Friday, April 28, 2017

Cornel West

I really loved Betty's post last night.

It said so much about what is wrong with the Democratic Party today.

Cornel West explores that at BLACK AGENDA REPORT:

The crucial issues of a $15 minimum wage and saying no to fracking, no to TPP, no to Israeli occupation and yes to single-payer healthcare were pushed aside by the corporate wing and the populist wing was told to quit whining or take responsibility for the improbable loss.
The monumental collapse of the Democratic party -- on the federal, state and local levels – has not yielded any serious soul-wrestling or substantive visionary shifts among its leadership. Only the ubiquitous and virtuous Bernie remains true to the idea of fundamental transformation of the party -- and even he admits that seeking first-class seats on the Titanic is self-deceptive and self-destructive.
We progressives need new leadership and institutional capacity that provides strong resistance to Trump’s vicious policies, concrete alternatives that matter to ordinary citizens and credible visions that go beyond Wall Street priorities and militaristic policies. And appealing to young people is a good testing ground.

Read the whole piece.

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

Thursday, April, 27, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, tensions continue to rise between the governments of Iraq and Turkey, the political situation in Iraq grows ever more tense as evidenced by the latest news on the Electoral Commission, and much more.

ALSUMARIA reports that the al-Ahrar Bloc in Parliament has collected 80 signatures, enough to call for a vote to withdraw confidence from the Independent High Electoral Commission.

February 8th, a  protest against the Electoral Commission took place in Baghdad.  From that day's snapshot:

NINA reports that MP Magda al-Tamimi is calling for the members of the electoral commission to appear before Parliament for questioning due to a number of reasons including the large amounts of complaints about alleged corruption she has been receiving about them.

Due to the protest, ALSUMARIA reports, the Election Commission has closed shop and gone home for the day to avoid "friction" with the protesters.

And ALSUMARIA is reporting that the protest has started with thousands turning out to demand changes in the electoral commission and in the voting law.

And let's go to the February 11th snapshot to show how massive another protest on the electoral commission has been:

Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr called for demonstrations in Baghdad today.

Did the crowd turn out?

Goodness, did they.

The demonstration in Tahrir square is getting bigger and bigger.
Massive demonstration started in Tahrir square by Sadr supporters demanding change to the elections committee.

Huge protest in

The protests didn't end that day.

IRAQ: Mass protests in ’s Tahrir Square earlier today, demanding change to electoral commission and political influence.

And it was not just Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr and his followers calling for changes to the electoral commission.  As early as February, vice president Ayad Allawi was also calling for reform and for the members of the commission to be replaced.

Monday, a complaint against the commission was filed with the United Nations.

A complaint against corruption in the Independent High Electoral Commission in was sent to UN Sec. Gen. H.E.
A complaint against corruption in the Independent High Electoral Commission in reaches and

THE BAGHDAD POST reported that Serbest Mostafa, chair of the commission, answered questions before Parliament on Tuesday.

This is becoming a major issue yet somehow the western media is avoiding this story.

Are we really surprised?

Day 190 of The Mosul Slog.

Mosul was seized in June 2014 by the Islamic State.  190 days ago the central government based in Baghdad finally decided they might need to do something.

: Six months into battle for , water and trauma care are key UN and partner priorities

As The Mosul Slog drags on, tensions continue between Iraq and the Turkish government over Turkey's bombing of northern Iraq.

: to report to UN for violation of sovereignty following airstrikes in Shingal targeting Kurdish forces - Kom News

In other news, Luis Martinez (ABC NEWS) reports:

President Trump has delegated to the Pentagon the authority to set the American military troop levels in Iraq and Syria. The move restores a process that was in place prior to the Bush and Obama administrations and is another sign of how the White House is giving military commanders greater flexibility in their operations.
"The President has delegated the authority for Force Management Levels (FML) for Iraq and Syria to the Secretary," said Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, referring to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
Davis said the authority is being returned to the Pentagon where it had typically existed prior to the Bush and Obama administrations. 

The following community sites updated:

  • Syria
    11 hours ago