Mosul – did the US deliberately bomb civilians?

facebook_1458536670156Mosul and Kirkuk bombed by US,” reported the Daily Mail on 24 March.

The United States has been targeting Mosul and Kirkuk in recent days as Washington slowly moves troops into the region to open a new front in its ground war on Iraq, which has been waged mainly from the south via Kuwait.”

So far so unremarkable. Of greater cause for concern was an Iraqi News report two days earlier which said:

A senior security source announced on Tuesday, that dozens of ISIS militants were killed, including Arabs and foreigners, in an aerial bombardment carried out by the international coalition aviation on the University of Mosul.”

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The growth of movements for real change have been a long time coming

Corbyn SandersLast week Tony Blair professed bafflement at the rise – on both sides of the Atlantic – of popular movements by people who in Blair’s view choose to “rattle the cage”. I think this is a mischaracterisation. Those who have been energised into supporting Sanders, Corbyn and movements such as Podemos and Syriza want to break the cage, ending the failed policies that continue to dominate and distort so much of our national discourse. What these movements represent is a desire and hope for something better. I don’t think that is baffling at all. Continue reading

Donald Trump’s “liberal” support

Donald TrumpThere is little Donald Trump can say to shock any more. Friday night’s implication that his underwear packs something beastly is a case in point. I must admit, it raised a chuckle here. As the Republican party takes a dark turn that won’t end well for millions of Americans, not least those supporting Trump, sometimes laughter is the only response you can muster as all the rules about US politics is dumped in a skip, and for something more coarse, more dangerous to rise in its place.

I would hope that Hillary Clinton, as the likely Democrat nominee, would be able to crush Trump in the presidential election, though I still am of the opinion that Bernie Sanders would be an even safer bet. Yet neither are dead certs as Trump is drawing deep from a well poisoned by decades of prejudice, resentment, alienation, entitlement and, yes, that old warhorse anxiety. As many commentators have already observed, Mitt Romney’s “unprecedented” intervention was only going to shore up Trump’s support, as per His Blairness and his courtiers vis a vis Jeremy Corbyn. Continue reading

Healthcare US style… or how neoliberalism really works

US healthcare pills and dollar billsRichard Falk is retired and lives in Santa Barbara, Califormnia

Along with several million, I suffer from the eye disease known as glaucoma. It can be managed, rather than cured, by taking eye drops several times a day. Based on the advice of my doctor, I rely on Azopt and Lumigen, two drugs produced by leading pharmaceutical companies.

A week ago, prior to an international trip, I stopped at a local pharmacy to renew my prescription of Azopt (produced by a Texas company Alcon that manufactures 86 drugs) because I feared that my supply would be exhausted during the trip. A day later the pharmacist called me back to say that my insurance would only cover the refill in mid-March when according to their records I should have finished the supply I had, and would be entitled to more. She added that the for 15 ml. of Azopt without insurance I would have to pay $445, which is double what it would cost after the insurance kicked in. I thanked her for letting me know this bad news, saying that I would wait until next month. Continue reading

Iraq – the killing continues

Fallujah_ruined_homeMike Phipps finds no grounds for optimism in recent developments

2016 began badly for human rights in Iraq. Here are some headlines from the first few weeks of the year, focusing on the crimes of ISIS.

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