Saturday, April 12, 2014

I Hate The War

Does it matter?

I ask that question repeatedly every day.  In fact, these days, more and more.

I don't care if we're 'borrowed' from.  That's pretty much why we're here so borrow freely.  (I do care when you borrow but credit it to another outlet.)

Tony Blair's would-be-lover at the Independent was playing the fool again yesterday.  I was desperately scrambling for a snapshot last night (in case you didn't notice) and I knew I could get eight or more paragraphs out of the idiot's nonsense and that I could pull from September 20, 2005 to really show what an idiot he was.

But did it warrant that or was I just wanting to fill out a snapshot quickly?

Does it matter?

I decided "no" it did not matter and we ignored his nonsense.

Does it matter?

I ask it with regards to topics in the news.  We have way too much each day to try to squeeze in so it becomes an issue of what has to go in.

There is so little Iraq coverage from US outlets -- both news outlets and left outlets.

So I sit here staring at Eric Zuesse's embarrassing nonsense at OpEd News entitled "President Obama Will Decide Whether to Accept Iraq's Legalizing Rape of Children."

It's so stupid in the extreme.

Does it matter?

Yeah, it matters enough to be called out.  Last March we spent the bulk of the month writing about the proposed law regarding marrying off girls as young as nine (or, it turns out eight), stripping wives of their right of consent to sex, stripping custodial rights away from mothers, etc.

And I think I would have called out Zuesse's column even if it had been published March 10th.

It's filled with one mistake after another (yet supposedly had something corrected shortly after it went up -- boggles the mind to think it could have been even more wrong than it currently is).

On Tuesday, April 8th, Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki's Shiite-led Iraqi Government placed before his Parliament a bill, strongly supported by Iraqi men, and approved by the governing coalition of Shiites and Sunnis, which will allow men to rape girls even in forced marriages (Iraqi law already allows forced marriages), and which will allow men to divorce any wife who is above the age of 9. 

Well, no, it wasn't this month.  Though protests took place at the start of last month, the bill wasn't even introduced last month.   There's a section in the above that we'll come back to.

Right now let's move to this section:

There also are problems in Iraq regarding the rights of homosexuals. On 14 December 2013, the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq bannered "Campaign of Iraqi Gay Killings by Smashing Skulls with Concrete Blocks," and opened: "New barbaric attacks started against the Iraqi lgbt in many cities like Baghdad and Basra while using inhumane methods such as hitting the head and body parts of gay victims with building concrete blocks repeatedly till death or by pushing them over high building roof which took place in Basra city. The actions of killings, torture, and dismembering against those who were described as 'adulterous' by Islamic Shia militias, besides hanging lists on the walls of several sections in Al-Sadr city and in Al-Habibea region, had all terrorized the society at large and especially the Iraqi lgbt community."

My mouth dropped when I read that and I felt like I'd wasted every day since December 14th because we defend Iraq's LGBT community and I had said one word about these new attacks -- which sounded so much like the 2012 attacks.

So I click on the link.

It's the 2012 attacks.  For whatever reason, OWFI did post it December 14, 2013 but if you scroll to the bottom, you'll see it's a March 1, 2012 piece ("1\3\2012").

So, to be clear, the LGBT attack above is from March 2012.

I kind of get the feeling that it will be huge news to Zuesse because he doesn't appear to have paid much attention to Iraq.  He's one of the useless bitches, in fact, who can call out Bully Boy Bush for Iraq but not call out 'blessed Barack.'

At some point, someone's going to serve the tainted Kool-Aid to the last remaining members of the Cult of St. Barack and you won't catch me sobbing when that day comes.

Iraq's current crises all stem from the US government interfering in Iraq.  That's not under Bully Boy Bush.  That's under Barack.

In 2010, Nouri lost the elections and was supposed to step down as prime minister.  The White House wasn't going to stand for that so they ignored the will of the people, they ignored the principles of democracy and they overrode the Iraqi Constitution with The Erbil Agreement -- that's what gave Nouri his second term.

I'm sick of all the lying, useless people who keep trying to find a way to word it so that the US government isn't involved.  Go the archives, go to November 10, 2010 and go one week forward.  You will see exactly what happened.

I'm sorry that you're a useless piece of trash that thinks you can rewrite the public record.

It wasn't Iran -- much to Brookings disappointment.  It was the US, it was Barack.  You'll see the first session of Parliament -- finally, after eight months of no sessions.  You'll see Nouri use The Erbil Agreement to be named prime minister-designate and then immediately announce that he'll have to put the contract on hold until later.  You'll see Ayad Allawi walk out of the session.  You'll see Barack personally call Allawi to get him to go back in.

Barack told him The Erbil Agreement would be followed.

To get what Barack wanted (a second term for Nouri), the contract had to include things that the other political blocs wanted. And this is what Nouri put on hold, the promises he'd agreed to.

And he never implemented those promises.

First, he put them on hold, then he spent four years ignoring them while Barack played dumb and pretended like he'd never said The Erbil Agreement had the full backing of the White House.

None of that's on Bully Boy Bush.

BBB is a War Criminal.  Hold him accountable for what he did.  But Barack's accountable for Barack's actions.

No one wanted to speak up in the US (we did) when this went down in 2010, when the Iraqi people discovered that "democracy" really means: You're vote doesn't matter and the White House will pick your leader for you.

So this is on Barack's hands but it's also an indictment of the useless US media which stood by while this took place.

Girls, Zuesse tells us, are going to be raped.


No, all wives, regardless of age, would lose the right to consent to sex.  (There's a lying myth going around right now -- whorish press can't call it out as usual -- that this would only apply to the Shi'ites.  No, it really wouldn't.  By the letter of the law, yes.  By custom?  No.)

So why is Zuesse up in arms about 9-year-olds only?

Zeusse wrongly argues in his factually challenged and offensive piece that if Barack stops supplying weapons to Nouri (a) Iraq will fall to al Qaeda and/or (b) US troops will go back in.

US troops are in but I'm tired of spoon feeding on that.

Iraq's not going to fall to al Qaeda.

al Qaeda is a catch-all used by the press and wrongly used.  The White House finally agreed with us on that with regards to their own image.  Self-interest can be a great motivator for the government.

What is termed 'al-Qaeda' in Iraq is actually a group of bodies.  Their only common issue at present is opposting to Nouri's rule.

Want to break them up right now?  Pay attention, Barack -- remove Nouri from power.

That requires no troops.  It only requires an honest election (as took place in 2010) and that the results be honored (which did not happen).

If Nouri is not prime minister for a third term, you're going to see the bond that binds the various groups break away.

Violence, once another person is named prime minister-designate, could actually fall as a result.

Let's pretend for a moment that this coalition of interests managed to overthrow a government and take over -- as a fretful Zuesse feels is possible.

If it did happen -- big if -- it wouldn't last.  There are too many people at crosspurposes -- both in the larger Iraq and within the current coalition engaging in armed struggle.

Domestically, I focused on elections when I was a poli sci major.  Internationally, I focused on revolutions and rebellions.  I know what I'm talking about here.

The idiot is the White House which has failed to realize, you eliminate Nouri and you will eliminate the current armed opposition.

And eliminating Nouri doesn't require a bomb or a gun.

It just requires honesty.

That maybe means that, at a State Dept press briefing, Marie Harf takes a question on the increased violence in Iraq over the last years and she notes, in her response, that the increase took place as Nouri refused to nominate people to head the security ministries.

That point then gets picked up by the press -- a press that's ignored this in the US with the exceptions of Mohammed Tawfeeq at CNN and Laith Hammoudi when he was still with McClatchy Newspapers.

They don't have to reveal secrets (though they could do that as well), they just need to note the facts that are already but not being covered.

So Jay Carney, for example, declares at a White House press briefing, "Nouri al-Maliki promised to abide by the contract known as The Erbil Agreement and then broke his promise.  I think that sends a message that he is not someone who keeps his word."

With the administration making remarks like that, the press would have to stop their rush to crown Nouri to a third term -- before a single vote's been cast -- and instead provide an honest accounting of Nouri's actions in his second term.

But back to Zuesse's nonsense.

The choices are arm a tyrant or put US troops on the ground?

That constitutes the full range of choices in an adult world?

Is Zeusse even aware of US law or the Leahy Amendment?

And while the proposed bill is offensive, it's not yet passed.  It needs to be loudly decried so that it does not pass.

However, right now, human rights abuses are taking place, War Crimes are taking place.  Is it going to take three or four years before Zuesse and company leave their comfort zones and call out Nouri's bombing of civilians neighborhoods in Falluja?

These are War Crimes.

There is no ambiguity here.  There is nothing left to interpretation.

As defined in Geneva, these are War Crimes.

And they take place every day.

Does it matter?

You damn well better believe it does.  Each day brings news of more civilians killed and wounded in Anbar by the Iraqi military Nouri commands.  These are War Crimes.  He's targeting civilians and doing so in what is termed "collective punishment" which is legally defined as War Crimes.

At what point is Zuesse going to call them out?

After Barack's out of office when it won't make a damn bit of difference?

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.

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