Friday, the Iraq study group was great as always. It's good to see how that has grown (and again, thank you to Goldie and Marlene for their house parties which inspired us -- Tony, Nina and myself -- to start our own).
I had an e-mail saying maybe I wasn't being fair to John Nichols. You know what, C.I. likes John Nichols and if I'd expected that from anyone, it would have been C.I. (But honestly, C.I.'s never complained about anything I've had here.) I was saying I wouldn't put him on the list of people calling for impeachment. But this guy was saying I should check him out. I know he talked firm on impeachment to Ruth Conniff but I know how weak-ass The Nation is. So I went to his online blog at The Nation and I'm seeing a lot of ink on the right wing and what they're doing and two mushy centrists groups and only group worth counting (CCR). I go down his blog and there's THE LIE.
Obama, C.I. went over this, did not say he might meet eventually if he was president. He said in the first year. Add John Nichols to the list who either can't read or hear or can't tell the truth. That list includes Katrina vanden Heuvel (who is both stupid and unable to tell the truth) and Ari Berman.
I don't like LIARS. I don't like LIARS who LIE to get you to vote for someone.
I'm not voting for Hillary in the primary. I'm not a Hillary fan. But I'm not going to act like Obama (who I hate as much as I do Hillary) is a Wiz Kid.
They treat him like he's Opie from The Andy Griffith Show or something. He's a corporate whore and he was DEAD WRONG on that question in the debate. We've got a feature planned on this at Third so I won't go into it too much but I will note if I want to have friendly relations with you, and forever whatever reasons we do not have that now, I will pull out feelers. I will not declare, "I will be friends in my first year in office!"
Obama/Opie made a BIG mistake. Now John Nichols could disagree with me on that and we'd just disagree. But when you're NOT TELLING THE TRUTH about what happened, we have a problem. Only David Corn has told the truth about what happened.
I'm sorry that The Nation HATES HILLARY CLINTON SO MUCH that they think it's okay to LIE about what happened. (Though they'll probably kiss her ass if she gets the nomination -- up to the election. Remember Katha Pollitt says the Supreme Court is all up to the president! It matters! Democrats gave us Sandra Day O'Connor! Oh, they didn't. Well, that's Katha Pollitt for you.) They could tell the truth and still tongue Obama's crack till the cows come home. I'd roll my eyes but I wouldn't call them LIARS. But David Corn -- forget his opinion of what went down for a second -- is the only one who has told the truth about the debate. John Nichols does like Koo Koo Katrina (whose so stupid she may not be able to help getting it wrong but her track record makes it appear she WILLINGLY LIED) and Ari Berman. (I'm neutral on Berman.)
I have no idea why The Nation decided last year to start pushing Obama/Opie.
Obama's a disgusting piece of trash. Elaine and C.I. told me about that meeting in 2004 (when his campaign wanted cash) and how that went. They were so excited and were wondering if they should write checks for the maximum amount. He was "against the war" and that really mattered. Then they meet him and he's all about how the war is wrong but the US got into it and now it can't withdraw. There were a few other things in that meeting as well. But Elaine and C.I. didn't give a cent. Not only that, they left feeling dirty. This was before the Obama Girl video. But maybe that 'joke' isn't really such a joke?
Then, when Obama needed to get rid of Jack Ryan (the Republican running against him), there's an echo of the past Obama's campaign as suddenly SEALED COURT RECORDS on a divorce become PUBLIC FODDER. There was no reason to embarrass Jack Ryan's ex-wife. Maybe you think there's reason to embarrass Jack Ryan in that way. I'm not sure about that and could go either way if this was something not involving a woman who had ended her marriage because she was humiliated by what her then husband wanted her to do sexually.
Jack Ryan's obviously no prince. But Obama is just as trashy. In fact, he's more trashy. What Jack Ryan put his ex-wife through was bad enough and destroyed their marriage. But it was over and the COURT RECORDS WERE SEALED. The fact that Obama wanted to get votes by using a woman's past, private humiliation was worse than what Jack Ryan did.
I think everyone knows who Jack Ryan's ex-wife is. She seems like a nice person and C.I. is really nervous on this topic because of not wanting to embarrass the woman further than she already has been. So I won't name the woman. But she didn't need the whole world to know what happened. The world knew she and her husband divorced. That's all they needed to know. The private details weren't anyone's business.
And Obama's campaign did that before. They smeared his opponent in the 2004 Democratic Primary for the senate nod as someone who beats his wife.
Now somehow all of this translates into Obama/Opie is a DREAM BOAT. He's not. He's a sleazy piece of trash.
But if Koo Koo Katrina thinks what he did was okay, I have enough private stories about her life that I can share. I've heard them from Elaine and Rebecca's mother-in-law.
Does she want her own sex life paraded?
Maybe she does. She is Koo Koo Katrina. But I don't go into the gutter that way.
Koo Koo Katrina appears to have a keen interest in Obama. I'm sure she's giving him the full extent she can and no one's talking about how "cheap" she is the way they were when she was being stingy on Bernie Sanders' campaigns. And they did do that. They laughed at her and her silly Russian fantasies. (They still laugh at that.) So I've got a lot of Koo Koo Katrina stories I can tell.
Maybe I should jump in the gutter like Obama and Koo Koo Katrina?
I don't like Hillary and I don't like Obama and I don't like them for the same reason -- they pretend to be left and they're both war hawks and corporatists. (Saying the US can't withdraw from an illegal war makes Obama a War Hawk.)
When I hear Dave Zirin going on about Obama the Dream Boy, it saddens me. But I can put it off on other things. I also am not aware of his ever LYING to rescue Obama.
So I'm going to have to let stand what I said about John Nichols. If that upsets more than the one person who wrotes, I'm sorry. If it helps C.I. thinks John Nichols is a really nice guy. He did talk strong (or stronger) about impeachment to Ruth Conniff. And I guess he can do that when he's away from the Koo Koo Katrina crowd.
But he LIES when he joins them in altering what happened. This isn't a case of "OH, he's wrong because I HATE his opinion." This is about the basic facts and he gets them wrong and Ari Berman got them wrong and Koo Koo Katrina got them wrong.
She really is nuts, by the way. I saw that when I went to The Nation and read her latest. I understood why friends of C.I. were willing to trade coverage (Iraq stories) for C.I. calling out the fact that Koo Koo Katrina is not trained in journalism. Friday's post really reveals that. She really is nuts. And she's cheap. I think that was the biggest surprise, hearing from Rebecca's mother-in-law and Elaine all these stories of just what a money grubber she is. I guess you have to be to go so far in avoiding paying taxes that you'll take your case to the Supreme Court (and LOSE!) but she really is a cheap skate. It's not like she made the money and values it. She's just inherited it and she's incredibly cheap with her contributions to political campaigns and other things.
This is the opening of Dave Lindorff's "Declaring the US a Battlefield:"
The looming collapse of the US military in Iraq, of which a number of generals and former generals, including former Chief of Staff Colin Powell, have warned, is happening none too soon, as it my be the best hope for preventing military rule here at home.
From the looks of things, the Bush/Cheney regime has been working assiduously to pave the way for a declaration of military rule, such that at this point it really lacks only the pretext to trigger a suspension of Constitutional government. They have done this with the active support of Democrats in Congress, though most of the heavy lifting was done by the last, Republican-led Congress.
The first step, or course, was the first Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed in September 2001, which the president has subsequently used to claim-improperly, but so what? -that the whole world, including the US, is a battlefield in a so-called "War" on Terror, and that he has extra-Constitutional unitary executive powers to ignore laws passed by Congress. As constitutional scholar and former Reagan-era associate deputy attorney general Bruce Fein observes, that one claim, that the US is itself a battlefield, is enough to allow this or some future president to declare martial law, "since you can always declare martial law on a battlefield. All he'd need would be a pretext, like another terrorist attack inside the U.S."
It's funny that Dave Lindorrf can write about this. And Matthew Rothschild can write about this stuff at The Progressive and CounterPunch and others can cover it but Koo Koo Katrina's off chirping at her own reflection. (If she had wings, you can be sure she would fly into the glass.) Last week's Koo Koo Katrina joke was such a big hit in Polly's Brew, that I'm sharing another one in my column this week. This is from an leftist writer and we were all laughing when he told it last week. So look for that on Sunday.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Friday, July 27, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces another death, Cindy Sheehan debates a moron, Operation Happy Talk continues.
Starting with war resisters. From September 2nd through September 26th, Agustin Aguayo was absent without leave. Aguayo self-checked out when facing a second deployment to Iraq and while his case was moving through the civilian courts. Aguayo was denied CO status by a military that doesn't know their own regulations. John A. Rogowsky Jr. is another, among many others, who have been wrongly denied CO status. From "Selective Service System: Fast Facts:" "Beliefs which qualify a registrant for CO status may be religious in nature, but don't have to be." Despite that basic reality, Aguayo, Rogowsky and others have been told that they're not religious enough, that their religion is not recognized, when religion really is NOT required for CO status. In Aguayo's case, the military refused to recognize that time in Iraq deepened Aguayo's faith (already present when he enlisted).
Speaking with Don Bustany on KPFK's Middle East in Focus Wednesday, Aguayo shared his story.and noted that when he arrived in Iraq in February of 2004, the medics were gathered for a speech that was in conflict in with the printed training material. They were told that they were medics and they were combat troops and that, "'You medics,' speaking to us, 'has to make it clear, has to make it clear in the minds of your infantry man that they must finish their job because if they don't then there will be more work for you'." As Aguayo looked around he saw acceptance and an eagerness to get back to the routine but "I could not accept that I was being told those things."
He also spoke of the eagerness to blame Iraqis for any problems as opposed to questioning the illegal war or the Bully Boy who sent them there. Aguayo began to realize, "I was a particiant, a supporter, of all the missions that took place." Today Aguayo is sharing his story publicly. Mialka Bonadonna (LAist) reports he will be speaking tonight (Friday) in Los Angeles, 7:00 pm at 3303 Wilshire Blvd., 2nd floor.
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Jared Hood and James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Joshua Key, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Care, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty-one US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters.
From reality to Operation Happy Talk. The push-back is on and Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno has enlisted. Ned Parker (Los Angeles Times) writes of the press briefing Odierno gave yesterday where he issued the talking points that US military deaths were falling. Parker rightly notes that seven deaths were announced after the press briefing and the one of the deaths announced on Thursday dated back to Sunday. The US military was delaying announcing deaths. Reality is that in terms of what has been annouced, the deaths were 67 on Thursday and that July is not yet over but July 2007 is already the deadliest July for US service members since the start of the illegal war. July 2006: 43 US service members were killed in Iraq. In July 2005 and July 2004, 54 US service members were killed in Iraq. In July 2003, 48 US service members were killed in Iraq.
Last week, Odierno enlisted in the push-back in a vareity of ways at a press briefing with reporters at the US Pentagon via video-link. In terms of downgrading expectations for the September report to the US Congress by the military, he declared that the report that was needed would come in November and clarified, "What I was saying is -- again, my remarks were, in 45 days I will have a better idea if the trends are continuing, and that's September. Obviously, we have an assessment we will conduct in September that will provide -- that General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker will provide. I was not looking at extending that time frame when they have to report back. What I imagine we'll have to do is do assessments that follow that initial assessment in September, and that's -- I'm assuming we'll continue to do assessments while we're here." Yesterday, Odierno stressed "trends" as well but forgot to include 7 deaths he should have known about in his remarks.
In addition, at the same press briefing, he attempted to yet again sell the non-proven link between resistance fighters in Iraq and the Iranian government. When pressed by reporters for evidence, Odierno's confident remarks of such a link were replaced with his statements that, "We don't see any evidence -- significant evidence". And a third way he enlisted was in calling into question the right of an open debate in a free society when he took to suggesting that discussions in the media and in the US Congress about US forces withdrawing from Iraq, was 'emboldening' al Qaeda. Again, when pressed, Odierno had to back off from his original remarks and admit he had "no specific intelligence" on any such emboldening.
Operation Happy Talk is not confined to the US military brass and the US administration. Andrew Grice (Independent of London) reports that the UK Air Chief Marshal Jock Stirrup (I did not make that name up) has declared, "We are very close to being able to hand over Basra in my judgement. Just when we will reach that point is at the moment uncertain but I am fairly confident it'll be in the second half of the year." Basra is one base, the Basra Palace (and it's also the last of four provinces the British military currently controls -- the other three were already turned over) Grice interprets Jock Stirrup's remarks to mean control of Basra could be handed off before the year's end; however, it could come much sooner. After all, British troops, the Soldiers of the Queen's Royal Hussars, proved they could hustle when they pulled out of the Maysan province with less than 24 hours notice after their base their repeatedly was attacked back in August. As Haidar Hani (AP) reported then that following the British hitting the road in 'stripped down mode': "Looters ravaged a former British base Friday . . . taking everything from doors and window frames to corrugated roofing and metal pipes". Iraqi authorites noted then that the British had only given them 24 hours notice that the departure was coming. As with that base, the Basra Palace has been under rocket and mortar attacks repeatedly. In addition, IRIN reports that approximately "150 doctors in Basra, Iraq's second largest city about 600km south of Baghdad, began a three-day strike on 23 July, demanding the government protect them and their families." This was to call attention to the lack of security and this comes as over "618 medical employees" have been killed since the start of the illegal war.
Turning to realities that US administration prefers we don't know. Noam N. Levey and Alexandra Zavis (Los Angeles Times) report that the White House "has stopped reporting to Congress a key quality-of-life indicator in Baghdad: how long the power stays on." This is an agreed upon 'benchmark' by the US administration and Congress -- and one even Iraqis could agree to even though they were consulted when it was time to draw on benchmarks. When you can't meet the benchmark, this administration stops reporting it.
This approach is an affront to democracy and one of many the current administration has repeatedly shown not only to people in the US but to people around the world. Today, Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez (Democracy Now!) hosted a debate on the issue of impeachment. All sides were represented, with Cindy Sheehan representing the pro-impeachment and Dan Gerstein representing the lunatic fringe. Gerstein is a Democratic Party Hack and not even a good one. His full credentials were not listed on the program and that's probably due to the fact that if he'd had to sit through even a partial litany of his many losses, he would have walked off on air.
Gerstein doesn't want impeachment. He doesn't think anything that's been done rises to the level of impeachment. He thinks the way to 'fix' is to vote Democrats into power in 2008 (he might want to check out his consulting p.r. faxes because I'm seeing something about him being in favor of Democrats "all things being equal"). To impeach the Bully Boy and/or Cheney would be a distraction that would harm the Democrats chances to regain the White House in 2008.
Gerstein's been more wrong than right when gazing into his crystal ball and that may say it all but for those who've forgotten his nasty snit-fits when his boy Joe Lieberman lost the primary to Ned Lamont, try google-ing.
The reality, as Cindy Sheehan pointed out, is that impeachment hasn't been a problem in terms of the White House. Gerstein is wrong, Sheehan is right. Gerstein tried to use the 1998 Congressional election (not a White House election) as an example. After the 2002 Congressional election demonstrated that no patterns were holding, no tea leafs could be read, Gerstein might try sticking to reality and leaving his fantasy land where he knows the outcome. (If he truly did, he might be a player and not a Lieberman lackey.)
From the broadcast:
CINDY SHEEHAN: Well, also in Article II, yeah, Clause 4, it says for treason and bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors. I believe that -- and there's, you know, legal proof out there that when he commuted Scooter Libby's sentence, he committed treason, because Scooter Libby was convicted of obstructing justice in the cover-up of the Bush administration outing Valerie Plame. And I believe that the American people will be behind this. The Democrats aren't trying to end the war. They just gave George Bush $120 billion more to wage it. And he has said the troops aren't coming home while he's president. So I think we need to look at it as human-based and not political. John Conyers told me in a meeting previously to the one we had on Monday that winning the presidency in '08 was more important to him than ending the war in Iraq. When are our leaders going to -- I guarantee there's 150,000 mothers in this country, who it's more important to them to end the war in Iraq and get their children home safely than who's president in '08. And I think, historically, when this impeachment has been tried, like I said before, the party who tried it, even though it hasn't been successful, has -- it has galvanized the base of that party to say, "Wow, our leaders are courageous. Our leaders have integrity. Our leaders are leading us from a moral base, not from political expediency."
It was hilarious to see the Sterile Gerstein LIE and we'll use the word even though he will take offense but that is reality. A liar, for instance, is someone who attacks Cindy Sheehan as an attention hog (or whatever the term he used) only a short time ago but pretends to have the upmost respect for her during the debate today. The Peace Mom cleaned his clock.
In today's violence, CNN reports that 17 Iraqis -- count includes 2 women -- were killed by the US military and the Iraqi military today in Karbala with hospital officials reporting at least twenty-five wounded ("including women and children") had been brought to the hospital. To no one's surprise the US military is claiming "Not true!" The US military asserts, in the same press release -- keep that in mind, that "No Iraqi civilians were present in the area while the strike was performed" -- the strike involved "aeiral fires" -- and that this was "a raid in a neighborhood in Karbala." One of those, no doubt, ghost town neighborhoods in Karbala? By their own admission, the raid took place in a neighborhood. The raid took place during the sleeping hours. The raid involved air strikes as well as shooting on the ground. And there is the matter of the bodies of the dead and the wounded.
Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a man was killed in a Baghdad bombing when the car he was driving was stopped by assailants who put "explosives into his car" and then attempted to use the man and his car in an attack on a police check point (two police officers were wounded), a Baghdad mortar attack that left four wounded, two people wounded when "U.S. troops bombed Al Husseiniya district" in Baghdad, an Al Muqdadiyah roadside bombing claimed 1 life with five others wounded, a Kirkuk rocket attack that claimed 2 lives, and a Karbala roadside bombing targeting Brig. Gen. Raed Shakir Hamed that left 3 of his bodyguards killed while he survived. Reuters notes a Mahmudiya mortar attack that claimed the life of 1 woman and left a child and an adult wounded, that a Samarra roadside bombing that claimed the lives of 7 police officers so . . .
Reuters notes the Samarra police decided to open fire and 3 innocent civilians were killed (open fire after the bombing). Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports Saidiyah and Adeeb Abdul Salam were shot dead in a Baghdad home invasion, a person shot dead in Buhruz and attorney Hussam Al Nahi was shot dead in Basra. Reuters notes an Iraqi soldier shot dead in Kirkuk.
Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 7 corpses discovered in Baghdad, two corpses delivered to Al Muqdadiyah hospital, 1 corpse discovered in Baquba. KUNA reports the corpses of five women were discovered in Mosul today and that the women had been kidnapped yesterday while returning from work.
Today, the US military announced: "One Task Force Lightning Soldier died as a result of injuries sustained from an explosion near his vehicle while conducting operations in Diyala province, Thursday." The death brings ICCC's current total to 3646 US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war with 67 killed for the month thus far.
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