The Common Ills


Thursday, June 16, 2016
Iraq snapshot

Iraq snapshot

Thursday, June 16, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the 'liberation' of Falluja continues -- with all the problems and persecutions that entails, a Kurdish leader talks of splitting Iraq into three regions, US troops are said to be on the ground assisting in combat in Nineveh Province, and much more.



ALSUMARIA notes that the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan announced that US forces were backing Iraqi forces on the ground in Nineveh Province.  The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan is one of the three main political parties in the KRG (the other two being the KDP and Goran).  It was created in 1975 and the head of it remains Jalal Talabai who served as President of Iraq from 2005 to December 2012.  He continued to hold office through 2014 but, in December of 2012, he suffered a stroke.   The incident took place late on December 17, 2012 (see the December 18, 2012 snapshot) and resulted in Jalal being admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital.    Thursday, December 20,2012, he was moved to Germany where he remained for approximately a year and a half, returning in July of 2014.


During the time he was in Germany, the Talabani family insisted Jalal was fine while refusing to allow people to visit him -- including the then-Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi.

When the first wave of rumors that Talabani had either died or was permanently  incapacitated, took hold in May, Jalal was posed for a series of photos that appear to indicate his body was present but that was all.

jalal



 The photos were compared to the film Weekend At Bernie's in Arabic social media.  (In the 1989 film, Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman play two men who drag the corpse of their boss, Bernie, around and pretend he's alive.)


The Talabani family was down playing his condition.  By doing so, they allowed him to remain as president when he actually should have been removed from office because he was unable to carry out the duties of the president.



Meanwhile, the US Defense Dept announced today:


Strikes in Iraq
Bomber, ground-attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 20 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Baghdadi, two strikes destroyed an ISIL bunker and suppressed an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Huwayjah, a strike struck an ISIL oil compound.

-- Near Beiji, a strike destroyed an ISIL mortar system.

-- Near Fallujah, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed 10 ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL light machine gun, an ISIL vehicle bomb, two ISIL rocket-propelled grenade systems and an ISIL recoilless rifle and denied ISIL access to terrain.

-- Near Haditha, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Kisik, a strike struck an ISIL foreign fighter weapons storage facility.

-- Near Mosul, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL vehicles.

-- Near Qayyarah, five strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and an ISIL vehicle bomb-making facility and destroyed four ISIL assembly areas, two ISIL mortar systems, five ISIL vehicles, two ISIL tunnel systems, two ISIL bunkers and an ISIL command-and-control node.

-- Near Ramadi, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL staging area, an ISIL weapons cache, an ISIL rocket propelled grenade system and an ISIL light machine gun.

-- Near Sultan Abdallah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed eight ISIL rocket systems and an ISIL assembly area and suppressed a separate ISIL tactical unit.


Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.


In other violence, ALSUMARIA  reports 1 Iraqi soldier was shot dead in Yusufiya, a bombing in a Yousufiya cafe left an undisclosed number of people dead and wounded, a woman's headless corpse was discovered dumped in Basra, a Tuz Khurmatu shooting left one man and woman injured, a clash in the orchards of Mukhisa village (Diyala Province) left 2 Iraqi soldiers dead and three more injured, and the corpse of 1 Peshmerga was discovered in Kirkuk.


The liberation or 'liberation' of Falluja continues.


Iraqi forces seen in al-Khadrah, al-Resala & al-Yarmouk districts in Thursday
 

 
 
 





And beyond the military maneuvers, what does 'liberation' look like?





  1. Shia Militias crimes عاجل فديو جديد مسرب يظهر قيام الحشد الشيعي الارهابي يعذب النازحين السنه العراقيين بوحشية
 
 
 
Iraqi Sunni civilians displaced from Fallujah tortured by Shia Militias
 
 
 
Iraqi Sunni civilians victims of Shia Militias airstrikes on
 
 
 
الخبيث المخرج العراقي اوس بمسلسل الصق بالسني و بالزي الخليجي وجعل من الخليج ضحيه علما انهم مترفين!
 
 
 
Shia Militias crimes اتحدى ان يذكر العراقيين السنه الذين يحرقهم الحشد الشيعي الارهابي بالشوارع
 
 
 
 
Graphic pic Iraqi Sunnis civilians arrested ,Burned & killed by Shia militias without guilt in
 

Posted at 10:17 pm by thecommonills
 

Iraq: corruption, cowardice and persecution

Iraq: corruption, cowardice and persecution

So let me get this straight, the cowardly leadership in Iraq -- that would be Haider al-Abadi (prime minister) mainly but many others under him -- allowed Mosul to be held by the Islamic State for over two years (and counting) but the same cowards are fine with recruiting child soldiers to do their fighting for them?


Iraqi gov officials/militia commanders recruit children

 
 
 



I believe US laws govern aid to governments using child soldiers.  The White House should probably look into that.


Meanwhile, the 'liberation' of Falluja continues resulting in many civilians at risk.  The Norwegian Refugee Council released the following:



                         
The situation for children, women and men fleeing Fallujah is desperate as humanitarian organisations are running out of food and water. “We have a humanitarian disaster inside Fallujah and another unfolding disaster in the camps," said Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

"Thousands fleeing the cross-fire after months of besiegement and near starvation deserve relief and care, but our relief supplies will soon be exhausted. The humanitarian community needs immediate funding to avoid a completely avoidable disaster on our watch,” said Jan Egeland, NRC's Secretary General.
A total of 5,317 families have managed to flee to displacement camps in Anbar, Iraq, since 21 May.
The route out of Fallujah is still extremely dangerous and NRC has recently confirmed reports of a father killed and more people injured by an explosive device just a few meters away from Al Salam intersection—the only route through which people trapped inside Fallujah’s city centre have managed to flee in the last days.
More than 200 families are reportedly still stranded in the area waiting to be transported by Iraqi Security Forces to displacement camps.
For those reaching the camps the situation is also dire. NRC is now able to provide just about 3 liters of drinking water per person per day in displacement camps—well below the minimum humanitarian standard of 10 liters.
With temperatures expected to reach 50 degrees Celsius, this is an alarming situation that might lead to consumption of unsafe water, with serious public health consequences particularly for children, the elderly and people with chronic illnesses.
“Make no mistake: There is absolutely nothing safe for civilians fleeing Fallujah. No safe exits, no safe passage, no safe haven without risking their lives. They risk being shot at, killed by explosive devices on the roads, or drowning while crossing the river. On top of that those who flee IS-controlled areas and manage to make it to safety will soon find out there is very little we can offer them: we are running out of food, drinking water and medical services,” said Egeland.
NRC Emergency Coordinator, Diana Tonea, underlined the needs for people seeking shelter in the camps where we work: “Our emergency food parcels for the newly arrived are expected to last for just another two days for around 15,000 individuals,” Tonea said.
Egeland said: “The current funding is running out as we are overwhelmed by the needs created by this crisis. We cannot let down innocent Iraqi women, children and men just at the moment when they escape from extreme hunger, brutal fighting and despair. This is a moment of truth for international solidarity with Iraqis who have been facing chronic displacement and untold suffering.”
For further comments and information, please contact Karl Schembri, Regional Media Advisor (currently in Baghdad).
Phone number: +964 7733 499 387
Skype: karl.schembri



With all the billions Iraq rakes in for oil each year, it's a real shame they can't provide aid for the refugees.  But when you have a corrupt government, the people never see anything.

And Iraq has a corrupt government.

Nouri al-Maliki is very lucky that Haider al-Abadi appointed a member of Dawa to head the so-called corruption investigations.

Otherwise, he'd have to explain how his barely lower middle class lifestyle in 2002 became a luxury lifestyle with several homes and cars and of course his spoiled son's various digs (including in England) and all those sports cars.

Nouri al-Maliki became a millionaire during his two terms as prime minister of Iraq and he did it via graft and corruption.

Corruption cost him one of his closest aids, remember?

The whole Russian arms deal and how his son benefited and so he blamed it on his press secretary who then went public?

Don't remember it?

Blame it on a cowardly western press that can't report half the things Iraqi journalists struggle to report daily.


Speaking of that which the western press runs from, the ongoing persecution of the Sunni population.


Iraqi Sunnis civilians arrested & tortured by Shia militias without guilt or charge in

 
 
 



A friend who teaches (university) on the MidEast notes that Sunnis "are becoming the new Palestinians."  Indeed.  And like with the Palestinians today, the world's going to look back in 20 years and ask how this happened and why no one raised alarms.  (Some did raise alarms.)


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    Posted at 10:04 pm by thecommonills
     

    Iraq snapshot

    Iraq snapshot

    Wednesday, June 15, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, Donald Trump serves as a distraction, the Sunnis continue to be persecuted, and much more.


    The faux outrage continues regarding GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump comments regarding theft in Iraq and US troops.   We addressed it this morning in "Did the sacred cow moo?" and noted this non-story was sucking up all the oxygen in the room on the topic of Iraq.  It continues to do so.

    Again, it's faux outrage.

    It's not a conversation.

    It's partisan spin and crap, it's marketing, don't mistake for truth or thought.

    Two exceptions?

    Thomas E. Ricks (FOREIGN POLICY) who opens his piece with, "Bottom line: Trump is right, some soldiers did steal money in Iraq. Not only from baskets of cash for compensation, but from Iraqis carrying their own cash."  And at the Libertarian outlet REASON, Ed Krayewski explores the topic and notes:

    But this is a little bit of a manifestation of Trump Derangement Syndrome. After he made his comments, the Trump campaign insisted Trump was referring to Iraq soldiers. In the speech he didn't specify. But that's irrelevant. The fact is that U.S. soldiers and contractors, indisputably, stole money, up to billions of dollars. Democrats like to fashion themselves anti-war, especially when talking about Republicans and especially when Democrats are not in power. But President Obama made his perceived military toughness ("Osama bin Laden is dead") a cornerstone of the 2012 re-election and Democrats have not been shy to wrap themselves with the flag in a similar manner as Republicans in the service of a partisan, sectarian agenda.



    The truth is U.S. soldiers were convicted of $50 million worth of crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Were Trump's comments about U.S. soldiers (and they appeared that way at least to me when reading the initial comments), there would be nothing controversial or inaccurate about them. And it's no more a controversial or inaccurate statement applied to Iraq soldiers, who also participated in thefts of money and equipment.



    Near the end of last month, Drew Griffin (CNN) reported:



    Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald downplayed Monday the time it takes for veterans to receive medical treatment by comparing the "experience" of waiting for health care to Disneyland guests waiting for a ride.
    "When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what's important?" McDonald told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington. "What's important is what's your satisfaction with the experience?"
    American Legion National Commander Dale Barnett excoriated McDonald: "The American Legion agrees that the VA secretary's analogy between Disneyland and VA wait times was an unfortunate comparison because people don't die while waiting to go on Space Mountain." 


    It was a deeply stupid comparison and ill thought out remark, especially for someone who worked at Procter & Gamble for 33 years, retiring as Chairman of the Board.

    The day after making his Disneyland comparison, McDonald issued this statement:


    On Monday, I made some remarks on how we’re working to improve Veterans' satisfaction with the care they receive from VA. It was never my intention to suggest that I don't take our mission of serving Veterans very seriously. 
    In fact, improving access to care is my number one priority and the priority I have set for the entire department. For the last two years, the huge majority of VA employees have worked tirelessly to improve the timeliness of the care and benefits we provide to Veterans. 
    As I've told Veterans Service Organizations, Members of Congress, and myriad other groups of Veterans stakeholders, our goal is to ensure VA becomes the Number 1 customer-service organization in government. 
    To do that, we are following many of the best practices of private sector health care providers and exceptional customer-service organizations. 
    At VA we take our mission of caring for those who "shall have borne the battle" very seriously; we have the best and most noble mission in government. 
    If my comments Monday led any Veterans to believe that I, or the dedicated workforce I am privileged to lead, don't take that noble mission seriously, I deeply regret that. Nothing could be further from the truth. 
     As we approach the Memorial Day holiday and pay tribute to the sacrifices of courageous men and women who placed the interests of others above their own, we at the VA remain focused on our mission to care for those who bravely served our Nation.



    Stupid comments aren't the end of the world.


    The outrage in response to McDonald's comments, however, was not solely over the comments.

    It had to do with the VA itself and the continued wait times and the continued backlog.

    McDonald made a bad analogy and did so at a time when promises are not being met to veterans.

    His bad analogy came as many veterans were still outraged over wait times and the backlog.  And over the many scandals such as the hiring scandal last fall which led to the resignation of Allison Hickey, undersecretary of benefits at the VA.

    And the outrage increases with the growing realization that Hickey and the 'reforms' she touted was mere paper pushing and shell games to put a positive spin on a lack of real progress.


    Following up on those issues, or Barack Obama's failed promise to endless veterans homelessness, might serve some real purpose.  The continued nonsense over Trump's remarks is about trying to game an election -- nothing else.


    Today, the US Defense Dept announced:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Bomber, attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 20 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed an ISIL homemade explosives cache.

    -- Near Bashir, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL command-and-control node and two ISIL assembly areas.

    -- Near Fallujah, two strikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed 11 ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL heavy machine guns and six ISIL light machine guns and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Mosul, six strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and foreign fighter support facilities including an ISIL operations center, two ISIL headquarters and an ISIL weapons factory and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Qayyarah, six strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and an ISIL communications facility and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, four ISIL assembly areas, five ISIL mortar systems, an ISIL mortar position, nine ISIL boats, eight ISIL rocket rails, an ISIL rocket system, an ISIL weapons cache, an ISIL ammunition cache and an ISIL vehicle bomb and suppressed a separate ISIL tactical unit and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Ramadi, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL boat.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike destroyed three ISIL rocket rails and three ISIL rocket systems and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Tal Afar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.



    Let's note the section entitled "U.S. Policy Response to the Islamic State" from the Congressional Research Service most recent "Iraq: Politics and Governance" report (March of this year) by Kenneth Katzman and Carla E. Humud:




    The gains by the Islamic State in Iraq in mid-2014 posed a threat to the territorial and political integrity of Iraq, and caused the Obama Administration to resume an active military role in Iraq. President Obama stated on September 10, 2014 , that U.S. policy is "to degrade and ultimately defeat the Islamic State." That statement represented an escalation of the U.S. response well beyond the responses undertaken as the ISIL challenge increased in late 2013. From late 2013 until the ISIL capture of Mosul in June 2014, the United States took several actions: 

    * Delivered and sold additional weaponry . The Defense Department supplied Iraq with several hundred HELLFIRE air-to-surface missiles for use against ISIL training camps. 
    * Additional Training . The Department of Defense increased bilateral and regional training opport unities for Iraqi counterterrorism (CTS) units to help burnish ISF counter insurgency skills. By June 2014, U.S. Special Operations Forces had conducted two sessions of training for Iraqi CT forces in Jordan. 
    * After the Islamic State's capture of Mosul in June 2014 , the U.S. response broadened significantly into a multifaceted strategy to try to degrade and ultimately defeat the Islamic State .

    The military component of the strategy, conducted in partnership with several dozen other countries playing various roles, is termed "Operation Inherent Resolve."

    * Advice and Training . The United States has deployed over 3,500 U.S. military personnel to train and advise the ISF, peshmerga forces, and Sunni tribal fighters. 
    * Air Strikes . Since August 8, 2014, U.S. military action in Iraq has included airstrikes on Islamic State positions and infrastructure. 
    * Weapons Resupply . Since mid-2014, the United States has delivered to Iraq significant quantities of additional weapons, HELLFIRE missiles , and the F-16s previously purchased. In addition to support for the ISF, the Administration has supplied weaponry and ammunition to the peshmerga of the KRG, via the Iraqi government. Under the Arms Export Control Act, all U.S. foreign military sales (FMS) go to central governments, not sub-national forces. However, Section 1223 of the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act ( P.L. 114 - 92 ) grants the President authority to provide arms directly to the peshmerga and to Sunni security tribal security forces if the President reports that Iraq has failed to increase inclusiveness of ethnic and sectarian minorities in governance and in security institutions. The legislation appeared intended to address KRG complaints that their efforts against the Islamic State suffers from Baghdad's slow passage to the KRG of U.S-supplied weaponry although numerous sources say the flow to the peshmerga has improved substantially since late 2015. KRG officials continue to assert that they have a deficiency of heavy weapons --particularly those that can stop suicide attacks from long range. 
    * Military Aid. The Administration is providing substantial amounts of military aid to help the Iraqi government counter the Islamic State threat. For FY2015, over $1.6 billion in  "Overseas Contingency Operation (OCO)" funding for an "Iraq Train and Equip Fund" has been provided. For FY2016, the Administration is providing $715 million for those purposes, supplemented by a request for $250 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Iraq. That amount is provided in the FY2016 Consolidated Appropriation ( P.L. 114 - 113 ). For FY2017, the Administration has requested $620 million in Train and Equip funds as well as $150 million in FMF - OCO. 




    "The military component of the strategy," it reads.

    But search in vain through all the pages of the report for any other component of the so-called strategy.


    June 14, 2014, Barack insists the only solution to Iraq's crises is a political solution.

    And yet every bit of US energy has been channeled solely through the military.


    Nothing has been done to address the conditions that aided the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq.


    In other words, the persecution of the Sunnis continues.



    idris sanusi Retweeted IRAQ GIRL قمر العراق
    Here family killed This is the case of the Sunnis in On the hands Here for 13 years
    idris sanusi added,
     
     
     




    Iraqi Sunni woman her Children arrested & tortured by Shia militias without guilt or charge in

     
     
     


    :Names of dozens of missing persons who disappeared at hands of Hashd factions in al-Azrakiya in NW Fallujah
     
     
     















    Posted at 12:01 am by thecommonills
     

    IAVA calls on President to listen to Post-9/11 veterans, Raise Voices of Women Veterans

    IAVA calls on President to listen to Post-9/11 veterans, Raise Voices of Women Veterans

    Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America issued the following yesterday:


    PRESS CONTACT
    Tel: 212-982-9699

    press@iava.org

    85% surveyed by IAVA say women veterans aren’t fully recognized by American public
    WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 14, 2016) – As the White House hostsThe United State of Women, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and its 425,000 members call on President Obama to accelerate his Administration’s support of women veterans:
    “If the Administration is serious about taking action to improve the lives of women in America, female veterans must be a part of that conversation,” said Allison Jaslow, IAVA Chief of Staff and Army combat veteran. “Over 280,000 women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet according to IAVA’s recently released comprehensive member survey, only fifteen percent of respondents feel that the general public understands their contributions. The White House should be commended for the progress Joining Forces has made in recognizing the sacrifices of military families and our veterans. As a nation, we still have work to do to better recognize the contributions of our female veterans.
    Women are the fastest growing segment of the military and veteran population. They comprise nearly 20 percent of new recruits, 15 percent of active duty forces and 18 percent of the reserve component and as the American public does not yet understand the contributions of women veterans, they are having a harder time transitioning home. In response, we look to the President and First Lady to recognize the changing face of the American military and include female vets in discussions of the state of women in the world.”
    Note to media: Email press@iava.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.
    Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 11th year anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 5,800 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.







    Posted at 12:01 am by thecommonills
     

    Wednesday, June 15, 2016
    Did the sacred cow moo?

    Did the sacred cow moo?

    Supposed news outlets have crowded out genuine Iraq coverage to note a Donald Trump topic.  To misnote it actually.  And a variety of gas bags and idiots are weighing in expressing shock.

    I don't consider Cher an idiot (she is wrong on this, though) and I consider her genuine so I have no problem quoting her.


    😡2DAY🚽TRUMP,ACCUSED VETS WHO FOUGHT IN IRAQ OF STEALING MONEY😤HE SAID“WOULD LIKE 2 KNOW WHO WERE SOLDIERS W/💰I THINK THEYRE LIVING WELL”WTF





    No one else deserves to be quoted.


    I'm really sick of the faux outrage, ginned up to the max.

    (I'm not referring to Cher.  Like myself, Cher has disliked Donald Trump for years.  That dislike would be in place whether he was the GOP nominee or not.  The same cannot be said for many of the other commentators.)


    So Donald Trump said some US military stole funds?  (Supposedly, he may have walked it back to Iraqi soliders.)

    So what?

    What's wrong in that statement?






    SLATE's headline for Julie Harte's May 5, 2015 article reads "The Fraud of War: U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have stolen tens of millions through bribery, theft, and rigged contracts."  The article addressed how "at least 115 enlisted personnel and military officers [have been] convicted since 2005 of committing theft, bribery, and contract-rigging crimes valued at $52 million during their deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a comprehensive tally of court records by the Center for Public Integrity."


    Now I'm sorry I live in a lazy country where people would rather watch 'reality' TV than keep up with what the government that's supposed to represent them is actually doing.  (For those who have given up due to disgust -- as opposed to being lazy -- my apologies.  I sympathize and understand completely your disgust.)

    I'm sorry they're more over entertained than overweight.

    But that's the reality.


    It's also true everyone thinks they know everything.

    I don't comment on Ukraine here.

    I don't pretend to be up to speed or have any expertise.

    But people who can't tell you one damn thing about Iraq since Bully Boy Bush left office love to pretend that they know something.

    They don't know a damn thing.

    And, again, maybe turn off the 'reality' show for an hour a day and try educating yourself to what's going on in the world -- or else just comment on celebrity gossip.

    I was at the hearings on waste and reconstruction -- both the Congressional ones and the Democratic Policy Commmittee ones (those stopped the minute the Democrats took back the White House).

    Here are some figures from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction's final report -- an investigation update issued in September of 2013:


    SIGIR Convictions, by Affiliation of Wrongdoer, as of 8/31/2013

    Other 1 (1%)
    Contractor (DoD) 20 (22%)
    USG Civilian (DoD) 4 (4%)
    Foreign Military 3 (3%)
    Contractor (non-DoD) 5 (6%)
    USG Civilian (non-DoD) 3 Civilian (3%)
    U.S. Military/ Military Dependent 51 (57%)
    Note: Percentages affected by rounding.


    In the report, you'll read of things like:

    On June 5, 2013, Azubuike Ukabam, a former U.S. Army captain, pled guilty to willfully failing to notify the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that he had a financial interest exceeding $10,000 in a foreign bank account. While serving at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Justice in 2007, Ukabam was a pay agent responsible for receiving and processing invoices from Iraqi contractors who performed work for the Army. Ukabam altered invoices or caused them to be altered so that they showed incorrect or inflated amounts due. He then paid the contractor the original invoice amount and kept the difference -- approximately $110,000 --for himself.


    The report ends with a list of pending cases and a list of convictions.

    We could go on and on.

    Yes, members of the US military did enrich themselves in Iraq.

    All?

    Of course not.

    The majority of any group can usually be counted on to follow the rules and act appropriately.

    But some did not.

    When US soldiers gang-raped and murdered 14-year-old Iraqi Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi on March 12, 2006, it was a crime and it was outrageous.

    One of the explanations I repeatedly hear on why so many chose to ignore the courts-martial and the civilian criminal hearing is that they didn't want to think about it or talk about it because it would give people in the military a bad name.

    No, it wouldn't.

    A loud and public prosecution sends the message that this is unacceptable.

    It says this is not the norm.

    Covering it up, by contrast, suggests that a lot more people have a lot more to hide.

    I find it hilarious to read the posts by Little Green you know who and others defending the military's chaste and delicate honor from that scoundrel Donald Trump -- especially because when IAVA was asking for help to protect the Post 9/11 GI Bill, these same people couldn't even repost a press release.  (The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has voted to add cuts to the program.)

    They are not interested in veterans or the image of the military, these gas bags offering commentary on Trump.

    They are interested in making him toxic (so that toxic Hillary will appear less so).

    There was an outrageous incident last month that we didn't cover because it made me too angry.

    We'll cover it in the next snapshot.

    But this was truly outrageous and done by a member of the current administration.

    Yet all the howler monkeys coming forward today about Trump and his remarks had not a word to say then.

    I doubt they were too angry to speak.

    Because every time they speak, they lie, they gin up outrage and it's all in pursuit of partisan politics.

    When Americans will say "enough" to these liars, they'll have to tone it down.

    By the way, we didn't even touch on CERP funds, though we could have.  Trump would also be on strong ground referencing those.  And if you just asked, "CERP funds?"

    Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi.


    We don't get news from Iraq this morning because instead we get partisan pimping.


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    Posted at 11:56 pm by thecommonills
     

    Tuesday, June 14, 2016
    Iraq snapshot

    Iraq snapshot

    Tuesday, June 14, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the 'liberation' of Falluja creates another refugee crisis, the 'liberation' of Falluja leads to more torture of Sunni civilians, the White House up US combat in Iraq and much more


    Today, the US Defense Dept announced:


    Strikes in Iraq
    Bomber, attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 14 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Beiji, a strike struck an ISIL weapons factory.

    -- Near Fallujah, two strikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed 19 ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL vehicles, four ISIL heavy machine guns, four ISIL rocket propelled grenade systems, eight ISIL light machine guns, three ISIL recoilless rifles and an ISIL mortar system and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Kisik, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

    -- Near Mosul, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL mortar system, an ISIL supply cache and an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Qayyarah, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and an ISIL headquarters and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL assembly area and two ISIL mortar systems and suppressed a separate ISIL tactical unit and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Ramadi, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and an ISIL fighting position.
    Additionally, officials said, two strikes in Syria near Manbij that struck two ISIL tactical units on June 12 were not included in yesterday’s strike release.


    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.



    US President Barack Obama has been bombing Iraq daily since August of 2014 and we're all supposed to pretend that is working.

    Pretending requires forgetting that on June 19, 2014, Barack insisted the only answer to Iraq's crises was a political solution.

    Since August of 2014, there's been no work on a political solution, no diplomatic infusion, just bombing -- just bombing and US Secretary of State John Kerry mistaking himself for the Secretary of Defense.


    The bombings don't address the issues that led to the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq.


    At Australia's ABC, Zaid al-Ali observes:


    The issue isn't whether the rule is Shia or not, it's what sort of rule they're subject to. It's certainly better than ISIS, but it's not good enough. What Baghdad needs to do to make sure that Sunnis and Shia and Christians and atheists are satisfied with their rule is to completely reform they're institutions.
    So far, that's something Baghdad has been completely incapable of. Until that happens Iraq will be extremely vulnerable to terrorist attacks, to infiltrators, to civil unrest. That's the recipe for the next few years at least.



    Again, this isn't being addressed with bombings.


    The attempted liberation -- or 'liberation' -- of Falluja continues.


    How's that going?

    Well, for one thing, it's going with more US involvement in what is undeniably combat.

    Yesterday, US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter declared, "In that connection, while we're still in Iraq, perhaps worth mentioning that in the last 24 hours I guess it was, the commanders have used the Apache capability that we positioned there and that the president authorized them to use some months ago when they found an opportunity when that might make a difference. And that did occur and an ISIL target was destroyed as a consequence of  that."

    We'll note the remarks in full that the above was pulled from but we need to emphasize that this was a new development. Tom Vanden Brook (USA TODAY) explains, "Their use represents a deepening of American involvement in the war against the Islamic State, also known as ISIL."  Barbara Starr (CNN) points out, "The U.S. had been pressing the Iraqi government for months to accept the offer to call in Apaches to help across Iraq in the fight against ISIS. The offer was rejected by the Iraqis in their campaign to retake Ramadi, but the U.S. official said the Iraqi government recently accepted the support."


    Secretary Ash Carter:  In Iraq, the operation to position forces for the envelopment of Mosul continues according to the plan that I think first talked with you all about some five or so months ago when we first devised it.
    The -- both the forces moving north and positioning themselves in two locations called Makhumr and Karia West, which are respectively southeast and southwest of Mosul, comprising the pincher from the southern direction. And then the two brigades also trained and equipped by us approaching from the KRG territory and other Kurdish-controlled territory in the north.
    That continues to proceed at pace, and those forces continue to move in the way that was anticipated. I only emphasize that because there's also operations going on in Fallujah, and obviously, that's an important operation as well. That we are also assisting, but Prime Minister Abadi has -- who is -- and it's his forces, the Iraqi security forces, that are in command of both of these operations -- we're supporting them -- in command in the Fallujah operation.
    And just to remind you that the prime minister has indicated that his forces are commanding that operation and that it will not take away from the forces that are scheduled to move and are moving and some of which have already into position south of Mosul, and that's good.
    In that connection, while we're still in Iraq, perhaps worth mentioning that in the last 24 hours I guess it was, the commanders have used the Apache capability that we positioned there and that the president authorized them to use some months ago when they found an opportunity when that might make a difference. And that did occur and an ISIL target was destroyed as a consequence of that.



    Back to Falluja, how's that going?



    : infographic by of the civilian casualties of the offensive, 86 killed so far







    Along with civilians killed in air strikes, there's also the civilians being held (and tortured).


    AP offers, "Since the Iraqi government launched its offensive May 22 to retake Fallujah from the Sunni-led extremists, the troops have been detaining all military-aged men for questioning as they flee the city west of Baghdad. They want prevent any of IS militants from slipping out among the civilians to fight elsewhere."

    They want prevent?


    Okay, let's pretend that was proper English.

    It would be "They say they wan to" -- unless, of course, AP now practices mind reading.



    Human Rights Watch has rightly noted, "The military routinely separates men from women and takes the men for security screenings to determine their involvement with ISIS forces, according to all witnesses Human Rights Watch interviewed. The authorities may impose reasonable and proportionate security measures, but should do so under judicial supervision and in a transparent manner, Human Rights Watch said. The families of anyone detained should know where they are being held, and all persons detained should promptly be brought before a judge to determine the legality of their detention."


    AP fails to note that reality.



    Hundreds of the displaced Sunnis kidnapped by Shiite crowd And their fate is death most horrendous








    AP's a bit like the US government in its willful denial of reality when it comes to the civilians of Falluja.


    Ayub Nuri (RUDAW) reported Saturday:


    The governor of Anbar Suhaib al-Rawi came out with a damning report on Saturday on killings, torture and imprisonment of Fallujah civilians by members of the Iraqi Shiite militia who are backing government troops in the battle, adding that the city is being unjustifiably destroyed.

    “Iraqi troops continue their advance into Fallujah but with it images of inhumane acts and abuse have come out perpetrated by some armed groups that is sectarian in every sense,” al-Rawi told Rudaw. “These actions have tainted and affected the overall operations.”

    The governor added that these images of abuse have frightened the people of Fallujah who are trapped in the city between Islamic State (ISIS) rule on one side and daily bombardment on the other.




    The assault/liberation of Falluja has created thousands of refugees.

    The International Organization for Migration issued the following:


    Iraq - IOM is closely monitoring displacement from Fallujah in response to ongoing military operations in and around the city, which intensified on 22 May 2016. IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Emergency Tracking identified a total of 43,470 internally displaced Iraqis (7,245 families) from Fallujah district between 22 May and 13 June. This includes 10,548 individuals (1,758 families) who fled between 11 and 13 June; the displaced have arrived mainly to Amiriyat Al Fallujah, with a smaller number to Al-Habbaniya sub-district (both in Anbar governorate), as well as to Baghdad governorate.
    A displaced widow from Fallujah, named Nagham, spoke with an IOM staff member about her displacement. “I have five children. When ISIL came to the area we couldn’t leave because three of my children are very ill.  After the recent military operation many families escaped by foot, taking back roads. I fled with two of my children and had to leave my other three behind with their grandmother and relatives; they were planning to leave by car. I have not heard from them since then. We are in urgent need of supplies and assistance."
    Since 29 May IOM has been assisting displaced persons from Fallujah, the majority in Amiriyat Al Fallujah, through the distribution of more than 3,600 non-food items kits.  These kits include lightweight summer blankets, towels, plastic mats, a cool box, rechargeable fan, rechargeable light, gas cooker and a hygiene kit, first aid kit, and sewing kit. Distributions were conducted in cooperation with local authorities, and funded by the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, and the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) and the Government of Germany. Additional distributions are planned to respond to the most urgent needs.
    The latest report from IOM Iraq’s DTM, published this past week, updated the figure of internally displaced persons (IDPs) throughout the country to 3,306,822 individuals (551,137 families) from 1 January 2014 through 26 May 2016.
    The majority of the displaced are originally from two governorates: Anbar 42 percent (1,396,788 individuals) and Ninewa 35 percent (1,149,492). The entire displaced population is from 8 of Iraq’s 18 governorates. The governorates hosting the largest IDP populations are Anbar 17 percent (578,208), Baghdad 16 percent (535,050) and Dahuk 12 percent (397,290).
    Amid continuing displacement, many Iraqis have started to return to their location of origin. A total of 726,336 individuals (121,056 families) are reported to have returned as of 26 May 2016, indicating an increase of 11 percent (69,558) since 28 April. Returns are mainly to the governorates of Salah al-Din (303,588 individuals), Ninewa (129,198) and Diyala (130,980), thanks to improved security conditions.
    Anbar governorate witnessed the highest increase in returns during the April 28 – May 26 period (33,000 individuals). This increase was especially high in the districts of Ramadi and Heet, where local authorities have facilitated return movements to areas declared safe. 
    IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss said: “Ongoing and recent displacement, especially from Fallujah, requires immediate attention. IOM is responding but funds and supplies are insufficient to provide adequate assistance to the huge numbers of displaced Iraqis. IOM will continue to cooperate with the UN Humanitarian Country Team, humanitarian partners, government authorities and donors, to assist as many displaced Iraqis as possible to the full extent of our resources.”
    Please visit the IOM Iraq DTM portal for details on the methodology, the most recent Datasets, Dashboards, Dynamic Displacement Maps and previous DTM products: http://iraqdtm.iom.int
     The DTM is funded by the US State Department’s PRM.
    For further information please contact IOM Iraq. Sandra Black, Tel. +964 751 234 2550, Email: sblack@iom.int or Laura Nistri, Email: lnistri@iom.int or Antanas Jurksaitis, Email: ajurksaitis@iom.int




    Meanwhile aid and assistance remains an issue throughout Iraq.




    : Temps reach 122°F in summer-Limited access to water & poor sanitation in Abu Ghraib







    Doctors Without Borders' Robert Onus notes:


    In the past year, we have provided more than 20,000 consultations between the mobile clinics and the health center, and this is just a drop in the ocean when compared to the need for assistance in the region. There are more than 3.3 million Iraqis displaced in their own country, and Baghdad alone houses more than 600,000 of them. These are families who were living in their towns or villages and have now lost everything. Many live in unfinished buildings, in schools, mosques or in makeshift settlements, often in very difficult and poor conditions. In Abu Ghraib in particular, we see that people suffer from limited access to water, poor sanitation facilities, and overcrowded housing. These conditions are exacerbated by the impending summer with temperatures reaching up to 50° C [122° F].
    With the poor living conditions and the limited access to health care, we see many preventable diseases such as respiratory and skin infections, but also patients who suffer from chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease and cannot access their regular doctor or obtain their medicine. In a normal environment they would manage their conditions through the national health system, but the conflict has not only forced people out of their homes, it has also left many health facilities damaged or destroyed, or simply short of staff.
    One of the main challenges is the lack of humanitarian actors in Baghdad and the surrounding areas. Most international organizations are focused on the northern part of the country where the situation is more stable and secure. More humanitarian actors engaged across different fields, not only health care, are essential to meet the basic needs of the people here.

    My role as field coordinator is to make sure our medical teams—doctors, nurses, pharmacists and health promoters—can treat patients with minimal barriers. This means I spend a lot of time meeting and negotiating with people from different sections of society: government authorities, security officials, and community and religious leaders. We need to make sure they understand who we are, why we are here, and what we are doing. In this context, ensuring that people understand our independence and neutrality is crucial. We treat everyone who comes to our clinics regardless of where they are from or what they believe. Of course, I don’t do this alone, our team in Baghdad has more than 50 people, and many of them are also working behind the scenes to make sure the medical teams can spend as much time as possible with the patients.
















    Posted at 06:33 pm by thecommonills
     

    About those reported arrests . . .

    About those reported arrests . . .

    I get so tired of the stupidity and lying with regards to Iraq.  Don't you?

    I saw the 'report' from REUTERS yesterday and was too angry to write about it.


    The headline is "Iraq makes arrests over reports of Sunnis executed in Falluja."

    That would be great news -- if it were true.

    So what is REUTERS basing that breathless headline on?


    Here's their 'proof':

    The authorities "are following up on the violations and a number of arrests have been made," government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi said on Monday after a regional governor said 49 Sunni men had been executed after surrendering to a Shi'ite faction.


    Oh, a spokesperson said arrests were made?

    Oh, that must be truth then, right?

    How many arrests?

    I guess that's being picky, asking for actual facts and figures.

    We know the Iraqi government routinely broadcasts the confessions ('confessions' -- the people are tortured) of those arrested on TV so, REUTERS, did you view confessions on TV?

    With nothing but a generic claim, REUTERS lies and claims arrests have been made.

    Most of the non-Arab world ignored the mass arrests of Sunnis and the way they were disappeared in Iraq's prisons and jails during Nouri al-Maliki's second term.

    These Sunnis included women and girls whose 'crimes' were being the sisters, wives, mothers and daughters of men who were wanted.

    When the outcry became so much, Nouri 'released' the women.

    At least, that's what AFP and other outlets 'reported.'

    And at least their they had Nouri's for show press conference with a handful of women.

    Thing is, the press failed to follow up.

    Those women never made it to their homes -- as the Iraqi press (but no one else) widely reported.

    Where did those women go?

    Back to prison?

    Were they killed?

    No one in the western press cared enough to find out.

    They'd gotten their headline and moved on.


    Kind of the way Haider al-Abadi got headlines for announcing he would end corruption in Iraq . . . right before he appointed a person from his political party (Dawa) to head the 'fight' -- thereby guaranteeing that neither he nor the previous prime minister Nouri al-Maliki (also Dawa) would be implicated.

    Is it any surprise that there has been no progress on ending corruption in Iraq?

    And Haider himself?

    Zaid al-Ali shares his view at Australia's ABC:

    When Haider al-Abadi became prime minister [in 2014] many people asked me what I thought of that. I had worked with him on a project in parliament, so I know him fairly well, not very well.
    Based on that experience, my assessment was there was no way he was going to be able to achieve anything because of his character: he's a bit lazy, he doesn't understand how government works, he doesn't admit to making mistakes. Everything I assumed to be right about him continues to be right today.



    New content at Third:



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    Posted at 06:32 pm by thecommonills
     

    And the resistance goes on

    And the resistance goes on

    War resisters of the never ending Iraq War should be applauded.  Their efforts made it a little more difficult to continue the Iraq War -- if only by raising doubts among the public and within the ranks.

    In the US, during Vietnam, the public was able to force concessions from Republicans and Democrats.  Both President Gerald Ford (a Republican) and President Jimmy Carter (a Democrat) were forced to offer some level of clemency to war resisters.

    The bogus president of peace, Barack Obama, who was elected on his promise to end the Iraq War (which still hasn't ended) wasn't pressured to do a damn thing.

    Many war resisters went underground.  Some went to other countries.  The most public place to seek asylum has been in Canada where, during Vietnam, the Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau supported asylum for war resisters.

    Dan Fumano (VANCOUVER SUN) reports:


    Like much of the rest of the world, Rodney Watson has spent a lot of the last week thinking about the world’s most famous war resister. But Muhammad Ali’s televised memorial service Friday had particular resonance for Watson, who watched it from the room above the First United Church in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, where he has made his home for almost seven years now.
    “When I was watching the memorial and people were praising his decision to take a stand against the Vietnam War, I got tears in my eyes, because I felt like I’m a part of something bigger than myself,” said Watson, an American veteran and a resister of the Iraq War.

    A new Insights West poll released this week shows a majority of Canadians support the idea of making Iraq War resisters like Watson permanent residents of their adopted country.



    Who is war resister Rodney Watson?  From the June 17, 2008 snapshot:

     
     
    On Saturday, rallies took place. Mario Cootauco (Canwest News Service) reported on one in British Columbia that US war resister Rodney Watson attended. Watson explained that he didn't want to return to Iraq, "There's no need for us to be over there and I saw that first-hand. I decided I needed to get out of there. I wanted to go just to be a support. I didn't want to go kicking down doors, killing children or innocent people or getting my hands dirty or anything. I support my country, but I don't support the way we're going about it."
     
     
     
     
    The latest flashpoint in the battle to keep war resisters in Canada has been
    the case of Rodney Watson who on Monday October 19, 2009, decided to seek
    sanctuary in a B.C. [British Columbia] church rather than face deporation to the United States to face desertion charges. Watson, who is originally from Kansas City,  Kansas, enlisted in the US Army in 2004 for a three-year contract with the intentions of becoming a cook since he wanted to serve the troops in a non-combat capactiy.
    In 2005, he was deployed to Iraq just north of Mosul, where he was put in
    charge of searching vehicles and Iraqi civilians for explosives, contraband and
    weapons before they entered the base. He was also expected to "keep the
    peace" by monitoring Iraqi civilians who worked on the base and fire his weapon
    at Iraqi children who approached the perimeter.
     
    Rodney sought sanctuary at  Vancouver's First United Church on Hastings Street in Vancouver where he had the support of the church board and the congregation.   In December of 2009, Rodney, still at the church, had a column in the Toronto Star:

    I have been here in Vancouver since early 2007. I have been self-sufficient. I have fathered a beautiful son whose mother is Canadian. I plan to marry her and to provide our son with a loving and caring family unit.
    I have made many friends and I have built a peaceful life here.
    My son and my wife-to-be are my heart and soul and it would be a great tragedy for my family and for me personally if I were deported and torn away from them.
    I think being punished as a prisoner of conscience for doing what I felt morally obligated to do is a great injustice.
    This Christmas I hope and pray that people will open their hearts and minds to give peace and love a chance.
     

    A number of resisters have sought sanctuary in Canada -- some have done so publicly.



    Robin Long and Kimberly Rivera are among those punished for speaking publicly.


    At the end of last month, Paul Copeland (OTTAWA CITIZEN) advocated for Canada to grant asylum to those war resisters in the country:

    The resisters have been seeking resolution to their precarious immigration status in Canada for many years – some for more than a decade. All have applications currently pending before Canadian immigration officials. The Liberal government could easily resolve their precarious status by granting their spousal sponsorships and applications for permanent residence based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.


    Jeremy Hinzman was the first war resister to publicly seek asylum in Canada (2004).  Many others followed in his footsteps.

    When Stephen Harper was prime minister, the Canadian government worked with the US government to target war resisters (most obvious in the harassment of Kyle Snyder).  The reason some have hope that things can change is because Justin Trudeau is now prime minister.

    Andy Barrie (OURWINDSOR.CA) explains:
                               

    Harper deported six deserters to the U.S. to face courts-martial. One of them, Kimberly Rivera, gave birth while doing time in a stockade. The day she was deported, the Conservative caucus cheered in the House of Commons.
    Sad, nasty business, just one among many pieces of nastiness Justin Trudeau promised to undo if he was elected. Well, he was, and with a majority. But he’s yet to tell government lawyers to call it quits to Harper’s deportations.

    Why? Only Trudeau and his immigration minister, John McCallum know. Talk about majorities: Nearly 70 per cent of Canadians support allowing these war resisters to stay; 39 per cent elected the Liberals. The issue would appear to be a no-brainer, worse, for a politician who has allowed himself to cry in public, his silence betrays a seeming lack of compassion, the very quality he promised to bring to this issue.                         


    Colin Perkelt (CANADIAN PRESS) was more specific last month, citing Trudeau's own words:


    “I am supportive of the principle of allowing conscientious objectors to stay,” Trudeau said at the time.
    He called it “problematic” and “disappointing” and unworthy of Canada that Conservative MPs had cheered in the House of Commons in 2012 amid word that one of the Americans, a mother of four, had been arrested after deportation to the U.S., where she was later court-martialled and gave birth in prison.

    “I am committed…to restoring our sense of compassion and openness and a place that is a safe haven for people to come here.”


    When does that commitment kick in?

    His father's commitment is one of the reasons Pierre Trudeau was a leader on the world stage and why he's remembered fondly around the globe.


    Kat's "Kat's Korner: The growls and moans of Nick Jonas" went up last night.



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    Posted at 06:31 pm by thecommonills
     

    Hejira

    Hejira

    Today, the US Defense Dept announced:


    Strikes in Iraq
    Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 20 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed two ISIL artillery pieces and an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Bashir, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL assembly area and an ISIL supply cache.

    -- Near Fallujah, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units; destroyed five ISIL fighting positions, four ISIL vehicles, two ISIL vehicle bombs, an ISIL heavy machine gun and six ISIL light machine guns; damaged two separate ISIL fighting positions; and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Qayyarah, eight strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL weigh station; destroyed three ISIL mortar systems, 10 ISIL rocket rails, two ISIL vehicle bomb facilities and an ISIL assembly area; damaged an ISIL mortar system; and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Ramadi, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb storage facility and an ISIL anti-air artillery piece.

    -- Near Sinjar, four strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL assembly areas, an ISIL rocket rail, an ISIL tactical vehicle, two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL fighting position, and an ISIL storage area.

    -- Near Tal Afar, a strike suppressed an ISIL bunker.


    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.


    As the bombings continue, efforts at diplomacy continue to be forgotten by the US government.

    At The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Kirk H. Sowell examines the current situation in Iraq:

    A mob loyal to Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr sacked Iraq’s parliament on April 30, exacerbating the country’s seemingly permanent political crisis and bringing the tenure of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to a new low. The government’s political paralysis is severe even by Iraqi standards, with parliament struggling to make quorum, and the legal legitimacy of its leadership in question. While a new military operation to free Fallujah from terrorist control has temporarily grabbed media attention, Iraq’s political crisis continues.
    Several misconceptions surround the origins of this paralysis—including that Abadi’s efforts to create a cabinet of technocrats were a reaction to Sadrist protests, that these demonstrations can be broadly identified with last summer’s anti-corruption protests, and that the fight between Abadi and rival figures within the political elite is substantially related to his efforts to push anti-corruption reforms. Rather, while both the Abadi and Sadr “reform” initiatives failed, the current crises facing both the parliament and Abadi’s cabinet result from a struggle for power and all sides’ disregard for the rule of law. 

    Abadi had announced various reforms in response to popular protests in August 2015, but the only one that was actually implemented and had wide-ranging impact was his August 16 decree deleting four ministries, merging eight other ministries into four, and effectively firing eleven cabinet members.1 Abadi did not submit a request to parliament but simply took the action by decree. All other parliamentary blocs correctly argued that this was unconstitutional—according to Article 75, the prime minister can remove ministers only with parliament’s approval—and uniformly opposed it. 


    Confused?

    We've noted repeatedly that Haider's actions were unconstitutional.

    We've noted that the US State Dept has praised these actions.

    And that whenever there's an action it doesn't like, it insists that action goes against the Constitution but this supposed concern for the Iraqi Constitution is just a lie.


    US government concern's always been a joke.



    Link to headline article



    That link was posted by BBC NEWS today.

    It goes to their 2012 report on the assault on Iraq's LGBT community.


    And it's worth recalling that the US government turned a blind eye to those assaults.


    Yes, some in Congress objected but where was the US government condemning it?

    Where was the US government telling the Iraqi government that either this persecution stopped or US weapons and monies dried up?


    The US government did nothing to protect Iraq's gay community, not even empty words were offered.


    Meanwhile the Sunni civilians continue to be persecuted in Iraq.

    Anbar Governor al-Rawi said 49 Iraqi sunni civilian killed & 643 Sunni civilian Missing by Shia Militias
     
     
     


    I'm traveling in some vehicle
    I'm sitting in some cafe
    A defector from the petty wars
    That shell shock love away
    -- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name




    The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4517 (including 20 in Operation Inherent Resolve which includes at least 3 Iraq War fatalities).



    The following community sites  updated:












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    Posted at 06:31 pm by thecommonills
     

    Terrorism has no religion

    Terrorism has no religion



    Terrorism has no religion Terrorism does not represent Islam I am Muslim stand with Praying for peace

     
     
     






    iraq

    Posted at 06:30 pm by thecommonills
     


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