Saturday, June 27, 2020

Iraq's myriad of problems

MENAFM reports, "Iraq's fatalities from the COVID-19 pandemic reached 1,559 on Friday, with 122 extra mortalities, the highest daily count in the country since the first infection was registered in February." As for Saturday?  XINHUA adds

It also reported 101 deaths during the day, as the total number of deaths climbed to 1,660 in the country, while 19,938 patients have recovered.

The new cases were recorded after 9,630 testing kits were used across the country during the past 24 hours, and a total of 510,353 tests have been carried out since the outbreak of the disease, according to the ministry's statement.

Meanwhile, Deputy Health Minister Hazim al-Jumaili said in a statement that "the problem with dealing with the spread of coronavirus is not with taking decisions (such as curfew), but with applying the decisions."

"The restricted curfew on districts in Baghdad did not succeed as some neighborhoods did not abide by the health preventive measures," al-Jumaili said.

In addition, AFP reports:

According to an International Labour Organisation (ILO) survey, 95 percent of businesses in Iraq have suspended work due to Covid-19.

Four out of 10 said they had to lay off some workers, and many expected the crisis to continue another four months.

Salem Ahmed, an Iraqi restaurateur who employs Bangladeshi, Egyptian and Iraqi workers, said his establishment had been hit hard by the lockdown.

"We estimate our losses at about $20,000 per month," he said.

"The government didn’t provide any support to businesses, and we’re still expected to pay taxes by July," he said. Even once the lockdown is fully lifted, many business owners surveyed by the ILO predicted they would be unable to bring their operations or sales back to pre-coronavirus levels.

Still on the coronavirus . . . 

And, as Katia Lopez-Hodoyan (ALJAZEERA) notes the coronavirus is also creating problems for the water buffalo herders of Iraq's marsh lands.

May 7th, Mustafa al-Kadhimi became prime minister of Iraq.  He has not come off strong or steady thus far.  He's facing a myriad of problems, many of which aren't even noted by the media.  

For example?  Iraq is a land of widows and orphans.  Does anyone grasp that reality?  Ayad Allawi does and Tweeted this week about the need for the government to address and invest in programs that would serve Iraqi widows and divorcees.

 Iraq also has a significant minority religious community made up of a myriad of religions.  They are threatened/  RUDAW notes:

The presence of militia groups and lack of reconstruction across northern Iraq is a huge barrier to the safe return of religious minorities to their former homes, according to Nadine Maenza, vice chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

Speaking to Rudaw's Hiwa Jamal, Maenza spoke of the various obstacles preventing minority groups – including Christians and Yezidis – from returning home, and called on Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al Kadhimi to pull back Iran-backed militias present in the area.

"With the Yezidis and Christians, they are having a hard time returning home. They don't feel safe, they're being harassed," Maenza said.

Again, many, many problems facing Iraq's new prime minister.  Alissa J. Rubin (NEW YORK TIMES) notes:

Mr. al-Kadhimi took office in May promising a fresh approach, including cracking down on government corruption and strengthening the rule of law. He also promised to protect foreign diplomatic missions and international forces serving at the request of the Iraqi government.

Seen as closer to the United States than his predecessors, he opened a strategic dialogue with Washington this month aimed in part at resetting the size and mission of American troops in Iraq and obtaining commitments for economic aid.

With the raid on Khataib Hezbollah, he became the country’s first leader to move against one of the Iranian-backed armed groups.

The raid?  From Friday's snapshot:

Other news out of Iraq involves a raid.

AFP reports, "Iraqi security forces arrested more than a dozen pro-Iran fighters overnight, in their first raid against those accused of anti-US rocket attacks, Iraqi officials told AFP early Friday.  Elite fighters from Iraq’s Counter-Terrorism Service raided a headquarters in southern Baghdad used by Kataeb Hezbollah, a pro-Iran faction also identified as Brigade 45 of the Hashed al-Shaabi military forces." Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) adds:

 Jaber Al Jaberi, an Iraqi member of parliament, told The National that the CTS raid on Kataib Hezbollah was an attempt to exert state authority and a test to see what the reaction might be.

“Indeed the reaction by the so-called axis of resistance was strong, where their armed and hysterical response revealed a lot about them, their capabilities and their non-compliance with the laws of the state,” Mr Al Jaberi said.    

Al Jazeera's Simona Foltyn, reporting from Baghdad, said Iraq's elite Counter Terrorism Service seized at least 10 rockets during the operation, which was "carried out an in effort to pre-empt an impending rocket attack on the Green Zone and Baghdad International Airport, both of which house US troops".

"Subsequently, dozens of armed Kataib Hezbollah fighters arrived in the Green Zone and laid siege to one of the buildings belonging to the Counter Terrorism Service, demanding the release of the detainees, claiming they were arrested illegally without an arrest warrant," she said.

In other news, Iraq continues to be terrorized by the Turkish government.  They drop bombs on Iraq, they send foot soldiers into the country.  This is a violation of Iraq's sovereignty as well as international law.  RUDAW reports:

Babakir Faqe, the spokesperson for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, described Turkey's ongoing ground and aerial operation as "a blatant violation" of the sovereignty of Iraq – particularly that of the Kurdistan Region.

Turkey launched an air offensive dubbed Operation Claw-Eagle on June 15, with the stated aim of targeting PKK bases in the Kurdistan Region. It launched a commando force ground campaign called Operation Claw-Tiger on June 17. 

The air offensive has claimed the lives of five civilians, and injured several others.

Faqe told Rudaw on Saturday that according to international protocol, Turkey should have informed Erbil or Baghdad of their military operation , which he said they failed to do.

The following sites updated:

  • Glen Ford discusses The Myth of the Warrior Cop with Ralph Nader

    Ralph welcomes back Glen Ford from Black Agenda Report to discuss the ongoing protests over police brutality and the myth of the “warrior cop.” Then Lisa Gilbert, executive vice-president of Public Citizen, tells us what they are fighting to get into the next stimulus package. Plus, Ralph updates us on the Boeing Max 8 issue.

    Left Lens Eps 1 DEBUT: On Joe Biden's Chances, The Uprising Against Racist Policing, and Solidarity

    In this debut episode of the Left Lens, Danny Haiphong and Margaret Kimberley introduce viewers to Black Agenda Report, question neoliberal confidence in Joe Biden's 2020 chances, discuss why community control of the police is so critical to the development of the movement against racist policing, and end with a brief analysis of internationalism and solidarity. Subscribe to the page, hit the like button, and donate to Black Agenda Report. Link below:

    Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am TV Schedules Shop Donate
    WHAT TO WATCH June 26, 2020
    Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

    American Masters

    Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

    Toni Morrison leads an assembly of her peers and critics on an exploration of the powerful themes she confronted throughout her literary career in this artful and intimate meditation that examines the life and work of the legendary storyteller.

    Watch Now

    Pledge Your Support Today

    We're able to continue to bring you great programs because of support from viewers like you. Show your support by donating to KQED right now!

    Donate Now
    Grantchester: Episode 2


    Grantchester: Episode 2

    A hit-and-run leads Will and Geordie to dysfunctional brothers and a hidden garden.

    Watch Now
    Pipe Dreams

    Independent Lens

    Pipe Dreams

    Talented young musicians compete in the world's most prestigious pipe organ competition.

    Watch Now
    Opioids, Inc.


    Opioids, Inc.

    The story of a drug company that pushed opioids by bribing doctors and committing insurance fraud.

    Watch Now
    We Dig Dinosaurs

    Prehistoric Road Trip

    We Dig Dinosaurs

    Cruise into the Cretaceous, when astonishing creatures like T. rex dominated the planet.

    Watch Now

    Upcoming Programs

    Gloria: A Life

    Great Performances

    Gloria: A Life

    Experience a unique interpretation of Gloria Steinem’s life starring Christine Lahti.

    Premieres June 26th
    And She Could Be Next


    And She Could Be Next

    A defiant movement led by women of color fights to transform politics from the ground up.

    Premieres June 29th
    Professor T

    Professor T

    Station members with PBS Passport can watch all of Season 2.

    Watch Now
    PBS Video App
    PBS App

    Stream the best of PBS.
    Anytime, anywhere.

    Get the Free App


    Copyright © 2020 PBS  All rights reserved.
    PBS  |  2100 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202  |  Privacy Policy

    The Left’s Resurgence Is For Real | First You Bomb and Starve a Country. Then You’re Praised for Sending in Aid.

    27 June 2020


    The Left’s Resurgence Is For Real

    Jamaal Bowman and other progressive and socialist challengers had a very good night, while Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez cruised to victory—proving that the left wing is a force to be reckoned with.


    First You Bomb and Starve a Country. Then You’re Praised for Sending in Aid.

    The perverse diplomatic charade of Saudi Arabia starting a fire then getting credit for providing fire blankets.


    Derek Chauvin and Amy Cooper Are One and The Same

    Bogus allegations waged by white women are just as dangerous as police brutality—and come from the same callous privilege.


    The Long List of Names That Came Before Breonna Taylor and George Floyd

    Samuel Williams. Tyisha Miller. Amadou Diallo. Eric Garner. I’ve reported their names for decades. This time feels different.


    It’s Not Just Covid That Has Hondurans Starving. It’s Also U.S. Policy.

    “If we don’t die of Covid, we will die of hunger,” says Honduran activist Albertina López Melgar.


    In U.S. Counties Where Lynchings Were Prevalent, Police Are More Likely to Shoot Black People

    Areas with higher numbers of lynchings from 1877 to 1950 have more officer-involved shootings of Black Americans today.



    AFL-CIO Leader Richard Trumka Defends Police Unions by Comparing Them to Employers

    Trumka's somewhat baffling defense of police unions would seem to imply that they're an opponent to be bargained against.



    Bringing Back the Buffalo Was Always Important to the Rosebud Sioux. The Pandemic Made It Urgent

    Once numbering in the tens of millions, buffalo carved ecological niches continent-wide for innumerable other plants and animals.


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

    You're Invited to PrideFest! 🌈

    PrideFest Hero
    Tomorrow we celebrate and honor the 50th anniversary of Pride with an everyone's-invited immersive virtual event.

    Create your avatar, walk the rainbow runway, and enjoy appearances by LGBTQ+ talent and allies – including Alex Newell, Daya, Honey Davenport, Jason Collins, Pat Manuel, and Athlete Ally.
    PrideFest Lineup
    Go to
    Instagram Facebook Twitter
    Hulu, LLC. 2500 Broadway, 2nd Floor, Santa Monica, CA 90404          

    What's Happening!! Is Happening🍿


    Happening Comedy

    Whats Happening!

    It may be summer, but we're headed back to school with Raj, Rerun, Dwayne and Dee to relive the glory days of rainbow suspenders and black situation comedy.

    Stream Free on Crackle

    On Point
    Going From Broke
    The Oath
    Yelawolf: A Slumerican Life

    ©2020 Crackle. All Rights Reserved.

    2834 Colorado Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90404