Saturday, July 04, 2020

Idiot of the week

It was a toughy but NYT columnist Charles Blow managed to eek out a win.  Poor Charles.  He's deeply stupid and has often been in consideration but he just couldn't pull out the win until this week.  What allowed him to win?  His call for taking down monuments to George Washingston.  That and, honestly, his use of the phrase "abso-fricking-lutely" which, unless you're a teenager, is a phrase you shouldn't go near.  For the record, Charles hits the big 5-0 this August.  Niles Nieumuth (WSWS) explains:

Blow writes: “Some people who are opposed to taking down monuments ask, ‘If we start, where will we stop?’ It might begin with Confederate generals, but all slave owners could easily become targets. Even George Washington himself.”
Blow then proclaims, with the special elegance that distinguishes his columns, “To that I say, ‘abso-fricking-lutely!’”
Early Monday morning, not long after Blow’s column was published, the monument arch in Washington Square Park in New York City commemorating the centenary of Washington’s inauguration was vandalized with red paint. The paint dripped down from the heads of two statues of Washington, one depicting him as the commander of the revolutionary Continental Army and the other as president.
This latest assault on a monument to Washington follows the pulling down last month of Washington and Jefferson monuments in Portland, Oregon, and the toppling of a bust of Civil War general and Reconstruction President Ulysses S. Grant in San Francisco, California. Monuments to Abraham Lincoln, who led the Second American revolution and destroyed slavery, as well as monuments to abolitionists such as Robert Gould Shaw and Hans Christian Heg, have come under attack as racist and “white supremacist.”

The attack by the Times on Washington is a part of the effort by the Democratic Party and its operatives to derail the popular multiracial protests against police violence which erupted last month in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. Capitalizing on the historical ignorance which they have fostered, Blow and the Times are working overtime to redirect popular opposition along racial lines and behind the Democratic Party.
There is nothing progressive in the destruction of statues and monuments which memorialize the leaders of the American Revolution and the Civil War.
But for Blow, there is nothing to discuss about the contradictory yet progressive legacy of the men who led the first Revolution and set the ground for the annihilation of slavery less than nine decades later.
If one accepts Blow’s definition of those who owned slaves as amoral monsters, beyond the pale, then even those who opposed slavery at the time, such as John Adams, Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin, cannot be judged innocent. After all, they collaborated with those evil beasts, Washington and Jefferson, in waging war against Great Britain and establishing a Constitution which protected slavery. The whole project to create “A government of laws and not of men,” a precept laid out by Adams, must be thrown out, having been tainted by the irredeemable sin of slavery.
If indeed the American Revolution was made by “amoral monsters,” how is it possible that these wicked creatures, beyond human compassion and unconstrained by any ethical considerations, came to produce such moral and epoch-shaping documents as the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights? How was it possible that Thomas Jefferson could claim, in a world dominated by monarchies and feudal relations, where birth meant everything and hierarchy dominated, that it is self-evident that all men were created equal? Or advance the conception that the people had a right to revolution, to overthrow an oppressive government and establish their own?

Prior to Jefferson the right to life, liberty and property had been clearly outlined, but in the Declaration of Independence he advanced a much more radical conception of the “right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.” Such a conception could only have been advanced at a time when questions were being raised about the very nature of property and what it meant to hold any form of property, particularly fellow human beings.

Congratulations to Charles Blow, the Susan Lucci of Idiot of the Week.  So many times he came close but now he's finally won.

Here's CI.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, July 3, 2020.  Joe Biden, who overthrew the 2010 Iraqi election results, has the nerve to claim Donald Trump might not honor this year's US election results, the Iraqi government is considering filing a complaint with the United Nations of Turkey bombing the country and sending ground soldiers in, Susan Rice supported the Iraq War but Steve Chapman smokes a blunt and decides otherwise, and much more.

Here's a thought: Next time Steve Chapman's on a pot high, how about he just eat some munchies and not try to write a column for THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE?  

He want to save Susan Rice.  He's convinced not only that he can, but that he should.  Why?  He just knows she's the one to be Joe Biden's running mate.

Okay, unlike Steve, I'm not stoned as I'm dictating this.  

So I realize that more than anything, Joe's running mate has to bring energy to the ticket.  That's not Susan Rice.  She brings nothing.  

Of the women mentioned, only Kamala Harris -- via her supporters -- brings passion.  If it's not Kamala, the smart move would be to go with someone not currently seen as a potential running mate because the rest are all dull and inspire no passion.

That's especially true of Dirty Rice who carries with her the scandal of Benghazi.  Is Steve trying to re-elect Donald Trump?  Because picking Susan means bringing up Benghazi all over again.  And while that might not matter to Democrats and neocons, I believe they'll need to reach beyond the group that turned out for Hillary in 2016 if they're going to win the White House this time.

Before we get back to Steve Chapman's stupidity, let's deal with the other stupidity right now.  Peter Van Buren addresses it and we'll note him in just a section.  But the stupidity is the conspiracy talk that Donald, if he loses, will refuse to step down.  

That nutty conspiracy theory did not start last week or last month.  Crackpot Bob Somerby has been pimping that for several years now.  Bob's been projecting his own grand lunacy onto Donald.  Donald is many things (none of which I like) but he's not "grand" in any sense.  He doesn't have big ideas or plans.  After three years in the White House, I'd think that would be obvious to even the most ignorant in this country.  As a business person, Donald never had big ideas either.  He copies and ripped off.  He wasn't an original.  So this notion that suddenly, Donald's capable of a grand conspiracy?  It only speaks to the crackpots who repeat these lies.

Peter Van Buren, at ICH, notes how this nonsense is being pimpec by many -- including Joe Biden.  Ptere misses an important point and we'll get back to that but this is from his column:

For nearly four years, the same forces that may declare 2020 invalid tried very hard to convince us 2016 already was. There are plenty of Hillary people (including Hillary) who have not accepted 2016. Has Stacey Abrams really accepted her defeat yet? Think back to everything that happened during the last election, the gaming by Comey and the FBI to influence results. Remember how the intelligence community manipulated Russiagate. Why wait for November 2020 to have a coup? We’ve been in what Matt Taibbi calls a permanent coup for years. They’ve been practicing.
Any of the those things would have been considered crazy talk only a few years ago. None would have ever passed into the mainstream. Compare Russiagate to the Great Obama Birth Certificate kerfuffle. The idea that Obama was ineligible for office festered on right-wing talk radio. It was dismissed as fact-less by just about everyone else. Fast forward to 2016+ and America’s paper of record is happy to front a story claiming the president is subject to a foreign enemy’s blackmail based on nothing but desperate hope that it might be true.
The critical tool for the ending of democracy is people’s conditioned readiness to believe almost anything. The media tells the world what’s important using a very narrow range of truth, or just makes things up if truth is not around to be manipulated.
We are exhausted, neck-deep in cynicism, decline, and distrust. And scared. There are no facts anymore, only what people can be made to believe. That power was not well understood in 2016 and was clumsily applied. Today it is ripe for exploitation, far beyond generating clicks and ad revenue. I don’t think Trump will try to stay in office if he loses. But there are people who will tell us that to manipulate our fears and steal this election. That’s why I am finally scared.

It's a great column and one that he deserves praise for writing.  But, yes, he missed one point that surprised me.  Joe Biden is going around insisting that Donald may not accept the 2020 election results and, if he loses, may refuse to step down.

Joe Biden is saying that.

We've covered why that's offensive before.

I guess we'll need to cover it again.

Joe Biden needs to shut his damn mouth.  He has no right to ever talk about someone refusing to leave when they lose an election.  Why is that?

Joe is the mother of ISIS in Iraq.  He passed it through his slim birthing hips in 2010.

That's the year Iraqis voted incumbent Nouri al-Maliki out of office.

Remember that?  Iraqis risked their lives to vote that March.  They turned out in record numbers. That really hasn't happened since but why should it?  When you risk your own safety to vote and your vote is overturned why ever bother again?

Who overturned those votes?

Joe Damn Biden.  Robinette.  Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.  Miss Priss Instant Coco Biden.

US Gen Ray Odierno knew giving Nouri a second term he didn't earn was a mistake.  But, hey, Ray was only the top US officer in Iraq, why listen to him, right?

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was against it as well.  So was US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

But who cares what they thought, Joe knew best.

Barack decided to listen to Joe who was (along with Susan Rice, Samantha Power and Chris Hill) of the opinion that Iraq didn't need democracy, it needed a "strongman" (thug).  So Joe called for the election results to be overturned and Barack, who had put Joe in charge of Iraq, went along.

So Nouri, who spent eight months after the election refusing to step down, got a second term.  Joe was the lead behind The Erbil Agreement -- the US negotiated legal contract that overturned the 2010 election.  It gave Nouri a second term.  To get the heads of the other political parties to go along with this theft of democracy, Joe offered bribes.  That's all The Erbil Agreement was -- a bribe list put into a contract.  To get Kurds to go along, for example, the contract said Article 140 would be implemented.

Kurdish leaders were idiots.  The Iraqi Constitution called for it to be implemented and that didn't lead to it being implemented.  But this legal contract was going to change everything?

It didn't.

Nouri went along with the promises going into the contract and used The Erbil Agreement to get his second term as prime minister and then he refused to honor it.  He kept none of the promises made to get a second term.

And the US had sworn to all the parties that the contract was something that they would stand by and demand it would be honored.  Barack Obama, on the telephone, gave his word to Ayad Allawi who had walked out of Parliament.  

But the US government looked the other way.

They did that over and over for Nouri.  He persecuted Iraqis, especially Sunnis, he ran secret prisons and torture chambers -- the US just looked the other way.

ISIS rose in Iraq because of that.  No one was sure, at first, what they were. Black masks.  They showed up to defend the protesters against Nouri's attacks -- protesters blocking the road between Baghdad and Anbar Province.  

We covered it here.  Not only that, we predicted it here.

The Iraqi people had done everything that they could and they were failed, they were betrayed.

They went to the ballot box to change things and the US government, led by Joe Biden, overturned their voices, disregarded the will of the Iraqi people.  What happened next?

Too many in America didn't pay attention.  Next you had the various leaders -- Barzani, Moqtada, al-Hakim and others -- insist that Nouri implement The Erbil Agreement or they would vote him out via a no confidence vote in Parliament.  They'd given him a year to implement The Erbil Agreement.  He refused.  Moqtada al-Sadr said, the whole time they were threatening a no confidence vote, that Nouri could stop the effort at any point by implementing the contract (the contract he had agreed to, the contract he had used to claim a second term).  Nouri refused.

The Parliament followed the law as outlined in the Constitution.  They gathered the signatures.

Per the Constitution, the President of Iraq, reads it into the record.  At the time, fat ass Jalal Talabni was the president.  Under pressure from Joe Biden to stop the no confidence vote, Jalal refused to introduce it.  It's a ceremonial task but Jalal created new 'powers.'  He said he'd contacted people who signed it.  To ask if they had signed it?  No, to see if they would sign it right now.  He then claimed that many said they wouldn't -- this was all done in secrecy and all anyone had was Jalal's claims -- so he was refusing to introduce the petition for a no confidence vote.

He then lied that he had to have surgery in order to save his life and fled to Germany where fat ass had . . . knee surgery.

He's blown out his knee due to his intense girth.

Karma bit him in his fat ass.  Months later, in December, he got into a verbal fight with Nouri and suffered a stroke.  He was care flighted from Baghdad to Germany.  This time it was a life or death issue.  Karma signed off on his earlier lie.

Jalal never recovered.  His family posed him for photos and pretended he could move his body and speak.  He couldn't.  18 months later, he returned to Iraq.  He was a joke.  He still couldn't speak.  And his lies ensured that the PUK party he led went from one of Iraq's two dominant political parties to a weak third party in the next elections.

Joe destroyed Iraq in so many ways.  Most infamously, he destroyed it by spitting on democracy.  The Iraqi people voted and being a racist and a xenophobe, that didn't matter to Old Racist Joe. Old White Man knew best.

He gave Nouri the second term and he and Nouri gave birth to ISIS.  It's their baby.

I need to work something in here, following the 2012 elections, Nouri called the White House to congratulate Barack.  Barack, disgusted with Nouri, refused to take the call and fobbed it off on Joe. We've noted that here since it happened.  Barack and I share a mutual friend who, over the weekend, told me that one point I got wrong or left out on that was that Barack did so because Joe was responsible for Nouri.  It was his disgust in Nouri and in Joe that made him refuse to take the call.  I said I'd work that in the next time I discussed 2010 in the snapshot so there it is.

But the point is, in 2010, Nouri lost the election and refused to step down.  And who called him out?  Not Joe Biden.  No, Joe Biden was all about ignoring the vote of the people.

So he needs to shut his damn mouth and the press needs to be calling out his hypocrisy.

Now let's get back to Steve Chapman's nutty nonsense.  He tries to rewrite history.  Susan Rice didn't support the Iraq War -- despite what everyone says -- despite what the public record says.  She's an innocent!!!!!

He concludes his revisionary history with this: "A lot of smart, knowledgeable people made the mistake of endorsing the Iraq War. Susan Rice deserves credit for not being one of them."

She didn't oppose the war.  She did endorse it but Steve lies and, even lying, can only offer that she didn't endorse him.

She didn't speak out against it either.  (And she did endorse it.)

It's moments like this that make me wish Steve would stop his pot habit and switch to heroin in the hopes that an overdose could spare the world from his hideous writing and his constant need to lie.  Or at least leave him too strung out to write.

We don't need your lies, Steve, we never did.  Toke up and pretend the world needs you, Steve.

Meanwhile, the Turkish government continues to terrorize Iraq.  Martha Leah Nangalama Tweets:

Iraq sets up border posts to try to prevent Turkish advance: Iraq is enforcing positions along the border with Turkey to try to prevent a Turkish military advance deeper into Iraqi territory after two weeks of airstrikes as Ankara…

Baghdad is taking a look at its trade with Turkey as it considers using economic pressure to compel Ankara to end its military attacks within Iraq’s borders, the foreign ministry spokesperson told Rudaw on Thursday.

“There is a trade balance between Iraq and Turkey in favor of Turkey with a value of more than $16 billion annually, and there are hundreds of Turkish commercial companies operating in Iraq. We put all of these criteria under urgent evaluation,” said Ahmed al-Sahaf, spokesperson for Iraq’s foreign ministry.

Baghdad is also applying diplomatic pressure. “We are still communicating and coordinating with the Turkish side on the need to apply international laws, good-neighborly rules, and diplomatic agreements,” Sahaf said, adding Iraq plans to push for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to condemn Turkey’s military intervention. 

Trade's not all that Iraq's considering.  Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) notes:

Iraq said on Friday it might file an official complaint to the UN Security Council if Turkey does not halt its military operations against Kurdish fighters in the north.
"We reject any unilateral action that would harm our sovereignty. We started with a statement of condemnation and may resort to gathering support from the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation and could file a complaint to the UNSC,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Al Sahaf said in a statement.
The “unilateral” action taken by Turkey will not “enhance security nor will it result in joint efforts to combat terrorism”, Mr Al Sahaf said.
Baghdad has requested an emergency meeting of the Arab League meeting to discuss the issue, he said.
The government of Iraq better take some serious steps immediately.  Not only are they letting the Iraqi people down, they are also risking Mustafa al-Kadhimi looking even weaker.  He's only been prime minister since May 7th and he's already becoming a joke.  Mustafa Salim and Louisa Loveluck (WASHINGTON POST) report:

A raid ordered by Iraq's new prime minister on militiamen accused of planning an attack against Baghdad's international zone could mark a turning point in his government's efforts to bring Iran-backed groups to heel.
The arrest of 14 members of Kataib Hezbollah late last month marked the boldest move yet by any Iraqi leader against the Iran-linked militias, which often operate in Iraq outside the law. Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who took office in May, has vowed to halt their attacks on foreign forces in the country, primarily U.S. troops.

But the response of the powerful militia to the June 26 raid underscores how challenging it will be for Kadhimi to recast the relationship between Iraq’s government and some of the country’s armed groups.
After gunmen in pickup trucks cruised Baghdad’s Green Zone demanding their comrades’ release, most were let go, then welcomed back to the group’s headquarters as heroes. Television stations linked to the militias live-streamed the men burning American flags and stamping on photographs of Kadhimi’s face.

In the raid against Kataib Hezbollah, Kadhimi’s message was simple: Shiite militia groups in Iraq can no longer operate with impunity. The operation was audacious insofar as it could have prompted an armed response from the group, disrupting the fragile political consensus that enabled Kadhimi’s appointment two months ago.
However, the events that followed the raid have done little to carry Kadhimi’s message. It appears very probable that the operation was carried out in coordination or consultation with Iran and Iran-aligned political actors. For instance — whether out of sheer luck, or prior coordination with Iran or the leadership of militia groups and parliamentary blocs — the group did not respond in a major way. After the raid, Kataib Hezbollah mobilized a force of roughly 150 fighters in nearly 30 pickup trucks around the prime minister’s residence, which was designed to intimidate Kadhimi but avoid escalating the crisis into an armed confrontation.
Moreover, it was telling that the militiamen captured during the raid were placed under the supervision of the security directorate of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the umbrella militia organization that is dominated by Kataib Hezbollah and other Iran-aligned groups. The directorate is led by a Kataib Hezbollah commander. Therefore, the group was essentially able to get the prime minister to release the suspects into its own custody and deter the government from escalating the crisis in the process. On Monday, the militiamen were then, unsurprisingly, released by the PMF’s security directorate on the basis that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute them.  

The following sites updated:

Thursday, July 02, 2020

A better episode of MARVEL AGENTS OF SHIELD

MARVEL AGENTS OF SHIELD airs on ABC on Wednesday nights -- I watch it on HULU the day after.  The latest episode?

I really liked it.

And not just because Coulson died. 

In the episode, Mac and Yo-Yo (who are still in the 70s) went to rescue Mac's parents who had been kidnapped so that Mac wouldn't bomb the launch last episode.  Meanwhile Daisy and Daniel got kidnapped.

Let's do Daniel.  That's Daniel Sousa.  He was part of the characters on AGENT CARTER -- the two season series about Peggy Carter working for SHIELD in the 1940s.  As the crew has time traveled this season, they've taken Daniel along with them.

So they're grabbed by the bad guys led by Nathaniel Malick (son of the creator of Hydra).  And the son wants to have Daisy's powers.  He's drugged her and Daniel.  And he has her operated on to extract fluids so that he can have her powers.  He says if fluids don't work, next time they'll remove organs. 

It works but he can't control it. His bones break and the building starts to collapse on him.  Using a piece of glass Daisy managed to grab when they were draining her fluids, Daniel fights off the guards and they escape.  Daisy as damsel in distress was disgusting, by the way.  I like Daniel but only reminds us all that it's never Coulson as the damsel in distress. 

So Yo-Yo and Mac go to the ship that his parents are.  They rescue them.  His parents don't know Mac -- they know him as their child at home, they don't recognize adult Mac.  This causes problems for Mac and gave him some nice scenes.

But it was all meaningless.  When they're on Shield's ship and safe, May realizes that the father is a Chronocom (bad guy synth).  Turns out mom is too.  His parents were already killed -- his real parents.  The fake ones get kicked off the ship -- while it's flying in the air.

Jemma?  Deke is worried about her, she's forgetting stuff.  We see she has some sort of digital device implanted inside the skin of the back of her neck.  Deke sees Enoch doing something and concludes he's hurting Jemma so he takes out Enoch.  Jemma explains to him that Enoch was fixing the device.  Jemma knows where Fitz is.  He's in a secure location, helping them.  Fitz and Jemma developed the device implanted in her.  It renders her ignorant of Fitz's location.  It's to protect him.  There have been problems with the device.  Enoch's helping her fine tune it.

Coulson and May saved the head of SHIELD (Puddy from SEINFELD, Joe Swanson from FAMILY GUY).and he kills himself to take out the bad guys.  He had way too much to say, as usual.  He's dead.  Of course, he's not really dead.  We're never that lucky.

The ship lands.  Mac's upset and takes off to be by himself and regroup.  But then they discover it's about time to jump to a new time.  Deke runs off the ship to find Mac and bring him back to the ship for the jump.  But by the time Deke finds Mac, the ship is already jumping and Mac and Deke are left behind.

It was a better episode.

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

Thursday, July 2, 2020.  Turkey just wants a buffer zone.  Right.  And they just kill 'militants' in Iraq too, right?

That's Dr. John Campbell discussing the coronavirus pandemic in Iraq.  This as ARAB NEWS notes, "Iraq announced 107 more deaths from COVID-19 and 2,415 new cases of the disease on Wednesday.
Of the new cases, 341 and 235 were recorded in Baghdad’s Al-Rusafa and Al-Karkh districts respectively. Southern Iraq’s Dhi Qar province recorded 252 new cases and Diwaniya 185."  Jane Arraf (NPR) also reports on the pandemic:

"This is a war against the coronavirus and we have lost the war," says an Iraqi official who has been briefed on the government's response to the pandemic.
The official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak publicly, tells NPR the true number of cases is believed to be many times higher than reported figures of more than 1,900 deaths and more than 49,100 infections.
He appealed for more international help, and says hospitals in the southern city of Nasiriyah and the port city of Basra are no longer able to treat new patients. Protests in both cities over corruption and lack of government services helped bring down the previous Iraqi government last year.
Saif al-Badr, the spokesman for Iraq's Ministry of Health, told journalists on Sunday that large groups of patients' relatives pushed their way into the main Al-Hussein Teaching Hospital in Nasiriyah last week. They seized oxygen canisters for their family members after realizing the hospital was running out. Health ministry officials say a doctor and other medical staff were assaulted in the scuffle.
MIDDLE EAST MONITOR ONLINE observes, "The rising numbers have sparked fears that the healthcare system could possibly collapse if the situation does not improve soon."

As Iraq grapples with that crisis, they also grasp with the terrorism that the government of Turkey is carrying out.  Turkish war planes bomb Iraq and Turkish soldiers enter Iraq and set up base camps.  

Don't worry about the Turkish soldiers because when they're not terrorizing Iraqis, they find time to amuse themselves.

In the AHVAL video below, it's explained that the Turkish government wants to turn northern Iraq into a "buffer zone."

Nine militants were killed, we're told the Turkish government proudly claims.  However, the Turkish government does not announce the number of civilians they have killed.  (Over six last week alone.)

 Like any other normal day, Kaywan Kawa went to his shop in Sulaimani's Kuna Masi village on June 26, when a Turkish airstrike struck his store with his young family inside.

"They were all covered in blood," Kaywan's mother said of the moment she arrived on the scene. "I rushed to my daughter-in-law, she had fainted. I then rushed to my son and saw he had a chest wound and was bleeding. In the distance I saw the children lying on the ground."

The strike targeted a pickup truck near the shop, injuring another two civilians and killing one Kurdish fighter. The Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), an armed Iranian Kurdish opposition group, announced last Friday in a statement that slain fighter belonged to them.

"Before I arrived at the shop, a Toyota Hilux stopped nearby. A person got out of the car and went inside the shop before me. When I went there later, my wife told me that he asked for eggs. The man asked me to pack the eggs for him," Kaywan recounted to Rudaw. "While packing, I heard a sound and was thrown in the air. All I remembered was that my ribs hurt."

Tony posts video in his Tweet of what he says is Turkey on their 'PKK' mission.

June 29, 2020: Video documenting the firing positions of the Turkish armed forces in the Shirnak province of Turkey, near the border, which, claiming to carry out an action against alleged terrorists, firing in to Iraq at Kurdish positions.
6:33 AM · Jul 2, 2020

If that video is accurate, that's not a PKK camp.  Nor is it a village -- it's a heavily populated city.

As for a "buffer zone," generally when attempting to create a "border zone," you do it in your own country  You really don't have the right to create a border zone for your country in another country.

But the Turkish government doesn't get hung up with norms, mores, laws, treaties.  Being in violation of Iraq's national sovereignty doesn't bother the Turkish government -- nor does violating international law bother the government.

Threats of airstrikes by Turkey amid its current military offensive are harming Iraq's already vulnerable ethnic and religious communities, a US official has said.

In a discussion held by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on Iraq’s minority groups, the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour condemned recent Turkish airstrikes on the Yezidi heartland of  Shingal, near the Syrian border.

“How can people possibly flourish if they are under the threat of airstrikes?” Robert Destro said on Tuesday, in response to a question from Rudaw on Turkish airstrikes in Sinjar (Shingal).

The airstrikes in the early hours of June 15 came just days after hundreds of Yezidi families returned to the Shingal area from displacement camps across the Kurdistan Region. While the area was liberated from the Islamic State (ISIS) group  in 2015, few members of the community have returned to the area, with basic services yet to be restored and concerns for their security amid the presence of a host of government and non-government military forces.

"The question of how you deal with airstrikes is a little bit out of my portfolio...The only thing I think that can be done is engagement with the Turks and other people who have been acting in ways that are not conducive to the health of these communities," Destro added.

HEVALNO. Today the Turkish minister is going to Germany to discuss tourism. We invite you to discuss Boycotting Tourism to #Turkey on our TwitterStorm beginning at 8am (uk) 9am (European time). Let's tell the world to BOYCOTT TURKEY & support #KurdishResistance #TwitterKurds
1:48 AM

In other news, Joe Biden continues to bumble along.  Anya Parampil Tweets:

In a new ad mixes footage of Black Lives Matter rallies, the COVID-19 outbreak, & scary images of Trump together to declare "Fidel, Chavez, Maduro, & Trump" are cut from the same cloth Why then has Trump intensified attacks on Cuba & Venezuela during his presidency?
12:36 PM · Jul 1, 2020

Fidel Castro is a number of things -- including admired by some Americans.  But it's interesting that all Joe has to offer is fear mongering.  No way to inspire Americans, no way to lift them up.  Just an ugly campaign from an ugly man accused of rape.

So we're back to where we were.  As we concluded in "2015: The Year of the Ass:"

2015 will lead into 2016.  So is it any surprise that, as the year ends, it appears very likely that the two major party candidates who'll be competing next year will be Hillary and Donald Trump?

What else, honestly, what else could The Year of the Ass produce but a match off between each major party's biggest ass?

We know how that worked out last time.  Appalling that the DNC wanted to play the same game again.

We'll close with this from the Feminist Majority Foundation:

Dear Common Ills,

Today, in a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law mandating that abortion providers have nearby hospital admitting privileges. If upheld, the law would have closed most clinics across the state and set an example for other states seeking to restrict abortion access.
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling overturned Louisiana’s transparent attempt to undermine Roe v. Wade, close clinics, and restrict access – reaffirming that the Constitution prohibits undue burdens on the right to obtain an abortion,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “But the decision was a narrow one, showing just how much is at risk in the fight for reproductive freedom. Anti-choice extremists will continue their efforts to weaken and overturn Roe and harm those seeking abortion care. We must work to elect pro-choice legislators in November who will protect abortion access. The stakes have never been higher.”
“This decision is the product of years of work on the ground,” remarked Feminist Majority’s Louisiana Campus Organizer Ashley Sheffield. “It is amazing to see human rights upheld in the highest court and we are grateful to the Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom for this partnership. Safe, legal abortion is here to stay in Louisiana, and we’re gearing up to defeat yet another anti-abortion measure that will be on the Louisiana ballot come November!
"We rejoice today that Louisiana's law requiring abortion doctors to acquire hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of their clinic was struck down. Justice Breyer penned the decision, recognizing in part, 'As we have seen, hospitals can, and do, deny admitting privileges for reasons unrelated to a doctor’s ability safely to perform abortions,’” stated duVergne Gaines, director of Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Clinic Access Project. "Fear of anti-abortion violence and harassment is one of the reasons hospitals can and do refuse admitting privileges to physicians providing reproductive health care.”
“The Feminist Majority Foundation led the filing of a critical amicus brief in this landmark case about the pernicious impact of anti-abortion violence and harassment on physicians and on hospitals' willingness to grant admitting privileges to abortion providers,” Gaines concluded. “The Supreme Court’s decision today implicitly acknowledged the District Court’s findings. These findings included the likelihood that if the Louisiana law went into effect, anti-abortion harassment and threats of violence would force providers to quit out of fear for their lives, thus radically reducing the number of abortion providers. The Court rightly concluded that too few abortion providers is an undue burden on access." 
In December of 2019, the Feminist Majority Foundation along with the National Organization for Women, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Women’s Law Project filed an amicus brief highlighting the connection between the Louisiana law and the ongoing threat of clinic violence.
There is still work to be done! This case has shown once again how delicately abortion rights hang in the balance, and that losing a liberal justice on the Supreme Court could doom Roe v. Wade. Stay tuned for updates on how we are working to protect abortion access in all 50 states this November!

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