Starting with the war the world forgot, XINHUA reports:
Two soldiers were killed and two wounded Saturday, Apr. 16, while defusing a bomb in Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala.
“Two soldiers of the engineering corps in the Iraqi army were killed and two others wounded while dismantling an explosive device planted on the outskirts of the town of Qara-Tappa, some 175 km northeast of the Iraqi capital Baghdad,” the town’s Mayor Wasfi al-Tamimi told Xinhua.
In addition, IANS reports, "Two members of Iraq's Hashd Shaabi paramilitary force were killed in an attack launched by the Islamic State (IS) militants in the north of Baghdad, while four others died in a traffic accident in western Iraq."
(ABNA): Turkish fighter jets conducted air raids on areas in Iraqi Dohuk province in the north on Saturday, local Iraqi media said.
An Iraqi source told the Iraqi Arabic-language al-Maloumeh news website that Turkish warplanes targeted the Korzar heights and surrounding areas near the villages of Nahili and Bari Kari in the Dirluk district of the Al-Emadiyah county in Dohuk province on Saturday.
The source added that "In the airstrike, the farmlands belonging to the people in the region were targeted and the residents had to evacuate for the city of Dirluk district as they were concerned for their safety."
Turkish warplanes attack villages in the Iraqi Kurdish region in the north almost on a daily basis despite opposition and condemnation from the Iraqi and Kurdish authorities.
Iraq has repeatedly called on Turkey to end the violations of its sovereignty and territorial integrity while Ankara says that it targets the PKK elements' hideouts in the region.
We'll note this from Kelley Beaucar Vlahos (RESPONSIBLE STATECRAFT):
Why do we still have American troops in Syria and Iraq? That is the million dollar question that the Biden Administration has yet to answer — at least with any satisfaction — for the American people. Meanwhile, our service members continue to be targets of hostile forces for a Washington strategy no one can quite articulate.
On April 7 there were reports of “two rounds of indirect fire” on the Green Village Base in eastern Syria, which is housing U.S. troops as part of Operation Inherent Resolve. U.S. Central Command said four American service members were being evaluated for traumatic brain injury as a result.
On Thursday, however, U.S. Central Command quietly announced that there were no rockets, but “but rather the deliberate placement of explosive charges by an unidentified individual(s) at an ammunition holding area and shower facility.”
The political stalemate continues in Iraq. Thursday morning, we noted:
The Coordinating Framework is said to be favoring Mustafa al-Kahdimi for the post.
Why did they even have elections?
Yeah, Moqtada wants his own cousing to be prime minister -- an underling with no national presecnec.
Bu tthe Iraqi people are deeply unhappy with their government.
And yet thanks to Moqtada, the Speaker of Parliament will be the same person.
The Coordinatign Framework wants Barham Saleh to8 remain as Iraqi president and now they're flirting wit8h Mustafa?
Why wasted the time and the money on elections if nothing is going to change.
There's also the fact that Mustafa -- a failure and a liar 8-- o8nce declared he would serve only one term.
Some e-mails came in insisting that was not the case. Sorry, if I jumped the gun and let the cat out of the bag. By Friday, a day later, it was being reported. YOUR MIDDLE EAST NEWS noted on Friday, "The State of Law coalition, led by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, said on Thursday it could support Kadhimi continuing in office." Again, if I jumped the gun on that and it shocked you, sorry. But I was correct (and knew it due to long standing correspondence with an Iraqi politician). SHARAK NEWS reports:
On Thursday, the head of the State of Law Coalition revealed the shape of the government sought by the Shiite Coordination Framework.Nuri al-Maliki received today the Russian Ambassador to Iraq, Elbrus Kutrashev.
They discussed the political and security developments in the regional and international arena, the war in Ukraine and other issues of common interests.According to a statement, al-Maliki stressed that Iraq “seeks to overcome its current crisis by making understandings with other political forces that contribute to forming a government that fulfills the hopes and aspirations of all Iraqis.”The prominent Shiite leader added that "the national forces foiled all foreign plots aimed to disturb the political process."In turn; Kutrashev expressed his country's support for the security, stability and sovereignty of Iraq, hoping to strengthening bilateral relations.The Russian Ambassador also praised the positive role Iraq plays in the regional arena.
Wow, so Nouri's still calling the shots and Moqtada is not, in fact, a kingmaker. Who could have guessed? Who could've known?
While the western press was caught off guard, we told you the whole time. We said Moqtada wasn't a kingmaker and we said that long before he failed the first time to form a government, long before he failed three times, in fact. We called out the media ahead of the October 10th elections for ignoring Nouri. Now the western push for Moqtada wasn't surprising. In August, we noted the State Dept's August bribe to Moqtada al-Sadr. So the western press was just following the US government's lead -- no surprise there. But yet again, they got it wrong. And if they can't be seen as accurate, they can't serve their purpose which is to maintain control over what a populace is permitted to think. They arent writing history, they aren't writing truths.
It's like the pretense that the war on Russia is about Ukraine. That's not what it's about. We need a new war, here in the US, because the people are getting too active for those in power. There are strikes. There are calls for Medicare For All. As Harry S. Truman understood -- and as Gore Vidal never tired of pointing out -- the whole point of being on permanent war was having an enemy to scare the people with.
If you're still not getting the need to control the masses, Eric London (WSWS) reports:
The intolerable increases to the cost of living triggered by the US/NATO war against Russia in Ukraine are producing a massive wave of working-class protests throughout the world. Two years into a pandemic that has killed 20 million people and still rages on, social anger that has been building up around kitchen tables and on shopfloors is now boiling over into the streets. Masses of people of all racial, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds are reaching the same conclusion: life cannot continue in the old way.
Fifty days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, protests are now taking place on every continent. Demonstrators defy states of emergency and respond to police repression with mobilizations of growing size and intensity. Initial protests in Peru, Sudan and Sri Lanka are not only continuing, but are now spreading to heavily populated and more urban countries. In the major imperialist powers, the same governments that plotted the present war crisis now confront growing strike movements that the trade union bureaucracies are desperately trying to hold back.
It's all distraction as usual. And Sean Penn and now Alec Baldwin make asses of themselves.
(I love Alec but he's making an ass of himself.)
Sean Penn. That brings us back to Friday's snapshot. I said that I'd work something into the next entry but was pulling it from that snapshot because it would overwhelm the point we were trying to make (You don't promote a convicted sex offender, Scott Ritter, a predator who the court expert testified in 2009 was not learning from therapy and was still a danger).
It goes to how women are devalued. And that relates to a conversation I had Tuesday when a group of friends came over. She's an applauded -- highly applauded actress -- and she's also a Socialist. While we were speaking of the media and how badly it performs, she noted that even with regards to the arts, the media does a shoddy job. She pointed out that not one of her films has ever been reviewed by WSWS. She doesn't make 'manly' films and that's all WSWS cares about.
She's wrong in one regard.
It starts to seem less like it has to do with the Romanovs and more like it has to do with the emergence of a revolution that a capitalist system really doesn't care for. Isn't that really the point of this obsession with the Romanovs on the point of people who have no real stake or interest in it? It's just more propaganda and hasn't this propaganda been going on since the start of the Bolshevik Revolution that took down the Romanovs to begin with?
Think about it, how many films or TV shows has the US made questioning what happened to those in the colonies loyal to England?
But we have had non-stop portrayals of those poor Romanovs. Poor, poor Romanovs.
John Reed and Louise Bryant tried to report reality and were attacked by the US press and the US government -- so very often the same apparatus.
NETFLIX's THE LAST CZARS would be bad entertainment regardless of its focus. It's entire format and execution would render it useless. But as consumers, we also need to be critical about what they're putting in front of us. The Russian Revolution was a historic thing. But that's not the story they're telling, is it? The story they're telling is that the revolution destroyed those wonderful Romanovs, those poor Romanovs. Looking at how THE LAST CZARS fits into that body of work, we're seeing a non-stop effort to demonize the rights of the people while glorifying a few. We don't see that with the French Revolution portrayals and we don't see it with the Revolutionary War portrayals. So ask yourself why we see it always and forever with the Russian Revolution?