Thursday, December 01, 2016


I would have to agree with this:

The Israeli Govt does not believe in a two-state solution & I really don't understand those who pretend otherwise

That could have been an answer.

I no longer see it as possible.

I hope I am wrong.

I pray I am wrong.

I do not know how this nonsense has been allowed to fester all these decades.

The Palestinian people have a right to their own state and, yes, their existence.

That is what has always been at stake.

But a Zionist government has plowed over them and I don't see it getting any less bully like.

I hope I am wrong.

I know so many Jews disagree with the Israeli government -- including Israeli Jews.

But I just don't see leadership on the Israeli government side.

And I have seen each successful Israeli ruler get more and more hawkish.

I don't know what's the answer now but I don't think anyone paying attention really believes, at this late date, that a two-state solution offer (a) would be sincere or (b) would even come from the Israeli government.

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

Thursday, December 1, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the death toll mounts, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL fluffs Hayder al-Abadi, and much more.

Starting in the United Kingdom,  Jessica Elgot and Heather Stweart (GUARDIAN) report:

Labour MPs turned out in force on Wednesday to help defeat a parliamentary motion calling for Tony Blair to be held to account for allegedly misleading parliament over the Iraq war by 439 votes to 70, after a sometimes angry debate.
The motion, tabled by the Scottish National party’s foreign affairs spokesman, Alex Salmond, was backed by MPs from six other parties, and called for parliamentary committees to investigate and take appropriate action against the former prime minister.

Some reaction on Twitter:

Millions of people know that Tony Blair deceived Parliament and the country about Iraq, MPs as usual think they know better.

Any decent person knows Tony Blair and his devotees did wrong with Iraq. Labour MPs needs to stop defending the indefensible.

Here's the damning evidence from leading academic based on that makes the case that Blair misled on

And there's a larger message as well.

Defending Blair over Iraq is not going to persuade exLabour voters to return to the fold. Today's vote greatly harms their election chances

Labour has fallen from power and lost repeatedly.

The Iraq War is not forgotten.

As we've been documenting since months before Gordon Brown was toppled, voters want Labour to distance themselves from Tony Blair.  (Rebecca even wrote about her being consulted on that as a personal favor.)

They won't pull the trigger already and they continue to suffer.

They can try to wait this out and might be successful but they could easily return to power immediately if they would disown Tony Blair.

That has US implications as well.

In 2008, after admitting that the Iraq War was a "mistake" (finally admitting), Hillary Clinton (War Hawk supporter of the Iraq War) still lost the Democratic Party primary to Barack Obama who campaigned for the presidential nomination by (falsely) insisting he was always against the Iraq War.

But somehow, in 2016, idiots thought this would be forgotten.

Despite the fact that Libya proved just how War Hawk she really was.

Despite the reality that she can never be wrong in her mind so she took to adding to her 'mistake' claim that her mistake was trusting Bully Boy Bush would put the right number of troops on the ground.

So she walked back her 2008 'mistake' to insist that it wasn't a mistake to support the illegal war on the grounds of WMD that were not there, it was just a mistake for her to think that Bully Boy Bush would put X number of troops on the ground.

Whether Donald Trump was against the Iraq War before it started or months or years later, the reality for many Americans was that Hillary wasn't really against the Iraq War despite her dubbing it a 'mistake' -- that yet again, she'd say anything to get what she wanted.

New topic: What the hell are they smoking at THE WALL STREET JOURNAL -- can't be pot -- marijuana doesn't lead to psychotic delusions.

Yaroslav Trofinmov writes (apparently after swallowing Hayder al-Abadi's seed):

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi seemed on the ropes just a few months ago. Protesters stormed and sacked his office in Baghdad’s Green Zone amid talk of a revolution. Parliament fired his top ministers. It appeared only a matter of time before the British-educated engineer would be ousted too.

All this now seems a distant memory. Donning black military fatigues instead of his usual ill-fitting suits, Mr. Abadi has managed to harness the long-awaited campaign to free Mosul from Islamic State, reinventing himself as a victorious war leader. 

This is exactly why the MSM can't lecture or hector others about 'fake news.'

They can't even tell the truth.

Let's forget the growing anger in the Sunni community for just a moment.

Among the Shi'ites alone?

The Popular Mobilization Forces are publicly mocking Hayder on social media.

Nouri al-Maliki, leader of the State Of Law coalition -- has denounced Hayder repeatedly -- in Iraq and in Iran -- and Nouri wants back in as prime minister.

Ammar al-Hakim is said to see it as his destiny to become prime minister and to 'heal Iraq.'

His followers, he's the leader of the  Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, make clear that Hayder needs to go.

Ibrahim al-Jaafari, former prime minister, has publicly groused about Hayder repeatedly.

Cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr has made clear to his followers that the protests are about to start back up.

(Moqtada's the one who stopped the protests -- not Hayder.)

And that's just the Shi'ites.

Let's leave sects for a moment.

The most common them on social media by all Iraqis about Hayder al-Abadi?

How short he is.

How ridiculous his short, fat body looks every time he puts on military clothes.

Now let's zoom in on the Sunnis.

Hayder's back a law which outlawed alcohol -- Sunnis sold alcohol.

And he's pushed for the Parlaiment -- which just did -- to make the Popular Mobilization Forces part of the armed forces legally.  These are Shi'ite militias.

The law is so outrageous that even Moqtada -- a Shi'ite -- is saying that at the very least it needs to be fine tuned.

The western press has largely ignored this for days.

That's changing.

Mainly because of . . .

Landed in for week of consultations on op & longer-term efforts to support 's stabilization after 's defeat.

Yes, things are so bad that, with only about seven weeks left in his presidency, Barack Obama is sending special envoy Brett McGurk back to Iraq.

Stephen Kaplin (REUTERS) reports:

But the government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi knows that even if it defeats Islamic State it needs to bring the Shi'ite militias under greater control. Iraqi and Western officials alike say episodes like the one in Balad raise serious questions about Abadi's ability to do that.
The militias came together in 2014 after Islamic State seized a third of the country. Officially, the militias form a government-backed popular fighting force called the Hashid Shaabi, which has been instrumental in protecting Baghdad and pushing back Islamic State.

But the militias have also created headaches for the government. Many of them have ties to Iran and have amassed vast military and political influence. Sunni Iraqis and human rights groups have accused some of them of rights violations, torture and murder.

At AL JAZEERA, Michael Knights argues that the militias should be allowed in the battle of Mosul but then, after the Islamic State is defeated, the militias should be demobilized:

This is why Iraqis need to closely watch Iraq's budgets to make sure the PMF do not get direct control of the resources that can turn them into a permanent anti-democratic, Iranian-controlled power base. This is why it is safest and best to demobilise the PMF into the existing ministry armed units.
If the PMF are allowed to grow out of control, it will be a sad corruption of their heroic stand in 2014 and could become yet another bitter memory for Iraqis. But if demobilisation occurs, the PMF will be proudly remembered as Iraq's "Dunkirk moment".

RUDAW notes:

Although there was no hint in McGurk’s comment that he was in Baghdad to discuss the resolution inducting the Hashd al-Shaabi into the army, the US has been consistent in its opposition to the Iranian-backed force, which has been taking part in the anti-ISIS offensive in Mosul. 

The Pentagon said on Tuesday it has not changed its position regarding the Hashd, which is also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), and that it is not providing support to the group in the Mosul campaign.

"We're not providing support to the PMF at this time,” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said on Tuesday. “We're going to continue to provide support to the Iraqi security forces, and that has not changed," he added in response to a comment about some of the forces in the PMF being implicated in the anti-American insurgency that followed the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Asked whether the US position will change once the Iraqi parliament’s resolution is implemented and the Hashd are formally inducted, Cook said he would have that conversation once the move has been carried out.

"We have stated clearly in the past that we will not support those PMF forces.  If there's a change in the structure, that's a determination that the Iraqis will make on their own and we'll have that conversation at a later time.  But at this point, our position has not changed," he said.

The battle to liberate or 'liberate' Mosul continues.

It's day 45.

Today, UNAMI issued the following:

Turning to the US, there was a veterans roundtable yesterday.  We may include it in tomorrow's snapshot -- if not, I'll cover it in the gina & krista round-robin.

Above isSenator Tammy Baldwin and her office issued the following yesterday:

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
   (202) 224 - 6225
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and Representative Gus Bilirakis Host Roundtable with Veterans Care Stakeholders and Simcakoski Family
In July, bipartisan VA reforms named after Wisconsin Marine veteran Jason Simcakoski were signed into law by President Obama
“Realizing the Jason Simcakoski Memorial and Promise Act” roundtable addresses the opioid crisis and quality pain care for veterans
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) led a roundtable dialogue titled “Realizing the Jason Simcakoski Memorial and Promise Act” to address the opioid crisis and quality pain care for veterans.
Senator Baldwin and Representative Bilirakis were joined by members of the Simcakoski family, as well as officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), The American Legion, American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
The roundtable addressed veterans’ opioid safety and pain management, including the implementation of the Jason Simcakoski Memorial and Promise Act that was signed into law in July as part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. Key stakeholders discussed the VA’s progress in addressing opioid prescribing practices, the critical health care needs of veterans that Congress should focus on in the upcoming year, and how to realize the goals of Jason’s law: meaningful access to high-quality care, including more effective pain management services for our nation’s veterans; improved patient advocacy to give veterans and their families a stronger voice in their care; and enhanced hiring practices at the VA to ensure that the best health care providers are treating our veterans. 
An online version of this release is available here.


The following community sites updated:

  • Wednesday, November 30, 2016

    A losing strategy

    A lot of people are just condemning anyone who voted for Donald Trump.

    Shuja Haider (JACOBIAN) notes:

    Jamelle Bouie gives it a pithy summary in a recent Slate article called “There’s No Such Thing as a Good Trump Voter,” his most explicit articulation of a position he has alluded to consistently. “All the solicitude, outrage, and moral telepathy being deployed in defense of Trump supporters — who voted for a racist who promised racist outcomes — is perverse, bordering on abhorrent,” he writes.
    It’s redolent of a statement Hillary Clinton made on the campaign trail. Half of Trump’s supporters, she said, fit into a “basket of deplorables.” When those supporters emerged from their basket in greater numbers than her own on Election Day — at least where it counted — it became clear that calling them “deplorable” wasn’t an effective means of winning their votes. But you know what they say about hindsight.
    At the time, this questionable strategy was considered a sound one by many liberal pundits. Jonathan Chait endorsed Clinton’s remark in a piece at New York magazine titled “Yes, Most Donald Trump Supporters Are Deplorable.” After posing the question “Do Trump’s supporters legitimately share all of his deranged beliefs, or are they merely signaling some kind of tribal affinity?”, Chait concluded that it’s “a distinction without a difference.”
    He cited a study claiming Trump’s backers are “authoritarians” who “yearn for a strongman who can override the systemic constraints on presidential power.” They’re deplorable, Chait said, whether or not they agree with everything Trump says.
    For Chait and Bouie, Trump voters didn’t just make the wrong choice. They all lack legitimate grievances. Even a misguided social conscience, or mistaken self-interest, can’t be entertained as possible causes of their decision. They voted solely out of malevolent disregard for the targets of Trump’s invective.

    Trump was elected by 46.2 percent of American voters. That’s around 20 percent of the American general population — well over 60 million people. Exit polls indicate that this number includes several million people of color. No one on the Left believes these voters were right to support Trump, but Bouie and Chait take it a step further. They don’t even want to change their minds.

    Want to know how to keep losing elections?

    Not even attempting to try to figure out what some people did not vote for your candidate.

    Just name call and stay ignorant and see the whole thing repeat in four years.

    That's really a losing strategy.

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

    Wednesday, November 30, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, Mosul remains a slog, War Crimes continue, Elise Labott continues to be useless and much more.

    In Iraq, the operation to liberate or 'liberate' Mosul is now on day 44.

    Hayder al-Abadi is insisting it will (finally) wrap up by the end of the year.

    This despite Elise Labott of CNN making like she was at a county fair pig hollering contest by hollering "NO!" in the midst of an October State Dept press briefing when a reporter offered that it was a slog.

    It's not a slog?

    Day 44 and it's not a slog, Elise?

    Mosul was seized by the Islamic State in June of 2014.

    Despite having over two years to plan an effort, the Baghdad based-government and the White House did not bother to factor in the refugees that would be created by this effort or the suffering of the civilians who remained in Mosul.

    WORLD BULLETIN notes, "Up to 500,000 civilians in Mosul face a 'catastrophic' drinking water shortage as Iraqi forces advance on the ISIL group in the city, the United Nations warned on Wednesday."  AL JAZEERA adds:

    "We are facing a humanitarian catastrophe," said Hussam al-Abar, member of Mosul's Nineveh provincial council, adding that 1.5 million people were still inside Mosul.
    "Basic services such as water, electricity, health, food are non-existent."

    AFP notes, "Some residents said the sudden water shortage was caused by air strikes from the US-led coalition that damaged the main carrier bringing water from the western side of the city."

    So not only are they suffering, some are saying it's because of the US-led coalition.

    (It may or may not be because of the US-led coalition.  That'll be determined at a later date most likely.  Right now, the point is that the actions of the US-led coalition have been so destructive that some residents believe this is also their fault.)

    The refugees, the ones who have made it out?

    They're not fairing any better.

    Iraq refugees: 'We are dying here. The dirt is consuming us.'

    Where was the planning?

    Why wasn't the US State Dept leading on this?

    Where's the outcry?

    None of that troubles Elise Labott.

    The woman who wants to be the third Mrs. John Kerry is too busy lusting after the Secretary of State -- doubt it, check out her Twitter feed.

    Secretary comments on U.S. leadership at .
    Secretary Kerry Comments on the Importance of U.S. Leadership
    Secretary of State John Kerry comments on U.S. leadership at the Women's Foreign Policy Group Conference on November 29, 2016. - U.S. Department of State

    This is the speech where Kerry gets his little jab in.

    Not mentioning by name, aims criticism toward using "pithy tweets" to address global concerns

    Pithy Tweets?

    Poor John.

    For years he wanted to be America's chief diplomatic officer.

    The highest he made was Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    But then he got it, he finally got it.

    And once he became Secretary of State -- possibly still hurting over the mocking of his war record -- all he wanted to do was pretend he was Secretary of Defense. 

    And as he leaves office, all he wants is full out war with Syria.

    John Kerry was supposed to prize diplomacy and offer a sure hand but instead he lurched around the globe like . . . Well, like Lurch on THE ADAM'S FAMILY.

    And US President Barack Obama was forced to ice John out of key decisions and to elevate Brett McGurk to a higher post and, for all practical purposes, let Brett be Secretary of State.

    Disgraced and with his tail between his legs, John will soon be heading home.

    If only John had confined himself to Tweets -- pithy or otherwise -- the world might be a safer place.  Instead, he was constantly trying to egg on war -- with Syria, with Russia . . .

    What a sad and embarrassing end to the career of a one-time grandstander (tossing those medals doesn't look so brave now as John ends his career, it just looks like another example of rank hypocrisy -- and that was the best moment in his life).

    He'll be the one who looked the other way as War Crimes took place in Iraq -- carried out by the people the White House supported.

    1. Iraqi army crimes
      عاجل الحشد الشيعي الارهابي يذبح العراقيون السنه التركمان في تلعفر
      تطهير عرقي واباده جماعيه بتواطىء ودعم
      حسبنا الله

    pics from Tal Afar
    Genocide and ethnic cleansing
    Iraqi Sunnis civilians killed by Iraqi army

    John Kerry is an embarrassment and will have to live with the shame of his inactions for years to come.

    Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Recount" went up last night and the following community sites updated:

  • And we'll close with this press release

    Indie singer and decorated war veteran, John Preston, will release his new song, Superman Falls, for presale mid-December. Preston said, “My whole purpose in life is to create music that heals the souls of veterans who have served. It is a battle every day for so many to stay mentally healthy after serving our country. There are too many men and women who have fought for our freedom that end up taking their lives because of depression and PTSD. This cycle needs to stop. Working in partnership with the Valkyrie Initiative to release this song has been a step in the right direction in helping those who need healing. I am truly grateful for this opportunity.”
    Preston has had his life experience with PTSD after returning from Iraq. He struggled with alcohol and depression for 15 years before pulling himself out of it. His brother was not as lucky; he ended up taking his life in January. “My brother was so strong mentally and physically I just didn’t see his suicide coming,” said Preston. “We are taught in the military not to show weakness, but they need to know it’s okay to ask for help. I don’t want anyone ever to think they are weak because they have PTSD and need some extra support services.”
    Preston partnered with the Valkyrie Initiative because it is a non-profit aligned with his purpose to help veterans with Post Traumatic Stress by treating the mind, body, and soul. The proceeds from the CD will all go to help fund programs for Veterans. The CD will feature ten artists and 14 tracks. Some of the other well-known artists include Dave Bray, the Scooter Brown Band, Ryan Weaver, and Dee Rock.
    About the Valkyrie Initiative:
    It is a non-profit dedicated to the to successfully facilitating the transition of Veterans, First Responders and their families using jobs and life skills training, animal therapy, systems education, and stress reduction for those who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress.
    About Singer John Preston:
    John Preston is a Pacific Records recording artist and full-time firefighter. Preston was a Marine Corps field wireman from 2000 to 2004 achieving the rank of Sergeant in his 4 years of service and with Second Battalion Seventh Marines (2/7) served as a mission squad leader for 2/7 H&S running over 100 combat missions while in theater. 
    John began his music career while in Iraq writing his song "Good Good America" which became an overnight success and gave him his first shot at the music industry signing a record deal upon his return from Iraq. The song and video inspired by Iraqi school children was a national media topic and was viewed hundreds of thousands of times in 2004. 
    John returned to the music industry in 2014 signing with Pacific Records and quickly releasing his first single "this IS war" in October of 2014. The song also became a national media topic when the Marine veteran made a call to action to veterans across the nation to stand against ISIS which had just made a surge through Syria and Iraq. The music video had thousands of views and secured a second release with Pacific Records. 
    Later in 2014, Preston released his Los Angeles Music Awards nominated EP "Your War is Over.” In 2015, he released in the Top 100 New Alternative Albums chart with his second EP "Day to Night." The album released on the one-year anniversary of the death of the Marine for whom he had written the song. John's video for Day to Night has had hundreds of thousands of views.
    John's life took a turn of tragic irony when in January of 2016 his brother fell victim to post-traumatic stress and took his own life. The passing of his brother was enough to make him consider ending his career, but has instead fueled his passion.