Thursday, August 12, 2021

Jimmy Dore, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

First up, Jimmy Dore.

Jimmy Dore is ten times the person Keith Olbermann is.  Be sure to read Ava and C.I.'s "Media: The problem with Jimmy Dore?" where they take on Olbermann, Sam Seder and the other creeps.

Jimmy Dore is a truth teller, Keith Olbermann is just a stooge and a liar.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a column at JACOBIN and this is the opening:

The Milwaukee Bucks won the 2020-21 NBA championship, and I couldn’t be happier for my former team’s success. It’s especially gratifying to me because this is their first championship since 1971, when I played for the Bucks and we won the NBA championship. Although winning is exciting, fulfilling, and pretty much everything you imagine it would be, I’m also well aware that whether in 1971 or 2021, an NBA championship is often about more than just a team hoisting a shiny gold trophy. It can also be a reflection of the country’s zeitgeist with all its cultural, social, and political turmoil.
Why is basketball different from all other sports leagues in embodying America’s social conscience? Perhaps because 83.1 percent of the players and 60 percent of the fans are non-white, making it the only major North American sport in which the majority of fans aren’t white. This diversity might make basketball players and fans more sensitive to the urgency and consequences of battles over social and economic justice.
In 2020, the Lakers’ NBA Finals win came during a national pandemic, the most contentious national election in recent history, and the largest protest movement in United States history. Between May 26 and June 22 of 2020, up to 26 million Americans marched in support of Black Lives Matter in over 4,700 separate protests. At the same time, millions were sick and hundreds of thousands were dying from COVID-19. And democracy itself seemed more fragile than ever as a sitting administration attempted to undermine voting rights, punish immigrants, and endanger the health of Americans.

Read the article and enjoy.  

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

 Thursday, August 12, 2021.  The US government continues to persecute Julian Assange for exposing their lies in Iraq and elsewhere.

Starting with Julian Assange.  

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.  Prior to the release, the US government had repeatedly lied about the incident.  It was an embarrassment and the US government has wanted revenge ever since.  

Julian remains held in a UK prison for no valid legal reason.  And the US government continues its efforts to get Julian handed over to them.  A new development took place yesterday.  Richard Medhurst reports on it in the clip below . . .

. . . as does Kevin Gosztola in the video below.

Whistleblower Ed Snowden Tweets:

Papers writing on Assange should mention the core of the US's extradition case—a frail and deeply suspect "hacking" claim—collapsed in June when the US's prime witness recanted his testimony ( What remains are only "unlawful journalism" charges.

Sarah Abdallah Tweets:

“Nearly every war that has started in the past 50 years has been a result of media lies.” Free Julian Assange
3:42 PM · Aug 11, 2021

In the FORBES video below, AP's Matthew Lee asks State Dept spokesperson Ned Price about Julian Assange.

Here's the exchange from the official State Dept press briefing transcript:

QUESTION: Thanks. Just before we get to what I’m sure will be Afghanistan, I just want to – on the administration’s commitment to democracy, human rights, which I think includes freedom of the press and your support for that, I just wanted to ask you really quickly about the situation with Julian Assange in London, the court hearing that was held today. And if you’re only going to refer to the Justice Department, then I don’t need to hear a long explanation of that, but I just – what I want to know is from the State Department’s point of view, because it was State Department equities that were among the first that were compromised, quote/unquote – I mean, you have an interest in – the State Department has an interest in this case. So I’m just wondering if it is still the position of the State Department that Assange is not a journalist and that he is – he should be tried for theft of what are – what you would essentially say are state secrets.

MR PRICE: Matt, by referring to the Department of Justice, as we always do in cases like this, it doesn’t indicate —

QUESTION: Yeah, no, no, I’m just asking —

MR PRICE: It doesn’t indicate we don’t have an interest. It indicates that we have a respect for the separation of institutions and the independence of Department of Justice.

QUESTION: Your – the position of this administration since it came in talking about how important the freedom of press is, has – that hasn’t impacted the department’s position on this case. Is that correct?

MR PRICE: This is a matter before the Department of Justice. It’s a matter the Department of Justice is pursuing.

QUESTION: It’s not a matter before the Department of Justice. It’s a matter before the British court. But I just want to know if your position, the State Department’s position, that you represent to the Department of Justice who then represents you has changed at all.

MR. PRICE: Matt, the Department of Justice is pursuing this. I will leave it to them to pursue and to characterize the United States Government’s position on this.

QUESTION: Okay, so the State Department’s position hasn’t changed, correct?

MR. PRICE: Matt, the Department of Justice is speaking for the United States —

QUESTION: Oh, my god.

MR. PRICE: — in a law enforcement matter.

QUESTION: Why can’t you give straight answers? Yes or no, has it changed or not over the course of the last eight years?

MR. PRICE: The Department of Justice in this matter —

QUESTION: I am fully aware, Ned.

MR. PRICE: Matt, you don’t need to be combative, okay? You don’t need to be combative.


MR. PRICE: I know you like to get worked up, but please, this is —

QUESTION: I’m not trying to get worked up. I just want a straight answer. Did —

MR. PRICE: It’s a simple matter that’s before the Department of Justice.

QUESTION: Fine. All right. So in terms of your grand promotion of democracy, human rights, which are going to be at the center of U.S. foreign policy, as we will see no doubt in December when the President hosts his summit of – for democracy, how does that relate exactly to Afghanistan and your promotion of human rights and democracy when you have a situation where the country is rapidly coming under control of a group that has shown no respect for democracy and human rights ever?

MR. PRICE: I’m sorry, the question was —

QUESTION: How do you reconcile this? How do you – how does the administration expect to be taken seriously in terms of promoting human rights and democracy as being at the center of U.S. foreign policy if it is prepared to allow Afghanistan to deteriorate into a situation where a group that has shown – that you yourself just days ago have accused of committing atrocities – if you’re prepared to allow that to happen.

MR. PRICE: I would reject every single premise of that question. The United States —

QUESTION: Really? Because most of what I just said is actual – is factual.

Staying with the topic of truth tellers, BLACK AGENDA REPORT is currently celebrating the life and work of the late Glen Ford.:

I think more than enough time has passed for me to note that, as usual, White lefties ignored the non-White.  It happens over and over.  In "TV: Xenophobia and racism alive and thriving thanks to PBS and Norman Lear," Ava and I noted 

Last week, the great truth teller Glen Ford died.  It was a huge loss, the entire Thursday "Iraq snapshot" was devoted to Glen Ford because he mattered so much.  And, honestly, also because if he were a White person -- say a so-so White woman playwright -- he'd get tons of attention from the press the way that hack did when she died at the same time as Coretta Scott King and THE NEW YORK TIMES chose to run multiple pieces on the so-so playwright while refusing every submission on the passing of Coretta for their op-ed pages and also relegating Coretta's death to one -- and only one -- report.  Or, for that matter, the non-stop saturation YOUTUBE coverage of the death of Michael Brooks.

Hate to break it to those who seal themselves off in White America, but we didn't know who Michael Brooks was until after he died and, when the news first started popping up, for about a week, we thought they were saying radio personality Michael Baisden had passed away.  We honestly don't consider that lack of awareness of Brooks to be a liability.  We do know who Glen Ford was.  

Of the two, we'd argue Glen Ford mattered much more.  But he's African-American and so, to 'liberal' America -- a largely White and self-contained bubble -- he's not really known at all and, if he is, well his death isn't as important as yacker Michael Brooks. 


You can see that with a simple YOUTUBE search.  Hundreds of videos when JACOBIN's Michael Brooks dies.  Handful -- a small handful -- when Glen Ford passes.

That was written the week after he died.  It's now been another week.  Hate to break it to the bulk of White Left but one Tweet or one headline is not really sufficient.  And if you think all of America won't notice it when you're next so-so White person dies and you treat it as though JFK has just been assassinated, you are wrong.  

You are the reasons that walls exist. Donald Trump didn't build those walls, you did, while railing against Trump and pretending you were so much better than him.  Sorry, but you're honestly not.  

Glen had a body of work, a lifetime of work, and you didn't judge the work or the person worthy of truly noting.  Your reaction did send a message.  And it made the wall between you and others all the higher.  

Margaret Kimberley notes at BLACK AGENDA REPORT:

Ford was among the few journalists who took a stance for Black liberation and against imperialism.

I had the honor of working with the late Glen Ford for nearly 20 years. His passing has created a huge void not just for Black Agenda Report (BAR), the site we co-founded with the late Bruce Dixon, but for all of Black politics and left media. Ford identified his political and journalistic stance with both, having created the tagline: “News, commentary and analysis from the black left” for BAR. He was the consummate journalist, a man who demanded rigorous analysis of himself and others, and he lived by the dictum of afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted. Ford co-founded a publication in line with his core values: He did not suffer fools gladly, succumb to corporate media and government narratives, or feel obligated to change his politics in order to elevate the Black face in a high place.

Ford spoke of learning this lesson the hard way. He told a story of regret, his ethical dilemma , when he gave one such Black person, Barack Obama, a pass in 2003. At that time, Ford, Dixon and I were all working at Black Commentator Obama had announced his candidacy for the United States Senate and he was listed as a member of the Democratic Leadership Council (DCL), the right-leaning, corporate wing of the Democratic Party. Obama had also removed an antiwar statement from his website.

Ford and Dixon posed what they called “bright line questions” to Obama on issues such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, single-payer health care and Iraq. His fuzzy answers should have flunked him, but Ford chose not to be seen as “a crab in a barrel,” one who pulled another of the group down. Obama was given an opportunity to comment in Black Commentator and Ford wrote, “[Black Commentator] is relieved, pleased, and looking forward to Obama’s success in the Democratic senatorial primary and Illinois general election.”

As he witnessed Obama’s actions on the campaign trail and eventually in office, Ford never again felt obligated to depart from his political stances or to defend a member of the group whose politics were not in keeping with the views of the Black left.

From that moment on, Glen Ford did not let up on Obama, just as he did not waver from his staunch opposition to neoliberalism and U.S. imperialism. Black Agenda Report became the go-to site for all leftists. BAR’s critique of Obama when he led the destruction of Libya was no less stinging than critiques of George W. Bush when the U.S. invaded Iraq. Ford declared that Obama and the Democrats were not the “lesser evil” that millions of people hoped for. Instead, they were just the more effective evil, and they were always in BAR’s journalistic sights.

Ford was always an uncompromising defender of Black people and never shrank from explaining the mechanisms which place that group at or near the bottom of all positive metrics and at or near the top of all the negative. He was one of the first to amplify the term “mass incarceration” in his unsparing analysis of the United States and its dubious distinction as the nation with more people behind bars than any other: more than 2 million, with half of those being Black, a cohort which makes up one-quarter of all the incarcerated in the world. Black Agenda Report can be counted on to give this information consistently and with no punches pulled.

Glen Ford was a committed socialist, a Vietnam-era military veteran and a member of the Black Panther Party. He spent part of his childhood and youth in Columbus, Georgia, in the days of apartheid in the United States. Those life experiences shaped his work and left a legacy that anyone who considers themselves a leftist ought to follow.

He worked in the media throughout his adult life and served as a Capitol Hill, White House and State Department correspondent for the Mutual Black Network. In 1977, he co-founded “America’s Black Forum,” which was the first nationally syndicated Black-oriented program on commercial television.

That's just an excerpt.  The excerpt alone argues for something more than a Tweet or, Amy Goodman, a headline.  I hope everyone remembers the net time Amy's devoting a whole show to some movie start who passed away or some other person that when it came to Glen Ford, a headline was just enough for Amy.

Where's today's Howard Zinn?  Someone needs to find her or him because we truly need A PEOPLE'S OBITUARY as much as we need A PEOPLE'S HISTORRY.  Glen's life mattered, his actions mattered and yet we refuse to honor the person or the work when we resort to silence.  

I guess it's really easy for a lot of White liberals to type "#BLACKLIVESMATTER" but it's harder to actually do the work required to make that hashtag come alive.

In her column, Ann Garrison notes:

Knowing Glen, I regretted that I hadn’t managed to come up with a few good jokes in that farewell message, but I wasn’t up to it and didn’t know how much time I had, so I just did what I could. His readers no doubt knew what a wicked sense of irony he had but probably don’t know that he could even turn it to his own illness.

I called once when he was struggling and asked how he was doing, which seemed like an inane question by that time, but he responded, “I CAN’T BREATHE,” echoing the words of George Floyd and so many others with comic irony.

Glen suffered from kidney failure several years before developing lung cancer and had to begin a dialysis regime three days a week. Once we exchanged a few messages when he was on his way to a VA Hospital somewhere in Pennsylvania to be evaluated for a possible kidney transplant. On the way back he joked that due to his age—near 70 then— they couldn’t place him high on the waiting list and wouldn’t waste the best kidney available on him even if his number came up.

I told him that I’d never signed the release to donate my kidneys or any other organs because I’d subjected my body to so many toxins that my organs couldn’t be of much use to anyone. He said that had always been his excuse as well.

Once I sent him a piece about the latest violent incidents in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park, a wildlife reserve and jungle habitat in the heart of war-torn eastern Congo, and its valiant park rangers, many of whom have died defending it. Then I asked him which of several photos he’d like to use and he said, “I like the sister ranger. Took me back to what I used to get up to in my army days.” (The sister ranger was cute as hell in a beret and a perky ponytail.) We wound up using a pic of some brother park rangers with the mountain gorillas that the park is famous for, but I sent more pics later and said, “Here are some more of those sister rangers, since you like them so much.”

In 2018, he wrote a more serious account of his time in the U.S. Army and how his unit, the 82nd Airborne, was transformed by the Newark, New Jersey, race rebellion of 1967, a year before MLK was assassinated and they were deployed to Washington, DC:

An 18 year-old paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, I had been on field exercises with my unit the week before, providing security for the commanding general’s headquarters. Under a big tent, company commanders and their executive officers spent that Wednesday, April 3, pouring over maps of Washington, DC, in the event we had to occupy the city. When King was killed on the evening of the next day, the division hastily packed its gear and moved back to barracks to prepare for deployment to burning cities. The general, however, somehow forgot to restrict all 12,000 of us to base. Some of us took advantage of the oversight, and went home for the weekend.

“When I and hundreds of other paratroopers straggled back to Fort Bragg early Monday morning, April 8, the rest of my unit was sitting on an airfield near Baltimore, as the brass tried to decide whether we should be deployed in that city or nearby Washington. Both were burning, along with over 100 other cities. We wound up in the nation’s capital.

“The year before, Newark, New Jersey, had been occupied by nearly lily-white units of the National Guard, sent there to quell a four-day rebellion in which 26 Blacks were killed. The Guardsmen behaved like an Army of White Vengeance, joining the racist cops in savaging Black people and shooting up businesses displaying “Black-owned” and “Soul Brother” signs on the Springfield Avenue thoroughfare. However, the 82nd Airborne Division was a different social organism, entirely; our ranks were 60 percent Black, and we had been transformed. All of us (at least in my company) were aware of what had happened in Newark. As far as the Black troops were concerned, our division had only one mission in Washington, DC: to make sure the white soldiers -- especially the mostly white military police -- did no harm to the Black population. And they did not dare. Not one Black citizen of Washington was hurt by a soldier of the 82nd Airborne division -- or, to my knowledge, even verbally abused -- during the occupation.

“Our officers took note, and were clearly disturbed by our protective postures. The same Black ghetto army that was rebelling in Vietnam, was showing that it would not be a party to abuse of Black people at home. It was the beginning of the end of the draft.”

It took me awhile to find that piece, MLK: A Snapshot in Time, dated April 5, 2018, in the Black Agenda Report archives, but I finally did after trying the search term “82nd Airborne.” I forget a lot of names, phone numbers and the like that I should retain, so my memory of that obscure detail speaks to how deeply the piece affected me. And to how much more accessible we need to make the BAR archives.

Shortly after Glen’s death, I told Margaret Kimberley, Ajamu Baraka, Raymond Nat Turner, and Danny Haiphong that people were no doubt reading and searching for their favorites in Glen’s BAR archives, as I just did, but that the archives are not as searchable as they should be. While Glen struggled with illness during the last few years of his life, he got the weekly edition of BAR out week after week, even that week before his death, but couldn’t find time or energy for projects like this, so we will. If anyone reading this has technical skills they might lend, please write to me at because I take particular interest in improving the Black Agenda Report’s accessibility and visibility on the Web.

For many years, Nellie Bailey was Glen's co-host on the weekly BLACK AGENDA RADIO and she writes:

Marxist Glen Ford never wavered from his core belief of self-determination for oppressed nations and the struggles of working people around the world dehumanized by U.S. imperialism, a geopolitical  paradigm for  global domination. Its ruthless and terrifying destruction of Iraq shocked the civilized world. On the domestic front, deindustrialization and corporate trade agreements plunged the middle and working class into an austerity abyss.  This political quagmire demanded a capitalist reset to shore up a collapsing empire in fear of a restless populace weary of wars that cost billions of dollars and countless deaths. Enter into this foray the $1 billion presidential campaign that mesmerized Black folks of every political stripe. Ironically, it was the Obama campaign that led me to reach out to Glen  in 2007.  

I held the unpopular position that Obama was the brown face of U.S. imperialism.  The popularly held notion that Obama gave Black people a wink and a nod belied the reality of the racist U.S. empire.  Glen agreed to participate in a community forum entitled: “Is Obama Good for Black People”, a debate between Glen and Amiri Baraka, an outspoken supporter of Obama. An enthusiastic and overwhelmingly young audience cheered Glen. That was the beginning of my 13-year membership with the BAR family.

Few are aware of Glen’s support  for our anti-gentrification resistance campaign against predatory capital that decimated Black and Brown neighborhoods. He met with the tenant president of a seven-building complex that housed over 1,700 units of rent regulated housing.  Glen stood with us against Columbia University's $6 billion expansion that displaced hundreds of low income families. In 2012, he protested with us against Obama's self-serving appearance at the Apollo theater.


I'm especially appalled that the national Green Party has issued no statement.  Few outlets gave that party a fair shake.  BLACK AGENDA REPORT covered the Greens.  Ajamu Baraka was the Green Party's 2020 vice presidential nominee.  At BLACK AGENDA REPORT, he writes:

It's easy to run with the herd, especially when it can bring possible career advancements and even significant monetary gain. That is why, for so many, making decisions to find a way into the mix, to play the game in order to advance one’s individual objectives, does not present any internal moral debate. It is just common sense.

But for the oppressed and their radical intellectuals and activists, accommodationism is not an option without surrendering one’s soul. Glen Ford and many of our generation refused to do that.

Glen made the decision to devote himself to being a truth teller on the side of the people back in the 1970s, at a historic moment when it was very easy to be an opportunist. Co-optation, an aspect of the state’s counter-revolutionary response to the new forms of Black radicalism that emerged in the 1960s, was an important element in the state’s repertoire. That along with, of course, systemic repression.

But Glen made a conscious decision to take, as Kwame Nkrumah framed it, a “revolutionary path.” That path is always more difficult, for not many take it. As a result, the path is quite narrow, no more than a trail through the forest of normalized reaction projected to the masses as supposed “common sense.” When one takes that path, very few accolades nor real economic stability, retirement funds or clear paths forward are available.

It might end with one laying in a hospital bed for two weeks, while furiously pounding out two issues of Black Agenda Report, suspecting they may be the last few you will have a hand in shaping and passing quietly on the morning the next issue was due to come out.

When I spoke with Glen a few weeks ago, before he entered the hospital, I intended to talk him into relinquishing some of his responsibilities with BAR, so he could concentrate on trying to extend his stay on this planet and with us. Yet, in the course of our comical banter about morality and the meaning of our lives—a discussion that can only happen when you know you are rapidly approaching the end of your journey—I never raised the issue of stepping back a little because Glen made it quite clear how he wanted to depart this earth. “Ajamu, I am going out struggling.” For him, BAR was his most significant contribution to the “struggle.” Even though he was not healthy, Glen was proud of the work the BAR team had developed and he was satisfied it was continuing.

Danny Haiphong shares:

Reading and listening to Glen Ford’s analysis of the Obama administration placed a bright spotlight on a historical moment of intense darkness. At present, there are still too few others who have been able to coherently place the Obama era in its proper context of the U.S.’s ongoing counterinsurgency warfare against Black liberation and self-determination. While much of the American left equated the rise of Obama with “progress,” Glen Ford repeatedly warned us that the Obama administration rendered U.S. imperialism and white supremacy a more effective, and therefore more dangerous, evil.

That’s what revolutionaries do. They warn us through careful explanation and analysis of how oppressive systems work. They prepare us to make history through revolution; to replace the old decrepit order with a new one. But revolutionaries do not just champion any social order. Glen Ford was quite clear that any social transformation of the United States must satisfy the needs of humanity, especially the most terrorized and exploited among us. Socialism and self-determination were not antithetical principles but rather interconnected aims wholly consistent with the struggle for Black liberation.  

Glen Ford’s work convinced me in rapid fashion of the necessity of Black revolutionary leadership in the long struggle to build a socialist project in the United States. His grasp of theory and history was matched by few others. His talent behind the microphone and written word brought his analysis to life. From 2011 to 2013, I followed Black Agenda Report regularly and held it to the sky as a necessary source for anyone claiming interest in “social justice.” Glen Ford’s work on the U.S. war against the African country of Libya, an invasion led by the first Black President of the United States, laid the foundations for my own anti-imperialist approach to both activism and journalism.

In 2013, I took a leap and submitted my first article to Glen Ford analyzing Barack Obama’s presidency as a corporate brand. My writing was raw. I was schooled poorly in grammar and had only begun reading regularly over the last year. Clarity was not yet a strength that I possessed. Not to worry. Glen’s brief responses to my submissions over the next several months provided a basic education into concise analytical writing, and I owe much of my development as both a writer and political analyst to him.

From 2014 to 2016, I met Glen Ford in the flesh only in brief encounters at The Left Forum. In 2017, I moved to New York City. Glen and I would eventually convene at Molly Wee’s in Manhattan on a periodic basis and speak for hours about the political situation in the U.S. and abroad. Glen Ford was a communist who shared his experiences in the Black Panther Party and the Communist Party without hesitation to trusted comrades. He loved to tell a good story.

But it wasn’t just for the fun of it. Glen had expectations. He didn’t need to say it bluntly for me to know that he hoped his stories would be incorporated in my own work in service of the people. Everything with Glen was for the people. This didn’t mean he didn’t enjoy a good time, however. A good time for Glen Ford was defined both by the company he kept and his passion for analyzing the world and those struggling for power within it. A drink didn’t hurt, either.

Those are just five of the pieces currently up.  Glen Ford spoke out in a needed voice over and over.  He was also able to talk about something other than the momentary incident, he linked it up so that you saw the connections in what others were presenting as an isolated incident.  

Of all the people the internet has helped popularize, few gave us much insight as Glen did.  He is greatly missed because he mattered and so did his work.  It's a real shame that someone who gave so much and meant so much is thought, by too many White liberals, to be worth nothing more than a Tweet.  I believe that judgment reflects more about their own lives than it does about Glen Ford's.

New content at THIRD:

The following sites updated:

Wednesday, August 11, 2021


The latest episode of SUPERMAN & LOIS aired Tuesday night on THE CW.  It was a strong episode.  I do like the episodes when Kyle gets some good scenes.  Clark talked to Lana after he saw that Lana and Kyle were putting their home up for sale.  Because of what Morgan Edge (Superman's evil brother) did, the town has been blaming Kyle -- and Lana to a lesser degree.  (He turned them into slaves and gave them super powers to make a group of Super people.)  Clark talks to Lana.  Lana talks to Kyle.  He thinks they need to move.  Then he goes to his job and finds out that his partner doesn't want him to leave.  She's really the first one to tell Kyle that.  Most of the other people -- including the mayor -- are attacking Kyle (who was not responsible for anything Morgan Edge did).

Because of that conversation, Kyle went back home and told Lana about it and how it made him think that maybe Lana was right and that they should stay.  Just then, his phone rings with a job offer -- same job (fire fighter) but a different city.  They try to talk to their daughters but the teenage one is angry and upset.  

Meanwhile, Lois' father was holding a briefing for the town with the townspeople wanting to know when the soldiers -- and Lane -- are leaving.  He stalled and hedged but Lois told them that Morgan had escaped and that the soldiers were needed to protect the people.  It was the most truth they'd gotten.  

But the townhall was cut short because Morgan Edge showed up. 

So John -- in his supersuit -- and Clark and Lois go to Metropolis to confront him.

Morgan calls up more super soldiers but John and Superman defeat them.  The only one they can't defeat is Morgan who vanishes.  He goes off to get Jordan.  They're in the car with their grandfather (Lois' dad) and with Kyle's daughter that Jordan's dating.  He lands in front of their car and they hit him and the car's wrecked but he's fine.  He grabs Jordan and flies off.  When Superman arrives, Jon tells him what happened but it's too late.  Superman tells Lois he can't find their son.

Meanwhile Morgan is blasting Jordan with some rays and when he's done with that Jordan's mouth moves but it's Morgan's father that's speaking. 

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

 Wednesday, August 11, 2021.  Once again, the US government looks the other way at torture to endorse an incumbent, another political assassination takes place in Iraq, Mustafa uses a suspect as a campaign prop in a photo-op, Nouri wants back in the game, and much more.

Daily violence is a fact of life in occupied Iraq and has been since the start of the ongoing war.  XINHUA notes:

Six Iraqi security members were killed and 11 others wounded on Wednesday in a huge explosion in the province of Salahudin, north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, a provincial police source said.

The explosion took place in a truck carrying explosives and weapons found by the security forces in the west of the town of Baiji, some 200 km north of Baghdad, Mohammed al-Bazi told Xinhua.

ALSUMARIA notes the death toll has risen to 9.    And you can't talk about the violence without including the violence carried out by the US-backed government against the Iraqi people.  We'll note these Tweets:

The authorities in #Iraq use torture methods such as severe beatings, electric shocks, suffocation with bags, and sexual violence to extract confessions or blackmail detainees for money. More:

The continuation of torture inside detention centers violates #Iraq's relevant domestic and international obligations, especially the Convention against Torture, which it ratified in 2008. More:

And we'll again note Louisa Loveluck's report earlier this month for THE WASHINGTON POST:

Iraqi authorities are routinely denying prisoners their rights from arrest through prosecution, according to the United Nations, leaving tens of thousands vulnerable to violence and other forms of abuse while in custody.

new report, released Tuesday by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq, details a labyrinth of unfairness, with detainees often denied due process at every turn. Confessions frequently come through torture, it says. Few detainees see a lawyer until they appear in court. In some cases, they do not even know which authority is holding them.

Four years after the U.S.-backed defeat of the Islamic State group here, more than 40,000 inmates are packed in prisons across Iraq’s federal and Kurdish regions. Judicial records and court visits suggest that roughly half were arrested on terrorism charges, then tried in a system that affords little effort to weigh specific evidence against them.

The UN report would have come out in early July, as originally intended, but the White House felt it would embarrass President Joe Biden if it was released prior to his July 26th meeting with Mustafa al-Kadhimi, prime minister of Iraq.  US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield worked hard to delay the release of the report until after the meet-up took place. Creating violence, covering up violence, the US government is always part of the cycle of violence in Iraq.

That cycle includes the assassination of a politician this week.  THE SIASAT DAILY reports Abeer Salim al-Khafaji, the mayor of Karbala, was shot dead.  ARAB NEWS notes two city employees were also shot (no word on whether they survived or not) and they explain that "Al-Khafaji was killed by gunmen while supervising a municipal campaign accompanied by security forces to stop abuses in the Al-Mamlji area, Iraq News Agency reported."

Mustafa was always an attention whore but desperation -- he wants a second term -- has only made that worse.  An arrest was made and the suspect wasn't just arrested.  He was taken to Mustafa so he could be posed for photos.  AFP reports

 His office released photographs of him berating the suspected killer, who had been blindfolded by his police captors, during a visit to the crime scene.

The images did little to assuage public anger at the apparent impunity for politically linked crimes that has seen more than 70 activists targeted for assassination since October 2019.

"The weakness of the security forces goes hand in hand with the intimidation of society by the tribes, religion and the political parties," one Twitter user complained.

Another demanded that Kadhemi show the same energy in tracking down the killers of pro-reform activists.

The suspect has not been found guilty by a court of law but Mustafa can toss out the man's rights and use him as a prop in his campaign for a second term.  This is disgusting and this is who the US government is working overtime to deliver a second term to.  You'd think the US government would have learned to stay out of it.  But they haven't.  Even though Joe was Vice President in 2010 when Nouri al-Maliki lost the election and refused to step down -- for over eight months -- and the US decided to back Nouri.  Over the objections of many -- including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the top ranking US military member in Iraq General Ray Odierno.  Gates is well aware of how poorly Joe acted during this and that remains one of the big sources of friction between the two.

But Joe backed the plan to give Nouri a second term.  So they tossed out the votes of the Iraqi people with The Erbil Agreement and Nouri got that second term.  Barack and Joe lied to the Iraqi politicians -- we can go over that again at another time.  The point here is that we paid attention in real time -- unlike Paddy Cockburn and others.  And the e-mails never stop about how no one knew Nouri was torturing and no one knew this and blab blah the US wouldn't have backed Nouri if they knew blah blah blah.

Wrong.  Sorry you weren't paying attention in real time then.  But pay attention right now.  The UNited Nations has documented the torture the Iraqi government is carrying out.  The head of that government is Mustafa.  Elections are expected to take place in October.  And the US is backing Mustafa -- despite the torture.

It's happening all over again.  


If you're not noticing that, now it's on you.

And they're noting it on Arabic social media.  N o one's surprised because it's Joe ("Traitor Joe" is a popular term being used), the man who destroyed Iraq in 2010 who's back in charge.

Giving Nouri the second term did many awful things.  The two worst?  First off, it destroyed any trust the Iraqi people might have had in the election process which is why fewer an d fewer vote.  Second, Nouri's second term delivered ISIS to Iraq.  His actions were responsible for the rise of ISIS.  He was attacking the protesters -- after he'd attacked everyone else -- and then, suddenly, garbed men begin showing up with guns saying they would defend the protesters from Nouri.

Sorry if that doesn't fit the tidy little world you want to live in, but it is reality and those of us who paid atention on a day to day basis saw it happening.  In fact, we predicted the rise of ISIS before it came to be.  Not because I'm psychic but because the signs were there, if you studied poli sci even a little, you saw what was coming.  

Unless you were Joe.

Today?  ALSUMARIA reports thta despite Tahrir Square in Baghdad usually being bedecked with "programs, slogans" and posters for various political candidates and parties, right now it is "completely devoid" of campaign material.  Elections are supposed to take place in October.  But there's no excitement.  ALSUMARIA offers that anger on the street is aimed at the politicians and the political system that has failed repeatedly.  Promotional material for candidates is largely only showing up online.  In part, probably, because you can't decorate/deface/pull down a social media post as easily as you can a physical campaign poster. 



The countdown for the October 10 parliamentary elections began in Iraq amid the boycott of influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Several blocs and coalitions have started their electoral campaigns, including the Rule of Law coalition of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Shiite parties have kicked off their campaigns, while Sunni and Kurdish coalitions have yet to start theirs despite the various meetings held between their leaders.

An independent Iraqi politician and former MP said it has become evident that Sadr will not retract his withdrawal.

“This has led to serious concerns among Shiites of impending inter-Shiite fighting even if a new government is formed after the elections,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He explained that with Sadr out of the equation, new balances of power within parliament may lead to tensions among the various parties that could escalate into fighting,

He noted that strenuous efforts were exerted to convince Sadr to change his position, but he has so far resisted them, prompting speculation over the motives behind the cleric’s stance.

Some sides believe that he has a plan that has yet to materialize that would see him not only have a say in the nomination of a new prime minister or claim ministerial portfolios for himself, but go beyond that, especially if the balance of power sways in favor of his great rival, the Fatah alliance or even Maliki, added the official.

It appears that Maliki is eyeing the position of prime minister in spite of his previous assertion that he no longer aspires for that seat.

Nouri wants to be prime minister again?  Shocking.  I would be shocked . . . if we hadn't been covering that for the last three months.  And we've also provided a reality that Moqtada coverage keeps ignoring -- Moqtada's political party is running in the election.  Moqtada's move is grandstanding and largely meaningless.  His party is still running for office.  His statement only refers to himself.

And, yes, Moqtada will emerge to do anything he can should Nouri get the post or look like he might.  Moqtada has not forgotten all of Nouri's past threats -- during Nouri's first term -- to execute the arrest warrant on Moqtada -- one that dates back to 2004.  

If you've read this site even in passing, you already know this but for any drive-bys, I am not endorsing Nouri al-Maliki.  First off, I'm not endorsing anyone.  I can't vote in that election so I have no business telling anyone else how to vote in it.  Secondly, Nouri is a thug.

But, as we've noted so many times over the last year, Mustafa has been so inept as prime minister that he's made some nostalgic for Nouri.

In other news, Human Rights Watch issued the following today:

The Iraqi army has unlawfully evicted dozens of families from a village north of Baghdad since July 2021 in an apparent family feud involving a government minister, Human Rights Watch said today. The 91 families from al-Aetha, a village in Salah al-Din governorate, were sent to a displacement camp without any of their possessions.

The families from al-Aetha had been forced out of their village years earlier during fighting between the government and the Islamic State (also known as ISIS). Many had previously been forcibly evicted by local and security authorities from displacement camps and made to return to their village. Those displaced recently say they were evicted as part of a family feud involving a government minister, who is from the village, and his brother, who had married a woman also from the village with alleged past ties to an ISIS member. The authorities should immediately halt the evictions and punish all officials responsible for the abuse of their authority.

“For years Iraqi authorities have claimed they are moving communities into or out of camps for their own protection or best interests,” said Belkis Wille, senior crisis and conflict researcher at Human Rights Watch. “But the case of these villagers being ping-ponged between their village and displacement camps is yet again proof that these evictions are often about the authorities’ personal or political considerations rather than the well-being of those affected.”

Human Rights Watch has been documenting the forced evictions of families, including those with perceived affiliation with ISIS, for years. From August 1 to 5, Human Rights Watch interviewed seven al-Aetha residents in in Salah al-Din. They said that starting on July 14, Iraqi army units came to their village and evicted people by force with no prior notice and without providing any justification or presenting any lawful order. On August 10, Human Rights Watch spoke to a representative from the Ministry of Displacement and Migration who did not provide any justification for the evictions.  

The residents said the village had been home to 370 families – about 14,000 people – before ISIS took control in 2014. In November 2016, all of the remaining families fled as fighting increased in the area, with many settling in displacement camps. They said that in 2019, 330 families returned from displacement camps. In January 2021, the remaining 40 families returned after displacement camp authorities ordered them to return home, families interviewed said.

Villagers said that on July 14, about two dozen Iraqi army vehicles arrived in the village with a list of names and forced about 19 families out of their homes and onto flatbed trucks, including four of the people interviewed. The soldiers told the villagers they were taking them to the one displacement camp still open – in Nineveh, 15 kilometers north – but gave them no reason. Between July 31 and August 4, the army returned and took another 72 families to the camp, including two of the people interviewed.

One woman said that when the army evicted her family on July 14, a woman had tried to flee the village to avoid eviction but the soldiers stopped her: “I heard a soldier tell her that if her family didn’t come, they would arrest her husband.”

The villagers all said that the army did not allow them to take any of their possessions. The mother of six said she has no mattresses, blankets, or fans in the camp. One mother said she left her three children in the village with their uncle because she could not bring any possessions and would have nothing to make them comfortable.

The people interviewed said these new evictions had severely disrupted their lives. The mother of six said one of her sons refused to leave and fled to his grandmother’s house: “My mother told me that he is traumatized and is refusing to eat. He cries all day. My other two sons have missed their final secondary exams and are stuck here in the camp.”

Although about 270 families remain in the village, on July 12 the minister’s son said on Facebook that all of the families from the village will eventually be evicted. One woman interviewed who is still in the village she worries that they will come for her soon.

Three villagers said they believe that the evictions took place because of a familial feud. They said that in July the minister’s brother married a woman from the village who had formerly been married to an ISIS member. They said that village elders told them that the minister decided to retaliate against his brother by evicting the residents. One villager said that when he asked one of the soldiers why they were being evicted, the soldier said, “It’s because of some problem between you villagers and the minister.” The villager said: “We are being blamed for something we had no part in. We are powerless victims.”

One woman who identifies herself as a journalist on Facebook posted on July 14 that she was extending her appreciation to the minister  and the security forces for the rapid response after she had posted on July 9 about the marriage. She claimed that the minister had banned his brother from speaking to the media and from “interfering with the affairs of the displacement,” and has had all weapons and government vehicles in his possession confiscated. She also accused the villagers of being “sleeper cells and time bombs” but provided no evidence.

While some villagers had been forced to return to the village, a few said that their situation had improved after returning. One woman said she had not wanted to leave the camp at the time because she had felt safe there. But after several months in the village her situation improved; she found employment and was able to enroll her children in school. “My son was so happy we were home that he even asked me to delete all the photos we had taken inside the camp from my mobile phone,” she said.

The government has not provided any official justification for the evictions. On August 5, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi sent his national security adviser to investigate, the villagers said. The adviser interviewed some of the evicted families. Two people, including one who attended the meeting, said that someone who did not clearly identify himself beyond saying he was speaking on behalf of the minister approached her in the camp before the meeting and told her not to mention the minister’s brother’s wedding.

The authorities should immediately contact all affected families and provide them with the support they need to decide whether they want to remain in the camp, return to al-Aetha, or resettle elsewhere and provide assistance with relocating. The authorities should provide protection from future unlawful evictions.

The prime minister should ensure that those in power do not unduly influence the investigation of the evictions and that all officials responsible for the unlawful evictions are held accountable. He should also open investigations into other wrongful evictions by the authorities since he took office in May 2020, leading to public findings on the reasons and commitments to take measures to prevent illegal evictions.

“The notion that a minister can on a whim and without justification kick hundreds of people out of their homes should shock the conscience,” Wille said. “These families have been suffering for years at the hands of a government that has endorsed and sometimes participated in a range of collective punishment measures against them.”

The following sites updated: