Monday, March 20, 2023

And that's what makes true crime so fascinating

The Associated Press reports:

Police believe a Colorado dentist laced his wife’s pre-workout protein shakes with arsenic and cyanide, eventually killing his spouse so he could be with a woman he was having an affair with, according to court documents.

James Craig, 45, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder Sunday, shortly after his wife died after being taken off life support during her third trip to the hospital this month. According to court records, he is being represented by the public defender's office, which does not comment on cases. 

It screams true crime book, it screams mini-series.  

The ego involved in thinking you can poison your spouse and you won't get caught or be suspected.   We watch to see these idiots get caught.  

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

Monday, March 20, 2023.  20 years of ongoing war.

Last night, I said SALON won The Big Idiot Sweepstake because yesterday they 'honored' the Iraq War by printing the whore Norman Solomon who whored in his piece on Iraq as he always does.  We noted the way that he left Barack Obama out of the history and that he lied in real time when he was pimping Barack because he didn't tell audiences he was a pledged delegate for Barack.  We noted how he spent the eight years of Barack's presidency ignoring Iraq.  And we noted how, in the middle of Lt Ehren Watada's court martial, Norman started publicly calling for him to drop everything to defend a journalist who didn't want to reveal her sources -- as though that were the biggest issue on Ehren's plate.  

I always forget MOTHER JONES exists.  And that they allow vermin like David Corn to occupy space there.  David spent the lead up the war and the early year attacking anti-war people -- like members of ANSWER.  He also felt the biggest tragedy of the Iraq War was the outing of Valerie Plame (a CIA agent).  But it takes a lot of gall for David Corn -- who still hasn't apologized for his many lies about Russia and the whole pee-pee Trump tape or, for that matter, lying about Bill Clinton pardoning two members of the Weather Underground -- to write a piece about the lack of accountability and how the liars and cheerleaders of the Iraq War were rewarded and publish it at MOTHER JONES where the blogger that they hired after the start of the illegal war was . . . Iraq War cheerleader Kevin Drum.

Oh, are we still pretending his health problems are about to send him to a grave? 

I remember those e-mails, should we publish them here, from the two dumb women who run MOTHER JONES?  About we shouldn't criticize Kevin because of his health.   What was that?  10 years ago?  I think there are over a million dead Iraqis with family and friends that with the dead had even two -- let alone 10 -- more years of life.  

No link to their garbage.  MOTHER JONES is garbage island.  Since those two women took over, it has become worthless -- that's David Corn, that's Kevin Drum, that's their attack on rape victims.  It's really past time that the left policed itself and  grasped that Clara and Monika don't belong anywhere on the spectrum of the left -- or, for that matter, in publishing.

By the way, David rushes to praise John McCain -- who pushed for the Iraq War -- but can't take a moment to credit any of the many activists around the world who stood against the illegal war.  It was that way in real time, please remember.  He spat on protesters in one column after another and he ignores them and the Iraqi people in his column today which is nothing but his usual garbage of shirts-and-skins with him choosing political sides.  

Let's note some of the people who had skin in the game.

Janeane Garofalo comes immediately to mind.  

She didn't mouth something once in London so I guess it doesn't matter that she spoke out publicly against the war before it started and after it started.  She took it to Bill O'Reilly's face.  She was right.  He was wrong.  It would be nice if Sam Seder -- who stabbed her in the back -- could take a moment this week to credit her -- we'd even include a video of it  here -- for being a brave voice who spoke out against the war.  

She became more prominent as a progressive when she voiced opposition to what became the 2003 Iraq War, appearing on CNN and Fox News to discuss it. She said that she was approached by groups such as and Win Without War to go on TV, because these organizations say that the networks were not allowing antiwar voices to be heard. Garofalo and the other celebrities who appeared at the time said they thought their fame could lend attention to that side of the debate. Her appearances on cable news prior to the war garnered her praise from the left and spots on the cover of Ms. and Venus Zine. Garofalo has had frequent on-air political disputes with Bill O'Reilly, Brian Kilmeade, and Jonah Goldberg.[22]

Prior to the 2003 Iraq War, she took a position on the alleged threat posed by Saddam Hussein. For example, in an interview with Tony Snow on a February 23, 2003 episode of Fox News Sunday,[23] Garofalo said of the Iraqi dictator:

Yes, I think lots of people are eager to obtain weapons of mass destruction. But there's no evidence that he (Hussein) has weapons of mass destruction. There's been no evidence of him testing nuclear weapons. We have people that are in our face with nuclear weapons. We've got Iran and North Korea. We've got a problem with Pakistan. You know, I don't know what to say about that. There's a whole lot of people that are going nuclear. And I think that Saddam Hussein is actually, with the evidence, the least able to use nuclear weapons and the least obvious offender in that area at this moment.

— Janeane Garofalo, Fox News interview

In March 2003, she took part in the Code Pink anti-war march in Washington, D.C. That autumn, she served as emcee at several stops on the Tell Us the Truth tour, a political-themed concert series featuring Steve Earle, Billy Bragg, Tom Morello, and others. Throughout the year, Garofalo also actively campaigned for Howard Dean. While on Fox News' program The Pulse, O'Reilly asked Garofalo what she would do if her predictions that the Iraq war would be a disaster were to turn out wrong. Garofalo stated:[24]

I would be so willing to say, 'I'm sorry'. I hope to God that I can be made a buffoon of, that people will say, 'You were wrong. You were a fatalist.' And I will go to the White House on my knees on cut glass and say, 'Hey, you and Thomas Friedman were right ... I shouldn't have doubted you ...'

— Janeane Garofalo, Fox News interview

There was Harry Belafonte, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Samuel L. Jackson, Marjorie Cohn, Martin Sheen, Jessica Lange, Barbara Kingsolver, Alice Walker, Ralph Nader, Lynne Woolsey, Maxine Waters, Lloyd Doggett, John Conyers, Michael Ratner, Heidi Boghosian, Michael Smith, Robert Altman, Gloria La Riva, Phil Donahue, Jane Fonda, Michael Moore, Daniel Ellsberg, Maxine Hong Kingston, Cynthia McKinney, Howard Dean, Gore Vidal, Stan Goff . . .

So many people stood up.  And you don't see that in the coverage.  You see War Hawks like John McCain applauded because -- one foot in the grave right before he died he admitted it was wrong.  Wow.  That was so important.  That brought back from the dead how many Iraqis?


That's right: None.

Monday marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. CPH:DOX will reflect on the repercussions of the war, which ousted Saddam Hussein, but never led to the discovery of weapons of mass destruction, by screening two documentaries: Greta Stocklassa’s “Blix Not Bombs” and Karrar Al-Azzawi’s “Baghdad on Fire.”

“(The invasion) was an event that has shaped international politics over the course of the last two decades in unpredictable and often devastating ways,” says CPH:DOX head of program Mads Mikkelsen. “Not least inside Iraq itself. (‘Blix Not Bombs’ and ‘Baghdad on Fire’) provide two different takes – a shot and reverse shot – on the course of events back in 2003 and on the current situation in Iraq as seen from the inside and through the eyes of the young.”

“Blix Not Bombs” follows Hans Blix, the former head of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, who was sent to Iraq in 2002 to determine whether U.S. suspicions that the country was manufacturing weapons of mass destruction were founded. Though the final report found no evidence of an Iraqi weapons program under Hussein, the U.S. and a coalition of allies nevertheless decided to invade the country. Now in the final stretch of his life, Blix questions whether he did enough to prevent a war whose impact is felt to this day.  

The corporate mediascape in the US was an echo chamber for state propaganda. It wasn’t just the Manichaean worldview of post-9/11 national security hysteria, but a deep-seated colonial mentality – variations on the white man’s burden. An analysis of US TV news in the few weeks preceding the invasion found that sources expressing scepticism of the war were massively underrepresented. The media performed its function quite well in manufacturing consent and parroting official propaganda. In March 2003, 72% of American citizens supported the war. We should never forget this. (Up until 2018, 43% of Americans still thought it was the right decision.)

In Cairo, I watched as the US began its “shock and awe” campaign – a terrifying rain of death and destruction on Baghdad. Poetry was my refuge and the only space through which I could translate the visceral pain of watching the violence visited on Iraq and seeing my hometown fall to an occupying army. Some of the lines I wrote in the early days of the invasion crystallise my melancholy:

The wind is a blind mother
over the corpses
no shrouds
save the clouds
but the dogs
are far quicker

The moon is a graveyard
for light
the stars are women

Tired from carrying the coffins
the wind leaned
against a palm tree
A satellite inquired:
Whereto now?
The silence
in the wind’s cane murmured:
and the palm tree caught fire.

I had always hoped to see the end of Saddam’s dictatorship at the hands of the Iraqi people, not courtesy of a neocolonial project that would dismantle what had remained of the Iraqi state and replace it with a regime based on ethno-sectarian dynamics, plunging the country into violent chaos and civil wars.

Four months after the invasion I returned to Baghdad as part of a team to film About Baghdad, a documentary about the war and its aftermath. The chaos was already evident. One of the tens of interviews we conducted that simmering July was with a man who was optimistic about the occupation. “But a lot of these people the US is bringing to rule are thieves and crooks,” I told him. “My son,” he replied, “if they steal half of our wealth we’ll still be better off with the other half.” I remember that conversation whenever I read about the astronomical figures and massive corruption of the post-2003 Iraqi regime.

Some Iraqis we interviewed were obviously seduced by or took American promises seriously. Others were too drained and desperate after more than a decade of another war in the form of the genocidal sanctions from 1990 to 2003, and thought “so be it”. There were those, inside and outside, who knew that this was colonialism and stood against it. But there were colonised minds aplenty. A group of Iraqi writers, poets and professionals later penned a thank you letter to Bush and Tony Blair.

When the nonexistent WMDs were not found, there was a shift in the propaganda narrative to “democracy” and “nation building”. The war’s lethal effects were rationalised as the necessary birth pangs for a “new Iraq”. The country would be a model in the Middle East for what global capital and free markets could offer. But promises and plans of reconstruction became black holes for billions of dollars and fuelled a culture of corruption. American war advocates themselves benefited from the war.

The invasion did bring about a new Iraq. One where Iraqis have daily encounters with the consequences of the war on terror: terrorism. The “new Iraq” that the warmongers promised did not bring Starbucks or startups, but car bombs, suicide bombings, al-Qaida and later Islamic State – the latter hatched in the US’s own military prisons in Iraq.

In the first few months of the invasion I saw a report on a US TV channel showing an embedded reporter with American soldiers in a Humvee about to leave a base near Baghdad on a patrol. When the Humvee exits the gate, one of the soldiers tells the reporter: “This is Indian country.” This, I learned, is a common, although unofficial, term, used in the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan to refer to “hostile and lawless territory”. NBC’s Brian Williams recounted how a US general giving him a tour in Iraq used it too.

The colonial frame and embedded notions of white supremacy illuminate how most Americans, military or civilians, can view, make sense of, or simply ignore what their government does. It was another frontier between the forces of an advanced and well-meaning civilisation and a hostile and violent culture, ungrateful for what was offered and burdened by its violent past.

The Iraq that the invasion begat must be one of the most corrupt states in the world. Iranian-backed militias (whose rise was a byproduct of the dynamics the invasion created) dominate the lives of Iraqis and terrorise opponents. They helped the regime brutally crush the 2019 uprising, which was spearheaded by Iraqi youth who rejected the political system that the US installed. One of their slogans in the uprising’s early days was: “No to America, no to Iran!”


Even today, we can't get reality.  At AXIOS, Dave Lawler offers this lie:

Barack Obama made his opposition to the Iraq War a central tenet of his 2008 presidential campaign and promised to pull out within 16 months. Obama did withdraw the remaining U.S. forces in 2011 but was forced to send troops back three years later after ISIS conquered huge regions of Iraq and neighboring Syria.

His opposition?  In 2004 at the DNC convention in Boston, he told the press that if he'd been in the Senate in 2002, he would have probably voted for the Iraq War.  He told Elaine and I, to our face, when we attended one of his big money fundraisers for the Senate that "we were in Iraq now so opposition no longer mattered."  He did pretend, when running for the presidential nomination years later, that he was against the Iraq War.  Then Samantha Power told the BBC in March 2008 that his promises to remove US troops from Iraq weren't promises because you couldn't be bound by remarks on the campaign trail.  

And of course, he didn't keep his word, he tinkered with the war to keep it going.  He did a drawdown, not a withdrawal, at the end of 2011.  And before 12 months had elapsed he was secretly sending US troops back into Iraq as everyone looked the other way.  In September 2012,  Tim Arango (NEW YORK TIMES) slipped this into a report on Syria:

Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to General Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence.        

The following sites updated:

No comments: