Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Shut up, Sikivu Hutchinson

That's Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Peace Fake" sending up the always ridiculous Medea Benjamin (also see Ava and C.I.'s "").

Do not read Sikivu Hutchinson's nonsense at The Feminist Wire.

She whines and whines where are White feminists on the police violence?

Bitch, I don't write about that s**t and I'm a Black feminist.

I don't get into he-said/she-said.

I have better things to do.

But I could accuse Sikivu of not caring about Iraqi women.

When this community were the only ones calling out the attempt to lower the age of marriage in Iraq to 9 for girls (only for girls and actually it may have been 8 as some observers would later point out), where was Skivu?

No where.

Just a useless whore who couldn't speak out for Iraqi women and girls.

So maybe she should point that finger at herself?

Or better yet, stick it up her vagina -- that might make her feel a little better.

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

Monday, September 15, 2014.  Chaos and violence continue, a big meet-up in Paris plots how to bring more violence to Iraq, Barack continues to fumble, and much more.

A lot of talk about Iraq is passed off as reporting in today's spin cycle.

Real reporting from Iraq would focus on real issues such as the question of was an order given or not?

Because if an order was given and the Iraqi military refused to obey it, there would be no reason for the US government and others to come to the 'aid' of government.

Third's "Editorial: The bombing of civilians continues in Iraq" noted Iraq's new prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, ordered an end to the military bombing civilian targets on Saturday.

That's what al-Abadi declared publicly.

Yet on Sunday,  Falluja General Hospital was bombed and, in addition, Iraqi Spring MC noted the bombings of residential neighborhoods in Falluja also continued with 6 civilians left dead  and 22 more injured.

Was al-Abadi lying on Saturday?

Or did the Iraqi military ignored orders given by the prime minister?

If it's the latter, if an order was given and the Iraqi military refused to follow it, there's no point in any foreign government 'helping' at this point.

And if the issue is a politician who lied?

That's damaging in its own way.  Alice Fordham (Sunday Weekend Edition, NPR -- link is text and audio) spoke with US Col Derek Harvey about the Sahwa -- mainly Sunni forces who were instrumental to reducing violence and who were among those targeted by the recently former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki:

FORDHAM: Harvey thinks as many as a quarter of them [Sahwa]  fought alongside the Islamic State this year. He says that everything depends on the new government led by new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi who will have...

HARVEY: ...To work and legitimize local defense forces and empower Sunni-Arab political leaders of all stripes in these provinces.

FORDHAM: Abadi's been in power for almost a week now and is making all the right promises. But political wrangling has stopped the appointment of an interior or defense minister. And Harvey says this plan won't work until there's tangible political progress here. Alice Fordham, NPR News, Baghdad.

And then there's that issue, noted as an aside:  The country still has no Minister of the Interior or Minister of Defense.  There were none in Nouri's second term and the new prime minister has faced resistance and hostility to his nominees for the post -- resistance and hostility from Parliament.

This is no time for these positions to be empty.

Barack likes to say the government of Iraq (that the US installed) wants 'our help' but how can you help someone who repeatedly refuses to fill the posts that would protect their own country?

The press isn't pursuing that question -- or any others -- because they're too busy rushing to support and encourage war.

John Irish and Jason Szep (Reuters) note, "World powers backed military measures on Monday to help defeat Islamic State fighters in Iraq, boosting Washington's efforts to set up a coalition, but made no mention of the tougher diplomatic challenge next door in Syria."

This was the big takeaway from the meet-up in France today.  Cassandra Vinograd (NBC News) reports Francois Hollande, the President of France, presided over a meeting of various world officials -- including US Secretary of State John Kerry -- in Paris in which they will supposedly address issues in Iraq.
The only issue for them was the Islamic State and how to combat it with violence.  And while they talked, violence continued.  Margaret Griffis (Antiwar.com) notes, "Diplomats from 30 countries met in Paris today to discuss the Islamic State situation in Iraq. The Kurdish Peshmerga Ministry held its own meeting with representatives from seven countries. Attacks and battles left at least 86 dead and 22 wounded."

Reuters quotes Hollande asking, "What is the threat?"

Any notion that this was going to address real issues quickly vanished as it became obvious Hollande was not asking for input but being rhetorical.  Answering his own question, he declared, "It is global so the response must be global... Iraq's fight against the terrorists is also our fight. We must commit ourselves together -- that is the purpose of this conference."  All Iraq News notes he insisted the Islamic State is a "threat to world peace."  This despite the fact that, unlike France, the Islamic State has confined its war actions to Iraq and Syria while France has pretty much spun the globe.

For years, the world has allowed things to worsen in Iraq until an Islamic State could be built and fostered.  Now they want to 'address' the product and not the conditions that produced it in the first place.
That's never an answer.

Among those representing Iraq at the conference is Iraqi President Fuad Masoum.  All Iraq News notes he and Hollande held a joint press conference today.  National Iraqi News Agency reports on a speech he gave:

Masum said in his speech in the International Conference on peace and security for Iraq, in the French capital Paris that: "Iraq needs more military support to eliminate terrorism, especially after the qualitative transformation in terrorist operations, from scattered criminal operations to the establishment of a terrorist state" stressing: "The occupation of the Islamic State to the safe areas did not exclude religion or sect or nationality and its crimes affected women, elderly and children."

He added: "The goals of the terrorists and their danger became clear now through their speeches, to occupy all the areas under their control, and the presence of foreign fighters within the (IS) and using modern technologies and passed traditional thought in its work, represents a new threat to regional and international powers," adding: "the terrorists are still using the policy of "with us or against us" and through this way and curriculum killed thousands of men, women, children and elderly in areas they had controlled. "

He continued: Dozens of families are still suffering from the control and influence of this terrorist organization since months after they prevent them from immigration, and have committed genocide in the areas under their control by the so-called Sharia courts, stressing that the terrorist organization violated holy sites and places of worship and civilization has existed since thousands of years in areas they had controlled. "

Let's pretend for a moment.  In our little exercise, the aims of Barack and others to kill every member of the Islamic State worked.  It's never happened before but in our exercise/pretense it did.
Does that mean it's over?
Because the conditions that allowed the Islamic State to rise up and take root continue to exist.
Instead of bombing anything, it would make more sense to address those conditions.
Doing so would rob IS of popular support.
Doing so would mean many in IS would be leaving it, turning against it.
The bombing and killing?
You better be prepared to do that for decades and to wipe out everyone.
Because otherwise, some people are going to grow up feeling wronged and those people are going to want justice.
Already the bombing campaign is angering old foes of the US in Iraq.  For example, cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr is objecting to the outside 'interest' in Iraq's affairs.  National Iraqi News Agency reports he issued a statement:

Sadr said in a statement carried his signature and stamp today, " The / Black House / decided to launch attacks on Iraqi territory and this American decision perhaps came after its remorse to its fake withdraw."
He added: " if you came back again we will back."
Sadr added, "the government should not get help from the occupier whatever, even under the pretext of (the Islamic State), which is not exist except in the imagination, but is a creature of Americans."

Moqtada is not a minor figure.  He is popular exactly because he gives voice to the thoughts of many.  

Tom Vanden Brook and William M. Welch (USA Today) report, "The United States launched airstrikes in Iraq on Monday in what defense officials said is the start of an expanded action against Islamic State extremists. The U.S. military's Central Command said both fighter and attack aircraft conducted separate airstrikes Sunday and Monday in support of Iraqi forces southwest of Baghdad and near Sinjar, Iraq."
Moqtada was speaking as this change was taking place.  For those who don't grasp what's changed, Eyder Peralta (NPR) explains:

In an August interview with The New York Times, President Obama vowed that "the United States had no intention of 'being the Iraqi air force.'"
But, then in a prime-time speech to the American public, Obama announced a broader mission against the Islamic State, saying the United States ultimately wanted to "destroy" the Sunni militant group.
Of today's bombing, AFP notes, "They bring the number of US air strikes across Iraq to 162."
So Barack's 'plan' is to carry out 1,620 air strikes?  Or 16,200 air strikes?  
What's the magic number that suddenly makes bombing an answer?
There is no magic number.  There is just bombing.  And Barack's not going to be able to kill every member of IS but these bombings certainly will result in the birthing of new members of the Islamic State. 
The United Nations News Centre noted:
      14 September 2014 – Sustained funding and support will be vital if the United Nations and its partners are to continue assisting the millions of Iraqis affected by the ongoing crisis in the country, particularly as winter approaches, the world body's top humanitarian official said on Sunday.

Addressing reporters in Baghdad, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos highlighted the very serious humanitarian crisis resulting from the surge in violence between armed groups and Government forces which has left 1.8 million people internally displaced and hundreds of thousands in need of assistance.

“Some families have been displaced multiple times and have been left terrified by what has happened to them,” she stated. “Winter is fast approaching and there is a huge amount of work needed to ensure that families have protection from the cold.”

During her visit to the country, Ms. Amos visited the Khanke camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Dohuk, one of the largest in the country.

“I heard horrendous stories of violence and brutality from 'Da'ash' on ordinary children, women and men,” she said, using another name for the armed group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

She added that as the international community works together with the Government to tackle the rising levels of conflict and brutality across Iraq and also Syria being meted out by 'Da'ash' and other armed groups, it is important to also remember the humanitarian impact.
That's a way to address some of the conditions in Iraq, by focusing on aiding those in need.
Sadly, the War Hawks in the administration are only focused on killing.
All Iraq News reports John Kerry boasted in Paris today that many countries are offering "to send troops into Iraq."  That's diplomacy?
Sounds like stupidity.
How does he think statements like that play out in Iraq to the Iraqi people?  
He doesn't.
But Iraq suffered sanctions -- US-imposed -- in the 90s and is still in the midst of the war that began in 2003 by the US-led invasion.  What the US-installed government is calling 'help' can look a lot like another form of occupation to the Iraqi people.
A working State Dept would grasp that.
But Kerry's too busy playing War Hawk and stroking the War Machine to register reality.
At the State Dept press briefing today, moderated by spokesperson Marie Hart, the world got a look at just how dysfunctional it had become.  Excerpt.

MS. HARF: Good afternoon. Happy Monday, everyone. Welcome to the daily press briefing. I have a few items at the top, and then open it up for your questions.
First, Secretary Kerry will travel to New York on Friday, September 19th to chair a ministerial debate of the United Nations Security Council on Iraq as part of the U.S. presidency of the council for the month of September. Secretary Kerry will convene the council to demonstrate broad and unified international support for the new Iraqi Government and emphasize the need for broad political inclusivity as the new government pursues its agenda on behalf of the Iraqi people. In addition, the council session will also provide a platform for the international community to underscore its support for Iraq’s new government as it fights against ISIL and responds to the ongoing humanitarian crisis that ISIL is spreading. Lastly, the council session will highlight support for Iraq’s further reintegration into the region and the international community. The debate will begin at 2 p.m. on Friday. Secretary Kerry will return to New York on Sunday, September 21st, to begin his UNGA schedule, which we’ll have more details on later this week.
Second item at the top: The United States does not recognize the legitimacy of the so-called regional and local elections in Crimea on September 14th and will not acknowledge their outcome. Our position on Crimea remains clear: The peninsula remains an integral part of Ukraine. The United States continues to condemn the Russian Federation’s occupation and purported annexation of Ukrainian territory and its violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity in breach of its obligations and commitments under the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, and its military basing agreements with Ukraine. We call on Russia to return Crimea to its rightful status as part of Ukraine. We are also concerned about wide-scale reports of Ukrainian citizens in Crimea being forced to give up their Ukrainian passports for Russian passports and reports of routine human rights abuses against Crimean Tatars and other minorities and pro-Ukrainian activists, such as killings, disappearances, detentions, and raids on private homes and businesses. These abuses are unacceptable and we call for an immediate end to such practices.
And finally, a trip update. Secretary Kerry is in Paris today participating in the International Conference on Peace and Security in Iraq. Additionally, he will – had or has already had – obviously, the schedule’s ongoing – bilateral meetings with French Foreign Minister Fabius, the Lebanese foreign minister, the Dutch foreign minister, Iraqi President Masum, and Qatari Foreign Minister al-Attiyah.
That is it.


MS. HARF: Get us started.

QUESTION: Okay. Let’s start with Iraq.

MS. HARF: Okay.

QUESTION: And just first with a logistical question about the meeting on Friday.

MS. HARF: Uh-huh.

QUESTION: Is that – is it your expectation that that will foreign ministers, all foreign ministers, or you’re not --

MS. HARF: I can check on participation. I know that’s still being worked out, obviously. He’s chairing it, but we can check on specific participation and at what level.

QUESTION: Okay. And then related to that – so he will leave New York, or he will definitely not have any schedule on Saturday until --

MS. HARF: In New York.

QUESTION: -- Sunday – sometime on Sunday? Is that correct?

MS. HARF: Correct. Yes. We don’t want people to think he’s up there Friday for the duration.

QUESTION: Okay. All right. So on Iraq and the coalition and Secretary Kerry’s travels, I realize that this has been – there was a lengthy discussion of this at the White House, so I think that a lot of questions have been answered or they’ve been --

MS. HARF: Great. I will always let them go out to the podium first. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Right. But I – you saw this – these reports from Iran with the Supreme Leader. He said when he left the hospital that both your ambassador in Baghdad, Ambassador Beecroft, and the Secretary made direct outreaches, made outreaches to Iranian – well, the ambassador to the Iranian ambassador and Secretary Kerry to Foreign Minister Zarif – about the situation in Iraq. Is that --

QUESTION: About the situation where?



QUESTION: With ISIL. Is that – one, is that true? And two, if it is – even if it isn’t true, can – have there been – what kind of contacts have there been other than the ones that you have already spoken to between Deputy Secretary Burns and others on the side of the P5+1?

MS. HARF: Well, we don’t outline every diplomatic discussion publicly that we have. We’ve said we’ve talked about it on the sidelines of the P5+1 talks, as you mentioned. We’ll be continuing these talks on the nuclear issue starting this week at UNGA, so there may be additional opportunities for conversations. We’re not going to outline every discussion we have, but to be very clear, we are not coordinating with, we do not want to coordinate with, we are not planning to coordinate with Iran in any way on Iraq, period. So obviously, we’re open to having a discussion with them. We won’t always outline all of those discussions. But in terms of the content of what those discussions might look like, we are not coordinating with them.

QUESTION: And there has been no approach to them either in – there’s been no approach to them in Baghdad through the ambassadors?

MS. HARF: I’m not confirming one way or the other any reports of contact. As we’ve said, there are a variety of ways we can talk, but again, don’t always outline all of those publicly.

QUESTION: But what you’re saying is that any contact that you have had and may have in the future will 
not be an ask of Iran; is that right?

MS. HARF: Correct, absolutely correct.


QUESTION: Wait a minute. Not coordinating is different from not asking them something.

MS. HARF: Well, he was – but the reports were about asking to coordinate.


MS. HARF: Correct? So that’s what I was referring to.

QUESTION: The Secretary of State personally asks Zarif and he rejected the request.

MS. HARF: So I was --

QUESTION: So it says nothing that Iran – there’s nothing – in these meetings they haven’t been set up so that Iran – you’re expecting a response, yes or no, from Iran; is that correct?

MS. HARF: We’re certainly not discussing coordinating with them because we’re not going to be coordinating with them.

QUESTION: Well, there’s a question – is there anything for the Iranians to say no to?

MS. HARF: I have – I mean, I don’t even know – I’m sure they could say no to something.

QUESTION: Well, they say – I mean he says no, we said no – right from the start, the U.S. asked through its ambassador whether we would cooperate against Daesh.

MS. HARF: And I just said we are not going to cooperate --

QUESTION: Not. So there --

MS. HARF: So obviously, that would follow that we haven’t asked them to.

QUESTION: Okay. So there is nothing for the Iranians to say no to?

MS. HARF: Well, not necessarily. If we say hypothetically, as I said publicly, we’d like you to support the inclusive government --

QUESTION: Oh, okay. All right.

MS. HARF: I guess then --

QUESTION: As far as you understand --

MS. HARF: -- technically that could be a yes or no question.

QUESTION: But the Iranians – as far as you know, the Iranians have at least gone along with supporting an inclusive government?

MS. HARF: I haven’t heard otherwise.

QUESTION: All right. Sorry, Arshad.

MS. HARF: Yeah, I just wanted to be clear on that for you, so --

QUESTION: What is – can you explain what you’re talking to them about? If you’re not talking about coordinating against IS, what are you – and you’re not asking them to do anything, what are you talking to them about?

MS. HARF: Well, I’ve actually said publicly that we’re asking every country in the region to support the new – including Iran – to support the new inclusive government in Iraq, to channel any assistance to the Iraqi security forces, not to militias or others. Again, I’m not saying these are actual things we’ve said privately to the Iranians; but in general, what I’ve said publicly is that is our message to the Iranians.

QUESTION: So – but then what are you asking them? If that’s your message to the Iranians, are you not saying that to them in private, too?

MS. HARF: Well, I’m not going to outline our private discussions with them from the podium.

QUESTION: So you can’t tell us what you’ve actually discussed with them privately; all you can say is that you’re not going to coordinate with them and you’re not asking them to coordinate?

MS. HARF: Correct.

QUESTION: But there’s a lot you could do other short of coordinating with them.

MS. HARF: Like what?

QUESTION: Well, I mean, you outlined some of it. You talked about even if you’re not coordinating with them, you’re asking them not to fund Iraqi militias. Is that coordination or is that not coordination? I guess in your definition it’s not coordination?

MS. HARF: Well, I didn’t say we were asking them that privately. I said in general, what I’ve said publicly is our message to the Iranians is everyone in the region should support this new government. That’s not a secret.


MS. HARF: That everyone should funnel their support to the Iraqi security forces. I think the report Matt is referencing is a report about coordinating military action, which we have been very clear we are not going to do. And we’re not coordinating with the Iranians on activities inside of Iraq. We’re making clear privately what we say publicly, and they can make their own decisions.

QUESTION: So – okay, so you are making clear privately what you’ve said publicly and what you just referenced about what you’ve said publicly about your desire that they not fund – that nobody fund --

MS. HARF: I’m not getting into specifics, but that we think every country should support the Iraqi security forces if they’re going to private support in this fight here.

QUESTION: But you’re not willing to admit that you’ve said that privately even though you just said we’re saying to them privately what we’re saying publicly?

MS. HARF: I just said, Arshad, that I’m happy to say we are telling everyone we talk to, including the Iranians, that any support should be given to the new government and to the Iraqi security forces.


MS. HARF: That is as detailed as I’m going to get about what we say privately to the Iranians.

QUESTION: If the report is wrong that they have rejected your entreaties or your floating the idea of some kind of cooperation --

MS. HARF: Because we haven’t.

QUESTION: -- so why not try to give people some understanding of what you’re trying to get from them?

MS. HARF: Because we don’t think the way to handle this diplomatically is to talk about our private discussions publicly.

All that time wasted and why?
Because Marie and the State Dept want to split hairs over what sort of relationship they are or are not creating with Iran currently.
That's the sort of thing that they focus on, they that obsess over.

Meanwhile Al Arabiya News reports France has now joined England in sending spy planes into Iraqi air space to carry out "surveillance flights."

So you have other countries now aping the already questionable behavior of the United States.

When the Iraqi people register their offense over these attacks -- and they will -- will they be listened to?

Or will it be like the most recent round where for years they called for all foreign troops to leave their country and, after 8 years, most had left?

If there's a way to improve things, the White House will stumble past it and focus on something else.  Which may be why US President Barack Obama suffers so badly in the polls.  The Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page reminds, "A USA Today-Pew Research Center poll later in August found 54 percent of Americans thought Obama was 'not tough enough.' A Washington Post-ABC poll released Friday similarly found Obama’s approval rating on foreign affairs slipping to a new low of 37 percent among women, almost matching his 38 percent among men."

  • Saturday, September 13, 2014

    Avoid this book!

    Barbara Stanwyck?

    One of the great actresses of all time.  Beautiful, sexy, a woman who wasn't controlled by the studios and shaped a career that lasted for decades and then moved into TV where she found huge success with projects like The Big Valley and Thornbirds.

    Barbara Stanwyck whose first husband beat her.

    Whose best friend Joan Crawford would take her in when she was running out of the house in the middle of the night to avoid that abusive husband.

    Who supposedly had an affair with Joan.

    Who was a lesbian and angrily ended an interview late in life when the issue was brought up.

    Who was a voracious reader.

    Who was a Republican.

    (I don't mean that as an insult.  I'm not a Republican but I find it fascinating Barbara was.)

    Who was an independent woman at a time when few existed. 

    Unlike lesbian Katharine Hepburn, Barbara wasn't 'muted' on screen by repeat parings with a man.  (Henry Fonda may have been the co-star she worked most often with.  And maybe they'd be remembered as a team if it weren't for Jane Fonda casting the by-then ridiculous Hepburn in On Golden Pond.)

    With all of that material to work with, how do you end up with a bad and boring book?

    Ask Victoria Wilson who has written A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel True 1907 -1940.

    Wilson alledgedly spent 15 years writing this book. 

    I'll assume about 90 minutes of that 15 years was in actual writing and the rest was snoozing -- she must have put herself to sleep writing this dreadful book.

    She avoids any mention of Stanwyck's sex life.  She mutes the domestic abuse.

    She tries to play up Stanwyck as a mother.

    Stanwyck's adopted son would grow up not close to his mother, to put it mildly -- a detail Wilson ignores.

    You can say, "Well, it stops at 1940!"

    Yes, you can say that.

    I wouldn't.

    There's a thing called foreshadowing.

    At any rate, it's a boring book that really doesn't even address Barbara's classic films with the exception of Stella Dallas.

    All of these films -- many of them classics -- are ignored:

    'But, Marcia, the book ends in 1940! Those films are later on!'

    Maybe so, but I didn't ask Wilson to write over a thousand bad pages on Stanywck's early films.

    Avoid this book.  Even the photos aren't worth it.

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

    Thursday, September 11, 2014.  Chaos and violence continue, an editorial board turns itself into a joke, some speak out, some stay silent, and much more

    The editorial board of the Macon Telegraph weighs in on Iraq -- apparently to demonstrate their brains are as soft as an overripe Georgia peach.

    All must come together and support US President Barack Obama's plan, declares a body determined to sport their ignorance.

    There is no plan -- just more of the same.

    Dissent is the hallmark of democracy.

    How sad but telling: Journalists who rush to give up freedom and to censor and bully others.

    They grow 'em mighty pathetic at the Telegraph.

    Most of all, the scared little puppies can't stop wimpering -- such as here: "We need our lawmakers to act and act quickly. This is a case of national security. We would caution the president about making statements about what we won’t do. As the evolving situation in Syria and Iraq has shown, there may come a time in the not-too-distant future when more American boots are needed on the ground fighting next to Iraqis and Kurds."

    You sort of picture them cowering in their own filth, don't you?

    What national security?

    Do the morons not even know how to listen?

    In the speech, Barack declared, "While we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland, ISIL leaders have threatened America and our allies."

    Where's the threat?

    In the horror porn fantasies of those who work for the Telegraph.

    Barack's unveiled plan turned out to be the same thing he was already doing but on a little bit wider scope.

    And how's that been working out?

    One sign of the failure of Barack's action would be membership in the Islamic State increasing.

    AP notes CIA spokesperson Ryan Trapani declared today that there had been rapid growth in IS membership since June and that they now have "between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters across Iraq and Syria, up from a previous figure of 10,000."

    Not only have Barack's actions not reduced membership in the Islamic State, they also have increased it -- at a rate that not even Nouri managed.

    Matthew Rothschild (The Progressive) grasps what the Telegraph's editorial board can't:

    Another President who fails to recognize how counterproductive war can be.
    In Iraq, there are 6 million Sunnis who, with every bombing against ISIS, will be pushed more and more into the extremists' arms, as they see the United States waging war against fellow Sunnis.
    In Syria, 60 percent of the country is Sunni, and bombing ISIS is likely to have a similar effect, further tearing that country apart. And if somehow the bombing "degrades" ISIS, it will serve to solidify Assad in power.

    Barack had a chance to offer something new and didn't.  What he's planning to do is the same things that have allowed the Islamic State to significantly increase their own membership.

    Even Ruth Conniff is dismayed.  And I believe she is (I know Matt is).

    But over at The Daily Warren -- excuse me, The Nation.  It just feels like The Daily Warren.

    There's something really sick about a political magazine grabbing onto politicians with all the desperation of a Jimmy Page groupie and running from one celebrity crush to another like a 12-year-old.

    If only Elizabeth Warren had a third nipple -- like Harry Styles! -- the staff of The Nation could serenade Warren with "What Makes You Beautiful."

    Instead, we're stuck with Leslie Savan and her tired horse face.

    Oh, I'm sorry.

    Is that the 'optics' Leslie rails against?

    Well you know what I don't like?

    I don't like the useless -- whether their name is Ralph Nader or Leslie Savin, I don't like 'em.

    And you're useless if, like Leslie, you whine that Barack's speech was reduced to 'optics.'  No, she doesn't know what she's writing about.  Some believe they have an excuse to avoid doing the work.

    Which is what she did: avoided doing the work.

    First,   the press did not dub Barack's suit 'tan.'

    The tan suit -- I have no idea if it's tan or not nor did I obsess over it -- check the archives -- came from Twitter and other social media as Barack was delivering his speech.

    The press even reported on that.

    Leslie missed it.

    She misses a great deal.  Such as, repeating someone else's criticism -- huge chunks of it -- is not doing any of your own work.

    She's so useless that she's written (and copied and pasted) a huge number of words whining about Maureen Dowd and others and how they covered the speech.

    What  Leslie never did?

    Write about the damn speech.

    We did.  We wrote about it last week when he gave it in the 'tan' suit or whatever.

    We wrote about it and we critiqued it.

    It's a week later and all useless Leslie and her ugly horseface can do is whinny in the words of others.

    Whether you agreed with Maureen Dowd or not, she's always one up on Leslie because Maureen puts her own thoughts in.

    Doing a slightly better job than Leslie is Zoe Carpenter who asks "Is the War on ISIS Illegal?"

    Zoe never took the time to weigh in herself -- an opinion writer at an opinion journal who can't share her own thoughts?

    Patrick Martin (WSWS) shares these thoughts:

    In pursuing its objectives in the Middle East, Obama’s pledge not to resort to “boots on the ground” has zero credibility. Already, hundreds of US troops and advisors have been dispatched to the region. Even before Obama went on national television, his secretary of state, John Kerry, was telling a Baghdad press conference that US combat troops would not return to Iraq unless “obviously, something very dramatic changes.” As former Democratic congressman Lee Hamilton, a fixture in the foreign policy establishment, observed, “That’s a loophole a mile wide.”
    As always, decisions that effect the lives of hundreds of millions of people have been decided behind closed doors, by a small cabal, with plans drawn up in advance presented as a fait accompli to be rubber stamped by Congress and sold by the media on the basis of lies.

    And that's how it went.  What should have been a discussion with the American people never took place.

    It should have been demanded.

    But our big brave 'leaders' instead were focused on Hobby Lobby and other 'pressing' issues.

    Justin Raimondo has a column on the topic of Barack's speech here.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014

    It's fixed.

    But of course it wasn't.

    So I'm on the phone last Thursday, at work, with the repair man I booked to fix my a.c. which conked out on me Wednesday of last week.  He comes out that day and charges me a small fortune.

    I'm okay with that because I want my a.c.

    I get home.

    It's burning up.

    Okay, well I'll turn it down as low as it goes.

    Nothing.  It's 85 degrees.

    After three hours of this, I drive to the super store and buy four fans.  I put them all in my bedroom.

    I sweat all night.

    But the next day, he swears it was fixed when he left.

    He says it couldn't have been 85 degrees in my house.

    I tell him that he's right.

    After two in the morning, it was 80 degrees.  I got it to drop five degrees by shutting off the a.c.

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

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014.  Chaos and violence continue, Barack speaks, Barack spins and, yes, Barack lies about Iraq, and much more.

    US President Barack Obama blathered on tonight as only he can.  Was he attempt to convey something or put the world to sleep.

    At one point, he declared:

    So ISIL poses a threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, and the broader Middle East – including American citizens, personnel and facilities. If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region – including to the United States. While we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland, ISIL leaders have threatened America and our allies. Our intelligence community believes that thousands of foreigners – including Europeans and some Americans – have joined them in Syria and Iraq. Trained and battle-hardened, these fighters could try to return to their home countries and carry out deadly attacks.

    Oh, baby had his first yellow cake moment.  Blow out the candles, Barack, and wish for something other than yellow cake uranium.

    "While we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland, ISIL leaders have threatened America and our allies."

    No "specific plotting" but, hell, why let that slow down or, heaven forbid, stop the march to illegal war?

    But these threats?

    Might they include the one Michael Daly (Daily Beast) reported in June:

    When Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi walked away from a U.S. detention camp in 2009, the future leader of ISIS issued some chilling final words to reservists from Long Island.
    The Islamist extremist some are now calling the most dangerous man in the world had a few parting words to his captors as he was released from the biggest U.S.  detention camp in Iraq in 2009.

    “He said, ‘I’ll see you guys in New York,’” recalls Army Col. Kenneth King, then the commanding officer of Camp Bucca.

    That's the leader of the group Barack's using to justify war.

    Who was president when he was supposedly released?

    That would have been Barack.

    Well, he had no threats with which to argue the Islamic State was a clear and present danger to the United States.  Guess they don't do messaging at the White House anymore.

    Okay, so the reason the US needs to attack -- 'supervise' an attack -- on Iraq sort of crumbled as Barack spoke but surely this wordy speech did present a plan, right?

    After months without a plan, Barack finally defined what success would be, what would be done if success wasn't achieved, what the options were, right?


    US President Barack Obama:  Last month, I ordered our military to take targeted action against ISIL to stop its advances. Since then, we have conducted more than 150 successful airstrikes in Iraq. These strikes have protected American personnel and facilities, killed ISIL fighters, destroyed weapons, and given space for Iraqi and Kurdish forces to reclaim key territory. These strikes have helped save the lives of thousands of innocent men, women and children.  But this is not our fight alone. American power can make a decisive difference, but we cannot do for Iraqis what they must do for themselves, nor can we take the place of Arab partners in securing their region. That’s why I’ve insisted that additional U.S. action depended upon Iraqis forming an inclusive government, which they have now done in recent days. So tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.  Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.

    So the plan is . . . keep doing the exact same thing?


    He had to wait how many weeks to 'figure out' his 'answer' was to keep doing what he was already doing?

    Last month, I ordered our military to take targeted action against ISIL to stop its advances. Since then, we have conducted more than 150 successful airstrikes in Iraq. These strikes have protected American personnel and facilities, killed ISIL fighters, destroyed weapons, and given space for Iraqi and Kurdish forces to reclaim key territory. 

    You've killed civilians, Barack, you forgot to note that, didn't you?

    These strikes have helped save the lives of thousands of innocent men, women and children.  But this is not our fight alone. American power can make a decisive difference, but we cannot do for Iraqis what they must do for themselves, nor can we take the place of Arab partners in securing their region. 

    But that's exactly what Barack's doing.

    He's propping a government that doesn't even care.

    I loathe Nouri al-Maliki, he's a thug.

    But I'm not talking about Nouri.

    He's thankfully out as prime minister.

    He is a member of Parliament and one of three Vice Presidents of Iraq.

    I am talking about the Parliament.

    Barack didn't talk about them either, did he?

    That’s why I’ve insisted that additional U.S. action depended upon Iraqis forming an inclusive government, which they have now done in recent days. So tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat. 

    That has not happened, stop lying.

    There is nothing to boast of with regards to the new Iraqi government.

    Yet again, the country has no Minister of Defense nor a Minister of the Interior.

    The Minister of Defense is like the Secretary of Defense in the US.  The Minister of the Interior is over the federal police.

    Supposedly, these two spots will be filled in a week.

    But the same thing was said when Nouri started his second term.

    Nouri ended his second term and guess what?

    Those posts were never filled.

    That a new prime minister has left those posts vacant for even a day should disturb everyone.

    Barack has repeatedly said that 'as Iraq stands up' the US will provide more assistance.

    Saying you have formed a government while leaving the two key security posts vacant is not standing up.

    In fact, Barack's very foolish to reward this nonsense.

    For four years, Iraq's security ministries were empty at the top.  Nouri did that intentionally.

    By not nominating people for those posts he could (unconstitutionally) take over the posts.

    That was four years Nouri short changed Iraq security.

    And now, with the Iraqi government begging for US military help, they still can't get it together enough to get behind filling these posts?

    If it seems like I'm saying 'government' and avoiding calling out Haider al-Abadi, I am.

    He had choices, he had nominees.

    They were shot down.

    I don't understand how you address what you claim is both an external and internal threat to Iraq without a Minister of Defense or a Minister of Interior.

    I don't understand how a US president asks Americans for more sacrifice in the alleged aim of securing Iraq when the Iraqi government doesn't even care enough about security to fill the security posts.

    "Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy ISIL," declared Barack, "through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy."

    That doesn't sound like a plan.

    It doesn't even sound like a wish list.

    Is it a vision board?

    Is the White House using vision boards?

    What was clear, what is always clear, is that Barack's only 'answer' is always: Send more troops into Iraq.

    So it was no surprise when Barack declared that "we will send an additional 475 service members to Iraq."

    As always, Barack insisted that these troops would not be used in combat.

    But . . .

    Roy Gutman (McClatchy Newspapers) reports, "U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry raised the possibility Wednesday that U.S. troops might be committed to ground operations in Iraq in extreme circumstances, the first hedging by an administration official on President Barack Obama’s pledge that there will be no U.S. boots on the ground to battle the Islamic State."

    Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/09/10/239391_kerry-says-us-troops-might-deploy.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

    Let's move over to Phyllis Bennis.  I like Phyllis.  That's never gotten her a free pass her.  When it's time to offer negative criticism, we've done it.  We've also noted it when she gets it right.

    Foreign Policy in Focus offers her "Six Steps Short of War to Beat ISIS" which includes:

    Third, ISIS has support from Sunni tribal leaders—the very people President Obama says he wants to “persuade” to break with ISIS. But these are people who have suffered grievously—first during the U.S. invasion, and then especially under the U.S.-backed, Shi’a-controlled sectarian government of Nouri al-Maliki. They were demonized, attacked, and dispossessed by the government in Baghdad, and many of them thus see ISIS at the moment as the only force they can ally with to challenge that government. And many of them control large and powerful militias now fighting alongside ISIS against the government in Baghdad.
    Fourth, ISIS has support from ordinary Iraqi Sunnis, who (being also largely secular) may hate what ISIS stands for, its extremism and violence, but who suffered terribly from the Maliki government’s arrests, torture, extra-judicial executions, and more. As a result they also are willing to ally with ISIS against Baghdad, at least for now.
    So, weakening ISIS requires eroding the support it relies on from tribal leaders, military figures, and ordinary Iraqi Sunnis. The key question is how do we do that?

    Step One: Stop the airstrikes. Because what we in the U.S. see as “hooray, we got the bad guys” is seen by many in Iraq, especially the very Sunnis the president wants to persuade to break with ISIS, as the U.S. acting as the air force for the Kurds and the Shi’a against the Sunnis. Thus the airstrikes defeat the important goal of ending popular support for ISIS, and instead actually serve to strengthen the extremist organization.

    I'm not going to pick on Phyllis for offering this the day of the speech.

    At least she offered something.

    Myself, I've put a medical issue on hold because of the need to speak out against this latest march to war.  That's why other sites didn't post Tuesday night.  I got the good news health wise at 4:30 pm and advised everyone of it and that after I was done with the teach-in we were attending -- well after midnight -- I'd be blowing off steam and partying.  I said I might do a snapshot, I might not (I did do one).  I wasn't in the mood to make yet another commitment.  (And, to be clear, no one was asking it from the community sites.  Mike had announced  at his site that there would a theme post and that was in case the news was bad because I'd stated I would actually be doing more here if the news was bad.)

    But my point here is where the ___ was everyone?

    Another C-scare and I'm giving my all to this website and to speaking to one group after another to try to stop war and where the ___ were the peace movement leaders?

    Can someone please tell me that?

    Can someone please tell me what the ___ purpose Ralph Nader serves?

    Have you read his garbage this summer?

    Has he once called out the march to increased war on Iraq?

    He's not a peace leader but he certainly feigned interest in the illegal war in the past.

    He's so useless.

    And he's far from the only one.

    And let's not forget bloggers.

    Iraq brought bloggers to prominence.

    But these days they don't give a damn -- or worse, they feature the 'truth' stylings of noted Sunni hater Patrick Cockburn.  Or maybe, like Prashant Rao -- how embarrassing, they're back to reTweeting the paranoid crazy.

    I try to be nice, I do.  But come on, people.

    The lunatic invented this fantasy where the State Dept was out to get him, the FBI, the CIA, the . . .

    That's crazy.

    If he wants to come back from crazy, first step in showing you want to change would be owning what you did, how you enable Nouri al-Maliki throughout his second term, how you made excuses for him, how you pretended to know the law (you don't know a damn thing about the law and you never studied it)

    If he merely kept his nose down and concentrated on his own work, I'd temper my remarks.  But he's back to offering 'analysis' and it's as wrong now as it was then.

    The real difference?

    Back then when I called him out, we didn't know he was a delusional paranoid, one whose own parents would -- by his own admission -- beg him to seek help.

    The circle jerk shares in the responsibility for the current state of Iraq.

    They lied.  They whored.  They misrepresented.

    They better grasp things have changed.

    And reporters are going to have to start paying attention to the (mis)treatment of the Sunni community.

    Kareem Fahim, Azam Ahmed and Kirk Semple (New York Times) report:

    A group of Iraqi Sunni refugees had found shelter in an abandoned school, two families to a room, after fleeing fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. They were gathered in the school’s courtyard last week when the Iraqi Air Force bombed them.
    The bombing, in Alam District near Tikrit, may well have been a mistake. But some of the survivors believe adamantly that the pilot had to know he was bombing civilians, landing the airstrike “in the middle of all the people,” said Nimr Ghalib, whose wife, three children, sister and nephew were among at least 38 people killed, according to witnesses interviewed last week, as well as human rights workers who detailed the attack on Wednesday.

    That report does more than any section of Barack's speech -- or, in fact, Barack's entire speech itself -- to illuminate the realities in Iraq today.  And while Barack spoke of 'success,' Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) was left to report that violence claimed 30 lives today just in Baghdad.

    Monday, September 8, 2014

    Was Denzel being serious?

    Denzel wants to be Bond.

    Like many people, actor Denzel Washington wants to be James Bond.

    It came up during an online discussion.

    I have a few problems with that if he's seriously wanting to play the part.

    First and foremost, he's 59.  He'll be 60 in December.

    That's way too old to be angling for the James Bond part.

    He's not British.

    I really am having this huge problem with American superheroes being played by Brits -- Spider-Man and Superman.

    If I were British, I doubt I'd want to see an American in the role.

    Mainly though, Denzel's at the age where he should be picking his final film.

    Cary Grant went out and Denzel should as well.

    They're leading men, both.  And at a certain age, a man looks ridiculous (Robert Redford) trying to pretend that they can still be leading men long after they shouldn't be.

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

    Monday, September 8, 2014.  Chaos and violence continue, a UN official seems confused as to how Iraqi children die (Nouri could explain it to her, the executioner usually knows all), Haider al-Abadi has become the new Prime Minister of Iraq, a number disgrace themselves trying to scare the American people, and more.

    Ban Ki-moon is the United Nations Secretary-General.  Today, his office issued the following statement:

    The Secretary-General welcomes today’s announcement of the formation of a new inclusive Government in Iraq and congratulates Haider al-Abadi on his confirmation as Iraq's Prime Minister. At this challenging moment for Iraq and the region, today's decision by the Iraqi Council of Representatives is a positive step towards political stability and peace in the country.
    The Secretary-General calls on all Iraqi political leaders to build on the current momentum of collaboration to ensure that a decision is made without delay on the pending appointments of Minister of Defence and Minister of Interior.

    The Secretary-General hopes that the ministerial programme approved today will be implemented in a timely manner, taking into account the needs of all Iraqi communities. The Secretary-General pays tribute to outgoing Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for his leadership in this time of transition. The United Nations looks forward to working with the new Government of Iraq in its efforts to serve all Iraq's communities while confronting major challenges.

    Also weighing in was US Secretary of State John Kerry.  His statement included (click here for statement in full and to stream video of it):

    SECRETARY KERRY: Good afternoon, everybody. Tonight we mark what is unquestionably a major milestone for Iraq, and what President Obama has made clear will be a cornerstone of our efforts against ISIL.
    Just a few hours ago, overcoming the obstacle of ethnic and sectarian divides, the Iraqi parliament approved a new and inclusive government, one that has the potential to unite all of Iraq’s diverse communities for a strong Iraq, a united Iraq, and to give those communities the chance to build the future that all Iraqis desire and deserve.
    Now is the time for Iraq’s leaders to govern their nation with the same vision and sense of purpose that helped to bring this new government together in the first place. And in that effort, they should know the United States will stand shoulder to shoulder with the Iraqis as they implement their national plan to overcome the longstanding political and economic grievances that have for too long divided their country.

    Tonight Iraq has a unity government. Tomorrow I will travel to the Middle East to continue to build the broadest possible coalition of partners around the globe to confront, degrade, and ultimately defeat ISIL.

    Anyone who's read this site for even a little bit should know that thug and former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki is someone who I feel did great harm to Iraq and bred the current crises in the country.

    So I'm thrilled Nouri's gone -- officially.   And here's another opinion on Nouri, Tim Arango of the New York Times:

    The U.S. basically chose Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, whose sectarian politics alienated many Sunnis, creating the fertile ground for ISIS to sweep into these areas. And many of those Maliki policies that have pushed aside the Sunnis were started by the Americans. Excluding Sunnis from political life? That has its origins in the American de-Baathification policy. Mr. Maliki’s security policy of conducting mass arrests of Sunni men in the name of fighting terrorism? The U.S. did that too. So at every turn in the Iraq story now, you see the American legacy at play.

    That's from an online conversation Tim Arango did with Reddit.  Click here for full conversation.

    While I'm glad Nouri is officially out,  it's sad that the Iraqi Constitution has yet to be honored.

    Haider al-Abadi's done better than anyone so far -- well, better than Nouri in 2006 and Nouri in 2010.   But he didn't form a Cabinet -- that would mean a full Cabinet.

    There is no Minister of Defense.  There is no Minister of the Interior.

    EFE notes that "the Defense and Interior portfolios will remain vacant due to disagreements regarding the candidates, said Al-Abadi, who will make new proposals to fill the posts to Parliament in a week."

    That's not a full Cabinet.

    The Constitution has one rule for how a person moves from prime minister-designate to prime minister: Form a Cabinet in 30 days.

    Not a partial Cabinet.

    People can pretend all they want.

    I'm thrilled Nouri is not prime minister.  But I'd be a hypocrite if I pretended the Constitution was being followed.

    Credit to Roy Gutman (McClatchy Newspapers) for noting that the Cabinet is missing two posts:

    But Abadi put off until next week a vote on the two top security posts after members of parliament complained that they knew little about his proposed defense minister, Khalid al Ubaidi, a Sunni who is a former military officer but about whom little else was known.
    Abadi’s nominee as interior minister, Hadi al Ameri, also is likely to prove controversial. Ameri heads the Badr Organization, a Shiite militia group with close ties to Iran. When it was known as the Badr Brigades, the group fought alongside Iran in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, and Ameri’s presence in such a sensitive position _ the Interior Ministry is responsible for Iraq’s police forces _ is likely to rankle many Sunnis.

    The inability to successfully name people to the two posts wasn't surprising.  Over ten hours before the 8:00 pm (Baghdad time) vote, Alsumaria reported a spokesperson for the Sadr bloc  had announced that no vote would  take place on the nominees for Minister of the Interior and for Minister of Defense.

    Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr is the head of the Sadr bloc.  When they make an announcement, it's always worth listening to.  But if anyone doubted their power, on Sunday they blocked  Ahmed Chalabi from becoming the Minister of Municipalities and Construction.

    US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, treated the following:

  • At crucial time, new govt is opportunity for stronger, more united that's vital to defeating ISIL & giving all Iraqis stake in future.

  • Congratulations to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the people of in their approval of a new, inclusive government today.

  • Let's deal with Nouri.

    We noted last week that he was up for one of the three posts of Vice President of Iraq.  Over the weekend, a flurry of rumors insisted he was refusing the nomination -- some rumors even insisted his health was causing him to refuse.

    When has Nouri ever refused a position of power?

    Even so, Sunday found an unnamed "source" telling All Iraq News that Nouri "rejected to be within the governmental formation and also rejected to be within the three presidencies."

    Nouri didn't refuse the nomination and, today, he was voted into office.  National Iraqi News Agency reports the Parliament voted -- majority vote -- to name Nouri, former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and former Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi to be the three vice presidents of Iraq.

    In other news from today, National Iraqi News Agency reports former prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari was named Foreign Minister.  He's a Shi'ite.  Hoshyar Zebari held the post for two terms.  He is a Kurd and, this go round, he's now a Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq.

    Let's move from the Iraqi Parliament over to the US Congress which will no doubt rush to provide legal cover for Barack's actions in Iraq.  Patricia Zengerle and David Lawder (Reuters) report:

    U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to pursue a military campaign against Islamic State without seeking special congressional authority now but lawmakers said on Monday they would probably approve any request he made for extra funding.
    They said there was widespread support in Congress for attacks to stop the advance of the Sunni Islamist militant group, especially after the videotaped beheading of two American journalists by the Islamist group in the last three weeks.

    Robert Costa and Ed O'Keefe (Washington Post) add, "Top House Republican aides said Monday night that based on conversations with White House aides, they do not expect Obama to seek formal authorization. Top House GOP leaders also do not expect to be bringing any such legislation to the floor in the coming days, said the aides, who asked to remain anonymous because they weren't authorized to speak publicly on the matter."

     The White House issued the following statement today:

    The White House
    Office of the Press Secretary

    Letter from the President -- War Powers Resolution Regarding Iraq

    Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
    As I reported on August 8 and 17 and on September 1, 2014, U.S. Armed Forces have conducted targeted airstrikes in Iraq for the limited purposes of stopping the advance on Erbil by the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), supporting civilians trapped on Mount Sinjar, supporting operations by Iraqi forces to recapture the Mosul Dam, and supporting an operation to deliver humanitarian assistance to civilians in the town of Amirli, Iraq.
    On September 6, 2014, pursuant to my authorization, U.S. Armed Forces commenced targeted airstrikes in the vicinity of the Haditha Dam in support of Iraqi forces in their efforts to retain control of and defend this critical infrastructure site from ISIL.  These additional military operations will be limited in their scope and duration as necessary to address this threat and prevent endangerment of U.S. personnel and facilities and large numbers of Iraqi civilians.
    I have directed these actions, which are in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.  These actions are being undertaken in coordination with and at the request of the Iraqi government. I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the
    Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148).  I appreciate the support of the Congress in this action.


    Congress, if the record of the last sixty or so years hold, will vote to back Barack if asked to do so.  There would be some criticism but most would go along.

    The way Dianne Feinstein always does.  Kristina Wong (The Hill) reports:

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) wrote in an op-ed published Monday that the United States "must lead an aggressive, international effort to confront and eliminate" the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) that includes sustained airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.
    The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee wrote in USA Today that the threat posed by ISIS to the U.S. "cannot be overstated."
    Oh, Dianne, I think it can be overstated and, clearly, it can even be overstated by you.
    Just last week, someone who presumably would know the power and reach of the Islamic State offered a different assessment than Dianne.  RIA Novosti reported:
    Speaking at a Brookings Institution Intelligence Project event, US Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Matthew Olsen said this Wednesday that despite the growing strength of ISIS, there is no evidence of a direct threat to the continental United States.
    “At this point, we have no credible information that ISIS is planning to attack the United States,” Olsen told attendees.
    Olsen noted that despite the IS’s growing threat to US interests, Al-Qaeda remains the most serious terror threat, given its global presence. 

    If someone could stop Dianne from running in circles and re-attach her head to her body, she might grasp what Olsen was saying.

    Crazy Dianne should be in a rest home enjoying her final years.  Instead, her faltering memory and diminished capacities go unnoticed by most of the public and won't be remarked on by the media unless/until she angers one of the big money lobbies she has made her career bowing too.

    Not everyone's so stupid.  Senator Mark Udall told the truth.  His thanks?

    CNN's Ashley Killough reports he's had to apologize for a statement:

    In his statement Monday, Udall said his "intent was to emphasize the importance of taking the right next steps as we confront this serious threat."
    Udall, who sits on the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence committees, also has received criticism for arguing that ISIS is not "an immediate threat to the homeland."
    His views are at odds with a majority of the country. According to a new CNN/ORC International poll, seven in 10 Americans believe ISIS has the resources to launch an attack against the U.S.

    I can't endorse Mark for re-election because my rule is I don't endorse anyone I can't vote for.  I live in California so Colorado really doesn't need to know who I'd vote for.  They'll make up their own minds as they should.

    But I can say, on the apology, that's nonsense.  It's a nonsense issue being used to attack Mark.

    And in Colorado or outside of Colorado, you can applaud Mark Udall for telling the truth. He tells the truth when so few even try.

    CNN cites a poll about how Mark's views are at odds with the general public.

    Would that be the case had CNN (and others) not spent hour after hour with alarmist propaganda passed off as news?

    If the media hadn't enlisted in the fear campaign, those numbers wouldn't have shot up.

    So people who care about the truth in the United States should be applauding Mark Udall.  For those who live in Colorado, doesn't mean you have to vote for him.  Should, however, mean you make a point to defend him.

    It's rare for anyone in the US right now -- in or out of Congress -- to point out that the Islamic State is not Napolean's army, let alone Nazi Germany.

    Instead, we get 'experts.'

    Sudden experts apparently.

    Former US House Rep Jane Harman offers a column at CNN which opens,  "President Barack Obama has properly decided to go to Congress and then the American people this week to reveal his strategy to degrade and destroy ISIS. To paraphrase former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, this is a crisis the President should not waste. How individual members of Congress respond to this call should matter and should be a 2014 election issue -- the duck and blame game stops here."

    Is Jane like a chicken with her head cut off?

    No, Jane's just a War Hawk that never met a war she couldn't get to at least third base with.

    It's really hilarious that Jane wants to insist today that members of Congress should be held accountable by how they vote -- if there's a vote -- on Iraq.  That certainly wasn't her position when she sat in Congress.  Harman voted for the Iraq War and being a Democrat from California, she spun madly to justify that vote when the war went so bad that even most members of the media could no longer pretend that things were great, really great.

    Like Jane, the editorial board of the Washington Post never met a war it didn't cheer on which explains this evening's editorial:

    We are glad that the president has come around to a more sober view. But if he is truly committed to the group’s defeat, certain things must follow from that determination. First, the objective — victory — must determine the strategy, tactics and schedule. Heretofore, Mr. Obama has had an unfortunate tendency to do things the other way round: to view military conflict as something to be carried out according to a schedule, whereby U.S. forces must be withdrawn on a particular date, whether their goals were lastingly achieved or not. He has described his country as tired of war, and, in multiple instances, ruled out certain means — ground forces especially — before anyone has even asked for them. He wishfully mused that the tide of war had “receded.” Now, if Mr. Obama believes that the destruction of the Islamic State is essential to U.S. security, he must commit to that goal and fashion whatever strategy is necessary to achieve it.

    Equally ridiculous, the remarks of Leila Zerrougui.  AFP reports:

    Islamic fighters in Iraq have killed hundreds of children including in summary executions and used some as suicide bombers, the top UN envoy on children and armed conflict said Monday.
    "Up to 700 children have been killed or maimed in Iraq since the beginning of the year, including in summary executions," Leila Zerrougui told the UN Security Council.

    What is the rate for whoring?

    I hope Leila was paid well.

    Nouri's government has been killing children for some time -- UNICEF even established that Iraqi forces killed 8 children in the massacre in Hawaija last year.

    And just this weekend, Hawajia was back in the news.   Margaret Griffis (Antiwar.com) reported civilians were killed in airstrikes in Abbai, Tal Ali and Hawija.  Hawija found the Iraq and US military -- and let's be clear, it's both -- bombing a hospital resulting in 18 deaths -- "Eight of the fatalities were newborns housed in a premature baby wing that collapsed due to the strike."

    Iraqi Spring MC Tweeted the following Saturday.

    مقتل الطفل(أنس العباسي)وإصابة(2)بجروح في العباسية شمال سامراء؛ نتيجة لإطلاق نار عشوائي من قبل الجيش ولحشد الشعبي. .

    The young boy in the photo?  Anas al-Abbasi.

    He was killed in Samarra by the Iraqi army  when they fired into a crowd of civilians.

    Two other children were left injured.

    This is why so few people take the United Nations seriously.

    You get some fat, lying, hypocritical ass blathering on about some group, some minor group, while refusing to call out the crimes against civilians carried out by a government.

    It's craven and it's cowardly and it's, sadly, become the hallmark of the Ban Ki-moon era of the United Nations.  His second term will soon be over and it's been a term with little bravery and little accomplishment.

    He's not the only leader on the world stage who should be embarrassed.

    Wednesday, US President Barack Obama is finally supposed to explain his plan or 'plan' for Iraq to the American people.

    Iraq War veteran and March Forward activist Mike Prysner raises a very pertinent question.

  • I wonder if Obama's "3 years to defeat ISIS" Iraq war strategy will be as successful as Bush's "months, not years" Iraq war strategy