Monday, July 23, 2012

The violence and the whores

Bombings slam Iraq today.  Alsumaria notes the dead includes police officers and Sahwa members ("Awakenings" and "Sons/Daughters of Iraq") and that Baghdad, Nineveh Province, Diwaniyah Province, Kirkuk, Wasit Province, Diyala Province and Salahuddin Province were all targeted with bombs.  Ala A. Nabhan and Sam Dagher (Wall St. Journal) add, "Several parked car bombs were detonated in markets packed with Ramadan shoppers in predominantly Shiite areas such as Baghdad's congested Sadr City district, the town of Taji northwest of the capital and the city of Diwaniya to the south, killing and wounding dozens, according to a Ministry of Interior official." Mark Leon Goldberg (UN Dispatch) notes over 100 dead.

And, as Kevin Lipstak (CNN) observes, Barack Obama's re-election campaign has issued a video today (less than 30 minutes ago it was posted to YouTube) which "touted the candidate's achievement of ending U.S. involvement in Iraq." The embarrassing video stars an ugly whore:  Tom Appelbaum.

And if calling whores "whores" hurts someone's feelings let's be really clear that you can't start drumming up publicity for an event at the start of the year by proclaiming it non-political and then turn around seven months later and use the event to whore for a political campaign.  You've disgraced the event with your whoring.  Hopefully Craig Schneider -- who was credited by the press with doing at least half the work on the St. Louis parade -- won't join in the whoring.

The parade needed $25,000 to be staged (it was) and those who were asked to contribute were repeatedly told this wasn't a political event, this wasn't about Democrat or Republican but look now  Appelbaum want to use veterans and use the parade to whore for Barack Obama.  And look, Tommy Appelbaum got a hair cut, finally cut off that ridiculous Florence Henderson/Carol Brady four inch growth in the back.  Nope, he's just  pinned up.  Don't you love a man who pins up his hair?  (Me neither.)

I'm confused by the  whoring for so many reasons -- and wouldn't be surprised if donors started asking for their money back because I know a lot of people were very clear to Appelbaum that they were giving money for the veterans, not for a political event -- including that Barack Obama didn't do a damn thing for the parade.  Neither he personally nor the federal government gave a dime and, of course, he didn't show.

I'm also aware that IAVA called for a national parade and that these local parades were done in place of that when the federal government refused to stage a national parade (the official explanation involved that some troops who served in Iraq were now in Afghanistan so it wouldn't be 'fair' and that the money allocated by Congress for a parade was spent elsewhere).

I'm failing to see how private citizens stepping up to the plate and donating their own money is an example of Barack Obama's leadership.

"President Obama kept his promise, brought the troops home from Iraq," the informercial swears.  Ignoring that a small presence is still there (200 guarding the embassy staff, Special-Ops, CIA, FBI, and contractors).  And ignoring the fact that pulling you from Iraq to put you in Kuwait is not bringing you home.  Nor are plans to keep you in Kuwait for years.

Whores turn tricks.  They apparently don't read.  From the June 19th snapshot:

Today the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released [PDF format warning] "The Gulf Security Architecture: Partnership With The Gulf Co-Operation Council." On page v., Senator John Kerry, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, notes, "Home to more than half of the world's oil reserves and over a third of its natural gas, the stability of the Persian Gulf is critical to the global economy."  Chair John Kerry has stated of the report, "The Gulf Region is strategically important to the United States economically, politically, and for security reasons.  This is a period of historic, but turbulent change in the Middle East. We need to be clear-eyed about what these interests are and how best to promote them.  This report provides a thoughtful set of recommendations designed to do exactly that."
 The report may well map out that for many.  That's not what stood out to me. The takeaway for me is US troops remain in the region, right next to Iraq in Kuwait and the Committee's recommendation is that they remain present.  (For those who don't want to read the report in full or operating systems are not PDF friendly, click here for the Committee's one page explanation of the report.)
 [. . .]
Further into the report, we get the point AP' was emphasizing this morning. AP: "The United States is planning a significant military presence of 13,500 troops in Kuwait to give it the flexibility to respond to sudden conflicts in the region as Iraq adjusts to the withdrawal of American combat forces and the world nervously eyes Iran, according to a congressional report." Page nine of the report:
A residual American military presence in the Gulf and increased burden-sharing with GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] states are fundamental components of such a framework. However, the United States must also carefully shape its military footprint to protect the free-flow of critical natural resources and promote regional stability while not creating a popular backlash.
Page 12:
Kuwait is especially keen to maintain a significant U.S. military presence. In fact, the Kuwaiti public perception of the United States is more positive than any other Gulf country, dating back to the U.S.-led liberation of Kuwait in 1991. Kuwait paid over $16 billion to compensate coalition efforts for costs incurred during Desert Shield and Desert Storm and $350 million for Operation Southern Watch. In 2004, the Bush Administration designated Kuwait a major non-NATO ally.
* U.S. Military Presence: A U.S.-Kuwaiti defense agreement signed in 1991 and extended in 2001 provides a framework that guards the legal rights of American troops and promotes military cooperation. When U.S. troops departed Iraq at the end of 2011, Kuwait welcomed a more enduring American footprint. Currently, there are approximately 15,000 U.S. forces in Kuwait, but the number is likely to decrease to 13,500. Kuwaiti bases such as Camp Arifjan, Ali Al Salem Air Field, and Camp Buehring offer the United States major staging hubs, training rages, and logistical support for regional operations. U.S. forces also operate Patriot missile batteries in Kuwait, which are vital to theater missile defense.

It takes a lot of nerve to stomp and shout and claim credit for a politician on a day when hundreds are dead.

The reality is that this administration has failed on Iraq.

The smart thing to have done would have been to immediately start the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and have them out in ten months or less.  It could have been done.

Barack refused to do that.  The bulk of US troops remained in Iraq until Decemeber 2011.  That means Barack owns it.  He didn't do the smart thing which was come into office, announce the end of the war and pull everyone out.  That would have been supported.  He had a mandate for that.

Instead, he wanted to tinker.

That including pissing on Iraq's Constitution.  When the people of Iraq went to the polls in March 2010, they did so because they thought their votes mattered.  Instead, Barack made clear that only the US government's wants mattered. The Iraqi pople voted for Iraqiya, it came in first.  Even after Nouri stamped his feet and demanded recounts, Nouri's State of Law was still second place.

Yet Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi is not prime minister of Iraq now.  Nouri got a second term. That happened not because of the voter turnout, not because of the Constitution, not because of democracy.  That happened because the White House backed Nouri and refused to back the Iraqi people.

When they backed Nouri, they already knew about Nouri's penchant for secret prisons and torture.  Ned Parker and the Los Angeles Times and human Rights Watch had already been documenting it for years.  But the Iraqi people and their safety weren't the concern of the White House.  Samantha Power was the fiercest advocate for Nouri.  And now look at Iraq today.

Over 100 dead.  In one day.  Over 100 dead and Nouri still can't nominate people to head the security ministries -- something that was supposed to have been done in 2010.  Two years ago.  Yesterday,  Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) observed, "Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has struggled to forge a lasting power-sharing agreement and has yet to fill key Cabinet positions, including the ministers of defense, interior and national security, while his backers have also shown signs of wobbling support."

In addition, the White House continues to struggle to find a nominee for US Ambassador to Iraq.  If you think things are bad, you don't know what's coming and that's because little whores like the couple in the Barack's campaign ad this morning, whore and their whoring is enabled by people who refuse to tell the truth about what's taking place in Iraq.  If you think things are bad now, wait for the moment after the 2013 elections.  If they take place.  But wait for those last months of 2013 when something becomes very clear.  A third term for Nouri?  If he seeks that, it's very likely that new levels of violence will strike Iraq.  And it will be Barack Obama's fault because Barack installed Nouri for a second term.  Bully Boy Bush only gave Nouri the first term.

Nouri was a failure for everyone but the US governement in his first term.  That's why, despite NPR and others whoring for him in the leadup to the election (and right after the election when they lied and said he got the most votes -- a story they never issued a correction on), Nouri couldn't deliver the votes.  To stop the 2011 protests -- which the US press largely ignored at the request of the White House, Nouri promised no third term.  He didn't mean it.  He was leaned on by US government.

Nouri is not popular outside of US propaganda polls.  And only idiots and whores -- sorry, Tim Arango -- would attempt to pimp that lie.  He's now been prime minister since 2006. Forget security issues for one moment.  Where's the potable water? The dependable electricity?  The food they can afford?  The jobs?

He is in his sixth year as prime minister and he's provided nothing.  Only in a US propagnada poll would he receive votes of approval.

(Note: Tom and LaDonna Appelbaum appear in the video. I've ignored LaDonna Appelbaum because, while I'm sure she did some serious work on the parade, she wasn't billed as co-sponsor back when it was being planned through the day it took place.  I have no idea when she got upgraded to co-sponsor -- and she may deserve that upgrade -- but the press didn't focus on her at the start of the year and she wasn't among the ones stating this was a non-political event.  For those reasons, I've focused on Tom Appelbaum and ignored LaDonna Appelbaum.  Added: Click here to steam the lousy informercial.)

This week on Law and Disorder Radio,  an hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights).  This week they discuss Bradly Manning, Occupy Chicago, Julian Assange,  attorney Barbara Harvey joins them to discuss the Olympia Food Co-op lawsuit developments and Rick Wolff joins them to discuss his new book on Occupy.

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