Monday, August 28, 2017

Remember Ace of Bass?

The good thing about having older siblings is that they can steer you when you're in choppy waters.

For example, I thought Ace of Bass was wonderful.

I wasn't even ten.

I loved their "Don't Turn Around."

My oldest brother was all, "Mikey, no, no, no!  You have to hear this."

And he puts a 45 on Dad's stereo.

It's Tina Turner performing the song.

And he was right.

The other version just didn't compare.

There were a lot of times my older brothers and sisters came to my rescue musically.  :D

And don't forget my dad.  Wouldn't know half the music I love without him.

Wouldn't know the Eagles or Carly Simon or Stevie Wonder or Joni Mitchell or Neil Young . . .

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

Monday, August 28, 2017.  And the never-ending war drags on.

Layla Al-Attar (Iraqi painter) was killed by a smart American missile targeted the house in which she was, in Baghdad, one evening in 1993.

Edward Chang (WAR IS BORING) observes:

There’s no question the United States’ war in Afghanistan — now entering its 16th year — ranks high on the list of America’s longest wars. But does it deserve the unenviable moniker of “America’s longest war?”

In fact, that title belongs to a conflict most Americans view not as one, but two, perhaps three distinct wars waged by two or three different presidents. That war? America’s quarter-century-long intervention in Iraq.

The ongoing Iraq War never ends.

So those needing spin and cheers find moments to applaud.  Last night, some were applauding the completion of the Tal Afar operation.

Iraqi military reclaims city of Tal Afar after rapid Islamic State collapseThe battle lasted just eight days, despite fears that the militant group would put up a ferocious resistance.

Are we done clapping yet?

Because the applause may have been premature.

But AFP reports, "Iraqi forces engaged in heavy fighting Monday near Tal Afar with the last pocket of Islamic State group jihadists in the northern province of Nineveh. An AFP journalist saw fierce clashes pitting Iraqi government forces and allied militia against IS fighters in the town of Al-Ayadieh 15 kilometres (10 miles) north of Tal Afar."

Aug 27, forces conducted 35 strikes consisting of 42 engagements against in & . MORE:

They mean bombings.

Not 'engagements.'

The Islamic State has no air force.

Let's take a look at what was being applauded.  AFP explains, "The offensive was preceded by intensive air strikes on IS targets and huge craters can be seen around the city, where electricity poles have been uprooted, homes and shops destroyed."

AP notes, "ISIL still controls the northern town of Hawija, as well as Qaim, Rawa and Ana, in western Iraq near the Syrian border."

The humanitarian crisis in will not end with the fighting. Humanitarian needs will continue into 2018, if not longer.
Humanitarian needs continues in Iraq
The Humanitarian Response Plan for Iraq is 48% funded, leaving a shortfall of $528 million. This affects partners’ ability to deliver aid.

The humanitarian need will not end with the fighting?

Fair enough.

But when will the fighting end?

Murtada Faraj (AP) reports 12 people are dead and twenty-eight injured from a car bombing in the Sadr City section of Baghdad.

11 Killed, 28 Injured as Car Bomb Hits Baghdad’s Shiite District of Jamila

: A vehicle carrying Federal Police members was destroyed by an explosive device near the city of Dhuluiya & Ishaq,

Again, when will the violence end?

In other news, Iraq is taking on more loans.

Good credit risk? ready2 lend €430milln to .i govt for its reconstruction budget

Phil Serafino (BLOOMBERG NEWS) explained it's US equivalent of $513 million.

The thing about loans, they have to be paid off.

Billions have been stolen from Iraq via corruption.

Paying back these loans will not mean that thieves like Nouri al-Maliki have to fork over money.  Instead, as always, it will fall on the people to do without.  Austerity measures will be put in place.  There's a reason Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has repeatedly warned the Iraqi government about borrowing.  But those warnings have been ignored.

Hard to imagine that the Iraqi people could suffer any more than they already have but imagine a country still being bombed while rations are cut further and futher.

New content at THIRD:

And we'll close with this from WSWS:

Today the World Socialist Web Site published an open letter from WSWS Chairperson David North to Google demanding that it stop censoring the Internet and stop blacklisting the WSWS. The letter states:
Google is manipulating its Internet searches to restrict public awareness of and access to socialist, anti-war and left-wing websites. The World Socialist Web Site ( has been massively targeted and is the most affected by your censorship protocols. Referrals to the WSWS from Google have fallen by nearly 70 percent since April of this year.
Censorship on this scale is political blacklisting. The obvious intent of Google’s censorship algorithm is to block news that your company does not want reported and to suppress opinions with which you do not agree. Political blacklisting is not a legitimate exercise of whatever may be Google’s prerogatives as a commercial enterprise. It is a gross abuse of monopolistic power. What you are doing is an attack on freedom of speech.
Read the full letter here.

Please share this letter as widely as possible on FacebookTwitter and other social media. We need your support to get the word out and expand the fight against Internet censorship.

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