Saturday, April 15, 2023

Iraq and Turkey

Confronted with bad news, what do you do?  If you're Ruslan Mamedov, you just ignore it.  Writing at MODERN DIPLOMACY, he notes that GALLUP polling has found 60% of Iraqis today believe the country was better off under Saddam Hussein.  Since that reality doesn't fit Ruslan's rosy view of the war, he mentions it and then tries to pretend it's wrong by bringing up other topics.

It takes a lot of gall to dismiss the opinions of 25.8 million people.  But if Ruslan didn't have gall, what would he be left with?

A week ago, Turkey attacked a convoy in northern Iraq that included at least 3 US military members.  You'd never know it from US reporting.  Winthrop Rogers (THE NATIONAL) reports:

The already troubled relationship between the ruling parties in Iraq’s Kurdistan region deteriorated further this week after an apparent Turkish drone strike near Sulaymaniyah airport on April 7, which struck near a convoy carrying Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) commander Mazloum Abdi and US military officials.

It is another example of the enormous influence the actions of external forces have on the politics of the Kurdistan region and how local parties try to leverage those events for their own purposes.

In the hours after the attack, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) spokesman Jotiyar Adil released an incendiary statement against the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which governs Sulaymaniyah, calling it an “authoritarian party” whose behaviour had encouraged the Turkish attack.

Turkey shut down its airspace to flights to and from Sulaymaniyah in the days before the attack and accused the PUK of being under the control of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought a decades-long conflict against Ankara for Kurdish rights and autonomy in south-east Turkey.

While nominally a government spokesperson, Mr Adil is a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the PUK’s main domestic rival. At the moment, they sit in government together, but differences over internal revenue sharing, electoral reforms and security affairs have undermined their working relationship over the past year and a half.

Speaker of the Kurdistan Parliament Rewaz Fayaq, who is a member of the PUK, denounced Mr Adil’s statement. There was “no justification for the unlawful attack … just as there was none for any earlier attacks on Erbil airport,” she said, referring to repeated missile and drone strikes on the Kurdistan region’s capital over the past two years by Iran.

Tim Hogan Tweets:

If true, not at all surprising.  One administration after another has refused to call out the Turkish government.  People talk about Vladimir Putin being in office forever, but Recep Tayyip Erdogen has been prime minister of Turkey or president of Turkey continuously since 2003. Yet the US government tries to pretend that's a democracy, skips around the Armenian genocide and refuses to acknowledge the Kurdish genocide that Turkey is carrying out.

We'll note this Tweet.

What is confirmed?  Tukey has no legal right or authority to be bombing Kurdistan.  This is a breach of international borders and international law.  

Lastly, Human Rights Watch notes:

 The Iraqi government’s recent decision requiring applicants under the Yazidi Survivors Law to file a judicial complaint to be eligible for reparations is an alarming development that does not take survivors’ best interests into consideration, 13 organizations including Human Rights Watch said in a joint statement today.

Several survivors have reported harassment and stigmatization while filing criminal complaints with the judiciary. A requirement to describe their abuse in court would also put survivors at risk of re-traumatization and does not respect their agency to decide whether to bring their cases to court.

Members of the Yazidi group experienced lethal attacks, kidnapping, enslavement, and rape by the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014. Thousands of Yazidis remain displaced and 2,700 are still missing. The law allows survivors to apply for compensation in the form of a monthly salary, and includes provisions for other forms of restitution such as provisions for a plot of land, continued education, employment, and the search for those who remain missing.

The Iraqi government should rescind the judicial complaint requirement and develop procedural and evidentiary rules in line with international standards that consider the reality and needs of survivors, ensuring their access to adequate, effective, and prompt reparations.

“Yazidi survivors should not be required to file a judicial complaint to access the reparations to which they are entitled, especially given the plethora of evidence collected by official bodies, nongovernmental groups, and the media,” said Sarah Sanbar, Iraq researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Adoption of the Yazidi Survivors Law was groundbreaking, and the Iraqi government should ensure that it is implemented in a way that respects the wellbeing, agency, and rights of survivors.”

The following sites updated:


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Where there is Glenneth, there is transphobia

If someone's a con artist of recent years, that's' usually all I know about them.  So when Glenneth Greenwald Tweeted a shout-out (to a man of course -- he's a little pit pig, newhire at SUBSTACK, you've been warned -- or advised on how to get easy raises), I knew there was a problem:

Here's , whose leftist credentials cannot be reasonably disputed, arguing that the leaker of these Pentagon documents is heroic because these documents reveal hidden facts Americans should know:

His leftist credentials cannot be reasonably disputed?  Says right-winger Glenneth.

Do a search on Glenneth's suiter and the first result:

Stamp those feet, Glenneth, you've been exposed as an idiot yet again.  It's really not your place to tell the left who is and isn't left.  You're a right-winger.  And a pit pig.




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Bioneers Pulse – updates from the Bioneers Community


The leaders who spoke at Bioneers 2023 shared real progress being made right now across a wide array of movements. Taken together, they paint a picture of a hopeful future – far from guaranteed, but very much within reach. Within the next few weeks, we’ll share video recordings of all 2023 keynotes, giving you an opportunity to watch (or re-watch!) the full collection of presentations.  

Today, we have the opportunity to present an early release of three audience-favorite keynote presentations. These talks electrified the Bioneers 2023 community, proving that incredible leadership exists today across sectors and missions. Scroll through to watch presentations from labor activist Saru Jayaraman, whale biologist Shane Gero, and Indigenous rights activist Jade Begay.

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Saru Jayaraman | The Great Revolution: What a Worker Power Moment Can Mean for Climate Justice

Saru Jayaraman, President of One Fair Wage and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at UC Berkeley, co-founded the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) and launched One Fair Wage to end subminimum wages in the US. In her keynote presentation, Saru speaks about her work organizing restaurant and other low-wage workers over the last 20 years and the incredible moment of historic worker revolt currently underway in the United States, one that could have enormous implications for both climate justice and for our democracy.

Watch Saru Jayaraman’s Keynote Presentation

Shane Gero | Preserving Animal Cultures: Lessons From Whale Wisdom

Shane Gero, Ph.D., is a Canadian whale biologist, Scientist-in-Residence at Ottawa’s Carleton University, Biology Lead for Project CETI, and a National Geographic Explorer. He is the founder of The Dominica Sperm Whale Project, a long-term research program detailing the lives of these enigmatic ocean nomads in the Eastern Caribbean. In his keynote presentation, Shane shares what he has learned from the thousands of hours he has spent in the company of sperm whales, including how fundamentally similar their lives are to our own and how their cultures define their identity, just as ours do. Shane explains why we need new approaches to whale conservation that recognize the biologically important divisions between different communities of whales, so we can respect their identity and cultural diversity; and how this can be extrapolated to the larger struggle to conserve biodiversity.

Watch Shane Gero’s Keynote Presentation

Jade Begay | Strengthening Indigenous Leadership During Collapse

Jade Begay, MA, a citizen of Tesuque Pueblo and also of Diné and Southern Ute ancestry, Director of Policy and Advocacy at NDN Collective, works at the intersections of storytelling, narrative strategy, climate and environmental justice, and Indigenous rights policy at the domestic and international levels. In 2021, Jade was appointed by President Biden to serve on the inaugural White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council and is a recipient of a Ripe for Creative Disruption Environmental Justice Movement Fellowship. In her presentation, Jade shares her insights on how far Indigenous leadership has come and what we can do to strengthen and embolden this leadership that is so needed if we are all to survive on planet Earth.

Watch Jade Begay’s Keynote Presentation

Bioneers Learning: Permaculture, Regenerative Design and Earth Repair for the Great Turning with Penny Livingston

Through engaging courses led by some of the world's foremost movement leaders, the brand new Bioneers Learning platform equips engaged citizens and professionals like you with the knowledge, tools, resources and networks to initiate or deepen your engagement, leading to real change in your life and community.

Register now for a live course with Penny Livingston, “Permaculture, Regenerative Design and Earth Repair for the Great Turning,” to learn about the principles of permaculture, including how to work with natural systems, design for resilience, and create regenerative systems.

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Finding Artistic Inspiration in Nature: An Interview with Artist Guillermo Flores

"I think everything comes from nature. I mean, that’s my inspiration all the time. Plants, birds, the yard, the universe, I mean, everything is there."

Designer, art director, and illustrator Guillermo Flores is the name behind the original collage illustration for the Bioneers 2023 Conference poster. He has collaborated with organizations and companies around the world, serving as a creative and art director on multiple projects, developing brand identity, strategy, planning and execution. In this interview, Guillermo talks about his work and how he draws inspiration from nature.

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