Monday, January 09, 2017

Iraq snapshot

January 9, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, the Mosul slog continues, though Hayder al-Abadi swears it is in the "final stage," Meryl Streep gets partisan and some mistake it for political, and more.

Let's start with a basic learning exercise because a lot of fools don't seem to know what happened.

Meryl Streep did not go "political" at the Golden Globes.

At the Academy Awards many years ago, you had a group led by Frank Sinatra and a group led by Shirley MacLaine -- both went political.  Shirley was right, Frank was wrong.

The issue was Vietnam.

Shirley was against the war and I agreed with that stance but that's not why she was right.

She was right because a winner had gone political and there was no need to comment on it in the ceremonies.

Bert Schneider, accepting his award for HEARTS & MINDS, made comments and Frank and Bob Hope and a few others were outraged, composed a letter supposedly on behalf of the Academy and
read it on air.

It did not speak for the Academy nor were Frank and Bob Hope supposed to speak on behalf of the Academy.

They were wrong, Shirley was right.

Bert went political.

Meryl Streep, on yesterday's Golden Globes, did not go political.

She went partisan.

There is a difference.

The studios understand there's a difference and you didn't catch the suits applauding Meryl's stupidity last night.

The industry is under attack.

Meryl didn't touch on that.  Might have hurt her own career to do so.

But the industry is under attack.

Where are the new stars?

Jennifer Lawrence is not a star and the role that made her famous already saw erosion with each chapter of the HUNGER GAMES.  And the doe eyed novice really isn't an archetype you can age through as a woman.

Movies are under attack and Ridley Scott and a few other brave voices are pointing this out.

The top ten films of last year are a disaster.

There's nothing wrong with superheroes and video games except when we mistake them for self-representations.

There is no art to playing, for example, Superman (though Christopher Reeve gave it grace).

There is no real art in these films.

There is escapism and there's always been the place for that in films, especially in the old time serials.

But there's not any real attempt to make films that say anything currently.

It's super heroes, video games and end of times.

If you don't realize what a threat that is to acting, then you're not very smart.

Meryl could have spoken about that.

She could have noted how all the villains were men in the superhero films of the last ten or so years.  She could have noted how it creates a (stupid) role for a Bob Redford but nothing for a woman of similar age.

She could have talked about the industry and probably should have since she was being handed (she didn't win -- it wasn't a competitive award) a lifetime award.

Instead, she elected to go partisan.

About a November election.

'Wait-wait, she defended a reporter!"

A reporter was mocked.  Not only is that not the end of the world, it's also not anything she should be talking about since she never called out her co-star Alec Baldwin for any of his caught on video attacks of reporters -- including the man he called a fa**ot and a c**ksucker.

By calling out Donald for that, she opened herself up for charges of hypocrisy.

She also mocked The Committee To Protect Journalists when she did that because she mentioned them and, guess what college drama major, mockery isn't what the CPJ is focusing on.

There are real issues -- like kidnapping reporters, like arresting them, like killing them.

And Meryl, who never called out pal Alec Baldwin, wants to equate crude (and disgusting) mockery with the real hazards journalists can face?

What a self-indulgent idiot.

Sounding as though she'd swallowed every pill in her handbag all at once, she also wanted the world to know that without actors, they'd be left with nothing but football and mixed martial arts.  Excuse me it wasn't actors, it was "outsiders and foreigners."

Let's start with football because I can't stand it.

I've never liked it, I never will.

But a lot of people do. I'm glad of that each Superbowl because I can go see movies at theaters without being bothered.

But although I don't care for football, I'm failing to see how removing "outsiders and foreigners" -- who's actually proposed that? no one -- wouldn't effect football or mixed martial arts.

Kenji Oguso.  Does Meryl believe that MMA champion is from the United States?

Or Yuichi Watanabe?

There would be nothing more stupid than me giving a speech on football -- or even referencing the sport in a speech -- except for Meryl Streep doing the same.

She doesn't know what the hell she's talking about and appears to be suffering from some failed high school experiment years later in her need to attack football.

Meryl was partisan.

The nation doesn't need it.

Tracee Ellis Ross was neither partisan nor political.  She affirmed dignity in her speech.  Nothing wrong with her remarks.

Hugh Laurie?

I have no idea why a British citizen accepting an award in the United States feels anyone needs him to weigh in on an American political party.

Which brings us back to the problem of partisan.

"Disrespect invites disrespect," Meryl insisted.

Failing to grasp that her speech disrespected half of American voters with her lewd and insane thoughts on what Republicans are or what they believe in.

Did she wonder about that for even a moment?

Did she take a second to think of some 11-year-old boy or girl watching, with a  Republican family, and how her nonsense might have disrespected that child?

No, of course not.

Because the highly overpraised Meryl Streep is a failure as a human being.

Reason enough never to award her with another lifetime award.

If Meryl wanted to be political, she could have talked about Iraq.

Or even the Iraqi journalist who was kidnapped (and who was freed last week).

But that would have required knowledge and being informed.

That also would have required calling out a war that Barack has presided over for two terms now and partisans ignore Barack's crimes and disgraces.

Meanwhile, BBC NEWS insists the liberation or 'liberation' of Mosul is "gaining momentum."  Well good.  After 85 days, it's about time, right?  Yesterday, PRESS TV notes, prime minister Hayder al-Abadi insisted the operation was in its "final phase."

Iraq's previous prime minister was thug Nouri al-Maliki who did so much to persecute so many in Iraq.  Former parliamentarian to the European Council Struan Stevenson (UPI) offers this take:

Despite repeated warnings, Obama began his administration by capitulating to Iranian demands to back the corrupt and murderous Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister in Iraq. Maliki was a puppet of the mullahs, doing their bidding by opening a direct route for Iranian troops and equipment heading to Syria to bolster the murderous Assad regime. Iran's support for Maliki in Iraq and for Assad in Syria, two corrupt dictators who repressed and brutalized their own people, resulted in the rise of [the Islamic State], also known as the Islamic State.Thanks to U.S. acquiescence over Tehran, [the Islamic State] grew and became a threat to the whole world.

Obama compounded this grievous mistake by providing American military support and air cover for the genocidal campaign being waged by pro-Iranian Shi'ia militias in Iraq.  Once again Iran exploited its role in ousting [the Islamic State] as a means for implementing its ruthless policy of ethnic cleansing to annihilate the Sunnis in Iraq's al-Anbar Province. Horrific sectarian atrocities were committed during the so-called "liberation" of the ancient cities of Fallujah and Ramadi. The Shi'ia militias, who formed the main part of the force fighting to recapture these cities from [the Islamic State] and are now engaged in the battle to recapture Mosul, are led by Gen. Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian terrorist Quds Force. Soleimani has also played a key role in Syria and the massacre in Aleppo.

Nouri also persecuted the "Awakeings" (also known as Sahwa and the Sons and Daughters of Iraq).  Abdulrahman al-Rashed (AL ARABIYA) notes how the militias (Popular Mobilization forces) are not the same as Sahwa:

International organizations’ warnings of the Popular Mobilization militias have brought the latter into the picture again depicting it as a dangerous organization.

There is also a distortion campaign that aims to mislead the world about the Popular Mobilization militias’ legitimacy by comparing it with other groups, such as the Sahwat and Peshmerga.

During the last few years the Americans spent in Iraq, the military command formed a group of Sunni tribes consisting of Anbar citizens.

The aim was to get rid of the terrorist al-Qaeda organization after the Americans failed. At the time, CIA officials were quoted in the New York Times as saying that Anbar was a hopeless situation as the situation in west of Iraq has completely gone out of control. A force called ‘Sahwat’ was formed and it was ridiculed considering that all people in the governorate were suspects and that al-Qaeda - particularly the most dangerous branch which Abu Musab al-Zarqawi formed and which we call ISIS today - has reached the peak of its influence. This al-Qaeda branch killed the Sahwat leader and fierce battles erupted and ended two years later after eliminating the terrorists.

Back then, Nouri al-Maliki’s government objected to forming a sectarian tribal power because the Sahwat were Sunni and they feared they will turn into an armed force that opposes the central authority.  

In the end, the Sahwat were disbanded by suspending financial appropriations and integrating a small number of them within the armed forces.

Theoretically, worry of a parallel force was justified in a country that was still suffering from a disturbed situation. However, on ground, the tribal Sahwat were eliminated and were not replaced by an armed governmental force to protect the west of Iraq. The result was that al-Qaeda returned and it controlled several areas, displaced thousands and murdered many.

Maliki’s failure to compensate for the Sahwat brought back the cancer of terrorist groups which besieged Baghdad’s surroundings and seized Mosul, Baiji and other areas. This is a summary of the Sahwat. 

The not-so-great Meryl had nothing to say about any of the above -- not in real time, not since.

She has nothing to say about anything political but if she can be partisan, she will be.

The Democratic Party is a joke because it used Iraq to drive up voter turnout but it refused to address Iraq.

The Iraq War was supposed to end via the 2006 mid-term elections.

Nancy Pelosi swore that giving the Democratic Party just one house of Congress would end the Iraq War.

The American people gave them both houses of Congress.

The Iraq War did not end.

Two years later, Barack Obama campaigned on the promise that the first thing he would do is end the Iraq War.

Two terms later, Barack has not ended the Iraq War.

These are not issues to Meryl Streep because it doesn't upset the limited group of people she comes into contact with.

She has no concern for the Iraqi people who have lived daily with war since 2003.

She has no objection to children being raised with bombs dropped on them daily by the US government.

She can't object to any of that, but she can whine because her hero lost the election two months ago.  She can lash out on TV for that reason.