Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Truest statement of the week

The DSA, from its founding by the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, was explicitly founded as a part of the Democratic Party. And its orientation within the Democratic Party was throughout the Carter administration, throughout the Tip O’Neill reign of the conservative Democratic Party in the 1980s, throughout the 90s throughout the Congressional Progressive Caucus. So the DSA has had 50 years to push the Democratic Party to the left from within. Over that period the Democratic Party has gone further and further to the right, to the point where the DSA is in the absurd position of trying to be a socialist organization that has five members of the Democratic Caucus in Congress supporting Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi. 

-- Eric London, "Joseph Kishore, Eric London discuss DSA’s celebration of Trotsky assassination on 'Eclectic Radical with Chris Richards'" (WSWS).






Truest statement of the week II

Workers are seeing these organizations for what they really are: anti-labor institutions that are “unions” in name only, and that are run by unaccountable and affluent upper-middle class bureaucrats—pulling down six-figure salaries—who have nothing but contempt for the workers they represent. These “unions” function not as defensive organizations of the working class, but as direct and enthusiastic accomplices of the corporations in the exploitation of the working class. 

-- David North, "Volvo Truck workers in Virginia return to the picket lines: A turning point in the US and global class struggle" (WSWS).






A note to our readers

Hey --

It's Tuesday night.

Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen, Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?


    -- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.








    Editorial: An apethetic press continues to ignore the realities

    Joe Adams Tweets:


    wth is wrong with you??? Why won't you mention Turkey and Erdogan's atrocious crimes against the Kurds and other minorities?? How twisted are you???



    We hear you, Joe, we hear you.

    It's very frustrating how so many look the other way as Turkey breaks one law after another.

    They bombed a UN refugee camp over the weekend.

    That attack was against the law.  Yes, that is our opinion.  But, yes, it's also the opinion of the US government.  If you missed it buried in a REUTERS report:


    U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield visited Ankara last week and said she told officials that "any attack targeting civilians at Makhmour refugee camp would be a violation of international and humanitarian law".

    A violation of international and humanitarian law?

    A US official on the record.  So why isn't that law breaking the lead story?  




    TV: Mini-King and Mini-Halston

    Tone and perspective can add a great deal. Too often, however, they're missing in television works. We were reminded of that once again while watching APPLE+ mini-series LISEY'S STORY. Like many offerings these days, it's based on a work by Stephen King. The cast includes Julianne Moore, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Joan Allen and Clive Owen. Due to that, we were expecting an acting tour de force. However, that was about all we were expecting. 

    3 JESS 

    CASTLE ROCK was saved by acting -- by acting and nothing else. The HULU offering, also based upon a work by Stephen King, was the typical TV offering, hastily shot, poorly planned and no real visual point of view. The camera existed solely to shoot whomever was speaking at the time. A show that really uses strong visuals to tell a story, something like Gregg Araki and Steven Soderbergh's NOW APOCALYPSE, is a rarity. If Detroit used to be an assembly line, TV is more of a bakery using the same cookie cutter pattern. The thinking seems to be, 'If we all look the same, we can spread around the blame."

    LISEY'S STORY doesn't look the same. It has a muted, fogged look that adds to the texture of the story unwinding.

    Scott Landon (Clive Owen) was an author who was shot dead by a man claiming Scott stole his life and story. Lisey (Julianne Moore) is his widow who is dealing with demented fans including a rude professor who wants to grab all of Scott's papers. She and her sister Darla (Jennifer Jason Leigh) are also dealing with the mental issues of their sister Amanda (Joan Allen). Amanda appears to be communicating with her late brother-in-law.

    The Water Cooler Set seems iffy on it and we're wondering if it's because it's a female-led show or if they're just unfamiliar with the storyline? This adheres to the novel King wrote and hints of what it to come -- including a monster that will destroy one of Scott's fans -- have been established in the opening episode. The story unravels in an almost dissociative fugue state which is more than appropriate for the plot of the mini-series.

    We've waited and waited for some offering from APPLE+ that we could praise. This is it, LISEY'S STORY is a stand-out and could point a way forward for the streamer -- as an auteur service, a streamer where quality and vision matters. In a very crowded market, that could allow APPLE+ to stand out.

    As we noted last time, the pandemic has been a Golden Age of streaming for NETFLIX which has had a huge number of offerings worth watching. But not everything has been a high mark.

    For example, HALSTON was hideous. So hideous, in fact, that we'd propose Ryan Murphy not ever be connected to a project set in the 70s again. It reeks of internalized homophobia and gives off the creepy vibe so many projects once did where they went for 'tolerance' -- as though humanity is something you have to force yourself to tolerate.

    The mini-series is based upon the life of the one-named fashion designer Halston. Ewan McGregor plays the role with all the reach of Christopher Reeve trying to 'understand' homosexuality -- an understanding we never felt that Christopher had to reach that hard for since, after all, he had that semi-infamous affair with Casey Donovan back when Chris was mouthing lines on LOVE OF LIFE, Ewan seems to think bitchy is the way to play Halston and it may very well be one way to play him. It might have even worked had the series had wit, style or camp. Instead, it's just sort of tired and dirty, as though it were inspired by Madonna's "Bad Girl" video.

    There's no joy to be found in the sleazy morality tale that is HALSTON.

    When we watched ROCKETMAN, we thought Taren Egerton did an amazing job but we rolled our eyes over John Reed. Richard Madden was effective in the part. But we rolled out eyes because of the way he was portrayed in the film. Reid was the bad guy. Okay? Some would disagree -- some we know very well -- but okay. But did Elton and company need to lie to turn him into the bad guy? We see Reid being rough with Elton when the two are involved. Bad Reid1 -- that's what we're supposed to say.

    But the reality is that, in the 70s, Elton was known for being into, for lack of a better term, rough trade. Elton didn't want to be cuddled all the time. And that's why Reed was attractive to him.

    It would have been more truthful to show that, in the early stages, Elton was excited by Reid. We don't deny that abuse took place. But without understanding the way Reid treating Elton roughly initially delighted Elton, you never understand how the two ended up together let alone had the basis for a long standing relationship.

    Halston, like Elton in ROCKETMAN, never really appears to enjoy sex. It's something to do and check off the list.

    Where is the joy in HALSTON? Drugs don't make the title character joyful, sex doesn't, even success doesn't. It's a joyless life and feels like one of those preachy 70s and early 80s TV specials about how we should pity the homosexuals.

    How do you make a series about the fashion industry in the 70s -- the height of recreational drug use and disco and sex (pre-AIDs era) -- and not find any joy? More to the point, why should anyone want to watch a depressed and depressing offering like HALSTON? Ryan Murphy is good at churning out product but he appears to have lost both vision and perspective.


    KINDLE UNLIMITED (Jim, Ava and C.I.)



    In 2018, community sites took turns covering a book every week.  You can see "In 2018, we read books" to review that coverage.  We didn't want to repeat ourselves in 2019 or 2020.  So when Marcia came up with a way to cover books but with a twist, we were all for it.  Marcia's idea was for us to digital books -- we're largely a printed text crowd -- and to use AMAZON's KINDLE UNLIMITED.  So for 2021, we'll be doing a book a week and trying to just use KINDLE UNLIMITED. This week, we're talking with Jim about Anthony Curcio's STEPHEN CURRY: THE CHILDREN'S BOOK: THE BOY WHO NEVER GAVE UP.  Jim, you went with a children's book.

    Jim: Right.  Dona and I are parents and so I do look for children's books.  I've honestly not been impressed with the offerings at KINDLE UNLIMITED until I came across this one.  

    Did you like it because of the sports theme?

    Jim: That helped get my son's attention and hold it, yes.  But it really does have some great illustrations.


    Jim: Yes, on every page but some of the drawings also include a photograph.  I really like the illustrations a great deal.  

    On the AMAZON page for the book, several reviews complained -- about the print book -- that pages were out of order or cut off too soon.  Was that a problem with the edition KINDLE offered?

    Jim: Not at all.  The digital version was fine.  Pages in order, no cut off pages.  

    With the other children's books you've sampled, what were some of the problems?

    Jim: A lot of illustrations didn't pop.  Sometimes it was the color, sometimes it was the style.  I liked the illustrations but, more importantly, my son loved them.  They really deserve praise for the way they're drawn and for the colors they use.  

    Your thoughts on KINDLE UNLIMITED itself?

    Jim: I've probably found three good books on coaches but otherwise I'm mainly looking for books to read with my son.  Dona's found a few books she likes.  I think if you're a group of people using one subscription, it's probably better.  I don't know if it was just me, for example, if I'd have enough interest to justify a monthly subscription.  But if you and your family or you and your friends team up for one subscription, I think it's worth it.

    Which goes with what Dona told us last time, "I don't think it has enough value for someone to subscribe beyond one month."  

    Jim: Hey, when she's right, she's right and she's usually right.



    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Kat, Ava and C.I.)"


    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Kat, Ava and C.I.)"


    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Betty, Ava and C.I.)

    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Stan, Ava and C.I.)


    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Betty, Ava and C.I.)"

    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Isaiah, Ava and C.I.)"

    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Elaine, Dona, Ava and C.I.)"

    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Mike, Ava and C.I.)"

    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Trina, Ava and C.I.)"

    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Stan, Ava and C.I.)"

    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Marcia, Ava and C.I.)"

    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Kat, Ava and C.I.)"

    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Rebecca, Ava and C.I.)"




    Stephen Curry: The Children's Book: The Boy Who Never Gave Up
    by Anthony Curcio









    I think I can, I think I can.


    Remember that?  


    No, it's not an elderly man taking his first Viagra.  It's THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD.  Children's stories -- especially good ones -- stay with us.  And if you're a parent (I am), you think about lessons the books can impart as well as how they can entertain.


    Steph Curry is a famous basketball star, an MVP, someone whose father, Dell Curry, played for the Charlotte Hornets.  He's also the topic and main character in Anthony Curcio's children's book STEPHEN CURRY: THE CHILDREN'S BOOK: THE BOY WHO NEVER GAVE UP.


    Despite having a father who played in the NBA, no one thought Steph would grow up to play in the NBA.  Throughout his life, he was told he wouldn't.  He was told he was too short.  But he practiced and practiced and by high school was excelling.  Despite that, even colleges weren't going after him.  But he did have interest from Davidson College and he went with it and proved everyone wrong about his height meaning he couldn't play in the NBA.  


    It is, basically, THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD but about a real person.  We're working with our son on reading and a book about Steph Curry sold itself to him because he loves basketball.  


    We enjoyed the book and that includes the artwork. No illustrator is credited so I'll assume that Curcio did the illustrations.  Congratulations to Curcio because they really pop.  I strongly recommend this book.


    Stephen Curry: The Children's Book: The Boy Who Never Gave Up
    by Anthony Curcio


    We're not psychics

    Back on May 10th, we offered a list of ten shows that we thought would be cancelled in "10 shows we think will be cancelled in the next weeks." How did we do?


    FOX is "burning off" episodes. It's not cancelled, it's not renewed. We think it will not return for a third season but we're fine to mark it "incomplete" at this point.


    Saints be praised, this show that never should have aired got the axe.


    We were wrong, this Topher Grace led show will have a second season.


    Sadly, this disaster was renewed.

    5) DEBRIS (NBC)

    But this one got the axe.

    6) MR. MAYOR (NBC)

    We were wrong -- and this actually got a second season pick up back in March.

    7) CLARICE (CBS)

    Incomplete again -- no word yet. We'd guess it might move to PARAMOUNT streaming but no decision has been made.


    We were wrong. This got a second season renewal.


    We were wrong. Renewed for a second season.

    10) THE CON (ABC)

    No word.

    2 right, 5 wrong, and 3 incomplete. Not a good score, no.





    In 2021, we'll be covering digital books.  So far this year, the coverage includes:


    Jim's "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Jim, Ava and C.I.)"

    Dona's " book to avoid (Dona)"



    Ty's "KINDLE UNLIMITED's gay erotica (Ty)"




    Betty's "THE COLOR PURPLE"



    Betty's ""Kim Berry and Andrea Williams' DIAMONDS AND CURLZ""

    Isaiah's "Marco Bonafede's WORDLESS COMICS"



    Rebecca's "the mommie dearest diary: carol ann tells all"

    Kat's "How Mabel Normand's many scandals (at least five) destroyed her career"


    Marcia's "Paul Jay's bad Gore Vidal 'book'"


    Stan's "Adrienne Barbeau's bad book THERE ARE WORSE THINGS I COULD DO"


    Trina's "Mexican Casserole and a book in the Kitchen"


     Mike's "Book review CONVERSATIONS WITH CAPOTE"





    Tweet of the week

    From Margaret Kimberley:

    I knew Joe Biden's son was an idiot, and that he made money off of his father's name, and introduced him to shady Ukrainians. So I didn't defend him. So glad I didn't. dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9 #RacistHunter

    Josh Bernstein joins TCC to talk about Elections and foreign policy.









    Krystal Ball: Workers REVOLT. Has Low Key General Strike ALREADY Started?






    #TheJimmyDoreShow The Young Turks Embarrass Themselves Pushing Pro-War Straw Man







    This edition's playlist





    1) Nick Jonas' SPACEMAN.


    2) Chase Rice's THE ALBUM.


    3) Liz Phair's SOBERISH.


    4) Harry Style's FINE LINE


    5) Cher's STARS.


    6) Fiona Apple's FETCH THE BOLT CUTTERS


    7)  Mavis Staples' LIVE IN LONDON.


    9) Tracy Chapman's OUR BRIGHT FUTURE.


    10)  Bob Dylan's ROUGH AND ROWDY WAYS.








    Wednesday, June 02, 2021

    Truest statement of the week

    The sudden respectability granted to this theory also exposes the collusion which regularly takes place between the Democratic Party and big tech social media platforms. Facebook admitted that any mentions of the lab leak theory were being censored until recently. Big tech works hand in hand with the liberal establishment and together they decide what information should and should not be disseminated. Of course media censorship only increases cynicism and makes the public more likely to believe just about anything. Facebook’s admission is proof that the current controversy is the result of a politicized process.
    From the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis we have been admonished to “trust the science.” If the lab leak theory has gained any credibility it is only because the accusations have returned and been amplified by bad actors. Most experts in the field of virology have not changed their minds about natural origin being the most likely explanation. Unless or until new evidence is presented, that is the science that should be trusted.

    -- Margaret Kimberley, "Freedom Rider: Lab Leak Theory and Anti-China Mania" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).





    A note to our readers

    Hey --

    It's Wednesday night.

    Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

    The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
    Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
    Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
    C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
    Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
    Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
    Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
    Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
    Ruth of Ruth's Report,
    Wally of The Daily Jot,
    Trina of Trina's Kitchen, Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
    Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
    Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
    and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

    And what did we come up with?


    -- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.

    Editorial: What do you do while the Kurds are persecuted?

     50 years from now, when they ask you what you did or said when the Kurds were being persecuted and targeted by the Turkish government, what will you say?

    We suggest you find your voice now.

    Read the "Iraq snapshot" below if you're not up to date:


     Wednesday, June 2, 2021.  The Turkish government continues to terrorize Iraq and now it's clearing forests in northern Iraq.  Where's the outrage?

    To say the government of Turkey is a bully is to put a smiley face on it and understate reality.  It is currently violating international law with its actions in Iraq and should be on trial for War Crimes.  With little attention paid to Turkey's actions or to international law, the world has stood by as Turkey has declared it has the right to attack Kurds.

    Sorry, poorly worded.  The world has stood by as Turkey has declared it has the right to attack Kurds in Iraq.  The world has always stood still and allowed Turkey to terrorize the Kurds within Turkey.  That allowed the government to think that they could expand their onslaught outside their borders and into the neighboring Iraq.  Turkey sending forces into Iraq isn't just a violation of another country's sovereignty, it's an act of war.  Let's all stop pretending otherwise.

    In the latest development, REUTERS reports:

    President Tayyip Erdogan has warned Iraq that Turkey will “clean up” a refugee camp which it says provides a safe haven for Kurdish militants, threatening to take its long military campaign deeper inside Iraqi territory.

    [. . .]

    Erdogan said Makhmour, a camp 180 km south of the Turkish border which has hosted thousands of Turkish refugees for more than two decades, was an “incubator” for militants and must be tackled.

    “If the United Nations does not clean it up, we will do it as a UN member,” Erdogan said, adding that Ankara believed Makhmour posed as great a threat as the PKK’s stronghold in the Qandil mountains further north.

    And that's the thing about bullies: If they aren't rebuked, they grow emboldened.  Erdogan is a bully where ever he goes.  In the US?  He had his bodyguards beat up Americans -- in public -- in front of cameras -- and there were no consequences.  Barack Obama just waved and said, "Thanks for visiting!  See you soon!"  He's a despot.  People go on and on about Putin and you have to wonder -- are you really that stupid?  If the media doesn't train you, are you unable to think?  How many years has Erdogan reuled over Turkey?  Do you even know?  Do you even know the genocide against the Kurds that's been ongoing for years?  The PKK is a response.  It is not an initiating action.  The PKK rises up because of the way the Kurds are persecuted by the Turkish government.  Instead of the world joining in rebuking Turkey for the way they have treated Kurds within their own borders, the world has largely stayed silent and Turkey's been able to expand their ethnic cleansing beyond their southern border and into Iraq.  

    Where does it stop?

    That question should have been asked long ago.  

    HURRIYET DAILY NEWS, a Turkish outlet that serves as a mouthpiece for the Turkish government, states:

    Turkish forces have neutralized 1,162 terrorists in operations within the country and outside its borders this year, the National Defense Ministry said on May 30. 

    The terrorists were neutralized in 181 large- and medium-scale operations, ministry spokeswoman Maj. Pınar Kara told a news briefing.

    The figure includes 142 terrorists who were neutralized in Pence-Simsek and Pence-Yildirim operations in northern Iraq.

    142 in Iraq?  Terrorists?  And how many civilians did they kill?  None. 

    Not one.

    That's according to them.  

    That's not reality but that is their claim.

    And too many outlets endorse genocide and let them get away with that lie.


    Seth J. Frantzman (JERUSALEM POST) notes:

    Turkey continued its campaign of bombarding villages in northern Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region this week, reportedly damaging homes and a church of local Christian minorities.

    Ankara claims it is fighting "terror" although there have been no major terror attacks in Turkey for many years. The real terror, according to the locals, comes from Turkey's bombardment using drones, aircraft and even artillery.

    The Assyrian Policy Institute noted that "yesterday, Mar Yousip Assyrian Church of the East in the Assyrian village of Musaka in Barwar, northern Iraq was damaged during a Turkish aerial campaign targeting suspected PKK positions in the area."

    According to the local reports from Rudaw and other sources, the bombing damaged a Christian village and a church. One villager from Miska said that bombs fell near buildings.

    It appears Miska and Musaka are related spellings of the name for the same place. In northern Iraq, many towns have multiple names, sometimes including a Turkish, Arabic, Assyrian and Kurdish name and spelling. For instance, the large Christian town of Qaraqosh is also called Hamdaniyeh and Bakhdida. Erbil is called Hawler in Kurdish.

    "People were terrified," a local told Rudaw about Turkey's bombing of the area. Many families, who are members of ancient Christian minorities, have been forced to flee local villages. According to reports, the villages of Kesta and Chalke have been depopulated and only a few families remain in Miska.

    This looks like ethnic cleansing, similar to how Turkey forced 170,000 Kurds to flee Afrin in Syria after invading the area in 2018 and sending Turkish-backed jihadist extremists to occupy the area and attack minority Kurds and Yazidis.

    Wherever Turkey occupies Syria, it has ethnically cleansed minorities. Inside Turkey, tens of thousands of Kurds have been massacred during Turkey's various wars against what it says is Kurdistan Workers Party terrorism.

    The same Turkish state that bombs and strafes villages in Iraq and Syria is also the one that slams Israel for airstrikes in Gaza. Turkey may be using attacks on Israel to distract from its own campaigns attacking civilian areas under the guise of "fighting terrorism."

    Monday, Steve Sweeney (UK MORNING STAR) noted:

    TURKEY was accused of using chemical weapons against guerilla fighters yet again in its war against the Kurdish people in northern Iraq.

    According to Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) officials, “chemical warfare agents” were deployed against tunnels used by armed resistance fighters in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region’s mountainous Duhok province, which borders Turkey.

    It claimed that such “dirty tactics” have been used on at least 12 occasions, although the Morning Star has not been able to independently verify the allegations. The latest attack was said to have taken place on Saturday.

    Turkey, which has Nato’s second largest army, is bogged down in what could potentially be a lengthy and costly battle in the province after it launched Operation Claw-Lightning on April 23.

    Turkey’s war is opposed by all political forces in Kurdistan along with the Iraqi Communist Party, which deems the invasion illegal and an open attack on the country’s sovereignty.

    On Sunday, Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) executive committee member Edhem Barzani wrote an open letter to the Kurdistan regional presidency and the United Nations in protest against Ankara’s military operations.

    “Kurdistan, this beautiful land, which is the common heritage of humanity and the nation of the Kurds, is systematically burned and plundered under the pretext of defence,” he wrote.

    He warned that Turkey does not leave places where it gains a foothold, such as Cyprus.

    Sunday, AHVAL reported:

    A total of 47 villages have been evacuated in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region as a result of Turkish airstrikes in the last 37 days, Mezopotamya Agency reported on Saturday.

    Village guards with the Turkish army and groups in the Free Syrian Army (FSA) allied with Ankara have also started logging in the evacuated villages, selling the timber in Turkey via Turkish companies, Mezopotamya said, citing a ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK) lawmaker.

    PDK lawmaker Rêving Hirurî spoke to Iraqi Kurdish press, confirming that party official Ali Awnî had greenlighted the logging and removal of the timber from the evacuated villages, Mezopotamya said. In the evacuated villages, Turkish troops have also started to set up checkpoints and to station armoured vehicles.

    MEHR NEWS AGENCY adds, "Some 1.85 square kilometres of fruit trees have burned down in Metina, and cultivated lands areas have caught fire while herds of livestock belonging to the Iraqi Kurdish villagers have perished."  Karwan Faidhi Dri (RUDAW) reports:

    Areas of the Kurdistan Region bordering Turkey, recently deforested by the Turkish army, used to be so dense with trees that the sky was practically blocked out, witnesses told Rudaw English. 

    An eyewitness, whose photographs of deforested areas in Duhok province went viral recently, spoke on the condition of anonymity to Rudaw English about what he saw during his recent trip to the border region.

    “Ten years ago, we used to smuggle animals from Turkey to the Kurdistan Region through these areas. The forests were so dense that we could barely see the sky. We were also able to pass the border without being noticed by Turkish soldiers - thanks to the trees,” the witness recounted.

    He was referring to a series of mountains near Nizure, Kesta and Hirore villages in Duhok province. The vicinity of these areas has been invaded by the Turkish army since it launched two military operations against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on April 23.

    Most of the residents of these villages have fled their homes due to intense clashes between the Turkish army and the PKK in the vicinity of, and sometimes inside, the villages. 

    [. . .]

    A satellite image he shared with a tweet shows that the Kurdistan Region’s mountainous areas were mostly green on May 14, 2020 but almost all the trees seem to have been cut down by May 14 this year. 

    Deforestation, Turkey's contribution to global warming.  "Ecocide" is the term being used, RUDAW's Dilan Sirwan explains and also notes, "Local residents, speaking on condition of anonymity, have told Rudaw that some of the trees were taken across the border to be sold."

    Here are a few of the Tweets with the #Ecocide:

    When all the trees have been cut down and the forests burned, by then you come to realize that you cannot eat money. Don’t be a fool to think that you can save a nation when you can’t even save the trees. Palm treeDeciduous treeDeciduous tree #SaveTheTrees #SaveTheForest #StopTurkeyEcocideKurdistan

    #Turkish army plundering #Kurdish forests. This country has been bombing Kurdish villages for months and causing their residents to be forcibly displaced. This is a terrorist state and a thief of Kurdish property. #StopTurkeyEcocideKurdistan

    These pictures as you can see are the scene of the Turkish army's occupation of part of the territory of southern Kurdistan, some of them burn part of our forests, and others cut down their trees and return them to Turkey, #stopturkeyecocidekurdistan #UNEnvironment #UN

    #Turkish army plundering #Kurdish forests. This country has been bombing Kurdish villages for months and causing their residents to be forcibly displaced. This is a terrorist state and a thief of Kurdish property. #StopTurkeyEcocideKurdistan

    Zelan Kader offers this thread:

    In 1948, after Nazi Germany exterminated millions of Jews and other minorities during World War II, the United Nations adopted a convention establishing a new crime so heinous it demanded collective action. Genocide - ‘condemned by the civilized world.’ 1/4

    Now, a small but growing number of world leaders including and have begun citing an offense they say poses a similar threat to humanity and remains beyond the reach of international criminal law: ecocide. 2/4

    Considering #Turkey current episode of destruction to lives, livelihoods and ecology of #KRI it is absolutely clear to see that this ecocide intended to begin a campaign of forced migration. #StopTurkeyEcocideKurdistan #SaveKurdistanNature 3/4

    Why isn’t the international community condemning what #Turkey is doing to the #KRI #SaveKurdistanNature. How much suffering do we have to endure? 4/4

    NRT reports:

    Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Spokesperson Jotiar Adil said on Monday (May 31) that the KRG has officially complained to the Turkish government about illegal logging in the border areas of the Kurdistan Region, which he called “unacceptable.”

    Recent reports from Duhok governorate’s Zakho district showed Turkish trucks bringing trees back to Turkey that had been felled in areas of the Kurdistan Region under Turkish military occupation. The images were reminiscent of the activities of Turkey and its rebel allies in northern Syria.

    Adil said in a statement that the KRG has expressed its concerns and dissatisfaction about the damage done by Turkey to the nature of the Kurdistan Region.

    Wladimir van Wilgenburg (KURDISTAN 24) adds:

    The Kurdistan Regional Government has expressed its concern to Ankara over the apparent widespread logging and ongoing deforestation in the border areas of Duhok province blamed on Turkish companies.

    The KRG “strongly rejects the Turkish Government’s deforestation of the Kurdistan Region’s precious lands, and it has officially requested Turkey to cease its harmful and destructive activities,” government spokesperson Dr. Jotiar Adil said on Monday.

    In a joint statement early Tuesday, the agriculture ministries of the KRG and the Iraqi federal government called on Turkey to stop cutting down trees in Duhok province, calling it a hostile act against the environment. The ministries urged the United Nations and international organizations to act to resolve the issue.

    What's today?  Wednesday?  We're two days away from another useless "firedrill Friday" ("Fire drill Friday"?).  Those useless events that Jane Fonda's been doing.  How about adding some weight to the event, Jane, and bringing up what Turkey's doing?  Actually highlight something and not just try the feel good nonsense that you've been urged to do. (Jane explains in her book that 'advisors' explained to her the events couldn't actually educate because that would be too much work -- for a review of that bad book, see Ava and my "Media: The Jane Fonda Horror Show").

    At GREEK CITY TIMES, Elly Abramson writes:

    On 24 April, President Joe Biden formally recognized the Armenian Genocide, making this the first U.S. administration to do so.

    This mass killing of civilians resulted in the deaths of up to 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1923 at the hands of Ottoman authorities. Most of the victims died in forced labor battalions or on death marches to remote camps.

    Beyond the mere gesture to historical injustice, Biden’s decision signalled an important shift in American policy toward Turkey’s activities in the region. By acknowledging this infamous event, Biden rejected the longest standing gag-rule in American foriegn policy, throwing off pressure from the Turkish government who has long sought to repress historical recognition of this crime.

    An official statement by the Armenian National Committee of America commended “President Biden’s principled stand on the Armenian Genocide” claiming the move “powerfully overrode Ankara’s foreign veto against honest American remembrance of this crime [and] pivots America toward the justice deserved and the security required for the future of the Armenian nation.”

    Indeed, this important change to Washington’s attitude toward Turkey could not have come at a more important time. While recognizing past crimes is important, current and ongoing aggression by Turkey in the region is escalating to a startling degree.

    Turkey has had a longstanding conflict with the Kurdish people for decades. The Kurds, an ancient ethnic group residing in the border region between modern day Turkey, Syria, and Iraq, have been at the center of geopolitical upheaval for much of the recent period.

    Over the past three years, Turkey has escalated its attacks against Kurdish groups to its south. The first major event in this trend took place in early 2018, when the Turkish army executed an incursion into the Afrin region of Syria. The following year, Turkey launched another operation in northern Syria with the intent to eradicate the presence of Kurdish militias that had allegedly created a foothold in the area.

    The series of airstrikes and ground forces attacks that took place in the first weeks of October 2019, displaced thousands and resulted in the deaths of dozens of civilians.

    Now, Turkey has taken its war against the Kurds to Iraq, where recent actions by its military have left devastation unseen in the country for years.

    Ankara began to widen its operations in Iraq after 13 Turkish citizens being held hostage by the Kurdish militias were killed during a February raid by Turkish forces on a Kurdish base in the country.

    Turkey officially launched Operation Claw Lightning into Iraq on April 23, the very anniversary of the Armenian genocide. Over the past several weeks, the Turkish air force has bombarded several villages in northern Iraq, in the region known as the autonomous Kurdish zone.

    Local residents have reported that Turkey’s bombardment using drones, aircraft, and even artillery, has left dozens of civilians dead, and damaged several non-military structures.

    On 23 May, the Assyrian Policy Institute (API) noted that “yesterday, Mar Yousip Assyrian Church of the East in the Assyrian village of Musaka in Barwar, northern Iraq was damaged during a Turkish aerial campaign.” According to API, the bombings were targeting suspected positions of the PKK, a Kurdish armed group.

    While Turkey claims that its actions are in order to “combat terror”, there have, in fact, been no major terror attacks in Turkey for years. The claim by Turkish officials that cross border incursions are necessary to create “safe-zones”, there are to date no records of attacks aimed at Turkey emanating from Iraq or Syria.

    But more than the physical destruction inflicted by its military, the biggest effect of Turkey’s activities in Iraq have been the colossal displacement of the area’s population. Turkey’s actions in the region are beginning to look a lot like the ethnic cleansing, similar to how Turkey forced 170,000 Kurds to flee Afrin in Syria after invading the area in 2018.

    During that campaign, Turkey coordinated with ISIS affiliated jihadist extremists to occupy the area and attack minority Kurds and Yazidis and force them to flee. Indeed, wherever Turkey has occupied an area in the region, whether it be Syria or Iraq, it has systematically removed minority groups deemed a threat.

    In Turkey’s current campaign in northern Iraq, hundreds of Kurdish villagers have been forced to flee incessant bombing. At the same time, reports are emerging that Turkey is  shipping in jihadists and their families from neighbouring Syria as part of an attempt to enforce population change.

    The following sites updated:

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