Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Amy Goodman gets called out -- about damn time

This is from BLACK AGENDA REPORT, Ann Garrison did the interview:

Amy Goodman, host of the Pacifica Network's flagship news hour "Democracy Now" is on a speaking tour of the country to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary. When she appeared in Berkeley, East Bay Veterans for Peace, Chapter 162 were outside the First Presbyterian Church beforehand to distribute copies of their “Open Letter to Amy Goodman and Democracy Now: We Need Better and More Diverse Coverage on Syria.” Dissident Voice had published the essay on April 15. I spoke to Daniel Borgstrom, a former U.S. Marine, who wrote it for his vets group. 

Ann Garrison: Daniel, first, when and where did you serve in the U.S. Marine Corps?

Daniel Borgström: I spent 4 years in the USMC, 1959 to 1963. That was during the Kennedy years, the Bay of Pigs invasion, and the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. I was stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC in 1961, when some 1,400 counter-revolutionaries landed on a beach in Cuba. We were told we'd be sent to back them up, so it looked like we'd be seeing action in Cuba. The atmosphere of the whole base was electric; guys had their field gear out, were wearing their hunting knives and stuff, looking very much like a regiment of Boy Scouts eagerly gearing up for a camping trip.
But we didn't go. JFK refused to send us. And I remember being terribly disappointed at the time. Now I look back and realize what a courageous president Kennedy was. He stood up to the warmongers and said NO. I believe he paid for that with his life about 3 months after I got my discharge. According to the official story, JFK was killed by an average marksman using a totally unsuitable weapon, who nevertheless preformed the most phenomenal feat of marksmanship ever known.
 [. . .]
The war mongers in Washington -- and that includes a lot of Democrats as well as Republicans -- seem determined to pick a fight with nuclear-armed Russia. Many progressives seem totally blind to the danger, and Amy Goodman of DN is among them. Syria looks like a serious danger spot where the US military forces could literally clash with Russian forces. 

The warmongers in Washington seem determined to use the story of Assad bombing his own people with chemical weapons -- specifically, sarin gas. The MSM plays that story big time, and Amy Goodman echoes it on DN. She features guests who promote the story, allowing them to give one-sided coverage, without convincing evidence to back their claims against Assad. She mostly ignores investigators with evidence to the contrary, people like Theodore Postol of MIT, or the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) who've looked at this and reported finding no convincing evidence do not get featured on her show.
We've been down this road before. "Gulf of Tonkin" and "WMDs in Iraq" are two big lies that come to mind, but there've been many more, including "Remember the Maine" in 1898. In each case there was no convincing evidence, and the lack of it didn't seem to matter.
For many years now, Amy Goodman's DN has been my favorite radio show, and also that of a lot of progressives. Progressives like me listen to her, and she has a responsibility to properly inform us of what's going on. Right now she should be investigating and exposing those lies that could lead to war. Instead, she's promoting those lies, the "Assad-did-it-again" story, "gassing his own people." So it's time for her listeners to speak out.
I mentioned that at a meeting of our Veterans for Peace chapter, and got volunteered to write a letter to Amy. We mailed it via USPS to her a month ago, but still have no response. It was an open letter, and it was also posted on Dissident Voice and other websites. It was even posted to Telesur in Spanish. So even if Amy doesn't read her mail, it's a pretty fair assumption that she's aware of our letter, but as I said, there’s no response so far.
Meanwhile, Amy has continued -- with only rare exceptions -- to promote the "Assad-did-it-again" stories, featuring guests such as Anand Gopal on her show.

About damn time.

Amy Goodman also promoted the war on Libya.

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

Wednesday, April 17, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, time for a new SOFA, and much more.

Iraqi troops on the brink of recapturing Mosul from ISIS

On the brink.

It's day 210 of The Mosul Slog.

210 and they're "on the brink."

Finally "on the brink."

And what a huge 'success' it's been.

Hundreds of thousands who fled the fighting in have abandoned everything. They need help & protection:

"It’s a particularly important moment [to] keep Iraq on the radar screen."UNICEF Director of Emergency Ops . visits E Mosul.

The supposed point of finally moving to 'liberate' Mosul last October (the city was seized by the Islamic State in June of 2014) was to rescue the civilians.

That's really not been a concern to judge by what's taken place.

This also includes the Iraqi forces taking it upon themselves to decide who is ISIS and who is a civilian and who lives and dies.  Daniel Brown (BUSINESS INSIDER) reports:

ISIS fighters are sometimes executed at the front lines, while others are executed after being interrogated, a Mosul-based commander told Integrated Regional Information Networks, a nonprofit media site that focuses on conflict zones.
Extrajudicial killings of ISIS fighters have been emerging pretty much since the fight for Mosul began about seven months ago.

[. . .]
"[K]illing captured combatants or civilians is a war crime, as is the mutilation of corpses," Belkis Wille, Human Rights Watch's senior researcher in Iraq, told IRIN.

It is a War Crime.

Mohamed Walid and Serhad Shaker (ANADOLU AGENCY) report, a suicide bomber in Mosul today took his own life and the lives of 3 Iraqi soldiers, 2 Mosul car bombings left 4 police officers and 3 Iraqi soldiers dead and:

Meanwhile, 25 civilians were killed in a U.S.-led coalition raid in western Mosul, according to Iraqi officer Sadoun Fahd.
He said the airstrike targeted a group of Daesh militants in the city's western side. "The militants were preparing to carry out an attack against Iraqi forces in al-Refai district," he said.
He said nine women and three children were among the victims of the attack. 


The Mosul Slog continues with so little to show for it.

In the meantime, where's the reconciliation in Iraq?

See? I wasn't just making things up. Senior Iraqi Shia cleric holds views about Christians similar to ISIS

As we noted Saturday:

The Islamic State has been the most wonderful gift to empire and its whores in the western press.

It's allowed everyone to indulge in historical amnesia and pretend that, goodness, if it just weren't for the Islamic State, Iraq would be wonderful.

The Islamic State was never the problem.

It's a terrorist organization.

It could have been taken apart by the people.

But for that to happen, the reasons for its existence would have to be demolished.

Persecution in Iraq allowed it to rise.

Continued persecution in Iraq means it will continue or something similar will take its place.

And this should have been obvious to everyone.

For those who still can't see reality.

: Christian MPs condemn a speech by head of Shi'ite endowment says: Christians should either convert to Islam, pay Jizya or be killed.

ALSUMARIA reports that Alaa al-Moussawi, head of the Shi'ite Endowment, declared that Iraqi Christians could convert to Islam, pay or a tax or be murdered.

For those who've forgotten, these were the same terms the Islamic State gave to the citizens of Mosul when they took over the city in June 2014.

The Islamic State is a Sunni terrorist organization.

Repeating, Alaa al-Moussawi is Shi'ite.

Want to keep pretending the problem is the Islamic State?

Let's see how many more have to die before you wake up to the reality that the leaders (most installed by the US -- few chosen by Iraqis) have got to call for one-Iraq-for-all or the future is never ending violence in Iraq.

As this takes place, the KRG and US White House officials meet up.

PRESS RELEASE - KRG delegation led by meets tops White House officials

. - is an island of stability in tumultuous region, as result of our people & competent security services

Many details to firm up.

Apparently, these details also include a Status Of Forces Agreement.  Carlo Munoz and Dan Boylan (WASHINGTON TIMES) report:

With U.S. and Iraqi officials talking of the imminent defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq, President Trump faces a challenge to swing a deal that President Obama failed to nail down: an agreement with Baghdad to keep U.S. forces in Iraq after the fighting ends.
Negotiations between Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and U.S. officials in Baghdad on a new status of forces agreement began in earnest this month, senior U.S. officials said. The deal would outline the legal and diplomatic parameters underpinning a long-term U.S. military presence in the country, and avoid the power vacuum that critics say developed after American forces pulled out in December 2011.
The issue is sensitive in Iraq, and Mr. al-Abadi this month insisted that there would be no “combat troops” in Iraq once the Islamic State is defeated, even though both sides said talks on the long-term role of the U.S. military in the country continue. An official who traveled to Baghdad with Defense SecrNetary James Mattis recently said “nothing has been finalized.”

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