That's "If I Ain't Got You," my favorite song by Alicia Keys. We're all noting our favorite songs by Alicia tonight because this Friday her new album ALICIA comes out.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Tuesday, September 15, 2020. Joe Biden's destruction of Iraq didn't end with his 2002 vote.
A failed state, that's Jimmy Dore's call below.
Joe Biden. He said Friday that he's for keeping troops in Iraq. (He also, please note, pretends his son Beau died in Iraq to try to silence the veteran confronting him -- Beau died in the US, he died from cancer, he returned from Iraq in 2009, he died in 2015.) He wants to keep troops in Iraq.
Despite Tulsi Gabbard lying in the debate at the end of July, and in her days of gabbing afterwards, Joe Biden has never apologized for his vote for the Iraq War. What he has said is the Bully Boy Bush -- that would be Bully Boy Bush, the global village's idiot -- tricked him. Joe was tricked by Bully Boy Bush. That's all he's apologized for -- being so stupid that he was tricked by Bully Boy Bush.
He could have been held accountable but instead we had Tulsi both lying and whoring for Joe Biden. Tulsi, don't ever pretend you're anti-war again. You had a chance to stand up for the never-ending wars, the endless wars, the forever wars and you elected to to step to the other side. That's on you.
And what's on Joe is that he championed the Iraq War and never learned a damn thing from it.
In April of 2008, he was noting in a public hearing that there was no real government in Iraq and yet he goes on to pretend otherwise as vice president. He knew better and he's never been forced to explain that or take accountability for it.
The previous day, Thursday, Biden told Stars and Stripes that as president he would keep US troops in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq indefinitely. He spoke the day after Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the US Central Command, announced that the US planned to cut the troop level in Iraq from 5,200 to 3,000 by the end of this month and reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan from 8,600 to 4,500 by November.
According to the military newspaper, “Biden said the conditions in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq are so complicated that he cannot promise full withdrawal of troops in the near future.”
It added that the Democratic candidate “said he does not foresee major reductions in the US defense budget as the military refocuses its attention to potential threats from ‘near-peer’ powers such as China and Russia.” The Pentagon budget has soared under Trump, with overwhelming support from congressional Democrats, to $738 billion.
“In fact,” the article stated, “he [Biden] said defense spending could increase in a Biden administration.” It quoted the former vice president as saying, “I’ve met with a number of my advisers and some have suggested in certain areas the budget is going to have to be increased.”
The article noted that Biden has “vowed” to better equip the National Guard, which is increasingly being deployed in cities across the country to assist local and state police in suppressing left-wing protests.
There is no defense for Joe Biden's vote for the war and his attacks on people who opposed the war. Joe was wrong and can't admit it.
That video acts as though that's all Joe did. That's why I've always seen THE REAL NEWS NETWORK as garbage. Joe Biden harmed Iraq with the 2002 vote. He did not make things better after. He continued to harm Iraq. When the American people were tired of the war finally, Joe was off talking about partitioning Iraq.
No officials or leaders in Iraq were pushing for that notion. Just Joe. And what was it but an attempt to divert from calls for US forces to leave Iraq. In April 2008, he chaired an open hearing where he noted that US forces were being used in Iraq to prop up a government that didn't really exist.
That government didn't exist because it wasn't of Iraq. It was imposed on them by the US. And that also explains who has been a prime minister. Every one who got the post -- not elected by the Iraqi people -- was someone who was too chicken to stay in Iraq. They had fled and lived abroad and only returned to Iraq in 2003 after the US invasion.
No one wants a chicken, a coward, representing them.
But we're all supposed to pretend otherwise and look the other way as the US (and Iran) have picked one leader of Iraq after another.
Joe knew US forces were being used to prop up a fake government. He knew that as a US senator in 2008. And then he became prime minister and worked with a man he knew was a thug -- Nouri al-Maliki. He's not been asked to explain that.
In 2008, then-Senator Hillary Clinton rightly called Nouri a "thug" in an open hearing. That is why, as Secretary of State, she wasn't the leader on Iraq. Joe was the leader on Iraq for the administration. And he gladly worked with Nouri and looked the other way while Nouri ran torture chambers and secret prisons. Joe knew that. And worked with him.
It gets worse. March 2010, Iraqis voted Nouri out. They made Iraqiya the big winner. Iraqiya was a coalition of men and women, of Sunnis, Shi'ites, and every other grouping. Iraqiya was about a national identity.
Nouri was a thug who was terrorizing the Iraqi people. And the Iraqi people voted him out. But when Nouri refused to step down, Joe didn't back democracy, didn't back the Iraqi people, didn't back anything but Nouri. After eight months and a few weeks, in November of 2010, Nouri al-Maliki (who lost the election) was declared the prime minister of Iraq. This was carried out via a contract Joe oversaw and sold to various Iraqi leaders: The Erbil Agreement.
It was pork legislation. To get everyone on board, various groups were promised various things. Nouri, being the thug he was, never honored it, as soon as he was made prime minister, his spokesperson said the contract was illegal.
And Nouri is probably right about that. You can't overturn the will of the people with a secret contract.
There's also the issue of ISIS. THE REAL NEWS NETWORK is among many liars when it comes to ISIS. ISIS grew in Iraq for one reason: Nouri al-Maliki was terrorizing the Iraqi people. That's how ISIS saw an opening. They showed up on the highway from Baghdad to Falluja. The Iraqi people had been protesting and Nouri was terrorizing them. They were on that highway and suddenly these men in garb show up saying they will defend these protesters. Those 'defenders' were ISIS. That's when ISIS announces its presence in Iraq and begins building its group.
Why are US troops still in Iraq?
They're not protecting the Iraqi people. We're weeks away from a year of Iraqi forces killing and wounding Iraqi activists for the 'crime' of protesting. Two different prime ministers have insisted the killings should stop but they haven't. Adil Abdul-Mahdi was prime minister this time last year and was forced out by the Iraqi people for corruption and for the targeting of the activists. Mustafa al-Kadhimi became prime minister May 7th.
The killings continue. ALJAZEERA presented the following program on Monday.
You can be killed for a Tweet in Iraq. This is the government the US is propping up. The US military is not on the ground to protect the Iraqi people. Their presence enables a thuggish government to attack the Iraqi people.
Where is the outrage in the US?
It's not there in part because people who should be using their voices walked away from Iraq long ago -- it wasn't a big fundraiser for them anymore and they didn't get the easy media attention and, let's be honest. the Leslie Cagens are always whores.
What's taking place is a crime against humanity.
It's appalling and we're on record here calling it out in real time. In 20 years, when the world finds it outrage over what took place right now, I'm not in the mood to be kind. People need to speak out in real time.
The Iraqi people have been denied the right of self-determination. A government has been imposed on them. And the US military is used by the US government to keep this illegitimate government propped up.
ALJAZEERA's program is one that should have been put together by a US news network. But they look the other way and ignore reality. Let's not forget that when PBS aired the BBC Iraq documentary a few months back, they cut out several important segments -- insisting the cuts were for time reason.
Yeah, right. Because, in the midst of this pandemic, PBS has so much new content to offer viewers that their schedule is just too crowded, right?
Because of the turmoil and the outrage of the Iraqi people and because they've taken to the streets, Adil Abdul Mahdi was forced to step down as prime minister after being appointed to a four year term (he would serve less than two years). Because of the turmoil and the outrage and the protests, Mustafa, appointed May 7th, has announced early parliamentary elections will take place June 6th. This could result in a new prime minister. ASHARQ AL-AWSAT reports:
Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission announced on Monday five conditions to hold early parliamentary elections in June 2021.
It issued a statement shortly after the country’s highest Shiite authority, Ali al-Sistani, voiced his support for holding the polls during a meeting with United Nations envoy Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert.
The Commission said it welcomed Sistani’s position, saying it will be ready to stage the elections “once its conditions, which it has frequently stipulated, are met.”
Dr. Margaret Flowers is an activist who has long advocated for peace and for Medicare For All. She has just lost her partner in peace Kevin Zeese. DISSIDENT VOICE has a piece she wrote about her late husband and this is an excerpt:
As I wrote last week, Kevin Zeese died unexpectedly in his sleep, likely from a heart attack, early in the morning on September 6. He had not shown signs of illness and was working until the end.
Many of you know Kevin from Popular Resistance, from his writing and podcast Clearing the FOG. He had a deep knowledge of history and the issues. He often spoke of his time working for Ralph Nader in 2004 when he wrote policy briefs as a “PhD in public policy.” Kevin understood how political power works.
Kevin’s work in activism spanned more than 40 years. He worked on political campaigns during high school in Queens, New York and protested the Vietnam War. When radical lawyers Ramsey Clark and William Kunstler spoke at SUNY Buffalo, where he was studying political science, Kevin was inspired to join the civil rights movement. He went to Boston to be a marshal for an anti-racism march and was attacked with others by police on horseback.
During law school at George Washington University, Kevin’s favorite class was on legal activism. He describes the experience in Americans Who Tell the Truth:
We created a group SEXCE (Students for the Examination of Contraceptive Effectiveness) and got legislation introduced in Congress, got the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to correct their advertising, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to start a rulemaking process to correct their labeling. It was pretty amazing to see all of that come out of one law school course on Legal Activism.’ Through this project, Zeese says he ‘learned guerilla law and legal judo’—how to leverage the law with minimum cost and maximum impact.
Kevin’s first internship was with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) answering letters from prisoners. He said this gave him a deep understanding of the destructive impact the War on Drugs has on people and their families. After law school, Kevin worked as legal counsel for NORML and then as executive director. He was working to legalize marijuana when Reagan was president and popular opinion strongly supported the Drug War. Kevin sued the Drug Enforcement Agency three times over the reclassification of medical marijuana and won, but each time the decision was overturned on appeal.
During this time, Joe Biden was the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee who worked with the racist head of the Dixiecrats, Strom Thurmond, to push for a ‘drug czar’ (Reagan vetoed that) and for more severe punishments. Kevin called Biden the architect of the drug war and mass incarceration.
We'll wind down with this tribute to Kevin Zeese by Lee Camp.
The following sites updated: