Monday, June 15, 2015

Iraq snapshot

Monday, June 15, 2015. Chaos and violence continue, War Hawk Hillary formally announces her campaign and offers not one remark on Iraq, the military brass balks at Barack's full on war plans, we look at who can speak out and who remains silent, and much more.

If only the insight of art translated easily into the action of activism and 'activism.'

Sometimes it seems
We'll touch that dream
But things come slow or not at all
And the ones on top, won't make it stop
So convinced that they might fall
Let's love ourselves and we can't fail
To make a better situation
Tomorrow, our seeds will grow
All we need is dedication
Let me tell ya that
-- "Everything Is Everything," written by Lauryn Hill and Johari Newton, first appears on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

The peace movement in the US fell apart and as it allowed itself to become a cheerleader for then-candidate Barack Obama (and how's that working out?).  Margaret Kimberley (Black Agenda Report) sees hope in the United National Antiwar Coalition.  And certainly the Black Is Back Coalition has demonstrated a backbone and refused to stay silent and refused to lie.

This week's. Black Agenda Radio, hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey (first airs each Monday at 4:00 pm EST on the Progressive Radio Network),  features Black Is Back Coalition Chair Omali Yeshitela offering some realities including on how his group never fell into the trap of promoting war -- not even Barack Obama's wars.

Omali Yehitela: We didn't claim to be fortunetellers or anything of the kind but we knew the nature of the social system that we were confronted with, that we were dealing with, and we know that the system wouldn't do us any favor by handing us some great guy who was going to represent the interests of Africans or the oppressed people of the world -- of that we were absolutely confident. And so we were able to look beyond the manifestation of wonderful, post-racial situation that was being offered up to us and to the people. And I think what was really critical about this and something that    perhaps we need to talk about to some extent at our conference in August is that there is something wrong that there were so many people who called themselves leaders, groups, organizations, personalities who were dead wrong on this, who held up Obama for the people, who raised no criticism for the people and I loathe to think just how absolute this thing would have been for Obama and for imperalism had not the Black Is Back Coalition been on the scene up to now.

Glen Ford:  And the Black Is Back coalition has taken note over these years about who those forces were, how they behaved and how they're pretending to have behaved now.

Omali Yeshitela:  [Laughs] Indeed.  And me and you were one of the key people doing that.  I mean, you debated virtually everyone of those who had the courage to come out and publicly state support for impearlism through Obama.  And subsequently over the last several months, as you just suggested, the position that people had at the moment, they've been morphing, and we're getting a certain kind of historical revisionism coming along that they really didn't support him all the way, they just kind of supported him from some of them.  But there's even some die hards who, up to now, who are claiming that Obama is the best thing to happen to African people since white bread

 A lot of liars have done a lot of damage.

They've wrecked the peace and social justice movement in the US and done it for partisan politics.

They're still around, these hacks and whores.  CodeStink, for example, is pimping the military as the new peace movement -- when the reality is Barack and his administration are so war hungry that even the military brass are putting the brakes on them.

They're missing the point as always.

Greg Jaffe and Missy Ryan (Washington Post) report, "As President Obama was weighing how to halt Islamic State advances in Iraq, some of the strongest resistance to boosting U.S. involvement came from a surprising place: a war-weary military that has grown increasingly skeptical that force can prevail in a conflict fueled by political and religious grievances."

We noted that last night and CodeStink found it on Monday and saw it as proof that 'we are winning!' when the reality is that any thinking person reading the article would have grasped this was not about peace but about how big the war goals of Barack really are that even the military brass is balking.

When we noted it last night, we were talking about the Twitter idiots who obsess over Bully Boy Bush or Dick Cheney.

War Criminals.

I'm not afraid to say it, I've not been afraid to say it.

While many were too scared to speak out under Bully Boy Bush (the same way they are under Barack), we called a War Criminal a "War Criminal."

There is a very limited space for Iraq coverage in the US and it really is disgusting to see whores try to crowd out that space with their partisan crap that has nothing to do with what's going on in Iraq today.  If Bully Boy Bush were in the White House overseeing the Iraq War, I would be calling him out right now (as I did when he was in the White House).  But he's long gone and I'm not going to masturbate to revenge fantasies about him in order to pimp the Democratic Party's goals.

Iraq is still a political football in the US which is among the reasons there is so little honesty about Iraq today.

Dahr Jamail has a new -- or 'new' -- article supposedly about Iraq at Truthout.  It's the first time he's noted Iraq since April 13th -- over two months ago.  And back then, he wasn't noting current events either.

A woman wants to sue Bully Boy Bush and company for the illegal war.

Ramsey Clark is on board with it.

Can you please stop boring the s**t out of me?

Reality, nothing is going to come from this case.

The Iraq War is an illegal one -- it's also an ongoing one, pay attention, Dahr.  The US court system will never recognize that.  It didn't with Vietnam and it won't with Iraq.

This is masturbation, not news coverage.

The Iraqi woman, Sundus Saleh, has every right to speak out.

She has every right to try to sue.

But the courts will find that she has no standing and this will not end up in the Supreme Court.

It's just not happening and deluding this woman into thinking that she's got a case is pretty s**tty.

(So is making a woman think she can trust Ramsey.  From Jane Fonda to Lynne Stewart, Ramsey's managed to skate away while the women have been left holding the blame for actions they and Ramsey took.  It must be nice to be the son of a late Supreme Court judge if that means they go after Lynne and imprison her while they let you walk.)

But more to the point, what the hell does this have to do with what's going on in Iraq right now?

Dahr's avoided that for how many months?

Let's not pretend that these slam-Bully-Boy-Bush 'reports' are about anything other than whoring for the Democratic Party.

Revolution Newspaper notes where we are today:

On June 10, Barack Obama announced he was sending “450 additional U.S. military personnel to train, advise, and assist Iraqi Security Forces at Taqaddum military base in eastern Anbar province”—a new base in western Iraq, where the Islamic State (or ISIS) has been on the offensive. This brings the total number of U.S. troops and “advisors” in Iraq up to 3,500.
Two U.S. invasions of Iraq, and a decade of occupation in various forms, have turned Iraq into a living hell for the people there. Since 1991, U.S. invasions and sanctions have led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people, with children, the elderly, and the most vulnerable suffering the most. Millions of people in Iraq and neighboring Syria, which is wracked with a war between reactionary powers that has been in large part exacerbated by the U.S., have been driven from their homes.
In Iraq, the basic physical and social coherence of society has been shredded, depriving people of basic necessities like clean water, medical care, sewage, and education. Brutal Sharia law (Islamic fundamentalist rules that, among other things, mandate severe oppression of women) is in effect. Iraq’s culture was literally looted from museums as a direct result, or as a byproduct, of U.S. occupation.

Any new U.S. troops Obama is sending to Iraq will add to all those horrors. They represent a new step in a set of related moves by the Obama administration to re-insert the U.S. military into Iraq.
[, , ,]
The 450 U.S. troops on their way to Iraq are part of the Obama administration’s plan to respond to the situation. They will become part of, and expand, a network of bases around Iraq. The stated purpose of these bases is to train and direct the Iraqi army, along with other militias, with the idea that these forces can be deployed to kill and die for those objectives of the U.S. empire. Not stated in public pronouncements, but very importantly, this network of bases could serve as an infrastructure and scaffolding that could be quickly built up and expanded if and when the U.S. sees a necessity to send many more troops into Iraq at any point, for any reason.

These bases already exist in the Iraqi cities of Al Asad, Besmaya, Erbil, and Taji, where more than 9,000 Iraqi troops have already been trained, with an additional 3,000 currently in training, essentially under the command of 3,000 U.S. “advisors” (and, according to many reports, about an equal number of “private contractors”).

These are the issues that aren't being addressed at Truthout and elsewhere as everyone enlists in the two year political campaign of the Democratic Party.

That would be the party that promised, in 2006, to end the war if they were given one house of Congress.  They were given both houses of Congress in the 2006 mid-term election.

They didn't end the war.

And even now the posers like US House Rep Barbara Lee can do little more than whine that Congress needs to vote on Barack's latest actions.

They do nothing.

On Saturday, Thomas Gaist (WSWS) reported on current events and on the remarks of Gen Martin Dempsey, Chair of the Joint Chiefs:

The new US garrisons will house further deployments of hundreds more US troops, beyond the deployment of an additional 450 US forces announced by the Obama administration on Wednesday.
The Pentagon aims to establish a chain of “lily pads, if you will, that allow us to continue to encourage the Iraqi security forces forward,” Dempsey said. US military planners are already looking at possible locations for bases in central Iraq, he added.
“We’re looking all the time at whether there might be additional sites necessary,” Dempsey said while speaking to reporters during a visit to Europe this week.

The US currently maintains a force of some 3,100 troops in Iraq, a figure set to increase to nearly 3,600 as a result of the new deployment announced Wednesday.

That's World Socialist Web Site.

And elsewhere?

The Progressive?  That pathetic rag hasn't offered one word on Iraq, not one word on the announcement that Barack is sending still more US troops into Iraq, not a word on the plan for bases.

Bur the moronic Ruth Conniff is in charge now and, remember, she boasted to KPFA in 2006 that, in her gated community, no one had been touched by the Iraq War.

And she thought that was something to boast of and be proud of.

The Nation has offered no serious critique of Barack's announced plans.

Earlier this month, they did print a fairy tale for their idiotic readers.   "It’s worth noting that many of the people pulling Obama into these strategic choices are the same ones who cheered us into the war in Iraq. "

If he's that much of a weakling, that much of a coward, he shouldn't be President of the United States.

But the reality is that he's not being "pulled" anywhere, he's doing what he wants to do.

And there is something very troubling and deeply racist about The Nation's repeated needs to strip agency from a person of color.

They're trying to portray him as a saint but the reality is that they're making him out to be a powerless fool.  And that's deeply racist, regardless of the intent.

What The Nation, The Progressive, Amy Goodman and all their ilk ignore, Michael Brenner (Huffington Post) explores:

5. Locating the new base in Anbar province between insurgent held Ramadi and Falluja conforms to this scheme. For that location makes sense only if the American troops there foresaw some kind of combat role. Training, in theory, could occur anywhere in the country. The new advisers will be stationed at Taqaddum, an Iraqi base near the city of Habbaniya. It will supplement the American teams operating at another nearby Anbar location, al-Asad. This large air base already is in a vulnerable position being surrounded by ISIL controlled territory.
6. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, now has made explicit what was only implied in the original announcement. Dempsey delineated a strategy that entails a string of what he called "lily pads" -- American military bases around the country designed to fragment and weaken ISIL forces. "You could see one in the corridor from Baghdad to Tikrit to Kirkuk to Mosul." General Dempsey acknowledged that such sites would require many more troops than those already authorized.
7. This deployment mode increases the already high likelihood that the American forces soon will shooting and being shot. The most compelling argument for this shift to combat activities is the imperative to defend American lives. Let us recall that this was the original justification for the initial air strikes to protect American citizens threatened by ISIL near Kirkuk last summer -- and the intense reaction to the beheading of James Foley

Instead of exploring that, too many rush to whore.  There's no whore like John Nichols.  Remember, this is the man who wrote the book on impeachment and was all set to promote it until Nancy Pelosi declared impeachment was off the table.  At which point, he ceased promoting his book.  John Nichols savaged Hillary in 2007 and 2008 as she sought the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  He savaged her sometimes with truth (there's a lot in her 'resume') but mostly with lies.  So it is hilarious to watch him try to come to grips with whoring for Hillary -- he's doing it and it's hilarious.

Treating Iraq as the past allows Hillary's support for the Iraq War to be explained away and dismissed.  Didn't she address it in her book?

Of course, if you can't take accountability in front of people for your mistakes, you write about them in a book and pretend that's counts as an exchange and a full accounting.

Hillary voted for the war.  She supported it.

But if people would try, for just a moment, to focus on Iraq today, the biggest issue is not whether or not you would have voted for the Iraq War.

If you're trying to become the next President of the United States, the biggest issue regarding Iraq is what plan you have for it?

Does Hillary have one?

Haven't heard her address it.

Now, check the archives, we cautioned the glory hog to quit lying that she was in charge of Iraq.

See, the DoD mission became a State Dept mission.

And while she was Secretary of State, her primary Iraq related duty was the budget.

But she's a glory hog and had to pretend that she was in charge.  (Joe Biden was in charge and the second on it was Samantha Power.)

Well, she lied.

And now she has to live with the lie.

She has spent years claiming to be in charge of Iraq.

So she needs to answer how it fell apart (again) under her watch.

Instead of doing that, she wastes everyone's time.  That includes her 'announcement' Saturday that she was running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

Yes, everything about her is fake-ass even waiting this late to announce the obvious.

Of her Saturday nonsense, Patrick Martin (WSWS) observes:

Clinton’s speech was notable for its near-silence on foreign policy, aside from a few sentences threatening China, Russia, North Korea and Iran. This is a remarkable omission for someone who served as US secretary of state for four years. There was no mention of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya or Ukraine. She said nothing of drone warfare or the NSA spying on the telecommunications and Internet usage of every American.
Of all the candidates, Clinton has the longest and closest ties to the military-intelligence apparatus, going back to her years in her husband’s White House, followed by eight years on the Senate Armed Services Committee and four years as the chief representative of American imperialism overseas.
Millions of people voted for Obama in 2008 in the mistaken hope that he would end the wars launched under the Bush administration, only to see the Obama-Biden-Clinton administration expand the war in Afghanistan, attack Libya, intervene in Syria and Yemen, relaunch the war in Iraq and provoke conflicts with nuclear-armed Russia and China in Ukraine and the South China Sea. Behind the backs of the American people, the ruling class is plotting world war.

Clinton chose not to present this record in her official campaign kickoff because of the widespread antiwar sentiment in the American population. The American people will be given no alternative between a bellicose Republican presidential nominee and a Democrat equally fervent in her willingness to use military force to promote the global interests of American imperialism.

Margaret Griffis ( counts 129 violent deaths in Iraq today.  So why isn't candidate Clinton being asked what her plan for Iraq is?

Shouldn't she have one?  After four years as Secretary of State, shouldn't she be able to publicly address the issue?

Or are we expected to listen to the nonsense about her dead mother?

We all had a mother.  Some are living, some are dead.

Hillary needs to stop using dead people to justify her ambition.

That's probably the biggest lie she tells, pushing her ambition -- there's nothing wrong with ambition -- off on others and refusing to own it or to cop to it.

So she uses her dead mother in one speech after another to make that the narrative.

If you lied as much as Hillary, you'd base your remarks on a dead person who couldn't counter or comment.

129 killed in one day -- at least 129 -- and the woman who's used the press to pimp her campaign for months finally announces officially on Saturday and she has nothing to say about Iraq?

And the bulk of the press pretend not to notice.