Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Iraq: Reality and spin

I always forget WSWS when I'm discussing the western media.  Maybe because they're so unlike all the rest?  Meaning, they actually report and remember topics like civilians that the corporate press repeatedly forgets.  Carrie noted Peter Symonds' "US-backed offensive to seize Iraqi city of Fallujah" in an e-mail this morning.  And she's right, it's a very strong piece.  Here's an excerpt:

[Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-]Abadi indirectly acknowledged that the protests were a factor in launching the Fallujah offensive. “It was supposed to start earlier, but unfortunately political disputes and the events in Baghdad, which threatened security … all this delayed some of the preparations for this battle,” he said.
Other analysts were more pointed. The Wall Street Journal cited Kirk Sowell, publisher of the Inside Iraqi Politics newspaper, who declared that the Fallujah operation was “just what Abadi needed.” Sowell added: “If Abadi wanted to have any future at all as a political leader, he had to do this.”
The Iraqi military is mounting a massive operation to retake Fallujah from an estimated 800 to 1,000 ISIS fighters entrenched in the city. Around 10,000 regular army troops, supported by 8,000-10,000 Iraqi national police, as well as Shiite militias and tribal fighters, are involved in the offensive.
The assault is being spearheaded by 1,500 members of the elite Counter Terrorism Services. There are largely Shiite special forces units that are notorious for carrying out sectarian murders and terrorising the Sunni population in areas where they have been deployed.
American and allied warplanes in Iraq conducted two strikes in Fallujah yesterday, making a total of 21 in the city since May 17. The Iraqi military has also carried out its own strikes using US-supplied F-16 war planes. In addition, the US military is making available long-range artillery based at the Taqaddum air base, west of Fallujah, and Apache helicopter gunships. US advisers have been intimately involved in planning and preparing the attacks.
[. . .]
Up to 75,000 civilians remain trapped in Fallujah, lacking food and other essential necessities of life. As a result of the blockade of the city, the UN’s World Food Program has not been able to deliver aid since September. According to the Wall Street Journal, “numerous people have died of starvation.” Denunciations of ISIS for using civilians as “human shields” are designed to justify a massive assault on the city that results in widespread devastation and death.
Katharina Ritz, head of the International Red Cross delegation in Iraq, declared yesterday: “Civilians must be spared and allowed to leave Fallujah safely, while houses and other civilian infrastructure must not be targetted.” While ISIS has been blamed for not allowing civilians to leave, the Sunni residents undoubtedly fear their fate at the hands of Shiite militias.
“Fallujah must not be allowed to become another Ramadi,” Ritz said. The government offensive to retake the city of Ramadi in December led to the destruction of thousands of homes and buildings, and basic infrastructure such as water and electricity. The city is still uninhabitable, with buildings not cleared of booby traps. More than 100 civilians have died trying to return to Ramadi since ISIS was driven out.

Meanwhile, news that will surprise you only if you rely on the western press:

  1. federal court: Saleem al-Jubouri is the formal speaker of Parliament.

Of course, he is.  The attempt to oust him was not valid.

But didn't they poison the well against him, the western press, stir doubt?

That wasn't an accident.

Just like this headline's not an accident claiming War Hawk Tony Blair expressed "regret" over the Iraq War.

No, he did not.

And it's really cute of him to toss around terms like "London."

I'm sorry, I've heard Tony speak.

"I" is very popular in his speeches.

He's very boastful.

But when 'mistakes' were made, it's time to pin the blame on London -- as though he were not prime minister of the United Kingdom?

Again, he loves to use "I" -- until there's blame.  Then it's "we" and "London," etc.

But let's flash those headlines to make us all pretend that Tony has some regrets.

Poor Tony's suffered.

The nonsense never ends.

Case in point, longtime racist (if you're just discovering that THE DAILY KOS had the worst reputation throughout the '00s, welcome to the 21st century) Markos Moulitsas wants to chatterbox at THE HILL.  Like the failed CIA wanna be he was, trashy junkie thinks he can protect someone by taking their guilt and hurling it at their opponent.  Hence:

Knowing it’s lost electorally, the Bernie Sanders campaign is now pushing for a superdelegate coup, one that would discard the will of the Democratic primary electorate in favor of an unearned coronation. Whether willfully or not, such a strategy is not just an affront to basic democratic principles, it would also serve to disenfranchise the growth demographics powering the modern Democratic Party.

It's not lost electorally.

Without the super delegates, Hillary doesn't have the numbers for the nomination.

Bernie doesn't either.

Currently, Hillary has super delegates but they can switch.

As for "discard the will of the Democratic primary electorate" -- it's a draw between Bernie and Hillary currently (Bernie may be slightly ahead) -- and it's the super delegates that discarded the will by declaring for Hillary before the process finished -- in some cases, before it started.

Reality, Hillary may face fall out for whatever the FBI finds.  That may be legal or it may just be her common sense or national security credentials (or both) being questioned.

If so, she would lose her super delegates.

That's why the trash like Kos wants Bernie to drop out.  With no rival in the race, their thinking goes, the super delegates would be trapped with Hillary.

Kos is lying -- and how is that different than any other time in the history of the world.

I'm a little confused though.  In late January of 2008, I started supporting Hillary's campaign.  As I documented here throughout her time as Secretary of State, I couldn't support her again.

That was the refusal to answer Congress' questions.

No, I'm not talking Libya.

I'm talking Iraq.

Congress repeatedly attempted to get answers from her and State and they were rebuffed.

I sat through those hearings.  I reported on them here.

Former US House Rep Gary Ackerman was one of the more persistent members of Congress.

But to no avail.

I listened as the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction detailed the State Dept obstruction.

I watched as he advocated for the need for the office to continue.

But it didn't.

I watched as four years of Hillary being Secretary of State coincided with Hillary having no Inspector General of State.  By contrast, John Kerry had one in five or six months -- as he had promised Congress he would.

Hillary doesn't like supervision or accountability.

Her foaming at the mouth desire for the destruction of Libya made clear that her cheerleading of the Iraq War -- she didn't just vote for it in 2002, stop lying -- was not an error in judgment but part of who she was.

You can read all that in real time in the archives.

And you can see me explain how appalling I find it.

So we get to 2016 and she's running and I've already made clear why I can't support her.

You may agree with me, you may not.  But it wasn't an overnight switch.

By contrast, Kos targeted Hillary in 2008.

He promoted the notion that she was racist.

He ran off women who posted there.

He attacked them.

He ridiculed them.

(Racism often goes hand-in-hand with sexism.)

But this woman he found so vile and disgusting in 2008 is someone he's supporting 8 years later?

Again, I supported her in 2008.  Why I can't in 2016 is in the archives in real time.

(And does include her "What difference, at this point, does it make!" nasty exchange -- I was at that hearing -- see that day's snapshot.)

But if you're unethical, I guess it's no great problem to declare Hillary the worst person in 2008 and then, eight years later, support her for no other reason than that's where the money is.

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  • Amen
    3 hours ago

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