Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Iraq snapshot

Tuesday, March 1, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the UN releases their figures for February's deaths and injured in Iraq, Haider al-Abadi faces calls for him to resign as prime minister, Turkey bombs Iraq's religious shrines, War Hawk Hillary Clinton wins seven state primaries, and much more.

It's not what you thought 
When you first began it
You got what you want 
You can hardly stand it though
By now you know
It's not going to stop
It's not going to stop 
It's not going to stop
Till you wise up
-- "Wise Up," written by Aimee Mann, first appears on the soundtrack to JERRY MAGUIRE

At Third on Sunday, we asked "Editorial: We elect War Criminals, don't we?"

Super Tuesday provided the answer thus far:  A resounding yes.

Hillary Clinton won seven out of eleven states, AP reports.

That's War Hawk Hillary.  Cranky Clinton.

The one some of us (including me) could give some leeway in 2008 because of her Iraq War vote, we could argue it wasn't necessarily who she was.  Then she spent four years as Secretary of State advocating for every war she could think of.

She is a War Hawk.  A War Monger.

Not only has she made that ever clearer, there's also that Iraq War vote.

And her ever changing story there.

A 'mistake' has morphed into she wasn't wrong to have voted for it, she was wrong to have trusted Bully Boy Bush.

So she was an idiot when she believed Bill Clinton wouldn't repeatedly cheat on her and she remained an idiot who bought any line a man gave her with regards to Bully Boy Bush.

Let's all grasp that Bully Boy Bush was called a "chimp" and far worse.

That he was considered one of the stupidest people in the world when he occupied the White House.

And  Hillary's ever changing defense for voting in favor of the Iraq War is that the moron tricked her.

How stupid do you have to be in order to be tricked by Bully Boy Bush?

The public's been tricked by the media.

Last month activist and Academy Award winning actress Susan Sarandon explained to Ted Johnson, "Susan Sarandon: Media ‘Lack Imagination, Journalistic Ability’ in Covering Presidential Race" (VARIETY), the reaction to her supporting Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination:

The people who take me to task -- it is the same old thing. "But don’t you want a woman?"
But most of the people who say that are not aware of her record. It is strange to see somebody who says they are against fracking, and then you tell them, "Well, you know [Hillary Clinton] has been selling fracking," and they have chosen not to recognize that.

And some don't recognize that because they don't want to and some don't recognize it because of the echo chamber we live in.

Whores and trash like David Brock (he is both) pounce on any Iraq statement by a Republican but run interference for Hillary.  They pimp and promote outrage about the Iraq War . . . only when they can use the Iraq War to attack Republicans.

They never cared about Iraq.

They have no ethics.

They will sell out anyone and everyone.

If Brock's Republican gal pals hadn't turned on him, he would have stayed a Republican.

But the party boy who had no one to dish with came running to the Democratic side when he was feeling lonely.

As always, the idiot Naomi Wolf figures in.

David Brock smeared Anita Hill with one lie after another.

She was the victim of sexual harassment.

And she came forward when her attacker, Clarence Thomas, was nominated for a position on the Supreme Court.

David Brock -- a whore even then, trash even then -- attacked her with one lie after another.

And then he decided he'd move to the left and there was Naomi Wolf, having drinks with him and vouching for him.

And then others rushed to wade into the cesspool and cozy up to him.


He never showed he learned a damn thing.

From the start, he did -- from the faux left -- exactly what he had done on the right wing.

All he did was infect the political discourse.

And further degrade a political party which had begun selling out the people several decades ago.

The David Brocks spread their lies and social diseases far and wide.

You see it in nonsense like "Hillary has an answer now to her 2002 vote for the war!"

No, she didn't.

Saying the 2002 vote is not a plan to deal with the Islamic State?

Who the hell ever said it was?

More to the point, Hillary has no plan to deal with the Islamic State.

She's cribbing from Barack for three idiotic points that no one who is serious about defeating the Islamic State would ever pretend addresses the issue.

But we lie and we kid.

And every now and then some American loud mouth (there's a lot of us in this country) will pretend to care about Iraq but then will usually justify Hillary or some other Democrat who has supported the Iraq War.

You either care or you don't.

Ben Norton has an article at SALON about how, with hundreds dead from Islamic State bombings in Iraq this week "the media just yawned and moved on."


How is that any different from any day since the 2008 US presidential election?

And let's stop pretending that we have a segment of the media that's an "independent media."  THE NATION elected to obsess over the firing of Melissa Harris Lacewell Perry and what a travesty that was (as Trina mockingly put it, "Not since CBS axed Joan of Arcadia has there been such a tragedy").  The reality, Melissa attacked NSA whistle-blower Ed Snowden, refused to cover -- in her blather chat -- Iraq.  She was useless, worse than that.  But THE NATION obsessed over her.


Still not a word on Iraq.


Not a word.

So, yes, Ben Norton, some yawned and moved on.

But you better grasp that many didn't even manage that yawn.

IN THESE TIMES does have an article by Branko Marcetic:

Hillary Clinton has spent much of her presidential campaign running away from her responsibility for the United States’ disastrous 2011 intervention in Libya. The February 19 release of more emails from her private server may make it harder for her to do so.
In an email with the subject “bravo!” sent on March 19, 2011—the day the United States and its allies began bombing Libya—Clinton confidant and former employee Anne-Marie Slaughter appears to praise then-Secretary of State Clinton for convincing a reluctant President Obama to take military action in Libya.

“I cannot imagine how exhausted you must be after this week, but I have NEVER been prouder of having worked for you,” writes Slaughter, who worked as an advisor to Clinton in the State Department from 2009 to February 3, 2011, and then remained a consultant to the policy planning bureau. “Turning POTUS around on this is a major win for everything we have worked for.” An earlier email release, which I reported on previously, showed that Slaughter had spent February 2011 imploring Clinton to involve the United States militarily in Libya, insisting that it would “change the image of the United States overnight.”

Again, there is no longer any pretense that her Iraq War vote was an isolated issue or a one time position.

She is a War Hawk.

It is her natural, default position.

And  she has no answer for the crises in Iraq.

Today, the US Defense Dept announced/bragged/insisted/claimed:

Strikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 15 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Fallujah, four strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL anti-air artillery piece, an ISIL building, an ISIL bunker, an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL staging area and denied ISIL access to terrain.

-- Near Habbaniyah, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Mosul, two strikes destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL fighting position and damaged a separate ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Ramadi, three strikes destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle, two ISIL tunnel systems and two ISIL vehicle bombs.

-- Near Sinjar, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

-- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

-- Near Tal Afar, a strike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

-- Near Tikrit, two strikes destroyed an ISIL vehicle and two ISIL mortar positions.

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 one 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.

This is Barack Obama's kick the can 'strategy.'  His plan to just keep it all going and let the next president sort it out (or continue the Iraq War as Barack has).

Hillary has no answers.

UNAMI issued their (under)count of the dead and wounded for February today:

Baghdad, 01 March 2016 – A total of 670 Iraqis were killed and another 1,290 were injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in Iraq in February 2016*, according to casualty figures verified by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

The number of civilians killed in February was 410 (including 11 federal police, Sahwa civil defence, Personal Security Details, facilities protection police, fire department), and the number of civilians injured was 1,050 (including 34 federal police, Sahwa civil defence, Personal Security Details, facilities protection police, fire department).
A total of 260 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (including Peshmerga, SWAT and militias fighting alongside the Iraqi Army but excluding Anbar Operations) were killed and 240 were injured.
Although the overall casualty figures were a drop from the 849 killed and 1,450 injured in January which UNAMI was able to verify, the month of February was marked by the viciousness of some of the attacks, which included suicide bombers against places of worship, a market and a funeral.
The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Mr. Ján Kubiš, lamented the continuing loss of life and the injuries as a result of the violence in Iraq.
“This conflict continues to exact a heavy toll on the population. Civilians account for about two-thirds of the overall death toll and for most of the injuries in February. This is deeply worrying and disheartening. Civilians should not pay the price in this conflict,” he added.
The figures showed that Baghdad Governorate was the worst affected, with 1,115 civilian casualties (277 killed, 838 injured), Diyala 40 killed and 43 injured, Ninewa 42 killed and 5 injured, while Kirkuk had 29 killed and 28 injured, Salahadin 11 killed and 6 injured, and Babil 5 killed and 4 injured.
According to information obtained by UNAMI from the Health Directorate in Anbar, in February 2016 the Governorate suffered a total of 130 civilian casualties (04 killed and 126 injured).
*CAVEATS: In general, UNAMI has been hindered in effectively verifying casualties in conflict areas. Figures for casualties from Anbar Governorate are provided by the Health Directorate. Casualty figures obtained from the Anbar Health Directorate might not fully reflect the real number of casualties in those areas due to the increased volatility of the situation on the ground and the disruption of services. In some cases, UNAMI could only partially verify certain incidents. UNAMI has also received, without being able to verify, reports of large numbers of casualties along with unknown numbers of persons who have died from secondary effects of violence after having fled their homes due to exposure to the elements, lack of water, food, medicines and health care. For these reasons, the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum.

Hillary has no answers for that either.

The bombings never end -- including in northern Iraq which faces continuous bombings from Turkish war planes.  Despite objections from the Iraqi government, the US government has elected to support the bombings carried out by the Turkish government.

ALSUMARIA reports that today those bombings are targeting religious shrines in Dohuk Province.  The shrine of Sheikh Ali al-Islam was one destroyed in today's bombings and it was over a thousand years old.

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi long ago called for these bombings to stop.

And they haven't.

On the topic of bombings, Sunday and Monday saw the Islamic State carry out massive bombings which resulted in the deaths of well over one hundred people.  Now ALSUMARIA reports Speaker of Parliament Saleem al-Jubouri is calling for a hearing into the failures of the security system.  ALL IRAQ NEWS adds he's calling for the security leaders to testify before the Parliament.

Haider appears unable to provide security.

ALL IRAQ NEWS notes Iraq has $30 billion in recognized debt.

Haider appears unable to manage the economy.

As this takes place, NINA notes, cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr is calling for a Friday protest in front of the gates of the Green Zone.

Moqtada appears to be attempting to shore up Haider.

But ALSUMARIA reports MP Hanah al-Fatlawi has called this week for Haider to resign due to the various failures.

For those who forget, al-Fatlawi reminds on the home page of her website that she was an advisor to Nouri al-Maliki when he was prime minister.

Yes, thug Nouri wants to return to being prime minister.  (He's kept the official home this entire time, don't forget -- refusing to vacate even though he was replaced in August of 2014.)

And ALL IRAQ NEWS reports that National Alliance MP Rahim al-Darraji has, yes, called for Haider to resign also.