Monday, September 12, 2016

Iraq snapshot

Monday, September 12, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, Hoshyar Zebari's problems finally get noted in the western press, Hillary Clinton has a health problem, and much more.

Back on September 6th, Chris Cillizza offered a piece entitled "Can we just stop talking about Hillary Clinton's health now?" (Washington Post).

No, we can't.  Not after Sunday.

Stephen Collinson (CNN) reported Sunday night:

A weekend of stumbles has Hillary Clinton suddenly looking vulnerable at a pivotal moment of her battle with Donald Trump.
Her swoon Sunday at muggy Ground Zero -- and damaging video of Clinton lurching into the arms of her security detail -- dramatically turned the state of her health from conservative conspiracy theory into a genuine campaign issue.
    The episode also exacerbates questions about transparency that have long dogged Clinton's White House bid after the campaign revealed the Democratic nominee is suffering from pneumonia -- a fact it kept quiet since Friday.

    Conan O'Brien joked tonight (on TBS' CONAN) about rumors that Hillary Clinton was using a body double to conceal her health problems: "When Bill Clinton heard about it, he said, 'Man, I wish'."

    Meanwhile, some of the efforts to spin for Hillary are getting really embarrassing.

    Manumpkin SpiceLatte takes on one.

    *on a date* Look, I really like you, but I hate that you supported the Iraq War and Drone Strikes so there is no us

    Poor Amanda Marcotte, in 2007, it appeared she had a future.  Now she's exceeded her sell-by-date.

    She crashed and burned and was let go from the John Edwards campaign -- she insists she jumped, she wasn't pushed.

    John Edwards cheated on his wife who had cancer while he ran for his party's presidential nomination.

    John Edwards had a mistress.

    He had a child with this mistress.

    While married to a woman battling cancer.

    And while trying to become the president of the United States.

    How awful a person do you have to be to be ejected from a John Edwards campaign?

    Poor Amanda Marcotte.

    And poor Hillary because Iraq will always be a problem for her.

    Me: Hillary voted for the Iraq War Scrambling Dem: Oh yeah? Well BERNIE voted to continue sending equipment to the soldiers! Me: ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ’ฒ๐Ÿ’ฒ๐Ÿ’ฒ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ’ฏ

    1. Double whammy: On Trump's "plunder" doctrine On how HRC hasn't "learned" anything from Iraq

    Clinton said no ground troops in Iraq Unfortunately we have almost 5000 troops in Iraq today.

    It's not a good week to be Hillary.

    1. Why'd Mideast dictators give big $ to ? For human rights, or to get US arms to crush dissidents? ๐Ÿค”

    Lots of big money flowing to the Clinton Foundation.

    And lots and lots of money -- US tax payer dollars -- going overseas for never-ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Leo Shane III (MILITARY TIMES) reports, "The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost U.S. taxpayers nearly $5 trillion so far, and that total could rise even higher in the years to come, according to new calculations released by independent researchers late last week."

    There's no end to the Iraq War.

    And last week at the NBC/MSNBC forum, Hillary promised more money to Iraq for warfare.

    When does it end?

    They should all be ashamed.

    These have become never-ending wars.

    They should all be ashamed.

    Speaking of shame, Hoshyar Zebari finally makes the news in an English language outlet.

    Remember Hoshyar's problems?

    We noted them August 28th:

    Meanwhile entrenched politician Hoshyar Zebari may be in political trouble.

    The long serving politician -- oft praised by Hillary Clinton -- is facing rumors of a no-confidence vote on Monday, RUDAW reports.

    Were he to be voted out of office tomorrow, he would be the second cabinet minister in two weeks voted out -- last week the Minister of Defense was voted out of his post.

    Hoshyar Zebari previously served as Iraq's Minister of Foreign Affairs in Nouri al-Maliki's terms as prime minister but now serves as Minister of Finance.

    And August 31st:

    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.

    And September 1st:

    Like the talk about Hoshyar Zebari.

    Hoshiyar Zebari: "an Iraqi official transferred $6.4 billion to his account in a bank." Welcome to

    All week long, Zebari's been the focus of talk throughout the Iraqi media about how (a) he's corrupt and (b) has stolen at least six billion from the Iraqi people.

    Silence in the western media.

    And September 6th:

    But what about the story we kept noting last week?

    The one we kept noting that the western media was ignoring.

    The former Minister of Foreign Affairs who was now the financial minister and who was accused of corruption?

    Hoshyar Zebari, the Iraqi most praised by Hillary Clinton?

    What about that?

    RUDAW reports:

    Iraq's national assembly is expected to vote today on whether veteran Kurdish politician Hoshyar Zebari can continue as the country's finance minister following a question-and-answer session with on August 27.

    Zebari told Rudaw he is hopeful he will survive the possible vote of confidence in the deeply divided parliament and described the efforts to remove him from office as "politically motivated" and "without substance."

    Does this mean that finally the western media may pick up on the story?

    Or is expecting them to do their jobs just expecting too much?

    Finally, this week, the non-Arab and non-Kurd media picked up on the story.

    Erika Solomon (FINANCIAL TIMES OF LONDON) reported Sunday:

    Hoshyar Zebari should have been preparing for loan negotiations that could save his country from economic collapse. Instead, Iraq’s finance minister sat in his office waving a file of papers he claims prove that billions of dollars of state money was embezzled by rival politicians.
    In the cauldron of Iraqi politics, Mr Zebari is battling on two fronts -- one to plug a gaping hole in government finances; the other to cling on to his job. 

    Wonder what other developments aren't getting reported on?

    You should.

    The US Defense Dept announced today:

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

    -- Near Baghdadi, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle.

    -- Near Mosul, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed four fighting positions.

    -- Near Qayyarah, two strikes engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed six rocket rails, a mortar system, two vehicles, 11 assembly areas, a tunnel entrance, a vehicle bomb, a vehicle bomb factory and a command-and-control node.

    -- Near Ramadi, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a tunnel entrance and a checkpoint.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb factory.

    -- Near Tal Afar, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle.

    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.

    We'll note this Tweet.

    Grateful 280 Iranian dissidents housed at in Iraq have been safely relocated to .

    When it is absolutely clear that all are out, I will weigh in.  We've long covered this story.  I'll share thoughts I've long tabled.

    Over the weekend, community sites had a theme for posts -- best R&B song from the 80s or 90s and the choices were . . . Wally went with Diana Ross' "Take Me Higher," Cedric went with '"The Other Woman" (Ray Parker Jr.),'  Isaiah went with 'Now That You're Gone (Diana Ross),' Ann went with Diana Ross' "Workin' Overtime," while Trina went with Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross ("Skeletons" and "Dirty Looks"), Ruth chose Tina Turner's "Let's Stay Together," Stan went with Shirley Murdock's "As We Lay", Marcia picked Stacy Lattisaw's "Love On A Two-Way Street," Elaine selected Vanessa Williams 'The Right Stuff', Mike picked George Michael's "Fast Love," Kat chose Deniece Williams' "Silly," Betty decided on Vesta's "Congratulations" and Rebecca emphasized Shannon's "Do You Want To Get Away" in "fame is the luck of the draw."

  • And new content at Third: