Friday, August 19, 2016

Democrats are the new Karl Rove Republicans

And you know it's true because the party's still letting David Brock have a voice -- after his racist lie that Michelle Obama was on videotape talking about 'get Whitey.'

Brock always attacks the African-American women -- first Anita Hill eventually Michelle Obama.

And that 2008 attack has not turned him into pariah the way it should have.

Because Democrats are the new Karl Rove Republicans.

What did the latter group do?

Take any strength and turn it into a liability.

So, example, 2004, John Kerry was the nominee.  His record included serving in Vietnam.

They turned around and made it into something to attack.

Jill Stein, Green Party presidential candidate, is a medical doctor.

So the new Karl Rove Republicans (again, the Democrats) turn that into a liability by spreading lies that she's anti-vaccine and a host of other things.

w/ was long overdue 2 begin dispelling ridiculous anti-science myths. ✅๐Ÿ’ฏ


But you can't dispell a myth that hundreds of people are being paid to advance.

And that's why Democrats are the new Karl Rove Republicans.

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

Thursday, August 18, 2016.  We look at racism and sexism in the US presidential elections, Moqtada makes a major statement, and much more.

Racism and sexism, when do they matter?

When Democrats run a woman or when they run a man of color.

That becomes more and move obvious.

Democratic websites like DAILY KOS rightly earned their racist images in the '00s prior to Barack Obama declaring his intention to seek the Democratic Party's primary nomination.

If you doubt it, check their archives.

Look for an incident like Teri Schiavo (first time her name has appeared here).  Rev. Jesse Jackson came out on the 'wrong' side and oh did his race suddenly matter as 'lefties' rushed to tear him apart.

And now Hillary's running so the same group of 'lefties' who tore her apart in 2008 not for her beliefs or actions but for her gender are suddenly running around screaming "sexism!" at everything.

Last night, Betty took on the idiot NEWSWEEK 'writer' who penned the latest cry of sexism "Of course it was a White girl #WhiteKnowItAll."

Where was the idiot in 2008?

I know where Betty was -- she was calling out sexism.

Her site had been a comic online novel up until that year's primaries.  All the sexist attacks made her drop that format completely to take on the sexism.

So Betty really doesn't need to hear from some spoiled and vapid little girl dithering on about so-called sexism.

In 2008, Marie Cocco was the only journalist regularly calling out the non-stop sexism:

But I do wonder why a candidate [Barack Obama] praised for his rhetorical gifts talks about women in the way that he does. During the primary campaign, he said Hillary Clinton launched political attacks on him "periodically, when she's feeling down." He called a Detroit reporter "sweetie" when she was trying to ask him about job creation. Now he has incorporated a myth created by the right -- that women who seek late-term abortions should not be allowed to do so if they are "feeling blue" -- into his own lexicon. And this is enough to make me see red.

Sorry vapid NEWSWEEK writer, you were no where to be found.

In 2008, as Barack's speech writer posed groping a cut out of Hillary, Dee Dee Myers pointed out in "Favreau's Sexist Photo Is No Laughing Matter" (Vanity Fair):

What's bugging me is his intention. He isn't putting his hand on her "chest," as most of the articles and conversations about the picture have euphemistically referred to it. Rather, his hand--cupped just so--is clearly intended to signal that he’s groping her breast. And why? Surely, not to signal he finds her attractive. Au contraire. It’s an act of deliberate humiliation. Of disempowerment. Of denigration.
And it disgusts me.

And what happened?

Jon Favreau went on to the White House.  He gave a private apology to Hillary.

And Hillary accepted it.

I'm sorry?

You claim your campaign in 2008 and today is about women?

You claim that you will be an inspirational figure.

And yet this sexism doesn't require an apology to women, just to you?

Oh, Queen Bee.

Anyway, where was our NEWSWEEK idiot then?

No where to be found.

And they never are, not when it counts.

And all this is brought up because of Gideon Resnick's frat boy piece at THE DAILY BEAST entitled "The Wilde Beliefs of Ajamu Baraka, Jill Stein's Green Party Running Mate."

If you think the African-American male is crazy, call him "crazy."

But "wild"?

As in "savage."

Seems to me that the slovenly frat boy Resnick is knowingly playing with coded language.

Little Giddy tries the smear by association tactic.

For example, he says Kevin Barrett is a "Holocaust denier."

Is he?

I don't know.

Apologies to Kevin if that's not accurate.

What does that have to do with Ajamu?

Ajumu contributed an essay to a book edited by Kevin.

I don't have time for additional writing (or even this writing) but if I knew Kevin and he had asked me for a chapter, I would have contributed.  I only know him from PACIFICA RADIO and the topic of the Holocaust has never been addressed in any of his appearances.

I'm not real big on smear by association to begin with.

Giddy then stops sniffing his arm pit long enough to attack COUNTERPUNCH -- that website has always presented a wide range of opinions and has always had more worth reading that THE DAILY BEAST could ever hope for.  But how strange that this website and newsletter -- started by Ken Silverstein, the late Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair -- which has published millions -- yes, millions -- of articles is cherry picked for one 'mean to Israel' piece by Little Giddy.

Little Giddy clearly wants to take a moment from picking at his ass crack and then sniffing his fingers -- a break at least long enough to go after the African-American man who has "wild" thoughts.

Thoughts clearly are the real crime.

How dare, Little Giddy huffs as though he can't quite squeeze that turd out of his butt, this African-American man question claims -- why this "reportedly" is what happened -- according to the CIA.

Then with a loud plop, Little Giddy suddenly ends his rambling.

You've heard of the pajama blogger?

With Little Giddy, we've just me the toilet blogger.

Remember to wash your hands, Little Giddy.

Baraka was on CNN last night with Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein.  One of the topics raised was the Middle East.  Rebecca Savransky (THE HILL) reports:

"We need a new kind of offensive in the Middle East, because bombing terrorism and shooting terrorism is not quelling terrorism. It's only fanning the flames of terrorism, the misery and the poverty that drive terrorism," Stein said Wednesday during a CNN town hall.
"We are calling for a new kind of offensive, a peace offensive for the Middle East, that begins with a weapons embargo."
Stein said the U.S. and its allies are supplying the majority of the weapons to the fighting forces in the Middle East, so the country can initiate a weapons embargo.
Stein said that ISIS does not meet the threshold of posing an "imminent threat" that calls for use of force. She said the terrorist group is "not about to launch a major attack against our country."

Maybe the next time Little Giddy feels a major bowel movement coming on, he could tackle what Jill's calling for?

Anna Giaritelli (WASHINGTON EXAMINER) picks her own nits over Iraq:

Green Party nominee Jill Stein claimed during a Wednesday night town hall that U.S. forces killed 1 million people during the Iraq War and occupation.

"Since 2001 we have killed a million people in Iraq alone, which is not winning us the hearts and minds in the Middle East," Stein told an audience member during the CNN town hall.

Really, Jill said US forces did that?

Strange, Anna, because your quote does not support that.

If she said it and you're quoting her, you should have quoted those remarks.

"We" is not US forces.

"We" is the US led war on Iraq which began in 2003 and, before Bully Boy Bush left the White House, had already resulted in the deaths -- per the study published by the medical journal THE LANCET -- of over a million Iraqis.

That study was carried out in the same manner the United Nations carries out its own.

The Bully Boy Bush White House rushed to discredit it but in scientific circles it has not been discredited.  Among the left it has not been discredited.

Excuse me, let me speak for the true left.

Those of us in the true left accept that scientific study.

Some of the 'left' which only adopts positions to attack the GOP may no longer accept the study since Bully Boy Bush is no longer in office -- you know, the way they were outraged by illegal spying under Bully Boy Bush but are okay with even more invasive illegal spying under Barack?

And please don't state the IRAQ BODY COUNT again unless you're going to note (a) as we have how it changed numbers at the request of the State Dept and (b) where it gets its funding.

Thanks, Anna.

In the real world, there's a major moment of news:

A step forward: Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has called for end to violence against LGBT people in Iraq

In their statement, Human Rights Watch notes:

State and non-state actors in Iraq should heed the prominent Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s July 2016 statement banning violence against those who do not conform to gender norms.
  Since early 2009, Human Rights Watch has documented kidnappings, executions, and torture by militia groups, including al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army, of gay men and men perceived to be gay. The killings have continued unabated.
“Finally, the head of one of the groups whose members have carried out serious abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Iraq is condemning these heinous attacks,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director. “We hope this will change behavior in successors to the Mahdi Army and other ranks, and spur the government to hold accountable those who commit these crimes.”
A Human Rights Watch report found that in early 2009, Iraqi militia members began a wide-reaching campaign of extrajudicial executions, kidnappings, and torture of men suspected of homosexual conduct, or of not conforming to masculine gender norms, and that Iraq authorities did nothing to stop the killings. The killings began in the Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, a Mahdi Army stronghold, and were then replicated by members of militia groups in many cities across Iraq. Mahdi Army spokesmen promoted fear about the “third sex” and the “feminization” of Iraqi men, as well as suggesting that militia action was the remedy.
In 2012, militia members opened a second wave of attacks on people categorized as part of the “emo” subculture, styles that critics associated with heavy metal music, and rap. In early February 2012, signs and fliers appeared in the Baghdad neighborhoods of Sadr City, Hayy al-Habibiyya, and Hayy al-‘Amil that threatened people by name with “the wrath of god” unless they cut their hair short, concealed their tattoos, maintained “complete manhood,” and stopped wearing so-called “satanic clothing.” Similar posters appeared in other neighborhoods, also listing names.

Is Moqtada sincere?

Who knows but the statement itself is news.

Mike's "Important story at ICH" went up this morning and the following community sites updated:

  • iraq

    Thursday, August 18, 2016

    Important story at ICH

    I always check out Information Clearing House.

    It's where you find out so much that you wouldn't know otherwise.

    Jim Jatras has a really important report.  Here's the opening:

    "Information Clearing House" - No one paying attention with even one eye and half an ear can be ignorant of the fact that when it comes to this year’s election the MSM are lying shills for Hillary. But now it seems they’re all suffering from amnesia too.

    The latest “OMG, Trump said that!” moment is The Donald’s claim that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are, correspondingly, the “founder” and “cofounder” of ISIS. True to form, the media reaction has been to shriek in outrage that he would cast aspersions on such august personages.

    As of this writing, not one American media source of which this writer is aware has brought up in relation to Trump’s claims the August 2012 report (declassified and released in 2015 under a FOIA request from Judicial Watch) from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) stating that “there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria, and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.” The “supporting powers” are identified as “western countries” (no doubt including and led by the United States), “the Gulf States” (presumably including and led by Saudi Arabia), and “Turkey” (just Turkey).

    In August 2012 the Secretary of State at the time was one Hillary Rodham Clinton. The President was and still is one Barack Hussein Obama.

    The DIA report said, in essence, that if we (the U.S. and our local cronies) keep aiding al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other such sterling democrats, something really nasty would arise in eastern Syria. Several months later, it did, when ISIS declared itself a state straddling the Syria-Iraq border.

    Again, you wouldn't read that at most other websites -- certainly not at Hillary cheerleading THE NATION.

    This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016.  Iraq gets some attention in the US campaign for president, Jill Stein prepares for CNN Town Hall, and much more.

    First up, reminder:

    RSVP: Watch Jill + Ajamu on at 9pm ET, 8/17! Attend a viewing party: ๐Ÿ“บ

    That's Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein with her running mate Ajamu Baraka on CNN's Town Hall tonight.

    From reality to fantasies . . .

    I know people who risked their lives to set up Iraqi elections that worked, not surprisingly Trump is totally dismissing all of their work


    Do you also know Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy?

    Had relations with the Easter Bunny, have you?

    Iraq elections worked?

    In 2010, they were overturned by US President Barack Obama (following Nouri al-Maliki's 8 month refusal to step down after he lost, the US brokered The Erbil Agreement, a legal contract that went around the votes and the voters).

    Maybe she means the 2005 propaganda which never stood the test of time.

    Or maybe she means the 2014 elections?

    Not really sure which elections she thinks "worked" but I'm not really sure how one failure after another can be defined as "working."

    Let's move over to PBS' THE NEWSHOUR:

    MARGARET WARNER:  Yesterday, Republican nominee Donald Trump delivered a fuller anti-ISIS message in Youngstown, Ohio.

    DONALD TRUMP: My administration will aggressively pursue joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS, international cooperation to cut off their funding, expanded intelligence-sharing, and cyber-warfare to disrupt and disable a their propaganda and recruiting.

    MARGARET WARNER: He also proclaimed that he would end what he called an era of nation-building, and would take harsh steps to stop ISIS from penetrating the United States.

    DONALD TRUMP: The time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today. I call it extreme vetting. I call it extreme, extreme vetting.

    MARGARET WARNER: It would screen out those who sympathize with terror groups and those who have, in his words, any hostile attitude towards our country or its principles.

    DONALD TRUMP: Those who do not believe in our Constitution.

    MARGARET WARNER: In a Web video released last night, Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign tried to turn Trump’s own words against him, saying he would fail the test he’d set for immigrants.

    It would have been nice if PBS had played the video or linked to it.

    I wasted 30 minutes this morning trying to find it at Hillary's lousy website which is like a boutique run by a trophy wife who only opens it on days she wants to.  It's the most useless site in the world and the color schemes are just flat out tacky.

    Donald Trump wants "extreme vetting" and "extreme, extreme vetting"?

    That's not really surprising.  We've had that in the US for some time.

    What he appears to be calling for is not that outrageous.

    At THIRD, we have repeatedly expressed a viewpoint on immigration.  We've used Cuba as our example.  By all means take in people who want to come to this country but they need to understand this is not a base for them to launch their war against Cuba.

    If they've got a battle to fight, they can fight it in Cuba or in another country.

    If they want to come to the US to start over, by all means do.

    But you are not going to come to this country and then agitate endlessly for war on Cuba or plot to attack Cuba.

    You want a fresh start?

    Great, come on over.

    But this is not a staging platform for an attempted coup of your native country.

    A number of right-wing Cubans have repeatedly misunderstood or misrepresented their desire to become American citizens.

    So, yes, you better believe in the Constitution.

    And if you do, maybe you don't kill your daughter with your car and think that running her down is acceptable behavior?

    As one Iraqi male did.

    We could list all the crimes by Iraqi refugees -- there appears to have just been a gang rape of a 28-year-old woman by nine Iraqi immigrants in Austria -- but the point is, there are things that any immigrant may be used to their own culture that will not fly in this culture.

    You will not, for example, get away with so-called 'honor' killings.

    If you do genital mutilation on your daughter in this country, you will be arrested.

    Killing gay men and lesbians will not be applauded in US schools.

    There are a huge number of things that are encouraged -- encouraged by the government of Iraq -- that would not be tolerated in the US and would be seen as criminal.

    If someone wants to come to the US, fine.  But they need to understand the country that they are entering and follow the laws.  And we do not need any exiles who are in this country solely to plot the overthrow of their host country.

    Extreme, extreme?

    Barack Obama put those in when he stopped the flow of Iraqi immigration to the US.

    But no one wants to talk about that.

    Was he right to do it?

    He was concerned.

    Does that mean he was right to do it?

    I have no idea because the press never forced him to address the topic publicly.

    I would give him the benefit of the doubt that he would not just turn his back on a program that the late Ted Kennedy had championed, turn his back for no valid reason.

    Do I give him the benefit of the doubt because he's a Democrat?

    (No one could argue I've ever given any president the benefit of the doubt because of the office they held.)

    Maybe I do.

    I am certainly more suspect of Donald Trump (from my interaction with him -- not do to his politics).

    And maybe others rush to give Barack the benefit of the doubt because when the Iraqi refugees were put on hold, no one wanted to make waves.

    Donald Trump: The time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today. I call it extreme vetting. I call it extreme, extreme vetting. Our country has enough problems. We don't need more. And these are problems like we've never had before. In addition to screening out all members of the sympathizers of terrorist groups, we must also screen out any who have hostile attitudes toward our country or its principles, or who believe that Sharia law should supplant American law. Those who do not believe in our Constitution or who support bigotry and hatred will not be admitted for immigration into our country. Only those who we expect to flourish in our country and to embrace a tolerant American society should be issued visas. To put these new procedures in place, we will have to temporarily suspend immigration from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world, that have a history of exporting terrorism.

    That's what he's calling for.

    Some are attempting to make it controversial.

    It's not controversial.

    The Constitution is the law of the land.

    Sharia law?

    The US is a secular country with a wall between church and state.

    For good reason.

    Pissed off
    Jacked up
    Scream into the mike
    Spit into the loving cup
    Strut like a rooster
    March like a man
    God's hired hands and the devil bands
    Packing the same grandstands
    Different clothes
    "Pot in their pockets!"
    Different hair
    "Sexually active"
    Raise a screaming guitar 
    or a bible in the air
    Theatre of anguish
    Theatre of glory
    God's hired hands and the devil bands
    Oh come let us adore -- ME!
    Lord, there's danger in this land
    You get witch-hunts and wars
    When church and state hold hands
    -- "Tax Free," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her DOG EAT DOG album

    In America, you can worship an apple if you want and do everything that the apples tells you to when it calls you to the mount.

    You can make that choice.

    But there is no choice with regards to US law.

    You must follow it.

    Sharia law is sexist -- look at the requirements for establishing rape took place, for example.

    It has no place in the US.

    We've spent too many years fighting for the rights of those assaulted to suddenly bring in a new 'law' that we're going to be fighting the same battles on all over again.

    Women are not worth less more than men in the US.

    It does not take X number of women to equal one man (see witness requirements for Sharia law).

    Back to THE NEWSHOUR:

    MARGARET WARNER: Last November, Clinton said she would defeat ISIS by massing more U.S. ground troops against the group, though with limits.

    HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presidential Nominee: And we should be honest about the fact that, to be successful, airstrikes will have to be combined with ground forces actually taking back more territory from ISIS. Like President Obama, I do not believe that we should again have 100,000 American troops in combat in the Middle East.

    MARGARET WARNER: That fits with the picture of Clinton in a joint Washington Post/ProPublica report today about the early Obama administration debate over whether to fulfill his campaign pledge to pull out of Iraq altogether.
    It notes that Clinton was — quote — “one of the most vocal advocates for a muscular U.S. presence in Iraq after the withdrawal deadline at the end of 2011.” Clinton lost that argument, and all U.S. fighting forces left.
    It’s also been widely reported that, in 2013, Clinton and then CIA Director David Petraeus proposed arming and training the so-called moderate rebels in neighboring Syria, but that the president rejected it.

    Hillary's got a past she can't escape.

    On the subject of David Petraeus -- once the top commanding US officer in Iraq?  He was interviewed by Margaret Brennan (CBS EVENING NEWS WITH SCOTT PELLEY):

    MARGARET BRENNAN: What concerns you the most about Iraq right now?

    DAVID PETRAEUS: Iraqi politics. We'll defeat the Islamic State. That's going to happen. Its just a question of how long it takes. But it's Iraqi politics that have to become more inclusive if you're to cement the gains on the battlefield and to bring the Sunni Arabs back into the fabric of Iraqi society, which is critical to the way forward for that country.

    [. . .]

    BRENNAN: For the next president, will they have to speak to the American public and talk about Americans dying in combat in Iraq once again?

    PETRAEUS: I fear that that probably is the case, that future presidents will, on their watch, have Americans dying in places like Iraq. I think the future president realizes and the country realizes, this is going to be an ultra-marathon, not a sprint. This is really a generational struggle. And so it's not just this president who will be engaged in this or even just the next president. It is probably several presidents to come.

    The State Dept is supposed to be reassuring Americans that they are working on diplomacy in Iraq.  This statement was released on Monday:

    Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk Visits Iraq 
    August 15, 2016 
    On August 11-14,‎ Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL Brett McGurk and his deputy, Lt. General (R) Terry Wolff, visited Iraq for meetings with senior Iraqi government and security officials. Accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones, Mr. McGurk met with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Minister of Defense Khalid al-Obaidi, Speaker of Parliament Saleem Jabouri, Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) President Massoud Barzani, and other senior political, religious, and security figures.
    Special Presidential Envoy McGurk commended the Iraqi security forces and Kurdish Peshmerga for their achievements on the battlefield. He welcomed the recent advances by Kurdish Peshmerga east of Mosul, and Iraqi forces south of Mosul, which are helping to shape the conditions for Mosul's ultimate liberation and stabilization. He also outlined recent increases in U.S. and coalition support, including support for stabilization in liberated areas to ensure battlefield gains are durable and lasting. ‎In meetings with the Governor of Ninewa Province, the Ninewa Operations Commander, and other leaders involved in planning for the liberation of Mosul, he emphasized the importance of a well-coordinated military, political, and economic campaign plan. The United States and the coalition are committed to working with all Iraqi leaders to ensure this plan is well developed and resourced. Deputy Special Presidential Envoy Wolff will remain in Iraq for follow up engagements over the coming weeks.
    Importantly, Special Presidential Envoy McGurk, Lt. Gen. Wolff, and Ambassador Jones, attended a joint planning session with IKR President Barzani and the National Security Advisor for the Government of Iraq, Faleh Fayyad. This was the second joint meeting between these leaders, and the U.S. delegation was encouraged by the commitment to partnership and ensuring close coordination between Baghdad and Erbil as the planning for Mosul accelerates. McGurk also met with Archbishop of Erbil, Bashar Warda, to discuss the importance of incorporating Christians and all minority groups into these planning efforts, and ensure conditions can be established to return these populations to their home areas as soon as possible following their liberation from ISIL terrorists.
    In all his meetings, Special Presidential Envoy McGurk reaffirmed the Coalition’s and United States’ commitment to provide assistance to the Iraqi campaign to defeat ISIL on the battlefield but also after the battles are won with essential humanitarian and stabilization support. Mr. McGurk noted the recent Pledging Conference in Support of Iraq held in Washington last month, which generated over $2 billion in humanitarian assistance pledges from around the world. To date, more than 700,000 Iraqis have returned to their homes in areas liberated from ISIL, but many remain displaced, and it is incumbent upon the entire international community to help Iraqis rebuild their lives as ISIL is defeated.

    No, it doesn't really have a lot to do with diplomacy.

    The following community sites updated:


  • Tuesday, August 16, 2016

    Jill Stein, student loan debt, Hillary Clinton, Iraq

    Want to vote for someone speaking to the real problems we face?

    Why not Jill Stein?

    $1.3T in student debt - if we found the $700Bn to bail out crooks on Wall Street we can find the money to bail out students.

    Student debt is a hostage situation and it ensures that the economy doesn't grow.

    We need a bail out for every 1 suffering under student debt.

    Some people prefer to vote for corporatist War Hawk Hillary Clinton.

    Who knows why?

    But here's who she is:

    1. Hillary Clinton promised to stabalize Iraq. Less than three years later, the relatively calm 2011 Iraq was gone.
    2. LivingOnChi: ๐Ÿ ๐ŸŒฟ Hillary explains her Iraq vote 2011

    But, like I said, some people want to vote for her.

    Hillary Clinton embraces endorsement of John Negroponte, who oversaw death squads in Latin America and Iraq

    People like John Negroponte.

    New content at Third:

    And it was written by Dallas and the following:

    The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, 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,
    Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
    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:"

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue but all goes on hold as we have to address Hillary Clinton and Iraq -- no, not the 2002 vote, that's the least of War Hawk's problems.

    Don't you just love journalism?

    If it weren't for 'reporting' they'd all be up on morals charges.

    Trump now attacking Obama for pulling troops out of Iraq - a war he said he never wanted to fight (except when he wanted to fight it)

    Don't you love little Zeke and his lying brood.  Two-bit whores who stick their bare asses in the air to figure out which way the wind's blowing?

    They use Iraq to beat up Donald Trump.

    As though he voted for it?

    As a member of Congress, he voted for it?

    As though he occupied the Oval Office and continued it?

    It's cute the way Zeke puts on his fishnets and slings that ass over to the nearest street corner.

    At least Zeke could probably score a few bucks others (say David Corn) couldn't score ten cents for a half-and-half on prom night.

    When the media wants to attack Donald -- and make no mistake, they are attacking him.

    In fact, let's pause a moment to note James Petras' "Can Coups Defeat Elected Governments?" (DISSIDENT VOICE).

    Never in the history of the United States, has a President and Supreme Court Judge openly advocated the overthrow of a Presidential candidate. Never has the entire mass media engaged in a round-the-clock one-sided, propaganda war to discredit a Presidential candidate by systematically ignoring or distorting the central socio-economic issues of their opposition.
    The call for the ouster of a freely elected candidate is nothing more or less than a coup d’รฉtat.
    Leading television networks and columnists demand that the elections be annulled, following the lead of the President and prominent Republican and Democratic Congressional and Party leaders.
    In other words, the political elite openly rejects democratic electoral processes in favor of authoritarian manipulation and deception. The authoritarian elite relies on magnifying tertiary, questionable personal judgement calls to mobilize coup backers.
    They systematically avoid the core economic and political issues which candidate Trump has raised – and attracted mass support – which challenge fundamental policies backed by the two Party elites.

    That's only one example.  Those concerned with fairness are appalled by the media's behavior.

    When the media wants to attack Donald, they treat Iraq as a fixed moment.

    They act as if everything from the 2002 authorization vote (Hillary Clinton remembers that, she was for the Iraq War) to today has been one static moment.

    It hasn't been.

    Can someone criticize Barack Obama for the withdrawal of troops?

    This is America and we have free speech.

    But more to the point, I'm opposed to the Iraq War and have given a strong chunk of time to doing my part to raise awareness and end this illegal war.

    Did I applaud Barack's withdrawal?

    No, I did not because there was a drawdown, not a withdrawal, and because unlike good with his mouth Zeke I'm aware that Barack began sending US troops back in right before the 2012 election.  I know that because Tim Arango reported it for THE NEW YORK TIMES and quoted the then-top US commander in Iraq.

    Let's note what Tim Arango reported:

    Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to General Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence.        

    You may have missed it because of Jill Abramson.

    Before she was fired in disgrace, Jill spent her time 'saving' Barack.

    Reporters were repeatedly frustrated by the way she killed their stories or ordered them rewritten to the point that they went from strong reporting to tired and dull pieces.

    This was true throughout her tenure as executive editor but especially true in 2012 because, as she repeatedly explained, it was an election year.

    So the news that Barack had sent US troops back in did make the paper in September of 2012.

    It was just buried in the middle of a report on Syria.

    Fired and billed as a racist (yeah, she is one), Jill now dwells in her own version of purgatory (penning puff pieces on Hillary Clinton for THE GUARDIAN).

    That's the thing about whores, they may escape the cops but reality always busts them.

    There was no withdrawal.

    The Pentagon rightly termed it a "drawdown."

    Ted Koppel, as it was taking place, explained on both NBC and NPR, that the US would keep a remaining military presence in Iraq.

    Whores like Jill worked overtime to ignore that.

    I noted here, repeatedly, that Barack needed to immediately withdraw US troops and needed to so so because, the minute troops were gone, Iraq was going to be a mess.

    By doing it immediately, he would be able to say, "This is what American citizens wanted."

    He didn't do that.

    He didn't even do what he promised in his campaign.  (Hillary was making the same promise, for those who've forgotten.)

    What he did instead was tinker.

    The Great Barack could of course fix things, right?


    So he tinkered and played and made it his own war.

    The press loves to whine that the date for 'withdrawal' was from Bully Boy Bush.

    In doing so, they ignore that the US government negotiated for a longer term stay both before and after the drawdown.

    I was at the hearing that the press turned into "McCain Got Mean!!!!"

    John McCain and Leon Panetta were laughing in the second round of that hearing but the press had already left and wanted to focus on that as opposed to Leon's remarks that the US government was still -- post-drawdown -- in talks about US troops presence in Iraq.  [If you missed that 2011 hearing, see the November 15th "Iraq snapshot," the November 16th "Iraq snapshot" -- excerpt below from the November 16th snapshot -- and the November 17th "Iraq snapshot" and Ava's "Scott Brown questions Panetta and Dempsey (Ava)," Wally's "The costs (Wally)" and Kat's "Who wanted what?" ].

    The press treats Iraq as static because it benefits their political heroes.

    It doesn't benefit the truth.

    But that's how empire works.

    Do you really think, at the height of the British Empire, reporters were telling the truth about how this was being done to enrich a few?

    Reporters are whores, they just usually fail to satisfy the customers -- so they're bad whores.

    And they so pollute the system that when a few real reporters try to cover a story there's no way not to make mistakes.

    It was way too was way too tough...
    On this she had not bargained
    But she was like some missionary dancing to the beat of some
    man's ancient drum
    And she tries hard to tell this story...but it's a hard one to tell
    She consults her book of Miracles...
    Cry...and the wind says fly on
    Well now you're on your own
    You're back out on the road again for a million reasons
    Well you're back out on the road again
    And you try to tie together some connections...
    You get some ribbons and some bows and get back out on the road again

    -- "Juliet," written by Stevie Nicks, first appears on her album THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIRROR

    It's a hard story to tell.

    But Jeff Gerth (PROPUBLICA) and Joby Warrick (WASHINGTON POST) team up in an attempt at it:

    A week before the last U.S. soldiers left his country in December 2011, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki traveled to Washington to meet the team that would help shape Iraq’s future once the troops and tanks were gone.
    Over dinner at the Blair House, guest quarters for elite White House visitors since the 1940s, the dour Iraqi sipped tea while Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke of how her department’s civilian experts could help Iraqis avoid a return to terrorism and sectarian bloodshed.
    Iraq would see a “robust civilian presence,” Clinton told reporters afterward, summing up the Obama administration’s pledges to Maliki. “We are working to achieve that,” she said.

    Less than three years later, the relatively calm Iraq that Maliki had led in 2011 was gone. The country’s government was in crisis, its U.S.-trained army humiliated, and a third of its territory overrun by fighters from the Islamic State. Meanwhile, State Department programs aimed at helping Iraqis prevent such an outcome had been slashed or curtailed, and some had never materialized at all.

    It's a strong article.

    It's also an incomplete article.

    It paints Hillary correctly as wanting a US presence in Iraq.

    Where it fails is rushing to the White House slashing the program -- and the why of it.

    As 2012, progresses, the White House walks further and further away from Iraq.

    That's 2012.

    In October 2011, the State Dept takes over the US mission in Iraq.

    Where is that in the article?

    And where in the article does it note the 2011 performance of the State Dept to Congress?

    Congress is over the money.

    And Congress wanted to know what the US mission in Iraq was.

    Have we all forgotten that?

    We can offer dozens of hearings that we covered in real time but let's go to the December 1, 2011 snapshot which covered the November 30th hearing of the  House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East ans South Asia.  The State Dept was represented by Brooke Darby.

    US House Rep Gerald Connolly: Madame Deputy Assistant Secretary, welcome. Is it your testimony here today that the State Dept is fully committed to transparency and accountability with respect to any and all programs it has oversight and responsibility for in Iraq?

    Brooke Darby: We take our responsibility for accountability and cooperation with all of the  audit entities, with Congress very, very seriously.

    US House Rep Gerald Connolly: No, ma'am, that was not my question.  Is it your testimony that you're fully committed to transparency and accountability with respect to those responsibilities?

    Brooke Darby: We are absolutely committed to accountability.

    US House Rep Gerald Connolly: Full accountability?  Full transparency and accountability?
    Brooke Darby:  I'm not sure -- I'm not sure how you define that so . . .

    US House Rep Gerald Connolly:  Well I guess I'm not sure why you avoid the word.  That was my question and you've ducked it three times.  Are we or are we not, is the State Dept committed to full transparency and accountability to the tax payers in the United States and the people who served in Iraq or not?

    Brooke Darby:  We absolutely are accountable to the tax payers, to our Congress and to all of the oversight bodies who are looking into how we are spending our dollars, whether our programs are achieving success.  We are absolutely --

    US House Rep Gerald Connolly:  Alright. I'll sort of take that as a commitment. 

    This was characteristic of Hillary's tenure as Secretary of State.  The Congress was unable to get answers -- especially ahead of the transfer of Iraq from a DoD-led mission to a State Dept-led one and in all the time that followed that transfer.

    It was in that 2011 hearing that this important statement was made:

    Ranking Member Gary Ackerman:  He [Bowen] has testified before other bodies of Congress, he has released written quarterly reports, as well as specific audits and the message is the same: The program for which the Department of State officially took responsibility on October 1st is nearly a text book case of government procurement -- in this case, foreign assistance -- doesn't buy what we think we're paying for, what we want and why more money will only make the problem worse.  Failed procurement is not a problem unique to the State Department.  And when it comes to frittering away millions, Foggy Bottom is a rank amateur compared to the Department of Defense. As our colleagues on the Armed Services committees have learned, the best of projects with the most desirable of purposes can go horribly, horribly off-track; and the hardest thing it seems that any bureaucracy can do is pull the plug on a failed initiative.  How do we know the Police Development Program is going off-track?  Very simple things demonstrate a strong likelihood of waste and mismanagement.  Number one, does the government of Iraq -- whose personnel we intend to train -- support the program? Interviews with senior Iraqi officials by the Special Inspector General show utter disdain for the program. When the Iraqis suggest that we take our money and do things instead that are good for the United States, I think that might be a clue.

    This was before Barack began slashing.

    As for slashing of the police program that took place in 2012, that program (see above) was a State Dept failure and the Iraqis had told the US government that they wouldn't be participating (and still the State Dept wasted money on it).

    In May of 2012, Tim Arango's "U.S. May Scrap Costly Efforts to Train Iraqi Police" appeared. With the scoop,  Arango reported that the police training program has already cost US taxpayers $500 million since October alone and was an utter failure with Iraqis having ceased attending training on US facilities and Americans unwilling to train the Iraqi police on Iraqi facilities due to safety concerns.  Arango's article forced the State Dept and spokesperson Victoria Nuland to address Iraq in their daily briefing (here for transcript and video):
    QUESTION: Yeah. Iraq.
    MS. NULAND: Yeah.
    QUESTION: I realize this was addressed by the Embassy yesterday, but I just want to get from here -- you know what I'm talking about, yes? -- in terms of the elimination, or reported elimination, of the Iraqi police training program. This -- the report said that it was being considered that the whole program could be -- could vanish, that it could go away. The Embassy, while it denied that, didn't say that it wouldn't be substantially cut or whittled down to a mere fraction of what it originally had been planned to be. Can you just clarify what exactly is -- what are the plans for the police training program?
    MS. NULAND: Well, first let me clarify we have no intention to cancel our police training program in Iraq. What we are engaged in, in collaboration with the Iraqis, is a right-sizing exercise for this program along with all of our programs. As you know, we are absolutely committed to, first of all, supporting Iraqi self-reliance. So if they tell us they need less support, we are going to downsize. And in this case, they are asking us to continue the advisory and training program but to downsize it, and also to saving the U.S. taxpayer money wherever we can.  So I can't give you a final size for this. We are in the evaluation process now, working with the Iraqis. But we do anticipate we're going to be able to downsize it considerably while continuing to be able to support the Iraqis on the police training side.
    QUESTION: Okay. This is the second time in -- since the beginning of the year that this particular publication has written something about the Embassy which you had a serious dispute with. Both times it has been cast -- the reports have cast these reductions or slashing of personnel as serious miscalculations by the Administration in terms of its Iraq policy. What's your feeling about that, that characterization of it?
    MS. NULAND: Well, again, it's important to appreciate that we are in a new phase with Iraq. We're in a phase where it is up to the Iraqis to decide precisely what kind of footprint they want by foreign support, foreign countries offering support, offering assistance in the context of their overall approach to their sovereignty. So we very much need to respect that this is a collaborative decision how much support they want on the police training side.  So we're trying to be in step with their increasing self-reliance. We're trying to do this in a negotiated, phased, managed way. But we're also trying to make clear to Iraqis that we think we have valuable training, valuable advice to offer, as we do to some hundred countries around the world. So we're going to work this through, but I think folks need to get on the program that we have a sovereign Iraq who's going to make its own decisions about how much outside support it wants.
    QUESTION: All right. So you agree or disagree with the characterization that this is -- that this represents a serious political -- or a serious policy miscalculation?
    MS. NULAND: Well, of course I'm going to disagree with that. Thank you.
    QUESTION: Was the report correct that the Administration has spent $500 million so far on the police training program?
    MS. NULAND: I don't have the total amount here, but as you know, we've been involved in police training from the beginning of the Iraq operation, as far back as 2003. I can take the question if it's of interest to you to sort of tote it all up. But we were involved in police work ourselves, police training for the Iraqis from the beginning, the standing up of their own professional police forces. I don't think anybody in that country wanted to submit themselves to the old Saddam-ite police, so it needed a bottom-up work and cleansing. So --
    QUESTION: One other thing. The report alleged that much of the training provided by the United States, and in particular by the State Department since the departure of the U.S. military from Iraq, was not helpful to the Iraqis, that it consisted of retired or late-in-their-career American state troopers telling war stories about how they conduct their activities in the United States. And it cited one anecdote in which it said that the two key indices of someone possibly going to -- planning to launch a suicide bombing were: one, that they would withdraw a lot of money from the bank; and two, that they'd go out and get drunk. And it suggested that those were perhaps not very apposite indicators for Iraq where: one, a lot of Iraqis don't have bank accounts; and two, a lot of Iraqis don't drink. Do you -- how do you address the criticisms in the story that regardless of how many millions were spent on this, that the training wasn't actually all that useful?
    MS. NULAND: Well, first of all, I'm not going to get drawn into parsing the anecdotes in a story with which we took considerable issue, both in its macro assertions and in many of its details. We had considerable difficulties with that story, as the statement from Embassy Baghdad made clear.  With regard to the integrity of the police training that we do -- we have done in Iraq over these many years, we stand by it. The Iraqis have a new, modern, more democratic police force largely as a result of the support of the international community led by the United States. I'm obviously not in a position to speak to every individual involved in this, but all over the world we rely on the expertise of retired officers from the United States, from other countries, who are willing to participate in these training programs. And they participate on the basis of their experience in democratic law enforcement, not to hang around and tell inappropriate war stories. So we stand by the program. And if you'd like more on the numbers, et cetera, we can get you a separate briefing.
    QUESTION: Can I just -- the last one this?
    MS. NULAND: Yeah.
    QUESTION: Just given the severity of the differences that you had with this, has there been any contact between the Department or anyone -- any senior officials in the Department and the editorship of the publication in question?
    MS. NULAND: Well, I'm not going to get into our discussions with the --
    QUESTION: Well, have you asked for a correction or clarification or --
    QUESTION: Or a retraction?
    MS. NULAND: We have made absolutely clear in our public statements and in our messages to that publication how we feel about the story.
    QUESTION: But does that mean that you've asked for a retraction or a correction or some kind of -- I mean, after the first one, you demanded one. And you were quite open about it, and you got one.
    MS. NULAND: Yeah. I think we're still working on that set of issues.

    I'm real sorry that the Mikas and David Corns and other lazy ass whores don't want to know what happened in Iraq -- didn't pay attention in real time and don't care enough to do the research today.
    But we've covered Iraq every damn day.
    And Hillary has a great deal to answer for.
    And Iraq has not been static.
    This has been tried, that has been tried, this has been dropped, that has been dropped.
    Donald Trump, his remarks on Iraq, are not the problem.
    The inability of the bulk of the press to process and inform themselves is the problem.
    The press refuses to make Hillary answer for Iraq and that is a problem.
    And you can believe that US troops should have been withdrawn and disagree with the way Barack eventually did it.
    I do.  I argued he needed to do it even faster than he promised so that when Iraq went into turmoil he could say the American people wanted this.
    And Iraq was always going to go into turmoil because the US military had been used to prop up puppet governments.