Saturday, May 07, 2016

They don't the meaning of the word


That's Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "She Wanted It To Be A Surprise."

Hillary's so full of it.

So is Gary Gutting.


Alexander Fangmann (WSWS) explains:

In a recently published opinion piece in the New York Times’ philosophy section, titled “Should Everybody Vote?” Gary Gutting, a professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, aired the frustration of a substantial layer of intellectuals over what they see as the electorate’s failure to vote in a “reasonable” way. Society’s problems, Gutting and others believe, could be substantially fixed if only election outcomes were determined entirely by the “correct” ideas of properly educated people, that is, by people like themselves. In the course of what purports to be simply an overview of recent philosophical thinking about the right to vote, Gutting essentially offers a philosophical defense for its abolition.
Outside of his regular contributions to the Times and other publications as a “public intellectual,” Gutting’s particular academic specialty is in making philosophical irrationalism more comprehensible and acceptable within the philosophical circles that so far maintain a somewhat stronger connection to the rationalist traditions of the Enlightenment than the milieu dominated by postmodernism and the Frankfurt School.
To that end, Gutting has written several historical overviews on French philosophy, Thinking the Impossible: French Philosophy since 1960 and French Philosophy in the Twentieth Century, which have brought the thought of postmodernists such as Jacques Derrida, Alain Badiou and Michel Foucault to wider audiences. In regard to Foucault, Gutting has become an influential interpreter of his thought, and one of his most well-known popularizers, having written both Michel Foucault’s Archaeology of Scientific Reason and Michel Foucault: A Very Short Introduction. Philosophically, Gutting is a pragmatist. He is indebted intellectually to Richard Rorty, whose work is a main focus of Gutting’s Pragmatic Liberalism and the Critique of Modernity. However, unlike Rorty and many of the other figures he writes about, Gutting is not a postmodernist.
Gutting’s recent article from April 25 is written as though it were simply a philosophical examination of the claim that society should always try to increase voter participation. He starts off innocuously enough, noting that not voting can be a form of “protest against all the available candidates.” He gives lip service to the real state of American democracy, or rather its domination by a financial aristocracy, by referring to the Gilens and Page study which suggests that the US is an oligarchy.

It soon becomes clear, though, that he is most interested in bemoaning what he sees as voter ignorance about candidates and issues, and speculating about what can be done to prevent these voters from having any further influence over elections. 

Voting would be so great, they really argue, if we could just get rid of the voters.

These people don't even know what democracy means.

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

Saturday, May 7, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, another US service member has died in Iraq, Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr continues to hide in Tehran, and much more.

Today, the US Defense Dept announced:

Strikes in Iraq
Ground-attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 11 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Al Baghdadi, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle and damaged an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Albu Hayat, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL boat, and an ISIL weapons cache.

-- Near Ar Rutbah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Bashir, a strike destroyed an ISIL command and control node.

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

-- Near Habbaniyah, a strike damaged an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Hit, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Kisik, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Mosul, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, an ISIL communications facility, destroyed three ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL heavy machine gun and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
Additionally, on May 5, a strike was erroneously reported.  The correct assessment reads:

-- Near Al Baghdadi, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL command and control node, three ISIL rocket rails, and an ISIL bunker.

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

Since August 2014, the US government has bombed Iraq non-stop.

The Islamic State has not been defeated.

But two US service members have died in Iraq this week alone.

Tuesday, US Navy SEAL Charles Keating IV was killed in Iraq.

Friday, CNN reported:

An American service member died of a non-combat injury in Iraq on Friday.
The U.S.-led coalition announced the death but did not immediately name the service member. A Defense Department official said Saturday that the service member is American but did not provide further details.

Non-combat injury.

Of course, the White House spent last week insisting Keating's death wasn't a combat injury.

Regardless, two Americans dead in the never ending war on Iraq because Barack, like Bully Boy Bush before, doesn't have the good sense on how to end a war.

From Tuesday's White House press briefing moderated by spokesperson Josh Earnest:

Q    Sure, thank you.  On the death of the U.S. Navy SEAL in Iraq, is there any reaction from the President to that, or expression of condolence?  And can you tell us when he was informed about that?

MR. EARNEST:  Darlene, I can tell you that the President has been briefed on this incident, and everyone here at the White House, including the First Family, extends our condolences to the family of the servicemember that was killed today in northern Iraq.  This individual is the third U.S. servicemember killed in action since the beginning of Operation Inherent Resolve, and this servicemember’s death reminds us of the risks our brave men and women in uniform face every single day.

Reminded of the risks involved?

I don't think so.

I think Barack's been babied and coddled and spared the risks involved.

History will not be so indulgent.

He will be the liar who campaigned for the presidency insisting he would end the Iraq War but did not, in fact, end the Iraq War.

Friday morning, CBS NEWS reported:

Iraqi security forces were enforcing a major security clampdown Friday, bracing for a possible new round of anti-government protests.
Last week, Iraqis angry over corruption and a government they feel fails to protect or represent them stormed the capital's heavily guarded "Green Zone," which houses both Iraq's national government and the U.S. Embassy.
CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata reports that security forces worked overnight to erect blast walls across all the lanes of one of the main bridges leading into the Green Zone, and Iraqi soldiers and police were deployed in the streets, sealing off the sensitive area.

Jeff Schogol (MARINE CORPS TIMES) reports that last week's storming of Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone and the Parliament (within the Green Zone) has  resulted in the US government sending 25 more Marines into Iraq -- these Marines will beef up the security as the US Embassy/Compound in Baghdad.

Clearly, the White House is concerned that the Green Zone will be stormed again and that on a second time the invaders might attempt to storm US property in the Green Zone.

A repeat of the US Embassy falling in Tehran on November 4, 1979.

The issue of the additional US Marines being sent to the Baghdad Embassy was raised in Friday's State Dept pres briefing.

QUESTION: Has the U.S. increased military personnel at the U.S. embassy as a result of security concerns – brought in additional Marines? Can you confirm those reports? And secondly, if this is the case, is this a permanent increase in the number of military personnel who will be there for security reasons or a temporary up-staffing?

MR KIRBY: Well, I think you know we don’t talk about security posture at our embassies, and it’s a dynamic situation. We constantly evaluate our security posture, and, frankly, we routinely and constantly change that posture as appropriate. That is what we expect the good people in Diplomatic Security to do. I won’t talk about it one way or another. I will – I do think it’s important to remind, however, that our embassy in Baghdad continues to operate normally.


QUESTION: Is there – one more – is there ongoing – is there concern in this building concerning the ongoing friction between the Iraqi Government and Muqtada al-Sadr’s followers? I know that you’ve said before that this is sort of inside baseball, an issue that Iraq has to work out, but is there concern that these tensions may be destabilizing to U.S. interests such as the overall fight against the Islamic State?

MR KIRBY: We want, obviously, to see the reforms that Prime Minister Abadi is putting into place – we want to see them succeed. And we know that he knows how important it is for him to continue pursuing these reforms in keeping with Iraq’s constitution. And Iraq is an important partner in the region. They are certainly an important partner in this fight against Daesh. Our support inside the coalition remains and will continue. That support is being done by, with, and through the Abadi government in Baghdad.
But you’re right. Look, these are political challenges that the Iraqi people have to work through and Prime Minister Abadi has to lead them through. And as I said earlier, a few days ago, we’re confident that he can do that and that he’s well aware of the significant challenges he’s facing.

QUESTION: Kirby, can I have a follow-up on that, please?


QUESTION: Are you concerned, though, about the security around that embassy?

MR KIRBY: We’re concerned about the security of our embassies all over the world, everywhere.

Charlie D'Agata (CBS NEWS) explains of how last week's efforts appeared, "It looked like an uprising."

Better safe than sorry, but, really, "an uprising"?

Moqtada's revealed himself to be a fraud.

He sent his zombies in last week.

Last Saturday, they stormed.

Sunday, they retreated.

As we pointed out Sunday:

 The retreat of Moqtada's followers may indicate that Moqtada didn't believe he had the power to keep the protests going until demands were met.
Or they may indicate that he was concerned about the safety of the followers.
But either way, they don't demonstrate an understanding of protests.  You don't stage a protest demanding something and then retreat. 

Where are Motqada's zombies now?

Better question: Where is the Shi'ite cleric and movement leader?

Loveday Morris (WASHINGTON POST) reports:

The Iraqi rumor mill swirled into action, with some politicians speculating he was summoned by a furious Tehran.
"I think they are angry, maybe they blame him for what happened," Abdul Razzaq said.
Five days later, he has still not returned, and before his departure, he had announced a two-month spiritual retreat. His supporters have remained stoic.

And, in an aside, Morris also revealed who helped Moqtada's supporters breach the Green Zone:

Abadi was already seen as a weak leader, and Sadr's actions have undermined him further, with members of parliament incensed by the breach of their fortified inner sanctum.
As he attempts to regain control, and credibility, he has pledged to prevent another breach and fired the head of Green Zone security, who kissed Sadr's hand as the cleric entered the area in March.

And as Moqtada hides in Tehran, his power in Parliament -- already limited -- shrinks further.

Wael Grace (AL MADA) reports that Nouri al-Maliki and Ibrahim al-Jaafari are leading efforts to isolate Moqtada in the Parliament.  Nouri was a two-term prime minister (and forever thug) until the US government ousted him and replaced him with Haider al-Abadi.  Ibrahim is also a former prime minister of Iraq -- he was supposed to get a second term in December of 2006 -- the Parliament wanted him, the US government didn't.  The two are leading the effort to push Moqtada to the side and you can be sure that effort also includes sidelining and replacing Haider as well.

As the intrigue continues to swirl, Tariq Alhomayed's analysis for ASHARQ AL-AWSAT:

When Mr Haider Al-Abadi became the prime minister of Iraq and vowed to take steps towards reform, it was said at the time that Al-Abadi was planning to revolt against corruption and intended to reform the political system. However, nothing happened.
Today, it is said that Moqtada Al-Sadr aims to abandon sectarianism and fight corruption. Is it possible to believe this even though some chanted against Iran whilst the Green Zone was stormed and parliament was occupied? Of course not, not because it is said that Al-Sadr had flown to Iran, but because of a very simple reason. When Al-Sadr intended to enter the Green Zone to start a sit-in there in March, the head of security of the Green Zone kissed his hand in a scene captured on camera. This move itself is evidence of sectarianism taking root in Iraq, and the lack of value for the state and its prestige, which Al-Sadr now claims to defend by calling for a technocrat government.

Those in service of the US government have repeatedly pimped the lie that Haider was attempting to create a cabinet of techonocrats.

What in Moqtada's history suggests he'd support that?


And nothing in Haider's history suggested it either.

In fact, Haider's refusal to work towards political reconciliation argues that he has no interest in working with Sunnis but every interest in pushing them out of the government, in ending quota systems to ensure that he does not have to work with them.

Amer Araim (EAST BAY TIMES) offers this take on life in Iraq for Sunnis:

The Shiite-controlled government in Baghdad and its militias are also engaged in sectarian cleansing against Sunni Arabs to force them to leave or convert to Shiite, as was done in Iran in the past.
One of the major U.S. policy objectives in Iraq, and the world, is to defeat the terrorist groups al-Qaida and the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). Arab governments and peoples are supporting this objective. However, the Obama administration is not able to reconcile the fight against terrorism with the prevention of ethnic and sectarian conflicts in Iraq and other areas.
The U.S. intervention helped liberate areas controlled by terrorists in Iraq, however, the sectarian and ethnic cleansing against Arab communities that followed is used by terrorist propaganda to convince these communities that no one will protect them.

The Sunni Arab community in Iraq is having quadruple sufferings from the atrocities of ISIS; the Iraqi government and its militias including the support provided by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard; the Kurdish authorities and their militias; and the inability of the U.S. government to find a just and durable solution or to effectively engage the United Nations Security Council to find a solution, notwithstanding the mischievous role played by Russia in the council today.

US Senator Marco Rubio has ended his pursuit of the GOP's presidential nomination.  This week, he visited the Middle East, we'll note this on his visit to Iraq:

On Tuesday, Rubio met with Council of Representatives Speaker Saleem al-Jabouri to discuss the political situation in Iraq, U.S. security assistance, and Iraqi support to defeat ISIS:
On Tuesday, Rubio met with U.S. Embassy staff in Baghdad, Iraq:
Rubio talking with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones on Tuesday:
Rubio with C-17 flight crew on the ground in Baghdad on Tuesday:
On Wednesday, Rubio met with Kurdistan Region Security Council Chancellor Masrur Barzani:

We'll close with this Tweet about War Hawk Hillary Clinton:

How can you say you're going to stand up for working people when you’re courting Jeb Bush's right-wing donors?

Friday, May 06, 2016

Completely f-ed up

So, if you missed it, Barack photo-opped it to Flint, Michigan where he laid down a con job about how safe the water was now and made a show of sipping some.

Did he sip the water?

Reminded me of the episode of REVENGE where the faux environmentalist is surprised to discover he's actually drinking the real water (which is contaminated).

Wouldn't that have been justice?

So WSWS goes to Flint resisdents to get their reactions.  Here are some:

Rory told the WSWS that Northwestern High School, where Obama had been speaking, was repaired just days before the event.”I heard that yesterday they re-tiled, ceilings, pretty much renovated most of the building. It is not a good environment for children. It is bad that students have been trying to get Northwestern and all the schools fixed. Nobody cares until something like this happens, Obama is coming and they have to fix things or they will get in trouble.”
“It’s ridiculous,” exclaimed Jaquita Gable, an auto parts worker from Flint, after hearing Obama’s remarks. “He told us the water is fine. He also said there are only a few pipes that need to be replaced in Flint. Obama did the same as all the rest of the politicians who have come here. He wants to sweep this under the rug. He might as well have stayed in Washington, DC. He figured, ‘Let me talk to them, let me shut them up.’ He told us to use filters, drink the water and go home and be quiet. The main thing you could clearly hear is that there is no money for Flint.”
Describing the conditions in Flint, Jaquita added, “Everyone in the city has to wash in brown water and pay $200 to $300 water bills. We came here to see if Obama is going to do something or just talk.

“We need to get this fixed so we can stop using bottled water. We go through two to three cases a week just for cooking. No one is using the water. No one trusts the water. We are still seeing brown stuff in our water.
“I heard that schools in Detroit had copper and lead in their water. It’s not just Flint and it’s not just Snyder. It’s a bigger problem. We can’t have clean water to drink but yet they spend billions of dollars for war. That shows how this government works. They don’t care about Flint.”

That's our government.

They'll waste billions on wars but won't even pay for basic needs in the US.

It's called "priorities" by some.

I call it "f**ked up."

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

Thursday, May 5, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, more bombs are dropped, does a US military death matter to the US government (not if you're John Kerry), and much more.

Today, the US Defense Dept announced:

Strikes in Iraq
Ground-attack, fighter, bomber, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 15 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb.

-- Near Beiji, a strike destroyed two ISIL tunnel entrances.

-- Near Fallujah, six strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL anti-aircraft artillery system, three ISIL tunnel entrances, an ISIL mortar system, an ISIL vehicle bomb, an ISIL weapons cache, and four ISIL bed down locations.

 --Near Kisik, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL heavy machine guns, three ISIL mortar positions, and four ISIL assembly areas.

-- Near Mosul, two strikes destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, one heavy machine gun, 10 ISIL mortar systems, three ISIL rocket rails, and suppressed an ISIL heavy machine gun position.

-- Near Sultan Abdallah, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL mortar system, an ISIL vehicle, and suppressed an ISIL heavy machine gun position and an ISIL mortar position.

-- Near Tal Afar, one strike struck an ISIL weapons facility.

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

The bombs keep getting dropped, the war keeps dragging on.

The latest wave of bombings began in August of 2014 and have continued daily.

They've not 'won' any war, have they?

What if all that energy had been spent -- or even half of it -- working towards a diplomatic solution?

What if Barack had spent two years working on

Ben Connable (NATIONAL INTEREST) argues:

Three years of engagement with Sunni Arab Iraqis, analysis of Sunni Iraqi media and a recent trip to Baghdad with former ambassador Ryan Crocker’s Task Force for the Future of Iraq have convinced me of two things. First, most Sunni and a number of Shia Arabs are hungry for more direct U.S. involvement in the Iraq’s political reconciliation process. Second, while Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi has genuine intent to foster reconciliation, he does not have the political power to make it happen. Worse, as he struggles to form a new cabinet, he is rapidly losing the support of the Iraqi leaders he will most need to effect change. While the winds of political influence can quickly shift in Baghdad, it seems most likely that reconciliation will remain at best a secondary issue while the government contends with Sadrist protestors, wavering reform efforts and the omnipresent threat of Shia militias. These “alligators closest to the boat” continue to distract from the crucial process of reconciling the Sunnis with their government. It is time for the United States to step in and take the lead for reconciliation in order to bolster the tactical fight against ISIL and to ensure Iraq does not further destabilize.

Two years focusing on diplomacy?  Two years easing Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi towards national reconciliation in Iraq?  Tying in weapons shipments to concrete achievements towards national reconciliation?

That could have had an impact.

It could have destroyed any justification for the Islamic State being in Iraq.

They get their support as a response to the persecution of Sunnis in Iraq.

National reconciliation is not a new goal of the US government.

When Congress demanded Bully Boy Bush provide measurements for measuring "success" in Iraq (the White House benchmarks), national reconciliation was on that short list.

But nearly a decade later and there's been no national reconciliation.

Failure to achieve that was supposed to result in the US government cutting off aid to Iraq -- financial and military.

Never happened.

Maybe members of Congress could explain why?

Back in September of 2007, Maura Reynolds (LOS ANGELES TIMES) reports:

The report on the benchmarks was mandated by Congress this year as a condition for continuing to fund military operations in Iraq.
But the specific measures, including legislative goals for the Iraqi parliament, were first outlined last year by the Iraqi government and embraced by Bush in January.
Between July and September, the Iraqi government showed significant improvement on one benchmark: legislation to address the status of those who had belonged to Saddam Hussein's ruling Baath Party. In late August, the leaders of Iraq's five main political groups agreed on draft legislation, which the administration considered adequate to move the issue to the "satisfactory progress" category in the report.
However, the deal still must be adopted by the Iraqi parliament, and its fate remains uncertain.
In a conference call with reporters, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a presidential candidate, said that after months of anticipation, the benchmark report was disappointing.
"You don't even have to go to the benchmarks to realize what an abject failure this policy has been," Biden said.

Joe Biden was right in 2007 but those words also can be applied to the current White House policy.

And that draft legislation on the Ba'ath Party?

Never passed.

Nine years later and it's still not passed.

So maybe the US Congress want to explain why the measurements were never applied as they were supposed to be?  Or why the Iraq War continues to be funded?

THE ECONOMIST offers a look at Iraq today which includes:

Mr Abadi had hoped to repair some of the damage wrought by his sectarian predecessor, Nuri al-Maliki. But it may be too late. Tensions are growing between communities, and within them. Shia groups such as the Badr organisation, backed by Iran, and the Sadrist movement battle for influence, while Mr Maliki plots a comeback. In the north the Kurds squabble among themselves. And the jihadists of IS kill more of their fellow Sunnis than anyone else. Emma Sky, a former adviser to the American military in Iraq, suggests viewing the conflicts as “a struggle for power and resources in a collapsing state. A Hobbesian world of all against all.”
Ms Sky says that some Iraqis are reminded of the last days of the monarchy in 1958 when another elite refused to reform, and was overthrown. Mr Sadr has fomented insurrection. “I’m waiting for the great popular uprising and the great revolution to stop the march of corrupted officials,” he has said. More protests are set for May 6th. But the Sadrists may not actually want to topple the government. “They have used their anti-establishment appeal to strengthen their position in the establishment,” says Maria Fantappie of the International Crisis Group, a think-tank.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi government is not rescuing Iraq, no matter how many puppets the US government installs as prime minister.  The dropping of bombs is not challenging the Islamic State or the roots of its support.

All we have is death and dying.

Iraq War veteran and US House Rep Seth Moulton Tweeted the following today:

  • Yesterday I lost my closest friend in the Iraqi Army to ISIS and our failed policy in Iraq.

    And, Tuesday, US Navy SEAL Charles Keating IV was killed in Iraq.

    Wednesday, US Col Steve Warren hosted a tele-conference from Baghdad.

    COLONEL STEVE WARREN:  Thank you, Jeff.  It's always good to be here with everyone.  I'm sure everyone has questions about yesterday's incident, and so that's what I will begin with.  It was a bad day for us here yesterday.
    On Tuesday, an American advise and assist team was in the village of Tal Asquf, meeting with a Peshmerga unit.  Tal Asquf sits approximately three and a half kilometers behind the forward line of troops.
    At approximately 0730, ISIL forces breached the Peshmerga forward lines.  At 0750, the Americans there became involved in the ensuing firefight and called a quick reaction force.  A U.S. service member was killed.
    The service member was part of the quick reaction force who responded.  At 0932, he was struck by direct fire, and although he was medevaced within the all important golden hour, his wound was not survivable.  No other coalition or American forces were injured, though both medevac helicopters were damaged by small arms fire.
    There were Peshmerga causalities but I do not have numbers on those to release.  Coalition air responded with 31 strikes taken by 11 manned aircraft and two drones.  Air power destroyed 20 enemy vehicles, two truck bombs, three mortar systems, one bulldozer, 58 ISIL terrorists were killed.  The Peshmerga have regained control of Tal Asquf.

    And our deepest heartfelt condolences go out to that American service member and his family.  He is an American hero.  This is a reminder of the risk our men and women face every day supporting the fight against ISIL.

    Trina wrote of the passing:

    The fallen is Arizona's Charlie Keating IV -- C.I. includes some information about him in the snapshot at the end of my post.  Charlie sounds like a solid guy.  Reading about him made me cry.
    And I can't believe thirteen years after the start of the Iraq War, I'm still crying about US troops dying in Iraq.
    Two different administrations -- one Republican, one Democrat -- have continued this awful war.
    Over a million Iraqis have been killed.
    And there's still no end in sight.
    Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary in the state of Indiana.  That primary victory maybe says a lot of us are tired of this never-ending war.
    Hillary is a War Hawk. 
    With her president, I don't see the Iraq War ending.

    Marcia noted:

    Charles Keating IV.
    He died despite Barack 'ending' the Iraq War.
    But Barack didn't and hasn't ended the Iraq War.
    And I really don't have patience for the child-like fools who have spent 8 years defending their 'boo' in the White House.
    Grow the hell up.
    The country's worse off.
    African-Americans are worse off.
    The world is worse off.
    That's the reality.
    So just stop lying.
    And Barack didn't end the Iraq War.
    In fact, the way things are going, he may have just kept it going to hand it over to War Hawk Hillary.

    Mike insisted:

    Shame on Barack Obama.
    Shame on us.
    The Iraq War should have ended long ago (shouldn't have even started).
    Whores like Jane Fonda showed up like rallies pretending to care.
    But they only cared about spitting on Bully Boy Bush.
    Once it became Barack's war, the didn't object once.
    They're whores.
    Shame on them.
    Before I moved to Hawaii, I lived in Boston.
    So I grew up with John Kerry as some sort of local hero.
    Today, he's nothing but an embarrassment.
    He said this about Vietnam long before he got into Congress:

    We are asking Americans to think about that because how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?

    Now he's the gung-ho pro-war Secretary of State.
    Someone should ask him how do you ask a woman or man to be the last one to die for a mistake?
    Charlie Keating IV is the name of the Navy Seal who was killed in Iraq on Tuesday.
    He shouldn't have been there, Barack shouldn't have sent him there.
    The Iraq War needs to end.

    Well let's be fair.  John Kerry has a Twitter feed and can note whatever he wants there.  The morning of May 3rd is when America learned of the latest US military death in Iraq.  Since then, John Kerry has Tweeted:

    1. We are determined to reaffirm Cessation of Hostilities across . Efforts today focus on Aleppo.

  • Pleased to team again with for 7th U.S.- Energy Council Meeting. Focus on energy security, joint efforts to .

  • Cannot overstate importance of US- partnership. Good talk today w/ , including about immediate need to reaffirm CoH in Syria.

  • Proud to host U.S.-Caribbean-Central American at . Viable and clean energy initiatives vital to region & to world.

  • Pleased to speak at ’s to reflect on transformation taking place in the Americas.

    Here's the thing.

    As a US veteran, he kind of should have Tweeted about it.

    As someone who endlessly calls for more foreign troops in Iraq, he was kind of obligated to Tweet about it.

    As someone whose salary has been paid by US tax payers pretty much his entire adult life, he should have Tweeted about it.

    As a member of the administration, he should have Tweeted about it.

    Anyway, you look at it, he should have Tweeted about it.

    Except maybe as an aging elderly person addicted to trying to look physically younger.

    Did someone say Jane Fonda?

    Oh, let's be fair to Jane too.

    The 'antiwar' activist who is now supporting War Hawk Hillary Clinton.

    At the January 2007 rally against the Iraq War in DC, Jane Fonda took the stage and declared:

    I'm really here because I want to thank you all. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here today. So many of you, so many of today's speakers, including my fellow actors up here, were here at the beginning, before we went into Iraq, because you knew and they knew what was in store. Thank you so much for the courage to stand up against this mean-spirited, vengeful administration. Your actions are proof that the most precious part of this country, its soul, is alive and well. So thank you. Your ongoing commitment to ending this war allows people in other parts of the world to remain hopeful that America has the stuff to become again a country that they can love and respect. Thank you. I especially want to thank and acknowledge the servicemen and women and the military families and Gold Star mothers that are here. A lot of press people have been asking me today, "What's the difference between now and during the Vietnam War?" And I'll tell you one huge crucial difference: It took six years for Vietnam veterans, active-duty servicemen, Gold Star mothers and military families to come out against the war. It has happened now within three years of the war. Their presence here is critical, and we should acknowledge their courage. I haven't spoken at an antiwar rally in 34 years, because I've been afraid that because of the lies that have been and continue to be spread about me and that war, that they would be used to hurt this new antiwar movement, but silence is no longer an option. My daughter, who is here with me today -- come here -- she was a little girl when she would come with me to the anti-Vietnam War protests. She's here today with her two little children, my grandchildren. I'm very proud that they're here, but I'm so sad that we still have to do this; that we did not learn the lessons from the Vietnam War; that we've made the same mistakes, blindness to the realities on the ground, hubris and arrogance in dealing with a people and culture far older than we are; and that we understand so little, carelessness and thoughtlessness in our approach to rebuilding a country we've destroyed, allowing billions of dollars to be stolen, squandered at the hands of private contractors, just as this administration has done in our own gulf in the post-Katrina era. So, thank you. Thank you for being here, and we'll continue to be here for as long as necessary. God bless.

    That's the 'activist' Jane Fonda.

    "We'll continue to be here for as long as necessary"?

    Turns out, it's no longer necessary -- at least not to 'activist' Jane.

  • Counting. Down. the Hours. Season 2

  • This Friday at 12AM! Season 2, I’ll drink to that!

  • At the premiere of Season 2 which starts streaming at midnight on this Thursday-- in 2 days!

  • My dog, Tulea, watching me on , airing today

  • "We'll continue to be here for as long as necessary"?

    Unless, of course, she's too busy Tweeting about the earth shattering GRACE & FRANKIE or her guest spot on ELLEN.

    As long as necessary -- or maybe just until she's busy with other things.

    Thanks, Jane, thanks for that strong activism.

    Karma may just be . . . your co-star Lily Tomlin getting nominated for an Emmy and not you.

    Elaine observed:

    Those of us opposed to the Iraq War remain opposed.
    Those who just postured to use it against Bully Boy Bush?
    They gave up the pretense of caring the moment Barack was first sworn in as president in January 2009.
    Their lazy asses go a long way towards explaining why the Iraq War continues and why Keating died today.

    Anna Mulrine (CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR) explains:

    Petty Officer First Class Keating was killed while coming to the aid of Americans troops under fire after Islamic State fighters breached Peshmerga lines. His death brings to three the total number of US troop losses since the country reentered Iraq after its 2011 departure.
    US forces will see more battles in the months to come, and top Pentagon officials have said there will likely be more troops on their way to Iraq later this year. The plan going forward is for US forces to train smaller units that are more likely to be doing the fighting, rather than advising military headquarters, as they had been doing before.
    While the White House has insisted for months that US forces have a training mission and "are not in a combat role” in Iraq, the language used by Pentagon officials seems designed to brace the public for more casualties.
    “He was in a firefight, and he died in combat. I want to be very, very clear about that,” Carter said of Keating.

    From the teleconference, we'll note this exchange between Warren and MILITARY TIMES journalist Andrew Tilghman:

    Q:  Colonel Warren, just two things.
    Can you just describe what the ISIS fighters were operating in?  Were they operating in trucks or bulldozers?  How did they approach this village and mount and maneuver in this attack?
    And the second question, just on the QRF -- I'm assuming this is an all American QRF that came in?  If that's not the case, please correct me?  And can you tell us how often QRFs like that are called into respond to situations?  Is this the first time that's happened in months or is that a relatively routine thing for the guys up north?

    COL. WARREN:  It's all American and it's the first time it's happened in months.
    On how the enemy moved in this case, so they move in these type of vehicles that we refer to as technicals, which is kind of an all encompassing term for you know, homemade gun trucks, right.  They throw together these -- I don't know -- kind of Jed Clampit, they will bolt a machine gun onto the hood of a pick up truck, or a gremlin, or whatever.  You know, it's whatever they can find with four wheels and an engine, they will bolt some armored plates on the side if they can find them.  You know, they'll rig this thing up to be some sort of troop carrying vehicle, and whether or not it's only two or three people that can fit into it, or if it's a larger type of pick up truck, they can fit more in there.
    So there's no standardization here.  This is a non-standard military force that we're facing.  So it's a little bit of everything.  So that we use the word technicals, we've destroyed 20 of them.
    The bulldozer they like to use in several ways.  Like I said earlier, the flot that we talked about, this forward line, is simply a checkpoint on the road is the main thing.  So they will use the bulldozer, they will often use a truck bomb, plow it into the checkpoint, detonate it, kill the personnel there, and then they'll have to use the bulldozer to push the wreckage out of the way.
    Not clear on whether or not that's exactly how they did it this time.  I don't think they did, it seems like they punched through just with the bulldozer, and detonated their one truck bomb that they got off a little bit further up the road and we destroyed the other two truck bombs from the air.

    So -- but that's how they move around is in this kind of ad hoc series of bolted together homemade trucks and cars and -- et cetera.

    On Wednesday's THE NEWSHOUR (PBS), Hari Sreenivasan discussed Keating's death in Iraq and Iraq's political issues with THE WASHINGTON POST's Loveday Morris.