Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Iraq snapshot

Tuesday, April 19, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, silence around Iraq continues, Debra Messing shows Hillary supporters what not to do, and much more.

The War Hawk has landed?

Hillary Clinton has won the state of New York's Democratic Party primary.  That's not a shock, forget the allegations of vote suppression (though I'm sure they're true), the closed primary status means that only Democrats could vote.  That can be good.  It can also be bad in that it doesn't reflect what will happen in a general election.

But one thing we know?

Debra Messing is not just an outright idiot, she's a nightmare.

In 2008,  I supported Hillary.  It was around the New Hampshire primary.

I know Hillary -- or knew her.

I was looking at her record and Barack's.

She said her support for the Iraq War was a mistake.

Was she telling the truth?


Elaine and I were face to face with him in Chicago when he was seeking the Senate, at a big money fundraiser, and didn't ask about Iraq, Elaine praised him for speaking out against the Iraq War -- which friends had told us of.

And his response was that America was in Iraq now so it didn't matter.

That's when Elaine and I exchanged a look and immediately left the fundraiser without either of us writing a check.

Their Senate records were more or less the same.

Hillary was (finally) saying that the support of the Iraq War (or at least her vote for it) was a mistake while Barack had said to my face that opposition to the Iraq War was no longer important.

We'll come back to Iraq but between the two of them, I was willing to bet that Hillary was the better choice because of that face to face encounter with Barack and because she was being savaged which argued that, if she were the President, 'leaders' of the peace movement would publicly rally and make demands.

They wouldn't do that with Barack.

We saw it with our own eyes.

They lied and insisted they couldn't object or pressure now because it was a primary but that during the general, they'd be all up in his face.

Then the general election was too important to make demands (????) so they'd do so after he won.

In his two terms, has Tom Hayden ever led a protest against Barack?

Not "no," but "hell no."

They were frauds.

And we regularly cautioned here about what would happen as they ripped Hillary apart with one sexist attack after another:  They risked creating a division so hard that in a general election they might not win over her supporters.

And that did happen.

It was a given that whomever the Democratic Party candidate was, they'd win in 2008 due to outrage over the illegal war and 8 years of Bully Boy Bush.

Even with that, John McCain (and his running mate Sarah Palin) ended up with 45.7% of the vote.

Barack was a fresh face.

You can sell hope on that, you can sell novelty with that.

Hillary's been around forever.

That doesn't create excitement.

And that's before we factor in gender in the United States.

Barack was also able to peel off Republicans from their own party and to attract independents.

Hillary's unfavorables are immense and decades old.

So if Hillary's the nominee come November, she's going to need every vote available and she's going to need supporters who can carry her over the finish line because she can't do that.

She can say she's not a natural politician but she is one, she's not a likeable one.

This is not a new development.  It was true and commented on in the 2008 race (and Hillary even responded to it in the debates).

So the Debra Messings of the world need to learn grace.

I know that's hard for a woman who's damaged her face with bad plastic surgery -- clue, boys and girls, when women over forty go ridiculous painting on eye brows, they're usually hoping it will hide a bad face lift.

But they need to learn it.

When they lie about someone and that someone's pro-Bernie?

They're lying about all Bernie supporters.

It's a slap to all of them.

  • Apparently does.

  • 2- she implied Trump was an option, thne said "Atleast w/DT there'd be a revolution" NEVER shamed her 4supporting DT

  • 1-She coyly said "I don't know" when asked who she would vote for between Trump&HRC. By not saying "a 3rd party cand

  • Susan Sarandon never said or implied that she would vote for Donald Trump.

    Debra has lied from day one of her one-sided cat fight with activist and Academy Award winning actress Susan Sarandon.

    She has lied and she continues to lie.

    She needs to stop.

    If she truly believes Hillary is going to win the nomination, she needs to stop it right now before she does more damage.

    And let's throw in Debra damage -- damage to herself.

    Each time she launches one of these flame wars, NBC asks itself, "Is it worth bringing the low rated MYSTERIES OF LAURA back for a third season?"


    The same network that got burned by an actress with a Twitter feed.

    As Ava and I reported in September of 2012:

    And maybe Ellen Barkin's on to something there?  Maybe being so hateful on her Twitter feed allows her to access the hatred she exudes as Jane on NBC's The New Normal (debuts September 11th)?  Or maybe she's just tapping into her own ugliness?

    We don't know but we did confirm that no one at NBC, not one executive, is happy with Ellen's current public persona.   So if The New Normal flops, it's on Ellen.  She's pissed off everyone with her attacks. 

    There's talk of new clauses in contracts at NBC, new clauses that would require actors and actresses not to attack potential viewers, new clauses that would require actors and actresses to be goodwill ambassadors for their programs.  It's akin to the morality clauses that existed back in the studio days.  And if that happens, there's going to be a lot more anger at Ellen Barkin from within the industry.

    For those who don't know,  Ellen Barkin's decided that interviews and Twitter are where you release your hatred for your fellow Americans.  You go there and you demonize whole sections of people.  She also seems to feel that this behavior is the best way for an untried TV actress to get publicity and viewers for a brand new show.

    She killed THE NEW NORMAL.  She killed the ratings, she killed any chance that new viewers would tune in.

    Debra Messing's Twitter tirades?

    NBC's wondering if they have another Ellen Barkin on their hands?

    And they should.

    Debra still hasn't learned how to STFU.  And she truly needs to learn it.

    She's not an actress with any real range -- as Elaine pointed out.  Her only real gift is rhythm in line delivery -- yet she refuses to do another sitcom.  Being the new Lucy wasn't good enough for Debra.
    She failed as a movie star.  Now she wants to risk what's left of her career by antagonizing Americans?

    Debra Tweeted this crap.

    That's right... And who led the charge for Nader which led to Gores loss?..... Yeah.

    Debra is a political idiot.

    It's a point Ava and I made nicely in "Media Criticism not for the lazy (Ava and C.I.)."

    Debra is now joining the idiots who blame Nader supporters for Bully Boy Bush being installed in the White House.

    I supported Al Gore in 2000 (with money and with my vote).

    I didn't then nor do I now blame anyone -- including some very dear friends -- who voted for Ralph Nader.

    I didn't even blame anyone who voted for Bully Boy Bush.

    Regarding the votes themselves, no one owns anyone's vote.

    A candidate is campaigning for votes.

    If they're not able to get those votes, that's on them.

    No one else, it's on the candidate.  They are the failure.

    You can whine, "The media was unfair!"

    Life's unfair, grow up.

    You make your best bid and you either win votes or you don't.

    That's A.  B is that Al Gore lost the recount.

    And he lost the recount because he refused to fight as hard as was needed and because the Supreme Court violated the Constitution and declared a winner.

    In 2010, Patrick Martin wrote a strong history of the 2000 post-election phase for WSWS:

    The response of the Democratic Party and the Gore campaign to this procedural coup d’état was belated and halfhearted. The Gore campaign went to court against Harris’s decision, but sought a recount only in the four large metropolitan counties rather than statewide. In contrast to the ferocious partisanship and aggressiveness of the Bush campaign, Gore put his Florida recount effort under the direction of former secretary of state Warren Christopher, a corporate lawyer who was hostile to a court fight and rejected making any appeal to the democratic sentiments of the American population.
    [. . .]

    The submission of the Gore campaign to the transparently biased and antidemocratic Supreme Court majority was evident at the hearing held on December 11, the day before the final ruling was issued. Gore’s lead attorney, David Boies, made no mention of the frontal assault on democratic rights embodied in the position of Scalia and sought to appeal to the two “swing” justices, O’Connor and Kennedy, with legalistic quibbling.
    Public spokesmen for the Gore campaign and the Democratic Party repeatedly declared their full confidence in the impartiality and fairness of the high court and their determination to abide by whatever result was handed down. When the ruling was issued, Gore went on national television to publicly declare his capitulation and embrace the presidency of George W. Bush as legitimate.
    This capitulation was foreshadowed by the entire conduct of the Gore campaign, even before the Florida crisis. Gore selected as his running mate Senator Joseph Lieberman, perhaps the most right-wing Senate Democrat, largely because of his early public denunciation of President Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.
    Throughout the Florida crisis, Lieberman acted as a virtual Republican asset, opposing any serious campaign against the efforts to suppress vote counting and hijack the election, and making public statements that frequently echoed the arguments from the Bush camp. 

    We lost in 2000.  We lost because we had a loser for a candidate.  In the end, he wouldn't fight.

    I'll say many things about Hillary that are negative, but in terms of being a fighter?

    Hillary wouldn't have lost a legal battle over Florida.  She would have fought it and she would have won.

    But that's post-election.

    In terms of an actual election, she's as weak of a candidate as Al Gore was.

    Her ridiculous hot sauce comment?


    And she's going to make a lot more stupid mistakes.

    People who want her for the candidate in the general election better get serious and grasp that they will have to carry her over the finish line.  They better grasp right now that they are ambassadors for her, advertisements to undecideds that Hillary supporters are reasonable and fun and everyone wants to be one because they're so welcoming.

    Debra Messing needs to stop her cat fights on Twitter.

    She's not smart enough to carry on a political conversation.

    She's aghast that Susan called Hillary a Republican.

    It's not a new charge.

    Not even new to this election cycle -- Russ Belville had a column at THE HUFFINGTON POST in February calling Hillary a Republican.  At the end of last year, Walker Bragman called her "Republican-lite" in a piece for SALON.

    She was, in fact, a Goldwater Republican at one point in her life.

    Of greater importance is that she's a neocon.  As Lance Selfa (SOCIALIST WORKER) reminded last month, neocons were not just Republicans -- they also included Democrats.

    Here's Robert Parry calling her a neocon at CONSORTIUM NEWS only days ago.  The website HILLARY IS A NEOCON documents the evidence.  Oliver Stone's HUFFINGTON POST piece is also a stand out and must read.  At BLACK AGENDA REPORT, Margaret Kimberley has long noted Hillary's war hawk ways and just last week weighed in on her war mongering.

    Debra's unaware of all of this because she's a moron.

    And that's fine.

    Except when she leads an attack on Susan Sarandon.

    Unlike Debra, Susan risked a lot to take a stand.  And not for some millionaire but to oppose the Iraq War.  Where was little Debbie?  Having another face lift?  Failing in another TV show?

    Debra's unaware of all of this because she's a moron.

    And that's fine.

    Except she's destroying the importance of WILL & GRACE.  Hillary will not be beloved in 20 years.  WILL & GRACE was a hilarious and milestone show.  Debra -- the weakest actor of the four leads -- is letting her big mouth harm the show's legacy.

    Debra's unaware of all of this because she's a moron.

    And that's fine.

    Except she's the one who says she wants Hillary to win.  And attacking Susan Sarandon and other Bernie Sanders' supporters does not help Hillary win.

    I have not endorsed Bernie Sanders.

    I do feel he's the better candidate of the two.  I would consider voting for him in the general election and I will be voting for him in my state's upcoming primary.

    Throughout my life, I voted straight Democrat every election until 2008.  That year, for president, I voted for Cynthia McKinney (she was the Green Party candidate).  In 2012, I voted for every office except the president.  (No one earned my vote.)

    Prior to 2004, every candidate I supported in the Democratic Party primary lost the nomination.  But I rallied -- with no sour grapes or hesitation -- around whomever won.

    I know how to play the good Democrat.

    I'm just no longer interested in that role.

    When Susan Sarandon talks about revolution that a bad president might bring about, she's talking about an America that's got very little to offer.  That's a fact that Debra can't relate to.

    And being a good Democrat doesn't help the country.

    People like Debra worry about one election cycle.

    But this just-hold-your-nose-and-get-through-it has allowed the Democratic Party to become the party of greed, the party of corruption.

    In 2008, it was Barack Obama who destroyed campaign finance reforms when he became the first presidential candidate of the two major parties to refuse to use public financing.  John Kerry had flirted with it, but we (the party) had rightly pushed back.

    Now it's a thing of the past.

    Each election cycle beginning with Jimmy Carter finds the Democratic Party moving further and further to the right.

    I can't take part in a Hillary ticket.

    I can't support the woman who voted for the Iraq War and cheered it on forever.

    I can't support that.

    I'm sorry that Debra Messing can.  I knew she was superficial (I know Debra) but I didn't realize she was that superficial.

    On my end, the Iraq War matters.  Clearly, it matters.

    This site started in 2004.  I have never taken a day off.

    I've also gone around (and continue to) speaking about this illegal war -- all over the country except Alaska (I'm not a fan of the cold or the long travel time that would involve -- whereas I have property in Hawaii so speaking there gives me an excuse).

    And it appalls me that the tragedy the US government has inflicted on Iraq continues.  I don't know how to apologize for it as an American citizen.  I have cried over it, I have rallied over it, I've done anything I could think of to somehow make an impact.  And, yes, that has resulted in destroying my own health.  (Nothing like what brave Tom Feeley of INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE has gone through.)

    Barack said no boots on the ground in Iraq back in 2014.  Then he said no US troops in combat.

    Today there are both.

    And Monday, we learned the number would again be increased.

    And yet I look around and see so little about it on left sites.

    Justin Raimondo is a Libertarian, not a leftist.  But he writes about it in a piece that just went up:

    With the dispatch of 200 more troop to Iraq, bringing the total to some 4,000, the buildup to the Third Mideast War is approaching its climax. As pointed out here, US soldiers – previously described as “advisors” whose task is to “support” the Iraqis – are inching closer to the front lines. The loss of Staff Sergeant Louis F. Cardin, who came under attack from ISIS forces last month, brought home the fact that the Americans have been dragged back into the quagmire they thought they had escaped.
    Particularly telling were the circumstances of Cardin’s death: he came under fire at Fire Base Bell, an exclusively US military facility. It is the first such base established since the phony “withdrawal” announced with such fanfare by President Barack Obama – and surely will not be the last. As the Guardian reports:
    “[US military spokesman Colonel Steven] Warren did not rule out the marines playing more of a direct combat role as the assault on Mosul beckons. Nor did he rule out the establishment of other US bases in Iraq, and said the command would make a ‘case-by-case’ determination about informing the US public of their construction beforehand.”

    Funny how a battle for Mosul “beckons” – like the Sirens of Greek mythology who beckoned to Ulysses in an effort to lure his ship onto the rocks.

    At ANTIWAR.COM, Justin has weighed in.  Elsewhere very few have.

    Where's CODESTINK?

    No where to be found.  And usually you can smell Jodi a mile away.

    At the end of last month, they did offer 10 peace demands for presidential candidates -- Iraq wasn't one of them.

    And what of CODESTINK's Alli McCracken who periodically pens an article 'about' Iraq?

    Since March, she's found time to Tweet against Hillary, to Tweet for Bernie, to Tweet celebrities, to Twee this and that and even to Tweet Rachel Corrie.

    Now Rachel Corrie's death was sad, tragic and murder.

    No question.

    But what about the murder of Iraqis?

    Or do they have to be young, blond, American women for Alli to care enough to Tweet?

    Days before the anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, White, American Alli can Tweet about the death of White, American, blond Rachel Corrie.  But she can't even Tweet about the millions killed in the Iraq War on the damn anniversary of the start of the war?

    Barack's decision to send more US troops into Iraq wasn't discussed on DEMOCRACY NOW! today.  Amy Goodman's busy promoting a book that details, in part, her work covering . . . the Iraq War.

    Meanwhile the woman who wants to be the Green Party's presidential candidate (she's not it yet) managed to Tweet this;

    War profiteering by military contractors - which has been rampant in Iraq and Afghanistan - should be eliminated and prosecuted.

    Well, she did finally mention Iraq.

    As we've noted at THIRD, Jill's campaign keeps informing Ava and I that Jill's deeply, deeply opposed to the ongoing Iraq War.

    Okay, start talking about it.

    Start Tweeting about.

    We'll cover your campaign then.  We might even vote for you.

    But until then, just leave us alone, thank you.

    If only the US government could have left Iraq alone.

    Instead, the US Defense Dept announced today:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Bomber, fighter, ground attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 17 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed 10 ISIL rocket rails and an ISIL supply cache.

    -- Near Huwayjah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL staging area.

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

    -- Near Kisik, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, destroyed an ISIL vehicle and two ISIL tunnels and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

    -- Near Mosul, seven strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units; destroyed two ISIL assembly areas, three ISIL supply caches, an ISIL fighting position, two ISIL vehicle bombs, an ISIL bomb factory, an ISIL bed-down location and an ISIL vehicle; suppressed an ISIL tactical unit; and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Qayyarah, a strike struck an ISIL weapons storage facility.

    -- Near Sinjar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL assembly area.

    -- Near Tal Afar, a strike destroyed three ISIL rocket rails.

    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. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

    For the Parliament's latest escapades, read AFP, they cover it very well.  There's no movement in the Parliament, it's the same story.