meanwhile, glenn greenwald lets it rip:
But the worst of this triumvirate is the NYT’s tech reporters, due to influence and reach if no other reason. When Silicon Valley monopolies, publicly pressured by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and other lawmakers, united to remove Parler from the internet, the Times’ tech team quickly donned their hall-monitor goggles and Stasi notebooks to warn that the Bad People had migrated to Signal and Telegram. This week they asked: “Are Private Messaging Apps the Next Misinformation Hot Spot?” One reporter “confess[ed] that I am worried about Telegram. Other than private messaging, people love to use Telegram for group chats — up to 200,000 people can meet inside a Telegram chat room. That seems problematic.”
These examples of journalism being abused to demand censorship of spaces they cannot control are too numerous to comprehensively chronicle. And they are not confined to those three outlets. That far more robust censorship is urgently needed is now a virtual consensus in mainstream corporate journalism: it’s an animating cause for them.
"Those of us in journalism have to come to terms with the fact that free speech, a principle that we hold sacred, is being weaponized against the principles of journalism," complained Ultimate Establishment Journalism Maven Steve Coll, the Dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and a Staff Writer at The New Yorker. A New Yorker and Vox contributor who runs a major journalistic listserv appropriately called “Study Hall,” Kyle Chayka, has already begun shaming Substack for hosting writers he regards as unacceptable (Jesse Singal, Andrew Sullivan, Bari Weiss). A recent Guardian article warned that podcasts was one remaining area still insufficiently policed. ProPublica on Sunday did the same about Apple, and last month one of its reporters appeared on MSNBC to demand that Apple censor its podcast content as aggressively as Google’s YouTube now censors its video content.
Thus do we have the unimaginably warped dynamic in which U.S. journalists are not the defenders of free speech values but the primary crusaders to destroy them. They do it in part for power: to ensure nobody but they can control the flow of information. They do it partly for ideology and out of hubris: the belief that their worldview is so indisputably right that all dissent is inherently dangerous “disinformation.” And they do it from petty vindictiveness: they clearly get aroused — find otherwise-elusive purpose — by destroying people’s reputations and lives, no matter how powerless. Whatever the motive, corporate media employees whose company title is “journalist” are the primary activists against a free and open internet and the core values of free thought.
it's 1 of the best things online this week. another? ava and c.i.'s 'TV: Exclusion empowered by The Water Cooler Set' which takes on so much including how a documentary supposedly about sammy davis jr instead became a special about how white people saw life. pbs' 'american masters' was too busy letting white people talk about what racism was like to them (white people) to tell sammy's story.
let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'
Monday, February 8, 20201. More US troops leave today for Iraq while Joe Biden has no policy to offer on that country but does continue to lie about his own Iraq experience.
The war never ends. Ben Rodgers (KTSP) reported on Friday:
Sixty soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard will be deployed to Iraq and Kuwait.
The soldiers from B Company, First General Support Aviation Battalion, 171st Aviation Regiment based in St. Cloud will deploy Monday.
Those troops are leaving today. Iraq? It's a country that continues to fail to serve its own citizens. Sura Ali (RUDAW) reports:
Fresh protests broke out in several provinces across central and southern Iraq over the weekend, with several protesters wounded, activists told Rudaw English on Sunday.
Demonstrations broke out in the southern city of Nasiriyah on Friday. Clashes took place between demonstrators and riot police where three protesters were wounded, local activist Muhammad Khayat, told Rudaw on Sunday.
Protesters blocked the Hadarat Bridge in the city centre before returning to Habboubi Square, the city’s protest hotspot that has witnessed some of the bloodiest crackdowns on demonstrators since popular protests began in October 2019, calling for basic services and an end to corruption.
"We receive threats almost daily on social media, but this will not prevent us from continuing to sit-in in Haboubi until our demands are met." Khayat said.
Activist Maytham al-Mufadhal, also from Nasiriyah, told Rudaw English that they demand authorities reveal the fate of the activist Sajjad al-Iraqi, who was kidnapped by an unknown party in September.
"We received many government promises to reveal Sajjad's fate, but several months passed and the results of the investigation were not released. The sit-in continues until the fate of Sajjad is revealed," Mufadhal said.
Activists are often threatened, kidnapped and killed for their involvement in the protest movement. Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi sent counter-terror forces to Nasiriyah to find Iraqi in September, claiming to know of his location, but he is yet to be found.
US troops are being sent to Iraq and kept in Iraq to prop up a US-created government there that does not recognize the rights of the Iraqi people and does not serve the Iraqi people.
Najaf saw other actions on Saturday. The cult of Moqtada al-Sadr attacked the people of Najaf on Saturday. RUDAW reports:
Militia forces affiliated with Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr raided a
number of activists' houses in Iraq’s Najaf province on Saturday night,
activists told Rudaw English. The raids came a day after a group of
activists chanted slogans criticizing the cleric on the one year
anniversary of the killing of tens of people by Sadr supporters.
Activists on Friday held a ceremony to mark the one year anniversary of a massacre in Najaf’s Sadrayn square where Sadr supporters known as the "Blue Caps" stormed an anti-government protest camp. Twenty-three people were killed and more than 182 wounded, according to AFP.
Live rounds and petrol bombs were used against protesters during clashes, and their tents were burned or removed. Days later, Sadr announced the dissolution of the "Blue Caps" militia.
Video from the anniversary ceremony on Friday showed dozens of people gathered in the Writers Union Hall in Najaf, chanting slogans against the Sadrist movement and its leader. "No god but Allah. Muqtada is the enemy of Allah,” they shouted in clips that went viral on social media.
The day after the ceremony, forces from the pro-Sadr Saraya al-Salam (the Peace Brigades) militia stormed the homes of four activists, terrorizing them and their families, according to Najaf activist Saif al-Mansoori.
This follows Friday's action in Najaf. Fadhel al-Nashmi (ASHARQ AL-AWSAT) reported, "Unidentified assailants attacked the headquarters of the Iraqi Communist Party in Najaf with Molotov cocktails, burning the offices despite causing no causalities." It's related. In the past the Communist Party partnered with Moqtada. That partnership broke and last week they announced an alliance with the demonstrators. Then their headquarters were bombed.
What's the plan, Joe, what's the plan?
There is none. So he just avoids the topic.
He gave his 'big' speech on foreign relations last week. Sheldon Richman (ANTIWAR.COM) observes:
Also among the no-mentions was Afghanistan. How can Biden give his first speech on foreign policy without discussing the country’s longest war? That is really remarkable. The names Iraq and Syria also do not appear in the speech. Amazing.
The 20 minute speech contained no mention of Iraq, as Dr. Abbas Kadhim pointed out in a Tweet:
In 2002, Joe Biden voted for the Iraq War.
All these years later he has to 'familiarize' himself on Iraq before he can figure out a policy? He has nothing to offer because he chooses to have nothing to offer. And if he truly had any regret over his Iraq War vote, he would be compelled to make up for it now. He's doing nothing because he doesn't now -- and never did -- give a damn. That's why, when he threw out the Iraqi votes of 2010 via The Erbil Agreement, he went to Baghdad and gave puzzled Iraqis a lecture about Ireland -- a lecture that had nothing to do with them.
It's not like Joe can't talk about Iraq at all. He can lie about it. And he's been lying yet again. Rudy Takala (MEDIAITE) explains:
President Joe Biden on Thursday repeated a claim to a gathering of State Department employees that he once came under fire abroad.
“You have great personal courage. I’ve been with some of you when we’ve been shot at,” Biden told staff, without detailing the incident in question.
It’s unclear what specific incident Biden was referring to in his remarks, but in the past he has faced scrutiny for similar comments. Biden previously made the claim at a Democratic presidential primary debate in July 2007. “Number one, you take all the troops out,” he said. “You better have helicopters ready to take those 3,000 civilians inside the Green Zone, where I have been seven times and shot at. You better make sure you have protection for them, or let them die.”
He later clarified those remarks to say he was inside a building in Iraq’s Green Zone with a contingent of visiting senators that “rattled” as a result from a blast in 2005, and suggested the “shot” that had been fired was akin to mortar fire. “I was near where a shot landed,” he said. “No one got up and ran from the room — it wasn’t that kind of thing. It’s not like I had someone holding a gun to my head.”
Patrick Campbell, then legislative director for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, told The Hill at the time, “Veterans don’t like it when people mischaracterize their service, people who overstate what happens to them. We have names for them.”
George Washington University professor Stephen Hess said in 2007 that the claim “fits into [Biden’s] profile, and that’s exactly why he should be terribly careful about statements that may not quite parse out or deconstruct under scrutiny.”
Biden has a reputation for gaffes and stretching the truth. He said incorrectly in 2008 “I am a hard coal miner,” and was forced to drop out of the 1988 Democratic presidential primary for plagiarism of speeches and a law school paper.
So he can talk about Iraq, he just can't tell any truths about that country. Then again, Joe has an estranged relationship with the truth:
When you oppose the horror that is western imperialism people try to paint you as a radical extremist who can’t just be reasonable and pragmatic about things, but really nothing could be further from the truth. There’s nothing “radical” or “extreme” about opposing the domination of the entire planet with relentless acts of mass slaughter to the detriment of the world’s most vulnerable populations, all because some sociopaths in DC decided that it is good and reasonable to inflict any amount of terror upon our world to preserve unipolar US hegemony. Opposing this is just basic human sanity.
People will act like you’re unreasonable and impossible if there’s not a single US politician you support.
“Not even Bernie?” they’ll ask. “Not even AOC?? What’s wrong with you?!”
If you are an anti-imperialist, being asked to choose a US politician you support is like being asked to pick a favorite Nazi. The US empire is the single most evil and destructive power on our planet right now and everyone on Capitol Hill is an imperialist facilitator of mass murder, yet you’ll be treated like an extremist moonbat if you don’t like any of them. The problem isn’t that an anti-imperialist has strange, impossible standards, it’s that they oppose an insane and murderous status quo which only elevates leaders who will advance that status quo.
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