Pentagon lies about killing Iraqi civilians


This video from the USA says about itself:

Report: US Kills 31x More Iraqi Civilians Than Pentagon Claims

18 November 2017

Whenever the Pentagon gives its official estimate of civilians they’ve killed, go ahead and multiply that by about THIRTY-ONE. John Iadarola, Ben Mankiewicz, and Michael Shure, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss.

“The Pentagon claims that its air war against ISIS is one of the most accurate in history and that it is so careful in who it targets that the 14,000 US airstrikes in Iraq have killed just 89 civilians.

It turns out that the military’s assertion is a stunning underestimation of the true human cost of Washington’s three-year-old war against ISIS. An 18-month-long investigation by the New York Times has found that the US-led military coalition is killing civilians in Iraq at a rate 31 times higher than it’s admitting.

“It is at such a distance from official claims that, in terms of civilian deaths, this may be the least transparent war in recent American history,” Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal report.

From April 2016 to June 2017, Khan and Gopal traveled to nearly 150 sites in three ISIS-controlled areas in Northern Iraq. These were sites where the coalition conducted airstrikes against targets ostensibly linked to the militant group. In the places they visited, they found that the coalition vastly underreported how many civilians had died in the bombing.

The US-led coalition claims that one civilian has been killed in every 157 airstrikes. But Khan and Gopal report that, actually, the rate is one civilian death for every five airstrikes — a rate 31 times as high as what the military claims.”*

Read more here.

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Politicians blaming Russia for everything


Theresa May drinking

This photo from London shows British Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May drinking at the recent Lord Mayor’s Banquet; where she blamed Russia for the problems caused by her own government, thus avoiding having to look at the woman in the mirror.

By Solomon Hughes in Britain:

Putin is not responsible for Trump or Brexit

Friday 17th November 2017

Blaming our problems on Russian hacking and fake news is a way of ignoring Britain’s very real problems, writes SOLOMON HUGHES

DID RUSSIA interfere in the US presidential election? Did Russia meddle in the Brexit referendum?

Probably yes. Probably no. Does this mean Vladimir Putin is responsible for Donald Trump winning the US election? Does it mean Russia caused Brexit?

It doesn’t. But a lot of confused liberals are pretending it does as a way of hiding from the real world in a fantasy land stalked by a bare-chested Russian ogre.

A moment’s thinking can come up with the many examples of one nation interfering in the affairs of another. The US has years of organising coups and trying to fix elections worldwide.

On BBC2 on Sunday nights you can watch John Singleton’s excellent drama “Snowfall.”

The background to the story is the US government arming and backing murderous “Contra” rebels in Nicaragua in the 1980s.

It’s a shady, dirty story of how the US secretly supported a vicious militia fighting a left-wing Central American government.

The Contras funded themselves by drug dealing in the United States itself, but the US was so keen on the Contras and careless about their own citizens that it simultaneously armed Nicaraguan gangsters and helped gangsters deal drugs in California.

Sometimes it’s just interference by propaganda. In the 2000s the US funded the Iraqi National Congress (INC), based in London. The INC operated more as a propaganda group than an actual opposition to Saddam.

In 2002 the INC presented an invoice to the US government to justify its $33 million of funds. The invoice showed all the fake stories about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or terrorist links they had placed in the British press.

It was paid for getting “fake news” into the Sunday Times, Observer, Telegraph and other British newspapers, false stories which helped promote the Iraq war.

Just as the US “interfered” in far-off nations by backing its favoured political or propaganda groups, so too the former Soviet Union “interfered” in other nations by backing or supporting its favoured political groups, mostly around the communist parties.

That could mean, for example, supporting the African National Congress in its battle against apartheid. Or it could mean backing this newspaper, by buying loads of copies of it.

Many people on the left positively welcomed this “interference,” for obvious reasons. Other people got upset about “Moscow gold.”

Lots of rightwingers liked to claim that Russian-backed “communists” were the root of all trouble, even when trouble was so clearly the product of local conditions.

Faced with protests against racism, many a sheriff or governor in the southern US states would blame the communists for “stirring things up.”

Some of the liberals saying that Putin did Brexit or Putin made Trump happen seem like a weird version of this southern sheriff.

You can almost hear them say: “It’s only Putin stirring things up. Our humble folk wouldn’t be so riled up without that ‘Russkie’ meddling.”

Since the “fall of communism” and the end of the Soviet Union, I think Putin’s Russia has become much more opportunistic and less consistent about which foreign nations it backs and promotes.

In fact, it has become a bit more like the United States, though on a smaller scale. The US has covertly backed both right-wing death squads and non-communist liberals and, in one odd adventure, abstract expressionist art, to try to build US influence and undermine US rivals.

Similarly Putin plays with backing a variety of nationalist currents abroad, but also reaches out to more traditional “leftish” critics in the West. Some of this is “propaganda.” Some of it is “soft diplomacy.”

I think the US media is right to investigate Trump’s links to the Russians because, if nothing else, it shows Trump’s cynicism and sleaziness.

But to try to pretend Putin is the cause of Trump and ignore the long-term decay and corruption of the US political system is self-deception.

The US government is more and more dominated by big money, and offers less and less support to its own citizens.

Politicians substitute racism and bigotry for, say, the ability to run a health service. This has left a hollowed-out politics that Trump has exploited.

The Democratic emails leak had an impact because the emails were real, and they showed the Democratic leadership was part of that hollowing out.

They showed that Clinton was too close to big money donors, and was using the Democratic machine to freeze out the chance for actual social change with Bernie Sanders.

So while the emails may have been “phished” by someone close to the Russian state, they showed a real problem with US politics.

The case for Putin being behind Brexit seems by comparison vanishingly small.

The “Internet Research Agency,” a Russian PR firm that does government work, has a host of “trolls” churning out tweets and other social media posts in support of official Russian policy.

Its work seems to include a few fake personalities posting nasty divisive stuff about Britain.

But the idea that this had any impact on the enormity of the EU referendum vote is a bit laughable.

It seems to be a way of ignoring how all kinds of disillusion and feelings of abandonment — and tabloid-promoted anti-migrant feeling — flowed into the Brexit vote.

It’s a way of ignoring Britain’s real problems and blaming Putin.

IN AN attempt to deflect media attention away from her government’s sordid disarray, Theresa May used her speech at the Lord Mayor’s banquet this week to accuse Russia of mounting a “sustained campaign of cyber espionage and disruption” in an attempt to “sow discord in the West.” Of course Russia probably is doing something like this, but so too is every other state on the planet. Thanks to good ol’ capitalism and the free market, every country with an internet connection is probably trying to “sow discontent” somewhere. It’s all part of the desperate bid to gain more control of the world’s resources before global climate change renders Earth inhospitable: here.

Facebook: less than 1$ Russian money on Brexit advertisements: here.

Iraqi interviewed on war


This video from Belgium says about itself:

14 November 2017

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 BEHNAM KERYO passed away. Death manages always to surprise and shock us. His contribution to Iraqi culture is immense, he injected it by his love of life, art, literature and women.

On April 2014, we met Benham in Brussels. He was one of the many Iraqis who contributed to the documentary “Whose peace will it be?”

American Gold Star father Khizr Khan against Iraq war


This video from the USA says about itself:

Gold Star Father Khizr Khan Speaks Against War & Iraq Invasion: “Look at the Cost of That Mistake

25 October 2017

We continue our interview with Khizr Khan, one of the country’s best-known Gold Star family members. Khan famously spoke out against Trump at last year’s Democratic National Convention and now reflects on the war that took his son Humayun’s life, the 2003 Iraq War. Capt. Humayun Khan died while fending off a suicide bomber outside the gate of his troop’s Army compound.

Turkey’s Erdogan threatens war on Iraqi Kurdistan


Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan

As if things are not already bad enough with United States President Donald Trump, buddy of Turkish dictator Erdogan, threatening and practicing war on Yemen, Afghanistan, North Korea, Venezuela, Africa and where not … Turkish dictator Erdogan himself, after invading Syria, today threatens to, once again, invade Iraqi Kurdistan as well.

Like his fellow corrupt right-winger Rajoy in Spain, also Erdogan’s helper, Erdogan uses as pretext a referendum about independence. However, Rajoy’s forces of oppression in Catalonia at the moment have not crossed an internationally recognized border. While an Erdogan invasion of Iraq would be aggression against an internationally recognized sovereign state.

‘We can arrive any night’: Erdogan warns Iraqi Kurds of invasion: here. And here.

Babylonians, world’s oldest trigonometrists discovery


This video says about itself:

Ancient Babylonian tablet – world’s first trig table

24 August 2017

UNSW Sydney scientists have discovered the purpose of a famous 3700-year old Babylonian clay tablet, revealing it is the world’s oldest and most accurate trigonometric table, most likely used by ancient mathematical scribes to calculate how to construct palaces, temples and stepped pyramids.

Read more here.

Plimpton 322, the most famous of Old Babylonian tablets (1900-1600 BC), is the world’s oldest trigonometric table, possibly used by Babylonian scholars to calculate how to construct stepped pyramids, palaces and temples, according to a duo of researchers from the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia: here.