Monday, June 7, 2021

Trailblazer Clarence Williams III

Clarence Williams III has passed away. Does anyone not know him? I can't imagine you watched TV and didn't know him. THE MOD SQUAD made him famous and aired from 1968 to 1973 on ABC before going on to syndication where millions like me saw it for the first time. They did a TV movie in 1979.with the cast. THE MOD SQUAD was kind of like an early 21 JUMP STREET. Three kids are undercover police. There's Linc (Clarence), Julie (Peggy Lipton) and Pete (Michael Cole). There was a really awful film made not that long ago (1999). Claire Danes starred in the Julie part. She was not the only problem with the film but she was a big part of it. She's too earnest and too straight forward. Julie worked in the show because Peggy was spiritual and kind and caring. Claire can't project those qualities onscreen.

The show was a detective show but way ahead of it's time by having a female co-star and an African-American male co-star. (Pete was White.) They worked as a team and Nichelle Nichols was playing Uhura beginning in 1966, so was Clarence playing Linc starting in 1968. When he started playing Linco, Diahann Carroll was starting her run on JULIA (1968 to 1971). These were landmark moments and Clarence is a big part of that history.


Clarence Williams III, who broke new ground as “hippie” Detective Linc Hayes on “The Mod Squad” from 1968 to 1973, has died after a battle with colon cancer. He was 81.
Williams passed away Friday at his home in Los Angeles, his manager Allan Mindel confirmed in a statement Sunday.
Born Aug. 21, 1939, in New York City, the veteran talent got his big break on Broadway. He earned a Tony nod as best featured actor for his stellar work in 1964’s “Slow Dance on the Killing Ground,” launching a career that spanned five decades onstage and in television and film.
Although best known for his TV work in “The Mod Squad,” Williams III also had scene-stealing roles in a pair of big-screen cult classics: He played Prince’s flawed father — the guy who inspired “When Doves Cry” — in 1984’s “Purple Rain,” and played way against type as flamboyant drug lord Samson Simpson in Dave Chappelle’s cult classic stoner comedy “Half Baked” in 1998.

CNN has an embarrassingly minor article on him but I'll pull this from it:

Williams was born in New York City on August 21, 1939, according to the statement.
He began his career in a production of "Dark of the Moon," and appeared on Broadway in "The Great Outdoors."
His performance in "Slow Dance on the Killing Ground" won him a Theatre World Award and a Tony nomination, the statement said.
Along with his theatre performances, Williams also starred in several shows and movies, including: "52 Pick-Up," "Against the Wall," "Reindeer Games," "Purple Rain," "The General's Daughter," "American Gangster," "Half Baked" and "Lee Daniels' The Butler."


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

 Monday, June 7, 2021.  Robert Pether really isn't the face Iraq wants to show to the world while they the Iraqi government tries to increase foreign investment, and much more.

Starting with Iraq. 

وزير الخارجية فؤاد حسين: بحثنا العلاقات الثنائية بين العراق والدنمارك ودعوة شركاتها للاستثمار في العراق

The Tweet above notes that Fuad Hussein, Iraq's Minister of Foreign Affairs, met with his Danish counterpart to discuss relations between Iraq and Denmark and how Danish companies could invest in Iraq.  Do business with Iraq?

DessyMac responds:

Not going to happen if you continue to arrest key engineers UNLAWFULLY on projects that are running smoothly. Robert Pether's expertise is specialised buildings. After Central bank of Iraq he was going to build a hospital in Iraq. 60 days. No charges. Not safe! #freerobertpether

Australian citizen Robert Pether has apparently been abandoned by his own country which does nothing to object to his imprisonment in Iraq.  (The Australian Embassy staff didn't even meet with Pether until May 3rd, 26 days after he was imprisoned.)   It's now been over forty days that he's been held in a prison with no charge (they say they are holding him for "questioning").  His appeal for bail was denied on May 11th.  He was told by his own government that it was safe to go to Baghdad for a meeting.  He showed up at the meeting but there was no meeting.  Instead, he was hauled off to an Iraqi prison.  Earlier this month THE IRISH EXAMINER noted:

Robert Pether was arrested and detained on April 7 in what his wife, Desree, believes is some form of contractual dispute, involving his employer, over the building of a new Central Bank building in Iraq, reports

While Australia has done little to nothing, Irish politicians have lodged public objections.  One example is Senator Eugene Murphy:

I again raised the case of Robert Pether in the Seanad this week. I am asking the Irish Government and to assist in a bid to have Mr Pether released from Iraq. His wife Desree and their children are Irish citizens living in Elphin for the past number of years.

Robert Pether's wife Desree is Irish. She spoke with THE JOE FINNEGAN SHOW last month.   Christopher Knaus (GUARDIAN) speaks with Robert and Desree's oldest son Flynn:

Flynn said it had hit the family hard.

“I feel like it’s criminal what they did,” he said. “It’s downright inhumane the way they’ve been treating him, given he has worked tirelessly around the clock to deliver the project.”

Flynn is currently preparing for his university entrance exams in Ireland, something that brings its own enormous stress. Usually, his father would be there to support him. They were close and spoke daily, often about university and Flynn’s future.

But he has managed to speak to his father behind bars just once during the ordeal, for about 30 seconds.

“As soon as he knew that I was on the line, he was just apologising, saying ‘Sorry I can’t make it to graduation, sorry I can’t get to your birthday, I will make it up to you, I promise,’” he said.

“I said to him, ‘It’s not going anywhere without you, and it’s all being recorded anyway. You’re not missing out.’”

Robert’s wife Desree has previously told the Guardian that, prior to travelling to Baghdad for the meeting, her husband sought advice from the Australian embassy. She says he was advised there would be little risk in going to the meeting.

The 46-year-old man is having problems with dizziness and, due to COVID restrictions, has had difficulties receiving appropriate medical care.   This morning, Brittany Chain (DAILY MAIL) reports:

'I just want my dad home,' Mr Pether's 18-year-old son Flynn told Daily Mail Australia.

'He did nothing but work hard and help [Iraq].' 

Flynn is in his final year of school and trying to juggle the workload with the stress of wondering whether his dad is alive and safe each day.

Up until this ordeal, he'd planned to study engineering at university so he could work in the Middle East like his father.

'He was making a real difference,' Flynn said. 

Given the pressures of the last two months, Flynn is leaning toward deferring his degree for next year to take some time to reassess his ambitions and plans.

The only contact Flynn has been able to have with his dad was one quick phone call and a letter for his 18th birthday, which was passed on through the embassy in Baghdad.

But he had to fight hard just to get that. 

For the first 19 days of his detention, Mr Pether spent his days in solitary confinement and had just two hours' freedom to speak with a lawyer. 

In total, the family have spoken with him just five times in the 61 days since he was arrested.

'It's an absolute nightmare,' Mr Pether's wife Desree said. 'He feels massively betrayed.'

Ms Pether understands that her husband's detention is a blatant attempt to extract money from his employer.

She claims Mr Pether's lawyer has been told 'all of this can go away' if their demands are met regarding getting out of paying for a four year contract.

'They're blatant about it. It's not even hidden. They were literally tricked into the country and then trapped and are blatantly being held as pawns,' Ms Pether said, adding her husband remains 'terrified' about what could happen next.

As more and more people learn of what's happened to Robert Pether, let's see how willing they are to do business with Iraq.  It's a corrupt government.  

In other news Raja Razek and Tara John (CNN) report:

Two drones were shot down over an Iraqi airbase housing US troops and Iraqi and coalition forces on Sunday, the Iraqi military said in a statement.

The air defense system at al-Asad Airbase, one of the largest and oldest military bases in Iraq, intercepted and shot down the drones, the statement said.
Several hours before, the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center (BDSC) in the Iraqi capital was attacked by one rocket round, a spokesman for the US-led coalition, Wayne Marotto, said in a tweet. "The rocket impacted near the BDSC and caused no injuries or damage. The attack is under investigation," he added.


On May 8, an attack by an unmanned aerial surveillance system targeted the Ain al-Asad base, but it caused no injuries.

Since the start of this year, there have been 39 attacks against US interests in Iraq.

The vast majority have been bombs against logistics convoys, while 14 were rocket attacks, some of them claimed by pro-Iran factions, who aim to pressure Washington into withdrawing all their troops.

Staying with violence, thug and despot Recep Tayyip Erdogan spent last week threatening to attack a United Nations refugee camp in Iraq.  On Saturday, he carried out his threat.  AFP reports:

Three civilians were killed on Saturday in a Turkish drone attack on a refugee camp in northern Iraq in an area Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently threatened to “clean up”, a Kurdish lawmaker said.

Rashad Galali, a Kurdish MP from Makhmur, told journalists the strike targeted “a kindergarten near a school” in the UN-supported camp that houses Kurdish refugees from Turkey.

“Three civilians were killed and two wounded,” he said.

The thug has attempted to silence criticism by insisting that a 'terrorist' was killed.  He says nothing of the innocent civilians.  He never acknowledges the many civilians that are dead because of attacks he has ordered.  Never.  This is not a new development.  This is part of a historical attacks carried out against the Kurds.  Of the camp, THE NATIONAL explains:

Set up by the United Nations at the end of the 1990s to host Turkish Kurds, the Makhmur camp was hit on Saturday by a Turkish drone strike that left three civilians dead, a Kurdish official from the camp told AFP.

Ankara regularly accuses the PKK of running the Makhmur camp, which is 250 kilometres south of the Turkish border.

Turkey regularly conducts cross-border operations and air raids on PKK rear bases in Iraq – moves that have strained relations between the two neighbours – launching its latest offensive in April.


The attack is outrageous and it needs to be condemned.  What took place was illegal -- buried in a REUTERS report on the attack:

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".

What they have done is illegal.  NRT reports:

Iraqi President Barham Salih on Sunday (June 6) condemned Turkey’s deadly airstrike on the Makhmour refugee camp the previous day, calling it a “dangerous escalation.”

According to a local official, three civilians were killed near the camp in a drone strike conducted by the Turkish military, which justified its actions as necessary to combat the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

In a statement released by his office, Salih said that “Turkish incursions and violations of Iraqi sovereignty that destabilize security and threaten citizens' lives should be put an end.”

“The recent Turkish airstrike near Makhmour camp in northern Iraq is a dangerous escalation that threatens citizens' lives and refugees, and is contrary to international and humanitarian law,” he added.

Journalist Rebaz Majeed offers this thread on Twitter:

Turkey’s military operations, taking Iraqi Kurdistan’s territories and building military bases have no reason, but the country’s expansion policy and their long term interest in Misak-ı Millî. PKK is just an excuse. Mr. Erdogan himself has confessed this.

In a video, in which he talks to some young people, he says that they builds military bases in Iraq for protecting the Turkmen. When Turkey deployed the army on the border, in 2003 & 2017 to prevent Kurdish autonomy & independence. PKK was not an excuse back then.

On a regional level, Turkey’s military operations in Libya and Syria is another gesture that PKK is not the only reason for Turkey to take more territories than what she had within the borders of Today’s Turkey.

However, by using PKK card, the country has successfully persuaded everyone that what she does in Iraqi Kurdistan is a legitimate war and she has to do it for protecting its national security. KRG and Iraq are too weak to prevent this.
There are other reasons that KRG and Baghdad do not take crucial steps to prevent this. Such as, Turkey’s use of water card against Iraq, previous agreements between the two countries that allow Turkey to do this &economical ties (especially oil) between Ankara and Erbil, ect.

Turkey’s drone war in the last several years have changed everything. Technology in general is not in the favor of guerrilla wars. Because the states have more access to these technologies, and as much as it goes, the war between states & guerrilla groups became more unbalanced.

That is why Iraqi Kurdistan (the territories PKK has been controlling for decades) is more suitable for them to stay, considering the fact that guerrilla war is all about hit and hide. However, this causes many destruction in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

While KDP accuses PKK of doing nothing but allowing Turkey to gain more and more territories, PKK accuses KDP of inviting, helping and coordination with Turkey in their war against the guerrillas.

While the concern of all sides are reasonable, we should once remember that war is always the simple but wrong answer. The efforts for continuing and waging another war leave nothing but more destruction in the region. Peaceful dialogue is the key to end this.

While a war is going on, seeking peaceful dialogues 2 settle the conflicts doesn’t sound realistic. But, this is not related 2 Iraqi Kurdistan alone, but also to Kurdish question in Turkey and Rojava’s case in Syria. The developments indicate that we are too far from this, sadly.


Kat's "Kat's Korner: Chase Rice serves up a masterpiece" went up earlier this morning reviewing Chase Rice's THE ALBUM and her "Kat's Korner: Liz Phair shines on SOBERISH" also went up this morning reviewing Liz Phair's SOBERISH.

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