Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Why doesn't she retire?

We don't have term limits for the Senate.

Okay, well can we at least get a mandatory retirement age?

Feinstein forgets 1st amendment. She's senile - time to retire with some modicum of dignity

She's 84 years old.

Isn't it time she retired?

She and her husband are so corrupt.

And she needs to step down.

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

November 1, 2017.

"We Are The World" by USA for Africa is one of the 19 number one pop songs that Diana Ross has sang on.  November 19th, she'll be on the live broadcast (ABC) of The American Music Awards to perform and to receive the American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Turning to Iraq . . .

Replying to 
PM : Kurdistan media are inciting attacks on Iraq’s federal forces. Attacks on our forces is a war crime

A) The Kurdistan media is reporting, not inciting.  Hayder al-Abadi is continuing Nouri al-Maliki's practice of demonizing the press and attempting to criminalize them.  (It did not start here.  It has been going on throughout Hayder's tenure as prime minister.  It includes the threats against REUTERS' journalist Ned Parker.)

The International Federation of Journalists issued the following:

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has learned with deep regret the ban imposed on two broadcasters, the assault on dozens of reporters and the killing of a journalist, in an extremely volatile political climate in Iraq.  
The organisation expressed its strong concerns following the decision last week by the Iraqi media regulator, the Communications and Media Commission (CMC), to shut down the Erbil-based Rudaw TV and K24 TV, a flagrant violation of Iraqi laws and a politically motivated decision.   
In the decree, which was appallingly sent to the Iraqi Defense Ministry, the National Security Council and the Intelligence agency, the CMC bases its decision on the outlets’ lack of proper licenses and their broadcasting of programmes “that incite violence and hate and target social peace and security.”  
Rudaw, who allegedly did not formally receive this letter, has been operating in the country since 2013. It says its reporters are permitted and invited to cover the Iraqi parliament sessions.  
The IFJ has always expressed concerns regarding the politicisation of the CMC, its control by politicians and its lack of independence.
“Iraq deserves an independent and professional regulatory body not only to regulate the audio visual sector, but also to support broadcasters in navigating through the country’s thorny politics”, said IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger. “We call on the authorities to immediately lift the ban on these channels and allow them to resume work”.    
In a separate incident yesterday at the Iraqi Kurdistan parliament, scores of reporters were attacked and detained for three hours by local militiamen. Several, including Ribwar Kakai from NRT channel, and Saleh El Harki from KNN, sustained injuries and had their equipment smashed.  
There were fresh reports today of attacks on NRT offices in Dohuk and Erbil and the destruction of equipment and furniture.  
There were also reports today of the killing of Rakan Cherif, a cameraman with Kurdistan TV. Cherif, who was 54 and had worked for the channel since 2004, was reportedly stabbed to death at dawn today by four unknown attackers. The attack took place at his home in Dakouk, south of Kirkouk, an area under the control of the Iraqi Army. He leaves behind his wife and three children.  
 “The Iraqi national and regional governments are accountable for the lives and safety of journalists living in areas under their control”, said Anthony Bellanger. “We expect them to investigate these attacks thoroughly and bring the perpetrators to justice”.    

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 16
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 141 countries
Follow the IFJ on Opens external link in new windowTwitter and Opens external link in new windowFacebook

B) Attacks on Iraqi forces might be many things -- including a declaration of war.  They are not, however, "war crimes."  War Crimes are the actions of the Iraqi forces against the civilians.  It's good that Hayder knows the term War Crimes now if only someone could explain to him what it means.

: Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi, in a press conference in Baghdad, accused Kurdish media outlets of "war crimes."

C) This is an attempt by Hayder to link the media to War Crimes.

D) This is what Nouri al-Maliki did and everyone turned a blind eye in the international community.

Staying with Hayder's Tweets . . .

Replying to 
PM : We are proud of Iraq’s diversity. Arabs, Kurds, Turkmans & Christians are all citizens of Iraq

Take that, Yazidis, you're not part of Iraq or its diversity -- per Hayder.  Yazidis, Shabaks, Baha'i, Roma, etc are not part of Iraq or its diversity according to Hayder's statement.

And it's not just Tweets, it's actions.  Adnan Abu Zeed (AL-MONITOR) reported at the end of August:

Mazen Nayef, the leader of Basra's Sabaean Mandaean community, told Al-Sumaria News on July 23 that Iraqi authorities recently denied the community's request to build a house of worship, despite legally owning the land where it would be built. The Mandaeans fear that this will lead to further marginalization of the community and its culture. 
​As part of a campaign against the Mandaeans in Iraq, videos and rumors about the community's purported use of magic and sorcery have spread like wildfire. Consequently, the leader of the Sabaean Mandaean community in Iraq, Sheikh Satar Jabar Helou, said Aug. 16 that his community has nothing to do with witchcraft.
Mandaeism is the oldest unified religion known to humanity. It originated in Mesopotamia, specifically the city of Ur and the coastal areas near the Mesopotamian marshes. The Mandaean belief system, according to the Mandaean Associations Union, is monotheistic, with Adam being "the first Mandaean who received the religious instructions directly from God." 
Before the US invasion in 2003, Iraq's Mandaean community was estimated at 70,000, but many emigrated due to rampant kidnappings and displacement. Today's population in Iraq is around 10,000, while many live in Iran.
In April 2017, Iraqi customs authorities at the Shalamjah border crossing prevented the entry of copies of a Mandaean religious text, “The Great Book, Ginza Rba,” which is the group's source of commandments and teachings.
“The members of the community cannot practice their rituals in public," said a Sabaean Mandaean from Diwaniya, on condition of anonymity. "They are forced to do so indoors and in private. At the same time, they find themselves compelled to engage in Muslim rituals, in order to avoid any misunderstandings.” Only a limited number of Mandaeans remain in Diwaniya in light of the ongoing emigration of their community.

US trops and US tax dollars prop up the illegitimate government in Iraq -- why?

Both Nouri and Hayder are thugs.  (They also both belong to the Dawa party and the State of Law political slate.)

Why are so many US resources wasted to prop up thuggish 'governments' that attack their citizens and the freedoms supposedly promised in the Iraqi Constitution?

Nouri was imposed on Iraq by the United States (Bully Boy Bush).  When the Iraqi people rejected a second term for the thug, then-President Barack Obama nullified the votes by resorting to a legal contract (The Erbil Agreement) to give Nouri a second term.

Throughout Nouri's terms, Barack ignored Nouri's secret prisons and torture chambers, the reports of rape he and his commanders participated in, Nouri's fleecing of Iraq's oil billions, Nouri's attacks on reporters and civilians, etc.

Finally, due to the emergence of ISIS (which rose as a response to Nouri's thuggery), Barack couldn't ignore it any longer and he replaced Nouri with Hayder.

Hayder's no better than Nouri.

People who ignore Iraq insist he is.

But up until Barack turned on Nouri, the same people insisted Nouri al-Maliki was good for Iraq and a fair leader.  He was and is a thug.

Who helped enshrine him?

Hacks like Patrick Cockburn.

Patrick's burning his cock again as he beats off to Hayder in an 'exclusive' interview with Hayder.


Well, as the song says . . .

"no one knows what goes on behind closed doors."

As usual, the Arab hating Patty Cockburn provided cover for another Shi'ite thug.

Replying to 
PM : Dialogue with Kurdistan region can only be based on Iraq’s constitution & after the referendum’s result is annulled

Cockburn will never point out that Hayder's in violation of the Constitution -- in so many ways.

Let's name three off the top of our heads.

1) The Shi'ite militias have been made Iraqi forces.  The Constitution forbids this.

2) Article 140 has not been implemented.

Former US diplomat Robert Ford explained earlier this week at THE ATLANTIC:

From the beginning, the Kurdish negotiators in the constitution talks were nervous. Since the imposition of a no-fly zone in 1992 during the reign of Saddam Hussein, the Kurdish Region has had its own government, defended on the ground by its peshmerga fighters. In 2005, Barzani emphasized to us that the Kurdish Region ought to be able to choose independence, but would join the new Iraqi republic nonetheless. Largely at the Kurds’ insistence, the preamble to the Iraqi constitution states that the Iraqi people could “decide freely and by choice to unite our future.” In the negotiations, the Kurds stressed the inclusion of the word “freely.” They appreciated its implicit meaning: they chose freely to join Iraq, and they could choose freely to leave.
Both in 2005 and in subsequent years, Barzani emphasized that only if Baghdad scrupulously respected the obligations of the constitution would Iraqi Kurdistan remain in the Iraqi Republic. This included implementation of Article 140 of the constitution, which called for the resolution of the future of the contested city of Kirkuk and other territories straddling the border separating the Kurdish Region from the rest of Iraq. The Kurds claimed these territories had been Kurdish until Saddam expelled large numbers of Kurds and replaced them with Arab farmers from southern Iraq. Eager to get on with new Iraqi elections and facilitate a permanent government, we readily promised to ensure that scrupulous respect of the constitution.
Of course, we didn’t deliver; we probably never could have. During my four and a half years at the embassy, we protected the election process by building consensus among squabbling politicians, calmed confrontations between Barzani’s peshmerga and the Iraqi army, and ensured the inclusion of Sunni Arabs in the national government. On top of this, we also had a major insurgency and terror campaign on our hands.
We knew that our failure to address the disputed territories and conflicting Kurdish-Arab claims to places like Kirkuk was dangerous. When I was back working in Iraq again from 2008 to 2010, Ambassador Ryan Crocker predicted in a senior staff meeting that our leaving the Kirkuk issue unresolved “would destroy Iraq.” Distracted by each new crisis du jour, we never mounted a sustained, determined effort to bring Erbil and Baghdad together to resolve the smoldering problem of the disputed territories.

Let's wind down with this from Tuesday's US State Dept briefing with spokesperson Heather Nauert:

QUESTION: And I have several questions. The Iraqi Government seems to have a campaign against journalists. A Kurdistan TV reporter, Arkan Sharif, was killed yesterday in Kirkuk apparently by hostile Shaabi. Today, the prime minister said Kurdish channels were guilty of war crimes just by reporting on the fighting, and Kurdistan 24 and other Kurdish channels have been banned in areas of Iraq that are controlled by Baghdad. And an Arab journalist – so it’s not just Kurds – Samir Obeid, who was critical of Abadi, was arrested. What’s your comment on all that?

MS NAUERT: Yeah. I have not heard of all of that, Laurie. I’m aware of the murder that took place of the journalist in Kirkuk. We’ve seen that story. Some of this information is just coming in to us, so I can’t confirm all of these stories that you’re mentioning. We are certainly aware of media reports based in the – based on the government having issues with the central government of Iraq. And media issues overall – I mean, our position has not changed. We support freedom of the press. We believe that more voices, not fewer voices, is good for democracy, is good for people of various countries. We would mourn the arrest – I mean, excuse me. We would mourn the death of any journalist covering this, trying to bring additional information to the people of Iraq.

QUESTION: The Committee to Protect Journalists has condemned this. Do you expect if these things continue you will also be condemning this?

MS NAUERT: Yeah, I think that’s just – that’s a hypothetical, so I don’t want to get ahead of anything. But certainly, that would be a concern of ours if there are attempts to squash the voices of those who are trying to just bring more information to the people.

QUESTION: My next question has to – is a continuation of our discussion last time, when you Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was a terrorist. There’s another Hashd al-Shaabi commander, Qais al-Khazali, a prominent figure who was detained at Camp Cropper for killing U.S. troops during Operation Iraqi Freedom. And the Iraqi Interior Minister Qasim al-Araji, has longstanding ties to the IRGC, whom you just named as a terrorist organization, and he was also detained by the U.S. during OIF. What is your comment on these people? Are they terrorists, in your view?

MS NAUERT: Yeah, Laurie, I don’t want to get too much into that because our focus is on trying to get Iraqis, the Kurds to come together and have some sort of dialogue. I fully understand and appreciate your question. I know well who those men are that you speak of. We are very familiar, as the United States Government is, in the acts that they are believed to be responsible for. And that, of course, is a tremendous concern to us.
You mention Mr. Muhandis. He was designated by the Department of Treasury back in 2009 for threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and also the Government of Iraq. We are well aware of that, but I just don’t want to get too into the details of what you’re asking.

QUESTION: Let me give you a softball question then. The Iraqi parliament --

QUESTION: You can’t get better than that.

MS NAUERT: Yeah, right. Thanks.


QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

QUESTION: The Iraqi parliament voted today to criminalize the display of the Israeli flag and what it called other Zionist symbols inside Iraq. What is your comment on that one?

MS NAUERT: Yeah. I mean, look, you know very well that we have a close relationship with the Government of Israel. That, however, would be an internal Iraqi matter.

QUESTION: You’re not going to condemn this sort of thing?

MS NAUERT: Look, if they choose to do that, that is certainly their place to do that. That would be an internal Iraqi matter. But I think the Israelis very well know how much we support them and what a strong relationship we have with the Government of Israel. Okay?

QUESTION: New topic?

QUESTION: Heather?


QUESTION: New topic. On the KRG, Heather.


QUESTION: Right. Just a follow-up on some of the Kurdish question. We saw the statement yesterday regarding Barzani’s announcement to step down. Now, as Washington is encouraging the reconciliation process between the Iraqis and Kurds, what role does the United States play in the negotiation process? As a facilitator, or does the U.S. play any role at all? Thank you.

MS NAUERT: Well, we’ve had a series of conversations previously with Mr. Barzani, as well with Prime Minister Abadi. The Secretary has had conversations with both men. Our ambassador has been extremely engaged not only with the Kurds, but with the Iraqi regional government. Our ambassador has had lots of conversations with people on the ground. As you know, we have a lot of people who are serving there as well.
So those conversations continue. We would like both parties to sit down and have a dialogue together, and we’re hopeful that they’ll eventually be able to work it out.

QUESTION: Now, does the United States still consider the Kurds as a good ally in the fight against ISIS in Iraq?

MS NAUERT: Absolutely, without a doubt. I mean, we are grateful for the hard work and the bravery of the Kurdish Peshmerga. That has not changed. We’ve always believed that, and we will still consider them to be a strong fighting force. Okay?

QUESTION: And finally, could you please address some of the questions from the Kurdish people that some heavy weapons provided by the United States are used by the Iraqi armies to use against the Kurds?

MS NAUERT: So as you all know, we have provided weapons to the Iraqi Government – let me see where – pardon me one second. Yeah, I mean, we’ve certainly trained, as you well know, alongside and with the Kurds and the Iraqi regional government. We don’t provide – perhaps there’s been some questions about this. We don’t provide support to groups or forces that are designated terror organizations – I think we’ve been very clear about that – some believed to be responsible for gross violations of human rights that do not fall under the government – under the control of the Government Iraq. Okay?

QUESTION: Is it a violation of U.S. regulations if a – an entity that to whom you have provided weapons transfers those weapons to a terrorist organization?

MS NAUERT: I know there’s something called the end-use law, I believe it is, which regulates what different parties are allowed to or not allowed to do with weapons that the U.S. provides that. Some of that is a DOD – in DOD’s lane, so I don’t want to get too much into that, because I’m not an expert on the matter, but I know that there are those guidelines that are put into effect.

QUESTION: Maybe that’s something we could pursue either here or at the State Department or with the Department of Defense?

MS NAUERT: You’re certainly welcome to ask the – I’ve seen you over at the Department of Defense in the Pentagon briefings before.

QUESTION: Yes (inaudible).

MS NAUERT: You’re certainly welcome to ask them that question. I can see if we can get anything more for you on that.

QUESTION: Okay. Thank you very much. 

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, PACIFICA EVENING NEWS and ON THE WILDER SIDE  -- updated:

iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq Iraq