Monday, May 09, 2016

Iraq snapshot

Monday, May 9, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the Iraq Inquiry gets a publication date, a Hillary whore self-disgraces in public, the selling of the Iran deal demonstrates nothing has changed since the selling of the Iraq War, and much more.

Today, the US Defense Dept announced:

Strikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 16 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed an ISIL bunker.

-- Near Albu Hayat, a strike destroyed an ISIL weapons cache and an ISIL fuel cache.

-- Near Beiji, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Fallujah, five strikes struck five separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions, three ISIL weapons caches, 20 ISIL rockets, six ISIL rocket rails, an ISIL recoilless rifle, an ISIL vehicle bomb, an ISIL artillery piece, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL staging area and an ISIL front-end loader.

-- Near Habbaniyah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Hit, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

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

-- Near Mosul, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying four ISIL rockets, six ISIL rocket rails and an ISIL vehicle and suppressing an ISIL mortar position.

-- Near Sultan Abdallah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL assembly area and an ISIL mortar position.

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.

Those bombings took place as Liz Sly (WASHINGTON POST) reports:

In an attempt to ramp up the tempo of the war, the U.S. military is escalating its engagement, dispatching an additional 450 Special Operations forces and other troops to Syria and Iraq, deploying hundreds of Marines close to the front lines in Iraq and bringing Apache attack helicopters and B-52s into service for the air campaign.
The extra resources are an acknowledgment, U.S. officials say, that the war can’t be won without a greater level of American involvement. 

The Iraq War has not ended.

Whores started it and whores continue it.

And whores actually make the news for their whoring today.

First up, too old to be a himbo, John Aravosis.  By his own account, he failed as a blogger.  He bid it farewell in a post most noted for the use of "I" and "me" -- in fact it may have set a record for the number of times those two words appeared in a blog post.  He was off now, he insisted, for a new road, a new career with the United Nations.

He wasn't successful there either.

So now he's returned to blogging.

And he's whoring for Hillary because he's just that trashy.

And to whore for Hillary who voted for the Iraq War in 2002 and publicly championed it for years afterwards and only came out against the surge -- as former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates revealed in DUTY -- because she thought it would look good for her politically, to help vanish Hillary's huge Iraq problem, John Aravosis decided to Tweet that he didn't even remember where he stood in 2003 on the Iraq War.

As Ben Norton (SALON) details, that whorish lie was greeted with at tremendous backlash.

An array of Twitter users criticized the blogger for allegedly forgetting what his position was on the critical historical moment.

“I joke that pundits have suffered brain damage,” comedian @Trillburne said, but Aravosis should “see a doctor.”
Trillburne followed up writing a “timeline of Proper and Serious opinions about the Iraq War,” a satirical chronology depicting how the commentariat whitewashed the U.S.’s illegal invasion and occupation of a sovereign country, destroying Iraq’s government, leading to the deaths of at least 1 million people, destabilizing the Middle East and creating a sectarian civil war that gave rise to extremist groups like al-Qaeda and eventually ISIS.

The dirty whore got caught without his clothes and the whole world laughs.

AL BAWABA reports on it and notes:

Aravosis's Twitter followers immediately pounced. 
"You were for it. If you were sentient & against it, you'd never forget," wrote one
"Not to be rude, but, serious question: are you in the wrong business?" wrote another, which apparently angered Aravosis. 

The whole world is laughing at him.

That's what happens when you get caught whoring with a politician.

He is now a disgrace.

And he brought it on himself.

Another issue of whoring?

Ben Rhodes may be the Deputy National Security Advisor but no one ever outranks him when it comes to ego, that's always been his problem.

And he's shot off his mouth again, specifically about selling the Iran deal to the American public.

We created an echo chamber. They [the press] were saying things that validated what we had given them to say. [. . .] In the absence of rational discourse, we are going to discourse the [expletive] out of this. We had test drives to know who was going to be able to carry our message effectively, and how to use outside groups like Ploughshares, the Iran Project and whomever else. So we knew the tactics that worked.

He made the remarks to David Samules (THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE -- a supplement in the Sunday paper -- a more long winded version of PARADE).

Kathleen Hennessey (AP) explains, "The White House on Monday worked to contain the damage caused by one of President Barack Obama’s closest aides, who, in a seemingly candid, behind-the-curtain magazine story, ripped the Washington press corps, boasted of creating an 'echo chamber' of supporters to sell the Iran nuclear deal and appeared to dismiss long-time foreign policy hands, including Hillary Clinton, as the Blob."

Thomas E. Ricks (FOREIGN POLICY) writes a stinging rebuke to Rhodes which includes:

Rhodes and others around Obama keep on talking about doing all this novel thinking, playing from a new playbook, bucking the establishment thinking. But if that is the case, why have they given so much foreign policy power to two career hacks who never have had an original thought? I mean, of course, Joe Biden and John Kerry. I guess the answer can only be that those two are puppets, and (as in Biden’s case) are given losing propositions like Iraq to handle.
Fact check: Obama’s hasn’t been an original foreign policy as much as it has been a politicized foreign policy. And this Rhodes guy reminds me of the Kennedy smart guys who helped get us into the Vietnam War. Does he know how awful he sounds? Kind of like McGeorge Bundy meets Lee Atwater.

Senator John McCain also weighed in:

Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today released the following statement on the President Obama’s approach to foreign policy as described in a New York Times Magazine piece last week:
“Last week a New York Times Magazine profile of the aspiring fiction writer serving as one of President Obama’s closest aides provided a troubling glimpse of the White House spin machine that has put sustaining 'the narrative' above advancing the national interest. The truth of that narrative is evidently of secondary importance, as the article exposed how the White House manipulated and, in some cases, manufactured facts to sell the reckless Iran nuclear deal to the American people as a prelude to large-scale disengagement from the Middle East.
“Worst of all, the article revealed the stubborn arrogance of a President that refuses to allow reality to interfere with his pre-conceived notions about the world. For seven years, President Obama has been guided by a cheap fatalism about America’s role in the world shrouded in realism. Even as the perils of indecision and inaction grow clearer by the day – Russian and Chinese adventurism, the rise of ISIL, terrorist attacks in Europe and the United States, and hundreds of thousands dead in Syria – the President remains unmoved, his narrative unchanged.

“President Obama has taken great pains to set himself apart from his predecessor. He has succeeded in at least one respect by failing to find the courage to challenge his own assumptions, admit mistakes, and chart a better course. The nation is paying a heavy price for this prideful exercise in legacy-making, but at least the narrative will be consistent.” 

Daniel W. Drezner rushes to insist it isn't true -- look at the polling -- Americans increased in opposition to the deal!!! And yet the issue did not have traction!

Drezner writes:

Opponents of the Iran deal massively outspent and out-advertised proponents. Furthermore, contra Samuels, this blitz had an effect; in polling, the Pew Research Center found that there was an appreciable increase in opposition to the deal over the summer. But Pew also found something else: despite the blizzard of advertising and media coverage surrounding the Iran deal, respondents stated that they knew less about the contours of the deal two months after the debate started. Why? Because the issue “had not resonated widely with the public.

No, that's not what they said and your really a stupid idiot to think you could get away with that lie.

The American people did not know less about it because it "has not resonated:"

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Sept. 3-7 among 1,004 adults, finds that the contentious debate over the Iran agreement has not resonated widely with the public. In fact, the share saying they have heard either a lot or a little about the agreement has declined from 79% in July to 69% in the new survey. The share saying they have heard “nothing at all” about it has increased nine percentage points, from 21% to 30%.

It did not resonate because the details were not explored.

The "has not resonated" goes to what THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE article exposes: the selling of the deal.

The deal was not properly vetted by the press.

Go back to the archives and you'll see we did not take part in the echo chamber and I even note that friends at State are attempting to get me to come out for it.

I did not come out for it.  I did not come out against it.  We did not pimp the deal here and anytime any member of Congress had criticism of it and we were notified we ran their critique in full.

I say at one point that I don't have the time to become an expert on the deal.

And I didn't.

Nor did the American public, nor did the White House set out to inform the public.

They sold it as emotional.

They pressured people to go along -- again, I received the same pressure.  'Don't you want peace?  Don't you want to stand with history?'

That's how they pressured people.  (No, I'm fine standing all alone, thank you very much.)

Then they sold it similarly with all the usual screaming mimis insisting that you went along with it or you were for war.

And back before Hillary was the front runner, no one wanted to be for war.

Barack and company lied to sell the deal.  They appealed to emotion.

That's why the polling reflected little knowledge of the deal.

Erik Wemple (WASHINGTON POST) offers his balanced take on the whole thing here.

Iraq War supporter and cheerleader, megaphone for the powerful and eternal drama queen Jeffery Goldberg turns the entire issue into a referendum on himself and votes himself innocent.  (Even a jury would, at best, only find him not guilty.)

The issue is an indictment of the press -- Okay, Jeffery, everyone but you -- and the way they bow to an administration.

Iraq was sold to the public not because the US press is Republican or loved Bully Boy Bush or worshiped Hillary Clinton but because the US press caters to the powerful.  They cater to Barack because he's in the Oval Office.  They pivot from one extreme to the next based on whose in power.  And they loathe questioning those in power.  They prefer to parrot the official line and, should it backfire, take cover in the 'we were all wrong' argument.

Nothing has changed since 2002.  (And it predates the Iraq War but our focus is Iraq.)

On Iraq, Hollie McKay (FOX NEWS) reports:

The government of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in the north, eager to counter the devastating effects of Islamic State’s religious and ethnic cleansing, is making clear to Jews that they have a home in the ancient Babylonian land where many of their ancestors once lived peacefully. They are even urging thousands of Kurdish Jews living in Israel to come and make their homes in a land that has not always been so hospitable to them.

“Jews would be surprised to find that they are freer and safer here than in certain European capitals,” Sherzad Omer Mamsani, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s first-ever Jewish representative, told
On Friday, the KRG officially marked Holocaust Remembrance Day with a first-ever ceremony in its capital, Erbil. The occasion came against the somber backdrop of past suffering as well as the current, U.S.-recognized genocide against Christians, Yazidis and other minorities taking place just 50 miles away in the ISIS stronghold of Mosul.

US Secretary of State John Kerry looks like an idiot -- and it's not just the botox.

Back in March, Kerry groupie Elise Labot joined with Tal Kopan to jot the following for CNN:

Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that the United States has determined that ISIS' action against the Yazidis and other minority groups in Iraq and Syria constitutes genocide
"My purpose here today is to assert in my judgment, (ISIS) is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control including Yazidis, Christians and Shiite Muslims," he said, during a news conference at the State Department. 

As we've noted for over a year now, the Yazidis are being helped by a right-wing pro-war US p.r. firm that's tasked with selling more war.  And Johnny thought he could do the same.

But he forgot he was from Boston.

He forgot his roots.

The Yazidis will not get sympathy from the Christian community in the US.  They may get an "oh my" but no one's going to yell for the country to go further into war for the Yazidis.

Christians believe in and worship Jesus Christ -- "Christian" comes from Christ.

The Yazidis worship a fallen angel that is seen -- even in Iraq -- to be the devil, Lucifer.

These are not hidden facts.

You were never going to play this community up successfully to US Christians.

Know who you're selling to.

And all the foolish and elderly fop John Kerry has done is remind the world how the White House has bent over backwards for the Yazidis.

They suffered in 2014.

Iraqi Christians?

They've suffered throughout the Iraq War, been targeted throughout the Iraq War.

Katie Mansfield (UK EXPRESS) speaks with Father Douglas Bazi:

The priest, who was based in Baghdad, was speaking to a church in California when he said: “To be Christian in Iraq, it’s an impossible mission.
“But even so, I’m not actually surprised when they attack my people. I’m surprised how my people are still existing.”
Father Bazi was captured and tortured for nine days by al-Qaeda on his way home from a mass in Iraq in 2006. 
He said: “They destroyed my car, they blew up my church on front of me. I got shot by AK-47 in my leg. The bullet is still in my leg. And I had been kidnapped for nine days. 

Dale Gavlak (CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICES) explains:

Iraq's Christian population numbered about 1.4 million during the rule of Saddam Hussein, but figures now hover between 260,000 and 300,000 as political instability and persecution by Islamic State militants have drastically reduced their numbers. Other religious minorities, such as the Yezidis, also have been targets of vicious persecution by the extremists.
Half of the remaining Christians in Iraq struggle to remain true to their faith or flee to other countries due to dangers the Islamic State poses, including forced conversion to Islam. Every year, the Christian population decreases by 60,000-100,000, according to the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, in a report issued late last year.

Again, this persecution pre-dates the creation of the Islamic State.

And the US government -- under Bully Boy Bush, under Barack -- refused to call it genocide -- and it clearly was genocide.

The Iraqi Christians have been driven from their homes.  Easily half a million are dead or out of the country since 2003.

And foppish John wants you to lament the genocide of the Yazidis . . . oh, and he says it's bad what was done to the Iraqi Christians as well.

I don't think he realizes how unpopular he's become with his former constituents.

Moving over to England, supposedly the Iraq Inquiry will finally publish their report on July 6th.

  1. Chilcot .... 5 years and what will we get? An unacceptable delay, waste of taxpayer money and the usual establishment whitewash.
  2. If the 'leaves no stone unturned' I suspect that Tony Blair's sickly grinning face will be below every one of them

Judge Chilcot's Inquiry's 2.6 million-word page report cover's 's involvement in 2003 Iraq war

And we'll close with this Tweet:

Our deepest condolences to family& friends of Navy SEAL Charles Keating IV, who gave everything fighting IS savagery

Please note, the KRG government did what John Kerry would not -- note the death of a US service member in Iraq.