Friday, March 10, 2017

Conor Oberst, Carly Simon

Bright Eyes is no more and Conor Oberst has another album.

I won't call it another solo album because, again, Bright Eyes is no more.

  1. Few women writers in any genre write as passionately, openly, and free of shame about love — and sex — as . CC
  2.   Carly Simon. Singer AND songwriter. Open about her roots and her struggles with anxiety. An icon.

Always good to see Carly Simon appreciated.  She is such a great artist.

I love her songwriting.

So much, in fact, that it's easy to forget she's a great singer.

Not just okay, but great.

And not just great with her own songs.

As her torch songs demonstrate, she is incredible.

And here's her covering Kris Kristofferson.

She performed that on her second album (ANTICIPATION).

The video's from the concert I repeatedly insist should be released on CD and iTunes, et al.

She performed live at Grand Central Station.

And that was a masterpiece of a concert.

Same concert, here she is doing a wonderful version of her own "We Have No Secrets."

Again, this was a great concert.

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

Friday, March 10, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, facts do not necessarily lead to solid interpretations, The Mosul Slog continues (as does the civilian tragedy) and more.

"When the heartache is over, you know I won't be missing you," sings Tina Turner.  Amen.

When the Iraq War is over -- surely that day has to come -- there's so much I won't miss.

Chief among them self-deception.

Danny Sjursen has a post that's all over the internet.  Sometimes it includes the lie that the January march against Donald Trump was larger than the protests against the Iraq War.  No.  DC and LA had strong turnout in January.  But the Iraq protests spread out across all of the US -- not just media centers -- and they were huge.

It's typical of 'the resistance' to have spread that lie (not calling Sjursen part of 'the resistance').  They didn't take part in the protests against the Iraq War.  And now they try to build their lies on the foundation of real work.

We'll link to Sjursen's article at THE NATION because at least it ditches the intro that includes that lie about the January protests being greater than the 2003 protests against the Iraq War.

Sjursen declares the Bully Boy Bush "surge" of Iraq a failure.

There are facts and there are interpretations of facts.

I think Sjursen's failing in both.

Bully Boy Bush's surge (which we opposed, check the archives) was about (a) increasing the number of US troops in Iraq to address the violence and (b) this providing space for the Iraqi politicians to work on reconciliation.

Sjursen seems completely unaware of the second part.

He judges the first part to be a failure.

I disagree, it did what it was supposed to do.

He's not honest about what that was.

I'm tired of the self-deceptions people tell themselves to feel good.

(I'm also tired of pieces on Iraq that focus on Bush and Trump while ignoring Barack Obama.)

Sjursen talks about "civil war" (we used the term long before the surge) and how Baghdad became a Shi'ite city.

By the time Sjursen was part of the surge, we were already calling it what it was: Ethnic cleansing.

I'm really sorry that he can't deal with the reality of what went down in Iraq.

It was ethnic cleansing.

He can denounce Nouri (while never calling Barack out for giving Nouri a second term when the Iraqi people voted him out in the 2010 election).

He can talk about what Nouri did and the attacks on the Sunnis.

He just can't connect the dots -- we were doing so in real time, a decade later he still wants to self-deceive.

Part (a) of the surge was a success.  The military part was a success.

The military did what they were tasked to do.

But what were they tasked to do?

To support a government carrying out abuses.

That meant taking sides.

Which they did.

The ethnic cleansing was conducted with their assistance.

That's what they provided cover for.

The US government installed the Iraqi government and the US government used the US military to keep it propped up.

It was US policy.

That's why, when Iraqi voters rejected Nouri in the 2010 elections, the US government -- then led by Barack Obama -- did not force Nouri to step down but backed him as he refused to step down for 8 months -- bringing Iraq's goverment to a stand still.

That's why when Iraqi voters rejected Nouri -- whose crimes were already known from his first term -- Barack gave Nouri a second term via The Erbil Agreement.

You can blame Iran -- as Patrick Cockburn always does -- but Iran didn't have any part in negotiating The Erbil Agreement -- that was the US government that did that.

And had Barack moved quickly, even up to month six after the election, he could have forced Nouri to honor the results.  As late as that point, Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr was still calling for Nouri to step down.

Hayder al-Abaci has done very little, accomplished even less.  But it doesn't matter to the US government -- now led by Donald Trump.  They will support him no matter what.

Barack had personal distaste for Nouri al-Maliki, refused to take his congratulatory call after Barack had won re-election in 2012 (he fobbed it off on Joe Biden).  But he still gave him the US government's backing.

Didn't matter that he was committing crimes, even War Crimes.

Didn't matter a bit in the end.

Until we can be honest about that, I don't know how much point there is in talking about the (ongoing) Iraq War.

The military did what they were tasked with in the surge.

That was propping up an abusive government.

I don't blame the US military for that, I blame the US government that issued those orders.

Maybe Danny Sjursen can't make that distinction yet?  Maybe he never will?

Until he does, he's writing sad little commentaries that are more confusing than enlightening.

This was US policy, this remains US policy.

Instead of explaining what happened, he offers bits of facts and never connects anything together because he refuses to see what took place.

Had more US troops stayed beyond the end of 2011 (all US troops did not leave -- and some who left were moved to Kuwait), as Nouri al-Maliki wanted, they would have been used to prop up Nouri's government.

Without them, Nouri more openly used Iraqi forces for this.

That's why he immediately had tanks circling the homes of Sunni MPs and went off on his tear accusing various Sunni politicians of terrorism.

Remember, the CIA profile of Nouri is what got him installed as prime minister -- his deep paranoia which the US government (headed by Bully Boy Bush at that point) saw as a plus -- they could use it to control him.

Why did the US go to war?  Why does the US continue the war?

ALL Wars are Bankers Wars They spill the blood of the ignorant poor to make rich men, richer Iraq and Afghanistan

When he can strip away the artifice, Sjursen might have something to offer.

Moving from the veiled to the ridiculous . . .

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney urges Iraq and the U.N. not to let ISIS "get away with genocide"

The talking beard.  Amal Clooney.  She looks so good in lavender, doesn't she?

Amal Clooney is outraged by a terrorist group.

She's not outraged by what the Iraqi government has done and continues doing the Sunni population.  Because she's not a human rights attorney.  She is an instrument of war.

She poses as a human rights attorney.

But then she poses as wife to George Clooney.

Neither is convincing.

Day 144 of The Mosul Slog.

: Latest displacement figures as tracked by 's . 10,279 families (61,674 individuals) displaced in last 14 days.

Mosul's a massacre.

And women who marry gay men because the gay men won't come out of the closet can pretend that they're helping (their husbands or the Yazidis) but they're really just perverting the truth.

An important analysis went up at Ross Caputi's FACEBOOK page.  The analysis is by Dirk Adriaensense (of BRussells Tribunal).

"This gives you an idea. The following figures date from end January 2016: I analyzed the database of Iraqbodycount for an article I wrote for an online newssite of the Belgian progressive community:

The "estimation" of Airwars,, is much lower than the numbers of Iraqbodycount. It appears that between 27 December 2016 and 21 January 21 2017, an overwhelming majority of the fatalities in the offensive against Mosul was caused by air strikes: 
Airstrikes: 450 
IED: 43 
Execution: 61 
Car bomb - suicide bomber: 39 
Gunfire 3 :
Shelling - Mortar: 87 
Sniper: 1

And these are the figures as compiled by Joel Wing:

The "estimation" of Airwars,, is much lower than the numbers of Iraqbodycount. It appears that between 27 December 2016 and 21 January 21 2017, an overwhelming majority of the fatalities in the offensive against Mosul was caused by air strikes: 
Airstrikes: 450 
IED: 43 
Execution: 61 
Car bomb - suicide bomber: 39 
Gunfire 3 :
Shelling - Mortar: 87 
Sniper: 1

And these are the figures as compiled by Joel Wing:

"There have been over 20,000 casualties since the start of the Mosul battle in October. Based on tracking reports in more than 40 papers per day including aid agencies there have 4,923 fatalities and 15,903 wounded. Civilians have been the biggest victims with 4,470 dead and 14,762 injured. Another 277 members of the ISF, 102 Hashd, 70 Peshmerga, 2 Kurdish Counterterrorism members, 1 Hashd al-Watani and 1 U.S. sailors have been reported killed, and 824 ISF, 253 Peshmerga, 59 Hashd, and 5 Hashd al-Watani wounded. The Islamic State has been accused of executing 2,749 civilians. Another 497 dead and 643 injured were blamed on Coalition Air Strikes.
Battle for Mosul Casualties Oct 17, 2016-Jan 14, 2017
4,923 Killed
1 U.S. Sailor, 1 Hashd al-Watani, 2 Kurd CT, 70 Peshmerga, 102 Hashd, 277 ISF, 4,470 Civilians
15,903 wounded
5 Hashd al-Watani, 59 Hashd, 253 Peshmerga, 824 ISF, 14,762 Civilians" 

The number of killed soldiers stated above contrasts with the last figures that were "allowed" to be released by UNAMI:

"On the first day of December 2016 the UN gave figures on the death toll for the month of November. CNN reported: "Iraq's military has disputed UN figures indicating that nearly 2,000 Iraqi troops were killed across the country in November, saying the number was "not accurate and much exaggerated."
Iraq's Joint Operation Command did not give CNN any numbers Saturday, saying it was not obliged to publish casualty figures while the battle against ISIS was ongoing."

These figures give an idea about the under-reporting on the number of victims.

Les Roberts, author of The Lancet study, in 2007: "A study of thirteen countries affected by war, presented at a conference at Harvard, found that more than 80 percent of violent deaths in conflicts is not mentioned by the press and governments . "(...)" There are now two polls and three scientific studies that suggest that the official figures and media-based estimates in Iraq have missed 70-95 percent of all deaths. Data show that the extent of under-reporting by the media is only increasing with time. "(Les Roberts, September 20, 2007)

On many casualties are missing. Based on a comparison of the IBC-figures and the estimates of the mortality studies on Iraq ("Body Count - Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the ‘War on Terror"): , one must assume that the real number of deaths is 5 to 10 times higher as the estimate of the IBC. 

The large number of attacks alone and the Pentagon "success stories" about destroyed targets and killed fighters associated to Daesh (45.000) suggests a much higher number of civilian casualties than those mentioned by Airwars and IBC. (See Joachim Guilliard's article: "Continued Cover-up – Civilian Casualties in the Air War of the US Alliance in Syria and Iraq"

Let's keep this in mind when looking at the numbers of casualties. It's a massacre."

My apologies that I can't find exactly where on Ross' FACEBOOK page this is, it was noted in an e-mail and I've looked for it but I don't FACEBOOK and I'm obviously missing it.

It's a civilian tragedy.

But no one wants to talk about that in the press.

Not even faux human rights attorneys who break from their faux marriages to pretend to care about the world.

We're closing with this from Thursday's US State Dept press briefing by spokesperson Mark C. Toner (who did the briefing via phone).

OPERATOR: Thank you. And next, we’ll go to Laurie Mylroie with Kurdistan 24. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Hi, Mark. Two questions. Ambassador Haley said yesterday that a political settlement in Syria required that it no longer be a safe haven for terrorists – quote, “We’ve got to make sure we get Iran and their proxies out.” Is reducing in a significant way Iran’s influence in Damascus a new U.S. objective in regards to Syria?

MR TONER: Not at all. We’ve consistently raised our concerns about the destabilizing nature of Iran’s activities in the region, but certainly in Syria, and we continue to hold the Iranian Government accountable for its actions, using the tools at our disposal.
On Syria, frankly, the support the Assad regime has received and continues to receive from Iran has enabled it to avoid pursuing what we all agree is the only outcome possible there to resolve the conflict, and that is a peaceful political outcome. It’s avoided – it’s allowed them to avoid seeking a negotiated end to the conflict, and that’s an issue.
We’ve imposed targeted sanctions on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as well as its Ministry of Intelligence and Security for their support of the Assad regime. So as I said, we’re looking to counter those destabilizing actions, and we recognize – and we have recognized for some time – that Iran is playing a very destabilizing role in Syria. That should come as a surprise to no one.
You had a follow-up?

QUESTION: Yeah. It had to do – you mentioned this counter-ISIS meeting that you’re going to hold later this month. Are you considering or might you consider KRG representation at these meetings?

MR TONER: Well, again, this is something that the Government of Iraq would be attending, and we’ve talked about this before: We are very appreciative and aware of the sacrifice and effectiveness of Kurdish forces in the fight against ISIS, but we also recognize that they operate under the command and control of the Iraqi Government. That’s been very clear in all of our dealings with the Iraqi Government and our support for forces in Iraq that are fighting ISIS that we operate under the mandate of Iraqi Government command and control to all of our assistance, and that continues.
That said, we – and our Special Envoy Brett McGurk has frequent conversations with Kurdish leadership on the ground, and we consult with them closely. So we believe they’ll be represented here by the Government of Iraq.

QUESTION: Any chance you might encourage the Government of Iraq to bring along some Kurdish officials?

MR TONER: Well, look, that’s something for the Government of Iraq to work out with Kurdish officials themselves.

The following community sites updated:

  • Thursday, March 09, 2017

    Sometimes the sexist pigs are women

    Danette Chavez felt the need to call out CNN for promoting all men as the future face of news.

    But our AV writer has her own problems as she recounts HBO's history:

    The network’s rise to prominence is, by now, a well-known tale, one that kicked off with The Sopranos, which began its critically lauded run in 1999. This was just a couple of years after Oz kicked off its six-year bid on the network, and two years before Six Feet Under entered the lineup. In addition to these critical darlings, the 10-year stretch following HBO’s renewed investment boasted such dramas as The Wire, Deadwood, the underrated Carnivàle, and Big Love. It didn’t fully leave comedies behind either: Larry David yielded another hit of Seinfeld-level hilarity with Curb Your Enthusiasm in 2000, while Adrian Grenier and his Entourage came along for the ride starting in 2004.
    HBO’s programming powerhouse reputation did suffer from the departure of The Sopranos; it struggled to find another similar hit in the following years. It was an adaptation of fantasy novels that lifted the spell, as David Benioff and D.B. Weiss scored an immediate hit with Game Of Thrones in 2011. And the fantasy drama shows no signs of stopping (that is, except for the end of the series, which is set for 2018). But HBO will worry about that then—the flood gates had been opened, and not just for dramas like Thrones, The Leftovers, and True Detective. Comedies came back in a big way with Girls and Veep in 2012, and later, Silicon Valley

    It is a well known tale and one that isn't known to the dumb ass Chavez.

    Where's SEX IN THE CITY?


    Sex and the City is an American romantic comedy television series created by Darren Star and produced by HBO. Broadcast from 1998 until 2004, the original run of the show had a total of 94 episodes. Throughout its six-year run, the show received contributions from various producers, writers, and directors, perhaps most significantly from Michael Patrick King.
    Set and filmed in New York City and based on the 1997 book of the same name by Candace Bushnell, the show follows the lives of a group of four women—three in their mid-thirties and one in her forties—who, despite their different natures and ever-changing sex lives, remain inseparable and confide in each other. Starring Sarah Jessica Parker (as Carrie Bradshaw), Kim Cattrall (as Samantha Jones), Kristin Davis (as Charlotte York), and Cynthia Nixon (as Miranda Hobbes), the quirky series had multiple continuing storylines that tackled relevant and modern social issues such as sexualitysafe sexpromiscuity, and femininity, while exploring the difference between friendships and romantic relationships. The deliberate omission of the better part of the early lives of the four women was the writer's way of exploring social life - from sex to relationships - through each of their four very different, individual perspectives.
    The series received both acclaim and criticism for its subjects and characters, and is credited with helping jump-start HBO.[1] It spawned two feature films, Sex and the City (2008) and its sequel Sex and the City 2 (2010), and a prequel series by The CWThe Carrie Diaries. It also won seven of its 54 Emmy Award nominations, eight of its 24 Golden Globe Award nominations, and three of its 11 Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. Sex and the City still airs in syndication worldwide and has been listed on Entertainment Weeklys end-of-the-decade "best of" list and as one of Time magazine's 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME.[2] The show placed #5 on Entertainment Weekly's "New TV Classics" list.[3] In 2013, TV Guide ranked it at #40 on its list of the Best Series of All Time.[4]

    Now I loathed the show and can't stand Sarah Jessica Parker.

    But I will never lie and pretend that the show she starred in was huge.

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

    Thursday, March 9, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, War Criminal Tony Blair ventures out in public, MSNBC celebrates Mad Maddie Albright, and much more.

    Starting in England . . .

    Link to headline article

    THE DAILY MIRROR offers a photo essay of the ceremony.  SKY NEWS notes, "Around 2,500 invited guests, including veterans representatives, service personnel, bereaved families, charity workers, civil servants and politicians attended a Drumhead Service at Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall."  Nick Higham (BBC NEWS) adds:

    The event has been overshadowed by a row over the failure to include the families of the 682 service personnel who died in Iraq and Afghanistan among the 2,500 invited to the ceremony.
    One widow of a soldier killed in Afghanistan said they had been snubbed; another called the decision completely crass.
    Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron called on the prime minister to apologise for what he called a careless oversight.
    Mrs May said charities and groups representing the bereaved had been asked to put forward names of attendees.
    But the chairman of the War Widows Association told the BBC that while she'd been invited herself she'd not been asked to nominate others, and that the Ministry of Defence should have contacted all the families involved directly. 

    While various family members were not allowed to attend, War Hawk Tony Blair was in attendance, no doubt feeling that pride and joy that only a War Criminal can when he's allowed to survey the people dead because of him.

    Can anyone explain why Tony Blair has been invited to the Iraq/Afghanistan tribute to dead & injured soldiers, but not their families?

    Sickening Tony Blair is at the service for the new memorial to soldiers killed in Iraq & Afghanistan today

    Tony Blair arrives at the Iraq/Afganistan memorial service, a few minutes ago and takes a front seat. This man has the skin of a rhinoceros

    The only fitting memorial to Iraq & Afghanistan would be to have Tony Blair at the Hague! Watch 's >

    Tony always thinks the blood will wash off but it never will.


    So the United Kingdom erected a memorial.

    What did the US government do again?

    Oh, that's right.

    A parade.

    Remember Barack Obama was president and the drawdown was taking place at the end of 2011 so veterans were asking for a parade and Barack said there would be one but not just yet and . . .

    Oh, that's right, he left office without ever giving them their parade.

    Because he's a liar.

    Why didn't they get their parade?

    And why didn't anyone ever hold the little prince to his promises?

    Poor little Barack, rumors that he spied on Trump, rumors that an Iraqi terrorist was let into the country and captured before the election but Barack insisted he be let go because he thought the news would hurt Hillary's campaign, so many rumors.

    Barack never did a memorial, never did a parade, never kept his word.


    Louis Michael, who commentates on TV programmes on the Channel 4 TV show Gogglebox, took to Twitter, to say Blair’s attendance was “like Hitler turning up at a Holocaust memorial. Tony Blair should be hiding his head in shame, instead he adds insult to injury.”

    War Criminals roam free for years until, like Henry Kissinger, they're scared to leave the country for fear of being arrested.

    Yesterday was International Women's Day.

    A question was posed on Twitter.

    do you recognize that women in Yemen, Syria and Iraq which are being killed by western weapons have rights too?

    Clearly some did not.

    That would include Alan Greenspan's wife Andrea Mitchell who, still nursing her vaginal longings for a President Hillary, made due with another War Hawk.

    On MSNBC brought in Madeleine Albright, who once called deaths of 500k Iraqi kids "worth it"

    For Andrea, sprawled out on the billions her husband raked in, Mad Maddie is the ideal guest.

    Bring on a War Criminal.  MSNBC was never a left network.

    It's always been a centerist Democrat network.

    And so Mad Maddie is brought on to disrespect the office of the president.

    Let's be really clear on this, Donald Trump is the sitting president.

    Any private citizen can and should say what they think.

    But former government officials?


    That's disrespectful.

    He hasn't even been in office a year and a cloud has been immediately created -- which was the point.

    Just as the point of the special prosecutor would be to find something, anything, a blow job?, on Donald.

    David Brock should never have been allowed to move from the right.

    But it's how corrupt we are on the left that we allowed him to take a leadership role.

    'The resistance' is nothing but a campaign tool for an upcoming election.

    And Mad Maddie Alrbirght should rot in hell -- which, appearing on MSNBC with Andrea Scrawny Arms Mitchell, probably is a very close earthly approximation.

    The Mosul Slog hit day 143 today.

    How's that going?

    map update. Green= liberated and under forces control. Orange= frontline clashes. White= controlled areas.

    Still ongoing.

    Meanwhile, AFP reports, "Two suicide bombers attacked a celebration being held the night before a wedding north of Tikrit, killing at least 26 people, a police officer said on Thursday."  And ALMASDAR NEWS notes, "Over 40 people were killed in central Iraq on Thursday when two Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists carried out a suicide mission south of Baiji. According to the Islamic State’s official media wing, the two terrorists detonated their suicide vests at an Iraqi Army gathering point inside the village of Al-Hajjaj."

    The following community sites updated:

  • IWD
    19 hours ago