We'll start with Iraq and I'm working my way though as many e-mails as I can for this entry.
US President Barack Obama gave a speech to the American Legion last week. We didn't repost it or note it in any snapshot. For those asking for it to be posted -- a few e-mails have and a White House friend has twice requested it -- it went up earlier this morning.
I don't care for it.
I didn't want to post it.
That's not a critique or slam of Barack.
It is of the August speech.
Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, on and on. I've lived too long and heard these August speeches from presidents to VSOs.
I have no overriding criticism of Carter or Ford. Because of this site, I do have to critique them and hold them to a standard. And I do. But I honestly have nothing major against either.
But even their VSO August speeches got on my nerves.
Probably because these speeches are tailored to the group (veterans) and they sound good but they never get the follow up required.
I'm not calling any of the presidents liars to the veterans in their August speeches. I am aware that a new distraction comes up and veterans get forgotten.
I just don't care for the speech which gives the impression that veterans are a top issue when clearly, by the events that follow, they never are a top issue.
I just don't care for those speeches, from any sitting president. And, by the way, why don't former presidents speak to them? Bill Clinton was the first US president in the modern era who hadn't served in the military (I always loved Bette Davis' remark that each morning Jane Wyman sent Ronald Reagan off with a sack lunch as he left to protect the world from Burbank, California -- but he was in the military regardless of where he was stationed).
But if the commitment's real, why aren't they speaking after they're out of office?
And, for example, that should really be Bully Boy Bush's issue. Veterans. He owes it to them due to the illegal war but he does have an affinity for veterans and he should make it his issue. The veterans community would benefit from an ex-Oval Office occupant (I don't use the p-word for Bully Boy Bush -- he was selected, not elected).
Again, he has a natural affinity for veterans and there are many who like him and I'm sure many more would welcome the support. Carter has the very valuable Habitat for Humanity. It's a shame that so few others have felt the need to give back -- instead they've focused on stuffing their own pockets as if greed were the ultimate need to express in this society.
Barack will be leaving office in January of 2017. He will be very young for an ex-president. Maybe he could make veterans his post-office issue?
Until someone does, I'm not going to take any of these August speeches seriously, sorry.
"Barack on Iraq" did go up, his speech on Iraq.
On that, people e-mailed they thought the screen snap was the video. They tried to play it. Where was the video?
Semi-seriously, I reply, if you are telling me that you honestly do not know how to find a video of a speech by the sitting US President on your own, I'm very worried about your internet navigation skills.
That's a screen snap and it's because I wanted one to carry over to Third for Ava and my TV pieces. I wanted to get a screen snap. That's all it was.
My time is limited, believe it or not. So I did the screen snap and posted it to be ready for Third. (Ava and I plan to use that snap for the next few months and may stick with it for longer.)
Friday's "Iraq snapshot" went up Saturday. And not a few minutes after midnight.
This is the second time. Is this going to be a regular thing now?
I don't plan for it to be.
The first time was due to my enjoying playing the piano. If you need more than that, Rebecca wrote about it at her site in "a week." Refer to that.
This most recent Friday?
I couldn't stop shaking.
I don't know if cars still do this these days. In the old days, they'd get hot, you could blow a gasket or warp a head or whatever, the car would drive, it would shudder and shake.
That's where I was at the end of Friday.
All my life, I've been driven by perfection
Pushed it to the limit every day and night
Woah-woah-woah, I've been driven by perfection
But nothing's perfect when love ain't right
Nothing's perfect when the love ain't right
-- "Perfection," written by Desmond Child and Diane Warren, first appears on Cher's 1987 album Cher
There's a lot to do and with Iraq heating up as high schools and colleges are starting back up, last week was a killer schedule wise. I don't think it was as bad in 2006 -- in terms of number of speeches/talks/whatever a week on Iraq. Kat was on those and said, "These are too many" and she was right. Dona schedules them now and does so very wisely. But she said there were a lot more requests -- obviously Iraq is a bigger issue now than it was last fall -- and I told her that was fine. At one point, when we crossed forty for Monday through Friday, she asked, "Are you still sure?" I said I was.
And I was.
But I don't just speak. I've got this website, for example, also. And I do have a life offline beyond speaking. And last week was a killer.
I was exhausted and by 9:30 pm EST, I was sweating and couldn't self-regulate because I was so exhausted (usually, it's I can't get warm, this time I was overheated) and my hands were shaking and I finally just said, around 10:15, "It's not worth it."
And it wasn't to me, sorry. I took a shower and crashed. I did the snapshot as soon as I woke up, then we flew back home. Then I had a ton of personal stuff to take care of throughout the day and a big party -- birthday -- for a very close friend of many years. So I never did anything besides the snapshot.
So it was a killer week and I was exhausted.
That covers a number of e-mails. Janet e-mailed specifically about my endorsement "this week" (she e-mailed Friday) of arming the Kurds and why I was endorsing that?
I don't think I am, Janet. I think you have me confused with someone else or you're dropping back to earlier years.
When Nouri was getting this or that from the US -- this or that weapon -- I did understand the Kurds fear. I did and I do. And I'm sure I noted that and I probably have somewhere -- maybe 2012 and maybe when KRG President Massoud Barzani traveled to DC and delivered a speech (which we spent two days covering in the snapshots), I noted that and worded it in a poor manner leaving Janet to think I was all for 'arm the Kurds!'
Nouri is a threat -- is, he's not out of office yet.
But in terms of what's going on right now?
Janet, I don't believe I've offered a thought on it.
Last week was crazy. At one point, the Kurds were considered by me for the snapshot and Iran was arming them and this was and that was and the White House was saying five or seven countries were arming them . . .
With everything else in my life, I couldn't nail down that so I didn't write about it.
So either you're thinking of something I wrote about in 2013 or further back or you've confused me with someone else.
Beau likes the "big concepts move of late in the snapshots but I am concerned about the violence taking a back seat."
On big concepts. There are so many important issues and conversations that the media should be covering re: Iraq. Instead, they're just recounting the basics each day -- usually just the spin. I want to go beyond that and I have to do my part or I'm just a whiner.
On violence, we've covered it and will again. When possible, I try to note Antiwar.com's Margaret Griffis on the totals -- she does an outstanding job of it. I can't do everything -- even if I could, Griffis does a better job than I could -- and we tend to focus on what others don't.
That's always been the point here. If everyone is covering something -- and covering it well or just okay -- we note it but tend to grab something else. So we grab the targeting of Iraq's LGBTQ community or whatever else is being ignored.
Right now, US outlets are covering -- or at least repeating (from AP, AFP and Reuters) the violence in a way they weren't this time last year. When necessary, we've covered the violence in the last weeks but there are other issues. In fact, the violence is a symptom of the state Iraq is in.
With the peace or 'peace' leaders or 'leaders' on permanent hiatus since Barack was sworn in, we've got a large segment of the right arguing for war and on the left we have voices putting conditions -- or trying to -- on increased war. We don't have much opposition to war.
There's Antiwar.com and its subsite Probitchy.com. They're against increased war on Iraq and they're for
as many bitchy insults they can hurl at the powerless and the victims. Thean not, y are preaching to the choir, they're not getting any message out.
So we've tried to tackle legal aspects, we've tried to address implications and responsibilities and other issues including the fear aspect -- always the fear aspect. If I'm afraid, I take on whatever I'm afraid of, that's me. I will confront it. More often though, I get bored with fear. I just don't have the time. 9-11 overkill was so much I was done with the fear by 9-14-01.
Fear's being used yet again. Miracle tales of a flooded US Embassy in Baghdad are treated as fact to justify bombings. The Islamic State is the all time worst say idiots or liars --take your pick like Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsy want you to know this is the worst thing ever.
Worse than Nazi Germany bombing London? Worse than the concentration camps? Worse than the attack on Pearl Harbor?
The Islamic State may be as evil and ruthless as they believe it to be; however, it is not the worst thing in history or even in recent history. People who maintain otherwise are either lying or extremely uninformed.
Eric e-mailed to ask if I thought Nouri was going to go. I hope Nouri al-Maliki is leaving. But his announcement last week indicates it was correct to be concerned that he wasn't really planning on leaving. He needs to go.
The e-mail address for this site is email@example.com.