Wednesday, January 20, 2016

She did it for the children!







The report's getting some attention.  THE ATLANTIC notes:

Thousands of civilians in Iraq have been killed, maimed, or displaced over the last two years, according to a new United Nations report. Between the start of 2014 and October 31 of last year, 18,802 Iraqis were killed, 36,245 were wounded, and 3.2 million were displaced. Islamic State fighters have enslaved about 3,500 others, mainly women and children, and forced hundreds of children to fight alongside the group’s militants.  

CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY puts it this way, "A new United Nations report has tried to count the civilian toll of continuing conflict in Iraq, largely at the hands of Islamic State militants, and the numbers are 'staggering'."  Ishaan Tharoor (WASHINGTON POST) words it like this, "The United Nations released a report this week detailing the "staggering civilian death toll in Iraq" over the past two years. It found that nearly 19,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the Islamic State's insurgency flared at the beginning of 2014, while some 3.2 million Iraqis have been displaced." At USA TODAY, John Bacon offers similar crap.

Nabih Bulos (LOS ANGELES TIMES) does a little better covering the report:

The violence has also displaced more than 3 million people, a full third of them school-age children, the report says.
It also documents a litany of abuses and human rights violations, whether at the hands of Islamic State or the sectarian militiamen fighting alongside the government to reclaim areas under the Sunni extremist group’s control.

Teresa Welsh (US NEWS & WORLD REPORTS) probably does the best job:

Iraqi forces and militia members battling the Islamic State group are allegedly responsible for abuses against civilians that have contributed to the chaos in the war-torn nation over a nearly two-year period, according to a new U.N. report.
Violence in the country has surged since the Islamic State group's rise in 2014: A U.S.-led coalition has been battling the extremists primarily through airstrikes, while security forces and militia members have waged a war further inflamed by sectarian tensions on the ground. According to Tuesday's report from the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, nearly 19,000 civilians have been killed and another 36,000 have been wounded in Iraq between January of 2014 and the end of October last year, with the Islamic State group bearing much of the blame.

Let's go to the report itself because truth is always the best protection from propaganda:

Violations and abuses committed by pro-Government forces
UNAMI/OHCHR has received reports of abuses and violations of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law perpetrated by pro-Government forces.
ISF and associated forces are bound to respect applicable international humanitarian law in the conduct of military operations.  UNAMI/OHCHR continues to receive information that some military operations appear to have directly targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure  or were carried out without taking all feasible precautions to protect the civilian population and civilian objects.  Reports received by UNAMI/OHCHR also indicate that some associated forces have been operating largely outside of Government control and have perpetrated abuses against civilians, including killings, abductions and destruction of property.

Iraqi forces and their actions include:

Police raids and arbitrary arrests
UNAMI/OHCHR received reports of IDPs, mostly from Kirkuk city, who were able to access safe areas but were subjected to arbitrary arrests in raids by security forces.  For example, on 3 June, security forces in Kirkuk conducted a raid in the Wahad Huzairan neighbourhood in Kirkuk city and arrested 71 IDPs on suspicion of terrorism or trespassing public grounds.  The arrested individuals were from Salah al-Din, Anbar, Basra, Diyala and Baghdad.  Such raids and arrests were frequent in the southern neighborhoods of Kirkuk city where there was a large number of IDPs.  The arrested individuals were oftentimes released after a day or two in detention.
On 16 July, security forces in Kirkuk conducted a raid in the Khadhra'a area, in the southwest part of the city.  Reportedly conducted as a precautionary measure, the raid took place the eve of the Eid holidays.  Seventy-nine individuals were arrested, most of whom were IDPs residing in Kirkuk city.  The security authorities allegedly had received information about suspected terrorist activities before and during Eid holidays.  Seventy-nine individuals allegedly had received information about suspected terrorist activities before and during Eid holidays.  The arrested individuals were released within two days and without any charge.
On 27 August, police forces conducted a raid in al-Askari neighbourhood, in the southeast of Kirkuk, and arrested 53 individuals, most of whom were IDPs.  They were detained in Domiz polic station and were released after a security screening and background check.
On 1 September, 42 individuals, most of whom were IDPs, were arrested during a raid in the Wahed Huzairan neighbourhood, a predominatly Sunni Arab area in Kirkuk city. A total of 31 individuals were arrested for not being registered, not having identification documents, or having fake documents.  Eleven others were reportedly wanted for suspected affiliation with ISIL.
On 22 September, security forces conducted a raid in Quriya area of Kirkuk city.  According to sources, the raid was conducted in neighbourhoods close to the Kirkuk government building, including Quriya, Shatorlu, Ommal Square, Almas and Sahat Tayran.  A total of 68 IDPs from different governorates were arrested, with a significant proportion coming from Tuz district in Salah al-Din.  They were arrested for various reasons, including illegal entry into Kirkuk, failure to register with the Ministry of Displacement and Migration (MoDM), and failure to present proper identification.  Another source stated that security concerns prompted the raid based on the proximity of a large number of IDPs to the Kirkuk government building.  According to security sources, all 68 were released on 22-23 September.

The report also notes:

Unlawful killings
UNAMI/OHCHR received a number of serious allegations of unlawful killings committed by ISF and associated forces.  These incidents included alleged attacks and reprisals against persons believed or perceived to support or to be associated with ISIL.
For example, on 9 June, a video was posted in social media showing a group of men, wearing what appeared to be Iraqi Federal Police uniforms, burning a cadaver and shouting sectarian chants. Sources informed UNAMI/OHCHR that the corpse was found near al-Alam sub-district in Salah al-Din, during the operations to liberate Tikrit, in February.  In the video, those seeting fire to the body were heard saying the deceased's name and that he was a Saudi citizen.  They were also heard saying that this was a gift for the people of al-Hasa and Qatif (areas in Saudi Arabia where there are a significant number of Shi'a Muslims).
In a similar incident, a video was posted online purporting to show members of the Shi'a Imam Ali Brigades burning the body of a man hanging by his feet in the town of Garma, northeast of Fallujah, in Anbar.  In the video the perpetrators accused the man of being a member of ISIL.  According to a local source, the video was shot in the town of Garma.  According to another local source, the man killed was a member of ISIL from Fallujah.  UNAMI/OHCHR could not independently verify the incident nor the authenticity of the video.

And it notes:

UNAMI/OHCHR received reports of abductions allegedly perpetrated by pro-Governmnet forces against Sunni tribes or individuals.
For instance, on 16 July,  a group of Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) members entered Jalludiyat village in Dujail district in Tikrit in Salah al-Din, and abducted 12 civilians from the Kharzraj tribe (which is a Sunni tribe) reportedly due to a tribal conflict between two families.  The brother of a tribal leader was among those abducted.
On 17 July, unidentified armed men abducted a civilian in the al-Askari area of Tuz Khurmatu district in Salah al-Din.  The victim was a Sunni Arab IDP from Sulaiman Beg sub-district, south of Tux Khurmatu.  On 18 July, unidentified armed men abducted another civilian in the al-Askari area.  The second victim was also an IDP from the Sunni Arab community from Hilewat village in Tuz Khurmatu district.  Sources strongly asserted to UNAMI/OHCHR that militia members were behind both these abductions.
On 28 July, armed militia members abducted three civilians on the main road between Abu Saida sub-district and Baquba.  The victims were Sunni Arabs from the Zuherat tribe and included the son of a tribal leader.
On 1 September, armed militia members wearing black uniforms stopped police and army vehicles that were transporting at least 40 detainees, all Sunni Arabs from Salah al-Din.  The militia stopped the convoy near Balad district, Salah al-Din, after firing warning shots into the air and at the tires of the vehicles.  They then physically assaulted an disarmed the security forces.  The abductees have been arrested in June for terrorism-related offenses and had been detained in the Brigade 17 Iraqi Army detention centre in Dujail, Salah al-Din.  Reports further stated that, at the time of their abduction, the detainees were being transferred to Baghdad.
In the early morning of 27 September, a convoy of 20 pick-up trucks carrying masked gunmen in military uniform arrived in the Alb-Tua'ma area of Hujjaj village, in Baiji district, Salah al-Din, and forcibly took at least 28 civilians from the area -- which is inhabited by members of the al-Jubour tribe.  The victims were all males from the al-Jubour tribe.  A source indicated that they were taken in a systematic manner, based on a list of names produced according to intelligence and security information.  All abductees allegedly had current or past affiliation with ISIL or family connections associated with ISIL.  Other sources reported that the masked gunmen who took the civilians were militia.
On 22 October, PMUs abducted at least 175 civilians from the Askari and Tin areas of Tuz Khurmatu district, Salah al-Din.  The victims were Sunni Arabs, who had been displaced to Tuz Khurmatu since June 2014.  The operation started at sunset, with people grabbed during house-to-house searches and in the streets, taken to PUMs facilities in Sulaiman Beg and Yengija village, and kept there for two days for questioning.  On 23 October, the bodies of three abductees (a Police officer and two civilians) were reportedly found in the Askari area.  Around 130 of the abductees were released; the others remained captive at the time of reporting.  The operation was conducted without arrest warrants or coordination with local authorities.

There's more and we'll be noting a little bit more tomorrow.

But it's past time to grow the hell up.

The mock outrage over ISIL's actions?

Tonight ABC aired a Marvel promo for an hour -- Captain America at 75.  And it included a million and one lies.  Chief among them, how brave it was for Captain America -- the comic book hero -- to take on Adolf Hitler.

It's a comic book hero.

It's not a person.

More importantly, a magazine decrying a foreign leader is always easy to do -- especially when the domestic government is against the foreign leader.

They also wanted praise, please note, for taking on Richard Nixon.

But Nixon wasn't shown in the comic book.  And our 'witness' told us that everyone knew it was Nixon even though Nixon wasn't shown.

Again, it's easy to slime a foreign leader.  (When they're despised -- justifiably so in the case of Hitler -- it's even easier.)  Guts might have been showing Richard Nixon when Captain America was decrying him -- guts for the artists doing the comic but not for the comic book hero who, again, is not a real person.

The Islamic State is a terrorist organization.

Documenting their abuses should be easy and something anyone can do without any great ethical challenge.

The United Nations report notes consistent patterns of abuse by the Iraqi government.

That needs to be spotlighted, it needs to be front and center.

You do not excuse away a government committing crimes against its own civilians.

You do not act as though that's nothing or that it's a sidebar.

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"Blondes stick together"


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