Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Jimmy Dore, SUPERMAN AND LOIS, Rick Sterling

First up, Jimmy Dore.

Jen Psaki is not a rational person and she seems to not grasp that or how the rest of us see her. I just sort of shook my head at the start of the clip waiting for her to pull together. But she never did. She rode the crazy train all the way through. No stops for Jen.

SUPERMAN AND LOIS? Airs Tuesday night on THE CW. I don't watch it until a day or two later. The most recent episode aired last week. Superman managed to escape and put Morgan Edge (his brother) away. I'm glad that story is over. I didn't like seeing them try to force Superman into killing off the human race.

I get caught up when I watch the show.  And I'll be thinking, "Don't let him kill the people in the world!"  Even though there's no way that would happen.  

Now, at INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE, Rick Sterling reports:

n Friday July 9 the UN Security Council unanimously agreed to a conditional one-year extension of the Turkey/Syria border crossing at Bab al Hawa. As part of the agreement, the UN Secretary General needs to report regularly on what is happening with the aid going into the Al Qaeda dominated zone. Evidently Russia and China thought the time was not right to insist on principle.

A few weeks ago a friend had sent me a link to a Foreign Policy magazine news story about the Bab al-Hawa crossing, and asked, “Is this accurate?” What could be wrong with humanitarian aid?

There have been many such stories, both short and long. The essence of them all in Western media is that Bab al-Hawa must be kept open for humanitarian reasons. Many of the articles castigate Russia or any other country, such as China, that were contemplating blocking a renewal of the UN authorization of the border crossing.

There are important facts which Western media stories typically leave out or distort. Here are some reasons why the Bab al-Hawa border crossing should NOT have been renewed:

* First and foremost, the aid is supporting Syria’s version of Al Qaeda, Hayat Tahrir al Sham (HTS). They control the region on the Syrian side of the crossing. They are the foreigners and hard-core extremists who invaded Idlib from Turkey in 2015 plus those who left Aleppo and other cities when the militants were defeated by the Syrian army. Even if the United Nations inspects all the trucks going into Idlib province in northern Syria, the truck deliveries are ultimately controlled by HTS (formerly called Jabhat al-Nusra).*

The aid is effectively supporting the partition of Syria. Idlib province, and the militants which govern there, seek to separate permanently from Syria. They are attempting to Turkify the region through sectarian education, promoting the Turkish language and even using Turkish currency.

* The aid violates the United Nations Charter which requires that all member countries refrain from threatening the territorial integrity of another member state. Turkey and the United States are the major violators, since they have military troops illegally occupying Syrian lands. But it is a shame for the United Nations to be complicit through the authorization of aid to the breakaway Al Qaeda-dominated region.

* The aid to northwest Syria is prolonging the conflict instead of helping to end it. It is evident that, after failing to militarily overthrow the Syrian government, Western powers are now using other means to attack Damascus. They continue to interfere in Syria’s domestic affairs. Led by the U.S., they have economically attacked Syria while pouring support into the breakaway northwest region.

* Western aid to the Al Qaeda-dominated region distracts from the pain, damage, and destruction which U.S. and European sanctions have wreaked on most Syrians. The Caesar sanctions, imposed by the U.S. amid the Covid-19 pandemic, have had a horrendous impact. By outlawing the Syrian Central Bank and making it nearly impossible to trade with Syria, U.S. sanctions have undermined the Syrian currency. Many goods have increased in price by four and five and even ten times. Like a modern-day gangster, the U.S. has been openly stealing the oil and wheat from eastern Syria. The U.S. has attacked the electrical grid by prohibiting parts, engineering, or construction to repair or rebuild power plants. “Caesar” sanctions prohibit support for anything government-related, including schools and hospitals.

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

 Tuesday, July 20, 2021.  A Baghdad suicide bombing leaves many dead and injured.

A bombing in Iraq has left mass fatalities.  The target?  Moqtada al-Sadr's home base in Baghdad, Sadr City.  The slum that remains a slum because Moqtada grand stands a great deal but has done nothing to improve the quality of life of his followers.

Sebastian Usher Tweets:

#Iraq : Atrocity in #Baghdad - bomb in crowded market on eve of Eid in Sadr City - at least 18 people killed #بَغْدَاد


Photos showing the aftermath of the deadly bombing in Baghdad's Sadr City. #Iraq #Baghdad

Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) explains, "Children and women were among the dead and wounded, according to health and security officials. The blast took place in the Wahailat outdoor market in Sadr City, a predominantly Muslim Shia neighborhood in the east of Baghdad."  BBC NEWS observes, "It was the deadliest bombing in Baghdad in six months" while REUTERS notes, "In April, the Sunni Muslim militant group Islamic State claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack on a market in Sadr City, Baghdad's main Shi'ite Muslim neighbourhood, that killed four people and wounded 20."  GULF TODAY notes a more recent bombing, "In June, 15 people were wounded when a bomb placed under a kiosk in another Sadr City market detonated. In April, at least four people were killed in a car bomb attack in Sadr City. That blast was caused by an explosive device attached to a parked car at the market."  Three major attacks in four months?   In Sadr City alone?  No, ISIS was never vanquished.  The lost territory they held but terrorists groups don't usually take over cities.  They generally hide in the shadows and wait.  Which is what ISIS is back to doing and has been for some time now.  Meanwhile, how does Moqtada go out in public right now having yet again failed to protect his followers in the section of Baghdad named after his family?

NDTV reports, "In the panic and chaos of the attack, screams of terror and anguish filled the air. When the smoke cleared, human remains lay strewn amid scattered sandals, market produce and the charred debris of stalls."


A suicide bomber killed at least 35 people and wounded dozens in a crowded market in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad reut.rs/3BmJUHB
Suicide attack in Iraq kills at least 35 – News

At least 35 are dead with at least sixty more left injured and the tolls on both could continue to rise.  AFP notes, "In a message posted to its Telegram channel, the militant group said a suicide bomber named Abu Hamza al-Iraqi detonated his explosive belt in the middle of a crowd in Sadr City, an eastern Baghdad suburb on Monday night, killing more than 30 and wounding 35 others."  BBC NEWS' Nafiseh Kohnavard Tweets:

IS propaganda channels have published this pic saying that this is the suicide attacker who detonated his vest yesterday in a crowded market in Baghdad’s Sadr City killing more than 35 people mainly Shia civilians. He looks so young.

RUDAW notes:

The head of the United Nations on Monday condemned a bombing in a crowded Baghdad market that killed at least 35 people and injured more than 60.

“The Secretary-General strongly condemns the horrific bomb attack targeting civilians at a market in Al-Sadr City today,” read a statement from Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. 

“This deadly attack ahead of the Eid al-Adha holiday is a reminder to us all that the scourge of terrorism knows no bounds,” he added.

ZHYAN ENGLISH notes others condemning the bombings:

US, UK, UN, EU, Germany, other foreign missions condemn Baghdad’s Sadr City bombing #ZhyanEnglish #UK #US #EU #UN #Germany #Baghdad #Iraq #SadrCity #ISIS

4:58 AM · Jul 20, 2021

On the topic of Moqtada al-Sadr, Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) reported two days ago:

The withdrawal of populist Iraqi cleric Moqtada Al Sadr from the country’s political process is no “surprise”, experts told The National.

Iraq has been beset by a wave of public-service disasters, the most recent of which include a hospital fire that killed 92 people and a national power cut in the blazing summer heat.

“This is not the first time and, to many, not a surprise that Moqtada Al Sadr is coming out and claiming to leave the political process,” said Renad Mansour, a senior research fellow at the Chatham House think tank in London.

“He’s done this in the past and even before elections, and it’s part of his vision of being above politics, to some extent.”

Mr Al Sadr said last week that he would boycott Iraq’s upcoming elections to distance himself from the government.

The cleric is known to be one of Iraq’s most influential religious figures, heading a political bloc in Parliament that was the biggest winner of the 2018 elections.

Sairoon has significant influence and gained 54 seats in Parliament, the most won by any party or bloc in the 329-member legislature.

In the past, Mr Sadr has withdrawn from frontline politics without dismantling his powerful movement.

He now appears to want to distance himself from publicly recognised political appointments among his Sadrist followers and remould himself as someone above the fray of day-to-day political turmoil.

Iraq’s ongoing, multi-sector collapse of public services came to a head earlier this month when the national grid suffered a catastrophic failure. Electricity production plunged from 20 gigawatts – already 10 gigawatts below peak demand – to eight gigawatts.

But since 2019, armed groups linked to political parties backed by Iran have resisted a national protest movement, killing at least 500 people.

“This is a time where people are angry at the government, and so this is what he does,” Mr Mansour told The National.

Turning to the US, Patrick Martin (WSWS) weighs in on US President Joe Biden's leadership or 'leadership' thus far:

When Biden took office, 400,000 people were dead from the COVID-19 pandemic, while millions were unemployed. Just months earlier, every city, town, and village in America had seen protests in opposition to police violence.

Biden marked the six-month anniversary with brief remarks presenting American society in glowing terms. “For all those predictions of doom and gloom six months in, here’s where things stand,” he said. “Record growth, record job creation, workers getting hard-earned breaks.” He added, “Put simply: Our economy is on the move, and we have COVID-19 on the run.”

Summing up his prognosis, the US president proclaimed: “It turns out capitalism is alive and very well.” The truth is that the policies of the Biden administration have entirely failed to resolve the social crisis in America and they cannot, because they are based on the framework of American capitalism.

The pandemic, far from being “on the run,” is undergoing a new resurgence. Since Biden took office, an additional 225,000 people have died from the pandemic. All indications are that by the winter, with the new surge accompanying the spread of the Delta variant, the death toll under Biden will have exceeded that under Trump.

The policies of the Biden administration have been driven by the interests of Wall Street and the super-rich. This is why, despite occasional criticisms of Trump’s callous and anti-scientific response to the coronavirus pandemic, Biden has pursued the same policy of restoring corporate profit-making by forcing workers back to work and children back to school as quickly as possible, regardless of the dangers to their lives and health.

The following sites updated: