Friday, July 03, 2015

Iraq snapshot

Friday, July 3, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, Iraq's government prepares to subjugate the Iraqi people via loans from the IMF and the World Bank, Jim Webb announces he's seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, and more.

The Anyone But Hillary Brigade just got another option.

Thursday saw former US Senator Jim Webb declare his intent to seek the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Webb issued a statement which included:

After many months of thought, deliberation and discussion, I have decided to seek the office of the Presidency of the United States.
I understand the odds, particularly in today’s political climate where fair debate is so often drowned out by huge sums of money. I know that more than one candidate in this process intends to raise at least a billion dollars – some estimates run as high as two billion dollars – in direct and indirect financial support. Highly paid political consultants are working to shape the “messaging” of every major candidate.
But our country needs a fresh approach to solving the problems that confront us and too often unnecessarily divide us. We need to shake the hold of these shadow elites on our political process. Our elected officials need to get back to the basics of good governance and to remember that their principal obligations are to protect our national interests abroad and to ensure a level playing field here at home, especially for those who otherwise have no voice in the corridors of power. And at the same time our fellow Americans need proven, experienced leadership that can be trusted to move us forward from a new President’s first days in office.
I believe I can offer both.
37We all want the American dream – unending opportunity at the top if you put things together and you make it, absolute fairness along the way, and a safety net underneath you if you fall on hard times or suffer disability or as you reach your retirement years. That’s the American Trifecta — opportunity, fairness, and security. It’s why people from all over the world do whatever they can to come here. And it’s why the rest of us love this country and our way of life.
More than anything else, Americans want their leaders to preserve that dream, for all of us and not for just a few.
We need a President who understands leadership, who has a proven record of actual accomplishments, who can bring about bipartisan solutions, who can bring people from both sides to the table to get things done. And that leader needs to gather the great minds of our society and bring them into a new Administration and give them direction and ask them to help us solve the monumental challenges that face us.
What should you ask for in your next President?
First, there is no greater responsibility for our President than the vital role of Commander in Chief.
2I have spent my entire life in and around the American military. I grew up in a military family. I fought as a Marine rifle platoon and company commander on the battlefields of Vietnam. I spent five years in the Pentagon, four of them as an assistant secretary of defense and secretary of the navy. I covered our military on many journalistic assignments, including the Marine Corps deployment to Beirut in 1983 and as an “embed” reporter in Afghanistan in 2004. And while in the Senate I spent six years on both the Armed Services Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee.
Let me assure you, as President I would not have urged an invasion of Iraq, nor as a Senator would I have voted to authorize it. I warned in writing five months before that invasion that we do not belong as an occupying power in that part of the world, and that this invasion would be a strategic blunder of historic proportions, empowering Iran and in the long run China, unleashing sectarian violence inside Iraq and turning our troops into terrorist targets.
I would not have been the President who used military force in Libya during the Arab Spring. I warned repeatedly that this use of our military did not meet the test of a grave national security interest, that it would have negative implications for the entire region, and that no such action should take place without the approval of the Congress. The leadership in the Congress at that time not only failed to give us a vote; they did not even allow a formal debate, and the President acted unilaterally. The attack in Benghazi was inevitable in some form or another, as was the continuing chaos and the dissemination of large numbers of weapons from Qaddafi’s armories to terrorist units throughout the region.

5And today I would not be the President to sign an executive order establishing a long-tem relationship with Iran if it accepts Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. This Administration and those in Congress should be looking very hard at the actual terms of this agreement, which we on the outside cannot yet see or evaluate. They should also be questioning whether it is appropriate for such an important agreement to be signed without the specific, prior approval of the Congress.

The current popularity of Bernie Sanders goes to the desperate desire among a significant number of Democrats for someone other than Hillary Clinton.  That the media crowned front runner is polling so high in negatives does not bode well for her.  The negatives could very well increase in six or so months when Americans are actually paying attention to the 2016 races.

Equally true, the media gets bored.

If Hillary is in the lead this early, she's going down.

John Kerry wasn't in the lead at this point in 2003.  Barack wasn't in 2007.

There's no story if every day Hillary is the front runner.

It's highly unlikely the media coverage is going to get 'nicer' for Hillary.

It's very likely that the media will create drama -- that's how that get ratings, clicks and sell publications -- and Hillary's not a candidate who benefits from drama.

She's someone the American people distrust when her negatives are raised.

Her e-mail story will probably be one of the things that most harms her campaign.

She lied publicly at the United Nations.

The lies included that she only carried one device.

If that lie and others are explored by the media, America's going to remember that they loved Bill Clinton but always had a more troubled relationship with Hillary and, most importantly, she's not Bill.

She's not the comeback kid and she's not natural.

The e-mail dumps are making that clear as well as America begins to see just how many protective layers of flunkies are around her.

Bill had friends and Bill had advisors.

Hillary has 'muscle' -- flunkies that exist solely to attack any who question Hillary.

In 2008, you could argue her mistakes in the Senate weren't reflective of who she was.

Then she served four years as Secretary of State where she (a) admitted she's a cheap liar (telling Robert Gates -- as outlined in his book Duty -- that her opposition to Bully Boy Bush's 'surge' in Iraq was political in order to gain her support among Democrats), (b) did the same easy photo ops that she did as First Lady, (c) but didn't do any actual work as Secretary of State and (d) confirmed that she was a blood thirsty War Hawk, advocating for military action in one area after another.

In 2016, 2008 is going to be 8 years ago -- and every one of those years shows in her face.

A fact she grasps which was why she recently attempted to steal Farrah Fawcett's 1984 hair.

hair crimes

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Hair Crimes" noted the hair style.

And for  Farrah, in 1984, it was a new look for a woman who'd pioneered a seventies hair style (one that still hasn't faded completely away).

For a 67 year old running for president?

It was an embarrassment.

Is she an aging sex kitten?

This is why she fails over and over and over.

Everything about her is unnatural, everything about her is forced.

She can't offer one genuine moment.

And American needs to stop making excuses for her.

'Oh, it's because she was attacked by the press when she asked should she have just stayed home making cookies?  Or because of the way they treated her for Travel Gate or Whitewater or . . ."

That's all nonsense.

She has responded to life's events by closing herself off and acting from a position of distrust and suspicion while treating every action as a personal attack.

That's not someone you want in the White House.

We've had that in the White House -- it's name was Richard Nixon.

At this point, she comes with too much baggage and I'm not talking about her scandals, I'm talking about all the muscle between her and the real world.

I'm not voting for Hillary, I've made that clear.

I'm not voting for Jim Webb either, by the way.

Don't misconstrue coverage with support.

If a candidate talks about Iraq, that means we may cover them here based on what's going on that day.

Bernie Sanders, Lincoln Chafee, Martin O'Malley and now Jim Webb are seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

Joe Biden may throw his hat in.

The fact that people are still pushing Elizabeth Warren to run and that there are efforts being made to get Kirsten Gillibrand to run go to the fact that Hillary is seen as having already peaked and now entering the fade process -- seen that way by Democratic Party superdelegates who, for the most part, screwed Hillary over in 2008 and really aren't inclined to embrace her (or empower her to strike back) in 2016.

Jim Webb becomes another alternative to Hillary. It's doubtful that he's going to be the last to throw his hat into the race to become the Democratic Party's presidential nominee.

As Bernie, Martin and Lincoln have already done, Jim Webb is making an issue of Iraq (as well as Libya).  Until Hillary can talk about Iraq honestly -- without defensive posturing or hiding behind "I covered this in my book" (that nobody read) -- it will remain a liability for her.

Hillary's 'liability' is far worse for the Iraq people.  Margaret Griffis ( reports 115 people killed in violence across Iraq on Thursday.

And as bad as things are for the Iraqi people, now they'll get worse.

Dominic Evans and David Holmes (Reuters) report that Iraq will be taking an $833,000,000 loan from the International Monetary Fund and $1,700,000,000 in loans from the World Bank.

Uh, paging Antonia Juhasz?

You going to weigh in on this or you going to spend Barack's entire 8 years in the White House being a useless fool?

People should be sounding alarms.

Instead, Iraq's about to lose any hope of autonomy.

Juhasz knows that.  She wrote about it in her 2006 book The Bush Agenda.

But when it's time to notice that there's no real difference between a Bush Agenda and a Barack Agenda, Antonia proves she has no ethics and no bravery and that her alleged concern for the Iraqi people is trumped by her slavish devotion to the Democratic Party.

Meanwhile Reuters notes Iraq's budget this  year is $100 billion with a $25 million shortfall.

There is no need for any loans at all from anyone.

There is a serious need to address government corruption.

Under Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi people's money was misused to pay for Ahmed al-Maliki's fancy cars and fancy digs in various locales (not just the pricey London residence).

Nouri al-Maliki lives like a king which should beg questions of where did the damn money come from?

This is a man who fled Iraq and lived in exile in various countries.

How does he now afford a lavish lifestyle for himself and his family?

(The $4.1 billion Russia arms deal provided Ahmed with even more money and when Nouri turned on an aide and the aide went public, that should have been the beginning of a serious investigation into corruption.  Instead it was just a shrug.)

The indulgence from the press on this obvious corruption is shocking and the only more shocking is the world community's continued desire to look the other way.

Now when Bully Boy Bush occupied the White House, the US Congress regularly held hearings about the corruption in Iraq -- heard from Iraqi officials on this topic.

But no one cares anymore.

Iraq can't be used as a political point to beat Bully Boy Bush the US Congress no longer cares.

When the Iraqi people are allowed to tell their story and be heard -- whether it's ten years from now or forty years -- it's not just going to be a story about being invaded and physical violence, it's going to be about how their national riches were stolen and how the world community could get outraged by an artifact being demolished by the Islamic State but could also stand silent as the people's treasury was plundered by US appointed politicians.