Thursday, February 01, 2018

Beyond the pretty face

So Joseph Kennedy III gives the Democratic response to the State of the Union address and even though he's got some spittin issues and some really bad spit curls because he's the grandson of RFK too many Democrats do collective sighs and start dreaming about going to sleep with their heads on his chest.

Wake up!

  1. Working class hero

It should take more than a pretty face for talk to start about you being the 2020 Democratic Party nominee.

It should.

But already people are pretending he's qualified.

Even though he doesn't for any issue we're supposed to support, they're pretending he's the one we need.

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

Thursday, February 1, 2018.

Let's start with War Hawk Hillary Clinton who voted for the Iraq War and supported the continuation of it and her only 'mistake' was trusting that Bully Boy Bush would send in even more US troops than he did.  She's back in the news for being a doormat for another predator.

Another case of her awful judgment-like her vote on the Iraq war, or supporting the crime bill that lead to mass incarceration, or supporting NAFTA, or her private server, etc. Clinton Says She Should Have Fired Campaign Aide Accused of Sexual Harassment

We covered this Friday night in a roundtable:

For the briefest explanation of what's going on, Heidi Stevens (CHICAGO TRIBUNE) explains:

Burns Strider, Clinton’s faith adviser and founder of the American Values Network, was accused of repeatedly sexually harassing one of Clinton’s young subordinates, according to the Times. Rather than fire him, the story reported, Clinton had his pay docked and ordered him to undergo counseling, while the woman was moved to a new job.

The man went on to work for David Brock where he was fired for harassing women.  He's continued to be in Hillary's orbit -- and was thanked in her most recent book.

Hillary offered a self-serving post on FACEBOOK during President Donald Trump's STATE OF THE UNION address.  And the predator's offered his version.

This is really important and I've yet to read one column pointing this out: Everyone can speak but the victim.

Hillary made the victim sign a non-disclosure agreement.

The one victimized can't speak to the press.

The predator can and did and minimized and justified his actions.

Hillary rushes to insist that the victim is fine because . . . well . . . Hillary says so?

Silence is not an option.

But she silenced the victim and continues to.

And there are at least three other women who came forward to report harassment during Hillary's 2008 and 2016 campaigns.

Non-disclosure agreements are not helping.

Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.

If they deserve to be heard, Hillary, end the NDA -- publicly release them from those agreements.

Instead, we've got another case of Hillary saying, "Believe me.  Because I say so."

But most people don't trust Hillary.

That was key to her losing the White House.

Most people don't trust her.

She says there's nothing she's hiding then, BOOM, she's using her own personal e-mail account and she finally decides -- after it's reported -- that maybe she should have mentioned it before.  But don't worry, America, she explains that she only did it because she just carried her Blackberry and didn't have the ability to carry anything else.

Of course that ends up being a lie as well.

She's campaigning as the protector of women and, oops, turns out she had a very serious problem with harassment and how she responded.  But, hey, trust her.


She either supports women or she doesn't.  If she supports them publicly declare that all women who had to sign an NDA on her campaigns are released from those NDAs.

One other thing, if she were to do it today, she says, she'd fire the man.

But that's like Bill Clinton excusing his own affairs, "Hill, if I'd known I'd been caught, I never would have done it."

That's her response to everything.  Never an apology -- and there's no apology in that lengthy FACEBOOK post -- just a "if I was doing it today . . ."

Today doesn't bring back the dreams and hopes that the woman who stepped forward had.

Today doesn't erase the harassment other women suffered because Hillary didn't do the right thing in 2008 (which allowed the predator to go on harassing other women).

Ep 18: In order to support Hillary, Dems spent 2016 gaslighting themselves into making Iraq forgivable and neocon policies okay. They might have only convinced themselves, but they did such a good job that now even Bush seems as cute as a Furby to them.

Today doesn't bring the over one million Iraqis who have died in the illegal war.

It's a matter of judgment and clearly Hillary has none.

Today Iraq is a wreck and Hillary refuses to apologize for her part in it.

Not that the US government's doing anything worth praising in Iraq today.

The Iraqi government should seize this moment to work productively with the country's many tribes:


This moment?

Elections are in less than 3 months and US Institute of Peace -- an arm of the US government and funded by the US government -- thinks now is the time to work on better relations?

Not when the Kurds and Sunnis and Shi'ites were working together to confront ISIS?


Diplomatic tools should have been utilized in 2014 and then-President Barack Obama swore they would be.

Didn't happen.

He started a bombing campaign in August of 2014 (which continues under Donald Trump), he didn't start a diplomatic campaign.

Donald's only now starting one.  Should have implemented one back in January of 2017 when he was sworn in.

Back then, they had a need for one another, the various groups.

Back then, they had a common enemy.

That's when you work on building bridges.  Not after it all falls apart.

Which, of course, it has now.

Rhys Dubin (FOREIGN POLICY) observes:

This month, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced an unexpected political alliance with the leader of an Iranian-aligned militia. Hadi al-Amiri, the head of the Badr Organization, was set to join Abadi’s grand coalition of political parties slated to run for election in May.
The alliance provoked a swift backlash from across Iraq’s political spectrum. Long seen as a nationalist by Western governments, the prime minister was traditionally viewed as Amiri’s political enemy. Just days earlier, the two were exchanging slurs and heated accusations, with Abadi singling out militias like those allied to Amiri for particularly harsh criticism.
While the proposed coalition dissolved only a day later, the move stoked concern within the U.S. and other Western governments — which have long seen factions of the so-called Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), such as Badr, as an Iranian fifth column — intent on destabilizing the central government.
“I tend to see this through the lens of what I assume to be Iran’s grand strategy for the region,” said Ryan Crocker, the former U.S. ambassador to Iraq. “You create, fund, organize, and train nonstate actors that will follow your direction and not that of those ostensibly running the country.”
As the fight against the Islamic State winds down, the issue of the PMF has only grown in prominence — pitting international fears of sectarian tension and growing Iranian influence in Iraq against powerfully entrenched political and military forces within the country.

So back into the swamps of crazy for FOREIGN POLICY?  When has Iran wanted to destabilize Iraq?  It wants to control it, no question there.  (The US wants to control Iraq as well.)

As we noted yesterday, the move most likely means that Iran is again supporting Nouri al-Maliki (as they did in 2010).

This would be news if it were true.

But no one wants to speculate on that in the media.


Probably fear of Nouri.  What if he's back in power this year.  Who will he threaten next?

Let's see, THE NEW YORK TIMES had to pull a reporter when Nouri hadn't even been in office for two years.  Nouri and his militias -- and the one story THE TIMES doesn't want to report on.  That was probably the big kick off of Nouri's war on the press.

And when he kidnapped -- off the streets -- Iraqi reporters in Baghdad for the 'crime' of covering the protests, the response was?

For THE NEW YORK TIMES it was to dismiss what had happened.  (To their credit, NPR and THE WASHINGTON POST did report accurately.)

The larger press response?

Non-Iraqi reporters stopped covering the protests.

The protests lasted about 16 months.

But a lot of the world never heard of them because the western media ignored them.

Fear of Nouri.

Of course, he also had the State Dept and the White House on his side then.  (Barack wouldn't break with Nouri until 2012 and wouldn't rebuke him until 2014.)

Is fear of Nouri so great that they'll rally against Hayder al-Abadi regardless?  Probably.  (And "they" is the press.)

Adnan Abu Zeed (AL-MONITOR) writes:

Iraq is boosting its efforts to extradite fugitives wanted in corruption cases. On Jan. 25, Iraqi authorities in cooperation with Interpol took custody of former Trade Minister Abdel Falah al-Sudani, who had been extradited from Lebanon. Sudani, a fugitive since 2009, had been tried and sentenced in absentia to seven years in prison for corruption.
Ziad al-Qattan, the former general secretary in the Ministry of Defense, was extradited from Jordan and handed over to Iraqi authorities Jan. 11.​ Qattan is accused of embezzling about $1 billion from the ministry.
“Such steps toward trying accused [politicians] in a country that is at the top of the list of the most corrupt countries, such as Iraq, are of paramount importance to regain the people’s confidence in the Iraqi judiciary and its ability to tackle corruption,” legal expert Ali Jaber told Al-Monitor.


What a fanciful tale.

We covered this on January 25th and noted it for what it was: propaganda to get votes for Hayder.  September 10, 2017 is when the man was apprehended.  He's not trotted out in Iraq until now?  It's to be used for the election.

: Turkish airstrikes kill 49 Kurdish militants in northern Iraq

The destruction of northern Iraq continues -- maybe if Hayder objected to that, he could win some votes.

We'll note this Tweet:

If you liked the Iraq War (which, by the way, continues 15 years later....), you'll love "Trump's Iraq"; war with North Korea. All the folly of Iraq War -- huge cost, massive civilian casualties, calamitous regional impact -- but this time with ACTUAL NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley --  updated: