Thursday, January 19, 2017

Cyrus on Scandal

I had the TV on and was on the phone and not paying attention.

When I got off, Scandal was starting and I thought, "Oh, wow, I'll see who dies in the first ten minutes."

Turns out it's a repeat.

But I watched and had to wonder how Cyrus gets all the guys he gets.

Jeff Perry, the actor, is 61, overweight and unattractive.

How he got anyone was a mystery.

But he got a husband who died and now he has a male hooker he's married to raise his child.

And last season he got a Secret Service agent who was good looking in that White granite kind of way.

I can see him as a VP candidate, he's bland in that Tim Kaine and Mike Pence way.

But I can't see him as catnip to men.

Who dies next week (when the new season starts)?

I'm getting the feeling that it's going to be Cyrus' current husband, the former prostitute.

Lisa e-mailed about "the google."  I do the google every now and then to show what shows up when you google The Common Ills.

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

Thursday, January 19, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, the Mosul Slog continues, give REUTERS access and they'll kiss your ass, billions still being made off the Iraq tragedy and much more.

Robert Burns (AP) reports, "Sending thousands more American troops into Iraq or Syria in a bid to accelerate the defeat of the Islamic State group would push U.S. allies to the exits, create more anti-U.S. resistance and give up the U.S. military's key advantages, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in an Associated Press interview."

It's a failure of Barack Obama's that Ash Carter even has to say that.

The answer has always been a political solution.

President Obama said it himself on June 19, 2014.

But instead of offering a diplomatic surge, he let John Kerry play general and fail at the job of Secretary of State.

Apparently still hurting over his Swift Boating -- what most people forget was the biggest laughs during that period came from John in shrink wrap shorts in Hawaii -- he was going to lead . . . the military if not the State Dept.

Kerry was an idiot.

It's rare that the Secretary of State shows a greater desire for military actions than for diplomacy.

Ash Carter had a good run as Secretary of Defense.

He ran his department far better than John did State.

The interview with Carter also includes this:

So while he believes faster is better, "It's important that it be done in a way that victory sticks." That was a reference to avoiding a repeat of the disastrous events of 2014, when Islamic State militants swept into western and northern Iraq from Syria and grabbed control of large swaths of territory as the Iraqi army collapsed. The Obama administration was caught by surprise at the hollowness of the Iraqi army, weakened by political and ethnic strife.

They were caught by surprise.

But the surprise was 'turned corner' is still believed.

Those of us who endured the reporting of the first years of the Iraq War -- especially from THE NEW YORK TIMES -- should remember the turned corner very well.

It maintained: 'We have turned a corner in Iraq.'

It maintained that repeatedly.

Over and over.

So much so that US forces appeared to be walking circles in Iraq as they were forced to turn, turn, turn and turn again non-stop.

The US government -- from day one and continued through today -- has not attempted democracy building in Iraq.

They don't want democracy, the US rulers.

They want control.

Iraq was invaded by foreigners when the US-led war started in 2003.

It was not an empty piece of land.

There were young people, old people, rich people, poor people, doctors, mechanics, etc.

It was a country with a rich culture and a rich heritage.

So Saddam Hussein is run out of power (and eventually found and then executed) and the answer to the US (then and since) has been to put a 'friendly' exile in charge.

That is who they backed from the start.

Cowards who fled Iraq.

These people have no legitimacy in Iraq.

When Bully Boy Bush installed Nouri al-Maliki in 2006, Iraqis weren't overheard proclaiming, "Thank goodness!  He's someone who left the country three decades ago.  He fled.  How lucky we are to have this coward as our leader."

Given the choice, they defied US conventional 'wisdom' and voted Nouri out in the 2010 elections -- however, Barack knew best, right?

So he had US officials broker The Erbil Agreement which nullified the election results and gave a Nouri a second term.

Now the idiotic Hayder al-Abadi is in charge.  Nouri's friend who seems unaware/unconcerned that Nouri is dying to get back into the role of prime minister (he has, to this day, refused to move out of the prime minister's official quarters and Barack put Hayder in charge back in 2014).

Saturday, Hayder declares that Iraq's forces -- especially the militias -- will not be involved in neighboring countries after Mosul is 'liberated' and seems completely unaware that days earlier Nouri al-Maliki had declared that the militias could next take the battle to Syria.

Two exiles, two cowards.

As though Iraq did not have thousands and thousands of strong men and women capable of leadership?

These exiles largely left in the 70s and 80s and waited until the US invaded to return home.

Returning home itself wouldn't be a problem.

But cutting ahead of everyone else to take charge of the country you haven't even lived in for the last years?

The exiles also tended to return to Iraq carrying a great deal.

No, that's not a reference to Ahmad Chalabi stealing all those millions from the bank in Jordan.

It's a reference to those grudges they could never let go of.

They hated Saddam.

Saddam was gone.

That wasn't good enough for them.

They wanted the Sunni people to pay.

They returned with chips on their shoulders and axes to grind.

And it's why sectarianism took hold in Iraq -- it starts at the top.

And it's why Iraq falls apart repeatedly.

There is no success to build upon, Ash Carter.

The people of Iraq have a puppet government that does not serve their needs.

Billions are brought in every year from oil but the Iraqi government cannot pay the bills.


Due to the vast corruption in this government of exiles.

Nouri didn't get rich in exile.

But two terms as prime minister allowed him to dip into the funds and make himself a millionaire and to buy cars and apartments for his worthless son who had needed Daddy to provide him with every job he's ever had.

This isn't news if you paid attention.

When Bully Boy Bush was in office, the Democrats in Congress wanted to hear about Iraq.

Nouri's corruption is well documented in hearing after hearing -- 2007 through 2008.

It's why Hillary Clinton could call him a thug in an open hearing in 2008 while she sought the Democrat's presidential nomination -- and why no one fretted about any damage between US-Iraq relations over Hillary's comment.

It's why Senator Barbara Boxer could demand that Nouri pay the Awakenings' salary (also known as Sons Of Ira and Sahwa) and it happened (well, the promise of it happened at least).

The corruption was well known.

But Barack came into office and, per Samantha Power, it was time to appease Nouri.

All oversight of Iraq stopped under Barack.

Hillary's State Dept refused to do more than submit a generic budget request for Iraq to Congress and when questioned about specifics refused to explain what they were requesting money for.

Stuart Bowen was let go as his office (Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction) was closed because Hillary didn't need no stinking oversight.

Bowen's greatest crime?

While Hillary's State Dept insisted on millions, for example, to train Iraqi police, Bowen wrote in a report and testified to Congress about how the official (acting Minister of Interior) had publicly declared that Iraq did not need the help from the US in training and that the US should spend their money elsewhere.

Despite this sentiment, Hillary's State Dept wasted millions constructing a training facility that would never be used for that purpose.

Barack and his team came in having learned no lessons from the previous administration.

And as Ash Carter gets ready to depart, he's learned nothing.

We will turn another corner.

Yeah, right.

The violence stems from the actions the Iraqi government takes and from the fact that it's not a real government.

People were hopeful with Hayder al-Abadi.

People I consider very wise on the subject of Iraq thought a change was going come.

It didn't.

Americans whining about an "illegitimate" president better either own up to Iraq or just stop whining.

The Iraqi people have an illegitimate government.

And it was forced off on them by us, the American people, because it has been our leaders who have put these exiles in charge and repeatedly looked the other way as various sections of the population were persecuted.

I know the Yazidis are backed up by the right-wing p.r. group.

Even so, it is amazing to read supposedly mainstream press reports claiming they are the most persecuted religion in Iraq.

I'm sorry, is there faith water based?  Have they been scattered around the world?

There are religious groups that suffer throughout Iraq.

Maybe if the Mandaeans could interest US neocons, they'd get publicity too?

Instead, they live with persecution daily while, in the US, The Debra Messings whine because someone they don't like will be sworn in as president on Friday.

Mosul will be no "turned corner."

As former US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told HERE AND NOW (NPR) last November, "The real issue is not whether Mosul could be retaken — it'll be retaken — it's what happens afterwards. And that's the whole set of questions we did not ask ourselves before we invaded Iraq in 2003 — who governs, who's legitimate to govern, how will the new governing coalitions be established, how are you going to rebuild a country?"

That point gets little airing.

But "turned corner" and idiotic praise never stops.

In under 3 weeks, -i forces went from holding 1/4 of to nearly the whole east of the city. Imperssive

Whose Kalin working for?

Hard to say REUTERS with that Tweet.

Kalin's not a columnist.

So he needs to deal with facts.

Three weeks?

I guess if you want to reset the starting date you can lie like that.

The operation -- which was supposed to last 3 weeks tops -- began how many days ago?

94 days ago.

And it's still not been completed.

There's nothing impressive about that.

Lick the boots of your master, Kalin, lick the boots.

(If he didn't, he couldn't boast, "Reuters gained unprecedented access late last month to three locations where hundreds of U.S. troops are deployed, including one of their most forward outposts in Bartella where Matthaidess operates.")

Here's another fact for Kalin, THE MORNING STAR reports:

Some commanders on the ground disputed Lt-Gen Shaghati’s claim of “full control” of eastern Mosul. Lieutenant General Abdul-Amir Raheed Yar Allah said the eastern side “has not been fully liberated … and the advance is still continuing.”

Or how about this:

Iraqi Civilian Death Toll Mounts as Fighting Intensifies in Mosul

Or this:

😭😭😭😭 My Ppl Iraqi sunnis civilians From My tribes killed by Iraqi army Airstrikes on

#IRAQ شمرية العراق Retweeted #IRAQ شمرية العراق
و لاقناة ولا عربيه نشرت المجزرة التي حدثت مع مشايخ شمر لعد شكد سرسريه سنة العراق قصتهم ك قصة النبي يوسف رمونا بالبئر ونسونا
#IRAQ شمرية العراق added,

#IRAQ شمرية العراق Retweeted #IRAQ شمرية العراق
اني هواي مرات اسئل نفسي احنا (سنه العراق ) احياء لو اموات ؟! هل نحن اموات فلا يستطيع احد رؤيه جرائم الحكومة الطائفيه ضدنا ولا اعلام يصل لنا
#IRAQ شمرية العراق added,

#IRAQ شمرية العراق Retweeted #IRAQ شمرية العراق
I ask myself Are we (Iraqi Sunnis civilians) still alive or we dead for this no one can see us and the media can not reach us
#IRAQ شمرية العراق added,

Just a few realities that interfere with Kalin's version of a ''turned corner."

Don't act so concerned
No don't be concerned
Don't know how much more
Of your kindness that I can bear
Guess I had to learn
I just had to learn
That after all this
You just don't care
But don't let that worry your mind now
I'll be OK

-- "Don't Lose Any Sleep," written by Diane Warren, first recorded by John Waite for his album ROVER'S RETURN

It's just the destruction of Iraq that's taken place, no need to be concerned, right?

That appears to be the view of many.

And big money was and is being made off Iraq.

THE DAILY GAZETTE reports, "General Electric on Wednesday announced that Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity awarded it a contract worth more than $1.4 billion to set up power plants, upgrade technology and provide maintenance services."  And Aref Mohammed, Saif Hameed, Maher Chmaytelli and Susan Fenton (REUTERS) report, "Shell has signed a $210 million contract with Halliburton to drill 30 wells in Iraq's Majnoon oil field, two oil sources said on Thursday."

The following community sites -- plus KPFK -- updated:

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