Monday, May 24, 2010

Myths, monkeys and realities

Some people never know when to take their leave. Cases in point Pig Ritter and Jar Jar Blinks. For those who missed it, earlier this year Scott Ritter was arrested -- for the THIRD TIME -- attempting to lure under age girls into sexual relations. The term is pedophile and it's what's known as a crime. In a demonstration of just how little the 'left' values women, there has been no condemnation from Pig Ritter's friends at Democracy Now! or The Nation. Or even Laura Flanders who once called out a sports team (in 2007) for using a Gary Glitter song but has never called out Scott Ritter (she has, however, made him a guest on every failing show she's ever hosted). Instead they all act as if Pig Ritter got busted for driving under the influence. Now Pig Ritter's taken to Iran's Press TV to share his thoughts on Iraq. He just can't grasp that at some point, you've shamed yourself so much that your continued speaking hurts the cause. He should be behind bars, instead he still fancies hiimself a leader. He's helped along by the likes of 'independent' and 'professional' journalist Greg Mitchell who's never shied from singing his praises because what could be better than a pedophile apparently? (It should also be noted that Editor & Publisher blew their own repuation as Mitchell headed for The Nation and another headed to Media Matters -- thereby ensuring that all the accusations of bias against them from the right-wing over the years were suddenly seen as confirmed.)

Then there's Raed Jarrar who wants to weigh in on the Kurds.

Raed are you a Kurd? No. So might you, yet again, have your own little hidden agenda while you pretend to be an expert on a topic you know nothing about? Yes. So maybe you just need to sit your tired ass down. Or polish up on new ways to pose as a Quaker? Or other ways to attempt to fool the media and make yourself more palitable to them? Or maybe since you're so very 'brave' and 'tough,' you could stop hiding out in the US and return to your own country where surely a great brain such as your own will lead?

What's that? Right. Hide out in the US. While trying to screw over your enemies in your homeland. Raed, wouldn't you be more comfortable in a right wing region of Miami?

What's got Raed's panties in a wad? That the US State Dept might (MIGHT) set up a consulate in the KRG. That's just too much for Jar-Jar who insists "it still sends the wrong message to Iraqis." Again, Raed, take your yellow ass back over to Iraq and you can explain to them the message, okay? Pretending to be an expert on something, Raed insists, "The people of Iraq will see such a consulate as a U.S. attempt to undermine the authority of the central government in Baghdad and establish direct diplomatic relations with the regional Kurdish government."

And in doing so, he reveals his own hatred and his own bias and why he's not to be listened to on this topic. The people of Iraq? That would include Kurds. Not in Jar-Jar's mind, but in the real world.

The Kurdish people remain without an independent homeland. Turkey doesn't want them to have an independent homeland in northern Iraq. Raed could have tried making that argument -- but you get the idea that it's too far beyond his limited intellectual capacities. It's certainly beyond his capabilities to explain promises made to the KRG dating back to 1970. It's certainly beyond his capabilities to explain Saddam Hussein's attempts to relocate populations to the KRG. Everything is beyond Raed's comprehension which is why he can't even cite the Constitution that Iraq is currently under. Specifically two articles:

Article 113:
First: This Constitution shall approbate the region of Kurdistan and its existing regional and federal authorities, at the time this constitution comes into force.
Second: This Constitution shall approbate new regions established in accordance with its provisions.

Article 137:
Legislation enacted in the region of Kurdistan since 1992 shall remain in force, and decisions issued by the government of the region of Kurdistan - including court decisions and agreements - shall be considered valid unless it is amended or annulled pursuant to the laws of the region of Kurdistan by the competent entity in the region, provided that they do not contradict with the constitution.
(First: At the start of its functioning, the Council of Representatives shall form a committee from its members, which will be representative of the main components of Iraqi society and the duty of which will be to present within a period no longer than four months to the Council of Representatives a report that includes recommendations for the necessary amendments that can be made to the Constitution. The committee will be dissolved after a decision is made on its proposals.
Second: The amendments proposed by the committee will be put before the Council of Representatives in a single batch for approval. It will be considered approved by the agreement of an absolute majority of the number of council members.
Third: The articles amended by the Council of Representatives under the second clause of this article will be put before the people for a referendum within two months of the Council of Representatives' approval of them.
Fourth: The referendum on the amended articles will be considered successful with the agreement by an absolute majority of those who vote, unless it is rejected by two-thirds of those who vote in three governorates or more.
Fifth: This is an exception to Article 61/2712263/47 of this Constitution 61/27which concerns amending the constitution63/47. After the amendments discussed in this article are decided on, work will return to the terms of Article 61/2712263/47.)

Yes, it's a very complicated issue. Should the KRG be its own region? That's really not for me to say, I'm not in Iraq. Neither is Raed. As long as he hides out in the US, he really doesn't have a say in Iraqi politics. He seems to believe, however, that he can hide behind "I'm an Iraqi" and offer one-sided assertions (they don't rise to the level of "argument") to distort the issues. Again, he's like a right-winger in Miami plotting the overthrow of Castro.

March 7th, Iraq concluded Parliamentary elections. The rules say that if no party or slate gets the needed 163 seats in Parliament needed to form the next government, the party or slate that gets the most seats has first shot at forming a power-sharing coalition. Iraqiya (led by Ayad Allawi) came in first with 91 seats. State Of Law came in second with 89 seats. Alsumaria TV reports, "Head of Al Iraqiya List Iyad Allawi affirmed to Alsumaria News that he has proposed on Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki to hold a meeting together. While the meeting was due on Saturday, Allawi was informed by Al Maliki on Friday night of a request to put off the meeting." Maad Fayad and Huda Jassem (Asharq Alawsat Newspaper) report that the meeting is now postponed -- possibly for nearly two weeks -- and they note, "Other sources from the Iraqiya List attributed the postponement to what they described as hesitation on the part of the State of Law coalition. Moreover, the announcement comes one day after al Maliki stated that the State of Law coalition will keep the premiership. In other words, he will remain in his position as there are no other candidates for the premiership from that coalition." In other election news, Alsumaria TV is reporting that the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defense have informed the Independent High Electoral Commission that two candidates are being disqualified -- Iraqiya's Abdullah Hassan Rashid Dakhil and the Iraqi National Alliance's Furat Mohsen Said Marzouk. Meanwhile Lebanon's Daily Star editorializes, "What Iraq needs is leaders with more than a thirst to rule, but a thirst rectify the country’s ills; leaders with a vision for their country rather than a vision for themselves. We have yet to see this from the current crop of politicians vying for power." Meanwhile someone grab the smelling salts for Raed, Gregg Carlstrom (Al Jazeera) notes the obvious and possibly a damn breaks for others to address reality as well:

The US will almost certainly maintain a small long-term presence in Iraq - mostly troops serving in training roles - although Obama insists the vast majority of troops will be gone by 2012.
The withdrawal remains broadly popular in Iraq, and Iraqi politicians endorse the timetable in public. But Hussain said many are using different language in private.
"Iraqi forces are begging the US not to withdraw, begging them to stay in order to avoid chaos, because the institutions of the state are not ready as of yet.
"Many parties are asking the US not to be hasty, not to withdraw."
A longer occupation, of course, would require the US to renegotiate the so-called "status of forces agreement," the 2008 deal between the Bush administration and the Iraqi government.

Did you catch it? "Would require the US to regnegotiate the so-called 'status of forces agreement'"? Yes, it can be renegotiated. Fred Hiatt hints at that in the Washington Post but didn't have the guts to say it. Good for Gregg Carlstrom. For those late to the party, this community supports an immediate withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. That's not the point of the excerpt. The point is the SOFA is not "The war ends . . ." It's really astounding how pathetic Tom Hayden, for example, is since he allows that lie to take hold despite his historical knowledge of all the Paris Peace Talks. The SOFA was not a treaty to end the war. Treaties that end wars are highly specific about that aspect. The SOFA replaced the yearly UN mandate. It allowed the US to remain on Iraqi soil for three more years. It does not translate into US TROOPS MUST LEAVE. It is an agreement, a contract. It can be tossed aside, it can be extended. Those -- like the idiot Raed -- who insist it means the end of the Iraq War have never known what they were talking about.

In other news, Martin Chulov (Guardian) reports that increased violence in Iraq (violence began visibly increasing on a monthly basis beginning in February) is being blamed on the release of prisoners from US prisons in Iraq. Chulov seems confused -- as do his Iraqi sources. The US release just puts the prisoners into the Iraqi system. If the Iraqi authorities feel people are being wrongly released, they are free to accept transfer of them and retain them as prisoners. In other words, it appears Iraq's found yet another way to play the blame game which absolves their own culpability and responsibility. Thomas Erdbrink and Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported Saturday on two Iranians who had been held in US prisons but were turned over to Iran . . . on Nouri al-Maliki's say so. AFP notes that the two were Ahmed Barazandeh and Ali Abdulmaliki and quotes an anonymous Iranian diplomat stating, "Two Iranians have been freed by the Americans after co-operation with the office of the prime minister (Nuri al-Maliki) and the Iranian embassy."

Violence over the weekend was already noted but yesterday Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reported 2 corpses were discovered in Baghdad on Saturday. She's the only one who reported that discovery.

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Faith-based leadership" went up last night. We'll note this from Kenneth J. Theisen's "The End of Habeas Corpus: This is 'Justice' in Obama's America" (World Can't Wait):

On Friday, May 21, 2010 the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of the Obama administration, holding that three prisoners who are being held by the U. S. at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan cannot challenge their detention in U.S. courts.
This is a victory for reaction, essentially denying prisoners of the U.S. war of terror held at Bagram the right to habeas corpus.
The denial of this basic right means that these prisoners have no right to a hearing in which a judge would review the evidence against them and could potentially order their release. This is “justice” in Obama’s America. The Obama administration has once again advanced the political and legal agenda begun by the Bush regime. If this ruling is not overturned, many prisoners of the U.S. war of terror could be held indefinitely.

World Can't Wait staged a protest at West Point during Barack's 'mission being accomplished' speech on Saturday. Shawn Cohen (Lower Hudson Journal News) reports at least a hundred were present and protesting and:

The protesters included several Vietnam era activists and one former member of the U.S. Army, Matthew Chiroux, who gave a speech about his service in Afghanistan.
"I committed a crime when I went to Afghanistan," said Chiroux, who is 26 and from Brooklyn, calling Obama a war criminal. "I am done being a veteran. I am an insurgent for peace."

And we'll close with this from Sherwood Ross' "Pentagon Contractor Profits Rise -- Along With Casualties" (Pacific Free Press):

The fighting in Afghanistan this week has resulted in the deaths of Canadian Colonel Geoff Parker, 42, of Oakville, Ontario, and U.S. Colonel John McHugh, 46, of W. Caldwell, New Jersey. It also claimed the lives of Lieutenant Colonels Paul Bartz, 43, of Waterloo, Wis., and Thomas Belkofer, 44, of Perrysburg, Ohio. Other fatalities were Staff Sgt. Richard Tieman, 28, of Waynesboro, Pa., and Specialist Joshua Tomlinson, 24, of Dubberly, La.
The four officers were killed in Kabul, The New York Times reported May 21, when “A suicide bomber in a minibus drove into their convoy (of armored sports utility vehicles), killing the four officers, two other American servicemen and 12 Afghan civilians in a passing bus.” The total number of U.S. service member deaths since the U.S. invaded Afghanistan eight years ago now stands at 1,064. The number of contractors killed in the fighting has been put at around 300. And in 2008 alone it is estimated that nearly 4,000 Afghan civilians perished.
This writer deeply regrets each and every one of those deaths, especially those of the 12 innocent Afghan civilians this week. They likely would all be alive today if President George W. Bush had not chosen to invade a country that never attacked America and which the U.S. oil industry has long coveted for a pipeline route. They would be alive if President Barack Obama had withdrawn U.S. troops. Instead, he has escalated the conflict and increased “defense” spending to a record $708 billion for fiscal 2011---a step which will only make the U.S. military-industrial complex(MIC) more powerful. For those associated with MIC, however, “defense” spending means jobs and prosperity.

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