Saturday, July 03, 2010

Biden back in Iraq


That's US Vice President Joe Biden in Baghdad July 2009. He's back in Iraq, for his fourth visit since being sworn in as Vice President. Ned Parker (Los Angeles Times) reports, "Vice President Joe Biden, the White House point man on Iraq policy, arrived in Baghdad on Saturday for meetings with the two front-runners in slow-moving negotiations to lead the Iraqi government as U.S. troops pull out." AP notes a hesitancy among US officials and elected politicians to visit Iraq since the elections and offers that this might signal a change.

March 7th, Iraq concluded Parliamentary elections. Three months and two days later, still no government. 163 seats are needed to form the executive government (prime minister and council of ministers). When no single slate wins 163 seats (or possibly higher -- 163 is the number today but the Parliament added seats this election and, in four more years, they may add more which could increase the number of seats needed to form the executive government), power-sharing coalitions must be formed with other slates, parties and/or individual candidates. (Eight Parliament seats were awarded, for example, to minority candidates who represent various religious minorities in Iraq.) Ayad Allawi is the head of Iraqiya which won 91 seats in the Parliament making it the biggest seat holder. Second place went to State Of Law which Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister, heads. They won 89 seats. Nouri made a big show of lodging complaints and issuing allegations to distract and delay the certification of the initial results while he formed a power-sharing coalition with third place winner Iraqi National Alliance -- this coalition still does not give them 163 seats. They are claiming they have the right to form the government.

Biden's not the only US official in Iraq currently, also visiting Iraq are Robert McCain's son, Joe Lieberman and Lindsay Graham. Xinhua reports the three senators met with Nouri today and he told them that the pace of the process was being increased. From the article: "Talking about what were achieved by his government in security and other fields, Maliki said the victory is difficult, but maintaining it is much harder." Students of history might want to remember South Vietnam's claims (and economy -- which was semi-functioning at that point) during the US occupation and how, when US forces left, the puppet regime imploded. The same may be in store for Iraq's puppet government if history is an indicator. Biden is due to meet with Nouri and Allawi tomorrow.

Violence continues in Iraq. Reuters notes a Mosul roadside bombing which injured one police officer and, dropping back to Friday, a Baquba roadside bombing which injured three police officers.

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July (I'm reminded of a great song by Lousie Goffin) and, at Information Clearing House, Kevin Zeese wants you to "Declare Your Independence." Golly, Kev, you first. This community endorsed Ralph Nader in 2008 . . . while you were making excuses for Barack and minimizing what might happen. Are you unhappy now? Well too damn bad. You had a voice, you should have used it.

Excuse me, you should have used it on something other than telling Kat that criticism of Barack had to be 'issued gently.' Gently? Try timid. Try you were a coward. Now that those of us who actually were independent in 2008 have carved out a space where you can critique Barack, Kevin wants to show up with more 'advice.' Your advice was b.s. in 2008. Let's see how it is today. From the article:

The media does not report on the incredible activism taking place all around the country. They don’t want America to have another Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Ralph Nader and so many others who in the past helped to move the United States in part because the media reported on their activities. Now we only hear about corporate CEO’s and elected officials elected due to corporate donations – otherwise it is sports stars and entertainment. The truth is there is more activism and organizing going on than even those of us working for change realize. If you attended the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit this month you could see it – at least 12,000 people attended, almost all were parts of organizations representing many more people, each working on a range of issues from housing and banking, to peace and criminal justice – people working to transform the American economy and political system. Did the media report on this conference? Does the media report on the movements these people are part of?

Did Kevin attach the bong to David Swanson's ass? Both of the idiots are 'seeing' things that, honestly, aren't there. As for the Social Forum, 12,000 people did not attend. I know that for a fact and, chances are, any outlet that might think, "Gee, we should have reported on it . . ." is going to hit that 12,000 number and also say, "Oh, forget it." No one's interested in liars.

The forum was effective in many ways. It's a shame so many writing about it have elected to lie. That's the real damage.

Kevin and David are like accountants swearing that there's money in the bank while the bank is sending you one notice after another of bounced checks. They're just 'optimists.' No, they're lying. They need to get honest. I'm sick of the rah-rah that distorts reality. And I'm especially sick of the little boys who couldn't speak out against Barack and only in recent weeks have sort-of found their voices. You are as useless as your lies.

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