Monday, May 22, 2017

Iraq snapshot

Monday, May 22, 2017.  The Mosul Slog continues, CBS NEWS continues to sell it and much more.


Starting with the White House's Special Envoy Brett McGurk:



  Retweeted
President Trump during Arab Islamic American Summit "This is not a battle of different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations"
Video
U.S. Department of State






Thank you, Brett, for Tweeting that, honestly, no sarcasm.

But if we're talking about what this isn't, can we talk about what it is?

Because the Iraq War drags on and surely you know that.

You served in Iraq when Bully Boy Bush occupied the White House, you've served in Iraq under President Barack Obama and now you serve under President Donald Trump.

When does it end?



RT reports:


The US and Middle Eastern countries have backed a new pact that promises to provide extra troops for defeating Islamic State, singles out Iran for destabilizing the region, and says that Riyadh is to become the heart of the region’s counter-terrorism operations.
Described as the Riyadh Declaration, the document was signed following US President Donald Trump’s visit to the Saudi capital for a summit that brought in Islamic representatives from 55 countries, and vowed “to combat terrorism in all its forms, address its intellectual roots, dry up its sources of funding and to take all necessary measures to prevent and combat terrorist crimes in close cooperation among their states.”




A lot of reports over the weekend but CBS NEWS goes with what?


U.S backed Iraqi forces in Mosul are closing in on the last neighborhoods still under ISIS control




Charlie Rose looks a little tipsy, doesn't he?

He also looks a lot like Rex Harrison in the film STAIRCASE, doesn't he?

He just doesn't look much like a journalist.

But then a journalist wouldn't be offering that nonsense on day 215 of The Mosul Slog.


Especially not with the reports of abuse being covered -- being covered outside of CBS NEWS, we should note.



  59 minutes ago

Harrowing: SPIEGEL photographer Ali Arkady documents Iraqi security forces abducting, torturing, raping, and killing civilians around Mosul.







Human Rights Watch notes:


Iraqi government-allied troops arbitrarily detained at least 100 men in late April 2017, in some cases torturing them during interrogations, Human Rights Watch said today. 
Human Rights Watch interviewed three men from al-Hadar, a village 90 kilometers southwest of west Mosul, who were detained by the Popular Mobilization Forces (known as the PMF or Hashd al-Sha'abi) and two local officials who had knowledge of the detention operations in the area. The men said the fighters detained them as they fled their homes because of the fighting, and held them for up to 15 days in a school building and in one case a home in an area solely under PMF control. Their captors interrogated them about possible Islamic State (also known as ISIS) links, and in two cases beat them with thick metal cables, before releasing them and a small number of other detainees. Other detainees told them they had also been beaten during interrogations.

“Given the previous track records of PMF abuse in the area of screening and detaining local men, Baghdad should treat these findings with the gravest concern,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Authorities should do all in their power to ensure that families fleeing the fighting around Mosul are able to get to safety, not tortured in secret facilities.”



It's not covered by CBS NEWS which is working overtime to sell war yet again.

The Mosul Slog's been a disaster.

As the Norwegian Refugee Council notes:


                         
The last three years of conflict in Iraq have caused a displacement crisis that is ‘nearly without precedent’ according to a report released today by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

The Global Report on Internal Displacement found that widespread military offensives in Iraq caused almost 660,000 new displacements in 2016. One in ten people displaced by conflict around the world in 2016 were displaced in Iraq, bringing the total number of internally displaced Iraqis to over three million. A growing proportion of Iraqis have also been displaced more than once.
“Internal displacement is not solely the responsibility of national governments,” said Heidi Diedrich, Country Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council in Iraq. “The international community must support the efforts of the Iraqi Government to help those displaced by conflict in this country,” she said, speaking from Erbil, Iraq. 






Photojournalist David Bacon has had many exhibits and written many books, his latest book is The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration.   He has an important new photo essay that we'll note the opening of.




40,000 AT&T WORKERS ARE SET TO STRIKE
By David Bacon
Working In These Times, 5/18/17
http://davidbaconrealitycheck.blogspot.com/2017/05/40000-at-workers-are-set-to-strike.html
http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/20145/40000_att_workers_are_set_to_strike



Workers have issued an ultimatum, giving company executives until 3 p.m. ET on Friday to present serious proposals—or the workers will walk. (Photo credit: David Bacon)  

Around 40,000 members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) at AT&T could walk off their jobs, starting Friday, for a three-day strike, as pressure continues to mount on the corporation to settle fair contracts.

In California and Nevada, around 17,000 AT&T workers who provide phone, landline and cable services have been working without a contract for more than a year. Last year, they voted to authorize a strike with more than 95 percent support. And in February, an estimated 21,000 AT&T Mobility workers in 36 states voted to strike as well, with 93 percent in favor.


[. . .]

Full disclosure: David Bacon and In These Times staff are members of the Communication Workers of America, and the union is a sponsor of the magazine.
 

In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte
Photographs and text by David Bacon
University of California Press / Colegio de la Frontera Norte




Book Presentations -
In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte

Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 23, 2017
1-3 PM, Chicano Studies Research Center, 144 Haines Hall
UCLA
5:30-8 PM, UCLA Downtown Labor Center
675 S. Park View St.

Davis, Thursday, June 1, 2017
7-9 PM, Art Annex Room 107 (Technological Studies Building)
UC Davis Main Campus



302 photographs, 450pp, 9”x9”
paperback, $34.95

SPECIAL OFFER:
order the book on the UC Press website:
ucpress.edu/9780520296077
use source code  16M4197  at checkout
receive a 30% discount

En Mexico se puede pedir el libro en el sitio de COLEF:

http://libreria.colef.mx/detalle.aspx?id=7560
 

Was zwischen den USA und Mexiko schon seit langem existiert
Die Traurigkeit der Grenzmauer
http://www.nrhz.de/flyer/beitrag.php?id=23703


In den Straßen von Guadalajara
http://www.nrhz.de/flyer/beitrag.php?id=23425

Kinder – in Berliner Straßen
http://www.nrhz.de/flyer/beitrag.php?id=23309
"Wir sind obdachlos, und wir wählen"
http://www.nrhz.de/flyer/beitrag.php?id=23263

THE REALITY CHECK - David Bacon blog
http://davidbaconrealitycheck.blogspot.com

EN LOS CAMPOS DEL NORTE:  Farm worker photographs on the U.S./Mexico border wall
http://us7.campaign-archive2.com/?u=fc67a76dbb9c31aaee896aff7&id=0644c65ae5&e=dde0321ee7
Youtube interview about the show with Alfonso Caraveo (Spanish)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJeE1NO4c_M&feature=youtu.be

Interviews with David Bacon about his book, The Right to Stay Home:

Book TV: A presentation of the ideas in The Right to Stay Home at the CUNY Graduate Center

http://booktv.org/Watch/14961/The+Right+to+Stay+Home+How+US+Policy+Drives+Mexican+Migration.aspx

KPFA - Upfront with Brian Edwards Tiekert
https://soundcloud.com/kpfa-fm-94-1-berkeley/david-bacon-on-upfront-9-20
 


Books by David Bacon

The Right to Stay Home:  How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration  (Beacon Press, 2013)

http://www.beacon.org/productdetails.cfm?PC=2328

Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants  (Beacon Press, 2008)
Recipient: C.L.R. James Award, best book of 2007-2008

http://www.beacon.org/Illegal-People-P780.aspx

Communities Without Borders (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006)
http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100558350

The Children of NAFTA, Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border (University of California, 2004)
http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520244726

En Español:

EL DERECHO A QUEDARSE EN CASA  (Critica - Planeta de Libros)

http://www.planetadelibros.com.mx/el-derecho-a-quedarse-en-casa-libro-205607.html

HIJOS DE LIBRE COMERCIA (El Viejo Topo)
http://www.tienda.elviejotopo.com/prestashop/capitalismo/1080-hijos-del-libre-comercio-deslocalizaciones-y-precariedad-9788496356368.html?search_query=david+bacon&results=1

For more articles and images, see  http://dbacon.igc.org and http://davidbaconrealitycheck.blogspot.com

















Sunday, May 21, 2017

Victory declared?

map update. Green= completely liberated. Orange= frontline clashes. White= control.


This is day 214 of The Mosul Slog.

Still not fully liberated or 'liberated.'

Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) observes:


At the beginning of the month, Iraqi officials were bragging about their substantial military gains against ISIS, saying that ISIS held less than 10 percent of the Old City area of Mosul, which is about 30 square km in size. Today, Iraqi special forces declared their mission accomplished, noting ISIS now controls only 8 square km of the Old City, which is more than 25%.
This has been a recurring problem for Iraq, which has been anticipating declaring outright “victory” over ISIS in Mosul since December of last year, and keeps projecting the “end of the month” every time a new month starts and ISIS still remains in the city.


The Islamic State still controls portions of Iraq.

And yet "victory" has been declared.

What's next?

Hayder al-Abadi planning to stand under a banner that reads MISSION ACCOMPLISHED?


The Mosul Slog has been a disaster.

Human Rights Watch notes:


Iraqi government-allied troops arbitrarily detained at least 100 men in late April 2017, in some cases torturing them during interrogations, Human Rights Watch said today. 
Human Rights Watch interviewed three men from al-Hadar, a village 90 kilometers southwest of west Mosul, who were detained by the Popular Mobilization Forces (known as the PMF or Hashd al-Sha'abi) and two local officials who had knowledge of the detention operations in the area. The men said the fighters detained them as they fled their homes because of the fighting, and held them for up to 15 days in a school building and in one case a home in an area solely under PMF control. Their captors interrogated them about possible Islamic State (also known as ISIS) links, and in two cases beat them with thick metal cables, before releasing them and a small number of other detainees. Other detainees told them they had also been beaten during interrogations.

“Given the previous track records of PMF abuse in the area of screening and detaining local men, Baghdad should treat these findings with the gravest concern,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Authorities should do all in their power to ensure that families fleeing the fighting around Mosul are able to get to safety, not tortured in secret facilities.”


This is not new and this is the reason one person is not going to Iraq:


I cancelled my humanitarian trip to Iraq this week and posted my reasons why on Facebook.
















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