Iraq is battling several years of drought, the governments of both Iran and Turkey are blocking the flow of the two big rivers running through Iraq (the Tigris and the Eurphates), everyone is expected to be effected by climate change; however, Iraq has been named the fifth most vulnerable country in the world. Dust storms are increasing in frequency and in force. Speaking to the United Nations on Tuesday, the US Deputy Rep to the UN, Ambassador Richard Mills, noted that climate change was one of the challenges Iraq is facing, "Complicated challenges face the next government – including passing a budget, developing oil and gas legislation that is acceptable to the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government, improving the provision of electricity, combatting climate change, promoting private sector development and job growth, and increasing women’s participation in the workforce." Also this week, the International Organization for Migration pointed out, "Displaced families are likely to be among the most vulnerable to climatic and environmental changes that can impact livelihoods, food security and social cohesion. Sustainable return and rein-tegration can be determined by many factors but the role of climatic change and environmental degradation in return dynamics is insufficiently understood."
Ninety-one percent of Iraq’s water originates in Turkey, Iran and Syria, leaving the country at the mercy of those controlling the taps upstream. Accompanied by a translator and fixer, I set out, travelling northwards from the very south, across the country, to explore the impact of these combined forces on those most directly affected – and what that might forebode.
Poisonous snakes emerge from fields and slither into homes in Iraq, threatening people and claiming lives. In neighbouring Iran, crocodiles previously known for their “blissful” nature are attacking the same people with whom they have peacefully existed for as long as anyone can remember.
Almost 120,000 people were sickened and admitted to hospital by contaminated water in Basra, Iraq. Large protests over water and electricity claimed 23 lives. Water protests roiled Iraq’s Kurdistan in August 2021.[. . .]
Iraq is one of the world’s most water-stressed countries, ranked fifth in vulnerability to water and food availability and extreme temperatures in the UN Environment Programmes 2019 Global Environmental Outlook report.
Temperatures have risen by at least 0.7℃ over the past century; extreme heat events are occurring more frequently. The World Bank estimates temperatures will rise 2℃ by 2050 while the average annual rainfall will decrease by 9%.
President Barham Salih, in a recent piece in the Financial Times, noted that desertification affects 39% of Iraq and “increased salinisation threatens agriculture on 54% of our land”.
Unicef reported in August 2021 that 60% of children in Iraq lack access to clean water, while half of schools have no water at all. With Iraq’s population of 40 million expected to double by 2050, demographic growth will exponentially worsen the situation.
Meanwhile, dams in neighbouring Turkey and Iran choke Iraq’s famed rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, in the heart of what was once known as the Fertile Crescent.
Iraqis are seeing the effects. Sinan Mahmoud (THE NATIONAL) reports:
Iraqi farmer Abdullah Abdul Nabi, 32, is confused.
He has gone to great lengths to care for his palm trees, but their sweet date fruit has started to wilt, affecting not only its quantity but its quality.
“I still don’t know the reason why the dates are fading before harvest, but that is probably because of the unprecedented heatwaves and lack of water we experienced,” the father of one said.
“It’s really painful and heartbreaking.”
Worsening extreme heat and dust storms linked to the climate crisis, as well as drought and increased concentrations of salt in water, have taken a toll on date farmers in Iraq this year, experts said.
Oct 8 2019 Report Iran Qud Force Gen Suleimani went to Baghdad to help Hashd crackdown on protests Gave orders to Hashd to use force to break up demonstrations Source said Suleimani behind shutting down Internet Attacks on journalists Closing TV stations https://t.co/5E98F3vncx pic.twitter.com/QJ25QkFM5x— Joel Wing (@JoelWing2) October 8, 2022
But they glorified him. I didn't. It was wrong for the US government to assassinate him and I said that. But because the US government did wrong did not make Suleimani any less of a terrorist. I wasn't the an idiot in CODESTINK acting as though Mother Teresa got taken out by a drone.
In addition, to the history Joel's noting -- which we noted here in real time -- Sulaimani was also part of the movement to kill gay and transgendered people (and those perceived to be) in Iraq. He and Moqtada al-Sadr? Deeply homophobic.
It's no loss to the world that Suleimani is no longer in it. We're probably all a lot better off as a result. That doesn't give the US government the right to kill him.
And I objected to the murder that was carried out while also noting how objectionable Suleimani was and what a threat he was (another group he was a threat too: the Sunnis). But to watch left and 'left' Twitter when he was murdered was to see a lot of dumb asses in the United States glorifying a hideous man. It may be the either/or thinking or it might just result from the huge ignorance when it comes to Iraq.
I mention that because we focused on BROS a great deal this past week. And I think I'm done with it in the snapshots but I don't know that until each morning when I get ready to dictate them. (I am not done promoting BROS. But I don't plan on putting it into the snapshots unless there's a reason. It's started a very real and important conversation so there may be more coverage of BROS in next week's snapshots.)
I don't think we missed anything on Iraq. We continued to note Iraq in the snapshots. And we noted the political stalemate continues and that it will probably continue on Monday. Monday is October the 10th. Iraq held elections October 10, 2021. Sill no president, still no prime minister, still no cabinet of ministers. AFP notes, "A year since Iraq's last elections, it remains without not only a new government but a budget too, obstructing much-needed reforms and infrastructure projects in the oil-rich but water-ravaged country."
The public account (email@example.com) had a number of drive-by e-mails, that's not uncommon. These were homophobic, usually they're sexist (the drive-by e-mails). One was from a man who said this site had become ''gay central" and he didn't mean as a compliment. I see you, I hear you. :D That's what I replied back.
What do you say to someone whining like that? (I also replied to a person trashing BROS on Twitter with the same.)
We have upped LGBTQ content in the last months It's always been here. We were the first in the US to cover the attacks on the gay community in Iraq -- and when we were later ripped off -- word for word -- by a print publication it was amusing and it was fine because it's about the getting the story out there.
While we have always covered the issue, we upped content because of DOBBS and, specifically, because of Clarry Thomas' opinion in the case which made clear he planned to next try to repeal birth control rights and marriage equality.
I guess I could stay silent like Jonathan Turley's done. What a huge disappointment Jonathan's been. And I know him. And I'm so disappointed in him. But maybe he doesn't like gay people? If that's the case, he should make that clear.
Maybe he has. Maybe that's why, in light of Thomas on DOBBS, Jonathan's failed to write one word in defense of gay people. Sometimes silence is the message.
And since he continues to be silent -- when not providing cover for homophobia -- I guess I have my answer.
Let's deal with the bitch Lorie Smith real quick because Johnny wants to make her his pin up girl.
I don't doubt that the homophobes on the Supreme Court currently will again show no respect for precedent or existing law. They're assholes and the world will be much better off if Clarry can be impeached (that's what you could run on as a Democratic Party and turn out the vote).
But the reality is that Homophobic Bitch Lorie advertises for customers and now wants to say, "Oops! God doesn't want me to do websites that promote or endorse or even just tolerate same-sex marriage. While I was busy finger-banging myself during a hate fantasy, God came to me and God told me, 'Lorie, you old whore, you're not getting into heaven because of all the sins you've committed, you horny slut. The only way I can let you in now is if you show hate towards the gays.' So I finger banged myself and promised God that I'd hate all the gays."
Something like that anyway.
No, you cannot deny customers. And this isn't free speech, Johnny Homophobe. This is goods, this is service. It is not free speech.
Lorie is offering a service. She wants to deny the service to gay people. That's discrimination. The government is not telling her what to say about marriage equality. She can say whatever she wants. But if she's a web designer, her job is to design websites and she can't refuse to design a website based on discrimination. She's providing a service. This isn't free speech and, as usual, Jonathan doesn't know what art is.
And you know what else isn't free speech -- you might want to tell Bitch Lorie to pay attention to this -- advertising.
I'm not really sure how she gets business but most businesses have to advertise. And most corporations don't want to be homophobic. Meaning, Lorie, even if you win thanks to the CROOKED Supreme Court, you're still going to lose in real life. Being the Queen of Discrimination -- even Crooked Supreme Court Kissed -- isn't going to allow you to advertise your business.
Hope you grasp that. There will be some homophobic outlets that will take your advertisements.
But you're also going to find out that others won't.
And I invite everyone who hates homophobia to use their free speech rights to denounce Lorie Smith and ensure that hate doesn't win.
What a hateful bitch.
And, no, it's not free speech. Jonathan Turley's become a damn nut.
Free speech is someone on the court leaking the DOBBS decision. You may remember that Jonathan Turley got his panties in a knot over that. Screaming and yelling, huffing and puffing.
Right now he's defending the use of excessive force. Someone was on a football field during a game doing a protest -- I don't know, I've got enough issues on my plate. Jonathan wants you to know that two professional players tackling the activist was not abuse. It was a citizen's arrest.
No, you NUTF**K, how stupid have you gotten, Jonathan. Professional football players are wearing padding. That wasn't a citizen's arrest. Security was handling it and they should have stayed the f**k out of a peaceful protest. It's amazing how 'free speech' matters to your homophobic ass sometimes and other times it does not.
You get your saggy old man nuts in a twist if someone gets booed while speaking.
You claim that's an assault on free speech. No, it's not you pathetic nit-wit. Booing is free speech. Your brain has clearly gone to mush, Jonathan Turley.
You have become the biggest hypocrite in the world, Jonathan Turley, and I'm embarrassed for you and I'm embarrassed to know you.
You really need to take a hard look at yourself in the mirror before you next dispense legal advice.
Your work at FOX NEWS has harmed you tremendously. I've seen it before. A person goes to work for a partisan outlet and they suffer attacks and they respond by identifying with their outlet a little more each day until they're no longer the voice that they were.
The LGBTQ community is under attack. We're in another backlash period for the left.
In many ways those of us on the left created it ourselves. We can't be honest about that, we never can be. You have the right pushing and you have the left pushing and then you have the middle. The middle watches and, as it sees the errors of one side, it swings to another side.
Errors are not, for example, transgender activists demanding equality. That's not an error. It's never an error to defend humanity.
An error is hypocrisy. Nothing turns people off more than hypocrisy. Hypocrisy on the part of the left? Recent examples would include the failure to speak out against the persecution of Julian Assange, the devotion (cult-like) to Hillary Clinton who is just a failed former First Lady (one who was part of the backlash against abortion -- both by her 2005 statements -- even NYT called her out -- and by who she chose as a running mate in 2016), the failure to call out Hunter Biden's shady business deals and so much more.
We made some good cases on the left and we fought for some good things. The pendulum's swinging now because too many of us also sported a lot of hypocrisy.
How long will this backlash be?
It could last ten years. I doubt it.
On most issues, the majority of the public is supportive. Gender equality? Supportive. Reproductive rights? Supportive. Marriage equality? Supportive. Fundamental rights for LGBTQs? Supportive.
And the further you get away from Jonathan Turley's age cohort and older, the stronger the support for those issues.
It could last ten years because it may take that long for Clarry and others to die off and make the world a better place.
But, and this really bends Jonathan out of shape, it's also true that the Supreme Court is ILLEGITIMATE. And each decision it makes -- if it ignores precedent -- makes it more illegitimate. At some point, even conservative assholes on the Court are going to have to ask themselves how much they're willing to trash the Court's image and legacy with illegitimate verdicts.
We covered BROS in "Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot" and "Iraq snapshot" -- three snapshots. I may cover it next week again. It'll depend. But if that bothered you, don't visit. You didn't pay a subscription fee. You just eavesdropped on a private conversation. You can go somewhere else.
I don't need you. The community doesn't need you. We grew without help (NPR wanted to help but when they did -- years ago -- I asked them to stop and not mention this site -- by the same token, I asked ALTERNET to take this site off their blogroll -- those are only two of many, many examples). This community is huge and I will be answerable to it. But if you're a community member, you're e-mailing the private e-mail account.
If you're not a community member, I don't owe you a damn thing. And if you're a homophobe, you need to find somewhere else to go unless, like Lorie Smith of Colorado, you need to get angry and hateful as part of your finger-banging fantasies. I mean, if hating what I write here (or even hating me), gets you off, glad to be your bedroom aid, hope your life found at least a moment of joy as a result.
BROS is a great movie. This isn't the post I thought I'd be doing when I started this. Tomorrow, I may make comments on e-mails from community members. That's what I was planning to do tonight. But I have held my tongue on Jonathan Turley's silence and on his homophobia and I'm much angrier about it than I ever knew.
BROS is a great comedy. It's the best film of the year in my opinion. It is not a bomb and it is not a flop. It's a shame that so many homophobes don't know the first thing about films. I don't know what BROS made on Saturday yet but it had a shooting budget of $22 million and through Friday night it has made $7.4 million. If it disappeared from all theaters before a Sunday showing, it would still not be a flop. This years has seen flops and bombs. CYRANO being only one. A shooting budget of $30 million and North America ticket sales of only $3.9 million? That's a box office bomb. I can go on and on with twenty other examples from this year alone. BROS is not a bomb. It hasn't finished its release. It will make several million more dollars at the theaters and it should be a huge hit on home video. Billy Eichner deserves tons of praise for what he accomplished.
@billyeichner - My husband and I went to see #BrosMovie today and sat by an elderly man that was alone. He had back issues and had to stand up for parts of the movie. At the end, he leaned over and said “I’m gay and 84. This is the best movie I’ve ever seen. I can’t stop crying” pic.twitter.com/iFzsMZF5Md— Joshuah Craig (@JoshuahCraig) October 9, 2022
The following sites updated: