Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Iraq snapshot

Tuesday, January 5, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the US continues bombing Iraq, more US troops are sent to Iraq, little concern is given to the hardening  perceptions in the Arab world of the US government, and much more.

Is 2016 the year that we can finally hold US President Barack Obama accountable?

Will The Cult of St. Barack continue to lie?

These are questions worth asking.

Especially as Felecia Martinez (GOOD 4 UTAH -- link is text and video) reports, "53 intelligent soldiers with the Utah National Guard are preparing to deploy to Kuwait and Iraq."

When Bully Boy Bush was in the White House, those kind of deployments bothered us.


Apparently not so much.

Or how about this?  THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL features a photo by Rick Wood of "Sixty-six Wisconsin Army National Guard members stand during a sendoff ceremony in Madison Monday morning."  It's one of eleven photos of the ceremony for the troops who are headed to Iraq and Kuwait.

US troops are being deployed again.

Another US soldier died in Afghanistan today with two more left injured.

Last week, an idiot -- an idiot I know -- an actor Tweeted to praise the success in Ramadi because no US service member had died in this wave of the Iraq War.

Despite the death of Master Sgt Joshua Wheeler.

  • And he wasn't the first death in this latest wave of war that began in the summer of 2014.  From last August's "Editorial: How many US troops have died in the Iraq War in the last 12 months?:"

    Leo Shane III (Military Times) reported Thursday, "About 3,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, and seven have lost their lives in connection to the new military operations there."

    But people -- like the idiot I consider a friend who's more committed to Barack than truth -- want to pretend otherwise.

    At this late date, that's on them.

    There's no pretending that the media has failed them.

    There's no pretending that the information has been kept from them.

    The Cult of St. Barack made the choice to 'turn on, tune in and drop out.'

    The hopium has been deadly to any real work towards peace.

    Days after Barack Obama won the 2008 US presidential election, the so-called United for Peace and Justice announced it was shutting down, their mission over.

    The Iraq War didn't end in November 2008.

    It hasn't ended today.

    UFPJ was nothing but a front organization for Democrats.

    It wasn't about peace, it wasn't about ending the Iraq War (or the Afghanistan War), it was about creating dissension to Republican rule and when a Democrat is elected to the White House, their 'mission' was over.

    Fakes and fake asses.

    They misled the country, they betrayed the peace movement.

    But at some point, the blame has to spread beyond the liars like Leslie Cagan.

    As we noted this week at Third in "Editorial: Barack's continued Iraq War:"

    But do most Americans even talk about the boots on the ground at this point?
    Seems like the only time any anger is expressed in the US over Iraq, it's to bring up Bully Boy Bush who left the White House in January 2009 and has largely lived under his rock ever since.
    At a certain point, it's not that the media is dumbing us down.
    No, at a certain point, we have to take responsibility for our refusal to recognize reality.

    In the summer of 2014, August of 2014 to be exact, Barack ordered the bombing of Iraq.  These bombings are daily and announced by the US Defense Dept.  For example, today DoD announced:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Coalition military forces conducted 25 strikes in Iraq using attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
    -- Near Baghdadi, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, cratered an ISIL-used road, wounded three ISIL fighters, denied ISIL access to terrain, suppressed two ISIL mortar positions and an ISIL vehicle bomb, and destroyed an ISIL machine gun, an ISIL fighting position, five ISIL weapons caches, an ISIL vehicle bomb, and five ISIL rocket rails.
    -- Near Fallujah, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL bunker.
    -- Near Haditha, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb, four ISIL vehicles, and an ISIL heavy machine gun.
    -- Near Kisik, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.
    -- Near Mosul, 12 strikes struck five separate ISIL tactical units, denied ISIL access to terrain, and destroyed eight ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL excavator, four ISIL weapons caches, ISIL engineering equipment, three ISIL heavy machine guns, and 12 ISIL assembly areas.
    -- Near Qayyarah, a strike struck an ISIL-used bridge.
    -- Near Ramadi, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, denied ISIL access to terrain, and destroyed five ISIL fighting positions and four buildings.
    -- Near Sinjar, two strikes destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and suppressed two ISIL machine gun positions.
    -- Near Tal Afar, a strike destroyed 10 ISIL bunkers.

    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is a strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

    That's combat.

    But people wanted to pretend otherwise.

    If you're a US pilot dropping bombs on a country, you are in combat.

    A lot of people kid themselves.

    The White House and the press, for example, with their biased coverage of an execution in Saudi Arabia.

    A secretary for one of Iraq's Vice President (Tareq al-Hashemi), is tortured into a 'confession' and given the death penalty and the White House can't say a word and most outlets -- even after Human Rights Watch repeatedly raised the sentence of Rasha al-Husseini (such as here).

    This bias -- which is swept and away and not even acknowledged in the US -- is part of the reason the US government has so little influence in the region.  They're seen as one-sided -- concerned only with the Shi'ites.  That's how Sunnis tend to see Barack's deal with Iran, his refusal to go to war with the Syrian government (I don't support war on Syria, I'm merely noting the perception among Sunnis) despite the persecution of Syria's Sunnis, etc, etc.

    If you're not getting how one sided the US government and US media's interest is, let's go to Monday's THE SITUATION ROOM WITH WOLF BLITZER (CNN) and pay close attention to how Elise Labott 'reports' the controversial execution.

    WOLF BLITZER:  Let's begin with a sudden and growing crisis in the Middle East pitting Iran, Saudi Arabia and many of their allies against each other right now. The ramifications are enormous.

    Our global affairs correspondent, Elise Labott, is working the story for us.

    Elise, this potentially significantly, damaging impact for the United States.


    Tonight, Saudi Arabia canceled al fights to and from Iran after cutting diplomatic ties over the attack on its embassy. As the region's two biggest powerhouses ramp up their diplomatic standoff, tonight, fears in Washington the fallout could set the entire region on a collision course.


    LABOTT (voice-over): In Baghdad today, protesters chanted "No to Sau" -- as they stormed the Saudi ambassador's residence.

    A similar scene in Tehran, where protesters there returned to the Saudi Embassy after ransacking and torching it over the weekend, what is quickly becoming a crisis that could pull America further into a centuries-old Middle East conflict. Tonight, one of America's most entrenched foes is in a showdown with one of its staunchest allies.

    Iran is promising vengeance after the Saudi government beheaded this cleric, Nimr al-Nimr, who it called a terrorist. He, like much of Iran's population, was a Shiite Muslim. And his killing inflamed that country, leading to protests and the brutal attack on the Saudi Embassy.

    ADEL AL-JUBEIR, SAUDI ARABIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: We will not allow Iran to destabilize our region.

    LABOTT: Tonight, the backlash against Iran is growing. Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic relations with Tehran. And, today, three Sunni- Arab countries, Bahrain, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates, joined them, severing or downgrading ties with Tehran and recalling their ambassadors.

    AL-JUBEIR: The cutting off of diplomatic ties with Iran is in reaction to Iran's aggressive policies over the years and in particular over the past few months.

    LABOTT: Since the American-led nuclear deal with Iran this spring, tensions between the countries have boiled over, each backing opposite factions in conflicts throughout the region, from Yemen to the bloody civil war in Syria, where Iran's support for Syrian President Assad has fueled Saudi anger.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they grow further apart, if they're not talking, if they're fighting through proxies in places like Syria and Yemen, and they are, it means, unfortunately, that in the next several months, we should expect to see more violence, more dead, more refugees coming out of Syria.

    LABOTT: Tonight, Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to get the countries to talk in an attempt to stave off war between two of the most heavily armed countries in the Middle East.

    JOHN KIRBY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: What we want to see is the tensions reduced. We want to see dialogue restored and try to get a resolution to these things peacefully, diplomatically and without violence.


    LABOTT: Now, U.S. officials tell me they did voice concern with the Saudis even before the cleric's execution that such a move would inflame tensions in the region.


    Now, the White House pointedly not criticizing the move, only saying it was unhelpful to security and stability in the region. Tonight, officials say they are trying to avoid owning this feed, making it clear to Saudi Arabia and Iran it is up to them to resolve their differences, Wolf.  

    Who, in Iraq, protested the execution?

    Check out Arabic social media because they're noting -- repeatedly -- that the protesters in Iraq are being presented as "Iraqis" -- when, in fact, they are Iraqi Shi'ites.  However, Arabic social media is pointing out that when protests took place in Iraq for over a year, the same US press referred to them as Sunnis.

    So when you're Shi'ite in Iraq and you protest, you're an Iraqi.  But when you're Sunni, you're labeled as Sunni.

    The White House objections to the execution are noted in Arabic social media as well.

    If the Cult of St. Barack can pull its head out of Barack's ass, they might be able to notice what impressions and perceptions have been taking hold in the Arabic world.

    And they might take a moment to ponder the long rage implications.

    Instead of that, in the US, we get pithy little comments about the Saudi government and 9/11.

    They do nothing to speak to the attitude of the Arabic people in the region.

    Or even to address what's taken place or the death penalty itself.

    But it allows us to pretend that, for about 30 seconds, we actually thought about something, right?

    Like CODESTINK pretends like they are appreciated in the Arabic world when they're appalling silence on the persecution of Sunnis in Iraq is noted as well as CODESTINK going all in for the Shi'ite majority country of Iran.

    Perceptions and impressions have been formed in The Age of Obama and they are hardening.

    At some point, Americans might want to take a moment to grasp that and grasp the potential pitfalls that these perceptions and impressions may result in.

    Let's stay with politics.

  • . is a true progressive who championed & opposed the Iraq War. We wish him the very best in retirement!

  • Yes, in 2002, he opposed the Iraq War.

    But, as Janet Jackson noted thirty years ago (it was released January 13, 1986) in her first top ten hit on the BILLBOARD HOT 100:

    I know you used to do nice stuff for me
    But what have you done for me lately?

    He did speak out -- or at least about or ask a question or something -- on the current wave of the Iraq War:

    WASHINGTON, DCToday, The Hill is running Congressman Jim McDermott’s latest opinion editorial.  The piece calls for Speaker John Boehner to invite President Barack Obama to Congress before the end of the 113th session to fully explain U.S. military strategy in Iraq and Syria.
    “Make no mistake, more American sons and daughters will die in Iraq in the coming months, if not the coming years.
    Our nation’s use of military force against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is becoming a full-fledged military campaign in Iraq.
    It is now an imperative that Congress hears from the president.
    It is in the American people’s best interest for the president to ask the people’s representatives for a proper authorization for the use of military force.”

    And we might applaud that . . . effort? . . . were it not for the fact that his office issued that press release on December 9th . . .

    December 9, 2014.




    Nothing at all.

    What a brave strong member of Congress!

    It would appear that Jim announced his retirement this week but actually entered his retirement at the end of 2014.

    Still on US politics, Senator Bernie Sanders is running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  He's noted in the following Tweet.

  • elise labott