Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Operation Happy Talk: The never-ending US policy

"A New Chapter In Iraq" is the sort of garbage we endured under the Bush administration. The piece of crap is written by human garbage Thomas R. Nides who, in a functioning administration, would be kept at arms length. Instead he serves in the administration. At least until he runs back to Morgan Stanley or some other multinational banking corporation. And that's fine, you don't expect a great deal from trash. Right now he's trash that Barack Obama has allowed to buff an image on the tax payers' dime. But POLITICO needs to rethink their layout. It's bad enough that after reading seven poorly written paragraphs (let's hope Nides manages money with more zest than he does the English language), readers still won't see a disclosure that Nides works for the US State Dept, but they will have to click to the next page, and, if they can endure five more lifeless paragraphs, they will finally see: "Thomas Nides is deputy secretary of state for management and resources."

In a physical paper, the disclosure does come at the end of a column but you can easily scroll down with your eyes to find that the column written is written by someone with vested interests. There's no reason POLITICO can't run the disclosure online at the bottom of both pages and not just the second.

Nides pompously begins, "Just five years ago, civil war threatened to engulf Iraq. More than 140,000 U.S. troops were stationed throughout the country battling an insurgency that many predicted would prevail." And civil war is still a threat as anyone who's followed any of the government reports damn well knows. But cheap little whores never tell the truth which is how you find Nides referring in the next paragraph to "what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton . . ." when, in fact, that statement should have read, "what my boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, likes to call . . ."

He is aware that Hillary is his boss, isn't he? I know he's reported to have problems reporting to women, but he is aware Hillary is his boss, right?

Maybe not, since he's so obviously aware of so damn little.

Iraq is not a country transformed. Iraq is a country that the US has torn apart and one with a new dictator installed by the US. Iraq is a place where journalists live not only under threat of law suit (no minor thing with a ruler is as litigious as Nouri al-Maliki -- ask the Guardian), but under the threat of landing on the thug's bad side -- which either means he himself orders your death or else one of his lackeys takes it upon themselves to kill you -- look at what was done to Hadi al-Mehdi.

The thug Nouri created a climate where all grasped that the murder of journalists was permissible. A country where all grasped that the rights of women did not matter to the occupying country. A country where all grasped that Iraq's religious minorities could be targeted and no one would call out the country's (installed) leader for it. A country where the LGBT community could be hunted 'for sport' and everyone would look the other way.

Iraq remains an occupied country and that will still be true after January 1st. But Nides and others are getting ready to whore big time. Don't expect to see anyone calling it out. On the left, apparently, we only cared about accuracy in Iraq claims when Bush occupied the White House.

Partisan loyalties may allow for silence today but don't kid that in the larger scheme of things Iraq's been made "better" or that it can be ignored. These same partisan compromises allowed the silence of the last decades. The US staged the 1963 coup that overthrew Iraq's King Abd al-Karim Qasim. The US-installed leaders conducted a purging that was ethnic cleansing. And all the brave voices were silent. As long as silence is the normal response, expect the US to forever be taking out Iraqi leaders and installing new ones.

If you're not getting how bad things are, refer to Hiwa Osman's "Perils of the Prime Minister" (Rudaw):

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s recent suggestion that Iraqi parties set the constitution aside and deal with each other through political consensus is a sign of his growing confidence in his own rule. Maliki has become an all-knowing “strong man” who has politicized every issue and forced most people to be with him or against him.
Last week, while receiving a delegation from Karbala governorate, Maliki criticized parties for being selective in applying the constitution and said that if they don’t want to abide by the constitution, the document should be frozen and political consensus embraced instead. He framed this as if he is a master of politics, and that political consensus is an alternative to a situation where the constitution already isn’t respected.
This way of thinking should serve as an alarm bell for everyone who is not and ally or a partner of Maliki. The danger in this statement is that he did not see anything wrong with himself or his adversaries, instead blaming the current state of affairs on the constitution.
This is deeply troubling because as prime minister, he is supposed to be the guardian of the constitution rather than offering to set it aside. It’s disconcerting because standard practice is that when there is political crisis, the first thing that’s changed is the person in charge.

The following community sites -- plus On The Wilder Side -- updated last night:

And Mike's "Fringe, Third" which isn't noted above. David Bacon's latest book is Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press) which won the CLR James Award. He continues to be one of the country's last national labor reporters. At Truthout he contributes a photo essay entitled "Bay Area Workers in Arms:"

At Casino San Pablo just north of Richmond, workers and community supporters joined in a candlelight vigil to focus public attention on the termination of one worker, the threatened firing of another, and efforts by the wealthy casino to roll back benefits for its employees.

Nirmani Kalakheti came to the vigil with his wife and daughter. Kalakheti was fired after he took time off to mourn the death of his father, according to Hindu ritual. While the casino gave him permission to take the time, he was fired after he returned to his job. “I feel that I have been targeted as a union leader and that the Casino management is not respecting my religious and cultural traditions," he said.

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.