Sunday, May 11, 2014


Well that picture above is telling too many words.

In fact, it's telling so many words that the US press -- Forget that.  The Western press, so many words that the western press is ignoring it.

It's not even worthy of a Tweet to AFP's man of multi-media Prashant Rao.

But it's a big story.

And clearly, I'm not the only one who thinks that.

I got the photo from Nouri's website

It's posted clear as day.  He obviously finds the meet-up to be significant.

It took place today, as the article at Nouri's site notes, Nouri meeting with US Ambassador Robert S. Beecroft and with US Gen Lloyd Austin.

If you're not getting the importance of it, let's drop back to Friday's snapshot:

December 2011 saw the drawdown in Iraq.  The Pentagon used the term and only that term.  The media ran with "withdrawal."  All US troops never left.  Some were transitioned to Kuwait -- where thousands remain.  Some stayed in the country.  Ted Koppell was reporting on this -- for NBC News and NPR -- in December 2011 but it was apparently too much for most to handle.

While thousands remained inside Iraq -- those who would be 'trainers' on weapons purchases, CIA, FBI, Special-Ops, etc -- there's been movement on bringing more in -- in fact more have come but that's been too much for a whorish 'progressive' community to handle, cope with or even recognize.

Let's drop back to
yesterday's snapshot for the following:

Gordon Lubold has long covered the Iraq War -- including for the Christian Science Monitor.  He has a post with disturbing news at Foreign Policy -- on the discussions of sending (more) US troops into Iraq:

But the nature of the fight the Maliki government confronts in western Iraq is such that officials say Baghdad is looking not only for better reconnaissance and surveillance capability, but also for more robust, lethal platforms. Iraq has been unwilling to accept American military personnel in the country in any operational form, but the willingness to revisit that policy appears now to be shifting. A spokesman for the Iraqi Embassy declined to comment on the issue of allowing American military personnel into the country to conduct drone operations, but acknowledged that the U.S. and Iraq share a "common enemy" in al Qaeda.

"Iraq's view is that all available tools must be utilized to defeat this threat, and we welcome America's help in enhancing the capabilities we are able to bring to bear," the spokesman said.  

You need to put that with other news because Lubold isn't smart enough to.  There's the fact that all US troops never left Iraq.  There's the fact that Barack sent a brigade of Special-Ops in during the fall of 2012. Tim Arango (New York Times) reported, "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 General Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence."  And let's include the news from the April 25th snapshot:

Mark Hosenball, Warren Strobel, Phil Stewart, Ned Parker, Jason Szep and Ross Colvin (Reuters) report, "The United States is quietly expanding the number of intelligence officers in Iraq and holding urgent meetings in Washington and Baghdad to find ways to counter growing violence by Islamic militants, U.S. government sources said."  It was 1961 when US President John F. Kennedy sent 1364 "advisors" into Vietnam.  The next year, the number was just short of 10,000.  In 1963, the number hit 15,500.  You remember how this ends, right?

If we're all up to speed, at today's State Dept press briefing moderated by spokesperson Jen Psaki, the issue of Iraq came up.

QUESTION: Talking about the drones, Foreign Policy has reported today that Iraqi Government is actively seeking armed drones from the U.S. to combat al-Qaida in Anbar, and it would welcome American military drone operators back in the country to target those militants. Are you in discussions with the Iraqi about having American troops going back to Iraq with the drones?

MS. PSAKI: We are – we have seen, of course, this report. It does not reflect discussions we are having with the Government of Iraq. We are not in discussion with the Iraqi Government about the use of armed, unmanned aerial systems, nor are we considering such options. So it sounds like they need some better sources on that one.

QUESTION: Are you ready to discuss this option in case the Government of Iraq asked for?

MS. PSAKI: We’re not in discussion with it, so I’m not going to – about it, and I’m not going to predict or answer a hypothetical.

QUESTION: Is the U.S. discussing the return of any troops to Iraq to help with its ongoing security challenges?

MS. PSAKI: You’re familiar with the steps we’ve taken. That’s what we’re continuing to implement. As you know, we remain deeply concerned about the increased levels of violence in Iraq and the situation in Anbar. Our assistance has not been limited to the security sphere; we’ve worked on a consistent basis to develop a holistic approach and – with a focus on recruiting local tribal fighters, insuring resources are reaching areas that need them.
We also acknowledge that Iraq will not succeed unless its security forces are well supplied, trained, and equipped. And as you know in here, because we’ve talked about it a bit, we’ve also provided additional assistance, including the delivery of 300 Hellfire missiles, thousands of rounds of tank ammunition, helicopter-fired rockets, machine guns, grenades, flares, sniper rifles, M-16s and M-4 rifles. We also delivered additional Bell IA-407 helicopters late last year, and 10 ScanEagle surveillance platforms. So obviously, our assistance is expansive. I don’t have anything else to predict for you about the future, but that’s not something we’re considering, no.

QUESTION: Has the U.S. expedited the delivery of F-16 to Iraq?

MS. PSAKI: We have talked about that a little bit in here in the past. I don’t think I have any additional specific update for you today.

Who's doing this talking?  One person is said to be gearing up for talks.  Dar Addustour reports that US Gen Lloyd Austin is expected to visit Iraq next week and meet with Nouri to discuss weapons and US forces.

And the talking has begun.

And you know it's important because the western press is all trying very hard to look away, as though Nouri had his fly open.

Prashant Rao (AFP) does have an interesting report which opens, "Ali Dawai is enormously popular on Facebook, with countless photos of the Iraqi provincial governor picking up rubbish or sipping tea with people while wearing his trademark blue boiler suit."  If he ever gets around to noting Austin or if I'm in a really nice mood, I may note how the critic of his article is in conflict with himself.  He can't make a coherent argument against Prashant's article because today's stance (on Twitter) is in conflict with pretty much everything else Sowell has written.  I don't expect Prashant to grasp that.  Synthesis is beyond his abilities.

RT's Nadezhda Kevorkova reports on Iraq and notes:

The road to Baghdad Airport is what every journalist has to go through. They should also read a memo about their colleagues killed in Iraq. As of today, the death toll stands at 370.
This is the road where, nine years ago, US soldiers opened fire on a car taking an Italian journalist, Giuliana Sgrena, to the airport after Italian officers rescued her from captivity. Americans claimed the car was going at a high speed and failed to stop at a roadblock. Sgrena says the car was going slow and nobody gave them a signal to stop. They just started shooting – aiming at the people inside, not the tires. Major General Nicola Calipari literally threw himself on Giuliana and was killed. She was wounded but survived.
Sgrena was kidnapped outside Baghdad University on her way from the university mosque used as a temporary shelter for refugees.
There are too many mysteries surrounding this story, which is very typical of US democracy-spreading campaigns. Sgrena was a Communist. She worked for the left-wing newspaper Il Manifesto and criticized US occupation. It made no sense for insurgents to kidnap her. The only people who had problems with her were Americans, not insurgents. As Sgrena testified, the occupation administration was not too pleased with Italian efforts to rescue her.
Thanks to Assange, we even have a video of Americans killing journalists in Iraq in cold blood.
One would think that, after that, the occupation regime would be more careful.
But no. US troops shot and killed Aseel al-Obeidi at close range. She was documenting a mop-up operation by US forces. The soldiers thought she was suspicious. “Once there is no man, there is no problem,” Stalin used to say. So they killed her together with her husband, also a journalist.
Americans say the circumstances of the shooting were “unclear.” Some Iraqis claim that journalists are so eager to get a good picture that they take unjustified risks. (Assange’s video proves that they are wrong.) But shooting women at point-blank range? This is a new thing brought in by the occupation authorities.

Unanswered questions multiply like body counts.  On that topic, in the first 11 days of this month, Iraq Body Count counts 281 violent deaths.

And the violence continues as always.

National Iraqi News Agency reports an al-Ghazlani suicide bomber took his own life and the lives of 11 people with nine more injured, the brother of a Motahedoon Coalition candidate was shot dead in al-Hadhar Village (that's Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi's coaltion), security forces killed 100 suspects to the south of Falluja, 1 oil product employee was shot dead in Mosul,  a battle outside of Kirkuk left 4 Iraqi soldiers dead and a fifth injured, 1 Iraqi soldier was shot dead in Baiji, an al-Zab battle left 3 police members and 2 Iraqi soldiers dead, a Tikrit roadside bombing left 1 police officer dead and three more injured, 20 Iraqi soldiers were kidnapped from Ein al-Jahash Village (and it's said that all have been executed), an Awda Village attack left 7 Sahwa dead, a Hawija suicide bomber took his own life and the life of 1 police colonel with nine family members left injured, 1 person was shot dead in Baghdad, and a Baquba attack left two Iraqi soldiers injured.

Nouri continued the shelling of residential areas of Falluja and today that left 2 civilians dead and eleven more injured.

I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name

 The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4489.

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 discussing the targeting of Muslims with author Arun Kundnani and Ukraine with guest Joel Kovel.

New content at Third:

Kat's reviews "Kat's Korner: Tori Climbs The Mountain In Stiletto...," "Kat's Korner: Childhood Home is an adult classic" and "Kat's Korner: Livingston Taylor brings the songs t..."  went up today.

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