Tuesday, August 26, 2014

THIS JUST IN! SPEAKING WORDS OF WISDOM!

BULLY BOY PRESS &    CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE


PRESIDENT OBAMA'S UNPOPULARITY ISN'T GETTING WORSE OR BETTER.  IT JUST IS.






Let's start with the obvious: Dan Rather is an idiot.

I have no use for 'big left' Dan of today because when he occupied the anchor chair for years and years on CBS, he didn't do a damn thing.

Now he's got nothing left so he pretends he's left.  He's not.

Jeffrey Meyer, of the right wing media site Newsbusters, notes:

Dan Rather, former anchor of the CBS Evening News, appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources to harshly criticize those in Congress calling for the U.S. to take military action against the terrorist group ISIS.
Speaking to anchor Brian Stelter on Sunday, August 24, Rather proclaimed that he will only listen to those who advocate boots on the ground “if you tell me you are prepared to send your son, your daughter, your grandson, your granddaughter to that war of which you are beating the drums.”


While some idiots will applaud that, they shouldn't.

It's the same pompous and discriminatory b.s. that prompted Dan Rather to treat Connie Chung like crap and get her fired when she was briefly made his co-anchor.  Make no mistake, Dan Rather is a nasty, dirty person.

Members of Congress should not support war, Rather says, unless they are willing to send their loved ones into war.

It's not the ancient days of Dan Rather's boyhood.

Children are not chattel, they will not be sent somewhere.

They will make up their own minds. 

If Connie Chung were in the Senate and pounding the drums of war, that's on Connie.

Dan's a stupid piece of s**t and the continued embrace of his sexist and out of date notions does not need encouragement.

Matthew Povich is his own person.  What his parent Connie or Maury does?  That's on them.  That's not on him.  If Matthew wants to join a war, wants to oppose a war, wants to ignore a war, that's on him.

This is b.s. and Dan Rather needs to be called out on it. 

Here's Jessica Lange speaking at a 2005 peace rally:
JESSICA LANGE: There have been twice as many terrorist attacks in the three years since 9/11 than in the three years preceding 9/11. All their reasons for waging war on Iraq have been proven to be manipulation of facts, untruths and lies, lies, and more lies. And then he dares accuse us of being guilty of wrong thinking, a man who traffics in deadly lies, the front man for an administration who came into office with the intention of taking out Saddam and becoming an occupying force in Iraq, members of the Project for the New American Century, who promote an ideology of U.S. domination through the use of force, who have imposed their politics of scorch and burn on the American people and made us complicit against our will in their regime of shame.
And who are these men? Who are these men? Let’s talk for a minute about these masters of war, these same men that are sending our sons and our daughters, our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers to fight an undeclared and unconstitutional and unwinnable war for them. Let’s talk about their service records. Karl Rove did not serve. Paul Wolfowitz did not serve. Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Elliott Abrams, Newt Gingrich did not serve. Jeb Bush did not serve. The list goes on and on. And we know George W. did not really serve.

Click here to stream it or read it in full at Democracy Now!

Did you notice what Jessica did?

She held people accountable for their actions.

Jenna Bush is not responsible for what her father does.  Malia Obama is not responsible for what her father does.  Both women may agree with their father's choices, may disagree, may not care one way or the other.  That's their right.  That's every person's right.

Jessica Lange rightly pointed out that the War Hawks pushing the Iraq War didn't serve in the military.  She didn't attack the children or grandchildren of War Hawks.

Dan still believes in chattel. 

Shame on those who promote that nonsense.

Furthermore, the whole point of Dan's little stunt is to say what?

If Dick Cheney had forced Mary into the military (against her will) it would be okay for the US to go to war on Iraq?

No.

It wouldn't have made the illegal war right.

No one should die in this illegal war.  Many have.  I'm really not into wishing that the death toll rises but I guess when the career's over, when you're name is a disgrace, when you're a hateful old man with nothing to look forward but death, I guess then you just want everyone to die, eh, Dan?


Dan Rather's nonsense is wrongly seen as 'antiwar' or 'peace' only because there's no peace movement in the country.




RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Emmy"


  • Saturday, August 23, 2014

    THIS JUST IN! WAIT UNTIL HE STARTS HAWKING WHITE DIAMONDS!

    BULLY BOY PRESS &    CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE

    FADED CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O IS DETERMINED TO KEEP GOLFING AND DOESN'T GIVE A DAMN WHAT MESSAGE IT SENDS.



    By Knoller’s count, Obama played 186 rounds of golf during his presidency through Aug. 12, according to Yahoo! News. That number that has gone up a bit since then due to additional rounds on Martha’s Vineyard.

    Bush played many fewer rounds as president -- 24, mainly because he stopped in 2003, since it sent the wrong message when troops were fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    IN RESPONSE, BARACK SCREECHED TO THESE REPORTERS, "WELL MIKE IS DEAD! AND I'M ALIVE! WHAT DO YOU EXPECT ME TO DO?  SLEEP ALONE!"

    "HE THINKS HE'S LIZ TAYLOR TODAY," WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JOSH EARNEST EXPLAINED TO THESE REPORTERS AS HE SHOWED US THE DOOR.





    Pretend you were beat up every day by some other kid.  And the other kid got sympathy while you got scorn.

    That's how a lot of Sunnis feel in Iraq and while feelings are neither right or wrong, the Sunnis feelings are more than understandable.

    In the anti-Sunni world so many of us live in, Iraq's problems started a few weeks ago.  The last four years didn't matter, the targeting of Sunnis didn't matter.

    Friday, a horrifying event took place and if it were known to be carried out by the Islamic State, the White House would be condemning it in strong terms -- as they have so many times before.

    AP reports an attack on Imam Wais Village's Mosque has left 65 dead and sixty injured.   RT says it was an attack carried out by a Shi'ite militia and reminds, "In July, Shia armed groups executed 15 Sunni Muslims and hung them from electricity poles in a public square in Baquba. Meanwhile, Iraqi security forces killed more than 255 Sunni prisoners in retaliation for the killing of Shias by the Islamic State."  Jomana Karadsheh, Jason Hanna and Chelsea J. Carter (CNN) report it this way, "Suspected Shiite militiamen opened fire Friday inside a Sunni mosque in northeast Iraq, killing dozens in an attack that appeared to derail the formation of a new government -- something world leaders have said is a must if the country hopes to defeat Islamic militants."  Abigail Hauslohner (Washington Post) notes, "It was the single deadliest assault in months on Sunni civilians in Iraq."

    The US State Dept issued a statement:


    Press Statement
    Marie Harf
    Washington, DC
    August 22, 2014
    The United States strongly condemns the vicious attack today on innocent men, women, and children inside a mosque in the village of Imam Wais in Diyala province.  The United States stands with the people of Iraq against this violence, and will continue to support all Iraqi citizens, from all parts of the country, as they work to root out violent extremists from any sector of society, and promote a religiously tolerant, diverse, and unified country, as envisioned in the Iraqi Constitution.  
    This senseless attack underscores the urgent need for Iraqi leaders from across the political spectrum to take the necessary steps that will help unify the country against all violent extremist groups.  In that light, we note Prime Minister-Designate Al-Abadi’s condemnation and call for unity in defiance of this attack.  We further call on all Iraqi leaders to complete the process of forming a new government on the constitutional timeline, and to stand united against violent extremist groups regardless of their cause or persuasion.  
    We express our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims of today’s senseless attacks, and call on the Government of Iraq to immediately investigate and bring to justice anyone shown to be behind these heinous crimes.  

    Not good enough.

    Marie started off strong.

    But going with "senseless"?

    Some reports have reduced the statement to Marie Harf only using "senseless to describe

    "Senseless" isn't good enough.

    You don't think the Sunnis have been persecuted in the last years, fine.  But at least acknowledge that they feel they have been persecuted.  (I agree with them.)

    The worst attack they've seen in months and the term being run with is "senseless"?

    After Thursday's briefing involving US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Martin Dempsey used terms like "savagely" and "ruthless" and "barbaric."  And terms like these used over the murder of one person.

    And  many people will read and hear of Harf's describing the attack on the Sunnis as "senseless."

    People are paying attention.

    Maybe not the State Dept or the White House.

    In fairness to Marie Harf, she and and the State Dept are supposed to be int he business of diplomacy.



    RECOMMENDED:  "Iraq snapshot"

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

    THIS JUST IN! GUTLESS!

    BULLY BOY PRESS &    CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE



    "HE HAS A GUTLESS PROBLEM," CHRIS MATTHEWS SAID, STATING THE OBVIOUS.

    "HE'S BULLIED BY PUTIN AND DOESN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO IN IRAQ!"







    REACHED FOR COMMENT BARRY O TOLD THESE REPORTERS TODAY, "YEAH, WELL, CHRIS MATTHEWS POOPS IN HIS PANTS.  YEAH, I SAID IT.  YEAH, I WENT THERE."




    This afternoon, US President Barack Obama spoke from Martha's Vineyard.  These are his remarks in full:


    THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group, ISIL.
    Jim was a journalist, a son, a brother, and a friend.  He reported from difficult and dangerous places, bearing witness to the lives of people a world away.  He was taken hostage nearly two years ago in Syria, and he was courageously reporting at the time on the conflict there.
    Jim was taken from us in an act of violence that shocks the conscience of the entire world.  He was 40 years old -- one of five siblings, the son of a mom and dad who worked tirelessly for his release.  Earlier today, I spoke to the Foleys and told them that we are all heartbroken at their loss, and join them in honoring Jim and all that he did.
    Jim Foley’s life stands in stark contrast to his killers.  Let’s be clear about ISIL.  They have rampaged across cities and villages -- killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence.  They abduct women and children, and subject them to torture and rape and slavery.  They have murdered Muslims -- both Sunni and Shia -- by the thousands.  They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can for no other reason than they practice a different religion.  They declared their ambition to commit genocide against an ancient people.
    So ISIL speaks for no religion.  Their victims are overwhelmingly  Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents.  No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day.  ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings.  Their ideology is bankrupt.  They may claim out of expediency that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to their empty vision, and the collapse of any definition of civilized behavior.
    And people like this ultimately fail.  They fail, because the future is won by those who build and not destroy and the world is shaped by people like Jim Foley, and the overwhelming majority of humanity who are appalled by those who killed him.
    The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people.  We will be vigilant and we will be relentless.  When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.  And we act against ISIL, standing alongside others.
     The people of Iraq, who with our support are taking the fight to ISIL, must continue coming together to expel these terrorists from their communities.  The people of Syria, whose story Jim Foley told, do not deserve to live under the shadow of a tyrant or terrorists.  They have our support in their pursuit of a future rooted in dignity.
    From governments and peoples across the Middle East there has to be a common effort to extract this cancer, so that it does not spread.  There has to be a clear rejection of these kind of nihilistic ideologies.  One thing we can all agree on is that a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century.
    Friends and allies around the world, we share a common security and a common set of values that are rooted in the opposite of what we saw yesterday.  And we will continue to confront this hateful terrorism, and replace it with a sense of hope and civility.  And that’s what Jim Foley stood for, a man who lived his work; who courageously told the stories of his fellow human beings; who was liked and loved by friends and family.
    Today, the American people will all say a prayer for those who loved Jim.  All of us feel the ache of his absence.  All of us mourn his loss.  We keep in our prayers those other Americans who are separated from their families.  We will do everything that we can to protect our people and the timeless values that we stand for.
    May God bless and keep Jim’s memory, and may God bless the United States of America.



    AP notes Barack went golfing after delivering the speech.  Nelson Sigelman (Martha's Vineyard Times) explains, "Afterward, the motorcade drove to the Vineyard Golf Club where he has played once before on this vacation. His golfing companions were retired basketball player Alonzo Mourning‎, businessman Glenn Hutchins, and Valerie Jarrett family member Cyrus Walker‎, according to the White House."  The speech followed Barack's day in DC yesterday.  AP notes, "The day appeared aimed in part at countering criticism that Obama was spending two weeks on the Massachusetts island in the midst of multiple crises."

    B. Christopher Agee (Western Journalism) notes this Tweeted reaction:





    Attention , you won't get Barack Obama's attention by beheading Americans. If you hide Obama's golf clubs however, the gloves are off.



    Noting the nearness of the November mid-term elections, the editorial board of the Washington Times offers, "If Mr. Obama wants to keep the Senate in his party’s hands, he should put down his driver and putter and think about how to strengthen the economy and make the world quit laughing at us."

    Mario Trujillo (The Hill) reports, "House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) suggested President Obama should cut his vacation short in light of the apparent murder of a U.S. journalist by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria."
    Barack is not the only leader of a nation on vacation.  David Cameron, for example, is another and he's also been criticized for being on vacation as Iraq melts down.  But, as Polly Mosendz (The Wire) notes, Cameron has ended his vacation:


    Cameron offered this statement on his decision, "If true, the brutal murder of James Foley is shocking and depraved." His office announced "[Cameron] will meet with the Foreign Secretary and senior officials from the Home Office, Foreign Office and the agencies to discuss the situation in Iraq and Syria and the threat posed by ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) terrorists."

    Sebastian Payne (Washington Post) also notes Cameron's decision:

    On Monday, he defended his decision to go on holiday in language that echoed the White House's defense of Obama's Martha's Vineyard break. “Wherever I am in the world I am always within a few feet of a BlackBerry, and an ability to manage things should they need to be managed,” he said.

    But Cameron promised to return if the situation called for it. And on Wednesday, he announced that he had made that decision, saying it is “increasingly likely” that a British citizen beheaded Foley. Upon his return to Downing Street on Wednesday, Cameron has said he will chair meetings on the situation in Syria and Iraq.




    RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    THIS JUST IN! GUMS KEEP FLAPPING!

    BULLY BOY PRESS &    CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE

    WTF HAS FRED KAPLAN BEEN?

    TODAY, HE WROTE, "With his speech on Wednesday condemning ISIS in newly stark, determined language, President Obama now needs to step up his military campaign in equally dramatic fashion."


    WHEN HAS BARACK EVER OFFERED MORE THAN WORDS?




    Yesterday found US President Barack Obama declaring:

    Today, with our support, Iraqi and Kurdish forces took a major step forward by recapturing the largest dam in Iraq, near the city of Mosul. The Mosul dam fell under terrorist control earlier this month, and is directly tied to our objective of protecting Americans in Iraq.
    [. . .]
    Iraqi and Kurdish forces took the lead on the ground and performed with courage and determination. So this operation demonstrates that Iraqi and Kurdish forces are capable of working together and taking the fight to ISIL. If they continue to do so, they will have the strong support of the United States of America.


    And today?

    No speeches to the world today. 

    Not on the day that found Lizzie Dearden (Independent) reporting the battle for the dam continues and that, "Government forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are trying to push back the militants on the ground around the dam, which is 45 miles from Mosul."  Australia's Sky News (link is text and video) reports:

      Sky's Alex Crawford, at Mosul Dam, said: "We heard firing behind us about 1km away. The president's son said he suspected some hardened IS fighters were in the south of the dam who had not been cleared from the area."
    She added: "They are still clearly holding out and putting up some sort of defence."

    Crawford said she heard heavy machine-gun fire and possibly mortar shelling as well as jets overhead.

    AFP states, "Fighting erupted Tuesday in the area surrounding the dam and U.S. warplanes carried out fresh strikes targeting ISIS, a senior officer in the Kurdish peshmerga forces told AFP."

    At the Pentagon today, spokesperson Rear Adm Jack Kirby took questions from the press.



    Q: Where do the missions -- the airstrikes for Mosul, where do they fit into the two -- the missions the president delineated, protecting humanitarian issues and then protecting U.S. personnel? Because this seems like a classic softening up the opposition, close-air support for invading -- a counter-invading force. Where do -- where do the missions fit? And wasn't that -- this an example of mission creep, albeit maybe accidental?


    REAR ADM. KIRBY: Well, let's take the second part first. Mission creep -- you know, this is a phrase that gets bandied about quite a bit, but let's just kind of talk about it for a second. Mission creep refers to the growth or expansion of the goals and objectives of a military operation, that the goals and objectives change, morph into something bigger than they were at the outset.
    It doesn't talk about -- mission creep doesn't refer to numbers of sorties, numbers of troops, numbers of anything. It doesn't refer to timelines. It doesn't even refer to intensity. It's about the mission itself. Nothing has changed about the mission, missions that we're conducting inside Iraq. As I said before, airstrikes are authorized under two mission areas -- humanitarian assistance and the protection of U.S. personnel and facilities.
    The airstrikes that we conducted in and around Mosul dam over the last 72 hours or so fit into both those categories, both helping prevent what could be a huge humanitarian problem should the dam be blown or the gates -- they're just allowed to flood, and also to protect U.S. personnel and facilities. So there's been no -- well, I'm not going to -- I'm not going to say a negative. What I'll just tell you is, the missions are clear. The operations that we're conducting are inside the authorizations for those missions. And we're going to continue to be vigilant going forward. And if there is a need for more airstrikes in conjunction with either of those two mission areas, those two authorizations, we'll conduct them.


    Q: How effective, how crucial were the strikes to retaking the dam? Do you have a sense of that? What -- you know, without those airstrikes, would the Iraqis and Peshmerga have been able to have retaken the dam?



    REAR ADM. KIRBY: It's hard to, you know, arm-chair quarterback here a military operation that just wound up. We believe they were critical to assisting in that -- in the retaking of the dam. But I also would -- at the same time -- point to the courage, the bravery, the skill of both the Kurdish forces and Iraqi forces and their extensive cooperation with one another in conducting this operation. Yes, we were a critical part of it, but it was a team effort.


    It was a team effort?  What's Kirby trying to say?  "IS just wanted it more"?

    Before the bad news that the issue of the dam was still up in the air, Barack was preaching Operation Happy Talk.  As Matthew Weaver (Guardian) observes:

    Barack Obama hailed the retaking of the Mosul dam as a symbol of how Isis militants could be defeated by co-operation between Kurdish, Iraqi and US forces. “This operation demonstrates that Iraqi and Kurdish forces are capable of working together and taking the fight to Isil [Islamic State]. If they continue to do so, they will have the strong support of the United States of America.”



    On the topic of mission creep, William Saletan (Slate) notes the changing scope of Barack's misadventure:

    On Aug. 7, Obama specified two grounds for military action: to protect U.S. personnel in Iraq and to prevent the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis trapped by ISIS on Mt. Sinjar. Two days later, however, he added another issue: “We have to make sure that ISIL is not engaging in the actions that could cripple a country permanently. There’s key infrastructure inside of Iraq that we have to be concerned about.” Specifically, on Thursday, he authorized airstrikes “to recapture the Mosul Dam,” arguing that its destruction “could threaten the lives of large numbers of civilians, endanger U.S. personnel and facilities, including the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad [280 miles away], and prevent the Iraqi government from providing critical services to the Iraqi populace.” In Obama’s foreign policy, nation-building is out. But using force to help governments provide “critical services” is in.

    Gordon Lubold and Kate Brannen (Foreign Policy) also address the issue:


    The administration entered the conflict with an aggressive airstrike and airdrop campaign in northern Iraq based, it said, on the need to protect the U.S. personnel in the country and to prevent militants from slaughtering members of the Yazidi religious minority sect stranded atop Mount Sinjar. Then last week, U.S. officials announced that a reconnaissance team that had visited Sinjar discovered that the humanitarian crisis wasn't as bad as first feared, thus removing one of the main justifications for the air campaign. In recent days, the United States has launched a barrage of airstrikes in and around Mosul that appear to be directly targeting the Islamic State, leading many to conclude that the mission is expanding beyond the administration's stated goals and objectives.
    "The administration can call it whatever they want, but semantics aside, they're now waging war," said Stephen Biddle, a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University. 


    The word games leaders resort to in order to deceive the people they supposedly represent.


    The Los Angeles Times' Doyle McManus observes, "Even without American boots on the ground, Obama has entered the United States in its fourth Iraq war. It won’t be over quickly. As the president said, this is going to be a long-term project."

    It's a reality few want to tackle, let alone acknowledge.


    BBC News, noting the United Kingdom's involvement, reported yesterday, "Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said the UK's military involvement in the country could last for 'months', and has revealed that RAF surveillance aircraft are operating there."  However, wire services carry British Prime Minister David Cameron's denial, "Britain is not going to get involved in another war n Iraq.  We're not going to be putting boots on the ground."


    And, like Barack Obama, Cameron thinks as long as he can insist that it's just dropping bombs, it's not really war.



    RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"

    "jfk"
    "Iraq"





    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

    THIS JUST IN! HE CAN'T WIN THEM ALL -- OR EVEN ANY!

    BULLY BOY PRESS &    CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE

    FADED CELEBRITY IN CHIEF AND COMMANDER IN CONFUSED LAND BARRY O IS ON FAMILIAR GROUND -- SHAKY AND SINKING.


    TODAY?  


    REACHED FOR COMMENT, BARRY TOLD THESE REPORTERS, "I THINK PEOPLE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT 'SUCCESS' IS A VERY FLEXIBLE TERM."





    A busy day for Iraq with violence and political overtures, various US cabinets making statements and US President Barack Obama speaking on the topic.

    Let's start with  CENTCOM which issued the following:

    TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 18, 2014 – U.S. Conducts More Airstrikes Near the Mosul Dam
    From a U.S. Central Command News Release
    TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 18, 2014 — U.S. military forces today continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Iraq, using a mix of fighter, bomber, and remotely piloted aircraft to successfully conduct 15 airstrikes near the Mosul Dam.
    The strikes damaged or destroyed nine ISIL fighting positions; an ISIL checkpoint; six ISIL armed vehicles; an ISIL light armored vehicle; an ISIL vehicle-mounted anti-aircraft artillery gun, and an IED emplacement belt.
    All aircraft exited the strike areas safely.

     Since Aug. 8, U.S. Central Command has conducted a total of 68 airstrikes in Iraq. Of those 68 strikes, 35 have been in support of Iraqi forces near the Mosul Dam. These strikes were conducted under authority to support Iraqi security forces and Kurdish defense forces as they work together to combat ISIL, as well as to protect critical infrastructure, U.S. personnel and facilities, and support humanitarian efforts.


    Barack noted the dam in his speech today as well, "Today, with our support, Iraqi and Kurdish forces took a major step forward by recapturing the largest dam in Iraq, near the city of Mosul. The Mosul dam fell under terrorist control earlier this month, and is directly tied to our objective of protecting Americans in Iraq."

    So this was a success?

    Forget your feelings on bombings.  Along with all that the Kurdish and Iraqi military do, the US military conducted 35 air strikes in approximately five days and with that, the US government insists, the Islamic State is no longer in control of the Mosul dam.

    I'm confused.

    How many air strikes did IS conduct?

    I'm pretty sure that number is zero.

    US military might used to bomb repeatedly -- 35 air strikes -- is what it took to apparently rescue one dam.

    That's really not looking good for the US military, the Iraqi military and/or the Kurdish military.

    The only one who comes out looking strong in that recap is IS.

    We're all aware that Iraq has more than one dam, right?


    In that general vicinity alone, Iraq also has Duhok Dam, Badush Dam, Bekhme Dam, Dukan Dam and Dibis Dam.

    That's not a full listing of Iraq's dams.  It's not even a full listing of the dams in the Tigris river basin (the Ephrates river basin also has dams).

    But this is what it took to wrestle one dam away.  Barack's spoken of the alleged danger of that dam -- probably more to justify his own actions. 

    Baghdad would be flooded!

    That was the claim.  It popped up on the chat and chews all weekend which is how you knew it was a White House talking point.

    No, Baghdad would not have been flooded. 

    There is not a grand Slip and Slide between Mosul and Bahgdad that will carry the water through.

    There is dried land, land that bakes in the summer heat.  Iraq's supposed to reach 116 degrees F on Tuesday and 117 on Wednesday.  We all get what happens in those temperatures, right?

     Most of the water from the dam -- had the dam been ruptured -- would have endangered very little -- even Mosul itself may not have seen water standing for hours. 

    But it was a talking point.

    Why?


    To justify the actions taken.

    Barack declared this afternoon, "If that dam was breached, it could have proven catastrophic, with floods that would’ve threatened the lives of thousands of civilians and endanger our embassy compound in Baghdad."

    No, the Baghdad Embassy was not in danger of 'flooding.'

    Barack's going to have to work hard at scaring Americans.




    RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"




    Sunday, August 17, 2014

    THIS JUST IN! WHAT DO THEY THINK HIS JOB IS?

    BULLY BOY PRESS &    CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE

    FADED CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O REMAINS PRESIDENT -- MAYBE CAROL AND THE OTHER SEX FREAKS AT POLITICO COULD TRY REMEMBERING THAT?

    A VACATION FROM HELL, THE POLITICOS WHINE, PISSING THEIR PANTIES AND BRIEFS.

    A VACATION FROM HELL?

    DO THEY KNOW HOW THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SUFFER DAILY TO PAY BILLS?

    DO THEY KNOW WHAT A BAD VACATION REALLY IS?

    VOTED INTO OFFICE, PROBLEMS LAND AT BARRY O'S DOOR AS THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO.  THIS IS NOT "HELL," THIS IS THE PRESIDENCY.

    GROW THE F**K UP.




    Yesterday's big news that Iraq's two-term prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki had agreed to step down continues to be news.   Al Mada notes statements of relief made by US Secretary of State John Kerry, National Security Advisor Susan Rice and the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Iraq Nickolay Mladenov.  Andrew Reiter (US News and World Reports) offers:
     
    This is an unquestionably positive development for Iraq. First, the peaceful transfer of power represents a key step in Iraq’s young democracy. Second, the new government should be better equipped to deal with the worsening security threat posed by Islamic State militants. And third, it could usher in a period of improved relations with the U.S.
    A peaceful transfer of power is a welcome development for Iraq’s nascent democracy that has seen al-Malaki consolidate his rule over his eight years in office. Following the controversial 2010 parliamentary elections, al-Malaki created the Office of the Commander-in-Chief, giving himself direct control over the Iraqi army and police. In response to recent events, he deployed a number of elite security forces throughout Baghdad’s Green Zone in an overt threat to his opponents. Fears of a military coup were rampant.


    Loveday Morris and Karen DeYoung (Washington Post) point out, "Maliki has become a deeply divisive figure but had clung to his position in the face of a growing consensus among Iraq’s politicians and the  international community that only a new leader would have a chance of unifying a country experiencing growing sectarian divisions."  How bad did it get for Nouri?  Martin Chulov, Julian Borger and Spencer Ackerman (Guardian) explain, "He had lost the support of his party, of the president, the parliament, the Americans, Saudis and finally the Iranian government, his biggest foreign ally and sponsor. Even the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, issued a statement pointedly welcoming the appointment of Abadi."

    How did he lose the support of Ali Khamenei?  Ali Hashem (Al-Monitor) reports:

    An Iraqi source close to Ayatollah Ali Sistani told Al-Monitor: “Around 10 days before the designation, an envoy representing the Iranian leadership visited Ayatollah Ali Sistani in Najaf. The envoy heard a clear stance from Sistani: Nouri al-Maliki shouldn’t continue as a prime minister. …​ Sistani won’t say this in public, but he had to tell it to the Iranians, because he thought the crisis in the country needed a solution and that the deadlock would complicate efforts to reach an agreement.”
    According to Al-Monitor’s sources in Tehran and Baghdad, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, after learning of Sistani’s position, asked his aides to facilitate the change, calling on them to play a role in convincing Maliki to withdraw. “There were several alternatives for Maliki, one was him being appointed vice president. He refused. He was obstinate on the prime minister position and gave all those who tried [to talk] with him reasons for him not to accept. His main challenge was that he’s the leader of the bloc that won the election, and the constitution gives him the right to form the new government.”



    REHM: Good to see you all. Jim Sciutto, what finally made Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki agree to step aside? 

    SCIUTTO:  I think the loss of the support of the support of both the U.S. and Iran. And once you had public statements. For the U.S. statement, somewhat more predictable, but once the Iranians said they wanted a transition, they wanted a more inclusive government, he saw the writing on the wall. But it was touch and go, because on Sunday night, and we were on the air Sunday night, as you had tanks in the streets, bridges closed in Baghdad. Forces loyal to Maliki being ordered -- you know, accounts from Baghdad police telling us ordered around key buildings. It looked like, for a moment, he was gonna make a power grab. So, you know, it appeared he had some second thoughts towards the end, but once that support disappeared, even he could see the writing on the wall. 

    REHM:  Nancy. 

    YOUSSEF:  So, the reason he gave, in his speech, in which he was surrounded by members of his party and his successor, was, in part, that he didn't want to see Iraq return to dictatorship, which arguably was code for that he didn't think that the militias and the armed forces he put on the street could actually keep him in power. The only other list -- person I would add to that list is Sistani, Ayatollah Sistani, who's the leader of the Shias in Iraq had called and supported his transition.  And so, internally, that was perhaps the most important loss for his support. And so, once all those factors came in to play, it was impossible to see who would support him. In addition, I would add also are the court systems, because the last time he had sort of been challenged, the courts had supported him, and constitutionally, he didn't have the ground to stand on to continue his fight. 

    REHM: Greg. 

    MYRE: Just looking back, Maliki came to power in 2006. At that moment, Iran was facing this Sunni insurgency that was tearing the country apart. The U.S. felt a real sense of urgency to intervene. Here we are eight years later going through the same thing. And you can go back, and the U.S. military involvement has now been over 20 years in Iraq. And are we moving forward anywhere, or are we just going in circles? 

    While various possibilities were tossed around at various outlets, few bothered to examine Iraqi sentiment.  Kholoud Ramzi (Niqash) covers Iraqi reaction:



    The desperate attempts of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to stay in power may have been taken seriously by many and led to questions about attempted coups and concern as to which sectors of the military supported him - but there are many Iraqis who are not taking al-Maliki seriously at all. Sarcastic pictures, jokes and comments have been circulating on Iraqi social media for the past few days, with those photo shopping pictures and posting jokes appearing to compete amongst themselves to make a mockery of their soon-to-be-former Prime Minister.
    One of the most popular pictures shows al-Maliki wearing a Hitler-style moustache. Another shows US President Barack Obama patting al-Maliki on the back, as if to bid him farewell. This has garnered a number of humorous comments. 
    One Iraqi Kurdish journalist shared a picture that shows young men trampling on a picture of al-Maliki that is lying on the floor. “They started to throw your pictures on the ground as soon as they heard about al-Abadi,” the journalist wrote in the caption. “They started to throw shoes at the picture as soon as they knew you were out. I fear that soon they will beat you with their shoes. We Iraqis are the kind of people who receive our leaders with cheering and applause and then farewell them with shoes.”
    Another picture showed two tribal leaders, or sheikhs, sitting behind al-Maliki at a funeral. “Let us grieve for the soul of [al-Maliki’s] third term,” those who shared the picture wrote. “The funeral of the State of Law bloc.”
    Another Iraqi prankster posted a picture of al-Maliki’s wife. “Breaking news,” they wrote. “Al-Abadi’s wife has called al-Maliki’s wife to ask her where she put the presidential mugs.”
    Those who supported al-Maliki also came in for ribbing, with politicians who protested al-Abadi’s nomination or al-Maliki’s ouster also targeted by jokers. 
    Another commenter wrote this: “Al-Maliki ruled us for eight years and he brought us right back to the era of the Caliphate. If he had had another four years, we might have seen dinosaurs roaming the streets of Baghdad”. 
    Some other activists wrote on one of al-Maliki’s Facebook pictures that Iraqis need to thank the Prime Minister for his achievements before he leaves. They listed 14 of the most important ones. This included sectarianism, displacement, insecurity, corruption and lack of government services. “Last but not least we should congratulate him on the birth of Daash, which came from all of these achievements,” they wrote, using the Arabic acronym for the Sunni Muslim extremist group known as the Islamic State, that now controls parts of the country.

    Deeply unpopular Nouri.  So many have wanted him gone for so long now.  And where do things stand now?  Shashank Bengali and Patrick J. McDonnell (Los Angeles Times) state, "Maliki’s surprise announcement Thursday that he would give up his bid for a third four-year term raised hope that a new government could unite a country that is more bitterly divided than at perhaps any time since the sectarian civil strife of 2006-07."

    So few want to admit that.  In part because they whored for Nouri and in part because they lack the ability to they were wrong to cheer Nouri on.  The man was a tyrant and a despot. He had Iraqis rounded up -- usually Sunnis -- mass 'arrests' that lacked arrest warrants.  The people were then lost in the 'legal' system -- often never tried, not on trial once, but kept in prisons.  Some people were arrested with arrest warrants -- for other people!

    They have an arrest warrent for Ali al-Mutlaq.  They go to his family's home.  Ali is not present so they arrest Ali's wife, sister, child or parent.  That's not justice.  It is why so many innocents rot in prison -- accused of no crime but held regardless.

    Many of the females in Nouri's prison arrived there as a result of being a relative of someone.  Once in prison, many girls and women were assaulted or raped.  Nouri attempted to ignore this when it became the topic of fall 2012.  An investigation by Parliament found that the assaults and rapes were taking place -- this would also be backed up by the work of Human Rights Watch:


    Iraqi authorities are detaining thousands of Iraqi women illegally and subjecting many to torture and ill-treatment, including the threat of sexual abuse. Iraq’s weak judiciary, plagued by corruption, frequently bases convictions on coerced confessions, and trial proceedings fall far short of international standards. Many women were detained for months or even years without charge before seeing a judge.
    The 105-page report, “‘No One Is Safe’: Abuses of Women in Iraq’s Criminal Justice System,”documents abuses of women in detention based on interviews with women and girls, Sunni and Shia, in prison; their families and lawyers; and medical service providers in the prisons at a time of escalating violence involving security forces and armed groups. Human Rights Watch also reviewed court documents and extensive information received in meetings with Iraqi authorities including Justice, Interior, Defense, and Human Rights ministry officials, and two deputy prime ministers.
    “Iraqi security forces and officials act as if brutally abusing women will make the country safer,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “In fact, these women and their relatives have told us that as long as security forces abuse people with impunity, we can only expect security conditions to worsen.”

    There was his targeting of Iraq's LGBTQ community.  There was his attack on protesters -- most infamously the April 23rd massacre of a sit-in in Hawija resulted fvia  Nouri's federal forces storming in.  Alsumaria noted Kirkuk's Department of Health (Hawija is in Kirkuk)  announced 50 activists have died and 110 were injured in the assault.   AFP reported 53 dead  -- indicating that some of the wounded did not recover.  UNICEF noted that the dead included 8 children (twelve more were injured).  

    This is who some people are praising?  This is the real Nouri al-Maliki and they ought to explain how 'great' he is to have earned their praise.



    RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"