BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
HATE MERCHANT AND HOMOPHOBE JEREMIAH WRIGHT POPPED BACK IN THE NEWS WEDNESDAY MORNING SPEWING AT HATE AIMED AT "THEM JEWS." "THEM JEWS" WERE KEEPING WRIGHT AWAY FROM CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARACK OBAMA.
AFTER THE REMARKS WERE REPORTED, THERE WAS A SHOOTING AT THE HOLOCAUST MUSEUM. PROFESSIONAL APOLOGIST AMOS BROWN SHOWED UP ON THE SCENE INSISTING THAT PEOPLE WERE -- WHAT ELSE -- HEARING "SNIPPEST" AND NEEDED "TO CHILL OUT" BECAUSE THEY WERE MISSING THE CONTEXT.
THE CONTEXT OF "THEM JEWS."
SEEMS TO US WHEN H. ROSS PEROT SPOKE TO A GROUP OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS AND SAID "YOU PEOPLE," NO ONE WORRIED ABOUT SNIPPETS OR CONTEXT. IT WAS OBVIOUS WHAT PEROT MEANT THE SAME WAY IT'S OBVIOUS WHAT JERRY WRIGHT MEANS.
JERRY WRIGHT TOLD THE NEW YORK TIMES HE MEANT TO SAY "ZIONISTS" AND NOT "THEM JEWS" BUT JERRY WRIGHT TOLD THESE REPORTERS, "IT IS THEM JEWS KEEPING ME AND BARRY APART. WE'D HAVE OUR OWN ICE CREAM COMPANY BY NOW IF IT WEREN'T FOR THEM JEWS. WE'D CALL IT BARRY & JERRY'S AND WE'D DO ALL SORTS OF FUN FLAVORS LIKE HITLER ICE AND TWINKEE BINGE DEFENSE. ME AND BARRY WOULD BE SO CHILLING RIGHT NOW IF IT WEREN'T FOR THEM JEWS. G*D DAMN AMERICA AND G** DAMN THEM JEWS!"
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
"Our country has been in conflict for nearly eight years, service members and their families are bearing the brunt of multiple deployments, with no foreseeable end in sight. It is important that we uphold our responsibility to care for those who volunteer to serve our nationa in uniform and their families, given the sacrifices they are making in defense of our nation," declared US House Rep Susan Davis this morning as she brought the US House Armed Services Committee's Military Personnel Subcommittee to order. This was a mark up meeting -- mark up of HR 2647 -- and the legislation would create a 3.4% pay raise for the military (Barack has asked for a 2.9% increase) and it also includes monies for families such as spouse internships. Davis chairs the Subcommittee. Wilson is the Ranking Member and his big point was displeasure that the proposal was unable to address disabilities. Davis had noted that "we do not have the mandatory offsets to pay for this $5.1 billion proposal within the subcommittee. The Democratic leadership, however, is working with the committee and a resolution to the issue is expected." The mark was adopted by a unanmious vote. Mark ups are not hearings and we don't generally cover them but we're noting it for a few reasons including that Chair Davis has the nasty DC summer cold. (Ava, Wally and I have it as well as Kat noted last night.) Second, some of her statements need to be noted and juxtaposed with what's going on in Iraq.
* Our country has been in conflict for nearly eight years, service members and their families are bearing the brunt of multiple deployments, with no foreseeable end in sight. It is important that we uphold our responsibility to care for those who volunteer to serve our nationa in uniform and their families, given the sacrifices they are making in defense of our nation.
* This is the Year of the Military Family, as such, we have included a number of initiatives that are focused on military families. These include a pilot program for spouse overseas area and a requirement for the Secretary of Defense to study the appropriateness of the current housing standards. These are just a few of the provisions that we have included to support our military families.
Those are Davis' statements and you can also toss in US House Rep Ellen Tauscher's remarks in the House Armed Services' Strategic Forces Subcommittee mark up this afternoon when Chair Tauscher thanked the Ranking Member for his work on HR 2647, "We don't agree on everything of course but we agree on more than we disagree and you are a great partner, Mike [Turner]."
To attend the mark up hearings was to see members of Congress working together to address the concerns of the military and, with Davis' Subcommittee especially, to address the concerns of the military members and their families. For a brief moment, you could almost believe that the families might be treated with respect and compassion. For a moment.
Jane Arraf (Christian Science Monitor) makes clear that whatever Congress does or does not do, military families will be spat upon by the US government. So that we're all on the same page and also to take care of correction, let's drop back to yesterday's snapshot:
"They freed them? The American military did? Somebody needs to answer for it." That's Danny Chism quoted by Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Robert H. Reid (AP) yesterday. We noted it in yesterday's snapshot and Danny Chism's son, the late Jonathan Bryan Chism, is in the news today. McClatchy Newspapers buries a major story by Richard Mauer entitled "Who was behind Karbala assualt, in which 5 Americans died." January 23, 2007 the Department of Defense announced that four US soldiers "died in Jan 20 in Karbala, Iraq, from wounds sustained when their patrol was ambushed while conducting dismounted operations." The four were identified as Jacob N. Fritz, Jonathan B. Chism, Shawn P. Falter and Johnathon M. Millican. Also killed in the attack was Brian S. Freeman. Bryan Chism was from Louisiana and WAFB reported January 31, 2007 that the military was "trying to cover up the details of an incident in Iraq," that the four "were actually abducted from a tightly-secured American compound by an insurgent commando team. The insurgents were driving American vehicles, wearing American uniforms and carrying American weapons. In fact, on eof the kidnappers is reported to have even had blonde hair." Over two years later, Richard Mauer has uncovered additional details. "The men inside were dressed in U.S. army camouflage and carried American weapons," he reports. "They knew enough English to bark simple commands and offer polite greetings. They knew exactly how the U.S. soldiers would defend the compound. They knew that the compound's most important room was the command and control center -- with its radio base stations -- and they knew that at 6 p.m., the soldiers in the room would be off guard and relaxing. They even knew that the two most senior American officers in Karbala would be in the room next door." Via a Freedom of Information request, McClatchy just obtained an investigative report by the military which was completed February 27th and which "put the onus for intelligence-gathering and ground support [in the attack] on Iraqi police, America's supposed ally. Not only were police negligent in surrendering their guard positions to the intruders without firing a shot or warning the Americans, the report says, but investigators found strong circumstantial evidence that police officials gave the attackers key intelligence and may have been complicit in allowing an advance force of attackers into the compound."
Now drop back to yesterday's news. The US military traded the Iraqi prisoner said to be responsible for the murders -- traded him for five British hostages. Laith al-Khazali was traded. Was freed. Which is why Danny Chism was asking, "They freed them? The American military did? Somebody needs to answer for it."
First the correction. Mauer's excellent report was published by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Tuesday; however, it originally ran in 2007. Thank you to a friend at McClatchy who caught that and pointed it out to me. My apologies. With the basics above, we have five US soldiers who were killed in Iraq. The military's own study finds that the Iraqi police assisted in the attacks on the US military. If you haven't read Mauer's report, just to summarize quickly, various civilian Iraqis who worked on the base, often until ten thirty at night, failed to show up the day of the attack. All the Iraqi police, except for two, skipped out as well. The two who showed up? They made a point to unlock the gate that the attackers would come through. This was planned and it wa splanned with the help of al-Maliki's forces. It was planned and it was carefully carried out.
The US military believes that Laith al-Kahali and his brother orchestrated the assault. Over the weekend -- with no notice to the families of the five US soldiers killed in the attack -- the US military released al-Kahali. Today Jane Arraf reports that Qais al-Khazali, the brother, is now expected to be released as well. An unnamed US official states, "This isn't about freeing the hostages" referring to the five British citizens held by the brothers' group for over two years now, "it's about getting Asa'ib al-Haq to stop its attacks."
I have no idea how that's going to play. In April of 2008, when The Davy Petraeus and Ryan Crocker Variety Hour played before various Congressional bodies, I would have thought there would be outrage over the 'strategy' Crocker and Petraeus spoke of and endorsed: Paying off Sahwa because that meant Sahwa wouldn't attack US troops or the equipment of US troops. Generally speaking, the appearance of strength doesn't come from forking over your lunch money to ensure you're not beat up on the playground. So maybe the above will again bother no one? But US soldiers were killed in an attack and the two thought responsible are being let out of prison, released to go free, and the US 'reasoning' is that "it's about getting Asa'ib al-Haq to stop its attacks"?
Okay, let's carry that 'logic' on out. I want Leonard Peltier to be free (I really do want him to be free). So the message the US is sending is that I should drop advocacy within the system and instead begin launching attacks on US sites? (I don't believe in violence, before anyone fears I'm ab out to storm the Anna Sui Store in Manhattan.) That is the message that's being sent. And it's probably not the message an occupying power wants to send. Anyone who wants a prisoner freed in Iraq now knows how: Start launching attacks on the US military.
This little stunt was always questionable. It went against every basic in international relations theory but, as a one-off move, it could have been defended. The White House chose not to defend it (and reporters chose not to press on the issue). But now, as they release the second prisoner, and as they insist that the release is to get the brothers' group to stop attacking the US military in Iraq, this is an embarrassment that puts every US service member in Iraq in jeopardy.
It also says that US service members in Iraq are nothing but canon fodder. The illegal war was based on lies and there's no doubt about that at this late date. But the message being sent now, by the current administration, is that US service members are canon fodder and will be used and their deaths will be forgotten. The message sent is that they don't matter. While the military ranks are trained not to leave one of their injured or fallen behind, up in the brass the decision's been made that their lives don't matter and if they die and their killers can blackmail the US with continued attacks, their deaths will be dishonored in a rush to make their killers happy.
It's disgusting. And, again, it puts every US service member in Iraq at risk. (It also sends a larger geo-political message which is why it's so appalling that the press has refused to go after this story. Long after Barack is out of the White House, these moves will follow the United States.) The message is clear: "We will send you to Iraq. We will expect you to fight till your death. If you die we will honor your sacrifice up until the point that we can sell you out for our own benefit." That is the message sent to US troops when 2 killers -- who carried out one of the most well planned assaults on US forces in Iraq -- are freed because, a US official states publicly, "it's about getting Asa'ib al-Haq to stop its attacks."
And don't argue, as some may try, that getting Asa'ib al-Haq to stop attacking the US military means the US military will be safer. (A) They're not because they're now targets for anyone who wants the US to come to the negotiating table. And (B) anyone who wanted to the US military to be safe would have begun a full and total withdrawal of US forces from Iraq.
Arraf quotes an unnamed US State Dept official declaring of the moves, "This is what will have to happen. We did the same thing with Moqtada Sadr and the same thing with the SOIs [Sons of Iraq]." No, it is not the same thing at all. "Sons Of Iraq" and "Awakening" are the same thing as Sahwa. We addressed this earlier this week and we'll note it again. "The United States doesn't negotiate with terrorists!" Of course they do. And they do it on a case-by-case basis and have always done so. The hard-line public stance is not, however, merely a face-saving device for whomever is president (it may or may not be that), it's also based on the belief that if it is known that the US negotiates with terrorists that puts every US citizen abroad at risk of being kidnapped in order to force the government of the United States to do as a group or organization wants it to.Sahwa are Sunnis who turned from resistance fighters (fighting all foreign forces in Iraq including the US) into allies because they were paid. And when that began happening, a number of people were outraged. Arianna Huffington was among the ones outraged and apparently didn't understand that for any war to end, all sides need to come to the table and begin negotiations.(That was a point Tom Hayden could make back before he became scared of his own shadow. In part because Laura Flanders attacked him, after he'd hung up the phone, on air for comments he'd made about who comes to the table and how. She viciously attacked him and then, realizing she'd gone way too far, she tried to blame it on her radio show's blog but none of the comments she made appeared on her show's blog.)Sahwa was willing to put down their arms (at least against the US) if paid. And they didn't propose that arrangement. The US military initiated that and it took approximately eight months of offers before there was any move from Sahwa in that direction.That's Sahwa. Asa'ib al-Haq is not a Sunni organization. It's a Shi'ite organization. Thought to be supported by some segment (government or otherwise) in Iran. Yes, there is humor to this considering that for years Michael Gordon preached war on Iran with the 'facts' that Iran was supporting Sunnis.That's only one difference.The other is that Sahwa wasn't holding anyone. By holding five hostages, Asa'ib al-Haq is different than Sahwa and whether or not the US should have released a prisoner or even had talks with Asa'ib al-Haq is a major issue and it's one that's going to remain long after Barack Obama leaves the White House.
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