Friday, September 11, 2015

The sad Cornel West

Ajamu Baraka has an important article at Black Agenda Report entitled "Why is Cornel West Sheep-Dogging for the Democrats -- Once Again?"  Here's an excerpt:

Rosa Clemente, who ran for Vice President with Cynthia McKinney in 2008, reminds us that Cornel West and many other notable left activists and intellectuals who have given lip-service to the need for an independent left politics in the U.S., dutifully lined-up to give their support to Barack Obama.  For many of these leftists, the rationale offered to support the Democrat candidate wasn’t even about the traditional “lesser of two evils,” but a strange belief that somehow this individual, selected and pushed by powerful forces within the liberal Democrat establishment and some defectors from the Clinton DLC wing of the party, represented a significant break with the neoliberal agenda that both parties had committed themselves to since the late 70s.
Brother West, who claimed that Barack Obama was a “good and decent brother” whose “character and judgment” would overcome his lack of experience, endorsed and campaigned incessantly for the freshmen senator from Illinois.  In more than sixty appearances, West assured black and progressive audiences that Obama represented the embodiment of democratic hope to reverse a corrupt and moribund politics in the U.S. 

Of course, being the pro-capitalist flim-flam man and opportunist pimp that he had always been for most of his adult life, Barack Obama had no intention of breaking with the corporate neoliberal agenda.  Obama’s vigorous support for the bank bailout and the role he played lining up skeptical members of the Democrat Party to get behind the Bush bailout in September 2008 should have been a wake-up to his “progressive” supporters that without significant pressure from his “left” all of his “liberal” campaign promises would be jettisoned and he would govern from the right.  Surprisingly, after Obama won and it became even more clear with his appointments and advisors that he was in fact going to govern as a neoliberal, many leftists, including West, withheld early criticisms of his policies and even more tragically decided to deploy a strangely passive and disempowering  “wait and see” strategy.

Due to his work with Tavis Smiley, I really thought West had awakened and was done with the nonsense of propping up War Hawks.

But I guess he's just unable to let go.

Which is really sad.

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

Thursday, September 10, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, Iraq's government protests the violation of their national sovereignty, the State Dept ignores it, Canada's New Democratic Party is attacked for proposing to do the sensible thing, and much more.

The Canadian Press is attempting to actively smear the country's New Democratic Party.  Why?

Because unlike so many -- especially so many in the US -- the NDP can see beyond the bluster and war mania.

CP gets this part right:

The New Democrats would immediately halt Canada's bombing campaign against Islamic State militants and withdraw special forces trainers who have been instructing Kurdish peshmerga fighters, leader Tom Mulcair said Thursday.
The NDP would not wait for the parliamentary mandate — Canada is currently committed to the U.S.-led coalition until the end of March — to expire, he emphasized.
"Canada would put an end to our participation in the combat mission in Iraq and in Syria immediately. We've been clear on that since Day 1."

From there, the CP wants to ridicule and mock the NDP and offer this or that statement by this or that war monger.

Reality -- one that CodeStink and David Swanson and others can't explore because they focus on every damn thing except Iraq -- there is no plan.

US President Barack Obama has bombed Iraq for over a year now and begged other countries -- such as Canada -- to participate as well.

That's the so-called plan.

It's not accomplished one damn thing.

And the ridiculous Medea Benjamin and David Swanson, so busy pretending to Stop The Next War Now!, ignore the plight of the Iraqi people and the ongoing destruction of their country.

They spend their time whoring for a deal the White House wants with Iran.

John Kerry.

John Kerry voted for the war on Iraq and the war on Afghanistan.

He turned against the Vietnam War only after the bulk of Americans did.

John Kerry wants the Iran deal because John Kerry wants war.

Have we forgotten how his sister Peggy treated Cindy Sheehan?

Apparently, we have and we've forgotten that there's not been a war John Kerry hasn't wanted.

The proposed deal is very likely little more than the final negotiation for war with Iran.

Bully Boy Bush wanted war with Iran.

He couldn't get it.

It was too extreme, too horrifying.

Too many wars.

World revulsion to the wars was too high.

But a treaty put in place, one then violated -- or said to be violated -- makes war a lot easier to go down because it's no longer blood thirsty War Hawks screaming for war, it's a document, you understand -- a clearly outlined agreement and, golly, the chance was offered but now the penalties kick in.

There is nothing in a crooked agreement with an imperialist government for so-called members of the peace movement to support.

But that's what they spend their time on -- the David Swansons and the Medea Benjamins.

They don't spend their time helping the Iraqi people.

The NDP is being attacked for noting the obvious, there is no peace from bombing.

The NDP would cut the combat mission and instead focusing on the root causes of the problem -- which was what Barack said, June 19, 2014, he was going to focus on.

David Swanson and Medea Benjamin have never held Barack accountable for his failure to work on a political solution to the crises in Iraq.

But don't worry, they've enlisted in whoring for him.

The NDP's statements and actions are met with attacks from the Canadian Press precisely because the NDP can see beyond the bluster and offer a way out.

Barack's plan or 'plan' is not working.

So the 'answer' is to give it more time?

To let it continue and continue until shortly after the next President of the United States is sworn in?

Iraq is seeing a record exodus right now.

Iraq which, by 2007, had set the record for the largest refugee crisis in the Middle East since 1947.

And now the country is seeing such destruction that even more Iraqis are fleeing -- those who've stuck it out through the ongoing chaos since 2003.

Iraq Times estimates 400,000 Iraqis have fled the country in just the last two months.

And where's the US peace movement?

Applauding 'reforms' by Haider al-Abadi that aren't reforms.

Al Mada reports activists gathered in Baghdad's Tahrir Square on Wednesday to protest the lack of any real action to address their demands.

Activist Jassim Hilfi outlines the demands as follows: reform the political system, address the corruption and prosecute the corrupt and third address the lack of public services.  Hilfi notes that Haider's announced 'reforms' do little to nothing and don't address the demands of the protesters but these actions of Haider's are, yes, unconstitutional.

They're unconstitutional actions which are consolidating power within the office of the prime minister.  Of course the White House supports that.  They demanded loser Nouri al-Maliki get a second term in 2010 because they wanted a strong-man (despot) in charge of Iraq.

Nouri al-Maliki?

Haider's over-reach is so great that, as Iraq Times reports, even Nouri is saying the moves are unconstitutional and can be overturned by the federal court.

Iraq is suffering.

There is no attempt to heal, there is no attempt to rebuild, there is no attempt at inclusion.

Haider can't even get on the same page with the KRG on oil.

And that's after announcing last year that he'd reached a deal with the KRG.

He never lived up to the deal but Haider's all words and no action.

But grasp how dangerous the NDP's goal is seen as being.

The Canadian Press has never, ever covered the Conservative-controlled government's war actions in Iraq by including criticism of it from outside parties.

But, after the combat has clearly failed, to propose ending it and focusing on building inclusion?  That's seen as a threat by the Canadian Press which, all the sudden, has an interest in how Kurdish youths in Canada feel.

Alsumaria reports that the Iraqi Parliament is expected to host Haider al-Abadi next week.  Of course, he was due to appear before Parliament today.  But didn't.  All Iraq News notes that the prime minister issued an apology for his no-show.  Alsumaria notes he made it to the Parliament but then cited an emergency for not attending today's session.

Iraq Times reports that Haider was informed, en route to the session, that this was not going to be applause for him but serious questioning and that, once he learned that, he quickly exited the building.

Meanwhile US General Martin Dempsey, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Germany yesterday. The US Defense Dept's Lisa Ferdinando notes some of his comments:

"ISIL is today's manifestation of a much deeper and broader and longer-term issue, which is pervasive instability, disenfranchised groups, ethnic conflict, [and] religious conflict in the Middle East and North Africa that will take a decade or more to resolve."
The underlying issues that allowed ISIL to be created are "not going to be resolved in the near term," Dempsey said.

"We have to look at it over time and achieve a sustainable level of effort that the military instrument can be used and integrated into other lines of effort that relate to diplomacy, economics and information."

Token 'reforms' will not end the crises in Iraq.

Nor will the posing and preening of the US State Dept.  From today's press briefing by spokesperson John Kirby.

QUESTION : Okay. So Russia is starting to find another route to Syria. And they probably are going to use Iran, the north of Iran, Iraq into Syria. Would United States, since they are flying missions over there, have any problem with that?

MR KIRBY: What we have a problem with is the continued material support to the Assad regime. We talked about this yesterday. I will let the Russians speak for their air flight logistics. That’s for them to speak to. As far as the air space over Iraq, it’s Iraqi air space and it’s Iraqi sovereign airspace that is up to the Iraqi Government to coordinate. For our part, the airplanes that we fly in support of coalition operations over Iraq, we coordinate all that through the Iraqi Government.

QUESTION: So it’s up to the Iraqi Government to decide?

MR KIRBY: It’s the Iraqi Government’s airspace. I’m going to let – I’ll let the Iraqis speak for how they manage their airspace. Regardless of what air corridor is being used, we’ve been clear about our concerns about continued material support to the Assad regime. And it’s – it doesn’t matter necessarily – I mean, objectively, what particular air corridor it is or whether it’s by sea, the support to the Assad regime is what concerns us.

He's so good at pretending to care about Iraq's sovereignty -- and poses and preens while avoiding the topic of Turkey violating Iraq's sovereignty.

All Iraq News reports today:

Iraq has condemned Turkey for dispatching special forces into its soil in reported pursuit of Kurdish militants, calling it a "clear violation" of its territory.

The Iraqi "foreign ministry expresses its condemnation of the incursion of a number of Turkish military units inside Iraqi territory," spokesman Ahmed Jamal said in a statement on Thursday.

"It represents a clear violation of Iraqi sovereignty and a clear offense to bilateral relations between the two countries," he said.
Two units of the special forces crossed into northern Iraq on Tuesday after at least 14 Turkish police officers were killed in a roadside bomb attack in the eastern Igdir Province the same day and 16 Turkish soldiers died in twin roadside bombings in the southeastern Hakkari region last Sunday.

We all realize, right, that John Kirby has never acknowledged the Iraqi government calling out Turkey for violating its sovereignty?

Not this time.

Not a month ago.

At what point does the lazy press covering the State Dept ask why Kirby and company never back up the Iraqi government when it calls Turkey out?


Thursday, September 10, 2015

No title

A number of us are going to be highlighting Patrick Martin's WSWS piece on Bernie Sanders:

These tributes to Sanders are another yardstick for measuring the cynicism and perfidy of pseudo-left groups like the International Socialist Organization and Socialist Alternative, which hail the Sanders campaign as a genuine insurgency against the corporate domination of the US political system.
The most recent such effusion from Socialist Alternative, under the headline, “We Need to Organize Against the Billionaire Class!” appeared on the group’s website September 7, one day before the VOA profile and the praise for Sanders from Buffett.
Socialist Alternative declares, “To win this election, much less fundamental change, the movement behind Sanders will need to rely on its own strength and build an independent political force to the corporate-controlled Democratic Party establishment.”
The statement indicates that if Sanders wins the nomination, Socialist Alternative will support the Democratic Party presidential ticket. If Clinton is the nominee, Socialist Alternative appeals to “Bernie” not to support her, but to “run as an independent all the way to the general election in November 2016 and help to build an independent political voice for the 99%.”
Socialist Alternative issues this statement knowing full well that Sanders is irrevocably committed to support the Democratic Party and Clinton if she is the nominee. Only a week before, he appeared before the summer meeting of the Democratic National Committee to offer the services of his “movement” in delivering an electoral victory for the Democrats in 2016.

He's a faker, he's a shaker, he's a midnight taker . . .

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

Wednesday, September 9, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, 'reforms' are sold as political solutions, the refugee crisis gets some attention, and much more.

Fake Ass Bernie Sanders, the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee when the story that the VA was keeping two sets of books on appointments -- one (the false one) showing they were meeting the deadlines and the hidden one (the real one) showing they weren't.  How did Bernie respond to this scandal -- which resulted in the death of veterans waiting for care?

By insisting at a hearing as the story broke that the scandal not be talked about because acupuncture was a much more important topic than the VA lying and veterans dying.

He then shamelessly whored for the VA.  So bad did he whore for them that he was called out on air during a CNN interview.

That's fake ass Bernie for you.

The US senator who couldn't call out then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki -- despite Shinseki's non-stop failures.

Today, Fake and Shake Sanders took the floor of the Senate to denounce those opposed to the Iran deal US President Barack Obama is forcing down the throats of Americans.

Those who have spoken out against the Iran agreement, including many in this chamber, and those who have made every effort to thwart the diplomatic process, are many of the same people who spoke out forcefully and irresponsible about the need to go to war with Iraq, one of the worst foreign policy blunders in the modern history of our country.

First off, it's English, it's basic, learn it if you're going to be a public speaker.  "The same people who spoke out forcefully and irresponsible about . . ."  That would be forcefully and irresponsibly -- those are the words you use, even if you're an elderly idiot suffering from old man stink.

Second, go to war with Iraq?


What opponent of the Iraq War says "with" Iraq?

Check the archives, we say war "on" Iraq.

We say that often.

Only the imperialists lie and say "with."

But then, that is what Bernie is.  He's no peace activist.  He's not really called out war and has frequently voted for it.

What's smelling up the room is wafting off Bernie and it's not just his old man stink, it's also his hypocrisy.

People can be opposed to the deal and not be supporting war.

Equally true, the deal doesn't mean no war.

That lie's been pimped to shut down discussion.

The Yalta Conference was diplomatic and going to solve everything, right?

Then how the hell did the Cold War follow that?

The 1919 Paris Peace Conference, which resulted in the League of Nations, was going to bring about peace as well, right?

Peace didn't come, did it?

And the League of Nations is a laughable relic of the past.

The reality is that leaders of major countries bring war.

They don't bring peace.

The people may bring peace.

Usually, it's the people who struggle for peace after the war is declared by the leaders -- who lie, all of them lie, I.F. Stone had it right and when your wet dream Barack is out of office, suddenly, so many leftists will remember that -- too late -- but always the fool, always the whore for some lying politician.

The Iran deal does not promise peace.

It promises war as the history of any US treaty demonstrates going back to the various treaties with the Native Americans.

You have to be a real two-bit whore for Barack, one who can't keep your hands off out of your pants in public, to pimp the lie that some new contract -- with conditions for Iran (there's no conditions for the US, idiots, read the damn thing) will result in peace.

There's penalizations for Iran, there's this for Iran, there's that for Iran.

Most likely, the contract will be used by those lying politicians to start a war on Iran -- or "with" to use liar Bernie Sanders' term.

Barack has lied -- and some idiots bought it instead of calling him out for fear mongering -- that if the deal/treaty does not pass, there will be war.

He fear mongers and he lies just like Bully Boy Bush.

Jim Webb, who is running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, was against the Iraq War and is against the Iran deal.

It can happen.

Many Democrats in Congress who were for the Iraq War are now supporting the deal.

Hillary Clinton, also running for the Democratic Party's 2016 presidential nomination, most closely resembles the TV character Fonzie from Happy Days -- for those who've forgotten, Fonzie struggle to say he was wrong just like Hillary.

Hillary voted for war on Iraq in 2002.  Today, she favors the deal.

All that really demonstrates is that the spineless do whatever they're pressured to do.

There are some good things in the deal but clearly not enough.

Were the deal solid, the President of the United States would not repeatedly insult his opponents on the deal with immature remarks so embarrassing that the White House spokesperson had to walk them back.

Were the deal solid enough, the myth that opponents are just neocons who supported the Iraq War would not still be being used as a 'logical' argument for the deal.

The deal's never been fought on its own merits because the whores in Congress and the whores in punditry can't argue for the deal.

We've not take a stand for or against the deal.

My job is not to whore for the White House -- regardless of what idiot being elevated to the rank of modern day Jesus temporarily occupies the White House.

Any statement by a member of Congress opposing the deal that's been mailed to the public e-mail account has been posted at this site.

Some have been thoughtful and shown real exploration.

None of the response has been the same.

David Brock is the cancer on the left.

In the 90s, as he lied and bullied, we knew (on the left) his actions were wrong.

But we elevated the little whore because he told us the right was mean (after he could no longer advance further on the right because he was a closeted gay man whose hags -- Ann Coulter, etc -- would only tolerate so much from him).

And then we decided the David Brock playbook was the way to go.

And we've lost whatever ethics we had in the process.

In February 2003, I began speaking out against the Iraq War publicly (it would start in March).

Any of us who did can tell you the problem was that we were shut out of the debate, that points we made were ignored, that the 'argument' for the illegal war was shut-up-and-go-along-with-what-we-say, etc.

The Iraq War deserved debate and exploration before it started.

That didn't take place.

War Hawks (chiefly on the right but also on the center-left) and corporations saw to it that the discussion would be shut down.

Today, the Iran deal proponents act in the same manner and think that's a good thing.

Apparently, in a democracy, we don't need debate when you want your side to win.

Thing is, that's not a democratic principle.

Thing is the smear tactics Bernie Sanders used on the floor of the Senate today do not argue for an agreement, do not argue for an informed public and do not do a damn thing to help democracy thrive.

He should be ashamed of himself.

And his supporters can continue to ignore his problems -- his inability to get anything passed in Congress throughout his career, his refusal to apologize for his published remarks on rape (Hillary's difficulties with apologies are regularly explored in the media but rape defender Bernie got away with dismissing the issue -- because rape is so unimportant?), his troublesome interactions with people of color (which mainly find Bernie trying to speak over activists of color), etc.

But they're fools when they take Bernie as a peace activist.

His voting record shows he's not.

Asked recently by Martha Raddatz about his failure to present foreign policy objectives, he whined that he'd only been campaigning for three months.

He's been in Congress for how long now?

Since 1991.

He's silent because he's your basic pro-war Congress member.  He's silent because he's never spoken out for the rights of the Palestinian people.

He's silent because he's a fake and fraud.

Today, Bernie pretended yet again to care about Iraq.

And yapping whores echo him and pretend to care about Iraq as well.

The reform campaign announced last month by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi represents a potential turning point for Iraq. Indeed, the outcome of this campaign will shape the future of a country central to the global fight against the Islamic State and to the stabilization of the Middle East. The United States must focus on Iraq’s newest struggle and assist Abadi’s reform effort.

Abadi is rushing his reforms because of pressure from a nonsectarian movement, which includes many civil society groups, that has taken to the streets for several weeks. The role of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, who encouraged Abadi to be courageous and embrace reform, has been critical. Abadi’s reforms include fighting corruption and establishing a meritocracy in government employment in place of party patronage and sectarianism. The protesters also want national reconciliation and reform of the judiciary, including the replacement of top judge Midhat al-Mahmoud, who was a key enabler of the unconstitutional actions by Abadi’s predecessor, Nouri al-Maliki.

That garbage was written by Zalmay Khalilzad and published by the Washington Post this evening online.

When has Bernie ever denounced Khalilzad?

The man was calling for war on Iraq -- publicly calling for it -- as far back as 1998.  He's been a tool of war and Big Oil (which so often goes hand-in-hand).

When's Bernie been worried about Khalilzad?

It's hard to know how to responds to Khalizad's crap.

"The unconstitutional actions by Abadi's predecessor, Nouri al-Maliki"?

I'm sorry are we all supposed to read that and forget (a) that Khalilzad argued for Nouri to be made prime minister in 2006 and (b) that the Bully Boy Bush White House had Khalilzad float the idea to Nouri to be sure he wanted it before the White House installed Nouri as prime minister?'

Nouri is and was a thug.

I say that here all the time.

But if I'd elevated Nouri to the post of prime minister, I'd also be saying, "Boy, was I wrong to have supported Nouri."

Khalilzad never says that, never takes accountability.

He's a member of PNAC and yet he thinks he should be listened to?

And when he has a space, he offers:

The reform campaign announced last month by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi represents a potential turning point for Iraq. Indeed, the outcome of this campaign will shape the future of a  country central to the global fight against the Islamic State and to the stabilization of the Middle East. The United States must focus on Iraq’s newest struggle and assist Abadi’s reform effort.

Abadi is rushing his reforms because of pressure from a nonsectarian movement, which includes many civil society groups, that has taken to the streets for several weeks. The role of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, who encouraged Abadi to be courageous and embrace reform, has been critical. Abadi’s reforms include fighting corruption and establishing a meritocracy in government employment in place of party patronage and sectarianism. The protesters also want national reconciliation and reform of the judiciary, including the replacement of top judge Midhat al-Mahmoud, who was a key enabler of the unconstitutional actions by Abadi’s predecessor, Nouri al-Maliki.

The reform campaign is a turning point?

By what measure?

By the lies Khalilzad tells?

He's a damn liar, he's been a damn liar on Iraq from the beginning.

The 'reforms' -- if they ever take place -- do not address Sunni grievances.

They do, however, favor all the items on Nouri's wish list when he was prime minister.

And Reuters notes today, "Others have criticized the lack of change the reforms have so far provided for everyday citizens."

Barack Obama, June 14, 2014, noted the only solution to the crises was a political solution.

The 'reforms' are not a political solution.

They may or may not be helpful but they don't address the root problems.

They don't address the imprisonment of Sunnis on no charges (other than being related to a suspect).

They don't address the abuse and rape of Sunni girls and women in Iraqi prisons and jails.

They don't address the 'disappeared.'

But has Khalilzad ever addressed Sunni concerns?


Arriving in Iraq in June of 2005, he infamously made comments attacking Sunni elements and vowing to "crush" the insurgency which he saw as Sunni Ba'athists and foreigners.

(No, nothing has changed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war.  Not one damn thing.)

From the start, he has lied repeatedly.

Now he tries to harness a protest movement to back up his own desires.

He leaves out the Iraqi heat which forced the protests as people took to the streets demanding dependable electricity.

He leaves out everything while pretending he's offering an honest assessment.

Unocal may have tolerated his lies and distortions but that's no reason for the world to.

In some of today's violence, Alsumaria reports 2 corpses were discovered outside Baghdad (one to the north, one to the west) while Xinhua repeats a claim, "Islamic State (IS) militants have kidnapped 127 children in IS-held Iraqi city of Mosul recently to train them in the ranks of the terror group, Iraqi News reported on Tuesday."

e Tim Arango (New York Times) covers the refugee crisis:

After years of violence and unmet promises for democracy by a corrupt political elite, Iraqis who resisted leaving during previous crises are now embarking on the country’s next great wave of emigration, an exodus that leaders warn is further tearing at the country at a time when its unity, more than ever, is threatened by the militants of the Islamic State.

The greatest threat to Iraq's unity has always been its government (followed by the US government).  Iraqis sought a national identity, for example, as the 2009 and 2010 election results underscored.  But it was US President Barack Obama who overturned the 2010 results to give Nouri al-Maliki a second term.  And it was Nouri's second term that further shattered the country.

Haider al-Abadi has now had over a year to prove he was different from Nouri al-Maliki; however, his term as prime minister has yet to deliver on basic promises.

(And the laughable column with his name on it in today's Wall St. Journal will probably be about as helpful as the phone call with US Vice President Joe Biden was last night.)

In response to the refugee crisis, who's doing what?

The Guardian notes Tony Abbott, prime minister of Australia, declared this morning that Australia will take in 12,000 refugees -- though it appears these will only be Syrian refugees.  With regards to Iraq?  BBC News reports:

Australia will also give A$44m ($32m; £21m) to the UN to directly pay for the support of 240,000 displaced people in countries neighbouring Syria and Iraq.
That would increase Australia's total humanitarian aid to the Syria and Iraq conflicts to A$230m since 2011, Mr Abbott said

The refugee crisis means little to the State Dept or the press that covers the State Dept as evidenced by today's press conference which ignored the topic and failed to ask spokesperson John Kirby what the US would be doing?

They did, however, make time to ask if the Turkish government told the US government about the latest round of bombings of Iraq before Turkish war planes began dropping them?

No one present bothered to ask if the Iraqi government had been notified.


Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Prince goes wacky

shes sorry

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "She's Sorry" went up Monday night.

Prince's new album has been released . . . on Tidal.

I won't be reviewing it.

If it's a real album, it can be purchased.

 It's not a real album.

It's Prince destroying his own career yet again.

(Although honestly, his decision to leave the Baltimore song off made me less inclined to be excited by an album from him.)

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

Tuesday, September 8, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, the deputy minister of justice is kidnapped,  Turkey conducts raids into Iraq, and much more.

Starting with the sadly laughable US State Dept where, today, spokesperson John Kirby moderated a press briefing today.

QUESTION: But it seems bizarre that you find Iran’s role in Iraq as kind of positive. I have heard Secretary Kerry saying that whoever kills ISIS is kind of – is positive. And then on the other side, Iran and Assad are kind of the same – different sides of the same coin in --

MR KIRBY: What we’ve said about Iran’s involvement in Iraq is – and nothing’s changed about that, that – and we understand they have concerns, they got a border there, and certainly we’re not unmindful of the fact that they provide some measure of support to some of the Shia militia inside Iraq. But our message has been the same to Iran as it is to every country in the region, and that is: If you’re going to get involved in Iraq, you need to do it through the Government of Iraq and – officially – and don’t do anything that’s going to further inflame or arise sectarian tensions.


John Kirby said what?

"If you’re going to get involved in Iraq, you need to do it through the Government of Iraq."


No, they didn't say that to "every country in the region."

Sorry, John, you're wrong.

No one said that, for example, to Turkey.

Let's drop back to the July 28th snapshot for an extended memory jog:

The Daily Sabah notes that Turkish F-16 war planes continue bombing northern Iraq.

In related news, the US State Dept noted today, "There is NO Daily Press Briefing."

Of course not.

No way could they send John Kirby back out to face the press after yesterday's embarrassing performance.

For those who missed it, we noted this in Monday's snapshot, Kirby prattled on and on about the rights of the Turkish government.

Yes, it was embarrassing but, as we noted, what about the rights of the Iraqi government?

Kirby created a 'right' where Turkey can bomb any country in the world.

He just didn't recognize Iraq's sovereignty.

Not everyone plays it so stupid.

14 hours ago
  1. Council of Ministers considers Turkish airstrikes on Iraqi territory a dangerous escalation and a violation of Iraq's sovereignty (1/3)

  • The Council stressed commitment not to allow any attack on Turkey from Iraqi territory and called on Turkey to respect good relations (2/3)

  • Council of Ministers also called on Turkey to increase water discharge to Tigris and Euphrates in accordance with bilateral agreements (3/3)

  • Haider al-Abadi is the Prime Minister of Iraq.

    In the US government's rush to embrace the bombings Turkey is carrying out, they forgot (a) that Iraq's supposed to be an ally and (b) that these bombings had previously outraged Iraqis.

    It's a reality we were noting in Saturday's snapshot:

    The Turkish government -- probably like many others -- is using the pretext of the Islamic State to attack Iraq.
    In doing so, it is violating Iraq's sovereignty yet again.
    This didn't work out well before, for any who paid attention.
    The Turkish warplanes, announcements swore, killed 'terrorists.'  Reality, they bombed farming communities and killed civilians.
    This didn't endear them to the Iraqi people.
    There was outrage, naturally.

    The US government is now scrambling to craft a 'position' on the strikes -- hoping to approve of Turkey's bombings while still pretending to respect Iraq's sovereignty.

    And that's why there was no press briefing today.

    But there's a good chance that, had the State Dept held a press briefing today, the press would have ignored the issue of Iraq's sovereignty.

    The press ignored it in Monday's briefing.

    And while we've raised the issue every day (here for Sunday and you can also read Third's "Editorial: Turkey attacks Iraq"), the western press has avoided it.

    Now that the prime minister of Iraq has weighed in publicly, the western press may have to cover this aspect of the story.

    Or maybe not.

    It was maybe not.

    Listen to me, don't walk that street
    There's always an end to it
    Come and be free, you know who I am
    We're just living people

    We won't have a thing
    So we got nothing to lose
    We can all be free
    Maybe not with words
    Maybe not with a look
    But with your mind

    -- "Maybe Not," written by Chan Marshall (also known as Cat Power), first appears on Cat's You Are Free.

    And today John Kirby was insisting that, "If you’re going to get involved in Iraq, you need to do it through the Government of Iraq" -- but that was never the policy for Turkey.

    The US government gladly ignored Turkey violating Iraq's sovereignty and gladly ignored it again today.

    AFP  reports,  "Turkish forces crossed into northern Iraq to pursue Kurdish militants Tuesday after the deadliest rebel attacks in years left dozens dead as the decades long conflict escalated. Thirteen Turkish police were killed Tuesday in a new attack by Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants as violence in the east threatened to spiral out of control."

    Turkey's allowed to repeatedly violate Iraq's sovereignty and even when Iraq's leaders -- including the prime minister object -- the US government just looks the other way.

    If Mexico was bombing parts of California or Texas and launching ground raids, you better believe this same US government would be screaming its head off about national sovereignty being violated.

    There's also the harm that these raids can cause in the battle against the Islamic State.  AP observes, "The operations however, threaten to complicate the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq. The PKK, which maintains bases in northern Iraq, has fought against the extremist militants in Iraq alongside Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces which are allied with the United States."

    But State Dept spokesperson John Kirby just pretends nothing is happening.

    It's amazing what the US government will look the other way for.

    For example?

    Harmeet Sooden (Global Research) has come up with  a timeline of War Crimes in Iraq which includes:

    11 March 2015 – An ABC News investigation into Iraqi units known as the ‘dirty brigades’ uncoversphotographic evidence of “Iraq’s most elite units and militia members massacring civilians, torturing and executing prisoners, and displaying severed heads”. For example, a “photo posted in September [2014] showed the severed head of [an] alleged ISIS fighter lashed to the grill of a U.S.-donated Humvee bearing an Iraqi Army license plate” and a “second related photo surfaced of what appeared to be an Iraqi Army soldier holding up the same severed head next to the gun truck.” In a video circulating in January 2015, “[f]ighters who appear to be a mix of militia and army…take pictures of a captured teenaged boy who appears terrified” and “shoot him to death”. Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch review the “graphic evidence of Iraqi government forces committing torture, summarily executing civilians – including children – and even beheading captives.”

    13 March 2015 – A UN report concludes that, throughout the summer of 2014, pro-government militias and the popular mobilisation forces (PMF) “seem[ed] to operate with total impunity, leaving a trail of death and destruction in their wake.”

    18 March 2015 – Human Rights Watch releases a report and media statement with evidence of “[m]ilitias, volunteer fighters, and Iraqi security forces engaged in deliberate destruction of civilian property after these forces, following US and Iraqi air strikes, forced the retreat of [ISIS] from the town of Amerli and surrounding areas in early September 2014” and displaced thousands.

    19 March 2015 – Physicians for Social Responsibility releases a report attributing the deaths of up to one million Iraqis to the Iraq War (between 2003 and 2012).

    28 March 2015 – An article in Foreign Policy argues the US-led coalition is effectively providing air cover for ethnic cleansing for government-backed militias.

    3 April 2015 – Amnesty International begins investigating reports of “widespread human rights abuses” by government-backed militias during and after the re-capture of the Tikrit area, including “reports that scores of residents have been seized early last month and not heard of since, and that residents’ homes and businesses have been blown up or burned down after having been looted by militias”, and “summary executions of men who may or may not have been involved in combat but who were killed after having been captured”.

    4 April 2015 – Reuters correspondents witness “a convoy of Shi’ite paramilitary fighters – the government’s partners in liberating the city – drag a corpse through the streets behind their car.” They also witness “two federal policemen…[u]rged on by a furious mob, [who] took out knives and repeatedly stabbed the man in the neck and slit his throat” in an apparent attempt to behead him, and then “fastened [a cable] to the dead man’s feet and dangled him from the pole.” Official sources told Reuters that “dozens of homes had been torched in the city” and “they had witnessed the looting of stores by Shi’ite militiamen.”

    11 April 2015 – The Baghdad bureau chief for Reuters, Ned Parker, leaves Iraq after he was threatened on Facebook and denounced by a Shi’ite paramilitary group’s satellite news channel in reaction to a Reuters report that detailed lynching and looting in Tikrit. Parker is a 12-year veteran of Iraq war coverage. A media advocacy group, Committee to Protect Journalists, says that at least 15 journalists have been killed in Iraq since the beginning of 2013.

    12 April 2015 – The Wall Street Journal interviews several Iraqi soldiers being trained at Taji Military Complex, who openly say “they actively served on their days off with Shiite militia – some of them…still listed by the U.S. as terrorist groups.”

    It's amazing what the Shi'ite militias have gotten away with.

    And now the thugs making up the Shi'ite militias are attempting to destroy Iraq yet again.  Alsumaria reports the so-called popular mobilization -- thugs with guns -- decided to intimidate the Parliament today as they gathered to denounce any efforts of the Parliament to pass a law creating a National Guard.  They insist the law is being pushed by enemies of the people.

    September 10, 2014, US President Barack Obama declared, "We’ll also support Iraq’s efforts to stand up National Guard Units to help Sunni communities secure their own freedom from ISIL’s control."

    He'd actually begun backing the proposal months before.

    And this was actually supposed to be a 'conditional' -- US support was supposed to require that this be passed.

    Over a year after Barack began bombing Iraq -- to help Iraq, you understand -- there is still no law.

    Alsumaria notes Parliament was supposed to hold a session on the National Guard proposal today but it's now been postponed until at least Wednesday.

    Objections are also coming from Iraqiya.  Al Mada reports that the political bloc's spokesperson Maysoon al-Damalouji declared today that the bloc remains bothered by the lack of clarity regarding who would be in charge of the National Guard -- the provinces, smaller local units, etc.  The bloc Ayad Allawi leads believes that the National Guard should be placed under the control of the prime minister and does not appear willing to support it until that is made clear.

    If Barack had insisted that US efforts work towards a political solution, maybe the struggle over the bill wouldn't be continuing over a year later?

    June 19, 2014, it was Barack who insisted publicly that the only solution to Iraq's multitude of crises was a political solution.

    But it was the same Barack who directed all efforts -- Defense and State -- towards war -- finding other countries to join in the bombing campaign.

    There is no solution in Iraq today mainly because Barack doesn't want one.

    He's more than ready to kick the can and let the next president deal with his mess.

    Though she's failed to provide any plan for how she would address the Islamic State, Hillary Clinton really, really wants to be the next US president.

    As Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "She's Sorry" documents, Hillary still doesn't have the brains to issue an apology and move on.

    And now it's really too late.

    The smug politician who can't admit they're wrong isn't a popular one.

    Now she's arguing the CIA is wrong when they claim that at least two our of 40 of her e-mails they've examined contained classified information.

    Yes, Hillary, everyone's wrong but you.

    Poor little perfect you.

    And the idiots who've defended her -- Bob Somerby and David Brock among them -- fail to grasp, she's not Colin Powell.

    Powell didn't run to become president.

    His using a private e-mail (he did not use a server) as Secretary of State doesn't really matter (and was eons ago in the digital age).

    She did.

    And she wants to be president despite the fact that Inspector Generals and the CIA are saying she sent and received classified information.

    But they're wrong because Hillary says so -- the woman who scrubbed her server says everyone else is wrong.

    What her cult of defenders never got is you can't be president if you're compromising national security.

    Forget whether your actions were illegal or not.

    If you're compromising national security, you really don't qualify as presidential.

    And if she had any brains or integrity left, she'd have issued an announcement that she was suspending her now laughable campaign to address these issues.

    Reuters notes the acting deputy minister of justice was kidnapped today.  When are the press going to start demanding that those seeking the presidency start sharing how they would address the Islamic State and how they'd address the crises in Iraq?