Falluja is not just a mess, it's a human rights disaster.
It is a blot on Barack Obama and his administration and throwing $20 million in aid at the problem will not fix it or remove responsibility.
The political solution Barack rightly noted that Iraq needed (noted on June 19, 2014) has not come about.
Haider's so-called proposal for reform with his desired new Cabinet will not provide a political solution (nor will it address corruption). It will actually make marginalized communities in Iraq feel even more so since Haider's point is to destroy the quota system that was supposed to allow everyone a seat at the table.
(Haider's past corruption effort was to put a member of his own party in charge of 'rooting out' corruption. That didn't address corruption either. Though the man is said to have received many large gifts since assuming office.)
It didn't have to be this way.
Repeatedly, here I said early on that Barack needed to end the Iraq War and do so quickly.
Ava and I wrote pieces here, I wrote pieces here, I advocated for it to friends among the then-incoming administration.
And repeatedly we both said that ending the Iraq War would be messy.
But you do it in your first year as president and you say "I was voted into the White House to end the Iraq War, it's what the American people wanted."
You do that and then if it goes badly afterwards?
It was a decision by the American people.
But Barack, like so many others, couldn't leave well enough alone.
Inflated and puffed out by a fawning press, he thought he was the genius they said and thought he could play with a few things and then a few things more.
All that did was make Iraq his.
His refusal to end the war immediately and his refusal to stop tinkering (including overruling the Iraqi people who voted Nouri al-Maliki out in 2010 as prime minister but Barack kept Nouri in power until summer of 2014) made Iraq his.
As did the negotiations with the League of Righteous -- a terrorist group that continues to terrorize Iraq.
A terrorist group that killed American soldiers and whose leadership was in US custody.
But to get four corpses (British corpses) and one live Brit released by the League, Barack released their leaders.
And non-veterans still often look at you blankly on that.
Even though it was front page news on THE NEW YORK TIMES.
But it wasn't talked about widely (we talked about it repeatedly here) because let's not hold Barack accountable was the mood of the press (and remains it).
There is also the SOFA.
Barbra Streisand needs to find some Laura Nyro song to rip off again. (Oh, for the days when Michael Douglas used to put Babs in her place on that rip off -- the only way she could revive her career, ripping Laura off note-for-note.)
Last week Babs wanted to Tweet (see Betty's "That political idiot Barbra Streisand").
Yes, Bully Boy Bush negotiated the SOFA.
And Barack and Joe Biden both said they wouldn't abide by anything the Senate didn't approve.
They put it up at their website and ran on that.
It was their first broken promise (and the first thing disappeared from the website).
But the SOFA was a contract.
It had a kill clause for each year.
At the end of the three years, it could be redone (like the UN mandate it replaced had been done yearly) or it could be replaced.
And what Babs hopes you don't know is that Barack tried to get a new one.
So 'blaming' the so-called end of the Iraq War (it didn't end) on Bully Boy Bush because of the SOFA is lying.
And considering how little Barbra did to stop the Iraq War, she really has no point in speaking.
Scared witless in the early seventies, she still did more on Vietnam than she did on Iraq.
That includes, singing over the phone -- in an auction -- to raise money for Daniel Ellsberg's defense.
Barack's hands were all over Iraq long before he began sending troops back in during 2014.
It's his war as sure as it's Bully Boy Bush's war.
And it didn't have to be that way.
And a number of people (not just Ava and myself) raised that point repeatedly before he was ever sworn in.
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