Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Graham Elwood

Let me start out with Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Geezer Rock." 

geezer


Now here's Graham Elwood.




They have yet to propose a plan -- they just beg for money and ask us to vote for them -- even though they never do anything.


And tonight the season finale of SUPERMAN & LOIS aired so I'm stopping here.  My daughter had some stuff she had to do before we could watch.  I promised her if she got everything done, I'd stop as soon as she was ready and she's ready to watch now.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


Tuesday, June 28, 2022.  Iraq suffers from cholera, heat waves and climate change.  Swap a war on individual rights for cholera and it could be the US!


Within days of the reactionary Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to outlaw abortion, seven states have done so, either through trigger laws that took effect automatically, or through certification of the high court action by state officials which activated such laws.

According to Planned Parenthood, the states where abortion is already illegal and reproductive health clinics have ceased operating include: Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Utah, with a combined population of 52 million.

There are 15 states where the procedure is severely restricted and soon to be entirely illegal: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, with a combined population of 93 million.

In four more states, Kansas, Nebraska, Michigan and North Carolina, the legal status of abortion depends on impending court decisions or, in Kansas, a statewide referendum in August. Some 26 million people live in these four states, bringing the total number of people living in states where abortion is banned or under immediate threat to 171 million, just over half the US population.

That leaves 24 states where the status of abortion remains on fairly strong legal foundations: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington.

Geographically, the division of the United States is quite stark. Abortion is likely to remain legal in the northeast and Middle Atlantic states, and along the entire West Coast and portions of the Mountain states, and in a few spots in the Midwest. Across the entire South, most of the Midwest, and some of the Mountain states, it will be savagely proscribed.

While the right to this vital medical procedure and fundamental democratic right is being taken away from women immediately, the response of the Biden administration and the Democratic Party as a whole is to view the issue purely as an opportunity to reverse their dismal poll numbers and mobilize support in the upcoming midterm elections on November 8.

Biden made a perfunctory statement Friday in response to the Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. White House sources told the press on background that the speech had already been written last month after the draft of the controlling opinion by Justice Samuel Alito was leaked to the media. It was only “tweaked” in response to the handing down of the actual ruling.

The administration has convened a series of meetings to discuss what practical response it could carry out to aid women seeking abortions in the affected states, but nothing has happened so far except a joint letter from Attorney General Merrick Garland, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, reminding insurance companies that they must continue providing coverage of contraceptive services under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

Some 30 Democratic senators sent a letter to the White House over the weekend, urging Biden to take “bold action” and use “every step available to your Administration, across federal agencies, to help women access abortions and other reproductive health care.” Diplomatically, however, they did not actually spell out a single concrete action that Biden should take.

The “left” wing of the Democratic Party has seized on the abortion issue as a means of voter mobilization in November, and rehabilitating the Biden administration in the eyes of millions who voted for Biden in 2020 to oust the hated Trump, but have seen the Democrats abandon their promises of significant social improvements and reforms. This includes such issues as voting rights, relief for student debt, serious protection against evictions and foreclosures, and a real fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been entirely abandoned.


In fairness, Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House -- second in line to the presidency (should Joe become ill or decide to retire before the end of his term, the order of succession is the Vice President and then the Speaker of the House) -- has taken 'action' when cameras were around.  She read a poem and she led a sing along.



These are the type of actions activists use to try to influence law makers.  These are not actions for members of Congress.  They are yet again abdicating their power and their responsibilities.  

If they wanted to, they could codify ROE right now.  They have the power.  They will not have it after the mid-terms so when Senator Elizabeth Warren tells you the answer is to vote in the mid-terms or House Rep AOC argues the same, NO.  That' not how it's going to work.

In fact, that's what led to the overturning of ROE -- the Democratic Party using it as a get-out-the-vote mechanism and refusing to codify it.

They used the Iraq War.  Look at that if you're old enough.  They were going to end it, Nancy Pelosi swore, if they were given just one house of Congress in the 2006 mid-terms.  The American people gave them both houses.  And Congress didn't end the war.  They were surprised by the turn out and used the continuation of the Iraq War as a get out the vote tool in 2008 to grab the presidency.

They never did remove all US troops from Iraq.  We've seen multiple on US military convoys in Iraq this month.  And there was just a fire at a US base in western Iraq.   

They did the same with abortion.  They used it to grab votes but they never defended it.  It's been chipped away and chipped away since the ruling.  They criticized the Hyde Amendment, for example.  That chipped away a significant amount of power and access.  That started in 1976 and the Dems railed against it publicly but they never did a damn thing to end the Hyde Amendment.  

Nada Hassanein and Eli Marcel Cahan (USA TODAY) explained this earlier this month.  It started with refusing to allow  Medicaid to cover abortion and then it refused all federal funds.  This prevented access to millions of women who were working class and/or in poverty.  But these same leaders who want to read you a bad, Zionist poem and then play Kate Smith by singing "God Bless America" (apparently Congress can't stop dry humping this same Court's verdict on prayer) did nothing.  1976.  It was one of the first attacks on ROE and it came from Congress.  Nothing overturned it.  The gender quake of the 1992 elections did not overturn it.  Dems being in charge of both houses of Congress and the White House didn't overturn it.


Last month, POLITICO broke the news of the draft opinion the Court had that would overturn ROE V WADE.  In response to that, Margaret Kimberly (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) noted:

Reaction to the news was swift and predictable. Liberals expressed outrage and marched on federal courthouses and even to the homes of Supreme Court justices. Barack Obama released a long winded 700 word statement declaring himself, and his wife, strongly opposed to the court’s imminent decision. The statement is amusing because it gives the impression that Obama had nothing to do with the current state of affairs.

As a presidential candidate in 2008 Obama promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would have codified abortion rights into federal law. But once in office he never pushed congress to pass it. In typical Obamaesque fashion he would claim to believe that women had the right to choose abortion, but that he didn’t want to demonize the opposition, and he wanted to find consensus on the issue. After his usual routine "on the one hand this, but on the other hand that” on April 29, 2009 he finally said out loud what was clear. "The Freedom of Choice Act is not my highest legislative priority." It wasn’t even his lowest legislative priority. Obama never lifted a finger to get it passed, even during his first two years in office when he had majorities in the House and the Senate.

Knowing full well that Roe v. Wade hinged on having a supportive Supreme Court in place, he dithered on doing what he had the power to do. In 2013 he knew that the democrats might lose control of the senate in the 2014 election. He asked Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, already 80-years old and a cancer patient, to step down. She declined and he didn’t press the issue. In 2016 conservative Justice Antonin Scalia died and senate republicans refused to even hold hearings to confirm Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland. Obama had the option of making a  recess appointment that would have put Garland on the court but he didn’t do that either. Such a move would have been controversial, and perhaps Garland’s presence would have been short, but it would have made clear that democrats were as committed as they claimed to be on the issue of abortion rights.

Instead they play games with democratic voters. Any unhappiness with the democrats is met with the plea to protect the federal judiciary from conservatives. This ploy is nothing but a cynical effort to keep left leaning democrats in the fold and to discredit anyone who questions the party's continued failures to do what the people want them to do.

Now the liars and hypocrites like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who once claimed abortion was a "fading" issue are sending fundraising appeals to brain washed liberals who will again write checks and declare their devotion like Stockholm Syndrome hostages. Hillary Clinton’s foolish appeals to conservatives included choosing anti-choice senator Tim Kaine as a running mate and at times saying she was "ambivalent " about abortion are now forgotten as the supposed left of the party remain lost.

They are lost because they don’t know the most basic rules of political mobilizations. Instead of harassing SCOTUS justices at home, they should be harassing their democratic representatives. Why march to a courthouse instead of to the office of democratic member of congress and demand that they make abortion legal? In particular, senators have the ability to end the filibuster which would give the senate the ability to pass a Freedom of Choice Act with their small majority margin. Every democratic senator should be quaking in his or her boots for fear that they’ll be turned out of office if they do not act to protect abortion rights.


They do nothing.

Over and over, they do nothing.

Even now when they could still save ROE by voting to make it law, they do nothing.

As Ashford & Simpson once sang, "I want to know, is it still good to ya?"








It's not good for me and it shouldn't be good for you.  They have the power now to act and they're taking your money right now and they're asking you to pledge for them in November right now.  But they're not doing anything.  And the November election is not going to find them with more seats.  That's not the historical pattern and Joe Biden has been a highly disappointing president.  There are valid questions about his sanity and the American people want oversight.  The Dems have provided no oversight -- watch them run like roaches when the light's turned on if anyone mentions the words "Hunter Biden."  

So the Dems will lose control of at least one house, possibly two.

They need to act now or they are just stringing us along as they've done over and over.

Hey, a slogan of "Look how we stepped up!" after codifying ROE could get people to turn out in droves and upset expectations.

But do nothing and still asking for a vote?  We should reject that abuse.  They have abused us enough.


The ruling the Court made is out of step with the American people.  Julia Conley (COMMON DREAMS) explains:

Nine out of 10 Democrats and more than half of independent voters said they oppose the ruling, while only 20% of Republicans opposed it.

"What the court did is clearly outside the mainstream of public opinion, and that is reflected again in the NPR poll," wrote Domenico Montanaro at NPR.

The poll of 941 people, which had a margin of error of +/-4.9 percentage points, found that only 39% of respondents were left feeling confident in the court after the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling—a new low for the survey. As Common Dreams reported last week, a separate poll by Gallup taken just before the ruling found that only 25% of Americans had confidence in the court.


Meanwhile, poor Iraq.  We gave them death and destruction and, possibly worst of all, we gave them a version of our do-nothing government.  Which is why nothing gets accomplished and why the Iraqi people continue to suffer.



As I dictate this snapshot, the temperature in Baghdad is 104 degrees Fahrenheit.  And the people are suffering with power cuts.  And the people are also suffering because it's summer which doesn't just mean heat, it also means the annual cholera outbreaks.  This too could be prevented.  There's no reason with all the millions and millions Iraq makes off oil each month that the government of Iraq cannot provide potable water -- water that is safe to drink.  Instead, a state of emergency has been declared.

And because violence breeds violence, we've exported school shootings to Iraq as well.



Two university professors in the northern Iraqi province of Erbil were killed in an armed attack by a former student on Tuesday, the Erbil governor said.

Kawan Ismail, the dean of the college of law at Salahaddin University in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, succumbed to injuries he sustained in a shooting by a dismissed student, Erbil Governor Omed Khoshnaw told a press conference.

The student attacked the dean and shot him and killed another engineering professor, the governor was quoted by the official Iraqi News Agency as saying.


Layal Shakir (RUDAW) adds:                                                                              

Four years earlier, Aras Mahdi Qassim started his first year of law at Soran University before he was expelled for his poor grades. He continuously attempted to transfer his studies to Salahaddin University’s law faculty in Erbil in a request that was repeatedly rejected due to his low marks, Himdad Faisal, dean of Soran University’s Faculty of Law told Rudaw of the student.

Qassim, who has previously clashed with law lecturer Nishtiman Osman over his Erbil transfer request, readied his gun early morning and made his way towards her house determined to commit a crime. 

The woman had filed a lawsuit against Qassim and was in the Soran administration on Tuesday to attend the first court session. Her husband, Idris Izzat, who is also a well-known university academic in Erbil, was alone at home when the student arrived. 



Two quick notes.  Everyone in the community is depressed regarding ROE.  I don't think there's going to be an edition of THIRD so if that proves to be the case as today unfolds, Ava and I'll post our TV piece late this afternoon (PST).  I believe it's 10:00 am EST that, on INSTAGRAM, Alec Baldwin is going to be interviewing Woody Allen live.  I consider Alec a friend.  I know Woody but we're not friends and weren't when he was with Mia (who was a friend).  I'm sure it'll be an interesting interview and if it makes it up on YOUTUBE we'll gladly repost it.  

The following sites updated:


Should Amber Heard marry Jussie Smollet?

 

Yes, because they truly deserve each other.  Imagine all the fun they could have pooling their talents to fake events and 'crimes.'

 

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 

Monday, June 27, 2022.  When I was talking to Elaine about one of the topics I'd be covering on Monday, I didn't realize it would end up being the entire snapshot.  But we're calling for the immediate impeachment and removal from the court of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and it is the entire snapshot.


On Friday, the Supreme Court ended ROE V WADE (see "Today is a story of betrayal -- one long betrayal").  Now, it is time to begin considering impeaching Clarence Thomas to remove him from the Supreme Court.  


In May, we noted here that if the House of Representatives were serious about the claims that they were making to the press regarding his second wife Virginia Thomas that they should begin impeachment.  They didn't.  Should they become more serious about those charges, they can certainly add that to list of reasons to impeach.


But there are currently two strong reasons to impeach.  


The first is his concurring opinion in DOBBS V JACKSON WOMEN'S HEALTH ORGANIZATION -- that's the decision overturning ROE.  In that decision, it wasn't enough for him to join the other four justices in overturning ROE.  He had to go further.


He wants to do away with birth control and with LGBTQ rights.  In his concurring opinion, he advocates:  "In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell."


GRISWOLD V CONNECTICUT has been settled law since 1965.  The case made legal the purchase and use of contraceptives.  LAWRENCE V TEXAS was settled in 2003 and it outlawed the government's ability to prosecute people for sodomy.  OBERGEFELL V HODGES was decided in 2015 and it what provides us with marriage equality.


Little Clarence, the mental midget who can't speak and only recently learned how to write an opinion, needs to be removed from the Court -- he is a danger to himself and others.  


As Samuel L. Jackson has noted, Clarence is not objecting LOVING V VIRGINIA.  He might have to leave little Ginni The Insurrectionist if he did since LOVING is what allows interracial couples to marry.  


Overturning OBERGEFELL would break up marriages -- couples now married would, upon the ruling, no longer be married.  Some of those couples have children.  This would impact families.


None of that is a concern to Clarence.  For that reason alone, he's demonstrated he's not competent to sit on the Supreme Court.


The Court -- in fact the entire court system -- is built around protecting families.  Clarence's move is an attack on families, is an attack on the institution of marriage and is an argument against child welfare.  Overturning the other two go to how out of touch with the legal reality of today is: the police do not have the time to snare and arrest people for using birth control or for having anal sex nor do the already overburdened courts have room on the docket for these cases.


He is a clear danger to the judicial system.  He would not have been confirmed had he declared that he did not agree with the basic legal principal known as stare decisis.  Now maybe he wasn't against precedents when he was confirmed.  That's possible.  But he's made clear that he's against them now.


That's why you impeach him.


He is not fit to serve on the Court.  


He does not realize the damage that he would do tearing apart families, nullifying legal relationships.


He doesn't realize it but others do and that's why the Congress needs to step forward and impeach and them remove him.


There are certain basics that al members of the court must agree to for it to function.  In his concurring opinion, he made clear that stare decisis is not legal principal he agrees with.


If you are called to serve on a jury and you want to get out of it, the easiest ways is to indicate -- on paper or in a verbal answer -- that you know and agree with the principle of jury nullification.  That's a custom we bring over from the UK and it allows a jury to say that, yes, the person is guilty but I don't believe the crime matters or I don't think the crime is worth being punished for.


Say "jury nullification" and watch them rush to disqualify you.  That's because our system is built on innocent or guilty.


And our system is also built on stare decisis.  


Without stare decisis, you're just making it up as you go along and that's what Clarence Thomas wants to do and that's why he needs to be immediately impeached.  He is not fit to serve on the Court.


Can you imagine all the damage done if the cases he wants overturned in his concurring verdict were overturned?


He's not fit.  


Maybe he was once (we'll get to that) but he's not now.  He is a danger to the Court.  The longer he is allowed to remain on it, the more at risk the American people are.


He has no rational abilities left.  He is willing to break up the families with children if the parents are same-sex.  He is a danger and he needs to be stopped.  The correct remedy is removal from the Court via impeachment.


This would not be packing the Court.  It would not be about punishing a justice for a verdict. The other ones involved in overturning ROE would remain on the Court.  


I disagree with their finding but they didn't write anything as anti-judicial system as Clarence did.  Clarence must be removed.  He goes against everything our judicial system is built upon.  Hell, we're built on precedent and he's denying precedent when he's denying stare decisis.


He never should have written that concurring opinion and, for all I know, the others who overturned ROE feel the same.  But they weren't stupid enough to put it in writing.


When Clarence put it in writing, he was putting the United States on notice.  He needs to be removed from office.


Now let's get to the second reason to impeach him: Anita Hill.


In 1991, Anita raised the issue of sexual harassment.


As the attacks on Felicia Sonmez -- attacks from the left -- recently made clear, elements of this country still struggle with harassment.  "It was just a joke!"  Isn't that what the pig boys -- and some of the gals who pretend to be men -- said?  Just a joke.  


In isolation, you understand.


Not part of a larger pattern in which a woman got harassed daily.


That is what happened.  

 

Anita Hill had it even worse.  


And when she stood up in 1991 to testify against the harassment she experience from her boss Clarence Thomas, the county wasn't ready for it.  Reporters wanted to giggle over Long John Dong or whatever the porn title was.  They said Anita was a spoil sport.  She and her kind were destroying the work environment.

The Senate had additional witnesses that they refused to call.  I'm looking at you Joe Biden.


We are a different time now where some of us -- not Little Jackie Hinkle who thinks you bring a drunk woman on your YOUTUBE show to try to have sex with her -- are mature enough to address harassment.  


Clarence doesn't get a pass.


No one who harasses gets a pass.


Since his hearing, more has been learned about him.  One of the worst attackers on Anita Hill -- David Brock -- has now admitted he was a cheap liar.  And he was part of an organized effort to attack Anita and to get Clarence on the Court.  


We have learned since that Clarence lied or didn't remember correctly during his testimony.  There are whole books on this issue.


Impeachment exists for many reasons -- one of them is to rectify mistakes.  


Had Clarence been honest in his testimony regarding Anita Hill, he would not have been confirmed -- even in 1991, he would not have been confirmed.


Justice was not served by putting an abuser on the Court.


Justice needs to be addressed.  


It is past time that Clarence Thomas was impeached and removed from the Court.


As outlined above, his testimony in his hearing about his own actions regarding Anita Hill were not accurate.  He was part of an effort to attack Anita's character.  He does not believe in precedent and is making it clear that he will work to overturn other decisions which will negatively impact the lives of individuals and families.  He does not see the role of the court in keeping families together and, in fact, his comments in DOBBS are a declaration of war on the institution of the family as well as the rights of individuals.


Ginni Thomas has been much in the news.  When you tie her alleged actions to Clarence written comments, you have a couple bound and determined to destroy the country. And Clarence has the power to.


He needs to be impeached.


Many people have commented in the last few weeks that this or that nominee lied in their confirmation hearings.  Did they?  I have no idea, I can't peer into their hearts.  But if the Congress wants to make clear that nominees better be honest, they can do that be allowing future nominees to see what happens when you show no respect for basic legal principals, you get removed from the Court.


Impeachment is the only check on a lifetime appointment.  


It's time to move immediately to impeach Clarence Thomas and remove him from the Court.


His actions against Anita Hill should have precluded him from being confirmed and serving. 

He needs to be impeached immediately.


Any woman who's spent the last month fearing what would happen when the Court ruled on DOBBS knows how stressful that was.  That same stress should not be passed on to any other groups.  Not to a woman in need of birth control, not to a same sex couple trying to raise a family, not to an 11-year-old child with two Mommys or two Daddys.  


Congress needs to address this and should do so immediately.  


 



Kat's "Kat's Korner: Jack Johnson finds his way back" went up Sunday as did Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Geezer Rock."  In addition, the following sites updated:


Sunday, June 26, 2022

Idiot of the week

The 'honor' this weekend goes to . . . Democrats in Congress.  


Friday, the Supreme Court overturned Roe V Wade.  The Dems are already lining up -- especially some idiot who tells you that if you put her in Congress she'll fight -- but won't tell you how she'd fight or what she'd do.  Another useless whore.  So the Dems are lining up to steal your money and make you empty promises again.


Roe became law in the early seventies.  It was immediately attacked and Congress immediately began stripping of it power -- a face C.I. notes in "Today is a story of betrayal -- one long betrayal" -- so they're idiots if they think they can fool us again.


Right now, they have the power in the House and Senate to codify Roe -- that means to make it the law of the land, to pass legislation doing so.


If they're not going to do it now, they're not ever going to do it.


So as they dither and try to figure out how to get over on us, they're the idiots because we're watching, seeing and registering.


Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


Friday, June 24, 2022.  War on Russia continues and requires obliterating uncomfortable truths, the persecution of Julian Assange continues, Iraq has a new make up in their legislative house, and much more.



Starting with the war on Russia, Larry C. Johnson looks at all the US intelligence failures in a column at ICH and concludes:


The CIA is learning the hardway the truth of Sun Tzu’s aphorism:

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

That is where the United States intelligence community is; it is ignorant of itself and the Russians.

One of the old intel codgers, Graham E. Fuller, who was Vice Chair of the National Intelligence Council at CIA back when I was an analyst, has it figured out. He wrote a piece sure to get him removed from woke Washington, DC parties:

The war in Ukraine has dragged on long enough now to reveal certain clear trajectories. First, two fundamental realities:

  • Putin is to be condemned for launching this war– as is virtually any leader who launches any war.  Putin can be termed a war criminal–in good company with George W. Bush who has killed vastly greater numbers than Putin.
  • Secondary condemnation belongs to the US (NATO) in deliberately provoking a war with Russia by implacably pushing its hostile military organization, despite Moscow’s repeated notifications about crossing red lines, right up to the gates of Russia.  This war did not have to be if Ukranian neutrality, รก la Finland and Austria, had been accepted. Instead Washington has called for clear Russian defeat.

Contrary to Washington’s triumphalist pronouncements, Russia is winning the war, Ukraine has lost the war.  Any longer-term damage to Russia is open to debate.

Sadly for Washington, nearly every single one of its expectations about this war are turning out to be incorrect. Indeed the West may come to look back at this moment as the final argument against following Washington’s quest for global dominance into ever newer and more dangerous and damaging confrontations with Eurasia. And most of the rest of the world–Latin America, India, the Middle East and Africa– find few national interests in this fundamentally American war against Russia


This war could end today, said Sara Flounders back in March, but that would require reality being addressed.  For eight years, US officials and their military machine have fueled and organized to use Ukraine as a pawn for the war on Russia, have shelled the Russian border for eight years.  This is without a doubt.  There's just no mention in the media that it's US-NATO weapons that are responsible for 1400 civilian deaths . . ."

 


We can't get honest about that.  We can't get honest about the fact that Mila Kunis does not speak for Ukraine that, like any whore of war, she simplifies and pretends Ukraine is filled with people who 100% back a war on Russia.  That's not reality.


The nazi faction does back a war on Russia and separation from Russia.  


Earlier this week, Trina noted:

How stupid is Ben Stiller? He made a point to go to Ukraine and meet his ''hero'' Zelensky -- hero? This week, we learn Ben Stiller's hero is banning books and music. Guess Ben doesn't support the arts. Well, that would explain THE CABLE MAN and so much of the garbage he has appeared in. There was no reason for him to go to Ukraine. In a few years when we all accept the reality that the government of Ukraine was neo-nazis, I don't want to hear excuses from Stiller. No one twisted his arm. He elected to stand with and praise a racist.


At WSWS,  Jason Melanovski reported yesterday:

A Ukrainian court has officially banned the activities of the country’s largest opposition party, the Opposition Platform—For Life party.

The decision was handed down by the Administrative Court of Appeals No. 8 on June 20 in Lviv and effectively upheld President Volodymyr Zelensky’s banning of 11 political parties that Kiev regarded as “anti-Ukrainian” and “collaborationists” earlier in March. The measure was then approved by the Ukrainian parliament in May.

Ten other pro-Russian and left-wing parties were included in Zelensky’s ban, among them the Socialist Party of Ukraine and the Party of Shariy led by the popular Youtube blogger Anatoly Shariy.

In addition to legally banning the party’s activities, the court also stated that the party’s property and assets will be confiscated by the State Treasury. 

The banning of the country’s largest opposition party marks the temporary culmination of an undemocratic campaign initiated by the Zelensky government against parties and individuals who could potentially undermine the war that Kiev is waging against Russia on behalf of the imperialist powers.

Led by oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, the party controlled 44 out of 450 seats in Ukraine’s parliament, surpassed only by the ruling Servant of the People party of President Volodymyr Zelensky. Prior to Russia’s invasion in February, several opinion polls showed the Russia-aligned party leading hypothetical parliamentary elections or finishing second.

In eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, Opposition—For Life functioned as the dominant political party at both national and local levels. It was the effective successor to the Party of Regions of former President Viktor Yanukovych. In contrast to his opponents in the oligarchy that, with the heavy backing from US and German imperialism, toppled him in 2014 in a coup, Yanukovich spoke for a faction of the Ukrainian oligarchy that has been seeking to balance between Western imperialism and the Kremlin, and opposed a direct alliance of Ukraine with NATO.

 

You don't ban political parties, books and music if you're all in agreement.  


You don't lie if you have truth on your side.  But it's been one lie after another to keep the war going.  No one can tell truth about the far-right in Ukraine and how the US government is supporting them.  (They did the same in Iraq.  A people under attack internally are less likely to be able to mount to fronts and expel the foreign invaders.)  


Nicholas Paul Pacheco and I are not in agreement on Ukraine and I want that clear so I'm not accused of distorting him.  But a lengthy piece he wrote for INKSTICK MEDIA notes:


The Azov’s success in battle has spanned back to the 2014 Crimean War, and the Ukrainian government has built a reliance on their fierce fighting capabilities in several theaters. Yet, despite dismissals of their danger to stability in Ukraine, several troubling patterns suggest that Azov and its political wing, the National Corps, should not be overlooked, especially in a post-war Ukraine. First, the Azov has increased its number of fighters from 300 in 2014 to between 900 and 2500 in 2022, which is in tandem with the National Corps’ growth in size to a party membership of between 10,000 and 15,000 people. Second, they retain popular support from all spectrums of the ideological zeitgeist, from nationalists to conservatives to neo-Nazis, who are now being conscripted to fight in the war. And third, while the party and the battalion are primarily men, there have been reports of women volunteering for various militias, including the Azov under the National Guard.

Signs of strategic indifference from policymakers and media have been expressed with the US military reversing its ban on training Azov soldiers and Facebook lifting the ban on its social media page. Withstanding the current Russian encroachment is pivotal to ensuring further aggression does not take place across Eastern Europe. But just like in the 1980s, when priorities of the Cold War resulted in policy oversights in Afghanistan, the United States and NATO may find themselves in a quagmire with a potential transnational actor that is not separated by a continent and dense terrain but rather has easy land access to various European states.

The reality on the ground of the far-right’s size in Ukraine cannot be defined by how many fighters are listed as serving under the Azov Regiment. At the start of the year, around two months before the invasion, former FBI agent Ali Soufan estimated that more than 17,000 foreign fighters had come to Ukraine over the past six years from 50 countries, with Azov orchestrating recruitment for a network of extremist groups that spanned from California, through Europe, and to New Zealand. As Soufan explains, consistent with the modus operandi of ideological non-state groups, the spread of far-right extremism is a transnational movement that actively recruits and spreads ideas beyond borders.

While not all of the recruits were confirmed to be neo-Nazis or even considered “far-right” by any kind of ideological litmus test, Azov has had a history of actively communicating with groups across Europe. For example, members of the group utilized the neo-fascist chat forum Iron March to convene with other neo-fascist organizations in Europe, including Italy’s CasaPound, the UK’s Blood and Honour, Sweden’s Nordic Resistance Movement, Greece’s Golden Dawn, and Serbias’ Serbian Action. There was also a confirmed correspondence by members of Azov with US-based Atomwaffen co-founder Devon Arthurs attempting organizing a visit to Ukraine according to monitoring undertaken at West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center. Arthurs’ correspondence showcases what potential the dichotomy of Azov’s continued growth can result in; the ability for radicals to travel and receive training and/or combat action.

Inquiries by independent researchers and international organizations, including the UN, also suggest assertions contrary to the notion that the Azov has gone legitimate and is now accountable to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as reiterated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. In 2016, a report by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights found that members of Azov were engaged in activities beyond their jurisdiction after the Nov. 11, 2014, date of their assimilation into the National Guard as a unit. These activities included corroborated reports of extrajudicial torture, sexual violence, and politically-motivated subversion of a Ukrainian television channel. In 2017, they proceeded to publicly project themselves as the vanguard of defense for the nation independent of the Ukrainian military, as their official Twitter account at the time tweeted: “When the Ukrainian Army ran, #Azov stood up to fight for #Ukraine” and followed this tweet with unsanctioned artillery shelling of pro-Russian separatist locations.

Even in the current conflict, despite the declaration by the Ukrainian government of a unified nation in this battle, reports on the ground have indicated there are instances of in-fighting between the Azov and Ukrainian military units. For example, independent journalist Patrick Lancaster, who’s been on the ground in Ukraine for the duration of the war, reports claims by locals of Mariupol that Azov fighters were opening fire on Ukrainian soldiers who were attempting to retreat under orders from their command because they wanted to stay and fight.


Again, reality matters.  Truth matters.  If they tell the truth for a losing cause -- like a meaningless war -- leaders lose support.  If they tell the truth about someone they're trying to persecute, leaders lose support.  Peter Osborne (THE NATION) notes:


And it is certainly true that the Wikileaks revelations has shone a horrifying light on crimes casually committed by the US during the so called “War on Terrorism.”

Wikileaks published a video of US helicopter gunmen laughing as they shot at and killed unarmed civilians in Iraq. Fifteen individuals were killed in the attack, including a Reuters photographer and his assistant. 

The US military refused to discipline the perpetrators of this grotesque crime, who remain unpunished. But the US government has thrown the book at the man who revealed their crimes.

Wikileaks revealed that the total number of civilian casualties in Iraq was far greater than previously admitted by the US government. It disclosed the abuse meted out to the inmates at Guantanamo Bay, as well as the fact that 150 innocent inmates were held for years without charge. 


This persecution of Julian is about silencing the press.  Monday April 5, 2010, WIKILEAKS released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh.  That is when the persecution begins.  It was an intimidation carried out by multiple presidents starting with Barack Obama, continuing with Donald Trump and now the baton for killing the press has been handed off to Joe Biden. This has had the effect of scaring off many traditional news outlets.  They once partnered with Julian to report and now they act as though they've never heard of him.  Saving their own asses?  They may think that.  If they do, they're dead wrong.  An attack on Julian is an attack on all.  And if the attack on Julian is not loudly and publicly rebuked, you can be sure that next up will be THE WASHINGTON POST or THE MIAMI HERALD or some other institution -- despite the US Constitution -- the same one that's being ignored in this attack on Julian. 

Oscar Grenfell (WSWS) reports:


Immediately after British Home Secretary Priti Patel announced on Friday last week that she had approved Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States, the publisher and journalist was stripped naked and placed in a bare cell of London’s maximum-security Belmarsh Prison.

This latest abuse of Assange’s democratic and human rights was reported by his father John Shipton to a rally in Berlin last Tuesday and at other speaking engagements in Europe. The brutal treatment was meted out on the grounds of preventing Assange from taking his own life.

In reality, it is a continuation of what outgoing United Nations Rapporteur Nils Melzer has branded as the state torture of Assange by the British and US authorities. 

The persecution of the journalist is proceeding along two tracks. On the one hand, there is the pseudo-legal extradition process, aimed at dispatching Assange to the US where he would face 18 Espionage Act charges and 175 years imprisonment for publishing true documents which exposed American war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On the other is the ongoing brutalisation of Assange, who has been subjected to different forms of arbitrary detention for more than a decade. This includes over three years imprisonment in Belmarsh Prison, a facility dubbed “Britain’s Guantanamo Bay,” the vast majority of that time without conviction.

On Twitter, Assange’s wife Stella Moris also reported that Assange had been denied visitors the entire weekend after Patel’s announcement. The extradition order will be subject to a further appeal through the British courts. But under conditions of a momentous decision, which has vast and potentially dire consequences for his life, Assange was deliberately isolated and left entirely alone.

The clear aim of the British authorities was not to prevent Assange’s suicide, but to intensify his suffering as much as possible. The implications of such treatment being meted out to a man with intense psychological issues, stemming from the protracted US-led persecution, are clear. The British state wants Assange dead.


They want what Joe Biden wants because that's who they're sucking up to.  Argentinian international law expert Beltran Gambier notes that Joe Biden has the power to end this nonsense, that Barack Obama pardoned Chelsea Manning and wonders how Joe can reconcile that while continuing to pursue the extradition of Julian?


The world is watching and it's not like Joe's not already embarrassing himself on the world stage.



From yesterday's snapshot:


The fake assery of Joe Biden.  That included, please remember, backing Moqtada al-Sadr in Iraq.  Joe loves to trot out Beau Biden and Beau's service in Iraq.  Didn't stop him from siding with Moqtada who is responsible for the deaths of many US troops.  Didn't stop him from channeling the bribe through the US State Dept last August to get Moqtada to reverse his position on the Iraqi elections and instead announce that he now supported them.  


Those elections took place October 10th.  Over eight months later, still no prime minister, still no president.  Moqtada had a hissy fit recently and took his toys and went home.  He demanded that his MPs resign from the Parliament.  And they did.  


His usual sycophants in the media tried to spin this.  Just a bluff. Or some great move that he's going twist around and . . .

Iraq Parliament swears in new lawmakers to replace 73 members of Sadrist bloc who resigned – Reuters
Image


Nope.


They're gone.  They're replaced (by the next highest vote getters from the October 10th elections).


Today, AL-MONITOR observes:


Today, 64 new members took the oath in the parliament, including 40 seats for the Iran-backed Coordination Framework. The other 24 were distributed among the Sunnis and the independent members.

The other 9 members did not attend. Four of them belong to the Hoquq bloc, affiliated with the Kata'ib Hezbollah, and the others are independents.

Hoquq Movement issued a statement shortly before the parliament session, announcing that they will not take the Sadrist seats and they will resign as well, as a sign of solidarity with the Sadrists.

The Coordination Framework has 130 members now, but they need 90 more members to select the president. This requires an alliance with the Sunnis and the Kurds. However, this task is not easy for the Coordination Framework, due to the lack of confidence among those groups.

The Sunni leaders' headquarters and the Kurdistan region have been constantly attacked by the Shiite militias affiliated with the Coordination Framework.

Just yesterday, the Dana Gas company, which operates in the Kurdistan Region, was attacked by rockets around Kirkuk.

Moreover, the Coordination Framework was able to push the federal court to rule against Kurdistan's oil and gas law, creating serious obstacles against the international companies to work in the region.

Now, the KDP is setting terms and conditions on the Coordination Framework to accept the alliance with them —  including nullifying the federal court ruling.

The Sunnis as well see this political change a great opportunity to set terms and conditions in their political interests.

In such circumstances, the negotiations over forming the government  are likely to take time, if an agreement is even possible at all.

 


The following sites updated: