Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Iraq snapshot

Wednesday, August 31, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, will the Kurds be deceived again, things continue to heat up for Hoshyar Zebari, what Huma Abedin's latest scandal says about Hillary's campaign, and much more.

Starting with US politics and a topic I planned to leave alone -- wrongly suspecting others would cover it.


Worse, a social worker thinks she knows something when she only reveals she knows nothing.

Vicki Tidwell Palmer's nonsense at HUFFINGTON POST (redundant?) is entitled "What No One Should Say To Huma Abedin About Anthony Weiner."

Vicki, why don't you take your useless license and try to help children or something.  You were too lazy to go for the education required to become a psychologist or psychiatrist but you want to pretend like you are one.

And in the process, you want to trash the Constitution and free speech -- the First Amendment.

Vicki, no one needs you.

Congratulations on your 28 years of sobriety but, if you're looking for to-do projects, how about you start by cutting off those 'wisps' that look like sideburns -- and better yet, color them or stop coloring the rest of you hair.

In America, we have free speech and we don't need Vicki Sideburns telling us otherwise.

(Forgive her, she's had a very poor education.)

Huma matters.

She matters so much that I have to learn to spell her name.  Until a few minutes ago, I thought it was Humana -- like the insurance.  I tend to avert the eyes when people embarrass themselves in public.

Which is why her name's never been typed by me before.  (It's probably up here in a quote or a press release -- especially in 2008 when we posted every press release Hillary's campaign sent over.  Huma is a longterm friend and aid to Hillary Clinton.  She's one of the people closest to Hillary in the world.  Bill Clinton presided over Huma's marriage to Anthony Weiner.)

Let's just review quickly.

Golden boy of politics Anthony Weiner was so on the move at one point that an episode of 30 ROCK -- where they try out high def cameras -- had Alec Baldwin's Jack walk past the camera and the screen revealed he was Anthony Weiner.

He was on the rise and he destroyed himself.

He was sexting -- sending texts about sex to various women.

Some of the sexts included photos of his penis -- more on that in a moment.

Caught, he tried to claim someone had hacked his phone.

And inserted penis photos into it?  Or did Anthony just carry those around for conversation starters?

Forced to come clean, he was no longer in Congress.

But he had learned!  Lord Almighty, he had learned!  He would recover!  And there was Huma standing by him.

Anthony took a cold shower and was back running for mayor of NYC.

The changed man, ready to rebuild.

But, thing was, he was still sexting.

And when that got out, it destroyed his hopes.

Huma stayed with him.

(I know Hillary.  I don't know Huma.  We've nodded at one another and may have exchanged banalities at one dinner.  That would be it.  I'm not here to analyze or guess at Huma's reasons for staying.  I never spoke to Anthony, not even when he attempted to speak to me several times -- I don't like trash and he gave off that vibe -- I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that things went much further than sexting with many women.)

Huma's now left him.

He's had another sexting scandal.

News broke over the weekend.

While she's attempting to help get Hillary elected president and traveling with the candidate, Anthony was home with their son.

(I'm not questioning her decision to leave the child with the father.  Although from this scandal forward, I would.  Nor am I questioning her right to work.  Work was probably one of the few solaces she's had.  And she's actually very good at her job which is why she's been with Hillary so long and why Hillary trusts her.)

So Anthony's back to sexting.

And the thing that outraged America was he was doing it in his bed, his son crawled into bed (probably had a nightmare or something) an Anthony sees that as the perfect time to take a photo of his boxer brief clad boner (I believe they were boxer briefs, I don't want to see the photo again, I believe they were also blue) with his son right next to him -- his son right next to him in the photo.

He's using his son to sext with the woman.

It's beyond vile and proof positive that there is no redemption for Anthony Weiner in the near future.

Huma's announced the marriage is over.

Some are saying it's to spare Hillary a scandal or bigger scandal.

I don't believe Hillary had anything to do with it (I'm sure Hillary consoled Huma as a friend and supported whatever decision Huma made).

I don't believe many of us would want to continue any marriage if our spouse sexted with our child in the bed and in the photo.

That's the line Anthony Weiner crossed and it's on him.

Others can speak of this in any way they want -- this is America.

I'm trying to be very clear here on what I'm discussing and why.

This is embarrassing.

Glenn Greenwald -- of all people -- is trying to draw the veil and insisting this is private.


You could argue (some would not) that Gary Hart playing around on Monkey Business and getting caught by the press staking him out was crossing a line.

You could argue that.

Some would.

Some wouldn't.

(As noted many times before, I know Gary Hart. I like Gary.)

But this isn't that.

Nor is this people peering into someone's bedroom windows.

The photo's out there.

That's because the woman Anthony sent it to was as apparently disgusted as everyone else now is.

This is not a private moment.

This is a top campaign aid whose marriage was rocky -- to put it mildly -- and public before the campaign began.

This is fair ground to cover.

No one broke into a doctor's office and stole medical files.

Not only is it fair ground, it's needed ground.

Because Huma's reaction is, I would argue, normal.

I would argue even the most forgiving person would have responded similar to Huma after the last sexting (due to the use of the child).

I'm not condemning her, I'm not making sport of her.

But this conversation needs to take place.

It has not been taking place.

The conversation is about marriage and humiliation.

Anyone can be humiliated in marriage -- and, honestly, who of us hasn't been at one point or another, in one way or another?  Even the best of marriages have those oh-how-could-you moments.

And I think in three or four years, Huma's probably going to help people navigate this terrain by speaking on it and probably sharing how she overcame it.

We don't have three or four years.

There's a campaign going on right now for president.

Hillary is married to the charismatic and, yes, still handsome Bill Clinton.

The same Bill who slept with Gennifer Flowers (admitted in the Paula Jones case).

The same Bill who had sex with Monica Lewinsky.

These were scandals during his presidency.  (His affair with Flowers took place before he became president.)

The same Bill who was accused by Juanita Broaddrick of rape (she stands by her charge and he has never publicly responded to it).

The same Bill accused of sexual harassment by Paula Jones (in a case that saw Bill lose the right to practice before the Supreme Court and led to a big money pay out for Jones).

There are assorted other women.

But this is what America endured while Bill was president from 1993 to 2000.

The House impeached him over lying about sex with Monica Lewinsky.  (The Senate did not remove him from office but censured him instead.)

Now we could be of the opinion, "Thank goodness that's in the past and over."

But now his wife wants to be president.

And, let's be honest, most are aware of the 2008 piece VANITY FAIR was working on outlining Bill's continued cheating.  (It was killed when it was decided she had no shot the nomination and outside friends called in favors with the magazine.  Graydon, don't make me go to my journals and pull out letters.  Just stay silent for once in your life.)

So Hillary wants to be president.

And Bill's sex life shocked many and led his presidency astray repeatedly during his terms as president.

His affairs are a valid question.

Specifically, she should answer questions about what she would do if elected president and Bill is caught in another affair flashed around the world.

She's making appearances the big thing in her latest campaign ad and what our allies and enemies might think about Donald Trump.

What might they think about a US president that gets cheated on?

She's the one talking international appearances and impressions.

Huma is humiliated today and I'm sorry for her.

I also know she didn't seek out that humiliation or expect it.

That's just what can happen when you're married to a cheater.

And it could easily happen to Hillary.

She needs to address it.

Can she be president if Bill has an affair that gets exposed by the press?

Will she need to hide from the public -- as she did at one lengthy point during the Monica scandal?

What is her game plan?

And, with the Clintons' history, why should anyone suspend disbelief and say, "Oh, it won't happen again."

She was publicly humiliated in the 90s and went into hiding as First Lady.

Now she wants to be president so she better have an answer to questions like this.

She probably won't.

It appears the Democratic Party response today is nothing but blame others.

"Iraqi Mistakes?" More like "American Mistakes Imposed Upon Our Puppet Government in Iraq"

Carlton's right: American mistakes.

Nouri al-Maliki "was discriminatory to Sunnis" -- no question.  But he was installed by the US government -- Bully Boy Bush -- in 2006 as prime minister.  He went on to lose the 2010 election to Ayad Allawi.

But he refused to leave office.

And eventually the White House decided to back him in that effort and brokered a legal contract (The Erbil Agreement) that provided Nouri with the second term that the voters had denied him.

America's mistakes.

The Iraqi people rejected him.

Barack Obama insisted Nouri get a second term.

The second term is where the persecution gets even worse and why the Islamic State gets a foothold in Iraq.

Iraqi politics are US politics . . .

Iraqi Finance Minister : an Iraqi corrupt politician transferred 6 billion $ to his private account outside Iraq.

That's Hoshyar Zebari.

No one loves Hoshyar more than Hillary Clinton -- if only she loved him enough to suggest he start The Zebari Foundation -- he could hide any millions in that.

Sunday, rumors appeared in the Iraqi press that Hoshyar's long reign might be coming to an end as a result of his corruption.

He's currently the Minister of Finance.  Prior to that he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Oh, and also the Minister of Women.  Don't forget that.  He participated in Nouri's sexist and anti-woman government.

Iraqi politics are US politics.

That was clear, yet again, Monday, at the US State Dept press briefing moderated by spokesperson John Kirby.

QUESTION: Okay. Today a high-level KRG delegation, led by the Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, visited Baghdad and met with the Iraqi prime minister.


QUESTION: What is the U.S. view on this? And did the U.S. play any role in trying to solve the problems between Erbil and Baghdad?

MR KIRBY: Well, we’re in routine discussions, as you know, with the leaders from both Erbil and Baghdad. The Secretary was in Iraq not long ago. He met with leaders from both sides, as you have rightly asked me about in the past. Certainly, Brett McGurk, whenever he’s in the region, makes it a point to talk to both sides.
We strongly encourage dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad to try to work out these internal Iraqi issues, and so we’re aware of this particular meeting and we’re very supportive of them having that kind of a discussion and that kind of conversation to try to work this out between them. Did we set it up? No. Are we supportive of the fact that they did meet? Absolutely, we are.

QUESTION: Did you get any advance notice about it? Did they tell you they were going to have this meeting?

MR KIRBY: I’m not aware. We can take that question for you and see if our embassy had any advance knowledge of it. I’m not aware that we did. But look, I mean, frankly, I’m not so sure that that’s all that important anyway. This – these issues are Iraqi issues. And sometimes I think we forget, because American forces were in Iraq for so long, that Iraq is a sovereign country and they should be working these issues out between them, themselves. And so, again, we – we’re pleased that this discussion happened. We’d like to see more and more of these kinds of conversations happening to try to resolve some of these differences, and we’re supportive of that. Whether we knew about it or not, again, I don’t know. Again, I also – not really sure how critically important that is that we did.

QUESTION: The prime minister met the ambassador as well – U.S. ambassador. Do you have a readout of his meeting?

MR KIRBY: I don’t. I don’t.

Suddenly, the US government is 'okay.'

This is where Kurds need to pay attention.

They're not being hectored by the State Dept -- for an unexpected change.

Victoria Nuland, Marie Harf, Jen Psaki . . .

One spokesperson after another for the State Dept calling them out in briefing after briefing.

Now a deal may be coming?

Get real.

They need the Kurds -- the Iraqi government and the White House.

They can't take Mosul without the Kurds.

(Mosul's been held by the Islamic State since June 2014 -- and POLITICO's already revealed that the 'liberation' is supposed to be Barack's October Surprise to help deliver the vote to Hillary.)

So there's lip service to the Kurds.

But nothing is in writing and nothing is going in writing.

When Mosul's 'liberated,' the so-called talks end as does the dream of a deal.

  1. Iraq would support a proposal for OPEC to freeze oil output, prime minister says

It's about Mosul and it's about pulling back on oil.

If Kurds have learned anything by now, they will demand contracts in writing before they agree to anything.