Friday, February 23, 2018

Amen to that

  1. I’ll never forget how Amy Goodman supported the U.S. destruction of Libya.

I'll never forget it either.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, February 22, 2018.  The Iraq War continues -- as do the lies around it.

“The power establishment which lied about Iraq, lied about Libya, lied about Vietnam, & is currently lying about Syria is not entitled to the benefit of the doubt that it is telling the truth about Russia & its new cold war escalations with that country.”

The Russia Scare, many have noted, involves some of the same liars who provided us with the Iraq War.  It does more than that.

It offers us some of the great fakes of the Iraq War.

John Feffer?

Oh, how we know that little bitch.

A stream of rude and nasty e-mails to this site -- only one of which was noted publicly and noting it publicly resulted in even more of his nasty e-mails.

FOREIGN POLICY IN FOCUS, you may remember, in a desperate bid to try to ride the Iraq War created a tracker.  They did that with a big to-do and endless announcements.  The Iraqi civilians were not being counted accurately in death, so thank goodness we had FPIF to do it for us, right?

Except they quickly lost interest.

They weren't updating it.

After several months of this, we pointed it out publicly resulting in our initial contact with War Bitch John Feffer.  He had better things to do.

Well no one asked you to create a counter to begin with, John.

But if you're going to create one and then ride a few months publicity off it, you need to do a tracker.

Instead, he created it, got the publicity he wanted and -- a faker.

A War Bitch.

So it's the Hawks and the Bitches behind the Russia Scare, never forget it.

Glen Ford (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) notes of the Russia Scares attempt to blame third party candidates and those who chose not to vote:

Funny thing, though: the Democrats refused to cite the Republicans’ systematic, mass suppression of Black voters through the Cross Check scheme which, as Margaret Kimberley points out in this week’s Freedom Rider, caused 400,000 heavily Black votes to disappear in Michigan. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein called for a recount in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and found that Black voter suppression was a major factor, particularly in Detroit. “We are seeing again this evidence in Michigan that communities of color are systematically disenfranchised through the machinery that constitutes really another form of electoral Jim Crow,” Stein told The Guardian . “It’s pretty staggering. Eighty-seven optical scanners [in Detroit] broke on election day.”
The Democratic Party reluctantly added its name to the recount petition, while at the same time claiming it had seen no “actionable evidence ” of grounds for challenging Trump’s victory. But that’s par for the course. The Democrats have never confronted the GOP’s blatant theft of elections through massive suppression of Black votes. They are bound, apparently, by a gentleman’s agreement among the two parties. John Lewis, the Black congressman from Atlanta who wears his voting rights credentials like a robe of glory, abides by that agreement. The first thing out of Lewis’ mouth after Trump was declared the winner, in November, was a denunciation of “the Russians” – but not Black voter suppression by Republicans.
“The Democrats have never confronted the GOP’s blatant theft of elections through massive suppression of Black votes.”
Roughly one year later, Jill Stein -- who fought Black voter suppression harder than the Democrats -- was targeted for investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee as a possible collaborator with the Russians .

The suppression of the franchise of their Black base is not considered “treason” or any kind of “high crime” by the Democratic Party, but the siphoning of Black votes away from the corporate duopoly, through voluntary non-voting or support of third parties, is cause to bring out the pitchforks.

Margaret Kimberley (BAR) observes:

It is sad and terrifying to watch the reaction from media elites and Democratic politicians. They will allow no counter narrative to see the light of day. After all, they are the ones who made sure that any such questions were disappeared from public discourse. Now they are in full attack mode against the Russian government and anyone who won’t parrot their lies.
At least one Democratic congressman, Jerrold Nadler of New York, makes the claim that Facebook posts are akin to the attack on Pearl Harbor. When his questioner pushed back he persisted in making the comparison. That can only mean that he and others think that an actual war against Russia is a reasonable course of action.

Democrats, their pundits and think tanks are doubling down. They are accusing Bernie Sanders of doing Russia’s bidding, despite the fact that he was equally willing to blame that country for Trump’s triumph. All of his post sheep dog genuflecting has done him little good. He endorsed Hillary Clinton and campaigned with her. He told his people to stand down and most of them did just that. He shouldn’t have bothered though, because he is now getting the same treatment as Jill Stein.

The Dems taking part in the Russia Scare are the same Dems that gave us the Iraq War.

And they know what they are doing, they damn well know what they are doing.

Phyllis Bennis has a piece at THE NATION.

It's useless.

It's practically garbage.

Phyl's part of the whole FPIF network.  And, remember, FPIF has defended the use of mass bombings and 'smart' bombs -- we called them out (here for one example) even if others looked the other way.

Phyl?  Why do we not give up on her?

Because (a) she can be astute and (b) when called on her lies, when smacked across her lying mouth, as Elaine did to her over Phyl using an undercount on the number of civilians killed in Iraq, if you hit just right, Phyl can come to her senses.

Someone needs to slap Phyllis real hard.

It's a curious editorial -- one that leaves the impression that the Iraq War is over.

If it's over, Phyllis, why are US troops still on the ground in Iraq.

The editorial hits new lows of whorishness as it names various people -- all Republicans.  I'm sorry, Phyllis, but it was the Democratically controlled Senate, in 2002, that voted for the Iraq War.  Not only does she ignore that, she also ignores certain key others.

For example, Robert Mueller was part of the whole lie the country into Iraq effort, remember?

In 2013, Coleen Rowley (MINNESOTA STAR TRIBUNE) wrote:

Ten years ago, I made the ultimately futile effort of writing to FBI Director Robert Mueller warning that he needed to tell the truth about the Bush administration’s unjustified decision to preemptively invade Iraq and the likelihood it would prove counterproductive. To its credit, the Star Tribune ran the story on March 6, 2003 (“Agent: War would unleash terror, and FBI not ready”), one of only a handful of such cautionary news stories in the war-fevered weeks before the United States launched its catastrophic invasion.
At the time, Mueller well knew of Vice President Dick Cheney’s lying about Saddam’s connection to 9 / 11 and other administration exaggerations to gin up the war.
My letter compared Bush-Cheney’s rush to war with the impatience and bravado that had led to the FBI’s disastrous 1993 assault at Waco, where “the children [the FBI] sought to liberate all died when [David] Koresh and his followers set fires.” On a much more tragic scale, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians were killed and millions more were wounded or displaced. Iraq’s infrastructure was destroyed. Severe problems remain with lack of clean drinking water, electricity and a lack of professionals in Iraq to help rebuild.
Even worse, the flames of sectarian hatred were ignited, based on religious and ethnic differences, leading to violent civil strife, ethnic cleansing and terror bombings. Those fires continue to burn.

B-b-b-but Mueller was the hero of the fake left in 2013 the way he is today!!!!!  Coleen would be just as silent as Phyllis is today!!!!

Uh, no.

Here's Coleen last summer:

Beyond ignoring politicized intelligence, Mueller bent to other political pressures. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Mueller directed the “post 9/11 round-up” of about 1,000 immigrants who mostly happened to be in the wrong place (the New York City area) at the wrong time. FBI Headquarters encouraged more and more detentions for what seemed to be essentially P.R. purposes. Field offices were required to report daily the number of detentions in order to supply grist for FBI press releases about FBI “progress” in fighting terrorism. Consequently, some of the detainees were brutalized and jailed for up to a year despite the fact that none turned out to be terrorists.

All of those currently in bed with Mueller?  Crabs are the least of your worries.

Phyllis has written an 'editorial' that needs to be called out because it's fakery and whoring.

If that seems harsh, please grasp that Phyllis writes that it's important for us to remember the truth of what happened . . . but?

If you think I'm harsh with Phyllis, she's the one saying it's important to remember what happened while lying and disguising what happened.

Two years before Howard Zinn died, I warned him that he was the one watering down his own legacy.  He didn't listen.  I warned Howard one on one.  Creepy Tom Hayden?  I warned him privately and publicly.  Both men will have to answer for their lies that continued the Iraq War.

Phyllis better decide real quick if that's the boat she also wants to sink in.

Consider it "Hard Advice" (Stevie Nicks):

It is important to remember the real lessons of the ongoing Iraq War:

On The Iraq War’s 15th Anniversary, Make The World Remember Its Lessons

And it's important to remember the reality of what the ongoing war is producing:

Unfair ISIS Trial in Iraq Hands Women Harshest Sentences

Human Rights Watch notes:

Six months after about 1,400 foreign women and children surrendered with Islamic State (ISIS) fighters to Iraqi security forces, Iraq’s courts are sentencing the women to life in prison and even to death for non-violent crimes.
It’s just one indicator of how people viewed as colluding with ISIS are receiving unfair trials.

The women have been charged with illegally entering Iraq and, in some cases aiding, abetting or having membership in ISIS, which carries the penalty of life in prison or death under Iraq’s counterterrorism law.
In January, Baghdad’s Criminal Court sentenced a German woman to death. Two days ago, the same court convicted 11 Turkish women and an Azeri. One of the Turkish women was sentenced to death, and the rest to life in prison.
The chief justice said that in these cases, unlike earlier ones of ISIS suspects, the defendants had lawyers present during their interrogations, which would be a positive development.

A courtroom observer said that the women’s lawyers contended that the defendants’ husbands or others had tricked them into going to ISIS territory, but maintained that none of the women had been implicated in any violent acts. One woman said in court that her husband took their 2-year-old son and told her to follow him to Iraq or she wouldn’t see her son again.
The observer said the prosecution did not present evidence contesting the defense. Yet, the judges found all the women guilty of ISIS membership. The woman sentenced to death was found to have knowingly travelled to ISIS territory to join the group with her husband. Human Rights Watch opposes the death penalty in all circumstances as an irreversible, degrading, and cruel punishment.
The Iraqi authorities should develop a national strategy to prioritize the prosecution of those who committed the most serious crimes. For those suspected only of membership in ISIS without evidence of any other serious crime, the authorities should consider alternatives to criminal prosecution. In these cases, the women are getting the harshest possible sentences for what appears to be marriage to an ISIS member or a coerced border crossing. The Iraqi courts need to redirect their priorities.

The following community sites updated:

  • Wednesday, February 21, 2018

    Bernie, we're taking you to look at homes this weekend

    Did you catch this?

    As someone who campaigned hard for Hillary Clinton from one end of this country to another, it is an outrage that she had to run against not only Donald Trump but also the Russian government.

    Hmm . . .

    What do we say to this?

    I say, "The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn Russia scare!"

    The old man needs to find a nursing home.

    Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

    Wednesday, February 21, 2018.  Another US service member has died in the never ending war.

    The Iraq War continues.  The dying continues.

    Sgt. Christina Marie Schoenecker, 26, of Arlington, Kan., died in a noncombat incident Monday in Iraq while supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

    Next month, the Iraq War hits the 15 year mark.  Why is the US military still in Iraq?

    For 'training'?

    Soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland are two months into their tour of Iraq, helping to train Iraqi and Kurdish security forces

    Looks like there are plenty of other forces who can do the training.

    And these other forces aren't the targets of ire and threats.

    APN NEWS reports:

    The US administration is facing growing pressure to withdraw its forces from Iraq, while Washington has been trying to get more forces from NATO member states for deployment in the country with the aim of providing “training” and “advice” to the Iraqi armed forces.
    According to Press TV, Hadi al-Ameri, a senior commander of t Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) has told in an interview, on Tuesday, that now Daesh (IS) has been defeated in the country and there is no need for the presence of US troops.
    He was quoted saying, “We are told that the presence of US forces in Iraq is on the request of the government in Baghdad. We are yet to get a clear statement from the government regarding the number of US troops which is said to be a large number.”

    Again, why is the US military still in Iraq?

    When does this war ever end?

    Again, another US service member has died in Iraq.

    From the US Defense Dept:


    DoD Identifies Army Casualty

    Press Operations
    Release No: NR-056-18
    Feb. 20, 2018     

    The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

    Sgt. Christina Marie Schoenecker, 26, of Arlington, Kansas, died Feb. 19 in Baghdad, from a non-combat related incident. Schoenecker was assigned to the 89th Sustainment Brigade, Wichita, Kansas. The incident is under investigation.

    For more information, media may contact 451st Expeditionary Sustainment Command Public Affairs at (316) 681-1759.

    Kyle Rempfer (MILITARY TIMES) notes, "Schoenecker‘s death is the third casualty of the year for the Inherent Resolve mission. Another American service member supporting the mission died Jan. 8, and a soldier from the United Kingdom died Jan. 31, both of which were also non-combat related incidents, according to DoD announcements."  He also notes that this is thought to be Schoenecker's first deployment to Iraq.  Chad Garland (STARS AND STRIPES) adds, "Schoenecker enlisted in May 2009, according to details provided by the sustainment command. A sergeant since January 2015, her awards include an Army Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster and an Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters."

    Meanwhile Matthew Waterman (IDS NEWS) is upset about Iraq -- or upset that the US did not promise millions in grants to Iraq for reconstruction:

    The U.S. is by far the country most responsible for the mess Iraq now finds itself in. IS group is a phenomenon that essentially grew out of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Al-Qaeda had virtually no presence in Iraq before the U.S.’s aggressive and illegal invasion of the country in 2003.
    We could go back further. The U.S. has been at war with or in Iraq almost without interruption for nearly 28 years. After supporting and arming Saddam Hussein’s regime in its aggression against Iran throughout the 1980s, the Bush administration abruptly turned on Hussein when he invaded Kuwait.
    The United States trounced Iraq in the first Gulf War, but that wasn’t enough. The U.S. led the implementation of sanctions the U.N. says killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children. President Clinton bombed Iraq repeatedly throughout his term. 
    The 2003 invasion — the worst international crime of the century so far — imploded Iraqi society and led to hundreds of thousands more deaths.

    After all this, for the U.S. to refuse to give Iraq any aid, offering only loans to a government already deeply in debt, is outrageous.

    The claim that the Islamic State 'grew' out of al-Qaeda in Iraq is conventional wisdom.  It's conventional wisdom because it lets a great number of people off the hook.  ISIS grew out of Nouri al-Maliki.  Nouri is what split ISIS and al-Qaeda in Iraq -- his actions.  It's actually al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia and while many of its members stayed 'true' to their beliefs -- and carried their attacks over to Syria -- what became ISIS felt the focus should be Iraq where Nouri al-Maliki was persecuting the Sunni population.

    They were being attacked by his forces, kidnapped by his forces, disappeared into jails, prisons and graves, Iraqi women were being beaten and raped in jail (and they were there because?) and so much more was taking place.

    Saying it great out of al-Qaeda or the other nonsense that it was because of imprisonment in Iraq?

    Those are clever lies to avoid dealing with the reality of what took place in Iraq after Barack Obama gave Nouri al-Maliki a second term as prime minister especially.

    The Iraqi people voted in March of 2010 and Nouri lost to Iraqiya.  As US Gen Ray Odierno had predicted ahead of the election, Nouri wasn't going anywhere.  Odierno had asked what happens if Nouri loses the election and refuses to step down?

    What happened?

    8 months of political stalemate.

    His refusal to step down brought the government to a halt.

    Instead of siding with the Iraqi people, Barack went around the voters and Iraq's Constitution.  The US brokered a legal contract (The Erbil Agreement) which gave Nouri the second term.

    His secret prisons and much more had already been exposed in his first term.

    But that didn't matter.

    They needed Nouri, the US government insisted internally, to finally get the oil and gas law passed.

    That's what mattered.

    Now let's point out that the oil and gas law never got passed by the Parliament -- and though they argue Hayder al-Abadi would get it passed when they named him prime minister in 2014, he didn't get it passed either.

    But for this reason, they looked the other way as Nouri's abuses mounted and mounted.

    Maybe an editorial about that could be written?

    As for the US government currently not forking over more millions and billions?

    Why bother?

    First off, the US has repeatedly installed the cowards who fled Iraq and then agitated outside of Iraq for the US to invade.

    So, in other words, Iraq's leading politicians -- certainly the prime ministers -- have been from the group calling for Iraq to be invaded.

    They wanted it, they got it.

    They're also in charge of Iraq.

    As we've maintained throughout this never ending war, the US government providing money to the Iraqi people?

    Absolutely, we support that.

    Providing it to these corrupt leaders?

    No, we're not for that.

    Iraq's most recent ranking on Transparency International?  The 166th most corrupt government out of 176 governments around the world.

    That's where aid's going to go?

    Into those hands?

    None of it has reached the Iraqi people in the past.

    They have no jobs.  The median age is 19.

    If you think Iraq's a mess right now -- and it is, torn apart by war -- wait a few more years when there are still no jobs for those young people.

    Iraq is a rich country thanks to oil.

    But the people live in poverty.

    Hayder's said he's fighting corruption.

    Nouri said the same thing, remember?

    In fact, when the Arab Spring almost overthrew him, he begged for 100 days to address corruption and this led to protesters leaving the streets.

    After 100 days?

    He had nothing to show for it and didn't care at all.

    They say a lot.

    They do damn little.

    Hayder says he's fighting corruption.  He's said that since the fall of 2014.

    The results?

    Nothing to speak of though, elections coming up in May, he has recently been grabbing headlines for claims of addressing it.

    Ryan Crocker's back in the news.

    166 out of 176

    The following community sites  -- plus Jody Watley -- updated: