BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
IN ILLINOIS, 200 PEOPLE OCCUPY THE REPUBLIC WINDOWS & DOORS FACTORY AFTER BEING LAID OUT "WITHOUT ASSURANCE OF VACATION AND SEVERANCE PAY" WHICH THEY ARE OWED AND AFTER THE COMPANY HEADS REFUSED TO SHOW FOR A MEETING BETWEEN THEM AND THE WORKERS THAT WAS TO BE MODERATED BY US HOUSE REP LUIS GUTIERREZ.
THE WORKERS ARE FIGHTING FOR WHAT THEY HAVE EARNED.
MEANWHILE THE PRINCESS TRASH OF SPERMALOT THINKS BECAUSE HER LAST NAME IS KENNEDY SHE'S ENTITLED TO BE A U.S. SENATOR -- AND, GET THIS, BY APPOINTMENT. YES, COWARDLY CAROLINE KENNEDY WANTS IN THE U.S. SENATE BUT THE WHORE REFUSES TO CAMPAIGN FOR IT. THAT WOULD BE WORKING AND PRINCESS WHORES DO NOT WORK.
THEY DO, HOWEVER, INVADE PEOPLE'S PRIVACY. ASK LISA MARIE PRESLEY ABOUT PRINCESS TRASH CAROLINE SHOWED UP AT HER FATHER'S FUNERAL PRETENDING TO BE A FAN OF ELVIS BUT IN REALITY JUST ANOTHER WHORE ON THE MAKE FOR A STORY ABOUT ELVIS.
Today the Iraq Energy Expo took place at Baghdad International Airport and the sponsor was the mercenaries for hire corporation Triple Canopy Inc. Sourcewatch notes that the company, started in September 2003, was awarded over $90 million in US government contracts before the end of 2005. The Iraqi-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized the event. Gina Chon (Wall St. Journal's Baghdad Life) observes that "Iraqi oil officials made sure they put their best faces on today" for the "large crowd" turning out for the expo (due to complete on Sunday) and that the bulk of the crrowd will be staying at the new hotel just opened at Baghdad International Airport. The expo was originally supposed to take place from October 17th through the 19th but it was cancelled due to the fact that the convention center wasn't fully constructed at that point. UPI's Ben Lando noted the announced ates back in September were December 3rd to 5th. AFP reports that "many major global oil companies" -- such as Exxon, Total and BP -- skipped the expo and quotes an unnamed US oil company exec complaining, "Since we have been here, we haven't made money. We sent some expert teams, then we took them back (as) we had no results. There are two many problems." Of the 'guests'/ 'visitors,' Chon notes, "Because they were limited to either the conference hall or their hotel rooms, the one amenity they did appreciate was a bar in the hotel, one of the few in Baghdad. The bar opens at noon and last call is at 11:30 p.m., but it closes after midnight. 'I'm not allowed to go anywhere except the hotel and the oil conference, so at least there is the bar go to,' one international company representative said. 'There is nothing else to do at night. That will be one drawback if we set up here." Quick, get that on the travel brochure! Ben Landon (UPI) reports that Hussain al-Shahristani, Iraq's Oil Minister, gave the keynote speech and insisted during it that the oil reserves in his country were "understated" and he also declared, "The oil sector represents an important part of Iraq's recent history and also its future." That as Mark Shenk (Bloomberg News) explains, "Crude oil fell for a sixth day, capping the biggest weekly drop since the Persian Gulf War in 1991, on concern demand will decline after a resport showed U.S. employers cut jobs in November at the fastest pace since 1974. Oil is down 25 percent since Nov. 28 as the recession deepened in the U.S., Europe and Japan."
The energy expo took place while many issues were still up in the air. Gina Chon (Wall St. Journal) reports that Hussein al-Shahrastani was sending "mixed signals" today "about a possible detente over oil contracts between the central government and the semi-autonomous Kurdish region." Anna Fifield, Javier Blas and Delphine Strauss (Iraq Updates) note, "Iraq's central government and regional authorities in Kurdistan are moving closer to signing a long-awaited oil deal that could pave the way for exports from the northern region's oil fields early next year." But Ben Lando (UPI) explains, "Eleven days after the Iraqi oil minister traveled to the KRG capital, Erbil, for meetings with the region's prime minister and oil minister, both sides have continued firing warning shots in the debate that has continued for more than a year on Kurdish oil contracts with the international oil companies."
While foreigners visit for the expo, foreign troops beat a hasty retreat out of the country.
This week South Korea was among those ending their missions in Iraq. The KRG notes Nechirvan Barzani, KRG Prime Minister, declared to Kim Joong-ryun (Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chair), "We are pleased with this relationship and proud of this friendship with the people of Korea. The motto that you brought to the Kurdistan Region was 'We are friends'. I can say with full sincerity, and from the bottom of my heart, that we in the Kurdistan Region are your true friends, too." Mike noted Tony Perry's "IRAQ: Back to Azerbaijan, 'land of valiant sons'" (Los Angeles Times' Babylon & Beyond) last night on Azerbaijan's departure and , Tina Susman (Los Angeles Times) reported yesterday on a ceremony held in Iraq for Tonga who "became the latest member of the 'coalition of the willing' to end its mission in Iraq." (Tonga had 55 service members stationed in Iraq.) Gina Chon (Wall St. Journal's Baghdad Life) reports the Czech Republic had their departure ceremony yesterday . Any nations who decide to continue stationing troops in Iraq will need to reach some agreement one-on-one with the puppet government. Adam Ashton (McClatchy Newspapers) notes that next month only six countries are expected to have troops in Iraq: Australia, El Salvador, Estonia, Romania, the UK and the US. Troops aren't the only ones leaving. After the US, the next largest number of troops comes from the UK. Alissa J. Rubin (International Herald Tribune) states they have 4,100 soldiers stationed in Iraq and notes of the treaty the UK is attempting to work out with the puppet government, "A diplomat at the British Embassy in Baghdad who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media said that the negotiations were continuing but that the mission of British forces here would be dramatically reduced by early next year. After that, British forces will be almost exclusively involved in training Iraqi troops, according to Iraqi officials." Corinne Reilly (McClatchy Newspapers) reflects on her seven weeks reporting from Iraq: "I saw a lot of people cry while I was in Iraq, but I think of the hugging soldiers and the rocking civilian most often. Maybe it was the strangeness of seeing uniformed soldiers in tears. Maybe it's the way they made me feel: guilty, because I got to leave. Whatever the reasons, I'm glad that I think about them, glad that their grief is my last remembrance of Iraq. Because for all the stories of reduced violence and political and social successes there, Iraq remains, for the most part, a devastated country."
On the treaty the White House is pushing through with their puppet government in Iraq, Campbell Robertson (New York Times) observes, "If the pact were to fail in the referendum, which is scheduled to be held in July, Iraq would pull out of the agreement. But that process, under the agreement's terms, would require giving the Americans a year's notice." Ramzy Baroud (Information Clearing House) notes the nonsense of the press in reporting the treaty: "Thousands of headlines exuded from media outlets, largely giving the false impression that the Iraqi government and parliament have a real say over the future of US troops in their country, once again playing into the ruse fashioned by Washington that Iraq is a democratic country, operating independently from the dictates of US Ambassador to Baghdad Ryan Crocker and the top commander of US toops in Iraq, General Ray Odierno." Noting the stenography of the press, Baroud makes a point to cite the Guardian's Jonathan Steel and Al Jazeera's English website for the poor job they did in covering the treaty. From his column:
What is particularly interesting about the Iraq case is that news reports and media analysts scampered to dissect the 18- page agreement as if a piece of paper with fancy wording would in any way prove binding upon the US administration which, in the last eight years, has made a mockery of international law and treaties that have been otherwise used as a global frame of reference. Why would the US government, which largely acted alone in Iraq, violated the Geneva Conventions, international law and even its own war and combat regulations, respect an agreement signed with an occupied, hapless power constituted mostly of men and women handpicked by the US itself to serve the role of "sovereign"?
It's also bewildering how some important details are so conveniently overlooked; for example, the fact that the Iraqi government can sign a separate agreement with the US to extend the deadline for withdrawal should the security situation deem such an agreement necessary. Instead, the focus was made on "concessions" obtained by the Iraqis regarding Iraq's jurisdiction over US citizens and soldiers who commit heinous crimes while "off duty" and outside their military bases. This precisely means that the gruesome crimes committed in prisons such as Abu Ghraib and the wilful shooting last year of 17 Iraqi civilians by Blackwater mercenaries in Nisour Square in Central Baghdad is of no concern for Iraqis. And even when crimes that fall under Iraqi jurisdiction are reported, such matters are to be referred to a joint US-Iraqi committee. One can only assume that those with the bigger guns will always prevail in their interpretation of the agreement.
From those duped by the treaty to the duped workers now trapped/imprisoned in Iraq, Michael Ware (CNN) reports they have reported physical battering as well, stating that "Iraqi police handcuffed and beat them" and while "the men spoke to CNN on camera, an official in charge of them threatened to lock them out of the compound unless they returned inside within two minutes." Deborah Haynes (Times of London's Inside Iraq) quoted one of the men, Ganesh Kumar Bhagat, stating, "We have no money, no food, no toilet, no water, no job. The first time I arrived here I was happy, I had a good feeling. But we have not been lucky. Nobody should come to Iraq."
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"THIS JUST IN! PAT BUCHANAN WANTS TO BE DR. PHIL!"
"Patrick Buchanan's envy problems"
Saturday, December 06, 2008
THIS JUST IN! WORKERS WANT EARNINGS, PRINCESS CAROLINE WANTS ENTITLEMENT!
Friday, December 05, 2008
THIS JUST IN! PAT BUCHANAN WANTS TO BE DR. PHIL!
PATRICK J. BUCHANAN, PROFESSIONAL CRANK, ISSUED MORE HUMAN WASTE FROM THE CESSPOOL HE CALLS A MIND TODAY.
AT ANTI-WAR (A SEXIST SITE THAT ACTUALLY INCREASES THE WAR MIND-SET), PATTY DECIDED THAT HE'D WRITE ABOUT BARACK AND HILLARY. HE'S WRITTEN ABOUT BARACK A GREAT LATELY AND NOTED THE VARIOUS MEN BARACK IS SURROUNDING HIMSELF WITH. STRANGELY, HE DID NOT DO A SAME-SEX MARRIAGE ANGLE BUT WHEN WRITING OF HILLARY BEING ANNOUNCED AS PART OF THE CABINET, HE CAN ONLY SEE IT IN TERMS OF A MARRIAGE.
WE ASKED PATTY BUCKY IF HE WAS JUST RE-OOZING HIS OLD 90S GARBAGE AND SUBSTITUTING "BARACK" FOR "BILL"?
"I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT!" YELLED PAT BUCHANAN. "BUT THEN I NEVER THINK!"
VEINS WERE STANDING OUT ON HIS FOREHEAD AND WE ASKED IF HE NEEDED A BREAK. HE YELLED THAT THIS WAS HIS "TYPICAL CONVERSATIONAL STYLE! NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT! LET'S GO!"
ASKED WHY HE WAS SO OBSESSED WITH HILLARY CLINTON, PAT WHISPERED A RESPONSE.
WE ASKED HIM TO REPEAT IT WHICH HE DID; HOWEVER, WE HAD TO LEAN IN VERY CLOSE TO HEAR HIM.
"I AM A PATHETIC SACK OF S--T AND ALSO I HAVE HUGE VAGINA ENVY AND TAKE IT OUT ON HILLARY."
Starting with the treaty masquerading as a Status Of Forces Agreement. Last Thursday (Thanksgiving in the US) the Iraqi Parliament passed the treaty (and, after its passage, the White House finally released some version of it to the public). Monday's snapshot included those developments for any playing catch-up after the holiday. The treaty is back in the news today but for those who need a memory jog, Great Britain's Socialist Worker offered the following on Tuesday:
The Iraqi parliament has approved the Status of Forces Agreement that sets a date for the withdrawal of US combat troops from the country by 31 December 2011.
The deal is being presented as an end to the US misadventure in Iraq.
But it does not mark the end of the occupation.
The US has had to back down on a series of Iraqi demands, including ending the immunity of the mercenaries who spread terror throughout the country, and giving Iraqis greater control over military operations.
The Iraqis were also able to set a timetable for withdrawal despite the objections of the neo-cons.
But although the deal gives the US an exist route from Iraq, thousands of US soldiers will remain in "advisory roles", and combat troops could return if the country was threatened by "internal revolt" or external threat.
It is no wonder that George Bush is said to be happy with the pact.
Both the Sunni resistance organisations, headed by the Association of the Muslim Scholars, and Shia Muslim supporters of rebel cleric Moqtada al-Sadr have denounced the deal as "legitimising the occupation".
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Having passed the Parliament the only way it could be stopped this year was for the presidency council (made up of Iraq's president and two vice presidents) to have nixed it (which would have only required one of them saying "no"). [Next year, the treaty can be nixed if a referendrum vote -- promised, but what does that mean really? -- takes place.]
Today Reuters reports the presidency council's given the thumbs up to the treaty between the White House and the puppet government. CNN notes: "The three-member presidency council -- Kurdish President Jalal Talabani, Shiite Vice President Adel Abdul Mehdi and Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi -- approved the agreement unanimously a week after the Iraqi parliament passed the measure." The presidency council also approved the Strategic Framework Agreement. Iran's Press TV explains, "The controversial agreement replaces a UN mandate -- which covers the presence of foreign forces in Iraq and is due to expire at the end of 2008 -- which was approved by Iraq's parliament last month after months of wrangling." Asked at the White House today about the referendrum and whether it could allow the treaty to be tossed aside, spokesperson Dana Perino responded, "I know that they were thinking about having a national referendum, but since it was just finalized this morning around 7:00 a.m. our time, I haven't seen for sure. But if there is a national referendum, Iraq is a soveriegn country and they could decide to do lots of different things with it. But I think that the fact that their representative leadership has signed this agreement today, that they recognize that they are going to continue to need our help for the next little while."
What's going on? The White House is laughing their asses off at Iraqis foolish enough to go along with the 'referendum.' The UN mandate expires December 31st. They need a renewal for one year. They got it. Or, as Barack's team might put, they got what they wanted. If a referendum is held and Iraqis vote to break the treaty, what does that mean?
The treaty operates for (minimum) the year they need. The referendum is a sidebar and it is not mentioned in the treaty. The treaty signed off on by both parties (we'll come to the US Congress in a moment) states what for breaking the treaty? Either the US or Iraq can do it at any time. However, after making their intention known, the treaty runs one year. They have to give one year's notice. July 2009 is often mentioned for the referendum vote to be held. Using that date, if July comes and Iraqis say, "Get out now!"? July 2010 would be the soonest the treaty could be broken due to the one-year notice required. So Pernio's lack of concern today centered around the fact that the referendum is really meaningless in terms of order US troops out of Iraq 'quickly.'
The US Congress has not had input in the treaty. The White House has circumvented the Constitution.and the Congress is apparently not going to stand up for either themselves or the Constitution. When the press reports the treaty as a done-deal now due to the passage of it by the presidency council, the reason they report it as such is because Congress has done nothing since US House Rep Bill Delahunt chaired a hearing back in November. There have been no statements issued to the press, there has been no talk of special session to address this, there has been nothing. Where are they? Has Iraq fallen off their radar?
One could argue it's fallen of the US State Dept's radar. Today Robert Wood started the department's press briefing with, "Good morning, everyone. I don't have anything. We can go right to your questions." This was the same morning that the treaty has been passed by the presidency council. How little does the war in Iraq matter to our federal government? Near the end of the briefing, Wood would try to pass the blame off onto the press, "Oh, by the way, one thing I should note -- I've been meaning to note -- since no one asked the question, I thought I would just raise it. Toady, as you know, is the ratification of the -- by the presidency council of the Strategic Framework Agreement and the security agreement. So we welcome it, and there will be an exchange of diplomatic notes -- and then the agreement will go into force January 1, 2009." The fact that Congress refuses to do its job -- its sworn duty -- goes a long way towards not only explaining how Wood could forget to mention the treaty but also how he could declare the process finalized.
On a related topic, a little truth makes it into print in the New York Times. Thom Shanker reports that president-elect Barack Obama has backed up from his 'pledge' to have all 'troops' out within 16 months of being elected: ". . . as he moves closer to the White House, President-elect Obama is making clearer than ever that tens of thousands of American troops will be left behind in Iraq, even if he can make good on his campaign promise to pull all combat forces out within 16 months." Huh???? Well it was never ALL US forces out of Iraq. Barack loved to stand before his adoring and slavish crowds offering the meaningless, "We want to end the war in Iraq!" cry. Yeah. And? Want to? He didn't promise to. His plan was "combat troops" out of Iraq within 16 months of being sworn into office (in Houston, Texas -- in February -- Barack dropped it down to 10 months after he was sworn in).Shanker quotes the Christ-child Barack stating, "I said that I would remover our combat troops from Iraq in 16 months, with theunderstanding that it might be necessary -- likely to be necessary -- to maintain a residual force to provide potential training, logistical support, to protect our civilians in Iraq." Translation, no withdrawal. Surprised? Take it up with the liars who lied for Baby Barack from day one. Take it up with ALL THE LIARS who insisted he was the anti-war candidate and he was going to end the Iraq War and blah, blah, blah. Now, as Mike and Elaine point out, some were little bitty babies. Hillary wouldn't apologize for her vote! She said it was a mistake and she wouldn't do it again if she had to do over. What more did people want? And, point, where was the peace movement asking Barack about his votes on Iraq? If he was against it and wants credit for his puny (and bad) 2002 speech (the reason it was 'recreated' was because it was so damn underwhelming -- the woman in the red t-shirt is especially unimpressed as she and the tiny crowd listen to him drone on) where he said he loves war, really loves it, but feels if one is started with Iraq, it may hurt the war he wants right now in Afghanistan, well he should have been asked to admit it was a mistake to vote to fund the illegal war. He wasn't in the Senate in 2002 but he sure voted for every war funding bill he could until late 2007. Why wasn't he asked if that was a mistake? Why didn't CODESTINK insist he apologize for them?
Or are we all supposed to ignore how PATHOLOGICALLY SICK Medea Benjamin and company have become as they target Hillary over and over even more so than they did the White House occupant who started the illegal war? And the pattern continues among the deranged. The incoming administration will not be run by Hillary. It's as though Christopher Hitchens just birthed a litter of Baby Hitchys.
Barack is the incoming president. It is what Panhandle Media wanted -- at some point they might try getting honest about why -- and they need to grasp that Americans are not going to put up with four years of their demonizing Hillary and calling that 'sticking it to the president.' She's not the president. Barack is. He's the one responsible and they better start tailoring their critiques to that or admit that they're nothing but the most vile women haters of all time. (Amy Goodman confessed to that when she decided Larry F**nt's H**tler magazine was a 'magazine' to publish in.)
Today the US military announced: "Two Multi-National Division - North Soldiers were killed as a result of an attack from a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosives device while conducting operations in the city of Mosul today." The announcement brings the total number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 4209. And regardless of who is named Secretary of State, the president of the US will make the decision regarding when US service members leave Iraq. Barack Obama is now the one who will continue or end the illegal war and the critiques need to be directed at him.
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"THIS JUST IN! THE RICE THAT MAKES CONDI LOOK SANE!"
"The Common Ills"
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
THIS JUST IN! THE RICE THAT MAKES CONDI LOOK SANE!
BLOODY WAR HAWK SUSAN RICE IS ITCHING FOR A FIGHT. SHE TOLD THESE REPORTERS TODAY, "IF I END UP RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATHS OF A FEW PEOPLE, I WILL NOT FEEL THAT I HAVE DONE MY JOB. TO DO MY JOB, I REALLY NEED TO CAUSE MASS SLAUGHTERS."
"LOOK AT ME! JUST LOOK AT ME! I'M BUTT UGLY! I'VE GOT A LOT OF ANGER TO WORK OFF FROM MANY, MANY YEARS! I FIGURE THE BEST PLACE TO START IS DARFUR OR, AS I LIKE TO THINK OF IT, ONE-STOP-KILL-SHOP!"
OR AS SECRETARY OF STATE AND ANGER CONDI EXPLAINED US TODAY, "CALL IT CONDI OR SUSIE, IT'S STILL RICE. NOT A DAMN THING IS GOING TO CHANGE."
IN A SIGN OF JUST HOW BAD THINGS ARE, WHITE HOUSE POODLE AND EFFETE WAR HAWK WITH BAD TEETH TONY BLAIR HAS PRAISED BARACK.
THESE REPORTERS ARE NOT SURE WHICH IS WORSE: THAT TONY BLAIR PRAISED BARACK OR THAT TONY BLAIR BELIEVES THE WORLD GIVES A DAMN WHAT HE THINKS?
Picking up from yesterday's snapshot, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq released their thirteenth "Human Rights Report" with this one covering January 1, 2008 through June 30, 2008 [PDF format warning, click here]. One of their recommendations for the Iraqi government was: "Issue on a regular basis mortality data compiled by the Ministry of Health, based on informaction received from all governorates and statistics kept at the Medico-Legal Institute in Baghdad, together with details of the methodology used to calculate the figures." Tina Susman (Los Angeles Times) notes, "Until April 2007, the reports also included mortality rates based on number provided by government ministries, hospitals and medical officials. But after the January 2007 U.N. report came out and estimated that 34,452 Iraqis had been killed in war-related violence in 2006, the Iraqi government refused to give out the numbers anymore. It had put the 2006 death toll at 12,357. As The Times wrote at the time, the official and unofficial reasons given by the government for withholding numbers varied. Publicly, Iraq's government said it did not have the organizational capabilities to ensure accurate counting of war victims. But privately, U.N. officials at the time said the Iraqis were worried that the large numbers would tarnish the country's image, so they decided to withhold information." China's Xinhau zooms in on this quote from the report: "The targeted killings of journalists, educators, medical doctors, judges and lawyers has continued, as did criminal abductions for ransom." The Press Trust of India quotes this statement from the report, "Grave human rights violations that are less widely reported [than general security], and the elimination of which requires long-term political commitment, remain unaddressed." UPI explains, "In addition to recommendations for the Iraqi government, the report recommended the multinational security forces investigate promptly and impartially credible allegations of unlawful killings by military personnel, and take appropriate action against those found to have exercised indiscriminate or excessive force. It also called on the international forces to consider implementing basic due process guarantees to improve prisoners' access to counsel and grant human rights monitors access to detention facilities."
Picking up with the remainder of the thirty page report (we noted the first sixteen pages yesterday), the report notes that there are more than 2.8 million internally displaced people in the country and that approximately an eighth of them "were living in public buildings and under the threat of eviction." But the number of the internally displaced may be decreasing and, if so, one reason may be that it is "increasingly difficult to move within Iraq as well as to neighbouring countries given the more retrictive entry policies". It notes that the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iraq remain under US military protection in Camp ashraf (Diyala Province) and that the camp has been attacked plus "the Government of Iraq issued a statement declaring the PMOI a terrorist organization calling for their expulsion" (June 17, 2008) despite the United Nations position that the PMOI should be "protected from focible deporation, expulsion or repatriation".
The report notes the total number of prisoners in Iraq is 50,595 ("detainees, security internees and sentenced prisoners"), that February's General Amnesty Law has still not gone into effect, that the number detained by Iraq's central government (exclude Kuridsh section of Iraq) was higher than it was in the last six months of 2007 and that reports of prisoner abuse continue to come in. The report then moves to prisoners held by the US military and notes that the US insists due process does not apply and that the United Nations believes Geneva provides for all prisoners to have the right to know why they were arrested, "to be brough promptly before a judge if held on a criminal charge, and to challenge the lawfulness of their detention." [As noted elsewhere in the report -- and in yesterday's snapshot -- the UN is also still attempting to get monitors into US prisons in Iraq.] With regards to the Kudistan region, the KRG continues to hold a number of people on "vague accusations" for great lengths of time, those suspected of "terror-related incidents" are tortured ("violent treatment amounting to torture during investigations"). Four people were sentenced to death from the start of the year through March in the Kurdistan region and 34 people "are on deathrow in Erbil Central Prison as of June 2008" and the UN is calling for a stay of executions due to "the impossibly of avoiding execution of the innocent and absence of proof of deterrence effect of the penalty". The report ends listing various ways in which UNAMI provides support in Iraq.
We skipped pages 17 through 19 at the top to deal with them here. That section beings by noting religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq as well as others in vulenerable groups. In the first six months of the year, there have been "17 reports of attacks and kidnappings against Chaldo-Assyrians (Christians) throughout Iraq" with the bulk in Mosul. Shabaks had nine reported attacks and the bulk of them were also in Mosul. Five Yezidis were killed in the first six months of this year. Over 80% of the Mandean community have fled the country (10,000 to Syria, 3,000 to Jordan and the rest to Yemen and Egypt). [5,000 have moved into the Kurdistan region for shelter.]
Now we're emphasizing the sections on journalists and freedom of expression. UNAMI's report notes: "Journalists and media workers remain one of the most vulnerable professional groups throughout Iraq being subjected to threats, targeted violence, kidnappings and assassination." The report then moves to the Kurdistan region:
UNAMI continued to receive reports of intimidation and/or arrests of media professionals in the Kurdistan region, in particular those who had reported on issues of public interest. Officials have also filed several criminal defamation complaints against journalists. During the same period of time, KRG human rights authorities have declared to work at imprvoing the situation of journalists.
A few journalists UNAMI was in contact with alleged tha ton 31 January and 1 February 2008, they were arrested, harassed and ill-treated by KRG police. They also reported that their photographs and notes were confiscated whilst attempting to cover the impact of Turkey's military operations on civilians and civilian properties along the border. Photographs provided to UNAMI showed a journalist being surrounded and dragged by security forces. Local journalist associations have condemned the conduct of the KRG authorities while other journalists were also prevented from covering the military operations.
On 4 February, the Editor-in-chief of an independent newspaper, was summoned to court in Sulaimaniya to respond to a complaint filed against him by President Jalal Talabani for publishing an article on the President's personal assets. He was released on bail and his case postponed indefinitely. On 10 February, Umar Ahmed Mahmood, journalist from Hawlati newspaper, was summoned to Kalar Court, Sulaimaniya, where the Head of the KDP Office in Kalar district filed a complaint based on an article Mahmood had written about conflicting loyalties of KDP politicians. The journalist was subsequently detained for three days and released on bail. On 16 February, a journalist and blogger was arrested by Kurdish Peshmargas in Talkif District, Nineveh, and was interrogated for four days at an Asayish facility in Dohuk. He was forced to sign a ltter whereby he agreed not to "defame" KRG leaders and Christian clergymen before being released. On 16 March, a Dohuk court issued an arrest warrant against Muhamad Salih Haji, Editor-in-chief of Rasan Newspaper (licensed to the Kurdistna Islamic Union (KIU) and another KIU member, for publishing an article charging the court's decision to arrest a number of KIU members for alleged involvement in terror activities last year as politically motivated. Both were subsequently released on bail.
On 9 February, staff members of Kurdistan TV received death threats and had their equipment damaged when they tried to film an attack on a traffic policeman by a group of armed men in Erbil. The Kurdistan Journalists' Syndicate has condemned the attack and requested the Minister of Interior to investigate. On 2 March, Nabaz Goran, a journalist received a death threat in a letter sent by Halo Ibrahim Ahmad, a relative of a high-ranking Iraqi official. It was reported that although Halo Ibrahim had apologized, he subsequently reiterated his threat on Kurdistan post web-site. On 17 March, UNAMI wrote to KRG authorities requesting justifications for the arrests and complaints filed against these journnalists and urged the KRG to investigate the death threat against Nabaz Goran. Srood Mukarram Fatih, a journalist arrested a year ago by the Asayish in Erbil has yet to be charged noting that he was accused of being involved in terror activities.
The lengthy excerpt is included because the close of last month saw another journalist targeted in the Kurdistan region. Adel Hussein is the journalist and he's been convicted to six months of prison for the 'crime' of "writing an article about homosexuality". Reporters Without Border notes: "Sexual practices are part of the individual freedoms that a democratic states is supposed to promote and protect. Furthermore, Hussein did not defend homosexuality. He limited himself to describing a form of behavior from a scientific viewpoint. . . . We are astonished to learn that a press case has been tried under the criminal code. What was the point of adoptiong -- and then liberalising -- a press code in Kurdistan region if people who contribute to the news media are still be tried under more repressive laws?" The Committee to Protect Journalists is calling for the immediate release of Adel -- "a doctor and a freelance journalist with the independent weekly Hawlati". CPJ's Robert Mahoney (Dept Director) states, "A judge of all people should know that ignorance of the law is no excuse. This is the second time in a month that a court in Iraqi Kurdistan has sent a journalist to prison in violation of the new press law. We call on the authorities to ensure that the new legislation is widely promulgated and enforced, and we urge the appeal court to overturn this conviction and free Adel Hussein immediately." The other reporter referred to was Shwan Dawdi whose conviction was overturned by the court of appeal. Yahya Barzanji (AP) quotes the Kurdistan Journalist Union's Zirak Kamal stating, "We will appeal this unjust verdict and we hope that Kurdistan officials intervene and solve the problem." BBC explains the Kurdish government is attempting to say that Adel "violated a public decenty law" by reporting.
While this affront to journalism and free speech is taking place, the Kurdistan Regional Government wants the international community to be outraged by actions Nouri al-Maliki is taking. Yesterday the KRG released a lengthy litany of Nouri al-Maliki's actions which they felt violated the Iraqi Constitution. AP's Hamza Hendawi reports today that Jalal Talabani (Iraq's president and a Kurd) has decided to ask the federal court to step in and prevent "al-Maliki from establishing tribal councils" in the KRG region and quotes Talabani declaring, "Nouri al-Maliki is my friend and enjoys the confidence of parliament. He is not budging and remains adamant that creating these councils is legal. We will go to the federal court to see whether this is indeed the case." The KRG fears that thugs will be brought in (as happened with the "Awakening" Councils) while the puppet government in Baghdad feels the Kurdish government has gotten highly expansionist. The attacks on Christians in Mosul and surrounding areas beginning in July also forced al-Maliki to do something to ensure safety of minority populations.
Now it's a little hard for Talabani and others to play this as they are standing up for the rule of law when they continue to target journalists and show no respect for a free press. The KRG might want to check the Iraqi Constitution they're so fond of citing these days -- it includes provisions for a free press.
The judicial system throughout Iraq is wanting and Alissa J. Rubin and Katherine Zoepf (New York Times) provide a peak at alleged impartial and unbiased judges today:
Judge Khalifa said Mr. Majid was guilty of crimes against humanity. Mr. Majid remained calm, but Mr. Ani shouted: "I welcome death if it is for Iraq, for pan-Arabism and for the Baath. Down with the American and Persian occupation!"
The judge responded, "Shut up."
In later remarks to fellow judges, Judge Khalifa was overheard saying: "All the Baathists are this way. Baathists live as Baathists and die as Baathists."
[. . .]
In other news, Music pioneer Odetta died yesterday. Her influence was wide reaching and among the many who cited her as an influence over the years were Carly Simon (Odetta's voice was the one that allowed Carly to hear herself as a singer), Bob Dylan, Harry Belafonte, Carolyn Hester, Janis Ian, Phoebe Snow, Holly Near, Janis Joplin and Judy Collins. The Washington Post headlines their obituary "Odetta, 77; Sang the Soundtrack for the Civil Rights Movement" (Martin Weil and Adam Bernstein, wrote the obit).
MediaChannel has opened MEDIA STORE for the holidays: "The Economy may be crashing, but we as a culture still believe in a season of giving. That's why MediaChannel and GlobalVision are opening an online store, as others close theirs, to share books and films we believe offer food for the mind and make for valuable gifts. Buying through us helps support MediaChannel. Your support in this season means alot to us. Our last fundraising drive has helped keep us alive! Your continuing help will keep us online and on the issues we all care about."
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Tuesday, December 02, 2008
THIS JUST IN! YEAH, SHE IS A ROCK STAR!
IN GEORGIA TONIGHT, SAXBY CHAMBLISS HELD OFF A CHALLENGER AND WAS RE-ELECTED TO THE U.S. SENATE DENYING THE DEMOCRATS A SUPER MAJORITY IN THE SENATE.
GAS BAGS WILL SPEND DAYS OFFERING EXCUSES AND JUSTIFICATIONS.
WHAT THEY SHOULD DO IS WASH THEIR MOUTHS OUT WITH SOAP AND FINALLY GIVE CREDIT TO GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN WHO BROUGHT IN CROWDS ALL DAY YESTERDAY AS SHE HIT THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL FOR CHAMBLISS.
BEFORE POLITICS GOT SO BITCHY -- HEY DILDO KOS -- LIKE SPORTS YOU COULD GO UP AGAINST AN OPPONENT AND STILL GIVE THEM CREDIT FOR BEING GOOD AT WHAT THEY DO.
IN AN EFFORT TO RECLAIM THAT SPIRIT, WE'LL NOTE GOVERNOR PALIN ENERGIZES PEOPLE ACROSS THE AISLE FROM US AND SHE IS HER PARTY'S ROCK STAR.
Today the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq released their thirteenth "Human Rights Report" with this one covering January 1, 2008 through June 30, 2008. In their press release, they note:
The report highlights the situation of detainees across the country that remains of severious concern, including in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. Many detainees have been deprived of their liberty for month or even years, often under harsh physical conditions, without access to defense counsel, or without being formally charged with a crime or produced before a judge. Continuing allegations of widespread torture and ill-treatment of inmates are of particular concern. Slow bureaucratic procedures, insufficient resource, degraded infrastructure and lack of effective accountability measures result in inordinate delays in processing detainees' cases.
The plight of women across Iraq still requires urgent measures to combat gender-based violence, including so-called honor crimes.
The report is entitled "Human Rights Report" [PDF format warning, click here] and is thirty pages and divided into five sections. The first section is the Executive Summary, the second is the Recommendations, third is Protection of Human Rights, fourth is Rule of Law and finally Promotion activities of UNAMI. The summary is ten points that notes the violence in generalities, notes that the March and May attacks on Basra and the Sadr City section of Baghdad resulted in claims that civilians were wrongly targeted (and that UNAMI is investigating those claims), the targets of certain professional classes, the issue of prisoners, etc. The Recommendations are broken up into three sections. First up is those give for the Iraqi government and topping that list is: "Issue on a regular basis mortality data compiled by the Ministry of Health, based on informaction received from all governorates and statistics kept at the Medico-Legal Institute in Baghdad, together with details of the methodology used to calculate the figures." In addition, they called for measures to protect at risk populations (religous and ethnic minorities, women) and to ensure prisoners are provided with counsel (and access to relatives), prompt judiciary processes, investigations of reports of abuse, better trained employees, etc. In this section the confusion over which prisoners belong to the US (M-NF) and to the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) is broached and that leads us to the recommendations for the Kurdish region which (yet again) notes that policies regarding journalists and media professional need to be reviewed, that the vulnerable communities need to be better protected (not that different from their recommendations for the Iraqi government) the policies with regards to prisoners need to be reviewed and careful consideration should be given to "a moratorium on the death penalty pending a thorough review of legal proceedings followed at both pre-trials and trial stages." Next come the recommendations for M-NF which include the need for continued investiagtions ("throughly, promptly and impartially") of all alleged "unlawful killings," a weak request that the US follow internationa human rights law, determine custody of prisoners captured jointly by the US and Kurdish forces, a weak request to allow international human montiors access to US prison facilities, etc.
The next section, "Protection of Human Rights; Extrajudicial executions, targeted and indiscriminate killings" notes at the start reports that civilians were targets following "car and suicide bombings" and that "Armed groups continue to ignore the distinction between civilian and combatants." The same grouping (armed groups) has acted with impunity in attacking "government officials, religious figures, state employees, law enofrmacement personnel and a number of professional groups including academics, journalists, lawyers and judges." The section then goes on to provide a breakdown of the violence for the time period. The next section focuses on the targeting of certain groups. We'll note two specific groups from that section.
Religious figures and activists have been the victims of targeted violence throughout Iraq during the reporting period. These attacks included the killing of Sheikh Essam Fleih Hassani, Imam of Al-Mukhtar mosque in Samarra, a member of the Sunni "Association of Muslim Scholars" and a well-known figure opposed to Al-Qaeda and other militia groups. On 8 February, four Christian activists who were on a missionary work with the Norwegian Churches Organization were kidnapped by gunmen from Al Sakhra Church in Barsa. On 29 February, Paulos Faraj Rahho, Chaldean Bishop of Mosul, was kidnapped and killed. On 5 April, gunmen shot dead Adel Yousif, a priest in Hay al Karrada in Baghdad. On 11 April, Riyad al Nouri, director of Al Sadr Office was shot dead by gunmen in Najaf. On 15 April, Ali al Fadhli, a representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani was shot in downtown Basra city. On 16 April, gunmen attacked and injured Sheikh Habib Al-Khateeb.
[. . .]
Medical workers and doctors continued being targeted. These attacks included the killings of surgeon Jinan Al Sabbagh in Basra on 12 Janury, Munther Mehrej Radi, Dean of the Faculty of Denstiry in Baghdad University, on 23 January, Khalid Nasir Al Meyeahee, Director of Basra Hospital on 9 March. Dr. Amer Lazem in Baghdad on 17 April, Dr. Barakat Kathem in Balad Rux on 16 June and the kidnappings of surgeon Mohammad Abid Ali Al Ta'ei in Hilla on 10 April, Dr. Sabbar Mahrooz Abdullah, and his assistant, Dr. Ahmad Salah, in Tikrit on 15 May.
The report notes that Diyala Province had "the highest number of kidnapping incidents" and that it, Nineveh, Anbar and Diwaniyah joined Baghdad in having large number of corpses discovered. Now a few who can go into the way-back machine will remember when the New York Times (and which reporter) were pimping the 'less corpses discovered in Baghdad per week!' lie to sell the idea that things were looking up, thing were looking up. So note this: "During the reporting period, between 3 and 5 unidifentifed bodies were found almost on daily baiss in different areas of Baghdad, including Karrada, Mansour, Sadr City, Dora, Tobchi, Shaab, Fedhyah and Hurriyah." Three to five would be more than when the New York Times was insisting -- case closed!
There is no news in the section on contractors. The next section explores civilian deaths at the hands of Iraqi forces and US forces (but not really much data on the latter). We'll note this:
Civilian deaths reportedly caused by Iraqi Security Forces (as well as by US-supported armed groups such as Awakening Councils and the Sons of Iraq) including the following: a lawyer shot by Iraqi police curing an exchange of fire with gunmen in Kut, on 8 January; 15 civilians killed in a fight between Awakening Council members and suspected insurgents in three villages around Mosul on 10 February; nine civilians killed in clashes between Iraqi Security Forces and the Mahdi Army in Kut on 11 March; 9 civilians were killed amid clashes between armed groups and Iraqi security personnel in Hay al Mithaq in Mosul on 11 March; one woman was killed by police in car that failed to stop at a checkpoint in Samarra on 14 March; in Mosul four civilian were killed on 9 April, and two others amid clashes between gunmen attacking a security checkpoint and the armed people defending the checkpoint and the armed people defending the checkpoint (south east of Mosul) on 27 April.
The next two pages involve the "Situation of women" and starts off noting complaints to UNAMI:
. . . from women regarding restrictions on their freedoms by conservative elements operating in neighbourhoods, governmental institutions and educational establishments in certain parts of Iraq. Wome reported receiving verbal comments on their mode of dress, particularly in cases where they were not wearing headscarves. UNAMI also received reports of instances where women faced harassments or threats at checkpoints for similar reasons. Female students at universities reported increasing pressure on them by their families to conform to a more conservative style of dress and behavior. Where female students failed to comply, retaliatory measures outside the university grounds were reported against them. Certain areas formely controlled by radical elements have witnessed a lessining of such pressures on women and girls since it came under the control of Iraqi Security Forces or the Awakening Councils. This includes the ability to move more freely, report to work or attend educational activities.
The report also notes violence throughout Iraq, and the incidents of 'honor' killings and domestic violence in the Kurdish region. That's the first half of the report. Mary Beth Sheridan (Washington Post) reports a move towards improvement on the part of some women in Baghdad and uses college student Hadeel Ahmed as one exmaple. Ahmed is learning to drive and has given up "her head scarf and long skirts". That is not: All things are great for women in Iraq! Or even just in Baghdad. It is one small group of women in Baghdad who are making an effort to reclaim rights they had prior to the start of the illegal war. Electronic Iraq posts an IRIN report entitled "Violence against Iraqi women continues unabeted" and quotes the UN's Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women Yakin Ertuek explaining that "violence against Iraqi women is committed by numerous actors, such as militia groups, insurgents, Islamic extremists, law enforcement personnel, members of the family as well as the community." And Sunday Afif Sarhan (Observer) reported that 'honor' killings in Basra had increased with 81 women murdered in 2008 to date including Rand Abdel-Qader:
Rand Abdel-Qader was killed after her family discovered that she had formed a friendship with a 22-year-old infantryman whom she knew as Paul. She was suffocated by her father then hacked at with a knife. Abdel-Qader Ali was subsequently arrested and released without charge.
Rand's mother, Leila Hussein, who divorced her husband after the killing, went into hiding but was tracked down weeks later and assassinated by an unknown gunman. Her husband had told The Observer that police had congratulated him for killing his daughter.
Meanwhile Reuters notes Turkey sent planes to bomb northern Iraq again yesterday. Hurriyet notes that the Turkish military has confirmed the attacks: "Turkish warplanes on Monday bombed terror organization PKK targets in northern Iraq, the general staff said in a statement, confirming an earlier statement by Iraq's border guards."
AP reports Iraqi refugees in Syria are not pleased by the treaty and that approximately 3,000 of them protested against it yesterday: The protesters carried banners including one that read: 'The pact aims to put Iraq under US tutelage.' They also chanted anti-US slogans and called on Iraqi leaders to revoke the pact." Meanwhile South Korea says bye-bye. Hwang Hae-rym and Teri Weaver (Stars and Stripes) note South Korea has now left Iraq and is no longer part of the so-called 'coalition' of the willing.
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Monday, December 01, 2008
THIS JUST IN! SHE'S A PARROT!
TODAY ON DEMOCRACY SOMETIMES!, IMPERIAL AGENT AMY GOODMAN (AKA AMY GOODWHORE -- TALK ABOUT A WRONG NAME!) LIED AND DECLARED THE TREATY BETWEEN THE WHITE HOUSE AND IRAQ WAS "LANDMARK." WHERE DID SHE GET THAT TALKING POINT?
AMY'S BEEN WORKING FOR THE MAN FOR SOME TIME NOW AND IT IS WHY WAS SHE WAS PIMPING THE ASPEN INSTITUTE BACK IN JULY.
WHEN ASKED, SMELLS GAMEY GOODMAN TOLD THESE REPORTERS, "I CAN'T PULL IN AN AUDIENCE. OF COURSE I DEPEND ON FOUNDATION MONEY. I DO WHAT I AM TOLD. I AM AN AGENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND I WILL REPEAT ANY LIE NECESSARY TO PROLONG ILLEGAL OCCUPATIONS."
Meanwhile, mark the calendars, Jodie Evans and I-Need-Attention Benjamin may not be the biggest idiots of the week. Red Diaper Baby Amy Goodman, so busy pleasuring herself over Barack Obama's win she helped so much with, demonstrated just what a loon, idiot and non-journalist she's always been -- independent or otherwise -- today on the trashy, daily hour of propaganda Pacifica Radio broadcasts where she declared of the treaty voted on by Iraq's Parliament Thursday that it was "landmark" and it "paves the way for U.S. forces to withdraw by the end of 2011." Blah, blah, blah. The most useless tool of US imperialism is what Liar Goody's become (which does explain her week at the Aspen Institute last summer and her need to parade their speakers on her program without informing her listeners of that fact) decided the way to 'round out' her propaganda was to quote the puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki -- surely a trusted voice! Democracy Sometimes! cries Goody, just never, ever today. So nice of the non-reporter and non-journalist to toss out about 30 bad seconds to the Iraq War -- remember, the war she tried to ride to fame, the one she got her tired, droopy ass booked on the cable shows via, "Only I, Amy Goodman, tell the truth about the Iraq War, only I, Amy Goodman, cover the Iraq War, only I, Amy Goodman . . . " Today, not only can she not get the facts right, she expects her increasingly dwindling audience to be grateful she managed to toss out a 'shout-out' to an ongoing, illegal war that will hit the six-year mark this March.
In the real world, the treaty passed the Parliament on Thursday. It was covered in the Thursday and Friday snapshots last week. Amy Goodman called it a "landmark" -- Xenophobic Whore says what? While The Liar Goody chants "USA! USA!", the reality is that the treaty went before the 275 member Parliament and was voted with 149 members voting for it. No, that's not a landmark, nor is it the two-thirds required by Iraqi's own Constitution. As for "landmark," AFP explained Friday who was calling it that, the United States government. If we can get past Liar Goody's "USA! USA!" chants, lets remember what Iran's Press TV reported:
"Washington echelons repeatedly threatened to overthrow the Iraqi government if they continued their opposition to the security deal," said Tehran's interim Friday prayers leader Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati.
Iraq's al-Morsad reported on Oct. 10 that US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte had warned that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki would be 'ousted' unless he signed the US-proposed security pact.
Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi has also claimed that the Bush administration had threatened to cut off vital services to Baghdad if it further delayed the accord, saying the threats were akin to 'political blackmail'.
"It was really shocking for us…Many people are looking to this attitude as a matter of blackmailing," al-Hashimi said on Oct. 26.
As we noted during the holiday, The Scotsman explains the treaty better than any domestic outlet: "On Thursday, Iraqi lawmakers approved a pact allowing US forces to stay in Iraq for three more years." It does not guarantee the US leaves at the end of 2011. It takes a real liar, a real whore to repeat that lie (hello, Amy Goodman, tired and old but someone's tossing dimes on her night stand). For those who missed reality, we'll drop back to Thursday's snapshot.
Yeah, it's a one-year agreement. Only 2009 cannot be changed or cancelled. Everything else that the White House says is set-in-stone is actually a conditional option that can be wiped away by either side. Today the White House finally released the agreement in English. We'll jump in at Article 30 The Period for which the Agreement is Effective:
1) This Agreement shall be effective for a period of three years, unless terminated sooner by either Party pursuant to paragraph 3 of this Article.
Get it? Paragraph three: "This Agreement shall terminate one year after a Party provides written notification to the other Party to that effect." Meaning only 2009 is set in stone. It is too late for either party (US or Iraq) to give one year's notice and cancel it in 2009. They can give notice to cancel in 2010 or 2011. The second clause is also worth noting because it weakens the strength of any agreement as well: "This Agreement shall be amended only with the official agrement of the Parties in writing and in accordance with the constitutional proceudures in effect in both countries." That's the aspect that allows for a change and all the 'flowery' respect for Constitutional procedures is hog wash. The Iraqi Parliament needed to have two-thirds of all members (not just members present) to pass the treaty today. They did not have that. According to their Constitution and their laws, that's what was needed. In the US, Congressional approval is needed over all treaties and we know that has not take place. We further know that Barack Obama -- alleged Constitutional scholar -- doesn't give a damn about the Constitution. He show boated and did his little pretty words number while campaigning but despite all his insisting that the treaty would have to come before the Congress -- including becoming one of thirteen co-sponsors on Hillary Clinton's Senate bill insisting upon that -- he shut his corporate mouth and put his tiny tail between his legs to slink off like the disgusting, cowering trash he is. He's not going to stand up for the Constitution 'later.' He couldn't stand up for it right now.
An agreement built upon a systematic disrespect for the rule of law does not suddenly develop one. An agreement built upon lies does not suddenly embrace honesty. The treaty is built on lies and they include the lies to the American people. Why is the US pursuing this treaty? The White House keeps talking about these 'recent' gains in Iraq. Today is November 27th of 2008. Recent would, for most of us, go back no further than the end of spring. But Article 25 explains Nouri al-Maliki and Condi Rice notified the United Nations that the Security Council's mandate would be cancelled at the end of this year . . . last year. al-Maliki's letter was dated December 7th, Rice's December 10th. 'Recent' events?
The agreement the White House has released may not be the official agreement or the final one. It is the one that US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari signed November 17, 2008. The note above their signatures states: "Signed in duplicate in Baghdad on this 17th day of November, 2008, in the English and Arabic languages, each text being equally authentic."
That version is published online by the White House in PDF format (click here). The Bully Boy of the United States released the following statement today: "Earlier today, in another sign of progress, Iraq's Council of Representatives approved two agreements with the United States, a Strategic Framework Agreement and a Security Agreement, often called a Status of Forces Agreement or SOFA. The Strategic Framework Agreement sets the foundation for a long-term bilateral relationship between our two countries, and the Security Agreement addresses our presence, activities, and withdrawal from Iraq. Today's vote affirms the growth of Iraq's democracy and increasing ability to secure itself. We look forward to a swift approval by Iraq's Presidency Council. Two years ago, this day seemed unlikely -- but the success of the surge and the courage of the Iraqi people set the conditions for these two agreements to be negotiated and approved by the Iraqi parliament. The improved conditions on the ground and the parliamentary approval of these two agreements serve as a testament to the Iraqi, Coalition, and American men and women, both military and civilian, who paved the way for this day."
That was all in Thursday's snapshot. No reason for the alleged 'independent' media today to still not know what the hell they are talking about. But have they ever needed a reason to demonstrate why they couldn't get real jobs in the real media? No. On Friday, we addressed how little bits of reality surfaced in the reporting from the MSM, buried deep, but they surfaced. The Washington Post managed to include the following on the treaty:
". . . the pact also allows the Iraqi government to negotiate with the United States to extend the presence of U.S. troops if conditions on the ground are not stable. The Los Angeles Times manages to note: "The pact allows for amendments if both sides agree to them. U.S. officials have indicated that they interpret that as permitting an extension, if security conditions in Iraq are deemed too shaky to leave Iraqi forces in charge. 'There is a provision for extension, by agreement of both sides,' one U.S. official said."
2009 is the only thing binding by the treaty. It is not difficult to grasp at this late date. The only reason not to grasp it is because you don't want to. Liars, fools and whores need to be held accountable. Which is a good time to bring in the Bully Boy of the United States who thinks he can rewrite reality as well. Lauren Sher (ABC News) reports he will appear on ABC's World News Tonight this evening to declare, "I think I was unprepared for war." Which one? Vietnam or Iraq? He continues, "In other words, I didn't campaign and say, 'Please vote for me, I'll be able to handle an attack'." Iraq didn't attack the United States and if Gibson doesn't correct Bully Boy on that the whole world will grasp why he spent the bulk of his TV time on a morning entertainment show (Good Morning America) and not in the news department. Repeating, Iraq did not attack the United States. Bully Boy thinks he can lie and get away with it and -- watch and see -- many people will allow him to get away with it. Gibson is a tool, a fool and a tired, tired whore. (He and Goody should go on vacation together.) Gibson asks him what if he'd known there were no WMDs? What if he'd known that? The public record indicates the White House always knew that. The public record demonstrates that. Apparently we're all supposed to forget Paul Wolfowitz' May 2003 statements and everything else reported including Colin Powell's original snarl that he wasn't going to say "this s--t" to the United Nations (he, of course, did). All forgotten because Bully Boy wants to allow that maybe he made a few mistakes. I guess it's easier to confess to mistakes than to war crimes. He truly is the spawn of Tricky Dick. And if you doubt that, UPI reports that while pretending to have some sort of sorrow, he also wanted to insist that Iraq was "his greatest accomplishment" and quotes him stating, "I keep recognizing we're in a war against ideological thugs and keeping America safe." Iraq DID NOT attack the United States.
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