Saturday, October 07, 2023

Iraq begins exercising its voice on the international stage


As AP notes in the video above, those living in northern Kurdistan live in fear of the oppressive Turkish government which continues to bomb the area terrorizing the population.  This has been going on for years, almost two decades, in fact.  The Turkish government uses the claim of 'terrorism' to terrorize Kurds in Iraq.  They terrorize Kurds everywhere.  No one's supposed to draw parallels to this action and the Turkish government's genocide of the Armenian people at the start of the last century.  Yet they occupy the Kurdistan.  They've sent ground forces in and illegally set up bases on Iraqi soil.  They have attacked resorts, they've even attacked US-led patrols.  And they keep getting away with it.   Ulas Atesci (WSWS) reports:

Turkey’s air strikes against Kurdish forces in Syria began after an armed attack on the Turkish National Police headquarters in Ankara last Sunday, during which two attackers were killed and two policemen were wounded. The stolen car used in the incident belonged to a civilian named Mikail Bozlağan from Kayseri, who was killed before the attack, according to the official statements.

The PKK claimed responsibility for the attack, stating it was intended to “send the necessary message to the relevant places and give them a serious warning.” In reality, the attack only served to provide justification for Ankara’s police-state repression at home and new military operations in Iraq and Syria, contributing to the possibility of a broader conflict in the region.

The legal Kurdish nationalist Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and Green Left Party (YSP) condemned the Ankara attack as “unacceptable.” However, at least 75 people have been detained so far in police operations mainly targeting the HDP-YSP.

The Turkish Defense Ministry has announced that air strikes have been carried out against PKK positions in northern Iraq since Sunday. On Wednesday, a “security summit” was held in Ankara with the participation of interior and foreign ministers, the head of the intelligence agency and the chief of the general staff.

On the same day, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan alleged that the perpetrators of the Ankara attack were YPG-PKK members coming from Syria. “All infrastructure, superstructure and energy facilities belonging to the PKK/YPG, especially in Iraq and Syria, are from now on the legitimate targets of our security forces, armed forces and intelligence elements,” he declared in a statement, warning the United States: “I recommend that third parties stay away from PKK/YPG facilities and individuals.”

SDF General Commander Mazlum Kobani rejected Ankara’s claim and called on the United States and other NATO allies to protect them. He said, “The perpetrators of the attack in Ankara did not travel there from our region, as the Turkish authorities claim. ... We expect the guarantor countries and the international community to stand up to these frequent threats and take a stand to ensure stability and peace in the region.”

Iraq's continuing to build it's international presence.  Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani recently concluded a week-long visit to the US where he met with business leaders and politicians.  MEMO notes he's schedule to visit Russia October 11th where he will meet with the president of Russia Vladimir Putin.  A violent conflict, meanwhile, is taking place between the government of Israel and the Palestinians.  MINT notes:

In a statement, Hamas commander has said that it launched attacks on the Israeli territory ‘in defense of Al-Aqsa’ which was stormed by Israeli settlers a few days ago. Al-Aqsa has been the flashpoint between Palestine and Israel. Hamas military commander Muhammad Deif, who released a recorded message after the attack, said the strikes were in retaliation for Israel’s “desecration of the Al-Aqsa" mosque in Jerusalem.

Government officials and political leaders in Iraq on Saturday issued statements of support for the people of Palestine following a deadly Hamas attack on Israel.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed group of the Hamas movement, claimed responsibility for more than 5,000 rockets fired at Israel in a surprise attack early Saturday morning. Israel’s health ministry said that at least 150 Israelis have been killed and about 1,100 more injured. 

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have retaliated with airstrikes that have killed 198 people in Gaza and injured another 1,610, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

The Iraqi government expressed its support for Gaza and the Palestinian people and called the rocket attack on Israel a "natural result of the systematic oppression... at the hands of the Zionist occupation authority," according to a statement from spokesperson Basem al-Awadi.

Iraq’s presidency also expressed its “full support” for Palestine in a statement on X (formerly known as Twitter). 

 Iraq on Saturday condemned the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip after Hamas launched an offensive, saying it always stands by the Palestinians.

Government spokesman Bassim al-Awadi called on the international community to stop the injustice done to the Palestinian people and to intervene to restore the rights of the Palestinians.

Al-Awadi warned that the escalation and continuation of the tension in Palestinian territories will have negative repercussions on the region. He also called for an extraordinary meeting of the Arab League.

Iraq has every right to exercise its voice in the international realm. The current prime minister, unlike two-term prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki, appears interested in something more than using Iraq to enrich his own pocket.  That may be one difference between the two, another being that Mohammed never fled Iraq the way Nouri -- and all the other previous prime ministers since 2003 -- did.  

At ASHARQ AL-AWSAT, Farhad Aladdin (advisor to the prime minister for foreign affairs) writes:

Ever since the Iraqi government assumed its responsibility in October last year, our administration has focused on extending the roots of Iraqi diplomacy across the region and beyond; practicing a policy of balance in foreign relations, and moving away from the policy of adversary. As stated in Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 22, the goal of this policy is to “preserve the security and stability of the region, its progress and economic prosperity, in order to achieve the welfare of its people.”
From this standpoint, the Prime Minister’s visit to Moscow is consistent with the principle pursued by the Baghdad government, which is one of productive diplomacy.

Following the formation of the government, the Prime Minister has been keen to visit many European countries including Germany and France, and neighboring countries such as Jordan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Iran and Türkiye, as well as participating in the Arab-Chinese summit held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His goal has been to strengthen relations and build partnerships around common interests with countries across the board, and it is with this approach that he is now responding to an official invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin. The visit to the Kremlin coincides with the Russian Energy Week Forum, where the Prime Minister will deliver an address as a keynote speaker.

Meanwhile, the world wonders when cleric and cult leader Moqtada al-Sadr will come out of the closet?   Rumored raging homosexual Moqtada al-Sadr is raging over a recent Baghdad festival and insulting the US Ambassador to Iraq Alina Romanowski who must have worn the dress he wanted to but even control top pantyhose wouldn't let him get into the dress.  So he's raging over the festival.  
Maybe Moqtada wouldn't be so angry and hateful if he could just say the words, "I'm gay"?

This past week, we've covered Banned Book Week.  At LGBTQ NATION, Dr Warren J. Blumenfeld writes:

One year after the passage of Florida’s draconian so-called Don’t Say Gay law, Iowa’s Republican Governor Kim Reynolds signed Senate File 496. The law bans went into effect on July 1 and bans lessons and discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-6. It orders administrators to inform parents if students ask to use pronouns or names that do not align with their sex assigned at birth and mandates that all library materials are “age appropriate.” The law also does not allow any books that describe or contain depictions of sex.

A K-12 Iowa school district, used artificial intelligence to determine which books to remove from school libraries in an attempt to comply with the law.

Mason City, Iowa schools employed the unique method of determining which books needed to be removed without actually reading them. Entering data into the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT, the school administration generated instant responses after asking it to come up with books that contained depictions of sex.

The bot created a list of 42 entries, including such classics as Beloved by Toni Morrison, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser, plus Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H. G. Bissinger, Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar, and many others.

Increasing numbers of school districts across the country are clamping down on students’ access to books and other resources on topics like sexuality, gender identity, race, and the “hard” history of the United States. And what is happening conforms directly with major foundational principles of patriarchal white Christian nationalism.

During a progressive December 2022 panel in Denver on white Christian nationalism in the United States, speakers spoke of major components of Christian nationalism, specifically the “innocence” in history, and the “purity culture.”

During the panel discussion, which was titled “Straight White American Jesus”, Sara Moslener, a lecturer in religion at Central Michigan University, asserted that concepts of “innocence” and “purity culture” are often located in white Christian nationalism, stemming from colonial history when whiteness was coupled with freedom and innocence.

“The innocence that is connected to white racial identity has been a… delusion that has worked really well in giving white people a sense of specialness, a sense of ‘we have something in common with one another,’” she said. “There is this sense that we are innocent of all of these things, and white Christian nationalism says: Well, this was all part of God’s plan.”

So, bringing up some of the “hard” history of the United States, for example, white supremacy and racism, challenges this notion of “white innocence,” while restricting or banning these discussions in schools and businesses theoretically avoids a potential narcissistic injury to white people.

Moslener continued by explaining the concept of “purity culture,” taken from conservative evangelical Christianity, which opposes abortion rights and homosexuality and adheres to traditional gender roles and sexual abstinence before marriage for women. She claimed that this is also foundational to Christian nationalism. This “purity culture,” is mainly about “evangelicals gaining political power.”

“White Christian Nationalism is steeped in myths of national innocence and this idea that the founding of the United States was a God-anointed beginning,” Moslener said. And this is connected as a movement by a unified commitment to a social order of a shared theology of family and a shared perception of gender roles, sexuality, and gender expression.

Panelist Katherine Stewart, an investigative journalist and author of The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism, said of Christian nationalism: “It’s not a single religion, it’s both an ideology – a set of ideas — and it’s also a political movement – an organized quest for power.”

“Many politicians have tried to ally themselves with this ideology to promote it,” Stewart said, citing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), who identified himself with this ideology to gain votes in his political campaigns, and apparently now in his quest for the White House.

So, while DeSantis, Gov. Reynolds, and the growing number of politicians and state and national conservative caucuses are pushing for similar anti-“WOKE”, anti-“Critical Race Theory,” and anti-LGBTQ+ (Don’t Say Gay) regulations and laws in schools, as well restrictions on diversity, equity, and inclusion discussions in businesses, their not-so-hidden agenda is intended to bring the nation closer to the patriarchal white Christian nationalist ideals attempted in other Fascist movements.

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Indigenous Voices: Land, Healing, and Restoration


Bioneers Pulse – updates from the Bioneers Community
Photography by Cara Romero ( and collage artwork by Mer Young (


This year, in honor of Indigenous People’s day, we are honored to share videos from the 2023 Bioneers Indigenous Forum.

Founded in 2008, the Native-led Indigenous Forum at Bioneers is designed as a sovereign space for Indigenous People to bring their vision and message to Native and non-Native allies and to connect. Each year the Indigenous Forum works to amplify Indigenous voices, build networks and movements and enhance cross-cultural dialogue, learning, cultural sensitivity and informed action. The event is a core part of the Bioneers Conference, bringing together Indigenous activists, scientists, elders, youth, culture-bearers and scholars to share their knowledge and frontline solutions in dialogue with a dynamic, multicultural audience.

In 2023, the forum brought together an incredible group of leaders addressing vital issues ranging from #Landback to Indigenous Science to Global Perspectives on the Rights of Nature Movement. It is an honor to be able to provide a platform for so many Indigenous leaders who are generously sharing their perspectives with the wider Bioneers audience.

Read on to explore the 2023 Indigenous Forum, learn about our recent historic Rights of Nature gathering and get the latest updates on Bioneers Learning.

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Landback: Restoring People, Place and Purpose

#LandBack has become a rallying cry in Indigenous circles and beyond from coast to coast, but what does #Landback really mean, and how can we be a part of this movement? In this conversation, leaders in the #Landback movement will share different approaches to the return and “rematriation” of ancestral territories. For tribal members, the discussion includes organizational, fundraising, and legal strategies. For non-Natives, panelists share how to be a good ally for #Landback. Moderated by Cara Romero with: PennElys Droz; Corrina Gould; Tom Little Bear Nason; Kawenniiosta Jock.

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Indigenous Science for Healing Land to Sea

Indigenous peoples across the Pacific have a deep knowledge of the ocean and its ecosystems acquired from hundreds of generations of observation. Today, commercial farming, overfishing, resource extraction and global warming are destroying the ocean systems and exacerbating the climate crisis. In this panel, three leaders with intimate knowledge of the relationships between land and ocean discuss how to restore balance to the Pacific and to the planet. Moderated by Alexis Bunten with: Loa Niumeitolu; Kiana Frank; Andrea Kealoha.

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Undam the Klamath! How Tribes Led the Largest River Restoration Project in US History

Yurok and Karuk peoples have been fighting for decades to remove dams on the Klamath River that destroyed riparian ecosystems and decimated salmon populations that underscore traditional lifeways. In 2022, the US government finally agreed to remove four dams and engage in the largest river restoration project in US history. Learn the story of this incredible achievement in tribal activism, groundbreaking tribal partnerships with state and federal governments, and culture-based methods for river restoration. Moderated by Cara Romero with: Samuel Gensaw, Isaac Kinney and Craig Tucker.

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Healing Justice to Restore Relations with Land

How might the fight for #Landback benefit from the inclusion of Black people and other historically marginalized groups? Does ‘call out culture’ actually harm decolonization movements?

We are living in a very exciting time as we witness more instances of successful Indigenous-led #Landback campaigns and triumphs over the extraction industry more than ever before, but we are also becoming increasingly aware that we cannot restore relations with the land without addressing our own trauma. In this video, panelists explore these issues and share practical strategies for addressing them using such tools as an intergenerational focus, ceremony, and time on the land. Moderated by Eriel Deranger with: Jodie Geddes and Carlee Loft.

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International Perspectives on Rights of Nature in Tribal Law

It is not surprising that Indigenous Peoples are leading the way in the “Rights of Nature” movement given that the idea that trees, waters, and ecosystems have a right to flourish reflects Indigenous worldviews. In this panel, Indigenous leaders whose tribes have adopted Rights of Nature frameworks to protect sacred territories share practical strategies for organizing and implementing Rights of Nature campaigns within international legal frameworks. Moderated by Brittany Gondolfi with: Samantha Skenandore; Danielle Greendeer and Erin Matariki Carr.

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Bioneers Indigeneity Hosts Historic Rights of Nature Gathering

We held our most ambitious Rights of Nature gathering to date on September 21-22, 2023, with the generous support of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and hosted at the Agua Caliente Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage, California. The gathering was attended by over 230 participants, representing 79 Tribes, including 26 California Indian Tribes. Based on our collective value for honoring 7th-generation wisdom, participants ranged in age from elders to youth. Keynote speakers included Tribal leaders from coast to coast, sharing strategies for adopting Rights of Nature, as well as legal experts and youth. 

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  • The Rights of Nature | Starting October 19 | A full background on the emerging “rights of nature” movement in the United States and internationally and how to develop, adopt, and enforce local rights of nature laws in your own communities.

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