Saturday, September 03, 2016

Iraq snapshot

Saturday, September 3, 2016. Chaos and violence continue, cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr calls for a general strike, Douglas Silliman is the unknown (to the press) new figure in Iraq, and much more.

Douglas Silliman.



The ridiculous Stuart Jones taped his farewell message and posted it Tuesday.


Again, exactly.

Jones was the US Ambassador to Iraq.


Wikipedia has failed to update that but Jones was the US Ambassador to Iraq.

Is Barack Obama responsible for the problems in Iraq?

Yes, he is.

And among the reasons he shares the blame is Silliman.

In a few months, Barack ends eight years as US president.

Ryan Crocker was the US Ambassador to Iraq when Barack was sworn in as president (January 2009).  Crocker left in February of 2009.

Barack's ambassador didn't arrive until April of 2009 -- despite the man promising that if he was confirmed as ambassador he would be enroute to Iraq within 24 hours.

That liar was Chris Hill.

The worst ambassador the US ever had to Iraq and the worst ambassador Barack had anywhere in eight years.

Here's a list of Barack's ambassadors to Iraq:

Chris Hill
James Jeffrey
Robert S. Beecroft
Stuart Jones
Douglas Silliman

Five ambassador in almost eight years.

Yeah, Barack's responsible for problems in Iraq.

For many reasons but they do include his failure to provide stable leadership.

Five ambassadors in less than eight years to one country.

It's a failure.

And let's note something else -- five ambassadors, five Anglo White men.

Barack's campaigning for Hillary now and insisting that symbolic values matter -- presumably more so than real values if you're supporting Hillary.

Not only did he get five ambassadors, he nominated six.

Brett McGurk had to withdraw his nomination.

Couldn't keep it in his pants and he had to withdraw his nomination.  (Barack names Brett Special Envoy.)

All six choices were men.

Iraqi women have suffered.

If symbolic victories matter at all, then where's the woman named ambassador?

Never saw it, did you?

Barack's a deeply, deeply shallow man.

Also a foolish one.

He wants to keep insisting that the Islamic State is not the face of Muslims around the world.

I happen to agree.

But one way you could move beyond words was to nominate a Muslim American to be US Ambassador to Iraq.

Never occurred to he of little brain.

Six nominees.

All White Anglo men.

And the idiot Chris Hill not only didn't know the region, he couldn't even speak Arabic.

It's one failure after another for Barack.

June 21st, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held their hearing on nominations including the one for Silliman.

Douglas Silliman was the US Ambassador to Kuwait, he also spent two years in Iraq already, as he noted in the hearing, "first as Embassy Baghdad's Minister Counselor for Political Affairs, then as Deputy Chief of Mission."

He claimed, "I will seek the political reconciliation and regional integration needed for Iraqis to live with each other and their neighbors in peace and prosperity.  I will encourage economic reform and development that can spread the benefits of Iraq's great wealth to all its population, and seek to reduce the corruption and mismanagement that bleeds Iraq's resources from the many to the few."

He'll be a failure like everyone else as evidenced by the first priority he mentioned in response to questioning from Senator Ben Cardin: "oil revenues."

He's a hack repeating the same crap every other nominee has repeated.

The sectarian divide's being addressed . . . blah blah blah.


If it ever has been addressed then why is it still a problem?

Everybody agrees to play dumb.

Within Iraq, there are other efforts.

’s Sadr calls for peaceful general strike to pressure govt on reforms starting Sunday


Iraq’s firebrand Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has called on civil servants to go on strike in a new escalation against the Iraqi government.
In a statement on Friday, al-Sadr urged employees -- except for security forces -- to stage a strike on Sunday and Monday to pressure Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to form a technocrat government.
“After the end of the one-month period, it has become imperative for us to accelerate our peaceful protests,” he said. 

ALSUMARIA reports Ayad Allawi, leader of the National Coalition, declared today that defeating terrorism is not enough, there needs to be social and political reforms and that there's need to be more movement towards national reconciliation.  ALMADA adds that Allawi's calling for a reconciliation party -- something apparently similar to Iraqiya which Allawi headed in 2010.

NINA notes Allawi met with Jan Kubis, special envoy for the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss provincial elections (planned for next April) and the liberation of Mosul.

Mosul was seized by the Islamic State in June of 2014 and remains occupied by ISIL.

Also discussing Mosul?

ALSUMARIA reports Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq's Ammar al-Hakim met with a US delgationg today -- headed by US Senator Martin Heinrich and they discussed the need for diplomatic relations between the US and Iraq and for the battle to retake Mosul.  ALL IRAQ NEWS has a photo of the meet up here.

On Mosul, Nancy A. Youssef (DAILY BEAST) reports:

To hear members of the national security community tell it, ISIS is about to lose its grip on its Iraqi capital.
In the last 10 days alone, the two U.S. generals leading the war effort have promised that the city of Mosul will be out of ISIS hands soon. Telegraphing the military’s next move usually is considered strategically daft, but American commanders now are spelling out the dates of their operation within weeks.
Meanwhile, those with a political bent are pushing for the U.S.-led coalition and the Iraqi forces to move into Mosul before the end of the Obama administration term so it can end on the cusp of a major battlefield win, one U.S. official told The Daily Beast.

Turning to violence, ALSUMARIA reports 1 police officer was killed in an eastern Baghdad shooting, and a Tuz Khurmatu attack left 6 people dead and seven more injured.  Of Tuz Khurmatu, XINHUA explains a roadside bomb went off first drawing people to the site and this was followed by a car bombing which resulted in the deaths and injuries.  And the US Defense Dept announced:

Strikes in Iraq
Attack and fighter aircraft conducted three strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

-- Near Ramadi, a strike destroyed two ISIL vehicle bombs and four buildings. 

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

-- Near Tal Afar, a strike destroyed three ISIL artillery systems, six tunnel entrances, and a weapons cache.

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 a 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.

Meanwhile in the US, the presidential election heats up.

War Hawk Hillary Clinton continues to flutter her eyes at War Criminal Henry Kissinger in the hopes that Gloria Steinem's one-time consort will endorse her publicly.  RT reminds everyone just what kind of disgusting trash Kissinger is:

Chilean coup
On 9/11 in 1973 the US-backed Chilean military carried out a coup which overthrew the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende.
Documents from the National Security Archive reveal Kissinger, then national security advisor, pushed Nixon to get rid of Allende, as his “‘model’ effect can be insidious”.
With help from the CIA, the coup was the start of more than a decade of horror and repressions under dictator Augusto Pinochet. Kissinger knowingly ignored reports of Pinochet’s repressions, choosing to send his “strongest desires to cooperate closely and establish firm basis for [a] cordial and most constructive relationship.”
The US meanwhile, enjoyed the spoils of a subservient government which allowed its corporations to plunder the country’s resources without interference.
Civilian slaughter in Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos 1969-73
While the US’s war in Vietnam was well publicized, even as it became clear it had been a failure, the US’s illegal carpet bombing of neighbouring Cambodia and Laos was lesser known.
During this time, the US dropped half a million tonnes of bombs in Cambodia alone, along with more in Laos and Vietnam, as well as devastating chemical weapons including agent orange and napalm, the effects of which are still being felt by Southeast Asians today. Then there are the unexploded bombs which continue to take the lives of innocent people. Studies estimate as many as 25,000 have died at the hands of the US’s unexploded bombs since the attacks ended.
Kissinger’s hand in the Indochina war extended the Vietnam war and set the stage for the Khmer Rouge reign in Cambodia.
Indonesia’s East Timor invasion
Kissinger approved the invasion of East Timor by Indonesian dictator Suharto in 1975, supplying Indonesia with arms in spite of an embargo. Suharto, who came to power as a result of a coup and arms support from the US which saw more than 1 million killed, proceeded to slaughter a quarter of a million people in East Timor.
Kissinger and Ford then made efforts to prevent the rest of the world from stopping the violence.
In 1999 when the small island voted for independence, president Bill Clinton chose to ignore the actions carried out by Indonesia which had been avoidable. Military aid given to Indonesia during Clinton’s presidency stood at about $150 million.
Pakistan’s Bangladesh genocide
Kissinger played a part in Pakistan’s invasion of Bangladesh, which saw as many as three million killed.
In 1971, Bangladesh, which was then East Pakistan, declared its independence following the victory of Bengali nationalists in the elections. The Pakistani army attempted to silence the population by raping women and killing civilians with US weapons, particularly the Hindu minority. Victims included children.
Kissinger and Nixon supported the Pakistani regime, with Kissinger congratulating Pakistani dictator Yahya Khan for his“delicacy and tact,” and mocked those who fought for “the dying Bengalis.”

Zaid Jilani (THE INTERCEPT) adds:

Clinton is well aware of that legacy. As secretary of state, she traveled to areas of the world that were devastated by policies Kissinger crafted and implemented.
The most relevant example is in 2012, when she visited Laos’s Cooperative Orthotic & Prosthetic Enterprise, a joint project between NGOs and the government of Laos dedicated to helping people with physical disabilities get prosthetic limbs and be rehabilitated. The project’s creation was prompted by the millions of submunitions littered across Laos, left over from the U.S. air war on the country during the conflict in Indochina.
A 2009 government report estimated that there are still 300 casualties annually from leftover ordinance. 

Hillary is her own sort of trash.  Rare is it for someone to run for president while under criminal investigation but that's just the sort of trash Hillary Clinton is.

Friday, the FBI issued the following:

September 2, 2016

FBI Releases Documents in Hillary Clinton E-Mail Investigation

Today the FBI is releasing a summary of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s July 2, 2016 interview with the FBI concerning allegations that classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on a personal e-mail server she used during her tenure. We also are releasing a factual summary of the FBI’s investigation into this matter. We are making these materials available to the public in the interest of transparency and in response to numerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Appropriate redactions have been made for classified information or other material exempt from disclosure under FOIA. Additional information related to this investigation that the FBI releases in the future will be placed on The Vault, the FBI’s electronic FOIA library.

Hillary's also lost a zip drive and a laptop with classified information on it -- when not having her staff stomp on and destroy Blackberries.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein observed:

would have killed any other campaign. Good thing she has corporate backing.

Jerry White is the presidential candidate for the Socialist Equality Party.  SEP Tweets:

’s “American exceptionalism” speech: A bipartisan policy of and -

As escalates threats, begins campaigning for Democratic nominee

Meanwhile, Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson has picked up a major endorsement -- the editorial board of Virginia's RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH observes:

Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton meets the fundamental moral and professional standards we have every right to expect of an American president. Fortunately, there is a reasonable — and formidable — alternative.
Gary Johnson is a former, two-term governor of New Mexico and a man who built from scratch a construction company that eventually employed more than 1,000 people before he sold it in 1999. He possesses substantial executive experience in both the private and the public sectors.
More important, he’s a man of good integrity, apparently normal ego and sound ideas.

In the follow up to the year of the ass, repulsion over Clinton and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is leading to various victories for parties challenging the duopoly.

For all who are wondering: We're on the ballot in 40 states, including CT. Waiting for other states to certify us!

 Gloria La Riva is the presidential nominee for the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

BREAKING: and Dennis Banks will be on the ballot running for President and VP in Iowa!

Meanwhile, more chicanery on the part of the Democratic Party is exposed:

A leaked DCCC memo on how to handle Black Lives Matter activists gives a plausible summary of key BLM issue positions . . . and then says in so many words, "Don’t offer support for concrete policy positions."…/hack-reveals-dem-candidates-t…
That's a bit different from not making promises you can't keep -- unless you actually can't keep to that position of support. Similarly, BLM people not wanting their movement co-opted is hardly a reason for Dem...
See More
Newly leaked documents show Democratic campaign officials advised U.S. House of Representatives candidates not to explicitly support "concrete policy solutions"…

John Anthony La Pietra is running for Michigan's 63 district State Representative on the Green Party ticket.

The following community sites have updated: