexy with ANGEL HEART).  In one number, Antonio Banderas managed to break through but not even the young men showering in their underwear -- and who showers in their underwear other than John Travolta in STAYING ALIVE? -- managed to muster even a whiff of sexy.

Ricky made Che his own and made him a force to be reckoned with.

From time to time, I've checked out his albums hoping to find something I really loved.

PAUSA came out at the end of the week.  It's an extended play --  six tracks.  And I really love it.

Only six tracks -- but six tracks that truly matter. 

"Simple" kicks things off -- a duet with Sting that reminds me of the intoxicating groove Alicia Keys captured with "In Common."  It's got that sleepy time, sexy feel to it.  Then comes a strong ballad ("Recuerdo") with Carla Morrison.  "Recuerdo" is not the Edna St. Vincent Millay poem but it is a tight song where Ricky and Carla sing about sharing the emotions within, the ones that cause your breath to catch.  Pedro Capo shows up for "Cae de Una," Residente and Bad Bunny for "Cantalo" and Diego El Cigala for "Quiereme."  The tracks are tight and solid. 

Ricky's stating that this isn't the album he had planned.  That album will be coming out soon but that album is more of a party.  Due to the pandemic, he wanted to do something more reflective.

Reflective is a good adjective for PAUSA.

And it's also a good starting or rejoining point for listeners and Ricky.  These days, he's married to Jwan Yosef and he's the father of four children.  Life's gone on while Ricky's been off a lot of people's radar and the life has only sharpened his artistic talents and given him a lived-in sexy quality that underscores every word he sings.  And, yes, he's still got those sexy shoulders.

David Sirota: Why is it only looting when poor people do it?


Editor-At-Large of Jacobin Magazine David Sirota discusses economics, crime and punishment surrounding Minneapolis protests and indicts the stimulus bills as a catalyst. About Rising:  Rising is a weekday morning show with bipartisan hosts that breaks the mold of morning TV by taking viewers inside the halls of Washington power like never before. The show leans into the day's political cycle with cutting edge analysis from DC insiders who can predict what is going to happen. It also sets the day's political agenda by breaking exclusive news with a team of scoop-driven reporters and demanding answers during interviews with the country's most important political newsmakers.  Follow Rising on social media: Website: Hill.TV Facebook: Instagram: @HillTVLive Twitter: @HillTVLive Follow Saagar Enjeti & Krystal Ball on social media: Twitter: @esaagar and @krystalball Instagram: @esaagar and @krystalmball

Note -- this post published without video.  Apparently, the new Blogger format has removed HTML options.  That's going to be fun if, like me, you know HTML and that's how you daily fix problems that Blogger has never addressed in all its years.

Some Tweets from Sarah Abdallah

Blogger is making some changes.  At the end of June, everyone will have to use their new format.  I've gone ahead and switched over now.  I'm wondering if any of the changes address the b.s. that Twitter created with their "blue check"?

We used to highlight Tweets here.  Once Blogger began their blue check nonsense, unless you were looking at the site in Google Chrome, you would see huge black boxes that were created by the blue check.

Sarah Abdallah is one person whose Tweets we used to highlight.  We're going to try it with her and see if the new Blogger format has addressed the Twitter issue.  If so, we'll go back to highlighting Tweets, if not, we won't.  

Your administration increased militarization of local police forces 24-fold. Your words today ring as hollow as your calls for “making a better world” after bombing Libya, Syria and Yemen to ruin. #JusticeForGeorge
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Barack Obama
My statement on the death of George Floyd:
Powerful. This is how #GeorgeFloyd’s friends, at a news conference in Minneapolis City Hall, reacted to the arrest of Derek Chauvin: “We are not satisfied. All of them [officers] are complicit in his murder and they all need to be held accountable.”
0:00 / 0:21

This is , the so called leader of “open source intelligence” taking a tweet of mine out of context because he couldn’t be bother to research outside of his confirmation bias. This is exactly how he “researched” the chemical attacks in Syria and lied about Assad.
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Eliot Higgins
Ted Postol "I could see from her voice—I didn’t know her and still don’t know her—that she was a trained chemist."
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The US regime wants to lecture countries like #Syria, Iran and Venezuela about human rights, while its police continue to blatantly murder unarmed African-American citizens at home, and its military machine drops bombs on innocent civilians abroad. #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd
US forces are illegally present in Syria. US forces are stealing Syria’s oil. US forces are burning Syria’s wheat. US regime has imposed punishing sanctions on #Syria because Syrians refuse to bow before US-Israeli hegemony. And not a word from the international community.
The US recently set Syrian wheat on fire, is stealing Syrian oil as it illegally occupies Syrian land, & continues to crush the Syrian economy through criminal sanctions. But if you oppose these imperialist crimes, you’re a “Russian asset” or an “Assadist.”
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Sarah Abdallah
This is monstrous. Beyond inhuman. US occupation forces drop incendiary weapons on agricultural lands in #Syria, deliberately setting fire to wheat crops that Syrian farmers had spent months cultivating. This is a war crime. Where is the global outrage?
Hard to believe it’s 20 years today since the military and popular resistance in Lebanon defeated the “mighty” Israeli army and sent them and their ragtag band of collaborators fleeing. It remains an incredible and inspiring victory!
This is monstrous. Beyond inhuman. US occupation forces drop incendiary weapons on agricultural lands in #Syria, deliberately setting fire to wheat crops that Syrian farmers had spent months cultivating. This is a war crime. Where is the global outrage?
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Today marks two full decades since Israel was defeated and kicked off of Lebanese soil, ending the barbaric, criminal, 22-year Israeli occupation of our land. Happy Resistance and Liberation Day, Lebanon
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