THE SHUTDOWN IS OVER! AND THE FIRST ORDER OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS? GETTING A BLOGGER TO POST HOW GROOVY BARRY O IS AT THE WHITE HOUSE WEBSITE.
BUT HE DIDN'T LOOK TOO GROOVY THIS AFTERNOON SPEAKING TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. HE SEEMED KIND OF BITCHY TALKING ABOUT "DEMOCRATS AND RESPONSIBLE REPUBLICANS."
REACHED FOR COMMENT, WHITE HOUSE PLUS-SIZE SPOKESMODEL JAY CARNEY CONFIRMED WHAT EVERYONE SUSPECTED, "HE'S ON THE RAG. HIS CLAWS CAME OUT. HIS MANBOOBS ARE TENDER AND HE JUST WANTS TO EAT CHOCOLATE."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Today, the White House issued the following:
The White HouseOffice of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
October 16, 2013
Statement by the Press Secretary on the Visit of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq
On Friday, November 1, President Obama will host Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki at the White House. The visit will highlight the importance of the U.S.-Iraq relationship under the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA). The President looks forward to discussing with Prime Minister Maliki efforts to enhance cooperation in the fields covered under the SFA, and to coordinating on a range of regional issues.
Strange this wasn't noted in today's State Dept press briefing. Even stranger is the press coverage like The Voice of Russia, Reuters, AFP, David Jackson (USA Today), and KUNA. Dropping back to Monday's snapshot:
His intended end of the month visit to DC is about making sure that he still has the White House backing. While the US government has refused to acknowledge the visit and the last official statement (from State Dept spokesperson Marie Harf) this past week is that there is no visit, the Iraqi press tells a different story. Nouri's office announced the visit October 6th the one the State Dept was denying on Wednesday. Saturday, All Iraq News reported on Nouri's planned visit to DC noting that security issues will be the focus of the meet-up. National Iraqi News Agency reports today the visit is scheduled for October 25th. And, by the way, this visit Marie Harf lied about? NINA notes it comes "in response to an official invitation of U.S. President Barack Obama."
The 'reports' today ignore Marie Harf's attempt to pretend no visit was taking place.
The 'reports' do more than that, however.
It illustrates just how much is wrong with the press.
The US government denied the meeting (spokesperson Harf).
And that was it for the media.
"News" is only what the US government says it is.
It did not matter, to the press, that Nouri al-Maliki's office had announced the meeting that, even after the no-meeting-we-know-of denial, Nouri's office continued discussing the visit.
The Iraqi press -- only the Iraqi press -- continued to report on the visit.
One denial from a flunkie like Marie Harf and the world's press goes into silent mode.
How shameful and how disgusting but, most of all, how telling.
Marie Harf's press briefings are quickly becoming one of the biggest jokes of the administration. Earlier this week, Kelley B. Vlahos noted some of Harf's issues from that press briefing in a column entitled "Washington's Silence On Iraq" (Antiwar.com). A number of people felt the need to weigh in on that -- to complain that a column they liked -- or in three cases -- that they wrote didn't get highlighted but Libertarian Vlahos did.
Kelley wrote an epic column filled with important points.
One of these columns that we ignored was a piece Charles Davis wrote for Al Jazeera. He is calling out Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for not doing everything to end the Iraq War while wining about how some Republicans with convictions (whether you agree with them or not, they have convictions and -- unlike Reid -- they have spines).
As I've ignored it, the e-mails on it have grown more frantic. I should, I'm told, not only highlight it but love it because I wrote the same way on US House Rep Tim Ryan.
I would disagree about "same." I wrote in a much stronger tone and did that in the October 4th snapshot. So for Davis to show up two days later? I don't consider it an homage. I really wouldn't call it theft because it's just an approach. But again, I called out strongly while Davis kind of whimpers and that bothered me more than the derivative nature of his column.
But that's not what didn't get him linked. To stop the endless e-mails -- and to introduce reality again -- I'm explain why I did not highlight his column. Davis wrote:
The last US soldier did not leave Iraq until the end of 2011. And even that belated withdrawal, which left behind an army of private military contractors, was required as a result of an agreement signed by President George W. Bush - and, sort of importantly, demanded by Iraqis. Numerous Democratic fundraising letters were no doubt written around opposition to the war, but only an Iraqi refusal to grant US troops legal immunity for their acts on Iraqi soil compelled the US government to finally leave.
Davis is a stupid idiot. If he doesn't like that? Maybe he'd prefer to be called a stupid liar?
Those are the choices.
All US troops left at the end of 2011, did they? Then why, at the end of September 2012, did Tim Arango (New York Times) report this in the middle of an article on Syria:
Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to General Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence.
Robert Caslen is now stateside, the superintendent at West Point, if some one in the lazy US press would like to ask him about his revelation that the Iraqi government, in fall 2012, asked for US troops and Barack Obama sent in "a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers"?
Here's his home page at West Point, there are contact forms at the bottom. We covered Tim Arango's report. Just here, we've covered it over sixty times since it was published. That agreement Arango noted? It was signed in December. We covered it.
No one else bothered to. We did.
Let's go to the April 30th Iraq snapshot:
December 6, 2012, the Memorandum of Understanding For Defense Cooperation Between the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Iraq and the Department Defense of the United States of America was signed. We covered it in the December 10th and December 11th snapshots -- lots of luck finding coverage elsewhere including in media outlets -- apparently there was some unstated agreement that everyone would look the other way. It was similar to the silence that greeted Tim Arango's September 25th New York Times report which noted, "Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to [US] General [Robert L.] Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence."
December 6th, Alsumaria was covering it. December 6th, though the US press ignored the MoU, the Pentagon even issued a press release on it. Use that day's link. What did the agreement say? No one knew because -- despite providing a link online (the link didn't work) -- the Pentagon hadn't published it. They did on December 10th and a DoD friend called to tell me it was up online. At which point we returned to the topic to anlyze it.
Because no one else was covering it -- and because it allowed for joint patrols (US and Iraqi) in Iraq, angry e-mailers flooded the public account -- apparently, they could figure out how to click on "send" but not how to click on a link. So we returned to the topic the next day.
That was December 2012. Starting in 2013, Kenneth Katzman's regular report, entitled "Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights," for the US Congressional Research Service, began noting the same things. That's Congress' think tank so if you missed Tim Arango's report -- and a lot of people did apparently -- every few weeks Katzman would publish a new report on Iraq noting the Special Ops sent back in, the MoU and more.
At this late date, I don't even care that they're unaware of the over 10,000 (still over 10,000) US troops stationed in countries surrounding Iraq (such as Kuwait which has the bulk), or that they're unaware of the so-called 'trainers,' or that they missed Ted Koppel's important report in December 2011.
At this late date, I'll let all that slide. But when you're pimping the lie that US troops are not in Iraq -- pimping because you're stupid, you're a whore, you're a liar or what (I don't know and I don't care), I'm not in the mood to link to you, let alone praise you.
Quinton D. Thompson writes a letter to the editors of the Baltimore Sun. It seems like a heartfelt letter but it includes this:
First, the authors stated that the combat troops associated with the war effort had left Iraq, when in fact they didn't just leave. Instead, they were withdrawn and sent home at the end of 2011 by President Barack Obama in an obvious political ploy to enhance his chances of being reelected in 2012.
Charles Davis is only one in a string of disappointments who have lied to the American people by insisting all US troops are out of Iraq.
What are we supposed to do?
Seriously. When a lie is repeated over and over, day after day, are we just supposed to be silent?
Are we supposed to be 'nice' and 'ladylike' and look the other way?
Maybe some will but I won't.
I am damn tired of the fact that when a Tim Arango squeezes some truth into the news reporting, it is ignored, it is as if it never happened.
You can be damn sure that if Bully Boy Bush were in the White House now and had sent a unit back into Iraq in 2012, it would be huge news across the spectrum.
But instead we're a county of Medea Benjamins who self-present as activists but are truly little more than wet nurses to Barack Obama. CODESTINK should have been calling for protests the day Arango's 2012 report hit the net. They didn't. They've never even acknowledged it.
People like Medea and certain others aren't about peace or ending war. They're about covering for Democrats and complaining about Republicans. They exist not to make a better world, they exist to try to scare up votes for the Democratic Party.
It's too bad because if it weren't for the shutdown, the US military would likely be launched against Syria and more US military would be back in Iraq. Not "likely" on Iraq. It would be -- according to two DoD friends. Remember, it was back in June that Gen Martin Dempsey, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated, "We've made a recommendation that as we look at the challenges faced by the Lebanese armed forces, the Iraqi security forces with a re-emerging Al Qaida in Iraq, and the Jordanians, that we would work with them to help them build additional capability."
Maybe you don't remember? Maybe you missed that too? Like you're missing the reason for Nouri's visit?
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