iraq (and israel)

bethan mckernan ('independent') reports:

The Iraqi interior minister has ordered an official investigation into allegations of torture, rape and murder of civilians by special forces liberating the city of Mosul from Isis.
“The Interior Minister ordered investigators to conduct a clear and fair inquiry...(and) to take legal measures against those who are negligent if the investigation proves so,” a ministry statement said on Wednesday.

The statement comes in response to a powerful photo essay titled ‘Not heroes, but monsters’ was published by German magazine Der Spiegel last week.

oh good.

another white wash.

it's like all the unsolved murders of iraqi journalists.

no 1 ever gets punished for torturing.

that's why they continue to do it.

and it's the same group that whines they were persecuted under saddam.

so now it's their right to persecute others?

any 1 thinking of the way israel treats palestine?

you feel me on this?

those who have been persecuted should want justice, not revenge.

let's close with c.i.'s 'raq snapshot:'

Friday, May 26, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, the US Senate looks at VA accountability, the cost of the never-ending wars hit six trillion for US taxpayers, and much more.

We're going to start in the US with the Senate and we'll wind down there too at the end of the snapshot.  Senator Tammy Baldwin's office issued the following yesterday.

For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 25, 2017
  (202) 224 – 6225
Bipartisan VA Accountability Reform One Step Closer to Senate Passage
Committee on Veterans’ Affairs approves bipartisan legislation, now heads to full Senate for vote
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) joined Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jon Tester (D-MT) and fellow cosponsors of the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act in applauding the bipartisan committee passage of this VA reform legislation.
The bipartisan legislation, which passed the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs by voice vote, would reform the VA by better protecting whistleblowers and providing the VA Secretary with stronger measures to discipline and hold bad employees accountable. The legislation will now move to the full Senate for a vote on final passage.
“Now that our bipartisan legislation has passed committee, we must continue to work across party lines to push our VA reforms forward and make them a reality,” said Senator Baldwin. “Together, we can build a VA that protects whistleblowers, many of whom are veterans working to improve the system. We also need to make sure we are empowering the VA to hold bad actors accountable because our veterans deserve nothing less than high quality service and care.”
Along with Senators Baldwin, Isakson, Rubio and Tester, 19 other senators who are cosponsors of the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act urged the Senate to pass the legislation without delay, including Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Steve Daines (R-MT), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Dean Heller (R-NV), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), John Kennedy (R-LA), John McCain (R-AZ), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Bill Nelson (D-FL), David Perdue (R-GA), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act is widely supported by key veterans stakeholders including the VA, U.S. House VA committee leadership and the American Legion Department of Wisconsin. This legislation has also won the support of several veterans advocacy groups that represent millions of veterans in the United States and key government accountability groups.
An online version of this release is available here.


And we'll note this from a member of the Texas legislature on burn pits.

Exposure to burn pits at military installations in Iraq & Afghanistan may have caused serious health problems for service members & veterans

March 17th the US bombed a building in Mosul.  Civilians were inside.  There have been many attempts to confuse the issue -- I've sat through two Congressional hearings alone where members of Congress offered conspiracies -- but the reality is that civilians were killed.  Now?

BBC NEWS notes, "The United States has admitted that at least 105 Iraqi civilians were killed in an air strike it carried out in Mosul in March."  The Pentagon is saying they killed two snipers and that they were the targets of the strike; however, AP explains "several residents of the Mosul neighborhood told The Associated Press on Friday there were no IS fighters or explosives inside the house struck by the U.S. bomb."

That news surfaced late Thursday.  John Haltiwanger (ELITE DAILY) tracked trends online and noted that the news did not amplify on social media:

Is this is a sign of ignorance of what’s being done with U.S. tax dollars in the Middle East, or just indifference?
Perhaps it’s a mixture of both.
But there’s a strong case to be that made airstrikes that kill civilians aid the cause of terrorist organizations like ISIS.

In real time, in the US, it briefly made the news in a "Donald Trump increased the killings!" type of way.  Meaning that members of the so-called 'resistance' (firmly in debt to the centrist core of the Democratic Party) promoted it as an example of Bad Trump.

In doing so, they revealed that, for them, killing innocent civilians was okay as long as it was less than a hundred at a time.

Which is why they had no objections to the many civilians killed in this same manner when Barack Obama was president.

This further reveals the corruption of the Democratic Party.

The Iraq War was used to give opposition to Bully Boy Bush 'morality.'

And once Democrats got control of both houses, interest in ending the Iraq War (a promise Nancy Pelosi made ahead of the 2006 mid-term elections) vanished.

It's why War Hawks like Debra Messing can sling s**t at Susan Sarandon and get away with it.

Susan spoke out against the war.

And suffered for it.

But the Froth In Their Underpants Hillary Clinton Temple Slaves don't care about that anymore than they care that Hillary voted for the Iraq War and was a war monger as Secretary of State.

There is no repulsion to the US government continuing to kill civilians.

But if they can find a way to hang the blame solely on Donald Trump, you better believe that The Debra Messings and their laughable 'resistance' will find a way to take over the topic of the never-ending Iraq War.

There are other countries bombing Iraq as well.

Samuel Oakford (FOREIGN POLICY) reports:

The United States’ coalition partners in the war against the Islamic State are responsible for at least 80 confirmed civilian deaths from airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, according to U.S. military officials. Yet none of their 12 allies will publicly concede any role in those casualties.
These dozen partner nations have launched more than 4,000 airstrikes combined, the vast majority of which were undertaken by the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Belgium, and the Netherlands. However, they have so far claimed a perfect record in avoiding civilian casualties. An Airwars investigation for Foreign Policy has now uncovered evidence that disproves that assertion.
These confirmed deaths caused by non-U.S. airstrikes came to light in the most recent coalition civilian casualty report, released April 30. The report quietly referred to 80 new deaths referenced only as “attributable to coalition strikes to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria from August 2014 to present [that] had not been previously announced.”
Three U.S. Central Command officials confirmed to Airwars and Foreign Policy that the 80 deaths occurred in incidents that U.S. investigators concluded were the responsibility of partner nations. But allies pressured the United States and the coalition against releasing details of the strikes in question.

Back to a focus on the US, Linda J. Blimes (AMERIFORCE) counts the financial cost:

On Memorial Day, we pay respects to the fallen from past wars – including the more than one million American soldiers killed in the Civil War, World Wars I and II, Korea and Vietnam.
Yet the nation’s longest and most expensive war is the one that is still going on. In addition to nearly 7,000 troops killed, the 16-year conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost an estimated US$6 trillion due to its prolonged length, rapidly increasing veterans health care and disability costs and interest on war borrowing. On this Memorial Day, we should begin to confront the staggering cost and the challenge of paying for this war.

Six trillion dollars.


Is that typed right?

Six trillion dollars.

And counting.

For the never-ending Iraq War.

The war that Americans gave the Democratic Party both houses of Congress in the 2006 mid-terms to end.  The war that the American people elected Barack Obama president in 2008 to end.

The war that never ends.

Meanwhile, Ali Arkady's reporting continues to have impact.

EXCLUSIVE: Iraqi photojournalist risks his life to expose torture used by some elite Iraqi soldiers fighting ISIS.
Iraqi troops, once praised by U.S., torture civilians in secret videos

Wrapping up, will now note this from Senator Johnny Isakson's office -- Isakson is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee:

Thursday, May 25,, 2017
Contact: Amanda Maddox, 202-224-7777
Kristen Hines, 202-228-2967

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., today announced that the Senate will consider the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., ranking member of the committee, on Tuesday, June 6, when the Senate reconvenes after the Memorial Day state work period.
“I am thrilled to see the Senate moving quickly on this important piece of legislation, and I encourage my colleagues to support this measure as we take steps to change the culture at the VA and improve care for our veterans,” said Isakson. “I thank Majority Leader McConnell for his commitment to ensuring our veterans receive the quality care that they deserve.”
In remarks on the Senate floor earlier today, McConnell stated, “[A]fter the state work period, we’ll be taking up a bipartisan bill reported out of Committee just yesterday that will enhance accountability at the VA, improve the care veterans receive, and empower the VA with the tools necessary to remove employees who are failing to perform at the high-quality level our nation’s heroes richly deserve.”
McConnell continued, “We know many challenges remain in ensuring that veterans have access to the care they need and deserve at the VA, but this legislation will further improve our ability to meet our commitment to them. I appreciate Chairman Isakson for his continued advocacy on behalf of our veterans as well as Senator Rubio for his leadership on this critical legislation. I look forward to the full Senate taking up the bill and passing it soon.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act was introduced by Isakson, Rubio and Tester on May 11. The measure passed the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs by voice vote on Wednesday, May 24.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act is widely supported by key veterans stakeholders including the VA and U.S. House VA committee leadership. It has also won the support of several veterans advocacy groups that represent millions of veterans in the United States and key government accountability groups. Read more about the legislation’s support here.

The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is chaired by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., in the 115th Congress. Isakson is a veteran himself – having served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966-1972 – and has been a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs since he joined the Senate in 2005. Isakson’s home state of Georgia is home to more than a dozen military installations representing each branch of the military as well as more than 750,000 veterans. 

The following community sites updated:


  • 5/25/2017

    what does glenn greenwald know?

    i watched democracy now today and was utterly unimpressed.

    amy goodman's probably a c.i.a. asset now that she's become a foundation baby - taking all the foundation funds she can get and promoting war.

    but glenn grenwald was the guest.

    and i like glenn.

    but why was he on?

    during the brazil part of the discussion, he shined.


    he didn't know anything.

    he gave generic responses that your or i could have given.

    that would be fine if it was an interview: get to know glenn.

    but he was on as an expert (with jeremy scahill) and it was so obvious that he was not an expert as he gas bagged.

    it was so disappointing.

    but so is 'the intercept.'

    i've given it time.

    i didn't rush to weigh in when they had problems with certain well known authors.

    i gave it time.

    it has nothing to offer.

    and it wastes so much money.

    why would you hire naomi klein?

    she's not able to focus.

    she goes off on political tangents.

    on the freeway of causes, she's hitchhiking any ride she can get.

    i'm tired of it.

    remember the gas bag who presented himself as an expert?

    remember how c.i. made a point to write that he needed to be careful because he was not an expert on international law or consitutional law.

    and c.i. pointed out that the university the guy worked for would not be happy if this continued.

    and remember how it continued for about 3 more weeks.

    then the guy announces he won't blog anymore?

    yeah, c..i. took care of that.

    ava and c.i. took care of melissa lie face harris perry.

    they got her kicked out of princeton due to melissa's public lying and ethical failures.  they also tossed in her public insults of princeton students.

    and melissa got canned.

    i wish that happened to more people.

    let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

    Thursday, May 25, 2017.  As The Mosul Slog continues, we're going to underscore that the new Judith Miller is a danger -- and the stooges who support her are dangers as well.

    Day 218 of The Mosul Slog.

    advancing toward Baaj west on the 3 fronts, multiple villages have been stormed.

    Day 218 and still it continues.

    BBC NEWS reports:

    Iraq has opened an inquiry into claims that its forces abused and killed civilians in the battle for Mosul against so-called Islamic State (IS).
    An interior ministry statement said it would take legal measures against anyone proven to have been "negligent".
    It comes after Der Spiegel published an article by a photojournalist who was embedded with the ministry's troops.
    Ali Arkady says he took pictures of detainees suspended from ceilings and that others were tortured and raped.

    Wait, wait!  Abuses?  And it wasn't reported by Rukmini Callimachi?

    Of course, it wasn't reported by her.  She's THE NEW YORK TIMES' new Judith Miller -- as we pointed out February 10th.

    Rukmini is very popular with Glenn Greenwald but then so was the Iraq War once upon a time.

    Rukmini poured propaganda out her blow hole and the usual saps lapped it up like it was 2002 all over again.

    Rukmini Callimachi fans should be suspect.

    Especially if, like Glenn Greenwald, they got it wrong in real time (he supported the Iraq War).

    There's a barrier between those people and critical thought.

    REUTERS notes:

    Iraq's interior minister on Wednesday ordered an investigation into allegations that members of the security forces had tortured, killed and abused civilians in the campaign to oust Islamic State militants from Mosul.
    The inquiry was in response to a report by the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel last week that included images of apparent torture taken by a freelance photographer embedded with the Interior Ministry's elite Emergency Response Division (ERD).

    Photographs showed detainees accused of affiliation with Islamic State hanging from the ceiling with their arms bent behind them, and the journalist wrote of prisoners being tortured to death, raped and stabbed with knives.

    - SPIEGEL photographer Ali Arkady documents Iraqi security forces abducting, torturing, raping, & killing Sunnis around .

    Rukmini was too busy socializing to get the job done.  But, hey, she got a lot of free meals, didn't she?

    Chad Garland (STARS AND STRIPES) notes:

    Under a law known as the Leahy law, the U.S. is prohibited from supporting units accused of human rights abuses for which “credible” evidence exists. Officials with the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition could not confirm the allegations against the Iraqi forces but said the United States does not currently train or equip the Emergency Response Division.
    “Any violation of the law of armed conflict would be unacceptable and should be investigated in a transparent manner,” the U.S.-led international coalition in Iraq said in a statement. “Prime Minister (Haider al-Abadi) has stated that he has a zero-tolerance policy for any improper action by the Iraqi Security Forces and would thoroughly investigate any such allegations.”

    RT adds:

    In the article, which was in stark contrast to Western reporting from Mosul, the photographer claimed that the ERD persecuted numerous civilians on “vague” suspicions of links with IS.
    The piece included photos by Arkady of people hanging from the ceiling with their arms tied up behind their backs, as well as other torture scenes.
    The victims were picked up during night raids, which included rape and looting, and taken to villages outside Mosul where there were no foreign journalists, he said.

    Oh, Rukmini.

    If only someone could have warned us in real time that Rukmini was reporting lies . . .

    Oh, wait.

    I did.

    But don't worry, Rukmini will be fine.  (A) THE NEW YORK TIMES has lied about Iraq repeatedly and (B) Glenn Greenwald will continue to support her.

    At some point, the world's going to notice that except for the Ed Snowden dumped in his lap, Glenn's not accomplished anything.

    As Rebecca asked earlier this week "remember when 'the intercept' was supposed to be an important outlet? "

    No start-ups had more money and no start-up has done less.

    At this point, he's making Tina Brown's TALK look like an investigative journal.

    The following community sites -- plus PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated:


  • 5/24/2017

    good for roberty parry

    Robert Parry explains how the "get Trump" movement has merged into a New McCarthyism,

    the hysteria did great damage and i don't think people will really get how much until a few years from now.

    i'm glad that robert parry has taken on the nonsense/sickness.

    he's 1 of the few that, years from now, when this hysteria has us on the brink of war, we can look back on with pride.

    let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

    Wednesday, May 24, 2017.  The Mosul Slog continues, the Islamic State may be relocating in Iraq, US House Rep Walter Jones addresses endless war, and much more.

    Starting in the US, US House Rep Walter Jones' office issued the following regarding an event today:


    WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, Congressmen Walter B. Jones (NC-3) and John Garamendi (CA-3), along with John Duncan (TN-2), will host a press conference regarding H.R. 1666, to prohibit funds for activities in Afghanistan, and the importance of debating the 16 year war in Afghanistan, the longest war in America’s history.

    Wednesday, May 24th at 1:30 pm:

    What: Press Conference regarding H.R. 1666 and the necessity to debate the 16 year war in Afghanistan.

    Who:  Representative Walter B. Jones (NC-03)
              Representative John Garamendi (CA-03)
              Representative John Duncan (TN-02)
              Will Fischer, VoteVets
              House cosponors of H.R. 1666

              ALL PRESS WELCOME

    When: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Where: House Triangle
    (Rain/inclement weather location to be announced)

    For additional information, please contact Allison Tucker in Congressman Walter Jones’ office at (202) 225-3415 or Dante Atkins in Congressman John Garamendi’s office at (202) 225-1880.

    The Afghanistan War started in 2001 and it continues.

    Has the US government forgotten how to end wars?

    Or does it just see endless war as the desired outcome?

    Meanwhile the Iraq War also continues.

    : Iraqi forces advance in offensive against . The battle for the city leaves behind utter destruction. 📷 Ahmad Al-Rubaye

    Day 217 of The Mosul Slog.

    Yes, it continues.

    map update. Green= completely liberated. Orange= frontline clashes. White= control.

    How much longer?

    When Mosul's finally liberated?

    When the Islamic State is gone?

    Because those are two different things.

    In fact, Mohamed Mostafa (IRAQI NEWS) reports that ISIS has relocated to Hawija:

    The Islamic State’s stronghold town of Hawija, Kirkuk, is almost becoming the group’s central haven as new headquarters open replacing others conquered by Iraqi forces in other provinces, said a local source.
    Alsumaria News quoted the source saying Tuesday that IS had opened alternative headquarters for its so-called “Nineveh State, “Dijlah State”, “Salahuddin State” and “Diyala State” in Hawija. He said senior leaders had entered the town in armored vehicles after having fled battles with security forces in Nineveh. The source added that IS militants cut a number of main roads and subjected them to a curfew.

    “Hawija has now become the group’s main haven, with members split between Hawija and Tal Afar an Baaj (west of Nineveh),” said the source.

    If the rumors of the relocation are true, another slog is on the horizon.

    If that's the case, maybe people will finally ask why the US decided to start bombing Iraq in August of 2014 instead of intensifying diplomacy?

    That might have helped move the country towards reconciliation.

    Replying to 
    Solutions? Strive for political & economic settlement for Sunni Arab communities in Iraq & Syria. Address the alienation that ISIS exploits

    Bringing Sunnis into the full political process is the only way of getting rid of the Islamic State.

    As the war drags on, Amnesty's UK chapter issues the following:

    Hundreds of Humvees and 10,000s of assault rifles unaccounted for
    ‘Sending millions of dollars’ worth of arms into a black hole and hoping for the best is not a viable counter-terrorism strategy’ - Patrick Wilcken
    The US Army failed to keep tabs on more than $1 billion worth of arms and other military equipment in Iraq and Kuwait according to a now declassified US Department of Defense audit obtained by Amnesty International following freedom of information requests. 
    The audit, from last September, reveals that the Department of Defense “did not have accurate, up-to-date records on the quantity and location” of a vast amount of equipment pouring into Iraq and Kuwait to provision the Iraqi Army.
    The equipment - which include hundreds of Humvee armoured vehicles, tens of thousands of assault rifles and hundreds of mortar rounds -  was destined for use by the central Iraqi Army, including the predominantly Shi’a Popular Mobilisation Units, as well as the Kurdish Peshmerga forces.
    The audit revealed several serious shortcomings in how equipment was logged and monitored from the point of delivery onward, including:
    ·    Fragmentary record-keeping in arms depots in Kuwait and Iraq, with information logged across multiple spreadsheets, databases and even on hand-written receipts.
    ·    Large quantities of equipment manually entered into multiple spreadsheets, increasing the risk of human error. 
    ·    Incomplete records meaning those responsible for the equipment were unable to ascertain its location or status.
    The military transfers came under the “Iraq Train and Equip Fund” (ITEF), a key part of US-Iraqi security cooperation. In 2015, US Congress allocated $1.6 billion for the programme to combat the advance of the Islamic State armed group.
    The audit also appeared to show that the Department of Defense did not have responsibility for tracking ITEF transfers immediately after delivery to the Iraqi authorities, despite the fact that the department’s own “Golden Sentry” programme is mandated to carry out post-delivery checks. Meanwhile, a previous Department of Defense audit in 2015 pointed to the fact that the Iraqi armed forces applied even laxer stockpile monitoring procedures. In some cases, the Iraqi Army was unaware of what was stored in its own warehouses, while other military equipment - unopened and uninventoried - was stored out in the open in shipping containers.

    Patrick Wilcken, Amnesty International’s Arms Control and Human Rights Researcher, said:

    “This audit provides a worrying insight into the US Army’s flawed - and potentially dangerous - system for controlling millions of dollars’ worth of arms transfers to a hugely volatile region.

    “It makes for especially sobering reading given the long history of leakage of US arms to multiple armed groups committing atrocities in Iraq, including the armed group calling itself the Islamic State.

    “The need for post-delivery checks is vital. Any fragilities along the transfer chain greatly increase the risks of weapons going astray in a region where armed groups have wrought havoc and caused immense human suffering.
    “This should be an urgent wake-up call for the US, and all countries supplying arms to Iraq, to urgently shore up checks and controls. Sending millions of dollars’ worth of arms into a black hole and hoping for the best is not a viable counter-terrorism strategy; it is just reckless.”

    Iraq: a ‘black hole’ for weapons

    Amnesty’s research has repeatedly documented lax controls and record-keeping within the Iraqi chain of command. This has resulted in arms manufactured in the USA and other countries ending up in the hands of armed groups known to be committing war crimes and other atrocities - including ISIS and paramilitary militias now incorporated into the Iraqi army. 
    In response to the audit, the US military has pledged to tighten up its systems for tracking and monitoring future transfers to Iraq. However, the Department of Defense made almost identical commitments in response to a report for Congress as long ago as 2007 that raised similar concerns. 

    Amnesty is urging the USA to comply with the “Leahy Law”, which prohibits the supply of most types of US military aid and training to foreign security, military and police units credibly alleged to have committed “gross human rights violations”. Amnesty is also calling on both the USA and Iraq to accede to the global Arms Trade Treaty, which has strict rules in place to stop arms transfers or diversion of arms that could fuel atrocities.

    Another unresolved issue?

    The fate of the Kurds.

    ‘Not if, but when’ Kurdish secession from Iraq imminent - US intel chief

    New content at THIRD:

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