Tuesday, July 10, 2018




Yes, the war in Iraq drags on.

Australia's NEWS.COM notes:

SHORTLY after the fall of the Syrian city of Raqqa in October 2017 — the centre of the Islamic State (IS) caliphate — US President Donald Trump announced that IS had been defeated and the war was won. 
Nine months later it is far from clear that IS is finished and extreme paramilitary Islamist movements are increasingly active in several regions, he [Paul Rogers] writes for The Conversation.
IS had taken over much of northern Syria and Iraq, including Mosul, by mid-2014 leading President Barack Obama to order intensive air strikes to limit its spread and aid the Iraqis and others to push it on to the defensive. For close to four years an extraordinarily intensive air war was fought, principally by the US but aided by France, the UK and some other European and Middle Eastern powers.
According to the latest data from the Airwars monitoring group, over 1,424 days of air strikes, 107,814 bombs and missiles have been used against 29,741 targets in Iraq and Syria by the US-led forces. Pentagon sources speak of at least 60,000 IS paramilitaries killed but Airwars also reported 6,321 civilians killed.

We're back to where we were not all that long ago, explaining that we weren't denying credit to US President Donald Trump for defeating ISIS because, in fact, we didn't believe ISIS had been defeated 

While Paul Rogers is right to note that Donald Trump didn't defeat ISIS (and shouldn't be claiming he has), it's equally true that the western press shouldn't have been running with the nonsense that ISIS had been defeated.

It had not been.  But, golly, when Hayder al-Abadi was campaigning on the 'defeat' to argue he should be prime minister for a second term, seems like the western press couldn't tell the truth, could they?  They kept -- I'm sure by pure accident -- repeating the lie that ISIS had been defeated.

In other violence, PRESS TV notes:

Iraqi police have opened fire to break up crowds of demonstrators who had gathered near the southern oil hub of Basra to protest against a shortage of jobs, electricity, water and a number of other basic services, killing and wounding several demonstrators, local officials say.
The incident occurred at Talha district in the northern parts of Iraq's southern city of Basra on Sunday, when security forces guarding the district’s oilfields shot with live ammunition at a group of protesters who gathered on a highway, the Iraqi News website reported.

Moving on to another topic we've repeatedly cov -- Iraq's legal system is a dirty joke and we noted that fact most recently on June 29th.  This week, AP is doing a series of reports on the topic.  In one article, AP explains, "Over three days in late May, the presiding judge of the counterterrorism court in Baghdad heard an average of 12-13 cases a day and sentenced to death at least 10 defendants accused of being Islamic State group members."  June 29th, we noted:

Iraq's legal system remains a joke.  Trials take mere minutes.  There are few who receive even adequate defense.  Evidence is not required for a conviction.  Women whose 'crime' consists of being married to a member of ISIS or someone suspected of being a member of ISIS can be imprisoned and sentenced to death.

Charges -- related to ISIS or otherwise -- are often based on personal grudges and not actual events.  The whole system is a mess. 

Doubt it?  

 Any allegation of having taken up arms for the militant group can bring the ultimate penalty, even while the evidence is thin and cursory. The heavy reliance on informants is particularly glaring, given the potential that some are motivated by personal grudges. Informants never appear in court; their claims are passed to the judges in dry, written reports from intelligence officials with no hint of their possible motivation.
Thousands of defendants are rushed through the courts, with trials as short as 10 or 15 minutes and a third of the cases ending in the death penalty. Witnesses are rarely called and no forensic evidence presented, raising the likelihood of innocent people going to the gallows.

Read more here: https://www.kansas.com/news/article214547244.html#storylink=cpy

RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"