Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Matthew Weaver plays Joan and Melissa Rivers

Matthew Weaver and the Guardian are working overtime to drag outsiders into the Syrian conflict (further into the conflict for the US government).  It's worth remembering that only when compared to its sister publication the Observer does the Guardian look even remotely 'anti-war.'  It was, after all, the Times of London that reported on the Downing Street Memos, not the Guardian which ignored them.  Today, they want to 'live blog' the Syrian conflict.  Look, it's Matthew Weaver interviewing on the red carpet, "Syria!  Syria! Who are you wearing?"


I picked the morning paper off the floor
It was full of other people's little wars 
Wouldn't they like their peace
Don't you get bored
And we call for the three great stimulants of the exhausted ones
-- "The Three Great Stimulants," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her Dog Eat Dog

The Guardian needs to drag everyone into the conflict, it has papers and a war to sell.

In an echo of the selling of the Iraq War, Weaver's top post (above) features what?  A toppling of a statue (it's of Bashar Assad's father) in what appears to be another p.r. move similar to the US military bringing down the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad -- with a tiny pack of exiles flown into the country right before to cheer and act like holler monkeys.

Syria needs to solve its own problem.  If President Bashar Assad is a problem, then the Syrian people need to handle it.  If the 'rebels' are the problem, then the Syrian people need to handle it.  They certainly don't need the press 'activists'  out in full force calling for 'action.'  And drooling this morning over 'democratic elections' -- currently Syria has a democratically government -- prime minister, president, unicameral legislature -- so why not cut out the propaganda?  Stop trying to sell us war.  The Syrian people will decide what their country needs to do, they will chart their own path.

 Oh, look, the UN's spinning too.  It's little Juliette Touma insisting that 1 in 5 schools in Syria cannot be used.  Well, damn, then let's go to war.  What a stupid remark.  If you don't know the idiot, she's supposedly dealing with media for Iraq as well.   Would she like to talk about schools in Iraq? 

Of course she wouldn't.  They can't even follow up on the wars they have sold us, they're so eager to sell us more.

Matthew Weaver even rushes to quote CIA contractor Juan Cole -- but presents him as something other than spooky Juan -- and Juan gets to prattle on about how there is spill over in Iraq.  No.  Nouri has allowed the Syrian military to enter Iraq and that's what caused yesterday's incident.  It's really important to the whores to use that incident.  So they pretend to care about Iraq but they don't really care about Iraq or they'd be focused on Iraq.  In fact, the war on Syria right now seems like an attempt by the imperial powers to distract from what they did in Iraq at a time when (due to the tenth anniversary) Iraq might actually get a little press attention.

In yesterday's attack inside Iraq on the Syrian military, seven Iraqi soldiers are said to have been killed.  Alsumaria reports that Sahwa leader Ahmed Abu Risha is calling for the families of soldiers killed in the attack to file a lawsuit against Nouri al-Maliki for his dragging the Iraqi military into Syria's internal issues.  Don't expect Matthew Weaver to blog on that -- live or otherwise.

Abu Risha is a leader of the protests in Anbar Province.  All Iraq News reports that Iraqiya is stating that they will join the protesters if the government does not meet the protesters' demands.  Spokesperson Haider al-Mullla is quoted stating, "The issue in Iraq cannot be neglected and we call the Iraqi National Alliance to hold the biggest responsibility in settling the crisis and calling to stop the delaying procedures in dealing with the demonstrators' demands.  The IS  [Iraqiya Slate] will positively deal with the political initiatives to settle the crisis and responding to the demonstrators' demands such as amending the Justice and Accountability Law and cancelling the law related to suspending the possessions of the persons included in this law, in addition to endorse the General Amnesty law draft and some other important laws."

Iraqiya is the political slate that came in first in the March 2010 parliamentary elections, beating Nouri's State of Law.  Al Mada reports that Iraqiya is currently exploring whether to continue boycotting Council sessions or to withdraw?   All Iraq News adds that Iraqiya has a meet-up today to address whether or not to join KRG President Massoud Barzani's call of a national meeting.

Still on Iraqiya, MP Liqa Wardi has made a very strong charge.  She tells All Iraq News that
Nouri's government is deliberately misleading the Iraqi people, "There is a misleading to the public by announcing that the prisoners are being released and there are committees formed to respond to the demonstrators' demands where there[are] the released prisoners, [they] belong to some provinces and certain blocs and not to the provinces that witness demonstrations.  To prove it, the head of the Sadr Trend, Muqtada al-Sadr, stated that there is no balance in releasing the prisoners where the private amnesty is used for a certain sect or community."  So what she's saying is that demonstrators in predominately Sunni provinces have protested about Sunnis being over-represented in the detained population and that Nouri has responded by releasing . . . Shi'ite prisoners.  This might explain why the flunky Nouri put in charge (Hussain al-Shahristani, the Deputy Prime Minister on Energy -- like that makes sense) has repeatedly refused to issue a list of names of supposedly released prisoners.

If she's correct, Nouri's pulled another one over on an easily fooled press.  Remember back in November when they told us Nouri had come up with plan to ease the tensions he created when he sent his Tigris Operation Command forces into disputed regions and now the peshmerga would be backing/standing down?

Never happened.


Today NINA reports, "The spokesman of Peshmerga forces, Jabbar Yawar confirmed that there is no[t] a new date for the talks between Erbil and Baghdad, adding that the leaders of Iraqi miltiary are busy with developments of the security situation and demonstrations, and most of them are outside Baghdad busy with military tasks and it is difficult to hold any meeting in their absence."

Other things that 'never happened'?  How about Iraq's 2013 budget?

Ayad al-Tamimi (Al Mada) reports that yesterday the Parliament failed to pass the budget because they couldn't reach a quorum for a session.

And the violence?  National Iraqi News Agency notes an armed attack in Baghdad which claimed 2 lives and left a third person injured, 1 person shot dead in a seperate Baghdad incident, a Kirkuk grenade attack claimed the life of Turkmen official Qasim Zine El Abidine and 1 North Oil Company employee (leaving a second employee injured), and a Baiji roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier and left three more injured,   Both NINA and All Iraq News are reporting a car bombing in Erbil today but no details.  Alsumaria reports an attack in Nineveh Province south of Mosul on the  convoy of Qayyarah Saleh al-Juburich left two of his bodyguards injured.   Dropping back to Monday, All Iraq News notes that 1 police officer's corpse was discovered in Mosul.

Lastly, in the US Senator Patty Murray is the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee and also the former Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.  Her office notes:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Contact: Murray Press Office

Murray Calls on Shinseki to Expedite Waivers for Same-Sex Burials in National Cemeteries

After VA grants first-ever waiver for Oregon couple, Murray leads letter urging basic "fairness and equity" for all same-sex veterans and their spouses

(Washington D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, led a letter to U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki calling for an expedited waiver process granting same-sex veterans and their spouses burial rights in national cemeteries. Currently, only members of the opposite-sex are buried next to their veteran spouse in national cemeteries.
“For the LGBT members of our nation’s armed forces, and for those of us who support them, the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was only the first step on the road towards equality,” said Senator Murray. “Our country now must work to ensure each of our heroes receives the same quality care and services once they leave the military – and this includes a dignified burial for them, and their spouses. I was glad to see Secretary Shinseki honor the request of Lieutenant Colonel Campbell on behalf of her wife Nancy and am hopeful he will not only seriously consider similar requests in the future, but implement an expedited process so no veteran will have to face uncertainty when mourning the loss of their spouse.” 

Senator Murray was joined by 15 Senators in sending the letter, which read in part:

“We strongly believe in equality under the law for all Americans, particularly for our veterans, who continually put themselves in harm’s way for our country. It is unacceptable that, after selflessly serving their nation, these men and women who have given so much would not be allowed to be buried next to the person they love in our national cemeteries…Offering burial rights in national cemeteries to same sex spouses of our nation’s veterans is not only a matter of fairness and equity, it is simply the right thing to do.”

On January 29, 2013, Secretary Shinseki granted a waiver, the first of its kind, for the burial of civilian Nancy Lynchild in Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon. Her spouse, retired Lieutenant Colonel Linda Campbell, led the months long efforts to make the waiver a reality.

Senator Murray was joined by the following Senators in sending this letter to Secretary Shinseki: Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Mark Udall (D-CO), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Mark Warner (D-VA), Mark Begich (D-AK), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Al Franken (D-MN), Chris Coons (D-DE), Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI).

The full text of the letter follows:

March 5, 2013
The Honorable Eric K. Shinseki
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420
Dear Secretary Shinseki:
We are writing to commend you for granting a waiver to Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Linda Campbell, so that her spouse, Ms. Nancy Lynchild, can be laid to rest alongside her in Willamette National Cemetery. We strongly believe in equality under the law for all Americans, particularly for our veterans, who continually put themselves in harm’s way for our country. It is unacceptable that, after selflessly serving their nation, these men and women who have given so much would not be allowed to be buried next to the person they love in our national cemeteries.
We expect that you will continue to grant similar waivers moving forward. Making this important change is a matter of basic fairness and equity. We have applauded the President for his decision not to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal court, and we welcomed the Department of Defense’s recent announcement that they will extend additional benefits to LGBT service members and their families. We also commend you, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, for working to ensure that the Department is a welcoming place for LGBT veterans and their families, and for your continued commitment to achieving equity and fairness for all of our nation’s veterans.
Although the Obama Administration has taken important steps towards achieving equality for LGBT Americans and their families, such as recognizing the validity and dignity of committed same sex couples and working to end discrimination in federal benefits on the basis of sexual orientation, there is still much more work to be done. Numerous federal benefits remain restricted by DOMA, including specific benefits that could soften the tragic blow of the loss of a loved one.
While we work to repeal DOMA in Congress, it is our hope that the Department of Veterans Affairs will continue to examine its policies and implement changes that further advance equality for all Americans. We ask that such changes include implementing an expedited waiver process, so that a veteran mourning the loss of her same-sex spouse need not also worry whether her spouse can be buried alongside her in a national cemetery. Offering burial rights in national cemeteries to same sex spouses of our nation’s veterans is not only a matter of fairness and equity, it is simply the right thing to do.
Thank you for granting spousal burial benefits to Lt Col Campbell, and for your continued commitment to our nation’s veterans. We look forward to your response on this important matter.

Senator Patty Murray
Senator Jeff Merkley
Senator Patrick Leahy
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Senator Barbara Boxer
Senator Ron Wyden
Senator Maria Cantwell
Senator Mark Udall
Senator Jeanne Shaheen
Senator Mark Warner
Senator Mark Begich
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Senator Al Franken
Senator Chris Coons
Senator Brian Schatz
Senator Mazie Hirono
Meghan Roh
Press Secretary | New Media Director
Office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray
Mobile: (202) 365-1235
Office: (202) 224-2834

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