Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Iraq snapshot

Wednesday, October 26, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the Iraq mission remains undefined, more War Hawks and War Criminals back Hillary Clinton, and much more.

The advance on Mosul slowly moves along . . .

  1. Islamic State holds up Iraqi army south of Mosul

Not so liberating: Iraqi village freed from Islamic State, but then things get complicated

As that inches along, Turkey continues to maintain it can fight in Iraq.

For those late to this story, Turkey has troops in Iraq.

The Iraqi government has repeatedly ordered them to remove those troops.

The Iraqi government has stated they do not want the troops there and they do not want the troops involved in the Mosul operation.

The Turkish government refuses to respect Iraq's requests or Iraq's national sovereignty.

At least the United States understands the concept of national sovereignty.

The issue came up Monday at the State Dept press briefing moderated by lovely lashes John Kirby (desperately attempting to become an MSNBC star -- no joke, he's angling for a post-administration gig),

QUESTION: The rise in tensions between Turkey and Iraq. After --

MR KIRBY: Between Turkey and?



QUESTION: After Secretary Carter’s visit both Iraq and Syria, what’s the status of the – with tensions? Do you see a potential ultimate agreement?

MR KIRBY: Well, I’d let – I think I’d let each side speak for themselves in terms of where they see the tensions. What’s been important is that there has been dialogue and we’ve said all along, many months ago when tensions over a Turkish military footprint came up, that we wanted to see Turkey and Iraq talk through this and work through this bilaterally.

QUESTION: But did Secretary Carter ease any rise in tensions between them in this visit in particular?

MR KIRBY: You’d have to talk to Secretary Carter and his staff. I don’t do a good job speaking for the Defense Department anymore, so you’d have to talk to them about that.

Let each side speak for themselves?

What about national sovereignty, John Kirby?

You know, if he'd spend less time pumping Mika for tips on making it at MSNBC and more time doing his job he might make it to adequate.

Tuesday, the issue was raised again.  Still Kirby failed to stand up for sovereignty.


MR KIRBY: Where?


MR KIRBY: Okay, sure.


MR KIRBY: Said is being a gentleman.

QUESTION: I appreciate that. Thank you. So the Turkish foreign minister said today that they could launch a ground operation in Iraq. You’ve talked a lot about how Turkey is a key NATO ally. How does the U.S. feel about that?

MR KIRBY: Well, again, I’m a little reticent to talk about military operations here, but in this case what I’ll – what I would say is that, as we have made clear from the beginning of this fight against [the Islamic State], that all military activity should be coordinated as part of the larger Iraqi effort to expel [the Islamic State] from their cities, their towns, their communities. And any nation’s participation in that effort we want to be done by, through, and with the Iraqi Government’s express permission and coordination.

QUESTION: So Turkey’s involvement without their express permission and coordination would complicate that effort?

MR KIRBY: Well, I’m not going to, again, speculate for what Turkey will or won’t do. But as I’ve again said many times, that any – we would – we believe that any effort outside, done in an uncoordinated fashion, is ultimately counterproductive to the overarching goal of defeating and degrading [the Islamic State] inside Iraq. We want all military activities to be coordinated and with the permission and approval of the Iraqi Government.

Too bad there's not a presidential election going on.

If there was, the press could pin the candidates down as to where they stand on national sovereignty.

Oh, wait, there is a presidential election going on.

Where's the press.

Doing the work the press won't do is constitutional attorney Bruce Fein who notes at HUFFINGTON POST:

President Barack Obama’s foreign policy of “Don’t do stupid s[tuff]” has been turned on its head in Iraq. The stupefying stupidity of our continuing military involvement featuring more than 5,000 American soldiers ranks with our carnival of imbecilities during the Vietnam War.
We have no definition of victory.

We are defending a Shiite government dominated by Iran, at war with Israel, hostile towards Iraqi Kurds, opposed by a NATO ally (Turkey), and brimming with corruption.
[. . .]
The United States stupidly invaded Iraq in March 2003 for the juvenile thrill of flexing our military muscles to intimidate the world. But we also made Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism, stronger by destroying its chief nemesis, Saddam Hussein. Thirteen years after our invasion, we stupidly remain in Iraq without any idea of why we are there beyond killing for the sake of killing.
That is the very definition of stupid stuff that President Obama professedly derides.  

Let's stay with stupid stuff for a moment.

  1. I have this visual image of 30,000 Iraqi troops tiptoeing through the desert in order to mount the 'sneak' attack on Mosul that Trump wants!

Mehdi Hasan.

What a fool.

He deliberately distorts what Trump says.

I don't agree with Trump on this point (or on any that come to mind -- oh, I agree that Hillary's crooked -- that I agree with).  But his point was that for months they've been saying that the assault on Mosul would start and that this allowed leaders of the Islamic State to leave.

You can agree with his point of view that it should have been a surprise or not.

Again, I don't.

But Mehdi's deliberately distorting Donald.

And don't applaud that.

Even if you're a Hillary Clinton supporter, don't applaud that.

Mehdi did that for Bully Boy Bush throughout BBB's occupancy of the White House.

He would go on THE DIANE REHM SHOW and ridicule opponents to the Iraq War.

So don't think Mehdi lying about someone is a good thing.

He's a suck up who chooses his targets based upon whom the establishment wants to silence.

Staying with the presidential race -- Donald Trump is the Republican Party's nominee for president -- let's zoom in on the Democratic Party's nominee Hillary Clinton:

Ben Norton (SALON) reports that Colin THE BLOT Powell has announced he will be voting for War Hawk Hillary and Powell is one of many Iraq War criminals rushing to support Hillary:

The former senior Bush administration official joins a long list of right-wing leaders who are support Hillary Clinton.
Former president George H.W. Bush, father of the leader under whom Powell served, has also said he is going to vote for Clinton.
Likewise, former vice president Dick Cheney heaped praise on Clinton in a 2011 Fox News interview. He said the then-secretary of state was “one of the more competent members of the current administration,” adding that “it would be interesting to speculate about how she might perform were she to be president.”
Cheney stopped short of endorsing Clinton and appears to have said little about her in this election. Salon sent Cheney multiple requests for comment but did not receive a reply.
Clinton also had a warm relationship with Robert Gates, a former secretary of defense in George W. Bush’s administration and later for Obama’s. Gates admiringly called Clinton a “tough lady” who shared his hawkish politics and “was someone he could do business with,” the Times reported.
Neoconservative war hawks like Robert Kagan, Max Boot and James Kirchick have similarly endorsed Clinton, applauding her foreign policy views.

As Bully Boy Bush might say, that's her base.

Meanwhile Jill Stein is running for president on the Green Party ticket and Gary Johnson is running for president on the Libertarian Party ticket.

If receives just 5% nationally it unlocks millions in campaign funds and ballot access.

Presidential candidate Jill Stein notes:

Why has debt ballooned? Reckless wars for oil. Tax cuts for the rich. Economic meltdown. Caused by both Dems + GOP.

How would you feel if another country occupied US and bombed your family? We need to stop creating enemies.

Stein is running on a peace platform, yes, but also a common sense one.

Meanwhile, the US Defense Dept announced this morning:

Strikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber, fighter, remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted eight strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Haditha, one strike destroyed an ISIL trench system.

-- Near Kisik, one strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle.

-- Near Mosul, three strikes engaged two ISIL tactical units and a mortar system and destroyed seven vehicles, seven tunnels, seven mortar systems, four fighting positions, four supply caches, three staging areas, three ISIL-held buildings, a communications facility and a vehicle bomb.

-- Near Sultan Abdallah, three strikes engaged two ISIL tactical units and destroyed six vehicles, two buildings, a weapons system and a front-end loader.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley --  updated:


  • iraq

    Tuesday, October 25, 2016

    Iraq snapshot

    Tuesday, October 25, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, a sell out passes away with his image in tatters . . .

    Everybody run, the Homecoming Queen's got a gun
    Everybody run, the Homecoming Queen has got a gun
    Stop it, Debbie, you're making a mess
    Powder burns all over your dress
    An hour later, the cops had arrived
    By then the entire glee club had died -- no big loss
    -- "The Homecoming Queen's Got A Gun," written by Julie Brown, Charlie Coffey, Ray Colcord, Terrence E. McNally, first appears on Julie's GODDESS IN PROGRESS album

     No big loss.

    The political equivalent of the glee club has died.

    No big loss.

    Tom Hayden was wrongly given full credit for The Port Huron Statement.  Like his credit, the importance of that statement is greatly inflated.

    Then he plotted violence in Chicago.

    He did plot it.

    Let's quit kidding.

    I knew him -- and was grossed out by him -- he plotted it.

    That's not to say violence wouldn't have broken out anyway but months ahead of the Democratc Party's 1968 convention in Chicago, Tom was planning violence.

    Tom didn't take part in it -- from account of friends -- he could be vague on it when he spoke.

    He most likely didn't take part because he was always keeping an eye on how to social climb next.

    After Chicago, he tried to establish a presence on the west coast.

    His rank sexism ensured that he couldn't.

    So he hid out underground, under an assumed name.

    He was not hiding from the FBI, to be clear.

    He saw the actress Jane Fonda rising in political circles and knew he'd found a ticket to ride.

    She was new to causes and deeply embarrassed over a number of mistakes -- minor mistakes.

    When you make a mistake, admit it and move on.

    Better, laugh and move on.

    But Jane was seen as humorless and she was unable to move on from her mistake.

    She saw Tom as her political educator and protector.

    Everyone else saw him for the social climber he was -- Peter Fonda was on to Tom from the start.

    If she hadn't gotten pregnant, the relationship might have ended as did all of her other early 70s relationships.

    Instead, she ended up married to a liar and cheat.

    (Is that why she's supporting Hillary?)

    Elaine's written before about how Tom came on to her.

    I've never written about it, but, yes, he tried with me too.

    I harshly rejected him.

    (A) He was ugly.  On the outside and the inside.

    (B) I considered Jane a friend -- a foolish one to be married to him, but a friend never the less.

    The more money Jane raked in -- she was one of the biggest film stars from the mid seventies to the early 80s -- the more open he was about cheating.

    And by "open," I don't mean Jane knew.

    I mean that he risked her knowing.

    Elaine was in the same room with Jane when Tom came on to her.

    That was his m.o.

    By the time she was raking in millions on her fitness empire (books, videotapes, studios, lps, etc), he really seemed to see it as a blood sport -- hitting on women while Jane was present elsewhere in the room.

    Again, he was always deeply sexist.

    He never felt she was that talented.

    When she rose from her career ashes (her acting career was on the skids when the met), he constantly told her that she looked old, her career would fade in a few years because she was old, etc.

    He worked daily to undermine her esteem.

    And, remember, she was recovering from bulimia -- which he knew.

    As he'd compare her breasts (then natural, she hadn't had them enhanced yet) to other women, younger actresses, he knew what he was doing.

    He was a vile and disgusting piece of trash.

    She probably wouldn't have made the racist ROLLOVER without Tom at her side.  Tom was a Zionist -- he'd come out on that in the '00s with a so-called apology -- and loathed Arabs. 

    He especially loathed Sunnis.  In 2007, he'd go on Laura Flanders' radio show and propose a 'peace' method for the Iraq War -- after he was off the phone, Laura snorted on air and said something to the effect of, "What?  He wants us to be pen pals with ___" -- she missed the with.  Whatever he wanted, he was talking Moqtada al-Sadr.  He talked only Moqtada.  Reason being he loathes Sunnis.  (Cleric and movement leader Moqtada is a Shi'ite.)

    So Tom's cheating constantly.

    Jane, by the end, knows and the closest she comes to admitting it is a lunch with a mutual friend who, immediately after the lunch, called me (and probably everyone we both know) to say, "She knows he's cheating!"  (At the lunch, Jane was discussing a possible film project she'd make with the friend. It was about two women who became friends even though the husband of one was sleeping with the other.)

    Tom needed Jane's money, Jane thought she needed Tom -- that was the basis of the marriage.

    With her pouring millions into his campaigns, he finally made it into the state house -- no real accomplishment with all the money spent -- or the star power spent -- Jane herself would block walk to drum up votes for Tom.

    Tom was sleeping with VR (of the Dukakis campaign) but that's not what ended the marriage.

    What ended the marriage was Tom knew his current station was insulting with all the money spent and he wanted to be president (and Jane thought he could be).

    He took out a poll to find out whether or not Jane -- marriage to her -- was hindering his political goals.

    When the results said "yes," he informed her of his affair with VR and that he was leaving her for VR.

    (I think VR is known but in case she's not, I'm just using her initials.)

    It was not a pretty divorce.

    Due to the delicate feelings of her limitedly talented son Troy, Jane censors herself in public about Tom.  But she has a hilarious line about that property settlement that she'll hopefully share publicly because it's true and it's funny.

    Tom took the millions he extorted from Jane in the property settlement and was convinced he'd have a big political career.

    He did not.

    She had offered him all the sizzle and star power his campaigns ever had.

    Without her, he had no political future.

    He tried to catch a ride on the Iraq War.

    And we were told it was sincere.

    (I suspended disbelief, Elaine never did.)

    He wasn't sincere.

    Which is why, throughout the two terms of Barack's presidency, Tom never tried to organize a demonstration, never spoke out strongly against the war, never did a damn thing.  Yes, in the summer of 2014, Tom did a column -- woop-di-damn-do -- about how this could be mission creep -- Barack sending troops into Iraq.

    But that's all he did.

    Contrast that with his supposed concerns and claims during the days when Bully Boy Bush occupied the White House.

    All of Tom's efforts to end the Iraq War ended with Barack Obama.

    tom hayden democrats 1

    That's Isaiah's "Tom Hayden Democrats."

    I bumped into him twice after the eternal sell out had again sold out.

    The first time I was on my cell phone and waived him away.

    The second time, was fumbling for something and didn't realize he'd approached until too late.  I laughed at him and at Barack's diss of "Tom Hayden Democrats."  I told him the Iraq War continued and that he (Tom) continued to be a sell out.

    That was pretty much it.

    His life should haunt a number of other people.

    They should realize that they could die at any moment like he did.

    And that their reputation could also be in tatters.

    See, even the whores (and Tom has a number of men who will lie for him) who try to pimp him as some great anti-war activist will be left with the reality that anyone reading a book years from now will be able to see that Tom did nothing to end the Iraq war from 2009 to 2016.

    And yet, they'll be able to see, the Iraq War still continued.

    He'll be exposed as the hypocrite and whore he was just by the timeline.

    And so will others.

    They better wake up to the fact real damn quick.

    Tom was a Zionist and a sexist.

    His passing is no great loss.

    He didn't give a damn for the Sunnis of Iraq anymore than he gave a damn about Jane when he used insults to intentionally hurt her.

    Tom lived long enough to disgrace his name and legacy -- but not long enough to vote for the candidate he'd endorsed: War Hawk Hillary Clinton.

    Jimmy Dore Retweeted Jordan
    HRC fully supported Iraq War, but now says was "Mistake". So much of one, that she is literally seeking out advice from Iraq War Architects.
    Jimmy Dore added,


    Hillary learned from her "mistake"?


    She has no solution for Iraq.

    How can you work towards a goal if you haven't defined one?

    Salah Nasrawi (ALJAZEERA) reports:

    But a major criticism remains that the rush to begin the offensive in Mosul under pressure from the Obama administration may have put the US presidential election calculus above long-term Iraqi national interests. A new Iraq strategy by the next American president may take an entirely different direction which could squander all the successes in the war against ISIL.
    Politically, Baghdad has so far failed to put together a direly needed concrete national reconciliation and rebuilding plan that establishes a more durable framework to stabilise the country in a post-ISIL era. Such a strategy is fundamental in breaking the so-called incubators, or the society-based support ISIL receives in Sunni areas and propelling its strategic defeat.

    Before the Islamic State, there was al Qaeda in Mesopotomia (a direct cause of the Iraq War).

    After the Islamic State, there will be something else.

    Until the Baghdad-based government is forced to address its practice of persecution and exclusion, this will continue.

    You cannot stigmatize and target a group of people without a backlash emerging -- a backlash or a defense.

    If this is not addressed, US forces will be in Iraq for centuries -- over and over 'liberating' cities.

    Hillary Clinton as Sisyphus?

    It appears very likely.

    This morning, the US Defense Dept announced:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Attack, bomber, fighter, remotely piloted and rotary wing aircraft and rocket artillery conducted eight strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Rutbah, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed 11 vehicles.
    -- Near Mosul, five strikes engaged an ISIL tactical unit and two rocket positions; destroyed 22 fighting positions, eight vehicles, eight tunnels, seven mortar systems, six rocket rails, three heavy machine guns, three rocket systems, two light machine guns, two command and control nodes, a vehicle bomb, a communications tower, an ISIL-held building and a mortar cache; and damaged a mortar system.
    -- Near Sinjar, a strike engaged four staging areas.
    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two vehicles and a weapons cache.
    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.