A request, please stop sending me RT videos. I do not have a problem with RT. But I cannot post them because they have been pulled from YOUTUBE and the message is that the video "is not available in your country." So please stop sending them because I cannot highlight them if I cannot stream them.
That is a video Megan e-mailed about which I can note because I can stream it.
Now, a follow up to "Women's History Month," and some questions that came up.
Was it wrong to chastise Helen Reddy for selling the anthem (renting it?) to Burger King? I do not think so. That was an important song and the United Nations made it the song of the year in 1975 -- a great honor. The song is "I Am Woman." So for her to make a mockery of the song on behalf of Burger King -- a fast food place? That is, at best, tacky. At best.
She betrayed the embrace the song had around the world. I will not say which one, in case it might embarrass him, but one of my sons loved the song (I have four sons). He was four-years-old and would be out on the merry go round in the backyard by himself and pull back and forth on the lever (?) in front of the seat he was on to make it go around and he would be singing "I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman." I thought that was wonderful then and do now. So many times in my life, we were supposed to, as girls and women, identify with songs from a male perspective. So I found it delightful and thought it was one of the many great things that song accomplished.
I do love the song, to this day. I am just not at all impressed with Ms. Reddy (who has passed away and who, according to WIKIPEDIA, really did not write the song, supposedly her male co-writer wrote the bulk of it -- if not all of it).
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Friday, March 11, 2022. The White House spin collapses due to Victoria Nuland's remarks being caught on film, as the Ukraine media narrative begins to bite the dust the 'kingmaker' Moqtada one appears to also be dead on arrival, and much more.
Yes, Virginia, Ukraine has a US funded bio-weapons lab.
THE CONVO COUCH has been reporting on it this week.
And who are we to believe? Jen Psaki who is paid to lie or Victoria Nuland on camera testifying to Congress?
MINT PRESS NEWS is also reporting on it.
The Biden administration and the corporate media are continuing to cover up the acknowledgment by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland that biological weapons laboratories have been operating in Ukraine under US direction.
During her testimony before a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, when asked by Senator Marco Rubio (Republican of Florida), “Does Ukraine have chemical or biological weapons?,” Nuland responded that there are “biological research facilities” in the country.
While she did not discuss prior US government involvement in these facilities—and Senator Rubio also did not ask her about this—Nuland said that the State Department is “working with the Ukrainians on how we can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces should they approach.”
As the scripted exchange continued, Senator Rubio said reports that Russia had, “uncovered a plot by the Ukrainians to unleash biological weapons in the country, and with NATO’s coordination,” were propaganda. Then Nuland went on to say that “it is a classic Russian technique to blame the other guy for what they are planning to do themselves.”
As numerous international news outlets began reporting Nuland’s comments as confirmation that US-backed biological weapons labs did in fact exist in Ukraine as the Russians have maintained, the State Department was forced to issue a denial on Wednesday in an official statement by department spokesperson Ned Price.
Price did not confirm or deny or even refer to the statements by Nuland. Instead, he wrote that the Kremlin is, “intentionally spreading outright lies that the United States and Ukraine are conducting chemical and biological weapons activities in Ukraine.” He called the Russian reports “disinformation,” and “total nonsense,” that had been “debunked conclusively and repeatedly over many years.”
Price then repeated the claims made in a lengthy tweet on Wednesday by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, stating that the US, “does not own or operate any chemical or biological laboratories in Ukraine” and is in full compliance with both the Biological and Chemicals Weapons Conventions of the UN. Price also said that Russia has a “track record of accusing the West of the very crimes that Russia itself is perpetrating.” None of these assertions were backed up with substantiating facts or evidence.
[. . .\
It is very clear that the exposure of US-sponsored biological warfare operations in Ukraine explodes the entire narrative concocted by the Biden administration and faithfully propagandized by the corporate media that Russia is solely responsible for the present war crisis.
Self-anointed "fact-checkers” in the U.S. corporate press have spent two weeks mocking as disinformation and a false conspiracy theory the claim that Ukraine has biological weapons labs, either alone or with U.S. support. They never presented any evidence for their ruling — how could they possibly know? and how could they prove the negative? — but nonetheless they invoked their characteristically authoritative, above-it-all tone of self-assurance and self-arrogated right to decree the truth, definitively labelling such claims false.
Claims that Ukraine currently maintains dangerous biological weapons labs came from Russia as well as China. The Chinese Foreign Ministry this month claimed: "The US has 336 labs in 30 countries under its control, including 26 in Ukraine alone.” The Russian Foreign Ministry asserted that “Russia obtained documents proving that Ukrainian biological laboratories located near Russian borders worked on development of components of biological weapons.” Such assertions deserve the same level of skepticism as U.S. denials: namely, none of it should be believed to be true or false absent evidence. Yet U.S. fact-checkers dutifully and reflexively sided with the U.S. Government to declare such claims "disinformation” and to mock them as QAnon conspiracy theories.
Unfortunately for this propaganda racket masquerading as neutral and high-minded fact-checking, the neocon official long in charge of U.S. policy in Ukraine testified on Monday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and strongly suggested that such claims are, at least in part, true. Yesterday afternoon, Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), hoping to debunk growing claims that there are chemical weapons labs in Ukraine, smugly asked Nuland: “Does Ukraine have chemical or biological weapons?”
Rubio undoubtedly expected a flat denial by Nuland, thus providing further "proof” that such speculation is dastardly Fake News emanating from the Kremlin, the CCP and QAnon. Instead, Nuland did something completely uncharacteristic for her, for neocons, and for senior U.S. foreign policy officials: for some reason, she told a version of the truth. Her answer visibly stunned Rubio, who — as soon as he realized the damage she was doing to the U.S. messaging campaign by telling the truth — interrupted her and demanded that she instead affirm that if a biological attack were to occur, everyone should be “100% sure” that it was Russia who did it. Grateful for the life raft, Nuland told Rubio he was right.
But Rubio's clean-up act came too late. When asked whether Ukraine possesses “chemical or biological weapons,” Nuland did not deny this: at all. She instead — with palpable pen-twirling discomfort and in halting speech, a glaring contrast to her normally cocky style of speaking in obfuscatory State Department officialese — acknowledged: “uh, Ukraine has, uh, biological research facilities.” Any hope to depict such "facilities” as benign or banal was immediately destroyed by the warning she quickly added: “we are now in fact quite concerned that Russian troops, Russian forces, may be seeking to, uh, gain control of [those labs], so we are working with the Ukrainiahhhns [sic] on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces should they approach”
For those paying attention, the official narrative just got exposed as a fraud and the whores who've pimped should be hanging their heads in shame -- but we all know that they're incapable of shame.
Meanwhile never understimate how greedy, craven and corrupt politicians can be. Can be and so often are.
In related news, David Sirota Tweets:
And as Jimmy Dore said in the video above, "If you think some other country is more blood thirsty, is more imperialistic and is more of an oppressor to their people than you've been propagandized."Not everyone's walking around dazed and confused. Tony Bramble (RED FLAG) observes:
The US is using the opportunity created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to promote itself as a champion of national sovereignty, democracy and human rights. In his State of the Union address on 2 March, US President Joe Biden was cheered by both sides of Congress as he set out the US’s claims to higher purpose: “We fought for freedom, expanded liberty, defeated totalitarianism and terror. We built the strongest, freest and most prosperous nation the world has ever known”. In relation to the invasion of Ukraine:
“Now is the hour. Our moment of responsibility. Our test of resolve and conscience, of history itself ... I know this nation will meet the test. To protect freedom and liberty, to expand fairness and opportunity. We will save democracy.”
It’s nice that large countries invading small countries is now self-evidently morally outrageous. Pity that wasn’t the case before the US launched the two largest invasions so far this century, first in Afghanistan in 2001 and then in Iraq in 2003. Just like Russia, the US is up to its elbows in the blood of its innocent victims, their lives destroyed by brutal invasions and occupations justified by lies.
Within weeks of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the George W. Bush administration had invaded Afghanistan, despite the Taliban offering to hand over Osama bin Laden. As Biden is doing today, Bush cloaked the US mission in democratic rhetoric: “Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom, the great achievement of our time and the great hope of every time, now depends on us”.
Unlike the moral outrage in response to Russia’s invasion today, there was widespread support for the invasion of Afghanistan. The Democrats backed it, as did many US allies, including Australia. The media, both populist and “serious”, such as the New York Times, threw their full support behind it. Small-l liberals also backed up the propaganda. Many prominent American feminist organisations supported the war on the basis that the US could liberate Afghan women from Taliban rule.
The invasion was overwhelmingly popular within the US, and in Australia too. The few opponents of what the White House called the “War on Terror” were accused of being terrorist sympathisers. It was left to small groups of socialists and other committed anti-imperialists to forcefully carry the arguments against the build-up to war.
On 7 October 2001, the US Air Force conducted the first air strikes, followed by deployment of US ground troops in what the White House called “Operation Enduring Freedom”. Within weeks, the Taliban had been overthrown and its leaders killed or forced to flee to rural hideouts or neighbouring Pakistan.
The invasion and eight-year occupation of Iraq came soon after. The White House claimed that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein represented an existential threat to the world because his regime possessed weapons of mass destruction: anthrax, nerve gas and nuclear weapons. The administration also sought to link Saddam Hussein to 9/11, saying that the Iraqi president was in league with al-Qaeda. The enemy was clear, Bush argued: “States like these and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world”.
The media took Bush’s cue, and newspapers in the US, Europe and Australia were filled with articles calling Hussein “the new Hitler”, listing his crimes against his own people and describing in great detail the supposed threat he posed to the world. General Colin Powell, US secretary of state, argued that it was only a matter of time before Hussein used his weapons of mass destruction against the world.
The US was much less successful in convincing the US population and the rest of the world that it was justified in invading Iraq. Claims that the US was bringing “freedom” and “democracy” to the Middle East were being increasingly exposed by the reality of the US occupation in Afghanistan.
Is it lost on everyone that the same politicians who insisted that our military invade Afghanistan and Iraq to effect regime change are now aghast at what Russia is doing to Ukraine?
Talk about a lack of self-awareness.
Many observers predicted that Iraq’s elections last October would be a potential turning point in the country’s long struggle to find stability since 2003. Instead, the protracted government formation process has featured political violence against opponents, including tit-for-tat assassinations in the south, bombings of political offices and linked businesses, and even an attempt on the prime minister’s life. It has seen the judiciary weaponized to target opponents with lawsuits and disqualify candidates. Foreign powers, including Iran, have also directly intervened to prevent a change to the system of government.
All of this suggests that change is not on the horizon for Iraq. The country is still stuck in familiar cycles of violence with no clear path out.
Some experts have found this especially disappointing because the election results had initially hinted at change. Shiite populist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr defeated his competitors by a significant margin, winning 73 seats. His rivals from the previous election, the Iran-allied Fatah Alliance, lost 31 seats and now only has 17 seats. His other rival, former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law Coalition, has only 35 seats. Sadr was widely predicted to play the role of kingmaker.
Sensing an opportunity for fundamental change, Sadrists called for an end to the consensus government system, where all parties divide the state among themselves at the expense of corruption and stagnation. Sadr instead insisted on a majoritarian government. The key was to exclude longtime rival and Iranian ally Maliki. In its own change of policy, the United States now backs Sadr, seeing his rise as an opportunity to push out Iranian influence and change Iraqi politics.
Hey, Renad and Benedict, wlecome but the party's over. You can come back tomorrow and clean up, just hit the lights on the way out, will ya?
Is it a surprise?
It's not to me. None of this is surprising.
I believe this is sexactly where we said the situation woul dbe.
A lot of whores wanted to pretend that Moqtada was a king maker. We questioned that press narrative from the beginning.
We stood alone in doing that. We'll stop and rest while the rest of you struggle to catch up. All these months later.
There was never a reason to believe that Moqtada was a king maker. There was never a reason to believe he was a leader. Even his cult sees defections.
Maybe if outlets had told the truth, so many people wouldn't have been fooled.
moqtada's bloc in the 2021 election? It got more votes in the previous election. Support was down for all existing parties (with the exception of the KDP in Kurdistan). While the press was spinning and whoring, analytical minds rightly saw the depressed turnout for Moqtada as something worthy of exploration.
The elections were held October 10th. Five months ago. Still no president, still no prime minister. The country's Constitution has been violated and ignored. The already politicized court system got even more politicized. None of thsi is good for Iraq.
The Speaker of Parliament? Same person it was before the election. It's the only power position filled, by the way. President? The current president wants to retain his spot as does the current prime minister.
So it is possible that Iraq could see the election results resulted in no change at all.
What was the point of holding elections if the people the people wante removed from office just continue to hang on?
In 2010, Joe Biden taught the Iraqi people that voting did not matter. That's whent hey voted out Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister and when Joe Biden oversaw The Erbil Agreement that tossed the votes aside and gave Nouri that second term anyway.
He was vice president then. Now he's president and Irais may have another example of just how useless voting is under their current system.
An abusive legal complaint has been filed against a member of Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR) who sought to investigate allegations of torture of detainees.
The complaint was filed on February 3 against Dr. Ali al-Bayati, a member of Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR). Three days later, al-Bayati was interrogated by Rusafa Investigative Court personnel in Baghdad over his discussion about an investigation the IHCHR had begun into the work of Iraq’s anti-corruption committee, which Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi established two years ago.
The legal action stems from comments al-Bayati made in an interview on Alahad Television in December 2020, that the IHCHR had received allegations some detainees arrested under orders from the anti-corruption committee had been tortured. The IHCHR sought to investigate these allegations and requested from the anti-corruption committee to interview detainees being held on charges related to the committee’s work.
Al-Bayati said the anti-corruption committee refused the request, one that falls within the legal mandate of the IHCHR and directed the IHCHR to seek permission from the General Secretariat for the Council of Ministers. Rather than grant the IHCHR’s request, the secretariat instigated the legal complaint against al-Bayati. The complaint refers to article 434 of Iraq’s penal code outlining the “insult” or imputation of another, a crime punishable by up to one year in prison.
“It is very humiliating and painful to be a doctor and human rights defender in a democratic country, and then enter a court accused not because of a crime you committed, but instead because you defended the rights of fellow citizens and fulfilled the duties you swore to perform,” al-Bayati told Human Rights Watch.
On March 2, Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court ruled the establishment of the anti-corruption committee itself unconstitutional, stating the committee violated separation of powers articles in Iraq’s constitution.
While the legal and political wrangling over Iraq’s anti-corruption efforts continues, the Iraqi judiciary and the General Secretariat for the Council of Ministers should take immediate steps to drop this abusive complaint against Ali al-Bayati. Criticizing state authorities, or conducting human rights investigations, should not be criminal acts. They also should commit to granting the IHCHR access to all detainees alleging abuse and torture. That individuals tasked with investigating basic human rights abuses are themselves subjected to legal sanction simply for doing their work is both deeply ironic and bodes poorly for Iraqis in far more vulnerable circumstances.
The following sites updated: