Friday, September 18, 2009

Say hello to the new Judy Millers

Iraq's vice-president has urged Denmark to reconsider the forced repatriation of Iraqis whose requests for asylum in Denmark have been refused.
The call, made during a meeting between Vice-President Tarik al-Hashimi and Denmark's Ambassador to Baghdad Mikael Winther, is reported on al-Hashimi's website.

Julian Isherwood (Politiken) reports the above and it's major news because Nouri and other members of the Baghdad government have repeatedly issued statements that refugees must return and must return now (and Nouri's thrown tantrums with UN representatives including with the Secretary General's last Special Representatiave to Iraq who always indugled Nouri -- to the point that he undercut world wide efforts for refugees). The Copenhagen Post adds:

Tarik Hashimi uploaded the request onto his personal website today after previously meeting with the Danish ambassador to Iraq, Mikael Winther. Hashimi also included a general summary of the meeting on his website.
Winther confirmed that he had met with Hashimi but would not give details about what the two discussed, saying only that it was ‘a political matter’ being addressed by the Integration Ministry.
Helle Lykke Nielsen, associate professor at the University of Southern Denmark’s Centre for Middle East Studies, believes the message is a way of telling Denmark that its current method of forcing Iraqis back to their country needs to be changed.

David Bedein (Philadelphia Bulletin) reports RAND Corporation's "Withdrawing from Iraq: Alternative Schedules, Associated Risks, and Mitigating Strategies" from July was submitted to Department of Defense this week. Bedein notes that the report found that the central government in Baghdad would not be able to 'eradicate' al Qaeda in Iraq.

The report was released in July and (my summary) it argues that a draw down is fine but US troops cannot leave Iraq. Because of al Qaeda in Iraq? No, the report is primarily arguing that a full US departure would lead Turkey to invade. And, since July, it's been a rare week that the report's assertion hasn't been decried by some Turkish news outlet. For example, Sunday Hurriyet Daily News ran the editorial "From the Bosphorus: Straight - RAND report wreaks of arrogance" from the editorial:

There was a time, a certain age of innocence really, when it was possible to despise the CIA and associated intelligence agencies for their apparent evil. But today, we must regard them with contempt for their stupidity.
A case in point of international diplomacy at its arrogant worst is the new RAND Corporation report upon which Daily News Ankara bureau chief Serkan Demirtaş reported in the weekend newspaper. The “sponsored” research by RAND basically urges the U.S. Obama Administration to threaten Turkey with “negative consequences” to its European Union bid should any incursion into northern Iraq impede American withdrawal from that desperate and war-torn country.
[. . .]
So we take great offense that RAND believes Turkey should be muscled into continuing this policy as insurance against a military incursion by Turkey in the wake of an Iraqi civil war sparked by the American exit. Such a report, particularly if embraced by Obama as policy, is simply a guarantee that the legitimacy of the "Kurdish opening" will be challenged by many in Turkey and probably derailed. Essentially, RAND's warning risks a self-fulfilling prophecy.
We take particular offense that RAND would suggest U.S. coordination with European allies to make sure Turkey "understands" that any move into Iraq will harm the country's EU bid. RAND should "understand" Turkish sentiment. It is clear this institution does not. And this is why we can only summon contempt for a report that reeks of arrogance.

This has not been a minor issue in Turkey and Hurriyet was just the most recent to weigh in. (Excuse me, Sol's reporting on it today. That would be the most recent.) It's surprising that a RAND report which has caused so much controversy hasn't been reported on by the networks or US daily papers. Or maybe not surprising.

The authors of the report are Walt L. Perry, Stuart E. Johnson, Keith W. Crane, David C. Gompert, John Gordon, Robert E. Hunter, Dalia Dassa Kaye, Terrence K. Kelly, Eric Peltz and Howard Shatz. In their preface [PDF format warning, click here for report] they note:

The analysis supporting this report was completed in May 2009, and
the illustrative schedules all assume implementation decisions having been made in time for implementation in May, if not earlier. To the extent that such decisions are made later, the schedules would likely be pushed back accordingly. We recognize that any drawdown schedule that calls for U.S. forces remaining in Iraq beyond the end of December 2011 would require renegotiating the Security Agreement between the United States and Iraq.

What! Wait! Who said that! It's shocking! The SOFA might be renegotiated!!!!

I think I'm having a heart attack!

Oh wait, we've said that here since the day the SOFA was released by the White House (Thanksgiving of last year). We said that all along.

While liars and whores have repeatedly misled the American people [liars and whores refers to the our self-appointed 'leaders' of the left and 'left' -- I didn't vote them into office, did you?] and while the mainstream media [largely a bunch of glorified "general studies" majors] have pretended they know the first damn thing about contract law, we've gotten it right from day one. And it is a rare week that some idiot doesn't e-mail the public account to 'inform' me that they 'just read' in The Nation or some other rag that the SOFA means the end of the Iraq War and "you've got it wrong." No, we've been correct here from day one.

I know contract law. I'll repeat, unless you've managed to break a contract with a large conglomerate and not be sued for damages, maybe you should sit your ass down and let the grown ups who know what the hell they're talking about speak. How 'bout that? Think all the liars and the whores and the general studies majors could do that? I think they should. I think they've lied to the American people just about enough.

We told the truth and we did it when it wasn't popular. Even today, the bulk of your left 'voices' will not tell you the truth about the SOFA. One ass wipe 'leader' wanted to bicker with Ava and I for including him as a liar or a fool (we knew which one he was, we were being kind) and as Dona pointed out in an e-mail to him Tuesday, don't pretend like you're not lying to the people. He wants to claim he doesn't say the Iraq War is ending but, little idiot, he forgot that not only did he tell America that over and over, he had a counter at his website declaring X number of days (ticked off each day) until US forces leave Iraq.

I'm sick of those people and I'm damn sick of the lying regarding the SOFA. I went over the SOFA the day it was released. Unlike the bulk of 'reporters,' I do know contract law and I also know how to pick up the phone and call friends if I come across a point I'm unfamiliar with.

The Washington Post reported the truth early on. But today you get idiots like Anthony Shadid -- Gung-ho Grunt Turned 'Porter or maybe just Gung Ho -- who doesn't care about the readers of the paper and will gladly lie to them. Get your damn act together, Shadid, all of you. It's past time you got honest and the only thing that has me considering continuing this site until the end of 2011 is the realization that I can publicly mock and humiliate every damn one of you liars.

The lies that got us into the illegal war were never as damaging as the ones that kept us in it. Over one million Iraqis wouldn't have died if the 'reporters' on the ground in Iraq (see Dexy and Burnsie for an early prime example) hadn't repeatedly lied about what was actually happening. If those lies hadn't been 'reported,' if the truth had been told to the American people from the first day of the illegal war, it would have ended long ago. And in the new selling of the illegal war, it was important for liars, whores and general studies majors to tell the American people a SOFA ended the Iraq War when it did no such thing. That's reality.

And it's all taken place without any objections, without any barks from the so-called 'watch dogs,' be they FAIR, Amy Goodman, Danny Schechter, MediaChannel, The Nation, The Progressive, go down the damn list. All of them had something 'better' to do. Say hello to the Judy Millers of the left because they have become as shameful in 2008 and 2009 as Judith Miller was with her pre-invasion 'reporting' (which she believed in, at least she didn't lie -- she was way off the mark, to put it mildly, but she believed those lies).

And before the next liar steps forward, note that the RAND report was done at the request of Robert Gates, US Secretary of Defense.

TV notes. NOW on PBS begins airing tonight on most PBS stations and this week's topic is:

Commercial surrogacy -- when women are paid to carry and deliver babies for people who cannot conceive them biologically -- is banned in almost every developed country in the world except the U.S., making it a land of opportunity for parents around the world.
In June, celebrity parents Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker announced publicly they had twins delivered via surrogate. But surrogacy services and their oversight vary from state to state, creating a strong potential for deceit and fraud.
This week, NOW's Senior Correspondent Maria Hinojosa follows the surrogate pregnancy of a single mother over the course of several months. When she was 14 weeks pregnant, the surrogate agency that brokered the deal between her and the future parents vanished, leaving the woman stranded without health insurance and nowhere to turn.
NOW investigates how shady surrogacy services and a lack of regulation in the U.S. may be defrauding hopeful couples and victimizing mothers trying to help them.

Bill Moyers Journal tonight will do the sort of one-sided nonsense that risks PBS funding. It's doubtful the audience will be informed of how one-sided the program is. Ava and I may tackle the reality of this week's show at Third but already PBS friends are groaning at Bill's latest efforts to 'slip a few in under the radar' (paraphrase). When the attacks on PBS come next (and they will), it will be shows like Moyers this week that people will cite and they'll be correct because if you're topic is, for example, the right-wing, you need to have a guest from the right-wing. And if you're guests are Socialist and Communists, they need to be identified on air as such. That's especially the case when one of your guests was saying on the radio a year ago that Democrats were too centrists and that a radical makeover of society was needed. (Like the bulk of the closeted when they're above ground, he was, however, a devoted cheerleader for Barack.) Nothing wrong with making that case, but when you then go on PBS and try to present yourself as a Democrat (by statement or inference), you're deceiving the viewers.

Washington Week also begins airing tonight on many PBS stations and sitting around the table with Gwen tonight are Ceci Connolly (Washington Post), John Harwood (New York Times), Greg Ip (The Economist) and Martha Raddatz (ABC News). Remember that there is a web bonus each week that you can grab on podcast (video -- they also have audio podcast but it doesn't include the bonus) or wait for Monday morning when the bonus is available at the website. Also, a PBS friend asks that I note that they didn't just redesign their website at Washington Week, they added many new elements. One sidebar is on the right and it contains links to the latest writing by Washington Week regulars such as CBS and Slate's John Dickerson's article on health care at Slate. Meanwhile Bonnie Erbe will sit down with Karen Czarnecki, Donna Edwards, Eleanor Holmes Norton and Tara Setmayer to discuss the week's events on PBS' To The Contrary. Check local listings, on many stations, it begins airing tonight. Online, they address the announcement that Diane Sawyer will begin anchoring ABC's World News Tonight next year. And turning to broadcast TV, Sunday CBS' 60 Minutes offers:

  • The DEKA Arm
    New technology is making it possible for amputees to pick up small, delicate objects they never thought they would master thanks to the biggest innovation in prosthetic arms since World War II. Scott Pelley reports. | Watch Video

    Anna Wintour
    The sunglasses come off the high-queen of haute couture in this rare and unprecedented interview, in which the Vogue editor reveals why she always wears them and much more to Morley Safer in her first long-length interview for U.S. television. | Watch Video

    Coach Carroll
    Byron Pitts profiles USC college football coach Pete Carroll, who, in addition to his success in making the Trojans a football dynasty, is making positive contributions toward decreasing gang violence in Los Angeles. | Watch Video

    60 Minutes Sunday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

    Editor's Note: Due to live programming at 8:00 p.m., ET, 60 Minutes will probably run a full hour only in Pacific and Mountain Time zones. Central and Eastern zones may have shorter versions of this broadcast. All three segments will be available on

Diane Rehm is back this week as host of NPR's The Diane Rehm Show and today's the Friday roundup. Her panelists for the first hour (domestic) are Sheryl Gay Stolberg (New York Times), John Dickerson (Slate and CBS News) and Greg Ip (The Economist). For the second hour (international), the panelists are James Kitfield (National Journal), Elise Labott (CNN) and Farah Stockman (Boston Globe). The Diane Rehm Show begins airing on most NPR stations (and streaming online) live at 10:00 a.m. EST.

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