Monday, March 6, 2017

Walking away from the no-choice duopoly


That's Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Everyone gets a car!"

Chris Hedges notes:

Trump’s popularity increased the more the establishment condemned him. This would have sent a profound and disturbing message to anyone not as clueless as our liberal elites. They did not get it. They thought they could trot out Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Hollywood celebrities and get the rubes to fall for their routine one more time. They thought the country would again obey.
The liberal class, by embracing neoliberalism and refusing to challenge the imperial wars, empowered the economic and political structures that destroyed our democracy and gave rise to Trump. Multiculturalism, when it means, to use the words of Cornel West, nothing more than having a president who is a “black mascot for Wall Street,” betrays the disenfranchised and endows the ruling elites with a false progressivism, a false humanism and a false inclusiveness.
Hillary and Bill Clinton, Joe Biden and the current Democratic Party leadership designed and built the massive system of imprisonment, essentially ended welfare, expanded our wars and pushed through NAFTA. They destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of poor and working-class families and are responsible for the mounds of corpses in the Middle East. Yet these liberal elites speak as if they are champions of racial and economic justice. They appear in choreographed pseudo-events to demonstrate a faux compassion. Now they have been exposed as fakes.
A genuine populism, one defined and often articulated by Bernie Sanders, could sweep the Democratic Party back into power. Regulating Wall Street, publicly financing campaigns, forgiving student debt, demanding universal health care, bailing out homeowners victimized by the banks, ending the wars in the Middle East, instituting a jobs program to repair our decaying infrastructure, dismantling the prison system, restoring the rule of law on the streets of our cities, making college education free and protecting programs such as Social Security would see election victory after election victory. 

I agree with that and agree with similar comments made in "Roundtable."

Jess:  I'd agree.  Take an idiot like Alyssa Milano, she promotes The White Helmets because she's too stupid to realize they're a propaganda front.  She promotes that, her every day is about anti-Trump Tweets.  I suppose it plays to the politically stupid but what she fails to grasp is that the Democrats (a) are not an answer as the last decades have demonstrated and that (b) many of us live far beyond the two party duopoly.

Jim: Especially in the current environment where Democrats do nothing but harp on Russia.  Is that their answer to the economy?  Is that what's going to win over voters?  It's paranoia and it sounds nutty.

Ty: Let's talk about issues.  Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek talking about the foreclosures on American farms, that's an issue.  Jane Fonda talking about rape and abuse?  That's an issue.  Susan Sarandon speaking out against the Iraq War?  That's an issue.

Jess: And issues matter.  Let's use your last example, Susan Sarandon.  She got attacked viciously for speaking out against the Iraq War.  And that could go to the point about getting attacked because you have power.  That said, I think even some of the people who attacked her back then respect her now.  She spoke about something that mattered.  It was a real issue.  She showed integrity.

Dona: Whining about Hillary Clinton losing does not show integrity.  She's a War Hawk and a liar.  The party needed a better candidate and should have gone with Bernie over her.  Hillary lost because she's a loser with endless baggage.  People seemed to think that we had no choice and we would just vote for her regardless. 

C.I.: On that, I don't think they get your generation at all.

Ava: I would agree with that.  We're the generation who grew up with gay as not shocking.  We're the generation that grew up with war is wrong.  And we grew up with people like Susan Sarandon drawin lines -- rightly, that's not an insult to her.  So this idea that we'll just do as we're told and vote for who we're told to?  I'm sorry, we're not scared little bunnies who grew up in the shadow of McCarthy and nuclear war.  We're not brainwashed.  That's what they don't get about their Russia bulls**t.  It works well for the elderly like Nancy Pelosi.  But they can't grasp that our entire lives has not been about hating 'the other.'

C.I.: And the campaign for Hillary, let's be honest, wasn't about promises to voters, it was about creating 'the other.'  She was too self-involved to realize she needed to appeal to voters.

Jim: Exactly.  There was no campaign.  There was no effort to appeal.  It was all about crooked Hillary is owed this and Donald Trump is evil.  That was the whole slogan.

Ty: And we're the generation that can't be scared into being good little sheep.

Dona: They don't get it.  They really don't.  They think they're the only show in town even though we've had decades of people dropping out of the voting process because they don't believe in it.

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

Monday, March 6, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, Kenneth Roth sees joy where others see anguish, and much more.

It's day 140 of The Mosul Slog.  For any who missed it, the 'big success' of the weekend was taking control of a bridge.

US-backed Iraqi forces announce capture of Mosul's al Hurriya bridge in a new push to drive out ISIL fighters


Or that's what some are desperate to claim and/or see.


Tens of Thousands Displaced as Iraqi Forces Near Mosul City Center -

The refugees are increasing.

As we noted at THIRD in "Editorial: The Mosul refugee problem is whose fault?," the Iraqi government feels this is the fault of the United Nations.

Above is a photo of Jassem Mohammed Al Jaff, the Minister of Displacement and Migration.  And he's blaming the United Nations for the refugee crisis.  As his title indicates, he's actually the person who should be planning for refugees.

Maybe that's why he's blaming the United Nations?

What explains what people see?

It's a question worth asking when you examine two Tweets.

Here's Human Rights Watch's Ken Roth:

Tears of joy and relief as man with daughter escapes ISIS-contolled part of Mosul, Iraq.

Here's the same photo Tweeted by someone who doesn't have Ken Roth's complicated recent history of whoring.

This is Iraq. A father & daughter screaming in despair, while fleeing fighting in Mosu.

Does Ken want to stand by that joy claim?

Because no one else is seeing it.

Maybe you're confused by the photo.  Here's a closer take of the photo.

40,000 displaced from Mosul as Iraqi forces near old city via

Those are not tears of joy.

As we've repeatedly said for months now, Roth is allowing politics to cloud his judgments.

He's the only one seeing tears of joy in that photo.

What he should be seeing is shame in his own reflection.

He's gone around the bend, completely nuts, his Twitter feed is as out of control as US President Donald Trump's Twitter feed.

The photo was taken by REUTERS' Goran Tomasevic and is one of at least four photos of the father and daughter that Tomasevic took.  In no caption to these photos has REUETERS claimed tears of joy.  Only Ken Roth sees that.

While he goes full on nuts, Human Rights Watch issues an alert which includes:

“While politicians in Baghdad are discussing reconciliation efforts in Iraq, the state’s own forces are undermining those efforts by destroying homes and forcing families into a detention camp,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “These families, accused of wrongdoing by association, are in many cases themselves victims of ISIS abuses and should be protected by government forces, not targeted for retribution.”

Benjamin Hall (FOX NEWS) spoke with Iraqi Vice President Ayad Allawi:

“America has lost a lot of potential friends here in the region. … and this is something that the new administration has to address.”
Obama’s principal error, says Allawi, was his disengagement from a country and a region which desperately needed U.S. support. At a time when Iraq couldn’t stand on its own, Obama left -- leaving a vacuum for Iran to fill. Iran’s new influence, he says, is behind much of the bloodshed.

“When our American friends left Iraq in 2011 they never laid down the issues that would strengthen the Iraqis to face the challenges ahead -- their sudden withdrawal in 2011 without the necessary preparation left us many problems to face.

To be clear, FOX NEWS is confused about Allawi.  Both on air and in their write up, they have the wrong time period for when Allawi was prime minister.  From June of 2004 to May of 2005 was when Ayad Allawi was prime minister.

Benjamin Hall:  In 2010, he won the election, he had more seats, but the Obama administration pressured him to hand over power to the Maliki government -- the Iranian-backed Maliki government.  He says that that was the turning point, that was when things changed.  Yes, I think he probably could have been a unifier.  He talked openly about working with Sunni and Shia and Kurds and we know how the Maliki government ended up being very close to Iran, very sectarian.  And so he says -- and I tend to agree with him -- that was the turning point in the country.

And Ayad Allawi is correct.

It's a shame that this turning point took place with the western press ignoring it.

But that's what they did.  Especially in the United States, where the corporate press defined their mission as selling Barack Obama.

If a journalist managed to get the truth in print, it was in a book.  And then, though they might have been media darlings when Bully Boy Bush occupied the White House, in the days of The Cult of St. Barack, flesh peddlers like Charlie Rose couldn't find their numbers suddenly.

The FOX NEWS report is actually disappointing.

Was Ayad Allawi that circumspect or was a decision made not to really go into details?

Allawi wasn't just pressured by then-Vice President Joe Biden to concede.  There's also the issue of The Erbil Agreement -- the US-brokered contract.  Barack personally called Allawi to get him to return to the Parliament and gave his  promise that The Erbil Agreement would be honored.

It wasn't.

And Barack didn't do a damn thing but act like he'd never heard of The Erbil Agreement.

Unlike FOX NEWS, we covered all of that in real time, as it happened.

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