FADED CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O IS BEING CALLED A PERV AND THE ONLY SURPRISE THERE IS THAT NO LIVESTOCK ARE INVOLVED.
REACHED FOR COMMENT FADED CELEBRITY AND ONE-TIME FEMINIST GLORIA STEINEM TOLD THESE REPORTERS THAT THERE WAS NOTHING SEXIST ABOUT BARRY O GROPING AND LEERING AT A 23-YEAR-OLD WOMAN, "AND BELIEVE ME, I SHOULD KNOW! I WAS JUST VOTED SEXIEST SOCIALIST SENIOR AT MY RETIREMENT HOME!"
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Turning to the persecuted in Iraq, Adam Chandler (The Wire via MSN) notes, "ISIS, which recently rebranded as the Islamic State, has solidified its control over Iraq's second-largest city by imposing Sharia law and expelling Christians who won't convert to Islam. The end of last month marked the first time a mass wasn't held in the city in more than 1600 years." While Catholic Online notes:
"You have no place here anymore, you have to leave immediately," a member of the Syriac clergy quoted the Sunni militants as telling the monastery's residents.
The monks reportedly pleaded to save some of the monastery's relics. The fighters refused and ordered them to leave on foot with nothing but their clothes on their backs.
Christian residents from the area say the monks walked several miles along a deserted road and were eventually picked up by Kurdish peshmerga fighters who drove them to Qaraqosh.
Five monks have been expelled from Mar Behnam. Christian families in the area said there may have been up to nine people living at the monastery.
Friday, the Islamic State informed the Christians of Mosul there were two choices if they wanted to go on living in Mosul: pay a tax or convert to Islam. If they didn't want to do either and attempted to remain in Mosul, they would be killed. The events and threats have been decried by many leaders including the Pope. Independent Catholic News notes, "Pope Francis has reassured the Patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church Ignatius Youssef III Younan that he is following news out of Iraq with concern, particularly the dramatic situation of Christians in Mosul who have been threatened with death and seizure of their homes by Islamic militants demanding they leave or convert to their form of Islamic belief. Christians have lived in Iraq’s second largest city for nearly two thousand years; there are few, if any, left now in Mosul." Also offering promises is the governor of Erbil Province. AP notes that he (Nawzad Hadi) is promising "to protect fleeing Christians and other minority groups. The territory is currently home to more than 2 million refugees and internally displaced people from Iraq and Syria, according to the United Nations." Lebanon's Daily Star adds:
The Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order – a collection of former members of the Baath party said to be helping ISIS in its conquests – has disassociated itself from violence against minority groups.
“Our army is an extension of the former national Iraqi army and includes all the factions of the Iraqi people such as Sunnis, Shiites, Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen as well as Christians, Yazdis and Sabeans who want to liberate Iraq and relieve it from subordination,” the group said in a message posted on its official website Tuesday.
“We don’t have any connection or coordination with any group ... which calls for dividing Iraq and its people on ethnic and sectarian basis.”
Of course, it's not just the city of Mosul being targeted, surrounding cities and towns have been targeted as well. Jason Motlagh (Bloomberg News) reports on the neighboring city of Qaraqosh where IS has limited the amount of water the city gets:
Outside one of the town’s 12 churches, people queue from 6 a.m. until midnight to get their daily rations from a well. Flatbed trucks are joined by children with pushcarts and riders on bicycles bearing empty jugs. “Our lives revolve around water,” says Laith, 28, a school teacher who returned with his family a day earlier from a suburb of Erbil, the Kurdish regional capital, 45 miles away, to which thousands of threatened Christians have migrated. Though aid agencies have erected several water depots around town, supplies are limited, barely enough to sustain large families in the 100-degree-plus heat. Plans to dig new wells will take at least several months to fulfill.
The attacks come shortly after a major discovery. Alexandra Di Stefano Pironti (Rudaw) points out:
While the history of civilization is being demolished by war and religious zealots in the rest of Iraq, in the Kurdistan Region archeologists are marveling at a stunning discovery: the remains of a long-lost temple from the biblical kingdom of Urartu, dating back to the 9th century BC.
Kurdish archaeologist Dlshad Marf Zamua, who has studied the columns and other artifacts at the find, told Rudaw these were unearthed piecemeal over the past four decades by villagers going about their lives, digging for cultivation or construction.
But only recently, after the discovery of life-size human statues and the unearthed columns, Zamua realized that the villagers had stumbled upon the temple of Haldi. That was one of the most important gods of Urartu, an Iron-Age kingdom around Lake Van in the Armenian highlands.
When the Christians in Mosul were threatened, the US State Dept had nothing to say. After-the-fact? The State Dept's a non-stop Chatty Cathy as evidenced by spokesperson Marie Harf at today's press briefing.
QUESTION: And just to follow up on Samir’s question yesterday about ISIS in Iraq and persecuting Christians, is there any update from the podium about any special ambassador for international religious freedom that might be able to – better equipped to deal with this kind of issue?
MS. HARF: Well, we’re very well-equipped to deal with this kind of issue. We have a number of people working on it. I don’t have an update for you on that. I’m happy to check.
QUESTION: Would you agree that when President Obama goes to the Dutch embassy and signs a book of condolence – largely it’s a ceremonial gesture. Would a nomination – would you agree that a nomination of this position of international – ambassador of international religious freedom, it would set – it’d be better optics, given --
MS. HARF: Why is it related in any way to the President signing a ceremonial book? I don’t see the link, and obviously, we’re committed to religious freedom regardless of whether or not there’s someone in that position.
QUESTION: Because it’s a gesture that says that we care.
MS. HARF: Well, we do care. We care very deeply, and I will see if there’s an update on any sort of nominations for you.
That was it on the topic because the journalist who cooperated with the State Dept on Benghazi, who e-mailed about what questions he'd ask and shared what a waste he thought discussing the Benghazi attack was? That journalist or 'journalist' wanted to derail the discussion of Iraq. Who knows, maybe that was worked out in e-mails before the briefing? Maybe not.
Listen to me, don't walk that street
There's always an end to it
Come and be free, you know who I am
We're just living people
We won't have a thing
So we got nothing to lose
We can all be free
Maybe not with words
Maybe not with a look
But with your mind
-- "Maybe Not," written by Chan Marshall (also known as Cat Power), first appears on Cat's You Are Free.
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