Thursday, December 23, 2021

Eli Lieb

Demi Lovato is a singer and a songwriter and she has really amassed an impressive body of work.  I thought about that when I saw the Eli Lieb cover (below) of her song "Sober" (which she wrote with Mark Landon, Tushar Apte and Sam Roman).

Mr. Lieb is an impressive songwriter himself and I particularly enjoy his "Boys Who Like Boys."

I really do like Mr. Lieb's singing and, again, he is also a strong songwriter.

 Lastly, I would encourage you to check out Ava and C.I.'s "TV: Wishes and reality" which they wrote Sunday but held and held thinking there would be other new content for THIRD.  They posted it last night/this morning (depending upon your time zone) after waiting and waiting for other content.

In the piece, they cover a great deal including Julian Assange, MACGRUBER, THE GIRL IN THE WOODS, sexism against Marianne Williamson, the streaming services NETFLIX, HULU, AMAZON, PEACOCK, and PARAMOUNT+, etc.  Be sure to check it out.


This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:" 


Wednesday, December 22, 2021.  Iraq, Julian Assange, and two US whores who exposed themselves but think we should still listen to them.

Someone forgot to take the trash out.  Which is how Norman Solomon's latest garbage is where we start.  I have no idea why COUNTERPUNCH continues to run his garbage.  They shouldn't and they owe their readers an apology -- that's not opinion, that's fact.  For violating journalistic standards, they owe their readers an apology.

In 2008, 'antiwar' Norman was published over and over by COUNTERPUNCH.  I liked Alex and I had more important issues with Norman to call out.  So, for example, ehere and with Ava at THIRD, the focus was on how nOrman was lying to listeners of KPFA -- among others  He went on that radio station and on programs on other platforms to give 'independent' analysis of the election.  As an 'independent' analyst, Norman managed to trash Democrats running for the presidential nomination except for one.  No, not Dennis Kucinich.  Norman ignored Dennis.  

The one Norman kept promoting?  Over and over, Barack Obama.  But from an independent and netrual stance, you understand.

He wasn't.

He was a pledged delegate for Barack Obama.  Living in California, we were aware of that.  We were also aware of the fact that this detail was included when his weekly astroturf masquerading as "columns" were published by real news outlets.  When that happened, Norman made sure that a little note was attached identifying himself as that.

That disclosure was never made when he was on KPFA.  And we called it out and were part of a call that grew louder and louder until a call-in raised it on the air.  Poor Norman.


THat's what he was.

COUNTERPUNCH published his articles during that period.  I've checked.  No disclosure.  

He's a whore.

And if you let whores in, you're a bordello.  I'm not running a whore house, thank you very much.  Norman has never gotten accountable for his actions in 2008 which were so much worse than just whoring for Barack.  He walked away from the Iraq War.  Which, considering how he almost destroyed Lt Ehren Watada, may have been a good thing.  Ehren was fighting for his future when Norman started attacking him regarding a female journalist that the court wanted to hear from.  I have been told that woman had nothing to diwht the war Norman waged nd we now highlight her as a result.  I'm not going to bring her name into this but it's out there and anyone confused should be able to Google.  Ehren refused to take part in the crime that was the Iraq War.  And in the middle of being tried by the US government, Norman starts popping up on various give-me-meony platforms to take the focus off Ehren who's future is at stake and to put it on a woman who has to do nthing but say she won't disclose her sources.  

We'll forget -- or at least set aside -- how druing the time he also broke up the marriage of two friends of mine.  Norman, you don't want that story told, do you?  DIn't think so.

But the Barack aspect is important.  During the Barack years, Norman lost interest in the Iraq War.  He was too busy covering for Barack.  

That matters because he's still doing it.  His latest garbage is a 'response' to an NYT article.  It's the article we've now noted three times at this site.  Here's the fourth time.  

Azmat Khan (NYT) Tweeted:

After years of reporting — more than 1,300 hidden Pentagon documents, ground investigation at the sites of 100+ U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, and scores of interviews — we present part 1 of THE CIVILIAN CASUALTY FILES:

Azmat authored "Hidden Petnagon Records Reveal Patterns Of Failure In Deadly Airstrikes" which went up over the weekend:

Shortly before 3 a.m. on July 19, 2016, American Special Operations forces bombed what they believed were three ISIS “staging areas” on the outskirts of Tokhar, a riverside hamlet in northern Syria. They reported 85 fighters killed. In fact, they hit houses far from the front line, where farmers, their families and other local people sought nighttime sanctuary from bombing and gunfire. More than 120 villagers were killed.
In early 2017 in Iraq, an American war plane struck a dark-colored vehicle, believed to be a car bomb, stopped at an intersection in the Wadi Hajar neighborhood of West Mosul. Actually, the car had been bearing not a bomb but a man named Majid Mahmoud Ahmed, his wife and their two children, who were fleeing the fighting nearby. They and three other civilians were killed.
In November 2015, after observing a man dragging an “unknown heavy object” into an ISIS “defensive fighting position,” American forces struck a building in Ramadi, Iraq. A military review found that the object was actually “a person of small stature” — a child — who died in the strike.
None of these deadly failures resulted in a finding of wrongdoing.
These cases are drawn from a hidden Pentagon archive of the American air war in the Middle East since 2014.
The trove of documents — the military’s own confidential assessments of more than 1,300 reports of civilian casualties, obtained by The New York Times — lays bare how the air war has been marked by deeply flawed intelligence, rushed and often imprecise targeting, and the deaths of thousands of civilians, many of them children, a sharp contrast to the American government’s image of war waged by all-seeing drones and precision bombs.
The documents show, too, that despite the Pentagon’s highly codified system for examining civilian casualties, pledges of transparency and accountability have given way to opacity and impunity. In only a handful of cases were the assessments made public. Not a single record provided includes a finding of wrongdoing or disciplinary action. Fewer than a dozen condolence payments were made, even though many survivors were left with disabilities requiring expensive medical care. Documented efforts to identify root causes or lessons learned are rare.
The air campaign represents a fundamental transformation of warfare that took shape in the final years of the Obama administration, amid the deepening unpopularity of the forever wars that had claimed more than 6,000 American service members. The United States traded many of its boots on the ground for an arsenal of aircraft directed by controllers sitting at computers, often thousands of miles away. President Barack Obama called it “the most precise air campaign in history.”
This was the promise: America’s “extraordinary technology” would allow the military to kill the right people while taking the greatest possible care not to harm the wrong ones.     

Please note, DEMOCRACY NOW! speaks with Azmat about her report on today's show.  

The report she wrote focuses on Barack Obama's drone war and the many dead as a result -- the many civilians.  It doesn't really address all the lies Barack told while in the White House about the use of the drones.  But it's about his Drone War.

Norman decides he wants to write about that.  But what's a pledged delegate for Barack to the 2008 DNC convention supposed to do?  

Norman decides the thing to do is to write an 887 word commentary that somehow manages to never use two simple words: Barack Obama.


You whored.  You whored and Iraq suffered.  All these years later, you've yet to acknowledge, let alone apologize, for the damage you did.

Take your STD laden ass somewhere else.  You're an unrepentant whore and no one should ever trust you again.  You're trash.

I can admit when I was wrong and I've been wrong many times.  One of the biggest times I was wrong was when I took you seriously and at your word.  You are trash.  Looking back, you were trash then as well but I was tood amn stupid to realize it.  You have nothing to offer.  You are not independent.  You are a whore.  Well the world is full of whores Norman and you've reached the retirement age.  We need toa ll ensure that by noting your past whoring so that young people just getting political are not unaware of what you did and how you whored.  

That really is the amazing thing about the internet.  It exposes and you don't have to, ten years later, run to the dark basement of a libray and get out the microfiche to find out what happened.  

John Nichols is a dirty whore to wand he also exposed that when he went ga-ga over Barack.  And when someone makes the mistake of interviewing him on a program today, we get e-mails about it from people who looked him up and found out what a whore he is.  

It's your rap sheet, Norman, and you can't escape it.  

Either COUNTERPUNCH knew or didn't know when they published Norman's 2008 garbage that he was a pledged delegate for Barack Obama.  Either way, that should have been disclosed and the readers are owed a public apology.  In addition, having failed to disclose something that important, Norman should not be published by COUNTERPUNCH anymore. 

Since John Nichols was brought up in the above let me note something e-mails came in on.  A few were noting that I had missed John Nichols' Julian Assange column.

I didn't miss it.  I was trying to be kind.  

It's the typical crap the whore writes.  

I'm not a Julian Assange groupie. 

Some people, like John Pilger, still hate me for some of what I've written.  (And yet we still link to John when it's important because we're not the catty bitches of WSWS.)  I've not retracted anything I've said and stand by it.  I think we are, in fact, the only outlet that reported the court trial accurately.  Lovers of Julian couldn't deal with reality.  Haters of Julian tried to make things worse than they were.  We reported the testimony and noted the important parts -- which includes how Julian ended up in the mess to begin with.  John's not told you that ever.  Glenn Greenwald hasn't.

Hopefully, Julian will be free soon and we can talk about the truth.

But what I'm talking about is not anything that matters today in terms of Julian's life.  

Meaning, I'm not making it an issue in the commentary, I'm not noting it and don't plan to until Julian's free.  By contrast, John Nichols wants to imply that he himself is better than Julian and that we should all be disgusted by Julian but support his cause.

Julian's not a disgusting person.  Nor am I any better than Julian.  

He dserves to be free and I can write that and mean it.  I don't need to couch that argument with qualifiers.  

Nor will I.

End the persecution of Julian Assange and set him free.

It's that basic.

John wants you to know that he did a little research -- on things having nothing to do with Julian.  And he's got some historical examples!!!!  No, he's got some factoids from long ago that have nothing to do with Julian or his case.  He uses his column for crap like that and to let you know that he holds his nose when he speaks of Julian.

That's not a defense.  That's just disgusting but John Nichols is a disgusting whore who knowingly and willfully lies in print and on the air.  When he was out to defeat Hillary Clinton, for example, there was no lie he wouldn't tell (Hillary, not Barack, was the one who met with CAnada and told them NAFTA had her support! -- lie told on DEMOCRACY NOW!; Samantha Power calling Hillary a monster was a-okay because Samantha and Hillary were longtime friends -- lie told at THE NATION -- they hadn't even spoken to one another at that point.)  Dirty, lying whore.

Again: The US government's persecution of Julian Assange must stop immediately.  Julian needs to be set free from the UK prison at once.

And the world needs to pay attention to Iraq.  MEMO notes:

Iraq, along with Palestine, is a clear example of the environmental crisis resulting from war, occupation and neo-colonial policies in the Arab world, which undermine the social and economic basis of life in the region. The effects of this environmental crisis appear in devastating climate change, the pollution of extractive industries, the depletion of natural resources, the scarcity of water, and the pollution of air and soil due to the use of modern munitions, such as depleted uranium and white phosphorous, as has been seen in Iraq and Gaza. It is estimated that the war against Iraq caused the release of 141 million metric tons of carbon dioxide between 2003 and 2007. That's more than 60 per cent of the total for all countries in the world.

Despite the availability of this data and its documentation by international human rights organisations, and the fact that the internal environmental situation is largely linked to the outside world, Iraq remained, until recent months, at the bottom of government and public lists of concerns. It is hardly mentioned except on the margins of international conferences or among the lists of "worst" countries in reports and statistics issued by UN bodies and organisations concerned with the environment and its economic and societal repercussions. Only then does it rank in a high position that no one else matches.

Iraq is stable at the top of the most corrupt countries in the world, and it tops the list of the most corrupt Arab countries. Iraqi President Barham Salih is unable to cover the financial loss from corruption in the country over the years. Iraq has lost hundreds of billions of dollars, including $150 billion smuggled abroad through lucrative deals since 2003, a figure that seems smaller when the dinar and dollar are compared, and the word "trillions" comes into play.

Iraq is also among the most dangerous countries according to the security risk index, competing with Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Mali and Afghanistan. This is based on the documentation of the war and information on terrorism, infighting, insurgencies and politically motivated unrest. It was also the second deadliest country for journalists in 2020, according to Reporters Without Borders. Once-beautiful Baghdad, with its ancient civilisation, is not spared from inclusion in the list of the least clean cities in the world due to the neglect of the reconstruction of the buildings and structures that the occupation destroyed, as well as the infrastructure, including the sewage system, roads, water drainage and power plants.

In a recent report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Iraq ranked fifth in the list of countries most affected by climate change and global warming. The repercussions can be summed up in the lack of water safe for drinking and irrigation, the indiscriminate use of groundwater, and the lack of water in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers due to the construction of dams upstream by Iran and Turkey, in violation of international agreements. This has caused agriculture to be abandoned and the displacement of rural populations to cities that were not prepared to receive them. The Norwegian Refugee Council declared last week that nearly half of the Iraqi population is in need of food assistance in the areas affected by drought.

Iraq had had many schools built in recent years.  Laura Zhou (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST) reports:

China has signed a deal to build 1,000 schools in Iraq as Beijing pushes for a bigger role in the Middle East while the United States retreats.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi oversaw the signing of 15 contracts on Thursday, with representatives of the Power Construction Corporation of China and Sino Tech.

Hopefully, unlike the bulk paid for with US taxpayer dollars, these will be built correctly.  

The political paralysis continues in Iraq.  October 10th, the country held elections.  Parliament has still not been convened (it was dissolved days before the election).  No prime minister-designate has been named.  Layal Shakir (RUDAW) reports:

A high-level Shiite delegation arrived in the Kurdistan Region’s capital on Wednesday to meet with Kurdish leaders, discussing the new government formation in Iraq following the parliamentary elections where the Iran-backed Shiites were defeated.

Headed by Nouri al-Maliki, the Coordination Framework, which was formed by some losing party leaders, arrived in Erbil in the morning hours.

The framework met with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani in Pirmam, according to a statement from Barzani Headquarters.

The meeting highlighted “the need to review Iraq’s governance, take advantage of past experiences and considering the principles of partnership, compromise and balance in the governing process,” read the statement.

Nouiri al-Maliki.  Hmm.  If only the press had realized he wasn't dead -- certainly not politically -- and bothered to pay attention to him.  We did.  We noted ahead of the election, months ahead, that he wanted to be prime minister again.  We noted days after the election that he was meeting with various groups in an attempt to form an alliance.  It's a shame that the western press -- so busy with their paint-by-number pieces on how Moqatada was a "king-maker" couldn't notice reality.

The following sites updated: