the gay gaston and electronic intifada

lori e-mailed to say i hadn't noted 'the gay gaston' in a bit.  sorry for that.

and let me pair those pictures with this episode of 'eletronic intifada.'

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

Thursday, March 10, 2022.  The Iraqi people continue to suffer because of the actions of the US government, Julian Assange remains persecuted by Joe Biden and the  US corporate media continues to push for war with Russia.

US President Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian Assange, the publisher of WIKILEAKS.  For the 'crime' of informing the people, Joe is attacking Julian and attacking a free press all the while strutting -- as best as a feeble old and lazy man his age can -- around and hectoring other governments about freedoms and the neceesity for freedoms.  

Because the corporate media is useless, no one bothers to put that reality to him and get a response.  

But that's how it works and that's why the children's  parable (later a children's story by Hans Christian Andersen)  The Emperor Has No Clothes  existed in the  first place.  Two weeks ago, Chris Hedges (SCHEER POST) observed:

We know what Julian did. We know the great public service he provided. We know that he and WikiLeaks, aided by courageous figures such as Chelsea Manning, gave us the most important journalist coup of our generation, ripping back the veil erected by the ruling political, military, and financial elites to expose their mendacity, their corruption, and their crimes. We know that populations around the world, from Haiti to Tunisia, were empowered by this information to hold these elites accountable. 

But today I want us to reflect on Julian himself. For Julian, endowed with precocious skills, could easily have been someone else. He could have sold his talents to Silicon Valley, to Wall Street or to intelligence and surveillance agencies, who would have paid handsomely. He could have built a lucrative career, one where he was financially secure, perhaps wealthy. He could have obtained the possessions we are told in our consumer society we should aspire to, an opulent house, luxury cars, financial security, fine clothes, and the status that comes with material acquisition and advancement within the structures of power. No worries. No controversy. No persecution.

But to follow this route, a route many have followed, would have required Julian to surrender his integrity and dignity. It would have required him to forsake justice and freedom to suppress and control the aspirations of the vast majority locked outside the golden gates of privilege and power. It would have placed him within the interlocking systems designed by the ruling elites to concentrate privilege, wealth, and power among themselves. It would have required Julian to become a cog in the megamachine, to play a part in constructing our corporate totalitarianism. 

Julian chose not to do this.  He turned away from the siren call of success, at least as it is defined by the powerful. He set out on the difficult road taken by all who fight the oppressor on behalf of the oppressed. 

A life of meaning is a life of confrontation. When you resist radical evil you jeopardize your career, your reputation, your financial solvency and at times your life. It is to be a lifelong heretic. When you stand with the oppressed, the crucified of the earth, then you are treated like the oppressed. You too are crucified. And that is what is happening to Julian. 

Those that care the most, are targeted and killed by those who care the least. 

Miruna Soare Tweets:

#JulianAssange told #thetruth.  #corrupted government officials and private #warmachine didnt like their dirty secrets exposed. So, they have been trying to silence #Julian for good. Dont let that happen! #KeepFighting to #freeAssange 🎗🎗🎗🎗

Evan Jones (DISSIDENT VOICE) notes:

Julian Assange is being tortured to death in a British prison. How can this be?

Assange has an army of supporters across the globe. Their support has had little to no tangible impact on Assange’s fate. How can this be?

Among the rest (the majority) are the indifferent and those who are hostile to various degrees, precisely because the US and the UK have captured him and put him on trial. Assange has to be guilty of something or other. After all, these countries are pivotal leaders of the “free world”!


The UK government is assisting the US government in the torture and persecution of Julian Assange.  At THE INTERCEPT, Guillaume Long notes:

The U.K. High Court ruling that Julian Assange should be extradited to face trial in the United States — a decision that Amnesty International has called a “travesty of justice” — came as no surprise to me. It’s what the U.K. government always wanted. I know because the British deputy minister of foreign affairs told me.

Many pundits and politicians talk of the extradition proceedings against Assange as if they were an unforeseen legal outcome that came about as Assange’s situation unfolded. This is not true. My experience as the foreign minister of Ecuador — the South American country that granted Assange asylum — left me in no doubt that the U.K. wanted Assange’s extradition to the United States from the very beginning.

One encounter I had with Alan Duncan, the former British minister of state for Europe and the Americas, in October 2016 really let the cat out of the bag. At our meeting in the Dominican Republic, Duncan went on extensively about how loathsome Assange was. While I didn’t anticipate Duncan to profess his love for our asylee, I had expected a more professional diplomatic exchange. But the most important moment of the meeting was when I reiterated that Ecuador’s primary fear was the transfer of Assange to the United States, at which point Duncan turned to his staff and exclaimed something very close to, “Yes, well, good idea. How would we go about extraditing him to the Americans?”

His advisers squirmed in embarrassment. They had spent the last four years trying to reassure Ecuador that this was not what the U.K. was after. I responded that this was news indeed. I then wondered whether Duncan left the meeting feeling he had made a mess of it.

When not persecuting Julian, Joe Biden can be found trying to destroy the Russian people.  Bryce Green (SCHEER POST) notes:

Many governments and media figures are rightly condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine as an act of aggression and a violation of international law. But in his first speech about the invasion, on February 24, US President Joe Biden also called the invasion “unprovoked.”

It’s a word that has been echoed repeatedly across the media ecosystem. “Putin’s forces entered Ukraine’s second-largest city on the fourth day of the unprovoked invasion,” Axios (2/27/22) reported; “Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine entered its second week Friday,” said CNBC (3/4/22). Vox (3/1/22) wrote of “Putin’s decision to launch an unprovoked and unnecessary war with the second-largest country in Europe.”

The “unprovoked” descriptor obscures a long history of provocative behavior from the United States in regards to Ukraine. This history is important to understanding how we got here, and what degree of responsibility the US bears for the current attack on Ukraine.

At BLACK AGENDA REPORT, Ajamu Baraka observes:

U.S. determination to be the world's hegemon created the crisis in Ukraine. The impacts are felt by working people in this country, who must look outside for solidarity and leadership as they struggle in a political system that offers them no representation. 

“As a radical standpoint, perspective, position, the politics of location necessarily calls those of us who would participate in the formation of counter-hegemonic cultural practice to identify the spaces where we begin the process of re-vision” (bell hooks)

+The constant morality play that the U.S. public has been exposed to has resulted in mass support for war. Of course, ordinary people will pay the price, the ruling class will get over once again and Biden achieved his bipartisanship the old fashion way - through war!

+The U.S. corporate media frames the Ukraine conflict as a premeditated, unprovoked attack by the maniacal government of the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. But from the very beginning of Biden’s administration, it seemed like his agenda was to create the conditions in Ukraine that would evoke a conflict with the Russian Federation. It has turned out to be one of the few objectives of his administration that was met.

+The claims by commentators in the U.S. that war crimes and crimes against humanity that are being committed by the Russian state perfectly reflect the psychopathology of white supremacy, a narcissistic cognitive disorder that renders the afflicted with an inability to see objective reality in the same way as others.

+It is not just gas prices going up. These bumbling incompetents thought they could impose sanctions on a country fully integrated into the world capitalist economy without it hurting consumers in the U.S.- will now have to explain why food prices will go up.

+It appears that along with Russia, consumers in the U.S. will feel the effects of economic sanctions with higher prices and austerity while U.S. energy companies experience windfall profits. Perhaps with those profits that will be realized by the energy companies and the military/industrial complex they might have enough tax money to provide a little relief for workers through Build Back Better legislation. Oh, but my bad! The biggest corporations do not pay taxes in the U.S.

As Joe Biden and other blood thirsty trash try to whipe up anti-Russian sentiment, no one's supposed to note that the Russian people are people.  Both Joe and corrupt Hillary Clinton have called for the Russian people to be grought to their knees.  Both Joe and Hillary supported the Iraq War.  It would be fair for the Iraqi people to call for Joe and Hillary to be brought to their knees.  But that's not how it works, the corporate press just props up the crooks like Joe and Hillary who, like other useless leaders, will retire to comfy lives and never be confronted for all the people who are dead as a result of their actions.  Margaret Kimberley (BAR) points out:

Anyone who speaks out against imperialism, capitalism, or racism with concrete examples of the terrible harm they do, can expect to be charged with the dreaded term “whataboutism.” Like clockwork, the act of revealing American crimes will result in an accusation that is used to silence dissent.

When war propaganda prevails regarding Ukraine or any other place where the hegemon is doing its dirty work, it is reasonable to ask probing questions. Why are the deaths of 14,000 people killed by Ukraine's civil war swept under the rug? Why is it forbidden to ask about the U.S. destruction of Libya? But once having asked a good question, one will be told that raising the topic is proof of the whataboutism sin.

The word whataboutism is in the dictionary and is defined as, “the act or practice of responding to an accusation of wrongdoing by claiming that an offense committed by another is similar or worse.” That meaning is accurate and also completely defensible.

The charge is meant to censor the speaker, excuse U.S. actions, and defend its human rights violations. The denials and apologies are exactly why whataboutism should be defended. It is terrible when lies and crimes are not countered with verifiable information exposing them.

The term has gained popularity in part because there is so much hypocrisy to point out and there are so many adherents to American exceptionalism who defend what they should condemn. When the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it would begin investigating “the Situation in Ukraine” corporate media and their political partners gloated and pointed fingers at Russia. They didn’t point out that the U.S., like Russia, is not a signatory of the Treaty of Rome which brought the ICC into existence. Not only is the U.S. not a member state, but in 2002 Congress passed the American Service Members Protection Act , popularly known as the Hague Invasion Act. It gives the U.S. the right to extract any American held at the court in the Hague. The removal part isn’t even necessary because the act prohibits the extradition of Americans to the ICC.

The chest thumping about the investigation into Ukraine should surely be followed by a discussion of U.S. hostility to the ICC. It is a clear example of when and how whataboutism should be practiced. Not mentioning the U.S. relationship or rather lack of relationship with the ICC would be an indication of agreement with exceptionalist doctrine.

If Vladimir Putin is described as a war criminal, thug, dictator, and a modern day Hitler, it is appropriate and indeed necessary to ask about American presidents. For brevity’s sake consider only those American presidents who served since 2001. U.S. invasions and interventions in western Asia, North Africa, central Asia and the Horn of Africa have displaced more than 37 million people since the “war on terror” began. Why shouldn’t George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden be called war criminals too? Silence in the face of their criminality gives license and approval to U.S. aggressions.

American exceptionalism is an illness which infects most of the population of this country. Unfortunately most people need little prompting to defend their nation’s misdeeds. George W. Bush is now thought of as a kindly old man who paints pictures of puppies. There is little inclination to acknowledge the one million dead from the Iraq invasion. Doing so would create great discomfort.

Iraq?  It's March 10th.  Many months ago, on October 10th, Iraq held elections.  And all this time later, there is still no prime minister or president.  A vie month political stalemate continues.   And there's no end in sight.  There's also no real plan since the Constitution's been kicked aside.  Dana Taib Menmy (THE NEW ARAB) explains:

Legal experts and politicians say Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court has breached the country’s constitution in a decision on 1 March to rule against parliament's decision to accept more nominations for the long-delayed presidency after a 30-day constitutional period expired in early February.

However, the court, Iraq’s highest judicial authority, has decided that the Iraqi parliament can make another decision with an overall majority vote of its members to reopen nominations for the presidency.

According to the second provision of Article 72 of the Iraqi constitution of 2005, the parliament must elect the president within a maximum period of 30 days from their first session after the election. The parliament held this session on 9 January and the period for electing the president expired on 8 February.

“One duty of Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court is preventing breaches towards the constitution, but unfortunately the court itself has side-stepped the constitution in its recent decision,” Latif Sheikh Mustafa, a constitutional law expert and former Iraqi MP told The New Arab in a phone call.

"The 30 day period outlined in the second provision of Article 72 is not subject to extension in any way, thus all measures that have been taken after that era are contrary to the constitution. The court should not have overridden its duties and breached the constitution to find legal exits to appease political sides.” 

It's a disaster and it's a US-created disaster.  The Iraqi people suffer as a result.  

AFP reports:

Protests erupted Wednesday in Iraq’s impoverished south over a rise in food prices that officials attributed to the conflict in Ukraine.

For about a week, the price of cooking oils and flour have skyrocketed in local markets as government officials have sought to address growing anger with various statements and measures.

More than 500 protesters gathered in a central square in the southern city of Nasiriyah -- a flashpoint of anti-corruption protests that gripped the country in 2019.

“The rise in prices is strangling us, whether it is bread or other food products,” retired teacher Hassan Kazem said. “We can barely make ends meet.”

We'll wind down with these observations from Debra Sweet (World Can't Wait):

This war is dangerous for humanity and the planet! We shouldn't support either "side."

It's no exaggeration to say that the showdown between Russia and the U.S./NATO bloc has profound dangers for the people of Ukraine. Millions are already facing death and displacement from the immediate incursion of the Russian military. Russia doesn't want NATO at its borders in its mission to control Eastern Europe.

Many hundreds of millions more are endangered by the U.S. missile launchers recently installed in Poland and Romania, on the border of Russia. These are MK 41's, the same weapon the U.S. used thousands of times on people of Iraq, Syria and Yugoslavia. The U.S. wants to encircle Russia with NATO countries in its mission to maintain imperialist dominance.

Claiming the "high ground" by imposing sanctions, as the U.S. is doing, is not done to avoid war. It's aggression, part of making war, with potential devastating consequences, as we saw in years of deadly sanctions on Iraq, when an estimated 500,000 children died of hunger and lack of medical care.

The following sites updated:



the cleaning lady

sorry, we did a roundtable and i was too tired to blog last night. 'the cleaning lady.' best new show of this year. airs on fox on monday nights and season 1 is wrapping up. so last time thony performed surgery on luka, her son. she did the organ transplant. the head of the black market hospital, located in mexico, stopped by to tell her there was a problem with armen's credit card. thony is a doctor in korea. in the u.s., she is a cleaner. in that role, she saw a mafia hit. to save her own life, she offered to clean up the crime scene and is now doing that for arman.

arman and his wife are having problems and wanting to leave the mob. she was no longer jealous of thony but nadia does want her out of his life. garrett's suggestions of an affair have been dismissed. garrett is the f.b.i. agent on arman's tail. though she's not jealous in terms of thinking arman might be cheating, nadia has told him that after he gets thony out of mexico, he has to be done with her.

he calls thony and explains that the credit cards are frozen right now. but he has a friend who will mke a fake i.c. for her and she'll need to go into his buddy's lane at the border to get through. so she gets her i.d., luka's i.d. and 1 for the organ donor. they attempt to cross but arman's friend is about to get off his shift. thony tells the organ donor to take luka with her. she's american so they might not even look at luka's i.d. if they think she's his mother. if anything goes wrong, thony says to get luka to fiona's (that's her sister-in-law).

the organ donor and luka make it through okay. but just as the guy's about to waive thony through a woman shows up insisting his shift ended and she's relieving him. she looks at thony's i.d. and tells her she can walk away or the woman can call for her supervisor because it is a federal crime. thony walks away.

she's trapped in mexico.

she ends up calling garrett to see if he can get her out. as usual he pretends he's all powerful. as usual he gripes at her. he's the f.b.i. agent that's a creep.

she calls fi (her sister-in-law) to tell her she's stuck in meixco and her husband grabs the phone from fi and starts asking if she's sleeping with arman. thony hangs up on her husband.

garrett goes to his boss and is told there's nothing they can do. (the boss by the way, is the woman who played bonnie on 'how to get away with murder') garrett had thony rounded up a few episodes back (as a bully tactic) and now thony's on homeland security's radar so they can't get her back into the country. he goes to mexico anyway.

thony wants to go back. he tells her that she'll have to get in the trunk.

he tries to bully his way through the border but only antagonizes the border agent who tells him that he didn't ask for garrett's credentials and that he's calling his superviosr.

thony's found in the search.

the next day, garrett's boxx collects them both. but it's not good news.

thony's going into homeland security's custody. she's going to be charged with a variety of crimes. then she's going to be deported.

there's at least 1 more episode left in the season. i really do love this show.


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

 Tuesday, March s8, 2022.  The big mess that the war makers create.


Julian Assange: "Populations dont like wars...and have to be fooled into war"

Exactly which is why the US media is allowing not questionng at this time of the official narrative.

They lie, they whore, they create new 'heroes.'  Take the garbage fire that is Jennifer Griffin and the efforts by corporate media to make her someone worthy of admiration.  AP slobbers over her and her so-called 'fact' checks that she does on FOX NEWS such as here:

Griffin has pushed back on comments made by Sean Hannity, Steve Doocy, Harris Faulkner and Greg Gutfeld during appearances on their own shows. After Hannity criticized President Joe Biden on Ukraine policy, Griffin noted that every president since the fall of the Soviet Union has made mistakes there. Doocy argued on “Fox & Friends” that sanctions haven’t worked against Russia; Griffin said it was too soon to say that. When Faulkner similarly questioned whether sanctions were a sufficient step, Griffin said that sending troops to the area would have given Putin an excuse to invade. She said it was “not some wag-the-dog situation” when Gutfeld suggested on “The Five” that the Ukraine crisis had been manufactured.

This past Sunday, she took on a retired U.S. Army brigadier general, Don Bolduc, after he said that it “boggles my mind” that the United States hadn’t already gone “all in” on Ukraine. Griffin said Bolduc was a politician, not a student of history.

“To suggest that the U.S. would put indirect fire or special operations or CIA on the ground to give Putin any sort of excuse to broaden this conflict is extremely dangerous talk at a time like this,” Griffin said.

Earlier that day, she was interviewed by Trey Gowdy after an appearance by retired U.S. Army Col. Doug Macgregor, who urged the United States to stay out of Ukraine and not ship it any weapons. He said the Russians should be allowed to annex the portion of Ukraine they are most interested in.

When Griffin followed him, she said she needed to correct some of what Macgregor had said, “and I’m not sure 10 minutes is enough time because there are so many distortions.” She said that Macgregor sounded like an apologist for Putin. “That kind of projection of withdrawal and weakness is what made Putin think he could move into a sovereign country,” she said.

The AP calls that journalism and that's laughable.  nothing Griffin said was a fact.  It was opinion.  Don't call her a fact checker when she's not one.  Even though she lies and presents herself as one, she's not one.

The Joe Biden isn't the only president that . . .  SO what  Others did it too.  Are we now calling that childish excuse a fact check?

"Mommy, I stole a bar of candy but others did it too!"

"Junior, thank you for fact checking Mommy.  Doesn't change what you did and it's not really about what has me upset, but let's pretend it's a fact and give you a gold star."?

Her 'fact checks' peer into Putin soul and tells us what he will do next.

I'm sorry.  AP now believes in psychic powers.  Will they next be applauding palm reading?  She's predicting based on her opinion.  She's not fact checking.  

That AP doesn't understand the difference is appallling.

They are pimping her because she's to be the new 'hero.'  And she doesn't do fact checks.

You might agree with her opinions.  You might disagree.  That's fine.  In the AP article, she's supplying no facts.  Which would be fine if the AP and the idiot herself were not presenting her performances as fact checks.  

The world gets a little dumber every time the media decides to whore for war.  

That' statement is an opinion.  Not a fact check -- in case AP is confused.

I don't believe sanctions work.  I believe they harm people.  That's an opinion.  I can back up my opinion with examples -- such as the Clintons' lust to punish Iraq in the 90s and Mad Maddie Albright saying the deahts of all those Iraqi children was 'worth it.'  What I'm doing is presenting an argument, not a fact cehck.

You can't just use words and use them incorrectly.  They're ought be fallout from that.  AP is acting lik ethe dirtiest of cheap whores and they're doing it because it's so damn important to them to lie and promote war.  They should be ashamed of themselves.

For years now, related topic, David Swanson has e-mailed his columns to this site -- sometimes we note them, sometimes we don't.  But it's an e-mail that he sends to numoerous sites and outlets.  And this has been going on since Bully Boy Bush was in the White House.

What changed yesterday?  

YAHOO carried a banner across the top informing that this was probably SPAM and should be seen as such so click her and . . .

What changed?

Apparently, year after year, several times a week, it wasn't spam.  But his refusing to buy into the narrative on war writh Russia was too much for YAHOO.  Think about that.  Two to five times a week, every week through both terms of barack Obama's presidence, through Donald Trump's one term and nearly half-way into Joe Biden's first term and suddenly it's now spam?

Let's all pretend that they just got caught sleeping on the job and that it has nothing to do with what David's writing about.  And to be clear, his writing has been rather center-left.  He's no strayed from far from the pack as Kim Petersen notes in a response to Swanson at DISSIDENT VOICE.

Let's also pretend that the demonizing of the Russian people is acceptable when it's not, right?  That's what the media wants to do.

Joe Biden is an impotent man.  Someone who has had multiple affairs and assaulted a few women.  But that limp dick isn't rising these days.  And he's revealed as the liar who promised he could handle COVID when he couldn't.  Then the economy began collapssing.  He's expected to harm the party in the midterms.  So he needs to do something to convince the American people that he's not some demented old geezer who can't get it up.    He's too old for the job and the median age in the US is 38.1 so he really looks it now.  

So start a war and try to self-present as manly.  

He really hope it works.  And mabye it will if people will themselves into being stupid.

But reality -- facts, AP -- indicate that at another time, when he was significantly younger and in the Sente, he knew just what a misatke what he's currently doing would be.  REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT airs the clip in their conversation with Margaret Kimberly below -- yes, the remarks were caught on film.

David North (WSWS) observes:

On July 23, 1939, Leon Trotsky, exiled in Mexico, met with journalists and gave his appraisal of the international situation. Though confined within the walls of a villa in Coyoacan, Trotsky’s grasp of world politics was unequaled.

Speaking in English, Trotsky told the assembled reporters: “The capitalist system is in a state of impasse. From my side, I do not see any normal, legal, peaceful outcome of this impasse. The outcome can only be created by a tremendous historic explosion.

“Historic explosions are of two kinds—wars and revolutions. I believe we will have both.” All governments and the established mass parties were being overwhelmed by events. In a striking metaphor, Trotsky compared their actions to “child’s play on the sloping side of a volcano before an eruption.”

Trotsky’s analysis was soon vindicated. The volcano of the second imperialist world war erupted just five weeks later.

Trotsky’s description of the world on the very eve of World War II acquires extraordinary relevance in the present situation. All the governments are behaving with staggering recklessness.

But the most reckless of all the governments is that of the United States. Its leaders have climbed up the volcano’s side all the way to its rim and are dropping explosives into the red hot and bubbling core.

Joseph Kishore (WSWS) notes:

The risk of nuclear war is greater than at any time since 1945. Not even during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962—which, it should be recalled, was triggered by US President John F. Kennedy's refusal to allow Soviet missiles in the Western Hemisphere—was the danger as great as it is today.

Sixty years ago, even in the midst of a major confrontation, both the US and Soviet governments were seeking to negotiate a way out of the crisis and avoid war. Not so today: Both the US-NATO and the Putin government are acting with incredible and potentially fatal recklessness.

A number of e-mails are coming in regarding disappointment with ANTIWAR.COM.  I hear you.  Why do you think we've not included it .  "Feckless" is the word that pops up most often in the e-mails.  Well, Justin's dead.  And the rest aren't really sure what to do so they take their cqueue from laughable Patty Cockburns.  Cokcubrns?  The Arab people caught on to him long before the rest of the world.  

We've noted the rality of him and his pretenses for over a decade now.  Ireland's own Patty wants to enlist in the US empire and is using his writing to do so.  What a proud moment for that embarrassing familInclude Jeffrey St. Clair in that.  He and Alexander Cockburn started COUNTERPUNH.  I think Alex would be hitting the roof if he read the garbage COUNTERPUNCH has published in the last two weeks.  It's jingositc and it's pro-Empire and it's everything he stood against.  But, hey, he's dead and Jeffy's gotta eat.

Mickey Z asks 10 questions at INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE and here are the first five:

1. Wouldn’t a new “Cold War” simply work wonders for Corporate America and keep that upward transfer of wealth thing going strong?

2. Could it be that the Russian Army is moving so “slowly” because it has no interest in destroying Ukraine but rather in transforming it into an intact puppet state?

3. Did you know that the Ukrainian government broke the Minsk Protocol first by bombing the Donbass region?

4. Did you know there’s such a thing as the Minsk Protocol or Donbass region?

5. Are you aware that Ukraine belongs to that list of “major countries with abounding mineral resources” and now that you know, do you still think this is about “democracy” and “sovereignty”?


Iraq stands as an example of how the US government 'helps' -- Iraq is completely destroyed.  So the news media ignores it.  Unless they think they can score a point off it.  The suffering hasn't ended in Iraq, only the US interest in it.

The Greman Embassy in Baghdad Tweets:

Delighted to invite you to a virtual event on the status of women in Iraq’s security forces on today’s women's day at 5:00 pm for an engaging discussion covering a report based on over 50 interviews nationwide by CIVIC. #InternationalWomensDay2022

And RUDAW reports:

Covered in black, dozens of women on Tuesday marked International Women’s Day by gathering in the center of the Kurdish capital to raise their voices in condemnation of the recent surge in femicides the Kurdistan Region has seen.

Photos and placards with faces of murdered women were raised high in Erbil’s Shar Park as dozens of activists and women's rights NGOs rallied against the spike in women killings at the hands of men they loved or those whom they grew up with across the Kurdistan Region.

“Men, why do you do this to women? A woman is your sister, a woman is your mother a woman is your daughter. Why do you discriminate against women like that? Until when?” an old woman told Rudaw’s Dlnia Rahman while holding the photos of at least five women who were recently killed.

Kurdish women marked International Women’s Day by honoring the lives which were unfairly and brutally taken in at least 11 femicides, in Erbil, Sulaimani, Duhok, and Koya so far this year.

“Aren’t women humans? Do they not have the right to live?” another woman questioned angrily.

The rallies follow the recent murder of a 20-year-old woman, who was killed in the capital on Sunday night. The details of her death remain vague as her brother and uncle are being held by the police as the main suspects. 

Alannah Travers (RUDAW) reports:

The gender gap in the Iraqi security sector and limited number of roles available to women officers is contributing to significant gaps in civilian protection - not least among the country’s female population - a new report into the status of women in Iraq’s security forces released on Tuesday to mark International Women’s Day has found.
A nominal percentage of women in security force roles in both federal Iraq and the Kurdistan Region combined with the lack of senior positions are filled by female officers within police and military institutions, the Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) report finds, increases the protection risks for all civilians and impacts the efficacy of security and intelligence operations across the country. 

In perhaps the most concerning finding from a security perspective, CIVIC explains how the lack of female officers conducting searches of female civilians at checkpoints increases the exposure of security forces and civilians to threats such as bombings from female militants. “Without a robust cadre of female officers throughout the security sector, security forces across the country will continually face critical mission success challenges,” the report warns.
Based on over 50 interviews with officers and civilians in federal Iraq and the Kurdistan Region between July 2019 and November 2021, supported in the initial stages by Paula Garcia, the research examines the status of women's participation in Iraq's security forces, obstacles that inhibit women from joining or being promoted within the military and police, and the effects of the gender gap in women's representation within Iraq's security sector. 
To commemorate International Women’s Day, it sets out a series of recommendations for concrete actions to improve the situation including - above all - attempts to make  Iraq’s security forces better reflective of the population and meaningful inclusion of more women in positions of influence.

At THE NATIONAL, Mina notes:

Iraq will prepare a green paper to tackle climate change as reduced water flow and high temperatures take their toll on the country's livelihood.

Iraq is one of the most climate-vulnerable places on earth. Warming is expected to cut annual rainfall there, which will increase the frequency of dust storms, diminish water supplies and take a toll on agricultural activity.

This will have a knock-on effect on the health of Iraqis and on the country’s economy.

Baghdad played host to the second International Water Conference on Saturday, and on Sunday Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi announced that a committee was set up to draft a green paper for a climate change strategy.

Oh, a paper.  So impressive.  That's sarcasm.  And he doesn't even have that.  He's announced a committee.  They'll write the paper.  

Today, UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Gillian Triggs declared:

Conflict, climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic are delivering a triple blow to the rights and safety of refugee, internally displaced and stateless women and girls, many of whom were already facing deep-rooted inequalities and discrimination.

Two years into the pandemic, we continue to see increased reports of gender-based violence, from domestic violence, forced marriages, child labour, to trafficking and exploitation.

In some contexts where families are hit by conflict, disaster, insecurity and spiraling poverty, girls are being taken out of school to work, beg, wed - and in the most extreme cases, to be sold.

Worsening socio-economic conditions aggravated by the pandemic, mean displaced women and girls are among those hardest hit. Millions are dependent on precarious employment in the informal economy – earning less and yet spending more to sustain their families. They are at greater risk of poverty and exploitation.

Gender inequality is both a root cause and a consequence of forced displacement. We know from our daily interactions that women and girls living in humanitarian crises and armed conflicts are at heightened risk.

We fear existing gender inequalities will only deepen from the impacts of climate change - from inequities in access to natural resources, legal rights, livelihood opportunities, formalized safety nets, technologies and information, and more.

As we mark International Women’s Day, we urge governments, civil society and each of us and our communities to address gender inequality in all its forms and to support and promote the leadership, inclusion, and full participation of displaced women and girls.

For its part, UNHCR is committed to support local, women-led, frontline responses and to strengthen our collaboration with women-led organizations - especially those led by refugees and stateless and internally displaced women and girls.

Unless concerted efforts are made to work in partnership with forcibly displaced women and girls, displaced communities and all stakeholders to transform systems and harmful social norms that perpetuate gender inequality and discrimination, we risk leaving refugee and forcibly displaced women and girls behind.

Notes to editors:

To further support women-led responses, UNHCR has bestowed today seven 2022 NGO Innovation Awards to women-led and girl-led organizations in Malaysia, Peru, Nigeria, DRC, France and Iraq. This year’s awardees are all working to advance gender equality and leadership for displaced and conflict affected women and girls.

These awards recognize the efforts and accomplishments of NGOs who have creatively and effectively delivered essential protection and services to refugee, forcibly displaced and stateless communities. More information on the award and the award winners is available here.

But Mustafa's got a paper!  Or will have!  As soon as ta committee gets around to writing it.  No rush, right?

The following sites updated: