Saturday mornings, for me, have always meant reading. I might retreat to the kitchen and read at the table or grab a chair in the living room and read there. But Saturday mornings have always been a reading time for me unless it was a game day or track meet or whatever. A lot of times, I will fix a large pot of lentils and read for a couple of hours -- three to four -- while sipping a cup of coffee and eating a few bowls of lentils. They are very tasty to me. But, even more important, they are a good source of fiber. Lentils contain both types of fiber -- soluble and insoluble. They can help reduce the risk of diabetes as well as the risk of colon cancer. They can keep you regular if you tend towards constipation. They are a good source of protein and iron. They're easy to digest (they go through your system in two to three hours.)
I usually read for three to four hours on Saturday mornings and have around three bowls of lentils. I also keep them on the stove for others who dropped by. After that, I usually strain them in a colander and put them in a tupper ware container to use later in a recipe -- a soup, chili, etc.
I finished Michael Parenti's MAKE BELIEVE MEDIA on Saturday and it was a very good read detailing how the media is used to sell us many things. It was especially telling on how the media sold 'rich is good' to children by focusing on tales of rich girls and, of course, Richie Rich. I never liked Richie Rich. I was indifferent to those 'kiddie' comics as a whole but he especially grated on me. And Saturday cartoons like that were used to sell children on the idea that being rich was good and made you a better person. Cartoons like the SUPERFRIENDS existed to sell helplessness -- you were forever in danger and not capable of saving yourself. Helplessness and dependency were sold with these superheroes defeating aliens and others.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
Tuesday, July 12, 2022. US President Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian Assange. Miss Moqtada al-Sadr continues to be obsessed with gay people in Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki states the Coordination Framework is close to naming a prime minister, and much more.
Pregnant women shot at checkpoints. Journalists gleefully gunned down from a helicopter. Child prostitutes preyed upon by mercenaries. The full squalid record of the West’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is the US government’s case against Julian Assange. The charges against him are all in response to documents leaked by Chelsea Manning that exposed the brutality of coalition forces in the Middle East. As Edward Snowden puts it: ‘They want to put him in jail for the best work Wikileaks ever did.’
[. . .]
‘The message has been sent,’ says Lawrence. ‘If you’re going to report on US national security and classified documents you would think deeply about it. I think it may be a long time before someone like Chelsea Manning or an organisation like Wikileaks repeat that exposure.’ There was a moment, he continues, in which we could have learned how the world really works; after Assange, though, everyone is ‘frightened again’. ‘It feels like they’ve won.’ For Assange’s family and global coalition of supporters, though, there is no option but to fight on.
US President Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian Assange for the 'crime' of journalism. Over the weekend, DW noted:
More than 70 members of the German parliament from four political parties have called on US President Joe Biden and the British government to stop the impending deportation of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from the UK to the US to face espionage charges.
"Journalists must not be persecuted or punished for their work anywhere in the world," the Bundestag deputies wrote in an open letter. "In the interest of press freedom as well as for humanitarian reasons in view of his poor state of health, Julian Assange must be released without delay."
Assange has been imprisoned in the UK since April 2019, when the government of Ecuador, which had hosted him in its London embassy for seven years, withdrew his political asylum.
THE GOOD MEN PROJECT points out, "The curious thing about all this is that the United States has never denied the facts revealed in the 700,000 White House and Pentagon documents, mostly about the barbarities committed by the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan, leaked by Wikileaks: torture, assassinations, massacres, espionage, manipulation. In other words, they want to punish the whistleblower, not the perpetrators, with 175 years in prison (which hardly anyone will be able to serve). The truth has been murdered. So has journalism." Is it possible for Joe Biden to be the most hated man in the world? Yes, and as he continues to persecute Julian Assange, he is on track to become just that. The world is watching and the word they're saying in various languages is: Hypocrite. THE DAILY SABAH explains:
The United States and the United Kingdom are constantly criticizing the press and freedom of expression in other countries. They publish reports and give official support to civic organizations that prepare press freedom assessments in their countries. They seem very assertive about the whole thing and they are radical in their approach. However, the freedoms of press and expression in their own countries are not unlimited as they recommend to other countries. The most dramatic indicator of this is the yearslong "hunt" for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
U.S. intelligence pursued Australian-born Assange on 18 charges, including espionage, for releasing thousands of classified documents in 2010 and 2011. Assange had taken refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he lived for six years under inhumane conditions. He has been in prison in the U.K. since 2019. Two weeks ago, the British government accepted his extradition to the U.S.
So what is Assange’s unforgivable great crime? WikiLeaks documents released by Assange contained information about how U.S. soldiers killed hundreds of civilians in Afghanistan. Other documents showed that 66,000 civilians were killed during the invasion of Iraq and that Iraqi forces tortured the prisoners.
Can the information in the disclosed documents be denied? No. So, has Assange actually been punished for so many years for being a journalist and fulfilling his responsibilities towards his profession, humanity and reality? Is that why the British judge is upholding Assange's extradition, leaving the final decision up to the government? Is the judge concerned about the reports in the U.S. press that the CIA is plotting to assassinate Assange? Doesn't he want to bear the responsibility of leaving Assange to an agenda that knows no limit?
Whatever the decision, the courage demonstrated by Assange, whose life was poisoned because he did his job properly, and the hypocrisy of those who gave speeches about "freedom of the press" and remained silent about his drama, have already gone down in history.
Joe Biden the tinhorn dictator. The thug who tries to destroy journalism unless it flatters him. The next time he stands up on the world stage and tries to lecture, the whole world will know what a liar and hypocrite he is. And they'll know about the US client-states that aren't really independent countries. Colonies like Australia, for example. Oscar Grenfell (WSWS) notes:
When the Labor Party scraped into office following the May 21 federal election, some supporters of Julian Assange voiced hopes that the new government would defend the WikiLeaks publisher because he is an Australian journalist and citizen undergoing persecution abroad.
The crudest and most thoughtless expression of these hopes came in the form of an update to a petition demanding that the Australian government act to free Assange. Over the course of almost three years, the petition has been signed by more than 730,000 people, and has served as an important focal point for the latent, mass support that exists for Assange.
But on July 4, the petition’s founder declared that it was no longer necessary to issue any demands on the Australian government. The sole evidence provided was that Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had purportedly signed the petition, and that some members of the government have hinted that it may engage in “quiet diplomacy” on behalf of Assange. “Now that we confirm that the Prime Minister of Australia is one of us and together with all of our collective 731,000 Signatories to this petition we will together move forward with direct representations to the responsible Public Officers in both the USA and Britain,” the update declared.
It was necessary to “understand that the Australian Government does
have a right to negotiate the matter of freedom of Julian Assange in the
best way they see to secure his freedom… We do not intend to work
against any action being taken in different ways by any individual
“[W]e will move forward in a peaceful, harmonious and inclusive manner,” the update declared, that is with regards to the Labor government.
To be blunt, such statements are exercises in wilful delusion. Since forming government, Labor has not issued anything that even could be described as weasel-words in support of Assange. Its attitude towards the WikiLeaks publisher is barely concealed hostility.
John Pilger, the award-winning Australian filmmaker and journalist who has been a close confidante of Assange since 2010, said defeat for the 51-year-old in his battle in British courts against extradition could have far-reaching consequences for journalism.
“I don’t think there is any doubt in my mind... that if Julian goes to the United States, and is effectively dropped in a penal hell hole, that will be the end of him literally, he will die,” Pilger said in an interview on Talking Post with chief news editor Yonden Lhatoo.
Pilger said Assange’s treatment over the years - he has been in London’s high-security Belmarsh prison since 2019 - was “torture”, adding that for the Australian national “anything” would be better than being sent to the US.
Prior to his incarceration, Assange obtained asylum from Ecuador in 2012 and spent seven years in Quito’s embassy in London as part of efforts to avoid extradition to Sweden where he was facing charges of sexual assault. He denies all wrongdoing.
Washington is seeking his extradition over charges of espionage and computer misuse linked to WikiLeaks’ publication of classified US documents since 2010.
"Computer misuse." Oh, there's a charge that's going to stick to Joe's ass for history. "Computer misuse" -- tortured and persecuted for "computer misuse." Let that be one of the many anchors hung around Joe's neck by history.
While Julian suffers, old man Joe shuffles and stumbles across the global stage. THE TIMES OF ISRAEL reports:
Concerns regarding 79-year-old President Joe Biden’s ability to weather a 10-day trip abroad were among the reasons why the White House decided to delay the Mideast portion of the tour, according to a Sunday report in The New York Times.
Biden was initially scheduled to visit Israel and Saudi Arabia last month after attending the G7 Summit in Germany. But a week before he left for Europe, the White House announced that the Mideast trip would be postponed for scheduling reasons.
Reports at the time said the administration was still trying to finalize details regarding the Saudi portion of the trip. The US is working to broker an agreement that would see Egypt transfer control of a pair of Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia in an agreement that would also see Riyadh take steps toward normalizing ties with Israel, which has interests in those island. The agreement is still being finalized, with the White House hoping to seal the deal by the time Biden lands in Jeddah on Friday to attend a summit of Middle Eastern leaders. He’ll be in Israel and the West Bank for two days beforehand.
But while the White House hinted the delay had to do with factors regarding the host countries, a US official told The Times that it would have been “crazy” to put the oldest president in American history through a 10-day foreign trip.
He can't handle ten days of cushy photo-ops but he thinks he can run for the presidency in 2024? It's time to take grandpa's keys and tell him he's too old to drive anymore.
President Biden penned an op-ed about his upcoming trip to the Middle East that was published in The Washington Post on Saturday, where he falsely claimed that US troops are not engaged in combat missions in the region.
The president wrote: “Next week, I will be the first president to visit the Middle East since 9/11 without US troops engaged in a combat mission there.”
Biden’s claim came not long after he updated Congress on the deployment of US combat troops. In a letter to Congress dated June 8, the president said US troops were stationed in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.
In Yemen, Biden said that a “small number of United States military personnel are deployed to Yemen to conduct operations against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS.” He also mentioned that US forces were providing support to the Saudi-led coalition in a “non-combat role” by providing “military advice and limited information.”
In Iraq and Syria, Biden said US troops are “working by, with, and through local partners to conduct operations against” ISIS and al-Qaeda. At the end of 2021, the US formally ended its combat mission in Iraq, but all 2,500 troops that were stationed there stayed, and US operations on the ground didn’t really change.
Stephen Wertheim Tweets:
In Iraq, Miss Moqtada al-Sadr is determined to continue targeting Iraq's LGBTQ community. Miss Moqtada's obsession with gay men has led to many rumors of what exactly happens when the tubby tyrant removes his robes at night. What is known is that Miss Moqtada is pushing to criminalize the LGBTQ community, Amir Ashour offered the following series of Tweets after the news of a new draft law broke on Friday:
In other news, Iraq still has no prime minister or president despite holding elections October 10th. Chenar Chalak (RUDAW) reports:
The Coordination Framework is closing in on naming Iraq’s next prime
minister, said Leader of the State of Law Coalition Nouri al-Maliki on
Monday, a month after the withdrawal of rival Muqtada al-Sadr from the
Maliki, a key member of the pro-Iran Coordination Framework, on Monday addressed the latest developments in the faction’s quest towards forming Iraq’s next government and putting an end to the political impasse that has plagued the country since October’s elections.
Maliki stated that the Framework has made an important stride in the political dialogue, stressing that they have been open to “ideas and mechanisms” from all the political components.
“The framework is close to achieving its goals, the most important of which is naming the prime minister [of Iraq] and forming a government capable of advancing the current security and service situation within the mechanisms prepared in advance to serve Iraq and its honorable people,” read a statement from Maliki’s office.
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