Thursday, September 22, 2011

LAT stands up for government inaccountability

The Los Angeles Times editorial board argues that withdrawal is more a state of mind than an actual action so 5,000 or less US troops remaining in Iraq is a-okay with them. Way to stand firm on no principle, LAT. And way to remind everyone that when it counted, the Los Angels Times editorial board couldn't be counted on. Of course, back then it was a national paper, now it's not. Back then, it didn't teeter on the verge of collapse, now it does. Back then, the editors weren't forced to constantly humiliate themselves before new owners and now "put on dog & pony show monthly" is practically in their job description. So you might say that by backing the Iraq War to begin with, the Los Angeles Times created their own hell and their own toilet and their one flush away from vanishing forever.

The embarrassing editorial may also revive talk that Robert Scheer was dumped as a columnist by the paper, as he insisted at the time, because of his anti-war stance. In other words, when you're having circulation problems, when you've lost most of your staff and are being forced to share, when even your best presentation doesn't go over well with the new owner, maybe it's not the best time to piss off readers? And who but a fool would think that the Los Angeles area was one that would support continued war in Iraq.

They're such idiots that they fail to see the contradiction in decrying the deaths of nearly 5,000 US troops in the Iraq War in one sentence while in the very next sentence declaring that continued war is a-okay provided "the force were kept small -- 5,000 or so". So it's a big number except . . . when it's not? Clearly logic skills are not required on the editorial board.

And the paper's sudden concern for the welfare of Iraqis is touching. Do you know there are members of the LA city council who were unaware, at the height of the targeting of the LGBT community in Iraq, that Iraqis suspected of being gay were being killed because the paper wasn't covering it? That it was a shock to several members of the council that this could happen in Iraq, yes, but even more so that it could happen without the 'mighty' Los Angeles Times ever sounding alarms. So let's just say their attempt to pretend to care about the welfare of Iraqis is causing a great deal of laughter this morning. And that's before you get to the fact that withdrawal is withdrawal, it doesn't come with a variety of factory options you can pick and choose from. You either withdraw or you don't. And, also of no concern to the paper's editorial board, the government either keeps its word to the people or it doesn't. Way to avoid holding the government unaccountable, LAT, way to go. (Al Sabaah notes US Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey is still going around Baghdad insisting all US troops will be out of Iraq at the end of this year.)

At the end of last October, an attack on Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad, the latest in a never-ending wave of attacks on Iraq's religious minorities, forced many Iraqi Christians to flee. Some left the country, some left Baghdad for the Kurdistan Region which is seen as more welcoming to all religions. Reuters reports that, 11 months later, some of those who fled to the region struggle to find employment and while Menas Saad Youssef states she is safer and "can go out at night," she also can't find employment. Along with the issue of unemployment throughout Iraq, there's also the fact that the KRG requires you to have residency permit (which you must renew annually) to work in the region.

Aseel Kami (Reuters) reports on the water issue in Iraq and how, within two decades, the country may see the demise of clean water. Kami notes, "Iraq, already struggling with water shortages, says hydroelectric dams and irrigation in Turkey, Iran and Syria have reduced the water flow in its main rivers, the Euphrates and the Tigris." We've noted the salty water making its way into Iraq via Iran (and the Iranian government's claims to be addressing the issue) but there's another issue not noted in the article: Oil and gas pollution. And don't forget GE is going into northern Iraq -- the same GE who 'helped' the Hudson River become what it is today.

The following community sites -- plus, On The Wilder Side and Jane Fonda -- updated yesterday and this morning:

Three sites updated and aren't showing up on Blogger/Blogspot's feed.
Though not listed, both have new posts. In addition, Ava's "Post office closing raised in hearing" went up at Trina's site last night which covered the joint House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees hearing. That was also covered in yesterday's hearing and we'll be covering another hearing in today's snapshot. Right now, we'll close with this from Sherwood Ross' "OBAMA'S RE-ELECTION CHANCES MAY BE FADING, AND SO WHAT?" (Veterans Today):

Unless President Obama breathes life into a massive New Deal-type jobs and reconstruction effort, now, and not in some vague Tomorrow, his chances for re-election, will shrivel. (Not that I care: I plan to vote Green.) That’s because this presidential campaign early on gives every appearance of one that will be fought out largely on domestic issues as the candidates appeal to voter self-interest. In all the Republican debates and Democratic oratory until now, it’s been rare to catch a word about USA’s engulfing the Middle East and Africa in wars to steal their energy resources.
Thus, the campaign talk is all-about rebuilding American infrastructure---not about restoring Iraq’s infrastructure that we destroyed in an illegal war. The talk is about finding jobs for long-term unemployed Americans----not about the Depression-level unemployment we created in Iraq. Americans seem indifferent to the fate of those we are destroying overseas with our brilliant killing machines. And maybe that’s not surprising as the six wars we are waging get so little media play. We think we can commit crimes against humanity and walk away from them---and so we do.
Last night’s commentators on MSNBC television waxed eloquent about Mr. Obama’s “tough talk” on creating jobs. It is as though they forgot this is the same man who talked like a liberal during his initial run for the White House but largely acted like any reactionary once elected. His pledge to get out of Iraq is visibly undercut by U.S. construction of a gigantic embassy-fortress in Baghdad. The U.S. has subjugated Iraq and intends to rule it until the last drop of oil has been squeezed from its soil.
It must be remembered that President Obama is a creature of the Central Intelligence Agency, the foremost international criminal organization in the world today; that his college loans were paid for by the CIA and that he got his first job after college from the CIA. And the CIA has long aligned itself closely with grasping oil firms out solely to plunder and profit---and who are reaping sensational war-time profits at this hour---the world’s motorists and homeowners be damned. It needs to be understood those 900 bases the Pentagon has built are not for defense, but for offense, to control every region of the planet, as the latest deals with Colombia and Australia reveal.

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