THIS EVENING, THESE REPORTERS INTERVIEWED A STARK RAVING MAN WITH DROOL ON HIS FACE WHO INSISTED ON BEING CALLED "JOE CANNON."
Q: YOU SCREAM "F**K" A LOT. WHY IS THAT?
"JOE CANNON": I SUFFER FROM ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION AND AM UNABLE TO GET AN ERECTION. I SCREAM "F**K" BECAUSE I AM ALWAYS WISHING I COULD GET IT UP. IT IS VERY UPSETTING TO ME.
Q: YOU ARE A WHITE MAN AND YOUR OTHER 'TRICK' IS TO SCREAM AT AFRICAN-AMERICANS, "YOU ARE A RACIST! YOU ARE A BIGOT!" WHAT'S UP WITH THAT?
"JOE CANNON": I AM A DISGUSTING RACIST. I HATE ANY ONE WHO IS NOT WHITE. I AM A RACIST WITH ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION. MY NAME IS JOE CANNON.
Q: YOU SEEM TO HAVE SOME MENTAL ISSUES?
"JOE CANNON": ALL OF MY PROBLEMS HAVE TO DO WITH MY HATRED FOR BLACK PEOPLE AND MY INABILITY TO GET IT UP. I AM REALLY DISGUSTING. MOST NIGHTS I ENTERTAIN MYSELF PLAYING "WHAT DOES THAT FART SMELL LIKE?" AND THOUGH I AM VERY GOOD AT THE GAME IT TENDS TO DRIVE PEOPLE AWAY. DID I MENTION I HAVE TROUBLE GETTING IT UP?
First off, I know about Stan being trashed by a racist. It will be dealt with tonight. I dictated a long section on it and on the pig's White entitlement but Stan's the one who got trashed and I wanted him to see it first before it went up. (It's always cute when a White person already known online as a racist decides to call an African-American racist.) That section was e-mailed to him and he said use it for the Thursday's "I Hate The War." I will and I will expand it. But I know that people are angry -- it will be addressed.
Today Elisabeth Bumiller and Thom Shanker (New York Times) report on the US military commanders contingency plan for Iraq. Last month Bumiller and Shanker reported on the military commanders presenting a partial drawdown of US troops in Iraq on a slower scale than Barack's 'pledge' of 16 month withdrawal (of "combat" troops only). No objections were raised over the timeframe by the president-elect but, in case objections are registered in the immediate future, they've come up with an alternate plan they could implement. This calls for a high of 8,000 a month (more likely four to six thousand) to be pulled. Using the high figure, 48,000 US service members could be out of Iraq (with at least 30,000 of that number redeployed to Afghanistan) in six months. That would still leave close to 100,000 US troops in Iraq. And there is no full withdrawal planned by Barack. That is why he refused to promise that, if elected, all US troops would be out of Iraq by the end of his first term (2012). Of course, Barack also rushed to assure the Times (2007) that he would easily halt any drawdown and rush more troops back into Iraq (and no words to declare this a temporary measure) when he sat down with Michael Gordon and Jeff Zeleny (see this Iraq snapshot and Third's article and the actual transcript of the interview -- a transcript Tom Hayden should have read before humiliating himself in public, then again Tom-Tom seems to enjoy public humiliation). So the article tells you that the military's preparing for all possibilities . . . except the possibility the American people want (and some foolishly believe Barack ever promised) full withdrawal of Iraq. That is not an option the military even considers. And the report is backed up by the statements Pentagon spokesperson Goeff Morrell made today, "Our military planners do not live in a vacuum. They are well aware that the president-elect has campaigned on withdrawing troops from Iraq on a 16-month timeline. . . . So it would only be prudent of them to draw up plans that reflect that option. But that is just one of the options that they are drawing up." The article bears noting for two additional details. First, as Barack seems determined to make Afghanistan his own personal quagmire, let no one deny alarms were raised ahead of his swearing in:
Even as Mr. Obama prepares for the drawdown in Iraq, some influential Democrats and national security experts have begun voicing concern about his willingness to send up to 30,000 additional American troops to Afghanistan, where the United States has been at war for more than seven years. They say that Mr. Obama has yet to make clear his overall goals beyond calling for more forces, money and diplomacy in an increasingly violent, ungovernable country that the military says presents even more problems than Iraq.
Second, after noting what the Status Of Forces Agreement could do, Bumiller and Shanker include the reality: "That agreement, however, can be renegotiated." That's reporting (and this was the report referred to in yesterday's snapshot, FYI). (And so was Bumiller's December report on how the military hopes to fudge troop withdrawals by terminology.) The Status Of Forces Agreement (which al-Maliki calls "The Withdrawal Agreement" when visiting Iran) was one of two agreements. The other was the Strategic Framework Agreement. Vice president-elect Joe Biden left the Senate today. April 10th, as chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations, Biden explained the two agreements:
We will hear today about the two agreements that the Administration is negotiating with Iraq which were anticipated in the November Declaration. On Tuesday, Ambassador Crocker told us that these agreements would set forth the "vision" -- his phrase -- of our bilateral relationship with Iraq. One agreement is a "strategic framework agreement" that will include the economic, political and security issues outlined in the Declaration of Principles. The document might be better titled "What the United States will do for Iraq," because it consists mostly of a series of promises that flow in one direction -- promises by the United States to a sectarian government that has thus far failed to reach the political compromises necessary to have a stable country. We're told that the reason why we're not continuing under the UN umbrella is because the Iraqis say they have a sovereign country. But they don't want a Status of Forces Agreement because that flows two ways. The Administration tells us it's not binding, but the Iraqi parliament is going to think it is. The second agreement is what Administration officials call a "standard" Status of Forces Agreement, which will govern the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq, including their entry into the country and the immunities to be granted to them under Iraqi law. Unlike most SOFAs, however, it would permit U.S. forces -- for the purposes of Iraqi law -- to engage in combat operations and detain insurgents. In other words, to detain people that we think are bad guys. I don't know any of the other nearly 90 Status of Forces Agreements that would allow a U.S. commander to arrest anyone he believes is a bad guy.
We're focusing on the Strategic Framework Agreement, or as Biden put it, "What the United States will do for Iraq." The US Embassy in Baghdad notes that the agreement was the topic of "the inauguaral January 13, 2009 meeting of the Iraqi-U.S. Higher Coordination Committee" which found puppet Nouri al-Maliki and US Secretary of State Condi Rice co-chairing the meeting with participants Hoshyar Zebari (Foreign Minister) , Barham Saleh and Rafi Essawi (Deputy Prime Ministers), Jawad al-Bolani (Interior Minister), Abdul-Qadir Muhammad Jasim (Minster of Defense), Mowaffak Al-Rubaie (National Security Advisor), Sadig Al-Rikabi (Political Advisor) and on the US side Henrietta Fore (USAID Aministrator), Dave McCormick (Under Secretary of the Treasury), Eric Edelman (Under Secretary of Defense for Policy), Ryan Crocker (US Ambassador to Iraq) and Gen Ray Odierno (top US commander in Iraq). Anyone see a problem?
Where's James L. Jones Jr.?
That's Barack pick for National Security Advisor. Some will argue that, with Condi participating, Hillary Clinton should have been brought in. While it's unheard of for the Senate to fail to confirm one of their own, it could happen. With Hillary or anyone else. So there are some people that it made no sense to invite since they do not have that posts yet. However, NSA is not a post that requires Senate confirmation. James L. Jones was selected by Barack and announced by Barack. That means he is the National Security Advisor. His Iraq counterpart was participating, why wasn't Jones brought in?
The US Embassy in Baghdad announces: "The meeting formally launched the Strategic Framework Agreement process, which will guid U.S. - Iraqi relations. Secretary Rice and Prime Minister Al-Maliki reaffirmed their strong desire to establish a long-term relationship of cooperation and friendship, based on the principle of equality." And how did they do that? How did Condi Rice -- who is out of a job next week -- reaffirm anything long-term for the US? Jones should have been brought into that meeting and for those who want to offer excuses about travel to Baghdad, Condi Rice was not in Iraq January 13th. She was in DC. We'll get to what else she was doing but she and Hernietta Fore were in DC pariticipating via tele-conference. The outgoing administration should have made a point to invite James Jones who will be -- no doubts, no confirmation from the Senate needed -- the next National Security Advisor and will be done transitioning and in that job in less than a week.
If you're conveying longterm relationship, how do you do that with the outgoing administration. For that matter, Robert Gates could have participated in the meeting. (And his Iraqi counterpart did.) Gates is Secretary of Defense and Barack's made him his designate for Sec of Defense. As the only link between the outgoing administration and the incoming one, why wasn't he voted in. Before we go to what Gates did Tuesday, today the Bully Boy of the United States presented a Medal of Freedom to US Ambassador Crocker. Among those attending the White House ceremony (Crocker was in DC for the ceremony) were Condi Rice, First Lady Laura Bush and John Negroponte. Among Bully Boy's remarks were recounting some of Crocker's history of service:
Members of the Foreign Service bring this valor and professionalism to their work every single day. And there is one man who embodies these qualities above all: Ambassador Ryan Crocker. Over the years, Ryan has earned many honors, including the Presidential Meritorious Service Award and the rank of Career Ambassador. Today I have the privilege of honoring Ambassador Crocker with the highest civil award I can bestow: the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It has not been bestowed yet. The son of an Air Force officer, Ryan Crocker has never been your typical diplomat. For social engagements, he likes to tell guests, "no socks required." For language training, he once spent time herding sheep with a desert tribe in Jordan. For sport, he has jogged through war zones, and run marathons on four continents. And for assignments, his preference has always been anywhere but Washington. During his nearly four decades in the Foreign Service, Ryan Crocker has become known as America's Lawrence of Arabia. His career has taken him to every corner of the Middle East. His understanding of the region is unmatched. His exploits are legendary. He has served as ambassador to five countries. He has repeatedly taken on the most challenging assignments. The man has never run from danger. As a young officer during the late 1970s, Ryan catalogued Saddam Hussein's murderous rise to power. In 1983, he survived the terrorist attack on the American embassy in Lebanon. In 1998, as the Ambassador to Syria, he witnessed an angry mob plunder his residence. After any one of these brushes with danger, most people would have lost their appetite for adventure. Not Ryan Crocker. In the years since September the 11th, 2001, I have asked Ryan to hold numerous posts on the front lines of the war on terror, and he has stepped forward enthusiastically every time.
Dana Perino noted in today's White House press briefing, "It was a surprise for Ryan Crocker, that he was getting the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- a surprise, I think, for everybody. But we kept that a secret because he is a very humble person, Ambassador Crocker. And I can't think of anybody more deserving. And I think that it was a fitting tribute to the Foreign Service Officers that the President has put in posts that usually go to political appointees, that something as important as Iraq and Afghanistan, especially in Iraq when it came to having leadership there, especially during those dark days, which I'll get to in a moment, Abassador Crocker was definitely one of the best leaders. And for some of the younger people there, the younger career Foreign Service Officers, I think it was really good for them to see that hard work can be rewarded, and by a President who is very grateful for all that the Foreign Service has done under his watch and that they'll continue to do there. They're consummate professionals. I've had the pleasure of getting to know a lot of them."
Now back to Robert Gates. Gates joined Rice, Fore and State Dept Counselor Eliot Cohen in the US State Dept's treaty room Tuesday (the 13th) for a signing ceremony (link has text and video). What were they signing? Don't rush. War Hawk, Neocon and PNAC-er Cohen gave big butt smooches to Gates and Rice and then Rice offered this frightening thought, "I suspect that that means that there are two American universities that may be teaching from this manual." The manual? The counterinsurgency doctrine. Yes, the Pentagon has long practiced that abuse of human rights but Rice is on board as well and they were signing the counterinsurgency guide as well. (The two universities are the ones that gave Gates and Rices their doctorates -- Georgetown and the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies respectively.)
Counter-isnurgency is war on a native people. The last eight years have seen anthropologists, psychologists and psychiatrists betray their fields and training to provide 'skills' on how to defeat a native people. Rice declared, "And this counterinsurgency doctrine and this manual really is a compilation of the experiences that we have had in learning how to fight together, how to work together, and ultimately how to deliver for people defense, democracy and development." Gates added, "I'm honored to sign the Interagency Counterinsurgency Guide today and demonstrate my support for whole-of-government counterinsurgency process. Military efforts alone are rarely effective in counterinsurgency operations. This guide reflects strong efforts by many organizations and individuals to build the soft power capabilities and the coordinating processes within the United States Government that are so central to our counterinsurgency efforts." And if you could read the above without losing your lunch, Fore seemed determined to ensure that your hurled:
And let me add for my two secretaries that it is very important for us in the world of development to have a guide such as this. It's a very complex and challenging area – the work of counterinsurgency. We in development will particularly focus on helping host country governments how they can deal with good governance while having an atmosphere of counterinsurgency. It is very challenging, but country ownership and legitimacy of a government, as well as continuing good governance and democratic reforms, are a very important and integral part. And we will add our highest accolade in that we will use this guide in the field.
That's Henrietta Fore who will thankfully be out of USAID shortly. Condi got off a joke and we'll note it here, "And now to my good friend, Bob Gates. And not only are we both Ph.D.s and former high-ranking university administrators, but we both studied the Soviet Union, which, in case you don't know, no longer exists. And it means that found useful work after that." Some would question whethere the employment was useful to the world.
Counter-insurgency is digusting, vile and goes against democracy. Fortunately, since Hillary Clinton will likely be Sec of State, all the Barack groupies posing as 'independent' journalists can call out the State Dept support for counter-insurgency, right? They can just pretend -- as they did throughout 2007 and 2008 -- that the counter-insurgency 'noteables' were all supporting and advising Barack -- such as Sarah Sewall, Samantha Power and, oh, so many more.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Ned Parker on the sad state of 'justice' in Iraq"
"No end to the Iraq War (NYT's Bumiller and Shanker)"