Friday, September 16, 2016

Iraq snapshot

Friday, September 16, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, Hillary's role in the Iraq War went beyond one vote for it, the Ashraf community is out of Iraq, and much more.

In an article posted last night at THE WASHINGTON POST, Michael Kranish attempts to explore Hillary Clinton's support of the Iraq War.  Though probably one of the best pieces on the topic in the last two years, it actually raises more questions than Kranish is aware.

For those who may be too young to remember, in October of 2002, the Congress voted to give Bully Boy Bush power to go to war.  It's an illegal war.  Remember that because we're coming back to it -- it more than anything else demolishes Hillary's 'defense' -- a point Kranish doesn't even allude to.

Hillary voted for the illegal war.  No surprise in hindsight, she's a war monger.

Kranish notes that she now has a history of pinning her vote on Bully Boy Bush.

He then notes her advisors, including her husband Bill Clinton, were also urging her to vote for the Iraq War.

But this 'mistake' is not treated as a mistake by Hillary.

Blaming others for your vote is not taking accountability.

Krainish never even touches on it -- despite the fact that in last week's NBC forum, Hillary was again blaming Bully Boy Bush for her vote.

Ava and I explored this terrain earlier this week in "TV: NBC airs abstract art"

Here's some more reality that wasn't noted about Hillary.

She doesn't take responsibility.

She voted for the Iraq War.

She can't even be honest about that.

I was wrong.
Almost three years ago we went into Iraq to remove what we were told -- and what many of us believed and argued -- was a threat to America. But in fact we now know that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction when our forces invaded Iraq in 2003. The intelligence was deeply flawed and, in some cases, manipulated to fit a political agenda.
It was a mistake to vote for this war in 2002. I take responsibility for that mistake. It has been hard to say these words because those who didn't make a mistake -- the men and women of our armed forces and their families -- have performed heroically and paid a dear price.
The world desperately needs moral leadership from America, and the foundation for moral leadership is telling the truth.

Before you say, "Good for Hillary," that's not Hillary.

That's John Edwards penning a 2005 column for THE WASHINGTON POST.

"I was wrong."

"It was a mistake to vote for this war in 2002."

"I take responsibility for that mistake."

And here's Hillary:

Hillary Clinton: Look, I think that the decision to go to war in Iraq was a mistake. And I have said that my voting to give President Bush that authority was, from my perspective, my mistake. 

Going to war was a mistake, she insists.

But the only mistake she'll admit was giving Bully Boy "Bush that authority."

She's not taking responsibility.

She's bring up Bully Boy Bush, she's bringing up her opponent, she's doing everything but taking responsibility.

She won't own her mistake and she clearly won't learn from it.

That's not taking responsibility,

John Edwards, in his column quoted above, took responsibility.

Hillary tries to worm out of it by blaming everyone.

If she were your child and she'd dented the car and she started whining about how this friend or that friend --

You'd stop her right there.

You'd tell her the issue was that she dented the car.

But with Hillary Clinton, it's always drag other people into it, refuse to take responsibility.

That's a very glaring character flaw.

In the article for THE POST, this appears:

Instead, Jesse Lehrich, her foreign policy spokesman, noted in a statement that Clinton considered the Iraq vote “one of the hardest decisions of her life — one she anguished over exhaustively and, of course, one she came to regret in the end.”

No, she didn't.

She was Secretary of State.  She ran for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 2008 and she's running for president this year.

Forget that she won't take accountability, where in any of her statements (or actions as Secretary of State) is there any effort to propose ways to make amends for her "mistake."

The Iraq War has not ended.

And Tuesday, Barbara Starr (CNN) reported:

The Pentagon is in the preliminary stages of discussing whether to send more Special Operations forces to advise and assist Iraqi forces as the two countries get ready for the assault to retake Mosul from ISIS, CNN has learned.

So where's your plan, Hillary?

If I'd voted for the Iraq War and felt that vote was a 'mistake,' I'd have a plan of how to undue the damage I took part in.

If I regretted it, that's what I'd do.

We get nothing from Hillary.

Now let's go to the illegal aspect of the war.

I don't expect Michael Kranish to declare the Iraq War illegal.

It is illegal but he's a reporter not a columnist and weighing in himself would cross a line because the matter is open to debate.

But there's no acknowledgement of that debate in his report.

And it needs to be in the article.

Kranish offers a variety of places from Bill Clinton's presidency and claims that this shaped Hillary (he may be right) and that she is now of the opinion -- let's quote from the article:

As she saw the benefits of intervention, her views of executive power expanded. She argued that a president should have latitude to launch military missions because, as she starkly put it in justifying her 2002 vote, “sometimes a president has to do what he thinks is right no matter what anyone else says.” She embraced an approach to military force that in many cases argued for using it — rather than regretting not doing so.

Hillary Clinton's threadbare resume -- besides "wife of" -- includes attorney.

As an attorney, she should have knowledge of the law.

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land.  Her new gained 'knowledge' doesn't appear to reflect that.

As an attorney and someone who went to a supposedly leading university -- as well as someone who can't stop invoking her religion -- she should be aware of war and civilization and St. Augustine and just war theory -- something that the Iraq War rejected.

Her vote for the Iraq War was a rejection of just war theory, a rejection of international law and of US custom.

It's amazing how she wants to blame Bully Boy Bush.

And I get that her crowd of idiots -- uneducated all (I love the one today who Tweeted that a possible DNC pay-for-play was no big deal because there were important scandals like Watergate -- he doesn't even know what Watergate was about) -- have no grasp of what the vote meant.

They're uneducated, failed by an underfunded and poorly performing nation wide school system that teaches for a test and recitation but doesn't instill critical thinking abilities.

Hillary's vote was wrong on so many levels.

But it was also wrong for undoing the legal arguments for war that the west had accepted for several centuries.

That's no minor issue.

The Iraq War had some approval from Congress.

It's an illegal war not because it lacked Congressional backing.

It's built upon lies but that doesn't make it illegal either.

It's illegal because it violates the laws and customs accepted in western political theory and arguments on war.  It trashes centuries of established criteria.

And let's also be clear that Hillary didn't vote for the Iraq War and that was it.

She voted for it.

She cheerleaded it, she was a hawk who wanted the Iraq War to continue.

She wanted that long after US sentiment had turned firmly against the war to even begin moving away.

And, as she'd brag to Robert Gates afterwards, her 2007 vote against the military surge in Iraq was only because she knew the proposal was unpopular with the American voters (as former Secretary of Defense Gates details in his book DUTY).

So let's stop acting like she did one thing in 2002 and it's just one tiny little thing.

US House Rep Walter Jones also voted for the Iraq War.

Unlike Hillary, when he realized it was a mistake, he publicly said so and that was in 2005.

Unlike Hillary, he supported John Kerry's resolution to put an end date on the Iraq War (he supported it with remarks, it did not pass the Senate).

Unlike Hillary he sponsored bills on military actions, on grounds for impeachment, on bringing all the US troops home from Iraq, etc.

And he did all of that before Hillary became Secretary of State.

Not only did Hillary not do anything during that time, her tenure as Secretary of State found her refusing to defend Iraqi women even when a friend begged her to just include them in a speech she was giving about women around the world.

Even that was too much for Hillary.

So let's quit pretending she regrets the Iraq War.

A big topic in today's news is the late Ahmad Jabbar Kareem who died when was 15-years-old.

  1. If UK troops allowed to get away with drowning an Iraqi child it sends message that commanders feel Iraqi lives are worthless.
  2. UK troops who forced Iraqi boy into canal & let him drown have been condemned & acquitted. MOD: We're really sorry
  3. British soldiers ‘forced’ Iraqi boy into canal and let him drown
  4. MOD apologises after soldiers 'forced 15yr old Iraqi boy into canal & left him to drown' - terrible & unjustifiable.
  5. Doubtless Daily Mail types outrage is at fact soldiers were even criticised Troops cause Iraqi boy's death in 2003
  6. UK troops who "forced" Iraqi boy into canal & let him drown condemned by Iraq War civilian deaths investigation
  7. British soldiers forced 15 year old Ahmed Ali into a canal and left him to drown. Brit judge calls actions 'clumsy'.

 In other violence, bombs continued to be dropped on Iraq.

The US Defense Dept announced yesterday:

Strikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 10 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Huwayjah, two strikes engaged an ISIL chemical weapons storage facility and destroyed a rocket system, a rocket rail and a mortar system.

-- Near Qaim, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a building.

-- Near Mosul, a strike engaged an ISIL bomb factory.

-- Near Qayyarah, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three mortar systems, a fighting position, four rocket rails, a tunnel and inoperable coalition equipment.

-- Near Sinjar, a strike destroyed an ISIL tractor trailer, a front-end loader and a fighting position.

-- Near Sultan Abdallah, four strikes engaged an ISIL tactical unit, two headquarters buildings and a vehicle bomb factory. Twenty-five watercraft, a headquarters building and the vehicle bomb factory were destroyed. A mortar position was suppressed.

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.

Now let's turn to the issue of the Ashraf community.

The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF), expresses its happiness and joy for this great achievement of Iranian Resistance
Today, we learned that after 13 years of painstaking work in defence of the security, and to protect the rights of members and supporters of the Poeple's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), in Camp Ashraf and in later Camp Liberty in Iraq, finally, all members and supporters of the organisation, have officially been accepted by the government of Albania and all have been moved to that country.
Undoubtedly, today counts as a great and historic day for the democratic opposition and resistance of the Iranian people and all of us as supporters of this liberation movement.
During the last 13 years, the Iranian regime employed all possible destructive tactics against the PMOI in Iraq.
The regime provided extensive financial and military support for the terrorist groups in Iraq, resulting in 8 missile attacks against the innocent residents of Camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq.
Such assaults left 141 dead, hundreds wounded and 7 hostages, from whom, 6 are women and there is no trace of them. The regime’s intention was either to force the PMOI members to surrender or the complete destruction of the PMOI organisation. Despite the Iranian regime’s expansive and destructive efforts, thanks to their own heroic resistance in Camps Ashraf and Liberty, as well as their countless international campaigns the Iranian resistance was victorious.
We should also acknowledge the extensive and highly effective campaigns led by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) which were decisive in turning the international balance of power in favour of the Iranian people and their Resistance and against the religious dictatorship in Iran.
We would also like to use this opportunity to declare our full support for the recently launched international campaigns and lawsuits against those responsible for the massacre of more than 30 thousand political prisoners in the summer of 1988, especially with the release of audio tapes of Ayatollah Montazeri, Khomeini's successor, undermine the foundations of society and severely shook the regime.
A new era has begun in which we can clearly see the tides are turning fast towards a regime change in Iran and the fruition of the will of Iranian people for establishment human rights, and gender and religious equality and democracy.
On July 9, 2016, an all-party parliamentary delegation from both Houses of Parliament, attended the gathering of more than 100,000 supporters of the Iranian Resistance in Paris. In this gathering the statement signed by more than 400 British parliamentarians in support of the Iranian Resistance and Mrs Rajavi’s 10 point plan was announced.
Time has undoubtedly come for the British government, European Union, Unites States and the political leaders of the world to put a halt on their appeasement policy vis- a-vis the autocratic dictatorship in Iran.

Time has come to stand with millions and millions of the Iranian people and join their fight for peace and democracy in Iran.
British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom

09 September 2016

Good for them, glad they are safe.  Wish we could get the US troops out of Iraq.

We refer to them as the Ashraf community and do that for two reasons.

They became known world wide while at Camp Ashraf.

Once you're known, you're known.  Rodney King went by Glen King but once the press went with Rodney that's how he was known.  Cheryl Ladd became famous while married to David Ladd.  She's been married to Brian Russell for over 30 years now but remains Cheryl Ladd because once you're known by a name that's pretty much your name from then forward.

The second reason is that we didn't defend the MEK.

Too many people confused the issue -- some intentionally.

What the US owed the Ashraf community was protection.  This was due to promises made.

There was nothing owed to the MEK.

Some tried to confuse the issue.

Hillary, of course, helped with the confusion by refusing to comply with court orders in a timely fashion.

The Ashraf community believed in things that most people would find strange.

And so this was used to mock them or to refuse to advocate on their behalf.

We noted Glenn Greenwald was of the opinion that people need to be noting their opinion, that reporters should, etc.

Glenn may be a journalist but he's a trained attorney.

Clearly, he missed a lot about what journalism is supposed to be.

Reporters are supposed to inform the people.
In a democracy, we need information to form opinions.

Slanting coverage is not a good thing.

Reporting should not be based on events and not on someone's opinion of a candidate or whatever.

We covered Barack in the 2008 April Congressional hearings, remember.

Spencer Ackerman, who was for Barack and against Hillary, covered Barack as well.

But claimed his CSPAN feed went out when Hillary came on.  (I believe he just didn't want to cover her.  I was at the hearing so possibly he did lose his feed but everyone I've asked who watched it on CSPAN did not recall the feed going out.)

You have to be factual and you have to be fair if you're doing actual reporting.

If you're shaping it, then you're not providing the raw information that people in a democracy need to have in order to form intelligent decisions.

The Ashraf community was a perfect test case in how poor the state of journalism had become as reporters -- not referring to opinion columnists -- regularly degraded and mocked the Ashraf community in coverage.

Glenn feels we need more opinions.

I'd agree we need more voices -- that's how a democracy thrives (we constrict via things like closed debates that refuse to allow Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, among others, to stand on the stage and participate) -- but we also need real journalism.

This election cycle has seen all rules for journalism tossed aside.