FADED CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O RODE THE WOODEN BENCH IN PREP SCHOOL WHEN IT CAME TO BASKETBALL. THAT HASN'T STOPPED HIM FROM PRETENDING HE'S AN EXPERT ON THE GAME.
NOR HAS IT STOPPED SO CALLED NEWS OUTLETS FROM PRETENDING THAT HE'S THE MAN.
HENRY J. GOMEZ GETS IT WRONG -- THERE'S NO SWAGGAR IN BARRY O'S WALK, JUST SUGAR.
IN OTHER NEWS, CHARLIE SHEEN CONTRIBUTES A BADLY WRITTEN TWEET THAT CALLS BARRY O "BARRY SATERA KENYA" AND THE TEMPLE WHORES SCREAM "RACISM!"
AS 1 WHITE ANGLO MALE AND 1 AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALE, WE ARE CONFUSED AS TO WHERE THE RACISM IS IN CHARLIE SHEEN'S TWEET?
OR IS THE CRY OF RACISM INTENDED TO DEFLECT FROM THE FACT THAT SHEEN IS RIGHT: BARRY O SHOULD HAVE STOPPED TALKING BASKETBALL AND GOT HIS CANDY ASS ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE WHITE HOUSE TO THE FUNERAL OF MAJ. GEN. HAROLD GREEN WHO WAS JUST KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN?
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
As noted in yesterday's snapshot, Human Rights Watch has issued a new report entitled "After Liberation Came Destruction: Iraqi Militias and the Aftermath of Amerli" which documents the abuse of human rights (War Crimes) being carried out in Iraq by security forces. From the report:
Peshmerga officers told Human Rights Watch they saw 47 villages in which militias had destroyed and ransacked homes, businesses, mosques, and public buildings. Residents told Human Rights Watch that the militias included the Badr Brigades, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haqq, Kita’ib Hezbollah, and Saraya Tala’a al-Khorasani, and that they destroyed numerous villages between the towns of al-Khales, in southern Diyala province, and Amerli, about 50 kilometers to the north in Salah al-Din province.
Satellite imagery corroborates witness accounts that in many cases Iraqi government forces and militias targeted the same villages and towns in which, supported by coalition air strikes, they had fought ISIS in the weeks before they lifted ISIS’s siege of Amerli. Satellite imagery showed that most of the damage they inflicted on these towns and villages after they lifted the siege resulted from arson and building demolition.
On the basis of field visits, interviews with more than 30 witnesses, and analysis of photographs and satellite imagery, Human Rights Watch found that an area that included 35 villages and towns showed extensive destruction caused by fire, explosives and heavy earth moving equipment. The evidence showed that most of the damage occurred between early September and mid-November 2014. Using satellite imagery, Human Rights Watch identified over 3,800 destroyed buildings in 30 towns and villages, including 2,600 buildings likely destroyed by fire and a further 1,200 buildings likely demolished with heavy machinery and the uncontrolled detonation of high explosives. This destruction was distinct from damages resulting from air strikes and heavy artillery and mortar fire prior to ISIS’s retreat from Amerli, which Human Rights Watch separately identified using the satellite imagery. Human Rights Watch’s field research together with the satellite imagery analysis indicates that militias engaged in deliberate and wanton destruction of civilian property after the retreat of ISIS and the end of fighting in the area.
In the four towns and villages that Human Rights Watch visited, researchers found evidence of extensive fire damage limited to the interior of buildings that would not be detectable in satellite imagery, indicating actual fire-related building damages are likely to be substantially higher than 2,600 in the affected 30 towns and villages assessed. On the basis of witness statements and analysis of satellite imagery, Human Rights Watch believes this damage was likely the result of arson perpetrated by pro-government forces.
For a change, an HRW report on Iraq is getting serious media attention. For example, Missy Ryan (Washington Post) notes the report:
Shiite militias and Iraqi government forces burned and looted dozens of villages, abducting at least 11 local residents, in the wake of a U.S.-supported operation against the Islamic State last year, a human rights group has charged in a new report.
Kareem Shaheen (Guardian) includes these comments:
“Iraq can’t win the fight against Isis’s atrocities with attacks on civilians that violate the laws of war and fly in the face of human decency,” said Joe Stork, HRW’s deputy Middle East and North Africa director.
“Militia abuses are wreaking havoc among some of Iraq’s most vulnerable people and exacerbating sectarian hostilities.”
Of the Shi'ite forces doing the terrorizing, AFP observes, "The units have played a key role in the fight to drive IS back, but relying on such groups further entrenches them in Iraq, giving them an expanded power base that will be difficult to dislodge."
Anne Barnard (New York Times) uses the HRW findings as a jumping off point to note what's taken place during the current Tikrit offensive:
During the current Tikrit offensive, video clips from the town of Albu Ajeel, where many militiamen believe villagers aided in the massacre, showed burning shops and buildings and a uniformed man declaring, “Burn them, burn them.” Few residents appear to have returned.
And while that attention is needed, the world continues to look the other way as the Iraqi government continues to daily bomb the residential neighborhoods of Falluja. This action is a legally defined War Crime (it's known as collective punishment). Then Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki began the bombings in January of 2014. In September of 2014, new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced he had stopped the bombings.
But he hadn't and the bombings continued.
Today, Iraqi Spring Media notes Falluja General Hospital received nine dead and wounded from the latest bombings by the Iraqi government. They also note that the bombings have left dead at least 2399 people (332 children, 184 women among them) and at least 4080 injured (484 children and 381 women among them).
The Human Rights Watch report did mean the State Dept's Jen Psaki was forced to mouth some meaningless words today.
QUESTION: There’s a report just came out today from the Human Rights Watch talking about the militia attacks destroyed villages. It’s their reports about after liberation came destruction. And I know that you’ve answered that question about that and the human rights abuse by the militias in Diyala and other areas, and U.S. sent delegations in the past to Baghdad and Erbil to check on that. Have you got any result on those investigations that Prime Minister Abadi said he will conduct investigation on that?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I think, one, we understand that the prime minister’s office has responded to the Human Rights Watch report, noting that the legal measures were taken against individuals who committed human rights abuses in Amirli such as the destruction and looting of civilian property as well as those accused of kidnapping civilians. So there has been action taken in that regard. Obviously, there are newer reports we’ve spoken to recently that they are certainly looking into.We can’t confirm the allegations in the Human Rights Watch report regarding potential abuses, but we agree that the long-term solution to the instability Iraq faces right now requires the political leadership to make the kinds of decision that’s – decisions that will unite the country and not promote sectarianism.
Political leadership, Jen sputters. She's attempting (and failing) to go with "political solutions" -- what US President Barack Obama declared was the only answer back in June. Haider al-Abadi became prime minister in August.
He's proven very good with words.
But words are empty and meaningless when there's no follow through.
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