Saturday, August 10, 2019

Now they say the war is over But I think it's just begun

Now they say the war is over
But I think it's just begun
-- "Penny Evans," written by Steve Goodman

Melanie often used to open with the first verse of "Penny Evans" and then transition into her own "Peace Will Come (According To Plan)."

There's a chance peace will come, in your life please buy one
There's a chance peace will come, in your life please buy one

For sometimes when I am feeling as big as the land
With the velvet hill in the small of my back
And my hands are playing the sand
And my feet are swimming in all of the waters
All of the rivers are givers to the ocean
According to plan, according to man

Well sometimes when I am feeling so grand
And I become the world
And the world becomes a man
And my song becomes a part of the river
I cry out to keep me just the way I am
According to plan, according to man
According to plan, according to man
According to plan, according to man
According to plan, according to man
According to plan

Another US service member has died in Iraq.  Elizabeth McLaughlin and Abby Cruz (ABC NEWS) report, "A United States service member who was advising Iraqi security forces was killed Saturday in the northern Nineveh province of Iraq, according to the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria."  Operation Inherent Resolve issued the following earlier today:

.Operation Inherent Resolve Casualty

| Aug. 10, 2019     

SOUTHWEST ASIA – One U.S. service member died today during an Iraqi Security Force mission in Ninewah province, Iraq, while advising and accompanying the ISF during a planned operation. The name of the service member will be withheld until notification of next of kin. 

Tim Pearce (WASHINGTON EXAMINER) notes, "The Department of Defense has tallied 84 U.S. military casualties throughout Operation Inherent Resolve, launched in 2014 as a military operation against ISIS."  David Aaro (FOX NEWS) points out, "Iraqi forces launched an anti-ISIS operation north of Baghdad in July, aimed at getting rid of the Islamic State group north of Baghdad and the surrounding areas. Although Iraq declared victory over ISIS in 2017, the group has continued to carry out insurgent tactics across the country."

With yet another dead US service member in Iraq, David Petraeus and Vance Serchuk choose this moment to argue that the US abandoned Iraq.  The disgraced Petraeus teams up with Joe Lieberman's former advisor Vance Serchuk.  Have they no shame?

The two war mongers are upset that US troops might leave Afghanistan.  This causes them to panic:

The Obama administration left Iraq in part because it believed that doing so would free up resources for its “rebalance” in favor of Asia and domestic priorities. Instead, renewed instability in Iraq and the civil war in Syria opened the door to ISIS, which promptly became the all-consuming problem for American national security and compelled the administration to rush thousands of soldiers back to Iraq and later Syria. If the U.S. abandons Afghanistan to chaos, this pattern is likely to repeat itself and the resulting crisis will once again dominate Washington’s foreign-policy bandwidth, to the detriment of its ability to manage other challenges, including China.
The alternative is to recognize that the U.S. doesn’t need a plan for leaving but a strategy for staying—one that carefully minimizes American, coalition and Afghan costs and casualties but accepts the necessity of a sustained and sustainable troop presence to safeguard vital U.S. interests.

We’ll never know whether Iraq’s collapse could have been averted had the Obama administration left a few thousand combat troops there in 2011. What isn’t debatable is that the U.S. would have been in a stronger position to respond when the country’s fragile politics began to fracture and could have reacted much more rapidly when ISIS appeared.

David Petraeus is a damn liar.  But we all know that, right? 

There are so many lies in what he writes.  We'll focus on only one of them: "had the Obama administration left a few thousand combat troops there in 2011."

That was not a possibility and Petraues knows that. 

Nouri al-Maliki repeatedly insisted on 25,000 or more US troops.  He insisted on that to Joe Lieberman, to John McCain, to Lindsay Graham, to the White House.

He was not going to argue to Congress for a few thousand to remain because it wasn't worth it to him.  He knew he'd have to fight for any residual force and, for Nouri, that had to be 25,000 or more.  So "a few thousand combat troops" was not going to work.

And, for the record, Barack offered "a few thousand combat troops."

That's a fact Petraeus also knows.  But he chooses to lie.

 Let's move over to the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Conner Habib has some interesting thoughts about Mayor Pete.

"Mayor Pete! Mayor Pete! How will you deal with white supremacy??" "Hey, probably the same way I dealt with those dang Arabs!"

Pete Buttigieg says his training in the The War On Terror will help him fight white supremacy is so f**ked up because it supports the constant Dem voter blindspot that the all our foreign policy in the Middle East IS white supremacy. He's just saying, "I'll out-racist them!"

Conner is exactly right, "all our foreign policy in the Middle East IS white supremacy."

Marianne Williamson is also running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Does she have a chance at it?  Right now, it doesn't appear so.  But we're noting her for this.

The truth about my work with people who had AIDS. This from someone who actually was there...

You may not agree with Marianne's response but the reality is that she had a response.  While many stuck their heads in the sand and ignored the crisis, Marianne was there.  The AIDS crisis was a time when many showed their true colors.  The colors Marianne showed were colors of love, compassion and solidarity.  Maybe ask some of those people who shunned AIDS victims what they did but you're making an ass out of yourself if you're choosing to go after Marianne on her work with AIDS patients.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is also running for the nomination.  She's been talking gun violence today.

  •  Pinned Tweet
    Gun violence is a public health crisis. That’s why I have a comprehensive gun violence prevention plan—a plan to make big, structural changes to end the NRA and corrupt lawmakers’ ability to block our government from defending the lives of our people.
  • I was honored to join activists, organizers, and community leaders at today's . And I’m ready to fight alongside them for big, structural change to tackle our gun violence epidemic. Here’s how:
  • Increasing taxes on gun manufacturers will reduce gun and ammunition sales and bring in new federal revenue that we can use for both gun violence prevention and enforcement of existing gun laws. Together, we can hold gun manufacturers accountable.
  • Thank you to everyone who came out to the Iowa State Fair to talk, share your concerns, and grab a selfie. I had a fantastic day!
  • Fun night at the dinner! Grateful for the opportunity to talk about my plans to make our government work for the people of Iowa.
  • It's past time to turn our heartbreak and anger into action. We need to take power from the NRA and corrupt lawmakers and return it to the people.
  • Thank you, . Together we can end the gun violence epidemic and make our country safer for everyone.
  •   Retweeted
    Elizabeth Warren has laid out her plan to address gun violence, with an ambitious goal for her presidency if she wins in 2020: reducing gun deaths by 80%
  • Mass shootings capture our attention, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg of gun violence in America. Every day, we lose one hundred Americans to gun violence, with countless more injured and traumatized. My plan makes big changes to address all kinds of gun violence.
  • In just a few minutes, I’ll be at the talking about how we can address the gun violence epidemic head on. I hope you’ll tune in.
  • The dialogue about gun violence in America is shifting, thanks to the work of activists, organizers, community leaders, and survivors. It's time to turn our heartbreak and anger into action, and take power from the NRA and corrupt lawmakers and return it to the people.
  • And we'll revisit this legislation every year—adding new ideas and tweaking existing ones—to keep reducing the number of gun deaths in America. My budget will invest $100 million for DOJ and HHS to study gun violence, evaluate the reforms we pass, and suggest new ones.
  • We have to chart a new path, and that starts with investing in evidence-based community violence intervention designed to stop gun violence before it occurs. As president, I’ll establish a grant program to invest in and pilot intervention programs at scale.
  • Black and Latinx Americans have borne the brunt of the gun violence tragedy. But after being traumatized by gun violence, these communities have been doubly victimized by increased policing and strict sentencing laws.
  • In addition to ending the special legal immunity gun manufacturers have now, Congress should hold manufacturers strictly liable for gun-related injuries and give victims of gun violence a private right of action to recover compensatory damages from manufacturers.
  • This legislation will ensure that safe, responsible ownership is the standard for everyone who chooses to own a gun. We'll create a federal licensing system, require universal background checks, establish a real waiting period, and cap firearms purchases.
  • I will send Congress comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation and sign it into law within my first 100 days.
  • My administration will also protect survivors of domestic abuse by closing the "boyfriend loophole." And we'll reverse the Trump administration's efforts to weaken gun safety, including rules that enabled 3-D printed guns and make it easier to create untraceable weapons.
  • We'll require background checks for the vast majority of private gun sales, including at gun shows and online. We'll extend the existing requirements on reporting bulk gun sales. And we'll raise the minimum age for purchasing a gun.
  • From the White House, I will take executive action to rein in an out-of-control gun industry. Gun manufacturers make billions by knowingly selling deadly products, and it’s time to hold gun dealers and manufacturers accountable for the violence promoted by these products.
  • In 2017, almost 40,000 people died from guns in the U.S. My goal is to reduce that number by 80%. We’ll start with solutions we believe will work. We’ll update those solutions based on new research—and stop corrupt extremists from blocking action by ending the filibuster.
  • It’s easy to despair when our government refuses to act. But we are not incapable of solving big problems. Over fifty years ago, we took big steps to make our cars safer and since then, we reduced per-mile driving deaths by almost 80% and prevented 3.5 million automobile deaths.
  • The statistics are horrifying. Our firearm homicide rate is 25x higher than other comparable countries. Our firearm suicide rate is nearly 10x higher. Women are 21x more likely to be shot to death—most killed by an intimate partner. 21 children and teenagers are shot every day.

  • Hopefully, while she talks about ending gun violence, she'll also address the need to end the violence in the Middle East by pulling out all US troops.

    This Tweet by Senator Bernie Sanders speaks with clarity few others even aspire to.

    The inventors of insulin sold the patent for $1. A vial costs $6 to make. Drugmakers sell it for $300 a vial in the United States. That level of greed is scandalous, it is outrageous, and when we win it is going to end.

    The following sites updated: