Saturday, December 17, 2011







A gleeful and pompous Geraldo Rivera (Fox News) announces he's back in Iraq. I don't think he's been so giddy since he did the 20/20 segment that was supposed to be an interview with John Travolta (then promoting Staying Alive) that Geraldo turned into a workout session. If viewers can be thankful for little else, Geraldo has thus far kept his shirt on. So lightheaded and deranged, he forgets to note his previous visit to Iraq. March 31, 2003, CNN reported, "The U.S. military said Monday that Fox News Channel Correspondent Geraldo Rivera was being expelled from Iraq for divulging details of a future military operation, though later in the day a Central Command spokesman said he was not sure whether the newsman would be forced out." The following day, Chris Plante (CNN) would report, "Fox News Channel executives and the Pentagon reached a deal Monday in which correspondent Geraldo Rivera, who raised the military's ire when he reported operational details, will leave Iraq voluntarily rather than be expelled, Pentagon officials told CNN. [. . .] In the live broadcast, Rivera told his photographer to aim the camera at the sand in front of him. Rivera then outlined a map of Iraq, and showed the relative location of Baghdad and his location with the 101st Airborne. He then showed where the 101st would be going next." Peter Arnett did a journalistic courtesy and gave an interview to Iraqi television on March 31st. Fox News personalities immediately began demonizing him on air non-stop. By April 1st, NBC, MSNBC and National Geographic had all dumped Arnett. Though Arnett gave out no information that could have endangered anyone, Rivera did. He still works for Fox News despite violating a US military policy he agreed to when he entered the embed program. Geraldo was also a war cheerleader. They don't get punished. They don't have to admit they were wrong. They're allowed to lie and then lie about lying. That's how it works -- and not just at Fox News (or right wing outlets -- this is the mainstream, it's the left, it's everywhere, there's very little integrity in the press).
But on the second hour of The Diane Rehm Show (NPR) today, Diane and her guests -- Nadia Bilbassy (MBC TV), Robin Harding (Financial Times of London) and David Ignatius (Washington Post) offered some reality on Iraq.
Diane Rehm: David Ignatius, the war in Iraq is finally over. In your view, what has been accomplished?
David Ignatius: Well that's really the hardest question to answer for Americans and Iraqis with this week's visit to Washington by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. You had to say, in terms of specific commitments going forward, very little. We have an Iraqi democracy but it's headed by someone who's widely regarded as no paragon of democracy. He hasn't succeeded really in reaching out to other Iraqis. I'm struck, Diane, this week, a war that began famously with shock and awe, as we termed our spectacular bombardment of Iraq, ended with the muted, somber sense of how difficult this proved to be, how many mistakes the United States made. And, in the terms of measurable outcomes, how little the US got out of it, at the loss of nearly 4,500 US soldiers, 1000,000 -- at least -- Iraqis killed. So it's a painful story but we would have to say most of all for Iraqis.
Diane Rehm: 32,000 US troops wounded, more than $800 billion spent.
I'm not interested in silly spin. The president's campaign? He' is the one over it. He decides, he says yes or he says no. You can't claim that he is downplaying it but his campaign -- this entity over which he has no control -- isn't. Don't create this false wall that doesn't exist. Barack's campaign is Barack. I'll further point out that Barack did three days of press on this and that's just this week. So stop pretending that he tried to keep it low key. Stop pretending?
Tom Hayden's pretended to be human for years now. Apparently having pickled his mind with booze, he seems to think he can continue to lie and get away with it. Forgetting his huge, massive failure in the LA mayoral election, the Los Angeles Times runs tired Tom's sad little brew of fantasy which include:
It was a brave stance to take for an ambitious politician at a time when American support for war with Iraq was building. He went on to become the first president to campaign on a promise to end an ongoing American war, and the peace movement helped put him into office.
He's referring to Barack's stupid 2002 speech which did not oppose going to war with Iraq, it opposed rushing to war. Barack didn't say no to war, he said the case wasn't yet made. He would spend the next years -- check the New York Times archives especially in 2004 and WHORE Tom knows this -- changing his stance. But in 2002, he wasn't running for national office, not even the Senate. And there's no way in hell his state legislature district would have supported him unless he took some stance -- no matter how tiny -- against the drums of war. Also, the peace movement helped put him into office? No, the Cult of St. Barack did. A lot of dirty whores like Tom Hayden who never made an honest buck and, in fact, would be depending on charity today were it not for the ridiculous and unmanly move of demanding millions to end a marriage. Greedy little whore, that's Tom-Tom.

In the years leading up to the 2008 election, there were at least 10 national antiwar demonstrations that drew more than 100,000 participants each. The movement helped Rep. Barbara Lee to rise from a lone war opponent in Congress to the leader of a bloc of as many as 200 representatives calling for an end to the wars in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. Those combined forces -- the peace movement and lawmakers who opposed continuing the Iraq war -- created a political climate that enabled Obama to end the Iraq war over the objections of many in the Pentagon and most of his Republican presidential rivals.
What a trashy whore. Tom's not going to be welcomed into the DNC. He has no real money left (not to throw around on donations which is all the DNC would want from a low life like Tom to begin with). Whores tend to spend other people's money a bit too quickly. So he'll always be on the low rung he's lived since his divorce. But he seems to believe that if he just lies long enough, the DNC will embrace him. Seriously?
After Barack repeatedly -- in 2007 and 2008 -- ridiculed "Tom Hayden Democrats" -- publicly ridiculed them, the little whore Tom thinks he's ever going to rise even one tiny step up the ladder? Please.
Reality, as everyone knows, Barack was planning to keep thousands of US troops in Iraq. Iraq wouldn't grant immunity from the Parliament. (Nouri was prepared to grant it himself.) So what happened then? They followed the deal the Bush administration negotiated in November 2008. Tom's praising George W. Bush. You kind of get the feeling that for a few more of the millions Jane earned while Tom relaxed on his ass and cheated, for just a few more, he'd blow George W. Bush in downtown LA at high noon. And swallow with a smile.
Another reality? Negotiatons never ended. This week Osama al-Nujaifi publicly declared that the Parliament was prepared to give "partial immunity." A step up from the stance in October of no immunity. That's what negotiations do, they see each side stake out a position and then see if they can move closer to one another's position as talks continue. Nouri has stated -- and Panetta told the Senate Armed Services Committee he felt it would happen -- that they can pick up the issue of "trainers" in the new year.
Want some reality from the press that few offered this week? David S. Cloud and David Zucchino (Los Angeles Times) observed, "The Obama administration had adopted its own version of the Bush administration claim that the conflict was worth the cost because it helped free Iraq from Hussein." We'll pick back up with The Diane Rehm Show when Nadia gets honest or closer to it. If she's only now aware of the 4.5 million internal and external Iraqi refugees which have been in the news since 2006, that doesn't say very much for her information base level (her intelligence level is brutally low but we'll address that on Sunday).
Nadia Bilbassy: In research I've been doing for the last week about the war, I came across something really striking. I mean, looking at -- looking at -- just to give you an example -- I found that, for example, 2 million people are internally displaced inside Iraq. Two and a half million refugees are outside the country in neighboring countries like Syria and like Jordan. Twenty-three precent of Iraq is under -- live under poverty line, that's $2 a day. This is a rich country that's sitting on the second largest oil resource in the world. They have -- 34,000 doctors left the country and forty-percent is the unemployment level. So, in a way, yes, they got a democracy in terms of the process of voting but this government, as David said, where the strong man like Prime Minister Maliki still holds the ministry of national security and defense, unable to bring somebody into the country -- into the government.
Salah Nasrawi (Al-Ahram Weekly) looks at Nouri and Barack's meet-up from a number of angles including what took place in Iraq while the bulk of the press kept their eyes on DC:
As Al-Maliki visited Washington on Monday and Tuesday, seven people died in shootings and explosions in Iraq itself, seen by many Iraqis as having been motivated by sectarian considerations.
On Tuesday, two bombs set off a blaze at an oil pipeline in Basra, Iraq's main oil refinery in the south of the country.
Even more troubling than the security weaknesses has been the erosion of the fragile political process established under the US occupation, which has been eroding since the formation of the current governing coalition in Iraq.
Many Iraqis believe that Al-Maliki is pursuing his own sectarian agenda that focuses on consolidating Shia power and monopolising control of the state and security forces under his Daawa Party.
Al-Maliki's failure to preserve a multi-ethnic political accommodation in Iraq has increasingly pushed the country's Sunni minority population to demand semi-autonomous status.

RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
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"Semi-autonomy for Diyala and realities Iraqi women..."
"I Hate The War"
"Chicken Soup in the Kitchen"
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