Thursday, February 24, 2022


First up, Jimmy Dore.

He didn't have a new one, so I'm just going to note that one from last week again.


First up, Janice e-mailed asking what I thought of Erica's hairdo this season?  Hadn't though much of it.  I guess I don't care for it but it may be 80s perfection (that's the deacde THE GOLDBERGS is set in).  I don't know.  I just liked her hair before the bangs.

I don't hate her hair but if I were chossing between the hair do before and the current one, I'd go with the one before.

So this was a bit of pre-wedding partying.  Except for Beverly who was at war with Geoff's father over who would sit where, who would be in the video, who would have their photo in the paper, etc.

Adam was saddled with a minor story involving the video and a bad 70s folk rock song.  They had him with a new character for his story.  It wasn't interesting, it wasn't funny.  I'm referring to the storyline; however, it also describes Adam.

Erica and Geoff were taken by Barry and Joanne at a beach house and Barry invites his and Geoff's other friends as well as the three women he dated before Joanne.

That included Lacie (for longterm viewers).  It was funny as Barry was convicned that it was all too much for the three women -- seeing him happy with Joanne.  He couldn't accept that they had long ago moved on.  :D

It was a good episode.

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

Wednesday, February 23, 2022.  As US President Joe Biden and his corporate media push for war on Russia, non-corporate voices speak out.  In Iraq, a new list of presidential candidates.

The unpopular Joe Biden continues to mislead the country.  In the videoabove, HARD LENS MEDIA is talking about a a number of topics including the very real inflation issue.  A community member noted in HILDA'S Mix this week that inflation is real, that his efficicancy apartment went up $100 a month.   This is the reality so many live under while Marianne Williamson, Katie Halper, Krstyal Ball and Bri-Bri want you to give to them and to their candidates of choice -- candidates who will mislead and disappoint as the last group the ladies whored for did.

Inflation is real.  What Joe Biden did to Tara Reade is real.  His desire to distract from everything with war on Russia is real.

Joseph Kishore (WSWS) observes:

On Tuesday afternoon, US President Joe Biden delivered remarks from the East Room of the White House announcing sanctions against Russia in response to its recognition of the independence of two provinces in Eastern Ukraine.

The disarray in the White House was reflected in the timing of the meeting itself. Initially scheduled for 2:00 p.m., it was moved to 1:00 p.m. late Tuesday morning. The assembled reporters, however, were kept waiting for an hour and half before Biden emerged to deliver a perfunctory 10-minute statement and promptly left without taking any questions.

In the course of his remarks, Biden asked a telling question: “Who in the Lord’s name does Putin think gives him the right to declare new so-called ‘countries’ on territory that belongs to his neighbors?”

This is a question, however, that much of the world would like Biden himself to answer. The “flagrant violation of international law” that Biden accused Russia of perpetrating is precisely what the United States has repeatedly done, with Biden directly and personally involved.

At one point Biden began to refer to the history behind the present conflict over Ukraine. Referring to Putin’s address Monday on the recognition of Donetsk and Lugansk, Biden said: “Yesterday, we all heard clearly the full extent of Vladimir Putin’s twisted rewrite of history, going back more than a century as he waxed eloquently, noting that…” In mid-sentence, the aging US president thought better of his brief excursion from his written remarks: “Well, I’m not going to go into it.”

Let us, however, “go into it.” One can oppose, as socialists do, the reactionary chauvinism, tinged with neo-tsarist nostalgia, of the Putin regime while exposing the blatant lying and hypocrisy that pervades every aspect of US policy in the present crisis.

The Party for Socialism and Liberation notes:

The crisis in Ukraine dramatically escalated over the course of the last week, culminating in yesterday’s recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics by Russia and the subsequent deployment of Russian troops into these areas. The United States and European powers are now rolling out sanctions targeting Russia, including Germany’s suspension of the critical NordStream 2 gas pipeline. The sanctions announced so far by the Biden administration in particular targets the financial sector, sanctioning two major Russian banks and prohibiting people and institutions in the United States from buying Russian government debt. These same states continue to threaten unleashing “unprecedented” sanctions in the event of a further escalation, which would aim to cut the country off from the world economy and cause tremendous suffering among ordinary Russians. Many ruling-class figures in the United States are even demanding that such sanctions be imposed now preemptively. 

An emergency session of the United Nations Security Council was held last night, where the United States and its allies condemned Russia and the Russian representative defended its actions. The representative from China stated, “All parties concerned must exercise restraint and avoid any action that may fuel tensions. We welcome and encourage every effort towards a diplomatic solution and call on all parties concerned to continue dialogue and consultation and seek reasonable solutions to address each other’s concerns on the basis of equality and mutual respect.” India, which has a close relationship with Russia, also issued essentially a neutral statement at the security council. The governments of Syria and Nicaragua have supported Russia’s move. 

The U.S. government condemned the recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk as a violation of the sovereignty of Ukraine, viewing the deployment of Russian soldiers as a foreign occupation of Ukrainian territory against the wishes of the government. It is hard to imagine a more hypocritical position coming from the country most infamous around the world for its constant invasions and occupations of other nations. Right now in Syria, for instance, the Pentagon has soldiers deployed in separatist-controlled areas of the north despite clear opposition from the internationally-recognized government – exactly the same thing as the United States accuses Russia of in Ukraine. 

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union and the socialist camp of Eastern Europe, the imperialist NATO military alliance has steadily expanded eastward, absorbing 14 formerly socialist states between 1999 and 2020. Three of these countries – Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia – were former republics of the Soviet Union itself. The expansion of a hostile military alliance right up to Russia’s border was rightfully viewed as a dire threat. But worst of all would be if Ukraine followed suit. Ukraine was the second largest republic in the Soviet Union after Russia, shares a 1,200 mile border with Russia, and has historically been an invasion route for western European armies marching into Russia. The government brought to power by the 2014 coup in Ukraine was determined to join NATO, and the United States and its allies provided the coup with military, economic and diplomatic support. 

The immediate roots of the current crisis can be traced back to this coup that overthrew the government of Viktor Yanukovych, which was pursuing a neutral foreign policy that sought positive relations with both Russia and the west. A protest movement emerged in 2013 with the full backing of the United States – high-level State Department official Victoria Nuland even famously toured a protest site and handed out cookies to anti-government demonstrators. Several weeks later, a conversation between Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt was leaked in which Nuland and Pyatt were discussing in detail which opposition figures should play what role in a future Ukrainian government.

The finishing blow to the Yanukovych government was delivered in February 2014 by neo-Nazi paramilitary forces that stormed the presidential palace. Openly pro-Nazi political forces rapidly grew and ascended to positions of major influence in the state following the coup. They, along with other forces in the new Ukrainian government, espoused virulently anti-Russian politics and hostility towards the ethnically Russian population of Ukraine concentrated in the country’s east. Rejecting the authority of the new regime in Kiev, a separatist movement in the eastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk emerged, declaring independence and initiating an armed struggle. The most intense phase of this armed struggle was ended with the signing of the Minsk Agreements in late 2014, although relatively minor violations of the ceasefire continued to occur. But the agreements, which called for a national dialogue and the granting of autonomous powers to local authorities in Donetsk and Luhansk, were never fully implemented by the west and the conflict remained locked in a stalemate.  

Over the past several weeks, the U.S. government doubled down on this provocative behavior. It constantly issued predictions of an imminent Russian invasion along with apocalyptic casualty estimates without providing evidence. At the same time, the United States and its allies threatened all-out economic war to devastate Russia in the event of an intervention. All of Russia’s core demands — a pledge to not bring Ukraine into NATO, stop sending it heavy armaments pointed at Russia — were described as “non-starters.” This was designed to paint Russia into a corner, putting it in a position where it either takes military action or appears to have been pushed back in humiliating fashion by the west’s threat of sanctions. Beginning last week, there was a major intensification of ceasefire violations, with the Ukrainian military launching artillery barrages and other attacks on Donetsk and Luhansk. As the crisis unfolded, Russia’s clearly stated goal was the initiation of a dialogue between itself and the west over a new security framework for Europe that would take into account Russia’s interests. 

The only way to have a stable peace and spare the people of Eastern Europe from the ravages of war is for just such a diplomatic arrangement to be reached. Any further attempts by U.S. imperialism to inflame the situation risks catastrophe for the working class of Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the entire world. 

The US Green Party notes:

Only a few short months after the chaotic US defeat in Afghanistan, the US is pushing a war with Russia, a major nuclear power. US officials insist that the Russians will invade Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly denied this.

In recent days the US and some of their allies have closed their embassies and asked their nationals to leave Ukraine.

The Ukrainian military has a force of 150,000 troops, that are U.S. trained and armed with modern US weapons, near the Russian border and the independent regions in Donbass. These independent regions have taken a stand in opposition to the right-wing, coup government in Kiev, since 2014. The Ukrainian military has started heavy shelling of the independent areas of Donbass, which have returned the fire.

Every U.S. war in our lifetime has been based on false information, repeated relentlessly by the corporate media. There is deep apprehension that the US and the Ukrainian government are preparing a “false flag” incident that could lead to a major conflict.

The US has tens of thousands of troops in Europe, it is putting troops on high alert and sending more. They are not only arming the Ukrainian military, but they are expanding NATO bases and sending additional arms and missiles to other NATO countries in the region.

It is important that the US antiwar movement come together to oppose these dangerous war moves. Please join us on Tuesday.

Please join us for this important meeting and discussion with leaders from the antiwar movement including:

Leela Anand – ANSWER coalition

Bahman Azad – US Peace Council

Ajamu Baraka – Black Alliance for Peace, 2016 Green Party vice presidential nominee. He will give an opening statement.

Madea Benjamin – CodePink

Sara Flounders – International Action Center

Margaret Flowers – Popular Resistance, Maryland Green Party

Bruce Gagnon – Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, Maine Green Independent Party

Margaret Kimberley – Black Agenda Report, Green Party of New York

Jeff Mackler – United National Antiwar Coalition

Nancy Price - Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

Susan Schnall – Veterans For Peace

David Swanson – World Beyond War

Joe Lombardo will chair. Green Party of New York

Sunsara Taylor Tweets:

All these people mocking Cardi B, but her statement is better than all the US chauvinist pundits: “I'm really not on NATO’s side. I'm really not [on] Russia’s side. I'm actually in the citizens’ side, because at the end of the day, the world is having a crisis right now.”

Doug Bandow (ANTIWAR.COM) argues:

In Ukraine the US would be fighting at a geographic disadvantage and, as noted earlier, doing so almost alone. The only European government that has responded to the Ukrainian crisis with much apparent military enthusiasm is the United Kingdom. Certainly not France or Germany. And no one else – Portugal, Montenegro, Italy, Belgium, and other cheap-riders – is likely to do any more than send token contributions to a fight. And despite Farkas’ apparent fantasy of a global coalition like that which took on Saddam Hussein’s moribund military in 1991 – but, notably, not in 2003 – few African, South American, or Asian states are likely to volunteer to take on Moscow.

Most important, American military action could be justified only to defend a vital interest. Ukraine’s sovereignty does not constitute one. If it did, Kyiv would be in NATO. Put bluntly, what happens to Ukraine will have little impact on the defense of America – territory, population, constitutional liberties, national prosperity. And that is the standard by which US decisions on war should be measured, especially one with a real military power.

Eric London (WSWS) observes:

Democrats and Republicans alike are expressing criticism that the Biden administration had been insufficiently ruthless in measures taken against Russia.

Ultra-right Republican Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) declared, “Biden-Harris officials are to an enormous extent directly responsible for this crisis. He and his administration instead settled for an endlessly deferred and wholly uncredible strategy of responding to Putin’s aggression after an invasion.”

A leading Trump supporter in the House, Representative Jim Banks (R-Indiana), said that he is “still hopeful that President Biden will show the backbone that’s been missing all along and we’ll hit Putin where it counts, by restoring the Trump sanctions on Nord Stream 2.”

Anti-Trump Republicans were less critical of Biden and equally enthusiastic about a belligerent policy towards Russia. MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell welcomed former Trump national security advisor John Bolton on her program yesterday, providing him a chance to demand Biden take an even more aggressive stance toward Russia.

NBC wrote that Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has “been on the phone ‘all morning’ working with Democrats on an emergency supplemental funding package” aimed at expanding sanctions, as well as military aid for the Ukrainian government.

Biden faces substantial pressure from within the Democratic Party as well. Representative Jim Hines (D-Connecticut) stated that Biden was wrong for not immediately calling Russia’s actions in Donetsk and Lugansk an “invasion,” tweeting, “If you know the history of aggressive dictators, you know it’s critical not to lose clarity. Putin is invading Ukraine. Full stop. He’s done it before, and he will do it again if we don’t impose full sanctions.”

Senator Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) similarly declared, “I think we can stop equivocating as to whether we have an invasion or not. I think the West, the United States has to make it very clear to Putin that the consequences begin now.”

Three of the Democrats who were part of the official congressional delegation to the Munich Security Council last weekend were former CIA, military and State Department officials, including Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, Jason Crow of Colorado and Tom Malinowski of New Jersey. Slotkin, a longtime CIA and National Security Council official, emphasized the broader geopolitical issues in the Ukraine confrontation, tweeting, “Make no mistake: this is about more than just Russia and Ukraine. China is watching our every move to see if the international community will stand up against Putin’s aggression. This is a moment to show that we won’t let them rewrite the next century.”


Socialist Worker opposes all external military mobilisations, aggression and invasion of Ukraine. But the key issue is about much more than who fired first in any particular week. Imperialism is not just about major powers bullying and oppressing smaller ones. Capitalist imperialism is about competition between major powers.

It is fundamentally about economic rivalries, but these grow over into potential or actual military escalation. This is the system that has plunged people into war again and again. No single flashpoint can be abstracted from those wider trends. The path to war in Ukraine began long before the shots were fired this week. The Nato military alliance, the European Union, Britain and the US are central to ramping up the conflict.

The US has for decades sought to compensate for its declining economic power by increasing its military clout. If it cannot guarantee to intimidate other nations by squeezing them economically, it seeks to do so by guns, missiles, drones and invasion. But that has come unstuck in Iraq and Afghanistan. This has further panicked a US ruling class that is obsessed with the rise of China as well as Russian ­re-emergence.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden's most infamous target, Iraq, remains in ruins with a corrupt government tht does not function.

Per the country's Consittution, the president of Iraq should have been named weeks ago.  

But it hasn't happened.

THE NEW ARAB reports on the new list of presidential candidates (after a boycott derailed a vote on the first group):

Listed candidates include President Barham Ahmed Saleh, the candidate of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and Reber Ahmed, the candidate from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), who the Sadrist and the Sovereignty Alliance of Sunni parties have reportedly said they would back.

Ahmed, who is currently Iraqi Kurdistan's interior minister has replaced Zebari as the KDP's presidential candidate.

The president of Iraq has been Kurdish since the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime.

Applications for the presidency were excluded for reasons including candidates lacking political experience, not having a university degree, being involved in accountability and justice procedures, not meeting the age requirement, among others.

The exact date for the presidential elections has not yet been specified.

Karwan Faidhi Dri (RUDAW) adds, "During a session of the legislature earlier in the day, Mohammed al-Halbousi, the previous and incumbent speaker of the parliament, said that the new president will be voted upon at the end of next week."

Elections were held October 10th.  Still no president, still no prime minister.

This is the system the US installed, this is the great result of war.  Remember Iraq before you start war with Russia.  

Lucile Wassermann (AFP) reports in the video below about the huge increase in the illegal selling of endangered wild life in Iraq.


The following sites updated:

Tuesday, February 22, 2022


Starting off with Jimmy Dore.

I like it when Jimmy does comedy.  :D

Tonight, SUPERMAN AND LOIS returned with a new episode.  We do get what C.I. said in Friday's gina & krista round-robin, right?  No one watched the Olympics.  And this was with CBS, NBC, ABC and THE CW sitting it out.  Only FOX offered new episodes of scripted shows.  

Even with nothing else to watch, people avoided watching the Olympics.  

So Lois found out that her partner in journalism, Chrissy, was meeting with cult leader Ally Allston (the one whose cult Lois' sister Lucy was a part of).  Before much can happen, Superman shows up but is quickly attacked by Doomsday.  Clark takes him to his half-brother's Fortress of Solitude (where the hologam of his mother lives).  

Meanwhile, Kyle has stepped out on Lana and the woman comes to him to tell him that their affair is known (remember, Lana's running for mayor).  

So it's Sara's big day, she's a woman and it's her party.  And when Kyle dances with her, she has to rush from the floor after making it clear that she heard what was discussed.  She knows he had an affair.  She runs outside.  Lana joins them and Sara demans that he tell Lana.  Lana quickly realizes that it's the woman from the bar that Kyle said he was just blowing off steam with.  She tells Sara that this is her day and she needs to focus on that.

Back in the hall, she gives a speech about what an amazing woman Sara has become.  

Jordan thinks Jonathan has powers but it's the steroids that his girlfriend is giving him (or I think that).  

Chrissy tells Lois that while she was checking Ally Allston out, Ally drugged her tea.  She saw another world.  In that world people feared Ally and she was destroying the world.

Lois goes to Sara's party.  She and Clark kiss before he darts off because Doomsday is awake.

With his mother's help, Clark speaks to Doomsday (Lara makes it so Clark can understand Doomsday's language) and finds out that he is on this earth to destroy Ally, that she destroyed his world and will destroy Clarks.  

It was a strong episode to return on.

By the way, be sure to read Ava and C.I.'s "TV: Some people court and deserve scorn."

This is from Finian Cunningham (INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE):

This weekend marks Joe Biden’s first year in office since his inauguration on January 20, 2021, as 46th president of the United States. In that time, it’s quite staggering how rapidly relations have deteriorated between the U.S. and Russia on the one hand and China on the other.

Right now, Europe is on the cusp of a war breaking out between a U.S.-backed regime in Ukraine and Russia. The volatile situation has the potential to drag the U.S. and other NATO powers into a proxy war with Russia, if not a full-blown international military conflict that could escalate into a nuclear conflagration.

Washington’s baleful relations with Beijing have been eclipsed by the recent stand-off with Russia. But make no mistake, U.S.-China tensions have also been heightened with the attendant risk of war. Much of the tension has been increased by the Biden administration’s provocations towards China over the breakaway island province of Taiwan. Under Biden, U.S. arms sales to Taiwan have burgeoned as have the large-scale maneuvers of American military forces near Chinese territory – in the name of “freedom of navigation”.

Let’s rewind to Biden’s inauguration on that cold, sunny day of January 20 last year. There was the usual jamboree that often accompanies a new Democrat president. We saw it when Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were installed in the White House. Likewise, with Biden’s tenure, there were expectations of a more professional president, a more multilateral president, a more proficient president on foreign policy, and, dare we say, a more refined and law-abiding president. As usual, there was rosy rhetoric about how Biden would recover America’s international image that had been tarnished under his boorish predecessor, Donald Trump.

Biden declared over and over again that “America was back” as he took office. European leaders swooned at the prospect of again having an American ally who respected them. The expectation was that the “adults were back in control” of U.S. policy (whatever that’s supposed to mean) and that the feathers ruffled by Trump would be smoothed.

Strategic Culture Foundation can take pride in not having bought into any of the wishful thinking regarding a Biden administration. We predicted in several articles at an early stage of his presidency that international relations would take a serious turn for the worse under Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.

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

 Tuesday, February 22, 2022. Another US convoy is attacked in Iraq, women remain targeted, Julian Assange remains persecuted, what does it say about the Australian government when they can't even protect their own citizens, more US tax dollars wasted as the government tries to sell war on Russia, and much more.

Australia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Marise Payne Tweets:

Russia’s recognition of two separatist territories of #Ukraine is a violation of international law, Ukraine’s territorial integrity & the Minsk agreement. Russia’s propaganda convinces no one. 🇦🇺 continues to work with partners to ensure severe costs for Russia’s aggression.3:23 PM · Feb 21, 2022

Heaven S replies back:

How about the violation of international laws and human rights for Robert Pether? His family are still waiting for you to publicly condemn his mistreatment. 11 months in arbitrary detention in Iraq and no support from you or . #freerobertpether

The Australian government wants to act tough and cheer on a new war?  If I were Australian, I think I'd hold that lousy government accountable for the lies of the Iraq War, for the failure to protect Australian citizens including Robert Pether and Julian Assange.

MIDWEST RADIO covers Robert's case in an audio report here.   Gabija Gataveckaite (IRELAND"S INDEPENDENT) reports:

The family of an Irish-based engineer who has been sentenced to five years jail in Iraq and given a €10m fine has said that the help of the Irish government is their “last resort”.

Roscommon-based Robert Pether, who is an Australian citizen but lives in Ireland, was detained in April and has been found guilty of deception in a “kangaroo court” according to his wife Desree.

He now faces a hefty €10.2m fine and five years in prison after a contractual dispute in Iraq.

Ms Pether and her children, who are Irish citizens, took to Leinster House today to call for the Irish government to intervene and put pressure on the Iraqi government.

“He was working on the project for four years and then he was arrested on April 7 last year and he was imprisoned,” she said.

“There was a contract dispute between his employer and the Central Bank of Iraq, it had nothing to do with him and his colleague, they’re employees and they were used as leverage in a contract dispute,” Ms Pether claimed.

The Austlrain government is inept and refuses to defend its own citiens but repeatedly makes time to play kid sister of the US and UK and join them in war mogering.  How pathetic.  

On the continued persecution of Julian Assange, IRISH LEGAL NEWS notes:

Mr Assange has been held at HMP Belmarsh in south-east London since his eviction from the Ecuadorean embassy in April 2019, where he had spent seven years in order to avoid extradition.

But Professor Nils Melzer, UN special rapporteur on torture, has said the UK is falling foul of international law by keeping Mr Assange imprisoned.

“We have a man locked up in solitary confinement in a high-security prison who’s not violent, who’s not serving a sentence,” he said. “He should be free, perhaps with house arrest.”

The academic said: “[Pinochet] was free to receive as many visitors as he wanted and have access to the public … and that’s precisely, it seems to me, what the government wants to prevent because there is no legal basis for keeping Julian Assange in a high-security prison.”

BD Cassin Tweets:

Don't forget #JulianAssange today. Everyday.

Turning to Iraq where Layal Shakir (RUDAW) reminds that women remain targeted in Iraq for their gender:

A man has reportedly set his wife ablaze in Sulaimani after pouring gasoline over her due to a domestic dispute, a family member told Rudaw on Sunday. The tragic incident comes less than a week after the Kurdistan Region reported its fifth femicide this month.

Shnyar Hunar, 21, and a mother of two was reportedly burnt by her husband early Saturday. She is currently in critical condition as 85 percent of her body has been severely burned.

“I received a phone call at 2:30 am [on Saturday], it was Shnyar’s [Hunar] mother-in-law. She asked me if we could come to Sulaimani. I asked why, she said Shnyar’s legs have been burnt slightly, it’s nothing. I want you to come,” Hunar’s mother told Rudaw’s Horvan Rafaat from Sulaimani’s Burn Hospital.

Hunar’s mother described that her daughter’s face and entire body, with the exception of her legs, had suffered burns. 

Hunar has accused her husband of setting her ablaze after he beat her up following a dispute between the couple.

Meanwhile ABNA reports:A US coalition logistics convoy in Iraq was targeted by a roadside bomb.

A US-led coalition logistics convoy carrying equipment and supplies needed by US troops was targeted by a roadside bomb in southern Iraq.

According to Iraqi sources, the blast took place near the city of Al-Nasiriyah in Dhi Qar province, and no casualties have been reported yet. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The convoys enter Iraq from the Kuwaiti border and carry items needed by US troops. 

Glad combat missions are over.  At least in Joe Biden's mind.  Remember, too, US 'combat' troops are all out of Iraq.  Joe Biden replaced them all with a line of 'hostess' troops who are trained in serving tea and crumpets.  Right?  The US miliary trains its members in combat.  Joe can fool a lot of idiots but we're not all stupid.

In other news, Verity Ratcliffe (BLOOMBERG NEWS) reports:

Iraq is in talks with Halliburton Co. and Saudi Arabia’s Aramco to carry out oil and gas developments in the west of the country.

Baghdad is in discussion with Halliburton Co. for a technical partnership to develop and operate oil and gas reserves in Anbar province near Iraq’s borders with Syria and Saudi Arabia, Iraq’s Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said in an interview in Qatar. The ministry is finalizing the the commercial terms and scope of work and Iraq’s government will sign the contract once it takes office, he said.

Liz Cheney's trashy father finally gets his way.  The trashy Cheney family, the one the faux 'resistance' has tried to rehab.  Disgusting.

Over at THE NATIONAL, Mina Aldroubi reports:

The Iraqi city of Mosul opened its newly-restored Central Library last week, eight years after terrorist group ISIS destroyed it.

Founded in 1921, it was one of the richest libraries in Iraq, second only to the Central Library in Baghdad.

When ISIS took over the city in 2014, the university library was bombarded by missiles and badly damaged. An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 books and ancient manuscripts were destroyed. A treasured archive recognised by Unesco was also damaged.

In all, around 85 per cent of the library's collection was lost.

Unesco called the sabotage “one of the most devastating acts of destruction of library collections in human history”.

As the Iraq War continues -- with little interest from the western media -- the US government keeps trying to sell war on Russia.  Alan Macleod (MPN) notes:

Amid soaring tensions with Russia, the United States is spending a fortune on foreign interference campaigns in Ukraine. Washington’s regime-change arm, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), has spent $22.4 million on operations inside the country since 2014, when democratically-elected President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown and replaced by a successor government handpicked by the U.S. Those operations included propping up and training pro-Western political parties, funding pliant media organizations, and subsidizing massive privatization drives that benefit foreign multinational corporations, all in an effort to secure U.S. control over the country that NED President Carl Gershman called “the biggest prize” in Europe.

The National Endowment for Democracy was set up in 1983 by the Reagan administration after a series of public scandals had seriously undermined both the credibility and the public image of the CIA. That the organization was established and continues to function as a cutout group doing much of the agency’s dirtiest work is not in question. “It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the CIA,” Gershman himself said, explaining its creation. “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA,” NED cofounder Allen Weinstein told The Washington Post in 1991.

Since its inception, NED has been a driving force behind many of the most prominent uprisings and coups around the world. The organization currently has 40 active projects in Belarus, all with the goal of removing President Alexander Lukashenko from office. Last year, the country was engulfed by nationwide protests that made worldwide headlines. NED senior Europe Program officer, Nina Ognianova, boasted that her agency was involved in the uprising. “We don’t think that this movement that is so impressive and so inspiring came out of nowhere — that it just happened overnight,” she said, noting that NED had made a “modest but significant contribution” to the protests.

The 2021 protest movement in Cuba was also led by NED-financed operatives, with the organization’s own documents showing how it had for years been infiltrating the Cuban art and music scene in an attempt to turn popular culture against the communist government. Ultimately, the movement failed. However, NED continues to prop up anti-government Cuban artists, media outlets, politicians and public figures.

The following sites updated: