Facebook is restricting advertisements for Iraqi political parties and candidates in the run-up to the country's parliamentary elections, an official has told The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site.
judiciary council requested that Facebook take down posts that relied
on "defamation" and "fuelled sectarianism", the official from the Media
and Communications Commission, a state agency, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
The United Nations mission in Iraq last
week called on Iraqi election stakeholders and the media to avoid
misinformation in the run-up to the vote, which takes place on 10 October.
Officials are hoping to avoid a repeat of the 2018 election, which faced widespread accusations of fraud.
is not the election that needs to concern anyone. 2010 is the election
that should trouble. Back then, Joe Biden was the vice president of
the United States. The Iraqi people turned out in March of 2010 to
vote. They got a prime minister in . . . November. Why the long
delay? Nouri al-Maliki was the incumbent. They voted him out of
office. He refused to step down. This brought things to a standstill
and was known as the political stalemate. It lasted for over eight
months. Instead of demanding that the vote be respected, the US
government went around the voters. They negotiated a contract known as
The Erbil Agreement. It overturned the results and gave Nouri al-Maliki
a second term. That's the election that should concern observers
But to many avoid the topic. To this day,
'expert' Patrick Cockburn has never written of The Erbil Agreement --
despite the huge ramifications this had on Iraq which include -- but are
not limited to -- the rise of ISIS in Iraq, fostering a mistrust of
voting among the Iraqi people . . .
In 2016, certain
parts of the US media and certain parts of the US political sector would
whine and outright lie about Russia and and the 2016 election. These
same elements never once expressed outrage over the US government
overturning Iraq's 2010 election.
Nor did they
express outrage over the person being given that second term -- a person
known for torturing and for secret prisons. Nouri was chosen by Bully
Boy Bush originally in 2006 because it was thought that he would be easy
to manipulate based upon his CIA assessment which rightly noted that he
was extremely paranoid. (We noted that finding here years before
WIKILEAKS published the State Dept cables -- check the archives.) His
paranoia was what made him so dangerous to the Iraqi people but clearly
that was never a concern to the US government -- the safety of the Iraqi
To this day, the ramifications of the US
imposing Nouri for a second term are not dealt with or acknowledged by
many. A sort of xenophobia ('what do those kind of people deserve
anyway!') cloaks what took place. It's also minimized due to the large
number of whores who lied. Quil Lawrence is only one example of someone
practicing something other than journalism -- as he took to NPR
airwaves to declare Nouri the winner before ballots were even counted.
Lovely Quill still has his job -- for NPR, I mean. Don't know if he was
ever paid by the US government -- he might have just been donating his
services. Deborah Amos, by contrast, did do actual reporting. She did
an analysis, in fact, about the election. Anyone paying attention and
interested in honesty would have known Nouri was not cruising to an easy
victory as so many in the US press were insisting in late 2009 and
Arziz Kader offers a Tweet with wisdom:
With elections eventually looming in Iraq, get ready for the "We started a million new projects" schtick suddenly by ruling parties.
right. The lead up to the elections are when politicians pretend to
care. I especially loved how, a month before the 2010 elections, Nouri
brought large ice to a village without potable water -- had been that
way all throughout his first term but when he needed votes, he brought
The western press is working overtime to
re-elect Mustafa. Mustafa is the White House's choice for prime
minister so the western press has taken to portraying him as
successful. He was part of another do-nothing conference over the
weekend and, like the one only months ago, it accomplished nothing but
we're supposed to see it as his success and he's so powerful and he's so
. . . He's nothing. He's accomplished nothing. But the press is
working overtime to pretend otherwise. It's as though someone's cloned
Quil Lawrence and we now have thousands of Quils.
Ariz also observes:
I've never seen Slemani roads etc look as good as right before an election for example. It is the one time of the election cycle where some surface investments actually get made.
Satellites detected a large release of super-warming methane gas over southern Iraq last month.
methane cloud, spotted by geoanalytics firm Kayrros SAS using European
Space Agency satellite data, was halfway between Baghdad and Basra, an
oil and gas hub in southern Iraq. The rate of release was about 130 tons
per hour, which has approximately the same climate-warming impact as
6,500 U.K. cars running for a year.
real regulation in Iraq -- that's why the hospital fires keep happening
-- Mustafa has everyone on the honor system -- and the Iraqi people and
the entire world pay the cost.
It seems the international community is trying as much as possible to help create a stable electoral atmosphere,paving the way for the formation of a new government and parliament capable of restoring the situation to what it was before the protests of Oct
it to what it was before The October Revolution? What it was before
the protests began was a corrupt system? I hope that Twitter's
character limit explains that Tweet. I hope that's not a fully formed
thought being expressed but one narrowed due to character limits. Yes,
Mustafa al-Khadimi is an awful prime minister; however, dropping back to
October of 2019 is not an improvement, that was just another disaster.
upcoming elections have caused a lot of stress and a lot of tensions.
That's been apparent everywhere including in the KRG and in one of their
political dynasties: The Talabanis. Lorraine Mallinder (IRISH TIMES) reports:
It was a great story. Lahur Talabani
was the south London boy who brought the fight to Islamic State in his
native Kurdistan, playing a leading role in intelligence and
counterterrorism. A staunch Kurdish nationalist, he called out the
corrupt elites and stuck his neck out for his fellow Kurds in Syria and Turkey.
least, that was the image. Lahur was feted by the rank and file of his
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the party he led with Surrey-raised
cousin Bafel Talabani.
In the city of Sulaymaniyah, the PUK’s power base in eastern Kurdistan,
he wielded this star power on social media. But it all fell apart when
team Bafel started lobbing accusations of smuggling, extortion and
spying at him – to name some of the milder claims.
Lahur’s home is surrounded by armed men, with checkpoints set up in the
surrounding neighbourhood. His media outlets, apparently a must-have
for all leading politicians here, have been shuttered. He “temporarily”
handed all power to his cousin – to no avail. Under pressure to leave
the country, he has sought recourse in the courts, professing a possibly
misguided faith in the independence of Kurdistan’s judiciary on his Facebook page.
This unseemly bust-up in the filthy rich political clan, second in power only to the mighty Barzanis, who control the dominant Kurdistan Democratic Party
(KDP), would have locals on the edge of their seats, were they not
preoccupied with more pressing matters – such as rampant poverty, power
outages and this summer’s acute water shortages. This, in a region
pumping out about half a million barrels of oil a day.
With neighbouring Turkey and Iran
taking an interest, there could be more to this than meets the eye. But
the consensus seems to be that it’s merely a spat between two
power-hungry cousins slugging it out for supremacy, following the death
of party granddaddy Jalal Talabani – Lahur’s uncle and Bafel’s dad.
Iraq’s Shia controlled government faces more dangerous threats
locally; internal corruption and Iranian efforts to turn Iraq into a
client state or unofficial part of the Iranian Shia Islamic empire. The
current situation is that you have about 90 percent of Iraqis opposed to
corruption, many of them very opposed. Since 2015, there have been
repeated public gatherings that evolved into large anti-corruption
demonstrations that continue. Many of these demonstrations are anti-Iran
as well. While corrupt Iraqi officials and pro-Iran Shias are on the
defensive, they are still a major factor in Iraq and Iraqis in general
don’t want this to degenerate into another civil war. They just want
less corruption, an improved standard of living and a major reduction in
Iranian efforts to control Iraq.
The religious dictatorship in Iran is now dominated by the
extremists, or “radicals”. Most of the extremist attitudes come from the
(Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) who suffered greatly from the
return of economic sanctions in 2017. Because of these sanctions the
IRGC Quds force, which handles foreign wars and terrorism, saw its
budget cut by half since 2017, forcing major reductions in Quds
activities in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. The IRGC was created in the 1980s
to protect the new religious dictatorship and suppress, with violence,
if necessary, local opposition to the new religious overlords. The IRGC
has become increasingly assertive in backing radical solutions to
problems and that has created a growing number of nationalist clerics,
including some eligible to be one of the twelve senior Shia clerics who
run the Guardian Council. The senior clerics have become divided into
mutually antagonistic factions. The “moderates” are those who want to
put Iran’s interests first and concentrate on the economy and reducing
the poverty that is visibly turning more Iranians against their
government, Islam and all the foreign wars the radicals have dragged
Iran into. These “realists” are also nationalists and often called
“moderates” by foreigners. The IRGC believes force is the key to Iranian
power and all Iranians must support that. Most Iranians do not support
the IRGC and for over a decade have become increasingly open about that
opposition. The IRGC has killed over a thousand of these protestors over
the last few years. As a result of this the Guardian Council has
blocked nearly all “nationalist” candidates from running in the latest
national elections. This meant the new parliament and senior leaders
were dominated by IRGC and Quds Force veterans, including several
recognized as terrorists or guilty of war crimes.
Glenn Greenwald Tweets:
One of the most hilariously deranged behavioral tics of Democrats is that they insist their loss in 2016 is more than fault of
Hillary's loss is not Susan Sarandon's fault. Shame on whores like Jill
F who insist otherwise. What we know about Jill is that while people
were fasting for peace and Iraq was being ethnically cleansed,
'feminist' Jill was posting bikini selfies to her website as she took a
much 'needed' vacation.
She's not to be taken seriously. Susan Sarandon is a kind hearted person who puts her principles on the line. Applause to Sue
In a move pushing back two Tom Cruise tentpoles, Top Gun: Maverick is departing its Nov. 19 date and will now open May 27, 2022. Meanwhile, Cruise’s Mission: Impossible 7 is leaving that May 27, 2022, date and will now open Sept. 30, 2022. The studio has also pushed back Jackass Forever, which moves to Feb. 4, 2022, departing an Oct. 22, 2021, date.
The moves come as concerns over the delta variant continue to hamper
theater attendance and make releasing tentpoles into cinemas a risky
proposition for studios. Paramount, like other studios, regularly
consults with epidemiologists on decisions such as this, and the studio
is hopeful the box office will recover in 2022 when these films are now
set to open.
i think it's a mistake. i think it will kill off support for the project. did you read mike's 'James Bond, Jimmy Dore' about the continued postponing of the latest james bond film. i hope we all also grasp that the world has not been waiting for a 'top gun' sequel.
and maybe the studio should grasp that a lot of people were already ticked off
and if they wanted enthusiasm around it, they would have hired kelly mcgillis to do some sort of role in the sequel since both she and the character she played in 'top gun' were alive at the end.
while goose dies in the film, his wife played by meg ryan is not dead. and they made no effort to get meg ryan back.
so this notion that any 1 wants to see a 'top gun' sequel is about as squishy as tom cruise's 50+year-old chest - i hope there are no volleyball scenes in the sequel.
Wednesday, September 1, 2021. Joe Biden announces the end of the
Afghanistan War, Bill Van Auken, the Green Party and Richard Becker are
among the ones responding, we look at how homophobia has no place on the
US left, and much more.
We'll start with Glenn Greenwald
so I can get him off the list. I usually have some things the day
prior to a snapshot that I think I'll work in and then I wake up the
next morning and am scanning the news while I'm on the treadmill or the
stepper and dictating the snapshot and any plans fall apart. David
Sirota had a great Tweet about Afghanistan, for example, and for a week I
thought each morning that I'd work it in but never was able to.
Greenwald is a journalist. That's what he is -- that should pop up
later in this discussion, so it's important that we get that fact
established. Glenn's not above criticism, no one is (including me).
And since we're not prefect, we're all deserving of negative criticism.
Negative criticism can be a true analysis of the work (in a calm
manner, in a wildly passionate manner, in any way at all) or it can just
Either can be good. A well thought out
criticism can expand our knowledge. Good bitchy can make us laugh. Ava
and I did pretty much nothing but bitchy at THIRD the first year or
so. We didn't want to do cover TV to begin with. The first pieces
(two? three?) were group efforts but what the readers enjoyed were Ava
and I being snide. So Jim, Dona, Ty and Jess turned the TV pieces over
to us. And it was fun being bitchy and it contained trueisms in the
bitchy. SUPERNATURAL spawned an industry of fan fiction known as
WINCEST -- where the two lead character (brothers) had sex with one
another. That never surprised us because Ava and I noted whent he show
debuted that watching it was like watching porn where the actors were
too stupid to take off their clothes.
note, bitchy done well is one thing, bitchy that's tired and blah is
really kind of embarrassing. It's like an old woman whose body has gone
who thinks she's entertaining people around her by being mean and what
she doesn't grasp is that, forty years ago, when she was in her 20s, it
was cute to see an innocent looking, beautiful young woman making these
comments but now it really wasn't funny. She'd aged out of it.
is not perfect. Glenn is not always right. He was wrong about the
Iraq War, for example, and didn't get right about it until well after it
had started. Glenn does important work and that's one reason we
highlight him. The other is I'm not into dog piles. He is one of many
currently being targeted repeatedly for a dog pile. Glenn's one of the
many that it's become popular to attack. By attack, I mean smear.
There's YOUTUBER who needs to learn what make up is but instead spends
her time distorting what Glenn says and trying to turn the world against
Ken Silverstein was Glenn. He made some brave calls
and ended up being targeted. I defended him for years and years and
this site has always been supportive of him. I'm sad that he didn't
take a moment to crow loudly, "I was right!" Because he was right about
the Sothern Poverty Center. He wrote an important expose years ago and
he was right. But he was targeted and attacked for that piece. So he
doesn't like Glenn. He may have good reason. He may not. I don't
And what's really sad there is that I don't know
and that's after reading a three-part series on how awful Glenn is
written by Ken and others at his website WASHINGTON BABLYON.
Search it on GOOGLE for the link. A woman named Emma wrote the public e-mail account (email@example.com)
about the series and how I must love it because I hate Glenn. I don't
hate Glenn. But I did take the time to read it. It was embarrassing.
every piece of writing can be good -- forget great. But this is three
bad pieces, not one of which deserved to be published. They're not
writing, they're pitches -- proposals that haven't been fleshed out.
Ken writes that he feels Glenn has fooled people about the real Glenn.
Okay? That might make for an interesting read -- how Glenn has done
that. But Ken doesn't really get to that.
horrible series and -- the reason I'm addressing it here -- it's a
homophobic series. Ken's not the only writer of it. And his name isn't
on the piece that reeks of homophobia but it's part of the series and
Ken is responsible for all the original content that goes up at his
"Gay husband." Glenn's husband is David
Miranda. This isn't a secret. Many have noted him (Glenn's noted him
and Glenn and David aren't in the closet). David's a hottie and it's
amusing when some who really hate Glenn try to make a deal about that.
Are they jealous that Glenn landed a hottie? Are these presumably
straight men realizing that they come off like they're sort of lusting
after David? Who knows? But Glenn and David are parents and they have
Now in everything I wrote -- not
quoted -- in the above I'm talking about Glenn and I'm noting his
husband and their children and that they are parents, etc.
I'm not saying "gay parents." I'm not saying "gay husband."
confused as to why -- in an attack on Glenn in 2021 from a supposed
leftist outlet -- WASHINGTON BABLYON feels the need to write about
Glenn's "gay husband"? Glenn's husband -- two terms that make it clear
that Glenn is married to a man -- seem sufficient. The term "gay
husband" -- in an attack article -- reeks of homophobia.
of ignorance. The series wants you to know Glenn isn't a journalist --
he is -- and that he has no journalistic training. Hmm. I seem to
recall statements Ken has made about so-called professional journalists
and their training. If you want to accuse Glenn of being self-taught,
go for it. But he does have training. Ken's convinced Glenn approaches
it as an attorney and to Ken that's not journalism. Glenn's a
columnist. Glenn's doing what columnists do. Ken's all over the place
in his critique of Glenn but never further from the shore then when he's
trying to discredit Glenn's title as journalist.
three-part series reads like a listacle -- only with even less thought
behind it. And in terms of good bitchy it never arrives at that. It's
tired and it's homophobic.
When we're angry, we often
say things we wouldn't normally say. And I hope anger is the excuse
for Ken being part of a series that looks homophobic. I hope that in a
calm moment, Ken would grasp that his attack series looks like one of
the reasons Glenn's being attacked is because of who he loves. And I
hope Ken, in a calm moment, can grasp that is unacceptable.
and David have two children. Glenn and David are adults and can deal
with it. And Glenn's personality is such that he dismisses homophobic
attacks aimed at him as though they don't matter. (That has to do with
his college days.) But we owe it to future generations -- including
David and Glenn's children -- to make clear that this is unacceptable.
It never should have been acceptable to begin with.
Glenn was in high school, for example, it shouldn't have been
acceptable for principals to openly ridicule or threaten male students
because they were gay or to encourage students to harass gay students.
But that is what happened. Over and over. And it was okay back then
for many. Glenn had to grow up in that time period. It wasn't okay.
We should all be embarrassed and ashamed by the way our country treated
the entire LGBTQ community in the past. We made people live in fear, we
made their lives miserable, we physically assaulted them. And more
often than not, if this was met by more than a shrug, it was met with
We need to acknowledge the very real scars that we put
on an entire community because we couldn't accept that love is love or
because we afraid of desires within ourselves that we couldn't cop to.
husband." Glenn's a man. He's married to David. David's a man. I'm
not seeing why WASHINGTON BABYLON felt the need for "gay husband."
"Glenn's husband David" isn't confusing. It tells you Glenn is married
to a man. "Gay husband" seems a very real attempt to mock Glenn and to
I'm not a good person. I don't claim to
be and I've noted that here many times. In school, I sent a kid off to
a bad attempt at suicide. I doubt it was real attempt but I honestly
There was a boy and we'll call him Charles. He acted
in a way that made people assume he was gay. (He would later in life
come out.) Another guy who will call David picked on Charles. David
was popular because his father had a lot of money. David was not an
attractive boy. He had no real sense of humor. He didn't get great
grades. But -- or maybe because of that -- he thought he could
demonstrate he was better than Charles by attacking him. I'd hear
people laugh about how David had done this or that to Charles but I
didn't pay much attention. Even then I was tunnel vision on whatever I
was focused on at the time. But then one day, I witnessed what David
was doing when I saw both at the lockers. I walked up and stopped him
and told him, "David, it stops now."
After that, David
didn't pull the crap if I was anywhere near but it turns out that he
continued to pull it and made Charles' life a living hell. So I made
David's life a living hell. I burned down his playhouse. In two weeks,
he went from popular to no friends at all. He found out just how easy
it was to turn someone into a joke and an object of ridicule (and,
unlike David, I didn't have to use homophobia to do it). He got very
upset and tried to kill himself. (It was not a for real attempt.) When
he found that wasn't going to make things go back to the way they were,
he had to adjust to a new life where he wasn't popular and people
didn't live in fear of him.
If he had tried to kill
himself for real, it really wouldn't have bothered me. Again, I'm not a
nice person. And the reason I wouldn't have given a damn is because he
went out of his way to make Charles' life miserable. Charles was a
nice kid, he was cute, he was kind to everyone. But David didn't like
him because he might have been gay so David terrorized him daily. In
classes, in gym, in the halls, in the bathrooms. Three was no safe
space for Charles and no educator -- supposed adults -- were doing a
damn thing to stop David or to help Charles.
considered acceptable in the US. And it shouldn't have been. And for
many LGBTQ teenagers, this was their life. That is unacceptable.
2021, we thankfully have marriage equality. We have protection rights
in most workplaces. We are moving towards a better society. I would
love it if Ken Silverstein would read over that piece -- which he didn't
write himself -- and tell me how "gay husband" is a term that helps us
progress to a better place and helps us redeem ourselves from our
Turning to Afghanistan . . .
Yesterday US President Joe Biden addressed the nation. From the White House transcript:
THE PRESIDENT: Last night in Kabul, the United States ended 20 years
of war in Afghanistan — the longest war in American history.
We completed one of the biggest airlifts in history, with more than
120,000 people evacuated to safety. That number is more than double
what most experts thought were possible. No nation — no nation has ever
done anything like it in all of history. Only the United States had
the capacity and the will and the ability to do it, and we did it today.
The extraordinary success of this mission was due to the incredible
skill, bravery, and selfless courage of the United States military and
our diplomats and intelligence professionals.
For weeks, they risked their lives to get American citizens, Afghans
who helped us, citizens of our Allies and partners, and others onboard
planes and out of the country. And they did it facing a crush of
enormous crowds seeking to leave the country. And they did it knowing
ISIS-K terrorists — sworn enemies of the Taliban — were lurking in the
midst of those crowds.
And still, the men and women of the United States military, our
diplomatic corps, and intelligence professionals did their job and did
it well, risking their lives not for professional gains but to serve
others; not in a mission of war but in a mission of mercy. Twenty
servicemembers were wounded in the service of this mission. Thirteen
heroes gave their lives.
I was just at Dover Air Force Base for the dignified transfer. We
owe them and their families a debt of gratitude we can never repay but
we should never, ever, ever forget.
In April, I made the decision to end this war. As part of that
decision, we set the date of August 31st for American troops to
withdraw. The assumption was that more than 300,000 Afghan National
Security Forces that we had trained over the past two decades and
equipped would be a strong adversary in their civil wars with the
That assumption — that the Afghan government would be able to hold on
for a period of time beyond military drawdown — turned out not to be
But I still instructed our national security team to prepare for every eventuality — even that one. And that’s what we did.
So, we were ready when the Afghan Security Forces — after two decades
of fighting for their country and losing thousands of their own — did
not hold on as long as anyone expected.
We were ready when they and the people of Afghanistan watched their
own government collapse and their president flee amid the corruption and
malfeasance, handing over the country to their enemy, the Taliban, and
significantly increasing the risk to U.S. personnel and our Allies.
As a result, to safely extract American citizens before August 31st —
as well as embassy personnel, Allies and partners, and those Afghans
who had worked with us and fought alongside of us for 20 years — I had
authorized 6,000 troops — American troops — to Kabul to help secure the
As General McKenzie said, this is the way the mission was designed.
It was designed to operate under severe stress and attack. And that’s
what it did.
Since March, we reached out 19 times to Americans in Afghanistan,
with multiple warnings and offers to help them leave Afghanistan — all
the way back as far as March. After we started the evacuation 17 days
ago, we did initial outreach and analysis and identified around 5,000
Americans who had decided earlier to stay in Afghanistan but now wanted
Our Operation Allied Rescue [Allies Refuge] ended up getting
more than 5,500 Americans out. We got out thousands of citizens and
diplomats from those countries that went into Afghanistan with us to get
bin Laden. We got out locally employed staff of the United States
Embassy and their families, totaling roughly 2,500 people. We got
thousands of Afghan translators and interpreters and others, who
supported the United States, out as well.
Now we believe that about 100 to 200 Americans remain in Afghanistan
with some intention to leave. Most of those who remain are dual
citizens, long-time residents who had earlier decided to stay because of
their family roots in Afghanistan.
The bottom line: Ninety [Ninety-eight] percent of Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave were able to leave.
And for those remaining Americans, there is no deadline. We remain
committed to get them out if they want to come out. Secretary of State
Blinken is leading the continued diplomatic efforts to ensure a safe
passage for any American, Afghan partner, or foreign national who wants
to leave Afghanistan.
In fact, just yesterday, the United Nations Security Council passed a
resolution that sent a clear message about what the international
community expects the Taliban to deliver on moving forward, notably
freedom of travel, freedom to leave. And together, we are joined by
over 100 countries that are determined to make sure the Taliban upholds
It will include ongoing efforts in Afghanistan to reopen the airport,
as well as overland routes, allowing for continued departure to those
who want to leave and delivery of humanitarian assistance to the people
The Taliban has made public commitments, broadcast on television and
radio across Afghanistan, on safe passage for anyone wanting to leave,
including those who worked alongside Americans. We don’t take them by
their word alone but by their actions, and we have leverage to make sure
those commitments are met.
Let me be clear: Leaving August the 31st is not due to an arbitrary deadline; it was designed to save American lives.
My predecessor, the former President, signed an agreement with the
Taliban to remove U.S. troops by May the 1st, just months after I was
inaugurated. It included no requirement that the Taliban work out a
cooperative governing arrangement with the Afghan government, but it did
authorize the release of 5,000 prisoners last year, including some of
the Taliban’s top war commanders, among those who just took control of
And by the time I came to office, the Taliban was in its strongest
military position since 2001, controlling or contesting nearly half of
The previous administration’s agreement said that if we stuck to the
May 1st deadline that they had signed on to leave by, the Taliban
wouldn’t attack any American forces, but if we stayed, all bets were
So we were left with a simple decision: Either follow through on the
commitment made by the last administration and leave Afghanistan, or say
we weren’t leaving and commit another tens of thousands more troops
going back to war.
That was the choice — the real choice — between leaving or escalating.
I was not going to extend this forever war, and I was not extending a
forever exit. The decision to end the military airlift operations at
Kabul airport was based on the unanimous recommendation of my civilian
and military advisors — the Secretary of State, the Secretary of
Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and all the service
chiefs, and the commanders in the field.
Their recommendation was that the safest way to secure the passage of
the remaining Americans and others out of the country was not to
continue with 6,000 troops on the ground in harm’s way in Kabul, but
rather to get them out through non-military means.
In the 17 days that we operated in Kabul after the Taliban seized
power, we engaged in an around-the-clock effort to provide every
American the opportunity to leave. Our State Department was working
24/7 contacting and talking, and in some cases, walking Americans into
Again, more than 5,500 Americans were airlifted out. And for those
who remain, we will make arrangements to get them out if they so choose.
As for the Afghans, we and our partners have airlifted 100,000 of
them. No country in history has done more to airlift out the residents
of another country than we have done. We will continue to work to help
more people leave the country who are at risk. And we’re far from done.
For now, I urge all Americans to join me in grateful prayer for our
troops and diplomats and intelligence officers who carried out this
mission of mercy in Kabul and at tremendous risk with such unparalleled
results: an airma- — an airlift that evacuated tens of thousands to a
network of volunteers and veterans who helped identifies [identify] those needing evacuation, guide them to the airport, and provided them for their support along the way.
We’re going to continue to need their help. We need your help. And I’m looking forward to meeting with you.
And to everyone who is now offering or who will offer to welcome
Afghan allies to their homes around the world, including in America: We
I take responsibility for the decision. Now, some say we should have
started mass evacuations sooner and “Couldn’t this have be done — have
been done in a more orderly manner?” I respectfully disagree.
Imagine if we had begun evacuations in June or July, bringing in
thousands of American troops and evacuating more than 120,000 people in
the middle of a civil war. There still would have been a rush to the
airport, a breakdown in confidence and control of the government, and it
still would have been a very difficult and dangerous mission.
The bottom line is: There is no evacuatio- — evacuation from the end
of a war that you can run without the kinds of complexities, challenges,
and threats we faced. None.
There are those who would say we should have stayed indefinitely for
years on end. They ask, “Why don’t we just keep doing what we were
doing? Why did we have to change anything?”
The fact is: Everything had changed. My predecessor had made a deal
with the Taliban. When I came into office, we faced a deadline — May
1. The Taliban onslaught was coming.
We faced one of two choices: Follow the agreement of the previous
administration and extend it to have — or extend to more time for people
to get out; or send in thousands of more troops and escalate the war.
To those asking for a third decade of war in Afghanistan, I ask: What
is the vital national interest? In my view, we only have one: to make
sure Afghanistan can never be used again to launch an attack on our
Remember why we went to Afghanistan in the first place? Because we
were attacked by Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda on September 11th, 2001,
and they were based in Afghanistan.
We delivered justice to bin Laden on May 2nd, 2011 — over a decade ago. Al Qaeda was decimated.
I respectfully suggest you ask yourself this question: If we had been
attacked on September 11, 2001, from Yemen instead of Afghanistan,
would we have ever gone to war in Afghanistan — even though the Taliban
controlled Afghanistan in 2001? I believe the honest answer is “no.”
That’s because we had no vital national interest in Afghanistan other
than to prevent an attack on America’s homeland and their fr- — our
friends. And that’s true today.
We succeeded in what we set out to do in Afghanistan over a decade
ago. Then we stayed for another decade. It was time to end this war.
This is a new world. The terror threat has metastasized across the
world, well beyond Afghanistan. We face threats from al-Shabaab in
Somalia; al Qaeda affiliates in Syria and the Arabian Peninsula; and
ISIS attempting to create a caliphate in Syria and Iraq, and
establishing affiliates across Africa and Asia.
obligation of a President, in my opinion, is to defend and protect
America — not against threats of 2001, but against the threats of 2021
That is the guiding principle behind my decisions
about Afghanistan. I simply do not believe that the safety and security
of America is enhanced by continuing to deploy thousands of American
troops and spending billions of dollars a year in Afghanistan.
I also know that the threat from terrorism continues in its pernicious
and evil nature. But it’s changed, expanded to other countries. Our
strategy has to change too.
We will maintain the fight against
terrorism in Afghanistan and other countries. We just don’t need to
fight a ground war to do it. We have what’s called over-the-horizon
capabilities, which means we can strike terrorists and targets without
American boots on the ground — or very few, if needed.
shown that capacity just in the last week. We struck ISIS-K remotely,
days after they murdered 13 of our servicemembers and dozens of innocent
And to ISIS-K: We are not done with you yet.
Commander-in-Chief, I firmly believe the best path to guard our safety
and our security lies in a tough, unforgiving, targeted, precise
strategy that goes after terror where it is today, not where it was two
decades ago. That’s what’s in our national interest.
a critical thing to understand: The world is changing. We’re engaged
in a serious competition with China. We’re dealing with the challenges
on multiple fronts with Russia. We’re confronted with cyberattacks and
We have to shore up America’s
competitive[ness] to meet these new challenges in the competition for
the 21st century. And we can do both: fight terrorism and take on new
threats that are here now and will continue to be here in the future.
there’s nothing China or Russia would rather have, would want more in
this competition than the United States to be bogged down another decade
As we turn the page on the foreign policy that
has guided our nat- — our nation the last two decades, we’ve got to
learn from our mistakes.
To me, there are two that are
paramount. First, we must set missions with clear, achievable goals —
not ones we’ll never reach. And second, we must stay clearly focused on
the fundamental national security interest of the United States of
This decision about Afghanistan is not just about
Afghanistan. It’s about ending an era of major military operations to
remake other countries.
We saw a mission of counterterrorism in
Afghanistan — getting the terrorists and stopping attacks — morph into a
counterinsurgency, nation building — trying to create a democratic,
cohesive, and unified Afghanistan -– something that has never been done
over the many centuries of Afghans’ [Afghanistan’s] history.
on from that mindset and those kind of large-scale troop deployments
will make us stronger and more effective and safer at home.
And for anyone who gets the wrong idea, let me say it clearly. To
those who wish America harm, to those that engage in terrorism against
us and our allies, know this: The United States will never rest. We
will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down to the
ends of the Earth, and we will — you will pay the ultimate price.
And let me be clear: We will continue to support the Afghan people
through diplomacy, international influence, and humanitarian aid. We’ll
continue to push for regional diplomacy and engagement to prevent
violence and instability. We’ll continue to speak out for basic rights
of the Afghan people, especially women and girls, as we speak out for
women and girls all around the globe. And I’ve been clear that human
rights will be the center of our foreign policy.
But the way to do that is not through endless military deployments,
but through diplomacy, economic tools, and rallying the rest of the
world for support.
My fellow Americans, the war in Afghanistan is now over. I’m the
fourth President who has faced the issue of whether and when to end this
war. When I was running for President, I made a commitment to the
American people that I would end this war. And today, I’ve honored that
commitment. It was time to be honest with the American people again.
We no longer had a clear purpose in an open-ended mission in
After 20 years of war in Afghanistan, I refused to send another
generation of America’s sons and daughters to fight a war that should
have ended long ago.
After more than $2 trillion spent in Afghanistan — a cost that
researchers at Brown University estimated would be over $300 million a
day for 20 years in Afghanistan — for two decades — yes, the American
people should hear this: $300 million a day for two decades.
If you take the number of $1 trillion, as many say, that’s still $150
million a day for two decades. And what have we lost as a consequence
in terms of opportunities? I refused to continue in a war that was no
longer in the service of the vital national interest of our people.
And most of all, after 800,000 Americans serving in Afghanistan —
I’ve traveled that whole country — brave and honorable service; after
20,744 American servicemen and women injured, and the loss of 2,461
American personnel, including 13 lives lost just this week, I refused to
open another decade of warfare in Afghanistan.
We’ve been a nation too long at war. If you’re 20 years old today, you have never known an America at peace.
So, when I hear that we could’ve, should’ve continued the so-called
low-grade effort in Afghanistan, at low risk to our service members, at
low cost, I don’t think enough people understand how much we have asked
of the 1 percent of this country who put that uniform on, who are
willing to put their lives on the line in defense of our nation.
Maybe it’s because my deceased son, Beau, served in Iraq for a full
year, before that. Well, maybe it’s because of what I’ve seen over the
years as senator, vice president, and president traveling these
A lot of our veterans and their families have gone through hell —
deployment after deployment, months and years away from their families;
missed birthdays, anniversaries; empty chairs at holidays; financial
struggles; divorces; loss of limbs; traumatic brain injury;
We see it in the struggles many have when they come home. We see it
in the strain on their families and caregivers. We see it in the strain
of their families when they’re not there. We see it in the grief borne
by their survivors. The cost of war they will carry with them their
Most tragically, we see it in the shocking and stunning statistic
that should give pause to anyone who thinks war can ever be low-grade,
low-risk, or low-cost: 18 veterans, on average, who die by suicide every
single day in America — not in a far-off place, but right here in
There’s nothing low-grade or low-risk or low-cost about any war. It’s time to end the war in Afghanistan.
As we close 20 years of war and strife and pain and sacrifice, it’s
time to look to the future, not the past — to a future that’s safer, to a
future that’s more secure, to a future that honors those who served and
all those who gave what President Lincoln called their “last full
measure of devotion.”
I give you my word: With all of my heart, I believe this is the right
decision, a wise decision, and the best decision for America.
Thank you. Thank you. And may God bless you all. And may God protect our troops.
Coming the day after a C-17 military transport plane flew the last US
troops out of Kabul and in the midst of celebrations in the streets of
Afghanistan of the end of US occupation, Biden’s speech included
statements never before heard from the White House, acknowledging the
devastating costs of a war that ended in a humiliating debacle.
The defeat suffered by the United States at the hands of the Taliban
insurgency exposes the failure of not just the policies pursued in
Afghanistan but the entire strategy that has guided the actions of US
imperialism both at home and abroad for decades.
political purpose of Biden’s speech was to defend his administration
from ferocious criticism of its handling of the chaotic 17-day
evacuation that followed the overrunning of the country by the Taliban
and the precipitous collapse of the Kabul puppet regime and its
US-trained security forces. Thirteen US military personnel lost their
lives in the operation, while another 20 were wounded.
have come not only from Republicans but also a wide layer of Democratic
officials. The media, having “embedded” itself within the US military
and serving as an unflagging cheerleader for US wars, has responded with
particularly bitter hostility.
The Washington Post’s
editorial Tuesday described the Kabul evacuation as “a moral disaster,
one attributable not to the actions of military and diplomatic personnel
in Kabul … but to mistakes, strategic and tactical, by Mr. Biden and
his administration.” For good measure, it published a column by Michael
Gerson, the former senior aide and speechwriter for George W. Bush, who
shares political responsibility for the criminal wars in Afghanistan and
Iraq, condemning “the Biden administration’s panicky, slapdash,
humiliating exit from Afghanistan—dependent on the kindness of the
Taliban and commemorated by indelible images of chaos and betrayal.”
super-heated rhetoric reflects the savage divisions and recriminations
within the US ruling establishment and its military and intelligence
apparatus over the Afghanistan debacle.
While shot through with
contradictions, evasions and historical falsifications, Biden’s speech
was directed at least in part at appealing to the broad anti-war
sentiments within the American population.
The U.S. war in Afghanistan began not twenty, but more than forty
years ago. Except for the towering arrogance of the leaders in
Washington, it could have ended in November 2001 when the Taliban
offered to surrender.
The earlier phase, which lasted from 1979 to 1989, is excluded from
nearly any mention by the mainstream capitalist media today. But without
understanding what happened back then, it is impossible to comprehend
the current catastrophic situation for the people of that country.
In 1978, the Saur (April) Revolution, a seeming bolt from the blue,
shocked the country and the world. Led by the Marxist People’s
Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), it overthrew a reactionary
government and began to implement a program of radical reforms in one of
the poorest and most underdeveloped countries on Earth.
More than 90% of the population was illiterate. Eighty-five percent
of the land was owned by big landlords and the masses of peasants lived
under semi-feudal conditions of debt slavery. Women had no rights in
most of the country, and much of the population went through life
without ever seeing a doctor or a school. Malnutrition and disease were
widespread. One of every three children died in infancy.
The new revolutionary government brought schools and clinics to areas
where they had never existed. It declared the cancellation of the debts
of small tenant farmers to the landlords. The PDPA government called
for equal rights for women and an end to child marriage.
Within a short time, there was armed resistance by the
counter-revolutionary opposition calling themselves the Mujahadeen, who
claimed to fight in the name of Islam, but really were seeking to roll
back the reforms in the interests of the landlord class.
The PDPA was based in the small urban working class and youth, the
middle class and the military. It was the pro-PDPA military that
overthrew the old government when the latter rounded up the PDPA leaders
in late April 1978. While the revolutionary government’s land reform
policies were aimed at winning over oppressed peasants, it had little
base in the vast countryside where about 80% of the population lived.
CIA wreaks havoc
Afghanistan has a huge border with Pakistan and the reactionary
opposition had the support of Pakistan’s right-wing military and
intelligence services. By early 1979, a serious counterrevolutionary war
Then came what would turn out to be the biggest CIA operation in history.
There is a long propagated myth here that the United States
intervened in Afghanistan as a response to intervention by the Soviet
Union. But that story was exposed as the fiction it was by none other
than U.S. policy makers, though of course not until many years later.
In 1998, Zbignew Brzezinski, who was President Jimmy Carter’s
National Security Adviser in 1979, gave a boastful interview to the
French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, which read in part:
Question: The former director
of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs that the American
intelligence services began to aid the Mujahiddin in Afghanistan six
months before the Soviet intervention. Is this period, you were the
national securty advisor to President Carter. You therefore played a key
role in this affair. Is this correct?
According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahideen
began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded
Afghanistan on December 24, 1979. But the reality, closely guarded until
now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979, that
President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the
opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a
note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion
this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.
: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they
intended to fight against secret US involvement in Afghanistan , nobody
believed them. However, there was an element of truth in this. You don’t
regret any of this today?
B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trapand
you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed
the border, I wrote to President Carter, essentially: “We now have the
opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war
Q: And neither do you regret having supported Islamic fundamentalism, which has given arms and advice to future terrorists?
: What is more important in world history? The Taliban or the collapse
of the Soviet empire? Some agitated Muslims or the liberation of Central
Europe and the end of the cold war?
In his supreme arrogance, Brzezinski revealed not only that the
massive U.S. intervention starting with Carter’s secret order to send
$500 million ($1.8 billion in 2021 dollars) preceded the Soviet
intervention, but also utter disregard for the people of Afghanistan.
The U.S. war in Vietnam left more than four million dead, millions more
wounded and widespread destruction. For a top official to hope for
another such war makes clear the ruthlessness of imperialism.
Over the next decade, the CIA poured billions more into arming,
training and funding the war in conjunction with its reactionary allies
from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies, individuals like Osama bin
Laden, and most importantly, Pakistan. The war left hundreds of
thousands dead and wounded, millions in exile and much of the country in
ruins. The so-called “freedom fighters” sought to destroy all the
progressive reforms and institutions created by the revolution.
In 1988-89, the Soviet Union, then in a deepening crisis, withdrew
its military while continuing to provide vital assistance to the
revolutionary government. Contrary to many expectations, the socialist
government did not fall when the Soviet troops left.
The Green Party of the United States deplores the waste of
lives and treasure involved in America’s longest overseas war. Nearly
200,000 Afghans dead, almost 2,500 U.S. servicemen and women killed,
trillions of dollars in American taxpayers’ money and twenty years of
lost opportunities for building a more equitable and just society at
home – all for nothing. Predictably, the mainstream media is having a
field day with the tragic events unfolding in Afghanistan over the past
week, but there’s one fact you’ll never, ever hear from them. The Green
Party of the United States, back in 2001, got it right: we said no to war.
twenty-year conflict should be called “The Big Lie.” One of the most
outrageous falsehoods the government and its media allies have
constantly peddled is the American government is the arch-enemy of
terrorism. Yet from 1979 to 1989, the CIA’s Cold War project Operation Cyclone armed
and funded the Mujahideen to overthrow the Afghan government and,
later, to also drive out the USSR military intervention. Many members of
the Mujahideen, a predominantly fundamentalist movement, would later
join the Taliban. The U.S. Government later provided $43 million to the
Taliban-controlled Afghanistan government as part of the "War on Drugs":
Robert Scheer wrote about
it four months before 9/11 happened. To the U.S. military, terrorism is
a good thing – as long as its targets are Washington’s perceived
Another lie is that the U.S. government has been a stalwart defender
of human rights, when in fact it has consistently violated human rights,
both by instigating a war of aggression in the first place and by its
actions throughout the occupation. We know it was a war of aggression in
the case of Afghanistan because, before the first bombs fell, the
Taliban offered to turn Osama bin Laden over to the U.S. if Washington
provided proof of his involvement in the 9/11 attacks. Although the U.S.
government provided this proof to other NATO countries, it refused to
give it to the Taliban. Even after the bombing started, the Taliban
offered to turn over Bin Laden to a third country for trial. President
rejected this offer, and so what should have been the prosecution of a
criminal matter led to war, occupation and innumerable deaths, including
civilians slaughtered at weddings and other public celebrations.
One of the worst atrocities of all was the horrendous bombing by
a U.S. gunship, in the northern Afghanistan city of Kunduz in October
2015, of a trauma center run by the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières, also
known as Doctors Without Borders. In this unprovoked attack – a war
crime – a total of 42 doctors, staff members and patients were killed
and dozens injured. The U.S. military, after initially claiming the
Afghan army had requested the airstrike, suddenly changed its story,
falsely blaming the attack on multiple leadership and communications
failures, even though the hospital gave the coalition its location only a
few days before.
One of the main pretexts for the war that the government has
constantly cited is that the U.S. presence was necessary to defend
Afghan civilians, particularly women and girls, from the misogynistic,
tyrannical Taliban. Putting aside the fact that it was for Afghanistan’s
rich resources (as even the mainstream media sometimes admits),
rather than to “save” Afghan women, that the U.S. government chose to
invade in the first place, there’s no question that for some women,
particularly those in cities, life under U.S. occupation was somewhat
safer than it had been under Taliban rule. However, gains for women
during the last twenty years were consistently and wildly exaggerated.
In 2011 – the midpoint of the occupation – a poll of
over 200 human rights workers revealed Afghanistan was still the worst
place in the world to be a woman. At that time (as cited in the same
article), 87 percent of Afghan women were still illiterate, and more
women faced the risk of violence than anywhere else on earth, including
threats for going to work or school, rape, domestic violence, “honor”
killings and child marriages at a rate of 70 to 80 percent of the young
Throughout the war, the U.S. military consistently turned a blind eye
to Afghan officials and warlords who sexually abused civilians,
including underage girls and boys – and the military punished those
in its ranks who acted or spoke out against the abusers. Nor was the
U.S.-supported Afghan government of any help. In a number of cases, when
young women, citing a 2009 law outlawing violence against women,
brought charges against Afghan men who raped them, the victims were
forced by mediators to marry their rapists.
Finally, a direct result of the twenty-year war and the overall “War
on Terror” that the conflict sparked has been an unprecedented erosion
of civil liberties here at home. Before 9/11, most Americans would never
have dreamt they would ever be subject to 24/7 surveillance by their
government, something that previously only internal spying agencies of
overtly autocratic governments, like the East German Stasi, had been
accused of doing. But after the revelations of Edward Snowden – who said the
NSA “are intent on making every conversation and every form of behavior
in the world known to them” – we discovered such surveillance was not
only possible, but an accomplished fact.
The war was a bipartisan project. Only one person of either
mainstream party in both houses of Congress, U.S. House Representative
Barbara Lee, voted against the original authorization for war. (Joe
Biden and Bernie Sanders both voted with
the rest, in favor of it.) If Green Party politicians had been in
Congress at that time, there would have been an entire party standing
for peace and against the invasion, rather than just a single dissenting
figure within one of the two War Parties.
“We are the only party that advocates non-violence as a core value, in our Ten Key Values,
enumerated in our platform,” said Edwin DeJesus, Green Party candidate
for New York City Council. “This means that the Greens are fully
committed to finding creative ways to resolve international conflicts
peacefully. It also means Green politicians, unlike both Republicans and
Democrats, are not in the pockets of military contractors like Raytheon
– the only real winners of this war – because we refuse all campaign
contributions from them, or from corporate donors of any kind.”
The most frightening aspect of the events of the past week is the
U.S. government has learned nothing from this disaster. In recent years,
the Pentagon has been clearly planning to
go to war eventually with Iran, with North Korea, or even with China or
Russia (or both together) – this, despite the fact that the most
clear-cut victory the American military achieved in the last hundred
years was at the end of World War II. After the defeat in Afghanistan,
such irresponsible talk will surely not only continue, but will likely
increase in volume and aggression. In such an insane political culture, a
party that consistently advocates for peace – for sanity and humanity –
is absolutely necessary.
Most importantly, the American people need a party that will put
human needs, not corporate profits, first. Over the past twenty years,
while the American political establishment has obsessed over external
foes like the Taliban, the greatest threat to human life and
civilization, climate change,
has been allowed to proceed unchecked. Our survival depends on
disrupting the rule of institutions like the Democratic and Republican
parties, which have proven time and again they can’t be trusted. It
depends, above all, on a total paradigm shift that values the health and
integrity of communities over the will of wealthy and powerful
America illegally invaded Iraq in 2003, occupied and destabilized and
flattened it, and then never left. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have
been killed, and millions more have been made refugees or internally
displaced persons. The consequences for the population are almost beyond
comprehension: After decades of conflict, more than 2 million Iraqis
are disabled, while the PTSD is inescapable. Entire generations have
been left unable to look at the sky the same way.
The Iraqi people must be added, alongside the American dead and their
families, to the register of 9/11’s victims, after that day’s events
were used as a justification for war. The atrocities at Abu Ghraib
prison, the bombardment of Fallujah, the attack on civilians in
Baghdad’s Nisour Square by the military contractor Blackwater — these
events are a small part of a long list, made exceptional not by the
character of their violence but by their outsize impact on the
collective psychology. America trained, funded, and commanded Iraqi
Interior Ministry special police forces to run a network of torture
centers across the nation. Parts of Iraq are now rubble, a ruin-monument
to western folly. One hundred military orders were signed into law by
the U.S.-backed Coalition Provisional Authority to privatize state-run
companies and amend the tax laws to facilitate foreign ownership.
engagements in Iraq can best be described as a multidecade colonization
— a complete alteration of the country across military, sociopolitical,
and economic domains in campaigns that stretch back at least to 1991.
Since then, America has used every coercive measure in its arsenal:
sanctions, de-Baathification, aerial bombardment, targeted
assassinations, and the destruction of civilian infrastructure. And now,
after six presidents at war with the country, the current
administration has promised
to “withdraw” U.S. forces by the end of the year — which is to say,
trade green fatigues for gray, leaving intact a military-intelligence
apparatus composed of scores of contractors and consultants that will
prop up chosen chieftains and bureaucrats.
Iraq’s people are among the many targeted by the global war on terror. As Americans sat enraptured by the disasters unfoldingin Afghanistanthis August,
I was left with a pit in my stomach. The attention being paid to
Afghanistan, after years of neglect, clearly had more to do with the
spectacle of American defeat than any genuine care for the lives of the
Afghan people. Anniversaries like 9/11 are often treated as
opportunities to navel-gaze about American grief, but the Arab and
Muslim victims of the war on terror are not interested in what the U.S.
has “learned” from its catastrophes or in an American redemption arc. In
the case of Iraq, there is little new to be said that has not already
been said by Iraqis: All America can do is honor its obligations to
truth, justice, and reparation so that Iraqis can live full lives.
He writes . . . he just doesn't appear to think.
"Check please"? Is that what this is? Ask for the check so you can pay and leave?
Pay off your guilt and go?
Reparations made be needed (I would argue that they are). But how do you make them today?
You fork over money to the corrupt government that's stolen millions each year?
How do you currently get it to the people?
are the ones who suffered. Nouri al-Maliki has been a two time prime
minister since the start of the war. He managed to steal enough so that
his whole family is set up. He went from a struggling income to a
prime minister whose son had 'pads' all over the world and numerous
sports cars. Meanwhile, the Iraqi people lived in poverty.
THIRD? I thought this past weekend was going to be a full edition. Ava and I wrote our piece ("Media: Connections or the lack of them")
on Sunday. We waited until last night to post it. It was the only
completed piece. THIRD's really become this beast that needs to be
fed. I'm just not in the mood, on Wednesday or Thursday, to get
together and try to do an editorial or this or that feature. That's on
me and I take the blame for it. But Ava and I are tasked with the media
coverage and we did what we were supposed to. Don't know what else to