Monday, April 09, 2018

We do have some real issues to address

Porn star Stormy Daniels, shut the f**k up.  Seriously, just go away.  You’re beyond trash at this point.  We’ve got Iran upset and steaming.  We’ve got North Korea supposedly ready for talks.  We’ve got people pushing for war on Syria.  There’s a lot going on.  No one gives a s**t whose cock you took inside you.
You had your 15 minutes,  go away.  No one cares.  You said it wasn’t abuse or assault.  Fine.  You told your stupid story – violating the NDA you signed and were paid for.  Go away.  The president has real issues to deal with.  You’re decade old one night stand is not important to the country nor are you.
Go away.  Shut up and go away.

Heavy rains and flooding in the second half of February affected around 33 camps and sites and 200,000 displaced people, predominantly in northern and central governorates. From mid-January 2018 until the end of February, the Camp Coordination and Camp Management Cluster has reported the arrival of 23,208 displaced people in camps in Ninewa governorate.
In a joint announcement, published on 6 March, the Government of Iraq, the United Nations and its partners launched their 2018 humanitarian plans for Iraq: the Government’s Plan for Relief, Shelter and Stabilization of Displaced People and the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP).
The humanitarian community is appealing for US$ 569 million through the HRP to respond to the needs of the 3.4 million most vulnerable people in Iraq. This year, approximately 8.7 million people, nearly half of them children, will require some form of humanitarian assistance while as many as two million displaced Iraqis are expected to return.
I’m not really seeing how a porn actress and her one night stand over ten years ago are going to help Iraq.  We have real issues,  and your decision to sleep with someone even trashier than your usual co-stars is on you.  You should be hanging your head in shame instead of trying to get all this press attention.  You are useless and have nothing to offer anyone.  Go away.
Kamran Karadghi has a column about all that’s wrong with the Iraq government and also notes this:

So quo vadis Iraq? Fifteen years after Operation Iraq Freedom, Iraqis still ask the burning question about the future of their country: can a united Iraq survive? Last year a report on the future of Iraq was published by the Iraq Task Force, a group founded a year earlier by the Washington-based Atlantic Council. The group consisted of many politicians, academics and experts. In conclusion, the authors of the report offered a series of recommendations to the US administration. One recommendation stated: "It is in the interest of our national security that we do our best to help bring about an Iraq that is independent, stable and prosperous: one at peace with its neighbours; one reflecting legitimate and effective governance and one strongly inclined to cooperate closely with the United States in the Middle East and beyond."
Many Iraqis are not so optimistic and not convinced that such a goal can be achieved without changing the status quo. And change is not coming at least for the next few years. For the fourth time, next month's elections will be fought between political blocks formed on sectarian bases.
How is the porn star helping with that?  She’s not.  She needs to go away. We have real issues.  Over a decade ago she elected to have a one night stand with Donald Trump.  We heard her, we don’t need to hear her again.  She needs to go away and the media needs to stop covering her idiotic case.
I remember, let me be damn clear, that a man came forward in 2008 stating he had sex with Barack Obama multiple times.  I remember he wanted to hold a press conference.  I remember one of Joe Biden’s sons was in government – Delaware or Rhode Island, wherever they’re from – and they suddenly arrested the man.

I do not remember him getting much publicity.  Larry Sinclair was his name.   He said they had sex multiple times.  He said they did cocaine together.  He’s stuck by his story to this day.  But the press wasn’t interested in him.  Maybe if he’d been a female porn star, they would have been.  Porn star go away.

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

Monday, April 9, 2018.  Elections approach but not a lot of optimism about them in Iraq.

May 12th, Iraq is scheduled to hold elections.  In a sign that the campaigning has already begun, violence has already started.  AFP reports:

 A suicide attack targeting a political party headquarters in western Iraq has killed four people and injured seven others, including a candidate in polls set for May, officials said Sunday. On Saturday evening "two suicide bombers disguised as soldiers entered the Al-Hal Party headquarters", one of most prominent parties in the Sunni-majority province of Al-Anbar, a local security official told AFP on the condition of anonymity. 

A lot of countries are interested in the elections -- or, in the case of the US and Iran, 'interested' (the governments of both countries have always felt they could dictate the outcome to Iraqis).

The al-Fateh electoral coalition, composed of backed Hashd al-Shaabi militia factions running for the Iraqi parliamentary elections in May, held a meeting on Sunday in with the participation of an Iranian military and diplomatic delegation 📸
‪The al-Fateh electoral coalition, composed of #Iran backed Hashd al-Shaabi militia factions running for the Iraqi parliamentary elections in May, held a meeting on Sunday in #Baghdad with the participation of an Iranian military and diplomatic delegation‬

The elections for 2018 look a lot like the elections for 2014 and for 2010.

And you will find
while in the wind
something that you lost
The dream was never over, no
The dream was only lost

"Straight Back," written by Stevie Nicks, first appears on Fleetwood Mac's MIRAGE

And, yet again, it appears to many that the election will be lost again.  Majed al-Samarai (ARAB WEEKLY) explains:

In the race for the 2018-22 parliament, we still find the same old figures who refuse to withdraw from the playing field. All the big names, such as Nuri al-Maliki, Haider al-Abadi, Iyad Allawi, Ammar al-Hakim, Osama al-Nujaifi and Muqtada al-Sadr (even though the latter has a special status) are present.
Of course, some new faces, always from the Shia house, have been injected into the tired and boring game. These new elements usually give a hint about the identity of the most influential playmaker in Iraq, namely Iran.
The game was rigged right from the beginning, following a well-timed plan and with the consent of a former partner in the crime, namely the Americans.
In perfectly choreographed speeches, the different stars play their cards. Maliki still holds to his old religiously inspired political programme. He never tires of repeating “Election Day is like judgment day.”
Hakim has the wisdom to call on young Iraqi Shias to step forward and bear the responsibility of the coming phase but seems to have overlooked that those young people are ravaged by unemployment and drugs.
In a surprising move, Allawi chose to innovate by striking alliances with traditional Sunni leaderships. His discourse, however, has not changed. He is still pushing to move to reforming the political system.
Finally, Abadi is still trying to cash in on the victory over the Islamic State but his promises of fighting corruption produced no tangible results.

Hayder al-Abadi staked his future on the premature claim that he vanquished ISIS in Iraq.  That, of course, hasn't proven to be the case.  XINHUA reports, "At least two security forces members were killed and seven others injured Monday in a clash with four suicide bombers from the extremist Islamic State (IS) group in the western Iraqi province of Anbar, a local security source said."  ISIS was supposed to be Hayder's big claim to fame.

Instead, his biggest claim to infamy is just how ineffective he can be.  MEM reported last month, "Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi yesterday ordered an immediate investigation into allegations that fake jobs in the public sector were being offered to citizens by political parties in order to win votes in the country’s upcoming general elections.ALSUMARIA reported last week that the Badr Organization's Hadi al-Amiri stated they would eliminate corruption.  He stated that they would create needed jobs and punish those who had stolen Iraq's wealth.  Hadi is a militia thug and he's also one of the corrupt -- most infamously, he ordered a plane  to remain on the runway and wait for his spoiled son Mahdi to make the flight but the plane left Lebanon without Mahdi on board so al-Amiri, then-Minister of Transportation in Iraq, refused to allow the plane to land.  It caused quite an uproar -- as CNN noted in real time.

THE BAGHDAD POST reports, "Candidates in the upcoming elections' behaviors will make the elections process the worst in Iraq's history, MP Kazim al-Sayadi said on Saturday.  In a press statement, Sayadi said the candidates are trying to bribe voters or intimidate them and that will produce a weak and corrupt parliament."

Corruption also includes the seeling of voter cards.

The price of the voter card in Nineveh is "$200" . According to the MP Nahla al-Hababi. .

Adnan Hussein (AL ARABIYA) offers:

Now that we are ahead of parliamentary elections, reasonable men must realize that those who caused all this damage to the country and its people cannot be counted on and granted confidence again.
These representatives have had their chance and much more, and they do not even feel guilty for not improving the situation and they have not admitted to their mistakes. This signifies stubbornness and arrogance. Saddam Hussein himself was stubborn and arrogant thus leading to Iraq’s destruction. The damage of the past 15 years due to political Islam groups is a result of Saddam’s destruction and it further completes it.

With elections weeks away, IRAQI SPRING MC lists the voters' concerns:

The anniversary of the occupation of Iraq: The concerns of the Iraqis have focused on the services enjoyed by our ancestors in the last century, such as drinking water, electricity and hospitals. Press reports
On the occasion of the anniversary of the occupation of Iraq The Security is still the primary concern as for the citizen. Press reports

The people who have been in charge of Iraq post-2003 invasion have not been Iraqis.  They've been exiles, cowards who fled and only returned after the US invasion.

Fa'iq Al-Sheikh Ali :The overthrow of the regime of Saddam Hussein is a great effort achieved by America and not by those who are ruling Iraq now because they did not offer anything to people.
فائق الشيخ علي: اسقاط نظام #صدام_حسين انجاز كبير والفضل فيه يعود لامريكا وليس لمن يحكم #العراق الان لانهم لم يقدموا اي شيء للشعب
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The government has so little legitimacy among the people because it is not of the people.  It is a government of exiles who chose to leave Iraq and live outside it for decades.  They were installed as puppets by the US after the invasion.

The reason US troops remain on Iraqi soil is to prop up this government.

It's a point few appear willing to concede.  (They grasp it, even if they pretend otherwise.)

Marc Thiessen spent the lead up to the Iraq War writing speeches for Bully Boy Bush and Donald Rumsfeld.  That alone should leave him sidelined today.  Instead, THE WASHINGTON POST has made him a syndicated columnist.  Does he use that platform to atone for his actions?  Nope.  Does he try to learn from his mistakes?  No.

He just calls for more war.  In his latest piece of garbage, he's saying that President Donald Trump would be making a mistake if he pulled US troops from Syria.  He says this is the mistake Barack Obama made while president with regards to Iraq.  Here's Thiessen:

What should Trump be doing in Syria? He should maintain a U.S. presence to secure our military’s gains, protect our Kurdish allies, keep the Islamic State down and prevent al-Qaeda from capitalizing on the Islamic State’s demise. He should prevent Iran from entrenching itself in Syria, expanding its military presence and threatening Israel. And in the longer run, he should work to separate the Sunni population from al-Qaeda by cultivating Sunni partners in Syria who are allied with the United States against the Salafi-jihadist cause, as well as the growing Iranian-Russian-Assad-Hezbollah alliance.
The temptation to declare victory in Syria and withdraw is understandable. But before he does so, Trump should ask himself:
What would Obama do? Then, he should do the opposite.

Barack's mistake was not pulling (most) US troops out of Iraq at the end of 2011.  His mistake was not doing it in his first ten months (as promised) if not sooner.

What happened was not surprising.

It will happen when the US pulls out.  It happened when the US left Saigon.

Unless the American people are willing to allow their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers to spend forever on the ground in Iraq, Americans have to come home at some point.

The hope of the John McCain crowd (he was okay with US troops in Iraq for 100 years -- he said while campaigning for president) is that the longer US troops are in Iraq, the more the government sinks in and the will of the people cannot triumph.

ISIS rose in Iraq not because US forces pulled out of Iraq.  It arose because the US government refused to honor democracy.  Barack gave Nouri al-Maliki a second term that the Iraqi people didn't want him to have.  In that second term, Nouri really nursed his grudges and screwed the country over.

The Islamic State might have taken Baghdad in 2014, it might not have.  There's no indication it was going to.  But what if it had?

The Iraqi people would either fight it or they wouldn't.

That's for them to determine.  It's their country.

The United States is not leasing Iraq to the Iraqis, it's their country.

And their will is what should determine the future.

When the US finally leaves Iraq, things will be different.  But staying isn't saving anyone and is only preventing the will of the people.  That's what happened with Vietnam (which is still recovering).  It's what happens with any occupied country.

Here, we advised Barack Obama to pull out immediately upon becoming president.  Why?  We stated he was voted into office in order to do that.  By doing it immediately, when the collapse came (and we knew it would), he could say, "That's on Iraq.  The American people spoke in the 2008 election."

But he just knew so much better than anyone.  He just had to dabble with Iraq.  Move a few pieces around.  And pretty soon, he owned Iraq.  It's as much his failure as it is Bully Boy Bush's failure.  The smart thing is to get out of Iraq and Syria and let their people determine their future.