Saturday, July 31, 2021

Iraq: Carl Levin, violence and COVID

Carl Levin has passed away.  He was a US Senator.  He was opposed to the Iraq War.  I don't really have a lot more to say.  I liked Carl but, as I noted a long time ago here, I'm not going to be mining my life to do obits.  In other words, my friends can rest easy, I'm not Jackson Browne about to turn their deaths into a song.  (That joke will only resonate with a select few, most likely.)

There are deaths that we have to note and there are deaths that we don't.  I'm sad that Carl's passed away.  I'm glad that he wasn't an idiot like Nancy Pelosi or Dianne Feinstein.  Carl died at the age of 87.   Dianne's 88, Nancy's 81.  Both remain in office -- because, honestly, they're both so pathetic that they have no life to live and they also know that no one would speak to them if they weren't in public office.  I believe Carl was 80 when he left office.  I know -- I know -- he never worried about filling his days after stepping down.  He knew he would have a busy life   Because he bothered to create a real life.  

My only regret is that cancer took him so soon because he had enough passion and enough people loved him for him to go on to his late 90s easily.  Thoughts and prayers with Barbara, their children and his many, many friends.

Violence continues in Iraq.  XINHUA reports:

Four people were killed and six others wounded in twin attacks by militants of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group in western and eastern Iraq, security sources said on Saturday.

In the western province of Anbar, the militants attacked a policeman's house outside the town of Heet, some 160 km west of Baghdad at about 2:00 a.m. local time (2300 GMT), Maj. Abdul-Sattar al-Dulaimi of the provincial police told Xinhua.

The attack resulted in the death of the policeman, his father and brother, al-Dulaimi said, adding that security forces have launched an operation to track down the attackers.

On Friday night, IS militants opened fire at an Iraqi army position at a residential area outside the town of Jalawlaa in the eastern province of Diyala, Abbas al-Nadawi of the provincial police told Xinhua.

A soldier was killed and six people were wounded in the attack, al-Nadawi added.

 That's the not the only violence. An attack also took place Friday night on a funeral tent in Albu village.

In other news, Friday's snapshot noted the talk, in Baghdad, of a new COVID 19 variant (not Delta).  COVID continues to plague the entire world and Iraq is no exception.  The numbers continue to rise in Iraq with SPA reporting:

Iraq reported as many as 10,215 new Coronavirus cases, in the last 24-hour, putting the toll at 1,626,599.

Another 62 deaths raised the total fatalities to 18,675, while extra 8,614 recoveries made the overall recoveries 1,464,273.

On the political front, ASHAR AL-AWSAT notes:

An announcement made by Moqtada al-Sadr that he won’t run in Iraq’s parliamentary elections has increased the chances of those seeking to postpone the early polls scheduled for Oct. 10 to their constitutional date in April 2022.

Read on only if you want laughs.  I think "Biggest Lie" of the week is contained in the article shortly after the excerpt above ends.  Not in the mood, will take it to THIRD as an idea for an editorial.  On THIRD, Ava and I are about to start working on the conclusion of our piece.  There's a part, early on, about EGOT that may get dropped.  It's poorly written.  If we can improve it, will include it, otherwise will drop it.  But it goes to how the documentary can't even get the basics right.  That really is an indictment of PBS -- whose AMERICAN MASTERS FILMS made the bad movie.  They really do owe it to the audiences to be factual but they've never felt that obligation, have they?

Elaine's "Marlon Bradno, Rita Moreno and C.I." went up a little while ago and the e-mail address for this site is  


The Trial of Ghislaine Maxwell


On the show this week Chris Hedges talks to investigative journalist Nick Bryant about the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell. Nick Bryant is a journalist whose work largely focuses on the plight of disadvantaged children in the United States. His mainstream and investigative journalism has been featured in Gear, Playboy, the Reader, and on He is author of The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse & Betrayal. #QuestionMore #RTAmerica #OnContactWithChrisHedges #ChrisHedges #OnContact #NickBryant #GhislaineMaxwell #JeffreyEpstein Get exclusive content and watch full episodes now by downloading the Portable.TV app: Telegram: Check out our other shows! NO show does it like this. It’s TIME TO DO NEWS AGAIN with Rick Sanchez News with Rick Sanchez: It’s her take on all things political and she presents ALL the angles: News.Views.Hughes with Scottie Nell Hughes, NVH: What’s your NEWS IQ? Give us 30 minutes, and we’ll take you across the globe! In Question with Manila Chan, IQ: Steve Malzberg sinks his teeth into the slander, hypocrisy, bias and lies of MSM. MMM…Delicious! Eat The Press: Candid conversations with the most outspoken guy in Hollywood! Dennis Miller + One! Dennis Miller Plus One: Let our TV time-machine bring you the week’s highlights and a closer look at the BIGGEST stories, Just Press Play: Author and social critic Chris Hedges conducts fascinating in-depth interviews with the fiercest critics of the establishment. Watch all episodes at Yep, it’s Gov. Jesse Ventura and you’re living in his WORLD! Come along for the ride. The World According To Jesse: They’re watching you. Are you watching them? Are you WATCHING THE HAWKS? Watching The Hawks: Follow the twists and turns of the global economy with Boom Bust, the one business show you can’t afford to miss. Boom Bust: Do you keep missing the forest for the trees? Let Holland Cooke show you the Big Picture, The Big Picture:

Official Secrets Act: Suppressing Journalists & Whistleblowers

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LA Mayor Signs Ordinance To Make Homelessness Illegal, Will Katzenberg Let TYT Cover This


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Bernie Sanders' Former Press Sec Reacts To His Krystal Ball Interview


Find the full chat with Briahna here ( Briahna Joy Gray, Bernie Sanders' former press secretary and current host of the Bad Faith podcast, responds to Bernie's recent interview with Krystal Ball, which she describes as "frustrating. It feels like every progressive elected representative is now in the position where they're doing comms for Joe Biden."

[C.I. note: Ava and I are working on our piece for THIRD, which will deal with, among other things that very bad, piece of crap 'documentary' allegedly about Rita Moreno. Norman Lear, who produced it with a heavy hand, may not need to die but he certainly needs to retire or be forced to retire.  His garbage and his xenophobia and racism is well known to anyone who's not a reactionary liberal -- anyone on the left who actually calls out real racism -- which, yes, does include Archie Bunker -- a damaging portrayal that did -- as CBS' own internal studies demonstrated -- promote racism -- a fact that White America wants to pretend did not take place despite Black periodicals documenting this throughout the original lifetime of ALL IN THE FAMILY..  My point here is that I'm juggling on both -- Ava and I are doing are rough point outline and I'm also going to the journals -- my journals -- for specific bits and pieces to include -- I'm sure I'll include a thing or two from conversations I had with Marlon Brando because I'm particularly pissed at the way Brando comes off in the documentary.  So with all this juggling, I may not get stuff up here promptly.  I will try to get something up every hour to every 90 minutes before I do the Iraq post to end the night and I believe Isaiah also has a comic -- if so, it will also go up at the end of the night.]

Jimmy Dore Pushes back Keith Olbermann calls censor him & Eviction Moratorium fails in the US House


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#TheJimmyDoreShow Biden Melts Down On CNN!


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Debating Glenn Loury: Are Racial Disparities Caused by "Culture"?


Subscribe on Patreon for $5 for an extra episode each week: This week, Briahna Joy Gray debates one of America's foremost Black conservative public intellectuals, Brown University Economics Professor Glenn Loury. Is there overlap between conservative critics of liberal race politics lefty critics of liberal "woke" culture? Or does the conservative focus on fixing "Black culture" serve the same function as the liberal focus on "curing racism" to the exclusion of material interventions? It's a difficult but productive conversation. Stick around to the end at which point Professor Loury dishes on what it's like to be a Black conservative married to a Black "Bernie Bro," and how Brie can learn to date across the aisle

William Astore Is Talking About Lessening the Damage, Not Actual Defense


William Astore Is Talking About Lessening the Damage, Not Actual Defense

A U.S. soldier stands guard in March of 2003 next to an oil well at the Rumayla oil fields set ablaze by retreating Iraqi troops. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

By David Swanson, World BEYOND War, July 29, 2021

William Astore’s latest article on TomDispatch proposes to “Reinvent the U.S. Military for Real National Defense.” The specific proposals are all to the good: stop adding to the nuclear weapons pile, shrink the Army and Navy and Airforce, stop arming and training and funding at least some foreign dictators, stop the CIA and lawless secret agencies from doing what they do, stop pushing at least some weapons on other governments, only wage wars declared by Congress, close at least some foreign bases, and cut military spending in half by some unknown date. (Here’s the case against his proposal to launch a military draft.)

Apart from the pro-draft madness, there is no way to get to a military-free world without taking each of these steps proposed by Astore. And it would be a dramatic change for the better to take only these steps. And there are people who will be more open to these steps if you don’t tell them what additional steps will start to look reasonable to them once these steps have been taken. But there are other people who will be less open to just these steps unless you explain to them what’s wrong with war. As long as you leave them believing in war, they will struggle with the idea of only doing it halfway (even if halfway still dwarfs the rest of the world).

And if we’re going to be honest with ourselves, a military swallowing up only a half a trillion dollars a year, whose nukes can destroy all life on earth a fewer number of times, whose secret unaccountable agencies have been given a stern warning, and which has cut loose a few client states, is not going to save us from military-induced disaster. The Constitution makes treaties like the UN Charter and the Kellogg-Briand Pact law, and getting Congress to more formally support its wars will neither legalize them or make them into good things. A giant military that’s smaller than it could have been will still make war more likely, just less so than before.

And if we’re going to acknowledge the twin ticking clocks we’re up against, we don’t have the time for “a people’s military” to be our ideal for some unstated future date, even if it should be what’s done in 2021. The risks of nuclear apocalypse and climate collapse are both growing, and speeding each other on. The damage of war is systemic across society. War is neither inevitable, nor ever justified, nor necessary, nor beneficial. No, not even that war. War does its most damage through the resources, bureaucracy, and cultural impact. It wastes $2 trillion a year globally (killing vastly more people than die in the wars), threatens the environment including the climate from whose regulations it is exempted, impoverishes us, endangers us, erodes liberties, fuels bigotry, is fundamentally immoral, and alternatives exist.

There’s nothing war can do that nonviolent action cannot do better. That’s the inescapable conclusion of current scholarship, including Erica Chenoweth’s new book, Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know. Denial of the greater successes of civil resistance over violence is exactly as fact-based as denial of climate science; it’s just politically acceptable. “Real National Defense” would mean leading a reverse arms race, eliminating militaries, developing an educational system that teaches democratic engagement and nonviolent action, and investing resources in addressing things we actually have no choice but to defend against. It would also mean replacing the goal of national defense with the goal of planet-wide defense.

The big dangers include: climate collapse, species extinctions, the poisoning of seas and land and air, poisons and pollutants impacting human health, nuclear weaponry and energy and waste, the lack of healthcare, hunger, poverty, violent movements, bigotry and hatred, unsafe employment, weapons proliferation and lives that lead to suicides, and intense inequality of wealth and power and the ability to control our lives.

An “actual defense department” would immediately and intensely work to address these problems and to do so through global cooperation. The ignorant barbarism of a national war department euphemistically called “defense” and dominating the rest of the world less dramatically than it used to is just not the answer.


David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is executive 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, 2018, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

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