Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Stupid Sady Doyle

Have you seen that Sady Doyle?

What a rip-off artist! 

She's using words.

Just like we do, Black people.

She's appropriating our culture!

Who does that ____ think she is?

So if you missed it, little Miss Sady Doyle has decided she can slag on Taylor Swift and accuse her of stealing dance moves and other things from Black people and of this and of that.

You know what?

It's our world.  That's you, that's me, that's the person standing to our left and to our right and . . .

If Taylor Swift makes a racist comment, I'll call her out.

If she practices discrimination, I'll call her out.

Her twerking?

Honey, have at it.  Do any dance step you want.

Hell, do the lindy, do the hully gully, whatever floats your boat. 

And Sady Doyle, get a life. 



"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills): 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014.  Chaos and violence continue, voices for war aren't shy, but something's got the tongue of the peace movement, In These Times can't take on the Iraq War but can go after Taylor Swift, and much more.

Justin O. Smith (Daily News Journal) argues for full on war in Iraq to combat the Islamic State.  Citing what's being done to Christians and Yazidis, he writes, "This is genocide pure and simple. America sees it and knows it as genocide, and as such, it is imperative that the U.S. and the world take vigorous military action against ISIS and all possible measures to prevent this massacre of minorities in Iraq. And with more than vigilance and 130 advisors, the U.S. and its allies should send 130 bombers and 130,000 soldiers to run ISIS into the ground, utterly destroy them and kill them mercilessly with extreme prejudice, just as they did entire Christian communities."

Smith's opinion has a few issues beyond the issue of calling for war.

He writes, "Obama, ever sympathetic to Sunni Muslims, more than likely illegally and surreptitiously armed the so-called 'rebels' in Syria by late 2011 from Libya, as strong evidence suggests."  I think few Sunnis in Iraq would make the ridiculous claim Smith does.  In fact, let's allow Sunnis to speak for themselves.



In March of last year, activists in Samarra put their message on display.

From Samarra من سامراء


"Obama, If you Cannot Hear Us Can you Not See Us?"

The following month, Sunnis would be slaughtered at a protest elsewhere.

April 23, 2013 massacre of a sit-in in Hawija which resulted from  Nouri's federal forces storming in.  Alsumaria noted Kirkuk's Department of Health (Hawija is in Kirkuk)  announced 50 activists have died and 110 were injured in the assault.   AFP reported the death toll eventually (as some wounded died) rose to 53 dead.   UNICEF noted that the dead included 8 children (twelve more were injured).

Did Barack call for bombings when that took place?

No, he didn't.

What he did was further arm Nouri al-Maliki.

"Obama, If you Cannot Hear Us Can you Not See Us?"

He couldn't see the Sunnis.  He just didn't care.

The prime minister of Iraq killed peaceful protesters.  Including children.  Including the child of a father who was present.  The young teen was trying to get his father to safety.  The challenged community in Iraq does not wait for others to do things, they join their brothers and sisters in the street in protests.  And this father was in a wheel chair.  It was chaos as Nouri's forces began firing at protesters and attacking them and the son was attempting to get his father to safety when they were stopped by Nouri's thugs.

The thugs said one of them was dying and they shot the son when he tried to protect his father by stepping in front of him.  They shot the father then too.  But the son died.

No one outside of Iraq really seemed to care about that man and the son he lost or about the children shot dead by Nouri's forces at that protest site.

Barack didn't do a damn thing.

The BRussells Tribunal cared and carried the account of Thamer Hussein Mousa who lost his son Mohammed Thamer.

But Barack didn't care, AFP didn't care, AP either, go down the list.

And Justin O. Smith cares about Christians in and from Iraq.  I don't doubt that he cares.  But someone should have informed him that a large number of those Sunnis are Christians.  The ones targeted, the ones that became part of the refugee population sometime ago.

Having addressed that aspect, let's note Smith's calling for war.

Is he right?

I don't think so and I argue against the US taking violent measures against -- continued violent measures -- against Iraq.

But Smith feels the way he feels -- and has every right to express what he thinks and feels -- and he's not alone.  The people wanting war are not shy about expressing themselves.

It's a shame the same can't be said for those on my side of the fence.

We noted the appalling silence from the various antiwar groups -- we noted it in yesterday's snapshot.  Nothing's changed today.  A.N.S.W.E.R. has nothing to offer.

And The Nation has dozens of stories on their main pages -- 7 alone are on Ferguson -- but there's nothing on Iraq.

The Progressive, to their credit, have posted a piece on Iraq.  It's by Stephen Zunes, here's the link.

Good for The Progressive.

But they are one outlet.

What does In These Times offer?



I've had it with Sady Doyle and had it with her and her faux feminism a long damn time ago.  Elaine's called the idiot out and, as always say, if Elaine's thinking it, I am too.   Ann's also called her out.


Taylor Swift   was slut shamed by Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Michael J. Fox and all our supposed 'feminist' and woman-positive press could do was giggle and and praise Tina and Amy -- two grown women who really should be more worried about their own sex lives.

Sady Doyle's attacked one woman after another and it's really time she was told, "You are the problem."

Taylor, you understand, is ripping off African-American culture, according to Doyle.

 Doyle's idiotic b.s. critique is one she got from the 'great minds' of Jezebel.  Here's Doyle:


Then there’s the song itself, written by Max Martin and Shellback with Swift. Its chorus hinges on the arguably appropriated truism “players gonna play, haters gonna hate.” Which, granted, has become a matter of common usage. Still, it sticks out, especially considering that the song—both musically and lyrically—is a washed-out third-generation copy of Janelle Monae’s breakthrough single “Tightrope,” complete with hand-clap percussion and horn-section hook. Both songs are anti-hater anthems about the power of dance: Where Monae tells us to “dance up on them haters, keep getting funky on the scene,” Swift instructs us that “haters gonna hate … shake, shake, shake it off.”


So stupid, so ignorant, so embarrassing.

Players gonna play?

I believe it was Stevie Nicks -- let's damn well give credit where it's due -- who wrote "players only love you when they're playing."  (And took it to number one, "Dreams.")

Musicians are magpies -- Madonna's not the only one.

Every rapper tossing around 'playa' owes some serious props to Stevie Nicks.

And Stevie?  She owes a debt to the Mamas and the Papas and to Joni Mitchell and others -- and she acknowledges that debt.

Taylor is 24-years-old.

Sady Doyle wants to slam her for not being Loretta Lynn:

Loretta Lynn, a coal-miner’s daughter, sang about growing up in aching poverty, being married as an adolescent  and having four children by the age of 20. She fulminated against cheating husbands, but she also sang a paean to birth control and a rant against slut-shaming. Swift, a stockbroker’s daughter, borrowed some tropes—Georgia, trucks, blue jeans—but stuck to complaining about cheerleaders.


How dare Doyle slam Swift for who her parents are -- more specifically, who her father was.  How dare you try to define a woman by a man in their lives.

You are not a feminist, you are a disgusting piece of trash who, sadly, is also stupid.

Should Taylor, like Loretta, be singing about the pill?

Maybe she will.

We are all aware aren't we -- Sady's not -- that Loretta had a hit with "The Pill" in 1975 -- 15 years after she had her first hit song.  15 years after.

And how old was Loretta?

43-years-old.

Sady is trashing a 24-year-old for lacking the scope of a 43-year-old.

Only in Sady's small and trashy mind is that acceptable.

Loretta's a true artist who's more than earned her reputation.  But she built that reputation over decades of work.  Taylor's career has barely started.

Sady Doyle is deeply stupid.

 If you want to accuse Taylor of borrowing, I think the obvious comparison is Florence and the Machine's "Shake It Out."

Sady doesn't go there.

What happened to Michael Brown in Ferguson is tragic.

The investigation Attorney General Eric Holder is overseeing may find that it was also criminal -- it may not find that.

But Taylor Swift releasing a video and song isn't the end of the world.

We already saw how the morality police like Sady condemned Janet Jackson (I love Janet and have known her for years).  They destroyed Janet's career and let's applaud Janet for refusing to grovel.  Justin Timberlake has a career but he groveled, didn't he?

Janet stood strong.

But the man got forgotten because what's better in this society than another round of Bash The Bitch?  As Ava and I observed years ago in "Katie Was A Cheerleader:"

Who knew it was a war crime? Katie Couric was a cheerleader and an army of Beate Klarsfelds are on her trail in an attempt to warn America of this dangerous contravention of the law. We imagine it's only a matter of time before the tribunal is held. The cheerleader as Eichmann, no doubt, sends shudders through the hearts of many women on the left, center and right, since they too may be charged.
Couric's apparent crime, for some on the left, is saying that Navy Seals "rock." That moment was immortalized in Michael Moore's FAHRENHEIT 9/11 and seems to be the chief piece of evidence that will be introduced when the commentators gather at the Hague.
For some of the left, though not all, that's at the root of their pursuit of Couric. It's the gift of impunity that allows them to operate in a fact-free environment as they compose the charges against Couric. But those who hear such a statement and nod agreeably are also engaged in the national pastime of bash-the-bitch.
Bash the bitch is as American as apple pie and rush to judgement, so who are we to complain?
If it makes us "America haters" to say "Just a minute now" then so be it. Let all the ones partaking in bash-the-bitch wrap themselves in Old Glory, we'll call it the way we see it.
Here's what we see. A woman's trashed. For what she did?
Oh cookie, please, it's for being a woman. Read the commentaries. "Cheerleader" is a trumped up charge -- as usual, the true crime is gender.



Michael Brown's death has provoked strong feelings -- sadness, anger and more.

And all this is going to get tossed on Taylor?

Bulls**t.

Sade Doyle, were she a true feminist, would be defending Taylor and wondering why -- yet again -- a woman is made the ultimate criminal.

Timberlake rips off Janet's top and it destroys her career not his.

Robin Thicke traffics in sexism and he and Miley Cyrus perform live on the MTV Awards but it's Miley who's called out, not the old man in the suit and tie looking all creepy.

There is anger in the country over what happened to Michael Brown.

The anger's understandable.

Let's go with, for just a second, that the police conducted themselves as they should in every way, okay?  Even if that's the case, that doesn't change the anger.  Michael is dead and a lot of people are personalizing this loss -- some due to what they perceive as relatable events, commonalities between Michael's lives and their own.

That's completely understandable.

It's also understandable that this free floating anxiety will attempt to glom on something else.  In our society, those targets are usually women.

And this anger could destroy Taylor's career.

Now if she destroyed her career with her own mouth, so be it.  If she destroyed it by doing the same song over and over, so be it.

But when she's made to be the target, when "racism" is falsely pinned upon her at a time when the country is riled up?

That's ridiculous.

I'm not remember Sady -- are you? -- calling out Ani DiFranco when Ani was planning this year's get-away on a slave plantation.  Are you?

No.

But because idiots who can't interpret art say Taylor's done this or done that, Sady is ready to attack.

As an artist, I tend to laugh at most critics because they're so damn stupid (Frank Rich is a stupid columnist and he was even more stupid critic -- he also lied to be 'funny' in his critiques which is even more offensive).

There were real racial implications in a White woman -- Ani DiFranco -- who'd gone around calling others racist going on to plan a retreat at a slave plantation.  There were racial implications in Ani attacking -- publicly attacking -- those who called her out.  That only cause more anger and forced her to apologize.

But I don't remember Sady Doyle treading into those waters.

The difference of course being that Sady worships Ani DiFranco.

Critics who can't call out their heroes aren't critics at all.


And women who trash other women to fit in, who see a mob going after a woman and encourage it?

They're embarrassments and much worse.

Sady Doyle can play 'feminist' all she wants.  The fact is that she remains male defined in a world of men -- she's getting to the Taylor 'story' by quoting a horror book written by a man when what's she's really saying is Taylor is a monster -- a man made monster -- so if she had any sense, she would have been referencing Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

But that's Sady, a 'feminist' forever name checking men.

She's doing real damage.

When a mob's advancing on a woman, you don't join the mob.

Not if you want to be a feminist.

'C.I., we know you're a feminist.  We know.  We know.  Isn't this about Iraq?  Or supposed to be?'

I do not support attacks on artists and if the artist being attacked is a woman, I feel I have a responsibility to call it out immediately (I've been very lucky over the years with other women having my back when I was being trashed).

But this actually is about Iraq.

Not just because Bully Boy Bush used the free floating anxiety over 9-11 to go to war on Iraq -- he let it glom onto WMD lies.  Not just because Barack's doing the same now with IS -- trying to scare Americans into supporting more war.

And not just because women are the canary in the coalmine when it comes to whether a society progresses or fails.

It's also because Sady and In These Times believe she took on the war in her bad column:

Tensions were escalating in Iraq; on August 19, the terrorist group ISIS beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley. Even soft news and entertainment sections were dominated by death and pain, as seemingly everyone even vaguely related to the entertainment industry reacted to the unexpected suicide of Robin Williams. Several outlets published corresponding public-service pieces about self-harm and depression. The outcry over the abuses in Ferguson, in particular, had become so urgent that President Obama left his vacation to give a live-streamed speech about both Ferguson and the US military involvement in Iraq.



Sady's garbage, in the minds of In These Times, passes for Iraq 'commentary.'

And, maybe for In These Times, that is Iraq commentary?


Iraq is on fire and Sady Doyle's busying herself handing out torches and pointing at Taylor Swift while screaming, "Get her!"


There was apparently no screaming on Monday when US Vice President Joe Biden spoke with Iraq's Prime Minister-Designate Haider al-Abadi:




The White House
Office of the Vice President

Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi



Earlier today, Vice President Joe Biden called Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi.  The Vice President and Prime Minister-designate discussed ongoing military actions against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).   The Vice President observed that Iraq’s political progress to date has already brought about greater regional and international support and that efforts to form a new government are an integral component of Iraq’s broader fight against ISIL.  Dr. Abadi underscored to the Vice President his intent to quickly form a new government that is inclusive of all segments of Iraqi society and that is prepared to take concrete steps to addresses the concerns of all of Iraq’s communities.   The Vice President emphasized his support for these efforts and the importance of all leaders working together to form a new government as soon as possible.



And maybe similar efforts could help Iraq?  Instead of brainstorming on that, the 'answer' from the White House is more military action.  Elissa Curtis and Benajmin Landy (MSNBC) note the refugee crisis is expected to only get worse.  Well how has bombing ever stopped the growth of refugees?  They generally increase the refugee population.


Spencer Ackerman (Guardian) reports:

The Pentagon warned on Tuesday that Islamic State (Isis) militants have global aspirations, ratcheting up already dire US rhetoric against the jihadist army that has overrun much of Iraq and Syria.
“Quite frankly, we’re not turning a blind eye to their global aspirations as well,” said Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary.

Isis has not conducted attacks outside of Iraq – its gestation ground – and Syria, where its successes brought it global attention. Its own rhetoric imagines a global Islamic caliphate, obliterating man-made borders, but its capabilities – which include access to oil wealth – fall significantly short. 

A huge threat -- supposedly.  WMDs were a huge threat once upon a time too.  Some of us refused to be frightened senseless.  Others went all in on the fear, let it consume and control them.  Where are the voices of reason?


At the US State Dept press briefing today, spokesperson Jen Psaki faced a few questions related to Iraq including this:

QUESTION: Why are you so concerned all of a sudden now about a threat to the United States potentially emanating from ISIS in Syria when the march of ISIS through Syria and then through Iraq has been underway for quite a long time now? The reports of dozens of Western – people with Western nationality fighting among them have been out for months. I mean, what’s different? Is there some kind of new or proximate threat that causes you to be concerned about this?

MS. PSAKI: Well, Arshad, I think anybody who looks at the situation in Iraq and Syria – the threat from ISIL – would say that they have gained strength over the last six months, that things have certainly changed in that regard. Obviously, we monitor and have long monitored very closely whether or not ISIL will seek to develop plots aimed at the West, beyond the geographic area where they have been operating in Iraq and Syria. And we’re actively, of course, consulting on that and working on that.
But it’s important to note that they, of course, have threatened to attack the homeland. We take those threats very seriously, and I think what you’re seeing here is a response to our growing concern about the counterterrorism threats. This is not new this past week. Neither is our response to it. I would point you back to the President’s speech at West Point where he talked about a $5 billion counterterrorism fund and our efforts to increase assistance to the Iraqis over the past six months. But certainly, we’ve seen an increase over the past months.

QUESTION: But why not act much earlier than now, then? I mean, why – if the threat’s been there for months, you’ve seen it for months --


MS. PSAKI: I think I said an increase over the past several months, and we have taken steps over the past several months in order to address it in different varieties. But our sole strategy here is not the potential for airstrikes. I think you saw General Dempsey speak to that. Obviously, there are a range of options that the President can consider and will consider.



Are some feeling the White House is suddenly seeing alarm where they didn't before?

Tom Ridge and Howard Dean pen a column together for the Chicago Tribune.


With the help of Iran's Quds force, al-Maliki brutally repressed popular protests across Iraq that demanded basic rights for Iraq's Sunni and Kurdish minorities. He hunted down tribal leaders, made arrests and carried out executions, all with Tehran's complicity. That reversed the gains made in 2007, when Sunnis played the most crucial role in driving al-Qaida out of Iraq. It also demonstrated the kind of brazen sectarianism that gave rise to the Islamic State, which many U.S. analysts say represents a new, direct threat to U.S. interests.


The former Secretary of Homeland Security and the former Governor of Vermont feel Iraq has a moment right now, however fleeting, to move beyond the current crises if the next prime minister sets the correct tone and pursues inclusion.


We'll close with this:

                                               
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  Contact: J.T. Johnson
August 26, 2014 jjohnson@feminist.org

office - 703-522-2214
cell - 202-681-7251



WHEN: Tuesday, August 26, 2014
WHERE: Online
WHAT: Pop Quiz for Equality


ARLINGTON
-- Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. The 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote in 1920, but it was a right that took decades to realize. This landmark Amendment institutionalized every person’s right to participate in the electoral process regardless of sex, and now it’s time to use the priceless power of the vote to advance another crucial amendment for women’s rights: the Equal Rights Amendment.
This Women’s Equality Day, the Feminist Majority Foundation is taking this important anniversary in the fight for women’s suffrage to continue building momentum around the Equal Rights Amendment with an online quiz testing voters’ knowledge of the ERA.
The Equal Rights Amendment will finally cement equal rights under the law – for all – for the first time ever in the United States Constitution. Now it’s time to make sure voters know what the ERA is all about, and how they can be agents in the fight to ratify the ERA right now!

WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW:
  • The Illinois state senate approved the ERA by a 60 percent majority in 2014. The Illinois House could vote to bring the US one state closer to ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment in the 2014 November veto session. Illinois would become the 36th state. We need 38.
  • Oregon voters could pass a state ERA when Measure 89 goes to a vote in November 2014.
  • Now, in Nevada, a leading state legislator is contemplating introducing a resolution to ratify the ERA in 2015.
  • Full ratification of the ERA would, for the first time, create a national legal standard for the elimination of discrimination against women in all areas of life, including equal pay.
  • The ERA would change the burden of proof in sex discrimination cases to a higher level of scrutiny under the law.
  • The ERA would strengthen enforcement of laws against gender-based violence and expand federal power to prosecute these crimes.
  • The ERA would prohibit pregnancy discrimination.
Take the quiz and join the conversation all day long: Follow @majorityspeaks, @femmajority and #WED2014 all day for reasons to ratify the #ERANow!

 ###
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Extant (thrills and chills)

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Golfing"  went up last night.





"Extant"   airs Wednesday nights on CBS.  The Halle Berry starring sci fy show had two episodes last Wednesday.  The second episode didn't have Sam in it and was more of a thrills and spills episode.

Those are good as well.

So the corporation is worried they're about to be found out -- space aliens and all -- so they start planning to transfer the baby they took from Molly's stomach.

So Molly hooks up with two guys to try to get to see her baby before it's gone.

Amid shoot outs and much more, they make it into the lab but the baby is gone.

The baby isn't a baby anymore -- if he ever was.  We know it is a boy.  But now he's either in a person's body or leaping from body to body -- I think the latter more likely.

I'm enjoying the confusion and eager to find out what the grand conspiracy is.

I believe the thing has the ability to extend life and that's what the corporation is up to.

But that's just my guess. 



"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):

Monday, August 25, 2014.  Chaos and violence continue, the State Dept's 'concerned' about killings in Iraq (now they're concerned), Nouri's War Crimes continue, Nouri's also yet again accidentally or 'accidentally' bombing Iraqi soldiers, Dan Rather makes a stupid remark, his fellow idiots try to serve it up as a 'peace' statement, and much more.


Let's start with the obvious: Dan Rather is an idiot.

I have no use for 'big left' Dan of today because when he occupied the anchor chair for years and years on CBS, he didn't do a damn thing.

Now he's got nothing left so he pretends he's left.  He's not.

Jeffrey Meyer, of the right wing media site Newsbusters, notes:

Dan Rather, former anchor of the CBS Evening News, appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources to harshly criticize those in Congress calling for the U.S. to take military action against the terrorist group ISIS.
Speaking to anchor Brian Stelter on Sunday, August 24, Rather proclaimed that he will only listen to those who advocate boots on the ground “if you tell me you are prepared to send your son, your daughter, your grandson, your granddaughter to that war of which you are beating the drums.”


While some idiots will applaud that, they shouldn't.

It's the same pompous and discriminatory b.s. that prompted Dan Rather to treat Connie Chung like crap and get her fired when she was briefly made his co-anchor.  Make no mistake, Dan Rather is a nasty, dirty person.

Members of Congress should not support war, Rather says, unless they are willing to send their loved ones into war.

It's not the ancient days of Dan Rather's boyhood.

Children are not chattel, they will not be sent somewhere.

They will make up their own minds.

If Connie Chung were in the Senate and pounding the drums of war, that's on Connie.

Dan's a stupid piece of s**t and the continued embrace of his sexist and out of date notions does not need encouragement.

Matthew Povich is his own person.  What his parent Connie or Maury does?  That's on them.  That's not on him.  If Matthew wants to join a war, wants to oppose a war, wants to ignore a war, that's on him.

This is b.s. and Dan Rather needs to be called out on it.

Here's Jessica Lange speaking at a 2005 peace rally:

JESSICA LANGE: There have been twice as many terrorist attacks in the three years since 9/11 than in the three years preceding 9/11. All their reasons for waging war on Iraq have been proven to be manipulation of facts, untruths and lies, lies, and more lies. And then he dares accuse us of being guilty of wrong thinking, a man who traffics in deadly lies, the front man for an administration who came into office with the intention of taking out Saddam and becoming an occupying force in Iraq, members of the Project for the New American Century, who promote an ideology of U.S. domination through the use of force, who have imposed their politics of scorch and burn on the American people and made us complicit against our will in their regime of shame.
And who are these men? Who are these men? Let’s talk for a minute about these masters of war, these same men that are sending our sons and our daughters, our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers to fight an undeclared and unconstitutional and unwinnable war for them. Let’s talk about their service records. Karl Rove did not serve. Paul Wolfowitz did not serve. Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Elliott Abrams, Newt Gingrich did not serve. Jeb Bush did not serve. The list goes on and on. And we know George W. did not really serve.

Click here to stream it or read it in full at Democracy Now!

Did you notice what Jessica did?

She held people accountable for their actions.

Jenna Bush is not responsible for what her father does.  Malia Obama is not responsible for what her father does.  Both women may agree with their father's choices, may disagree, may not care one way or the other.  That's their right.  That's every person's right.

Jessica Lange rightly pointed out that the War Hawks pushing the Iraq War didn't serve in the military.  She didn't attack the children or grandchildren of War Hawks.

Dan still believes in chattel.

Shame on those who promote that nonsense.

Furthermore, the whole point of Dan's little stunt is to say what?

If Dick Cheney had forced Mary into the military (against her will) it would be okay for the US to go to war on Iraq?

No.

It wouldn't have made the illegal war right.

No one should die in this illegal war.  Many have.  I'm really not into wishing that the death toll rises but I guess when the career's over, when you're name is a disgrace, when you're a hateful old man with nothing to look forward but death, I guess then you just want everyone to die, eh, Dan?


Dan Rather's nonsense is wrongly seen as 'antiwar' or 'peace' only because there's no peace movement in the country.

Friday, United for Peace and Justice finally issued a statement on Iraq . . . and Gaza . . . and Ferguson.  We'll note the section on Iraq:


The dual tragedies playing out in Gaza and Iraq are graphic reminders of the catastrophic costs of militarism. Each has multiple causes, but paramount among them, American military power and Washington’s decades-old build up of Israeli military power have caused unimaginable suffering among civilian populations.
Neither story is at an end. And the need to speak up for peace and diplomacy remains urgent. Since 2001, the United States government has dealt with the problem of “terrorism” by engaging in various forms of warfare against other countries and groups, while building up the military might of its Israeli ally. And the results have been costly, harmful and counter-productive.
The staggering oppression of Palestinians, the millions of people in the Muslim world killed, injured or displaced, and the level of anger now directed at the United States attests to the immorality and futility of this approach.
Responding to the crisis in Gaza and Iraq, we call for:
• Cessation of US bombing in Iraq and a cease-fire in Gaza and Israel
• Immediate end to the blockade of Gaza
• Increased humanitarian assistance to victims of violence in Iraq and Gaza
• Suspension of US military aid to Israel and an arms embargo across the region
• United Nations sponsored diplomacy which includes all regional parties
What can be done?

Members of Congress are back in district this month. This is an excellent time to express concern over US policy in Gaza and Iraq — meet with your Reps, send a letter to the editor of your local paper, demonstrate, or vigil. UFPJ is urging that in whatever action you organize, you incorporate concerns about Gaza and Iraq. Please keep us posted on your plans: rustiandgael@unitedforpeace.org


If you thought other organizations would suddenly find their voices, you were wrong.

Let's survey the ruins of the peace movement of the '00s.

CODEPINK?  They called for aid not bombs -- on August 8th, they made that call.  They've done nothing since.  It's hard to be a faux activist, you understand.

It's even harder for cowards and the spineless to call out US President Barack Obama.

Which is why the so-called Iraq veterans of Iraq Veterans Against the War didn't call out Barack.  The little tykes last whined and pissed their diapers back on June 19th when they ran an open letter to non-US President John Kerry.  It was about Iraq.  It was their last statement about Iraq.  June 19th.


I know John.  I've still got the spine to call him out but our big brave babies of IVAW can't call out Barack.  Poor little useless babies.  Maybe they can change their name to Iraq Veterans Against the War Except When A Democrat's In The White House?

Military Families Speak Out?

Against what?

Against what do they speak out?

They've completely ignored Barack sending waves of troops into Iraq in the last weeks as well as the US bombings.  So exactly what do they speak out against?

A.N.S.W.E.R. spoke out.  Back on June 23rd.  Two months ago.

Guess Iraq fixed itself without any need for effort on the part of A.N.S.W.E.R. which left the organization free to pursue other things -- like Hobby Lobby.

A.N.S.W.E.R. quoted their own Eugene Puryear stating, "They don't ask anyone from the anti-war movement to come on the Sunday shows, and that's because we were right in 2003 and we're right now, and they don't want to be exposed."

Maybe.

Or maybe an assistant is farmed out the task of finding the people speaking out and the assistant goes to all the websites to see something current and passionate that would make you want to see this person or organization on TV.

And the assistant finds . . . weak statements that are weeks old.

August 1st, Veterans for Peace announced their solidarity with the people of . . . Gaza.

Can we all please just agree to say a silent prayer, light a candle until all US men and women serving in Gaza make it home safely?

Huh?

US troops aren't deployed to Gaza?

Then why are Veterans for Peace vocal on Gaza and on so many other things while they're unable to speak of Iraq -- let alone take action?

They couldn't speak out about Iraq this month.  They couldn't last month.

They did whine like little babies on July 2nd about how tough it was for them to feel patriotic.

Oh, poor babies.

I have no problem finding things of wonder in the US but then I'm not a coward on my knees before the allegedly powerful.  I see the beauty and strength and, yes, grace of the United States in the people of the country who -- as is the case with so many populations -- are much greater than the government which allegedly represents them.

But, by all means, play the victim, embrace being powerless, whatever it takes for Veterans for Peace to blow one last load, right?

Hey, remember in the Bully Boy Bush years when we stood alone in calling VFP official who was griping about his son being a war resister?

Yeah, I'm not scared of calling out Barack or Bully Boy Bush or the vastly immature VFP leadership.

But the leaders of these organizations, how do these scared bunny rabbits ever become 'leaders'?


Not everyone's silent.




“What goes around, come around. Stop the Iraq War” 











Quick note:  The White House insists that US President Barack Obama has not made any official -- but as yet undisclosed -- plans to attack Syria. Katie Zezima (Washington Post) reports, "The press secretary [Josh Earnest] said Obama is 'committed' to coordinating military action with Congress, and has done so with the airstrikes that are currently taking place in Iraq."  We may pick up on that tomorrow.  In Tuesday's snapshot, we will discuss Chris Hill.  I promised we would today but I wasn't in the mood to examine the sewer that is Chris Hill.

Let's instead note this Tweet from the State Dept's Brett McGurk:







Brett's so silly, isn't he?

We quoted from a 2005 speech Jessica Lange gave earlier.  Jessica won her first Academy Award for her performance in the film classic Tootsie. The screenplay everyone worked on -- including Elaine May -- was rock solid.  But the film also benefits from some improvisation from Bill Murray who is the roommate of Michael Dorsey -- the actor who poses as a woman to get a job on a soap opera.   (In what is probably his finest performance ever, Dustin Hoffman plays Michael Dorsey who pretends to be actress Dorothy Michaels who plays soap opera character Emily Kimberly.)


At one point, when Michael wants off the soap, Bill's character tells Michael, "You know, maybe there's a moral's clause in your contract?  Perhaps if Dorothy did something really filthy or disgusting, they have to let you go.  But I really can't think of anything filthy and disgusting that you haven't already done on your show."

And reading Brett's Tweet, shouldn't we be reminded that what Brett's so appalled by has been going on in Iraq under Nouri al-Maliki and yet Brett and the US government didn't say one damn word.

And killing civilians?

Nouri may be outgoing prime minister (he may not be) but he's still killing civilians in Falluja.

Over the weekend, National Iraqi News Agency reported that Saturday Nouri's bombing of Falluja's residential neighborhoods left 4 civilians dead and thirteen more injured.  And today?  Alsumaria reports Nouri's bombing of Falluja has left 11 civilians dead with twenty-seven more injured -- the wounded and dead were taken to Falluja General Hospital.

Where's Brett's Tweet on those deaths?

Where's his outrage over the murder of civilians?

Nouri's been carrying out these bombings -- these legally defined War Crimes -- day after day since the start of this year.  If Brett's so bothered by the murder of civilians, why has he yet to call these War Crimes out?


Other violence today?

Nouri wasn't just bombing civilians, he was also bombing Iraqi soldiers.

National Iraqi News Agency reports 2 Iraqi soldiers are dead, six more injured, as a result of a bombing "mistake" that hit, get this, the "military headquarters."   In addition, Alsumaria reports a car bombing in Utaifiyya left 7 people dead and 18 more injured, a bombing of a village north of Tikrit left a family -- including three children -- injured, an Aziz roadside bombing left 2 police members dead and six more injured,  and 3 corpses were discovered dumped in Kirkuk.  AFP reports a suicide bomber attacked a Shi'ite mosque in Baghdad, taking his own life and the lives of at least 11 other people.  NINA notes the corpses of 3 women were found dumped outside Kirkuk.


Turning to politics,  Alsumaria notes Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani declared today that Iraq's new government must include all.  Haider al-Abadi is the prime minister-designate, currently in the 30 day period to form a government in order to move from prime minister-designate to prime minister.

At his Facebook page, he posted the following on Sunday:

حدد رئيس الوزراء المكلف الدكتور حيدر العبادي في رسالة وجهها للكتل السياسية الشروط الواجب توفرها في مرشحيهم لشغل المناصب الوزارية في الحكومة المقبلة "ممن تتوفر فيهم عدد من الشروط لنتمكن من وضع الشخص المناسب في المكان المناسب".
واضاف الدكتور العبادي ان الشروط التي يجب ان تتوفر في المرشح تتمثل في ان يكون كفوءا ومهنيا ويمتلك خبرة ادارية ومؤهلات قيادية وان يكون حسن السيرة والسمعة والسلوك وان لا تكون عليه مؤشرات فساد ولا قيد جنائي.
واضاف كما يجب ان لا يكون مشمولا باحكام قانون المساءلة والعدالة وان يكون حائزا على شهادة جامعية في الاقل

He's explaining that for ministers in his Cabinet, he's selecting people who are right for their positions, that they must be ethical and professional with experience in management and leadership qualities.  He also is choosing based upon reputation.

If he's successful, it will be a new kind of Cabinet for Iraq.

Nouri never worried about qualifications for his friends or about their reputations.

Which is how you get a Cabinet that, only months ago, was trying to lower the age of marriage for girls down to eight-years-old.  Not for boys, of course.  But for girls.  Because that's the kind of sick pedophile Nouri al-Maliki and the kind of sickos he surrounded himself with.


Nouri also repeatedly created problems leading to ministers in his Cabinet repeatedly walking out.

The most recent walkout was last month when he called the Kurds terrorists and they responded by walking out on the Cabinet.  It was just the latest throwdown in Nouri's long war with the Kurds.


By way of contrast, Haider al-Abadi  Tweeted the following Sunday:



It's a statement of his intent to resolve the outstanding disputes between the Baghdad-based central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government.


On the topic of statements, Alsumaria reports US Vice President Joe Biden declared today that al-Abahdi has the full support of the US government.  Alsumaria also reports al-Abahdi met with a delegation of Kurds from Erbil today to discuss the future of the country and the needs of the Iraqi people.  There is no expected movement on the issue in the immediate future since, as All Iraq News notes, Parliament has now "adjourned the session to next Tuesday, 2nd of September."














Saturday, August 23, 2014

Extant (Molly and Sam work together)

I love my family, to be really clear.  Not just my own three children but also my parents, grandparents, my sisters, my brother, . . .

I am not one of those idiots who goes around saying things like family is all that matters.

In my own life, this is usually some loud mouthed woman who's lied about the paternity of at least one of her kids, has no friends and spends the weekend drinking alone.  She's also often homophobic -- even if she's had an experience she only owns up to when drunk -- especially if she had a same-sex experience she only admits to when she's drunk.

She has nothing, so at her job she pretends she's all about family.

She's usually a hateful, spiteful person that no one at work likes because she tries to bully people.  She may or may not make a point to bring a gun to work.

I say that because I love my family and I love my friends.  I need them both.

And I'm so glad Molly has Sam again.

Halle Berry stars as Molly on CBS' "Extant" (Wednesday nights) with Camryn Manheim playing Molly's best friend Sam.

I'm so glad that Molly and Sam have found a way to work together -- despite Sparks is threatening Sam's brother.  Sam and others involved in the conspiracy that led to Molly getting pregnant while on a solo space mission will do anything to cover up whatever is going on. 

Sparks works for Yasumoto who was talking about immortality (as he looked at the robot Ethan) and maybe that's what's going on.  Aliens or an alien form of life may be trying to merge with humans (or hijack them) and a new species may be in the works.

Regardless, Sam helped Molly and we need that to keep caring about the show, the give and play of the friendship.

I love the show, love the thrills and all of that.

But at the heart of it, for me, is Molly and Sam's friendship.


"Iraq snapshoI love my fat" (The Common Ills):

Saturday, August 23, 2014.  Chaos and violence continue and we explore how the White House blew it in 2010 and has blown it again on Friday.


Pretend you were beat up every day by some other kid.  And the other kid got sympathy while you got scorn.

That's how a lot of Sunnis feel in Iraq and while feelings are neither right or wrong, the Sunnis feelings are more than understandable.

In the anti-Sunni world so many of us live in, Iraq's problems started a few weeks ago.  The last four years didn't matter, the targeting of Sunnis didn't matter.

Friday, a horrifying event took place and if it were known to be carried out by the Islamic State, the White House would be condemning it in strong terms -- as they have so many times before.

AP reports an attack on Imam Wais Village's Mosque has left 65 dead and sixty injured.   RT says it was an attack carried out by a Shi'ite militia and reminds, "In July, Shia armed groups executed 15 Sunni Muslims and hung them from electricity poles in a public square in Baquba. Meanwhile, Iraqi security forces killed more than 255 Sunni prisoners in retaliation for the killing of Shias by the Islamic State."  Jomana Karadsheh, Jason Hanna and Chelsea J. Carter (CNN) report it this way, "Suspected Shiite militiamen opened fire Friday inside a Sunni mosque in northeast Iraq, killing dozens in an attack that appeared to derail the formation of a new government -- something world leaders have said is a must if the country hopes to defeat Islamic militants."  Abigail Hauslohner (Washington Post) notes, "It was the single deadliest assault in months on Sunni civilians in Iraq."

The US State Dept issued a statement:


Press Statement
Marie Harf
Washington, DC
August 22, 2014
The United States strongly condemns the vicious attack today on innocent men, women, and children inside a mosque in the village of Imam Wais in Diyala province.  The United States stands with the people of Iraq against this violence, and will continue to support all Iraqi citizens, from all parts of the country, as they work to root out violent extremists from any sector of society, and promote a religiously tolerant, diverse, and unified country, as envisioned in the Iraqi Constitution.  
This senseless attack underscores the urgent need for Iraqi leaders from across the political spectrum to take the necessary steps that will help unify the country against all violent extremist groups.  In that light, we note Prime Minister-Designate Al-Abadi’s condemnation and call for unity in defiance of this attack.  We further call on all Iraqi leaders to complete the process of forming a new government on the constitutional timeline, and to stand united against violent extremist groups regardless of their cause or persuasion.  
We express our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims of today’s senseless attacks, and call on the Government of Iraq to immediately investigate and bring to justice anyone shown to be behind these heinous crimes.  

Not good enough.

Marie started off strong.

But going with "senseless"?

Some reports have reduced the statement to Marie Harf only using "senseless to describe

"Senseless" isn't good enough.

You don't think the Sunnis have been persecuted in the last years, fine.  But at least acknowledge that they feel they have been persecuted.  (I agree with them.)

The worst attack they've seen in months and the term being run with is "senseless"?

After Thursday's briefing involving US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Martin Dempsey used terms like "savagely" and "ruthless" and "barbaric."  And terms like these used over the murder of one person.

And  many people will read and hear of Harf's describing the attack on the Sunnis as "senseless."

People are paying attention.

Maybe not the State Dept or the White House.

In fairness to Marie Harf, she and and the State Dept are supposed to be int he business of diplomacy.

That said, did we all catch John Kerry's statement?

The US Secretary of State used the term "barbaric" in a statement yesterday:


Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 22, 2014
Secretary Kerry spoke with the Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari today to discuss the situation in Iraq. The Secretary expressed his strong support for the formation of a new government and encouraged the Foreign Minister to press all parties on the need work together and avoid preconditions to expedite the formation of a new and inclusive cabinet.
Foreign Minister Zebari acknowledged the importance of moving quickly with government formation and also expressed his sincere condolences over the brutal murder of James Foley by ISIL. Secretary Kerry offered his condolences to Foreign Minister Zebari for the countless Iraqis from all religious and ethnic communities who have fallen victim to ISIL’s barbaric attacks.
Both leaders recognized that Iraq is on the front line in the war against ISIL and that Iraq, the United States, the region, and the international community must stand together to face this threat. Mr. Zebari welcomed and noted appreciation for U.S. support in combatting ISIL.


'Savage' and 'barbaric' are not diplomatic terms.  I personally recoil when someone uses the terms to describe people (or to describe animals -- but I have no problem with "savage" and "barbaric" being used to describe the weather or, for that matter, the films of Michael Bay). But these are the terms the administration has trafficked in and the world  -- and specifically Sunnis around the world -- are not necessarily going to put on their decoder rings to decipher why DoD is calling Sunnis who attack 'savages,' 'ruthless' and 'barbaric' while when Sunnis are attacked by presumably Shi'ite assailants, the attacks are lamented with a sigh as 'senseless.'

Iraq is in a very unstable state currently.  For the country to come together, all the players are going to have to feel that they are treated fairly and will be treated fairly.

The US-installed tyrant Nouri al-Maliki is hopefully on his way out the door (he's never truly gone until he's in the ground so I'll breathe easy only when a new prime minister is named).  Installing him in 2006 was a mistake on the part of the Bully Boy Bush administration.  (You can use a stronger term than "mistake," I'm trying to move quickly and trying to be as kind as possible  -- or as kind as I possibly can be.)  Barack Obama's administration insisting he remain in 2010 -- after he lost the elections to Iraqiya -- was worse than a mistake.

That spat on the Iraqi voters and also sent the message that elections don't matter and that all the talk of 'democracy' -- from two consecutive US administrations -- was nothing but hollow talk.

Insisting the loser of an election -- a polarizing figure -- get a second term the voters did not give him is not instilling faith in democracy nor does it help democracy take root.

The 2010 decision, ignored by so many in the US, is not a minor thing and will figure greatly in the history of Iraq.  It's also why the violence got to where it did.

Nouri didn't win the election.  His State of Law came in second to Iraqiya.  Though some try to spit polish Nouri and his State of Law, they were a sectarian coalition.  They were a new grouping -- Nouri refused to run as part of Dawa, his political party, much to Dawa's dismay -- and they talked 'security' which was code for "We kill Sunnis."  You can pretend it meant something different the way so many pretended in the 1988 US elections that invoking Willie Horton's name wasn't about appealing to fear and, yes, sending a message of racism.

Siderbar: Horton was an African-American who was sentenced for life -- for murder -- but given passes as part of a furlough program and, on one furlough, he didn't bother to return but did commit a series of crimes. Criticizing the program, as Al Gore had, was not appealing to racism.  Making Horton the poster boy of the program might not have been racism.  No one was lying about the facts involved.  The way the controversy was sold via ads and comments from George H.W. Bush's campaign was an appeal to racism.  And, to be clear, I'm not calling George H.W. Bush a racist.  I have no idea where he stands but would hope he's not. But the thing about racism is that it can be used by a lot of people who aren't racists.  They can do that by trafficking in it or by being silent about it.  They can do it any number of ways.  They can do it by, in 2014, creating a new sitcom for Netflix -- yeah, I'm talking about Jane and Lily's sitcom -- and refusing to cast leads of color -- Martin Sheen has passed for Anglo White his entire career so don't toss out that he's Latino.  There is no reason in the world that two preachy liberal women who are played by Jane and Lily couldn't have married an African-American man. I believe the current president of the United States is the son of an interracial couple.  He's 53-years-old and Jane can't catch up with the times -- the time of 53 years ago?   Instead, the show is an elderly -- yeah, I said it -- white bread White cast and why the 'new' world of the internet needs that is beyond me.  I have problems with the White at the top of the pyramid structure of Orange Is The New Black -- the White 'missionary' teaches every one of color in a manner not that far from a Shirley Temple movie -- but at least Orange does offer a diverse cast.  Jane's show is so White it could be on CBS.  Sidebar in a sidebar: Jane is an active producer of the show with a long history of producing, Paula is producing as well -- Paula, what would you mother say about your all White productions?  Lily Tomlin is a producer.  Why am I not calling out Lily?  Lily is producer to protect herself.  That's all.  Lily's not going into any production where she's going to be at the mercy of others.  She's not an active producer but she's got the title and position to protect her character and her art.  That's why I'm not calling out Lily.  (If her character or performance is a mess, I will call that out when Ava and I review the show.)


Back to State of Law, Nouri used coded messages to appeal to Shi'ites.  By contrast, Iraqiya, led by Shi'ite Ayad Allawi, was a mixed coalition with Sunnis (such as Osama al-Nujaifi, the previous Speaker of Parliament, and former Deputy prime minister Saleh al-Mutlaq) and its success built on the 2009 elections which found the Iraqi people moving away from identities of division and towards a national identity as Iraqis.

That was an incredible shift and one that should have been encouraged by world leaders.  It should have been encouraged and fostered.  2010 was a time of such hope.

Instead, this got shoved aside when the White House decided Nouri must remain prime minister.

If we're all honest for a moment, maybe we can all agree the above US response in 2010 was at least a mistake.

But it got worse.

Nouri didn't win.  Even with his kangaroo court verdict, he didn't win.  So the US brokered a legal contract, known as The Erbil Agreement.  This contract was signed by the leaders of all the political blocs -- including Nouri -- and came after Nouri had brought the government to a standstill for over 8 months -- Parliament wasn't meeting, nothing was happening.  The US officials went to the leaders of various political blocs and told them Nouri could hold out for another 8 months so, be the bigger person, do the right thing for the country, just give him a second term and we'll do it with a contract and since you're giving up a lot by letting a loser have a second term, we're going to write something into this contract for you and the people you represent.  So Iraqiya was promised, among other things, the head of an independent national security body, the Kurds were promised Article 140 of the Constitution would finally be implemented, etc.

The White House swore this contract had their full backing.  November 11, 2010, the day after it was signed, Parliament finally met.  Some idiots and liars say Iran -- in mid-October -- ended the political stalemate.  Big lie.  Parliament only finally met after The Erbil Agreement.  Check the archives, learn  what you're talking about because the lies are helping no one. If it's pride that's forcing them to stick to a lie, let it go.  We all get things wrong.  On this issue, I was an idiot myself and thought the Erbil Agreement was a supplement to the Constitution.  It was not -- I was big time wrong in real time -- it was a circumvention of the Constitution.

Those new to the issue may be thinking, "C.I., a contract was used to settle the elections.  It's no different than the backroom deals political parties used to have in the US during the early part of the 20th century."  Maybe so but those promises tended to stick.

Nouri signed a contract -- a contract the White House brokered and backed -- to get a second term and then refused to honor the contract.  At first, he made it sound as if it would be a few weeks.  By summer 2011, the Kurds, cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr and Iraqiya were publicly demanding Nouri implement The Erbil Agreement.  He refused to do so.  In March of 2012, leaders -- of the groups just named and other groups including ISCI and its leader Ammar al-Hakim -- began fairly public discussions about what to do.  A big meet-up took place in April 2012.  It was decided they would move to a no-confidence vote in Parliament.  Signatures were collected and all the steps outlined in the Constitution were followed.  As signatures were being collected, Moqtada stated publicly that Nouri could end the effort by implementing The Erbil Agreement.  Nouri refused to do so.

As May was winding down there was hope among many Iraqis that fairness was going to be restored.

Then the petition was handed to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani for him to, as the Constitution dictated, officially present it to the Parliament.  Then a vote would take place.

Never happened.

Under pressure from the White House*, Jalal announced he would check the signatures.  This was a petition signed by MPs (Members of Parliament).  Jalal didn't just ask, "Did you sign it?" He asked, "Would you still sign it if it was presented to you today?"  That's not how a petition works.  But Jalal claimed a number backed out -- wouldn't say who -- and said he couldn't present it to Parliament and 'screw all you people insulting me and members of the press calling me a coward, I'm off to Germany for life threatening surgery!'

It emerged Jalal actually had elective knee surgery.

But it let the coward hide out and avoid the fall out for his decision and action.  He would sneak back into the country in September 2012.  Maybe as a karmic 'reward,'  he suffered a stroke and did end up in Germany.  December 17, 2012 following Jalal's argument with Iraq's prime minister and chief thug Nouri al-Maliki (see the December 18, 2012 snapshot).  Jalal was admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital.    Thursday, December 20, 2012, he was moved to Germany.  He returned to Iraq in July of this year.

*Iran forced Jalal's hand!!!!!  No.  Iran was not the player on that issue, the US government was.  Iran was the player on the issue of Jalal remaining president.  The US government told Iraqi politicians they had no opinion on replacing Jalal -- he should have been replaced a month after his stroke -- and were staying out of the matter.  The Iranian government did not take a pass.  That is why when Hero Ibrahim Ahmed, First Lady of Iraq, spent almost as much time in Iran as she did in Germany -- she repeatedly darted in and out of Iran to plead with Shi'ite leaders to continue to back Jalal as president despite a health crisis that left him unable to govern or speak.

And we're all clear that he can't speak, aren't we?

He can make some noises but nothing that the public would turn out for.  That's why his big return was a big bust.  A lot of hoopla and no Jalal talking to the public.

The Talabani family lied to -- defrauded -- the people of Iraq who would have been loudly demanding a president had they not been repeatedly told Jalal was recovering and that he'd be back in a matter of months.

The Iraqi people had voted divisive 'leader' Nouri out of office only to have the US insist he get a second term.  The contract that outlined a power sharing government was tossed aside by Nouri and the White House didn't say a word. And then things really got bad.  Which is why the Iraqi people went back into the streets in December 2012 to launch protests that would last over a year.

Nouri's response to the peaceful protests?

He called them 'terrorists' and had his security forces, attack them, arrest them and kill them.

None of this would have happened had the White House not demanded he get a second term.


So now the White House is 'involved.'  Nouri is said to be gone (again, only when he's in the ground).  And it's 'evil' and 'bad' and 'barbaric' Sunnis, to hear the White House talk.

But Friday comes a spectacular attack, apparently carried out by Shi'ites, against Sunnis -- against Sunnis who are at a house of worship -- and the administration can't speak in the strong language they use when decrying Sunni assaults?

The White House swore they would stand by The Erbil Agreement.

When the Parliament finally met, Nouri said The Erbil Agreement would have to wait a little bit. Ayad Allawi walked out.

Remember that?

From the November 11, 2010 snapshot:

Martin Chulov (Guardian) reports one hiccup in the process today involved Ayad Allawi who US President Barack Obama phoned asking/pleading that he accept the deal because "his rejection of post would be a vote of no confidence". Ben Lando, Sam Dagher and Margaret Coker (Wall St. Journal) confirm the phone call via two sources and state Allawi will take the post -- newly created -- of chair of the National Council On Higher Policy: "Mr. Obama, in his phone call to Mr. Allawi on Thursday, promised to throw U.S. weight behind the process and guarantee that the council would retain meaningful and legal power, according to the two officials with knowledge of the phone call." 

Empty words from Barack.

The position was never created and the White House stayed silent.

Nouri broke the contract that the White House brokered and the White House did nothing.

It betrayed the people they gave their word to.

And that's especially why the attack on the Sunnis yesterday should have resulted in strong words.

A friend in the administration used to get so ticked off with what I did here -- noting the government of France issuing this or that statement of support or the government of England or both and noting how the US government was silent.

They were just words -- insisted a member of an administration that's offered little more than words since being sworn in back in January 2009.

But words are followed.  The Iraqi press?  Most of them do not have a budget that allows a US correspondent.  So when reporting on US reaction, they are looking to statements and briefings that the administration publishes.  It does matter.  A statement ignored by the US press, for example, may lead on Iraqi TV broadcasts and be front paged on many Iraqi newspapers.

(The same friend now gets it -- it took long enough -- and regularly asks that we note this or that.  When we can, we do.)

Friday's horrible assault was the chance for the US government to show they were not taking sides, that they supported all Iraqis.  That chance has now pretty much passed.

And to be fair to Marie Harf, she is not the entire administration.  She is a spokesperson for the State Dept and, certainly, she spoke more wisely on Friday than her boss (John Kerry) did.

It's a shame John Kerry had nothing to say about the attack on the Sunnis at the mosque.  It's a shame Chuck Hagel had nothing to say -- Chuck without words?  Who knew that was possible?


But what was said and what was not said did register in Iraq.  It's now going to be that much harder for the US to be seen as an honest broker in Iraq -- and at a time when they really need to be seen as that.  Sunnis have not just announced a walkaway period from government talks (hopefully a brief one) but they've also now seen that the US government is gravely concerned when Shi'ites are attacked but less interested when the victims are Sunnis.





the wall st. journal
sam dagher
ben lando
chelsea j. carter