Saturday, June 26, 2010

Oh, yeah, the Iraqi people

Almost a fifth of Iraq's population are refugees or internally displaced, and almost half live in abject poverty - despite $53 billion in "aid" spent since the 2003 invasion (funds that lined the pockets of foreign military contractors and corrupt officials but left 70 percent of Iraqis without potable water or predictable electricity). A once secular, highly educated and cosmopolitan society has been torn apart by sectarian violence. Extremist militias, empowered by the post-invasion power vacuum, still terrorize women, gays and religious minorities. Few can afford to flee their country, which is racked by ongoing insecurity and ruled by a puppet regime (although whether Iran or America pulls the strings is a matter of some debate) from behind the walls of the green zone.
Yet the stories of the people of Iraq are virtually absent in mainstream media reports. The ongoing humanitarian disaster is ignored while invasion apologists promote a corrupt pseudo-democracy as a perverse example of "mission accomplished." I have been visiting Baghdad since 1997, and most Iraqis seem as cynical about the new regime as they were about the old one. With Iraq now ranked the fifth most corrupt country out of 180 studied by Transparency International, and with no laws on campaign financing, with incumbents who used state funds to further their own campaigns and imprisoned opponents on trumped-up charges of terrorism and with government ministers maintaining their own private militias, democracy remains as elusive as ever.

The above is from Hadani Ditmars' "Mission accomplished? Not for the Iraqi people" (San Francisco Chronicle) and sad but true. The Iraqi people are completely forgotten. I seem to remember people grandstanding on the backs of Iraqis a few years ago. In fact, I remember a January 2007 DC rally with a lot of names on that stage and a lot of promising they were there, they were committed. Where have you gone Sue Sarandon? An apathetic nation turns it normal sized eyes to your own bug ones.

The Iraq War has not ended and the fact that so many faux activists think that they can pack it in because Barry O's not concerned with it (certainly concerned with ending it) is rather telling.

I remember Tom Hayden also grandstanding on the backs of the Iraqi people. What was needed, he told fellow grand stander Laura Flanders, was for US communities to form ties with Iraqi communities. (As soon as Tom was gone, backstabbing Laura would ridicule him as suggesting that US citizens become pen pals with al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.)

I didn't dream it, it happened. But apparently it was all empty words. Meaningless words. Not unlike the many words uttered by their Christ-child Barack. They loved him so much because he was their mirror. He was as useless and bitchy and stupid as they are.

The Iraq War hasn't ended. The suffering of the Iraqi people has not ended. For all the faux pretense of caring, the reality is most of the grandstanders against the illegal war didn't give a damn. For them it really was all about George W. Bush.

It wasn't about an illegal war because the illegal war continues. If an illegal war bothered them so much from 2003 until the end of 2008, it would damn well still bother them today.

It was all a bunch of crap and disgusting b.s. from a bunch of Democratic Party loyalists and a bunch of Closet Communist who thought they could be a fifth column in a Barack administration. In fact, Closet Communists make the best sex slaves for The Cult of St. Barack because they're used to toeing an ever-changing party line and never questioning it. As Barack becomes the national and international disappointment that any thinking adult knew he would be, it's cute to watch the Closet cases start insisting they were never really into Barack.

Take the laughable Carl Davidson, the 'progressive' for Barack. Carl's not interested in the wars anymore. Carl is interested in letting people know he ALWAYS knew Barack wasn't all of that. Did he always know that?

Of course not. But again, as a lifelong Communist, Carl used to doing whatever's he's told. The USSR likes China? Carl's on board! The USSR no longer likes China? Carl's on board!

Carl's a joke.

An even bigger joke is the woman who's about to die in disgrace. She only has a little time left and her doctors don't think she'll live past this year. So she's trying to set herself up now -- NOW -- as a Barack critic. This after endorsing him in 2008. The Communist who couldn't think of a damn reason to endorse him other than 'kids like him.'

Kids do?

Oh, okay. Well kids like eating sugar all day too so let's do that. Can we endorse that too? Can we just surrender all levels of maturity, experience and judgment and go along with whatever it is that 'kids' like at the moment?

She's going to die in disgrace.

And I won't feel the least bit of sympathy for her because she betrayed everything her life supposedly stood for when she endorsed Barack in 2008 and, as a Communist, she damn well should have been aware that her 'reasons' for endorsing him were dubious at best.

The Iraq War continues. Look around. See who still gives a damn.

That tells you who to trust and who not to. All the people who claimed they wanted to end the war? Only a few of them remain. For many, it had nothing to do with the war, it had everything to do with a Republican occupying the White House.

This Sunday is PTSD Awareness Day. US Senator Kent Conrad's office issued the following:
Washington -- In an effort to bring greater attention to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the United States Senate last night passed a resolution authored by Senator Kent Conrad designating June 27 as National PTSD Awareness Day.

"The stress of war can take a toll on one's heart, mind and soul. While these wounds may be less visible than others, they are no less real," Senator Conrad said. "All too many of our service men and women are returning from battle with PTSD symptoms like anxiety, anger, and depression. More must be done to educate our troops, veterans, families and communities about this illness and the resources and treatments available to them."

The Senator developed the idea for a National PTSD Awareness Day after learning of the efforts of North Dakota National Guardsmen to draw attention to PTSD and pay tribute to Staff Sgt. Joe Biel, a friend and member of the 164th Engineer Combat Battalion. Biel suffered from PTSD and took his life in April 2007 after returning to North Dakota following his second tour in Iraq.

Earlier this month, Senator Conrad visited the Fargo VA Medical Center and met with physicians and social workers to discuss their capabilities for helping those suffering from PTSD. He also met with friends of Sgt. Biel and presented them a copy of the resolution designating June 27 -- Biel's birthday -- as National PTSD Awareness Day.

According to the National Institute for Mental Health, PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, accidents, and military combat. From 2000 to 2009, approximately 76,000 Department of Defense patients were diagnosed with PTSD.

"This effort is about awareness, assuring our troops -- past and present -- that it's okay to come forward and say they need help. We want to erase any stigma associated with PTSD. Our troops need to know it's a sign of strength, not weakness, to seek assistance," Senator Conrad said.

To learn more about PTSD and locate facilities offering assistance, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' National Center for PTSD at

Veterans in need of immediate assistance can call the VHA Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.

The following community sites -- have updated since yesterday morning:

We'll close with this from John Kass' "Message to Tony Rezko Has Obama's Name All Over It" (Chicago Tribune):

Back in the day, you didn't need to write letters to get Tony's attention. Even when everybody in town knew the feds were breathing on his neck, you didn't have to write on eco-friendly paper asking him to help you with your dream house. All you had to say was, "My man." And he was there.

Then he got indicted, and you donated all of Tony's campaign contributions to charity. But did you ever think about giving it back to Tony? He could sure use the money.

I noticed you didn't donate your house to charity. I'm just sayin'.

The e-mail address for this site is

thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends