Thursday, April 28, 2016

That cowardly Jane Arraf

So AL JAZEERA's been kicked out of Iraq for not whoring for the government.

Arraf was working for the network.  Maybe she still is?

I go to her Twitter feed and not one word on AL JAZEERA.

Even if she's just left them, she was with that network for at least four years -- at least.

And yet she can't defend them.

But then that's the coward she is.

She lied at CNN for years -- as Eason Jordan's NEW YORK TIMES column made clear.  She lied to stay in the good graces of Saddam Hussein.

Then, later on, she lied to stay in Nouri al-Maliki's good graces.

She has a long history of lying and whoring for whomever is in charge of the Iraqi government.

So today the coward won't even call out Haider al-Abadi for shutting down AL JAZEERA.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, April 27, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, AL JAZEERA is shut down in Iraq, the Defense Dept -- wanting more money -- cites 'progress' in Iraq, the US State Dept suddenly loves protests, and much more.

In 'free' Iraq, where the US-installed Haider al-Abadi still rules as prime minister (for now), AL JAZEERA has been shut down.  The network explains:

The Iraqi Communications and Media Commission has shut down the Baghdad bureau of Al Jazeera Media Network and banned its journalists from reporting in the country.
In a letter to Al Jazeera on Wednesday, the CMC said it was withdrawing the license that allowed Al Jazeera to operate in Iraq due to "violations of the official codes of conduct and broadcasting rules and regulations."

DW notes:

 "We remain committed to broadcasting news on Iraq to Iraqi people, our viewers in the Arab world and across the world," the broadcaster said.
The controversial news network has been banned in Iraq for the third time now. The last time was in 2013, when it reported on a violent military crackdown on Sunni Muslim protestors.

This is 'free' Iraq.

Where thug Haider rules.

Where the US government props up thug Haider and pretends he's not another Nouri al-Maliki.

Despite the fact that he encouraged threats against journalist Ned Parker and that when the REUTERS correspondent had to leave Iraq for the safety of his team and himself, Haider dared to turn it into a joke while visiting the United States.

Haider's a hateful man with a cruel streak even bigger than his rotund belly.

He's hateful and he's not to be trusted.

But so many whores in the press pretend like he's done something or is somehow not Nouri -- as if that's enough?

Pol Pot wasn't Hitler.

But as the people of Cambodia can attest, that didn't mean Pol Pot was Ghandi.

Haider's a thug and a threat.

And the US government has disgraced itself even further in its desperate attempts to prop Haider up.

Why is the US still in Iraq?.

Matt Purple (NATIONAL INTEREST) observes:

The United States is back in Iraq. Actually, it never really left.
President Obama supposedly withdrew all American forces in 2011, except for a few hundred Marines, defense contractors, and military advisors. But it wasn’t long before he began ramping up our presence again, through temporary deployments and other means. This only accelerated after the Islamic State’s blitz through Iraq in 2014. Today, the government has blown through even its self-imposed cap of 3,870 troops, with an acknowledged five thousandAmerican military personnel now on the ground in Iraq. It’s another lazy half-measure—like the disjointed attempt to combat the Taliban—from a president who’s never once laid out a coherent strategy for fighting terrorism.

Why is it still in Iraq?

To 'combat' the Islamic State?

Doesn't seem like it.

Seems like the military still remains in Iraq to prop up  puppet government which still does not represent the Iraqi people.

Maybe when Iraqi politicians are forced to represent the Iraqi people, they'll stop stealing from Iraq?

Maybe when you're puppets installed by a foreign government, you don't give a second though to fleecing the people you supposedly represent?

US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter appeared before the US Senate Appropriations Committee today.


To plead for money, of course.

To also insist that talk in the House of insisting the next US presidnet make a request in the spring of 2017 for what is needed.

The Defense Dept -- and the current White House and president -- want a blank check and want it written now so that they can cash it whenever they choose to.

They don't want oversight.

They don't want to be responsive to the people's representatives.

That is the Congress.

And they're given control of the purse -- of spending -- for a reason.

A blank check would defeat that control.

Secretary Ash Carter:  There with our support Iraqi security forces retook Ramadi, have been reclaiming further ground in Anbar Province, most recently the city of Hit and along with Iraqi Kurdish forces have begun operations to capture and isolate Mosul with the intent of collapsing ISIL's control over that city.

We keep hearing all of these claims.

Most of which can't be verified.

Like Brett McGurk's endless pimping of the claim that foreign fighters going into Iraq are decreasing.

It's a nice claim but is it really verifiable?


Like so much this White House has offered on Iraq, it's not verifiable.

Carter wanted to talk about success and Anbar.

And he wanted to do so in the same week that Tim Arango (NEW YORK TIMES) offered a look at Anbar which included:

The situation in Anbar has grown increasingly muddled as the Obama administration has stepped up its military support to Iraq, announcing that it will deploy Apache helicopters and position more troops closer to the front lines. It has touted victories in Anbar as an important step toward liberating the country from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and as a prelude to a campaign, possibly this year, to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.
But Iran’s proxies are undercutting efforts to unite the civilian population, a necessity if Iraq is to eventually extinguish extremism. In the siege of Falluja, a Sunni city, the Shiite militias have prevented civilians from leaving Islamic State territory while resisting calls to allow humanitarian aid to reach the city. Sunni Arab civilians in the province are increasingly reporting kidnappings and murders by the militias, accounts that American and Iraqi officials say are credible.
In some cases, after civilians have disappeared, their families have received ransom demands. Abu Abdulrahman, a resident of Amiriyat al-Falluja, a city in Anbar under the control of the government, said three of his cousins vanished last year after being stopped at a militia checkpoint.
“We haven’t heard anything about them since then,” he said, although a man approached the family and demanded a ransom of $8,000, which was paid. “He disappeared with the money,” he said.
Conditions are so dire in Falluja for the tens of thousands of civilians trapped there that dozens of people have starved to death, civilians and activists say. Food prices have skyrocketed, with a bag of flour that would cost $15 in Baghdad going for $750, Human Rights Watch has reported.

Back to the hearing for a moment.

Secretary Ash Carter: As we've made this progress with momentum in this campaign clearly on our side, last week in Baghdad, I announced a number of key actions we're taking to continue accelerating our campaign against ISIL.  We'll be placing advisors with the ISF, that is the Iraqi Security Forces, down to the brigade and battalion level to help enhance decision making and responsiveness.  We'll be leveraging Apache attach helicopters to support the ISF's ongoing efforts to envelop and retake Mosul [. . .]

Mosul was seized in June of 2014.

How much longer is it going to be before the city is 'retaken'?

US President Barack Obama's plan or 'plan' has been enacted since August of 2014.

Mosul's still not liberated.

Today, the US Defense Dept announced/claimed:

Strikes in Iraq
Bomber, fighter, ground attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 23 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Baghdadi, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL tunnel systems, an ISIL tunnel entrance, an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL recoilless rifle and an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Beiji, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions.

--- Near Fallujah, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroyed two ISIL mortar systems and suppressed an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Hit, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL machine gun and an ISIL anti-air artillery piece.

-- Near Kirkuk, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL assembly area.

-- Near Kisik, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL mortar system.

-- Near Mosul, five strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL rocket rails, an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL fighting position and suppressed an ISIL heavy machine gun.

-- Near Qayyarah, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL mortar system.

-- Near Sinjar, a strike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

-- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL assembly area and an ISIL supply cache.

-- Near Tal Afar, three strikes destroyed two ISIL tunnel systems and an ISIL front-end loader and denied ISIL access to terrain.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

Day after day, that nonsense takes place.

Over and over since August of 2014.

There is no progress.

Isn't it past time questions about Iraq were asked?

Let's switch to Tuesday's State Dept press briefing moderated by spokesperson Mark Toner.


MR TONER: Yeah. Sure, Michel. Iraq it is.

QUESTION: Do you have any (inaudible) the partial cabinet reshuffle today and the demonstrations by the followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr?

MR TONER: Well, I’ll start with the protests. And we obviously – we support the Iraqi people’s freedom of expression and assembly, just so long as these are peaceful protests. Peaceful protests are an integral part of a functioning democracy, and it is our understanding that, up till now, these protests have been, in fact, peaceful. Moving forward, the security for the international zone is the Government’s of Iraq’s responsibility, so they can probably answer best any further questions about security around these protests. But we obviously support the Iraqi people’s right to express themselves nonviolently.
In terms of the cabinet reshuffle, I’d obviously refer you to the Government of Iraq to comment on the specifics. But Secretary Kerry said when he was in Baghdad just a few weeks ago that it’s important to have political stability, to have a unified and functioning government as rapidly as possible, in order to move forward so that Iraq’s efforts to combat and defeat ISIL are not affected and not interrupted. So we urge all parties to work in tandem and work together to move the political process forward in ways that advance the interests and the aspirations of the Iraqi people and in accordance with the Iraqi constitution.

Oh, goody, political stability.

That's the argument that let Nouri al-Maliki get a second term (the Iraqi people did not elect him) and that let him stay on throughout his second term.

Even though he was overseeing the beating and raping of Iraqi girls and women in jails and prisons -- often illegally imprisoned.

Even though he targeted Iraq's LGBT community, unleashed the Shi'ite militias on them, sent his Interior Ministry into the schools to demonize them and call for their deaths, etc.

Even though he used both terms to actively encourage the persecution of Iraqi Christians to the point that his two terms saw a great reshuffling of Iraqi Christians from Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq to the Kurdish north instead -- because the Kurds could and would do what Nouri wouldn't: try to protect Iraqi Christians.

Even though he terrorized and killed civilians for the 'crime' of protesting.

Even though he had reporters kidnapped and tortured for the 'crime' of reporting on the protests.

Nouri al-Maliki's rap sheet is never ending.

But he was kept in place for 'political stability.'

He provided no stability to Iraq.

But the US government felt he was 'their man' and that if they propped him up long enough, at some point he was going to get that hydrocarbons law passed.

It's still not passed.

So today finds Barack and company putting their faith in Haider.

By the way, it's cute that the State Dept can now support protests.

During the year-plus of non-stop protests, the State Dept could never find a way to defend the protesters.

Not even following the Hawija massacre.

But today, they're all on board with protests.

Because they aren't protests.

They're support rallies for Haider.

Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr has released his zombies on the streets of Baghdad to rally for Haider and create the appearance of support.

Back to the State Dept's struggle with truth on Tuesday.

QUESTION: About – thanks, Mark. Regarding Muqtada al-Sadr --


QUESTION: -- is there any concern at this point in this building about his influence in Iraq? On multiple occasions in the last three months, he’s been able to swiftly get well over 100,000 people into the streets of Baghdad. He’s also overseeing one of the more influential and successful Shia militias in the country in the fight against the Islamic State. He seems to have reemerged as a major player there. I wonder if you can comment on that and whether that’s a good thing or are there concerns here.

MR TONER: Well, I think, just answering your last question first, I mean, it’s a perfectly fine thing, as long as he wants to be a part of the political process and not work against it. I would just – you’re certainly right that he is able to still wield tremendous influence within Iraq. That’s clear by these current protests. And again, as we often say about these kinds of environments is that, if you’re willing to quote/unquote “play by the rules” and be a voice for positive change within a society, then that is part of the democratic process and we support that. So certainly we, again, recognize his influence. We recognize that he’s still an influential figure in Iraq, but we just encourage that his influence remain, as I said, positive and peaceful.

QUESTION: Is there some indication that it’s not at this point?

MR TONER: No, I just – I mean, look – I mean, just in the past we’ve had concerns. And going forward --

QUESTION: We actually had a target on his head for a few years.

MR TONER: Well --

QUESTION: And he was – I don't know if he was ever indicted --

MR TONER: I’m not sure about that either. But all I’m saying is --

QUESTION: But his forces at one time were at war with U.S. forces occupying Iraq.

MR TONER: That’s correct.

QUESTION: I know that was a long time ago.

MR TONER: No, I understand that. That’s why – and partly – that’s part of my caveat. I mean, that’s why I say what I say, is that I think as Iraq evolves politically there is, in many countries that are evolving politically, an opportunity for some of these individuals to transition, if you will. But we view always this transition with caution.

His caveat?

That's cute.

"Radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr."

The US government came up with that billing for Moqtada.

And they didn't mean it as a compliment.

But these days, Moqtada dances for Haider so the US is all prepared to stick dollars in Moqtada's g-string as well.

There is no coherent policy for Iraq because there's no concern for Iraq or the Iraqi people.

It's still about getting hands on Iraq's natural resources.

All this time later.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Debra Messing and other Hillary fools

Another week.  Will we make it through?

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Deborah Messy."


Idiot of the week Deborah Messing.

They really should cancel her stupid show already.

She keeps insulting everyone on her stupid Twitter feed.

 Anything to defend psycho Hillary.  Psycho killer Hillary.

She's destroyed Iraq, Libya and Honduras.

 Sarah Lazare (ICH) notes:

Hillary Clinton is not the only person doing P.R. to legitimize the government of Honduras that rose to power in the wake of the U.S.-backed 2009 coup, overseeing a dramatic escalation in violence against Indigenous, human rights and environmental defenders.
The powerful U.S.-based P.R. firm Ketchum—which is owned by Omnicom—was paid $421,333 last June for a one-year contract with the Honduran government that continues into the present. One of the largest such agencies in the world, the firm is headquartered in New York and claims to operate in 70 countries on six continents. It describes itself as “a global communications firm that loves to do break through work for clients” and boasts: “we’re just crazy enough to believe you can actually change the world.”
The company is representing the government of Honduras in the midst of an escalating human rights crisis defined by a spate of assassinations of Indigenous environmental activists, including the renowned social movement leader Berta Cáceres. Today, Honduras is one of the most dangerous places on earth for environmental defenders, with activists reporting that death squads are making a comeback. Human rights and environmental groups from around the world are calling on Secretary of State John Kerry to halt military aid to the Honduran government until an investigation into Cáceres’ murder is fully carried out. Meanwhile, new reporting from the New York Times shines light on police leaders' unchecked power to order assassinations.

New content at Third:

And it was written by Dallas and:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, April 25, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the Kurds and the Shi'ites are at odds, the United Nations is wondering where the plan for 'day after' is, and much more.

Today, the US Defense Dept announced:

Strikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter, ground attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 11 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Baghdadi, a strike struck an ISIL staging area.

-- Near Huwayjah, a strike destroyed an ISIL tunnel system.

-- Near Fallujah, five strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and an ISIL staging area and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL mortar positions, an ISIL bulldozer, an ISIL front-end loader, an ISIL recoilless rifle and three ISIL bed-down locations.

-- Near Mosul, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL anti-air artillery pieces and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Sinjar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Waleed, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

Like that's worked.

Daily bombings since August of 2014 and Iraq's no closer to the political solution US President Barack Obama insisted June 19, 2014 was the only answer.

Worse, AFP reports, "Clashes between Kurdish and Shiite Turkmen fighters in an Iraqi town late Monday cut the main road from Baghdad to the north for the second day in a row and threatened to undermine a cease-fire agreement reached by military leaders a day earlier."

Yes, day two.

Sunday, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Tim Hume (CNN) reported, "Twenty-two fighters have been killed in ongoing clashes between Kurdish Peshmerga and Shiite militia members in northern Iraq, local security officials say, a development that complicates the fight against ISIS in the region."

  1. Tuz Khurmatu: Kurd Youth who defended themselves from Shia Militias, replace Iraqi flag after capturing a checkpoint

 DOW JONES explained it this way, "A firefight between Iraqi Kurdish fighters and a Shiite militia in northern Iraq has left at least 27 of the combatants dead and threatens to fray Iraq's fragile anti-Islamic State alliance."

But non-western outlets explained it a little differently.  Dalshad Abdullah, Manaf al-Obeidi and Hamza Mustapha (ASHARQ AL-AWSAT) offered:

Kurdish sources told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Iranian soldiers and militants belonging to the Lebanon-based Hezbollah had been a part of the recent battles, fighting alongside the Mobilization Forces.
During the first hours of battle, over 25 combatants belonging to the Turkmens’ side were reported dead.
On its behalf, the Turkmen party accused groups of militants coming from beyond borders of instigating dispute among the people of Tuz Khormato. In an announcement, Turkmens called out the voice of reason found in everyone to rule, so that civilians would not have to pay the price of an armed conflict.

If, two years ago, Barack had put 1/4 of the effort into diplomacy that he did into bombing Iraq, things might be different today.

Instead, he failed to lead.

And Secretary of State John Kerry's ridiculous assumption that he was Secretary of Defense did not make things better.

Diplomacy was shoved aside and the State Dept worked on corralling nations into being part of the so-called 'coalition.'

They should have put that time and energy into leading on political solutions.

Tim Arango (NEW YORK TIMES) notes the so-called 'wins' on the battlefield mean very little:

For seasoned observers of the American military involvement in Iraq -- going back more than 25 years to the start of the Persian Gulf war -- it is all part of a depressingly familiar pattern: battlefield gains that do not bring stability in their wake.
“Unfortunately, as has been a trademark of American involvement with Iraq at least since 2003 (and arguably since 1991), military success is not being matched with the commensurate political-economic efforts that will ultimately determine whether battlefield successes are translated into lasting achievements,” Kenneth M. Pollack, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a longtime Iraq analyst, wrote recently in an online column.
A growing number of critics are warning that American-backed military victories need to be backed up with political reconciliation between Sunni and Shiite Arabs, something Iran is working against, and with determined efforts to rebuild cities so that civilians can return.

Even Fred Kaplan has caught on, writing this week at SLATE:

But he [Barack]'s also cited another reason for restraint: There’s no point in throwing American troops into this conflict without a decent prospect for a political solution. Specifically, as long as Iraq’s Shiite-led government doesn’t share power with the Sunnis, ISIS (or jihadist organizations like ISIS) can’t be crushed. The Baghdad government’s oppressive policies and corrupt practices might not have caused the rise of ISIS, but they’ve helped sustain it and legitimized the grievances that ISIS has exploited, encouraging even many moderate Sunnis to tolerate—or at least not rebel against—the presence of ISIS as the lesser of two evils.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has more inclusive inclinations than his predecessor, Nouri al-Maliki. And the American commanders in Iraq have done much to reinforce these tendencies, for instance paying the Kurdish peshmerga and the anti-ISIS Sunni tribal fighters through the Baghdad treasury—and thus building a sense of loyalty to and from the government—rather than giving them cash directly, as was done during the tribal co-optations of 2007 (as had to be done, since Maliki wasn’t willing to be the conduit). Another hopeful sign: The U.S. commander leading this tribal coordination is Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, who, as a colonel back in 2006, organized the Anbar Awakening, the first (and, for a while, pivotal) campaign in which Sunni militias cooperated with U.S. troops to beat back al-Qaida. When it comes to melding tribal politics and military entities in western Iraq, MacFarland has no equal.

Barack's had no real plan.  Which is why the US government has pushed the US military into the arms of groups that previously killed US troops in Iraq.  And it's not just getting cozy with the League of Righteous, it's also setting these terrorists -- that's what they are -- up to be in charge of Iraq.

Stratfor offers an analysis which opens:

In some ways, the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq has masked the country's deep fragmentation. During their campaign against the jihadist group, Iraq's many ethnic and religious groups have often cooperated with one another. United by a desire to reclaim territory from the jihadist group, the Kurdish peshmerga, Shiite militias and Sunni tribal militias, along with the Iraqi government forces, have launched numerous joint operations. But competing goals among the groups, all of which desire more economic resources, territory and political influence, will bring them into conflict. Over the course of the operations themselves, longstanding tensions between the factions have already manifested. The struggle for influence and control among the groups will emerge even more fully as they overcome their common enemy.
Although Iraq's ethnic and religious communities exert their influence in the country in different ways, they share one important means in common: their militias. In Iraq, a claim to territory often translates to a claim to power. To a great extent, this is a symptom of the weakness of the Iraqi security forces. Numbering under 150,000 in front-line forces, Iraq's military suffers from poor leadership and logistics, dismal salaries and weak morale. As a result, militias in Iraq have risen to prominence, throwing much-needed support behind the Iraqi security forces. At the same time, the militias come with their own agendas. 

No real thought is given.  No long term plan exists.

The United Nations is noting this lack of a long term plan:

Iraq must immediately take concrete steps to plan for “the day after” the defeat of ISIL, grounded in equality, the rule of law and a vision that has earned the confidence of all the country’s diverse communities, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore urged today, at the end of a week-long visit to Iraq.
“Iraq, it seems, has a long memory but is short on vision,” Gilmore said. “It is like a vehicle travelling over rocky terrain, with a large rearview mirror but only a keyhole for a windscreen, despite a vicious contest for the wheel. The dominant narrative among many of Iraq’s leaders is of ‘my community’s grievance’, failing to acknowledge the widespread nature of Iraqis’ suffering and failing to chart a course for an inclusive future.”
“Iraqis are crying out for fairness, recognition, justice, appreciation and meaningful participation in shaping their future – a process that goes forward and not backwards.”
“All the leaders of Iraq, at every level, in both word and action, need to demonstrate a far greater commitment to peace, equality and to the rule of law than to grievances or to vengeance hardwired by sectarianism. There is a worrying absence of a political narrative that brings together all the diverse communities in Iraq, a narrative that includes all the minority communities. This must be urgently addressed,” she added.
Gilmore stressed that Iraq’s challenges are not military alone and its future is not solely a matter of defeating ISIL and liberating its territories.
“The existence of armed conflict in certain regions does not excuse or justify the absence of the rule of law in the broader Iraq. Judicial independence, an end to arbitrary detentions, respect for due process, the prohibition of torture – these are neither ideals nor luxuries, but are indispensable foundations of stability,” she said.
“Firm steps must be taken – now – to plan for the day after ISIL, steps that broaden inclusion and deepen fairness, including through structured local, regional and national dialogue on inclusion, peaceful co-existence and mutual respect. Unchecked corruption, lack of accountability for past and present crimes, the problem of tribal militias, the growing number of internally displaced people, the partial or total destruction of entire villages and towns, violence against women, and the need for constitutional and legislative reforms are some of the many pressing human rights concerns in Iraq that need priority attention.”
During her mission to Iraq, Gilmore visited Baghdad, Najaf, Erbil and the Shariya camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Dohuk. She met the Minister of Foreign Affairs and other senior Government officials, as well as the President of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, leaders of civil society, including religious and ethnic communities, human rights defenders, and survivors of human rights violations.
“The blight of ISIL was made tragically clear by the stories of survivors of violations that we met in IDP camps in Dohuk. The Yezidi man who was forcibly convicted, subjected to mock executions and who witnessed a pregnant woman stoned to death; the woman who was subjected to sexual slavery for more than a year; the man whose entire family – wife, daughters, son – were abducted by ISIL and who couldn’t afford the USD 30,000 ransom demanded for their release,” Gilmore said. “The human rights abuses being perpetrated by ISIL must neither be forgotten, nor silenced. The right to truth is crucial, as is the possibility of accountability for those who have committed what may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity or even genocide. Evidence must be preserved and testimony must continue to be gathered.”
Gilmore also urged the international community to provide more support to humanitarian needs, the rebuilding of essential infrastructure and towards justice and reconciliation in Iraq.
“We all have responsibilities towards the people of Iraq. While there is an international military coalition in place, a comparably resourced international coalition of practical compassion is also needed to help with the building blocks towards a sustained peace in Iraq,” she said.

Where's the plan, Barack?

Bombing won't bring peace.

Political reconciliation?

The Iraqi government agreed to that in 2007 as part of the White House benchmarks . . . they just never implemented it like they promised to.

So until the US government is willing to hold back on weapons and aids until Iraq makes political progress, there is no progress.

 XINHUA reports a Baghdad car bombing has claimed 7 lives and left thirty more injured.

In the US, War Hawk Hillary Clinton continues hoping she can escape her vote for the Iraq War and her years of support for it.

HRC has a TON of experience GETTING IT WRONG! Sending kids 2 DIE in wars 4 NO REASON Except 4 offering As "a business opportunity."

voted yes voted no; dont confuse a vote 2 sup troops once there w/a yes4war!

Hillary devotee and Clinton cult member Debra Messing refuses to demand accountability from her pin up Hillary Clinton.  She does, however, insult everyone else.  A point made in Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Deborah Messy."

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Idiot of the Week

I'm going to go with Debra Messing who can't let go of the idea that she's politcal.

She's an idiot.

She supports a candidate she knows nothing about (Hillary) and can't stop Tweeting.

She can't leave it alone.

She insists on showing the world just how stupid she is.

And how hateful.

She's an actress whose career depends upon goodwill but she's going around spewing hate.

Is that really the way to go?

I guess so if you're an idiot like Debra Messing.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Saturday, April 23, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the US government admits killing Iraqi civilians in the bombs dropped from war planes each day, Haider al-Abadi continues pushing for reforms or 'reforms,' Moqtada issues a call to his followers, and much more.

Today, the US Defense Dept announced:

Strikes in Iraq
Bomber, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 22 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Baghdadi, two strikes struck an ISIL bunker complex and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Beiji, a strike destroyed three ISIL bunkers.

-- Near Fallujah, eight strikes struck six separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL heavy machine gun, three ISIL vehicles, and denied ISIL access to terrain.

-- Near Kirkuk, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL command and control node, an ISIL vehicle, two ISIL assembly areas, and an ISIL bomb storage facility.

-- Near Kisik, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL tunnel entrance.

-- Near Mosul, five strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL weapons cache, an ISIL assembly area, and three ISIL supply caches and suppressed two separate ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Qayyarah, a strike produced inconclusive results.
-- Near Sinjar, two strikes destroyed an ISIL bomb and two ISIL asphalt steamrollers.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

The daily bombings have also been carried out in Syria.  And CBS NEWS and AP report:

In announcing the results of several investigations stemming from allegations of civilian casualties, U.S. Central Command said it concluded "the preponderance of evidence" indicates 20 civilians were killed and 11 others wounded in nine attacks between Sept. 10, 2015, and Feb. 2, 2016. All were judged to have been the unintended result of attacks on legitimate targets.

Of CENTCOM, BBC NEWS adds, "It said it deeply regretted the unintentional loss of life.
It said a total of 41 civilians had been killed since the air strikes began in 2014. Some human rights groups say the figure is much higher."  Lizzie Dearden (INDEPDENT) notes, "Monitors from the independent NGO said the civilian death toll from air strikes by the US-led coalition was due to pass 1,000 last month. The figure was described in Parliament as 'credible', sparking calls for Britain and other member states to release reports."

At least a thousand, according to an independent estimate.

At least a thousand civilians killed by these 'precision' bombings.

Where is the outrage in America?

Where are the protests?

But then, where are the protests over the continuing Iraq War?

The editorial board of THE TOLEDO BLADE points out:

The United States still has 4,000 troops in Iraq, nearly five years after President George W. Bush agreed with the then-Iraqi government that all U.S. troops would be withdrawn by the end of 2011. President Obama pledged to end the war in Iraq as part of his 2008 election campaign, a promise he has not fulfilled, bending to pressure from the Pentagon and Washington’s other advocates of a continued U.S. military presence.
In principle, U.S. troops are in Iraq in the context of advising and supplying Iraqi armed forces, not in a combat role. However, it emerged last month that Marines maintain an independent fire base in northern Iraq and are expected to play a critical role in carrying out the plan of Iraqi forces to free Mosul, the country’s second-largest city, from Islamic State in Iraq and Syria control. ISIS has held Mosul since June, 2014.

The Iraq War never ends.

Nor do Hillary Clinton's excuses for voting it and supporting it through 2007.

By contrast, Senator Bernie Sanders voted against it.

At a Baltimore rally today, Harper Neidig (THE HILL) reports, Senator Bernie Sanders declared, "The most important foreign policy debate in the modern history of this country took place in 2002 over the war in Iraq. I listened very carefully to what President Bush and Dick Cheney and the others had to say. I did not believe them, I helped lead the opposition.  Secretary Clinton heard the same evidence that I did; she voted for that war.  As secretary of State, she initiated and helped lead the effort to help overthrow the government of Libya, which brought mass instability to that region."

Thursday, War Hawk Hillary Diane appeared on ABC's GOOD MORNING AMERICA to sputter:

Well, I guess my-my greatest regret, uhm, was, uh, voting to give President Bush authority in Iraq.  Uhm, it did not turn out the way I thought it would based on what he had said, uh, and I regret that.  I've said it was a mistake and, uh, obviously, uh, it's something I-I wish hadn't turned out the way it did.

Even she couldn't get it out in a believable manner.

Stumbling and sputtering, she tried to rewrite history yet again.

In the face of Hillary's latest revision, it's worth again noting Stephen Zunes providing reality about Hillary's Iraq history:

1. “Hillary Clinton’s vote wasn’t for war, but simply to pressure Saddam Hussein to allow UN weapons inspectors back into Iraq.”
At the time of vote, Saddam Hussein had already agreed in principle to a return of the weapons inspectors. His government was negotiating with the United Nations Monitoring and Verification Commission on the details, which were formally institutionalized a few weeks later. (Indeed, it would have been resolved earlier had the United States not repeatedly postponed a UN Security Council resolution in the hopes of inserting language that would have allowed Washington to unilaterally interpret the level of compliance.)
Furthermore, if then-Senator Clinton’s desire was simply to push Saddam into complying with the inspection process, she wouldn’t have voted against the substitute Levin amendment, which would have also granted President Bush authority to use force, but only if Iraq defied subsequent UN demands regarding the inspections process. Instead, Clinton voted for a Republican-sponsored resolution to give Bush the authority to invade Iraq at the time and circumstances of his own choosing.
In fact, unfettered large-scale weapons inspections had been going on in Iraq for nearly four months at the time the Bush administration launched the March 2003 invasion. Despite the UN weapons inspectors having not found any evidence of WMDs or active WMD programs after months of searching, Clinton made clear that the United States should invade Iraq anyway. Indeed, she asserted that even though Saddam was in full compliance with the UN Security Council, he nevertheless needed to resign as president, leave the country, and allow U.S. troops to occupy the country. “The president gave Saddam Hussein one last chance to avoid war,” Clinton said in a statement, “and the world hopes that Saddam Hussein will finally hear this ultimatum, understand the severity of those words, and act accordingly.”

When Saddam refused to resign and the Bush administration launched the invasion, Clinton went on record calling for “unequivocal support” for Bush’s “firm leadership and decisive action” as “part of the ongoing Global War on Terrorism.” She insisted that Iraq was somehow still “in material breach of the relevant United Nations resolutions” and, despite the fact that weapons inspectors had produced evidence to the contrary, claimed the invasion was necessary to “neutralize Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.”

Julia Sharpe-Levine (HUFFINGTON POST) adds:

 Her assertion that her vote for the Iraq War was “the best decision I [could’ve made] with the information I had” is deceitful considering that prior to voting, she neglected to read the 92-page classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction circulated to the Senate for review by the Bush administration. The NIE went into great detail about the objections raised by the State Department and Department of Energy to claims of nuclear-weapons in Iraq, and led multiple senators, including Bob Graham of Florida, to vote against the war resolution.

Bully Boy Bush tricked her, she whined this week.

But how stupid do you have to be to be in order to be tricked by Bully Boy Bush?

More to the point, how can you be 'tricked' when you don't even do the basic work required?

Hillary voted without doing the National Intelligence Estimate?

Well, no one's ever accused her of possessing an overabundance of intelligence.

Retired Lt Col William Astore (HUFFINGTON POST) observes:

No more nonsense about being a touchy-feely progressive like Bernie Sanders.  It’s time for Hillary the Hawk to take charge and soar, preempting any criticism by Republicans that she’ll be “weak” on defense.
But, tell me again, how did America’s wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and elsewhere go for the United States?  At least three trillion dollars lost, tens of thousands of U.S. troops killed and wounded, hundreds of thousands of “foreigners” killed and wounded, millions made refugees, and for what, exactly?
Hillary the Hawk wants to double-down on a losing hand.  That’s neither “aggressive” nor “tough”: It’s reckless and dumb.  Worst of all, she’s playing with our chips as well as the lives of our troops, not to mention the lives of all those “foreigners” seeking shelter from American bombs and bullets and drones.  (But we have a word for them: collateral damage.)

Her latest lie did not go over well in Libya.  Mahmoud Darwesh (XINHUA) reports from Tripoli:

The recent statement of U.S. Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton has met with great skepticism in Libya, especially her regret for the 2003 intervention in Iraq, according to Libyan officials.
[. . .]
"The recent statement of Clinton is nothing but political advocacy for her voters," said Atef Badri, a former Libyan diplomat.
He believes this apology and regret for the military campaign that led to the destruction of Iraq will not change the "ugly face" on Washington's foreign policy.
The former diplomat said when Clinton was a prominent senator in 2002, she strongly advocated for a military campaign that was apparently aimed to overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime.
"However, the hidden side of her support to the campaign was to destroy Iraq's scientific capabilities and infrastructure. The world saw how fancy the U.S. air force was in destroying the government offices, factories, and bridges," Badri added. 

Meanwhile, AFP notes, "A suicide attack claimed by the Islamic State group killed at least eight people at a mosque on the southwestern edge of Baghdad on Friday, security and medical officials said."  Ayad Allawi, leader of Iraqiya, tells NATIONAL IRAQI NEWS AGENCY that the bombing is an attempt to destroy the social fabric of Iraq and to promote sectarianism.
ALSUMARIA notes a Husseiniya car bombing killed 1 Iraqi soldier and left four more injured.

As the violence continues, so does the political intrigue.

An alliance has apparently fallen.  DAR ADDUSTOUR reports that the Kurdish alliance has broken and that the PUK has announced they will not continue to align with the KDP -- the split is said to be between former president of Iraq  Jalal Talabani and his supporters in the PUK and KRG President Massoud Barzani and his supporters in the KDP.

The split comes as the US-installed prime minister Haider al-Abadi is demanding that he get a new Cabinet.  That's a confession of his own failures as prime minister.  He picked his Cabinet back in 2014 -- picking the ministers and having Parliament approve them is how someone moves from prime minister-designate to prime minister per Iraq's constitution.  Haider's requesting a new Cabinet less than two years later is a confession of his own failure.  (IRAQ TIMES published a photo of Haider from when he was less than a year-old, FYI.)

He has some support for his proposals including from Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr.  ALSUMARIA notes Moqtada called on his followers to continue protesting in Baghdad in favor of Haider's demands -- and to continue protesting until at least Monday.  ALL IRAQ NEWS explains that Moqtada wants the Parliament to vote on Haider's proposals Monday.  While they continue protesting in Baghdad's Tahrir Square, there are MPs protesting in the Parliament as well.

Salim al-Jubouri remains Speaker of Parliament despite an April 14th attempt to vote the most powerful Sunni politician out of office (they did not have a quorum so the vote did not count).  ALSUMARIA notes that he has stated Parliament will be resuming business and voting on Haider's proposal in this coming week.

Mohammad Sabah (AL MADA) reports that Salim is attempting to get the protesting MPs to cease their protest.  However, the protesters include Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition and they're not budging.  NINA quotes State of Law's Mutasim Mansour Baaja declaring that the sit in will continue and that they believe the vote to oust Salim as Speaker was a valid and legal vote.

As Sheikh (DAR ADDUSTOUR) pens a column noting the intrigue and rumor surrounding the various efforts and concludes that merely shuffling politicians will not cure Iraq's government because what is actually needed is a vision of a better Iraq.

Saleh al-Mutlaq is the leader of the National Dialogue Front, a Sunni bloc. ALSUMARIA reports that he has stated there is an effort afoot to change the three presidencies -- Speaker of Parliament, President and Prime Minister -- to those who would do the bidding of the government of Iran.  Suadad al-Salhy (MIDDLE EAST MONITOR) focuses on Nouri al-Maliki's role in the upheaval:

To stop the train – or at least to reroute it – figures involved in talks told MEE that the heads of political blocs must negotiate with Maliki, who controls more than two-thirds of the rebellious MPs.
"Those who led the coup were Maliki's MPs and were under his supervision," said a senior Shia leader familiar with the current political bloc negotiations, who spoke to MEE on condition of anonymity. "I have all the text messages and instructions he sent to his people," the leader said. "He is the one holding all the strings of the game. He can keep it up or end it."
Maliki governed Iraq between 2006 and 2014. Despite winning the highest share of the vote in 2014, he was blocked from a third term by political rivals and Shia clergymen after many Iraqis blamed him for the spectacular loss of almost a third of Iraqi territory to the Islamic State (IS) group. Abadi, Maliki's political party mate, in cooperation with Maliki's Shia, Sunni and Kurd rivals, succeeded him to the top office.
Maliki was appointed vice president, but Abadi, in response to massive demonstrations, abolished Maliki's post last August as part of his first package of reforms. Since then, the tension between Maliki and his rivals has been high.