Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Iraq protests

Starting with a Tweet:

Then he announced there would NO investigation of the , the lies and propaganda that allowed the US to invade and destroy , and led to his election. πŸ‘Ž

Let's note this from VOX about the ongoing protests in Iraq:

Though the protests erupted quickly, the discontent with the Iraqi government has been percolating for years. Demonstrations against the government had happened over the past few years but didn’t really materialize into a sustained protest movement.

But a few things may have helped ignite the most recent uprising. PhD and Master’s students had spent weeks peacefully protesting unemployment and lack of job opportunities outside some of Baghdad’s government buildings, and video of demonstrators being dispersed by water cannons in late September drew a lot of attention to the government’s heavy-handed tactics.

Then, the Iraqi government announced in late September that it was demoting a popular Iraqi military leader. Staff Lieutenant General Abdulwahab al-Saadi was a leader in Iraq’s Counter-Terrorism Service, which helped retake Mosul from ISIS and defeat the terror group in the country. Saadi is a broadly popular figure in Iraq for his role in defeating the terror group, and his unjustified demotion — to an underwhelming desk job in Iraq’s defense ministry — was seen as a huge insult.

Many speculated that Iran was the reason he was sidelined, since Saadi worked closely with the US (and Saudi Arabia). The diminishing of a national hero infuriated Iraqis. In the early days of the protests, demonstrators held up posters of Saadi and supporters protested on Twitter with the hashtag “we are all Saadi.”

As the protests escalated that first week of October, Iraqi security forces cracked down aggressively; dozens of protesters were killed and scores injured. Security services used water cannons, tear gas, and live ammunition to clear the demonstrators. Authorities also instituted an internet blackout in certain regions to prevent people from organizing on social media and imposed a curfew in Baghdad to keep people off the streets.

“We want the very basic rights: Electricity, water, employment, and medicine, and nothing else,” Mohammed Jassim, a protester, told the Associated Press after the October 1 demonstrations. “But this government is shooting at the crowd.”

There's new content at THIRD.  Let me note that in "Roundtable" we address the protests.  And here's how that ended:

Mike: Do we think the government is going to be responsive to the protesters?

 Dona:  What do you think?

 Mike: I would hope so.  This is really a sign of how much the whole thing has failed.  That's the puppet government.  That's the system that the US imposed.

 C.I.: Mike, do you think it was intended to fail?   Naomi Klein's "Baghdad Year Zero"  and all of that.

 Mike: That's a good point.  I think a strong argument can be made that we, the US government, set it up to fail.  We wanted the people divided so that they couldn't resist -- the Iraqi people.  We put terrorists and thugs in charge for that reason.  It would make perfect sense, when you think in that mindset, for the plan all along to be to create a system that worked against the people and prevented real change.  Yes, I would argue that it was intended to fail.

 Jim: I think that we're all in agreement on that.  Reminder, this is a rush transcript.

Okay, this is from AP:

At least three anti-government protesters have been killed in clashes with security forces in southern Iraq, officials said Tuesday, as authorities tried to reopen the country's main port, which had been blocked by demonstrators for three days.

Security and medical officials said a protester was killed and eight more were wounded in Umm Qasr, a key oil terminal on the Persian Gulf. The Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, a semi-official agency, said two people were killed and 23 wounded in clashes in the southern city of Nasiriyah.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters, said security forces in Umm Qasr fired live ammunition and tear gas, and that protesters seized an armored vehicle.

So this is a big thing and we need to be paying attention.  Hopefully, like me, you're rooting for the Iraqi people.  They need the world to be watching because they're showing such bravery in the face of attacks from their own government (which is really a puppet government largely managed by the US government).

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

Tuesday, November 5, 2019.

In Iraq, the question remains: Where is Saba Al Mahdawi?

has been missing for 3 days. The 35 year old activist and medic was kidnapped by armed men on her way home from Tahrir Square, Baghdad. The car plate is known and so are the perpetrates. The has done nothing to rescue her.

In the US, another question remains -- why is Joe Biden still in the race?  Yes, trash like Alyssa Milano will forever try to prop him up.  Otherwise?  His support is dropping.  Young adult Americans have never been behind him.

Lily Levin of Buzzfeed had the audacity to ask Joe Biden about his SuperPAC support and climate change. His reply: “Take a look at my record, child. Look at my record.”
Opinion: I Asked Joe Biden A Tough Question, So He Called Me A Child. He Wants To Be President? - πŸ‘ I’m with Lily Levin! Such a bright, respectful but assertive young woman. You were right. He was wrong. With the youth is where our country needs to lead
Replying to   and 
Lily Levin for President!
Yea. This interaction between Lily Levin, a young activist, and was super cringy. If Biden hopes to attract young people, this is definitely not the way to do it.
Today in teens vs. boomers: Here's 18-year old Lily Levin writing about her encounter with Joe Biden, who interrupted her question with "Look at my record, child". She's not impressed!

Tom Gara is incorrect.  Joe Biden is not a baby boomer.  He predates the baby boom by a few years  Basic demographics argue the boom begins in 1946.

Joe's disrespecting young voters and, especially, young women voters, with his response to Lily Levin.  Cedric ("Joe wants your vote but he doesn't want to interact with you"), Wally ("THIS JUST IN! WORTHLESS JOE BIDEN INSULTS YOUNG VOTERS!") and Ann ("Neither Joe Biden nor Alyssa Milano give a damn about women") addressed this issue.

While some agree with Lily Levin:

is a rising star!

Some do not:

: lily - I too am concerned but I am also a pragmatist. Biden’s not perfect but he has compassion earned by tragic life experiences; he has a good heart. Job #1: defeat Trump. In spite of your experience with him, he still has the best opportunity to win. Peace.

Lily can take comfort in the fact that Servere13 is a raging idiot.  In the Tweet above he wants you to know that Joe Biden is someone who "has compassion earned by tragic life experiences."  What a load of nonsense.  Joe does love to play drama queen and cry in public; however, there's no sign that he has compassion.  Compassion would not have supported an illegal war on Iraq -- a war that continues.  Compassion would not have looked the other way at Nouri al-Maliki's secret prisons and torture chambers and insisted Nouri get a second term after the Iraqi people voted him out.  Compassion would not have led to silence from Joe as Nouri went on to spend his second term targeting Sunnis -- this targeting is what led to the rise of ISIS in Iraq.  That happened under Joe's watch.  Drama Queen Mother Joe had a lot of misfortune and, goodness knows, he loves to whine about it, but there's no indication that this misfortune made him more sensitive to the needs of others.  And "he"?  I'm finding it hard to believe that a woman would write a defense for the Clinton marriage.  I think most women would either be silent on the topic or react the way Rosie O'Donnell did in her standup in the early '00s.  Hillary chose to be a doormat.  That's her choice.  But I don't see many women rushing forward to say, "It's true love!"  We tend to realize it's a man who knows he can cheat on his wife having his cake and his neighbor's cake and eating everything he can.  I guess, to some men, that might be an attractive marriage.  But women aren't really sitting around talking to each other asking, "Do you think the most romantic moment in the marriage was when Bill cheated on Hillary as governor or when he cheated on her as president?"

Along with an inability to relate to young adults, Joe's still got his Hunter Biden problem.

John Solomon obtained emails showing Hunter Biden's Ukrainian gas firm Burisma indeed used an intermediary to reach out to the Obama admin to shape gov's perception of the company as "corrupt," name-dropping Hunter secure a meeting

.: "We also now know the name of the whistleblower. The whistleblower needs to come forward as a material witness bc he worked for Joe Biden at the same time Hunter Biden was getting money from corrupt oligarchs. I say tonight to the media, do your job & print his name."
Sen. : "Hunter Biden made $50,000 a month. That's the definition of corruption. We know he got it only because of his family connections."

I didn't realize the leaker wasn't being named by the press.

Eric Ciaramella: - Sent by to the - Worked for - Advised on “Ukraine policy” - Invited operative to NSC - Coordinated illegally with as fake whistleblower Understand?

That's the leaker.  If he wants to try to start impeachment, he needs to appear publicly.  He's not a rape victim.  He's someone who insists that someone, somewhere, saw something and passed it on to people who told people in a Faberge Organics Shampoo kind of way.

And, according to the leaker, eventually it reached him.

You can't make charges for impeachment from behind a screen.  He's a leaker, he's not the great and powerful Oz.

The protests continue in Iraq.  In "Analyst: Iraq protests have 'overcome sectarianism," (ALJAZEERA), Ghassan al-Attiya observes:

For weeks before the protests, there were ongoing discussions around the extent to which the public has become frustrated with the political elite. The protests, however, started in Baghdad as completely peaceful demonstrations. Groups that are far removed from any political parties were responsible for organising the demonstrations.
Yet, the security forces responded to the demonstrations with heavy-handed tactics. But as the protests continued demonstrators from southern and central areas of Iraq joined the movement. That is when the protests became more violent as a Shia-Shia battle began to emerge. Protesters burned down the headquarters and offices of Shia political parties and armed groups.

There are regional and international powers that have an interest in the continuation of the protests. They have resorted to the media to serve this interest. There is no proof the movement has received any financial or military support from an external power, however.

REUTERS notes today, "Internet access in the capital Baghdad and much of Iraq has been cut off, internet blockage observatory NetBlocks said late on Monday as the country experiences a wave of anti-government protests."

Iraq shuts down internet again as protests intensify

Cyber security NGO NetBlocks says that the blackout is 'the most severe telecommunication restriction to have been imposed by Iraq's government since protests began' on October 1.

ALJAZEERA reports 8 protesters killed yesterday (five in Baghdad).  REUTERS notes that 13 have been shot dead in the past 24 hours.  And Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) reports:

Talks on amendments to the Iraqi constitution began on Tuesday as internet access was cut in Baghdad amid renewed clashes in the capital.
The first meeting of a parliamentary committee that was formed last month to oversee the drafting of constitutional adjustments took place in parliament, with officials hoping it will help meet the public's demands and calm weeks of widespread protests.
Iraq has experienced massive anti-government demonstrations in Baghdad and across the mostly Shiite south since the beginning of October.
Protesters are calling for an overhaul of the political system established after the 2003 US-led invasion.
"The committee is represented by Iraq's three main components and all minorities," an Iraqi official, who wished to remain anonymous, told The National.

New content at THIRD:

The following sites updated: