Monday, February 08, 2016

Haider's not running anything and POLITFACT spins for War Hawks

Yesterday afternoon, AP reported that a spokesperson for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared that a wall encircling Baghdad was being constructed.

Dropping back to Saturday's snapshot:

Meanwhile, in Iraq, will there be a wall or won't there?

  • | PM Haider al-Abadi refuses Operation Command plan to build a security wall around the Iraqi capital.

  • premier Haider al-Abadi refused to build a fence around , stressed that Baghdad is the capital for all Iraqis.

  • So Haider's saying the wall's not going up and others are saying the construction has already begun.

    Who was right?

    Everyone but Haider.

    He really has no control over anything in Iraq, does he?

    He makes these pronouncements and no one listens to him.

    He's the figure head openly mocked.

    His spokesperson, Saad al-Hadithi, insisted to the Associated Press that this will not result in any "demographic change," but of course it will.

    For those who've already forgotten recent history, it was only months ago that Sunnis were not being allowed to enter Baghdad as they fled Ramadi and Falluja.

    Of course, this will effect the demographics.

    In other lies and liars -- POLITIFACT and Mad Maddy Albright.

    They want to insist that Mad Maddy was against the Iraq War when her record is not just much spottier, there's also a key detail they leave out.

    What might the press forget?

    The money motive.

    The money making.

    From DEMOCRACY NOW!'s October 13, 2004 broadcast:

    NAOMI KLEIN: Yeah. So, we got to the point where Carlisle had submitted their statement. James Baker was appointed debt envoy. He did not resign from the Carlisle Group and the Carlisle Group did not resign from this consortium that was trying to convince the government of Kuwait that it should allow it to become its chief lobbyists to the world, to the United Nations, to members of the Security Council, and that’s very important to understand, because the Security Council has the power to stop reparations from Iraq to Kuwait at any time. These reparation payments are entirely at the discretion of the Security Council. So, essentially what they were in communications with the government of Kuwait about was how they could access high-level people at the Carlisle Group. As we know the Carlisle Group is called the ex-presidents club because it has people associated with it like the president’s father, like John Major, like James Baker, and so that was what they were doing. In the documents, it says, previously to James Baker’s appointment, Frank Carlucci, who is the chairman emeritus of the Carlisle Group and also former Secretary of Defense, had been engaged in they say in a convening role for the Carlisle Group, but after Secretary Baker’s appointment as debt envoy, the optics had to change. The way the optics changed is that Carlisle no longer was publicly involved as a lobbyist. They said that their only role in the consortium was going to be to manage the investments. Now, this is kind of strange, because as you said at the top, Amy, we’re talking about a huge amount of money going to the Carlisle Group, a billion dollars in investment. Even for a company like the Carlisle Group, a billion dollars represents 10% of all of their equity investments. So this is a very, very big deal that they’re landing. But they said that all they would do is manage this money for the government of Kuwait, and this presented a problem for the consortium, because, of course, what really, one of the people who I showed the deal to, Jerome Levinson, who is a very respected international law professor with experience in the area, he described it as "influence peddling of the crassest kind," but they had this problem, which is that the Carlisle Group couldn’t openly admit that it was involved in lobbying. So, they needed to find another politically connected firm, and on December 1st, which was four days before Secretary Baker’s appointment was publicly announced, the consortium reached out to the Albright Group. The Albright Group is the consulting firm that is headed by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and is also populated by many powerful ex-politicians. And the Albright Group signed on to basically take the lead in the lobbying and public relations effort involved in this deal so that the Carlisle Group could only deal with the money part of it. And I had a really interesting exchange yesterday with Chris Ullman, who is the vice president and chief spokesperson for the Carlisle Group, where he told me that the Carlisle Group would not be engaged in lobbying at all, and was not involved in trying to secure the deal. So I asked him, "So what you’re saying is that you were willing to take the $1 billion, but you weren’t willing to try to get it." And he said, "That’s correct." But, of course, as I said before, $1 billion is a huge investment for the Carlisle Group, so obviously, they were very interested in how these negotiations were proceeding.

    AMY GOODMAN: And how has the Albright Group responded? What is it they’re saying about this relationship they have with the Carlisle Group and Kuwait and Iraq right now?

    NAOMI KLEIN: Well, they’re not publicly admitting that they were brought in as political cover. It looks to me as if the Albright Group was brought in as political cover by consortium so that attention would be taken away from the Carlisle Group, and to fill this gap, because the Carlisle Group could not publicly be engaged in lobbying to secure Iraq’s debt at the same time as James Baker was asking the world to forgive those debts. But of course, we’re really splitting hairs here because the Carlisle Group was part of this consortium, and the consortium’s main pitch to the government of Kuwait, and we have the documents to prove it, was saying, look, you will not be able to secure these debts on your own. In fact, they say that they talked to financial experts and told them that the $27 billion that Kuwait is owed in reparation awards, at this point would be worth, if they were to try to sell it on the market, $1.5 billion. So, that’s so — it would be discounted to the tune of 90% if they tried to do this on their own. But they said because we are so politically connected, we would be able to get a portion of these reparation payments for you. So it’s a trade, really, of influence for money as well as investment expertise and public relations. That’s essentially what’s outlined in the proposal. The documents are actually already online on The Guardian website if people want to take a look at them. Now, the Albright Group, their position is that Madeleine Albright, as Secretary of State, was involved in securing these reparations. And that’s true. In fact, Madeleine Albright was the main author of the Security Council resolution that created the Oil for Food program, which diverted 30% of Iraq’s oil revenue to these reparation payments. And they say that it’s not a conflict of interest, but of course, U.S. policy has changed, and now U.S. policy is to get as much debt forgiveness for Iraq as possible. So, what you have are two former Secretaries of State, both of whom had key roles, of course, in the invasion, the first — the first war, the first Gulf War in the case of James Baker, that the peace — the cease-fire that forced Iraq to pay these reparations, and then you have Madeleine Albright who enforced the sanctions regime and the reparation payments, both of them part of the same deal to now get a piece of those reparation payments, that they themselves helped to secure. So, it’s quite shocking.

    AMY GOODMAN: That —

    NAOMI KLEIN: The Albright Group, just to be clear, they say that they are involved in this deal because they believe that the Kuwaitis deserve reparation payments, and that they were essentially on a humanitarian mission. Now, I think it’s very important to understand that these reparation payments — there are genuine humanitarian and environmental claims being made before the United Nations Compensation Commission, but the vast majority of the money has been going to oil companies. It’s been going — the largest single award was $15.9 billion to Kuwait’s oil — national oil company for lost revenue during the occupation of Kuwait. What they don’t — what the Compensation Commission didn’t assess was how much Kuwait’s oil industry gained during the long embargo against Iraq because they were able to sell much more oil. The United Nations Compensation Commission is a controversial body. It’s a quasi-tribunal with very very little oversight. So we’ve seen things like Texaco receiving an award of $505 million, once again for lost revenues, damages, things like this. It’s actually become a bit of a slush fund for corporate America. As I have been learning more about the reparation payments that Iraq has been paying, I have come to understand why corporate America hasn’t — during the embargo, during the sanctions, during the 90’s why they didn’t make more of a fuss about not being able to invest in Iraq, because they were collecting losses in Geneva at the United Nations Compensation Commission for billions of dollars. You have awards being given to Kentucky Fried Chicken, to Toys-R-Us, to companies like this, simply for lost revenue they would have made if Iraq had not invaded Kuwait.

    POLITIFACT looks like the idiot they are.

    You'll also note that their fact check ignores the sanctions that killed at least a half million Iraqi children and Mad Maddie Albright's declaration on 60 MINUTES that it was worth it.

    It's amazing the monsters that the 'press' will forgive and embrace in their never whoring.

    A spokesman for Iraq's prime minister said Sunday that a security wall is being built around Baghdad but that it is "not politically motivated" or aimed at "achieving demographic change."
    Saad al-Hadithi spoke to The Associated Press after an earlier statement from the prime minister's office seemed to dismiss the idea entirely. "Baghdad is the capital for all Iraqis and it's not possible for a wall or a fence to isolate the city," the earlier statement said.

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