Friday, November 07, 2008

US military announces another death

Today the US military announced: "A Coalition force Soldier died in a non-combat related incident Nov. 6 in Kirkuk province. The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense. The incident is still under investigation." The announcement brings the number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 4191.

Meanwhile Brian Bennett's "Will Obama Have to Adjust His Timetable on Iraq?" (Time magazine):

Senior U.S. military officials will likely advise Barack Obama to adjust his campaign pledge to withdraw all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by mid-2010. While promising a 16-month timetable for getting all U.S. fighting forces out, Obama repeatedly insisted on what he calls a "responsible" withdrawal. Pulling nearly all U.S. troops and equipment out of Iraq in 16 months is "physically impossible," says a top officer involved in briefing the President-elect on U.S. operations in Iraq. That schedule would create a bottleneck of equipment and troops in the south of Iraq and Kuwait where brigades repair, clean and load vehicles and weapons for the trip home, said the official. Others say U.S. could conceivably pull out on that time scale, although that would require leaving more equipment behind. A more important concern that, officers believe the security gains in Iraq would be put at risk if troops were withdrawn before the Iraqi security forces are in a position to protect their own communities and borders.

Adjust his position? He told CNN he'd do just that on June 5th. It's not a promise, it never was. Remember Tom Hayden's meltdown July 4th when he grasped that? (In fairness to Tom, at least he finally made it an issue. Even after he did that, others pretended not to notice, the way they had all along.) From Third's "Letters to An Old Sell Out: Iraq" (July 6, 2008):

In "Obama's Position on Iraq Could Put His Candidacy at Risk" (Aging Socialite's Cat Litterbox), Tom Hayden declared last week:

The most shocking aspect of Samantha Powers' forced resignation earlier this year was not that she called Hillary Clinton a "monster" off-camera, but that she flatly stated that Obama would review his whole position on Iraq once becoming president. Again, no one in the media or rival campaigns questioned whether this assertion by Powers was true. Since Obama credited Powers with helping for months in writing his book, The Audacity of Hope, her comments on his inner thinking should have been pounced upon by the pundits.

No one questioned it, Tom-Tom? Check The Washington Post's archives. It wasn't that the media refused to challenge it (or that this site refused to challenge it, check our archives) it's that the Barack 'movement' (a fringe group of largely White eggheads in Panhandle Media) refused to even mention it! Did Jeremy Schaill rip Barack a new one? No. Did Amy Goodman immediately report it on Democracy Someday!? Hell no.


But let's back up. Tom-Tom's shocked (!). Elaine and C.I. know very well you've lived a life estranged from the truth; however, that doesn't give you the right to lie. Samantha Power made the news cycle on March 7th (a Friday). You can refer to that day's "Iraq Snapshot." In fact, we are referencing that at length (and overruling C.I. on it):

Meanwhile, it was not a good day to be Our Modern Day Carrie Nations or, as Samantha Power prefers to be called, "the humanitarian War Hawk." Last night, The Scotsman was making news with Power's insults of US Senator Hillary Clinton and "the poor" in America and, generally, just flashing that foul mouth everyone knows about but generally ignores. The morning started with Sammy Power expressing 'sorrow.' She wasn't sorry and we're not going to play around with this story. Here's reality, the press was lining up this morning the stories on this and talking to one another (as they are prone to do) for background examples of other times Sammy Power has personally (and destructively) insulted Hillary Clinton. When it was obvious that those stories would come out if she stayed with the campaign she 'resigned.' At The New Statesman, she was flaunting her War Hawk nature in an interview (as well as that foul mouth). [Personal note: I'm sure I could match Sammy swear word for swear word, but I wasn't planning on becoming Secretary of State.] Lynn Sweet (Chicago Sun-Times) was one of the first out of the gate noting that Sammy Power "resigned as a foreign policy advisor to Sen. Barack Obama" this afternoon. Her calling Hillary a "monster" did matter, it was off sides -- both for a future Secretary of State as well as for a professor at Harvard. It's a shame Obama still lacks the leadership to take control of his campaign -- that would have required firing Power. Instead she resigned indicating that he's unable to run a campaign as well as unable to tell the truth. Power -- who also went to work for Obama in 2005 when he was first elected to the US Senate (November 2004) -- also had to deal with the BBC interview she'd given. Barack Obama has not promised to pull ALL troops out of Iraq in 16 months. He has promised the American people that "combat" troops would be removed. But promises, promises (as Dionne Warwick once sang) . . .

Stephen Sackur: You said that he'll revisit it [the decision to pull troops] when he goes to the White House. So what the American public thinks is a commitment to get combat forces out within sixteen months, isn't a commitment is it?

Samantha Power: You can't make a commitment in whatever month we're in now, in March of 2008 about what circumstances are going to be like in January 2009. We can't even tell what Bush is up to in terms of troops pauses and so forth. He will of course not rely upon some plan that he's crafted as a presidential candidate or as a US Senator.

Which would mean Mr. Pretty Speeches has been lying to the American people. (Add the "AGAIN!")

Her rise was swift, her fall even faster. Our Modern Day Carrie Nations took part in the "Bring the troops home and send them to Darfur" nonsense. [For more on that nutso crowd, see Julie Hollar's "
The Humanitarian Tempatation" (Extra!).] Despite presenting herself recently as against the Iraq War from the start, the public record has never backed that up. But it is true that she wanted wars in Africa and was selling them under "humanitarian" guise. "Stop the killing!" she cried but if she really wanted to stop the killing, she might have tried to speak out against the ongoing genocide in Iraq (which has also produced the largest refugee crisis in the world). She didn't care about that. Probably because it demonstrates that sending armed forces in is not an answer. Again, if Barack Obama had any leadership abilities, he would have announced today that he fired his longterm advisor. He did not, she resigned. (She foolishly doesn't grasp that this is her Alexander Haig moment and there is no comeback.) Power was not a campaigner, she was a high level, longterm foreign policy advisor being groomed to be the next Secretary of State. As Krissah Williams (Washington Post) notes, Senator Clinton's response to Power's BBC interview was to note Power's agreement that Obama's pledge to have "combat" troops out in 16 months was never more than a "best-case scenario". Hillary Clinton: "Senator Obama has made his speech opposing Iraq in 2002 and the war in Iraq the core of his campaign, which makes these comments especially troubling. While Senator Obama campaigns on his [pledge] to end the war, his top advisers tell people abroad that he will not rely on his own plan should he become president. This is the latest example of promising the American people one thing on the campaign trail and telling people in other countries another. You saw this with NAFTA as well."

The Clinton camp didn't call it out Tom-Tom?

March 8th, one day after the news broke, the Clinton campaign issued "MEMO: Obama's Iraq Plan: Just Words:"

Once again, it looks like Senator Obama is telling voters one thing while his campaign says those words should not be mistaken for serious action. After months of speeches from Senator Obama promising a hard end date to the Iraq war, his top foreign policy adviser that counseled his campaign during that period is on the record saying that Senator Obama will 'not rely on some plan that he's crafted as a presidential candidate or a U.S. Senator. Voters already have serious questions about whether Senator Obama is ready to be Commander-in-Chief. Now there are questions about whether he's seriou about the Iraq plan he's discussed for the last year on the campaign trail.
Senator Obama has made hard end dates about Iraq a centerpiece of his campaign and has repeatedly attacked Senator Clinton for not being clear about her intentions with regard to troop withdrawal.
It turns out those attacks and speeches were just words. And if you can't trust Senator Obama's words, what's left?

Want to try lying again, Tom-Tom? They immediately sprung into action. (And that one release wasn't all they did. We'll note at least one more thing but they hit on it. It was the failure of our 'left' media -- Goodman, et al -- to cover the story that kept it from getting traction.)

Where was Panhandle Media? Tom-Tom, we know where you were. C.I. outlined it in the same snapshot:

Meanwhile Tom Hayden again offers Barack advice from the heart, from love. At Common Dreams, Hayden feels that, "The only policy difference favoring Obama that goes straight to the issue of 'experience' is Iraq. It no longer is enough that Obama opposed the war five years ago, especially if it appears that there are no differences between the candidates now. For whatever reason, Obama has allowed Clinton to appear to take an identical stand on the war. Is that true? Or is it time for Obama to issue a further clarification of his position separating him from both Clinton and McCain? The peace movement and media can play a role here." Tom then asks, "Does Clinton propose a timetable for withdrawing combat troops, like Obama does?" Apparently Tom missed Sammy's interview -- Obama has no proposal. As Sammy notes, things change, who can say? Should we expect Hayden's endorsement of Hillary anytime soon? Or will he again plan to 'represent' the peace movement by covering for the 'anti-war' candidate -- one whose own foreign policy advisor (she was that when she gave the interview) informs is saying words he'd not planning to live up to?

The Washington Post was blogging it (they would also do an article on it), the Clinton campaign was issuing a statement (they would later issue this release), Boston Globe offered Peter Canellos' "Comments raise questions about Obama, his advisers" and where was Panhandle Media? Covering for Barack.

You did. So did John Nichols. C.I. called out John Nichols nonsense on Saturday March 8th (the day after Power's remarks were known) when Johnny Five-Cents was lamenting "Samantha Power and the Danger of Gotcha Politics." Not only did John Nichols cover for Samantha Power (his post at The Nation is labeled "03/07/2008 @ 11:28 pm" meaning his article went up that Friday hours and hours after the "Iraq snapshot" calling out Power did -- isn't Johnny Five-Cents supposed to be a 'journalist'?), so did you. You want to show up on July 4th and blame the lack of attention to this story on the MSM when The Washington Post was blogging about it as the story broke, when they would go on to do a print report on it and yet Panhandle Media couldn't even be bothered with it?

Like Nichols, they were all lying. Davey D would go on to lament -- on KPFA's The Morning Show -- that Samantha "Powers" (it helps to know the name of the person you're broken up about, Davey) had left the campaign for (he said) calling Hillary a "monster." But let's stay with The Nation where Tom-Tom sits on the board. It never got into The Nation and he damn well knows that. Not on March 7th, not on March 8th. March 20th, Eric Alterman would feel the need to weigh in Power's leaving the campaign in "The Ritual Sacrifice of Samantha Power" and though he would note "monster" and "NAFTA," he never said a DAMN word about the BBC interview that entered the press cycle March 7th. He didn't say one DAMN word. It didn't stop there. Michael Massing's "The Power Conundrum" (published online May 22nd and in the June 9th issue of The Nation) found time to recount the "monster" remark which was rather strange since he was reviewing Power's book on the UN involvement in the Iraq War. Wouldn't the better thing to have referenced when reviewing a book on Iraq have been Power's remarks on Barack's so-called "promise"?

June 12th, John Nichols was back on the scene ["Students for Hillary, er, McCain (or McKinney)" -- what a wit and joy he must be for the others at the SciFi conventions] quoting a missive that referred to the "monster" incident. No need on his part to enlarge the topic and note Power's interview to the BBC.

March 12th -- five days after the Power remarks were in the news -- FIVE DAYS AFTER -- Air Berman was offering "It's Okay to be Intemperate!" (at The Nation's blog Campaign '08) and yet again recounting Samantha Power's 'unjust' departure over the "monster" remark (when not licking Hendrick Hertzberg's aging sack). Never once -- FIVE DAYS AFTER -- did Berman mention Power's remarks to the BBC. He would conclude his sad eulogy to Sammy (and presumably devote full attention to "Rick") with this, "Thanks to the events of the past week, campaign officials will be even more guarded when dealing with the media, and I don't blame them. It's an outcome that benefits no one." Apparently Ari thought he could help fight that trend by not telling readers what Samantha Power said about the Iraq 'promise'? It needs to be noted that the day the news broke, Ari Berman attempted to distract from Power's statement by filing "Clinton Does McCain's Bidding" which was nothing but his rummaging through old chat & chew transcripts in an effort to discredit Hillary on Iraq. Needless to say, he said nothing about Power. [As we noted in our March 9th in "Editorial: The Whores of Indymedia."]

What we got from the alleged 'independent' media (including The Nation) and from the alleged 'independent' web was inane defenses of War Hawk Samantha Power that avoided her Iraq remarks. Check out Josh Michah's Marshy & Hairy Butt Crack where Greg Sargent posted "New Hillary Campaign Video Seeks To Revive Samantha Power Controversy." It's a March 19th post and what does Sargent conclude of the commercial featuring Power revealing that Barack's 'promise' isn't a promise? A snippy: "Given that this is weeks-old story, the timing of its release is pretty obvious: The Hillary camp is hoping to use it to overshadow Obama's big Iraq speech today." That's from mind reader Greg Sargent and even then (and terming the commercial an "attack video"), check out the reaction of Josh's groupies (conditioned to salivate at the mention of Barack's name): "Ah, Hillary. Desperation becomes her," purrs one while Patagonia and das2003 lead the sizeable number who are offended and outraged that the video was even posted at Joshy's site.

Over at Mother Jones, David CornNuts kind-of sort of covered it (as C.I. noted March 10th) huffing ("An Ugly Moment for the Clinton Campaign," March 10th) that the campaign "took the unusual step of convening a second conference call of the day for reporters. And it was a sorry spectacle." (CornNuts, you went nuts.) Davey C writes "the Clintonites pounced on the comments" -- comments, pay attention Tom Hayden -- that Davey C immediately dismissed: "In other words, a campaign proposal is just that: a proposal. And only a fool would think that a military plan would be applied to reality unchaged a year after it was first devised." That's what happened Tommy Hayden -- AS YOU DAMN WELL KNOW -- Panhandle Media mainly ignored it and then the CornNuts crowd excused it and attacked Hillary for raising the issue. They lied repeatedly and we can outline that (mainly because we already have -- starting with John Nichols' LIE that Samantha Power and Hillary knew each other very well when Power told Charlie Rose they'd only met once). C.I. led on this at The Common Ills, but we all called it out at community sites and we didn't do it for one day or one week. We stayed on the story. The one Tom Hayden couldn't bother to write about until July 4th -- even though it took place March 7th. The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and others in the MSM did cover it and the response was silence from 'independent' media and attacks from the Barack groupies in comments and e-mails to the outlets.

So, no, Time, there is no promise, there is no pledge. That's reality and on that topic, Alissa J. Rubin gets Iraq on the front page of New York Times today and we'll note this from the article:

The Iraqi government, made up of exiles who were able to rise to power only as a result of the American invasion, has been looking for a way to support the pact without appearing to be kowtowing to Americans.

Has the reporting section of the paper ever told such truth on Iraq before?

Public radio note, Monday on WBAI (2:00 pm EST), Cat Radio Cafe features: "Writer/performer Danny Hoch on Taking Over, his hip-hop infused play about New York gentrification; and Coney Island documentarian Charles Denson, photographer Claude Samton, and PS 225/ Shell Bank JHS/Abraham Lincoln HS graduate Sheila Samton on The Puffin Room's multi-media celebration of Coney Island Maybe. Hosted by Janet Coleman and David Dozer." And TV note, Sunday on CBS' 60 Minutes:

Obama's Brain Trust
Steve Kroft goes behind the scenes on election night to speak to the brains whose strategy propelled Barack Obama into the White House.
The Wasteland
Where do the millions of computer monitors, cell phones and other electronic refuse our society generates end up? Some of it is shipped illegally from the U.S. to China, reports Scott Pelley, where it is harming the environment and the people who salvage its valuable components. | Watch Video
Ted Turner
The nearly 70-year-old media mogul looks back on a life marked by huge successes, steep downfalls and public feuds that have made him an American legend. Morley Safer reports. "

Community member Stan started his own site yesterday entitled Oh Boy It Never Ends. He's still playing around with it and has so far offered "
Good for Nader" and "Stan 411" and "Robin Morgan". Also posting yesterday, Mike's "Joshua Frank, Murphy, Cocktail Weinie Norman" covers the strong and the pathetic, Marcia's "A lot including my cousin is blogging!" is a grab bag post on a multitude of topics, Ruth's "McKinney results, Doug Ireland" continues Ruth's following of election results, Kat's "Pathetic Green Party" explores the planned uselessness of a political party, Cedric's "And she smells like urine" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! TINA FEY'S A SKANK!" (joint-post) pulls a Jim and assigns Ava and I an article (joking, it falls under the topic we're already covering) and Rebecca's "gail collins is an idiot" covers the embarrassment of Collins. On the Green Party, Kimberly and Ian Wilder (On The Wilder Side) are advocating for action and not waiting around until Januray 2012 to start figuring out what to do:

What next for the national Green Party? Let's send Malik Rahim to Congress
The Green Party has a golden opportunity to elect a Congressperson next month. Let's work together, in this lull after the election, to focus on a powerful strategy and a winnable race.
It has created such interesting timing, that the election for Congress, District 2, in Louisiana was changed to December 6, 2008. And, we have one of our strongest Green Party candidates running in that race. In the vacuum of the November elections being over, this is a chance for green throughout the country to focus their energy in one place, on one candidate, who has the qualifications, resume and charisma to win.
Malik Rahim has credentials. He was a member of the Black Panther Party. He was a founder of Common Ground, an organization dedicated to supporting poor and working class people in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Malik's story has been in a variety of national media outlets. And, Malik's work after Hurrican Katrina is a story in Amy Goodman's book, "Standing Up To The Madness." Malike gave one of the most compelling and inspiring speeches at the Green Party National Convention in Chicago this summer. (Video of his speech is: here.)

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kimberly wilder