Monday, April 30, 2018

Iraq snapshot

Monday, April 30, 2018.  THE WASHINGTON POST announces that US major combat operations have ended in Iraq . . . seemingly forgetting that they never announced that US major combat operations had begun in Iraq.

Tamer El-Ghobashy (WASHINGTON POST) types, "The headquarters coordinating the activities of American ground forces in Iraq closed down on Monday, marking the end of major combat operations against the Islamic State, said U.S. officials." Huh?  Why are those laughable words so strangely familiar?

Hmm.  A bulls**t reporter for a bulls**t outlet 'reports' a laughable claim that, in fact, echos Bully Boy Bush's own words from 2003.

Is it a story?

Yes, it is.  Because following the strikes on Syria, US President Donald Trump Tweeted "Mission accomplished" and the press felt there was a need to compare it to Bully Boy Bush's speech above -- even though Bully Boy Bush did not say "Mission accomplished" in his speech (he did stand under a banner sporting those two words).  The press was highly critical of Donald, in fact, here's the opening of one piece:

If there was a new employee handbook for people who’d just obtained the position of “leader of the free world,” there would be some surefire entries in the section about presidential phrases to avoid:
I am not a crook,” would be an easy one, for reasons both obvious and historical.
New hires would also be discouraged from summing up economic policy stances with the phrase: “Read my lips. No new taxes.”
And then there is “Mission Accomplished,” the historically loaded phrase President Trump tweeted Saturday after U.S.-led airstrikes in coordination with British and French forces that struck the “heart” of Syria’s chemical weapons network.

Does Tamer recognize those words?  Does THE POST?  Because they are from THE WASHINGTON POST, specifically Cleve R. Wootsen Jr.'s "Trump's 'Mission Accomplished' tweet, and the premature declaration that haunted George W. Bush."  In fact, five years after Bully Boy Bush declared the end of major combat operations, CBS NEWS noted:

Now in its sixth year, the war in Iraq has claimed the lives of at least 4,058 members of the U.S. military - 3,924 of whom have died since Mr. Bush landed on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed (the true number may never be known, since the Iraqi government does not record tallies of the dead), and millions have been displaced from their homes. And there are currently more U.S. troops in Iraq than there were when the U.S. invaded with a contingent of other coalition forces.

 Major combat operations had not ended when the government said they had in 2003 but the lazy and lapdog press repeated the claim as if it was true.  All these years later, THE WASHINGTON POST does so again.  Without questioning, please note, and after they've slammed and ridiculed Trump for using the term "Mission accomplished."

Does the press ever get that they are the problem?

Nope.  They just mindlessly finger point while never going for even a minute of self-examination -- even when it's THE WASHINGTON POST -- second only to THE NEW YORK TIMES in selling the Iraq War.

What's really going on?  Seth J. Frantzman (JERUSALEM POST) speaks with US Brigadier General Andrew Croft and offers, "THE COALITION is now focusing on transitioning from the anti-ISIS combat operations of last year to securing and stabilizing Iraq 'as the ISF [Iraqi Security Forces] become more capable,' says Croft."

Not only does THE POST miss that, it misses so damn much.

It repeats what the Pentagon tells it to type, major combat operations have ended.

But, golly, gee, it doesn't question at all.

Meaning, not just that it doesn't question the so-called end, but also that it ignores what just took place. Major combat operations.  The US troops involved in major combat operations in Iraq.

This despite two presidents -- Barack Obama and Donald Trump -- denying that US troops sent into Iraq in 2014 and after were involved in combat operations.

Dropping back to October 26, 2014 for Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Barack Prepares."


Isaiah's latest The World Today Just Nuts "Barack Prepares."  A confused Josh Earnest asks, "What's he doing?"  Valerie Jarrett explains, "Ballet slippers on the ground are not boots on the ground."   Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts.

The press let two presidents lie about what was taking place in Iraq.  Today, when the press whispers in their ears that major combat operations have ended, THE WASHINGTON POST can't even grasp what a revelation that claim is.  It's an admission that the troops were involved in combat operations despite repeated assurances and lies otherwise from two sitting presidents.  It was always combat operations, despite the press denials.  When you are bombing from planes, as the US was, that is a combat mission.  Yet the press has repeatedly let two presidents lie and, even now, cannot get honest about what the words actually mean.

They do not mean combat operations have really ended anymore than they meant that when Bully Boy Bush made the claim in 2003.

But they do mean that the American people were repeatedly lied to and that, once again, the press did not do its job.

it's wild that the media is more self-critical about the white house correspondents dinner than its coverage of the the iraq war

It is wild but it is also very telling and goes to the fact that nothing in the press has really changed.  No lessons were learned from their Iraq War coverage, from their cheering on a war with dubious claims that they presented as facts.

Moving over to a different topic . . .

Grand Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani will issue words of guidance next Friday in regards to the upcoming May 12 parliamentary elections.

May 12th, elections are supposed to take place in Iraq.  Ali Jawad (ANADOLU AGENCY) notes, "A total of 24 million Iraqis are eligible to cast their ballots to elect members of parliament, who will in turn elect the Iraqi president and prime minister."  RUDAW adds, "Around 7,000 candidates have registered to stand in the May 12 poll, with 329 parliamentary seats up for grabs."  AFP explains that the nearly 7,000 candidates includes 2014 women.   RUDAW also notes that 60 Christian candidates are competing for the five allotted minority seats.  The chief issues?  Mustapha Karkouti (GULF NEWS) identifies them as follows, "Like in previous elections, the main concerns of ordinary Iraqis continue to be the lack of security and the rampant corruption."

As noted in the April 3rd snapshot, pollster Dr. Munqith Dagher has utilized data on likely voters and predicts that Hayder al-Abadi's Al-Nasr will win 72 seats in the Parliament, al-Fath (the militias) will get 37 seats, Sa'eroon (Moqtada al-Sadr's new grouping) will get 27 seats, Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law will get 19 seats, al-Salam will get 18 seats (KDP and PUK parties for the Kurds), Ayad Allawi's Wataniya will get 15 seats. There are others but Dagher did not predict double digits for any of the other seats. The number are similar for the group of those who are extremely likely to vote (Hayder's seats would jump from 72 to 79 seats).  Other predictions?  The Middle East Insstitute's Fanar Haddad insists to Sammy Ketz (AFP) that the post of prime minister will come down to one of three people: Hayder al-Abadi (current prime minister), Nouri al-Maliki (two time prime minister and forever thug) or Hadi al-Ameria "a leader of Hashed al-Shaabi, a paramilitary network that played a pivotal role in defeating IS. Ameri comes from Diyala province and is a statistics graduate from Baghdad University. He fled to Iran in 1980 after Saddam executed top Shiite cleric Ayatollah Mohammed Baqr al-Sadr. The 64-year old is widely viewed as Tehran's favoured candidate."

Women running for office in Iraq this go round have been targeted with rumors and smears.  This is not a good thing.  Unless you're a sick f**k.  Zvi Bar'el (HAARETZ) offers:

But if in the past, harassment of women candidates was rare, this time it’s clear that Iraqi women are perceived as a political threat that makes them a target for harassment. This is a major headliner in the Iraqi media and is stirring public debate. Some Iraqi pundits have said they consider the harassment a positive sign that women are gaining more power in Iraqi politics.                                                   

Again, what a sick f**k.  This is not progress.  It is not as if Iraqi male politicians have been accused of having affairs during campaign seasons and now this is being applied to women as well.

This is not progress.  It is another attempt to run women out of politics in Iraq.

To see this attack as progress is to voice your extreme stupidity in public.

Cindy Sheehan and Jody Watley have updated at their sites:

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