Thursday, June 27, 2013

Selling US troops in Iraq all over again

Reuters quotes Gen Martin Dempsey, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stating yesterday,  "We've made a recommendation that as we look at the challenges faced by the Lebanese armed forces, the Iraqi security forces with a re-emerging Al Qaida in Iraq, and the Jordanians, that we would work with them to help them build additional capability."  Courtney Kube (NBC News) adds:

 "Militarily, what we're doing is assisting our partners in the region, the neighbors of Syria, to ensure that they're prepared to account for the potential spillover effects," Dempsey said during a briefing, citing the recent announcement that the U.S. left some Patriot missile batteries and F- 16s in Jordan to aid that country's defense.
Dempsey said the U.S. military is already working with the Iraqi military, the Lebanese armed forces, and Turkey.

It's the Memo of Understanding.  It's a shame the press refused to cover it in real time.

Late to the party?  From the April 30th snapshot:

December 6, 2012, the Memorandum of Understanding For Defense Cooperation Between the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Iraq and the Department Defense of the United States of America was signed.  We covered it in the December 10th and December 11th snapshots -- lots of luck finding coverage elsewhere including in media outlets -- apparently there was some unstated agreement that everyone would look the other way.  It was similar to the silence that greeted Tim Arango's September 25th New York Times report which noted, "Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions.  At the request of the Iraqi government, according to [US] General [Robert L.] Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence."

If you're late to the party, don't feel bad.  Lolita C. Baldor is a paid reporter for the Associated Press but she's apparently never read Tim Arango's report and, though DoD is her beat, she somehow never managed to report on the MoU.  We noted it -- see the links -- on December 6th when it was signed.  We analyzed it December 10th and December 11th.

AP somehow missed it.  Everyone ignored it in the US press.  Despite, among other things, DoD issuing a press releasing announcing the agreement.

But the US press has largely looked the other way on Iraq -- in a deliberate attempt to mislead the American people.  Tim Arango's report came out right before the debates.  But, as Ava and I noted in our debate coverage, none of the moderators ever asked about it or even seemed aware of it.

The US military is in Iraq and -- judging by their work training and equipping Nouri's SWAT forces -- they're a danger to the Iraqi people.

That might be a little too much truth for the the US press.  So much easier to pretend a return is about to happen for the first time and that it's for humanitarian reasons.

Through Tuesday, Iraq Body Count counts 511 violent deaths in Iraq so far this month.  And today?  National Iraqi News Agency reports 1 man was shot dead in Mosul and his mother was left injured, and an armed clash in Mosul left 2 Iraqi soldiers deadAll Iraq News notes a Mosul store that sells alcohol was targeted with a bombing today leaving 6 people "killed and injured."

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that was a major victory for equality.   The Feminist Majority Foundation issued the following on the ruling:

For Immediate Release: June 26, 2013
Kari Ross
Feminists nationwide are celebrating two Supreme Court decisions to uphold marriage equality for same-sex couples. In a narrow 5-4 decision the Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) with Justice Kennedy writing the decision with Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and also Kagan for the majority. Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Chief Justice Roberts dissented.
And in a slim 5-4 decision, the Court ruled opponents to equal marriage did not have standing in the case to uphold Proposition 8 with Roberts, Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Scalia in the majority.
“At last Prop 8 and DOMA are finished,” said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “Marriage equality lives in California, the biggest state in the nation. And the federal government must recognize marriage equality in 13 states and the District of Columbia, covering 30% of the nation’s population. There is still work to do, but victory is in sight. On the 10th anniversary of Lawrence v. Texas, the Court takes another major step towards equality.”

The e-mail address for this site is

iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq