Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Box office

First off, via BOX OFFICE MOJO, here's last weekend's top ten.

11The Lion King (2019)BV$76,621,553-60.0%4,725-$16,216$351,873,087-2
2NOnce Upon a Time in HollywoodSony$41,082,018-3,659-$11,228$41,082,018$901
32Spider-Man: Far from HomeSony$12,452,143-41.3%3,851-564$3,233$344,707,413$1604
43Toy Story 4BV$10,453,633-32.8%3,610-140$2,896$396,210,139-6
77Aladdin (2019)BV$3,039,648-25.6%1,798-307$1,691$346,180,234$18310
98Annabelle Comes HomeWB (NL)$1,553,447-40.3%1,287-694$1,207$69,730,410-5
1012The FarewellA24$1,518,260+32.6%135+100$11,246$3,651,250-3

Second, watched the debate tonight.  Didn't even catch ANIMAL KINGDOM yet (I'll probably watch that tomorrow when I'm not so tired and can enjoy it).  I was going to skip THE BOYS on AMAZON because I'm sick of superheroes but Ava and C.I.'s "TV: Taking on the corporation" has made me want to catch it so I'll probably stream that this week.

I noted in "ONCE UPON A TIME . . . IN HOLLYWOOD " how Quentin Tarantino's film reduces Bruce Lee to a joke.  Bruce Lee's daughter Shannon Lee is objecting to the mocking of her father in Tarantino's film and so is Lee biographer Matthew Polly.  Here's what Polly says:

“Given how sympathetic Tarantino’s portrayal of Steve McQueen, Jay Sebring, and Sharon Tate is, I’m surprised he didn’t afford the same courtesy to Lee, the only non-white character in the film. He could have achieved the same effect–using Bruce to make Brad Pitt’s character look tough–without the mockery. I suspect the reason Tarantino felt the need to take Bruce down a notch is because Lee’s introduction of Eastern martial arts to Hollywood fight choreography represented a threat to the livelihood of old Western stuntmen like Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), who were often incapable of adapting to a new era, and the film’s nostalgic, revisionist sympathies are entirely with the cowboys.”

Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Tuesday, July 30, 2019.  Israel carries out an act of war, #Save Iraqi doctors gets more pathetic and even more dishonest, and much more.

How is this not an act of war?

Israel has expanded its operations against Iranian targets to Iraq, where Air Force jets have struck twice in ten days, a report said Tuesday morning.
Israel commonly conducts strikes in Syrian territory, targeting Iranian missile shipments meant for Lebanese terror group Hezbollah to use against the Jewish state, but strikes in Iraq by Israel have not been reported since the 1981 bombing of a nuclear reactor.

That's from Michael Bachner's report for THE TIMES OF ISRAEL.

Repeating: How is this not an act of war? 

What if it was the US that was bombed?

Let's use Recep Tayyip Erdogan as an example because on his visit to the US he had his goons attack peaceful protesters -- and by the way, Barack Obama was president and refused to condemn that publicly.  But Recep decides peaceful protesters are terrorists so he decides to send Turkish war planes over Baltimore to bomb the city.

We would rightly see that as an act of war.

How is this any different?

Tzvi Joffre and Anna Ahronheim (THE JERUSALEM POST) add:

Israel used their F-35i stealth fighter jets to conduct attacks on Iranian targets to Iraq in the past month, hitting two Iraqi bases used by Iranian forces and proxies and storing Iranian ballistic missiles, the London-based Saudi daily Al Sharq Al Awsat reported on Tuesday.  
The first attack happened on July 19 at a base in Amreli in the Saladin province of Iraq. Iraqi and Iranian sources blamed Israel at the time, and Al Sharq Al Awsat reported that "diplomatic sources" confirmed this to be true, specifying that the attack was carried out by an Israeli F-35.
Al-Arabiya reported that Iranian-made ballistic missiles were transported to the base shortly before the attack via trucks used to transport refrigerated food. The identity of the aircraft which conducted the attack was unspecified at the time, and the US denied any involvement. Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah members were killed in the air strike, according to Al-Arabiya, however the Iranian-backed al-Hashd ash-Sha'abi (Popular Mobilization Forces - PMF) denied that any Iranians had been killed in the attack, according to Fars.

Again, if Turkey did that to the US, we would rightly see it as an act of war.  The only way we wouldn't see it as such would be if we learned that whomever our sitting president at the time was, that the sitting president had given an okay for the operation.

So that's really the first question to be asking right now.

Did the Iraqi government give permission?

We know the Parliament didn't.  Allowing Israel to drop bombs on Iraq would be a very unpopular position in Iraq.  Anyone known to have supported it would not only have trouble being re-elected, they might be targeted with violence.  More to the point, though, the body is too large to keep a secret so if the Parliament signed off on it, it would have been known before the attack took place.

So did the leadership sign off on the attack?  That would be the prime minister -- who has the actual power -- and the president.  The presidential post is supposed to be a ceremonial one with no real powers to speak of.  But Barham Salih has gone out of his way to grab powers and the US press, mirroring the US State Dept's position, has gone out of their way to treat him like a leader of the country.  Adil Abdul-Mahdi is the prime minister.  He's the only one who should have had the power for the okay (if Parliament's approval was not sought, he's the only one who could have given permission).

So did Mahdi or Salih give permission for this attack?

It's an important question for the Iraqi people.  It's also an important question for the world.

As reports circulate of an Israeli strike on Iraq, I’m re-upping this piece from last October where we delved into just this scenario. Israel risks pushing Iraq closer to Iran in these actions. 

Bohl is correct, this action could push Iran and Iraq closer together.  I don't see the two getting closer as being the end of the world.  But this is not the goal of US policy.  That was made clear in the Congressional hearing on Iraq earlier this month.

We reported on that hearing in the Wednesday July 17th Iraq snapshot and the Saturday July 20th  Iraq snapshot.  And, at THIRD, we covered it in "Editorial: Have you heard latest reason they insist US troops need to remain in Iraq?"

It was a hearing entitled "Iraq: A Crossroads of US Policy" and the hearing was held by the Near East Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- Senator Mitt Romney is the Chair, Senator Chris Murphy is the Ranking Member.  The witnesses appearing before the Subcommittee were the State Dept's Joan Polaschik (Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs) and the Defense Dept's Michael P. Mulroy (Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East).

Why do US troops have to remain in Iraq this time?

You know it's an ever changing reason, just like going to war with ever changing reasons.

It's no longer ISIS, though the Subcommittee noted ISIS was still active and that the Iraqi government needs the US military for that.  The big reason now, the pivot, is that US troops have to -- absolutely have to, you understand -- remain in Iraq to curb the influence on Iran.

It's a garbage 'reason,' I know.  But it what the Senate was selling earlier this month and the Defense Dept was selling it and the State Dept was selling it.

US troops must remain in Iraq to curb the influence of Iran.

And then you've got Israel bombing Iraq which is likely to push Iraq even closer to Iran.  So the act of war has many implications.  For the US government, Israel's act of war goes against their stated goal of curbing Iran's influence with Iraq.  Why then isn't the US government condemning this?

 This was an act of war, it was a violation of Iraq's sovereignty (unless they got approval from some segment of the Iraqi government) and it goes against the stated goals of the US government.

A reminder: Netanyahu told the UN General Aassembly last year that Israel would 'act against Iran in Iraq'. 

In other news, ALSUMARIA reports four people were injured in Mosul attempting to put out a fire.  This was one of the fires that the Iraqi government says ISIS is behind -- the terrorist organization is said to be using the tactic of arson to destroy farming land and other areas.  At the end of May, AP reported:

It was looking to be a good year for farmers across parts of Syria and Iraq. The wettest in generations, it brought rich, golden fields of wheat and barley, giving farmers in this war-torn region reason to rejoice.

But good news is short-lived in this part of the world, where residents of the two countries struggle to cope with seemingly never-ending violence and turmoil amid Syria's civil war and attacks by remnants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group. Now, even in areas where conflict has subsided, fires have been raging in farmers' fields, depriving them of valuable crops.
The blazes have been blamed alternately on defeated ISIS militants seeking to avenge their losses, or on Syrian government forces battling to rout other armed groups. Thousands of acres of wheat and barley fields in both Syria and Iraq have been scorched by the fires during the harvest season, which runs until mid-June.

Returning to another topic, Saturday, we noted,  "In other news, on Wednesday, a young girl Rafif Hayder died while receiving care at a hospital in Diwaniya.  The response on social media was to call out those responsible for her care.  In response to being called out on social media?  ALSUMARIA reports Diwaniya doctors held a general strike today.  ALSUMARIA also reports that the police say no threats were made against the Diwaniya doctors to their knowledge but, if any are made, threats should be reported to the police.   At present, it appears social media wants some accountability for the young girl's death and the doctors are sensitive to any criticism."

As we noted in yesterday's snapshot, employees of the hospital were on Twitter with their hard luck stories.  Life is hard when you're a doctor and you have to work long hours, it's hard!!!!  You signed up for it, stop bitching already.  A young girl died and people are upset.  They have every right to be upset.  It appears that the hospital did not have the equipment it needed -- that's an issue of the government's failure.  Make that case and people will agree with you but this constant whining about how hard your life is to live -- grasp a damn clue, that young girl is not living, she's dead.  That trumps your whining.  It is also nonsense, and we called it out yesterday, for the group to use a photo of a woman with a black eye and lie that she's a doctor who was attacked.  Lie.  Women are not your props.  Shame on you.

But they can't stop lying and today they offer this to try to get some sympathy.

This is how a doctor looks at the emergency department in Iraq.
They bring a man who died 1 hour ago, then they hit you because you couldn't bring his life back.

Nonsense and lies.

That man is a doctor.  He's not from the hospital or even the province.  He's from Erbil.  In February, he was attacked.  After his patient died.


His patient was not brought to the hospital dead.

Nor was his patient a man.

Stop lying.

KURDISTAND 24 reported on it in real time back in February.  The woman had a stroke, she was seventy years old, after arriving at the hospital, she died.  Those are facts.

Stop lying.

Whining is bad enough, lying is even worse.  You disgrace your own efforts with these lies.

#Save the Iraqi doctors?  How about saving them from lies?

ALSUMARIA has a video about the death and about the needs not being met by the government.

The following sites updated:

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