Saturday, July 16, 2022

Nouri, Nouri, Nouri

AFP reports:

The Iraqi political scene has been ablaze for the past 72 hours due to the emergence of recordings attributed to Nuri al-Maliki, the ex-Iraqi PM, in which he appears to be criticising and insulting Moqtada al-Sadr, one of Iraq's strongest Shiite political figures whose faction won big in the 2021 general parliamentary election. 

“The issue is that there is a British project aiming to put Moqtada in control of the Shia and Iraq, then they would kill him and give Iraq to the Sunnis. The issue is not al-Maliki [myself], I can just leave and take refuge in the house of Malek and have 2000 fighters protecting me, no one will be able to get to me. That project exists, but I am fighting it, and it is to be fought politically and militarily,” said Nuri al-Maliki about his longtime political rival, Moqtada al-Sadr, in a leaked recording.

“Iran helped al-Sadr, to make him a new Nasrallah [Lebanese Hezbollah chief] in Iraq”, he continued in his tirade against the Shiite leader. “Moqtada is a murderer, how many did he kill in Baghdad? The kidnappings, the car bombs, he is not a master, he is a coward, a traitor, an ignorant who knows nothing (…) I know the Sadrists, I fought them in Basra, Karbala and Baghdad, we had no weapons and the Iranians had given them advanced missiles and we still won,” he said of al-Sadr and his followers.

Nuri al-Maliki, leader of the Shiite party known as the State of Law Coalition and one of the leaders of the Coordination Framework, a Shiite coalition currently holding parliamentary majority, denied the veracity of the recordings via Twitter. He said that the recordings, released on social media by journalist Ali Fadel, were fake. Moqtada al-Sadr, for his part, said that the recordings mean nothing.

Nouri al-Maliki.  A major player in Iraq.  One that the press ignored in the lead up to the October 10th election -- the western press ignored.  That pleased the US State Dept but don't pretend it was journalism.  They really continue to ignore him.  

Recordings featuring supposedly Nouri aren't being covered by THE WASHINGTON POST, THE NEW YORK TIMES, MCCLATCHY . . . go down the list.  It's a story, a rather major story and all over Arabic social media.  Just not covered by US outlets.

In a series of Tweets, Tammus Intel covers the recording.

Noori Almaliki: 1- The next phase in Iraq is war, the other speaker says "we are ready" ( after analyzing the records it turned out that the ones who were talking with Noori Almaliki are members of Kataib Hezbollah) #Iraq

2- I told Mustafa Alkadhimi that everyone will protect themselves by their own and Muqtada is coming to kill and slaughter and i will not count on army and police. 3- Muqtada will target me first because i ruined their agendas in Iraq. #Iraq

4- I started arming groups and if he attacks us i will even attack Najaf. 5- Muqtada wants blood and he's coward, he wants money and he robbed Iraq, he thinks that he's the Mahdi. 6- My tribe will protect me and they are ready. #Iraq
7- I call my good supporters to be ready and i will also not count on the PMF because they are also cowards. 8-Iraq is heading to a bloody war that no one will be saved from unless we end Sadr, Halbosi and Barzani project. #Iraq

In the above, you see the paranoia we first reported -- and were slammed for doing so and told we were wrong.  But I was right.  Nouri was installed as prime minister because the CIA assessment was that his intense paranoia could be used to control him.  (I see someone's Tweeting tonight about Nouri's paranoia -- an American -- and I find it hilarious that -- first off -- they act like they always knew it and -- secondly -- that in 2006 when we were writing about it this same person e-mailed the site to tell me I didn't what I was talking about.)  When the US press was hailing Moqtada as a "kingmaker," I was pointing out the road blocks emerging and tying those to Nouri.  In the recording, Nouri takes responsibility for those roadblocks (he'll be attacked first by Moqtada for ruining his agenda).

Only the foolish count Nouri out.  He's the former prime minister and forever thug and until he's in the ground, he's going to be a major factor in Iraq's politics.  The crooked game has always been rigged and he's always known how to play it.

At GULF NEWS, Sami Moubayed writes:

Nouri Al Maliki is back — almost — two months short of the eighth anniversary of his toppling as premier, back in October 2014. The 72-year-old former premier is now a frontrunner for the premiership, nominated to the job by his allies in the Iran-backed all-Shiite Coordination Framework.

In mid-June the Al Sadrist bloc, a total of 73 MPs, collectively resigned from parliament, leaving Al Maliki’s State of Law Coalition as the largest Shiite bloc in the Chamber of Deputies, with 33 seats, making him suddenly eligible for Iraq’s top job, raising eyebrows among friends and opponents alike. His Shiite allies are promising a Maliki cabinet, with many questioning whether they can secure a 165-vote majority in parliament to make him premier.

Al Maliki’s opponents — mainly Sunni MPs — are appalled by the prospects of his comeback, pointing to his earlier track record as premier from 2006-2014. It was under Al Maliki that Shiite death squads were formed and given the freedom to roam the streets of Baghdad, assassinating prominent Sunnis whose only crime was coming from the same community that had produced Saddam Hussain. Tribal leaders were shot, retired officers were abducted from their homes and executed, and so were former members of the Baath Party. Arbitrary arrests were commonplace, and so was torture and mock trials. Sunnis insist that they were treated as an underclass under Al Maliki, denied access to top government jobs.

Against all odds, however, and despite Sunni objections, Al Maliki managed to stay at his job for eight long years, thanks to the unwavering support of Shiite militias like the Badr Organisation of Ammar Al Hakim and the Mehdi Army of Moqtada Al Sadr.

Well, thanks to the unwavering support of Bully Boy Bush and Barack Obama nd Joe Biden, let's divide up the credit correctly.  

The following sites updated:


US intel officer targeted by John Bolton reacts to coup-plot confession

Biden's Awful Record On Abortion Over The Years

Max Blumenthal & Aaron Mate slam corporate media disinfo at Collision Toronto

Stevie Nicks ~ Stand Back (Solid Gold)

Why is New York City Making Preparations for Nuclear War? w/Margaret Kimberley

Stevie Nicks - Sara (Live In Chicago)

The American Century Is Over, w/ Daniel Bessner

Stevie Nicks - Lady (Official Music Video)

Hoh Campaign Sues Democratic-Controlled NC Board Of Elections For Keeping Them Off The Ballot

Stevie Nicks - Rhiannon - Live 1983 US Festival

Anything Can Happen! w/ Mike Siegel & James Mane! 7/14/22

Stevie Nicks - With Lori Nicks - Nightbird - Live on Solid Gold - HD 1080p 3Mbit - 1983

The DISASTROUS Effects of Ending Pandemic Aid | Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar


Sister Honey (Stevie Nicks)

IAVA Announces Launch of the 988 National Suicide Hotline

From IAVA:

               IAVA Announces Launch of the 988 National Suicide Hotline

July 15, 2022

New 9-8-8 Number to Ease Access for Individuals, Veterans, in Distress

Washington, DC Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) announces the launch of the new 988 Mental Health Crisis Hotline/Veterans Crisis Line (VCL). Beginning tomorrow, veterans can now dial 988 and then press 1 to immediately contact the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL). The new, shorter number will address the need to ensure that individuals and families, including veterans, experiencing mental health distress will be able to easily access help and resources.

“IAVA is proud to join with the Department of Veterans Affairs and our nation’s mental health community to advocate for and support this critical resource for American families,” said IAVA CEO Jeremy Butler. “Suicide prevention has been a top priority since IAVA’s founding, and we are excited for the 988 number to go live, which will enable veterans and all Americans to more easily access vital support during times of crisis.”

This change is the result of the enactment of the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act (S. 2661) which designated 988 as the universal telephone number within the U.S. for purposes of the national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline system, operating through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and VCL. This IAVA-backed bill was signed into law on October 17, 2020. 

IAVA is calling on every state to ensure they are prepared to handle the increase in call volume by adequately equipping and staffing call centers and establishing sustainable funding.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)  is the voice for the post-9/11 veteran generation. With over 425,000 veterans and allies nationwide, IAVA is the leader in non-partisan veteran advocacy and public awareness. We drive historic impacts for veterans, and IAVA’s programs are second to none. Any veteran or family member in need can reach out to IAVA’s Quick Reaction Force at or 855-91RAPID (855-917-2743) to be connected promptly with a veteran care manager who will assist. IAVA’s The Vote Hub is a free tool to register to vote and find polling information. IAVA’s membership is always growing. Join the movement at


Juliet (Steve Nicks)


back forty - lessons from the field

Photoessay by David Bacon
Food and Environment Reporting Network

Ivan Gallardo's hands have to work fast, grabbing a bunch of peas at a time, without damaging them.

Santa Maria, CA - 5/18/22 - Snow peas are a rare crop among the miles of Santa Maria fields devoted to broccoli and lettuce.  Each of these crops demands from growers a unique cycle and system for planting and cultivation, but for workers the labor makes a constant demand - speed.  Almost all crops are harvested on the piece rate, and to make any money a woman or man must work so fast that the movement of hands becomes a blur.
Not long ago I pulled my car to the side of the highway when I saw a crew almost hidden in tall rows of vines.  It was a small group, working for a small grower, Bautista Farms, harvesting snow peas.  
The field was planted by Marco Bautista and his father Berto Bautista, the owners of Bautista Farms.  But unlike many growers, they don't actually own the land under the vines.  Marco explained that the family rents three fields next to each other, each planted at slightly different times.  As one ripens, the workers go in to pick.  By the time they finish that field, the next one is ready.  And when workers have come to the last row in the last field, more snow peas are ready in the first field and the cycle starts again.  
In the season between April and October, Bautista says, the crew will pick each field as many at least eight times.  Mark Gaskell, farm advisor for the University of California Extension, says "the best fields may be picked 15 to 20 times, with 3 to 5 days between pickings."  A good snow pea field can yield as much as 10,000 pounds per acre, and in 2008 snow peas earned California growers $35 million.
According to Ann Lopez, author of The Farmworkers' Journey, "The protracted growing season requires an ever-greater labor force to grow and harvest specialty crops effectively.  California agriculture has thus become more dependent on migrant labor over the past few decades."  The crew of Mexican migrant workers in the Bautista field bears her observation out.
Lopez argues that labor costs are not only up to half the cost of crops like snow peas, but that "they are critical as components of the process over which the grower has some control."  Their answer is often to implement a piece rate system, in which workers are paid according to the amount they pick.  "Approximately 30 percent of California farmworkers," she writes, "are paid on a piece-rate basis, which may be the source of increased injury because attention is focused on maximizing production."
Photographing these farmworkers, therefore, required creating images that get close enough to see the blur of hands or the determined expression on a face - images that that allow the viewer to imagine the weight of the filled bucket.  I can take the photographs because farmworkers are still educating me about this work.  

The crew was working a field along that part of State Route 166 that begins as East Main Street in Santa Maria, and ends as West Main Street eight miles later in Guadalupe. My education about farm labor began along this same road decades ago.  My teachers were workers like Luis Ayala and Paulino Pacheco.  Both were older men born in Mexico, who'd spent their lifetimes as farmworkers on this side of the border.  In Santa Maria they'd organized the big lettuce and row crop strikes of 1969 and 1970, and I met them just after I joined the United Farm Workers a few years later.
Luis and Paulino knew that workers often carry a big load of anger into the fields. Paulino remembered going to Delano, in the Central Valley, at the beginning of the great grape strike, and then coming home to Santa Maria determined to start the farmworker movement there.  He collected a few dead cockroaches (not hard in farmworker housing) and took them to work in his shirt pocket the next day.  As the morning grew hot he went to the water cooler, put his mouth under the spigot (no paper cups in those days) and then pretended to spit them out.  He yelled at the foreman that the water had bugs in it, people began shouting, and the strike in that crew was on.
Both men got blacklisted for their union activity, and worked in the union's campaigns in the valley for many years afterwards.  They and the small group of Santa Maria Chavistas (so called because they followed Cesar Chavez) were unreconstructed radicals.  On my first visit to the house of one family I saw a huge picture of Che Guevara on the living room wall. I felt I was home.
When I met Luis and Paulino I was a legal worker in the UFW office, my Spanish still too primitive to be effective as an organizer.  The education they offered began with correcting my bad Spanish.  In the mornings they'd take me with them to visit crews working on the ten-mile stretch of fields between Santa Maria and Guadalupe.  I learned something about organizing, but even more, about work.  As a city boy from Oakland, seeing the labor close up was a revelation.  I'd been a printer, so the repetitive motions of work in the factory were familiar.  But the pace demanded by work on the piece rate, for workers cutting lettuce or stripping snow peas from vines, was something else again.
That road, where I found the snow pea harvesters, continues to be a school for me, as I've gone back to take photographs and talk with the people in the rows. Marco Bautista and the workers explained not just the cycle of work, but the impact of the plants on the soil, and on the people who will eat them.   At the end of the season these snow pea vines will be plowed under.  Snow peas concentrate nitrogen in their root nodules, so their fields can be rotated with other crops that will use what the peas put back into the earth.  
Picking snow peas benefits humans as well.  One cup fulfills the daily requirement for Vitamin C, so they're healthy both for consumers and the land.  And snow peas are delicious.  They can be eaten whole, and in fact are called "mange tout" in French, meaning eat-it-all.  In Chinese they're called "he lan do", or Holland pea.  We think of them as a common ingredient in Chinese dishes, but the fruit (because peas are fruits rather than vegetables) was first cultivated around the Mediterranean, and later adopted with enthusiasm by Chinese cooks in the 1800s.  From China the peas made their way to Santa Maria, where Mexican hands pull them from vines and pack them into boxes for restaurants, food co-ops and even Safeway.
These photographs - you can see the full set on my blog - are a reality check on who and what it takes to get the snow pea from the field to the plate.  The next time you see the pods on the market shelf, I hope these images will help you imagine what the work looks and feels like.  

SANTA MARIA, CA - 18MAY22 - Enrique Acuña works in a crew of Mexican immigrants picking snow peas for Bautista Farms.

Ivan Gallardo reaches into the vine to grab snow peas.

Ivan Gallardo has his cellphone by his ear under his hood, and laughs as he hears a joke told by a member of his family in Mexico.

The expression on the face of Pedro Gallardo, Ivan's cousin, reveals the concentration it takes to do this work.

Pedro Gallardo's bucket is almost full, as it hangs from his belt while he picks.

His bucket full, Pedro Gallardo slings it over his shoulder and carries it down the row to the weighing station.

Pedro Gallardo passes his cousin Ivan, who is still picking, as he carries his full bucket down the row.

Pedro Gallardo empties his bucket into a bill so that it can be weighed.

Sofia, a picker in the crew, stops for a moment with her full bucket.

Sofia manhandles the bin she's filled so that it can be weighed.  

Alberto Vasquez, a young worker, empties his bucket into a bin.

Berto Bautista, owner of Bautista Farms, puts a bin of snow peas onto the scale to be weighed.  Workers are paid by amount they pick, measured by weight.

After weighing a bin, Berto Bautista carries it to the truck for sorting.

Jorge Ariza sorts and checks the harvested snow peas.  He fills shallow boxes that won't crush or damage them, which are then stacked onto the truck taking them from the field.



More Than a Wall / Mas que Un Muro explores the many aspects of the border region through photographs taken by David Bacon over a period of 30 years. These photographs trace the changes in the border wall itself, and the social movements in border communities, factories and fields. This bilingual book provides a reality check, to allow us to see the border region as its people, with their own history of movements for rights and equality, and develop an alternative vision in which the border can be a region where people can live and work in solidarity with each other. - Gaspar Rivera-Salgado

David Bacon has given us, through his beautiful portraits, the plight of the American migrant worker, and the fierce spirit of those who provide and bring to us comfort and sustenance. -- Lila Downs

- a book of photographs by David Bacon and oral histories created during 30 years of covering the people and social movements of the Mexico/U.S. border
- a complex, richly textured documentation of a world in newspaper headlines daily, but whose reality, as it's lived by border residents, is virtually invisible.
- 440 pages
- 354 duotone black-and-white photographs
- a dozen oral histories
-  incisive journalism and analysis by David Bacon, Don Bartletti, Luis Escala, Guillermo Alonso and Alberto del Castillo.
- completely bilingual in English and Spanish
- published by El Colegio de la Frontera Norte with support from the UCLA Institute for Labor Research and Education and the Center for Mexican Studies, the Werner Kohlstamm Family Fund, and the Green Library at Stanford University

Price:  $35 plus postage and handling
To order, click here:

"The "border" is just a line. It's the people who matter - their relationships with or without or across that line. The book helps us feel the impact of the border on people living there, and helps us figure out how we talk to each other about it. The germ of the discussion are these wonderful and eye-opening pictures, and the voices that help us understand what these pictures mean." - JoAnn Intili, director, The Werner-Kohnstamm Family Fund


Letters and Politics - May 19, 2022
Three Decades of Photographing The Border & Border Communities
Host Mitch Jeserich interviews David Bacon, a photojournalist, author, broadcaster and former labor organizer. He has reported on immigrant and labor issues for decades. His latest book, More Than A Wall, is a collection of his photographs of the border and border communities spanning three decades.



Photographs by David Bacon

Chandler Museum
300 S. Chandler Village Drive
Chandler, AZ 85226
June 12, 2022 – August 28, 2022

La Quinta Museum
77885 Avenida Montezuma
La Quinta, CA 92253
January 8, 2023 – April 16, 2023


Online Interviews and Presentations
Exploitation or Dignity - What Future for Farmworkers
UCLA Latin American Institute
Based on a new report by the Oakland Institute, journalist and photographer David Bacon documents the systematic abuse of workers in the H-2A program and its impact on the resident farmworker communities, confronted with a race to the bottom in wages and working conditions.

David Bacon on union solidarity with Iraqi oil worker unions
Free City Radio - CKUT 27/10/2021 -
Organizing during COVID, the intrinsic value of the people who grow our food
Sylvia Richardson - Latin Waves Media
How community and union organizers came together to get rights for farm workers during COVID, and how surviving COVID has literally been an act of resistance.
Report Details Slavery-Like Conditions For Immigrant Guest Workers
Rising Up With Sonali Kohatkar

The Right to Remain

Beware of Pity

En Español
Ruben Luengas - #EnContacto
Hablamos con David Bacon de los migrantes y la situación de México frente a los Estados Unidos por ser el principal país de llegada a la frontera de ese país.

Jornaleros agrícolas en EEUU en condiciones más graves por Covid-19: David Bacon
SomosMas99 con Agustin Galo Samario

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

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


Online Photography Exhibitions
Documentary Matters -  View from the US 
Social Documentary Network
Four SDN photographers explore themes of racial justice, migration, and #MeToo
There's More Work to be Done
Housing Assistance Council and National Endowment for the Arts
This exhibition documents the work and impact of the struggle for equitable and affordable housing in rural America, inspired by the work of George “Elfie” Ballis.
Dark Eyes
A beautiful song by Lila Downs honoring essential workers, accompanied by photographs

A video about the Social Justice Photography of David Bacon:

In the FIelds of the North
Online Exhibit
Los Altos History Museum

Virtual Tour - In the Fields of the North
History Museum of Tijuana
Recorrido Virtual de la Exposicion - En los campos del norte
Museo de Historia de Tijuana

The David Bacon Archive exhibition at Stanford Libraries

Exhibited throughout the pandemic in the Cecil H. Green Library at Stanford. The online exhibition (, which includes additional content not included in the physical show, is accessible to everyone, and is part of an accessible digital spotlight collection that includes significant images from this body of work. For a catalog: (



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 - click here

THE REALITY CHECK - David Bacon blog

Other Books by David Bacon - Otros Libros

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

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