Monday, October 29, 2012

The continued failures of the State Dept and White House

Over the last two weeks, there have been numerous reports (from European and US press) about the Iraqi government's lack of an online presence.  I didn't feel the need to cover it because (a) there were more important things to cover and (b) we already covered that this year (see the Iraq snapshot for ).  But since the US press did feel the need to get involved in that (as opposed to covering a real story out of Iraq), let's note what they don't, the administration is killing the image of America in Iraq as a result of their ineffectual online presence and their generay attitude of I-don't-have-to-bother-with-Iraq.  Saturday, as we noted the violence that claimed at least 40 lives, we were also able to include a quote:

Today, Iraq was slammed with bombings and other violence leading the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Iraq Martin Kobler to declare, "This is an atrocious act of violence against innocent worshipers of various faiths. The targeting of worshipers is an appalling crime."

We weren't the only ones to include that quote.  As late as Sunday evening, stories were still including that quote issued by the United Nations.  By early Sunday reports on Saturday's violence and Sunday's violence could also include this statement, "These are shocking and cowardly attacks which demonstrate a complete disregard for human life.  It is especially horrifying that some of these attacks seem to have targeted children and families celebrating Eid al-Adha.  My thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those killed and injured."

Late, you think, but at last the US government made a statement.

Was that our Ambassador to Iraq, Robert S. 'Beecroft?  Or maybe a statement from the State Dept?  Or the White House?

That's a statement fom Simon Collis.

Before you start attempting to place what department of the US government, Collis is with, stop.  He's the British Ambassador to Iraq.  And All Iraq News and KUNA are among the ones quoting from his statement.

When violence happens, we usually include a statement from France's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  We do that for many reasons including a friend usually e-mails it and often also calls.  We'll discuss how the French government does a better job than the American one of acknowledging Iraq.

And that's because the US government does an awful job.  Victoria Nuland is put out if she even has to deal with Iraq in a State Dept briefing.  The problem with transparency, please understand, is that once it's out there for anyone to see, it's out there for anyone to see.

And the two reactions that concern me are (a) what a laughing stock we are to the British and French governments as we repeatedly have nothing to say about this attack or that attack in Iraq and (b) the fact that Iraqis, day after day, see violence followed by reports and those reports contain expressions of grief and solidarity from the United Nations, the governments of Europe and silence from the US government.

Despite the whoring over the weekend of a journalist who betrayed Margaret Hassan's family -- don't worry, he knows who he is -- the reality is that Iraqis do not care about the election in the US next month.  CNN has reported that accurately while an overly praised 'journalist' has taken to pimping a lie (well, boys and girls, you should have always been suspect of someone who justified Thomas Freidman).

And the reason they don't care is because they feel America has abandoned them.

I'm talking about the Iraqi people, not the leaders.  I'm sure Beecfort conveyed his dismay over the attack to Nouri al-Maliki.

The leaders -- especially in a puppet government -- aren't who you need to be connecting to.  Governmnets falls.  Ten years from now, if the current path continues, watch for puzzlement at how much distance the Iraqi people feel for the US government (and that's putting it mildly).  Lip service, acknowledgements, are the easiest things to do.

It is appalling that Barack and Hillary, at a time when US citizens do without so much, want to pour billions more into Iraq to 'influence' (control) that country but refuse to do the very basic and cost-free things that actually build bridges.

When an Iraqi reads a report on the violence that shook their country, don't think they don't register which governments express sympathy and solidarity and which ones are silent.

There is a serious problem and the administration should have dealt with this a long time ago.  The fact that the average Iraqis are now expresssing (read Sebastian Meyer's article for CNN if you haven't already) that the US election doesn't matter should have been a red flag in the White House and the State Dept and should have led to Jay Carney (White House spokesperson) and Victoria Nuland (State Dept spokesperson) being instructed to issue statements immediately when violence leads to the deaths of a number of Iraqis (I would say ten).

US dollars were wasted on an illegal war that brought nothing but misery.  Now US dollars are wasted on 'big projects' that don't impress because our government can't even play concerned neighbor.

This is so basic.  But if you're having trouble following it, pretend your home was damaged in a fire or bad weather.  Various people from around the neighborhood drop by to express their sorrow.  You remember that.  You remember who came by and you remember who ignored you.  You don't forget that and it effects the way you see your neighborhood.

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Campaigning" went up last night.
On this week's 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) topics addressed include Dick Cheney and qualified immunity, NYPD's forcing Mosque Crawler to become an informant, professor Al McCoy on the Bully Boy Bush and Barack administrations use of torture and the NLG's Urszula Masny-Latos on police spying in Boston.

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