Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Steven Spielberg set to make another bad film

This is the sort of nonsense that goes a long way towards explaining why Steven Spielberg has not made a film that really matters since E.T.

Spielberg is fast-tracking a new film wherein the WaPo appears as a news organization, rather than a CIA mouthpiece.



History via Mr. Spielberg!!!!!!

Am I excited!!!!

No.

Not really.

I could care less.

Nor am I thrilled that Meryl Streep will be playing Katherine Graham.

It really is something, the efforts Mr. Spielberg will go to in order to be an apologist for the C.I.A.

I think this film will crash and burn the way Warren Beatty's recent film did.

Mr. Beatty tried for years to get his Howard Hughes dream turned into a film.

But when he did so, it was the 21st century.

Background, in the original script for BONNIE & CLYDE, Clyde was portrayed as gay.

That was in the 1960s.

Mr. Beatty had that taken out.

In the 21st century, he thought he could make a fantasy about Howard Hughes.

Even after THE AVIATOR was criticized for pimping the lie of Katharine Hepburn (bi-sexual) and Howard Hughes having an affair.

Mr. Hughes was having an affair with, among others, Cary Grant and Lew Ayers during that time period.

The film Mr. Beatty made was about forty to fifty years out of touch.

Katharine Graham's ties to the C.I.A. will not be explored by Mr. Spielberg, nor the ties Ben Bradlee had.

It will be a Little Golden Book from Mr. Spielberg at a time when people just are not in the mood for this nonsense.


This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 
Tuesday, May 23, 2017.   Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, US troops continue to deploy to Iraq and much more.


KCEN reports, "Around 250 Fort Hood soldiers from III Corps are set to deploy to Iraq and Kuwait in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.  As part of the regular rotation of forces, III Corps will replace the 18th Airborne Corps in their mission against ISIS. The 18th Airborne is based at Fort Bragg, N.C."

Why?

Every day that should be the question: Why?

The US government kicked off this ongoing war in 2003.

It's 2017.

Why?


Why are US troops still going into Iraq?

Why does the Iraq War continue?

Why?

We need to think and we need to ask questions.

And we need to hold people accountable.


Alleged civilian casualties in Iraq & Syria up under Trump. Data here: . New analysis here:









Are we supposed to cheer Colin?

If so, why?

He was perfectly happy taking part in the death of civilians during Barack's presidency, remember?


Now he's offended because the number of civilians killed -- "alleged civilians," he tells us -- has increased?

It was a crime to begin with.


Whether it's increased, decreased or stayed the same, it was a crime to begin with.

Colin Kahl is War Trash and people need to think.


Human Rights Watch notes:

As civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria rise in the battle against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), the Australian government should take all feasible measures to protect civilians during military operations and improve the transparency of its operations, Human Rights Watch said today. The Australian government is an active member of the United States-led coalition against ISIS and has dropped thousands of munitions on targets in Iraq and Syria since August 2014, but has been one of the least transparent members of the coalition.
On May 8, 2017, the Australia Defence Force (ADF) began releasing fortnightly reports on strikes taken by the Australian air force as a member of the US-led coalition, but more detailed reporting is urgently needed.

“The rise in reports of civilian casualties raises questions about the precautions and procedures in place to protect civilians,” said Elaine Pearson, Australia director at Human Rights Watch. “New fortnightly Australian defense reports are a welcome step, but the government needs to provide more detailed information to ensure greater transparency and accountability for its military operations in Iraq and Syria.”



It's day 216 of The Mosul Slog.










The United Nations News Centre notes:


      22 May 2017 – With the liberation of Mosul imminent, the international community must maintain a dual focus on defeating the remaining Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh) forces in Iraq, and on working towards post-conflict security and reconstruction, the United Nations envoy for the country told the Security Council today.

“The days of the so-called Da'esh caliphate in Iraq are numbered” and discussions on how to rebuild the country had begun, Ján Kubiš, Head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), said in a “briefing to the Council, where he announced that UN Secretary-General António Guterres recently received the long-awaited submission of the Iraqi Forces Coalition's vision of a national settlement.

Moreover, the recent “Turkmen Forum” held in Baghdad served as an inclusive platform for the sharing of reconstruction visions.

Mr. Kubiš went on to stress that the imminent defeat of ISIL must also provide an urgent impetus to address the needs of minorities, especially their ability to return to their homes.
The return of all internally displaced persons to all liberated areas must be a top priority, as should tackling increasing incidents of kidnapping and paying sustained attention to upcoming elections in 2017 and 2018.

“National reconciliation can only succeed if it reflects the aspirations of the population, including women and youth,” he said, adding that women and youth, who make up more than half of Iraq's population, are key constituencies. With this in mind, he noted that UNAMI has convened seven separate forums across the country: in Basra, Erbil, Najaf, Diyala, Sulaymanyah, Kirkuk, and Baghdad, bringing together over 750 young participants from all Iraqi provinces.

Urging Baghdad and Erbil to leverage their joint efforts against ISIL and to address such issues as border disputes and building a “functional federation” based on partnership, Mr. Kubiš noted that senior officials in Kurdistan recently announced their intention to hold a referendum on the region's future later in 2017.
They had indicated, he continued, that their aim was to “show the world the will of the people” on the status of Kurdistan, rather than assert independence immediately.
Meanwhile, Turkey's Armed Forces maintained their relentless air attacks against PKK fighters, he said, citing Ankara's declarations that they would continue in order to deny sanctuary to the PKK. The Prime Minster had deplored the attack, he added.

Noting that the overall rule of law remained weak, Mr. Kubiš said kidnapping was becoming an increasing problem, recalling that the National Intelligence Cell had met on 11 May to discuss the link between terrorism and organized crime, including kidnapping. The international community must vigorously pursue accountability for crimes committed by ISIL in Iraq, he said.

Meanwhile, the issue of internally displaced persons remained critical, with some 700,000 people having fled their homes since mid-October, he noted. Hundreds of thousands of others remain in ISIL-controlled areas, suffering lack of food and water and often finding themselves caught in crossfire.


Mr. Kubiš concluded by reporting on his recent visit to Kuwait, saying he had met with officials there on the issue of missing Kuwaiti nationals and property. They had voiced concern about the lack of progress on the ground, he said, urging the Government of Iraq promptly to fulfil its obligations under that file.



In other news . . .



VP "We are not responsible for what he did" criticising ’s one-man rule







What measures are in place to prevent a repeat of Nouri al-Maliki?


None.


The persecution of Sunnis continues.


There is no national reconciliation.



The following community sites -- plus Cindy Sheehan, NPR, PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated:














  • Friday, May 19, 2017

    Russiaphobia

    Margaret Kimberley writes for BLACK AGENDA REPORT:


    1. Minarets? On a church? A Russian church so not really a church. More like a Muslim church. is bringing out the stupid at .
    2. Margaret Kimberley Retweeted Glenn Thrush
      "Cyrillic autocracy?" I guess there is never enough for . .
      Margaret Kimberley added,
    3. Margaret Kimberley Retweeted Ilya Lozovsky
      Margaret Kimberley added,
    4. . not the only publication using St. Basil's cathedral to represent Russian government. . did same thing.
    5.   Retweeted
      . accuse -n president Assad of conducting secret executions, meanwhile the US and SaudiArabia conduct public executions.
    6.   Retweeted
      You hear almost nothing from the Democratic Party about the economic crisis facing average and poor Americans. Just Russia, Russia, Russia.



    Russiaphobia.

    It continues.

    And it is so true, the Democrats do nothing to reach out to average Americans.

    Where are economic proposals?

    Instead, it is Russia did it!

    They sound like spoiled brats.

    Remember that the last special prosecutor resulted in helping the party in power (Dems).  The same could happen this go round.

    They are playing with fie.


    This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:

     
    Friday, May 19, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, AP doesn't think the refugee crisis created by the slog is important for US news consumers (differs on the international scene), and much more.



    forces have stormed the last two blocks in 17 Tamouz district NW , just a little more & it will be completely liberated.





    Just a little more?


    It's day 212 of The Mosul Slog.


    Replying to 
    Latest map update for west Operations after liberated Al-Qahira (Cairo) village south Qayrawan.






    Meanwhile, does AP have a prankster in its midst?

    That would explain this headline "Airstrikes fuel Mosul gains as Iraq pushes for quick victory."

    It could also be explained by an urge to cover for empire and that motive would also explain the need to pretend that The Mosul Slog has two parts.

    It doesn't.


    There was not an operation to liberate the eastern half and an operation to liberate the western half.

    That's a rewriting of history, revisionary tactics.

    The Mosul Slog was not supposed to be a slog, it was supposed to be a quick operation, one expected to last only a few weeks.

    That has not been the case.

    Instead, AP splits it up into two because 100 days looks a lot more successful than the 212 days the operation has been going on.


    How else do they make it look better?


    Burying this:

      
    Some 500,000 people have fled western Mosul since February and the United Nations warned another 200,000 may be forced to flee as the operation continues.
    U.N. humanitarian coordinator Lise Grande called the numbers "overwhelming."

    17 paragraphs into the article before you find the above.

    The refugee numbers are "overwhelming."

    And that's not the lede?

    How does that happen?

    AP should try to explain that.

    Overseas, AP emphasizes the refugee crises and even makes it the headline.  But for US audiences, it's a different story.





    's Releases VDO Showing Destroying 3 Humvees By Guided Missiles Near Tal Banat SW Of .






    In a blow to the CIA, Nawshirwan Mustafa has died.  Idris Okuducu (ANADOLU AGENCY) reports he was 73-years-old and that he passed away "following a long illness."  Left out of the announcement is that the CIA provided him with seed money for Goran -- a political party that they hoped would make the Kurds easier to control.

    Goran had increased in popularity in the last elections; however, this was in part due to the PUK falling out of favor as a result of the deceptions regarding Jalal Talabani's health.

    Whether Goran can **retain** its lead over the PUK without Mustafa will be interesting to see.

    (The Barzani's KDP remains the dominant political party in the Kurdistan Region.)



    In the US, whistle-blower Chelsea Manning has been released.


    Monday April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released  military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7, 2010, the US military announced that they had arrested  Chelsea Manning (then known as Bradley Manning) and she stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Leila Fadel (WASHINGTON POST) reported in August 2010 that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." In March, 2011, David S. Cloud (LOS ANGELES TIMES) reported that the military has added 22 additional counts to the charges including one that could be seen as "aiding the enemy" which could result in the death penalty if convicted. The Article 32 hearing took place in December. At the start of this year, there was an Article 32 hearing and, February 3rd, it was announced that the government would be moving forward with a court-martial. Chelsea had yet to enter a plea. The court-martial was supposed to begin before the November 2012 election but it was postponed until after the election so that Barack wouldn't have to run on a record of his actual actions.  INDEPENDENT.IE added, "A court martial is set to be held in June at Ford Meade in Maryland, with supporters treating him as a hero, but opponents describing him as a traitor."  February 28, 2013, Chelsea admitted he leaked to WikiLeaks.  And why.


    Chelsea:   In attempting to conduct counter-terrorism or CT and counter-insurgency COIN operations we became obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists and not being suspicious of and avoiding cooperation with our Host Nation partners, and ignoring the second and third order effects of accomplishing short-term goals and missions. I believe that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information contained within the CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A tables this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as [missed word] as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.
    I also believed the detailed analysis of the data over a long period of time by different sectors of society might cause society to reevaluate the need or even the desire to even to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore the complex dynamics of the people living in the effected environment everyday.




    For truth telling, Chelsea was punished by the man who fears truth: Barack Obama.  A fraud, a fake, a 'brand,' anything but genuine, Barack is all marketing, all facade and, for that reason, must attack each and every whistle-blower.  David Delmar (Digital Journal) points out, "President Obama, while ostensibly a liberal advocate of transparency and openness in government, and of the 'courage' and 'patriotism' of whistleblowers who engage in conscientious leaks of classified information, is in reality something very different: a vindictive opponent of the free press willing to target journalists for doing their job and exposing government secrets to the public."


     Tuesday, July 30, 2013, Chelsea was convicted of all but two counts by Colonel Denise Lind, the military judge in his court-martial.



    She deserves praise for what she did.  We do not, however, need to lie about what she did.


    Hidden history of the Iraq war is Chelsea Manning leaks were totally decisive in securing a US withdrawal. Saved countless lives.





    That's not hidden history, that's made up inventions.

    It's also insulting as it implies the favorite western narrative of all time: The natives were too stupid on their own and needed a White savior to rescue them.

    The occupation of Iraq was authorized under a UN mandate which was yearly.

    Each year, the prime minister of Iraq would renew it.

    Nouri al-Maliki came under tremendous pressure near the end of 2006 for renewing it -- pressure within Iraq.  He promised that he would put it before Parliament the next year.

    In 2007, he renewed it and did not go before Parliament.

    The Status of Forces Agreement was a three year contract for that reason -- he did not want to take the hit each year as the supporter of occupation in his own country.








    Chelsea Manning did a heroic thing and the video of the attack on the REUTERS reporters probably woke a few up in the US.

    However, this was not news to the Iraqi people.

    They saw the foreign military do that (and far worse) in their country on a regular basis.  There was also the issue of Blackwater and other mercenary groups.

    Chelsea did a great job and her actions were heroic.

    But let's not pretend that the Iraqi people needed Chelsea -- seven years into the Iraq War -- to tell them how they were being treated on a daily basis.  It's insulting.


    Also in the US, Carlo Munoz (WASHINGTON TIMES) reports on statements made to a think tank:

    The U.S. may need to keep as many as 20,000 troops and other military personnel in Iraq, even after the Islamic State is driven out, to stabilize the country, the former head of the Pentagon’s policy shop said Thursday.
    A postwar force of between 4,000 to 8,000 American troops “is probably sufficient” to help local security forces ensure security in Iraq as ISIS faces defeat in its final stronghold in Mosul, Eric Edelman, the Pentagon’s top policy official during the George W. Bush administration, said in an interview.
    The U.S. forces would likely be deployed as advisers, not combat troops, to support Iraq’s police and military forces, he said.


    We'll note this from South Central Michigan Greens:



    South Central Michigan Greens
    =============================
    Calhoun, Hillsdale, and Jackson Counties Local
    People and planet over profit.


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  May 12, 2017
    UPDATED:  May 16, 2017


    For more information:
    --------------------
    John Anthony La Pietra, Calhoun County Contact/SCMiGreens
    269-781-9478


    South Central Michigan Greens to Meet
    at Albion Biggby's 5-7pm May 20
    ===============================


    The South Central Michigan Greens will hold their monthly meeting on
    Saturday, May 20 from 5 to 7pm in the meeting room at the Albion
    Biggby's Coffee, 217 East Michigan Avenue.

    The meeting had been scheduled for 2:30 to 4:30pm in the Elsie Munro
    Room at the Albion District Library, but the plans changed after
    water-main work on Superior Street was announced to begin on Wednesday.

    The Green Party of Michigan local group was formed earlier this year. It
    covers Calhoun, Jackson, and Hillsdale Counties, and has been meeting in
    various places to reach out to the communities.

    Planning an ongoing schedule of dates and places for future meetings
    will be on the agenda.  So will discussion of issues and activities to
    get involved in, materials on how to campaign for office and how to go
    door-to-door to find new members and issues, and information about the
    state party's opposition to a misleading ballot proposal.

    For more information, please visit the South Central Michigan Greens
    Facebook page -- or contact Calhoun County organizer John Anthony La
    Pietra (269-781-9478; jalp5dai@att.net).

    NOTE:  East Michigan Avenue is north of the downtown construction zone;
    Biggby's is a block and a half east of Superior Street, on the north
    side of Michigan.  Those entering town from the EAST can Exit 124 off
    I-94 onto Michigan Avenue and go west until they reach the coffeeshop.
    Those entering town from the WEST can take Exit 121 south into town on
    Eaton, turn left at the second stoplight to continue on Business Loop
    94, turning right and then left again at the next stoplight which is
    Michigan Avenue.


    #  #  #


    The Four Pillars of GPMI:
        Grassroots Democracy
        Social Justice
        Ecological Wisdom
        Non-Violence
    For our Ten Key Values, add:
        Community-Based Economics
        Decentralization
        Feminism
        Future Focus/Sustainability
        Personal and Global Responsibility
        Respect for Diversity