Thursday, February 04, 2016

42 years ago today

Patty Hearst was kidnapped.

Hearst was brainwashed while kidnapped (though some never believed that) and became Tanya -- a radical revolutionary who robbed banks with her kidnappers.

There are people who saw her as betraying her (moneyed) class and there are those who saw her as a victim.

She'd lampoon herself -- such as in John Waters' SERIAL MOM.

It's really hard to know what really happened, even all this time later.

Did she willingly join her kidnappers and mean all the things she said or was she really suffering from some form of hostage syndrome?

After the Waters' movie, I keep expecting Patty to show up one day in an interview and say, "I was brainwashed.  Honest."

And then wink at the camera to indicate she is lying.


Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


Thursday, February 4, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, Hillary Clinton's laughable plan for the Islamic State is no plan, Fred Kaplan lies for Hillary and America chants "Take the shame!" to Hillary.


As always, the US government dropped bombs on Iraq today and then boasted of it in a news release from the Defense Dept:


Strikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter, ground-attack, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 20 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
-- Near Habbaniyah, two strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit, destroying three ISIL vehicles and four ISIL vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices and denying ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Kisik, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Mosul, five strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed 16 ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL assembly area, ISIL engineering equipment and an ISIL checkpoint.
-- Near Qayyarah, six strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed six ISIL assembly areas, two ISIL command and control nodes, six ISIL vehicles, seven ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL mortar tube, an ISIL anti-air artillery piece, an ISIL weapons cache and an ISIL heavy machine gun.
-- Near Ramadi, four strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed ISIL engineering equipment, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL tactical vehicle, eight ISIL heavy machine guns, two ISIL rocket-propelled-grenade systems, an ISIL mortar system, an ISIL recoilless rifle, an ISIL staging area and 11 ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Sinjar, a strike destroyed an ISIL front-end loader.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike suppressed an ISIL fighting position.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.


The Iraq War never ends.


And those responsible for starting it may try to escape responsibility but it's not that easy.


Senator Bernie Sanders, in 2002, voted against the Iraq War.  He's running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination and so is Hillary Clinton.

Today, Bernie Tweeted:




                    Liked 2,044 times


Experience is important, but so is judgment. And back in 2002 one of us voted the right way on the Iraq War. The other didn't.




The ridiculous -- always ridiculous -- Fred Kaplan (SLATE) tries to rewrite history:



In response, Clinton acknowledged, as she has on previous occasions, that she’d made a mistake. But she also offered an explanation for her vote, something she has rarely done in the past. President Bush, she told the audience, had made a “very explicit appeal” that “getting this vote would be a strong piece of leverage in order to finish the inspections.” In other words, a resolution to use force would prod Saddam Hussein into readmitting U.N. inspectors, so they could continue their mission of verifying whether or not he had destroyed his chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons sites. In other words, Clinton was now claiming she voted the way she did in the interests of diplomacy; the problem was that Bush went back on his word—he invaded before giving the inspectors enough time.

Listening to her rationale Wednesday night, I didn’t know whether she was telling the truth. I had written many Slate columns about the Iraq debate and the ensuing war, but I couldn’t remember the details of then-Sen. Clinton’s position. Looking up those details now, I have come to a conclusion about the rationale she recited at the New Hampshire town hall: Hillary was telling the truth.


Poor Fred Kaplan, nothing sadder to see than an old and aging whore.

Reality on this was noted last week.  Last week.  By Stephen Zunes:

“Hillary Clinton’s vote wasn’t for war, but simply to pressure Saddam Hussein to allow UN weapons inspectors back into Iraq.”
At the time of vote, Saddam Hussein had already agreed in principle to a return of the weapons inspectors. His government was negotiating with the United Nations Monitoring and Verification Commission on the details, which were formally institutionalized a few weeks later. (Indeed, it would have been resolved earlier had the United States not repeatedly postponed a UN Security Council resolution in the hopes of inserting language that would have allowed Washington to unilaterally interpret the level of compliance.)
Furthermore, if then-Senator Clinton’s desire was simply to push Saddam into complying with the inspection process, she wouldn’t have voted against the substitute Levin amendment, which would have also granted President Bush authority to use force, but only if Iraq defied subsequent UN demands regarding the inspections process. Instead, Clinton voted for a Republican-sponsored resolution to give Bush the authority to invade Iraq at the time and circumstances of his own choosing.

In fact, unfettered large-scale weapons inspections had been going on in Iraq for nearly four months at the time the Bush administration launched the March 2003 invasion. Despite the UN weapons inspectors having not found any evidence of WMDs or active WMD programs after months of searching, Clinton made clear that the United States should invade Iraq anyway. Indeed, she asserted that even though Saddam was in full compliance with the UN Security Council, he nevertheless needed to resign as president, leave the country, and allow U.S. troops to occupy the country. “The president gave Saddam Hussein one last chance to avoid war,” Clinton said in a statement, “and the world hopes that Saddam Hussein will finally hear this ultimatum, understand the severity of those words, and act accordingly.”
When Saddam refused to resign and the Bush administration launched the invasion, Clinton went on record calling for “unequivocal support” for Bush’s “firm leadership and decisive action” as “part of the ongoing Global War on Terrorism.” She insisted that Iraq was somehow still “in material breach of the relevant United Nations resolutions” and, despite the fact that weapons inspectors had produced evidence to the contrary, claimed the invasion was necessary to “neutralize Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.”



Someone needs to ask Fred Kaplan if it hurts to be so damn stupid?

If you're not getting how stupid he is, the Institute for Public Accuracy issued this press release today:


STEPHEN ZUNES, zunes at usfca.edu, @SZunes
Zunes is a professor of politics & coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco. He recently wrote the piece “The Five Lamest Excuses for Hillary Clinton’s Vote to Invade Iraq.” Zunes is currently in Philadelphia and will be in New York City on Friday.

Zunes said today: “Hillary Clinton did not vote to authorize the Iraq war in order to bring UN inspectors back in, as she claimed in last night’s [CNN] “Town Hall” meeting. She voted against the Levin Amendment, which would have authorized the use of force if Iraq refused to fully cooperate with UN inspectors. Instead, she voted for the Republican-sponsored resolution which gave President Bush the authority to invade and occupy Iraq at the time and circumstances of his own choosing. Hans Blix did not support the latter resolution, as she also claimed. Nor did Sen. Clinton object when Bush launched the invasion anyway five months later despite Iraq having been fully cooperating with the returning inspectors during that period.”
Clinton stated in her address on her Iraq war authorization vote on the Senate floor on Oct. 10, 2002: “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al-Qaeda members. … It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capability to wage biological and chemical warfare and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well, affects American security.” See video.

Just last week, Hans Blix had an interview with Al Jazeera’s “UpFront” program in which he talked about the U.S. invasion altering the security landscape of the Mideast, see: “The former UN weapons inspector says ‘it is doubtful’ ISIL would exist if it were not for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.”


As for Hillary?  Take the shame, Hillary, take the shame.


John Wagner (WASHINGTON POST) reports on remarks Bernie made today:

“Sometimes it’s easy to apologize for a bad vote 15 or 20 years later when the tide has changed,” Sanders said at a rally here. “It is a lot harder to stand up … and cast the right vote. That’s what leadership is about, not having to apologize for standing up and fighting for what’s right.”


Tonight, Hillary and Bernie faced off in a debate.

As usual, after each break, Hillary looked better.

Let's be clear, she's overweight and she has jowls.

That's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about the reason she was late from the bathroom the first time.

She's having make up applied throughout the debate.

She can smear all the crap on her face she wants and she'll still be ugly.

Just like she can trot out every lie and distraction and she'll still be guilty of supporting the Iraq War.

By the time Iraq came up, Hillary looked like -- at best -- a painted clown.

Lisa Hagen (THE HILL) recaps what Cranky Clinton said in response to being called out for supporting the Iraq War:



Clinton replied: "We did differ. A vote in 2002 is not a plan to defeat ISIS.”
"We have to look at the threats that we face right now and we have to be prepared to take them on and defeat them," she continued.



Sunday, January 17th, there was a Democratic Party debate.  In that debate Hillary made claims regarding the Islamic State and her plans:



CLINTON: Absolutely not.
I have a three point plan that does not include American Ground forces. It includes the United States leading an air coalition which is what we're doing, supporting fighters on the ground; the Iraqi Army which is beginning to show more ability, the Sunni fighters that we are now helping to reconstitute and Kurdish on both sides of the border.



As we noted in the January 18th snapshot:




At her website?
You can find this:






  • Defeating ISIS. ISIS and the foreign terrorist fighters it recruits pose a serious threat to America and our allies. We will confront and defeat them in a way that builds greater stability across the region, without miring our troops in another misguided ground war. Hillary will empower our partners to defeat terrorism and the ideologies that drive it, including through our ongoing partnership to build Iraqi military and governing capacity, our commitment to Afghanistan’s democracy and security, and by supporting efforts to restore stability to Libya and Yemen.



  • Is that her three-part plan?
    That's all she's got at her website and it's a tiny paragraph in the midst of her national security page.



    It's rather tiny, isn't it?


    Possibly as a result, her website features the tiny 'plan' with 'enhancements' -- videos of Hillary doing that annoying head bob while she speaks.



    We can defeat global terrorism.

    1. We need to crush ISIS on its home turf. 

    20151119_blog_GIFBreakISIS
    We can’t just contain ISIS—we need to defeat it. That means going after the group in Syria, Iraq, and across the Middle East. And it means ramping up airstrikes and making sure local and regional ground troops have what they need to go after ISIS and create safe spaces.

    2. We need to disrupt and dismantle terrorist infrastructure—on the ground and online.

    20151119_blog_GIFOnlineOfflineISIS
    Old school tactics aren’t going to cut it when it comes to defeating a terrorist group that has mastered the art of online propaganda. ISIS and global jihadists are recruiting, training, and inciting violence on social media—breeding a growing network of terrorists around the world. The U.S. needs to work with our partners around the world to be just as savvy.

    3. We have to protect America and our allies.

    20151119_blog_GIFISISResolve

    We need better coordination and information-sharing all around to break up terror plots and prevent attacks—between European governments and law enforcement, between Silicon Valley and Washington, and between local police officers and the communities they serve.



    And, for the record, that plan's as idiotic as she is.


    Let's again point out the obvious.

    The Islamic State got its hold in Iraq why?

    Because of the persecution of Sunnis in Iraq which intensified under Nouri al-Maliki's second term (2010 through 2014).

    This persecution is why US President Barack Obama insisted in June of 2014 that the only answer to Iraq's crises was a political solution.

    But the US has instead focused on bombing and training.

    And there's been no movement towards a reconciliation.

    We say that over and over here.

    And maybe that's not good enough for some.

    So let's quote BBC News' Jim Muir who offers this today:


    The IS fighters were able to lodge so easily in the Sunni Arab heartlands because the people there had been largely alienated by the sectarian policies and practices of the Shia Arab-dominated Baghdad government under Nouri al-Maliki, who was finally prised out of the prime minister's office in August 2014.
    Precious little has been done since then to foster national reconciliation and make the Sunnis, a powerful minority under Saddam Hussein, feel they are full partners in a national project. 
    Legislation to empower the Sunnis by devolving security and financial responsibilities to the provinces has not happened.
    Nor have measures to reverse the persecution of former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party, or the random arrests, detentions, and to assuage other Sunni grievances.
    While slow progress is being made to drive IS back, many argue that military victory alone is not enough.
    "Unless there's political reconciliation, we'll have IS back again five years down the line," a senior diplomat warned.

    It happened before, so the historical lesson is there, and not so long ago. 


    Hillary's plan does not acknowledge this reality.


    Hillary's plan does not address this.

    There is no real plan.

    Hillary seems unable to think beyond kill-kill-kill.


    Hillary was wrong on Iraq in 2002 and she was wrong in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 . . .

    She's still wrong today.














    Wednesday, February 03, 2016

    Stevie Nicks 'Lady'



    That's Stevie Nicks' "Lady."


    We're theme posting tonight.  A song that's stuck in our head this week -- new or old.

    My song isn't old.  It's from Stevie's 2014 album (which I reviewed here).

    I love all the songs but that one has just stuck in my head all week.

    It's not usually, for me, a case of hearing it and then it sticking in my head.

    When a song sticks in my head, it's usually like a little reminder that I'm needing to listen to the album it's from again.

    And I really love 24-KARAT GOLD: SONGS FROM THE VAULT.

    It's one of those albums that you knew was great in real time but it only gets better as time passes.

    "The Dealer" is probably my favorite song on the album so it surprises me that "Lady" is the one that's stuck in my head this week.

    But who can explain the workings of the mind?

    Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


    Wednesday, February 3, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the US government admits there are more US troops in Iraq than they have previously disclosed, Barack Obama is breaking the law by supporting the Baghdad-based regime, and much more.



    Today, the US Defense Dept announced/bragged/claimed:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 20 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Albu Hayat, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

    -- Near Beiji, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

    -- Near Habbaniyah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL rocket rail and an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Mosul, three strikes destroyed seven ISIL weapons caches, three ISIL assembly areas and 14 ISIL fighting positions.

    -- Near Qayyarah, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle bomb facility and an ISIL logistics facility.

    -- Near Ramadi, six strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL anti-air artillery piece, an ISIL tactical vehicle, an ISIL recruiting station, four ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL weapons cache and an ISIL assembly area and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Sinjar, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and two ISIL fighting positions and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

    -- Near Tal Afar, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.


    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.


    Another day and more of the same.

    But isn't that the story always?


    Jim Michaels (USA TODAY) reports, "Iraq said Tuesday it is building a wall and trench around Baghdad in an effort to secure the city from terror attacks."

    As Aretha Franklin sings, "Here we go again, it's the same old song."


    Doubt it?

    From Edward Wong's September 16, 2006 "Iraqis Plan to Ring Baghdad With Trenches" (NEW YORK TIMES):



    The Iraqi government plans to seal off Baghdad within weeks by ringing it with a series of trenches and setting up dozens of traffic checkpoints to control movement in and out of the violent city of seven million people, an Interior Ministry spokesman said Friday.
    The effort is one of the most ambitious security projects this year, with cars expected to be funneled through 28 checkpoints along the main arteries snaking out from the capital. Smaller roads would be closed. The trenches would run across farmland or other open areas to prevent cars from evading checkpoints, said the ministry spokesman, Brig. Gen. Abdul Karim Khalaf.
    "We're going to build a trench around Baghdad so we can control the exits and entrances so people will be searched properly," he said in a telephone interview. "The idea is to get the cars to go through the 28 checkpoints that we set up."



    Ten years later and it's time to trot out the same old thing and pretend it's a new idea.


    Of the 'new' proposal, AP adds:

    The interior ministry’s spokesman, police Brigadier General Saad Maan, told the Associated Press that work began this week on a 100km (65-mile) stretch of the wall and trench on the northern and northwestern approaches of the capital.
    The wall will be three metres (10 feet) high and partially made up of concrete barriers already in use across much of the capital, he said. He declined to specify the measurements of the trench.


    And BBC NEWS notes:

    The barrier will also have a two-metre deep trench running alongside it, Al-Sumariyah news website reported. Surveillance cameras, explosives detection devices and towers will also be installed.
    Many parts of the capital are surrounded by concrete barriers. Some of these walls will be taken out of the city's streets and re-installed as part of the new barrier, Mr al-Shammari said. 
    The Interior Ministry spokesman, Brig. Gen. Saad Maan, said work began this week on a 65-mile stretch of the wall and trench around the capital, the Associated Press reported. The wall will be 10-feet high and partially made up of concrete barriers, he said."




    Let's drop back to yesterday's snapshot for a moment:




    In the age of Barack, we're all supposed to politely bite our tongues.
    Barack's also a War Criminal.
    At his most laughable, Gregory types, "The first step would entail convincing key regional players to pursue the requisite policies to achieve the designated goal. The Iraqi government would be an enthusiastic partner but would need to demonstrate its inclusiveness and ability to unite the country’s diverse ethnicities and religious sects."
    I guess that's one way to put it.
    Not accurate but who needs accuracy when, like Gregory, you're arguing for more war.

    Seth J. Frantzman (NATIONAL INTEREST) notes:

     In addition to the abuses against non-Sunni minorities in Mosul by Islamic State, the Sunni residents who make up the city told local reporters and human rights organizations in 2014 that Iraqi security forces executed prisoners before withdrawing. Human Rights Watch relayed stories of more than a dozen men executed after being removed from the Counterterrorism and Organized Crime prison.
    This sense of persecution at the hands of Nuri al-Maliki’s Shia-led government prompted many to support ISIS when it arrived.




    And the abuses continue under Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's rule.










  • Saturday, Human Rights Watch noted:




    Members of Shia militias, who the Iraqi government has included among its state forces, abducted and killed scores of Sunni residents in a central Iraq town and demolished Sunni homes, stores, and mosques following January 11, 2016 bombings claimed by the extremist group Islamic State, also known as ISIS. None of those responsible have been brought to justice.
    Two consecutive bombings at a café in the town of Muqdadiya, in Diyala province, some 130 kilometers north of Baghdad, on January 11, killed at least 26 people, many of them Sunnis, according to a teacher who lives near the café. ISIS claimed the attacks, saying it had targeted local Shia militias, collectively known as Popular Mobilization Forces, which are formally under the command of the prime minister. Members of two of the dominant militias in Muqdadiya, the Badr Brigades and the League of Righteous forces, responded by attacking Sunnis as well as their homes and mosques, killing at least a dozen people and perhaps many more, according to local residents.

    “Again civilians are paying the price for Iraq’s failure to rein in the out-of-control militias,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Countries that support Iraqi security forces and the Popular Mobilization Forces should insist that Baghdad bring an end to this deadly abuse.” 




    Can you grasp that?

    If you can, grasp this:  It is illegal for the US government to support a regime or government that attacks its own people.  It is against domestic US law and it is against international law.
    Barack's a War Criminal.
    Maybe because he wants to be, maybe because he's lazy (and would rather just continue the same instead of transform it into something different), who knows why he is how he is?
    But a War Crime is taking place and he is the War Criminal.







    Concerned Reader e-mails, "There is no such law.  Even if there were, you are holding President Obama to a higher standard than you would any other leader.  No White House would ever threaten Iraq with losing funding or support because their government forces were attacking the people.  No one."


    No one?


    Refer to the front page of the September 30, 2006 NEW YORK TIMES which featured Richard A. Oppel Jr.'s "U.S. May Cut Aid to Iraqi Police Cited in Abuses" which explained:


    American officials have warned Iraqi leaders that they might have to curtail aid to the Interior Ministry police because of a United States law that prohibits the financing of foreign security forces that commit "gross violations of human rights" and are not brought to justice.


    So I'm expecting too much from Barack when I expect him to follow the law?


    And I'm also expecting too much from Barack when I expect him to at least do the bare minimum on human rights that Bully Boy Bush did?


    That's really lowering the bar.


    Barack said in 2014 that his Iraq 'mission' or 'plan' would not put US boots on the ground.

    Wrong.


    AFP reports:

    But the Pentagon on Wednesday quietly increased that official accounting to 3,850 troops. Then, Baghdad-based military spokesman Col. Steve Warren said it was “fair to say” there are hundreds more troops than even that number.



    And more planned to be sent in.

    But apparently for some -- like Concerned Reader -- holding Barack to his word is unfair.


    Changing topics . . .






                        Liked 137 times


    For 100 years they've tried to make this country [] work. It doesn't work b/c it is built on the wrong foundations via .



    Masrour Barzani's father is Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani.

    REUTERS reports, "Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region should hold a non-binding referendum on independence, its president said on Tuesday, despite the numerous crises it is facing.  Massoud Barzani has previously called for a referendum but set no timetable for a proposed vote."




    Margaret Griffis (ANTIWAR.COM) 'covered' the issue of the KRG:


    Kurdish President Massoud Barzani has called for a non-binding referendum on Kurdish independence. Kurdistan’s finances, however, are so poor that Peshmerga fighters are abandoning the fight against the Islamic State over unpaid wages.




    That's covering the issue . . . poorly.


    If Griffis is your primary or sole knowledge, you're probably highly uninformed.


    Why are they not being paid?

    Griffis repeatedly misses the point and leaves readers uninformed.

    The federal government out of Baghdad is still not dividing up the revenues.






  • RUDAW reports of the meet-up:


    A high-level meeting between the Kurdish Prime Minister and his Iraqi counterpart in Baghdad on Sunday ended with an agreement to form a joint committee to continue talks between both sides to seek a solution for their budgetary dispute.
    A Kurdish delegation led by PM Nechirvan Barzani met Iraqi premier Haider Abadi in Baghdad to discuss the unpaid Peshmerga funds as part of Iraq’s defense system as well as Kurdistan’s share of the fedral health budget.




    This is not a new development.

    It's been going on for years now.

    It's why, a few weeks ago, the KRG sent representatives to DC to see about financial assistance.

    It's also why Brett McGurk met with them on Monday in Baghdad -- and why they were in Baghdad to begin with.

    The State Dept's doing its best to play dumb on the McGurk visit but that was the primary focus of the conversations the KRG reps had with McGurk -- what is the status on the financial aid request, what can the US do to help get Iraqi funds from Baghdad flowing, etc.

    On McGurk's end, he was seeking more commitment on the battle against the Islamic State and more options for US troops to be stationed in the KRG.

    Fact that no one wants to explore: 3,700 US troops are in Iraq (not counting special ops) and there are a lot more in the region -- especially in Kuwait.

    The hope on the part of the White House is to take some of the thousands in the region and move them into the KRG, to use the KRG as a staging area.



    Turning to US politics, Hillary Clinton who voted for war on Iraq 'won' Iowa's caucus.  Former US House Rep and 2008 Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney Tweeted on the outcome:




  • I don't care what Hillary says, She lost in her first outing. 6 coin tosses do not a victory make!



  • Cynthia may seek the 2016 Green Party nomination.


    In the meantime, Hillary goes up against Senator Bernie Sanders again in New Hampshire which will be the first actual primary in the Democratic Party's race to select a presidential nominee.  Sanders' campaign notes:





    A family making $50,000 would save $5,807 a year under my Medicare-for-all plan.
    Embedded image permalink









    Thanks Barack!

    iowa cozy


    Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Iowa Cozy" went up Sunday.

    Our country is a mess.

    If you doubt it, read Kate Randall (WSWS):

    More than 1 million low-income people across the United States could soon lose their government food stamp benefits if they fail to meet work requirements. The threatened mass cutoff of the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits constitutes a vindictive bipartisan attack on some of the nation’s poorest and most vulnerable residents.
    A Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) report last month predicted 500,000 to 1 million people would be cut off of SNAP benefits in 2016 due to the return in many areas of a three-month limit on benefits for unemployed adults aged 18-49 who are not disabled or raising minor children.
    The SNAP cutoffs loom as hunger and food insecurity continue to rise sharply. According to the most recent statistics from Feeding America, a food bank network, a staggering 48.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households in 2014, including 32.8 million adults and 15.3 million children.

    US food banks gave away about 4 billion pounds of food last year, double the amount a decade earlier. Social service providers and food pantries are bracing for an influx of hungry people in response to the SNAP rule change.


    Barack worked overtime to bail out the bankers.

    The poor?

    They're all on their own!


    Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


    Tuesday, February 2, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the chickens come home to roost for a left that failed to speak out against the continued war on Iraq, John Kerry is officially a failure and being iced out by the administration, and much more.


    Today, the US Dept of Defense announced:


    Strikes in Iraq
    Attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 20 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Albu Hayat, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL staging area.

    -- Near Habbaniyah, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL vehicles, three ISIL front end loaders, and an ISIL bomb-making cache.

    -- Near Kisik, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL fighting position, and an ISIL mortar system.

    -- Near Mosul, four strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL checkpoint and destroyed an ISIL bomb-making cache.

    -- Near Qayyarah, six strikes struck six separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL mortar system, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL bunker, and an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Ramadi, four strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, destroying four ISIL staging areas, an ISIL vehicle, four ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL weapons cache, and denying ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Sinjar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.


    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is a strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.



    The above is a failed tactic.

    It is not a strategy.

    Matthew Gregory disagrees.

    Because he's an idiot.

    He's not just any idiot at Georgetown, he's an idiot who shows where whoring leads.

    In a column, he insists that US President Barack Obama has a strategy.

    The fool can speak like this -- and it gets worse -- because whoring has allowed it.

    In the early years of the never-ending Iraq War, students on campuses overwhelmingly opposed the Iraq War and demanded US troops leave Iraq.

    After nearly eight years of Barack in the White House, and all the whoring that entails, there is a large -- not yet a majority -- number of students on college campuses today who are wallow in their stupidity and revel in their sense of entitlement.

    Gregory, for example, dictates that Iraq will not split up.

    Because he will impose on Iraq what he wants.

    Let's be honest for a moment.

    Iraq is a false creation by outside forces.

    It has never hung together peacefully as a country.

    In instances like this, at one point or another, the 'country' splits up.

    That will likely take place with Iraq.

    It might be next year, it might be 100 years from now.

    If Iraq is stay together this year or any other?

    It's going to be the decision of the Iraqi people.

    We have repeatedly said here that only they can make the decision to split up or to stay together.

    It cannot be imposed upon from the outside.

    That's what self-will and democracy are all about.

    But Matthew Gregory's been lied to for so long he doesn't grasp that.

    He's Samantha Power all over again.

    The Cruise Missile Left, as they've been called.

    He's been failed by his own sense of entitlement and by the silence on the left since Barack was elected.

    The refusal to demand an end to the Iraq War.

    The refusal to call a liar a "liar."  And Barack is a liar.

    "No boots on the ground."  That lie just gets bigger and bigger as he continues the Iraq War.

    As Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) points out, "The US has repeatedly added boots on the ground to the war, and has some 3,700 ground troops in Iraq now, with Pentagon officials pushing a proposal to get that up to 4,500."


    Barack's a liar.

    During the age of Bully Boy Bush, a liar could be called a liar.

    In the age of Barack, we're all supposed to politely bite our tongues.

    Barack's also a War Criminal.

    At his most laughable, Gregory types, "The first step would entail convincing key regional players to pursue the requisite policies to achieve the designated goal. The Iraqi government would be an enthusiastic partner but would need to demonstrate its inclusiveness and ability to unite the country’s diverse ethnicities and religious sects."

    I guess that's one way to put it.

    Not accurate but who needs accuracy when, like Gregory, you're arguing for more war.

    Seth J. Frantzman (NATIONAL INTEREST) notes:

     In addition to the abuses against non-Sunni minorities in Mosul by Islamic State, the Sunni residents who make up the city told local reporters and human rights organizations in 2014 that Iraqi security forces executed prisoners before withdrawing. Human Rights Watch relayed stories of more than a dozen men executed after being removed from the Counterterrorism and Organized Crime prison.
    This sense of persecution at the hands of Nuri al-Maliki’s Shia-led government prompted many to support ISIS when it arrived.



    And the abuses continue under Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's rule.













  • Saturday, Human Rights Watch noted:



    Members of Shia militias, who the Iraqi government has included among its state forces, abducted and killed scores of Sunni residents in a central Iraq town and demolished Sunni homes, stores, and mosques following January 11, 2016 bombings claimed by the extremist group Islamic State, also known as ISIS. None of those responsible have been brought to justice.
    Two consecutive bombings at a café in the town of Muqdadiya, in Diyala province, some 130 kilometers north of Baghdad, on January 11, killed at least 26 people, many of them Sunnis, according to a teacher who lives near the café. ISIS claimed the attacks, saying it had targeted local Shia militias, collectively known as Popular Mobilization Forces, which are formally under the command of the prime minister. Members of two of the dominant militias in Muqdadiya, the Badr Brigades and the League of Righteous forces, responded by attacking Sunnis as well as their homes and mosques, killing at least a dozen people and perhaps many more, according to local residents.

    “Again civilians are paying the price for Iraq’s failure to rein in the out-of-control militias,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Countries that support Iraqi security forces and the Popular Mobilization Forces should insist that Baghdad bring an end to this deadly abuse.” 



    Can you grasp that?

    If you can, grasp this:  It is illegal for the US government to support a regime or government that attacks its own people.  It is against domestic US law and it is against international law.

    Barack's a War Criminal.

    Maybe because he wants to be, maybe because he's lazy (and would rather just continue the same instead of transform it into something different), who knows why he is how he is?

    But a War Crime is taking place and he is the War Criminal.


    Ready for some more truths?

    The US government has failed in Iraq yet again.

    How so?

    More US troops.

    Barack thought that could be avoided -- at least until after he left the White House.

    How was that going to happen?

    Did you miss what he had John Kerry doing?

    Because John Kerry failed.

    In June of 2014, Barack publicly stated a political solution was needed in Iraq.  That was the only answer, he insisted.

    Instead of having the US State Dept work on that, he treated them as a junior branch of the Defense Dept.

    He didn't task them with diplomacy.

    He had them traveling to this and that country trying to get them to commit to sending troops -- more troops in many cases -- into Iraq.

    It's failed.

    John Kerry's a failure.

    No wonder he's so bombastic.

    He should have made  a great State Dept leader but instead he's an embarrassing failure.

    And, yes, he knows this, Barack even thinks so.

    More and more, John's being iced out.

    Brett McGurk is the State official the White House is vested in.

    John's just fighting to hold onto whatever turf he can keep.

    He was in Rome today, blow-harding before a small group -- even State described it as a "small group" -- about the Islamic State.

    But no one cares.

    Even the press that covers the State Dept didn't care.

    At today's US State Dept press briefing, no one asked one question about Kerry's meaningless 'big' meet-up in Rome.

    At yesterday's press briefing?

    Spokesperson Mark C. Toner was peppered with questions about Brett McGurk's visit to Syria.

    Kerry has lost the confidence of the president.

    That's the reality and even John Kerry knows it.

    He and his small group of supporters are trying to spin Australia's former Defence Minister's disagreement with the country's Prime Minister as proof of some success on Kerry's part.  It's no such thing.  It's not even a sitting Defence Minister but, even if it was, the prime minister has made the decision not to send more Australian troops into Iraq.

    Kerry's failure.

    He's worked and worked and worked on one country after another, promising Barack he would get the numbers necessary so that US forces would not have to be increased.

    But he failed.


    The failure is all around.

    Which is why, even by UN figures, January was another devastating month for Iraq.

    UNAMI issued the following on Monday:



    Baghdad, 1 February 2016 – A total of 849 Iraqis were killed and another 1,450 were injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in Iraq in January 2016*, according to casualty figures released today by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).


    The number of civilians killed in January was 490 (including 24 federal police, Sahwa civil defence, Personal Security Details, facilities protection police, fire department), and the number of civilians injured was 1,157 (including 47 federal police, Sahwa civil defence, Personal Security Details, facilities protection police, fire department).
    A total of 359 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (including Peshmerga, SWAT and militias fighting alongside the Iraqi Army but excluding Anbar Operations) were killed and 293 were injured.
    The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Mr. Ján Kubiš, deplored the continuing high casualty toll, particularly a sharp increase in the number of injuries among civilians in January as compared to the previous month.
    “One casualty is one too many. The suffering of the Iraqi people must end,” the SRSG said. “Iraqis, civilians in particular, continue to pay the price in this conflict. The Iraqi people should have the opportunity to live in peace and security.”
    The figures showed that Baghdad Governorate was the worst affected, with 1,084 civilian casualties (299 killed, 785 injured), Diyala 61 killed and 79 injured, Ninewa 55 killed and 24 injured, while Kirkuk had 12 killed and 3 injured, and Salahadin 2 killed and 14 injured.
    According to information obtained by UNAMI from the Health Directorate in Anbar, in January 2016 the Governorate suffered a total of 304 civilian casualties (56 killed and 248 injured). Anbar casualty figures cover the period from 1-30 January, inclusive.
    *CAVEATS: In general, UNAMI has been hindered in effectively verifying casualties in conflict areas. Figures for casualties from Anbar Governorate are provided by the Health Directorate. Casualty figures obtained from the Anbar Health Directorate might not fully reflect the real number of casualties in those areas due to the increased volatility of the situation on the ground and the disruption of services. In some cases, UNAMI could only partially verify certain incidents. UNAMI has also received, without being able to verify, reports of large numbers of casualties along with unknown numbers of persons who have died from secondary effects of violence after having fled their homes due to exposure to the elements, lack of water, food, medicines and health care. For these reasons, the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum.