Thursday, June 08, 2023

Iraq snapshot

Thursday, June 8, 2023.  A lot to cover today because there's a lot of stupidity -- including about how you can win! you really really can! even if you're not on the ballot!  Chris Hedges releases his new self-help book BE YOUR OWN KIND OF PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE!

Starting with the continued persecution of Julian Assange, John Buckley (CRIKEY) writes:

Democratic presidential nominee and self-help author Marianne Williamson promised Australians she would drop all charges against Julian Assange on her first day as US president should she be elected in 2024, despite having only an outside chance.

The promise was made in an interview with ABC Radio National on Thursday, during which Williamson waved away questions about whether she would uphold America’s commitment to the AUKUS deal, but promised to “withdraw all charges” laid against Assange.

"An outside chance"? 

Is that accurate?  It's really not.  She may have a remote chance of getting winning the party's nomination -- she might not -- but she does not have "an outside chance" of being elected president. There's a difference that people don't seem to grasp -- and like Ann, I'm getting tired of the stupidity.

Marianne may or may not get the party's presidential nomination.  But if she did?  It's not an outside or remote chance that she could become president.  If she were the Democratic Party's presidential nominee, she would be on the ballot in all 50 states.

Cornell West has his party's nomination/gift.  He's a remote chance and an outside chance -- which means he has very little chance of becoming president.  Let's be honest, he has no chance at all.  He's the first candidate ever for the People's Party.  He didn't run for their nomination because they didn't ask their very few members to vote on it.  And voting is how you get into the White House.  

As Ann tried to walk the stupid through it last night, he's looking a three states.  

He can carry three states!

He can't carry one.  But he'll be on the ballot in three states.  That leaves 47 that his party does not have ballot access in.

The Green Party and the Libertarian Party have had to fight for ballot access.  And they're not new parties.  If you have a rich person like Ross Perot as your candidate, it's easier than when you're a real party emerging.  Ballot access is an issue they needed to work on before they had their candidate in place.

Like many pathetic individuals -- I'm thinking of one who wrote an embarrassing book pleading for the rich to save the country (as opposed to devoting that time to activism which could actually make a difference) -- instead of putting in the time required to build a party, they went with a celebrity.  Hey, he was in THE MATRIX movies!  

Chrissy Lynn Hedges is all on board with five Tweets so far!  I don't think I've seen Chrissy Lynn so excited since October 2001 when he was lying in THE NEW YORK TIMES -- on the front page! -- about a link between 9/11 and Iraq!

When Chrissy Lynn gets excited, we all suffer.

Go read Ann's "Cornel West morons, the issue is ballot access, pay attention" and try to grasp that even if you win all three states (which you won't) that's not electoral college votes to win the presidency.  

Can they raise enough money to do a serious ballot access push?  

Well considering the DNC is talking to women (plural) about the head of the People's Party and the need to sue him for alleged harassment, there's a pretty good chance that any serious money the party might scrap together is going to be used for pay outs.  

Oh, yes, there's that too.  Cornel is running on his reputation . . . while he fronts a party that's said to be a father-son vanity project and the son is accused of multiple harassment -- women who tried to work for the People's Party but say Little Nicky didn't understand boundaries.

He's in it until the election in November 2024, says Cornel.  

Marianne, if she gets the nomination of the Democratic Party or if she sought the Green Party's nomination, would have a shot at the presidency.  

But I guess if you want to pretend about Cornel and his chances, now is the best time to do it.  The others, they're running for a party's nomination.  By going with the People's Party, Cornel is the only one currently running for president -- due to the fact that the People's Party doesn't have any primaries, it just gifts someone with the nomination.  So, right now, he's the only one running for president.  Those of you who are deluding yourselves, who need to delude yourself, enjoy this brief period.

In the past, we covered all the campaigns -- that stood a chance of winning.  There was some racist party -- I can't think of their name -- which kept sending campaign material to the public e-mail account in 2016 and I blew them off.  They started e-mailing angry e-mails at that point about how I say I try to cover every candidate.  I dictated an e-mail to Martha that she e-mailed explaining that there are crackpots on state ballots across the country -- they might have two, they have might have three states that people can vote for them in.  My time is too valuable to waste on your campaign that stands no chance of winning.  No chance of winning means that even if everything broke your way in every state you were on the ballot in, you still wouldn't be able to get enough electoral votes to win.

That's the People's Party's predicament now.

Let's go back to 2016 for a just a moment.  Remember the presidential campaign of Evan McMullin, or Rocky De Lau Fuente?  Richard Duncan?  Darrell Castle?  Dan Vacek?  Alyson Kennedy?  Mike Smith?  Chris Keniston? James Hedges?  Mike Maturen?  Lynn Kahn?  Monica Moorehead?  Emidio Soltysik, Tom Hoefling?  Peter Skews?  Rocky Giordani?  Scott Copeland?  Laurence Kotlikoff?  Kyle Kopitke?


Well guess what, they were running for the presidency along with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein and Gloria La Riva.  

Guess what else?  That long list of names you never heard of?  They all got at least a thousand votes.  There were other candidates who didn't even get that.  

If you don't have ballot access, you don't stand a chance.  And stop the nonsense about write-in.  Unless your state allows you to write-in anyone, write-in is nonsense.  Again, this goes to ignorance.  And people will use it against you.  Lambert of CORRENTE in 2008 wanted Barack Obama to be president so he lied to his Texas followers telling them to vote for Hillary.  This was at a time when many were saying that they wouldn't vote after that bitter primary.  Others (PUMA) floated voting for a non-Democrat.  And there was Lambert telling them to vote for Hillary in Texas, that it would be good for them and good for Hillary.  He lied.  Not made a mistake, I have the e-mails to prove it because I went over this with him wrongly believing he'd made a mistake.  In Texas, if you write in any Democrat -- dead or living -- that vote is interpreted as a vote for which ever Democrat actually made the ballot.

What Lambert was doing was no different from putting up signs in an area telling them the wrong date for voting.  He was lying and he knew it.  

I don't think you lie to manipulate voting or to steal a vote.  

And I'm getting really tired of these liars and these idiots who do not understand that Cornel stands no chance of becoming president.  His party doesn't have ballot access, doesn't have the money or the volunteers to launch a serious ballot access effort.  And yet people are talking about, 'Oh, this is great and blah blah blah.'  This is fake assery, that's all it is.

Tim Scott has a better chance of finding a woman to love than Cornel has of getting on the ballots in enough states.

If you don't agree with me, let that spur you to prove me wrong and put in all your dollars and all your hours on his campaign.  But don't come crying to me afterwards.

Mike Pence?  He also seems ridiculous but for another reason.  Has Donald Trump split the GOP?  I don't know, he might still have enough support to secure the nomination.  He might not.  But how the hell would Mike Pence have enough support?  There are Republicans greatly bothered by Donald Trump's actions as president.  Pence was his errand boy.  And they're going to back him?  And what of the ones that support Donald?  Pence turned into a back-biting bitch in their view so they're not going to support him.  What is his avenue to success?  He seems like the Carly Fiorina of this dance.  Or worse, Lindsey Graham -- at least Carly made it to the GOP primaries, Lindsey had to drop out before them.

Like Lindsey, Tim Scott is a bachelor nominee.  On top of that, a bachelor nominee with no one in sight.  I can think of down-lower-er who managed to grab a high profile female companion while he was seeking a party's presidential nomination.  That for-show relationship ended when the failed run ended.  You know who I'm talking about, right?  But Tim's not even smart enough to find himself someone to play along.  Leaving America to ask the eternal question: What's wrong with him?

That really doesn't go over well with voters when you're over the age of thirty and you have no romantic partner and have had none throughout adulthood.  Looks a little Norman Batesy. So at social gatherings as he mixes and mingles trying to woo voters, watch for him to introduce his right hand and, heavy sigh, note that despite the many knuckle babies he's managed to knock out over the years, he just hasn't been able to father an actual child.  But don't worry, he and his right hand are not breaking up. 

Some of these runs are just idiotic beyond words.

Oh, idiotic beyond words.  A number of e-mails came in about the whorish Glenn Greenwald.  Okay, people stop being surprised that he's a liar.  There's so much more to be offended by.

But, yes, he is lying for his Mother Tucker Carlson.  Ava and I discussed this.  We can either document his lies today at THIRD and then come up with another piece on Sunday or we can hold off on it.  I say, let him keep lying.  He seems strangely attached to Mother Tucker -- wedding bells in the future?  -- and let him just lie and lie and lie and lie some more.  

Only a fool would believe him about 'success.'  And fake ass numbers don't mean a thing.

Let's move over to CALL ME CANCELLED.

It has recently come to light that Bari Weiss, the transphobic lesbian founder of the conservative outlet The Free Press, was given $500,000 by billionaire Republican donor Harlan Crow to help launch an “anti-woke” non-profit organization that opposes anti-racism education in schools, widely referred to as “critical race theory” (CRT).

The deceptively named organization, The Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR), claims to be nonpartisan, but its initial board included transphobic former Fox News host Megyn Kelly, transphobic gay writer Andrew Sullivan, and anti-LGBTQ+ activist Christopher Rufo, The New Yorker reported.

It has recently come to light that Bari Weiss, the transphobic lesbian founder of the conservative outlet The Free Press, was given $500,000 by billionaire Republican donor Harlan Crow to help launch an “anti-woke” non-profit organization that opposes anti-racism education in schools, widely referred to as “critical race theory” (CRT).

The deceptively named organization, The Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR), claims to be nonpartisan, but its initial board included transphobic former Fox News host Megyn Kelly, transphobic gay writer Andrew Sullivan, and anti-LGBTQ+ activist Christopher Rufo, The New Yorker reported.

First off, shame on you for stealing from Fairness for Accuracy In Reporting -- FAIR's been around for years.  Second, they have to lie because they have nothing on their side but Clarence Thomas' sugar daddy.



They have Mayim Bialak on their side and her decision to do a podcast with Bari?  Got CALL ME KAT cancelled.  And it'll get her JEOPARDY job in jeopardy as well if she doesn't issue some statement -- no, not goofing around about her kids, but about how wrong she was to promote Bari.  THE BIG BANG THEORY audience was not a homophobic or transphobic audience.  

The minute Mayim pulled that nonsense, her show started losing viewers.  Instead of issuing some sort of statement, she thought she could just ignore it.  Now it's becoming an issue with JEOPARDY as well.

Meanwhile, UNICEF notes the following on Iraq:

BAGHDAD, 6 June 2023 – A staggering 315,000 grave violations against children in conflict were verified by the United Nations between 2005 and 2022 worldwide, a stark illustration of the devastating impact of war and conflict on children.

As states, donors and the humanitarian community meet in Norway for the Oslo Conference on Protecting Children in Armed Conflict*, UNICEF has reported that, since monitoring began in 2005 (since 2008 in the case of Iraq), the UN has verified 315,000 grave violations committed by parties to conflict in more than 30 conflict situations across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.

These include:

· More than 120,000 children killed or maimed.

· At least 105,000 children recruited or used by armed forces or armed groups.

· More than 32,500 children abducted.

· More than 16,000 children subjected to sexual violence.

The UN has also verified globally more than 16,000 attacks on schools and hospitals, and more than 22,000 instances of denial of humanitarian access for children.

For Iraq, the numbers are staggering, with over 9,000 children killed or maimed (3,119 killed and 5,938 maimed) since 2008 to the end of 2022. Despite the considerable reduction on the number of reported cases in the last years, the overall number represents, on an average, more than 1 child killed every other day and one child maimed daily over the reported period.

As these are just the cases that have been verified, the true toll is likely to be far higher.

Additionally, many millions more children have been displaced globally from their homes and communities, lost friends or family, or separated from parents or caregivers.

“Any war is ultimately a war on children,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell. “Exposure to conflict has catastrophic, life-changing effects for children. While we know what must be done to protect children from war, the world is not doing enough. Year after year, the UN documents the visceral, tragic and all too predictable ways that children’s lives are torn apart. It is incumbent on all of us to ensure that children do not pay the price for the wars of adults, and to take the bold, concrete action required to improve the protection of some of the world’s most vulnerable children.”

In this context, UNICEF has supported the care and protection of millions of affected children across conflict situations to enhance their well-being, including through the provision of mental health and psychosocial support, child protection case management, family tracing and reunification, and services for child survivors of gender-based violence. In 2022, UNICEF reached almost 12,500 children globally who exited armed forces or armed groups with reintegration or other protection support, and more than 9 million children with information that they can use to protect themselves from explosive remnants of war.

Sheema Sen Gupta, UNICEF Representative in Iraq, also present in the Conference, spoke about the need of reintegration for children in Iraq following so many years of conflict, ”As a response to years of conflict, UNICEF, in collaboration with the Government of Iraq and partners, target four profiles of children in need of reintegration, including children returning from North-East Syria, children released from detention, children perceived to be affiliated with armed groups, and other vulnerable children. These UNICEF reintegration programmes target three levels: individual, community and institutional. However, successful long-term reintegration is contingent on on-going basic service provision to ensure that children can access their rights, as highlighted in the Paris Principles.“

Unfortunately, the scale of the child protection risks to children affected by conflict is not matched by the scale of funding available to address these issues. New analysis by Humanitarian Funding Forecasting, commissioned by UNICEF, Save the Children, the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action and the Global Child Protection Area of Responsibility, reveals that by 2024, the child protection sector will require US$1.05 billion, increasing to US$1.37 billion by 2026, to address the protection needs of children in armed conflict. This includes critical services like family reunification, mental health support, and the prevention of recruitment into armed groups.

However, the study also indicates an impending funding shortfall. If the current pace of humanitarian funding continues, the projected shortfall would stand at US$835 million in 2024, growing to US$941 million by 2026. This gap could leave conflict-affected children exposed to the immediate and lasting impacts of war, child labor, trafficking, and violence.

As leaders convene in Oslo, UNICEF is calling for governments to make bold new commitments to:

· Uphold and operationalize the international laws and norms already in place to protect children in war – including to protect schools, hospitals and other protected objects like water and sanitation facilities from attack, to stop the recruitment and use of children by armed groups and forces, to stop the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

· Hold perpetrators to account when children’s rights are violated.

· Step up critical resources to fund the protection of children in conflict at the scale and speed required, in line with growing needs. This must include investment in humanitarian response and in national child protection workforces.

UNICEF is also calling on humanitarian actors to invest in policies that place children and their protection at the centre of humanitarian action in situations of armed conflict.

“We must deliver a child protection response that is equal to the challenges we face,” said Russell. “We need to do everything we can to reach all children in need, particularly the most vulnerable. Protection services for children must build upon existing systems and community structures, and support children’s rights, participation, and their best interests. Programmes and advocacy in these contexts must unfailingly put children and their protection at the centre of humanitarian action.”

We're going to wind down with this from Tom Mackaman (WSWS):

The New York Times published yesterday a column by Paul Krugman dismissing the role of Ukrainian fascists in the mass murder of Jews and Soviet citizens during World War II and minimizing as mere “shadows” their prominence in the present NATO proxy war against Russia. Krugman’s comment, “The Eyes of the World are Upon Ukraine,” is a thoroughly dishonest and cynical apology for Ukrainian fascism, past and present.  

The column comes one day after the appearance of a Times feature article, “Nazi Symbols on Ukraine’s Front Lines Highlight Thorny Issues of History.” In that piece the Times editors attempted, as WSWS International Editorial Board Chairman David North noted, to palm off “deep historical and present-day links of Ukrainian nationalism to Nazism and genocide” as a mere “public relations problem for media propagandists, who are trying to sell NATO’s proxy war as a struggle for democracy.”

The Times article evoked considerable outrage, both because it lifts the lid on the embrace of Nazi ideology in the Ukrainian military, and because it acknowledges that the Times and other media outlets have been censoring images of Ukrainian soldiers wearing “patches featuring symbols that were made notorious by Nazi Germany and have since become part of the iconography of far-right hate groups.”

Krugman, who usually writes Panglossian commentary on the economy, was brought in to put out the fire. Unfortunately for the Times, Krugman is completely ignorant of history.

A pretext for the column was provided by the 79th anniversary of the June 6, 1944 Allied D-Day invasion of Normandy in World War II. Krugman absurdly heralds the recently launched Ukrainian offensive against Russia in the Donbas and southern Ukraine as “the moral equivalent” of that battle in the war against Nazi Germany. Both, according to the Nobel-prize winning economist, are about “good versus evil.”

To Krugman, Ukraine is just like “the great democracies” that fought against Nazi Germany. Similar to the US in the 1940s, Ukraine also has “flaws,” even “a darker side” consisting of “corruption” and “a far-right movement, including paramilitary groups that have played a part in its war” in which “Nazi iconography is still disturbingly widespread.” But what, after all, is a little fascism among friends? Nazi paramilitaries and white supremacist ideology are mere “shadows” in an “imperfect but real democracy,” Krugman assures Times readers.

There is, in fact, no “real democracy” in Ukraine. Kiev has outlawed opposition parties and illegalized all criticism of the war. Individuals accused of “collaboration” are hunted down and prosecuted. Those agitating for an end to the slaughter have been arrested, tortured and disappeared. Like Russia and the other Soviet successor states, the country is ruled over by a kleptocracy that emerged out of the old Stalinist bureaucracy. The Ukrainian oligarchy guards its ill-gotten wealth with the aid of Europe’s most repressive labor laws in a society that, even before the war, was among Europe’s poorest. As for “national freedom,” Kiev is waging a vicious campaign against the Russian language, which is spoken by a large percentage of the country, and represses the languages and cultures of other minorities—including Hungarians, Poles and Romani.

The following sites updated: