Monday, August 25, 2014

Iraq snapshot

Monday, August 25, 2014.  Chaos and violence continue, the State Dept's 'concerned' about killings in Iraq (now they're concerned), Nouri's War Crimes continue, Nouri's also yet again accidentally or 'accidentally' bombing Iraqi soldiers, Dan Rather makes a stupid remark, his fellow idiots try to serve it up as a 'peace' statement, and much more.

Let's start with the obvious: Dan Rather is an idiot.

I have no use for 'big left' Dan of today because when he occupied the anchor chair for years and years on CBS, he didn't do a damn thing.

Now he's got nothing left so he pretends he's left.  He's not.

Jeffrey Meyer, of the right wing media site Newsbusters, notes:

Dan Rather, former anchor of the CBS Evening News, appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources to harshly criticize those in Congress calling for the U.S. to take military action against the terrorist group ISIS.
Speaking to anchor Brian Stelter on Sunday, August 24, Rather proclaimed that he will only listen to those who advocate boots on the ground “if you tell me you are prepared to send your son, your daughter, your grandson, your granddaughter to that war of which you are beating the drums.”

While some idiots will applaud that, they shouldn't.

It's the same pompous and discriminatory b.s. that prompted Dan Rather to treat Connie Chung like crap and get her fired when she was briefly made his co-anchor.  Make no mistake, Dan Rather is a nasty, dirty person.

Members of Congress should not support war, Rather says, unless they are willing to send their loved ones into war.

It's not the ancient days of Dan Rather's boyhood.

Children are not chattel, they will not be sent somewhere.

They will make up their own minds.

If Connie Chung were in the Senate and pounding the drums of war, that's on Connie.

Dan's a stupid piece of s**t and the continued embrace of his sexist and out of date notions does not need encouragement.

Matthew Povich is his own person.  What his parent Connie or Maury does?  That's on them.  That's not on him.  If Matthew wants to join a war, wants to oppose a war, wants to ignore a war, that's on him.

This is b.s. and Dan Rather needs to be called out on it.

Here's Jessica Lange speaking at a 2005 peace rally:

JESSICA LANGE: There have been twice as many terrorist attacks in the three years since 9/11 than in the three years preceding 9/11. All their reasons for waging war on Iraq have been proven to be manipulation of facts, untruths and lies, lies, and more lies. And then he dares accuse us of being guilty of wrong thinking, a man who traffics in deadly lies, the front man for an administration who came into office with the intention of taking out Saddam and becoming an occupying force in Iraq, members of the Project for the New American Century, who promote an ideology of U.S. domination through the use of force, who have imposed their politics of scorch and burn on the American people and made us complicit against our will in their regime of shame.
And who are these men? Who are these men? Let’s talk for a minute about these masters of war, these same men that are sending our sons and our daughters, our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers to fight an undeclared and unconstitutional and unwinnable war for them. Let’s talk about their service records. Karl Rove did not serve. Paul Wolfowitz did not serve. Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Elliott Abrams, Newt Gingrich did not serve. Jeb Bush did not serve. The list goes on and on. And we know George W. did not really serve.

Click here to stream it or read it in full at Democracy Now!

Did you notice what Jessica did?

She held people accountable for their actions.

Jenna Bush is not responsible for what her father does.  Malia Obama is not responsible for what her father does.  Both women may agree with their father's choices, may disagree, may not care one way or the other.  That's their right.  That's every person's right.

Jessica Lange rightly pointed out that the War Hawks pushing the Iraq War didn't serve in the military.  She didn't attack the children or grandchildren of War Hawks.

Dan still believes in chattel.

Shame on those who promote that nonsense.

Furthermore, the whole point of Dan's little stunt is to say what?

If Dick Cheney had forced Mary into the military (against her will) it would be okay for the US to go to war on Iraq?


It wouldn't have made the illegal war right.

No one should die in this illegal war.  Many have.  I'm really not into wishing that the death toll rises but I guess when the career's over, when you're name is a disgrace, when you're a hateful old man with nothing to look forward but death, I guess then you just want everyone to die, eh, Dan?

Dan Rather's nonsense is wrongly seen as 'antiwar' or 'peace' only because there's no peace movement in the country.

Friday, United for Peace and Justice finally issued a statement on Iraq . . . and Gaza . . . and Ferguson.  We'll note the section on Iraq:

The dual tragedies playing out in Gaza and Iraq are graphic reminders of the catastrophic costs of militarism. Each has multiple causes, but paramount among them, American military power and Washington’s decades-old build up of Israeli military power have caused unimaginable suffering among civilian populations.
Neither story is at an end. And the need to speak up for peace and diplomacy remains urgent. Since 2001, the United States government has dealt with the problem of “terrorism” by engaging in various forms of warfare against other countries and groups, while building up the military might of its Israeli ally. And the results have been costly, harmful and counter-productive.
The staggering oppression of Palestinians, the millions of people in the Muslim world killed, injured or displaced, and the level of anger now directed at the United States attests to the immorality and futility of this approach.
Responding to the crisis in Gaza and Iraq, we call for:
• Cessation of US bombing in Iraq and a cease-fire in Gaza and Israel
• Immediate end to the blockade of Gaza
• Increased humanitarian assistance to victims of violence in Iraq and Gaza
• Suspension of US military aid to Israel and an arms embargo across the region
• United Nations sponsored diplomacy which includes all regional parties
What can be done?

Members of Congress are back in district this month. This is an excellent time to express concern over US policy in Gaza and Iraq — meet with your Reps, send a letter to the editor of your local paper, demonstrate, or vigil. UFPJ is urging that in whatever action you organize, you incorporate concerns about Gaza and Iraq. Please keep us posted on your plans:

If you thought other organizations would suddenly find their voices, you were wrong.

Let's survey the ruins of the peace movement of the '00s.

CODEPINK?  They called for aid not bombs -- on August 8th, they made that call.  They've done nothing since.  It's hard to be a faux activist, you understand.

It's even harder for cowards and the spineless to call out US President Barack Obama.

Which is why the so-called Iraq veterans of Iraq Veterans Against the War didn't call out Barack.  The little tykes last whined and pissed their diapers back on June 19th when they ran an open letter to non-US President John Kerry.  It was about Iraq.  It was their last statement about Iraq.  June 19th.

I know John.  I've still got the spine to call him out but our big brave babies of IVAW can't call out Barack.  Poor little useless babies.  Maybe they can change their name to Iraq Veterans Against the War Except When A Democrat's In The White House?

Military Families Speak Out?

Against what?

Against what do they speak out?

They've completely ignored Barack sending waves of troops into Iraq in the last weeks as well as the US bombings.  So exactly what do they speak out against?

A.N.S.W.E.R. spoke out.  Back on June 23rd.  Two months ago.

Guess Iraq fixed itself without any need for effort on the part of A.N.S.W.E.R. which left the organization free to pursue other things -- like Hobby Lobby.

A.N.S.W.E.R. quoted their own Eugene Puryear stating, "They don't ask anyone from the anti-war movement to come on the Sunday shows, and that's because we were right in 2003 and we're right now, and they don't want to be exposed."


Or maybe an assistant is farmed out the task of finding the people speaking out and the assistant goes to all the websites to see something current and passionate that would make you want to see this person or organization on TV.

And the assistant finds . . . weak statements that are weeks old.

August 1st, Veterans for Peace announced their solidarity with the people of . . . Gaza.

Can we all please just agree to say a silent prayer, light a candle until all US men and women serving in Gaza make it home safely?


US troops aren't deployed to Gaza?

Then why are Veterans for Peace vocal on Gaza and on so many other things while they're unable to speak of Iraq -- let alone take action?

They couldn't speak out about Iraq this month.  They couldn't last month.

They did whine like little babies on July 2nd about how tough it was for them to feel patriotic.

Oh, poor babies.

I have no problem finding things of wonder in the US but then I'm not a coward on my knees before the allegedly powerful.  I see the beauty and strength and, yes, grace of the United States in the people of the country who -- as is the case with so many populations -- are much greater than the government which allegedly represents them.

But, by all means, play the victim, embrace being powerless, whatever it takes for Veterans for Peace to blow one last load, right?

Hey, remember in the Bully Boy Bush years when we stood alone in calling VFP official who was griping about his son being a war resister?

Yeah, I'm not scared of calling out Barack or Bully Boy Bush or the vastly immature VFP leadership.

But the leaders of these organizations, how do these scared bunny rabbits ever become 'leaders'?

Not everyone's silent.

“What goes around, come around. Stop the Iraq War” 

Quick note:  The White House insists that US President Barack Obama has not made any official -- but as yet undisclosed -- plans to attack Syria. Katie Zezima (Washington Post) reports, "The press secretary [Josh Earnest] said Obama is 'committed' to coordinating military action with Congress, and has done so with the airstrikes that are currently taking place in Iraq."  We may pick up on that tomorrow.  In Tuesday's snapshot, we will discuss Chris Hill.  I promised we would today but I wasn't in the mood to examine the sewer that is Chris Hill.

Let's instead note this Tweet from the State Dept's Brett McGurk:

Brett's so silly, isn't he?

We quoted from a 2005 speech Jessica Lange gave earlier.  Jessica won her first Academy Award for her performance in the film classic Tootsie. The screenplay everyone worked on -- including Elaine May -- was rock solid.  But the film also benefits from some improvisation from Bill Murray who is the roommate of Michael Dorsey -- the actor who poses as a woman to get a job on a soap opera.   (In what is probably his finest performance ever, Dustin Hoffman plays Michael Dorsey who pretends to be actress Dorothy Michaels who plays soap opera character Emily Kimberly.)

At one point, when Michael wants off the soap, Bill's character tells Michael, "You know, maybe there's a moral's clause in your contract?  Perhaps if Dorothy did something really filthy or disgusting, they have to let you go.  But I really can't think of anything filthy and disgusting that you haven't already done on your show."

And reading Brett's Tweet, shouldn't we be reminded that what Brett's so appalled by has been going on in Iraq under Nouri al-Maliki and yet Brett and the US government didn't say one damn word.

And killing civilians?

Nouri may be outgoing prime minister (he may not be) but he's still killing civilians in Falluja.

Over the weekend, National Iraqi News Agency reported that Saturday Nouri's bombing of Falluja's residential neighborhoods left 4 civilians dead and thirteen more injured.  And today?  Alsumaria reports Nouri's bombing of Falluja has left 11 civilians dead with twenty-seven more injured -- the wounded and dead were taken to Falluja General Hospital.

Where's Brett's Tweet on those deaths?

Where's his outrage over the murder of civilians?

Nouri's been carrying out these bombings -- these legally defined War Crimes -- day after day since the start of this year.  If Brett's so bothered by the murder of civilians, why has he yet to call these War Crimes out?

Other violence today?

Nouri wasn't just bombing civilians, he was also bombing Iraqi soldiers.

National Iraqi News Agency reports 2 Iraqi soldiers are dead, six more injured, as a result of a bombing "mistake" that hit, get this, the "military headquarters."   In addition, Alsumaria reports a car bombing in Utaifiyya left 7 people dead and 18 more injured, a bombing of a village north of Tikrit left a family -- including three children -- injured, an Aziz roadside bombing left 2 police members dead and six more injured,  and 3 corpses were discovered dumped in Kirkuk.  AFP reports a suicide bomber attacked a Shi'ite mosque in Baghdad, taking his own life and the lives of at least 11 other people.  NINA notes the corpses of 3 women were found dumped outside Kirkuk.

Turning to politics,  Alsumaria notes Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani declared today that Iraq's new government must include all.  Haider al-Abadi is the prime minister-designate, currently in the 30 day period to form a government in order to move from prime minister-designate to prime minister.

At his Facebook page, he posted the following on Sunday:

حدد رئيس الوزراء المكلف الدكتور حيدر العبادي في رسالة وجهها للكتل السياسية الشروط الواجب توفرها في مرشحيهم لشغل المناصب الوزارية في الحكومة المقبلة "ممن تتوفر فيهم عدد من الشروط لنتمكن من وضع الشخص المناسب في المكان المناسب".
واضاف الدكتور العبادي ان الشروط التي يجب ان تتوفر في المرشح تتمثل في ان يكون كفوءا ومهنيا ويمتلك خبرة ادارية ومؤهلات قيادية وان يكون حسن السيرة والسمعة والسلوك وان لا تكون عليه مؤشرات فساد ولا قيد جنائي.
واضاف كما يجب ان لا يكون مشمولا باحكام قانون المساءلة والعدالة وان يكون حائزا على شهادة جامعية في الاقل

He's explaining that for ministers in his Cabinet, he's selecting people who are right for their positions, that they must be ethical and professional with experience in management and leadership qualities.  He also is choosing based upon reputation.

If he's successful, it will be a new kind of Cabinet for Iraq.

Nouri never worried about qualifications for his friends or about their reputations.

Which is how you get a Cabinet that, only months ago, was trying to lower the age of marriage for girls down to eight-years-old.  Not for boys, of course.  But for girls.  Because that's the kind of sick pedophile Nouri al-Maliki and the kind of sickos he surrounded himself with.

Nouri also repeatedly created problems leading to ministers in his Cabinet repeatedly walking out.

The most recent walkout was last month when he called the Kurds terrorists and they responded by walking out on the Cabinet.  It was just the latest throwdown in Nouri's long war with the Kurds.

By way of contrast, Haider al-Abadi  Tweeted the following Sunday:

It's a statement of his intent to resolve the outstanding disputes between the Baghdad-based central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government.

On the topic of statements, Alsumaria reports US Vice President Joe Biden declared today that al-Abahdi has the full support of the US government.  Alsumaria also reports al-Abahdi met with a delegation of Kurds from Erbil today to discuss the future of the country and the needs of the Iraqi people.  There is no expected movement on the issue in the immediate future since, as All Iraq News notes, Parliament has now "adjourned the session to next Tuesday, 2nd of September."