More than 90,000 people have fled the Islamic State group’s advance in Iraq’s western Anbar province, which has set off fierce fighting in and around the provincial capital Ramadi, a United Nations humanitarian agency said Sunday.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement that civilians are fleeing Ramadi as well as three nearby villages captured by the IS group a few days ago. It said humanitarian agencies have moved quickly to provide assistance, including food, water and shelter.
“Our top priority is delivering life-saving assistance to people who are fleeing — food, water and shelter are highest on the list of priorities,” said Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq.
Grande expressed concern over the safety of the displaced people, who are mainly heading to Baghdad and the IS-held city of Fallujah.
In the article below, the author seemed to miss the larger point - what has happened in Wisconsin is a representation of the Orwellian nightmare that will not diminish, but will only increase in scope and magnitude as we approach the Tribulation. As they say, "read it and weep" because what has been reported in Wisconsin is simply foreshadowing of things to come:
Cindy Archer, one of the lead architects of Wisconsin’s Act 10 — also called the “Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill,” it limited public-employee benefits and altered collective-bargaining rules for public-employee unions — was jolted awake by yelling, loud pounding at the door, and her dogs’ frantic barking. The entire house — the windows and walls — was shaking.
She looked outside to see up to a dozen police officers, yelling to open the door. They were carrying a battering ram.
She wasn’t dressed, but she started to run toward the door, her body in full view of the police. Some yelled at her to grab some clothes, others yelled for her to open the door.
Then they left, carrying with them only a cellphone and a laptop.
The entire neighborhood could see the police around their house, but they had to remain silent. This was not the “right to remain silent” as uttered by every cop on every legal drama on television — the right against self-incrimination. They couldn’t mount a public defense if they wanted — or even offer an explanation to family and friends.
Yet no one in this family was a “perp.” Instead, like Cindy, they were American citizens guilty of nothing more than exercising their First Amendment rights to support Act 10 and other conservative causes in Wisconsin. Sitting there shocked and terrified, this citizen — who is still too intimidated to speak on the record — kept thinking, “Is this America?”
Largely hidden from the public eye, this traumatic process, however, is now heading toward a legal climax, with two key rulings expected in the late spring or early summer. The first ruling, from the Wisconsin supreme court, could halt the investigations for good, in part by declaring that the “misconduct” being investigated isn’t misconduct at all but the simple exercise of First Amendment rights.
The second ruling, from the United States Supreme Court, could grant review on a federal lawsuit brought by Wisconsin political activist Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth, the first conservatives to challenge the investigations head-on. If the Court grants review, it could not only halt the investigations but also begin the process of holding accountable those public officials who have so abused their powers.
The investigation not only damaged families, it also shut down their free speech. In many cases, the investigations halted conservative groups in their tracks. O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth described the effect in court filings:
With the investigations now bursting out into the open, some conservatives began to fight back. O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth moved to quash the John Doe subpoenas aimed at them. In a surprise move, Judge Kluka, who had presided over the Doe investigations for more than a year, recused herself from the case. (A political journal, the , attempted to speak to Judge Kluka about her recusal, but she refused to offer comment.)
In international law, the Western world has become familiar with a concept called “lawfare,” a process whereby rogue regimes or organizations abuse legal doctrines and processes to accomplish through sheer harassment and attrition what can’t be accomplished through legitimate diplomatic means. The Palestinian Authority and its defenders have become adept at lawfare, putting Israel under increasing pressure before the U.N. and other international bodies.
Governors come and go. Statutes are passed and repealed. Laws and elections are important, to be sure, but the rule of law is more important still. And in Wisconsin, the rule of law hangs in the balance — along with the liberty of citizens.
As I finished an interview with one victim still living in fear, still shattered by the experience of nearly losing everything simply because she supported the wrong candidate at the wrong time, I asked whether she had any final thoughts. “Just one,” she replied. “I’m hoping for accountability, that someone will be held responsible so that they’ll never do this again.” She paused for a moment and then, with voice trembling, said: “No one should ever endure what my family endured.”