Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Iraq: Don't interupt the sorrow, damn right

Truth goes up in vapors
The steeples lean
Winds of change patriarchs
Snug in your bible belt dreams
God goes up the chimney
Like childhood Santa Claus
The good slaves love the good book
A rebel loves a cause

I'm leaving on the 1:15
You're darn right
Since I was seventeen
I've had no one over me
He says "Anima rising
So what
Petrified wood process
Tall timber down to rock"

Don't interrupt the sorrow
Darn right
He says "We walked on the moon
You be polite"
Don't let up the sorrow
Death and birth and death and birth
He says "Bring that bottle kindly
And I'll pad your purse
I've got a head full of quandary
And a mighty mighty thirst"

-- "Don't Interrupt The Sorrow," words and music by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her The Hissing of Summer Lawns.

joni mitchell

The song appears appropriate for today as Gen Ray Odierno testifies to Congress about the illegal war. Don't interrupt the sorrow, damn right. Truth goes up in vapors. It all seems so very apropos.

The distraction is the Reuters report by JoAnne Allen. Not calling Allen a distraction but that late in yesterday's news cycle story is meant to be confusing. It's meant to make people think that October begins big withdrawals. It doesn't. October sees 4,000 scheduled to leave Iraq as part of the draw down.

This was scheduled and known. Why is it being injected into the news cycle? To confuse a public that barely pays attention to Iraq. Picture Brian Williams tossing that out and then tossing out what Odierno will be saying this morning in his prepared remarks and presumably in his testimony (he says it in his prepared remarks which are under 'embargo' until the hearing starts but everyone's got a copy of them). Odierno will be talking about how troops might be able to leave Iraq quickly.

The October injection is to confuse people into thinking, "Oh, Barack's pulling troops out quickly. Starting this month!" October's not news. It was already known. It's being pimped along with Odierno's interviews yesterday. Thom Shanker (New York Times) reports that the general says "he could reduce American forces to 60,000 troops even before the end of next summer" -- there's a second part there but wait a moment.

In TV land where Iraq is a headline on a really slow news day, you need to picture how the White House hopes this is strung together.

Teleprompter reader: And in news from Iraq, 4,000 US troops are leaving this month as part of the withdrawal that General Ray Odierno, the top US commander in Iraq, says could see American forces drop down to 50,000 following the January elections. Turning to the latest on sex news . . .

And the impression left is that the 4,000 (already scheduled to leave) have just been freed up by the 'safety' of Iraq and, goodness, after January elections, the amount of US service members in Iraq falls from the approximately 130,000 to 50,000. Amazing! Far out! No need for any protests now!

This is an attempt to lead the public around by a ring in the nose.

Dropping down to 50,000 "before the end of next summer" is an IF. It's not a done deal. And it's dependent upon the elections -- scheduled for January -- going well. Presumably beyond election day.

It's conditional upon other things as well.

But the point is the Iraq War is not ending. The point is Barack did not keep his promise (but War Hawk Samantha Power revealed in March 2008 that he wouldn't -- too bad whores and liars -- hey, Davy D -- were treating the War Whore like a saint and not calling out the counterinsurgency queen). This is an attempt to pull energies away from any efforts to end the Iraq War (or the Afghanistan War).

It's dog and pony show.

Don't interrupt the sorrow.

Damn right.

The Bismarck Tribune's editorial "State Guard to duty in Iraq, Kosovo" opens with:

Seven hundred members of the North Dakota Army National Guard, the largest deployment since the Korean War, left Camp Atterbury, Ind., Sept. 28 for training in Germany, with a yearlong peacekeeping mission in Kosovo ahead of them. Today, 47 members of Company C, 2-285th Aviation Battalion, based in Bismarck, prepare to leave for a yearlong deployment to Iraq.
The Kosovo-bound North Dakota soldiers will be a part of a multi-national NATO force -- Task Force Falcon. They will be joined by about 700 soldiers from National Guard and reserve units from 10 states, as well as 800 soldiers from Poland, Greece, Ukraine, Romania, Armenia, Lithuania and Bulgaria at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo.
Company C, divided between the North Dakota National Guard and the Utah National Guard, will first head for training at Fort Sill, Okla., before taking up its assignment in Iraq, as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Soldiers from each state will mobilize with five UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.

Don't interrupt the sorrow.

Damn right.

Nothing's interrupting the Iraq War, that's the reality.

Anthony Shadid and Nada Bakri (Washington Post) insist:

As elections set for January approach, that landscape looks much the same, save for one key difference. Bucking tremendous pressure from the country's clerical establishment and neighboring Iran, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his Dawa party, a longtime fixture of Shiite politics, have chosen to run on their own.
The decision, to be announced Thursday, represents Maliki's biggest gamble since taking power in April 2006. A decisive victory will probably mean he serves four more years as prime minister. A loss might force him into exile. The election campaign will almost assuredly be dominated by the battle between him and his onetime Shiite allies, with his supporters and foes warning that their struggle may unleash not just dirty tricks but violence.

Really? Golly. That was news . . . days ago. From Friday's snapshot:

Moving to political news. September 11th on Al Jazeera's Inside Iraq (a transcript excerpt is in this snapshot), Kassim Daoud repeatedly insisted to host Jasim Azzawi that there was still the possibility that Nouri al-Maliki might join the Shi'ite alliance.
Jasim Azzawi: al-Maliki has refused to join the new bloc that has been created and you are a member of that bloc, the Iraqi National Alliance primarily because of the presence of Ibrahim al-Jaafari and perhaps because of Moqtada al-Sadr. Can Maliki win without your bloc?
Kassim Daoud: Well that's a very difficult question. I mean it's premature to answer the question like this to comment that the Alliance, actually, is still open to everybody. We announced it as a bloc which has to be the foundation for the national mandate or the national enterprise. We cannot say that Maliki didn't join us so far, the negotiation is still going on.
Jasim Azzawi: Kassim Daoud, it seems to me that his answer is final. He wanted to be the sole candidate to run for the premiership as well as he wanted a limitation on to Ibrahim al-Jaafari and Moqtada al-Sadr blocked. That has become amply clear.
Kassim Daoud: Well the problem before you is clear but for me since I'm an insider, actually, I'm not looking at the situation as it is. The guy having sort of a political mandate, he would like to pursue with his mandate. The Alliance would like to -- their own mandate so I cannot say the negotiation terminated. I think still we have room although the room is probably slim but I think that we cannot give such a sharp answer till we have to wait for probably too more weeks.
Jasim Azzawi: Slim indeed it is.
Slim indeed. Alsumaria reports that Nouri has revealed he's creating his own coalition and "will announce" it in the next week. The coalition will be Dawlat al-Qanun (State of Law) and will be a mixed coalition as Nouri attempts to paint himself more secularist due to the January 2009 elections in 14 of Iraq's 18 provinces indicating that fundamentalists were not popular with the people. Caesar Ahmed and Ned Parker (Los Angeles Times) report on the plans by the politicaly party SIIC (Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council) which include recruitment and appearing open (possibly being open, but time will tell on that) and to point out the current government's broken promises: "The cleric critiqued the government's management of electricity and vowed his list would improve basic services. He heaped scorn on the country's current electricity minister, Kareem Wahab, for failing to improve power."

The decision is not to be announced Thursday, the decision was announced. It was announced last week.

The e-mail address for this site is