Saturday, October 19, 2013

Already November's death toll is 627

Arabic News Digest notes:

Iraq is continuing its slide into the unknown as the security situation across the country is turning into a disaster, while politicians keep holding on to their narrow agendas, unmoved by the daily death toll from countless bomb attacks, columnist Abdul Zahra Al Rekabi wrote in yesterday’s edition of the Sharjah-based newspaper Al Khaleej.
The security failure in Iraq under prime minister Nouri Al Maliki is decidedly chronic, and there is “not a glimmer of hope” that the situation will improve, the writer said. “The death toll in Iraq from terrorist attacks during the past month alone, according to the United Nations, has reached 979, while the number of the injured went above 2,100.”

On the topic of violence, Press TV reports a Baghdad car bombing near a mosque left 3 dead and eleven injured.  National Iraqi News Agency reports a Sheikhi village roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 police officer and left another injured, a Garmah bombing left two Iraqi soldiers injured, a Mosul roadside bombing left four people injured (two were Iraqi soldiers), 1 attorney was shot dead outside his Mosul home, and "Tigris Operations Command announced that a special unit belonging to the Army's 12 Division killed the military commander of al-Qaeda in Kirkuk after a successful operation carried out at dawn today Saturday 19 in Hawija west of the province."  Through yesterday, Iraq Body Count counts 627 violent deaths for the month so far.  There are twelve more days in the month.

October 29th, Nouri al-Maliki is scheduled to leave Iraq for the US with a November 1st meeting at the White House.  Marc Lynch (Foreign Policy) notes this meeting cannot afford to be about meaningless platitudes.  That includes Nouri repeating empty words about reconciliation:

The political failure in Iraq is nothing new and has very little to do with the withdrawal of U.S. troops. Maliki ignored such advice when there were 140,000 American troops in Iraq; he ignored it when those troops began to withdraw; and he ignored it after they left altogether. He was never going to make such concessions unless he felt them absolutely necessary for his own survival. In part due to the temporary security gains of the U.S. "surge" and co-optation of the Sunni insurgency, he never really felt that he did.
Things might be different now, though. The harvest of his exclusionary politics has been long months of sustained Sunni protest, renewed insurgency, and an increasing perception that the country is coming apart at the seams. A dramatic increase in violent deaths has driven a widely held fear that Iraq is unraveling and that the fire is again burning. The perverse consequence of this year's growing violence and political crisis could finally be that the carnage is finally enough to push him to such belated, reluctant concessions. His own political survival instincts, not American leverage, might finally bring him around. With fateful elections looming next year and troubling signs emerging about the contours of the new electoral law, the White House should do whatever it can during his visit to nudge him in that direction -- and condition all of the incentives that might be activated under the SFA (like the military and intelligence assistance Maliki wants) upon his doing so.
There is little question that Maliki's persistent exclusion of Sunnis and consolidation of power has kept Baghdad's perpetual political crisis boiling. The initially peaceful protest movement that broke out among Iraqi Sunnis earlier this year was driven by widespread grievances over his sectarian politics, his government's corruption, and his consolidation of autocratic power. Frustrations grew over his refusal to compromise, and exploded over the government's brutal crackdown on peaceful demonstrations, such as April's bloody attack on protesters in Hawija

The meeting needs to be a serious one.

Nouri's a modern day Pinochet.  If you're going to meet with Pinochet, you don't do it to make nice.  As I noted in yesterday's snapshot, there are rumors of protests.  The strongest rumors are that the Ashraf supporters who attend Congressional hearings wearing yellow.  But there are rumors of other aggrieved populations in Iraq being represented here in protests.

The press would be doing their jobs if they began asking daily for specifics on the meet-up.

Don't hold your breath waiting for the press to do their job.

That's all I've got in me tonight, sorry.  The following sites -- some community, some not -- updated last night and today:

  • Is that all of the community sites?  Nope.  Swiping from Cedric and Wally:

    "Kitchen Appliances in the Kitchen" . . .  Trina
    "Ralph Nader, you're a big disappointment" . . . Ann
    "Jane Fonda's sexism harms women" . . .  Betty
    "scandal - the spider web of spying" . . .
    "Carrie needs Faye Dunaway" . . . Ruth
    "Adam Kokesh" . . .  Kat
    "The homophobes" . . . Marcia
    "Go see Carrie" . . . Stan
    "If you mean it, you'd speak more strongly" . . . Elaine
    "Idiot of the Week and more"  . . . Mike

    The e-mail address for this site is


    I Hate The War

    Thursday's snapshot included a lengthy discussion of Ezra Klein (Washington Post) and Glenn Thrush (POLITICO).  An e-mail to the public account insists that I should have linked to Thursh's article.

    Don't show up at my house and tell me how to entertain.  You're not a member of this community which means you're not an invited guest.  As Keesha long ago described it, this is a private conversation in a public place.  Now you can eavesdrop but don't start trying to tell me what to do.

    I was more than fair to Thursh. His Tweets were included and anyone could click on those Tweets and read more.

    I didn't link to POLITICO.

    I usually don't anymore and I'm honestly glad they're struggling now -- they're really struggling but no one's supposed to know.

    Why don't I link to POLITICO?

    Community members get very angry and, now that a year's passed, I can look at it and not just say they have a right to be angry but also that I do hope the outlet sinks.

    As you attempt to rearrange my furniture, you showed up late to the party.

    POLITICO felt the need to credit a right-wing website with being the first to write about McGurk.  They weren't.  They only wrote about it several days after we had.

    As I disclosed in real time, I was visiting a friend's office (Democrat in Congress) when all hell broke loose.  I didn't realize it until I was leaving.  At which point one staffer whispered what was going on the member of Congress.  (I think I've disclosed which house of Congress and gender previously but I'm not sure -- I know I did in the gina & krista round-robin because we even brought that member of Congress in as a guest in a roundtable.)  Don't do that.  Not around me.  Talk in a normal voice and I've got other things to do and am focused on them.  But whisper around me and you might as well have shouted.

    That's how I learned about e-mails being posted online.  I immediately looked it up on the cell phone and we covered it (rounding it out via two journalists I spoke to) in the snapshot.

    We would have to cover it.

    A) It was Iraq related.

    B) It was a huge breach of journalistic ethics.

    CJR didn't give a damn as usual.  But it was a huge breach.

    C) I had treated Gina Chon as a serious journalist.

    Chon, before she was fired, worked for the Wall St. Journal.  I took a lot of flack (more so from friends offline) for citing her reports.  I would note that she knew a great deal.  And she did.  And she got it from sleeping with a government source (McGurk).  When it turned out he was vetting her copy -- one of the reasons she was fired -- we really had to cover it because no other site online linked to and quoted Chon more than I did at this site.

    But though we covered it first, we covered it for the longest, we had the best information.  Including that McGurk would not be confirmed - there was a Democrat revolt against him because a number of Democratic senators grasped what sending McGurk over as Ambassador to Iraq would mean to women in Iraq and that group of senators -- Barack knows who they are -- are not real happy that after they refused to confirm McGurk, Barack still sent him overseas.

    We had a ton of ways to cover McGurk, we were honestly just getting started.  We were even going to delve into his (non-sexual) relationship with Hillary Clinton -- something California Dems in Congress were very talkative about.  I'll even tease that out a little:  What is is about Hillary that tolerates and embraces cheating men?  You can include Anthony Weiner in that because until he went public just a while ago with the fact that Hillary is considering running for president, he was warmly embraced by Hillary.

    I'm not attacking for forgiving Bill.  That's her marriage.  She's got every right to stay with or divorce.  I believe she's happy with Bill (and I know Bill loves her) so I applaud her choice.  But there are a number of men she supervised in the State Dept who couldn't keep it in their pants and -- especially in the case of one married ambassador (no, I'm talking about the child molestor) -- this kept rising up the chain to her.  And she embraced and encouraged.  (Didn't encourage affairs.  Did encourage cheaters to continue with the State Dept.)

    We had a ton to cover but Brett withdrew his nomination and all of that just sort of settled at the bottom of the tank.

    When POLITICO refused to credit this site, I really didn't care.  I had a lot of other things to do.  But when I found out that they had refused even after friends in journalism had called them to tell them how cheap and trashy they were for not running a correction, I started to agree with the community.  I thank my friends at ABC, CNN and CBS especially.  These are offline friends.  They don't get any special breaks here.  (Except maybe they can pick up the phone, dial me direct and yell at me when they're displeased with what I wrote.)  An NBC on air is the one who told me about all the calls being made.  I had no idea.  Again, thank you, that was very nice of all of you.

    But after learning that 15 people called to complain -- some called more than once -- and that POLITICO still refused to do a little correction?

    F**k 'em.


    We broke that story.

    E-mailer, you don't know that in part because I have not (until now) made a big deal out of it.  We're stolen from all the time.  This year, we were dropping back to a topic we'd covered in 2011.  I was looking for some coverage of it beyond what we had noted in the snapshot.  I was on the phone with Jim discussing something else as I tried to eat lunch and track down other coverage when I stopped him and said, "Listen! Listen! Someone's taken the issue seriously!"  I read Jim a sentence.  Then I read him a second one.  Then I said, "Jim, did I write this?"

    Ava and I have a certain rhythm to what we write together.  I have a certain rhythm to what I write alone.

    When I got to the third sentence, I knew I had written it.  So I copied a full paragraph and searched.  Sure enough it was me.  Me only.  No link.  Me sounding off about an abuse/crime in Iraq.

    Now the next paragraph?

    The journalist -- this was a print newspaper, US newspaper -- may not have spoken Arabic and that might be why he (yes, it was a he) ripped that part off.  I was translating an article in Al Mada in that paragraph.  But why did he rip off the one before?

    I have no idea.  We get ripped off a lot.  When I saw that he'd copied another paragraph but tried to improve on one word, I just laughed.  (I was translating in the 'improvement.'  His word choice to substitute is proof that he doesn't read Arabic because it's not just awkward, his word choice is wrong.)

    And most of the time, I do laugh.

    But when I found out that friends in journalism took it upon themselves to contact POLITICO, call the outlet out and tell them they needed to do a correction and POLITICO still didn't?

    My attitude, again, was -- and is -- f**k 'em.

    I have no idea what their problem was with me and honestly don't care.  I think it's telling when journalists contact you and they're telling you to do a correction and you're admitting that you know you're wrong but you won't do a correction.

    I think that says a great deal about the veracity of the outlet.  Or its lack thereof.

    Community members can get markers.  I've noted that before.

    I write something and they're bothered by it and we have a dialogue on it in which we're both listening but our positions are still at opposite ends, I write back that we aren't going to agree and I'm sorry about that but they now have a marker they can call in at any time.  If they want something covered -- non-Iraq -- they can e-mail and say "I'm calling in my marker" and Martha or Shirley will let me know and I will include it in whatever I'm writing at that moment.  It's usually a next day thing.

    That went into the snapshot because it's a community member who's been a friend for decades and is at a network (broadcast).  He wanted it addressed and his marker had to do with his being offended by what I'd written about one of his colleagues.  We don't agree.  I stand by what I wrote, he thinks I was grossly unfair.  We explored it to death and he got a marker.  Which he used two and a half years later.

    Why?  And why on that?

    When someone calls in a marker, I don't ask why, I just try to honor it.

    Glenn Thrush was not involved in the failure to give credit.  For that reason, I made a point to include his Tweets.  In one of them, he links to something Ezra wrote.  That's the only link Ezra got.  And I agreed with him.  But I wanted to bend over backwards to Glenn Thrush because (a) he's not wronged me and (b) I wanted to be sure I wasn't punishing him for the actions of others.

    The person whining that Glenn didn't get his POLITICO article linked to?  That same guy also wants to whine that it didn't belong in the snapshot.

    It could have been a section on candy caramel apples and it would have belonged if a marker was called in.

    But it also belonged because the shutdown was being compared to the Iraq War.

    Entries like this?

    I'm not really fond of them.  I think they're navel gazing.  But they are popular.

    And I was going to announce something on Monday for drive-bys and visitors but I'll do it today instead.

    When I read this e-mail telling me what I needed and how I needed to do it and this person had done no homework on what he was writing about?  I thought, "I am so damn sick of this."

    And I am.  And that's why, Monday through Friday, you're going to notice a drop off in morning entries.  I'll do one.  Some days I'll do two.

    I only extend by six months now.  People are figuring by my tone that I really, really want to end this site. And as the e-mails kept coming in about what happens after December 31st?

    First, it's after January 1st.  I wouldn't side-step a year-in-review.   Second, I asked Martha and Shirley to track that question and when it got to a certain level, I spoke with Gina and Krista and asked if I could get a poll question in the gina & krista round-robin.  Community members already know this.

    I've agreed to go through July.  Provided I can drop down to one entry a day Monday through Friday (plus the Iraq snapshot at night).

    That was the vote.

    As Beth pointed out in her ombudsperson column, "Not much of a vote.  'Let me drop down to one morning entry or I walk'."

    Beth's right, it wasn't much of a choice.

    But next month is nine years.  That was not the plan.  The plan was -- Ray, I'm getting to your e-mail -- two-fold -- end the Iraq War and get a Democrat in the White House in 2008.

    The latter came to be and ended up meaningless while the Iraq War has not ended.

    And that's nine years of writing.  Over and over and over and . . .  And not one damn day off.  Not one.  Until the last few weeks, I would do my morning run, shower and sit down at the computer.  It's not how I want to start my day.  But I've done it for nine years next month.  And I'm tired of it and I want a break.  I haven't taken a week off, I haven't taken a day off.  Every day.

    I'm sick of it and sick of my online persona.

    A lot's changed and maybe we'll cover that next month.  But, to Ray's e-mail, re: my comments in "John Michael McGrath is 'angry'," I'm comfortable with the word "feminist" if you need to hang a label on me.  I am a feminist.


    I was.  I always voted Democrat, I always voted.  I was a robotron.  2008, I broke away from that.  I feel much better.

    When we were out of power, we could stick together.

    Now we can't.  And some argue that it's a firing squad or it's this or it is that.

    No, it's hypocrisy.

    I called out Bully Boy Bush for spying.  Why the hell would I act like it's okay now?

    The same with war and all the other issues.

    Now I've been there, where the Cult of St. Barack is now.

    I know it's comfortable and it's friendly and we all giggle together when we think of mean names for Republicans.  And it's real tempting to red-rover-red-rover-let-me-come-over.  It's tempting.  But I don't whore.

    I like Bill Clinton.  I called Bill Clinton out in the first term repeatedly.  To his face.  Not rudely because Bill loves a discussion.  He hates a "you're right, you're right."  He loves a discussion where people debate and discuss and disagree.  That's what made him such a leader and so charismatic, his honest interest in people.

    I had a lot on my plate in the 90s.  It was easy to ignore a number of things.  I still don't know about Waco.  Sorry.  You don't catch me writing about that.  I was out of the country, I was in Latin America helping with irrigation projects in villages.  (Yes, I can dig.  No, I really didn't while I was there.  My job was helping to identify the needs in various villages. And I've noted this before as well as noting that water rights are a huge issue with me.)  Believe it or not, the whole wide world was not obsessed with Waco.  There was no cable, there were radios but mostly it was music over the airwaves.  I have no idea about Waco and have never had the time to learn since I started this website.  I did that.  I did my career.  I did my family -- as a mother, as a wife, as a daughter.  I was in and out of the country constantly.

    But here's the thing.  Marian Wright Edelman?  I used to have so much respect for her.  When I didn't realize she was just another whore.

    I say that because she has repeatedly attacked Bill for gutting the safety net.  (Which largely refers to the shift in unemployment benefits.  And, for the record, I didn't support that.  I don't believe in a cut-off date for benefits if you can't find work.)

    But, thing is, when that was going down, she wasn't saying a damn word.  I know because she wanted me to appear at her pet cause.  And I didn't.  (I was again going out of the country.)  It was about violence.

    Now that's an important issue.

    But if you weren't actively protesting an action you believe was wrong, stop lying today and acting like you were leading an army against the effort.

    Marian can lie today -- and does -- because who's going to challenge her?

    She probably feels very safe.

    Those days are over.

    The internet exists and has a history.

    Which means Marian, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Matt Rotschild?

    You and the rest all have a rap sheet now that will follow you around forever.  So in 2017 when you're railing against ObamaCare?  Your readers will be able to easily find out that you whored in real time.  They'll see all the whoring and lying you did.

    That didn't used to be the case.  Once upon a time you had to be Betty Friedan camped out at the library doing research on the media (the best parts of The Feminine Mystique are the media criticisms, in my opinion).  Who had time for that?

    But now people can go and look online.  And, in 2017, when someone tries to pull a Marian and insist, for example, that The Drone War destroyed so many lives and it was wrong and . . .  Someone's going to be typing that person's name and come across the reality that the bulk of the Matt Rothschild or whomever's days were spent offering one stupid defense of Barack after another.

    If, in 2017, it will be especially sad for the Matties if the White House is occupied by a Republican.

    As they pretend like spying is wrong and they were against it all along and, damn it!, we need to impeach President George P. Bush! -- well, someone's going to do a search and find out that The Progressive and The Nation and all these other 'defenders' of our rights didn't do a damn thing when Barack was spying or when he was prosecuting journalists or when he was doing The Drone War or any of it.

    The internet means we're back in the 1960s and you do have a permanent record and it is going to follow you around.

    Even if you wall off your archives, so what.  People can go to Rebecca's site, they can go to Black Agenda Report, they can go to Norman Pollack's writing, to any number of places and find you critiqued -- in real time -- for refusing to stand up.

    So lots of luck being taken seriously in 2017.  I hope I'm offline long before then.  But I hope, even more, that every little whore who's decided ethics don't matter when Democrats are in power -- I hope you are all held accountable.

    And, Ray, we voted Dems into control of both houses in the 2006 mid-terms to end the Iraq War.

    They failed.  It was a two year Congress and they failed.

    I don't support them as a group.  There are individuals I will applaud.  But the days of my being a Democratic cheerleader ended when they refused to end the war and instead attempted to use it for electoral gains.

    People lost lives while Nancy Pelosi and others attempted to figure out how many votes they might win next time if they kept the illegal war going.

    It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
    There's a war going on
    So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
    And I'm writing a song about war
    And it goes
    Na na na na na na na
    I hate the war
    Na na na na na na na
    I hate the war
    Na na na na na na na
    I hate the war
    Oh oh oh oh
    -- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

    The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4489.

    The e-mail address for this site is

    Friday, October 18, 2013

    Iraq snapshot

    Friday, October 18, 2013.  Chaos and violence continue, ongoing protests in Iraq reach the ten month mark (where's the western press), Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi states he has evidence of Nouri al-Maliki's crimes against the Iraqi people, news of NSA whistle-blower Ed Snowden, and much more.

    Tareq al-Hashemi is one of Iraq's two vice presidents.  Sunni and a member of Iraqiya, he was targeted by Nouri in 2011 and has sought safety in the KRG and Turkey.  From yesterday's snapshot:

    Today, al-Hashemi was supposed to participate in a human rights conference in Brussells.  Nouri's State of Law went into a tizzy.  All Iraq News quotes State of Law MP Salman al-Musawi insisting, "The participation of the convicted Vice-President, Tariq al-Hashimi, in a Human Rights Conference held by the European Union violates the sovereignty of Iraq."  Then the outlet reports the Iraqi embassy bragged that they had forced the cancellation of a press conference today by Tareq al-Hashemi.  NINA notes:

    It is mentioned that a statement from the Office of Tareq al-Hashemi, who was sentenced to death in absentia, said he has arrived to Brussels yesterday afternoon , at the invitation of the EU.
    The statement added that al-Hashemi will attend today's formal meeting in the European Parliament, which will listen to his speech on the challenges facing Iraq. According to the statement.

    Today AFP reports the Vice President did hold a press conference and he declared, "My case is politically motivated and the charges are absolutely fabricated. Nevertheless, I now express my readiness to return to Baghdad immediately ... in (the case) the EU guarantees a fair trial."  Middle East Monitor quotes al-Hashemi also stating, "The chances of just litigation are non-existent in Iraq when Chief Justice Medhat Al-Mahmoud is clearly complicit with the Prime Minister's Office, thus distorting the image and reputation of Iraq both domestically and internationally."

    Even those who believe al-Hashemi is guilty have to, if they have any self-honesty, have to admit the Baghdad courts are a joke and Tareq was denied a fair trial.

    In France, where they kiss in the main street, Francois Hollande is president.  Can you picture any French court denying to allow Hollande to testify as a character witness in a trial?  No. But Iraqi President Jalal Talabani was denied by the Baghdad court when he attempted to offer testimony on behalf of Tareq.  Equally true, by 2010, it was obvious that the Baghdad courts were not independent and were ruling for Nouri and against the laws of Iraq (including the Constitution).  As Congress was repeatedly informed in the last years of the '00s, the graft and corruption in Iraq included the judicial system.

    The world looked the other way when  the Baghdad judges declared him guilty in February 2012 at their press conference and while one judge was stating that he had been threatened by al-Hashemi. Excuse me, that is wrong.  They reproduce what the judges said.  They failed to note the Iraqi Constitution -- which protects Tareq or anyone in office from being tried while they hold public office and which protects all with the belief of innocent until proven guilty.

    Reuters and the others couldn't be bothered with facts or the law.  They couldn't even raise the issue of a group of Bahgdad judges declaring a person guilty before a trial had even started.  They were so up the ass of Nouri that they treated this moment as normal.

    It was not normal.  Tareq was tried in absentia in a kangaroo court.  For those who've forgotten, al-Hashemi also asked that the trial be moved to another area of Iraq where Nouri did not control the judiciary.  That was refused.   Today Middle East Monitor reports:

    During the conference, Hashemi revealed documents and videos proving the involvement of Al-Maliki and his office in acts of torture and serious violations of human rights. He explained that: "most of the detainees are innocent while the real criminals are still free with the knowledge of the security services. The major proof is the continued collapse of security; the incidents, assassinations and sectarian displacement, all with the support of Al-Maliki's security services."

    In all the bad western media coverage of 2012, one lie after another was repeated as the 'indpendent' press conveyed Nouri al-Maliki's position like good little stenographers.  The steno pad, for example, was fond of repeating Nouri's lie that an arrest warrant was issued and then Tareq fled Baghdad.  Lie.  Dropping back to December 18, 2011:

    AFP reports, "Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi and several of his bodyguards were escorted off a plane at Baghdad airport on Sunday because two of the guards were wanted on 'terrorism charges,' officials said, the latest step in a deepening political crisis." Also on the plane was Saleh al-Mutlaq, Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister whom Nouri has asked Parliament to strip the powers of. al-Mutlaq was also forced off the plane. On today's All Things Considered (NPR), Kelly McEvers offered this take:

    Kelly McEvers: Here in Kuwait, just having crossed over the border, we have all these US commanders telling us that they're leaving Iraq in a better place, that it's a thriving democracy. Yet in Baghdad it looks like you have Prime Minister Maliki -- who is a Shi'ite and whose government is Shi'ite -- going after his rivals who are Sunnis. Just yesterday, charges were announced against the Vice President who is Sunni and troops surrounded his house. The Maliki government accuses him of being involved in a terrorist plot. But Maliki's detractors say this is sectarian revenge. So you know we've got these promises from US commanders that things are going really well but this kind of national reconciliation government looks like it's unraveling.

    Nizar Latif (The National) observes:

    Those moves have added to a fear among the prime minister's critics that he is seeking to eliminate rivals and consolidate power.Iraqiyya warned it would pull out of the coalition government unless Mr Al Maliki agreed to seek a solution that respects "democracy and civil institutions".
    "Iraq is now in a very difficult position. This is a critical time," said Eytab Al Douri, an MP with the Iraqiyya bloc. "If solutions are not found quickly, Iraq will be heading towards sectarian and ethnic divisions, and a return to civil war."

    The Baghdad authorities had Tareq.  They pulled him off the plane (and Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq as well), held him for a few hours and then led to proceed to the KRG.  The next day, December 19, 2011, they issued an arrest warrant.  From that day's snapshot:

    CNN reported this afternoon that an arrest warrant had been issued for Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi by the Judicial Commitee with the charge of terrorism.  Omar al-Saleh (Al Jazeera) terms it a "poltical crisis" and states, "The government says this has nothing to do with the US withdrawal, that this has nothing to do with the prime minister consolidating his grip on power.  However, members of al-Iraqiya bloc, which Hashimis is a member of, say 'No, [Maliki] is trying to be a dictator."  Sam Dagher (Wall St. Journal) observes, "The arrest warrant puts Mr. Maliki on a possible collision course with the Kurds, who run their own semiautonomous region in the north and participate in the central government but have longstanding disputes with Baghdad over oil and land; and with Sunni Arabs in provinces like Anbar, Diyala, Nineveh and Salahuddin who have pressed in recent weeks for more autonomy from Baghdad with the backing of the Kurds."

    Somehow, Nouri's the western press, aka Nouri's steno pool, turned that into "a warrant was issued for al-Hashemi who then fled."

    They were so eager to serve Nouri, they didn't even bother to get the timetable correct.

    So it's no surprise they also ignored Tareq al-Hashemi's conflict with Nouri.

    We didn't.

    Because the conflict was long standing.  Just as Nouri became prime minister in 2006, Tareq al-Hashemi became vice president the same year.

    They had many conflicts.  The most recurring conflict?  Over the abuse of Iraqis held in detention centers and prisons.  When  Ned Parker (the Los Angeles Times) and Human Rights Watch would reveal the secret prisons -- supervised by Nouri -- where torture took place, everyone would play dumb.  Except al-Hashemi who always had a public statement.  While prisons were otherwise ignored in Iraq, Tareq would announce he was going into one and taking press with him.  In other countries -- and this especially pissed Nouri and his State of Law off in 2010 -- Tareq's visits would include him discussing the abuse taking place in Iraqi prisons.  This was among the reasons, during the 8 month political stalemate of 2010 (Nouri had lost the parliamentary election but refused to step down as prime minister), State of Law was publicly denouncing Tareq and insisting he was not vice president (when he was and would be named to a second term in November of 2010).

    I don't doubt that Tareq al-Hashemi has proof of Nouri's crimes against the Iraqi people.  In part because Nouri's so stupid and so crooked.  But also because Tareq's always been sharper than Nouri.  In 2009, when Sunnis were being marginalized in the upcoming elections (as voters), Nouri felt he had a clean sweep at victory.  But that fall, Tareq used his Constitutional power to stop the bill Parliament had passed and to demand that Sunni refugees had the same voting rights of Shi'ite refugees and other Iraqi people.  Nouri was not pleased.

    But the steno pool couldn't -- or wouldn't -- tell you that.  They'd lie and type that he was the former vice president.  They could do that.  But he was never stripped of office.  (Failure to first strip him of office is why the verdicts against him have no legal standing.)  Nouri tried.  He spent months -- a little over five -- trying to have Tareq stripped of office and Saleh al-Mutlaq stripped of office as well.  He failed in both cases.  In May of 2012, Nouri dropped his efforts to have Saleh stripped of office and, at the same time, the trial of Tareq (in absentia) also took place.  The two events were related.  Even after the Baghdad judges pronounced Tareq guilty in Februrary 2012, the trial didn't start.  Because Nouri knew he had to first get Tareq stripped of office -- and was convinced he could.  The trial only started after he faced the reality that it wasn't happening -- not for Tareq, not for Saleh.  Then, in violation of the Constitution, the trial began.

    I know the press is largely stupid and rarely bother to look at the law.  But by the time Nouri was going after Tareq, even a lazy and ill-informed press should have known what's what.  In part because Nouri attempted to sue an MP only months before.  Sabah al-Saadi was the MP and his criticism of Nouri resulted in Nouri going crazy.   September 22, 2011, Nouri swore out an arrest warrant for al-Saadi. Let's drop back to the September 20, 2011 snapshot:

    Meanwhile Dar Addustour reports MP Sabah al-Saadi is stating there is no arrest warrant out against him and that the claims of one stem from Nouri al-Maliki attempting to cover up his own corruption and he states Nouri has deliberately kept the three security ministries vacant and he charges Nouri is willing "to sell Iraq to maintain his hold on power."  Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) observes, "The increasing violence is likely to be taken as a further sign of political gridlock in the Iraqi government, in particular the inability of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki to name permanent ministers for the key security posts 18 months after the March 2010 elections."

    So Sabah al-Saadi was arrested!


    As an MP, he had immunity.  The Constitution guarantees him that -- guarantees Nouri that.  Only while in office, but it exists.  And the western press never bothered to tell you that fact.  Though they were frequently able to repeatedly lie and insist that Tareq was a "former" vice president.  Tareq is Vice President he's never been stripped of office.

    December 2011, Nouri showed to the world his disrespect for the Constitution and his political rivals as he abused his office to target Nouri.  A year later, he underscored that point.  From the December 21, 2012 snapshot:

    In Iraq, it's seasonal tidings.  Yes, that time of the year when Nouri uncorks The Crazy.  How bad is it?  So bad that rumors attach War Criminal Henry Kissinger's name to the current crisis.   Or, with a take from a different angle,  conservative Max Boot (Commentary) proclaims, "Ho hum, another holiday season, another power grab by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki."  AFP says the new crisis "threatens to reignite a long-running feud between the secular, Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc" and Nouri and his State of Law political slate.  What the heck are we talking about?  Look at this Reuters photo (individual photographer is not credited by the news agency or we'd note him or her by name) of the thousands who turned out to protest in Falluja today demanding Nouri al-Maliki resign as prime minister.
    After morning prayers, Kitabat reports, protesters gathered in Falluja to protest the arrests and Nouri al-Maliki.  They chanted down with Nouri's brutality and, in a move that won't change their minds, found themselves descended upon by Nouri's forces who violently ended the protest.  Before that, Al Mada reports, they were chanting that terrorism and Nouri are two sides of the same coin.  Kitabat also reports that demonstrations also took place in Tikrit, Samarra, Ramdia and just outside Falluja with persons from various tribes choosing to block the road connecting Anbar Province (Falluja is the capitol of Anbar) with Baghdad.  Across Iraq, there were calls for Nouri to release the bodyguards of Minister of Finance Rafie al-Issawi.  Alsumaria notes demonstrators in Samarra accused Nouri of attempting to start a sectarian war.
    So what happened yesterday?  Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports:

    Iraq's Finance Minister Rafei al-Essawi said Thursday that "a militia force" raided his house, headquarters and ministry in Baghdad and kidnapped 150 people, and he holds the nation's prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, responsible for their safety.
     Members of the al-Essawi's staff and guards were among those kidnapped from the ministry Thursday, the finance minister said. He also said that his computers and documents were searched at his house and headquarters. He said the head of security was arrested Wednesday at a Baghdad checkpoint for unknown reasons and that now the compound has no security.

    Kitabat explains that these raids took place in the Green Zone, were carried out by the Iraqi military and that Nouri, yesterday evening, was insisting he knew nothing about them.    In another report, Tawfeeq quotes al-Essawi stating, "My message to the prime minister: You are a man who does not respect partnership at all, a man who does not respect the law and the constitution, and I personally hold you fully responsible for the safety of the kidnapped people."

    And those December 21, 2012 protests?  Though the western press ignores them, they continue non-stop to this day.  This was the ten month anniversary of the start of them but don't expect to discover that via AP or any other US outlet which seems to see it as a point of pride that they really don't care -- not even to report on Nouri's efforts to ensure that reporters don't cover the protests.  You don't need to read Arabic to grasp how Nouri's forces treat the press, just look at the photo to this Kitabat report.

    Embedded image permalink

    Iraqi Spring MC reports protests took place in Samarra (above),  Falluja, in Ramadi, in Tikrit, and in Rawah, among other places.  Other places?  How about the KRG?  Erbil found protesters blocking the road and insisting the government provide protection for the people.  Alsumaria reports that an estimated 300 protesters turned out in Erbil.   National Iraqi News Agency reports:

    Sheikh Mohammed Fayyad, one of the organizers of Anbar sit-ins ,said to NINA reporter : "The citizens participated in the prayers that held in the courtyard northern Ramadi and eastern Fallujah cities , stressing that the goal of this trickle is to send one again a message to the governing in Baghdad that our demonstrations are peaceful and backed by citizens deep conviction.

    Alsumaria reports that, at the Falluja protests, Younis al-Hamadani called for the government to disclose the status of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and that it is impossible to believe the Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki do not know Talabani's condition.  Last December,  Iraqi President Jalal Talabani suffered a stroke.   The incident took place late on December 17th (see the December 18th snapshot) and resulted in Jalal being admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital.    Thursday, December 20th, he was moved to Germany.  He remains in Germany currently.  al-Nujaifi has disclosed he attempted to meet with Talabani last spring on a trip to Germany but that Talabani's office refused to allow the meet-up to take place.  On the topic of al-Nujaifi, the White House issued the following yesterday:

    Readout of Vice President Biden's Call with Iraqi Council of Representatives Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi

    Vice President Biden spoke today with Iraqi Council of Representatives Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi. The two leaders discussed events in the region and efforts to bolster moderate forces against the terrorists and other extremists targeting innocent Iraqis. The Vice President expressed his sympathies to the families of those killed in these cowardly attacks.  He also pledged continuing U.S. support under the Strategic Framework Agreement to help Iraq bring the perpetrators of these atrocities to justice.  The Speaker also discussed the important issues pending before the Iraqi parliament, including the law to govern national elections in 2014.  The two leaders noted the recent resolution from the Iraqi parliament, stating that these elections should be held no later than April 30, 2014, and the Vice President urged all of Iraq’s leaders to work together to finalize the election law as soon as possible.

    Meanwhile Nouri's gearing up for his visit to the US. Alsumaria reports his visit will begin October 29th.  There are rumors of protests when Nouri meets with Barack on November 1st -- chiefly by the Ashraf community supporters who wear yellow when attending Congressional hearings.

    Back to today's protests in Iraq, The Association of Imams and Khateebs released a statement noting that Nouri al-Maliki's government has not responded to the demands of the protesters that the innocent prisoners and detainees be released.

    Cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr has publicly called for his supporters to be released from Iraqi prisons.  These are his followers who did not harm the Iraqi people but did resist foreign occupation.  They were long ago supposed to be released.  The Iraq Times reports that Nouri has 'responded' to Moqtada's call.  Earlier this week, the paper reports, Nouri's SWAT goons entered  Camp Cropper Prison in Baghdad and beat up, tortured and electrocuted prisoners associated with Moqtada.   On protests,  The Voice of Russia reports today:

    In August a number of individuals protesting in Nasiriyah and Baghdad were assaulted and detained by police. It followed reports that several provinces had refused to issue permits allowing people to protest. On 2 August Iraqi Security Forces in Baghdad are reported to have detained 13 people to prevent them from protesting against corruption and the deteriorating security situation in the country. Some of those detained also claim they were assaulted by security forces.
    The British Government said: "We share Human Rights Watch’s concerns about this incident, and the government of Iraq’s use of regulations which allow police to prevent peaceful protest. We are also concerned by reports that Iraqi Security Forces raided Baghdadiya TV station offices on 13 September".

    Al Rafidayn reports that, at the start of this week, KRG President Massoud Barzani declared he did not believe Iraq's political crisis could be resolved before the next parliamentary elections (which are supposed to take place April 30th) and he noted that some fear a civil war will break out before then.

    Turning to violence, yesterday's snapshot included NINA reporting 10 Baghdad car bombings left 13 people dead and eighty-seven injured. AFP reports today that the death toll for the Thursday Baghdad bombings increased to 44.  Through yesterday, Iraq Body Count counts 601 violent deaths so far this month.  The US Embassy in Baghdad issued the following today:

    U.S. Embassy Condemns Attacks During Eid al-Adha

    October 18, 2013
    The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad condemns in the strongest possible terms the cowardly attacks across Iraq on Thursday, including the targeting of the minority Shabak community in the village of Mwafaqiya. These attacks killed over 50 and injured dozens of innocent men, women, and children. The United States stands with the Iraqi people against this violence and continues to work with the government of Iraq to combat terrorism and to bring to justice those individuals responsible for these cowardly attacks.  Such violence against innocent civilians is always abhorrent, but is particularly reprehensible when inflicted on the occasion of Eid al Adha. We extend our sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wish for a full and speedy recovery to the injured. 

    On the violence,  NINA reports a Baghdad car bombing has left 12 people dead and twenty-three injured, a Tikrit bombing claimed 6 lives and left nineteen injured, and a Dour bombing claimed the life of 1 police officer and left three more injured.

    Yesterday in Iraq, violence targeted the Shabaks. This led to, All Iraq News notes, a protest in Nineveh Province demanding that security measures be taken.   Today the religious minority under attack was the Yezidis.  National Iraqi News Agency reports that 3 Yezidis were stabbed to death in Sinjar.

    In 2007, Sean Thomas (Daily Mail) noted the Yezidis "number between 400,00 and 800,000" globaly.  The Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International states:

    We Yezidis are an Ezidi speaking people who live principally in northern Iraq presently.  We number approximately 650,000 - 750,000 in Iraq; smaller populations live in Syria, and Turkey, Russia, Armenia, Georgia and  with more than 200,000 settled in other parts of the world especially Germany and other European countries such as the Netherlands, France, Denmark, Belgium, Austria; small communities live in USA, Canada, Australia, etc.  We Yezidis are mostly a poor and oppressed people in today’s world without basic human rights recognition and protection from the International Communities, but we have a very rich spiritual tradition that we contend is the world's oldest people.  Originally we Ezidis are from the heartland of Mesopotamia (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Iran) and also some live in India.  And about 900 years ago, we Yezidis also were living in Afghanistan (Kandahar), Yemen (Sinjar), Tunis, Morocco and Algeria, but unfortunately due to Islamic extremists and fanatics’ attacks against us, the Yezidi people were totally annihilated in those regions.  Well before this time, as far back as 4000 B.C., we Yezidis were living in the Middle East and playing an important role in the Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, and Jewish civilizations. Today, we (the Yezidis) have the oldest religion in the world, contending that the truth of this is reflected in the antiquity of our calendar.  We can trace back our religious calendar 6760 years, thus making 2010 Calendar Era (CE), the Yezidis year of 6760.  In relation to some of the other major religions, our Yezidi Calendar is 4,750 years older than the Christian or Gregorian calendar, 990 years older than the Jewish calendar, and it is 5329 years older than the Muslim Calendar. In the past 20 years to present, especially since the internet has become the easiest way to find information regarding whatever a person wishes to search for.  We have seen that more than 99% of the writers accusing the innocent Yezidi as devil worshipers, this is absolutely pure fiction.  During the Saddam’s era, the Yezidis were misclassified as Arab in ethnicity by his political force.  Although Saddam has gone, but the KRG (Real Dictators) has come to power in Northern Iraq since 1991, and they also are forcing the innocent Yezidis to be misclassified as Kurdish; again this time under KRG’s brutal and dictatorial system. All these are misleading, untruth, and pure fiction information about the innocent Yezidis (Ezdae). 

    Stuart Stevenson is the president of the European Parliment's Iraq delegation.  Last week, he wrote (The Hill) about the vast number of groups targeted and at risk in Iraq:

    The Syrian conflict raging on the borders of Iraq has poured petrol on the flames. In Iraqi Kurdistan, one of the few havens of peace in the country, terrorists have infiltrated groups of refugees fleeing to safety, setting off a series of bombs in the Kurdish capital Erbil some days ago that killed six people and injured dozens, the first terrorist attack in six years. Kurdistan is now swarming with refugees, not only from Syria but from the rest of Iraq, where ethnic minorities as well as minority women and LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex) individuals are daily at risk from targeted violence, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, harassment, intimidation, displacement, political disenfranchisement and social and economic marginalization. 
    The many ethnic groups who for generations lived in peaceful harmony side by side with the majority Shia and Sunni communities now suffer systematic abuse. Despite being guaranteed safety and security in a multi-faith society enshrined by the Iraqi Constitution, the reality is much different. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a puppet of neighboring Iran and its hard-line mullahs, has become increasingly sectarian, ruthlessly removing all Sunni politicians from influential government positions and cracking down hard on dissent. The predictable Sunni backlash has unleashed a storm of violence, directed not only at the Shiite community but inevitably targeting ethnic minorities.
    The Christian population of Iraq, once estimated at more than 1.5 million, is now down to less than half that figure, with many Christians fleeing abroad or to Kurdistan for safety. Soon, some people think that one of the oldest Christian communities in the world may become extinct. But they are not the only minority facing ethnic cleansing. There are only around 3,500 Mandean-Sabeans left from a previous population estimated at 70,000 a mere 10 years ago. Iraq’s Jews have suffered extreme persecution since the 1950s and now there are now only an estimated 10 individuals left living in the country from an original population of more than 150,000, although it is reckoned that many others may be in hiding, literally practicing their faith in secret in the privacy of their homes.
    Other ethnic groups like the Turkmen, Baha’i, Shabak and Yezidi minorities all suffer discrimination, despite their rights being guaranteed in the Constitution. The black Iraqis, an ancient community of African slave descent, are regarded as inferior by many of their Arab neighbors and live as almost total outcasts, mostly in Southern Iraq, where -- despite numbering around 2 million -- they are denied identity documents, marriage certificates or even access to basic education for their children, and live in abject poverty.

    Around the world, countries have often had wonderful sounding documents that outlined rights but were, in fact, not practiced.  As the illegal spying scandal has made clear US President Barack Obama -- 'the Constitutional law professor' -- declared the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution null and void, Americans are beginning to see how different the written law and that actually practiced by the government can be.

    Turning to today's press briefing at the State Dept by spokesperson Jen Psaki:

    QUESTION: The New York Times piece on Snowden today makes reference to his claims that while in Hong Kong, before going to Russia, he transferred information to other journalists at that time. We do know, of course, that the Consulate and whatnot had been alerted, and I’m wondering if there’s any information as to what the State Department had done at that time, whether there’d been any outreach to these journalists who allegedly received this information from him.

    MS. PSAKI: I just don’t have any new information. Obviously, as you all know, we work with journalists frequently when they’re reporting on stories, but in terms of what the statements were in The New York Times and the accuracy of those, I don’t have anything new for you on that.

    QUESTION: But was there – was there any outreach by the Consulate in Hong Kong at that time to make contact with those journalists?

    MS. PSAKI: I’d have to check on that. I’m happy to do that for you .

    What's being discussed?  Kind-of-sort-of today's front page of today's New York Times has an article by James Risen on NSA whistle-blower Ed Snowden.  Risen interviewed Ed online, over several days.  Risen reports:

     He argued that he had helped American national security by prompting a badly needed public debate about the scope of the intelligence effort. “The secret continuance of these programs represents a far greater danger than their disclosure,” he said. He added that he had been more concerned that Americans had not been told about the N.S.A.’s reach than he was about any specific surveillance operation.
    “So long as there’s broad support amongst a people, it can be argued there’s a level of legitimacy even to the most invasive and morally wrong program, as it was an informed and willing decision,” he said. “However, programs that are implemented in secret, out of public oversight, lack that legitimacy, and that’s a problem. It also represents a dangerous normalization of ‘governing in the dark,’ where decisions with enormous public impact occur without any public input.”         

    In the interview, he speaks of a climate of fear and intimidation at the NSA.  He explains that going through channels does not work -- through the examples of what was done to Thomas Drake as well as a minor spat he had with a supervisor when he (Ed) identified a flaw in the CIA software.  In 2009, while removing items that were not supposed to be on a computer, he came across an IG report on the NSA's illegal spying under Bully Boy Bush and discovered how pervasive and illegal the spying was.  He tells Risen he realized, "If the highest officials in government can break the law without fearing punishment or even any repercussions at all, secret powers become tremendously dangerous."

    Somehow this was missed by the press at today's briefing and in the 'reporting' by  the BBC, AP,  and Michael Winter (USA Today).   We'll close with two Tweets from YourAnonNews:

  • Why Is Preventing The Release Of The Senate Torture Report?
  • Head of NSA's Snowden task force will be next deputy director

  • John Michael McGrath is "angry"

    Today, Random House publishes (blog) more nonsense from John Michel McGrath and a friend tries to get a link.  It'll get a link for the RH friend and for the title "The Iraq War Will Never End." Otherwise, I'm so sick of little liars and little revisionists and I don't give a damn if they're lying for the right, the left or the center.

  • Are you angry, Johnny?  Are you?  I'm enraged and I'm enraged by liars like you.

    Yes, the Iraq War continues.  He got that right.  Little else.

    He's really using Iraq to slam Republicans for the shutdown.

    Excuse me, the US government shutdown.

    Why is Mr. Canada so damn obsessed with a country that's not his own?  What, he can't find any more drug addicted mayors in Canada to try to make a name for himself with?

    What a proud moment for him and for his tabloid journalism.

    What pisses me off most about his useless column?

    How about if you're noting that the Iraq War won't ever end, you take a moment to note US troops remain in Iraq?  Maybe you even link to Tim Arango's (New York Times) September 2012 report:

    Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to General Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence.        

    Get it?

    If you're claiming "The Iraq War Will Never End," seems like you'd really need to back that claim up.  But Johnny just cites the violence.  You know what a lot of us made that point in early 2012.  So you're basically lazy, stupid and late to the party.

    While ignoring that reality, Johnny wants to create a new one:

    Lamentably and shamefully, though, Republicans had a lot of ideological support in the centre of the political spectrum for their grand misadventure in the Land of Two Rivers.

    That's called revisionary history.

    The  "Authorization For Use Of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution Of 2002"?

    That bill didn't become a law because of Republicans.  They didn't have the votes to do it alone.  In fact, the House bill sponsored by Dennis Hastert had 136 co-sponsors which included many Democrats:

    Rep Ackerman, Gary L. [NY-5] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Akin, W. Todd [MO-2] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Andrews, Robert E. [NJ-1] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Armey, Richard K. [TX-26] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Bachus, Spencer [AL-6] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Ballenger, Cass [NC-10] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Barton, Joe [TX-6] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Berman, Howard L. [CA-26] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Biggert, Judy [IL-13] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Blunt, Roy [MO-7] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Boehner, John A. [OH-8] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Boozman, John [AR-3] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Brady, Kevin [TX-8] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Brown, Henry E., Jr. [SC-1] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Burton, Dan [IN-6] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-5] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Callahan, Sonny [AL-1] - 10/9/2002
    Rep Calvert, Ken [CA-43] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Cannon, Chris [UT-3] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Cantor, Eric [VA-7] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Chambliss, Saxby [GA-8] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Collins, Mac [GA-3] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Combest, Larry [TX-19] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Cox, Christopher [CA-47] - 10/9/2002
    Rep Cramer, Robert E. (Bud), Jr. [AL-5] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Crenshaw, Ander [FL-4] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Cubin, Barbara [WY] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Culberson, John Abney [TX-7] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Cunningham, Randy (Duke) [CA-51] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Davis, Jo Ann [VA-1] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Davis, Tom [VA-11] - 10/8/2002
    Rep DeLay, Tom [TX-22] - 10/8/2002
    Rep DeMint, Jim [SC-4] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Deutsch, Peter [FL-20] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Dooley, Calvin M. [CA-20] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Doolittle, John T. [CA-4] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Dreier, David [CA-28] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Dunn, Jennifer [WA-8] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Edwards, Chet [TX-11] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Everett, Terry [AL-2] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Faleomavaega, Eni F. H. [AS] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Ferguson, Mike [NJ-7] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Flake, Jeff [AZ-1] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Fletcher, Ernie [KY-6] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Ford, Harold E., Jr. [TN-9] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Fossella, Vito [NY-13] - 10/9/2002
    Rep Frost, Martin [TX-24] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Gallegly, Elton [CA-23] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Ganske, Greg [IA-4] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Gephardt, Richard A. [MO-3] - 10/2/2002
    Rep Gibbons, Jim [NV-2] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Gilchrest, Wayne T. [MD-1] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Gillmor, Paul E. [OH-5] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Gilman, Benjamin A. [NY-20] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Graham, Lindsey [SC-3] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Grucci, Felix J., Jr. [NY-1] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Hall, Ralph M. [TX-4] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Hansen, James V. [UT-1] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Hart, Melissa A. [PA-4] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Hayworth, J. D. [AZ-6] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Hefley, Joel [CO-5] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Hilleary, Van [TN-4] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Holden, Tim [PA-6] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Horn, Stephen [CA-38] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Hyde, Henry J. [IL-6] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Israel, Steve [NY-2] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Issa, Darrell E. [CA-48] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Jenkins, William L. [TN-1] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Johnson, Sam [TX-3] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Keller, Ric [FL-8] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Kerns, Brian D. [IN-7] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Kingston, Jack [GA-1] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Kirk, Mark Steven [IL-10] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Knollenberg, Joe [MI-11] - 10/9/2002
    Rep Kolbe, Jim [AZ-5] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Lantos, Tom [CA-12] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Lewis, Jerry [CA-40] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Linder, John [GA-11] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Lucas, Ken [KY-4] - 10/8/2002
    Rep McCrery, Jim [LA-4] - 10/8/2002
    Rep McHugh, John M. [NY-24] - 10/8/2002
    Rep McInnis, Scott [CO-3] - 10/8/2002
    Rep McKeon, Howard P. "Buck" [CA-25] - 10/8/2002
    Rep McNulty, Michael R. [NY-21] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Miller, Dan [FL-13] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Miller, Gary G. [CA-41] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Miller, Jeff [FL-1] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Myrick, Sue Wilkins [NC-9] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Ney, Robert W. [OH-18] - 10/9/2002
    Rep Northup, Anne M. [KY-3] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Osborne, Tom [NE-3] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Oxley, Michael G. [OH-4] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Pence, Mike [IN-2] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Peterson, John E. [PA-5] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Phelps, David D. [IL-19] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Pickering, Charles W. "Chip" [MS-3] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Pitts, Joseph R. [PA-16] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Platts, Todd Russell [PA-19] - 10/9/2002
    Rep Pombo, Richard W. [CA-11] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Portman, Rob [OH-2] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Pryce, Deborah [OH-15] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Putnam, Adam H. [FL-12] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Radanovich, George [CA-19] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Riley, Bob [AL-3] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Roemer, Tim [IN-3] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Rohrabacher, Dana [CA-45] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana [FL-18] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Ross, Mike [AR-4] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Roukema, Marge [NJ-5] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Royce, Edward R. [CA-39] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Ryun, Jim [KS-2] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Sandlin, Max [TX-1] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Saxton, Jim [NJ-3] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Schrock, Edward L. [VA-2] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Sessions, Pete [TX-5] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Shadegg, John B. [AZ-4] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Shays, Christopher [CT-4] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Shuster, Bill [PA-9] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Simpson, Michael K. [ID-2] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Skeen, Joe [NM-2] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Smith, Christopher H. [NJ-4] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Smith, Nick [MI-7] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Stenholm, Charles W. [TX-17] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Stump, Bob [AZ-3] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Sweeney, John E. [NY-22] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Tancredo, Thomas G. [CO-6] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Thornberry, Mac [TX-13] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Thune, John R. [SD] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Turner, Jim [TX-2] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Vitter, David [LA-1] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Watts, J. C., Jr. [OK-4] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Weldon, Dave [FL-15] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Wicker, Roger F. [MS-1] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Wilson, Joe [SC-2] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Young, C. W. Bill [FL-10] - 10/8/2002
    Rep Young, Don [AK] - 10/8/2002

    Those were the co-sponsors.  Yes, Democrat Gary Ackerman would become a loud opponent of the illegal war, for example. But in real time, when it mattered, he co-sponsored that amendment as did several other Democrats like Dick Gephart and Harold Ford.

    81 Democrats in the House would go on to vote for it (126 against it).  It then went to the Senate where 21 Democrats, 1 Republican and 1 Independent voted against it:

    NAYs ---23
    Akaka (D-HI)
    Bingaman (D-NM)
    Boxer (D-CA)
    Byrd (D-WV)
    Chafee (R-RI)
    Conrad (D-ND)
    Corzine (D-NJ)
    Dayton (D-MN)
    Durbin (D-IL)
    Feingold (D-WI)
    Graham (D-FL)
    Inouye (D-HI)
    Jeffords (I-VT)
    Kennedy (D-MA)
    Leahy (D-VT)
    Levin (D-MI)
    Mikulski (D-MD)
    Murray (D-WA)
    Reed (D-RI)
    Sarbanes (D-MD)
    Stabenow (D-MI)
    Wellstone (D-MN)
    Wyden (D-OR)

    See there, Dems were against it!

    No, they weren't.  Democrats controlled the Senate at the time.  It had been 50-50 with Republican Trent Lott as Senate Majority Leader but Jim Jeffords left the Republican Party and called himself an Independent and began caucusing with Dems in June 2001 making Democrat Tom Daschle Senate Majority Leader.  That meant Dems had 51 votes (counting Jeffords).  Only 22 of the 51 (less than half) voted against the authorization for war.  (Republican Lincoln Chafee voted against the authorization, see list above.)

    Dashle could have prevented the vote.

    That's what Harry Reid did.  Remember when Nancy Pelosi, then House Majority Leader, declared that she does her part, she keeps getting bills passed to try to end the war but Reid won't get the votes for them in the Senate.

    Democrats controlled the Senate and could have buried the bill there.

    They didn't.  There's blood on their hands as surely as it's on the hands of Republican members of Congress.

    So spare the nonsense, Johnny Canada, about how the Iraq War is the fault of Republicans.

    Maybe if Johnny Canada focused on his own country instead of trying to rewrite history to benefit US Democrats or to cover for US President Barack Obama, maybe then Conservative Stephen Harper wouldn't be Prime Minister?  He's been that since 2006.  When do these Canadian liberals plan to get off their asses, stop running defense for US Democrats and start taking back their own country?   Canada likes to pretend its liberal but its allowed conservatives to control the country for seven years now.  And it's shamefully allowed Iraq War resisters to be handed over to the US government and thrown behind bars.

    Is Johnny Canada angry about the Iraq War?

    I can't tell it from his bad Random House blog post which just notes some violence in Iraq while leading with an attack on Republicans over the shutdown of the (US) government.

    Maybe Johnny Canada was actually doing the best journalism he could when he was going around covering a mayor's drug habit?

    How sad if that garbage can digging was the height of his career.  John Michael McGrath, the world's finest dumpster diver.

    Rebecca's "the ridiculous mia farrow" went up last night (but isn't showing up on the links) and the following community posts -- plus Jody Watley, Adam Kokesh,, Pacifica Evening News and Tavis Smiley -- went up last night or this morning:

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